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UFOs over Byrd’s Little America
by Joe Fex
FATE | Mar-Apr 2009

Years ago, John A. Keel observed that wherever there were advancements in human science and development, the UFO would be present, quietly (most of the time at least) observing our progress.

Like most of the annoying and often outrageous statements made by Keel throughout the years, this one has proven accurate. Paying heed to his wisdom is what led to the discovery of a most perplexing artifact.

Adhering to “Keel’s Law,” I established relationships with vintage photograph dealers and scientists, making it known that I had an interest in examining and collecting photos from expeditions and scientific endeavors of all kinds in an effort to spot a UFO presence, especially from periods before public knowledge of such phenomena.

Around 1999, a photographic dealer contacted me to ask if I had an interest in two expedition photos of undetermined origin from sometime in the 1920s or ’30s. He speculated they were from the North Polar Region. After corresponding with him and examining digital images that he had emailed to me, I noticed that one of the shots featured a suspect “spot” in the night sky. The photos had been sealed long ago into standard wood frames, with heavy brown paper glued at the back. For a mere $20, I agreed to purchase them.

As I patiently awaited the arrival of these antiques, something about the photo with the anomalous image nagged at me. It seemed strangely familiar, but I couldn’t place how or why. The second photo showed a crew of men busying themselves around an airplane countersunk in the ice, but offered no clues as to why the other photo would puzzle me so.

An Unexpected Discovery

Finally, the artifacts arrived, exactly as described by my vintage photographic friend: two old frames containing photos that displayed every indication that they had not been removed since their original placement, still fully sealed in the heavy brown paper. I looked at the suspect photo first and immediately recognized the all-too-familiar UFO object. Staring at the image under the dusty glass, I discovered additional abnormal objects that had not been visible in the emailed scans. A total of four UFO objects at varying distances occupied the night sky above the base camp that was the central focus of the photo.

Still, I could not place the nagging familiarity of the image. The photo was marked “B.A.E.” at the bottom right corner, an important clue, but it didn’t spark any particular association. The other photo offered no clues at all. I determined that the photos would have to be removed from their frames in hopes of finding something contained with or written on them that would help with identification.

It seemed a shame to remove them after more than 70 years of undisturbed preservation, but my curiosity and duties as a researcher argued the importance of it. Very carefully I removed the paper backing, then the rusty nails holding the cardboard backing, and finally the cardboard. What I saw explained my familiarity, but left me in a state of shock. On the back of each photo, clearly stamped in purple ink, were the words: “REAR ADMIRAL RICHARD E. BYRD” and “TO BE RETURNED TO THE POND BUREAU 25 W. 43rd ST., NEW YORK.”

No wonder it seemed so familiar. This was the famous Little America base of Byrd’s unprecedented Antarctic expedition of 1928–30. “B.A.E.,” it was now clear, stood for “Byrd Antarctic Expedition.” Byrd is hailed as a most important and influential explorer, pioneering and defining research at both the North and South Polar regions. These photos documented the first of his five groundbreaking Antarctic expeditions. For the very first time since his historic return in 1930, actual physical documentation of the Byrd UFO story had surfaced....

Read the rest of Joe Fex's article on Admiral Byrd and UFOs exclusively in the March-April 2009 issue of FATE! Click here to purchase.

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