The Norwood Searchlight Incident of1949, as it has been called, is an outstanding series of 10 visual sightingsof a strange aerial object that took place in or near the Norwood, Ohioarea from August 19th of 1949 to March 10th of 1950

The alleged observation of a massive objectby searchlight operator Donald R. Berger, and meticulously detailed inhis logs, remain one of the more curious events in UFO history.


This case is exceptional not only becauseof the dramatic event reported, but also because of the caliber of witnessesinvolved.  The series of incidents were said to have been witnessedby civilians, by clergy, by scientists, by police officers and militaryofficials.

Photos were taken on October 23, 1949by Norwood Police Sgt.Leo Davidson, and 2 reels of 25-ft. motion picturefilm were kept in the possession of Reverend Gregory Miller, last seenat WCPO Channel 9 TV studios in 1952.
Still frames from the movie film weregiven to investigator Leonard Stringfield and published in his book "SAUCERPOST 3-0 BLUE." That photo from his book was scanned and enhanced for thisreport. Using this same photo, an earlieranalysishad been made by Dr. Richard Haines.

 

CLICK ON THE ANY IMAGE TO SEE ITS FULL SIZEVERSION


Images enhanced,cropped and enlarged by Kenny Young
©2003All Rights Reserved, Do not duplicate, copy or use in any way without permission


An additional photo was found in the possession of RAY STANFORD,who states: "This is several generations down from the original16 mm moviefilm, but it seems to rather clearly show that while the beam was projectingseveral degrees away from the object, when it got within a certain eventhorizon of the object, it was simply bent or 'pulled' the beam directlyinto the object, seemingly bending it about26.5 degrees, as measured inthe photo plane!  This frame has always amazed me since I first sawit in the mid-'50s.  Several persons, back then, who had seen theactual movie said that at one time the object seems, indeed, to 'suck'the beam squarely into it!
 "I have included two versions with special filtration. The second (middle) image makes the dramatic bend of the light beam especiallyclear and easy to measure (on the top of the beam).  The second (last)version seems to show what might be interpreted to be a focus effect ofthe light within the beam.  Note the dark diamond shape (bright inthe original) between the object and the place where the beam bends."


   


PHOTOS COURTESY OF RAY STANFORD


 
 
NORWOOD AND PROJECT GRUDGE

Could someone help explain if any reference to the 1949 Norwood Searchlight/UFOincident does or does not appear in Project Grudge files?

The Norwood case involves 10 visual sightings by multiple civilian,clergy, police, scientist and military witnesses over a 7-month duration,facilitated by the use of a powerful searchlight ran by Army Sgt. DonaldR. Berger. The first sighting took place during "The Jitney Carnival" of1949 and witnessed by hundreds The following morning, three local newspapers-The Cincinnati Post, The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Cincinnati Times Star-all had articles regarding 'strange lights' and 'comets seen over the city'from the previous evening.

There was an explanation for the occurrence, according to one localnewspaper. The Albee Theater in nearby Cincinnati, accompanied by the Ss.Peter & Paul Church in Norwood, were operating searchlights. It wassaid that the hundreds of persons calling newspapers and weather bureauofficials were simply observing these searchlight beams 'bouncing off ofclouds.'

Despite this, the sightings began in earnest after 11:00 p.m. (Bergerlogs indicate that he observed the UFO from 8:15 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.) andcontinued to flummox Cincinnati residents until 6:30 a.m. the followingmorning. It seems unlikely searchlights would be operating all night longuntil daylight, and further still, one weather bureau official recountedhis early-morning observation of two objects that looked like "two weatherceiling balloons" that weren't moving despite a wind speed of 25 to 32-milesper hour.

Even the Berger logs indicate the possible presence of a second searchlightfrom that evening, whether Berger knew there was another searchlight atwork or not. "When I moved the searchlight away, the object continued toglow," Berger wrote in his 1949 logs that were later kept in the possessionof Rev. Gregory Miller until 1954, when he imparted them to UFO investigatorLeonard Stringfield.

Meanwhile, during the festival in Norwood, Robert Linn, the managingeditor of the Cincinnati Post, along with church pastor Rev. Gregory Miller,were certain that Berger's searchlight had found and been bouncing offof "some definite object." They entered into agreement and reported thesituation to intelligence officials at Wright Field in nearby Dayton, Ohio.

Now that the situation is established, I am hoping someone mightbe able to offer some explanation of the attitudes toward UFO investigationby Grudge during the August, 1949 time period. Was Project Grudge headquartedat Dayton and did they disregard the events at Norwood? The August 19thepisode is a mass-witness case, reported in all three local newspapersof Cincinnati, Ohio, a city not far south of Dayton, home of the airbase.A possible explanation is publicly toyed with: the deception caused bytwo searchlight beams strolling the dark skies. It seems as if Grudge folkswould have likely been aware of the events at Norwood on August 19, 1949- either from all the reportage or from the direct report to the airbaseitself, by Robert Linn and Rev. Miller. Why does the Norwood Case not factorin to their investigation when, in fact, far 'lesser' cases may have beenprominently addressed? If Project Grudge had sought to dismiss UFO sightingsas psychological phenomena, they had a good case with the Norwood searchlightevents at this stage of the situation.

Thanks
Kenny Young



DOYOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE 1949 NORWOOD UFO CASE? DO YOU KNOW ANYWITNESSES TO THESE EVENTS?
CANYOU HELP US FIND ARMY SGT. DONALD R. BERGER, R.O.T.C. WITH THE UNIVERSITYOF CINCINATI IN 1949?
DOYOU KNOW THE CURRENT LOCATION OF THE PHOTOS OR FILM?
E-mailif you can help!



See the NICAP Norwood database online at
http://www.nicap.org/norwooddir.htm
 


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