The 1963 UFO Chronology
Project Blue Book team in S. Illinois. L-R : Sgt. Sharp; BB
Chief, Lt. Col. Friend; Capt. Quintanilla
Created: May14, 2006, updated 17 March 2017
This is an 8-page chronology of UFO incidents for 1963. From August 4th into mid-month, there was a flurry of UFO sightings, mostly in southern Illinois. An advertising plane in the Chicago area caused some erroneous reports about the same time. Once the reports had been publicized, the planet Jupiter also was reported as a UFO on a few occasions. Our Vincennes, Indiana, NICAP Subcommittee investigated several of the key cases, submitting taped interviews and investigation reports. Our thanks for these chronologies must go to our documentation team: William Wise (Project Blue Book Archive), Dan Wilson (archive researcher), and Brad Sparks (Comprehensive Catalog of Project Blue Book Unknowns). Last, but not least, our thanks to Jean Waskiewicz who created the online NICAP DBase (NSID) that helped make it possible to link from the cases to the reports themselves.NICAP Site Coordinator
The 1963 UFO Chronology___________________________________________________
Jan. 5, 1963; Nantucket Point, Long Island, New York (BBU)
3 a.m. (Hynek UFO Rpt p. 45-46)
Jan. 5, 1963
The National Academy of Sciences, Space Science Board, released a report (Pub. No. 1079) urging that a search for extraterrestrial life "be proclaimed the top-priority scientific goal of our space program."
Jan. 24, 1963; Lexington, Ky
Post Office safety engineer saw a round UFO traveling east to west, and a delta-wing aircraft north to south. UFO's line of flight intersected aircraft path at right angles. [Report via Bluegrass NICAP Affiliate, Lexington, Ky.]
Jan. 28, 1963; Shilton, U.K. (BBU)
5:20 p.m. Mary Sharp and Mrs. E. L. Sharp saw an object on the ground with 4 windows, emitting yellow-orange light, departed toward Rugby. (Vallée Magonia 559)
Jan. 28, 1963; Mamina, Chile (BBU)
Nighttime. Former Chilean Air Force officer, driving a truck, saw 2 disk- shaped objects follow him. (Vallée Magonia 560)
Feb. 5, 1963; (approx.). Ascension, Paraguay (BBU)
Student, Anastasio Lenven, saw an object land on the school grounds. A separate sighting by several residents, including an official of the Ministry of the Interior, was of an object flying at very high speed over Ascension. (Vallée Magonia 562)Feb. 28 (?), 1963; Artic Ocean
Feb. 5, 1963; Nr. Washington, D. C.
Private pilot, newsman passenger, watched a pulsating yellow-white light maneuver around their plane. [UFOE, V]
Feb. 5, 1963; Charlottesville, VA
11:45 p.m. Planes scrambled, UFOs over missile site. Object had intermittent yellow-white glow, and at its closest point appeared to be about three feet in diameter.
Feb. 6, 1963; Montebello, Va (BB)
12:00 a.m. A pilot of a C-46 aircraft flying 15 miles SW of Montebello on a 40 degree heading when the pilot sighted a large round very bright star- like object at the one o'clock position at 3 to 5 degrees above the horizon. The object appeared to vary in size during observation and gain in elevation to 15 to 30 degrees above the horizon. The object was last sighted at 3 to 5 degrees above horizon at the 4 to 5 o'clock position. The length of the observation was approximately 45 minutes. (Dan Wilson, BB files)
February 15, 1963; Willow Grove, Australia
7:10 hrs local time. Farmer Charles Brew and his son Trevor were in a milking shed, milking a herd of cows. Charles saw an object descend very steeply out of the east out of low cloud, at about a forty-five degree angle. The object was described as about 25 feet in diameter, and about 9-10 feet high. The lower portion, about three feet high, was rotating in an anti-clockwise direction, and was of a bluish appearance. The upper portion of the object appeared to be stationary; battleship grey in colour, with a transparent dome on top. Protruding out of this dome was something which resembled a broom handle. A sound, described as a 'swishing' or 'burbling' was heard by Charles and also by Trevor. (See link above for more details)
3:15 a.m. It involved the contingent of the Royal Navy's North Atlantic Fleet which had been participating in excercises off Norway for about three days. Briefly, the incident occurred at 3:15 AM somewhere in the Artic Ocean, between Spitzbergen Island and Norway (30-50 miles off the Norway coast). The object was tracked on the ship's radar at 35,000' and then by sonar after it entered the water and was tracked at 50' below the surface and continued into deep water at a range of 20,000 yards. The radar signature indicated it was 100' to 120' in diameteer. Object was also tracked by other ships and the order was issued for the fleet to execute an evasive "Z" pattern maneuver. Jets were scrambled. The duration was at least 15-20 minutes and the incident included maneuvering. No visuals were made. (MUFON Journal, 1984).
Feb. 15, 1963; Willow Grove, NW of Moe, Victoria, Australia (BBU)
7:10 a.m. Charles Brew saw a 25 ft blue and battleship-gray metallic object, 9-10 ft high, arrive from the E, stop at 50 ft altitude over his farmhouse [75-100 ft over a tree and a shed on his property]. Object made a swishing sound, underside spun counter-clockwise slowly about 1 rev/sec, had a bright chrome 5-6 ft long "aerial" or antenna, scoop like protuberances on the outer rim spaced 1-1.5 ft apart, no light except for pale blue glow of underside, took off faster than a jet to the W at a 45° angle into the cloud deck, after hovering about 5 secs. Animal reactions. Witness developed strong headaches on the approach of the object and all day. (Vallée Magonia 563; Project 1947; Bill Chalker)
March 6, 1963; Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas (BBU)
At around 10:37 a.m. local time, a bright flash was observed by numerous witnesses from Louisiana to Texas. One report said a large bright flash was seen 20 miles north of Barksdale AFB, seen by two light aircraft and a SAC bomber. Another report stated that there was on observation of a bright flash and metallic falling object 40 miles NNW of Chennault AFB at 10:55 a.m. (1655Z). A request was made to keep NORAD informed of significant events. Type of observations: Ground-Visual, Air-Visual, and Ground-Radar. (McDonald list, Dan Wilson)
March 11, 1963; Oahu, Hawaii
Brilliant light headed west and leaving a trail observed by many people just after 8:00 p.m. Two National Guard pilots flying jets about 40 miles west of Honolulu reported UFO was "much higher" than their altitude of 40,000 feet and moving "very fast." Possibly an observation of the recently announced A-11. (At 7:28 p.m., Pacific Time, a newsboy in El Sobrante, California, saw two oval-shaped yellow lights pass over the San Francisco Bay area from north to south, traveling at high speed.)
March 12, 1963; Paine, Chile
Members of the Santiago NICAP Subcommittee observed a pulsating luminous white sphere about 7:50 p.m. The UFO moved from north to south, disappearing in the distance after about a minute.
March 18, 1963; Cape Canaveral, Florida
Night. A strange object was sighted over the Atlantic coast of Florida a few moments before a Minuteman missile launched from Cape Canaveral veered off course and had to be destroyed. (Reference: UFO INVESTIGATOR, March-April 1963, page 4, UFO SEEN AS ROCKET VEERS OFF COURSE)
May 18, 1963; New
Plymouth, New Zealand (BBU 8360)
May, 19, 1963 Near Mt Gambier, South Australia, Australia
9:30 pm local. A 17 year old Mr Bushbridge, while driving a car, reported encountering an unusual object to one side of the road. When his car was 6 metres away from it, a bright light came on, and the object dazzled him and he stopped the car. The object then moved across the road, and he drove his vehicle underneath it. The object was described as 5 metres wide and 3 metres high and like a 'bull dozer". It was oval in shape. The lights on it were described as being as bright as 'the arc lights in electric welding.' There was no sound associated with the object. The object is reported to have followed the car. The object disappeared from sight when an oncoming car approached Bushbridge. Total duration of the event is given as 1-1.5 minutes. (Sources: Keith Basterfield; (1) RAAF file series A703 control symbol 580-1-1 part 4, pp305-307. (2) APRO Bulletin Nov 1963 p.6. (3) Queensland UFO Magazine Vol 1 No 2 p.6.)
May 22, 1963; Pequannock, New Jersey (BBU 8363)
10:45 p.m. Myra Jackson saw 4 pink wheels spin or roll very fast from E to W in succession, each about 1 sec. (Berliner)May 31, 1963; 44N 49W (Atlantic) (BB)
May 23, 1963; Sunnyvale, Calif.
Bluish disc observed hovering and circling slowly, apparently at tree-top height; rose vertically and disappeared. [Report via Bay Area NICAP Subcommittee.]
2:03 p.m. local time. Three radar tracks were detected at a speed of 1400 mph by an airborne radar. There was no visual sighting although the targets were indicated at ranges of 2, 3 1/2 and 5 miles. Two of the targets were following identical paths. The length of the observation was 3 minutes.
June 15, 1963; About 200 miles N of Venezuela (BBU 8388)
10:39 a.m. 3rd Mate R. C. Chamberlin, of S/ [SS?] Thetis saw luminous disc travel at 1.5 times the angular speed of a satellite. (Berliner)
June 16, 1963; Palmerston, North City, N.Z.
A college student observed two brilliant lights descending in zigzag fashion. The UFOs hovered stationary for about 5 seconds, then "suddenly shot off at very great speed, at first in level flight across my front, then climbed up into the sky at approximately 45 degrees to disappear." [Witness interviewed by NICAP Adviser Harold H. Fulton.]
June 18, 1963; Niagara Falls, N. Y.
An unidentified object flashing various colors moved around erratically for over two hours. Witnesses in separate locations described the maneuvers similarly. About 10:00 p.m., the UFO moved from west to east, reversed direction and headed back west. Later, it headed southeast rising higher in the sky. Local astronomers and airport officials could not account for the object. [Report from NICAP member.]
June 19, 1963; Burlington, Mass.
An unidentified white light was observed descending, changing color; finally appeared silvery. The UFO then circled the area, disappearing behind objects on the visible horizon. [Report via Walter N. Webb, Boston NICAP Adviser.]
June 21, 1963; Chicago, Ill.
A student saw a gray, apparently spherical UFO with a central row of yellow lig3hts. Apparently at low altitude, the object made a "sizzling sound" as it moved east, turned sharply and disappeared to the north. [Witness filed NICAP report form.]
June 26, 1963; Rockland, Mass.
About 1:00 a.m., witnesses attracted by a loud roar observed a Saturn-shaped UFO. The object hovered, then moved away horizontally. The shape was observed in silhouette, partly illuminated by a white light on top and orange light on bottom. [Witnesses interviewed by NICAP member Raymond Fowler.]
June 26, 1963; Pine Crest, Calif.Four glowing greenish objects with halos were observed by a technician, many others. Three objects moving westerly were approached by a similar object from the west. The fourth object stopped and hovered as the three approached, split formation, and continued west. Then the fourth object continued east. [Report via Bay Area NICAP Subcommittee.]
Summer 1963; Middletown, New York (8371)
9:30 or 10 p.m. Grace Dutcher saw 8-10 lights move at random, then in an oval formation, then singly. (Berliner)
July 1963; Boston, Mass.
An advertising plane caused several erroneous UFO reports. (Aircraft identified by NICAP Adviser, Walter N. Webb.)
July 1, 1963; Glen Ellyn, Illinois (BBU 8434)
8 p.m. R. B. Stiles, II, using a theodolite, saw a light, the size of a match head at arm's length, flash and move around the sky. (Berliner)
July 2, 1963 (approx); Tuscon, AZ
Large blimp like object reported. [In this area is the Davis Monthan AFB Titan II Missile Site, home of the 390th Strategic Missile Wing consisting of 18 Launch Facilities around the Tuscon area].
July 18,1963; Sunnyvale, Calif.
A technical writer for United Technology Center saw a disc-shaped UFO hovering in the sky. He exposed 8 mm color film of the object using a 36 mm telephoto lens. (A few frames of the film were submitted to NICAP, but the image is too small to show detail.) When four jet interceptors converged on the UFO (three from the west and one from the east), it drifted westward tilting back and forth, "then pulled up in a short arc and shot up out of sight in an estimated three seconds." [Report via Bay Area NICAP Subcommittee.]
July 20, 1963; Springfield, Ill.
About 7:50 p.m., a shiny silver object was observed hovering at high altitude. The UFO moved up and down, back and forth, but remained in the same area of the sky. About dusk, the object (now resembling a bright star) began moving across the sky, picking up speed, and disappeared in the distance. [Witness filed NICAP report form.]
Aug. 1, 1963; Garston, Herts., England
A former RAF pilot, and flying instructor, observed a triangular UFO which hovered for a long period of time, then climbed out of sight. An air traffic controller four miles away also observed the UFO. [FLIGHT International, 15 August 1963.]
Aug. 4-5, 1963; Near Mt. Vernon (or Keenes) to Wayne City, Illinois (BBU)
11:30 p.m. 12:20 a.m. (EDT). Ronnie Austin and Phyllis Bruce while driving E noticed a bright white round object to the SW about 20° elevation then S then N which followed them for several miles. When Austin dropped off Phyllis at home it was to the E about 500 ft away and her sister Forestine also saw the object with them. After about 15 mins Austin attempted to leave for home but the object followed him, at one point as he headed E it came over his car at about 100 ft, changed color to orange and appeared car sized, hovered above the car while the car radio had whining noise static and car engine almost failed, then made a pass from behind W to E. On arriving home object was about 900 ft to the SE or E and other family members also saw it, Mr. and Mrs. Orville Austin, sister Roxie and a brother. (NICAP)
Aug. 6, 1963; Sanford, Florida
Orville Hartle, Chairman of the LaPorte, Indiana NICAP Subcommittee, on a brief visit to Florida, observed a UFO. He obtained a full report with signatures of 13 additional witnesses. The object appeared in the northwest sky first as a red, then a white moving light. To the west, the star-like light hovered, then moved south. To the south, the object began a series of gyrations and pulsated on and off, visible intermittently. It moved up and down, back and forth, once emitting a flare of greenish-white light.
Aug. 7, 1963; 4 miles E of Fairfield, Illinois (BBU)
8:45-9:10 p.m. Chauncey Uphoff and Mike Hill heard dogs bark, saw a yellowish-orange diamond shaped noiseless luminous object to the SW about 1,000 ft altitude moving E, joined by a pinpoint white light that went from SE to NW climbing with a possible drumming sound and when near the first object the latter blinked out. When the pinpoint light disappeared to the NW the diamond-shaped object reappeared as dim gray to the SW maneuvering towards them to the S about 45° elevation then SE with a U-turn or loop, appearing on edge with a tail or trail, changing color to orange then brilliant bluewhite, disappearing in the SE. Object's angular size much larger than the moon. (NICAP)
August 9, 1963; Mt. Vernon, Illinois (BBU)
10:10 pm. Former Mayor Harry Bishop observed a large, bright red light which appeared to be only about 300 or 400 feet high, was oval shaped, and was "about the size of a washtub." It followed a
Aug. 11, 1963; Warrenville, Illinois (BBU 8506)
10 p.m. R. M. Boersma saw a light move around the sky. (Berliner)
Aug. 13-14, 1963; St. Calen, Switzerland (BBU 8514)
8:04 p.m. A. F. Schelling saw a fireball become a dark object after 4 mins, then a bigger glow, 1 min later, finally exploding. Note: same witness had another, un-described, sighting on Aug. 14. (Berliner)
Aug. 13, 1963; Nr. Ellsworth, Maine
A family and their housekeeper observed an elliptical object, apparently on the ground adjoining Molasses Pond, for more than an hour. Body lights were visible along its length, and rays of light shone upward from each end of the object occasionally. [Witnesses interviewed by Walter N. Webb, NICAP Adviser.]
Aug. 13, 1963; Honolulu, Hawaii
While vacationing in Hawaii, a chemist observed a UFO and reported it to NICAP. Dr. Richard Turse, Princeton, N.J., about 11:30 p.m., saw a round reddish object pass overhead from southwest to northeast. The UFO "traveled across the sky at great speed making two sharp turns at the same speed."
Aug. 18, 1963; Ft. Kent, Maine
A silvery disc-shaped UFO was seen by two young boys, whose parents agreed they must have seen something unusual. The disc passed from north to south, emitting a hum intermittently.
Sept. 14. 1963; Susanville, Calif. (BBU 8548)
3:15 p.m. E. A. Grant, veteran of 37 years training forest fire lookouts for the U.S. Forest Service, saw a round object intercept a long object then either attach itself to the latter or disappear. (Air Force Project Blue Book 1963 Summary, Berliner)
Sept. 15, 1963; Vandalia, Ohio (BBU 8549)
6 p.m. Mrs. F. E. Roush saw 2 very bright gold objects, one shaped like a "banana" the other like an "ear of corn," one staying stationary, the other moving from W to N. (Berliner)
Sept. 20, 1963; Huntsville, Arkansas
A rancher reported watching an egg-shaped UFO moving eastward about 10 degrees above the southern horizon. Through binoculars, a dark spot was visible near the top of the object. As it proceeded west, the UFO dimmed, turning orange, and faded from view after 10-15 minutes. [Witness reported sighting to NICAP.]
Sept. 20, 1963; Wonthaggi, Victoria, AU
TV difficulty, viewer called outside to see UFO. Object hovered, darted at high speed. TV I/F noted in area of three towns.
Sept. 26, 1963; Sunnyvale, Calif.
Police officer, many others, observed a gray disc with central bright spot, moving on a westerly course at high speed. [UFOE, VII]
Oct. 2, 1963; Mediterranean, Off the coast of Sardinius
At approximately 2:00 a.m. local time, Radar operator Harry Jordan, on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42), was on watch when he saw a radar contact 600 miles down range at 80,000 feet altitude. The object moved to 300 miles at 35,000 feet and then to 10 miles range at 10,000 to 15,000 feet. The object was tracked at speeds up to 4,000 mph. and flew in a Z-pattern making right angle turns. The officer of the deck was informed and woke up the Captain, who ordered the scramble of two F-4 Phantom II jets. The object was moving closer to the ship and suddenly disappeared from the radar scope. The object reappeared and was getting closer to the Roosevelt. The object came to within several hundred feet of the ship as at least 15 persons with binoculars watched the object hover for a moment. This was at approximately at 2:32 a.m. The object then disappeared. (Dan Wilson)
Oct. 4, 1963; East Hartland, Conn.
State Representative L. B. Martin, about 1:00 p.m., saw a silvery triangular object with a row of black dots across the leading edge. The UFO passed overhead, emitting a flame-like tail, at an estimated speed of 2000 mph. [Report obtained by NICAP-CONN Affiliate.]
Oct. 4, 1963; Bedford, Ohio (BBU 8581)3:32 p.m. R. E. Carpenter, 15, saw am intense oblong light with tapered ends, surrounded by an aqua haze, flash and flicker while stationary. (Berliner)
Oct. 6, 1963; Philadelphia, Penna. (BBU)
Freidman. (Mary Castner/CUFOS)
Oct. 7, 1963; Lanham, Maryland. (BBU)
Francis. (Mary Castner/CUFOS)
Oct. 21, 1963; Trancas, Argentina
Disc, E-M, occupants, numerous traces.
Oct. 23, 1963; Meridian, Idaho (BBU 8603)
8:35 p.m. Several unnamed students, including Gordon, and an adult saw an object shaped like a circle from below and a football from the side, hover low over the observers, making a deep, pulsating, loud, extremely irritating sound, changed course to SW, disappeared behind houses and trees. (Mary Castner/CUFOS; Berliner)
Oct. 24, 1963; Cupar Fife, Scotland (BBU 8604)
No time given. A. McLean, 12, and G. McLean, 8, saw a light move for an unspecified length of time. No further details in files. Note: BB Chief Maj. Quintanilla told the youngsters, in a letter, this was "one of the most complete" of the unexplained cases for the year. (Berliner)
Oct. 31, 1963; Daylston, Victoria, Australia4:15 a.m. In pre-dawn darkness, 28 year old Jim Davidson, who was driving a bread van, noticed a glow in the sky to his left, which increased in size as it approached him. When it reached him, it then followed his vehicle, at a distance estimated to be 100 yards ahead, and 80 feet up. It was 8-12 feet long and glowed orange, except for two rear tail sections which glowed red. 'It was more like a cloud.' He followed it for two miles. It then moved to his right, and continued to pace the van. Then it went further to his right; accelerated over a hill, and started to descend. He lost sight of it as a moving orange glow, over the sea. The duration of the sighting was not stated. (Source: Keith Basterfield; (1) Australian Flying Saucer Review. May 1964. p.3. citing the Wonthaggi Express newspaper of 7 Nov 1963. )
Nov. 3, 1963; Corona, N.Y.
A Pan American Airways mechanic, about 1:30 a.m., noticed a star-like object maneuvering across the northern sky. The light moved rapidly, slowed and seemed to "shudder," then changed course by about 45 degrees. Finally it made a 90-degree turn, accelerated, turned again and disappeared from view. [Report obtained by New York NICAP Subcommittee.]
Nov. 7, 1963; San Francisco, Calif.
Fireball observed, shock wave felt, over Bay area. Unidentified signal picked up by local radio station.
Nov. 12, 1963; Argentina
An official Argentine Navy UFO report. Combined visual and E-M incident involved the Navy transport A.R.A. "Punta Medanos." A large airship (never identified) was sighted from the stern of the vessel. The huge UFO was round-shaped, and it was moving at great speed. It displayed no lights and made no sound. As the unknown object appeared, the needles of the ship's magnetic compasses "suddenly and simultaneously" swung off course, pointing toward the UFO. At the time, the Navy report states, the UFO was 2,000 meters (well over a mile) away from the ship.
Nov. 12, 1963; Port Huron, Michigan
Deputy Sheriffs chased a low-flying UFO which first appeared as a white flashing light. At times the object seemed to have a "big divided window" on it. When the UFO hovered, the deputies approached and flashed their squad car light. Then a flashing red light became visible on the UFO. The object finally moved away to the northwest making a motor-like sound. Other residents reported a flashing light and "high-pitched" or "whining" noises at the same time.
Nov. 14, 1963; Carson City Nevada
A huge bluish-green disc was seen hovering in the northwest sky about 4:45 a.m. Mrs. Blanche Pritchett said she was listening to her radio when a bright light shining through her drapes caused her to look outdoors. As she watched the hovering object, her radio went off. A brilliant shaft of light from the UFO illuminated a hilltop. Suddenly the UFO blacked out and disappeared, after which the radio resumed playing. Other residents reported odd glows in the sky that morning. [VIII]
Nov. 20, 1963; Neche, N.D.
Two high school girls reported that a bright orange, oval-shaped object circled their car at night while they were en route home. They were on highway 55 east of town when they first saw the UFO. It appeared to be surrounded by a light haze. The glowing object sped across in front of the car and circled around the side before disappearing to the southeast.
Dec. 2, 1963; Grand Rapids, Michigan
A motorist stopped at a traffic light about 9:30 a.m., noticed a strange object "glittering in the sun." Then the object tipped on edge (revealing a disc shape) and quickly sped away to the southeast. The shape was "like a pancake."
Dec. 5, 1963; Nr. Carrasco, Uruguay
An oval UFO, metallic-looking like aluminum, was observed hovering in the clear morning sky by hundreds at a resort. One description said the object "balanced gently in the air."
Dec. 6-7, 1963; APO 253, France (BBU)
At 1710Z, RAPOC, of the 322 Air Division (Combat cargo) reported an object heading north-west at 400 feet, ground speed 40-50mph. Close to the touchdown on runway 23, the object appeared to fall from the sky. At 1030hrs , a radar reflector was recovered from a tree at the location. Its source was unknown. (Basterfield, Fold3; McDonald list; Sparks.)
Dec. 10, 1963; White Plains, NY. (BBU)
Dec. 11, 1963; McMinnville, Oregon (BBU 8647)
7 a.m. W. W. Dolan, professor of mathematics and astronomy, and dean of the faculty of Linfield College, saw a bright, star-like light hover, slow, dim and flash. (Berliner)
Dec. 16, 1963; Pacific, 800 miles N of Midway Island (BBU 8654)
5:05 p.m. crew of military aircraft saw a white light blink 2-3 times per second moving very fast across the sky. (Berliner)12:21 a.m. At an area approximately 780 miles NW of Honolulu, one object was sighted on radar on MATS aircraft 21837 flying at 20,000 feet. The object appeared to be making passes at an estimated speed of 380 knots on the MATS aircraft. Radar pickup only. The object seemed to be using radar. (Dan Wilson)
Dec. 21, 1963; Pacific Ocean