RADCAT Case Directory
  Category 9, RADAR  
Rating: 5  


RADCAT is a revitalized special project now being conducted jointly by NICAP & Project 1947 with the help and cooperation of the original compiler of RADCAT, Martin Shough, to create a comprehensive listing of radar cases with detailed documentation from all previous catalogues, including UFOCAT and original RADCAT.

40 Targets At Midway Airport
Sept. 2, 1952
Chicago, Illinois

Brad Sparks:
Sept. 2, 1952.  Midway Airport, Chicago, lllinois (BBU 2025)
12:01-7 a.m. (CST).  CAA radar controllers Robert L. Terneuzen (GCA), Ralph L. Frick,  Dale E. Warner, Warren J. Weber, and Radar Mainenance Technician Gordon R. Coplenad, at Midway Airport tracked as many as 30 targets simultaneously, flying in various directions, “average” speed of 175 mph at about 2,000 ft ASL.  ADC 755th AC&W radar station, Williams Bay / Elkhorn, Wisc., claimed Midway Airport Tower Supervisor called at 2:50 a.m. saying there were 40 targets plotted by Midway Airport radar from 3,000 to 6,000 ft, speed 120-150 mph, azimuths 180° to 300° (Midway Tower claimed the 755th was not alerted by Midway until 5:14 a.m., and that it was indirect, through Chicago ARTC).  Targets were the size of blips from “light planes” or larger (best target quality in the 6-10 mi range) and moved in no particular pattern except, sometimes “erratic” and sometimes in straight lines up to 15 miles long and in at least one instance of “flying formation” with an aircraft.  At about 4 a.m. [CST], 2 targets flew in formation with an inbound DC-4 airliner, one on each wing of the DC-4 about ½ mi away (the precise minimum distance for the PAR-1 elevation / height-finder radar beam’s 3.6° azimuth resolution, 0.50 mi at 8 mi distance, to prevent the 3 blips merging into one blip).  Wing formation started from near Lake Shore [about 8 miles away] until 1 mile out on final approach when each target flew off from the DC-4 at the same time, in opposite directions, as if controlled [possible hoax prank by ADC 4706th fighters].  Two F-86 fighters, piloted by Capt. (later Col.) William W. Maitland and Lt. Beverly J. Dunjill (latter returned from 100 combat missions in Korea as a combat flight instructor, test pilot, and 62nd FIS Ops Ofcr), 62nd FIS, 4706th Defense Wing, O’Hare AFB / Airport, Chicago, scrambled by ADC from O’Hare AFB at 5:30 a.m. [CST], took off at 5:50 a.m., were under Midway Airport control searching the area from 5:55 to 6:19 a.m. and were repeatedly vectored “through” targets at 800 to 4,000 ft altitude attempting to “ram” or “hit” them without seeing anything visually [apparently the F-86’s carried no airborne radar].  In fact this is misleading since the 37-foot wingspan F-86 jets were much smaller than the roughly ½ mile radar targets on the screen and could not possibly be “directed” more precisely than that ½ mile region (the F-86 radar blips themselves were about ½ mile in size thus not precise in locating the F-86’s either).  Overcast cloud layer at 4,700 ft, sunrise at ground level about 5:18 a.m. CST.  ADC 755th AC&W air defense radar in Elkhorn / Williams Bay, Wisc. (42°37′01″N, 88°32′19″W) did not detect targets on its CPS-6B, but from ~70 miles away the earth’s curvature, beam elevation and ground clutter would block radar detection of targets below about 5,000 ft near Midway Airport.  Note:  Teletype report by 4706th Defense Wing on Sept 10-11 apparently reports all event times erroneously as “CDST” that should be “CST.”  (Sparks;  BB files;  Martin Shough;  Berliner)

Detailed reports and documents
reports/520902chicago_rep.htm (Dan Wilson)

NICAP Home Page