By Fran Ridge

Inexplicable and thought-provoking events have been reported throughout the history of UFOs/UAP. My team experienced several of these things in the 1970's when we had the time to conduct skywatches. You can read about them in detail, but there was one incident where we went on skywatch to observe an IFO, and a real UFO showed up! On another occasion on a routine skywatch one of our spotters saw an unidentified target coming out of the northeast and remarked,"we got a bogey." All three observers, yours truly included, had binoculars trained on the target which was a very bright white object coming head-on out of the northeast. Within seconds all three spotters witnessed a complete flight reversal without any turn radius and without any deceleration or acceleration and the object headed back northeast. I was reminded of this after watching the Skinwalker episodes  but also thinking back about the Nimitz and FA-18 encounter with the "tic tac" in 2004. Upon leaving the area of the jet encounter, the object had raced  straight to the carrier force's "cap point" over 40 miles away! These objects are aware of our presence and have taken certain actions to demonstrate this. In some instances there have been unexplained bursts in background radiation. And in other cases a spike in spectrum analyzer readings. We can take advantage of this information, MADAR, and the right equipment, this could be the basis for an interesting scientific experiment. 

It's very difficult to see anything at the MADAR Operations Center at Newburgh, Indiana, because of the way the taller buildings are bunched together, and especially with the security lights used extensively for protection. When the MADAR 142 goes in a code blue alert the operator grabs a night vision camera and goes outside, looking for a dark area to film the limited amount of visible sky.  So skywatches are definitely out of the question here, in the normal sense. But the MOC does have some very interesting equipment within its control room. I'm suggesting and planning some experiments at a much better location. Norris City, Illinois is 50 miles east at Newburgh. If the exercises are successful, I then suggest the team move the experiments to another location to see if the results are similar or radically different.

Skywatch Outpost 2
Close-up view looking southheast

This beautiful area about 2 miles SE of the Norris City, Illinois MADAR site 115 is perfect for skywatch patrols. The N-S line is actually running diagonally from almost lower left to upper right, and right through the property and open area associated with the long driveway. The circular area within the driveway "dipper" is larger than it looks. In fact the house is pretty large and at the end of the driveway near the top. This site is 50 miles west of the MADAR Command Center at Newburgh, Indiana. There are two other MADAR sites in-between these two locations and three others further east.

S. Illinois and S. Indiana MADAR Array.

The MADAR Project has over 160 sites in the U.S. and around the world. The MADAR sites from Norris City, Illinois  (115) to Mt. Vernon, Indiana (119) to Evansville (153) to Newburgh (142) [MADAR Operations Center] stretch along a 50-mile line and are part of the initial experiment to be conducted this year. It may soon encompass 114 at Santa Claus and possibly even sites 28 and 208 at Corydon, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky.

Basic equipment will include binoculars and a cell phone, but the main pieces being funded and incorporated are 1) a GQ GMC-500 geiger counter, 2) a GQ EMF-390 multi-field electromagnetic radiation meter for RF up to 10 Ghz and a 2.5 Ghz spectrum analyzer, and 3) a Creative XP night vision unit.  Three sites are already funded.

The planned experiments involve at least the two observation sites.  During skywatch operations the Newburgh site becomes the Skywatch Command Center and operates MADAR node 142.

The southern Illinois site is just outside the farming community of Norris City.  About a hundred feet behind the spotters is a stake driven in the ground with a strobe light flashing about every 2 seconds. Near the spotters is a car and the team has two night vision cameras, a geiger counter, and the spectrum analyzer. A conventional Sony camcorder is on hand if cell cameras fail to work as in many UAP instances. The spotters will be connected by recorded cell phone communications system referred to as Skynet Intercom during skywatch patrols, which at times may include the participation of observation sites in-between at Mt. Vernon, Indiana (site 119) and Evansville, Indiana (site 153), and at times sites even farther east. All of the MADAR sites are running 24/7 so they will be accumulating 1-minute datapoints even if they don't go into alert status. The team should have a third party with a cell phone who makes sure that all activities are relayed through the skynet intercom system. The main part of the team will be busy doing other things, and the command center may request certain actions be taken. 


MAVERIC (Multiple Audio/Video Environment Recording & Integrated Console) was intended to automatically record data when MADAR is triggered at the Newburgh site. But during skywatch patrols the director will override the system and put all the available equipment into a skywatch patrol status.

Night view of Command Center

Although the observation site team at Norris City will have a digital aircraft scanner monitoring the area where Kansas City Center, Indianapolis Center, and Memphis Center sectors converge, the Command Center at Newburgh has the same feed fed into the OBS program recording Flight Radar 24.

Besides the MADAR itself (not visible in this view), on the left side of the L-shaped console are several monitors. Directly left of the operator (and almost out of view) is a 21" LCD which is the Skyglobe program (see below) depicting all the stars and planets currently visible. To the right of that is the 42" LCD displaying the current Flight Radar 24 data, complete with full data block information on every flight, along with audio aircraft scanner feed. Above these monitors are wall-mounted LCDs displaying other data but especially the output of the GMC-300E geiger counter. Archived data from that counter is stored online.  More to the right and In front of the operator is the main computer with a 32" monitor which displays the Reolink Skycams (also seen below). Above that is a smaller LCD which is a heads-up quad security display of four pieces of equipment. 1) A mounted camera monitored EMF-390 meter (spectrum analyzer), 2) a camera-monitored standard magnetic compass, 3) another view of the geiger display mentioned earlier, and 4) the Accurite Lightning Alert which shows energy bursts. All recorders are either active 24/7 or are available within minutes and three main external 3 terrabyte hard drives store all the data.


This Skyglobe program can identify any star or planet visible in the region. Anything conspicuous in the sky during an exercise will be pointed out to the team(s) prior to the skywatch.


This is a Flight Radar 24 view of the region we are talking about. Notice where the three aircraft ARTC control centers join together SW of the cloud in the center of the monitor. This image also shows that cloud just east of the Norris City site.

ReoLink Skycams
Close-up view of above

This is an early morning view from the ReoLink skycams, the moon shown in the bottom left quadrant. Normally the skycams are automatically recording from 9 PM to 6 AM. These cameras are angled up and towards the four compass points.


The skywatch will begin when observers are at their observation sites and are punched into Skynet Intercom. This is similar to the Plan 62 the Air Force used during the Mantell UFO chase in January of 1948, except two-way communication and recording will document each event during the exercise. The aircraft scanner is turned on, the volume set and the squelch adjusted. The geiger counters and spectrum analyzers will be turned on and the record button selected and set to alert the team if readings exceed the planned thresholds. If either of these devices are activated, or if a MADAR goes into a code blue alert, the team will be on full alert and will belooking for visual targets. As soon as possible night vision will be brought to bear and used to illuminate and record anything of interest.

CREATIVE XP Digital Night Vision Binoculars Pro
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Creative Pro XP with infra-red tactical night vision

During the entire patrol, any and all of the activities of importance will be recorded with necessary communications back and forth when needed between participants, even with other sites which may be involved. And since all the equipment  is basically hands-free, the data will be downloaded later on computer, filed, and studied.  For this reason each piece of equipment will be marked with the part and site number. This includes imaging from the hard drives of the night vision cameras, the geiger counter, the spectrum analyzer, etc. With this type of documentation there will be no questions about who, what and when. The Skynet Intercom will say that someone got a burst of radiation and could see no visual target until the night vision betrayed its presence. The data from the other pieces of equipment will (or may not) back this up.

It is very important to mention that while a MADAR-equipped site near a skywatch team might not be triggered during a skywatch, SCRAM data (specific column readings and measurements) contained within the MADAR's spreadsheet could yield extremely important information. The magnetometer reading could show an increase before or during a documented event. Or the onboard compass may show a significant variation in the readings. For that reason a special form will be created to make sure all the necessary checks and processing are completed.

If the first experiment proves to be moderately successful, another one of longer duration will be planned.  Later on, an experiment would be to take the equipment to a different location to see if the phenomenon follows the observers or is indigenous to the original area. There could be many times when a MADAR site may wish to conduct an unscheduled skywatch patrol and test new ideas and equipment. If a site in our array is having sightings or uncorrelated targets (unexplained MADAR "hits") it would be imperative to invite others to participate. 

Another idea would be to have a tripod with a piece of 4" vinyl post sleeve mounted vertically.  On the four sides of the sleeve, 4 trail cameras could be mounted and an all-sky camera mounted on top. This could be placed near the observation site DURING an excercise and left overnight, the SD cards swapped out the next day and studied. And again, all cameras will have ID numbers and the SD cards also numbered so we know which camera and SD card were used and what direction it was pointed. That would be listed on the form I proposed earlier as well.

This should be an exciting, or at least interesting year. Before the year's end the Santa Claus site (114) will be in a better location and across Christmas Lake. A balcony-like patio will be perfect for a skywatch.

Fran Ridge
MADAR Command Center