John P. Timmerman of CUFOS Interviews H. T. E. Hertzberg, former chief physical anthropologist,
U.S. Air Force Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

TIMMERMAN     MEDFORD, OR.     TAPE 4, SIDE 2 - #6     JANUARY 15, 1990

T:   I have a gentleman with interesting credentials who will tell us some things on tape, and will tell me some other things later.  I'd like to have him if he would, please, properly, identify himself for us, just for reference.

W:   My name is H.T.E. Hertzberg.

T:   Would it be all right for us to write to you?

W:   Oh yes. My mailing address is 766 Palmer Road, Ashland, OR, 97520.  I was the chief physical anthropologist for the U.S. Air Force at the aerospace medical research laboratory outside of Dayton, Ohio.  That's Wright Patterson Air Force Base. From 1946 to 1972.  And during that time I worked with a great many pilots who were stationed at the field.  These were usually test pilots because that was the big test field for the Air Force.  And I got to know some of them really quite well. And what I'm about to relate to you is a story told me by one of them.

I have to say that I don't want to identify the man, because he had to make a report of his experience to the Air Force and this report went into the Pentagon, and it has never appeared in public.  It's never been published.  He once, as an officer, he was able to look at the Blue Book and see what all was in it.  But unfortunately that particular experience of his never appeared in the Blue Book.  At least that's what he told me.  Now, he had been a pilot, a fighter pilot, in Korea, in the early 50s.  And eventually when that imbroglio quieted down, he was sent back to Wright Patterson, for other purposes.  But before he came back to Wright Patterson, he also was sent to Keesler Air Force Base.  And there he was an instructor for pilots, young pilots who were just coming in to the service.  And he would ride in F-84s – an F-84, by the way, was a two seater fighter aircraft.  And the instructor would sit in the back and he would simply have the students sit in front.  That’s the normal pilot seat.  And these students would have to fly a round robin mission.  That would be, let's say, from Keesler Air Force Base up to some point in the far north in the neighborhodd (sic) perhaps of Chicago; then they wouid fly west to Salt Lake City, for example; and then down to El Paso, and then back to Keesler, from El Paso.  Now, his job was simply to monitor the activity and the flying of the student to make sure that the student had taken full cognizance of the different winds to be experienced, to be encountered, and also so that they could make sure that they flew the proper track over the ground regardless of what the wind conditions were.  And so he simply sat there.  He'd already worked out the problem for himself to begin with and he knew what they had to do.  If they didn't do it, he corrected them.  On this particular occasion, they had already flown to El Paso and were flying east back to Keesler across north Texas.  Now, they had been flying for a good number of hours and he told me that as they flew over north Texas, it was near midnight.  So everything was very dark.  They were flying at something like 20,000 feet. It was a clear night, no clouds, no storm, nothing and it was late, midnight, and he was sort of tired and decided that he would take a little nap.  So far, the student had flown correctly and he was doing very well.  So, my informant simply went to sleep in the back seat.  All of a sudden, the student in front


W:   shook the stick laterally several times.  That means, in the very narrow quarters, that means the stick bumps into the knees of the other pilot, and so the student woke him up.  And my friend said, "well, what's going on?"  And the student said, "Have a look.  Over the side.  There's a light off to the right front.”  And my friend heaved himself up, had a look, and said "Oh, I think that's Venus.  Just keep going.”  And so he then calmed himself down and went back to sleep, for five minutes.  But after that time, the student waggled the stick once again, and my friend said, "Now what's going on, now?"  And the student said, "That can't be Venus because it's moving."  Whereupon my friend had a look over the side and sure enough a very brilliant light was moving.  So he said "Head toward it", and the student did.  Meantime, though, the instructor had roused himself and paying close attention to what was going on.  They flew toward this light and as they neared it, suddenly the craft which they now were able to see, went roaring past them, directly past them, and flying to the rear of my friend's aircraft.  Whereupon my friend simply shook the stick and says, "Look, you keep your hands off, now."  Talking to the student.  "Keep your hands off the controls, completely off the controls, I'm now in control.  You pay no attention to trying to fly.  Just sit there."  So, my friend then took control, did a vertical bank, and went right back following the vehicle that had flown past them.  Again he flew straight toward it, and again this machine had stopped as it went past him, after awhile, after some distance.  They flew straight toward that vehicle and once again as they neared it, this thing went by them at a tremendous clip.  And my friend said that he could see the whole affair and it was simply an elliptically shaped object, with a glow, a bright glow, and he said they were close enough that he thought he could distinguish the lines between the various plates that made up the vehicle.  And he said there were windows, but the windows were not lighted.  He could not see into the craft.  It had a dome over the top, very much like the usual pictures of flying saucers.  So, he was headed now, wide open, and the F-84 flies at about between 500 and 600 miles an hour when it's wide open, and he flew straight toward this thing.  And he said all of a sudden it just went right by him again, going in the opposite direction from him.  Whereupon he simply pulled it into a vertical bank once again and started back the other way.  They had started at elevation about 20,000 feet, and it was very close to midnight, when they began.  The saucer went by him at a tremendous speed.  He could see a great deal concerning it, he thought, but he could not see inside.  At least that's what he told me.  And so in effect he had this little dogfight between him and the saucer for maybe ten to fifteen minutes.  It would go by him at very high speed and immediately he would go into a vertical bank and go right back after it.  And then the vehicle would stop, somewhere down the line. And he would then approach it, and once again it would take right off, and go past him again.  So they flew back and forth for between fifteen and twenty minutes, and on one occasion as the vehicle had just passed him, and he had gone into his vertical bank, suddenly a light came on, a brilliant pencil of light came on from that vehicle, and shone directly into his cockpit.  It came on instantly and instantly it was in that cockpit.  He said he saw the shadows of his knees on the floor, of his cockpit.  And he thought to himself, "This is no place for me."

(END OF TAPE 4.)    

Continued on Tape 5, Side 1   



TIMMERMAN     MEDFORD, OR.     TAPE 4, SIDE 2 - #6     JANUARY 15, 1990

T:   This is a continuation of the previous report and I'll turn it back to the man speaking.  He said : "This is no place for me”.

W:   And so while he was in his vertical bank, he simply kicked rudder hard, in this case it was left rudder, and dived straight for the ground.  He said, in the course of this he told me that he had been a fighter pilot both in World War II and in Korea and he was not afraid to have a tangle with anybody, any human being.  He felt very confident of his capability but when this light stabbed right into his cockpit instantly, he knew that that was impossible for him to match.  He had been in combat in Korea and he knew very well that bullets – a single shot – would not go right into the target.  They had to fire these tracer bullets and probably fire maybe 75 or 100 or them in order to find out exactly where the bullets were going and eventually he could center in on his target in ithe aircraft he was chasing and shoot it down.  But that was not the way this one worked.  This one was instantaneous.  So he said, "No. It's my place to get out of here."  (laughs)  So he dived to the earth and he shut off his lights and he went down just as fast and far as he could above the earth, leveled out at a relatively low altitude, and headed back toward Keesler Air Force Base.  Now, he also told me that on his way home he thought over repeatedly what he should say to the debriefing officer.  Because always they had to make a report, after such a student flight.  And so he couldn't make up his mind at first as to whether he would tell about it or not tell about it, but then it occurred to him to look at his altitude meter and he found that he was down by that time – or rather that his altitude meter when he had dived down toward the earth had registered somewhere between ten and eleven thousand feet.  They had started at twenty thousand.  So he then thought this over very carefully and decided that inasmuch as he had been flying at top engine speed for those ten or fifteen minutes and those airplanes make a lot of noise, especially at midnight, when there’s no other noise to cut them off.  And so he thought if somebody on the ground heard the noise and looked up and saw what was going on, he said they would make a report about this.  And he says I do not want to deny that this happened, I simply have to report it.  So they flew on back at low altitude to Keesler, finally landed around 1:30 in the morning and at that point he had made up his mind he was going to report it, the whole thing.  So he went into the debriefing room and told the officer what had happened; the man said "Write your report and get down every single detail.  Don’t leave out any details."  He said it was after 3:30 before he was able to leave the debriefinjg room and get to his home.  He got into bed at his home and at 7:30 in the morning the phone rang and it was someone from the Pentagon, who said "We have just received your report of your combat with a flying saucer"...or a dogfight, rather.  And the man in the Pentagon says "Now you tell me exactly what took place.  Give me all the details."  And they talked for over two hours on the telephone while he related every single item that he could recall.  Later on, he made it a point to try to see the catalog of reports given to the so-called Bluebook.  Now the Bluebook office was at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and at that time this man, this officer, had been transferred from Keesler up to Wright Patterson where he was one of the test pilots.  And it was there at Wright Patterson that he told me of this occurrence.  So, he subsequently told me that he had searched the Bluebook and could never find a copy of that report.  It simply was not put into the Bluebook.  It was, as nearly as he could judge, and for that matter as nearly as I could


W:   judge, that report was kept in their Top Secret files and was never made public in any way.  Now it happened that I was acquainted with Hynek.  However, I had known him before this was told to me so I never had an opportunity to discuss this particular one with him.  On the other hand, though, on reading the Bluebook report, I've forgotten the title of the book but it was the one that was issued years later...

T:   Report #14, perhaps, or one of those pertaining to the Bluebook file?

W:   It was the one that this...oh dear, I've forgotten the man's name now.  Folsom.. no, not Folsom.  Condon.  Condon.  The Condon Report.  That was the one.  That was not really a very convincing report, particularly inasmuch as I had read some of the papers written by men who had been members of his team and who then resigned from the team because they were convinced that the report was not true blue.  It was simply a coverup.  So I personally never paid much attention to the Condon Report.  Later on, this same man once telephoned me...oh, this was years later.  He had by this time become a higher ranking officer.  He called me and asked me if I still had the notes which I had taken.  He saw me taking the notes of his comments.  And I was able to say yes, I still have those notes, and I looked them up and copied them off and sent them to him.  So he then had a full account of what he had told me.  What he did with them, I don't know.  I've never seen him again.  Now that was one.  Another one had to do with the study of the — oh gee, I can't remember these names — oh, the Mantell report.  The one that happened over Godman Air Force Base in West Kentucky in 1946, I believe.  It was right in through there.  It was in the beginning of the whole flap.  Well, the man who spoke to me about it had been the engineer sent down to Godman Field to investigate all of that whole affair and who had voiced to me his conviction that there had to be something there and that Mantell had been shot down.  When Mantell...when he had told his flight, just go ahead and land because the UFO which had been just parked at about 400 feet over Godman Field, that had suddenly shot right up into the air when Mantell wanted to lead his flight in to land.  Mantell had then left his flight, told them to go ahead and land.  He immediately just shot up into the air, following this UFO, and suddenly apparently when he neared it, his airplane utterly disintegrated.  Now that was a P-51 and that was a very solidly built airplane.  The news reports that were put out said that he had gone up into very high altitude, between seventeen and twenty thousand feet, and had probably passed out from lack of oxygen at that elevation, and had then spun in and crashed.  Well, my friend, engineer, who was a very high ranking engineer on the field and who had studied the case very carefully, he simply said he could not believe that Mantell had passed out from lack of oxygen and had just simply crashed into the earth.

T:   Did he say why he couldn't believe that?

W:   Among other things, the fact is that that airplane almost totally disintegrated.

T:   At what altitude?

W:   That I can't tell you at the moment.  I don't remember what the altitude was.

T:   If it disintegrated at some higher altitude, the debris probably would be widely scattered.

W:   That's exactly right.  He said that it had been...that it must have disintegrated at a very high altitude because bits of the wing and bits of the fuselage and


W:  of the tail, the (? .....) and so on and so on had all gone miles apart.  And when an airplane crashes on the earth, that doesn't happen.  So he was personally convinced that something had happened that nobody would report.  And I personally feel that he was probably quite right.  Now there's a third person who is a world famous scientist.  He and I had offices directly next to each other in the beginning, when we first became acquainted, there at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.  And this man told me of an occurrence that he witnessed while down in South America.  He and this other Air Force officers were up at some of the higher portions of the mountain range and one of the men said "Hey look, there's a flying saucer."  He turned and looked and he saw it.  But there were other members of the group who said "That's baloney.  I'm not even going to look."  My friend was a little upset by that, because it was so indicative of a cast of mind which he as a scientist simply could not endure.  But he saw it.

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