UFO Conjectures

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Those Green Fireballs

A reference to the Green Fireball phenomenon (mostly of the 40s and 50s) at Kevin Randle’s blog invites conjecture about what they were.

I could say they are the chlorophyll packets from the living plant pilots of UFOs, but that would be a jest.

The green fireball sightings, along with the Scully book, provoked my interest in flying saucers (and UFOs).

While the preponderance of the green fireball sightings abated in the mid-1950s (Wikipedia mentions a 1983 and 2011 sighting), their mystery remains.

Astronomer Lincoln LaPaz who studied the things didn’t or couldn’t come to a resolution as to what the fireballs were.

Were they “drones” looking for the alleged downed disk at Roswell or surveillance objects as Robert Hastings suggests?

Even with a rather serious investigational thrust, nothing has been discerned as to their nature or essence.

This is symptomatic of the whole UFO enigma: the objects defy explanation.

But the green fireballs do seem to have been reconnoitering, over a specific area (the Southwest United States). Why?

We can never know it seems.



  • I wouldn't be so brave as to say the green fire balls are objects.

    It wasn't until very recently NASA observed what they term "Sprites", so the jury remains out in my mind.

    If I remember correctly some scientific wag suggested the greenish effect had something to do with their composition in relation their combustion in the atmosphere.

    I haven't seen anything where Florida is cited as the most common location for them to be observed although that might be so.

    No one doubts the our atmosphere is one of the more observable places where energy exchanges can be observed.

    New Mexico ( of course ) was another state claimed to be a hotbed of activity.

    I have my own pet theory regarding UAP regarding information being equitable to energy but theories are a dime a dozen on the subject of anomalous phenomenon.

    It is an intriguing subject I had forgotten about.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Tuesday, May 06, 2014  

  • In his book Project Beta, Greg Bishop reports that Richard Doty's father, Edward Doty, was tapped (in 1948) to head Project Twinkle, which investigated the Green Fireball phenomenon.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Tuesday, May 06, 2014  

  • "The green fireball sightings, along with the Scully book, provoked my interest in flying saucers (and UFOs)."

    Rich, was that at the time Scully was first published, or did you read him some years later?

    La Paz was frustrated by the green fireballs because he could not find where they came down, even though he had great success finding normal meteorites using the same methods. The absence of physical evidence was an issue for the "ghost rockets" investigators, too.

    The February 1949 Conference On Aerial Phenomena at Los Alamos, which discussed the green fireballs, had a seriously intelligence-oriented guest list.





    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, May 06, 2014  

  • I found the Scully book in the High School library -- hard back, recovered in blue. Gave it as my first oral report for English.

    Date: circa 1953


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 06, 2014  

  • I was nine in 1953. A lot of those interested in ufos are of a similar age. Many seem to have gotten interested in the phenomena in their early teens. Although I was a sf mag fan, b-movies, comic books and so on, pretty much the same as other boys may age, the saucers never 'took' with me. I think I just thought they were fiction like everything else in those stories and movies. and didn't develop an interest until I was nearly retired.

    Just curiosity on my part. Thanks for answering.



    By Blogger Don, at Tuesday, May 06, 2014  

  • Dan, as I've noted in magazine articles and online, I started a flying saucer club in HS which gave 3 graduating credit points for members.

    I've been a FS nut my whole life, sad to say.

    I should have been doing something more worthwhile.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 06, 2014  

  • The Green Fireballs are still with us. In my 2012 "The Return of the Incredible Green Fireballs"
    http://bragalia.blogspot.com/2012/07/return-of-incredible-green-fireballs.html I've featured film clips from NASA showing a Green Fireball leaving (yes leaving)the Earth's atmosphere as well as daytime footage of a Green Fireball filmed clearly flying over Chicago three years ago, even going back and forth in direction.

    The Green Fireballs can often even seem sentient,cognizant, intelligent...


    By Blogger Anthony Bragalia, at Wednesday, May 07, 2014  

  • Per usual during my morning coffee some further thoughts on this arrived that might be pertinent to this and other anomalies.
    The first thing that came to mind is the lack of funding for pure exploratory research that is not tied directly to industry or weaponry.Add to that the social nonsense that makes the subject matter a weak joke. One thing about the NM fireballs that may or may not be at play is geology. At first glance this seems unlikely. However, it is known that crystalline deposits in rock formations effect the electromagnetic gravitational field and that gravity is not equally distributed around the planet. These have been called “gravitational anomalies” and they have been mapped. The atmosphere is an energy exchange and these localised anomalies more than likely have an effect on the various fields that might cause ( for lack of a better word ) these transient illuminations. Persinger, back in the day of punch cards did a analysis of anomalies by location and had a multi-layered map of various features superimposed on the locations of anomalies. such as UAP, then called UFO activity. His book is a good read, long out of print..hard to find.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, May 07, 2014  

  • LaPaz publicly and privately made it crystal clear from the beginning of his investigations (including his own green fireball sighting) that he thought the green fireballs were not natural fireballs at all but artificial objects. This was based on a number of their unusual characteristics, including changes of trajectory. It also included the fact that the green fireballs, at least initially, seemed to cluster near nuclear facilities in New Mexico: Los Alamos, Sandia Labs in Albuquerque, and Roswell. That led to immediate nuclear security concerns, including possibly advanced Russian probes.

    You'll likewise see newspaper articles in the early 1950s during other concentrated flurries of green fireball sightings where LaPaz states he thinks they were Russian probes. But this was far beyond any Russian technology of the day.

    In 1965, Hynek reported visiting LaPaz about Socorro, and related LaPaz accused Hynek and the military of covering up secret projects, including the green fireballs and flying saucers. I am unaware of LaPaz ever being on the record thinking they might possibly be extraterrestrial (including natural objects like meteors).

    In contrast, Ruppelt, in his book and chapter on the green fireballs, related visiting Los Alamos in early 1952 and speaking to scientists and technicians there, most of whom, he said, had seen the green fireballs. To his utter astonishment, they were almost all were of the opinion that they WERE extraterrestrial probes being sent into our atmosphere from an orbiting spacecraft.

    The nuclear angle may be an important part of the puzzle here. A researcher named Donnie Blessing also noticed a correlation between nuclear tests in Nevada in the 1950s and green fireball/UFO reports that seemed to follow the drift of some of the fallout clouds to the east in the days that followed. It is something that should be followed up on with more research.

    If monitoring of our nuclear capabilities, including fallout, is part of the UFO puzzle, this is just one reason, among many possible ones, why some UFOs would need to come into the atmosphere and get close and personal instead of just observing us remotely from space.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Wednesday, May 07, 2014  

  • David
    I am not being sarcastic but to my mind the puzzlement of the reason these things enter our atmosphere could be due to the simpler explanation, meaning that they are not extraterrestrial spacecraft.
    Were the witnesses who thought they saw a right angle trajectory the only source of this information? Also are you talking about a downward vertical descent becoming horizontal? How horizontal,to what degree was this change of trajectory? Some other fireballs appear to skip as well as run on the horizontal depending on the point of observation.
    I suspect that the location of nuclear facilities in relation to sightings is more likely to be one of those seeming patterns that do not represent an intent.There may be localized conditions that are atmospheric in nature.
    Who knows?

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, May 07, 2014  

  • Also..from American Meteorological

    "Vivid colors are more often reported by fireball observers because the brightness is great enough to fall well within the range of human color vision. These must be treated with some caution, however, because of well-known effects associated with the persistence of vision. Reported colors range across the spectrum, from red to bright blue, and (rarely) violet. The dominant composition of a meteoroid can play an important part in the observed colors of a fireball, with certain elements displaying signature colors when vaporized. For example, sodium produces a bright yellow color, nickel shows as green, and magnesium as blue-white. The velocity of the meteor also plays an important role, since a higher level of kinetic energy will intensify certain colors compared to others. Among fainter objects, it seems to be reported that slow meteors are red or orange, while fast meteors frequently have a blue color, but for fireballs the situation seems more complex than that, but perhaps only because of the curiosities of color vision as mentioned above.

    The difficulties of specifying meteor color arise because meteor light is dominated by an emission, rather than a continuous, spectrum. The majority of light from a fireball radiates from a compact cloud of material immediately surrounding the meteoroid or closely trailing it. 95% of this cloud consists of atoms from the surrounding atmosphere; the balance consists of atoms of vaporized elements from the meteoroid itself. These excited particles will emit light at wavelengths characteristic for each element. The most common emission lines observed in the visual portion of the spectrum from ablated material in the fireball head originate from iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), and sodium (Na). Silicon (Si) may be under-represented due to incomplete dissociation of SiO2 molecules. Manganese (Mn), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu) have been observed in fireball spectra, along with rarer elements. The refractory elements Aluminum (Al), Calcium (Ca), and Titanium (Ti) tend to be incompletely vaporized and thus also under-represented in fireball spectra."

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, May 07, 2014  

  • I think the reason La Paz thought the green fireballs were manmade, i.e. most likely from Russia, was that he never found any fragments when following the reported trajectories.

    With more 'normal' meteoric phenomena, La Paz usually managed to find the landing spot and recover meteorite fragments.

    Not so with those green fireballs.

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, May 08, 2014  

  • There were a large number of reasons why LaPaz thought the green fireballs were artificial:

    1. Extremely bright lime-green color, quite unlike any other fireballs on record. (LaPaz commented he had been at the business for 30 or 40 years and had never encountered anything like these in color before). The brightness was great enough to cast shadows in daytime, like extremely bright bolides.

    2. Instant on and off, like a light switch, instead of flaring up and dimming like ordinary meteors. Also virtually constant 2 second duration.

    3. Extremely low triangulated altitude of only 8 to 10 miles (which would rule some sort of high atmospheric electrical phenomenon, which was brought up as a possibility at the Los Alamos conference of 1949).

    4. Triangulated speeds lower than those of ordinary meteors. (below 25,000 mph as I recall)

    5. Absolutely no sound (quite unlike ordinary meteor fireballs)

    6. Extremely flat trajectories with seemingly constant speed, like they were powered, instead of like meteors with arched trajectories, slowed by friction and pulled down by gravity.

    7. All trajectories initially horizontal, later became vertical.

    8. Sometimes sharp changes in trajectory observed, such as going from vertical to horizontal trajectory.

    9. Almost all north to south trajectories (initially) without a radiant or association with known meteor showers.

    10. Sudden appearance in concentrated geographical area with flurries of fireballs reported, then suddenly disappearing, then reappearing later. (Natural atmospheric phenomena would not just suddenly appear in 1948 and only in New Mexico area like this.)

    11. As mentioned by CDA, unable to find any physical traces using his standard meteor-hunting triangulation methodology of plotting trajectory, then looking for meteorites on ground near expected impact point. LaPaz was so good at this and famous as a meteorite hunter, this indeed may have been the most baffling to him.

    Might also note the phenomenon was observed by thousands, including LaPaz, security personnel at Los Alamos and elsewhere, scientists at Los Alamos, etc., so nobody doubted the phenomenon was quite real.

    By Blogger David Rudiak, at Thursday, May 08, 2014  

  • I just saw a green fireball over San Antonio this morning. It flew from sw to ne. The time was 3:08 am, 1-16-2015. Back in Nov of 1999 I saw a green fireball in St. Louis.

    By Blogger Gary Yantis, at Friday, January 16, 2015  

  • Very real, and definitely Objects:

    Wilbur Allen

    By Blogger UFOdc.com, at Friday, March 13, 2015  

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