Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Great Falls UFOs

Historian Jon Axline has extensively studied and written about a famous incident in 1950. On the morning of August 15, Nick Mariana, the manager of the Great Falls Electrics baseball team, spotted two shiny objects hovering over the Anaconda Company’s Black Eagle smelter across the Missouri River from the Legion Ballpark. Mariana captured the two objects on his hand-held 16mm movie camera before they sped off and disappeared into the clear blue sky.

Image from National Archives via
The grainy film footage is reportedly the first ever shot of unidentified flying objects and is still a mystery. For several weeks, Mariana showed the film to local civic and sports organizations before he submitted it to the air force for further study. At first, the air force offered contradictory explanations when it returned the film to him, but eventually concluded that the objects on the film were probably two fighter jets known to be in the vicinity at the time. Mariana didn’t agree with the air force’s conclusion and enthusiastically promoted his amazing film for the rest of his life. Private and government investigators periodically interviewed Mariana about the film and what he saw that day in August 1950. Even today, researchers have not determined what the film actually shows. The objects were not reflections of birds, weather balloons, or meteors. They might have been military jets, but most believe they moved too fast and seemed to generate their own light. The grainy film footage is legendary in UFO lore and has never been scientifically explained. Axline concludes that the film may actually be what Mariana claimed it to be—the images of two visitors from outer space.

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