Case Directory - Category: 01; Distant Encounters
Subject:   Objects Sighted Over "Control Zone"
Date:       October 20, 1950
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Francis Ridge:
Not listed in either BB Unknown list, original or Comprehensive Catalog of Blue Book Unknowns , but has aspects that may ultimately classify it as an unknown. At 4:55 PM on October 20, Larry Riordan, the Superintendent of Security for the X-10 control zone became a witness.  While driving to a residential area he saw an object which he thought at first was a balloon which had lost its “basket.”   It was generally round, appeared to “come together at the bottom in wrinkles (rather indistinct and something was hanging below.”   It appeared to be 8 to 10 feet long and lead or gunmetal colored.  It didn’t seem to be moving but, since he was traveling and only saw it for a number of seconds, he couldn’t be sure.  He was sure it wasn’t a weather balloon, although he thought it might have been a gas bag balloon launched by the nearby University of Tennessee Agricultural Research Farm..  On the same day at 3:27 PM the radar unit at the Knoxville airport detected radar targets near the area of Mr. Riordan’s sighting and scrambled a fighter plane.  The pilot searched the area for about an hour and a half, which included the time of Mr. Riordan’s sighting, and found nothing.

Brad Sparks:
The Riordan sighting might be a balloon, but we won't know until AF data can fill in more details.

For reports, documentation, analysis or discussions - see below:
Objects Sighted Over Control Zone - Greenwood and Fawcett (Clear Intent)
FBI Document dated 25 October 1950, Page 1 of 3
FBI Document dated 25 October 1950, Page 2 of 3
FBI Document dated 25 October 1950, Page 3 of 3
The Oak Ridge Page

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