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 F-84 Pilots Encounter Manta-Ray, Gun Camera Shots
March 3, 1953
Luke AFB, Phoenix, Ariz; Nr. Blyth, California

1:25 p.m. MST
Duration  10 mins
aircraft 3 F-84's
United States
3 observers
No radar contact

Fran Ridge:
I had read about this SECRET case in Ruppelt's book, but never gave it too much thought until I found the 11-page paper by Barry Greenwood. Our thanks to Barry for mailing me a copy so I could scan it; and to Wendy Connors for the great pictures. I supplied the Project Book Book Status Report #11 pages and then dan Wilson found 38 documents. This is also a Category 8 (photo) case besides being a Cat 11 (Sightings From Aircraft), and is double-listed on the Global Sighting Information Database on the NICAP site. This one even includes two videos from the gun camera shots.

Brad Sparks
March 3, 1953; (130 miles W. of Luke AFB, Phoenix, Arizona), nr. Blyth, California (BBU)
1:25-1:32 p.m. (MST). USAF Capt. Roderick D. Thompson, 3600th Fighter Training Group, Luke AFB, instructor pilot in an F-84 at 25,000 ft 500 mph TAS heading 305° Mag spotted 300-500 ft wide aircraft leaving contrail crossing his path at 2 [10?] o'clock high position from left to right at about 35,000 to 45,000 ft and about 400 mph TAS, visible only by condensation vapor emitted from manta-ray shape flat surface. Student pilots of two F-84’s, Lt. Jack E. Brasher and Lt. Thomas W. Hale, saw the object but did not follow the pursuit. When Thompson turned (right?) to pursue object climbing at full power at about 560 mph, object made slight dipping turn to NW and began climbing at about 20° angle and object appeared to be very thin, and immediately began to form a heavy condensation trail behind it for roughly 1,000 ft and split in two for about 1,000 ft but which ended abruptly and moved with the object, the trail not being left behind. Thompson reached 30,000 ft and closed to within roughly 5-10 miles of object to a point over Colorado River N of Parker Dam, about 70 miles N of Blythe, when he took 151 frames or about 30 ft [6 ft?] of gun camera film of object, 16 mm N-9 camera, apparently at 16 fps 1/40 sec exposure setting. (BB Rpt 11; NICAP website; McDonald list; Ruppelt pp. 229-230; FUFOR Index)

Detailed reports and documents
The Luke Air Force Base Case - Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt  
The Luke Air Force Base UFO Sighting (Commentary) - Barry Greenwood 
Project Blue Book Status Report #11, page 18 (Fran Ridge) 
PBBSR #11, page 19 (Fran Ridge)
reports/530303luke_report.htm (Dan Wilson)
videos/1953_March_3_Luke_AFB.AVI (Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos)
videos/1953_de_marzo_Luke_AFB.mpg (Vicente-Juan Ballester Olmos)
reports/530303luke_fotocat.htm (References, fotocat.htm)

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