Case Directory
  Category 1, Distant Encounters 
Rating: 5  

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'. 

Objects Sighted Over "Control Zone"
October 20, 1950
Oak Ridge, TN

Fran Ridge:
October 20, 1950; Oak Ridge, Tennessee
4:55 PM. Larry Riordan, the Superintendent of Security for the X-10 control zone, while driving to a residential area saw an object which he thought at first was a balloon which had lost its “basket.”   It was generally round, appeared to “come together at the bottom in wrinkles, rather indistinct, and something was hanging below.”   It appeared to be 8 to 10 feet long and lead or gunmetal colored.  It didn’t seem to be moving but, since he was traveling and only saw it for a number of seconds, he couldn’t be sure.  He was sure it wasn’t a weather balloon, although he thought it might have been a gas bag balloon launched by the nearby University of Tennessee Agricultural Research Farm..  On the same day at 3:27 PM the radar unit at the Knoxville airport detected radar targets near the area of Mr. Riordan’s sighting and scrambled a fighter plane.  The pilot searched the area for about an hour and a half, which included the time of Mr. Riordan’s sighting, and found nothing.

Brad Sparks:
The Riordan sighting might be a balloon, but we won't know until AF data can fill in more details.

Detailed reports and documents
Objects Sighted Over Control Zone (Greenwood & Fawcett, Clear Intent)
FBI Document dated 25 October 1950, Page 1 of 3
FBI Document dated 25 October 1950, Page 2 of 3
FBI Document dated 25 October 1950, Page 3 of 3
The Oak Ridge Page

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