The 1972 UFO Chronology

Magazine cover depicting 1972 articles, courtesy of (Jim Klotz)

Map of sightings for 1972, courtesy of Larry Hatch's "U" Database (Pending)

Created: March 15, 2007, updated 5 April 2012
This is a 7-page chronology of UFO incidents and events for 1972
. I had taken a job transfer in 1971 which took me away from my NICAP subcommittee team at Vincennes, Indiana, and was now in contact with Walt Andrus working as a State Section Director for MUFON at Hillsboro, Illinois. By now the Air Force UFO project Blue Book had been closed down  for two years, but rumors shown to be true indicate they were still collecting reports (those which could affect national security) under a different system (see Bolender memo), one that had been in place long before the official closing. The effect of the media hype, which was the planned result of the Air Force officially ducking out of the UFO business, may have taken a toll on reporting by civilian sources. But this printout  shows something was still going on.  One of the most impressive incidents I was directly involved in was one by my younger brother who was somewhat of a skeptic at the time. (See October 9).

Our thanks for all these chronologies must go to our documentation team: Richard Hall (the original 1972 chronology from UFOE II), William Wise (Project Blue Book Archive), Dan Wilson (archive researcher), Brad Sparks (Comprehensive Catalog of Project Blue Book Unknowns), and Jean Waskiewicz (online NICAP DBase [NSID]).
Francis Ridge
NICAP Site Coordinator

The 1972 UFO Chronology

Jan.15 (approx), 1972; Malmstrom AFB, MT
UFO over missile silo, "crew" from the unknown craft reportedly broke into the missile silo, and some of its "crew" were examining the circuitry of the ballistic missile. (NUFORC)

Jan. 19, 1972; Phoenixville, PA
At least seven individuals including three police officers, reported observing a strange object in the shape of a "boomerang" hovering over Phoenixville High School around 9:30 p.m. Following release of a report on the sighting by local police, at least 12 other witnesses reported seeing UFOs over the town. One officer described the object as similar in size to a DC-3, with three red lights and numerous white lights around its perimeter.  (Reference: UFO INVESTIGATOR, February 1972, page 3)

Feb. 11, 1972;  Apollo Beach, FL
A 24-year-old college graduate employed as a credit manager for a nearby Tampa firm reported observing a disc-shaped UFO about 300 to 500 feet in the air and not more that 100 yards in front of the witness, flying right in front of his car around 10:40 P.M., as he was driving to a nearby store. It was about 50 to 60 feet long with a series of windows about the size of a door around its girth. The windows were lit and the light behind them was revolving. (Reference: UFO INVESTIGATOR, April 1972, page 4)

March 8, 1972; Muskegon, MI
A large number of witnesses, including police officers, FAA officials, U.S. Coast Guard personnel and numerous other Muskegon citizens observed a brightly colored UFO around 9:15 P.M., in the sky above this Michigan township. The object, according to most witnesses, appeared to give off a bright yellowish-white light and it traveled slowly across the sky. Witnesses stated the object seemed to stop and slowly change colors at various times during the period of observation The Coast Guard, which indicated many of its own personnel had witnessed the UFO, also indicated that channel 16, a UHF band used by Coast Guard, was filled with a strong code signal that could not be deciphered. Government officials later said that an investigation would be conducted and that they were under orders not to comment on the case until it was completed. The Air Force was contacted by the Michigan States Police at the time of the sighting. (Reference: UFO INVESTIGATOR, May 1972, page 3)

March 10, 1972; Milhousen, IN
4:00 a.m. Giant orange glowing boomerang object with no sound, one hour duration. Kenneth and Marie Gosnell watched pulsating orange glow come from low not visible field on Noah Gosnell's farm (father of Kenneth). Boomerang object arose from field and flew away. Noah and grandson found an object about 20 by 5 inches, mottled orange-red with pitted grey or purple surface object laying in the field. For its size it was extra heavy so they rolled it off the field planning to return the next morning with a tractor to get it. The object had disappeared when they returned. (Worley files)

At approximately 9:40 P.M., four young boys who were camping out observed a very bright light source descending slowly. The object then descended in a "sideways, zigzag" manner. The object slowed its descent and began to move directly over the boys. The boys could see that the object was not a helicopter and turned and ran to the home of one of the boys. The boys, asked individually to describe the object, said it looked like an octahedron-shaped object that appeared to be tilted at a 45-degree angle. The object had four pipe-like legs with "round pads" affixed to the end of each leg. As the object passed directly over the boys, they observed a flashing red light on the object's trailing side. A fiery 10-foot-long exhaust appeared beneath the object and seemed to changed colors. The boys described a number of bright, silver, inverted U-shaped cable-like things sticking into the top of the object. According to the witnesses the object passed over them at an altitude of approximately 150 feet. They described its size as between one and two car-lengths in both height and width. This case was investigated by NICAP's Massachusetts Subcommittee, under direction of Chairman Raymond E. Fowler. (Reference: UFO INVESTIGATOR, July 1972, pages 1, 4)

May 14, 1972; Germantown, IL
Three sisters who live on a farm about two miles southwest of Germantown, watched a brilliantly lighted UFO near their home at dusk. The object was first seen hovering over a neighbor's farm buildings to the southeast. The girls described the object as being of  half-moon shape with a dark gray, metallic body. At first the craft displayed two brilliant white lights described as being quite similar to car headlights. After hovering for about 11 minutes, the object began to move slowly to the west. At this point the white lights disappeared and blue, green, red and white lights appeared around the entire rim of the craft. These lights resembled aircraft running lights, but did not flash, and were visible until the craft was out of sight. Although the craft had been silent while hovering, when it moved to the west a sound similar to that of a small airplane was heard. However, the airspeed was about half that of a small plane. The girls observed the craft for about 15 minutes, and all had an opportunity to view it with 7x35 binoculars, and all were sure it was not an ordinary aircraft. The distance from their home to the craft when first seen above the neighbor's farm buildings is roughly a half mile, and they estimated the craft to be about 50 feet in diameter and about 200 feet above ground. (Skylook  72, page 8)

June 9, 1972; Algodonales, Cadiz, Spain
Motorist experienced engine failure, pulsating yellow oval object visible on road ahead. Object illuminated trees as it departed (UFOE II, Section XII).

June 11, 1972; Belleville, IL
10:00 p.m. Couple from Millstadt, IL, were driving on 59th St. Lady noticed strange configuration of lights describing a circle. Man stopped car. Circle of flashing lights "about as large as 50-cent piece held at arm's length," yellow-red lights like portholes in something circular, lit in arcs of several at a time. After 3 minutes observers re-entered car to pursue the objects, which they quickly lost. (SL-56, page 7)

June 16, 1972; Gary, IN
No details on this close encounter listed in EGBA. Witness was "Alterwitz". (EGBA, page 672)

June 19, 1971; George AFB, CA
1:00 a.m. Two airman at George AFB, California, verified each other's report of seeing a "bright orange object", that seemed to be 375 feet in diameter as it sank behind a building southwest of their security-police beat at the base. The airmen, Gary Corlevy and Randolph Wogoman, said the UF0 sighting apparently went unobserved by anyone else. They reported it to the air police, and to the Victorville Sheriff's Office and Adelanto Police Department. No evidence was found of the object having landed, it was reported by the base information office. (Skylook 57, page 12).

July 3, 1972; South Shore, MA
7:00 p.m.. More than two dozen witnesses reportedly observed a silvery "triangular-shaped" UFO for almost one hour (7-8 p.m.) before it disappeared behind clouds. One witness, a former Air Force Lieutenant, said, "It was translucent and I thought I could see blue sky through it, but its edges were white and well defined." A local Air Force official at Hanscom Air Force Base admitted receiving numerous reports of the UFO but said none was recorded in keeping with current Air Force policy. NICAP's Boston Subcommittee has investigated this case, and has determined that the UFO in question could have been a weather balloon launched earlier in the evening by a local US. Weather Bureau Station. (NICAP UFOI, Oct 1972, page 3)

July 10, 1972; Alcaracejos, Cordoba, Spain
Luminous object beamed light at car, engine lost power (UFOE II, Section VII).

July 19, 1972; Chicago, IL
10:42 p.m. Peter Reich, aerospace writer for CHICAGO TODAY, saw a UFO and wrote 4 column article. Incredible high-speed of object that looked like anti-collision beacon (red) over Lake Michigan. Estimated at 1/2 mile and 600 mph, object suddenly stopped, reversed course sharply and appeared to fly along a downward curve in opposite direction. (SL-58, page 12)

July 22, 1972; St. Louis, MO
8:30 p.m. Sixteen witnesses. Large UFO observed over highway intersection I-55 and Union Rd. by three children. KXOK received 13 calls. Object descended from North, hovered and appeared to rotate slowly as it launched five smaller objects. The larger object was described as a "football", with other objects 1/12th as large. Larger object took off straight up, others went different directions with crackling sound.(SL-72, page 10)

July 31, 1972; Belleville, IL
9:45 p.m. 3-4 Mins. Four people observed a yellow discoid object, 50-60' in diameter at 300' altitude while driving. The object disappeared toward the East of St. Louis. Lights in the middle flashed on and off, but the object had large square windows in the bottom. There was an unconfirmed radar track at Scott AFB. (SL-59, page 13)

Aug. 1, 1972; Lebanon, IN
Early morning. 45-min. First observed as a triangle of lights that just hovered. Object turned and flashed away at high speed. At this time there were three bright orange-red lights which illuminated the "saucer" which appeared to have "bat-like" wings. Observers watched with field glasses. (SL-60, page 9)

Aug. 11, 1972; Bensonville, IL
5:30 a.m. "It was shaped like a football and had a rim around it." Described as 50' long and windowless it continued to pulsate colors. First, a bright orange, then gray, then bright orange again. Estimated at 200' altitude other motorists in vicinity got out of their cars and looked at the object. (SL-59, page 11)

Aug. 11, 1972; Elgin, IL
5:30 a.m. Orange "football-shaped" object hovered over the ground, sighted by motorists. State Police in Elgin, the DuPage County Sheriff's Office, and suburban police departments reportedly received calls concerning the strange object. (See Bensonville, IL) (SL-59, page 11)

Aug. 11, 1972; Oak Brook, IL
5:30 a.m. Same object seen. (SL-59, page 11)

Aug. 12, 1972; Taize, France
Elliptical object with bright lights hovered near ground emitting light beams downward; satellite objects emerged. UFO reacted to flashlight (UFOE II, Section VI).

Aug. 19, 1972; Colby, KS
2:07 AM. Luminous, bowl-shaped object hovered near ground; blinding white light brightly illuminated terrain; object made "whooshing" noise, shot straight up (UFOE II, Section - V).

Aug. 20, 1972; Reading, PA
Three city police officers, including a sergeant, observed an oval-shaped object hovering several thousand feet in the sky above Mt. Penn. They said the object changed color from white to red to bluish-green. After an unknown period of time, the UFO suddenly shot upward and out of sight, according to the officers. (NICAP UFOI, Oct 1972, page 3)

Aug. 21, 1972; Portland, OR
9:45 p.m. A 39-year-old woman reported what appeared to be a solid object surrounded by pulsating lights. She first spotted the "elongated" object and observed it for approximately 20 minutes before it disappeared behind some tall fir trees. (NICAP UFOI, Oct 1972, page 3)

Aug. 21, 1972; Waukesha, WI
An 18-year-old restaurant manager claims he was driving down a lonely country road at night when he saw a large, orange, circular object 20 to 30 feet in diameter hovering at tree-top level. At the same moment, according to the lone witness, the entire electrical system of his car went dead. After a few seconds, the object made a strange "beeping" sound and took off. The witness was able to start his car but the rest of his vehicle's electrical system (lights, horn and radio) would not function.  (NICAP UFOI, Oct 1972, page 3)

Aug. 27, 1972; Lafayette, IN
9:00 p.m. A University of Purdue coed said she and a friend, while walking across the campus, spotted a "stingray-shaped" UFO with a shallow dome on top moving across the sky in a southwesterly direction. The object, according to the witnesses, appeared to tilt over on its side before disappearing from sight. (NICAP UFOI, Oct 1972, page 3)

Aug. 29, 1972;  Reading, PA
Three city police officers, including a sergeant, observed an oval-shaped object hovering several thousand feet in the sky above Mt. Penn. They said the object changed color from white to red to bluish-green. After an unknown period of time, the UFO suddenly shot upward and out of sight, according to the officers. (Reference: UFO INVESTIGATOR, October 1972, page 3)

Sept. 9, 1972; North Bay, Ontario, Canada
At 11:25 p.m. local time, one object with flashing red and green lights moving very slow
to moving at 300 knots at 4000 to 6000 feet altitude was observed visually and on radar at the North Bay Airport. The visual sighting correlated with the North Bay Terminal radar return at 340 degrees at six miles range. Object appeared to turn in tight circles or hover for approximately 15 minutes. Radar contact was lost prior to visual contact. (Dan Wilson)

Sept. 11, 1972; Butler, IN
1:55 p.m. 8-10' altitude!!! City Editor of the Aubury Evening News was in the Butler Police Station when a woman walked in. "She looked nervously at us, then obviously steeled herself and spoke to the Marion County Parole Officer. 'Will you promise not to think I'm crazy if I tell you something?" Her hands shook, her brow was damp with sweat. 'I saw this thing. I was driving along State Rd. 1 near a woods at County Rd. 34. I came up over the crest of a high hill and there it was, about 3' above my car. It was about a car length long, but perfectly round with what looked like red fluorescent paint along the top, and it had four feet coming out of the bottom." Investigation showed skid-marks where she braked the car, another man report a funny noise, another witness reported a high-pitch whine. (SL-60, page 5)

Sept. 13, 1972; Burlington, CO
A rural family, who police say are responsible people, reported that a UFO "as big as a house" flew parallel to their car as they were driving down a country road at night. One witness said the object landed and took off twice in a nearby field. The object, according to the witness, was round and big, and "rays" appeared to be coming out of it. (NICAP UFOI, Oct 1972, page 3)

Sept. 14, 1972; W. Palm Beach, FL
4:20 a.m.. A unidentified "bogie" was detected on radar at the West Palm Beach International Airport by FAA air traffic controller C. J. Fox. Fox described the contact as a "good clear target." The object was tracked for over an hour when at approximately 6:00 A.M., NORAD was alerted. Two F-106 jet fighters were dispatched from Homestead AFB, south of Miami, to locate and identify the the unknown object. The object disappeared from radar scopes shortly before the jets arrived. There were visual reports from the West Palm Beach International Airport by FAA watch supervisor George Morales. He viewed the object through binoculars and described the object as silver white in color and cigar shaped. Officials at Miami International Airport, which also tracked the strange object, reported no aircraft was known to be in the area where the UFO was spotted. (UFO INVESTIGATOR, October 1972, pages 1, 4)

Sept. 20, 1972; Howard, IN
Humanoid report. No details, but witness' name was Eastman. (EGBA, Page 673)

Oct. 9, 1972; Vincennes, IN
10:00 a.m. Several area residents reported sighting a silvery, blimp-shaped object high in the sky over Knox County at midmorning today, but Vincennes and Knox County police said they had no clues to its identity. Knox County police were called shortly before 10 a.m. by a rural resident between Bicknell and Freelandville, who described the object as "shaped like a blimp" and hovering in the area near her home. Major Joseph Hess of the county police said he called another person in the same area, who confirmed the sighting. Meanwhile, city police received a telephone can from a woman who "followed the UFO from Bicknell to Vincennes." No figures were available on apparent size, speed or height of the object, but all observers gave similar descriptions of its shape. (Note: I have a signed report from my brother who witnessed this, himself. It looked like a "water tower without legs".  This object was very low, not "high in the sky" as the press report stated.- Ridge)

Oct. 14, 1972; McChord AFB, WA
2:00 p.m. Two airmen were instructed to check the tactical air navigational (TACAN) facility located eight miles east of McChord Air Force Base. The TACAN site was situated on government land maintained by the United States Army, Ft. Lewis. Briggs and Hillsgeck drove to the TACAN site at approximately 1300 hours. Upon their arrival, they opened the locked fence surrounding the TACAN facility and entered the compound. Once inside the compound, they opened the TACAN building and began to conduct a systems check of the TACAN equipment, Briggs heard a strange sound outside the building. According to Briggs, it sounded like a high pitch engine. Briggs exited the building to investigate the sound. Once outside, Briggs observed a saucer shaped object directly above the TACAN building. Briggs watched as the object landed just south of the TACAN compound. Briggs was startled by the object and entered the TACAN building to summoned Hillsgeck. Once Hillsgeck and Briggs exited the building together, they observed two "creatures" walking towards the fence. (See report by Bill Hamilton)

Oct. 14, 1972; Lorraine, IL
9:00 p.m. A gentleman, while driving a tractor on a side road, observed a dark, rectangular-shaped object (more like a trapezoid) outlined in blue light. Observed suddenly for 3seconds it then switched off. The farmer continued on down the road and 4-5 minutes later the object suddenly reappeared and flew off in 15 seconds. (SL-62, Page 10)

Nov. 24, 1972; Patoka, IL
6:45 p.m. A lady was on her way to Patoka from her home on RR 2, 2 miles SW of the city, when she saw a sudden flash in the sky. First expected to be a "falling star" she then saw it was moving rapidly in a zigzag fashion from W-E and she slowed her car to watch. When seen at best performance the object seemed to be a silvery disc. It was still in the sky when she reached town. When she went into the grocery store a lady shopper told her that her son had picked up transmissions on his short wave about strange lights in the sky. Later that evening the Patoka telephone operator received two calls from Odin, IL (8-10 miles SE) asking where to report strange lights in the sky north of Odin (SL-62, Page 11)

Nov. 26, 1972; Bt. Bedoga Bay and Woodland, CA
Judy Kendall abduction, three types of beings (UFOE II, Section XIII).

1. NICAP UFOE II: Volume II, The UFO Evidence, A Thirty-Year Report - Richard Hall, 2000
2. CUFOS report, Rodeghier,
3. NUFORC, Reports gleaned from National UFO Reporting Center, Seattle, WA, Peter Davenport
4. SL = Skylook publication by MUFON


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