Category 1, Distant Encounters
Preliminary Rating: 5
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
Jan 16, 1951. Artesia, New Mexico (BBU 1037)
11 a.m. A. V. Swearingen, photographer Raymond Dugan, pilot Raymond E. Stiles, and Alvin H. Hazel, members of a balloon project of General Mills Aeronautical Research Laboratory, while observing the project's 110 ft balloon at an altitude of 112,000 ft spotted a motionless dull white, round object 5/3 larger than the balloon, apparently higher than the balloon, which then flew off at high speed covering 45° in 3 secs [5+ miles/sec]. Other observers included 6 pilots on the ground and a newspaper reporter from Artesia. Shortly thereafter, the balloon crew, the manager of Artesia Airport, 3 pilots and 2 newspaper reporters saw 2 gray flat elliptical objects from the NW flying side-by-side, then circle the balloon and fly away to the NE. (Sparks; BB Maxwell Microfilm Roll 9, pp. 743 etc.; Berliner; BB Rpt 6; cf. Hynek UFO Exp ch. 6, case DD-8; Loren Gross 1951 p. 4; Saunders/FUFOR Index; Joel Carpenter) ? + 40 secs 10+ + 7+ witnesses 1/6 Full Moon ?
Listed on the January 1951 BB sighting index as "Case Missing", and a meager description from the UFO Evidence, I posted this case on Tuesday, 2 Oct, 2012. To the rescue came Brad Sparks, Dan Wilson, and Mike Swords. In an unprocessed email in September, Dan had found (16) documents and advised that "the case was misfiled as 1952. This is the reason for the 'Case Missing'". All this was called to my attention when Brad advised the same information with detail, providing too the above detailed entry from his catalog. Then Mike sent (7) documents and even more detail. Thanks to these great A-Team members we have the missing information on this case.
One key thing that researchers/readers should note here is that this was a General Mills case at the time when the GMills guys were really angry with Grudge and so was the Navy shortly thereafter. So the GM guys didn't report the 1951 case until about a year later, and then only to a CIA guy who was reporting it to the Navy's newly formed UFO case collection project. The head of that project ultimately decided to share information with Blue Book [Ruppelt had gotten in by that time and was probably viewed as a better guy, and Ruppelt misunderstood the case date initially, reporting it in BB#6 as 1952. He later learned [too late] that it actually was 1951 and corrects that in his book. This 1952 error gets into the UFO community and persists. By the 1960s however it is corrected and we have the 1951 date since then.
Detailed reports and documents
reports/510116artesia_report.htm (Dan Wilson)
reports/510116artesia_report2.htm [possible connection] (Dan Wilson)
reports/510116artesia_report3.htm (Mike Swords)