Prospector Compass Incident
June 24, 1947
Cascade Mountains, Washington
June 24, 1947; Cascade Mountains, Washington (BBU 12)
Afternoon (see docs). Just about the time that Kenneth Arnold lost sight of his objects, Fred Johnson, listed as a prospector, reported watching five or six disc-shaped craft as they flew over the Cascade Mountains. He said they were round with a slight tail and about 30 feet in diameter. They were not flying in any sort of formation and as they banked in a turn, the sunlight flashed off them. As they approached, Johnson noticed that his compass began to spin wildly. When the objects finally vanished in the distance, the compass returned to normal.
This case is listed as one of Project Blue Book's "unknowns". Case #12 lists as Portland, Oregon, but that's where Fred Johnson actually lived. The sighting took place near the Cascade Mountains in Washington. This case impressed the secret Project Sign personnel in 1947 and was one of the reasons my technical adviser, Lewis Blevins, suggested in 1960 that our NICAP team set up a UFO detection system. It wasn't until almost 10 years later that we had MADAR on round-the-clock operation.
Detailed reports and documents
reports/470624cascades_report.htm (Dan Wilson)
Incident #68 - Report on Fred Johnson Sighting (AMC/Project SIGN)
HQ Fourth Air Force letter of 25 Aug. 1947/Copy of letter from Fred Johnson (Project 1947)
reports/470624cascades_report4.htm (Loren Gross/Fran Ridge)