Date: Sat Jun 26 1993 19:54:12
From: SHEPPARD GORDON
Another Unsolved Mysteries UFO misidentified?
Up, up and away in a UFO?
The Ottawa Citizen
--- Up, up and away in a UFO? ---
In Adrian Brooks's opinion, reports of a UFO in the West Carleton
area are full of hot air.
Brooks says UFO experts who saw a videotape of an unidentified
object landing near Almonte on Aug. 18, 1991 were probably
hoodwinked by footage of a hot-air balloon much like his own.
The dramatic video was the lead item on the American television
program UNSOLVED MYSTERIES , shown Wednesday night on NBC. It
was to air tonight on CJOH. Many area residents said they saw the UFO.
The tape of the unidentified object became part of the program
after it was sent anonymously to UFO investigator Bob Oechsler of
Maryland. Included with it were documents alleging that the
Department of National Defence was involved. There was also a
crude map, which led Oechsler to the farm of William and Diane
Labenek on Corkery Road.
Diane Labenek, 38, told Unsolved Mysteries she spotted flames in a
field near her home. "I saw a ship coming down close to the
flames, she recounted.
"Right on top of the ship, I saw a blue flash of light and another
light was on the bottom very bright. Labenek said she watched the
craft for about 10 minutes. Then all its lights went out.
The video was examined by a number of experts who agreed it was too
realistic to be a hoax. Program host Robert Stack described it as
being "among the most convincing documentations of a UFO Oechsler
has seen in his 12 years of research.
But Brooks, of Blossom Drive in Ottawa, said he watched the program
and was astounded when the video showed what he is sure was a
balloon, rigged like his own, making a night landing.
Brooks described his landing technique in last July's issue of
Balloon Life . He places flashing strobe lights on the top and
bottom of his balloon for night flights. He also hangs light
sticks, which cast a bright green or yellow fluorescent light, in
the basket to read instrument dials. Before landing, he fires a
magnesium parachute flare to illuminate the ground below.
Brooks does his night ballooning in the West Carleton area. He says
his log book shows he made a night flight there on Aug. 18, 1991.