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.

"Deke" Slayton / P-51 Encounter
Dec. 12, 1951
Hastings, Minnesota

3:50 p.m. CST
Duration 3-4 mins
aircraft P-51
United States
1 observer +
No radar contact

Fran Ridge:
This one was submitted by Wendy Conners in May of 2000. Brad's updated listing is provided below and Dan Wilson provided the inventory and supporting documents on his report page.

Brad Sparks:
Dec. 12, 1951.  5 mi SE of Hastings, Minn. (BBU)
3:50 p.m. (CST).  USAF 133rd FI Wing pilot Donald K. "Deke" Slayton [future NASA astronaut] flying F-51 fighter at 10,000 ft at 280-300 mph heading [NW] back to Wold-Chamberlain Field, Minneapolis, Minn., saw a 1-1/2 to 2 ft white (or gray) object off his left wing about 1 mile away and 1,000 ft below flight level [about 10° below local horizon or 8° below earth’s horizon] at (about 8 o’clock position) looking like a kite at first, then like a weather balloon then 2 rapidly counterclockwise revolving discs overlapping with centers about 1 ft apart.  He went into left 180° turn to intercept, approached to about 1,500 ft [heading SE] with object at about 1 o'clock (level ?) position, object accelerated to about 380-400 mph turning to the left, Slayton made 30° bank to turn left with object, but object outpaced him on the outside of turn [heading roughly SW at end of turn], changed appearance to look like a single object, then it made a sudden 45° climbing left turn, accelerated and disappeared.  In 1980 Slayton estimated angular size as grapefruit at arm's length or about 11° but size/distance data indicate about 0.1°.  Wing Intell ofcrs told Slayton a balloon research team [General Mills] sighted the same or similar UFO near a large balloon [Skyhook?] launch.  (Sparks;  Maxwell Microfilm Roll 1, pp. 537-8, 563-4, Roll 9, pp. 660-5;  BB Grudge Status Rpt. 2, pp. 3-4, Rpt. 3, pp. 5-6;  Project 1947;  Richard Haines;  etc.)

Detailed reports and documents
reports/511212hastings_report.htm (Dan Wilson)
reports/511212hastings_report2.htm (Fran Ridge/Wendy Conners)

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