Atlas F (Test 103) UFO Film (1962) NAID: 614788

Giddierone

Active Member
What might this 1962 video on the National Archives website show?

The film is titled,

Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) Sighting​

and captioned:
This film contains aerial coverage of a flight of Atlas F (Test 103) at the Atlantic Missile Range. It shows the missile in flight, then breaking up, with the camera holding on the nose cone, with a smaller object in flight above and behind the nose cone on a parallel path.
The film is 7m 30s and can be watched on the National Archives website.

Source: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/614788
SM-65F Atlas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SM-65F_Atlas
[EDIT: Launch Date: 9/19/1962, Air Force Missile Tail Number: 531]
It's unclear if the UFO is the second object seen behind the rocket between [1:00-3:10] (althought that looks like part of the rocket),
Screenshot 2024-02-21 at 09.39.21.png

Or this light that appears above the rocket between [4:43-6:04]
Screenshot 2024-02-21 at 09.39.08.png
Or is it this thing that appears at [1:30] and pulses until it gradually leaves the frame [around 2:25]?
Screenshot 2024-02-21 at 11.57.17.png
 
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Interesting. The rocket seems to break up into several pieces which re-enter separately; one segment continues flying away from the camera and fades away, rather than disintegrating. At one point there are three large pieces. I suppose the identity of each of the pieces may not be known precisely, so they would technically be UFOs.
 
Here are a list of Atlas launches;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atlas_launches_(1960–1969)
if this was an Atlas F, there are a few catastrophic failures in 1961-62 to choose from. One of these contained a 'biological payload' - a rhesus monkey - which was not recovered.
1961-12-21
03:35
Atlas F
6F
Sustainer hydraulic system leak at staging results in loss of hydraulic fluid and engine shutdown. Nose cone separated properly, but was lost at sea after recovery crews failed to locate it.
 
Note that the nose cone is supposed to separate from the booster, so in a successful launch we would see at least two objects after separation.

In this screenshot we see three, which is slightly puzzling, but may be caused by segments coming off the booster. I suspect that the largest object - the 'main object' in my screenshot - is actually the booster as it disintegrates, and either the top object or the bottom object is the nose cone, which was designed to re-enter whole.
Atlas.png
(timestamp 03.31)
 
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Note that the nose cone is supposed to separate from the booster, so in a successful launch we would see at least two objects after separation.

In this screenshot we see three, which is slightly puzzling, but may be caused by segments coming off the booster. I suspect that the largest object - the 'main object' in my screenshot - is actually the booster as it disintegrates, and either the top object or the bottom object is the nose cone, which was designed to re-enter whole.
Atlas.png
(timestamp 03.31)
Thanks. This is useful. It's just not clear why they label it a UFO. Their description doesn't seem precise enough to know what exactly they think the unknown object is and understanding it is made more difficult because there's no camera details availalbe either.
 
Perhaps the aliens came and rescued the poor rhesus monkey, which would be jolly decent of them.

On a more serious note, I can't see that any of the tests were labelled 'test 103', so I'm still in the dark about that aspect.
 
I just noticed this additional info in the comments section.
AMR Range No. 103 Atlas Missile 8F General Dynamics Missile Serial Number: 60-5531 General Dynamics Manufacturing Number: 8F Air Force Missile Tail Number: 531 Missile Acceptance Date: 9/25/1961 Missile Delivery Date: 8/1/1962 ICBM Squadron Number: N/A ICBM Squadron Site Assignment: N/A Missile Destination: Atlantic Missile Range Missile Mission: Research and Development Missile Launch Date: 9/19/1962 Missile Launch Payload: ICBM Test Missile Launch Location: Stand 11 Missile Launch Outcome: Successful Notes: Unidentified Objects recorded in flight test report https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD0861789.pdf Page 14 (pages are out of order - page 14 is AFTER page 15)
[bold added]
...and a link to this PDF:
Screen grab from p.13 and 14.
Screenshot 2024-02-21 at 13.41.50.png
Screenshot 2024-02-21 at 13.39.17.png
 

Attachments

  • AD0861789.pdf
    5.4 MB · Views: 19
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All the separate segments burn up as they re-enter the atmosphere, so it's quite a spectacular sight at night. There SHOULD have been just one (a booster separating from the main body) if the test had been successful, but it looks as if this one suffered catastrophic failure into multiple bits.
 
That one is counted as a successful suborbital launch. I suspect that the payload was the last object visible in the film, that fades away without burning up; or perhaps the payload is the dimmer, starlike object that shows no sign of re-entry heating.
 
It appears to have been a daytime test launced at 14:30 EST (from the PDF in the above post).
Anne's was just a general statement about missile tests and re-entry. they are a spectacular sight at night, when you can see them much better.
like this wouldnt be as cool looking if you saw it during the day.

1708533879913.png
 
Anne's was just a general statement about missile tests and re-entry. they are a spectacular sight at night, when you can see them much better.
When I was at White Sands, we would sometimes get a phone call at night saying they had just launched from Green River, Utah, about five hundred miles away. We would hurry out in the back yard and look at Polaris, then six minutes after the launch there would appear a second "star" beside it, and we could watch it stage and burn up on re-entry.
 
Anne's was just a general statement about missile tests and re-entry. they are a spectacular sight at night, when you can see them much better.
like this wouldnt be as cool looking if you saw it during the day.

1708533879913.png
Yes I know. I was just pointing out the time from the document which I hadn't seen when I posted the thread. It's strange footage for day time.
Edit: ah, the missle came down near Ascension Island so it would have been around 19:30 local time.
 
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Yes I know. I was just pointing out the time from the document which I hadn't seen when I posted the thread. It's strange footage for day time.
how high do those missiles go before they break apart? it sounds like the cameras are ON the missiles..which my brain cant process at all :)..meaning are they filming "Space" as a backdrop?

or FLIR?
 
how high do those missiles go before they break apart? it sounds like the cameras are ON the missiles..which my brain cant process at all :)..meaning are they filming "Space" as a backdrop?

or FLIR?
Pretty high. Apogee 736 Nautical Miles.
The question is what exactly in that video do they consider a UFO? Would love to know how the plane it's filmed from is oriented etc.
Screenshot 2024-02-21 at 21.59.20.pnghttps://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/master/pnp/habshaer/tx/tx0700/tx0737/sheet/00003a.tif
And presumably this is the "Mark 4 Reentry Vehicle" payload making the largest bright light in the video.
Screenshot 2024-02-21 at 22.03.25.pnghttps://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/missile-reentry-vehicle-mark-4/nasm_A19660029000
 
I just noticed this additional info in the comments section.

[bold added]
...and a link to this PDF:
Screen grab from p.13 and 14.
Screenshot 2024-02-21 at 13.41.50.png
Screenshot 2024-02-21 at 13.39.17.png
Thanks Giddione for an interest flashback, nothing like trying to decipher old government documents.

An interesting puzzle.

Question One is was this entry in the National Archives actually created 3 months ago, as the one comment associated with it suggests? And was this the first time the phrase “Unidentified Flying Object” has been associated with this particular video?

If so it would suggest that this entry was created by someone looking for things to be declared UFO’s. The comment includes the phrase: “Notes: Unidentified Objects recorded in flight test report”. Suggesting the searcher was just looking for the word ‘unidentified’ in reports and adding the word flying.

The word does appear in the .pdf report but the context does not exactly suggest inquisitive alien space craft.

On the out of sequence page 14 the top line begins mid sentence. Going back to page 13 the beginning of the sentence reads “After sustainer flame impingement on” followed on page 14 by “the booster section one fairly large object and other smaller objects could be observed out behind the booster section. Their origin and identification could not be determined.” However reading the entire report shows that the Camera No. 3 being referred to was attached to the booster and was ejected at 10 seconds after Booster Cut Off, long before the film begins. What the sentence suggests then is that when the booster separated from the upper part of the missile and began to fall behind the flame from the already running upper engines caused some pieces of the booster to immediately break off. Unidentifiable pieces.

On page 50 the report describes the RV as being ablation shielded, which would create that nice trail of glowing material behind at least one of the objects seen. The fact the camera follows the smaller object, not the missile bodies showy breakup, suggests that this is in fact the RV. Perhaps the camera is following its predicted trajectory and not being manually pointed at all? Certainly a camera operator would be able to identify the missile body as such once it begins to break up. The camera following the smaller object would support the idea that this is the RV trailing its ablative shielding behind it.

The report also mentions (on page 9) that the missile was carrying nine Penetration Aids that were released during the flight. These decoys are intended to show up on hostile radar and make tracking an incoming warhead more difficult. Decoys are designed to mimic the radar return of the warhead reentry vehicle (RV) but are not as robust in construction. So the decoys might have broken up or fallen behind at the point the film begins.

The report includes (on page 4) mention of five different events at the impact location, three associated with known elements of the missile impacting and two just described as “splashes”. So it would seem that multiple things were falling out of the sky at the appropriate time and in more or less the same place. Not all of which would necessarily have left bright trails to show up in the film.

All in All I see nothing suspicious in the video, just parts of the missile and its cargo following their ballistic trajectory into the ocean.
 
The fact the camera follows the smaller object, not the missile bodies showy breakup, suggests that this is in fact the RV.
I think this is probably correct. The camera follows the top object, which is smaller than the large booster which falls beneath it and breaks up on reentry. The top object retains its shape and integrity until it fades away in the distance. I suspect this is the reentry vehicle, and the other objects are just discarded parts.

However some of the objects are technically 'unidentified' so have drawn the attention of UFOlogists. Reminds me of the Apollo S-IVB faring.
 
was this entry in the National Archives actually created 3 months ago
Not sure i'd have to email them. It might be older and only the comment is 3 months old.
someone looking for things to be declared UFO’
Yes that's my hunch. It seems mislabled. The report doesn't appear to align with what we see in the video and I can't find any historical UFO reports that coincide with it. (perhaps there are Guerilla Believers at the NA?).
Unidentifiable pieces
It appears the missile had more than it's usual payload. So perhaps more bits to see giving off light on reentry?

Also, watching the video I got the impression that I was raining, and this is confirmed by newspaper reports. So, I wonder if some of the unusual dots/flickering lights in the video might be caused by rain drops on the camera, on the plane.

Quad_City_Times_1962_09_20_page_31.jpg
Quad City Times 1962 09 20 page 31

Tyler_Morning_Telegraph_1962_09_20_page_2.jpg
 
It might be older and only the comment is 3 months old.
wayback machine only has it from Nov 4 last year. if you look a the parent series it came from, we see many things have not been uploaded online yet.

ps here is a camera in the december 1962 missile (that's the booster below us) so yea black looking space all around. at least with the quality of these cameras. (no wonder the guy from the other thread thought the alien visitor video looked real,ive watched 2 not actors documentaries now from 50's-early 60s and they all look like fake hollywood movies!! ;) )
1708559039903.png




speaking of things that look like bad B movies..this documentray is all about these launches, there is a big AF plane that takes off before launch but all they say about it it helps ships locate the bits that fall into the ocean..they dont mention cameras or filming at all. i doubt these planes can fly super high back then so that might help you narrow down the camera angles?
1708559688182.png
 
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The Altair system was operative in 1974, so should have been able to obtain a signature from an unknown object at that range.

Since the 1974 'ghost ship' was associated with a ballistic launch, it seems possible that the 'ghost' was a fragment of the booster, as in the earlier 1962 Atlas launch. Or it may have been anomalous propagation. But we'd need more information, which is probably not available.
 
it doesnt help me who wont click your links as i doubt i'd understand them. is the answer to anne's question Yes, or No?
Sorry, don't have time at this moment to look closely at the info to determine that. You are right though; should have described the links.
 
It's only two minutes. Give it a try.

I'm with @deirdre on this one, I shouldn't need to click to see what's there.

@Todd Feinman violated the "NO CLICK" policy twice in post #26 then threw up a YouTube video with no explanation.

Sorry, don't have time at this moment to look closely at the info to determine that. You are right though; should have described the links.

That's fine, but then don't post or just say your busy and will prepare a proper post when you have time.

This following link from your post #26 is in response to what? I'm assuming AnnK's question in the previous post, which if that's the case, you should use the reply feature:

https://www.ll.mit.edu/media/6231

It's a 16 page PDF about the Kwajalein atoll tracking facility. I'm not going to read through 16 pages to try and decipher what in that article is a response to the question I assume you're trying to answer. If there is something important in the article, copy and paste it into a post using the External Content (EX tags) feature.
 
Is this the same object that is frequently brought up in UFO documentaries where some rocket test guy claims an object came in and zapped the rocket with a laser several times and then zoomed off ? And of course.....all the photographic evidence was 'confiscated' or whatever.
 
Question One is was this entry in the National Archives actually created 3 months ago, as the one comment associated with it suggests? And was this the first time the phrase “Unidentified Flying Object” has been associated with this particular video?

If so it would suggest that this entry was created by someone looking for things to be declared UFO’s. The comment includes the phrase: “Notes: Unidentified Objects recorded in flight test report”. Suggesting the searcher was just looking for the word ‘unidentified’ in reports and adding the word flying.

A bit of The Priory of Scion sorta thing going on?

Henery Plantard created a fraternal order called The Priory of Scion in 1956 France, while claiming to be the heir to the Merovingians. To help it look like his order had been around a lot longer than it really was, he had fake documents created and placed, most notably in the Bibilotheque Nationale, where they could be found and appeared to back up his claim:

To lend credibility to the apparently fabricated lineage and pedigree, Plantard and his friend, Philippe de Chérisey, needed to create "independent evidence". So during the 1960s, they created and deposited a series of false documents, the most famous of which was entitled Dossiers Secrets d'Henri Lobineau ("Secret Files of Henri Lobineau"), at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. During the same decade, Plantard commissioned de Chérisey to forge two medieval parchments. These parchments contained encrypted messages that referred to the Priory of Sion
Content from External Source
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priory_of_Sion

Is this possibly a new comment about UFOs made to look old?
 
UFO files have been on the National Archives site before; there was an interview with an individual describing a UFO seen at the Stallion range by three military personnel and there were some other files too, iirc, but the entry looks new.
 
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