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'. 

Square Object Comes within 300' of Ground, Enters Cloud
December 7, 1951
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

#1823: 1951/12/7  8:20  2  84:17:0W  36:0:0N  3333  NAM USA TNS  8 7  
Brad Sparks:
Dec. 7, 1951. Oak Ridge, Tenn. (BBU  1021)
8:15 a.m. AESS guard J. H. Collins in Tower #14 W of K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant, ORNL, [at about 700-800 ft MSL] saw a 20 ft square object, white-grey but not shiny, like a piece of canvas with no markings, to the NNW about 300 ft above ridge about 1 mile away [Blackoak Ridge, height about 1,000-1,100 ft MSL], fly vertically into the clouds at about 6,000 ft MSL and back again 300 ft above ridge, taking 30-40 seconds each time traveling at constant speed like that of conventional aircraft [roughly 100 mph at about 4,600 ft in 30-40 secs]. On second rise object climbed at 45 angle to the left and into the clouds then emerged out of the clouds diving straight down to 300 ft above ridge. Object circled slowly as it rose a third time at a 20 angle into the clouds again finally disappearing. Always kept broadside to witness. No sound or smoke. Report mistakenly treated as ground intrusion, thus GCI radar not alerted until 10:02 a.m., and F-47 fighters dispatched found nothing. (Sparks; BB Maxwell Microfilm Roll 9, pp. 640-4; Berliner; Saunders/FUFOR Index)

Fran Ridge:
On 16 Jul 2003 I received this note from Jan Aldrich: "Excerpt from Historical Data of 30th Air Division (Defense), Eastern Air Defense Force, Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan for October to December 1951, page 32 under the 'Unusual Flying Objects: A civilian guard (AESS) on duty at Oak Ridge, Tennessee reported sighting an airborne object on 7 December 1951 at 0815 EST.  Traveling at a constant speed, equivalent to conventional aircraft, the object was described as square, approximately 20 feet wide, grey-white in color, with no markings. The observer, age 40, is described by his employer as honest and conscientious, and is held in high respect by his employer.  Two F-47's were unsuccessful in an attempt at interception."

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