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The Review On The First Ever 1950 Mariana UFO Video Case

The Mariana UFO incident occurred in August 1950 in Great Falls, Montana. The film footage of the sighting is believed to be among the first ever taken of what came to be called an unidentified flying object. The footage was investigated by the U.S. Air Force and found to be reflections from two F-94 jet fighters.

At 11:29 am on August 15, 1950, Nick Mariana, the general manager of the Great Falls Selectrics minor-league baseball team, and his nineteen-year-old secretary, Virginia Raunig, were inspecting the empty Legion Stadium baseball field before a game. A bright flash caught Mariana's eye and, according to his reports, he saw two bright silvery objects, rotating while flying over Great Falls at a speed he estimated to be two hundred to four hundred miles per hour. He believed that they were roughly fifty feet wide and one hundred and fifty feet apart. Mariana ran to his car to retrieve his 16 mm movie camera and filmed the UFOs for sixteen seconds. The camera could film the objects in color, but could not record sound. Raunig also witnessed the objects. And the day after Mariana's sighting, the Great Falls Tribune, the city's daily newspaper, described his sighting and the film in an article, which was picked up by other media outlets around the nation. For several weeks after the sighting, Mariana showed his film to local community groups, including the Central Roundtable Athletic Club.

In July 1952, Captain Ruppelt was able to convince Mariana to let the Air Force see the film again for a more detailed analysis. Mariana reluctantly agreed, but only after requiring the Air Force to sign an agreement that they would not remove any frames of the film. The film analysts at Wright-Patterson AFB concluded that the objects in Mariana's film were not "birds, balloons, or meteors". The original conclusion - that the objects were reflections from the F-94 jets  was also ruled out. According to Ruppelt in his memoirs: "The two jets weren't anywhere close to where the two UFOs had been. Furthermore we studied each individual light and both appeared too steady to be reflections. After careful review we drew a blank on the Montana Movie, it was an unknown". In January 1953 the Air Force and CIA convened a committee of prominent scientists to examine the best cases collected by Project Blue Book. Called the Robertson Panel, after its chairman, physicist H.P. Robertson, it viewed Mariana's UFO film. The scientists judged that the objects in the film were "reflections of aircraft known to have been in the area".

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