As you presume, his friendship with a person connected to Project Blue Book would suggest that, if he thought he had
seen a UFO, he would have said something at least to Earley. Well, one might speculate that he did say something to
Early and was told to "shut up" about it. Do you know what was Earley's connection to BB?
As for the image, as you are aware 1/125 sec is fast enough to "stop" normally moving objects and certainly slowly moving
such as a wave. The nearly horizontal (tilted somewhat) upper edge of the image appears quite sharp indicating that it
was a real object "out there", its vertical component of motion was slow (didn't move much in 1/125 sec).
The edges that are (nearly) vertical also see quite sharp, but they do not have the length of the upper edge so it is hard to tell. Looks as if there is a shadow of a "wing" or some structure on the "fuselage" of the "object."
But if so, its shape is weird. Clearly not a normal aircraft with wings, and, because of the size of the image, if it were a real airplane of some strange design, it would have been large and hundreds to a few thousand feet away, or very small and close (model airplane size?).
The shape seems to be wrong for any typical airplane. I was surprised to see that a mask brought forth what appears like "lettering" on the side of the image below the "wing."
I am surprised because none of the other images seem to give any hint of "lettering."
It's a puzzle and since there is no witness to say it was seen, we can't rule out the possibility of some bizarre photo artifact. I will say, however, that the man in the picture appears to be looking roughly in the direction of the "object" and perhaps his raised arm indicates that he is shading his eye from the sun as he looks... although the sun would appear to be behind him.
Maybe it is still possible to contact Roger Earley to find out if he knows anything about the picture.