The whole case report:
August 25, 1960; Grumman Aviation; Bethpage, New York
The National Space Surveillance Control Center, Air Force command and control development division, attempted to work out an orbit for a strange object reported several times. But the scientists had only one solid observation to go on, – the photographing of the object by Grumman Aviation Engineering Corp. at Bethpage, N.Y. I remember reading our preliminary report in the NICAP U.F.O. Investigator back in 1961, and later seeing the article and a picture in LIFE or LOOK. This report has the Grumman report I was able to obtain a zerox copy of from Loy Pressley in June of 2002 which he had obtained a few years prior from Jan Aldrich. Mike Swords later provided the best image, a scanned version of Hynek’s original *.
I have a copy of the Grumman satellite report, and I ran it by a guy who is a former CIA consultant on military satellite technology (Allen Thomson). He said that the data in the Grumman report don’t add up to a real orbit, so he didn’t know what to make of it. It seems that there was something fishy about the Grumman object, whatever it was.
The Grumman object was in retrograde orbit, inclination angle to the equator about 135 degrees. It would not show up on the next expected orbits every time. Grumman put together a contract proposal to the AF to conduct an investigation. I have not found any satellites launched in an inclination of about 135 degs, not because it’s physically impossible but wasteful as it goes against the Earth’s rotational boost into orbit. Best possibility of explanation is a Soviet Luna probe or upper stage that looped back around the earth but on the wrong side into retrograde orbit. But that would be extraordinarily lucky, extremely difficult to do even by design. Impossible to have been the Discoverer 5’s polar orbiting Agena upper stage fired in the wrong direction or any polar orbiting Discoverer (CIA Corona). Flatout absolute physical impossibility total nonsense and hogwash. Cannot have enough propellant to go off at 45 degrees. You would have to have another Atlas or Thor first stage up there to do that.”
Satellite photo of Bethpage, New York (tageo.com)