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A Cyclic Period that Correlates with Alleged UFO Crash Retrievals

Joseph W. Ritrovato

original source |  fair use notice

Summary: This article will now look at many different stories of crashed aerial vehicles of unknown origin that occurred over a period of more than a century. Curiously, these events appear to be related in one striking manner. During the course of my studies into UFO waves, I discovered that a significant number of reported UFO crashes appeared to occur during or near waves or flaps that related to a cycle determined to have been 3.19 years in length.

A Cyclic Period that Correlates with Alleged UFO Crash Retrievals
A Possible Aid to Determining True Events of the Past and in the Future?

In the August and September 1998 issues of the MUFON UFO Journal, UFO investigators Bob Pratt and Cynthia Luce presented valuable information related to the Varginha, Brazil, ET capture story that began in January 1996. This may have been the biggest and best-known story of an apparent UFO crash in recent years; it is, however, unlikely to be the last.

UFO skeptics have pointed out that if aliens were visiting our planet in numbers sufficient to account for all of the reported UFO sightings and purported alien abductions, then there should be evidence of a significant number of accidental crashes of alien vehicles upon the earth. There have been, in point of fact, a good number of reported crashes of UFOs that go back to at least the 1880s in the United States. My research also shows that half of the crash reports come from outside the U.S., going back no further than the 1940s. One factor that may have stood in the way of proving the occurrence of such dramatic events is quite possibly the intervention of covert government agencies, which wish to shield the population from gaining such knowledge.

Every follower of the UFO phenomena is familiar with the Roswell incident. At first, I considered this report might have been a staged or "red herring" event that evolved from the military's need to throw people off the scent of a true experience occurring elsewhere. But then came the Santili autopsy film. Included in the information surrounding its release was a report from the cameraman, which stated the crash event had occurred in May of 1947. If this had simply been the work of mischievous but expert hoaxers, they would have given the correct month of the event (July). Since they did not, it would seem that the autopsy footage was the "red herring" that was meant to derail those seriously interested in the Roswell event. This, and the fact that the military has made much ado about nothing (if the Roswell event really was nothing), now leads me to believe that what occurred near Roswell in 1947 was a true crash of a non-conventional aircraft, perhaps extraterrestrial in origin.

Since that event many reported UFO crashes have come to light, but few have had as much documentation as the Roswell event has accumulated. Most of these have been labeled as hoaxes with reasons varying from lack of corroboration to contrary reports related to the purported event. Skeptics often claim that the accused hoaxer’s motive was to gain attention to themselves or their area of residence. However, although some witnesses may have a history of storytelling to gain attention, this in itself doesn't necessarily discredit the whole episode (although it may create doubts). What one would need to find is corroborative evidence to the story such as that found after a Florida Scoutmaster's dramatic close encounter during the summer of 1952 (see Kevin Randle's Project Blue Book Exposed, page 65). He may have had a past of taking liberties with the truth to draw attention, but how did only the roots of the grass at the scene get burned? Unfortunately, this can work in reverse. Since even a very credible witness to an unbelievable event would naturally want to find another source to corroborate an experience, such a witness might still be tempted to accept other reports of a similar encounter, even if some of the details seemed distorted or exaggerated. This vulnerability of a witness to an extraordinary event leaves the door open for both mischievous pranksters, searching for undeserved attention, or covert government operators, aiming to destroy the credibility of the hapless witness.

Varginha may be the most recent scene of a genuine UFO crash, but, besides Roswell, what came before? This article will now look at many different stories of crashed aerial vehicles of unknown origin that occurred over a period of more than a century. Curiously, these events appear to be related in one striking manner. During the course of my studies into UFO waves, I discovered that a significant number of reported UFO crashes appeared to occur during or near waves or flaps that related to a cycle determined to have been 3.19 years in length. Varginha appears to have been just one of these cyclic crashes. Now let us look at some of the earlier ones (peak cycle dates are given in italics at the end of each report).

On June 6th, 1884, John W. Ellis was riding herd with three ranch hands 35 miles northwest of Benkelman, Nebraska, when they all witnessed a blazing cigar shaped object. As it sped through the sky the witnesses estimated it to be around 55 feet long and 11 feet thick before it crashed into pieces upon the ground. A large crater resulted, filled with scattered white-hot fragments and molten masses. So hot was the site of destruction that the ranchers had to wait until the next day to get close enough to it to see if there was anything left to salvage. Many of the pieces could be recognized as mechanical in nature so a meteor could be ruled out. Others came to view the wreckage, but a rainstorm moved in which proved to be so violent that visibility was reduced to little more than a foot. When the storm cleared they went to the edge of the crater and found that almost all of the remains had dissolved, as if by acid, and what was left had turned into a gelatinous pool. (6/25/1884)

On April 17, 1897, as the great U.S. mystery airship wave was coming to a close (it had started five months earlier), another strange vehicle was seen to maneuver clumsily in the air, subsequently crashing into a windmill of a prominent citizen of Aurora, Texas. The locals found a dead being among the wreckage and buried him in the churchyard. A tombstone had once marked the spot until recently when, due to vandalism, the townsfolk were forced to remove it. (3/29/1897)

Five decades later, and less than a year after the classic Roswell case, another crash was reported to have occurred in Aztec, New Mexico, on or near March 25, 1948. Similar to the Roswell crash, the military was quick to make its appearance on the scene (just following its discovery by civilians) and the evidence was removed. Reportedly, there were many more bodies recovered than at Roswell and the vehicle was nearly intact. This event is often written off as a hoax due to inconsistencies in the evidence but this conclusion may be premature. Further research, in my opinion, is warranted. (4/11/1948)

Almost four decades before the Varginha incident another UFO crash report came out of Brazil. Some local men were fishing one day along the shore of Ubatuba, Brazil, when they witnessed a flying disk, which performed erratic maneuvers before it exploded into pieces just off the coast. The startled onlookers searched for remains of the craft and found scraps of metal in shallow water. One of these witnesses felt so strongly that others should know of what happened that he sent his story with some of the fragments to a reporter he admired. On September 13, 1957, a well-known Rio de Janeiro society columnist for the newspaper O Globo received a package, which included metal fragments and an anonymous report. When UFO researchers read of this event in the newspaper they obtained the pieces of wreckage and had it analyzed. What they learned was that the metal was composed of almost pure magnesium so well refined that, if it were even possible to produce it at the time, it would have been very expensive to manufacture and could have been created by only a few possible countries outside of Brazil. One might ask, why didn't other witnesses come forward to report this sighting? The answer might be explained in regards to the date of the occurrence. The most likely date was September 7th, Brazil's Independence Day. Everybody would have been off of work and celebrating in the city unless, of course, you were a fisherman who wanted to take advantage of an almost deserted beach. (11/5/1957)

On April 13, 1964, several adults in Walthamstow, England, witnessed a nine foot cigar-shaped and silver-colored UFO crash into the river Lea, which tore down telephone lines and scarred the edge of the concrete towpath as it went. Just five days earlier, Cape Kennedy radar detected four UFOs following an unmanned Gemini capsule during one of its orbits around the earth. Also, beginning in this month and lasting through July, there was a rash of high strangeness reports of UFOs. About half of the U.S. reports were from New Mexico, New York, and California, and nearly one third occurred in Montana, Georgia, Oregon, Ohio, and Illinois. The events involved many trace landing reports and witness interactions with UFO occupants, including repeated abductions of a child near Missoula, Montana in April. There was an interesting concentration of reports in New Mexico for one week that began with the famous Socorro landing of April 24th. There was also an interesting series of reports coming from Hong Kong where, beginning sometime in February, UFOs were seen to mimic conventional aircraft making a landing at the Kai Tak airport at least once a week for months. (3/23/1964)

In March and October of 1967, there were peaks in activity occurring in Russia, Britain and Canada. On October 4, 1967, a UFO was seen a short distance from a bridge at Shag Harbor, Nova Scotia. It was hovering just over the water and gyrating in an erratic manner. It then tilted to one side and fell into the water. Lights could still be seen after it submerged but soon afterwards they blinked out. The witnesses, searching for a logical explanation, thought some sort of conventional aircraft must have crashed so they reported it to the authorities. The coast guard and navy searched the waters, but no report of a recovered craft ever came to light. This event has been investigated for several years by researcher Chris Styles as a UFO crash and there continues to be an ongoing search for any possible remains. (6/1/1967)

Although fitting in with the UFO cycle discussed in this article, what I wish to present next does not involve any reports of UFO crashes. The following events are, however, just as dramatic since they relate to military readiness in connection with unknown aerial objects. Most of the details for the first of these incidents was gleaned from an internet website for the Computer UFO Network (CUFON; one of the more reliable net resources). During the early morning hours of Thursday, March 16, 1967, Robert Salas, deputy crew commander of a Minuteman missile silo near Malmstrom, Air Force Base, Montana, witnessed the disabling of the missile he was monitoring. Five minutes earlier Salas had received a call from a security guard at the site who had just witnessed a UFO. The red, glowing saucer was even closer, hovering just outside the front gate, when his, and other missiles nearby, began shutting down. A total of ten missiles at two launch-sites went from "Alert" to "No-Go" status within ten seconds and remained down for a full three hours (coming back on line as mysteriously as they had gone off). The UFO was confirmed on radar and fighter jets scrambled in an attempt to intercept the unknown craft, but no details of the chase are presently known. Also in March 1967 twoMig-21 jets were five kilometers behind a UFO they were intercepting within Cuban airspace when one of the pilots locked his weapons onto the target and was promptly killed as his aircraft disintegrated. Immediately afterwards the UFO accelerated, climbed to 30,000 feet altitude, and headed for South America. (6/1/1967)

On January 10, 1961 (date approximate), Cape Kennedy's tracking radar locked onto a huge UFO that was pacing a Polaris missile as it traveled over the South Atlantic during a military test flight. Shortly after this, based on retired Army Command Sergeant Major Robert O. Dean's interview printed in the April 1994 Omni magazine (and other interviews from the internet and radio), NATO and Russia went on military alert on or about February 2, 1961,when a fleet of 50 UFOs flew across Europe from the direction of Russia at a height of 100,000 feet. Nine minutes later they disappeared from radar. This incident, which Dean stated nearly caused a nuclear confrontation between NATO's forces and the USSR, could also be the very same event that caused Jacques Vallee to become involved in the UFO phenomena. While working on the staff of the French Space Committee in 1961 Vallee witnessed the destruction of the tracking tapes of unknown objects. (1/13/1961)

As reported in Leonard Stringfield's UFO Crash/Retrievals, Status Report VII, on December 8, 1941, 50 aircraft were detected on radar 100 miles east of San Francisco. Soon after they broke into two formations, one moving towards the Bay Area and the other heading southwest. San Francisco was placed on alert at that time as well as two other times early the next morning. Not long after this, on February 25, 1942, the UFO related Los Angeles air raid occurred (see Above Top Secret by Timothy Good, pages15-17). (11/24/1941)

Returning to the crash reports, on October 2, 1973, in Derry, New Hampshire, at about eight at night, at least a few people witnessed two small, whitish-yellow glowing orbs, about two feet round, performing maneuvers. The two objects then descended towards Rainbow Lake and, once above it, one of them fell straight down and splashed into the water. The other soared upwards and vanished. The local fire department searched the lake by boat for two hours but found nothing. They chose not to drag the lake bottom, no doubt, because of the witnesses' descriptions (which didn't tally with it being a manned aircraft). (10/17/1973)

Three years and three months later, another unidentified small aerial object crashed into water, again in New Hampshire. On January 10th, 1977, a heavy black object, said to be approximately one foot square, crashed through about one foot of ice on a pond in Wakefield, New Hampshire. It was retrieved and later the police reported that nothing had crashed through the ice. The cause is still a mystery. This event was labeled a non-UFO event by Kevin Randle in his recent book on UFO crashes. However, Mr. Randle does not elaborate on why, specifically, he reached this conclusion. Perhaps the small size and cube shape of this unknown object suggested something more likely terrestrial, but, at the same time, small or box shaped UFOs are not unheard of. (12/25/1976)

On November 25, 1979, there was an apparent UFO crash in Grays Harbor, Washington. At least one of the several witnesses reported that the object seen falling into the harbor was cigar shaped with brightly glowing windows. Another witness said he saw a blinding flash after he saw it fall below the timberline towards the harbor. This last witness also reported that the object had a long, blue colored tail. Although there were reports of a retrieval of some object by the military, there was also the explanation that the lights seen by witnesses were merely the lights of a logging helicopter. Kevin Randle labeled this case inconclusive or having insufficient data to reach a conclusion. (3/4/1980)

At around 1 a.m. on July11, 1986, an unusual looking aircraft was seen crashing into California's Sequoia National Park (15 miles northeast of Bakersfield). The person who witnessed this event described it as a UFO. The military came in and closed off the area. They said it was a military aircraft and released a name of the dead pilot. The type of the military vehicle was never revealed. Such sources as Aviation Week believed it to have been a Stealth Fighter aircraft, but that was only a best guess. Could this have been a test of a captured alien craft? Just two months before there had been a flap of UFO activity in the western U.S. and in Brazil. Six armed Brazilian military jets actually chased these unknown craft, twenty-one in number as tracked on radar, for several hours over Sao Paulo on May 19, 1986. (7/21/1986)

Two UFO crash events that reportedly occurred in the same general area of Long Island, New York, one off Moriches Bay on September 28, 1989, and one in Southaven Park on November 24, 1992, are unfortunately clouded in controversy. The principle investigator of these two cases was John Ford, founder and president of the Long Island UFO Network. Ford ran the UFO group for ten years, until his arrest June 12, 1996, on charges of plotting the murder of two political adversaries. Since then he has spent most of his time either imprisoned in the county jail at Riverhead, New York (he was transferred back to this prison in September, 1998) or institutionalized at the Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in New Hampton, New York (where he spent at least half of the year in 1998). Maybe it is a fact that John Ford has been mentally and emotionally ill, but was this true prior to, and contributing to, his alleged plot or was such a condition the effect of persecution for his beliefs that he refused to keep to himself? We may never know the answer to this question, but I think it is remarkable that the first event above occurred on the exact date predicted for a peak in the UFO cycle discussed here. I feel it also significant that the second event was only twelve days from another peak in this cycle. Maybe John Ford really was on to something; so much so that a clandestine plan was set in motion to shut him up. (9/28/89 & 12/6/92)

We now come full circle to the Varginha event of January 20, 1996, but this may not be the only possible UFO crash event for the last cycle peak. Three other incidents are possible candidates for this time frame. All come from outside the United States. Off the internet comes an unconfirmed report of an explosion of an unidentified and unusual aerial craft that was retrieved by the military of the former Soviet Union. This, supposedly, occurred in November 1995, during the early morning hours near Itum-Katein the Chechnya Mountains of the Chechen Republic-Itchkeria. On February 13, 1996, an object streaking across the sky, from East to West, crashed on the west side of the Isle of Jura, off the west coast of Scotland. Many witnesses described it as a UFO (a meteor or bolide didn't come to mind). Also, in May 1996, a UFO apparently went down near Boyle, Eire (Ireland). One night during that month many witnessed an unusual object glide down towards the Curlieu Mountains north of Boyle. It appeared to be an aerial craft coming into land, but had misjudged its approach, clipping the tops of trees and landing in a lake. Several occupants were said to have been taken into custody by a retrieval team and much military activity (including American soldiers) continued in the area for a six-month period following the incident. Civilians were prevented from going near the scene and the local police were instructed to keep their noses out of it and their mouths shut. (2/14/1996)

What has been presented, so far, is less than half of the better crash reports that I have found, which fit into the peak cycle range (a period of one week short of five months on either side of the peak cycle date) of my 3.19 year cycle [click here for table]. This range encompasses one quarter of the full cycle length, and as shown in the distribution graph, of all crashes used for the period 1948-1989.5, half of them fell within this range. What this means is that UFO crashes have occurred within this cycle range twice as often as would be expected from the statistical average. It is also three times higher in this quarter of the cycle than the average occurrence per quarter within the three quarters lying outside of this range [click here for table of non-cycle crashes]. [Click here to return to the top of the article].

More remarkable is the spike shown within the 1/24th range of the cycle surrounding the cycle peak date. Ten crashes fall within this range, which is almost five times greater than would be expected from chance. Consistent with this result is that there are no crash events at the zero point of the cycle (fraction 1 and 48) or 180 degrees from fractions 24 and 25.

As might be expected from a study with so few data points, the overall distribution is not quite ideal as demonstrated from the trend line. However, another likely reason for what is displayed is an apparent link between the 3.19 year cycle and the Mars cycle. Looking at the trend line on the distribution graph, you will see minor peaks at around 1/3rd of the cycle length from the primary peak. The peak of the Mars cycle occurs approximately every 776 days (the period of time it takes Mars to orbit from one occurrence of its closest earthly approach to the next one), which comes out to almost exactly two thirds of the length of the 3.19 year (1,165 day) cycle. In my first MUFON article (March 1995) it was noted that Jacques Vallee discovered not only an apparent relationship between UFO waves and the Mars cycle, but also some correlation for half the length of the Mars cycle or 13 months (it would actually be 12.75 months if it was exactly half of 776 days). In a manner identical for that used with the 3.19 year cycle, the possibility of a connection between the Mars cycle and UFO crash reports was also investigated and, although there appears to be significant results, it is not as dramatic as with the crash cycle.

However, it is interesting to note that two crash report dates (one cycle and one non-cycle crash) occurred on the very same day as the planet Mars was closest to the earth (11/3/58 and 10/17/73). Besides an interaction between the effects of the Mars cycle and the crash cycle, there also seems to be a relationship between the 3.19 year crash cycle and the 5+ year cycle (the latter discussed in my first MUFON article). Every sixteen years (less nineteen days) the peaks of these cycles coincide (encompassing five 3.19 year cycles and three 5+ year cycles). Not only did these two cycle peaks coincide on October 17, 1973, but Mars was at its closest to Earth on the same day. This is the only crash cycle peak date on my list where there was an exact synchronization between a possible UFO crash, and the peak of a UFO wave (with the possible exception of 9/28/89).

Now, as this article comes to a close, it is time to look at what is on the horizon. On April 24, 1999, not only does the 3.19 year cycle peak again, but also the planet Mars is only a week away from its closest orbital approach to Earth. Another interesting time should be on September 9, 2005, when all three of the cycles discussed here will coincide as they did in 1973 (however Mars will be nearly two months away from its closest approach to Earth). Based on my findings as here given, I can only wait expectantly for these dates and hope that all of those who have read this article will be more alert and prepared to jump at the opportunity to investigate any possible crash reports that come to light during these times.

Postdate: In updating links to my site in the early part of 2001, I located two mysterious events that may be relevant to my proposed UFO crash cycle. They both involved the reported crash of unknown aerial objects on July 27, 1999. One was into a lake in Sweden and the other was on land in the eastern portion of the state of Ohio in the U.S. Reports of these two events can be found at the following URLs:



Also, since I first wrote this article, I have discovered two reported UFO crashes that fit into the peak period of the 3.19 year crash cycle. One occurred in the middle of September 1865, in what was to become the state of Montana (for details click HERE). This only loosely fits into the peak range of this cycle (4 months and 10 days, give or take 5 days, after the estimated cycle peak date; it would have to be less than 4 months and 24 days from that date to qualify), but it also predates my previous earliest crash date by close to 19 years.

The other more recently discovered report was found in a book entitled Soviet UFO Files, authored by Paul Stonehill and printed in Italy by an English publisher in 1998. In chapter five of the book, under the title "The Ordzenikidze Object" is conveyed that the air defense units of the Trans-Caucasus military region fired a missile at a cone-shaped UFO on May 5, 1983, after being detected on radar for some time. Afterwards, a local inhabitant of the Stolovaya Mountain area, near Nalchik, claimed that he had made contact with "Aliens". Later, some adventurers from Moscow, after learning of the incident through a media report, claimed they found and entered a spacecraft there (the Daryal Gorge area). The article went on to say that senior military officers evacuated the area and the craft hauled off to the secret Mitische base near Moscow where the propulsion system was studied and scientists determined that the engine used neutrino radiation. Interestingly, the date of this incident was just eight days before a peak date in the 3.19 year cycle.

Note: For those readers who would like more information to events described here that do not include source documentation, they may find the references within Larry Hatch's *U* UFO Database software program (nearly two thirds of the 50 crash events used in this article for 1948-1989.5 are contained within that database). For those interested in this program, a demo can be downloaded off the internet from Larry Hatch's website at this URL:


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