Friday, May 24, 2019

Man-Made UFOs over Connecticut

UFOs from the start were suspected of being secret military aviation projects. That's what Kenneth Arnold said he initially thought about the nine objects he saw skipping across the skies like saucers in 1947, and many others speculated along the same lines. The development of the atomic bomb had been kept secret from the public, and many thought flying saucers were another technological breakthrough. The Cold War between the US and the USSR was on, so the concern was who was flying the saucers - us or them?

In a previous article, 1950 Disclosure: UFOs are Made in the USA, we looked at how Henry J. Taylor, a major news commentator and columnist, made an amazing announcement in 1950 that flying saucers are real, and they are US military secret projects. He wasn't the only one suggesting it, and the rumors seemed to be confirmed in Oct. 1955 when Donald A. Quarles, the secretary of the Air Force, disclosed that aircraft were being developed, "a new phenomenon in our skies and under certain conditions could give the illusion of the so-called flying saucer."

There were many military projects over the years mistaken for flying saucers.
Tipton Tribune, IN, April 3, 1953
Here's another one reported in the Connecticut skies in 1954, a US Navy aircraft project.

Pittsfield Berkshire Evening Eagle (MA) June 18, 1954
American Helicopter June 1954

Kaman Aircraft Conducts “Rotor Tip Light Study”

With lights mounted on the tips of its rotor blades, a Kaman HTK-1 helicopter has been inadvertently assuming the role of "Flying Saucers" in the night skies over northern Connecticut. Under a contract with the Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics, Kaman Aircraft Corporation is conducting a "Rotor Tip Light Study," to determine the feasibility of lighted rotor blades as a nighttime aid to other aircraft and as a help in night formation flying of copters.

A more detailed account was printed in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, July 1954:
Flying Saucers over Connecticut Bloomfield Conn. - Reports of "Flying Saucers" in the night skies over northern Connecticut, were revealed today by the U. S. Navy and Kaman Aircraft of Bloomfield to be a Kaman HTK-1 helicopter equipped with lights mounted on the tips of its rotor blades. The "Rotor Tip Light Study," as the project is officially named, is being conducted by Kaman Aircraft under a contract with the Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics. The “tip lights” consist of small electric light bulbs housed in transparent plastic covers at the end of each rotor blade. In flight the rapidly revolving blades cause the lights to appear as a large circle giving rise to the “Flying Saucer” rumors.
Purpose of the project is to determine the feasibility of lights mounted on the tips of helicopter rotor blades (1) as an aid to other aircraft during night flights and (2) as an aid in night formation flying of helicopters. In case (1) it is pointed out that the flight characteristics of a helicopter brought about by- its ability to slow down suddenly, to stand still in mid-air, to fly backward or sideward as well as forward, and to rise and descend vertically, make it necessary for helicopters to carry a distinguishing mark for easy identification by pilots of other types of aircraft which do not have the maneuverability characteristics of the helicopter. For this purpose a bright white light which is visible over a long distance as a bright circle readily identifies the aircraft as a helicopter. Thus pilots of other types of aircraft cannot mistake the helicopter for a fixed-wing airplane which they might assume to be flying at a speed similar to their own, an assumption which could result in an accident. In case (2) the use of rotor tip lights will assist pilots flying helicopters in formation at night to determine the, exact location of the rotors of all ships in the formation, thereby precluding the possibility of flying closely enough to cause an accident. In this respect two types of rotor tip lights are being tested. One uses blue bulbs which result in a continuous circle of blue light. The second type uses red and green bulbs which produce a circle which is green on the starboard (right) side and red on the port (left) side. The latter method makes any change in the helicopter's flight path readily discernible to the pilots of accompanying helicopters. The red and green circle is accomplished by automatically timing the switching "on" and "off" of the red and green bulbs to the turning of the rotor itself.
Family Weekly July 3, 1955

Another article appeared in the military magazine, Army Aviation Digest Oct. 1955, probably near the conclusion of the study.

Army Aviation Digest Oct. 1955

This particular project merely produced a lighting effect that was mistaken for flying saucers. Far more interesting are the aviation projects that attempted to duplicate the appearance or performance reported in sightings of flying saucers.

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