Case Directory
  Category 1, Distant Encounters 
 
 

         
                         
     

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'. 

Nickel-Shaped Object Flies Loops (Sanderson Case)
Oct. 2, 1958
Blairstown, New Jersey


Fran Ridge:
Oct. 2, 1958; Blairstown, New Jersey (BBU 6089)
5:29 p.m. Naturalist Ivan Sanderson and his wife (plus several others uncovered later) saw a dull-grey object, shaped like a nickel, fly erratically in loops. (Berliner)

Brad Sparks:
Sanderson is one of the very few observers in UFO history who have ever measured UFO's angular size while watching it in real-time, not just from memory afterwards.  Ken Arnold was the first.  Sanderson opened the car door and grabbed some pebbles while keeping his eye on the UFO, and he selected just the right one that matched the UFO's apparent size by holding the pebble up to the UFO, at arm's length.  It was 5 mm in diameter.  Sanderson said someone would be able to figure the UFO's actual size from this later, but no one ever did.  BB did not bother and did not investigate.  It works out to about 0.5, or 1 Full Moon.  If the UFO was roughly 9 miles away as Sanderson thought (it passed behind a hill at 7 miles so that's minimum distance), then this works out to about 500 feet in diameter.  He suggested even a 1,000 ft figure.As a scientist, Sanderson was a careful observer and made very few, just minor, mistakes that are traceable and easily corrected.  He provided a wealth of information including a drawing of the UFO in its surroundings, and a map.  (See below *):


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