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.

Air Force Requests Plane Loaded With Passengers To Chase UFO
April 8, 1956
New York State

United States
1 observer
No radar contact

Brad Sparks:
April 8, 1956; N of Schenectady to W of Syracuse, New York (BBU)
10:15 p.m. (EST) Capt. Raymond E. Ryan, First Officer William Neff, flight attendant Phyllis Reynolds, and passengers, took off in an airliner from Albany heading N then nearly due W (about 280° True) at 260 mph and 6,000 ft N of Schenectady when a brilliant white light about 2-3 miles away was spotted about 90° to the left appearing like an airliner heading in to land at Albany. The white light moved about 90° to dead­ ahead position about 8-10 miles away at high speed estimated at about 800-1,000 mph where it changed color to orange and seemed to block the airliner’s path or risk collision, disappeared briefly, reappeared as an orange light again but standing still ahead of the airliner to the W. Airliner contacted Griffiss AFB, Rome, NY, where controllers asked pilot to turn lights off and on to help identify aircraft and was told airliner was seen and the orange UFO to the S. Airliner was ordered to maintain course to follow the UFO to the W, skipping its scheduled landing at Syracuse after nearly 30 mins of following the object. Promised fighter jet interception was not seen. Object disappeared at high speed to the NW (or N) towards Oswego, NY. (UFOE, V, IX; McDonald list; NICAP website)

Fran Ridge:

They were ordered to use their passenger plane (with passengers in it) to pursue a UFO.  Below is a transcript of their interview on "Meet the Millers", a Canadian talk show, a week later. After that program, the authorities denied that Ryan and Neff had been told not to land, and to continue following the object while they scrambled some jets fighters, but this transcript contradicts the impression the authorities wanted to leave.  The recording, now on an audio cassette, is available from the Fund for UFO Research, Inc. 

Joel Carpenter: seems from the news article as though the object may have been to his _right_ as they passed it, and then crossed in front of them as it departed to the west. If that's the case, it would almost prove that it was hovering in the area of the reactor facility. (see last two links below)

Detailed reports and documents
docs/Ryan_Rome040856.pdf (
docs/Ryan_Albany040856.pdf (
docs/Ryan_Schen040856.pdf (footnotes)
The Transcript from "Meet the Millers"
Newspaper Article: Airliner Chases Bright Light Miles Across the State
Newspaper Article: Unidentified Aerial ‘Bright Object” Mystifies Area Fliers, CAA Man
Newspaper Article: Flyer Followed Object Off of His Course
Newspaper Article: Theories on Bright Object Differ As Reports Continue
Newspaper Article: Cover-Up Suspected in Reported Air-UFO Chase
Nuclear Connection ? - The Ryan Case - Joel Carpenter
Map / Flight Path reconstruction -  Joel Carpenter

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