Adickes TWA DC-3 Case
Goshen, Indiana
April 27, 1950

Dr. James E. McDonald:
Another early airline sighting that seemed worth personally cross-checking involved the crew and passengers of a TWA DC-3 on the evening of 4/27/50 (Refs. 4,5,10,23). I have interviewed both the pilot, Capt. Robert Adickes, and the copilot, Capt Robert F. Manning, and confirmed all of the principal features first reported in detail in a magazine account by Keyhoe (Ref. 31). The DC-3 was at about 2000 ft., headed for Chicago, when, at about 8:25 pm., Manning spotted a glowing red object aft of the starboard wing, well to their rear. Manning sent to me a copy of notes that he had made later that night at his Chicago hotel. Quoting from the notes: 

"It was similar in appearance to a rising blood red moon, and appeared to be closing with us at a relatively slow rate of convergence. I watched its approach for about two minutes, trying to determine what it might be. I then attracted Adickes' attention to the object asking what he thought it was. He rang for our hostess, Gloria Henshaw, and pointed it out to her. At that time the object was at a relative bearing of about 100 degrees and slightly lower than we were. It was seemingly holding its position relative to us, about one-half mile away."

Manning's account then notes that Capt. Adickes sent the stewardess back to alert the passengers (see Keyhoe's account, Ref. 31), and then banked the DC-3 to starboard to try to close on the unknown object. Manning continues in his 4/27/50 notes: 

"As we turned, the object seemed to veer away from us in a direction just west of north, toward the airport area of South Bend. It seemed to descend as it increased its velocity, and within a few minutes was lost to our sight . ."

Discussion - Although, in my interview, I found some differences in the re collected shape of the object, as remembered by the two TWA pilots, both were positive it was no aircraft, both emphasized its red glow, and both were impressed by its high speed departure. Manning remarked to me that he'd never seen anything else like it before or since; and he conceded, in response to my query, that the decreased number of airline reports on UFOs in recent years probably stems chiefly from pilot reluctance to report. Both he and Adickes, like most other pilots I have asked, indicated they were unaware of any airline regulations precluding reporting, however. I mentioned to Adickes that there is indirect indication in one reference (Ref.5)) that the official explanation for this sighting was "blast-furnace reflections off clouds." He indicated this absolutely out of the question. It is to be noted that here, as in many other pilot sightings, an upper bound, even if rough, is imposed on the range to the unknown by virtue of a downward-slanting line of sight. In such instances, meteor explanations are almost automatically excluded. The Goshen case has no evident meteorological, astronomical, or optical explanation. 

Source: Dr. James E. McDonald, Prepared Statement on Unidentified Flying Objects, Page 46-47, Hearings, 1968.