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UFOs - Past, Present, & Future


Chapter 5

The Chiles And Whitted Case-1948


by Robert Emenegger


     Six months later, on July 24, 1948, a cylindrical object giving off a phosphorescent glow was sighted in the night sky over Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. Forty minutes later, a pilot over Blackstone, Virginia, observed an object leaving a trail and traveling at a terrific speed in a southwesterly direction.

     At 2:45 A.M., Captain C. S. Chiles and First Officer J. B. Whitted were piloting Eastern Airlines Flight #576 from Houston to Atlanta when, Whitted reports, "We sighted an object coming toward us... This strange object had a stream of red fire coming from its tail and I could see it was much larger than anything I had seen or read about."

     It being a clear moonlit night, visibility was excellent. Chiles then noticed that the object had no wings supporting it. "It passed us on the right side. Its speed was about 700 miles per hour." And both men got a very good look at this unusual object: "It was about 100 feet long, shaped like a cigar," and as it passed they clearly saw "two rows of windows, an upper and lower, that were large and square." From inside the windows came "a very bright light glowing" and they could see that the underside of the ship had a "blue glow," like a fluorescent light. As it passed, it pulled up and into some broken clouds - and was lost from view.


Click here for original image!

(Fig. 40)

     "We heard no noise and felt no turbulence from the object," the men added.

     The Air Force investigators checked out Chiles and Whitted: they found that Chiles, in the war, had been in command capacity with the Air Force, had vast experience in judging and identifying aircraft, and retired as a lieutenant colonel. Whitted's reliability was also found to be "excellent."

     That night there was a third witness - the one passenger who was awake on that Eastern Airlines flight, Clarence McKelvie. In his signed letter, he describes it this way:


          The male steward said to me, "I noticed you watching out the window ."
          I told him there was something flashing - it looked like a cigar with a
          cherry flame going out the back. there was a row of windows and going
          in that direction fast. It made no noise. I heard nothing, because of the
          sound of the plane. It disappeared very quickly... It was on the right side
          of the plane, going off the horizon. It disappeared...or we went past it.


Click here for original image!

(Fig. 41)


          The steward asked if I would talk to the pilot. Yes. The pilot came back
          and took down verbatim. He didn't say anything - he was shook. He said
          he had flown all during the war and "this is the strangest experience I
          ever had." He was shaking all the time.

          Oh, I was interrogated by groups - Air Force Intelligence of Wright-Patterson
          and Hynek's group. I was asked: "Do you think it was a flying saucer?"
          I didn't know - I was looking at it on edge. If I had been looking above or below,
          but I was looking directly. Couldn't tell. Scared me to death...with the plane
          falling and seeing that thing go on by...it was hair raising.


     This object was witnessed by pilots of three aircraft and a passenger, and ground observers added even more corroboration. The conclusion of an Air Intelligence report was that the object remained unidentified as to origin, construction, and power source, and it went into the record classified as "unknown." In the early 1960's, the Air Force abruptly decided that Chiles and Whitted had seen a meteor.


Click here for original image!

(Fig. 42)

     But behind the scenes during that time, the Air Force had done some serious homework in an attempt to consider any and all possible explanations for what Chiles, Whitted, and McKelvie had seen. Here is part of an Air intelligence report on the sighting.


                                        Tech Intel Div.
                                        Intelligence Department
                                        Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio


          Report 102-122-79

               Apparently it is not of domestic origin since a thorough check of 225 flight
          schedules both commercial and governmental, revealed that in only one instance
          did the reported flight paths cross. (See chart enclosed as Exhibit "I"). This single
          exception was the flight in a northwesterly direction of a C-47 en route Robins AFB
          to Olmstead Field, PA. Its time of departure would have enabled it to have passed
          through the approximate areas on the 24th July 1948 where the sightings were
          reported. However, the factors of speed, direction of light, maneuvers,
          configurations, lights and other factors rule out this one possibility.

          Objects similar in configuration have been reported as follows:

          a. Rocket-like objects capable of immense speed were seen during the past summer
          in   broad daylight in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

          b. A wingless craft was observed moving at high speed at Obrechstreet, Arnheim,
          The Hague, Holland. The object was seen intermittently through clouds and was
          reported to have two decks.

          Flying Fuselages (Torpedo of Cigar-Shaped Body)

          a.     While the cigar or torpedo shaped body represents a sufficient form for the
          fuselages of an airplane or the body of a guided missile, in neither case has it been
          used as a primary lift producing surface. However, an extension of the Prandtl
          theory of lift indicates that a fuselage of the dimensions reported by an Eastern
          Airlines pilots Whitted and Chiles in the Montgomery Alabama, incident could
          support a gross weight of approximately 12,000 pounds at an arbitrarily chosen
          stalling speed of 150 mile per hour, conservatively estimated. The Prandtl theory
          probably gives very conservative values of maximum lift for bodies of this shape.
          If a lift coefficient twice as great were used (such a value has been given by a
          German scientist from memory of his wind tunnel researches in Germany), a
          gross weight of 24,000 pounds could be supported at the assumed stalling speed.

          b.     Although the craft sighted by Whitted and Chiles was reported to be without
          wings or fins, it is possible it could have been equipped with extensible wings
          for take-off and landing, contained within the fuselage. In such a case a wing span
          of nearly 90 feet would be possible. If an aspect ratio of 5 were used (18 ft. mean
          aerodynamic chord), and if the wing design incorporated slots and flaps, the wing
          could support 115,000 pounds at a stalling speed of 150 mph. it is possible that the
          fuselage could also contribute lift with this arrangement, depending upon the
          incidence of the wing. This type of aircraft could also be partially supported in the
          take-off and landing condition by the vertical component of the jet thrust, if the
          landing and take-off took place in a vertical or near-vertical attitude. The further
          possibility that an extensible rotor, concealed within the fuselage, could have been
          used, would provide another method for landing and take-off that would allow
          wingless flight at very high speed. Such a design could result in a relatively large
          duration of flight and corresponding range.

          c.     While no stabilizing fins were apparent on the "flying fuselage" reported by
          Whitted and Chiles, it is possible that vanes within the jet, operated by a gyroservo
          system could have provided static stability, longitudinally, directionally and laterally.
          The same vanes could also have been used for accomplishing static balance or trim,
          as well as control for maneuvering. A square-tailed body of the type reported with
          the center of gravity sufficiently far forward can develop, approximately, a neutral
          stability and the possibility exists that definite static stability could be produced  by
          a judicious use of flow-control slots located somewhere along the fuselage.


     That obviously doesn't explain the UFO, but it shows us something other than
a cavalier attitude toward the UFO problem. The Air Force was doing some
serious thinking.

*     *     *

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