050530
From: Bruce Maccabee
Subject: Oak Ridge Security Guard Reports Spinning Spherical Object, Oct 16, 1950
Distribution: NCP

The next day at about 1:30 PM,  John Isabell, a security guard of the Oak Ridge Patrol Force, saw a silver-white spherical object traveling from the southwest to the northeast and passing over the K-25  restricted area at high altitude.  It was white or silvery and round like a ball.   The second sighting on that day occurred at “exactly 2:55 PM.”   Mr. Isabell and two other members of the patrol force saw the same round object approaching from the northeast at a lower altitude and speed.  The object, while spinning about an axis, traveled in a wide circle toward the southwest and disappeared.  In a couple of minutes it  reappeared in the southwest at a very high altitude and headed northeast at a high rate of speed.   The guard phoned the information on the sighting immediately to headquarters where radar was picking up an indistinct target every third or fourth sweep over the K-25 area.  An F-82 was scrambled.  The ground witnesses reported that the fighter plane arrived about 15 minutes after the object had disappeared.  (The ATIC sighting analysts subsequently decided that this object was a balloon in spite of the decription of spinning amd in spite of the odd flight path.)  Later on, during the evening, some of the security guards heard strange, loud noises.

That same day, October 16, the CIC agent decided it was time to review the situation.  He wrote a report mentioning the 1947 and 1949 sightings and discussed the recent sightings.  The CIC took these sightings very seriously and thoroughly checked the backgrounds of the witnesses by using employment records and FBI reports in order “to ascertain their reliability, integrity and loyalty to the United States Government.”   The was no reason found to discredit these witnesses, many of whom were professional security guards.

The CIC and the other security agencies discussed the situation and attempted to arrive at some conclusions.  The CIC report of these discussions make amusing reading in view of the concerted attempt later on by ATIC to explain the sightings any way possible.  One gets the impression from the following document that, when it came to explaining UFO sightings as mundane phenomena, the security officials who were involved in the investigations had “been there, done that” and now they were looking for something new and convincing to explain these sightings:

“ The opinions of the officials of the Security Division, AEC, Oak Ridge; Security Branch, NEPA Division, Oak Ridge;  AEC Security Patrol, Oak Ridge; FBI Knoxville; Air Force Radar and Fighter Squadrons, Knoxville; and the OSI, Knoxville, Tennessee, fail to evolve an adequate explanation for OBJECTS SIGHTED OVER OAK RIDGE, however the possibilities of practical jokers, mass hysteria, balloons of any description, flights of birds (with or without cobwebs or other objects attached), falling leaves, insect swarms, peculiar weather conditions, reflections, flying kites, objects thrown from the ground, windblown objects, insanity, and many other natural happenings have been rejected because of the simultaneous witnessing of the objects with the reported radar sightings; because of the reliability of the witnesses; because of the detailed, similar description of the objects seen by different persons; and because of impossibility.”

“...because of impossibility”?  What was that supposed to mean?  It meant that all the suggested explanations had been rejected because, in view of the high quality of the witnesses and the descriptive details, these explanations were impossible.   So, having rejected mundane explanations, what were these objects?   The CIC agent continued:

“The trend of opinions seem to follow three patterns of thought.  The first is that the objects are a physical phenomenon which have a scientific explanation; the second is that the objects are experimental objects (from an undetermined source) guided by electronics and the third is similar to the second except that an intended demoralization or harrassment is involved.  The fantastic is generally rejected.

These objects have apparently followed only two patterns.  The first is that they  were sighted at the same hour on two consecutive days and the second is that the time of flight is either to or from the Northeast and Southwest, which directions (are) parallel the terrain ridges in the locality.”

The fantastic is generally rejected?

Source: UFO FBI Connection, 170-172