Case Directory
  Category 1, Distant Encounters 
Rating: 5  


A Hynek Classification of Distant Encounter is usually an incident involving an object more than 500 feet from the witness. At night it is classified as a "nocturnal light" (NL) and during the day as a "daylight disc" (DD). The size of the object or the viewing conditions may render the object in greater detail but yet not qualify the sighting as a Close Encounter which is an object within 500'. 

Silvery Disc Seen Through Theodolite
April 1947
Richmond, Virginia

Brad Sparks:
April 1947; Richmond, Virginia ((BBU)
11 a.m. (EST). Meteorologist Minczewski saw a silvery disc through a theodolite while tracking a pibal weather balloon, traveling E to W at less than 15,000 ft, appeared larger than the balloon. (McDonald 1968; FOIA; FUFOR Index)

Fran Ridge:
There is a document which reads: "... Mr. Walter Minezewski has observed this strange metallic disc on three occasions through the theodolite while making his pibal observation during the last six months (November, 1946 - April, 1947)" **.  In the other document:  "There  is no astronomical explanation for this Incident, which, however,  deserves considerable attention, because of the experience of the observers ana the fact that the observation was made through a theodolite and that conparison could be made with a pibal balloon. The observers had, therefore, a good estimate of altitude, of relative size, and of speed  much more reliable than those given in most reports.This investigator would like to recommend that these and other pibal observers be quizzed as to other possible un-reported sightings." *

James McDonald:
Here was a pre-Arnold sighting never reported officially. It was quite clearly not an observation of "new American military vehicles," nor can one readily square this with any phenomenon of atmospheric physics or astronomy. It is a UFO observation, and a rather interesting one. Bloecher's search has led to several other pre-Arnold 1947 sightings. Just a matter of days before this writing, I spoke on the telephone with Walter A. Minczewski, the U. S. Weather Bureau observer whose April, 1947, theodolite-tracking case is cited in the text. Minczewski emphasized that he had never reported it to other than his Weather Bureau superiors and hence was surprised to be called about it twenty years later. Yet his recollection of the details of the whitish disc-like object he had tracked one clear morning in Richmond, Virginia, was still distinct in his mind.

NICAP Home Page