name is Jeff Challender, and I have been recording NASA Shuttle flights
live for several years now. I would like now to explain how
all this came to be.
On 4 October, 1957 the launch of the world's first artificial satellite
by the USSR caught the West by surprise. I was forever after interested
in space exploration. I closely followed the US space program throughout
the next four decades. With the opening up of Russia in the early
1990s, information about the Soviet/Russian space program became much
more accessible. I began to find out all possible about this hitherto
murky history. The Mir Space Station also was a prime focus for me.
I learnt all I could in this area and, and with the inauguration of
ISS construction in 1998, I began to keep close watch on it, and the
continuing Shuttle program. This continues to be an ongoing project.
The demise of Mir in March 2001 was a sad chapter in the annals of
human space exploration. It is a pity that she could not have been
boosted into a "mothball" orbit, and saved for the historical education
of future generations.
In 1965, I became an amateur astronomer, joining the Sacramento Valley
Astronomical Society. I won the SVAS' Samuel J. Smythe award in 1967,
and was president of the Jr. Section of the SVAS for two terms in
1968 and 1969. My education in astronomy continues to this day. I
also studied meteorology in University, and have been a life long
aviation enthusiast. I have seen, and can identify, most aircraft/spacecraft
built in the last 60 years. These include American, Russian, British,
French, Italian, Swedish, German, Canadian, Australian, Chinese, and
Japanese. That list also includes fixed wing, rotating wing, and lighter
Starting with the STS-86 flight to Mir in September 1997, I began
to make tapes of Shuttle missions from live feed provided by NASA
Select TV. The purpose was to chronicle the flights day by day, and
to edit the resulting raw footage down to a personal video documentary
for my own enjoyment. Space flights I have recorded to date (21
March 2005) include (chronological order)
STS-86, 89, 91, 88, 96, 103, 99, 101, 106, 92, 97, 98, 102, 100, 104,
105, 108, 109, 110, STS-111, STS-112, STS-113, the ill-fated last
flight of Columbia STS-107, 114, 121, and the ongoing ISS project.
I became interested in the UFO phenomenon in the mid-1960s, reading
everything I could find on the subject. I have been witness to five
daylight UFO events, and one at night. These sightings occurred on
10 April 1974, 31 December
1974, and 24 March 1998, 27 December 2000, 11
January 2002, 2 July
2002, and most recently to date 12
May 2004. When the Shuttle taping project began, there was no
anticipation of finding any UFOs. I was not looking for anomalies,
which turned up on these missions. When I first noticed an unusual
object during the editing phase of STS-96,
it was completely unexpected. I was inspired to take a closer look
at all of my video archive, and to more closely scrutinize other people's
work in this area.
Project P.R.O.V.E., People Recording Orbiting Vehicles from Earth
began as a result of an experiment. Making a recording an overhead
pass of STS-98/Atlantis, in February 2001. I had acquired my first
camcorder in January of 2001. It was a very new experience to be able
to make taped recordings of events around the home. I had no idea
that it would become such a crucial part of my U.F.O. research. When
STS-98 lifted off on the afternoon of 7 February, 2001, it was predicted
at the Heavens-Above
website that she would pass over Sacramento on her second orbit, just
three hours later. My family and I stepped out into the chilly winter
evening to see it, and I brought along the new camcorder to record
the event. The pass recorded nicely, and it was surprisingly easy
to do. At this point, I had not yet conceived of the project as it
came to be, though.
on, in March 2001, whilst watching tapes of the live feed from the
payload bay cameras aboard STS-102/Discovery, a stunning sequence
of events unfolded over eastern Washington
State, just before dawn there. A number of anomalous objects were
seen. I wondered to myself if a friend living in that area might have
seen those objects from the ground, had he been outdoors at that particular
moment. From this thought, Project P.R.O.V.E. was born. I have
continued to record overhead passes of man-made spacecraft ever since.
2003, a major metropolitan newpaper, The
Sacramento Bee, did a two page article on Jeff Challender's work.
It was mirrored in a number of locations, and was the feature article
in the April 2003 MUFON Journal. See it HERE
courtesy of MUFON
Indiana. PLEASE disregard the advertisement for the movie "What
Is The Truth?" at the end. This movie is no longer available.
As an organization, Project
2005 Jeff Challender