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.

Three Objects Shake Up Air Crew
August 29, 1952
W. of Thule, greenland, N. Atlantic

10:50 a.m., local
Duration 2-3 mins
P4Y-2 aircraft
North Atlantic
Military Navy
3 observer
No radar contact

Fran Ridge:
This report is case #2, listed on Albert M. Chop's official Air Force clearance list. I had read about this one in late 2005 but it didn't "ring a bell".  Richard Hall had written about it in the Journal of UFO History, Vol. II, No. 4 (see below) and mentioned the Air Force Intelligence Report had been given to Maj. Donald Keyhoe circa 1953. Brad Sparks refreshed my memory and informed me we had the synopsis on the NICAP site in the 1952 UFO Chronology, which also had my note that it was on the Chop Clearance list (Item #2).

Brad Sparks:
Aug. 29, 1952.  WNW of Thule, Greenland (at 77° N., 75°15' W).  10:50 a.m. (EST).  US Navy Atlantic Fleet Patrol Squadron VP-23, Thule, aircraft P4Y-2 at 10,000 ft heading 000° True at 150 knots (173 mph) in a half standard rate left turn (4-min 360° turn), copilot acting as pilot Lt JG William A. O'Flaherty, and navigator LtJG R. S. Moore in the aircraft astrodome, were following an 85 ft diameter Skyhook balloon launched from an icebreaker US Coast Guard Cutter Eastwind when upon release of the parachute instrument package from the balloon they sighted 3 white discs or globes, about ˝ to almost the full apparent size of the balloon, in triangle formation slightly W of N [NNW?], clustered to the right of the Skyhook instrument package at 74,000 ft for some 2-3 minutes.  [Discrepancy in 2004 account claiming that pilot Lt. John C. Callahan and aircraft commander Merchant (navigator Moore?) also observed UFO’s, though denied by the copilot report of O’Flaherty in 1952.] O’Flaherty lost the objects in the sun [in the SSE] but Moore then [flying very fast in triangular formation with a vertical banking] climbed to disappearance in 5 secs [3? secs] with no trail or exhaust or visible means of propulsion.  (Sparks;  Naval History magazine Oct 2004, web version; Jan Aldrich; NICAP Dan Wilson;  Berliner)  2-3 mins  2 witnesses [4?][1/10 ? Full Moon] (Note: The 2004 Stafford article [*] has a number of egregious discrepancies with the 1952 documentation and even geographic facts [Thule is not 80 miles from the North Pole but over 900 stat. miles unless it's a typo for 800 NM]).

Jan Aldrich:
This case was release by the Air Force to Keyhoe and is in the Chop clearance list. But it had few details and said the location was the North Atlantic. Since the AF wanted to investigate Chop for security violations, here is one that wouldn't stick, the Navy publicly release the info. And then this second story (*) over 50 years later!

Detailed reports and documents
Aug. 29, 1952; North Atlantic Area (Richard Hall)
reports/520829thule_report.htm (Dan Wilson)
docs/NARA-PBB1-80.pdf (Tom DeMary)
Navy release of Greenland case, Oct 1952 in the Omaha newspaper (Project 1947)
COSMIC CURIOSITY - Naval History Oct 2004 (Project 1947) *


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