Is This the Oldest Known UFO Photo? One NH Researcher Finds Out

Ryan Mullahy, a UFO writer and researcher, set out to either verify or discredit the photo.




If you look closely at this old stereoscopic image, you can see a dark, cigar-shaped object that seems to be flying in the clouds over Mount Washington.

Wherever the image might have been over the years, it showed up on eBay one day in 2002. It was bought for $385, and soon after cropped to show a close-up of the cigar-shaped object and touted as "the oldest known UFO photo." The owner, Samuel M. Sherman, said the photo would be submitted to scientists for detailed analysis, and the results made available to the public.

The photo hit the Internet like lightning, crackling from one UFO site to the next. Ryan Mullahy, a UFO writer, researcher and founder of the website NH UFO Research, saw it but wasn't convinced: "As fascinated as I was by the photo, I didn't think it was a UFO." Mullahy set out to determine whether it was.

He says he does "real, classic research" on UFO reports to establish their authenticity so people can take the incidents seriously: "I don't have a bias to prove a case true or not. I simply seek out information and put out what I find."

When he started his research on the "oldest known UFO photo," the only image available was a heavily cropped, low-resolution version on the Internet.

After six years of off-and-on digging, he found an important clue: a 2003 Weirs Times newspaper article unearthed by Kathy Brisendine, another UFO researcher. The article identified the photographers of the stereoscopic image as Amos Clough and Howard Kimball. The image had been taken in the winter of 1870-71 during a meteorological expedition, which he would learn later included a study of frost architecture.

Mullahy googled the expedition and discovered that the New York Public Library had a copy of the original high-resolution, uncropped photo (see above) in its digital library, along with a number of photos from the same set. After examining them closely, he decided his initial reaction was right: "The object in the photo is not in the cloud, but on the surface of the mountain itself. In the original photo, there is a clear distinction between the surface of the mountain and the sky above the mountain range. The brown object is lying on, or suspended in, the snow on the mountaintop." He says it could be a wooden ruler used to measure the snow or to show scale, but definitely is not a UFO.

"I don't claim to have cracked the case myself," Mullahy says. "Others found little pieces of the puzzle too." But, because he takes his UFOs seriously, "I'm happy to get rid of a case that clearly was not credible so we can provide a clear picture of what the actual history is."

Edit Module
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Presidential longshot Vermin Surpreme
    Perennial longshot (to say the least) candidate Vermin Supreme is back with his promise to give a...
  2. Rescue Mission
    There are dozens of non-profit animal shelters, farms and facilities, breed rescue groups and pet...
  3. Eating With the Presidential Candidates
    It’s a familiar scene here in the Granite State — presidential candidates trying to win your...
  4. Gloria Norris’ Journey From Nowheresville to “Kookooland”
    Don't miss this life-is-stranger-than-fiction memoir from a New Hampshire filmmaker who now calls...
  5. A Passion for Pastry
    The old-fashioned American bake shop gives way to a more diverse sweet universe. The bakery café...
  6. Franconia Notch in the Winter
    We’ve enjoyed the many attractions of Franconia Notch in the summer and fall, but never stopped...
  7. Sweet Rides and the Rockers Who Love Them
    In the month when we celebrate Valentine’s Day, learn about a different kind of love affair —...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags