Research and Investigation into Anomalous Light Phenomena
on and over Lake Ontario, Ontario, Canada


A Scientific Analysis

by Paul R. Hill

Hampton Roads Publishing Company Inc.
ISBN 1-57174-027-9


UFO illumination is a difficult subject because of the large variety and detail of the nighttime colors displayed and the detailed quantum physics involved. There are two main types of UFO lighting: (1) the ordinary running lights and spotlight beams, and (2) the sheath of illumination surrounding the UFO.

The ordinary UFO spotlight beams are obviously used to light terrain and objects at night. However, some luminous beams may be weapons, having as a purpose the projection of heat, the disruption of electric and electronic equipment, and even the temporary paralysis of individuals.

The running lights are at least as complicated as those of cars, boats, and aircraft, and perhaps as superficial, and no more will be said about them. However, in this section the sheath of illumination surrounding a UFO at night will be pursued in as much detail as possible, as it doubtless has some basic connection with UFO operation - not a cause, but an effect.

There is really no secret as to what this illuminated and illuminating sheath of atmosphere around the UFO is. It is a sheath of ionized and excited air molecules often called a PLASMA. It has all the many characteristics of ionized and excited air molecules, and has no characteristics not attributable to ionized and excited air molecules with expected contaminants; thus the illumination is tied to an AIR PLASMA. I am not suggesting anything original, as it has been suggested by many that such is the case. Indeed, any physicist who has made a study of UFOs must know they are characteristically surrounded by an air plasma. The terms "ionized" and "excited" will be explained shortly.

The phenomenon of ionized and excited atmospheric molecules around a UFO also ties together a number of related mysteries about the UFO. It accounts for the general nighttime appearance of the UFO: the many observed colors, the fiery, neon-like look, the self-illuminating character, the fuzzy, indefinite or even indiscernible outline, yet an appearance of solidity behind the light. It also accounts for the general lack of heat radiation despite the fact that they sometimes look fiery or even like a flaming ball of fire, and even the ultraviolet burns sometimes received by close viewers of UFOs with a blue plasma.

In the daytime the same plasma is present, but usually invisible. Morning and evening, it is partly visible. Giant cigars and dirigibles are exceptions, for they can lay down a plasma wake or cloud visible in the daytime. The ion sheath also accounts for some daytime UFO characteristics such as a shimmering haze, nebulosity of the atmosphere or even smoke-like effects sometimes observed when high contaminant concentrations and chemical actions may be presumed to be present.

While there remain many unknown details about the quantum mechanics and spectral behavior of the plasma sheath, there is really only one important secret and that is the exact nature of its cause. Several possibilities enter the arena, and these will be reviewed later, when we narrow the cause down to a power-plant-connected, ionizing, wave-type radiation from the UFO.

Finally, since we will find that the UFO is radioactive, radiating intense radiations of x-ray frequencies, the most likely single candidate for the ionizing radiations of importance are those in the x-ray bracket. Particulate radiation, other than the electrons supplied by the atmosphere in the ionization process, we will see, are almost ruled out.

Among the minor unsolved mysteries of the plasma sheath is the following question: Bearing in mind that two or more spectral colors combine to form a color which may be a surprise to all but the color experts, is the observer really seeing the color he thinks he is seeing? This subject is not treated in detail, but a suggestion is made for resolving the problem experimentally.


At low altitudes, atmospheric gas molecules such as nitrogen and oxygen consist of two atoms each like dumbbells, held together by a sharing of their outer electrons. The electrons of such molecules, unless disturbed by a collision with an energetic particle or photon, remain in their lowest energy state, called the GROUND STATE. Above the various electron ground-state energy levels are numerous energy-level vacancies.

When a sufficiently energetic wave (photon) or particle generated by the UFO collides with a molecular electron in the surrounding atmosphere, the electron is impelled past all energy-level vacancies and outside the molecule. The electron becomes a free entity, rattling around between molecules. The molecule that lost the electron is said to be IONIZED; it is a positive ion. If the freed electron attaches to a neutral molecule, a negative ion is formed. If a free electron enters a positive ion, it usually enters one of the normally vacant energy levels and gives off a light quanta (photon) having an energy equal to that given up by the electron. Thus a relatively fast electron would give off a relatively energetic photon, say in the ultraviolet, or blue range.

This electron, occupying what is normally an energy-level vacancy, is in an unstable state. It can't remain because it is attracted toward lower states by the central positive charges. The molecule containing the unstable electron is said to be EXCITED. The electron may cascade down through successively lower energy levels until it arrives at the unfilled ground state, successively giving off light quanta with energies just equal to each change of energy level by the electron. These emissions from the excited molecule depend strongly on the atomic structure and energy-level vacancies of the particular element involved, but are modified by molecular spin.

In excited atoms, the energy transitions are distinct, as are the atomic spectral lines. In excited molecules, on the contrary, the temperature-dependent energy of the rotating "dumbbell" is enough to make the spectra appear to be a continuum, having peaks at high energy concentrations and valleys in the frequency regions in between, where few photons are emitted.

Finally, the energy the electron imparts to each photon determines its wavelength and color. Air molecules can radiate in a kaleidoscope of colors, any color of the spectrum.

The following equation, in slightly different form, was first used by Einstein in 1905 to explain the photoelectric effect. It is basic to all light phenomena.

The following notes should be made concerning this chart:

1.  All UFO colors stem from energetic, ionizing radiation or radiations, generated by the UFO, which ionize the air.

2.  Of all the visible colors, red and orange correspond to the least energy. They are also the two most common colors associated with UFO low-power operation, such as hovering or low-power maneuvers. The electrons have been given the ionization energy, but not much more, and cascade down in small energy drops corresponding to red or orange. This is statistically probable, as there are more small drops available than big ones.

3.  According to the color chart, blue requires a relatively high activation energy. Blue, white and blue-white are the common colors at high-power operation. The blue of the high-power maneuver or high-speed operation corresponds to the strong radiation peaks of nitrogen which will be discussed next. A blend of all the colors tends to be white; but with the blues predominating, the blend gives a blue-white, as in an electric arc.


When a hovering UFO starts to maneuver, it necessarily increases thrust (lift) and power. In such a circumstance, the UFO is generally observed to brighten rather than change color. This brightness would be the result of an increase in the activation power that the UFO puts out....while the energy levels of individual events stay fixed. This concept is simply standard quantum mechanics, which explains the changes in brightness as well as the color of the air surrounding a UFO at night.

The brightness change together with the UFO power change clearly show that the UFO radiation causing the brightness is an integral part of the power system. On the other hand, the observed atmospheric colors are a by-product of the power plant radiation quite dependent on the properties of the atmosphere. The colors would probably be quite different on any other planet, and would be characteristic of that planet's atmosphere.

I have also noted down here an interesting excerpt from the book regarding performance of UFOs.




In the early 1950s, I studied the UFO pattern and noticed their propensity for visiting defense installations, flight over water, evening visits, and return appearances. Within a 20-mile radius of Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, where I was employed, were located over a dozen defense installations, and we were almost surrounded by water. On July 16, 1952, after the Pan American pilots made headlines in the local paper by reporting disks passing below their airliner near Hampton, I thought, "This is the night. They may be back."

Accordingly, expecting conformance to the pattern, at 5 minutes to 8p.m., just at twilight, a companion and I arrived at the Hampton Roads waterfront, parked, and started to watch the skies for UFOs. At 8.00, I said to my companion, "I'd give a thousand dollars for a good look at a UFO." No sooner were the words spoken than here they came, up over the southern horizon, slightly east of a collision course with the observers. We kept an eye on them as they approached, getting out of the car to do so. They came in side by side at about 500 mph, at what was learned later by triangulation to be 15,000 to 18,000 feet altitude. From all angles they looked like amber traffic lights a couple of blocks away, which would make them spheres about 13 to 20 feet in diameter.

They slowed into a left turn to pass directly over our heads toward the west. They practically came to a stop as they approached. It was then that they started their strange jitter, a surprising phenomenon. First one leaped a little way ahead of the other as fast or faster than the eye could follow - you couldn't be sure. Then the other seemed to jump ahead. They kept up these odd mincing steps for a few seconds as they passed overhead, while we craned our necks. Then, after passing zenith, they made an astounding maneuver. Maintaining their spacing of about 200 feet, they revolved in a horizontal circle, about a common center, at a rate of at least once per second. After a few revolutions, and without a pause, they switched their revolutions into a vertical plane, keeping up the same amazing rate. Awe-stricken, I reached my hand out to the car for support saying, "Nothing can do that. Those are really saucers."

That was halfway into a 3-minute sighting. Up to that point I had just been a fascinated spectator. Now they had convinced me. At that moment, I realized that here were visitors from another world. There is a lot of truth in the old saying, "It's different when it happens to you." It was within my line of business to know that no Earthcraft could remotely approach those maneuvers.

Within seconds of the circling maneuver, an identical sphere came in from the Atlantic Ocean on an ascending course over Lower Chesapeake Bay and joined the others, falling in below. For a few seconds they seemed to float along, then began accelerating slowly toward the south as a fourth amber sphere came in from the James River to build the group up to a formation of four as they headed south. I thought, "A-ha, the circling maneuver was a rendezvous signal."

The sphere that came in from the Atlantic had evidently cruised northward, just offshore. This was learned in a visit to Norfolk, Virginia, looking for additional data. One of the Norfolk papers carried an article about it. A Virginia Beach bus driver was going north along the coast when a lone passenger had come forward a few minutes before 8.00 p.m. and tapped him on the shoulder, calling his attention to a strange, orange or amber fiery-looking sphere out over the water. The driver was sufficiently impressed to stop the bus, and together they watched the fiery sphere cruising northward parallel to the shore, just above the water's surface. This was obviously the first object that answered the rendezvous signal. My instant impression was that these vehicles were surveying the East Coast. If they had good resolving power, perhaps I was in their survey.

It was subsequently learned that a ferryboat load of passengers, docked at Old Point and waiting to make the overnight trip to Washington, had witnessed the entire event, among them the President of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corporation. The next morning the Newport News DAILY PRESS carried a two-inch banner headline, FLYING SAUCERS OVER HAMPTON ROADS. The detailed report had been made to the Press by an Air Force captain, a fighter pilot. Our observations agreed even to the estimated 500 mph speed. However, one thing puzzled me. The PRESS article said that aircraft spotters who had been on duty reported nothing. Determined to check this out, I got a list of spotters on duty the night in question and visited them individually in their homes. They all said they saw the UFOs and knew they were not aircraft. The head spotter said that he had been instructed by the Richmond Filter Center, operated by the Air Force, to report aircraft, and no nonsense, and so had said nothing. However, they gave me the data needed for triangulation to obtain altitude.

Reporting the incident to my NACA boss next morning was a mistake. "What had you been drinking?" were his first, and almost his last, words. Knowing my duty was to report to Air Force Intelligence, I went to the local ATIC Office. The desk officer and his secretary listened to my story, then he reported to his chief. I caught the gist of their conversation:

"Are you sure he saw the saucers?" asked the chief. "Yes, I know he saw them. Do you want to interview him?" "No, you go ahead."

I signed a statement written by the secretary. The intelligence officer complained that I should have run to a phone and called Tactical Air Command Headquarters so that they could have tried an intercept. With a few Yes Sirs, I left. At the time, I already had a growing aversion to the Air Force's attempted intercepts, but why discuss policy at the bottom of the totem pole."

In a later chapter, Paul Hill discusses "WHY UFOs TILT TO MANEUVER" and ends this section with the following comments:

"The dazzling maneuver performance of UFO scout ships seems to result from their being over-designed for the investigation of planet Earth. If the UFO mission is stellar and planetary exploration, the high-g capability they demonstrate would enable them to explore giant planets with gravitational fields on the order of 100 times Earth gravity. Exploring Earth is UFO PLAY.

Because of my career as a research scientist, in several instances such as the present one pertaining to UFO maneuvers, I have had advanced knowledge of UFO technology but was effectively muzzled by the NACA policy laid down by its Director, Dr. Hugh L. Dryden, that UFOs are non-existent. This policy impacted me in the form of specific orders from the front office to say nothing implicating the NACA with the UFO.

Finally and most importantly, it must be said that in all UFO maneuvers the laws of physics with which we are familiar are adhered to. THE LAWS OF PHYSICS ARE NOT DEFIED. Most statements to the contrary are the result of the observer not understanding the acute-angle turn, the sudden reversal, etc. Some observers have failed to differentiate between things happening quickly and things happening instantly. When events happen in fractional seconds, human observational capabilities are quite limited (Section II). The stage magician can make things disappear instantly for those who choose to believe it, using elastic bands and accelerations much smaller than the UFOs use."

Maneuvers, Performance and UFO Occupants