Wednesday, 8 January 2020
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22 October 2006
“The M.K. Jessup story, including his mysterious death, is absolutely spooky.
The man who once lived in
is an icon of the unexplained, a major
figure in paranormal fields, especially unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.
He even coined the word UFOlogy (u-fol-ogy). Iowa
Jessup, who taught in
, is forever linked to the
Philadelphia Experiment, a bizarre incident that has never been fully explained
despite countless articles and books. Des Moines
Morris Ketchum Jessup was born in
but little is known about his early life. Rockville, Ind.
Upon graduating from high school, Jessup immediately went into the Navy, serving in 1918-19, and then enrolling at the
University of Michigan
also in 1919. Ann Arbor
With time out for travel, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science in 1926 and earned a master’s degree the next year. He studied for a doctorate degree but did not graduate.
Jessup became fascinated with astronomy and astrophysics, and a circuitous route brought him to
. In 1932, he became a professor at
Des Moines . Drake University
In the 1940s and 1950s, Jessup, who had left
, took a particular
interest in the new field of UFOs — flying saucers. With a move to Iowa ,
in the 1950s, Jessup began writing his first book in 1954. ‘The Case for the
UFO’ was published in 1955 and had moderate success, followed by ‘UFO and the
Bible’ (1956) and ‘The UFO Annual’ (1956). Washington, D.C.
His last book was ‘The Expanding Case for the UFO’ (1957).
On the evening of April 20, 1959, Jessup was found moments from death, slumped over the wheel of his station wagon in a
park near his
home. A hose attached to the car’s exhaust pipe had filled the car’s interior
with carbon monoxide. No suicide note was ever found, and no autopsy was
Jessup reportedly was working on a new book about the Philadelphia Experiment. Was Jessup silenced — murdered because he knew too much? The controversy continues.”
Wikipedia article: “Morris K. Jessup”:
Morris K. Jessup,
Astronomer & UFO
“Lawrence Fawcett & Barry Greenwood:
(Clear Intent, 171-175)
A flurry of reports suddenly burst into FBI files from
, during the fall of 1950. A few interesting events preceded this. A
summary of these events follows Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Mr. W. R. Pressley photographed a flying object at
The street in the foreground has been identified as Oak Ridge, Tennessee Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge,
20 June 1949
At 1900 hours Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Anderson and Mrs. John A. White sighted three objects at
similar to SUBJECT. Oak
1-6 March 1950
Mr. Stuart Adcock reported peculiar readings on his ‘Ham’ Radar Scope. These objects reappeared at approximately the same time of day which is similar to SUBJECT. (Refer: Summary of Information, Subject: Unidentified Objects Over Oak Ridge Vicinity, dated 6 March 1950.)
12 October 1950
2325 hours. Knoxville Airport Radar Unit indicated a series of unidentified targets over the ‘Restricted Zone’ at
. Oak Ridge
2347. Fighter aircraft was at the position of the radar target and made three perfect interceptions but could see nothing.
13 October 1950
0000-0100 hours. Additional Radar plots as before.
15 October 1950
Approximately 1400 hours. Major L. E. Ronniger, accompanied by his daughter, heard intermittent noises.
151? hours. Fighter plane made unsuccessful passes at a good radar target four (4) miles from the East Boundary (Kerr Hollow Gate).
1520 hours. SUBJECT seen at Kerr Hollow Gate by Troopers Rymer and Zarzecki, Mr. Hightower, and Mr. Moneymaker.
1520 hours. Radar scopes at
indicate unidentified targets. McGhee-Tyson Airport
16 October 1950
1455 to 1530 hours. Objects seen by Troopers Isabell, Briggs, and Clark.
1520 hours. Radar scopes at
giving unintelligible readings. McGhee-Tyson Airport
1956 to 2004 hours. NEPA Guards, Brown, Herron, and Davis report peculiar sounds.
20 October 1950
1655 hours. Visual sightings by Larry P. Riordan, Security Chief, X-10 Plant.
23 October 1950
1630 hours. Visual sightings made by Francis J. Miller. (Geiger counters in the vicinity had unexplainable readings at about this time.)
24 October 1950
1855 to 1900 hours. Visual sightings of a light by Major Dallveg, Mr. Frey, and the Radar Station.
1823 to 1920 hours. Several small, slow targets appeared on radar scope.
26 October 1950
Robert W. Lassell and five others sighted objects from the
. Knoxville, Tennessee
5 November 1950
1155 to 1200 hours. Visual sighting by Don Patrick.
25 May 1950
In the vicinity of Louden,
, a flat, metallic object,
accompanied by ‘a flapping noise,’ was seen by five people living in that area.
Certainly something big was going on.
was the site of the old Atomic
Energy Commission’s testing facilities. Unauthorized aerial craft in this area
would amount to a major security breach of very great concern to the military. Oak Ridge
A memo dated October 25, 1950 provided some details:
OBJECTS SIGHTED OVER
OAK RIDGE, TENNESSEE
At 1655 hours, on 20 October 1950, Mr. Larry P. Riordan, AEC Badge No.522, Superintendent of Security at X-
10 in the ‘Control Zone’ at
Oak Ridge, Tennessee, while enroute from X-10 to the Oak Ridge residential
area, on Benton Valley Road, saw an object in the sky which appeared to be
directly over the University of Tennessee Agricultural Research Farm. This
object gave the general appearance of an aerial balloon which had lost its
‘basket.’ In other words, the object was generally round; appeared to come
together at the bottom in wrinkles (rather indistinct), and something was
hanging below. The balloon was described as being from eight to ten feet long;
of a lead pipe or gunmetal color; and seemed to be approximately one-fourth (¼)
mile from the observer, at a thirty (30) degree elevation above the horizon.
The object was apparently stationary but since the observer was in a moving
vehicle, he did not verify that it was stationary. As the vehicle in which he
was travelling changed position, and went around a curve, Mr. Riordan noticed
that this object appeared to be thinner. He concludes that by reason of his
changing position, or the object changing its altitude, he observed another
angle of the object which appeared to be thinner than upon his first sighting.
At the time of the observation there was adequate light and the object was plainly visible. Mr. Riordan is a responsible person, as is indicated by his position, and he has been aware of the many instances of reported objects flying in the sky. He is also very familiar with the weather balloons which are sent up hourly each day over
between 6:00 AM of one day until
1:00 AM of the next day. The size of these balloons vary, but generally they
are similar to a circus balloon which is about twenty- four (24) inches in
diameter. Mr. Riordan is certain that the object was not a weather balloon but
his first impression was that this object was an experimental ‘gab’ being
utilized by the Oak Ridge .
of Tennessee Agricultural Research Farm
Mr. Riordan has been the Security Chief of X-10 since 14 July 1943. His vision is normal except that he has negligible impairment of the right eye. Like many of the Atomic Energy Commission officials, Mr. Riordan has hoped for the opportunity to see one of these objects, and under the circumstances, he visualized it as accurately as possible.
At 1845 hours, on 24 October 1950, Mr. William B. Fry, Assistant Chief of Security, NEPA Division,
Tennessee, while attending a Drive-in theater
with his wife and child, at ,
noticed an object in the sky North-Northwest of his position, at a thirty (30)
to forty (40) degree elevation. This object was moving gently in a horizontal
plane, back and forth, within thirty (30) degrees of his line of sight. This
object emitted a glow, varying in color from red to green, to blue-green, to
blue, and to orange. The variations were checked on the vertical window post of
Mr. Fry’s vehicle and were witnessed by Mr. Fry’s wife. The attention of
another observer, the Projectionist at the Drive-in theater, was also called to
the object and verification of this sighting was made. The object disappeared
from his sight at 1920 hours. Oak Ridge
At 1855 hours, on 24 October, 1950, an Air Force Major, Lawrence Ballweg, NEPA Division,
also saw from his residence an object which he described similarly. The object
disappeared from the sight of Mr. Ballweg at 1920 hours, which coincides with
the time of disappearance of the object from Mr. Fry’s sight. Oak
On 20 October 1950, at 1527 hours, aircraft No. AF-409, Pilot Wolf, 5th AW-Fighter Sqd., took off from the
for a ‘local patrol.’ The Radar Unit at Knoxville Airport
received readings on their Radar scope and sent the aircraft after these
targets. The aircraft pilot was unable to identify any flying object in the
vicinity of the said targets. All targets were between eighteen (18) and
twenty-five (25) miles from the Airport at 320 degrees. The aircraft was landed
at 1713 hours. (Attention is invited to the fact that these targets were
sighted at approximately the same time, and locality, that was reported by Mr.
Larry Riordan.) Knoxville Airport
On 24 October 1950, at 1823 hours, several small, slow targets were seen on the Radar screen at the Knoxville Airport Radar Site. These targets appeared in the Southeast sector of the ‘Restricted Flying Zone’ and over the city of
These targets moved from the city area to and along the East boundary of the
area. At 1826 hours, the fighter aircraft was ‘scrambled’ and proceeded to the
area where it was vectored among the targets but the pilot reported no visual
contact with said targets. At 1920 hours the targets disappeared from the Radar
Screen and the fighter was vectored toward another target believed to be one of
three (3) aircraft enroute from Andrews Field to Steward Field. (Note: 1920
hours is also the time that the object sighted by Mr. Fry and Major Ballweg disappeared
from their view). Oak Ridge
Sightings continued into December 1950 around
. On December
14, the following information was reported. Oak Ridge
A. Location and Time of Sighting: From 1605 hours for about three (3) hours, on 14 December 1950, on the Radar Scopes of the 663rd AC and W Squadron, McGhee Tyson Airport, Knoxville, Tennessee.
B. Weather at the Time: At 1600 hours on 14 December 1 950-‘Ceiling-
Broken overcast; Seven (7) miles visibility; temperature, 37 degrees F.; and
Wind-Southwest at thirteen (13) miles per hour.
C. Names, Occupations, and Addresses of Witnesses: Personnel of the 663rd AC and W Squadron, 30th Air Division, McGhee Tyson Airport, Knoxville, Tennessee, who were on duty at the time. Their occupations are Radar operators, Supervisors and experts.
D. Photographs of Objects, if available: No photographs taken. See ‘F’ below.
E. Objects Sighted: A group of targets blanketed the Radar Scopes in the area directly over the government Atomic Energy Commission projects at
. These objects could not be
identified from the radar image and a perfect fighter interception met with
negative results. Oak Ridge, Tennessee
F. Any other pertinent information: Lt. Robinson of the 663rd AC and W Squadron, McGhee-Tyson Airport, Knoxville, Tennessee took photographs of the scope readings with a personal, four (4) by five (5) Speed Graphic Camera, using Plus-X civilian procured film, a lens opening of F-2.5, and a shutter speed varying from twenty (20) to forty-five (45) seconds. The negatives were printed and forwarded to the 30th Air Division, Selfridge Air Force Base,
installation printed the negatives and sent copies thereof to the 663rd AC and
W squadron. The numerous targets can be readily identified from the permanent
radar echos by comparing the photographs. Michigan
The Army sent a report to the FBI on a sighting by employees of the Nuclear Energy for Propulsion of Aircraft project (NEPA) at
: Oak Ridge
On December 18, 1950, at sometime between 0820 and 0830, the following NEPA employees were riding in a vehicle on the Turnpike within the Controlled Area toward the NEPA Project approximately one mile short of the ‘Y’ cutoff to White Wing entrance. The passengers, with the exception of . . . who did not attempt to participate in the viewing, observed a light emanating in the shape of a circle, of an intensity much greater than that of a bright moon, through the windshield of the vehicle. The viewers had the impression that there was form in connection with the light rather than merely a point source. The light was white in appearance and did not show any signs of refraction into a band or continuous spectrum. It appeared to be from 15 to 30 degrees elevated above the horizontal and on an azimuth between west and northwest, and appeared to be traveling in a northwesterly direction. The impression of it traveling is due to the fact that the object appeared to diminish considerably in size during the approximate thirty seconds during which it was viewed. The vehicle remained in motion and in following the course of the road, changed its relative position so that the object was viewed during the last few seconds from the side windows. As the vehicle proceeded down the road a nearby ridge obstructed the view of the object, and although the vehicle completed the turn toward K-25 at the ‘Y’ intersection and the passengers had a relatively clear view at points along the road, the object was not viewed again. The observers were unable to estimate approximate size, speed, or vertical elevation; and, therefore, were not certain whether the object was over the Controlled Area or a considerable distance away. There was no vapor trail or any other visible condition within the vicinity of the object and there were no clouds which could have obscured it. The observers were unable to identify the object in terms of mass or shape, other than the circular appearance of the light. However, the circular area appeared to darken, starting at approximately 7:00 to 9:00 o'clock along the perimeter and continuing to darken along the perimeter and inner area until the light was concentrated in approximately 1:00 to 3:00 o’clock position of a very small diameter, at which point it appeared somewhat similar to a large star.
The observers were not in complete agreement as to whether the object was moving at a speed which caused it to diminish in size or actually was diminishing in size without any great velocity of travel due to the darkening effect described above.
Another radar report was received on December 20 as follows:
Object sighted: The radar log of the 663rd AN and C Squadron,
contained the following entry: ‘20 December 1950.1247 hours. Small paint in
area (Oak Ridge Controlled Area). Very very slow. Made perfect intercept (with
F-82 Fighter aircraft) and orbit surrounding small smoke cloud. Knoxville, Tennessee
A very cryptic teletype appears here as the final entry for 1950. Whether it relates to the activity at
or elsewhere remains to be
explained. No other file has been found relevant to the information contained
in it. It is dated December 3, 1950. Oak Ridge
RE: flying saucers. This office very confidentially advised by Army Intelligence,
that they have been put on immediate high alert for any data whatsoever
concerning flying saucers. CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps) here states
background of instructions not available from Air Force Intelligence, who are
not aware of the reason for alert locally, but any information whatsoever must
be telephoned by them immediately to Air Force Intelligence. CIC advises data
strictly confidential and should not be disseminated. Richmond
So, flying saucers, once again, upset the military to such an extreme that an ‘Immediate High Alert’ must be declared. This is hardly what to expect from an illusion.
Most UFO information in the FBI files from this point on is sporadic in nature. A number of unusual reports appear, however. This teletype is dated May 26, 1952.
RE Flying Saucers, information concerning. Three women saw strange objects floating in sky over
At eight fifty PM, EST, May
twenty- five last for two or three minutes. Objects described as looking like
large oysters with fishtails floating low like a cloud. They were oval in shape
and according to observers could have been balloons. They came in over Ashland,
KY. from the north,
circled and went back in the opposite direction. Above information for Bureau.
No action here. Ashland
An important admission is made in the first paragraph of this July 29, 1952 memo:
SUBJECT: FLYING SAUCERS
To advise at the present time the Air Force has failed to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion in its research regarding numerous reports of flying saucers and flying discs sighted throughout the
.” United States
Wikipedia article: “Oak Ridge National Laboratory”:
“Y-12” Area at
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Satellite photo of
(tageo.com) Oak Ridge, Tennessee