Poher Report


1. Basic Information Concerning Minot AFB and the UFO Event

2. Descriptions of the Radarscope Photographs

3. 2-D Analysis of the Radarscope Photographs

4. 3-D Analysis of the Radarscope Photographs

5. The Ionized Cloud Surrounding the UFO

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3


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Analysis of Radar and Air-Visual UFO Observations
on 24 October 1968 at Minot AFB,
North Dakota, USA

Claude Poher, Ph.D.


[1] The acceleration that Earth's gravitational field exerts on objects at Earth's surface (9.8 m/sec2). Also used as a stress measurement for bodies undergoing "loads" imposed on an aircraft or pilot. Loads may be centrifugal and aerodynamic due to maneuvering. (For example, 7 g is a load 7 times the weight of the aircraft. A typical person can handle about 5 g (50m/s2) before losing consciousness. Modern pilots can typically handle 9 g (90 m/s2).

[2] Memo for the Record, 1 November 1968a, Subj: Telephone conversation of 31 Oct 68, Col Werlich – Lt Marano, 1. An azimuth is the horizontal component of a direction measured around the horizon clockwise, from the north (0°) toward the east, and from the south (180°) toward the west. Magnetic declination is the angle between magnetic and true north, and considered positive east of true north, and negative when west. As a result of the Earth’s magnetic poles wandering slowly over the years, magnetic declination changes over time and location. Declination for Minot AFB (48.25o N- 101.21’W) in October 1968 = 12° 50' E changing by 0° 3' W/year. (See: National Geophysical Data Center).

[3] Wing Security Controller summary, On 24 Oct 68 the following personnel, n.d.

[4] In principle, the “academic” border between UHF and VHF is 300 Mhz. However, the USAF uses frequencies below 270 Mhz and above 360 Mhz, and appears to use the same name (UHF) for both bands. (The B-52 EWO Capt. Goduto operated the 360 Mhz HF radio). It is notable that the VHF (radio) reception by the B-52 was not affected, nor the transponder affected, since it was used to communicate with RAPCON during the transmission failure. Also, the B-52 radar detection was unaffected.

[5] 4:30-4:35 is the time noted in Partin’s AF-117 for the air-visual observation. According to our reconstruction of the B-52 flight track the time of the radio transmission loss would be about 4:27. See: Appendix 1.

[6] Quintanilla, Hector, Jr., 13 Nov. 1968, UFO Observation, 24 October 1968 (final case report with attachments).

[7] Satellite view of the November-7 Launch Facility east of Lake Darling near Grano from: Mapquest: N-7/Lat. 48.6225, Long. -101.6025. O’Connor and Isley were 5 miles north of N-7 at the time of their initial observation in the east.

[8] B-52 dimensions: Length: 159 ft 4 in (48.5 m); Height: 40 ft 8 in (12.4 m); Wingspan: 185 ft (56.4 m).

[9] Bomb Navigation Systems Mechanic, CDC 32150K, vol. 4 (for ASB 9A/ 16), 1978, p.47.

[10] This is illustrated later in 3-9, Figure 42.

[11] In the Basic Reporting Data, Werlich provides the altimeter settings for: “0255 CDT - 30.14 inches,” “0355 CDT - 30.12 inches,” and “0455 CDT - 30.11 inches” (3-4). The altimeter setting is a computed value of MSL pressure based on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard atmosphere expressed in hundredths of inches of mercury, which is used to set the sub-scale of an altimeter so the height scale indicates the pressure altitude of the instrument above MSL.

[12] Basic Reporting Data and Format [Teletype], 290428Z OCT 68, SUBJ: UFO REPORT, 2.

[13] This is further explicated on the author’s web site at: http://www.universons.com/.

[14] The web site http://www.universons.com/attempts to answer these questions on the basis of our actual knowledge of physics without calling for extraordinary hypotheses. We should also ask ourselves about the origin of these UFOs.

[15] Col. Werlich based his overlay on a classified “200 series map chart which is used by the bomb people in the targeting section.” The scale of this map and his overlay is 1:200,000. The “base” map apparently used by Quintanilla and included in the Blue Book records is an unclassified “Missile Complex Disaster Control Grid Map,” with a scale denominator of 1:250,000.

[16] See: Terminal Procedures for Minot AFB, May 2003.

[17] Runyon, Bradford, 2005. Interview by Thomas Tulien, 25 February (Sign Oral History Project), 15-16.

[18] In his AF-117, Partin states that he “turned onto the base leg one mile South of the light and was above it” (4). If statute miles, this would change the diameter to: 1.6. 1609 / 60 = 43 m (141 feet). If nautical miles it would change the diameter to: 1.6. 1852 / 60 = 49 m (160 feet).

[19] See: http://www.universons.com/

[20] The navigator would obtain a GMT time "hack" from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) radio station, WWV, at Fort Collins, Colorado. This time was then transferred to the rest of the crew during pre-flight planning at base ops. The navigator would simply say, "It will be [pick a time] in [x] seconds,” and the nav would count down to zero and the rest of the crew would set their watches to that time. The crewmembers would then transfer that time to the onboard chronometers during preflight checklists.

[21] Transcription of Recorded Conversations, Transcript of tape for 24 Oct 68, 0854Z. The Transcript is time-coded to GMT (-5 hours CDT).

[22] Transcript, 0858+.

[23] Transcript, 0900-0902.

[24] Transcript, 0900-0902.

[25] Transcript, 0906.

[26] “ELECTRONIC SIGHTING DATA: … 280-230 IAS; … VISUAL SIGHTING DATA: … 180 IAS.” Basic Reporting Data, 2.

[27] Transcript, 0909.

[28] Transcript, 0909+.

[29] Transcript, 0913+.

[30] Transcript, 0915.

[31] For a detailed explanation of Instrument Approach Procedures see: Aviation Theory: Instrument Approach Procedures. The current 2011 Minot AFB (KMIB) airport diagram, and IAPs, or “approach plates,” are accessible online (IAPs near the bottom of the page) at: http://www.airnav.com/airport/KMIB.

[32] Transcript, 0921. Surveillance approach (ASR, SRA) is an instrument approach conducted in accordance with directions issued by ground controllers referring to the surveillance radar display. Since guidance is only provided in azimuth, it is a non-precision approach. Controller guidance terminates at between 2 nm and 0.5 nm from touchdown, at which point the pilot must either be visual with the runway, or must go around.

[33] Transcript, 0921+.

[34] Transcript, 0921+.

[35] “Half way down the runway, TACAN, 320 radius, 16 nautical miles. This is where aircraft saw the object” (Memo, 1 Nov. 68a); and “The approximate grid coordinate for the apparent landing is at AA-43” (WSC summary).

[36] Partin, AF-117, 1, 3.