Letter from Philip J. Klass
to Gordon David Thayer
8 May 1976
I have now had an opportubity to go over your extensive critique of my published account of the Bentwaters-Lakenheath incident. Many of the items involve what I would consider to be "second-order effects" which we can easily discuss in person during my visit to Boulder.
But there are several more basic issues. For these, I want to give you the maximum possible time to do your "homework" to dig out the strongest possible supportive evidence for your viewpoint. Thus I shall raise them now to provide you at least three months time to find/locate supportive evidence (if same can be found).
The most significant of these is the question of whether the Bentwaters and Lakenheath "radar-UFOs" were essentially concurrent, as you believe, or were displaced in time by 2+ hours as I believe.
We are agreed, I believe, that Bentwaters alerted lakenheath to the observation of the seemingly mysterious UFO blips on the Bentwaters scopes some time around 9:30 to 10 p.m. local time (also GMT). (I prefer to use my B-designations because these indicate that the blips were showing up on the Bentwaters scopes.) Since all of the Bentwaters blips appeared between 9:30 and 10 p.m., and B-2 and B-3 seemed headed to the west towards Lakenheath, it would be at asuch time that the Bentwaters operators would naturally think to alert Lakenheath radar operators to see if they too were seeing such blips as they came within range of the Lakenheath CPS-5 radar.
Your page 10 says: "To resolve the rest of the mystery we must resort to the only information we have: Sgt. Perkns letter. He says first he 'immediately' had all controllers start scanning. Then, without mention of any significant passage of time, he says: 'However, one controller notides a stationary target on the scopes about 20-25 miles southwest.' . . ." (emphasis added.)
Youe deduce that these actions at lakenheath MUST have occurred shortly after the B2/B3 radar blips because in early 1968, nearly 12 years after the incident, Perkins did not recall or mention any elapsed time between being alerted and the sighting of the stationary target southwest of the Lakenheath radar.
Yet Perkins himself has demonstrated that he did not have a very good/accurate recall of the incident some 12 years later. He recalled that the other radar involved was located at Sculthorpe when we know with certainty that it was Bentwaters. And we know that hge could not recall the month or the date of the incident - even the approximate season of the year.
There is no need to rely upon the 12-year old recollections of Perkins for we have good contemporary data to use. I refer to IDO-7-3551 where we find the statement: "OBJECTS WERE FIRST OBSERVED INTERMITTENTLY BY RAF STATION LAKENHEATH RADARS FROM 14:00:10Z to 14:03:30Z."
The "14" refers to the date, i.e. August 14. And we know from tyhe contemporary dispatches that the Bentwaters incidents occurred on August 13. Clearly, then, notwithstanding your deductions, the hard dispatches show that the first Lakenheath UFO blips were spotted AT LEAST TWO HOURSE AFTER THE BENTWATERS UFO BLIPS. Beyond the Aug. 14 date, we have also the times which check with the period shortly after midnight (on Aug. 14), i.e. the times of: 00:10Z to 03:30Z.
If you will examine IDO-7-3551 carefully, you will find that both the date and the time are repeated a second time, identical to the first.
It is hard for me to conceive that the teletype operator made a mistake (typographical) by punching the wrong keys so that both the Aug. 14 date and the post-midnight times are incorrect in the first instance. And the odds are impossibly high against him pushing the same wrong keys a second time and repeating the date and time erroneously a second time, with precisely the same error as he did the first time.
Furthermore, recall that Lakenheath was alerted to look for the UFO blips by bentwaters radar operators. IF Lakenheath had promptly spotted such UFO blips immediately thereafter, it would be logical for Lakenheath to call Bentwaters back and ask if the Blips that lakenheath was seeing southwest, and later northeast, of their location were simultaneously visible on the Bentwaters radar, showing up in the same locations. In other words, there would have been cross-correlation attempts by the principals.
And then we should expect the contemporary accounts to show, and perkins perhaps to recall, that BOTH radars saw the same UFO blips ate the SAME time and at the SAME locale, or, that both radars did NOT simultaneously spot the strange-acting blips at the same time. There ought to have been some interaction between the two sites that would have been discussed in the dispatches. Yet there is absolutely none.
Your page 14: In discussing the second Venom pilot's report that he was "unable to make contact" with any UFO (either visually or by radar), you write that this pilot comment "could just as easily mean he was unable to reach the intercept point." (Or might he have used this phrase to indicate that he had a toothache??)
During the next several months, I urge you to talk with experienced interceptor pilots, as I did in the course of my own research. Quote them the situation and the pilot's comment and ask for their interpretation of what he intended to convey.
Your page 20: During the foregoing discussion with experienced interceptor pilots, I also suggest that you ask them for their interpretation of "lock-on," as applied to an interceptor radar.
Let us find out the terminology that interceptor pilots are carefully trained to use so we need not depened on what Thayer, or Klass, thinks the Venom interceptor pilot could have meant!
Your page 21: You write that "If Klass is correct (that the CPS-5 radar at Lakenheath is capable only of operating with a 4 rpm. circular scan) all the other data reported are also suspect, including the observation that the 'object would stop and start with amazing rapidity.'"
I intend to bring the CPS-5 radar tech order with me to Boulder and I believe that within a couple of minutes you will be obliged to concede that the CPS-5 does NOT have either sector-scan or a searchlight mode of operation. Hopwever, if you want me to ship it out in advance by parcel post to give you plenty of time to study it, please let me know.
Your page 24: You write: ". . . radar angels are not known to travel in straight lines at apparent speeds of 6,000 to 12,000 miles per hour . . ."
On page 180-181 of my book, I quote from Vernon G, Planck's 1956 report published by AF Cambridge Research Laboratories, following his very extensive research into radar angels. Do you have access to Planck's 1956 report or would you like me to dig out my copy to bring along to Boulder.
Other, second-order issues, can wait for our discussions in Boulder.
I am intrigued by your hints/suspicions of a "cover-up" in the original classified dispatches. Are you suggesting that lower echelon officers at Bentwaters and Lakenheath were trying to withold information from their high-level commanders? What possible motivation do you see for such actions? IF the blips represented unknown craft, either Russian, Chinese, Swiss or extraterrestrial, and if this had been a reconnoitering operation for an outright attack that might have come in late August or September of the same year, the junior officers would have been court martialed and worse for failure to heed the indicators and to alert their superiors, much as happened in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack.
Whenever I hear someone suggest "cover-up," it seems to me that he has an obligation to suggest who is covering up from whom, and why. It is obvious on the face of it why Nixon and his White House staff were trrying to cover up the Watergate scandal. But a "cover-up" must necessarily have an objective, and a "cover-up-eee". i.e. a victim. But we can discuss this is Boulder.
s/ Philip J. Klass
cc: Stanton Friedman