NUFORC Sighting 38264

Occurred: 1971-07-10 14:00 Local - Approximate
Reported: 2004-07-22 19:41 Pacific
Duration: 90 minutes
No of observers: 4

Location: New Orleans, LA, USA

Shape: Oval
Characteristics: Aura or haze around object

One thousand saucers observed telescopically crossing the sun over a ninety minute period.

My sister, cousin, mother and I all were witness to an event where over one-thousand UFOs crossed the sun one bright summer day in New Orleans, Louisiana. (They were viewed telescopically as they crossed the sun’s disk (details below).

The day was a usual clear blue sky scorcher, and being an avid amateur astronomer, I spent much of the day and night just looking around the sky and keeping notes. It was 1971 and I was 13 years old.

The summer was typically boring, and so I tried out my 2.5 inch refractor telescope given to me by my parents a couple of years earlier on sunspot observations; once again, I borrowed a chair from my mother’s kitchen, and placed a leftover poster board (they were only white in those days) on the chair to accept the image from the telescope eyepiece. This way everyone could enjoy the huge image of the broiling sun at the same time as me and I could leisurely sit in the chair I had taken from my desk to make notes and sketch sunspots. This was the umpteenth time I had done this and so I was the only one watching when the event started, interest from the rest of my family having waned over the last many times I had performed this type of observation.

After several hours of watching and sketching that June day in 1971, I noticed a small black dot cross from right to left across the sun’s disk. Being experienced at seeing planes, birds, and insects fly by I was initially puzzled by this rather non-descript and slowly moving object. It took about 5 seconds to cross and was about 1/40 of the sun’s apparent diameter on the poster board. This made the object about a half inch in length. My curiosity increased when a second object began crossing from the right just before the first one exited on the left side of the sun’s disk. I immediately refocused the refractor to get the crossing object better focused, as it had a well defined gray annulus around the black center. Interestingly, the focus for the sun (essentially infinity) was the correct focus for the object! Before the second object exited the sun’s disk to my left (after crossing about 4/5 of the sun’s diameter), a third object entered from the right. Each of these objects were identical; they consisted of a black (matching the center of sunspots, essentially) lozenge shaped center, surrounded by a uniform thickness, very sharply defined gray annular ring. The lozenge length to width was about 3 to one, and the annular gray ring was slightly less than half the thickest (center) part of the black shadow. (In reviewing the sighting afterwards, I took a dish from my mother's cabinet and found that if one held the dish so that it was about 30 degrees from edge on, the projected shape roughly matched the objects I had sighted.) The three objects all exhibited the same shimmering that the sun’s disk and sunspots exhibited, indicating they were far enough up in the air (or out in space?) to be affected by the atmosphere in the same way stars twinkle. I was watching in the afternoon and so my refractor was angled about 45 degrees above horizontal to start with, and about an hour and a half later (after the last object had crossed), it was less than 30 degrees. After another half dozen or so had crossed the face of the sun and cast their shadows on my poster board, I had enough data to enable me to leave the scene and gather my family as witnesses. My cousin and sister were playing outside at the time (they were about three years and two years younger than me, respectively), and so I brought them to the telescope to see what was happening. Being only 10 and 11 years old, their interest waned after just three crossings, since the scenario remained identical; just prior to one object leaving the disk to our left, another entered from our right, over and over. After less than a half minute, they went back to whatever they were doing before I coaxed them into watching “that boring stuff Herbie does”. I yelled for my mom to come see; we lived in one of those duplex shotgun houses in New Orleans; they were called shotgun houses because you could fire a weapon from the front room and it would go all the way through to the one bathroom at the rear without hitting any wall but going through the open doors of each of the four rooms (after the front room, the parent’s bedroom, then the children’s bedroom, then the living room, then the kitchen). It was easy to yell for her even though she was all the way back in the kitchen. Her reply was typical of when I asked her to come see something – whether through my microscope or telescope; a delaying action born of many observations of relatively boring (to her) objects. She said she was busy and would be there soon.

I asked her to bring the camera (a box black and white) so I could photograph the sun’s disk and these crossing objects, and again she said she’d be there soon. After about an hour I had to relieve myself (one does drink fluids in New Orleans on a hot summer day!) and so I asked my sister to take over and watch if anything changes. I took the opportunity to implore my mother to come see again and after I returned to the refractor and the objects passing (my sister had already abandoned her post to go play again) she showed up without the camera, saying it had no film. She watched for about 30 seconds and then went back to the kitchen, apparently as uninterested in the whole thing as my sister and cousin; it didn’t affect anything that day (or even for the conceivable future), and so I alone was left to the task of watching what I could only assume were alien visitors from space moving from one place to another in single file in their flying saucers.

About 90 minutes after the procession started, it ended. Not as abruptly as it started, however. At first near the end there was no follower to the object exiting to the left side of the sun’s disk where it should have been, but then another would show up timed as if there had been the "missing" object, and followed appropriately by the next object entering from the right as the prior object exited to the left. This occurred several times before no more objects entered or exited the sun’s image.

Altogether I estimated 1,080 (that’s one-thousand and eighty, give or take) had passed between my 2.5 inch objective refractor telescope with Barlow lens and the sun. Near what was to be the middle of the event, or about 45 minutes into the procession - the density of crossing increased several times. At one point there were five objects "on screen" at the same time. A single object entered from the right, as usual when the prior object was nearing its exit to the left, when a pair of objects entered shortly after. The top object in this pair was in line with the boring procession as it had unfolded for the last three quarters of an hour, but the companion was below and to the rear, offset about half the length of one of these objects and down about the width in close proximity. When the single object had reached the spot where another object entered opposite it on the sun’s face, another object did enter, and was followed almost immediately by another (fifth) object. This train of discs continued across, followed by four in line objects, and then the pattern returned to normal, with only two objects on the sun's face at any one time (until the end of the event, of course).

Also during what was to be the middle of the event, I tried to detect the objects before and after they crossed the sun proper, by moving my telescope just off to either side of the sun and looking directly out into the clear blue sky. I saw nothing through the refractor (neither directly or cast on the poster board), nor did I see anything with the naked eye as I shielded my vision with my hand from direct sunlight.

Were they ours or theirs? Earth made or made somewhere else? I don’t know. However, subsequent to this observation, I read in a Charles Fort book that a Mexican astronomer by the name of Bonilla had witnessed a similar train of shadows in 1883. More recently, I have found several other astronomical sightings through the internet that resemble my 1971 event (though with far fewer numbers) and I have done some back of the envelope calculations using elementary trigonometry that shows the objects would have been about 100 feet in diameter if exo-atmospheric. Additionally, the difference in girth from a thin plate held at an angle and the thicker, lozenge shape of these objects I found could be explained if they had some thickness to them.

There are other analyses and minor observations related to this event, but these are best left for a later time, as this e-mail has gotten way too big already! If anyone else has heard of or seen such things, I would appreciate feedback.


Date is approximate. PD

Posted 2004-07-25

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