Category 11 Case Directory
Rating: 5  


AVCAT is a special project being conducted by NICAP, with the help and cooperation of the original compiler of AIRCAT, Dr. Richard Haines, and other sources, to create a comprehensive listing of sightings from aircraft with detailed documentation from these sources, including Projects SIGN, GRUDGE & BLUE BOOK.

TBM Chases Climbing & Accelerating Object
Jan. 21, 1952
Mitchel AFB, New York

9:50 a.m. EST
Duration 2-1/2 mins
TBM aircraft
United States
1 observer
No radar contact

Brad Sparks:
Jan. 21, 1952. 3 miles ESE of Mitchel AFB runway 30, New York (BBU)
9:50 a.m. (EST). USN pilot Lt. James R. Zeitvogel, USN Special Devices Center, Long Island, flew USN TBM-3W bomber heading 45° (NE) at 160 knots (200 mph) at 6,000 ft shortly after takeoff from Mitchel AFB, sighted a 20-30 ft white circular domed or parachute-shaped, with parachute-like segmentation and dark underside, about 1/3 ratio thickness to diameter, which appeared to be about 1-1/2 miles to the WNW or half way between TBM and end of runway 30 at Mitchel AFB, silhouetted against the ground at a depression angle of about 45° at a very low altitude of 200-300 ft (consistent with ground range of 1-1/2 miles from TBM at 6,000 ft height). Pilot then chased object which was at first traveling about 300 knots (350 mph), by turning left in the TBM in a sharp 2-3 g turn, having to bank at almost 90° to see the low altitude object about 1- 1/2 mins into sighting when TBM about completed 360° turn, object cutting on inside of TBM’s turn apparently accelerating. Object at about 2 mins into sighting started climbing in altitude while still accelerating, disappearing suddenly not due to distance about 7 miles to the SW at 500+ knots (600+ mph) and about 10° above TBM’s horizontal level. (Sparks; GRUDGE Rpts. No. 3, p. 8, No. 4, pp. 9-11ff.; Project 1947; NICAP)

Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt:
I think the pilot summed up the situation very aptly when he told me, "I don't know what it was, but I've never seen anything like it before or since - maybe it was a spaceship." I went back to Dayton stumped - maybe it was a spaceship.

Detailed reports and documents
The Report (Edward Ruppelt, 121-123)
The Documents - BB Microfilm (Dan Wilson)
docs/520121mitchell_docs.pdf (Robert Powell)

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