*DATE: September 16, 1947 TIME: 2305 local CLASS: R/ air radar
LOCATION: SOURCES: AIR 203
Fukuoka Air Defense Command, Air Intelligence Reports, Jan. 1948
Japan Air Intelligence reports
RADAR DURATION: 10 minutes overall
(6 separate episodes)
EVALUATIONS: Project SIGN - no explanation
Air Intelligence Division, HQ USAF Intel/Office of Naval Intelligence--unknown/Soviet aircraft,
Defensive Air Branch, Air Intel Div, HQ USAF Intel - Possible Soviet photographic mission
FEAF - Possible Soviet Rocket (however this was felt very unlikely.)
Air Intelligence Report serial number: KO-94297
Added Case: Aldrich
Web Reference: AIR 203
b. On 16 September 1947, an MEW radar at Fukuoka, Japan, picked up a target at 89 miles and trailed it to 19 miles, where it faded. Speed was 840-900 mph. The speed measurement, made by a good crew through a 70-mile track, is believed accurate.
INITIAL SUMMARY: Extract from the Air Defense Command=s AAir Intelligence Reports@ January 1948, page 7-8 of AE@:
Fukuoka M-E-W Radar Site No. 1 (33-41N, 130-18E) reported detection of an unidentified target at approximately
1230/I, 16 September 1947. The target was estimated to be traveling between 840 and 900 mph, altitude 10,000 to 20,000 ft. It was originally picked up at 98 miles 40 degrees from radar site; first plot made at 89 miles 40 degrees, and carried to 19 miles 45 degrees. Target plotted within 13 miles of Northwest Airlines flight No..841. Four to six identified aircraft were in the scope coincidentally with the target and were plotted at normal speeds. Controller is reported of superior ability, and scope readers as good with average or better intelligence.
Assessment given the incident by the Air Defense Section of this Headquarters [FEAF] is that AIt is possible that the explanation of such targets lies in the field of radiation phenomena, with particular regard to dual reflection transmission paths.@
Subsequent investigation by this Headquarters established the following additional information:
......Interrogation of Northwest Airlines crew was negative.
......Weather: Cloud bases 2,000 to 5,000 ft., scattered to broken (.4 to .6) during the morning becoming broken to overcast during the afternoon; visibility never less than 6 miles; winds aloft; 50 knots from 30 degrees in the morning, 25 to 30 knots from 330 degrees in the afternoon.
.......Target was tracked through entire course on low beam of AN/CPS-1.
KO 94297 B-2 Secret
NOTES: Air Intelligence Report also ran this unattributed press report on the Japanese radar trackings. It is interesting that most of the information on these incidents was classified Secret or Top Secret, but that the story still reached the press.
Army Radar stations in Japan have been tracking fast planes through the skies over Northern Japan on overcast days -- they aren=t U.S. planes. Presumption is that the Russians are using them to map the territory by radarscope.
The Defensive Air Branch, Air Intelligence Division, HQ USAF Intelligence in Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff - 2, Subject: Radar Pick-ups of High Speed Targets in the Far East, dated 26 September 1947 could not come up with a satisfactory explanation for this incident. The speed was excessive for the this time period, and it was felt that the object might be a rocket, however the length of time of the object was seen on the radar scope seemed to rule out this possibility