A New Hampshire UFO photo that has intrigued me since the start of my research is the photo that is largely accepted today as the “Oldest known UFO photo.” After years of research, and with some luck and helpful clues from others, I have assembled what I feel is unequivocal evidence that the photo is not of a UFO.
The photo first came into the spotlight in March 2002 when an article announcing its purchase appeared in Filer’s Files #10 March 6th, 2002. It was purchased on eBay in an online auction for $385.00 by Samuel M. Sherman, president of Independent-International Pictures Corp. In the article, Sherman’s photo is described as a stereo view of clouds over Mount Washington, with a long cigar-shaped object clearly visible in the center.
According to the article, Sherman said ” this photograph will not be locked up in some collection, but will be submitted to scientists for detailed analysis, and the results made available to the public… the debunkers are already circling around the photo on the internet, even though they have only been able to see poor low resolution computer images and not photographic enlargements of the actual photo.” The article also states that Sherman “expects this photo to be very controversial for a long time still to come.”
As fascinated as I was by the photo, I wasn’t convinced that it was a UFO, so I set out to try and obtain any information I could to hopefully bring better perspective to the photograph. I immediately started scouring the web for any info I could find on Sherman, Independent-International Pictures Corp., and the photo itself. I was unable to find any additional information at the time, and I reached a dead end.
Then in 2008, I tracked down a contact number for Independent-International Pictures Corp. and was able to speak with Mr. Sherman personally. I talked with him about the photo and asked if any analysis had been done, he informed me that no analysis had been done to date.
Over the years I revisited the photo from time to time, checking the web again for any new or additional information. I was hoping that a clue would surface that would help shed more light on whether the object in the photo was actually a UFO.
Finally, in 2008, I found my first new clue about the photo since 2002. I found reference to a 2003 Weirs Times newspaper article unearthed by NH UFO researcher Kathy Brisendine. The article U.F.O.s over New Hampshire: Many Sightings, Few Answers identifies the photographers as Amos F. Clough and Howard A. Kimball. The photo was taken by Clough and Kimball in 1871 during a meteorological expedition on Mt. Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The expedition spent the winter of 1870-1871 on the summit making scientific observations, and Clough and Kimball documented the expedition in a series of stereo view photographs.