Mysterious Island: THE RETURN OF THE UFOs

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In the world of UFO research, it appears that Hell hath frozen over.

Just recently, the National Archives released all, or most, of the documents related to the U.S. Air Force’s infamous “Project Blue Book,” amounting to the Holy Grail for UFO researchers.  

And, yes, there are a number of Catalina sightings located within.

For those of you who don’t watch the History Channel, Project Blue Book was the U.S. Air Force’s secret UFO investigation unit and was in existence from 1952 to 1969.

In the world of UFO research, it appears that Hell hath frozen over.

Just recently, the National Archives released all, or most, of the documents related to the U.S. Air Force’s infamous “Project Blue Book,” amounting to the Holy Grail for UFO researchers.  

And, yes, there are a number of Catalina sightings located within.

For those of you who don’t watch the History Channel, Project Blue Book was the U.S. Air Force’s secret UFO investigation unit and was in existence from 1952 to 1969.

For the first time ever, thousands upon thousands of documents are now available to inquiring minds who want to know.

Best of all (and rather surprisingly), these documents have all been posted on the Internet and they’re free!  

This being the computer age and all, the documents are searchable by year or keyword.

They can be accessed at:  http://projectbluebook.theblackvault.com/

I came across five different sightings in the database listing “Catalina Island” as the location, a paltry number considering the number of people who have reported sightings to me just in the 20 years I’ve lived on the Island.  

I was only able to research parts of the database in the short time before my deadline for this column, so further investigation might yield more.  

Any takers?

Of the five Catalina sightings, four appeared to be explainable by meteors, astronomical phenomena or—in one case—military equipment that was parachuting to Earth.  

Yes, believe it or not, I have high standards when it comes to such things.

The most intriguing of the Catalina reports, however, comes from a sighting in 1949.

On April 28, 1949, an unnamed civilian from Boise, Idaho, (the man’s name was redacted) was visiting Catalina and made the following report:

“About 8 o’clock on the night of April 28th, my wife and a school teacher saw six objects in the sky, not in a group, but singly.

“A few minutes later after going to my daughter’s home, on the next street and corresponding block, she and my daughter and my grandson saw four more.  All traveling in the same direction.”

The gentleman then quaintly concludes his hand-written report by saying, “If you are still interested in flying discs, saucers, etc., please let me know and I will write more in full.”

There’s no indication that the Air Force took him up on his offer of more information and the official conclusion for “Project 10073,” as this sighting was labeled, states “Insufficient data for evaluation.”

What’s most interesting about this sighting is its eerie similarity to a sighting in Avalon only  two years earlier; a sighting that for whatever reason is not included in the Project Blue Book database or was never investigated by the Air Force.

It was on a bright, sunny July afternoon in 1947 that a number of people on Catalina watched in astonishment as two groups of three “flying discs” soared over Avalon only to disappear over the vast Pacific.  

The date was  July 8, 1947, the exact same day that the U.S. Army reported the crash of a “flying saucer” at the Roswell Army Air Field in New Mexico.  

The following edition of this very newspaper, the Catalina Islander, featured their accounts on the front page.

That article in the Catalina Islander recounts the eyewitness reports of three experienced Air Force veterans, all of whom had been in the war.  

One of these men, who reportedly had flown more than 35 bombing missions over Germany with the Eighth Air Force, estimated that the airborne vehicles were traveling at 850 miles per hour. According to Alvio Russo, the discs came in from the direction of Los Angeles and disappeared over the eastern rim of Avalon Canyon.

Was this sighting a little hoax pulled on us by these veterans?  Possibly.  But remember, this was in the days before Twitter and Facebook.  

So for these fellows to have even heard about the Roswell crash (even before the Roswell newspaper came out with the headlines) is stretching things a bit.

On top of that, there was a rash of similar sightings around the nation as far north as Washington State on that date and in the days following the Roswell Incident, many of which can be found in the Project Blue Book database.

There are no doubt more Catalina sightings located within the vast Project Blue Book database, including those that might be labeled under “Long Beach” or “Los Angeles.”  

Only time, patience and diligence will uncover these.

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