From August through September of 1951 the US Air Force investigated one of the first great UFO cases in the United States. At 9pm on August 25th three Professors from what is now known as Texas Tech University were relaxing at one of the professors homes when a series of lights flew above them. Moving N to S at a very high rate of speed and the brightness of a star only larger in diameter they flew in a perfect almost semi circle pattern which contained approx 20 – 30 lights. Over a three week period these lights were observed by these men over 12 times. Over the course of two months over 100 people all around the Lubbock area observed and also reported seeing these strange lights.
On the evening of 31 August 1951 at about 11:30PM, a college freshman named Carl Hart observed a flight pass over his home. It is said two more flights of objects allegedly also occurred in which he photographed. These are now known as the famous Carl Hart Photographs.
It was observed that there was no sound that could be attributed to the objects and the color of the lights was bluish green in tone. It was also stated the first two flights observed were a semi-circle of lights but in the subsequent flight there was no orderly arrangement. The objects did not gradually come into view as would an aircraft that was upon approach, and neither did it gradually disappear. It was also noted there was no apparent change in size as any of the objects passed overhead.
Carl started watching the skies when word was spread about the college professors sightings in the local Lubbock Newspaper “The Avalanche”. After capturing his series of photos Carl, he took the film to a friend at a photo lab so that he could develop it. The Avalanche learned of the pictures when a photographer who did some work for the newspaper called to say that Hart had just been there developing some film. He thought Harris might be interested, and Harris suggested that Hart bring the negatives to the office. This was indeed the turning point in bringing these sightings to the forefront.
Carl Hart never copyrighted his photographs in fear some may think they were a fake and the reporter at the Avalanche had accused him of hoaxing the whole incident and proceeded to tell Carl the consequences of fraud. A short time later Carl decide to send the photos out over the wire. Though many have tried to duplicate the photos at that time no one could ever debunk them.
Upon learning of the photographs, the US military spent a great deal of time trying to come up with some kind of explanation. Officers came in from Reese Air Force Base as well as Wright-Patterson located in Dayton, Ohio. Lt. Edward J. Ruppelt even made a personal trip to Lubbock to investigate these lights and to interview Carl Hart as well as some of the others who had claimed the sightings.
Ruppelt’s was not the last and only interview by the US military. On December 2 Hart was questioned again. According to the OSI report, He was interviewed in private and asked for a written statement. Evidently the military hoped to break his story, which was a continuing obstacle to a bird explanation that they had come up with, but if a professional photographer could not get a picture of birds at night (which they had tried), how had an amateur done it? The obvious answer was that Hart had not photographed birds. If so, could that mean the objects he had photographed be unidentified flying objects.
The US Military’s report concludes that: birds, with street lights reflecting from them, were the probable cause of these sightings. The angular velocity of 30 degrees per second seems rather high for birds during migratory flights. It is probable that the angular velocity was less. In all instances the witnesses were located in an area where their eyes were dark-adapted, thus making the objects appear brighter. The kind of birds responsible for this sighting is not known, but it is highly probable that they were ducks or plover. Since plovers do not usually fly in formations of more than six or seven, ducks seem more probable.
There are, however, no migratory birds in the Lubbock area at that time of year. According to Loren Smith of Texas Tech, ducks do fly in V -formations in the area in late August. The glossy ibis, for example, visits the area, but it has no white with which to reflect the streetlights. Therefore the bird explanation does not work. In fact, the photographs taken by Hart refute this theory, but that seemed to made no difference. And it also made no difference that a professional photographer, when he attempted to photograph a flight of ducks at night, could not do so. Project Blue Book lists the case as solved by the birds.
Hart continues to deny that the pictures were faked. No one has ever presented any evidence to support this accusation, nor has anyone explained how they could have been faked. Hart himself has no explanation. When asked if he himself believes in flying saucers, he response was:
“I don’t particularly disbelieve. I think I’m kind of open-minded on that. If one would show up some place else here, I think I’d accept it.” When asked if he knew what the lights were, he simply stated “I really don’t.”…
Project Blue Book