Lt. Paul Orner Statement
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
AIRWAYS AND AIR COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE, ATC
DETACHMENT 733-5 AF BASE UNIT (103D AACS SQ)
9 January 1948
STATEMENT OF LT PAUL I ORNER
Following is an account of the sighting of unknown objects from the Control Tower on 7 January 48 at Godman Field.
On the above date at approximately 1400 CST a report
came in to the Control Tower through M Sgt Cook of a report of an unidentified
object flying at terrific speed in the vicinity of Maysville. This call was
cancelled minutes later by the Military Police at
Very soon thereafter several reports of the same
nature came from Flight Service saying this object was over
The Commanding Officer, Operations Officer, S-2 and Executive Officer were called immediately. Several minutes after the object was sighted a flight of four (4) P-51’s came over the field from the south. I instructed T Sgt Blackwell to call flight leader and ask if they had seen any evidence of this object. The flight leader answered negative and I suggested to the Operations Officer that we ask them if they had enough gas to go look for this object. The Tower operator was instructed to call the flight leader and he answered “yes” to this question. One (1) P-51 had permission from the flight leader to break formation and continue where he landed several minutes later on their original flight plan. The flight leader and two (2) other planes flew a course of 210° and in about five (5) minutes sighted the object. At first the flight leader reported it high and about one-half his speed at “12 o’clock”. Shortly thereafter the flight leader reported it at about his speed and later said he was closing in to take a good look. This was the last message from NG869, the flight leader. NG800 shortly thereafter reported NG869 disappeared. From pilots reports in the formation NG869 was high and ahead of the wing man at about 1515 CST to 1530 CST when he disappeared. NG800 said he was breaking off with other wing man to return to Standiford Field due to lack of gas. This was about 1523 CST to 1530 CST. From messages transmitted by the formation it is estimated the flight leader was at 18 to 20 thousand feet and the wing man at approximately 15 thousand feet wide formation when the flight leader NG869 disappeared. NG800 and other wing man returned to Standiford Field.
NG800 gassed up and got more oxygen and flew a second mission on the same heading of 210° to a position of about 100 miles south of Godman Field to an altitude of 33 thousand feet and did not sight the object. At about 1645 CST when NG800 reported not seeing the object I left the Control Tower.
At about 1735 CST I returned to the Control Tower and a bright light different than a star at a position of about 240° azimuth and 8° elevation from the Control Tower. This was a round object. It seemed to have a dark spot in the center and the object moved north and disappeared from the horizon at a point 250° from the Tower. The unusual fact about this object was the fact that it remained visible and glowed through the haze near the Earth when no other stars were visible and did not disappear until it went below the level of the earth in a manner similar to the sun or moon setting. This object was viewed and tracked with the Weather Station theodolite from the hangar roof.
CHECK-LIST – UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS
1. Date 7 Jan 48 Incident # 33a
2. Time Shortly after 1400 CST
3. Location Godman
4. Name of observer Lt. Paul I. Orner
5. Occupation of observer Detachment Commander
6. Address of observer Godman
7. Place of observation Control Tower
8. Number of objects 1 See Note attached
9. Distance of object from observer N/S
10. Time in Sight N/S
11. Altitude N/S
12. Speed half speed of P-51
13. Direction of flight N/S
14. Tactics Appeared stationary
15. Sound N/S
16. Size N/S
17. Color white
18. Shape like parachute - round
19. Odor detected N/S
20. Apparent construction N/S
21. Exhaust trails Seemed to be some red light around the lower part of it.
22. Weather conditions High - scattered but clear
23. Effect on clouds None
24. Sketches or photographs None
25. Manner of disappearance N/S
26. Remarks (over)
object first reported by Military Police at
Later, Lt Orner, returned to Control Tower (about 1735 CST) and perceived bright light at a position of about 240° aximuth and 8° elevation. It was a round object and did not resemble a star. Although there was a ----x haze the object remained visible and did not disappear until it went below the level of the earth in a manner similar to the sun or moon setting. This object was viewed and tracked with the Weather Station theodolite from the hangar roof.
RELIABILITY: Verified by Commanding Officer, Operations Officer, S-2 and Executive Officer. However, these officers were apparently present when second sighting took place.