The Ohio-to-Conway UFO Incident
by Scott Tady. Posted April 17, 2006.
As far as the federal government is concerned, the incident is over and done.
|Former Economy policeman Frank Panzanella stands in the spot where he saw the UFO 40 years ago.
The Times/Sally Maxson
"The case was closed and never reopened," said Brian Seese, a paranormal researcher from Hopewell Township, who includes the incident in his new book, "Unexplained Events in Beaver County."
In late 1966, Weitzel, the NICAP investigator assigned to the case, delivered his final report to his Washington, D.C., supervisor, Richard Hall.
"I personally hand-carried a copy of Weitzel's very thick and extremely well-documented report to Dr. Edward Condon," Hall recalled last month.
Condon, a scientist, was in charge of a UFO study conducted by the University of Colorado under the sponsorship of the Air Force.
Springs, Colorado, as the site of the next grid point to be dealt with.
"Years later, I learned to my astonishment that he never turned over the case to his staff, and it gathered dust in his personal files," Hall said.
And so when the Air Force turned the Colorado report over to Congress, the Ohio-to-Conway incident wasn't mentioned.
"Maj. Hector Quintanilla tried to pass it off as a sighting of the planet Venus and an earth satellite, which was quite preposterous," said Hall, who wrote "The UFO Evidence, Vol. II; A Thirty-Year Report," published in 2001. "I think he may have changed it to an unexplained case later on."
According to the files of a leading UFO researcher, Brad Sparks, the Air Force ultimately did categorize the case as "unexplained" and probably left it at that, Hall said.
Project Blue Book files would show the final status of the incident, Hall said.
But trying to get someone to share Project Blue Book details isn't easy.
The feds closed Project Blue Book in 1972, ending at least publicly the Air Force's role as a UFO investigation agency.
Representatives of the U.S. Air Force Historical Research Agency contacted last month said documents from Project Blue Book are kept at the National Archives and Records Agency, though two representatives at that agency said they couldn't confirm the status of the case, ultimately transferring a reporter's phone call to a third person who never returned the call.
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