The 1976 Iran F4 UAP/UFO case

Itsme

Senior Member
This is a well-known UAP case and it has been superficially discussed in a 2013 thread on Metabunk but this thread soon seems to have spun off in a discussion about the political and ethical state of Iran in 1976 without any deeper discussion of the case itself.

I think this case deserves a more thorough discussion here on Metabunk.
(Note: In the text below I try to stay as close to the original information as possible, using Mooy’s memo and a relatively early interview with the late Major (later General) Parviz Jafari, who flew the second jet chasing the UAP.)

Lt. Col. Olin Mooy, USAF section chief, was invited to a debriefing in Iran after the incident and wrote the following summary of events in a teletype memo (attached as pdf) sent to several divisions of the US Government, including the White House (note that Iran was considered a US ally back in 1976).

The original memo used to be available on the NSA website, now it can still be downloaded from the internet archive:
https://archive.org/details/NSAUFO/Routing Slip UFO Iran
or from the black vault:
https://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/ufos/nsa/routing_slip_ufo_iran.pdf

The text below is the full story in Mooy’s memo.
(Sorry for the text being in capitals, it is a direct transcript from the memo (which is also in capitals)):

THIS REPORT FORWARDS INFORMATION CONCERNING THE SIGHTING OF AN UFO IN IRAN ON 19 SEPTEMBER 1976.

AT AROUND 12:30 AM ON 19 SEP 76 THE IMPERIDAL IRANIAN AIR FORCE (IIAF) RECEIVED FOUR TELEPHONE CALLS FROM CITIZENS LIVING IN THE SHEMIRAN AREA OF TEHRAN SAYING THAT THEY HAD SEEN STRANGE OBJECTS IN THE SKY. SOME REPORTED A KIND OF BIRD-LIKE OBJECT WHILE OTHERS REPORTED A HELICOPTER WITH A LIGHT ON. THERE WERE NO HELICOPTERS AIRBORNE AT THAT TIME. THE COMMAND POST CALLED BG YOUSEFI, ASSISTANT DEPUTY COMMANDER OF OPERATIONS. AFTER HE TOLD THE CITIZEN IT WAS ONLY STARS AND HAD TALKED TO MEHRABAD TOWER HE DECIDED TO LOOK FOR HIMSELF. HE NOTICED AN OBJECT IN THE SKY SIMILAR TO A STAR BIGGER AND BRIGHTER. HE DECIDED TO SCRAMBLE AN F-4 FROM SHAHROKHI AFB TO INVESTIGATE.

AT 01:30 HRS ON THE 19TH THE F-4 TOOK OFF AND PROCEEDED TO A POINT ABOUT 40 NM SOUTH NORTH (admin edit) OF TEHRAN. DUE TO ITS BRILLIANCE THE OBJECT WAS EASILY VISIBLE FROM 70 MILES AWAY.
AS THE F-4 APPROACHED A RANGE OF 25 NM HE LOST ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERCOM). HE BROKE OFF THE INTERCEPT AND HEADED BACK TO SHAHROKHI. WHEN THE F-4 TURNED AWAY FROM THE OBJECT AND APPARENTLY WAS NO LONGER A THREAT TO IT THE AIRCRAFT REGAINED ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS.

AT 01:40 HRS A SECOND F-4 WAS LAUNCHED. THE BACKSEATER ACQUIRED A RADAR LOCK ON AT 27 NM, 12 O'CLOCK HIGH POSITION WITH THE VD (RATE OF CLOSURE) AT 150 NMPH. AS THE RANGE DECREASED TO 25 NM THE OBJECT MOVED AWAY AT A SPEED THAT WAS VISIBLE ON THE RADAR SCOPE AND STAYED AT 25 NM.

THE SIZE OF THE RADAR RETURN WAS COMPARABLE TO THAT OF A 707 TANKER. THE VISUAL SIZE OF THE OBJECT WAS DIFFICULT TO DISCERN BECAUSE OF ITS INTENSE BRILLIANCE. THE LIGHT THAT IT GAVE OFF WAS THAT OF FLASHING STROBE LIGHTS ARRANGED IN A RECTANGULAR PATTERN AND ALTERNATING BLUE, GREEN, RED, AND ORANGE IN COLOR. THE SEQUENCE OF THE LIGHTS WAS SO FAST THAT ALL THE COLORS COULD BE SEEN AT ONCE.

THE OBJECT AND THE PURSUING F-4 CONTINUED ON A COURSE TO THE SOUTH OF TEHRAN WHEN ANOTHER BRIGHTLY LIGHTED OBJECT, ESTIMATED TO BE ONE HALF TO ONE THIRD THE APPARENT SIZE OF THE MOON, CAME OUT OF THE ORIGINAL OBJECT. THIS SECOND OBJECT HEADED STRAIGHT TOWARD THE F-4 AT A VERY FAST RATE OF SPEED. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO FIRE AN AIM-9 MISSILE AT THE OBJECT BUT AT THAT INSTANT HIS WEAPONS CONTROL PANEL WENT OFF AND HE LOST ALL COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERPHONE). AT THIS POINT THE PILOT INITIATED A TURN AND NEGATIVE G DIVE TO GET AWAY. AS HE TURNED THE OBJECT FELL IN TRAIL AT WHAT APPEARED TO BE ABOUT 3-4 NM. AS HE CONTINUED IN HIS TURN AWAY FROM THE PRIMARY OBJECT THE SECOND OBJECT WENT TO THE INSIDE OF HIS TURN THEN RETURNED TO THE PRIMARY OBJECT FOR A PERFECT REJOIN.

SHORTLY AFTER THE SECOND OBJECT JOINED UP WITH THE PRIMARY OBJECT ANOTHER OBJECT APPEARED TO COME OUT OF THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PRIMARY OBJECT GOING STRAIGHT DOWN, AT A GREAT RATE OF SPEED. THE F-4 CREW HAD REGAINED COMMUNICATIONS AND THE WEAPONS CONTROL PANEL AND WATCHED THE OBJECT APPROACH THE GROUND ANTICIPATING A LARGE EXPLOSION. THE OBJECT APPEARED TO COME TO REST GENTLY ON THE EARTH AND CAST A VERY BRIGHT LIGHT OVER AN AREA OF ABOUT 2-3 KILOMETERS.

THE CREW DESCENDED FROM THEIR ALTITUDE OF 25M TO 15M AND CONTINUED TO OBSERVE AND MARK THE OBJECT'S POSITION. THEY HAD SOME DIFFICULTY IN ADJUSTING THEIR NIGHT VISIBILITY FOR LANDING SO AFTER ORBITING MEHRABAD A FEW TIMES THEY WENT OUT FOR A STRAIGHT IN LANDING. THERE WAS A LOT OF INTERFERENCE ON THE UHF AND EACH TIME THEY PASSED THROUGH A MAG BEARING OF 150 DEGREES FROM FHRARAD THEY LOST THEIR COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERPHONE) AND THE INS FLUCTUATED FROM 30 DEGREES - 50 DEGREES.

THE ONE CIVIL AIRLINER THAT WAS APPROACHING MEHRABAD DURING THIS SAME TIME EXPERIENCED COMMUNICATIONS FAILURE IN THE SAME VICINITY (KILO ZULU) BUT DID NOT REPORT SEEING ANYTHING.

WHILE THE F-4 WAS ON A LONG FINAL APPROACH THE CREW NOTICED ANOTHER CYLINDER SHAPED OBJECT (ABOUT THE SIZE OF A T-BIRD AT 10M) WITH BRIGHT STEADY LIGHTS ON EACH END AND A FLASHER IN THE MIDDLE. WHEN QUERIED THE TOWER STATED THERE WAS NO OTHER KNOWN TRAFFIC IN THE AREA. DURING THE TIME THAT THE OBJECT PASSED OVER THE F-4 THE TOWER DID NOT HAVE A VISUAL ON IT BUT PICKED IT UP AFTER THE PILOT TOLD THEM TO LOOK BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS AND THE REFINERY.

DURING DAYLIGHT THE F-4 CREW WAS TAKEN OUT TO THE AREA IN A HELICOPTER WHERE THE OBJECT APPARENTLY HAD LANDED. NOTHING WAS NOTED AT THE SPOT WHERE THEY THOUGHT THE OBJECT LANDED (A DRY LAKE BED) BUT AS THEY CIRCLED OFF TO THE WEST OF THE AREA THEY PICKED UP A VERY NOTICEABLE BEEPER SIGNAL. AT THE POINT WHERE THE RETURN WAS THE LOUDEST WAS A SMALL HOUSE WITH A GARDEN. THEY LANDED AND ASKED THE PEOPLE WITHIN IF THEY HAD NOTICED ANYTHING STRANGE LAST NIGHT. THE PEOPLE TALKED ABOUT A LOUD NOISE AND A VERY BRIGHT LIGHT LIKE LIGHTENING. THE AIRCRAFT AND AREA WHERE THE OBJECT IS BELIEVED TO HAVE LANDED ARE BEING CHECKED FOR POSSIBLE RADIATION.

MORE INFORMATION WILL BE FORWARDED WHEN IT COMES AVAILABLE.
Content from External Source
Brian Dunning discusses the case on the Skeptoid website (https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4315) but he got a few things wrong:

1. Dunning states: “Jafari reported that its lights consisted of alternating strobes of blue, green, red, and orange, so fast that all four were visible at once.”

He forgets to mention an important detail here. The memo states that the strobe lights were arranged in a rectangular pattern:
THE VISUAL SIZE OF THE OBJECT WAS DIFFICULT TO DISCERN BECAUSE OF ITS INTENSE BRILLIANCE. THE LIGHT THAT IT GAVE OFF WAS THAT OF FLASHING STROBE LIGHTS ARRANGED IN A RECTANGULAR PATTERN AND ALTERNATING BLUE, GREEN, RED, AND ORANGE IN COLOR. THE SEQUENCE OF THE LIGHTS WAS SO FAST THAT ALL THE COLORS COULD BE SEEN AT ONCE.
Content from External Source
At 18:57 in the video below, in an interview with the pilot of the second jet, the pilot states:
When I saw it, it wasn’t a ‘thing’ that I could see – it was some lights flashing. Green, amber, blue, and red. These four colors were flashing from four sides of the object which could not be seen by itself.
Content from External Source
2. Dunning states: “Once they (the jets) arrived, they saw the light just where Jupiter would have been.”

He does not give any evidence for this but again forgets to mention important details. At 19:28 in the video below, the pilot states:
When I was looking straight ahead and going toward it, it all of a sudden jumped out about 10 degrees to the right.
Content from External Source
And at 20:00:
Each time I was pointing the nose of the aircraft toward this thing, after a while it would jump another 10 degrees to my right. Until about 70 degrees turn we had, little by little, turned to have it on the nose and also I was climbing and going forward to it.
Content from External Source
3. Dunning states: “The Westinghouse tech at Shahrokhi confirmed that only the second F-4 was reported to have experienced any electrical problems during the flight”

This directly contradicts Mooy’s memo, which states about the first F4:
AS THE F-4 APPROACHED A RANGE OF 25 NM HE LOST ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERCOM). HE BROKE OFF THE INTERCEPT AND HEADED BACK TO SHAHROKHI. WHEN THE F-4 TURNED AWAY FROM THE OBJECT AND APPARENTLY WAS NO LONGER A THREAT TO IT THE AIRCRAFT REGAINED ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS.
Content from External Source
It also directly contradicts the recording of this first pilot’s communication with the tower, which can be heard at 2:30 in the video below. Its translation:
PILOT: When I get closer to the object, my system shuts down. It’s so frightening! Tell me what to do. I’m running low on fuel. Do you read me?
TOWER: Yes, I hear you, if you believe it’s too dangerous, don’t pursue it.
Content from External Source
4. Dunning states: “it's not necessarily a fact that a radar lock meant something was there. Maybe there was; maybe there wasn't.” (referring to the radar lock obtained by the second F4 jet).

In this statement he completely disregards the simultaneous visual contact of the pilot with an object that had lights arranged in a rectangular pattern and was making sudden 10 degree jumps as the jet approached it.
The pilot even took additional action to make sure the radar lock was on the object: At 20:47 in the video below he states:
My backseater, he told me that I locked on it. I told him to break lock and painted very perfectly, with the movement of the antenna upward, so I found out that it is above the horizon, so I was sure that it is the object and not anything else on the ground.
Content from External Source
5. Dunning states: “Fifth were the bright objects that Jafari reported came at him, and that shot straight down into the ground.” and “Moments later another bright object came out and went straight down into the ground, leaving a bright trail, and lighting up a large 2-3 kilometer wide area.”

First of all, the second object did not ‘shoot straight down into the ground’. The memo reports it as:
THE OBJECT APPEARED TO COME TO REST GENTLY ON THE EARTH AND CAST A VERY BRIGHT LIGHT OVER AN AREA OF ABOUT 2-3 KILOMETERS.
Content from External Source
It was never reported to ‘leave a bright trail’, either.

The first object also did not shoot straight into the ground.
At 22:48 in the video below, the pilot describes the first object as:
A round thing, which was bright, about half of the size of the moon, moving downward, came below the horizon, and from below the horizon started to come toward me.
Content from External Source
He makes and upward slanted motion with his arms while telling this.

The memo states:
ANOTHER BRIGHTLY LIGHTED OBJECT, ESTIMATED TO BE ONE HALF TO ONE THIRD THE APPARENT SIZE OF THE MOON, CAME OUT OF THE ORIGINAL OBJECT. THIS SECOND OBJECT HEADED STRAIGHT TOWARD THE F-4 AT A VERY FAST RATE OF SPEED. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO FIRE AN AIM-9 MISSILE AT THE OBJECT BUT AT THAT INSTANT HIS WEAPONS CONTROL PANEL WENT OFF AND HE LOST ALL COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERPHONE). AT THIS POINT THE PILOT INITIATED A TURN AND NEGATIVE G DIVE TO GET AWAY. AS HE TURNED THE OBJECT FELL IN TRAIL AT WHAT APPEARED TO BE ABOUT 3-4 NM. AS HE CONTINUED IN HIS TURN AWAY FROM THE PRIMARY OBJECT THE SECOND OBJECT WENT TO THE INSIDE OF HIS TURN THEN RETURNED TO THE PRIMARY OBJECT FOR A PERFECT REJOIN.
Content from External Source
Below is the video to which I made exact timed references in the text above. It contains several pieces of content, among which an early interview with the late Major (later General) Parviz Jafari, who flew the second jet chasing the UAP, that starts at 17:25:


Thoughts?
 

Attachments

  • routing_slip_ufo_iran.pdf
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Thoughts?

@Brian Dunning did an excellent job. I cannot but quote his conclusion:
Once we look at all the story's elements without the presumption of an alien spaceship, the only thing unusual about the Tehran 1976 UFO case is that planes were chasing celestial objects and had equipment failures. There have been many cases where planes had equipment failures, and there have been many cases where planes misidentified celestial objects. Once in a while, both will happen on the same flight.
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4315

In my opinion you give too much weight to random data pieces (the 'rectangular pattern', the '10 degrees jumps', the 'appeared to rest gently on the earth') which are much easier to explain by common and well-known perceptual/memory/embellishment/misinterpretation/technical effects than by resorting to very improbable otherworldy explanations [the last thing I want here is to stir again the pot of the reliability of witnesses in general, of pilots in particular, and of MoD memos!].
 
This is a well-known UAP case and it has been superficially discussed in a 2013 thread on Metabunk but this thread soon seems to have spun off in a discussion about the political and ethical state of Iran in 1976 without any deeper discussion of the case itself.

I think this case deserves a more thorough discussion here on Metabunk.
(Note: In the text below I try to stay as close to the original information as possible, using Mooy’s memo and a relatively early interview with the late Major (later General) Parviz Jafari, who flew the second jet chasing the UAP.)

Lt. Col. Olin Mooy, USAF section chief, was invited to a debriefing in Iran after the incident and wrote the following summary of events in a teletype memo (attached as pdf) sent to several divisions of the US Government, including the White House (note that Iran was considered a US ally back in 1976).

The original memo used to be available on the NSA website, now it can still be downloaded from the internet archive:
https://archive.org/details/NSAUFO/Routing Slip UFO Iran
or from the black vault:
https://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/ufos/nsa/routing_slip_ufo_iran.pdf

The text below is the full story in Mooy’s memo.
(Sorry for the text being in capitals, it is a direct transcript from the memo (which is also in capitals)):

THIS REPORT FORWARDS INFORMATION CONCERNING THE SIGHTING OF AN UFO IN IRAN ON 19 SEPTEMBER 1976.

AT AROUND 12:30 AM ON 19 SEP 76 THE IMPERIDAL IRANIAN AIR FORCE (IIAF) RECEIVED FOUR TELEPHONE CALLS FROM CITIZENS LIVING IN THE SHEMIRAN AREA OF TEHRAN SAYING THAT THEY HAD SEEN STRANGE OBJECTS IN THE SKY. SOME REPORTED A KIND OF BIRD-LIKE OBJECT WHILE OTHERS REPORTED A HELICOPTER WITH A LIGHT ON. THERE WERE NO HELICOPTERS AIRBORNE AT THAT TIME. THE COMMAND POST CALLED BG YOUSEFI, ASSISTANT DEPUTY COMMANDER OF OPERATIONS. AFTER HE TOLD THE CITIZEN IT WAS ONLY STARS AND HAD TALKED TO MEHRABAD TOWER HE DECIDED TO LOOK FOR HIMSELF. HE NOTICED AN OBJECT IN THE SKY SIMILAR TO A STAR BIGGER AND BRIGHTER. HE DECIDED TO SCRAMBLE AN F-4 FROM SHAHROKHI AFB TO INVESTIGATE.

AT 01:30 HRS ON THE 19TH THE F-4 TOOK OFF AND PROCEEDED TO A POINT ABOUT 40 NM SOUTH OF TEHRAN. DUE TO ITS BRILLIANCE THE OBJECT WAS EASILY VISIBLE FROM 70 MILES AWAY.
AS THE F-4 APPROACHED A RANGE OF 25 NM HE LOST ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERCOM). HE BROKE OFF THE INTERCEPT AND HEADED BACK TO SHAHROKHI. WHEN THE F-4 TURNED AWAY FROM THE OBJECT AND APPARENTLY WAS NO LONGER A THREAT TO IT THE AIRCRAFT REGAINED ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS.

AT 01:40 HRS A SECOND F-4 WAS LAUNCHED. THE BACKSEATER ACQUIRED A RADAR LOCK ON AT 27 NM, 12 O'CLOCK HIGH POSITION WITH THE VD (RATE OF CLOSURE) AT 150 NMPH. AS THE RANGE DECREASED TO 25 NM THE OBJECT MOVED AWAY AT A SPEED THAT WAS VISIBLE ON THE RADAR SCOPE AND STAYED AT 25 NM.

THE SIZE OF THE RADAR RETURN WAS COMPARABLE TO THAT OF A 707 TANKER. THE VISUAL SIZE OF THE OBJECT WAS DIFFICULT TO DISCERN BECAUSE OF ITS INTENSE BRILLIANCE. THE LIGHT THAT IT GAVE OFF WAS THAT OF FLASHING STROBE LIGHTS ARRANGED IN A RECTANGULAR PATTERN AND ALTERNATING BLUE, GREEN, RED, AND ORANGE IN COLOR. THE SEQUENCE OF THE LIGHTS WAS SO FAST THAT ALL THE COLORS COULD BE SEEN AT ONCE.

THE OBJECT AND THE PURSUING F-4 CONTINUED ON A COURSE TO THE SOUTH OF TEHRAN WHEN ANOTHER BRIGHTLY LIGHTED OBJECT, ESTIMATED TO BE ONE HALF TO ONE THIRD THE APPARENT SIZE OF THE MOON, CAME OUT OF THE ORIGINAL OBJECT. THIS SECOND OBJECT HEADED STRAIGHT TOWARD THE F-4 AT A VERY FAST RATE OF SPEED. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO FIRE AN AIM-9 MISSILE AT THE OBJECT BUT AT THAT INSTANT HIS WEAPONS CONTROL PANEL WENT OFF AND HE LOST ALL COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERPHONE). AT THIS POINT THE PILOT INITIATED A TURN AND NEGATIVE G DIVE TO GET AWAY. AS HE TURNED THE OBJECT FELL IN TRAIL AT WHAT APPEARED TO BE ABOUT 3-4 NM. AS HE CONTINUED IN HIS TURN AWAY FROM THE PRIMARY OBJECT THE SECOND OBJECT WENT TO THE INSIDE OF HIS TURN THEN RETURNED TO THE PRIMARY OBJECT FOR A PERFECT REJOIN.

SHORTLY AFTER THE SECOND OBJECT JOINED UP WITH THE PRIMARY OBJECT ANOTHER OBJECT APPEARED TO COME OUT OF THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PRIMARY OBJECT GOING STRAIGHT DOWN, AT A GREAT RATE OF SPEED. THE F-4 CREW HAD REGAINED COMMUNICATIONS AND THE WEAPONS CONTROL PANEL AND WATCHED THE OBJECT APPROACH THE GROUND ANTICIPATING A LARGE EXPLOSION. THE OBJECT APPEARED TO COME TO REST GENTLY ON THE EARTH AND CAST A VERY BRIGHT LIGHT OVER AN AREA OF ABOUT 2-3 KILOMETERS.

THE CREW DESCENDED FROM THEIR ALTITUDE OF 25M TO 15M AND CONTINUED TO OBSERVE AND MARK THE OBJECT'S POSITION. THEY HAD SOME DIFFICULTY IN ADJUSTING THEIR NIGHT VISIBILITY FOR LANDING SO AFTER ORBITING MEHRABAD A FEW TIMES THEY WENT OUT FOR A STRAIGHT IN LANDING. THERE WAS A LOT OF INTERFERENCE ON THE UHF AND EACH TIME THEY PASSED THROUGH A MAG BEARING OF 150 DEGREES FROM FHRARAD THEY LOST THEIR COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERPHONE) AND THE INS FLUCTUATED FROM 30 DEGREES - 50 DEGREES.

THE ONE CIVIL AIRLINER THAT WAS APPROACHING MEHRABAD DURING THIS SAME TIME EXPERIENCED COMMUNICATIONS FAILURE IN THE SAME VICINITY (KILO ZULU) BUT DID NOT REPORT SEEING ANYTHING.

WHILE THE F-4 WAS ON A LONG FINAL APPROACH THE CREW NOTICED ANOTHER CYLINDER SHAPED OBJECT (ABOUT THE SIZE OF A T-BIRD AT 10M) WITH BRIGHT STEADY LIGHTS ON EACH END AND A FLASHER IN THE MIDDLE. WHEN QUERIED THE TOWER STATED THERE WAS NO OTHER KNOWN TRAFFIC IN THE AREA. DURING THE TIME THAT THE OBJECT PASSED OVER THE F-4 THE TOWER DID NOT HAVE A VISUAL ON IT BUT PICKED IT UP AFTER THE PILOT TOLD THEM TO LOOK BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS AND THE REFINERY.

DURING DAYLIGHT THE F-4 CREW WAS TAKEN OUT TO THE AREA IN A HELICOPTER WHERE THE OBJECT APPARENTLY HAD LANDED. NOTHING WAS NOTED AT THE SPOT WHERE THEY THOUGHT THE OBJECT LANDED (A DRY LAKE BED) BUT AS THEY CIRCLED OFF TO THE WEST OF THE AREA THEY PICKED UP A VERY NOTICEABLE BEEPER SIGNAL. AT THE POINT WHERE THE RETURN WAS THE LOUDEST WAS A SMALL HOUSE WITH A GARDEN. THEY LANDED AND ASKED THE PEOPLE WITHIN IF THEY HAD NOTICED ANYTHING STRANGE LAST NIGHT. THE PEOPLE TALKED ABOUT A LOUD NOISE AND A VERY BRIGHT LIGHT LIKE LIGHTENING. THE AIRCRAFT AND AREA WHERE THE OBJECT IS BELIEVED TO HAVE LANDED ARE BEING CHECKED FOR POSSIBLE RADIATION.

MORE INFORMATION WILL BE FORWARDED WHEN IT COMES AVAILABLE.
Content from External Source
Brian Dunning discusses the case on the Skeptoid website (https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4315) but he got a few things wrong:

1. Dunning states: “Jafari reported that its lights consisted of alternating strobes of blue, green, red, and orange, so fast that all four were visible at once.”

He forgets to mention an important detail here. The memo states that the strobe lights were arranged in a rectangular pattern:
THE VISUAL SIZE OF THE OBJECT WAS DIFFICULT TO DISCERN BECAUSE OF ITS INTENSE BRILLIANCE. THE LIGHT THAT IT GAVE OFF WAS THAT OF FLASHING STROBE LIGHTS ARRANGED IN A RECTANGULAR PATTERN AND ALTERNATING BLUE, GREEN, RED, AND ORANGE IN COLOR. THE SEQUENCE OF THE LIGHTS WAS SO FAST THAT ALL THE COLORS COULD BE SEEN AT ONCE.
Content from External Source
At 18:57 in the video below, in an interview with the pilot of the second jet, the pilot states:
When I saw it, it wasn’t a ‘thing’ that I could see – it was some lights flashing. Green, amber, blue, and red. These four colors were flashing from four sides of the object which could not be seen by itself.
Content from External Source
2. Dunning states: “Once they (the jets) arrived, they saw the light just where Jupiter would have been.”

He does not give any evidence for this but again forgets to mention important details. At 19:28 in the video below, the pilot states:
When I was looking straight ahead and going toward it, it all of a sudden jumped out about 10 degrees to the right.
Content from External Source
And at 20:00:
Each time I was pointing the nose of the aircraft toward this thing, after a while it would jump another 10 degrees to my right. Until about 70 degrees turn we had, little by little, turned to have it on the nose and also I was climbing and going forward to it.
Content from External Source
3. Dunning states: “The Westinghouse tech at Shahrokhi confirmed that only the second F-4 was reported to have experienced any electrical problems during the flight”

This directly contradicts Mooy’s memo, which states about the first F4:
AS THE F-4 APPROACHED A RANGE OF 25 NM HE LOST ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERCOM). HE BROKE OFF THE INTERCEPT AND HEADED BACK TO SHAHROKHI. WHEN THE F-4 TURNED AWAY FROM THE OBJECT AND APPARENTLY WAS NO LONGER A THREAT TO IT THE AIRCRAFT REGAINED ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS.
Content from External Source
It also directly contradicts the recording of this first pilot’s communication with the tower, which can be heard at 2:30 in the video below. Its translation:
PILOT: When I get closer to the object, my system shuts down. It’s so frightening! Tell me what to do. I’m running low on fuel. Do you read me?
TOWER: Yes, I hear you, if you believe it’s too dangerous, don’t pursue it.
Content from External Source
4. Dunning states: “it's not necessarily a fact that a radar lock meant something was there. Maybe there was; maybe there wasn't.” (referring to the radar lock obtained by the second F4 jet).

In this statement he completely disregards the simultaneous visual contact of the pilot with an object that had lights arranged in a rectangular pattern and was making sudden 10 degree jumps as the jet approached it.
The pilot even took additional action to make sure the radar lock was on the object: At 20:47 in the video below he states:
My backseater, he told me that I locked on it. I told him to break lock and painted very perfectly, with the movement of the antenna upward, so I found out that it is above the horizon, so I was sure that it is the object and not anything else on the ground.
Content from External Source
5. Dunning states: “Fifth were the bright objects that Jafari reported came at him, and that shot straight down into the ground.” and “Moments later another bright object came out and went straight down into the ground, leaving a bright trail, and lighting up a large 2-3 kilometer wide area.”

First of all, the second object did not ‘shoot straight down into the ground’. The memo reports it as:
THE OBJECT APPEARED TO COME TO REST GENTLY ON THE EARTH AND CAST A VERY BRIGHT LIGHT OVER AN AREA OF ABOUT 2-3 KILOMETERS.
Content from External Source
It was never reported to ‘leave a bright trail’, either.

The first object also did not shoot straight into the ground.
At 22:48 in the video below, the pilot describes the first object as:
A round thing, which was bright, about half of the size of the moon, moving downward, came below the horizon, and from below the horizon started to come toward me.
Content from External Source
He makes and upward slanted motion with his arms while telling this.

The memo states:
ANOTHER BRIGHTLY LIGHTED OBJECT, ESTIMATED TO BE ONE HALF TO ONE THIRD THE APPARENT SIZE OF THE MOON, CAME OUT OF THE ORIGINAL OBJECT. THIS SECOND OBJECT HEADED STRAIGHT TOWARD THE F-4 AT A VERY FAST RATE OF SPEED. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO FIRE AN AIM-9 MISSILE AT THE OBJECT BUT AT THAT INSTANT HIS WEAPONS CONTROL PANEL WENT OFF AND HE LOST ALL COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERPHONE). AT THIS POINT THE PILOT INITIATED A TURN AND NEGATIVE G DIVE TO GET AWAY. AS HE TURNED THE OBJECT FELL IN TRAIL AT WHAT APPEARED TO BE ABOUT 3-4 NM. AS HE CONTINUED IN HIS TURN AWAY FROM THE PRIMARY OBJECT THE SECOND OBJECT WENT TO THE INSIDE OF HIS TURN THEN RETURNED TO THE PRIMARY OBJECT FOR A PERFECT REJOIN.
Content from External Source
Below is the video to which I made exact timed references in the text above. It contains several pieces of content, among which an early interview with the late Major (later General) Parviz Jafari, who flew the second jet chasing the UAP, that starts at 17:25:


Thoughts?


Couldn't help but notice the bit about an object a third of the size of the Moon that appeared to 'rest gently on the earth'. Well, a quick look at Stellarium for the date and time and location has the actual Moon a crescent barely above the horizon.
 
@Brian Dunning did an excellent job. I cannot but quote his conclusion:
I disagree.

Dunning gives two arguments why he thinks the primary object was Jupiter:
1. The object was observed in the same direction as Jupiter.
2. "Second, Yousefi and the telephone witnesses all described the light as similar to a star but much brighter."

He provides zero evidence for his first argument, and his second argument is false.

Bob Pratt interviewed the supervisor in charge of the tower that night, i.e. the person who answered the calls of the telephone witnesses: Houssain Pirouzi

- The first telephone witness described the object like a sun in the sky, it looked like a fan with four blades, and it sometimes seemed to separate into two objects.
- The second telephone witness saw an object changing direction and sometimes dividing into two and joining together again.
- The third and fourth witnesses did not seem to give much information on the object's shape.
- When Pirouzi himself observed the object through binoculars, it was rectangular in shape.
(Source: The enclosed investigation report by Bruce Maccabee, who in turn used the interviews by Bob Pratt.)

So basically, Dunning has no arguments to back up his claim that this was a celestial object. On top of that, there are several arguments this was NOT a celestial object: Its rectangular shape, its behavior, its witnessed ability to split off other objects, and the radar lock of the jet.
 

Attachments

  • 760919_tehran_Maccabee_report (1).pdf
    1 MB · Views: 93
Bob Pratt interviewed the supervisor in charge of the tower that night, i.e. the person who answered the calls of the telephone witnesses: Houssain Pirouzi

- The first telephone witness described the object like a sun in the sky, it looked like a fan with four blades, and it sometimes seemed to separate into two objects.
- The second telephone witness saw an object changing direction and sometimes dividing into two and joining together again.
- The third and fourth witnesses did not seem to give much information on the object's shape.
- When Pirouzi himself observed the object through binoculars, it was rectangular in shape.
(Source: The enclosed investigation report by Bruce Maccabee, who in turn used the interviews by Bob Pratt.)

I would be at least a bit leery of some of these descriptions. From the PDF you linked (bold by me):

[EX[Note: what follows is my reconstruction of the sighting history. This is based, in part, on two interviews of Hossain Pirouzi, done 3 and 4 months after the events. They were provided to me by reporter Bob Pratt, who was, at the time, a full time UFO investigator employed by the National Enquirer. This history is also based on newspaper accounts and on the initially classified (Confidential) U. S. Air Force (USAF) teletype message by Lt. Col. Olin Mooy, that primarily describes the events as recounted during an interview of the pilot of the second jet. Col. Mooy was a member of the MAAG or Military Assistance and Advisory Group which consisted of USAF officers who provided assistance and advice to the Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF).[/EX]]https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/760919_tehran_maccabee_report-1-pdf.59274/

So, we have noted UFOlogest Bruce Maccabee "reconstructing" the sightings based in part on interviews conducted by a UFO investigator from the National Enquirer who is getting some recollections of what one person says witness said they saw on a phone 3-4 months after the incident. I think there is enough red flags here to give pause when noting very specific details.

Here is another section from the PDF:

Hossain Pirouzi listened as a lady described seeing “a strange object like a sun in the sky about 1,000 meters (about 3,000 ft) above me. The colors change through orange, red and yellow.” Can you describe a shape, he asked. She said the closest thing she could compare it with was a fan with four blades. Furthermore, she thought there might be two objects because sometimes it seemed to separate into two parts. “What is it?” she wanted to know. Pirouzi said the lady shouldn’t worry, he would check it out. She hung up.
Content from External Source
Note how there is actual quotes about what the lady said and then Pirouzi asked if she can describe it. This has been novelized and turned into a story. Maccabee can't quote what the woman saw, because this is at best Pirouzi's recollection of what she said as passed onto Pratt.

Maccabee doesn't give us any details on what Pratt provided to him. Was it an audio recording of Pirouzi describing the incident 3 and 4 months later? Or was it Pratt's handwritten notes of what Pirouzi said. In either case, all we know about what the woman said she saw, possibly in Farsi, is what Pirouzi claims to have remembered she said.

In 3 months with a big case, there is plenty of time for memories and recollections to coalesce around an accepted narrative. Now add a UFO investigator looking for a story and small details can become clouded. But in this case Pratt returns a month later (4 months after the incident now) and interviews Pirouzi again. Are they going over the same stuff or new stuff? Is the story being further codified in the second go around?

As for some of the other content in Maccabees report, he's relying on testimony from years later (bold by me):

Henry was a Westinghouse Corporation avionics engineer stationed at Shaharoki AFB where he participated with the IIAF in maintaining the operation of the radar and other electronics in the F-4 jets. He told me (during an interview in 1982) that during the first couple of days after the first jet landed at Shaharoki AFB he was not allowed to examine the airplane.
Content from External Source
I'm not sure how much I would trust this, but that's me.
 
I'm not sure how much I would trust this, but that's me.
Would you rather trust Dunning, who seems to invent his own data? There is not a single source to back up his claim that "Yousefi and the telephone witnesses all described the light as similar to a star but much brighter". Nor is there any source confirming his claim that the object was observed in the direction of Jupiter.

For your information I've attached the file from Bob Pratt upon which Bruce Maccabee based his report. It contains the same witness quotes that Maccabee used.
 

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There is not a single source to back up his claim that "Yousefi and the telephone witnesses all described the light as similar to a star but much brighter".
Well there is this, from Yousefi;
"I could see the details I've described only through the binoculars. To the naked eye, from the distance it was at, it looked like a very large star low in the sky, but without the twinkle, of course. I watched it in this position for a total of perhaps five minutes.
https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/1976_09_17_ir_07_tehran_pratt_multwit-radar-pdf.59310/
Note that Jupiter looks like a very large star low in the sky, and generally does not twinkle as seen by the naked eye. All the details he described were only visible through binoculars, and it is relatively easy to obtain a distorted view of a celestial object through binoculars if you are not familiar with astronomical observation techniques.
 
Would you rather trust Dunning, who seems to invent his own data?
he never suggested he is trusting Dunning.

Nor is there any source confirming his claim that the object was observed in the direction of Jupiter.
thats an easy claim to debunk, just find out where Jupiter was with that Stellarium site.

i personally trust Oberg pretty much, so it's up to you to debunk the claim.
Article:
it was likely the pilots initially saw an astronomical body, probably Jupiter, an explanation also cited by aerospace researcher James Oberg.
 
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Well there is this, from Yousefi;
Dunning claims Yousefi and the telephone witnesses. That is his claim, not just Yousefi.
Yousefi not only saw an object through his binoculars, he saw it moving very slowly to the north, then suddenly disappearing and reappearing at another location.
 
Yousefi not only saw an object through his binoculars, he saw it moving very slowly to the north, then suddenly disappearing and reappearing at another location.

My mistake; the witness that observed the phenomenon through binoculars was Hossain Pirouzi, not General Yousefi. Yousefi is the officer who ordered the planes to be scrambled. I am not aware that Yousefi saw anything.

The planes were scrambled at 01:30 and 01:40. Hossain Pirouzi continued to watch this same object until 0400 in the morning, according to Bruce Maccabee, as it moved slowly across the sky. Despite the fact that Parvis Jafari chased the object nearly all the way to the Afghan border, the object was still visible from Mehrebad Airport in Tehran, where Pirouzi was based, until well after the planes had landed. That suggests it was a celestial object to me, as does the star-like appearance to the naked eye.
According to Pirouzi, it was about 4:00 AM when the original UFO climbed upward and disappeared from view.
from here, Bruce Maccabee's report:
https://www.nicap.org/reports/76091...Tf2g8DP8Mt9TtQ4jVbwv2AVR-QmBH_RN7h5w8XPI30K-4

-----------
There seems to be some confusion about whether Jafari was in the first or second plane; the Tehran Journal places him in the first plane, but most accounts I've seen recently place him in the second plane. From Maccabee's report above, in the segment where he quotes the Tehran Journal, written shortly after the event:
Jafari was piloting the first of two jet fighters which took off from Shahrokii Air Base in Hamadan to investigate the object. The aircraft flew toward Tehran at over the speed of sound and the pilot contacted Mehrebad control after he had made contact with the UFO.
See the Wikipedia page, for example, where Jafari is in the second plane.
Lieutenant Yaddi Nazeri of the Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF), plus a backseat weapons officer, were dispatched in an F-4 Phantom II jet interceptor to investigate. Once Nazeri reached Tehran, he reported losing all instruments and communications, so they returned to base, reporting that his instruments came back once he did so.[4]
Major Parviz Jafari, an IIAF squadron commander, along with First Lieutenant Jalal Damirian as weapons officer,[5] were dispatched in a second F-4 Phantom II to intercept the object.[6]
 
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Just watch the full interview with Jafari I posted above (it's in English). He himself says he was in the second plane. No need to speculate here.
In the interview he tells the object that came from the primary object and came after him was about half the size of the moon. Mooy's memo confirms this. He also tells how it rejoined underneath the primary object, from which one can conclude the primary object was at least as big. Not a celestial object... not only for this reason but for the other reasons I put in my first post as well.
 
Dunning claims Yousefi and the telephone witnesses. That is his claim, not just Yousefi.
Dunning also points out that Pirouzi is the only first-hand witness that observed this phenomenon from the ground; all the other witnesses are second-hand, reported by Pirouzi himself. I note that Pirouzi had already decided that this object was a star, just from the nature of the reports he had received, even before observing it himself. That suggests, but does not prove, that at least some of the reports he had heard up to that point were describing star-like objects.

---------------
This incident also includes a rather bizarre detail, that a 'beacon' was detected on the ground emitting a signal near to where the 'object' split into two parts, and the second part apparently landed while casting illumination on the ground. This beacon was retrieved and was determined to be an emergency beacon dropped by an Earthly aircraft, evidently some kind of frequently-occurring accident. I find this detail very difficult to correlate with the idea that aliens were involved.
 
Col. Mooy noted that the beeping transponder appeared to be from an American C-141. These large transport aircraft carried such transponders designed to be released in the event of a crash, but they'd been having problems with the beepers being ejected simply by turbulence over the mountains just north of Tehran.
From Dunning
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4315
 
Would you rather trust Dunning, who seems to invent his own data? There is not a single source to back up his claim that "Yousefi and the telephone witnesses all described the light as similar to a star but much brighter". Nor is there any source confirming his claim that the object was observed in the direction of Jupiter.

I didn't realize the thread was being presented as a binary proposition. Does one believe @Brian Dunning or Bruce Maccabee. I try to listen the various sides and opinions and see where that leads. Having said that, if I'm being forced to choose between Maccabee's story based on the PDF you linked to above which includes the following sensational headline:

1684894117732.png

And the usually reasoned and sober thinking Dunning, I'll likely lean Dunning's way. However, I'm in no way saying Dunning is infallible and I've listened to enough of his pod casts to know he makes correction episodes on occasion. He's also a part time member here, so maybe we can get his take on this case.

I will agree that his short form podcast format can lead to insufficient siting of sources and maybe is a bit less rigorous. He's trying to tackle often complex situations in 10-15 minutes. But again, he could be totally wrong on this one.

What I find more of an issue, is that in post #4 you stated:

Bob Pratt interviewed the supervisor in charge of the tower that night, i.e. the person who answered the calls of the telephone witnesses: Houssain Pirouzi

- The first telephone witness described the object like a sun in the sky, it looked like a fan with four blades, and it sometimes seemed to separate into two objects.
- The second telephone witness saw an object changing direction and sometimes dividing into two and joining together again.
- The third and fourth witnesses did not seem to give much information on the object's shape.
- When Pirouzi himself observed the object through binoculars, it was rectangular in shape.
(Source: The enclosed investigation report by Bruce Maccabee, who in turn used the interviews by Bob Pratt.)

Then you gave us the link to the PDF. If you have the PDF, quote from it. Don't tell us what it says and then ask us to go find it. The PDF was by Maccabee and when I pointed out that his version is 2nd, 3rd or even 4th hand hearsay, you responded in post #7 with:

For your information I've attached the file from Bob Pratt upon which Bruce Maccabee based his report. It contains the same witness quotes that Maccabee used.

So, now I have to go dig through more files as you don't quote any of it. If you had this file to begin with, it's at least closer to being a primary source, so we could have dispensed with the Maccabee version all together and gotten to what he was basing his story on.

Fair enough, I'll start digging through it. My main concern is that in UFOlogy and to a lesser extent the paranormal, we are often presented with a canonical version story or case that everyone knows. Just as an example and not getting off topic, the Roswell case is often presented as:

An alien space craft crashed in Roswell NM. Parts were recovered and then the military came in and collected the crashed craft and the alien bodies which were transferred to Wright-Patterson AFB.

But the collection of a crashed craft and bodies was added years later. Rendlesham Forest is similar, lots of part and narrative pieces are added on to create the canonical version of the story as we know it. Is that the case here? I don't know yet.

And by "digging through" the PDF, I mean tomorrow after my morning walk ;) .
 
My mistake; the witness that observed the phenomenon through binoculars was Hossain Pirouzi, not General Yousefi. Yousefi is the officer who ordered the planes to be scrambled. I am not aware that Yousefi saw anything.
Reading Maccabee's report, it seems that General Yousefi did see something, although the details are somewhat vague.
Youssefi called radar installations at Babolsar and Shaharoki. [Babolsar is about 100 (statute) miles northeast of Tehran, on the north side of the Elburz Mountains, which rise to over 18,000 ft (Tehran is at about 4,000 ft above sea level). Shaharoki Air Base is about 150 (statute) miles west - southwest of Tehran .] Neither of these radar installations had a radar target in the location of the object. [Conjecture: perhaps the high mountains blocked the Babolsar radar and perhaps the object was not apparent to the Shahariki radar because it would have been silhouetted against “ground clutter” caused by the high mountains around northern and eastern Tehran.] Youssefi then called Pirouzi and Perouzi told the General where to look for the object. Youssefi went onto the roof of his northern Tehran house. He reported to Pirouzi that he saw the same object and “it isn’t a star.”
Once again we only have Pirouzi's account to go on. Of course, if they were both looking at Jupiter, the General would have been correct 'it isn't a star'.

-------
According to the stellar display program Celestia, by the time the planes were in the air at 0140, the Moon was above the horizon. It was a waning crescent, quite thin and facing almost directly downwards in a way that people in high latitudes rarely see. If Dunning is correct and Jafari and the other aircrew were not accustomed to night flying, they may have seen this recumbent crescent and failed to identify it.
Another telling detail that Klass learned from the American technicians is that the Shahrokhi pilots never flew at night; that these two night sorties chasing the UFO were the only known night flights during the whole time the technicians were stationed there. According to Col. Mooy's report, the pilots reported that landing at Mehrabad was difficult because they were having trouble adjusting their night visibility.
From Dunning
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4315
 
Following on from that last quote, I would be very interested to determine what kind of 'night visibility' technology these pilots were using. We know that they had forward-looking radar in the F4, operated by the airman in the back seat. According to Dunning (once again)
The McDonnell Douglas tech at Shahrokhi noted that the second F-4 had a long history of intermittent electrical outages that the IIAF had never been able to fix. He was personally called in to adjust that F-4's radar about a month after the event. Both techs stated that the Shahrokhi base was notorious for low quality work and poor record keeping.
If the radar in Jafari's plane was dodgy, and the night visibility tech difficult to handle, this could explain the strange 'jumping about' and 'splitting' of the target that Jafari reported. He may even have conflated the behaviour of the radar target as reported by his back-seat man with his own recollections of the behaviour of the visual target.
 
If you had this file to begin with, it's at least closer to being a primary source, so we could have dispensed with the Maccabee version all together and gotten to what he was basing his story on.

Fair enough, I'll start digging through it.
That's not exactly how it went. Based on your remark that "Maccabee doesn't give us any details on what Pratt provided to him", I decided to look for Pratt's material and found it. Then I had to dig through it to find the parts about the telephone witnesses (after my afternoon walk ;).

They start on page 31:

First telephone witness:

1684916547483.png

Second telephone witness:

1684916728556.png

Third and fourth telephone witnesses:

1684916971191.png

Note that the calls all came from the same (northeast) area of Tehran:

1684917173742.png

And this is where Pirouzi also saw the object, to the northeast of his tower:

1684917348280.png

These snippets are all from a telephone interview with Pirouzi on Jan 25 1977, 4 months after the incident (see page 30 of the pdf):

1684917512439.png

There is another part of the file referring to the telephone witness statements, I'll post these parts in another post.
 
On page 9 of Pratt's file, an article written by a freelance Iranian journalist is included. The journalist wanted to remain anonymous. It contains one more snippet about the first telephone witness, on page 10:

1684918012133.png
 
Another telling detail that Klass learned from the American technicians is that the Shahrokhi pilots never flew at night; that these two night sorties chasing the UFO were the only known night flights during the whole time the technicians were stationed there. According to Col. Mooy's report, the pilots reported that landing at Mehrabad was difficult because they were having trouble adjusting their night visibility.

From Dunning
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4315
I would assume that technicians are not routinely briefed about night time training exercises, so this detail is not really 'telling' anything.
Night visibility was crucial for landing, because there were two jets out there and the tower radar was not functioning. The fact that they were aware of this tells me that they were acquainted with night time flying and its risks. Maybe they just had trouble switching on the lights on their jets.
 
This incident also includes a rather bizarre detail, that a 'beacon' was detected on the ground emitting a signal near to where the 'object' split into two parts, and the second part apparently landed while casting illumination on the ground. This beacon was retrieved and was determined to be an emergency beacon dropped by an Earthly aircraft, evidently some kind of frequently-occurring accident. I find this detail very difficult to correlate with the idea that aliens were involved.
As far as I know, the signal was there but a beacon was never found.
Jafari tells about the search and how it did not yield anything at 17:46 in the video at post #8

He calls the signal a 'siren' in this video.
Mooy's memo calls it 'a very noticable beeper signal':

1684919911833.jpeg

I don't know who concluded it was a (standard airplane) beacon?
 
If the radar in Jafari's plane was dodgy, and the night visibility tech difficult to handle, this could explain the strange 'jumping about' and 'splitting' of the target that Jafari reported.
That is a bold claim. How would a 'dodgy radar' and difficulty with night visibility explain Jafari's visual observation?

He may even have conflated the behaviour of the radar target as reported by his back-seat man with his own recollections of the behaviour of the visual target.
Not 'may even', for you claim to hold he 'must have' conflated the two. Anything to support this claim?
 
That is a bold claim. How would a 'dodgy radar' and difficulty with night visibility explain Jafari's visual observation?
We don't have any other data to back up Jafari's claim that the craft jumped about, apart from the apparent fact that the radar was malfunctioning. In the heat of the pursuit, it would be easy to lose sight of a target while relying on the radar data from the airman in the back seat. Since the radar may have been showing the target as 'jumping about', that could have influenced his own impressions.
for you claim to hold he 'must have' conflated the two. Anything to support this claim?
Only the fact that real-life, macroscopic objects do not tend to 'jump about' through space. It may be the case that such movements are possible, thanks to technology and physical effects we are not yet aware of; but we need better evidence than the observations of one man in an apparently malfunctioning plane.
 
we need better evidence than the observations of one man in an apparently malfunctioning plane.

There was another witness of sudden jumps by the object: Pirouzi

1684941793319.jpeg
Source: Bob Pratt's file, page 33

And then there's the remark of General Azarbarzin, in a phone interview in 1977:

1684942027493.jpeg
Source: Bob Pratt's file, page 7
 
We don't have any other data to back up Jafari's claim that the craft jumped about, apart from the apparent fact that the radar was malfunctioning. In the heat of the pursuit, it would be easy to lose sight of a target while relying on the radar data from the airman in the back seat. Since the radar may have been showing the target as 'jumping about', that could have influenced his own impressions.

Only the fact that real-life, macroscopic objects do not tend to 'jump about' through space. It may be the case that such movements are possible, thanks to technology and physical effects we are not yet aware of; but we need better evidence than the observations of one man in an apparently malfunctioning plane.

Surely it would be easier to argue there was more than one object, and then make a case for one or another becoming hidden, blinking off, becoming brighter and hence drawing attention, or whatever.
 
Surely it would be easier to argue there was more than one object, and then make a case for one or another becoming hidden, blinking off, becoming brighter and hence drawing attention, or whatever.
There's a mention of "intense brilliance". When staring at a bright object it's not uncommon for it to appear to jump around, which I think is an artifact of the human eye. It's possible that an object gets into the "blind spot" of the eye and there's an instinctive attempt to refocus, so the eye itself is doing the jumping, not the object. My interpretation of the process may be incorrect, but the phenomenon itself is quite real, as can be seen if you try to gaze at a bare lightbulb.
 
As far as I know, the signal was there but a beacon was never found.
Jafari tells about the search and how it did not yield anything at 17:46 in the video at post #8

He calls the signal a 'siren' in this video.
Mooy's memo calls it 'a very noticable beeper signal':

1684919911833.jpeg

I don't know who concluded it was a (standard airplane) beacon?
I'd like to see a credible source to back that up as well. As a fomer mishap investigator, I'm familiar with emergency locator beacons. I know beacons have been inadvertently activated, but don't recall ever hearing of them being inadvertently ejected/dropped from aircraft of any type during turbulence.

If that was occurring with any degree of regularity on 141s as claimed, there would have to have been a TCTO (Time Compliance Tech Order) issued by the responsible Air Logistics Center (Warner-Robbins ALC for the C-141) to both define the problem and direct specific maintenance corrective action. Finding a copy of that TCTO would prove conclusively this was a known problem in 141s.
 
Then I had to dig through it to find the parts about the telephone witnesses (after my afternoon walk ;).

If I don't get it done in the morning, its's just not going to happen.

Now to dig in. Pratt prefaces his collection of files with this, as this is C&Ped from an old PDF, it can look a little wonky (bold by me):

https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/1976_09_17_ir_07_tehran_pratt_multwit-radar-pdf.59310/

Enclosed i3 The Encuirer's story or. the UFO over Tehran th?t was chased by two Iranian Air Force jets. It is based on two files,'one by a free lance journalist in Tehran end the other by John Checkley a roving editor for the Enquirer based m London, plus a telephone' interview by John Cathcart with an Iranian Air Force general.
Content from External Source
Also note, Pratt says none of the transcripts or recordings were retained, so what we have is stories based on transcripts and notes:

We have deleted the Iranian journalist's name because one 'of the conditions under which he obtained the story was that he not be identified with it 'in any way. We do not have transcripts of the interviews conducted by either nun or Checkley. However-, the details of what they wrote are fairly well known anyway.
Content from External Source
Note also the notion that not having the transcripts is OK because the narrative is already "well known". And Pratt doesn't appear to interview anybody himself or do any investigation, at least according to this collection of files.

I think we have John Cathcart using two, possibly unpublished stories and an interview with a general to write a National Inquirer (NI) article ~6 months after the incident?

1684944724758.png



We have an anonymous Iranian freelancer that appears to write an article for the NI in December of '76, so a couple of months after the event. I'm assuming the blacked out name is of the freelancer and Cathcart's name means this was his file?




This is how, what I assume is the Iranian freelancers story begins after the intro above and is different from the Cathcart version above:

1684945595372.png

The freelancer story goes on for 13 pages and includes some sketches. Weather this version ever appeared in the NI or elsewhere in December "76 is unclear. I get that Cathcart used it as a source for his own March '77 story in the NI.

As for the freelancers version, most of the first half of the story seems to come from the ATC Pirouzi with lots of passages like this:

1684946477090.png


The first intercept is described by Pirouzi:

1684946632948.png

As for the second intercept, it was Pirouzi's version of what the pilot told him:

1684946224498.png

Finally, Pirouzi is told to keep quite:

1684946873371.png

Except the entire 13 page story is based almost entirely on what Pirouzi says. Far from shutting up, he tells how he got phone calls, what the craft(s) looked like, where they were, he gives a detailed account of the first intercept as he directed it and understood it from his tower and then gives a detailed retelling of the second intercept as told to him after the event happened.

We then get another story of some sort from John Checkley in New Delhi. As with the freelancer version, it's unclear if this was ever published. Again, it appears to be used as source material for Cathcart's version.

This is supposedly based on a recorded phone conversation with a "person" and was on tape #391654. The first paragraph clearly shows that this is not a transcript, rather a somewhat sensualized story based upon whoever it was he interviewed:

1684947261922.png

A little further into the story we're told who the likely "person" is that was interviewed:

1684947679741.png

Once again, this story is presented by Pirouzi. In this version he adds in something not in the Freelancer version regarding other airliners in the area hearing distress signals:

1684947870069.png

So, at this point most of the story is entirely from Pirouzi.

Cathcart interviews General Azarbarzmin who talks about jamming and other things, basically passing on second hand what the pilots were saying. I'll read through it a bit more as time permits.

I'll note 2 things here. First one of the possible things going on might have been a large meteor shower that night, from Dunnings Skeptoid (bold by me):

In his 1984 book Meteor Showers: A Descriptive Catalog, astronomer Gary Kronk studied years of annual meteor data up through 1980. On September 19, we are at or near the maximums of two minor annual showers, the Gamma Piscids (PIE-sids) and Southern Piscids, and at the tail end of a third shower, the Eta Draconids. There was more than enough expected meteor activity to account for all of the reports of falling lights and rapidly moving bright objects. Some UFOlogists have attempted to connect the Tehran sighting with several other sightings of speeding bright lights that same night across the Meditteranean, suggesting that the "mother ship" must have been speeding all around the region. Since there were meteors falling worldwide that night, such sightings are exactly what we should expect to see, mother ships or not.
Content from External Source
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4315

As noted in the NI article:

1684949041817.png

Lastly, the National Inquirer had offered a reward for UFOs:

Many readers may not be aware that, at one point in time, the National Enquirer was associated with serious UFO research in spite of its reputation as a sensationalistic supermarket tabloid. In 1972, the Enquirer put together what they called “The National Enquirer Blue Ribbon UFO Panel,” which was made up of five UFO researchers, all of whom held PhDs. The Enquirer was offering a $50,000 reward for proof, by the end of the year, that UFOs came from space and were not a natural phenomenon.
Content from External Source
Bob Pratt was involved in this endeavor:

It’s likely that the prospect of getting some of their research funded by the Enquirer may have helped them to put aside any aversions, and the assignment in 1975 of Bob Pratt to the Enquirer UFO desk, who became respected as an investigator in his own right, may have encouraged them to continue their association.
Content from External Source
And, a few months before the Teheran incident:

Then, in the June 13, 1976 issue, it was announced that the award was being increased to $1,000,000.
Content from External Source
https://podcastufo.com/the-national-enquirer-ufo-blue-ribbon-panel

Is it possible that an air traffic controller could spin up a meteor shower, Jupiter a wanning moon and mix it with a defective jet and pilots that rarely flew at night to take a stab at $1,000,000.00? I don't know.
 

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The only source I can find about the transponder is Dunning, who says this;
Sixth was the beeping transponder located by Jafari and the helicopter crew the next day, apparent physical evidence of intelligent technology. And so it probably was. Col. Mooy noted that the beeping transponder appeared to be from an American C-141. These large transport aircraft carried such transponders designed to be released in the event of a crash, but they'd been having problems with the beepers being ejected simply by turbulence over the mountains just north of Tehran.
I remember reading that Mooy provisionally identified the source as a US transponder ejected by accident, but I can't find the reference now. It may be that this was just speculation on Mooy's part, or that someone misquoted him.

Note that Wikipedia has this to say;
At the site where the falling light supposedly crashed, a beeping transponder from a C-141 aircraft was found according to investigating Col. Mooy.[8]
but the only citation it gives is Dunning, so this may be unreliable.
 
I note as well that Bruce Maccabee gives a similar story;
from
https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/760919_tehran_maccabee_report-1-pdf.59274/
Before he left the area Jafari reported receiving an emergency beacon signal, as had the earlier civilian aircraft. (Whether or not this was
related to the presence of the UFO is not known. It may be that an emergency beacon somehow fell out of an aircraft that had passed over earlier and had landed on the ground and started transmitting as if a crash had occurred.)
Nothing definite, but the 'falling out of an airplane' motif is repeated, many years before Dunning's article.
 
I note as well that Bruce Maccabee gives a similar story;
from
https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/760919_tehran_maccabee_report-1-pdf.59274/

Nothing definite, but the 'falling out of an airplane' motif is repeated, many years before Dunning's article.
Just proves what we all know, if some thing is repeated long enough, it's eventually acceptable as fact.

Also got a chuckle out out of the "may be that an emergency beacon somehow fell out of an aircraft" quote. Lots of things "may somehow" have happened. The Iranians "may" have been chasing an alien craft, but I doubt it.

Unless someone can show me a TCTO directing maintenance on C141s to correct inadvertent ejecting of locator beacons or individual "squawk" sheets identifying specific aircraft, by tail numbers, having lost beacons in turbulence, that part of the story is at best hearsay.
 
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At 3:06 in the video of post #8 you can hear it from the pilot himself.

Yes, that's the next step. Having seen that 2 of the Pratt supplied articles were based solely on Pirouzi and the actual published article seems to be a mash up of the previous 2 plus the interview with Azarbarzmin, how much of what Pirouzi says is corroborated, either in general or in detail.

I'm sure something happened, or something was seen, but when it's outed in the National Inquirer a notoriously unreliable American tabloid that was offering $1,000,000 for proof of UFOs as ET, I think it's prudent to start at the beginning.

but the only citation it gives is Dunning, so this may be unreliable.

As noted above, Dunnings short podcast format can be detrimental to sharing and clarifying sources. From the end of the transcript for the episode in question:

References & Further Reading
Content from External Source



Dubietis, A. "Activity of the Southern Piscid Meteor Shower in 1985-1999." Journal of the International Meteor Organization. 1 Apr. 2001, Volume 29, Numbers 1-2: 29-35.
Klass, P. UFOs: The Public Deceived. Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1983. 111-124.
Kronk, G. Meteor Showers: A Descriptive Catalog. Hillside: Enslow Publishers, 1988.
NICAP. "Iranian Air Force Jets Scrambled." NICAP UFO Investigator. 1 Nov. 1976, November 1976: 1-2.
Oberg, J. "UFO Update: UFO Over Iran." Omni. 1 Aug. 1979, Volume 1, Number 11: 30.
Shields, H. "Now You See It, Now You Don't." MIJI Quarterly. 1 Oct. 1978, MQ-3-78: 32-34.
Content from External Source
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4315

In the episode, he mentions Phillip Klass and his take on the case several times, so it seems much of what Dunning is saying is from Klass. What Klass said is in an older book, however I just found it on Kindel so I can pull it up on the app and C & P the relevant sections about this case, time permitting.
 
What Klass said is in an older book, however I just found it on Kindel so I can pull it up on the app and C & P the relevant sections about this case, time permitting.
that c-141 thing seems to be on page 123
(i can only view this small section)
1684977738665.png
https://books.google.com/books?id=YDRJAQAAIAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=c-141


Klass must have interviewed Mooy at some point
1684977887782.png



add just more about bad maintenance, i read about somewhere...so that too is from Klass.
1684978460391.png
 
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Wild speculation here; could someone have stolen or otherwise acquired or manufactured an emergency beacon in order to cause confusion and uncertainty? This was, after all, only three years before the Revolution in Iran, and there were potentially unfriendly states on its borders. Not everybody admired the Shah's regime.

The confusion caused by an apparent emergency or distress signal started early in this event; Pirouzi says four airliners received an emergency broadcast before 12.30. The F-4s were launched at approx 01.30-01.50, and Pirouzi last saw the phenomenon at 04.00 (all local time).

From Maccabee
https://www.nicap.org/reports/76091...Tf2g8DP8Mt9TtQ4jVbwv2AVR-QmBH_RN7h5w8XPI30K-4
There were no aircraft scheduled to land at this time, but during the next hour four aircraft flew through his control area. As these aircraft passed by the pilots reported receiving an emergency radio beacon signal at 121.12 MHz. The pilot of a civilian liner asked if there was a crashed aircraft in the vicinity. There was none. The onset of the beacon signals combined with the earlier reports and his own sighting of some strangely lighted object began to worry him.
 
In addition to Klass's book, Dunning mentions an article in the June 1979 issue of Omni magazine which I managed to track down. Omni was the brainchild of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccioni and was a mix of science, speculation, sci-fi and related content. The UFO column seemed to be "interested, but skeptical".

While offering nothing conclusive, it had a few interesting takes on this case. It's a bit hard to read, as it's screen shots from an archived sight.

First, reporters were played tapes of the communications, but only from the second intercept, that's Jafari. The story of the first intercept was a second hand account from Jafari it seems, and there is nothing about a loss of communications:

1684975193978.png

And at least some of what aw heard was in the papers for days afterward, and maybe importantly, months before Pirouzi went public with his version:

1685030531875.png

As is often the case, the myths started to grow, though in this instance, it appears some of the more fringe elements never really got attatched to story as we now know it. Nevertheless, there is the idea that of a bigger story growing from a smaller one right at the beginning:

1685029536879.png

The article mentions the idea that Yousafi may have been looking at Jupiter, that IIAF F4s rarely flew at night and that at the time of this article, no one is really sure where the plane went:

1685030782220.png

There is some critique of Jafari's claims:

1685030369648.png

Another interesting tidbit is the ongoing almost cat and mouse game in the '70s & '80s between UFOlogists/National Inquirer and Klass:

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As for the prize money, apparently this case earned a bit of it:

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https://archive.org/details/sim_omni_1979-08_1_11/page/32/mode/2up

Again, nothing definitive, but some interesting takes on the case. There is some mention of Klass speaking to technicians, but his was before his book had been published, so I'll try to find that in his book.

The confusion caused by an apparent emergency or distress signal started early in this event; Pirouzi says four airliners received an emergency broadcast before 12.30. The F-4s were launched at approx 01.30-01.50, and Pirouzi last saw the phenomenon at 04.00 (all local time).

From Maccabee
Maybe. Recall, Maccabee is using the Pratt file to compile his version of the case. Itsme linked to the Pratt file in post #7 and I went over some of it in post #31.

Bottom line, the claim of airliners picking up distress signals comes solely from Pirouzi and only in the second of his 2 interviews which was certainly for the National Inquirer.
 
Wild speculation here; could someone have stolen or otherwise acquired or manufactured an emergency beacon in order to cause confusion and uncertainty?
Googled a bit, this Wikipedia article gives a bit more clarity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_position-indicating_radiobeacon

The first form of these beacons was the 121.5 MHz ELT, which was designed as an automatic locator beacon for crashed military aircraft. These beacons were first used in the 1950s by the U.S. military, and were mandated for use on many types of commercial and general-aviation aircraft beginning in the early 1970s.
Content from External Source
So, the proper frequency on which to transmit an emergency signal in 1976 was 121.5 MHz, not 121.12 MHz.
Airplanes routinely had a redundant radio tuned to that frequency, in case someone would send out emergency signals. It was also used as a fallback frequency in case communication with the tower got lost because of a frequency mismatch between tower and plane. It was even used by the military as a frequency to contact unidentified aircraft flying in a military zone.

An EM disturbance at 121.12 MHz might have been picked up by that radio and been interpreted as an emergency signal by the pilots.

Emergency beacons sending at 121.5 MHz were not only used by planes, but by ships and even individual persons as well.
 
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