Portage County, Ohio UFO Chase (April 1966)

feinman

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Gotta tell ya, I get serious PTSD just listening to Dale.. That interview at the top is intense. Again showing up on a freeway or road (reminds me of grimoires that recommend summoning things at crossroads) -they like doing that, and the articles are full of similar instances --just like mine.
Here is the photo of the object that was taken (amazing), notice the classic canted position, and the angles on the device, beam, etc.

https://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/strangers-in-the-night/Content?oid=1485939



The drawing:

 

feinman

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Here is the photo with a few simple filters applied:

filters.jpeg
 

eburacum

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Here's Robert Sheaffer's explanation of the sighting.
https://www.fichier-pdf.fr/2012/10/19/floyd/floyd.pdf
Not completely convincing, but some interesting aspects to the case can be noted.

The photo by police chief Buchert does not seem to be consistent with the description of the object, (which is described as self-luminous), and when analysed in detail by the UFO proponent William Weitzel, it was found to be a photographic defect. So I think we can shelve that piece of evidence under 'doubtful'.

The object that the policemen were chasing seems to have spent its time moving at police car speeds across the Ohio landscape (whenever they were in a car) but most of the time it was stationary (when observed by witnesses outside the car). Sometimes it was stationary for tens of minutes at a time. This is consistent with Venus, which was especially bright at the time. I am in agreement with Sheaffer- most of the time this even consisted of policemen chasing Venus. All sightings from inside cars or other vehicles (such as airplanes) are problematic, because of the shifting parallax effects involved.

But quite a few of the witnesses also describe it as moving across the sky - so maybe there was something else going on. An unconnected report on the same day at about the same time was explained by a meteor, so maybe some of the policemen saw that meteor. And some of it is probably misremembered.

As fars as seeing Venus as an Ice-cream cone is concerned: I've tried on many occasions to observe the crescent shape of Venus - apparently some people can see it, but the closest I've ever got to seeing the crescent is seeing it as a kind of twisted caustic pattern in the sky, taller than it is wide. Could someone mistake that for an ice-cream cone? Maybe.
 

eburacum

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Another, similar cross-country chase occurred in the same time period (1967), this time in Devon
http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/flyingcross.htm
In this case it wasn’t difficult for him (and others, including the science correspondent of the Daily Mirror, Arthur Smith –...) to recognize that the ‘flying cross’ was a classic sighting of Venus, which was particularly bright in the dawn sky at the time.
The policemen observed Venus as a cross, rather than a star-like point- an observation that is consistent with my own attempts to see the crescent, and with the Portage 'ice cream cone'.
 
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feinman

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I had some questions about that photo too --but after listening to Dale talk about it near the end of the interview, it does match up with what he was seeing. The drawing is very interesting --still not sure how it fits in, with rest of sighting. I do remember you suggesting Venus before, and I'll admit it looks a LOT like a UFO sometimes indeed! But you know I don't think that's what it was --folks should listen to interview, read accounts etc., And make up their own minds on the encounter. Remember it illuminated the ground and also the photo was taken from a different position from the officers --perhaps on the opposite side of the object. Venus mistaken for UFOs is nothing new, but I don't think the details here fit that explanation. Apparently Wright -Patterson UFO personnel became involved too.
 
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SkepticalX

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I grew up in NE Ohio and actually remember, as a kid, this story hitting all the local newspapers. The thing I do not remember is that there were any photos taken of the object. There surely were none in the contemporary accounts - perhaps the image surfaced only much later. I do see that the pic was supposedly taken by another law enforcement officer who was 20 miles away from Spaur and Neff's position, and it is only assumed that it depicts the same object. That hardly makes sense if, in fact, the object was as low and as close as the pursuing officers seemed to think.

That being said, I find it hard to believe that these guys could have mistaken Venus for the object they followed. Anyone who's seen Venus couldn't be fooled for very long. How could a couple of experienced policemen (used to working the night shift) chase it all the way to the Pennsylvania border? It just seems unlikely.

I actually ran into Officer Neff at a local UFO group meeting in 1973 or 74. He seemed calm and intelligent (and his life didn't unravel like Spaur's). He certainly did not seem the type to misidentify a planet.
 

feinman

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I grew up in NE Ohio and actually remember, as a kid, this story hitting all the local newspapers. The thing I do not remember is that there were any photos taken of the object. There surely were none in the contemporary accounts - perhaps the image surfaced only much later. I do see that the pic was supposedly taken by another law enforcement officer who was 20 miles away from Spaur and Neff's position, and it is only assumed that it depicts the same object. That hardly makes sense if, in fact, the object was as low and as close as the pursuing officers seemed to think.

That being said, I find it hard to believe that these guys could have mistaken Venus for the object they followed. Anyone who's seen Venus couldn't be fooled for very long. How could a couple of experienced policemen (used to working the night shift) chase it all the way to the Pennsylvania border? It just seems unlikely.

I actually ran into Officer Neff at a local UFO group meeting in 1973 or 74. He seemed calm and intelligent (and his life didn't unravel like Spaur's). He certainly did not seem the type to misidentify a planet.
There are very many problems indeed with trying to identify the object as Venus when one listens to the characteristics and maneuvers described in the interview. You can really hear the trauma in Spaur's voice too, sometimes. My hat is off to skeptics trying to explain these things conventionally, they certainly do their research --and then some, and that is as valuable to us as legit sightings.
 
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