Monday, November 18, 2013

Project Moon Dust Revisited

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Moon Dust Report

By Kevin Randle
A Different Perspective

      As I worked on a new book about the UFO secrets found in various government files, I was scanning one of the Project Blue Book microfilms, searching for a specific case. As the files slipped by I thought I saw the words “Moon Dust.” I stopped and reversed course much more slowly. On one of what they called the “project card” which was a short summary of the case, I did see the term Moon Dust.

I located several different project cards that contained “Moon Dust” references. In those few files, I found indications that there was coordination between Blue Book and Moon Dust, at least briefly. Several of the cases do reference Moon Dust though they seem to have conventional explanations, at least according to the information in the file.

The first of these cases came from Ramey Air Force Base (which was not named for Roger Ramey of Roswell fame), Puerto Rico on September 15, 1960. This file, which noted one of the addressees on the message as Moon Dust, said:

Round Object with Tail (Moon Dust Report)  9-15-1960
Round object with a tail, size reports vary from the size of a pea to half dollar, color reports vary from bluish-white to dusky red. Tail aprox [sic] 3-5 times the size of the object. No sound. Object reported to have broken up into several fireballs. One report stated that object finally fell into ocean.

It is possible that this object was a very slow meteor. However it is more probably a reentry of the 1960 Epsilon vehicle, parts of which reentered during Sep and Oct 1960. Epsilon had an inclination of 64 [degrees], therefore the heading would be about 26 degrees.

A series of sightings on September 21, 22, and 23, 1960, from Bermuda, were listed as “ATIC possible Mon [sic] Dust. The witnesses are identified only as civilians. The case said, “Reported sightings by local people of dull orange object on 21, 22, 23 Sep [sic] accompanied by weird [sic] whirring sound, in evening.”
The original message said that further investigation was being conducted but no follow up information had been received. There was insufficient data for any sort of scientific analysis and I suspect that if anything interesting was found, it would not have become part of Blue Book. I also suspect that if nothing more was found, no one bothered with a follow up report.

Another of these Moon Dust cases took place on September 23, 1960, at Bitburg AB, Germany. The source of the sighting was listed as “Moon Dust.” It said:
Luminous Streak (Moon Dust Report)  9-23-1960
Luminous streak, like shooting star, colors red and yellow. Object left a trail. Object appeared very suddenly and was red in color, gradually changing to bright yellow. Appeared much larger than meteor… Path momentarily broken and when reappeared was red in color, no smoke but numerous sparks.

Description conforms to satellite reentry. As to direction, color and breaking up. 1960 Lambda II (rocket body) reentered this date. Case evaluated as satellite reentry based upon general description, although duration of sighting was omitted.
This seems to be a reasonable explanation, especially since there was documentation to back up the solution. A few days later, on September 26, 1960, northeast of Bermuda, an object that was yellowish-green and described as a “falling star or object” was seen.

A teletype in the Project Blue Book files, received on 26 Sep 60, said, “PD Moon Dust falling star or object sighted by GULL special at 0527Z 26 Sep.” There was no explanation or definition of Gull. It might have been the name of the mission or the name of the witness. It was in sight for one second.

A Moon Dust case, like these others, meaning with little information, came from Thule, Greenland. A teletype message said, “Bright comet like object presumably MOONDUST sighted at Thule AB Greenland… on 24 Sep 60. Estimated elevation less than ten degrees. Direction: Appeared from south east and disappeared into the west… Observed time 5 seconds.” It was written off as a possible meteor.

Finally in September, a sighting was made in Wethersfield, England. The teletype message said, “Flare-like appearance, light green to white in color. Travelling northwest to southeast.” It was noted that the “Information too limited for valid conclusion.”

These cases are of importance because of the connection to Moon Dust. It proves that Moon Dust had a UFO component but more interesting is the fact that after this point, that is late 1960, I have found no other references to Moon Dust in the Project Blue Book files. This doesn’t mean that someone else might not find such a connection, just that I didn’t find one. My mission, at the time of the discoveries was research on a book about the secrets in the government files, so my research took in a wide range of government organizations. Just think how vast that target is.

These were cases that I stumbled across as I worked on one chapter of the book, but of course, will be found in the chapter in which I deal with Moon Dust. I believe that research will add to our knowledge of that project, taking us beyond what has been reported in the past.

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