The 1976 Iran F4 UAP/UFO case

Jupiter is brilliant enough to be seen from 500 million miles. The question is, can it be observed accurately at night by a pilot flying an F-4 with an apparently dodgy radar?
The evidence for the "dodgy radar" is weak. According to Klass' informant, the second F4 was briefly quarantined after the incident and returned to active duty less than a week later, and the only thing they found was some static on the radio. It was called in abouth a month later for radar adjustment.
Klass' informant was relating a story he heard from a Shahroki technician, so this information was second hand.
Source: attached file, bottom of page 8 of the pdf.

And yes, Jafari could see Jupiter right from his takeoff. But he first saw the object from 70 NM, i.e., halfway his trip to Tehran.
 

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Hmm. 12 year-old boys are a little unreliable as witnesses.
The estimated size depends very much on distance. Jupiter is 86 thousand miles in diameter, but it looks relatively small. Even Pirouzi described the object as star-like until observed by binoculars.
He was living at the high side of the city, in the mountains. Remember that the telephone witnesses all came from the northeast and two of them described the object as looking 'like a sun'. So it seemed to look much bigger there than from the airport tower, though Pirouzi said it was "all yellow, like a star but much bigger". We can only guess what he meant with "much bigger".
But of course, to a 12 year old boy it may have made an even bigger impression.

Screenshot_2023-05-29-21-26-56-780~2.jpeg
 
I do not know whether the pilots who filmed GOFAST or GIMBAL could see the targets visually either; they may have been only visible on the scope.
gimbal uap ufo moon.png
This was saved from a thread here concerning the Navy UAP leaked vids, (found it: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/fl...-refute-micks-claims.11933/page-7#post-255935,) posted by markus. If you shrink that image down to where the moon appears to be the correct size, about half a degree (similar to an aspirin tablet at arm's length) the UAP is barely visible as a speck -- and since the image of the UAP is hidden in glare, the visual UAP would have been even smaller. I doubt it was visible to the crew, or noticed if it was barely visible.
 
Concerning the Moon; this had just risen when the planes arrived over Tehran, and was low in the East, laying on its back in a fairly unusual manner. I wonder if this may have been the cause of the bright, stadium-sized object seen by some witnesses on the ground. Jafari described the object as somewhat smaller than the Moon; a crescent Moon is certainly smaller than the full moon. There may have been some low-lying cirrus that caused the crescent to be partly hidden some of the time.
This is the appearance of the Moon at that time according to the stellar display program Celestia.
moon1976.png

Although Jupiter was low in the sky when Pirouzi first noticed it, it had been getting steadily higher and would have been at a high angle by 0145, making it tricky to observe from a level-flying plane. But the Moon was low in the East.
 
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And yes, Jafari could see Jupiter right from his takeoff. But he first saw the object from 70 NM, i.e., halfway his trip to Tehran.

Mooy remembers his briefing this way:

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.
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I assume the "first saw the object at 70 NM" is from this 40 year old recollection from Kean's book (italic bold by me, bold by Itsme):

Captain Khani had approached the Russian border, and at that point he was told to turn back. When he turned around, he said that he could see the object in front of him at twelve o'clock. I said, "Where exactly do you see it?" He said, "Over the dam, close to Tehran."
[...]
As he headed back, I looked over, and then I saw it. It was flashing with intense red, green, orange, and blue lights so bright that I was not able to see its body. The lights formed a diamond shape—just brilliant lights, no solid structure could be seen through or around them.
[...]
I approached, and I got close to it, maybe seventy miles or so in a climb situation. All of a sudden, it jumped about 10 degrees to the right. In an instant! Ten degrees ... and then again it jumped 10 degrees, and then again.... I had to turn 98 degrees to the right from my heading of 70 degrees, so we changed position 168 degrees toward the south of the capital city.
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Post #63

So, back to the map. First of all is trying to figure out where the Soviet (Russian in Jafari's account) boarder was. According to Wiki:

According to a treaty signed between Iran and the Soviet Union, the sea is technically a lake and was divided into two sectors (Iranian and Soviet), but the resources (then mainly fish) were commonly shared. The line between the two sectors was considered an international border in a common lake, like Lake Albert. The Soviet sector was sub-divided into the four littoral republics' administrative sectors.
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This is the closest I can find to something like that:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caspi...an_southern_caspian_energy_prospects_2004.jpg

So, any Soviet era border with Iran would have been the land boarders with Turkmenistan in the east and Azerbaijan in the west and somewhere out over the Caspian Sea.

Jafari claims the first intercept had the object at his 12:00 "over the dam" after turning at the Soviet (Russian) boarder. You have established that the dam in question is likely east of Theran (post #63), so possible flight paths would look like this. Red lines are flights, blue lines are line of sight at 12;00 to the dam:

1685412452273.png


The first flight left Hamedan and headed somewhere 46 miles north of Tehran and ended up at the Soviet boarder before turning around and having the UFO in front of him over the dam.

Jafari is 10:00 minutes behind the first flight and as it is heading back, Jafari looks towards the dam(?) I assume and sees the UFO then heads for it? It's a bit unclear, but assuming Jafari had been vectored to the same spot 46 miles north of Tehran before heading for the dam, that might look something like this:

1685413369005.png

So, after heading northeast, he turned due east. At Jupiter. No matter how we dice these different contradictory stories of the various flights, they end up heading right at Jupiter at some point.

He was living at the high side of the city, in the mountains. Remember that the telephone witnesses all came from the northeast and two of them described the object as looking 'like a sun'. So it seemed to look much bigger there than from the airport tower, though Pirouzi said it was "all yellow, like a star but much bigger". We can only guess what he meant with "much bigger".
But of course, to a 12 year old boy it may have made an even bigger impression.

If you want to go with the 30-40 year old memories of someone that was 12 at the time, I don't know my friend, there is just too much research that show memory doesn't work like that.
 

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No matter how we dice these different contradictory stories of the various flights, they end up heading right at Jupiter at some point.
I disagree with the wording "they end up heading right at Jupiter at some point". The words "end up" suggest that the flight trajectory ends with a heading due east, which is not the case.

Any curve that starts at Hamedan airport, goes to the north of Tehran airport and ends at Tehran airport will have an east-west tangent somewhere. This is a simple mathematical truth, not "proof" that the jets chased Jupiter.
 
So, any Soviet era border with Iran would have been the land boarders with Turkmenistan in the east and Azerbaijan in the west and somewhere out over the Caspian Sea.
Yes, and it's the only border close to Tehran (for a jet at least), so if general Azarbarzin was right that "this was only in the vicinity of Tehran", this is the only border the first pilot could have been concerned about.
 
@Itsme You seem to be putting all your faith in the Mooy memo as the lone authoritative source, which recounts the narrative given him by the very credulous Iranians.

You've accused me many times in this thread of making things up, and of "being wrong" because what I reported contradicted the Mooy memo. I put all my sources at the bottom of my transcript. Please check what I wrote against the sources I gave, before ignorantly accusing me of making things up. Believe me, I have better things to do than make things up.

As that episode was 11 years ago, and I'm busy on other projects now, I won't be re-researching anything upon request here. The sources I gave should provide you all the starting points you need.
 
The video below ... shows a civilian eyewitness telling how he remembers perceiving the incident at the age of 12:
...
When the secondary object landed, many people jumped in their cars and went to the southeast of the city to see what was out there. They were urged to stay inside.
As of 2011, there are about 80,000 people in England alone who were born in Iran, and more in the rest of the UK and US, as well as elsewhere in the West.

Although a lot of data was lost in the Revolution and Iran-Iraq war, some more of these might remember this event, but I'm not aware that they do. It would be interesting to find out.
 
. I put all my sources at the bottom of my transcript.
https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4315

References & Further Reading​

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.
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(posted previously by @NorCal Dave)
 
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Any curve that starts at Hamedan airport, goes to the north of Tehran airport and ends at Tehran airport will have an east-west tangent somewhere. This is a simple mathematical truth, not "proof" that the jets chased Jupiter.

Correct, it's not proof, nor is it proof that they DID NOT see Jupiter. I still contend that where these jets were that night is hopelessly convoluted. If no one is sure where they were or where they were going, the possibility that they were chasing Jupiter, a crescent moon or a meteor shower is just that, a possibility.

Mooy, via the briefing, which according to your MOFON video in post #79 was giving by the aircrew of the second jet which was not Jafari:



says again:

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.
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The first plane was dispatched to a point 46 miles north of Tehran. At 70 miles out he saw something. At 25 miles out he has electrical trouble and turns for home. At no point does this suggest that the point he was vectored to changed, nor does it suggest that they were chasing the light.

They proceeded to a point 46 miles north of Tehran, when they got close, they saw something, when they got closer, they had trouble and turned around. End of story.

Years later, Jafari, who may or may not have been in the second jet is just 10 minutes behind them, claims the first jet, piloted by somebody totally different than is listed in the MUFON slide above, is up by the Soviet (Russian) boarder before it turns around. And he makes no mention of the first jet having electrical problems, rather it was ordered to return because it's close to the Soviet republic of Azerbaijan or Turkmenistan or is out over the Caspian Sea, though that goes unmentioned. Where is the first jet?

Jafari further claims that upon turning from the Soviet boarder, Khani could see the object at his 12:00 over the dam close to Tehran:

Captain Khani had approached the Russian border
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, and at that point he was told to turn back. When he turned around, he said that he could see the object in front of him at twelve o'clock. I said, "Where exactly do you see it?" He said, "Over the dam, close to Tehran."
[...]
As he headed back, I looked over, and then I saw it. It was flashing with intense red, green, orange, and blue lights so bright that I was not able to see its body. The lights formed a diamond shape—just brilliant lights, no solid structure could be seen through or around them.
[...]
I approached, and I got close to it, maybe seventy miles or so in a climb situation. All of a sudden, it jumped about 10 degrees to the right. In an instant! Ten degrees ... and then again it jumped 10 degrees, and then again.... I had to turn 98 degrees to the right from my heading of 70 degrees, so we changed position 168 degrees toward the south of the capital city.
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Back to the map. Here is 3 possible areas that would be near the Soviet boarder and their distance from the Latyan Dam which is east of Tehran:

1685461530861.png1685462828530.png
1685462919255.png

So, the first jet, according to Jafari, is somewhere between 150 and 240 miles or so from the dam when he turns his jet around and identifies the UFO as being "over the dam, close to Tehran". In the dark.

None of these stories line up. There is NO firsthand account of anything, except for years later in the case of Jafari and months later with Priouzi, but whatever he said is all filtered thorough overly dramatic National Inquirer reports.

As noted above, the MUFON video from 7 years ago still can't agree on who is even in what jet at the time, not that MUFON is a great source. The same video makes this claim of half a million witnesses for this event over Tehran:

1685460714134.png

There evidence is apparently this guy's 26-year-old memories from when he was 12:

1685460966136.png

As you alluded to earlier, he claims the UFO was the size of 3 or more stadiums. That's a big UFO, and nothing like what the others described, but again most of the descriptions are 2nd and 3rd hand or overly sensationalized. He did say "half of Tehran was out on their rooftops", so for MUFON that means half a million people watched this whole thing unfold.

Except I suppose for the part up by the Soviet boarder. And maybe the parts out over the dam as that's a ways east. Not sure how much of the activity that happened south of the city was visible, though he does say lots of people got in their cars to drive out to see what landed.

And of course, Azarbarzin says much of the event took place to the west of Tehran, so not sure how much of that this guy could have seen.

None of the stories line up.
 

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@Itsme You seem to be putting all your faith in the Mooy memo as the lone authoritative source, which recounts the narrative given him by the very credulous Iranians.
Hi Brian, welcome to this forum.
If I investigate a case, I do like to use the source materials. In this case that is Mooy's memo plus statements/interviews by/with the witnesses.
Of course anyone is free to trust these people or not. Personally I do not trust Klass but that's my choice. If you want to see the Iranian fighter pilots and tower operator as 'credulous', that's entirely up to you. I do not agree but that's entirely up to me. These are all opinions.
You've accused me many times in this thread of making things up, and of "being wrong" because what I reported contradicted the Mooy memo. I put all my sources at the bottom of my transcript. Please check what I wrote against the sources I gave, before ignorantly accusing me of making things up. Believe me, I have better things to do than make things up.
Here things are getting pretty simple. You make the following three factual claims in your skeptoid article:

The F-4s were scrambled to northern Tehran, not to the light.
Once they arrived, they saw the light just where Jupiter would have been.
Yousefi and the telephone witnesses all described the light as similar to a star but much brighter.
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There is NOTHING in the source materials of this case, including the source materials in your references, to support any of these claims. Therefore I think a rectification of your article would be appropriate.
As that episode was 11 years ago, and I'm busy on other projects now, I won't be re-researching anything upon request here. The sources I gave should provide you all the starting points you need.
I think leaving these unsupported factual statements in your skeptoid article is inappropriate, and rectifying them can done in less than an hour so 'being busy' is no excuse.
 
So, the first jet, according to Jafari, is somewhere between 150 and 240 miles or so from the dam when he turns his jet around and identifies the UFO as being "over the dam, close to Tehran". In the dark.
Jafari is not a native speaker. I think he confused 'when' and 'after' in this sentence.
 
Jafari is not a native speaker. I think he confused 'when' and 'after' in this sentence.

So, he meant that the first jet had returned from the Soviet boarder on orders not because of electrical problems and then flew for a while towards Tehran before seeing the light over the dam? This was lost in translation? The whole case is lost in translation.

The whole case is literally based on 2nd or 3rd hand or worse descriptions, over dramatized National Inquirer articles, and some recollections from 20-40 years after the fact. The newspaper accounts from days afterwards are contradictory. Mooy's retelling of his briefing is contradictory to Jafari's later retellings. Nobody can even agree on who was in the 2 jets or what order they were scrambled in.

Given all that, there is no way to know where they were flying, where they went or what direction they were heading in at any point in the flights. At best, we can say 2 planes with indeterminate crews left Shahroki air base and headed for somewhere near Tehran. Maybe 46 miles north, maybe up to the Soviet border, maybe east to the Latyan Dam, then maybe south of Tehran or maybe west of the city. Maybe 1 or both flights suffered some electrical problems, it varies, like most of this story.

The above is from the reports about the event. Never mind Klass and Dunning. Don't worry about what they said or claimed, unless this thread is about debunking Dunning's debunk which is largely based on Klass's debunking of the case.

If we cannot establish where the jets went, then we can't rule out they were chasing celestial objects. IF that's the case, then Occam's Razor says confused pilots chasing celestial objects is far more likely than a constantly teleporting and moving UFO that was between 7-8 meters long and the size of 3 stadiums was buzzing around Tehran.
 
Given all that, there is no way to know where they were flying, where they went or what direction they were heading in at any point in the flights. At best, we can say 2 planes with indeterminate crews left Shahroki air base and headed for somewhere near Tehran. Maybe 46 miles north, maybe up to the Soviet border, maybe east to the Latyan Dam, then maybe south of Tehran or maybe west of the city. Maybe 1 or both flights suffered some electrical problems, it varies, like most of this story.
If we cannot establish where the jets went, then we can't rule out they were chasing celestial objects. IF that's the case, then Occam's Razor says confused pilots chasing celestial objects is far more likely than a constantly teleporting and moving UFO that was between 7-8 meters long and the size of 3 stadiums was buzzing around Tehran.
That's a skeptic's take.

Believers work differently. They'll cherry-pick the information they'll believe, and distrust the rest ("the government"), and a case like this is great for that. That's because they don't need to look at evidence to evolve knowledge: they're supporting a belief, pick whatever supports it, and discard the rest.

There are cases where we can prove believers wrong. This isn't one of them.
 
Parviz Jafari wrote chapter 9 of Leslie Kean's book: UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record
In it, he gives all the names of the crewmembers involved:
The [first] F-4 carried two people, Captain Aziz Khani and First Lieutenant Hossein Shokri, the navigator.
[...]
About ten minutes later, I was ordered to take off in a second jet to approach the object, which I was piloting. It was now about 1:30 a.m. on September 19. First Lieutenant Jalal Damirian, my second pilot in the backseat, operated the radar and other equipment
I have also found the name 'Yaddi Nazeri', who was interviewed by the Sightings TV program as a first-hand witness. He was apparently in the first plane, which is different to the names given by Jafari. This may be a pseudonym, or some sort of nickname, or a misremembering by one or other of the witnesses.
 
So, he meant that the first jet had returned from the Soviet boarder on orders not because of electrical problems and then flew for a while towards Tehran before seeing the light over the dam? This was lost in translation? The whole case is lost in translation.
I can imagine your frustration trying to reconstruct the flight path of the jets. This is simply impossible and I wonder if it was ever possible since the tower radar was not operational. The meaning of words like 'when' can be difficult, and different languages can have similar words with a slightly different meaning. For example: "When I come home tonight I'll make you dinner" does not mean right after you leave from work. This can be confusing for a non-native speaker and these subtleties can get lost in translation.

The whole case is literally based on 2nd or 3rd hand or worse descriptions, over dramatized National Inquirer articles, and some recollections from 20-40 years after the fact. The newspaper accounts from days afterwards are contradictory. Mooy's retelling of his briefing is contradictory to Jafari's later retellings. Nobody can even agree on who was in the 2 jets or what order they were scrambled in.
I disagree, the events described are consistent (not so in the newspapers but in Mooy's memo and the interviews with Pirouzi and Jafari). They only differ in detail (including the flight path details you are looking for), but that is to be expected.
Maybe 1 or both flights suffered some electrical problems, it varies, like most of this story.
No, both flights suffered from electrical problems only in proximity to the object. That is clear from Mooy's memo and Pirouzi's telephone interview. Mooy's memo does not state exactly where the problems with the first flight occured, Pirouzi states that these problems occured when the first flight was approaching Tehran on its way back, while the object was back at Tehran again:
1685625206020.jpeg
If we cannot establish where the jets went, then we can't rule out they were chasing celestial objects. IF that's the case, then Occam's Razor says confused pilots chasing celestial objects is far more likely than a constantly teleporting and moving UFO that was between 7-8 meters long and the size of 3 stadiums was buzzing around Tehran.
I think you are wielding Occam's Razor a bit too enthusiastic here. It applies to hypotheses that are equally good at explaining ALL the data - in that case the simplest hypothesis is probably the right one. In does not say 'just label everything that does not fit your simplest explanation as instrumentation errors and misinterpretations until whatever's left fits your simplest hypothesis'.
 
Believers work differently. They'll cherry-pick the information they'll believe [...] That's because they don't need to look at evidence to evolve knowledge: they're supporting a belief, pick whatever supports it, and discard the rest.
That is certainly true for some believers.
But some skeptics follow the same strategy...

Included is the Omni article by James Oberg. He did not get his facts straight, either.

Oberg:
Received several phone calls. Some civilians had spotted a bright light in the sky and were concerned.
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Mooy’s memo:
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.
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Note how Oberg turns strange bird-like objects and a helicopter with a light on into ‘a bright light in the sky’.

Oberg:
this [the first] F4 suddenly experienced a communications blackout and returned to base.
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Mooy’s memo:
AS THE F-4 APPROACHED A RANGE OF 25 NM HE LOST ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS (UHF AND INTERCOM). [...] WHEN THE F-4 TURNED AWAY FROM THE OBJECT [...] THE AIRCRAFT REGAINED ALL INSTRUMENTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS.
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Note how Oberg turns instrumentation failure correlated with distance to the object into ‘suddenly’.

Oberg:
it [the scond jet], too, tried to approach the UFO, which appeared to recede constantly as the pilot appeared to approach. (That, incidentally, is exactly how a distant light in the sky would have appeared).
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Mooy’s memo:
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 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.
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Note how Oberg turns a radar contact first measuring a 150 knots rate of closure, then measuring a constant distance, into ‘appeared to recede constantly’ visually. And in the process he turns alternating colored strobe lights in a rectangular pattern into a ‘distant light’.

Oberg:
Based on the information at hand, we just do not know what took place between that [Jafari’s] jet and the light.
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Mooy’s memo:
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.
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Note how Oberg turns a brightly lighted object estimated to be one third to one half of the apparent size of the moon into a ‘light’, and dismisses all reported movements witnessed by the pilot as ‘we just don’t know’, trying to make a case they were all illusionary.

Oberg:
Another object appeared, dropping from the purported mother ship. The F4 attempted to approach it, and the pilot reported seeing a light on the ground – presumably the one that had dropped from the UFO some minutes earlier.
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Mooy’s memo:
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 […] 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.
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Note how Oberg turns an object that was watched while it approached the ground and appeared to land while casting a very bright light over a 2-3 km area into two objects: one that dropped and ‘a light on the ground’.

Oberg:
Later he [Jafari] reported passing another UFO pass over him. When prompted, ground controllers in the airport also saw a light in the sky.
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Mooy’s memo:
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 [10000 feet]) 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.
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Note how Oberg turns a UFO described as a cylinder shaped object with lights on each end and a flasher in the middle into ‘a light in the sky’.
 

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I have also found the name 'Yaddi Nazeri', who was interviewed by the Sightings TV program as a first-hand witness. He was apparently in the first plane, which is different to the names given by Jafari. This may be a pseudonym, or some sort of nickname, or a misremembering by one or other of the witnesses.
Considering the Ayatollah Khomeini's government executed/imprisoned large numbers of Iranian military officers who served under/took allegiance to the Shah, a former IIAF officer taking an assumed name would not be surprising.
 
I disagree, the events described are consistent (not so in the newspapers but in Mooy's memo and the interviews with Pirouzi and Jafari). They only differ in detail (including the flight path details you are looking for), but that is to be expected.

I'll disagree here. Mooy's memo is second hand at best. He is retelling from memory or notes he took what he was told by somebody. Who told him these things is unclear, as the memo makes no mention of it. It's been suggested that General Azarbarzin may have been present. The MOFON video from post #79 has these 2 guys giving the account to Mooy:



But others say Jafari is in the second jet and that's what he claims. So, again we have no idea who is telling this to Mooy.

There is no interview of Pirouzi. No notes and no transcripts. There are 2 highly dramatized stories for the National Inquire, that as far as I can tell were never published, that claimed to be based on interviews of whistleblower Priouzi. Compared to the final published story by Cathcart, the previous 2 were too sensationalized even for the Nation Inquirer.

Nothing of Pirouzi's interviews, and yes I think he probably was interviewed, can be used without serious cherry-picking. If the articles based on Pirouzi are correct, they contradict both Mooy, and Jafari's later retelling, in regard to the first flight.

Mooy has the first flight head to a point 46 miles north of Tehran. It has electrical problems when it gets close to the UFO. Those problems resolve when he turns and returned to base:

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.
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The reporters twice have Pirouzi saying the first flight headed east to the Afghan border at Mach 2 and never catching the object. In one article Pirouzi says the electrical problems happened after the pilot acquired the UFO on radar and he got close. Then the object disappeared, and his systems came back on, then he chased it to the east:

1685637628608.png

In Pirouzi's supposed 2nd telling, there are no electrical problems at first, rather the F4 heads east at Mach 2 chasing what sounds a lot like a celestial object, except for the "rectangular" part, but I'm not sure what a "rectangular star" is:


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It's when he gets back to Tehran that he encounters electrical issues and even that is confusing when one notes the radio problems:

1685638495184.png

Azarbarzin says none of that happened and that the chase went west:

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In his 1996 interview, Jafari says the first jet tried to follow it but couldn't catch it, so it was Jafari who ordered him to return. No mention of electrical issues:

1685638963173.png

In Keans 2011 book Jafari has the first flight near the Soviet (Russian) boarder before it is ordered to turn around. Again, no mention of electrical issues:

Captain Khani had approached the Russian border, and at that point he was told to turn back. When he turned around, he said that he could see the object in front of him at twelve o'clock. I said, "Where exactly do you see it?" He said, "Over the dam, close to Tehran."
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Not only do these various retellings contradict each other, the Priouzi versions completely contradicts Mooy.

Once again, who do we believe?

There are also contradictory retellings about the attempt to fire missals and multiple descriptions of the UFO, from teeter-tottering things with lights to saucers to "rectangular shaped, but more like a star".
 
People remember the gist of things, but they are not recording devices. I am not surprised at all by the various inconsistencies you mention. They are typically in areas that are unremarkable to humans and hence poorly remembered. The remarkable parts, the gist of what they experienced that night, is what counts for me and is what people tend to remember best. But obviously you are looking for other things ;)
Let's agree that this object remains unidentified then, since we won't be able to convince each other anyway.
 
Did the Iranian air force break the fun barrier before anyone else

My bad. I try to use CC to illustrate sections from videos if available, rather than telling someone to "go watch at this time". Jafari is not a native English speaker, and while he is easy enough to understand in this video, the auto generated CC had a little trouble with his accent. I should have noted that he was saying "the speed of sound" not "fun". While obvious I think, it could look like I was being flippant or making fun of him, which was not the case.

The remarkable parts, the gist of what they experienced that night, is what counts for me and is what people tend to remember best

I suppose, but the gist of what I got was, they were chasing lights, despite throwing in the word "object" on occasion.

But obviously you are looking for other things

Again, I suppose. I'm looking for actual evidence, not just retellings and possibly confabulated memories.

Let's agree that this object remains unidentified then, since we won't be able to convince each other anyway.

Fair enough, but I had fun with it. And come on, giving a chance I'm still going to try to convince you the story is much less than it appears :D.
 
People remember the gist of things, but they are not recording devices. I am not surprised at all by the various inconsistencies you mention. They are typically in areas that are unremarkable to humans and hence poorly remembered. The remarkable parts, the gist of what they experienced that night, is what counts for me and is what people tend to remember best. But obviously you are looking for other things ;)
Let's agree that this object remains unidentified then, since we won't be able to convince each other anyway.
Yet you measure Oberg's writing solely against the Mooy memo, saying "he did not get his facts straight". It feels a bit unfair. By a "the gist of it" standard, Oberg did ok, especially with the constraints of a printed magazine article.
 
Fair enough, but I had fun with it. And come on, giving a chance I'm still going to try to convince you the story is much less than it appears
I had fun with it, too. But I don't want to end up as a tabloid headline like: "Aliens took away my wife/job" ;) So I'll be spending less time here for some weeks/months. Though our opinions differ I appreciate the effort you put in studying this case. It challenged me to dig a little deeper as well.
 
Yet you measure Oberg's writing solely against the Mooy memo, saying "he did not get his facts straight". It feels a bit unfair. By a "the gist of it" standard, Oberg did ok, especially with the constraints of a printed magazine article.
I think Mooy's memo summarizes the gist pretty well. After all, he joined a debriefing with the eyewitnesses just a few days after the event.
Oberg reshapes the data we have on this case into another type of gist: his believe of what is the gist of all UFO cases. He may have done this unconsciously, unaware of how his bias influenced the way he reported it.
 
That's a skeptic's take.

Believers work differently. They'll cherry-pick the information they'll believe, and distrust the rest ("the government"), and a case like this is great for that. That's because they don't need to look at evidence to evolve knowledge: they're supporting a belief, pick whatever supports it, and discard the rest.

There are cases where we can prove believers wrong. This isn't one of them.
It terms of the government comment - here’s the routing slip attached to the DOD report courtesy of the black vault https://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/the-1976-iran-incident-ufo-encounter-over-tehran-iran/
It’s a little hard to read but says the incident “meets all the criteria for valid study of UFO phenomena”. That’s not my opinion, it’s department of defence documentation. The same department of defence that solved the UFO issue with Blue Book and Condon a few years earlier. It lists the reasons as:

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It terms of the government comment - here’s the routing slip attached to the DOD report courtesy of the black vault https://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/the-1976-iran-incident-ufo-encounter-over-tehran-iran/
It’s a little hard to read but says the incident “meets all the criteria for valid study of UFO phenomena”. That’s not my opinion, it’s department of defence documentation. The same department of defence that solved the UFO issue with Blue Book and Condon a few years earlier. It lists the reasons as:
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An outstanding [illegible], this [illegible] is a classic which meets all the criteria necessary for a valid study of a UFO phenomenon:

a) The object was seen by multiple witnesses from different locations (f.e. Shemiran, Mehrabad and the dry lake bed) and viewpoints (both)

b) The credibility of many of the witnesses was high (an air force general, qualified aircrews, and experienced tower operators).

c) Visual sightings were confirmed by radar.

d) Similar electromagnetic effects (EME) were reported by three separate aircraft.

e) There were physiological effects on some crew members (i.e. loss of night vision due to the brightness of the object).

f) An inordinate amount of maneuver-ability was displayed by the UFO's.
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The routing slip is dated 8 Dec 78.

The PDF of the full document is attached to the OP.
 

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

A. AT ABOUT 1230 AM ON 19 SEP 76 THE IMPERIDAL [sic] IRANIAN AIR FORCE (IIAF) COMMAND POST 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.

B. AT 0130 HRS ON THE 19TH THE F-4 TOOK OFF AND PROCEEDED TO A POINT ABOUT 40 NM NORTH 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 0140 HRS A SECOND F-4 WAS LAUNCHED. THE BACKSEATER ACQUIRED A RADAR LOCK ON AT 27 NM, 12 O'CLOCK HIGH POSITION WITH THE VC (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.

C. 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 OBJEAZ [sic] 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.

D. 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 DEGREE FROM EHRABAD 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.

E. 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.

RO COMMENTS: [censored] ACTUAL INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT WAS OBTAINED FROM SOURCE IN CONVERSATION WITH A SUB-SOURCE, AND IIAF PILOT OF ONE OF THE F4S. MORE INFORMATION WILL BE FORWARDED WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.
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Plasma balls, e.g. created by a proton beam?
Article:
Of particular note are the values given in the “Ion Stats” boxes. The “Straggle” and “Lateral Proj.” values strongly suggest the resultant area of ionization would be circular, as seen from below, and oval, as seen from the side. You know, like a “Sport Model”! SRIM shows a 500 MeV proton beam making it 1.22 kilometers through the atmosphere at the elevation of Groom Lake before exploding in saucer-like goodness.

It'd explain the light, the apparent motion (just swing the beam around), and because of the ionization, it'd be a strong multi-band RF emitter that'd jam comms and impact electronics.
 
People remember the gist of things, but they are not recording devices. I am not surprised at all by the various inconsistencies you mention. They are typically in areas that are unremarkable to humans and hence poorly remembered. The remarkable parts, the gist of what they experienced that night, is what counts for me and is what people tend to remember best. But obviously you are looking for other things ;)
Let's agree that this object remains unidentified then, since we won't be able to convince each other anyway.

Completely agreed.
 
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