In my "Opening Questions", I raised three key questions that pertain to the Kinross Incident. Here I discuss where the evidence seems to lead, and the areas which require further clarification.
What Caused the Alert?
What caused the USAF to raise the alert? Was it because an RCAF C-47 was flying off course? Was it because a Canadian commercial DC-3 airliner had flown by mistake into restricted air space over Soo Locks? Or was the unidentified intruder over Soo Locks, a UFO which was never actually identified?
It is very puzzling to me how the account of the Canadian DC-3 airliner over Soo Locks actually entered into written accounts and witness memories. I could find no mention of an unidentified aircraft over Soo Locks in any of the newspaper accounts. On the other hand, two USAF officers referred to the "unidentified aircraft" as being a "Canadian airliner" flying into Sault Ste. Marie. Were both of these officers referring to an RCAF C-47 as a Canadian airliner? Donald Keyhoe apparently got this information from PIO Lt. White at the Pentagon.
The report of the off-course RCAF C-47 which appears in newspaper accounts and in the official investigation report has other problems. Firstly, the aircraft was never really "unidentified", but was actually according to the GCI operator, just flying off its intended course. If they knew the actual probable identity of the aircraft, as is clearly stated in the report, then they would have other means to make contact with the aircraft to clarify its identity. I am not certain if the US GCI operators had the ability to communicate directly with the crews of RCAF aircraft, but clearly, the GCI operators at Canadian radar sites must have had this ability. It seems likely that GCI operators from either side of the border had the ability to talk to each other by radio to relay messages.
The second problem with the explanation is that the pilot of the RCAF aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Gerald Fosberg insists that his aircraft was never off course during its flight. He states that the maximum probable navigational error would be about five miles, while the USAF stated the aircraft was flying 30 miles off course.
This raises the possibility that perhaps the USAF was simply executing a "mock intercept" of a known aircraft as part of a training exercise. But if this were the case, why would they feel compelled to concoct a false story as a cover up for a routine training mission? Was this just because they happened to stray over the border in pursuit of a Canadian aircraft? My reading of historical accounts of the USAF ADC, suggests that fighters would occasionally deliberately stray over the border as part of their training. The US and Canada were at the time, military allies and friendly rivals who liked to demonstrate their air superiority in mock intercepts. Why would they need to cover up a fairly routine penetration of air space? There is no evidence in Canadian coverage of the event that anyone was concerned about the fact that the US aircraft had gone down in Canadian air space. The same applies in the case of the crash of an F-86 into Grouse Mountain, north of Vancouver in February, 1954. Noone raised concern about the penetration of a US fighter into Canadian airspace, although in this case, the pilot was off-course due to instrument failure.
I think that evidence suggests the USAF was making up the reason for the intercept as part of a cover up of the real cause for the intercept. If the cause was an unidentified intruder into restricted airspace over Soo Locks, then they would have a genuine problems explaining away the UFO aspect to the incident unless they pinned a specific identity to the intruder. A military aircraft would be a better candidate than a civilian aircraft as the crews of military aircraft were less reachable by the media. In fact, there is no evidence that any media attempted to contact the crew of the RCAF C-47.
What Merged on Radar?
Was it the RCAF C-47? To answer this question, it is important to know the answer to the first question. However, another question needs to be answered. What was the actual flight course of the RCAF C-47. Gerald Fosberg told me the flight course over Lake Superior was a straight line from Fort William to Sault Ste. Marie. If this were the case, the C-47 would have been flying south of the Canada/US border for some distance across the centre of the lake, and would never have been close to the area where the F-89 and bogie's returns merged on the radarscope.
Was it the return from a Canadian DC-3 airliner? Not if this was the same Canadian DC-3 airliner which supposedly strayed into restricted air space over Soo Locks which it was claimed by Lt. White, to be the cause of the alert.
Did the F-89 merge with its own radar ghost image or perhaps a flock of geese? This requires a belief that the GCI operators at multiple sites could be fooled rather easily. A flock of geese would fly rather slowly compared to a DC-3 or C-47. Is it possible that the GCI operators would guide an F-89 over 150 miles out over Lake Superior to identify a flock of geese?
If the F-89 did merge with an "unidentified aircraft", this would perhaps raise some questions about the ability of the USAF to defend its airspace. However, there are some occasions when NORAD has been unable to identify an intruder into US air space and this has been reported without causing widespread public alarm and panic. It is however known that the USAF had official policies in place to ensure that the public was not informed about genuine unexplained UFO incidents which were observed and reported within the USAF. This would explain why the USAF would need to attach an identity to the UFO which merged with the F-89.
What Happened to the F-89 After it Merged on Radar?
Did the F-89 crash into Lake Superior? An air and surface search was performed in the area where radar and radio contact was lost with the F-89. No evidence of the plane or crew was found. It should be noted that searchers faced bad weather which hampered the search. This might account for the fact that no oil, hydraulic fluid or fuel slick was located and no evidence of floating debris. It would be interesting to hear thew opinion of knowledgeable crash investigators into the reasons why surface slicks and debis are present at some crash sites and not at others. I believe it is possible that rough surface conditions would break up oil and fuel slicks. Debris can similarly be scattered, and the amount of floating debris will depend on the type of aircraft, its cargo, and the type of impact.
Another question which relates to the F-89 is what did the height finding radar show at the time the F-89 merged on radar and after the F-89 merged? The altitude of the F-89 at the time it merged on radar was 7000 feet. Did the GCI operators track the height of the F-89 before and after the "intercept" or "merger" of the returns on radar? If the F-89 encountered mechanical problems during the intercept, it would take a certain amount of time for the F-89 to lose 7000 feet of altitude, due to its momentum and aerodynamic lift. If the F-89 was observed to be rapidly losing altitude before it disappeared from radar, then this should have been observed and it would likely be reported in the investigation report as this would corroborate the probable fate of the aircraft as a crash into the lake. If the F-89 was not rapidly losing altitude before it disappeared from radar, this might suggest that the F-89 had "exploded in mid-air". However, if this had happened, then it is very likely that the GCI operators would have seen evidence of the explosion on radar, as the pieces of the aircraft would reflect the radar signal as they fell to the lake surface, dispersing over a significant area.
Is it possible that the F-89 somehow made it back east over Lake Superior and crashed into the bush of northern Ontario? Several accounts suggest that this might be possible. The first account is Lt. Mingenbach's testimony that he believes he heard an accidental radio transmission from Lt. Moncla, about 40 minutes after the F-89 merged with the bogie on radar. A second account was from a witness or witnesses from an Algoma Central Railway crew at Limer siding, near Wawa, that they had heard a jet crash some time after the F-89 had disappeared from radar. A third account is the unidentified parts found in the bush near Alona Bay and Cozen's Cove on the east shore of Lake Superior in October, 1968. These parts were confirmed by a USAF officer from Kincheloe AFB as being from a military jet fighter. The USAF officer did not provide a positive identity for the parts, and there was no follow up story I could find to explain the source for the aircraft parts. My inquiries from Canadian National Defense reveals they were unable to find any records of the incident, and could therefore not say what military jet aircraft had crashed in the bush north of Sault Ste. Marie.
It seems unlikely that the F-89 could have flown from the middle of Lake Superior to Wawa or Alona Bay, without detection on radar. My reasons for stating this is that evidence suggests that GCI operators at multiple radar stations were tracking the F-89 intercept. It might be possible that one radar might lose its reflected signal, but it seems highly unlikely that multiple sites would simultaneously lose their signal. It is true that radar cannot pick up reflected signals if they are to close too the ground or lake surface. But it is hard to believe that the F-89 would succeed in flying a hundred miles without detection over the lake. My personal interpretation of this evidence is that the radio transmission, crash noise and mystery wreckage, were possibly all "planted evidence" prepared by the pilots of the mystery UFO which possibly captured the UFO. I should qualify this by stating that there certainly does not exist sufficient evidence to state this as a conclusion. This is simply my hypothesis.
What is Needed to "Solve" the Mystery?
Some people may accept the USAF explanation, simply as a reflex reaction as they feel they have no reason to doubt what they are told by the government agency and have no belief whatsoever that there might be anything behind UFO mysteries than gullible witnesses who can't properly explain what is always just normal things that appear in the sky. Likewise, some may have a definite belief that the F-89 and crew were captured and taken away by a spaceship from some distant planet. Although my personal feelings are that this might be true, I am willing to acknowledge that this cannot be definitively concluded based on evidence I have compiled to date.
Here is what I feel is yet needed to solve the mystery:
More witness testimony from GCI operators who witnessed the intercept, especially Lt. Stuart's response to the conflicting accounts and some of the questions that arise from his statement and testimony.
What aircraft parts were found in the bush near Alona Bay in October, 1968? Perhaps there are still persons alive who handled the parts and know what happened to them. Perhaps someone knows what efforts were made to identify the parts and if the parts were identified. If the parts were ever identified, this might help to explain what happened to the F-89.
The Smoking Gun - physical wreckage from the F-89. Does it lie at the bottom of Lake Superior? Are the bones of the pilot and radar observer lying with the wreckage at the bottom of the lake? If so, it might be possible to locate the wreckage using side scan sonar imaging. Perhaps the wreckage lies at the bottom of a lake in the bush near Limer, Ontario or Alona Bay. If such wreckage were found, it might be possible to determine if the plane crashed and what was the cause of the crash.