The Kaliszewski  Sighting
Minneapolis, Minn.
October 10,11, 1951


Dr. James E. McDonald:
There are far more private pilots than airline pilots, so it is not surprising that there are more UFO sightings from the former than the latter. An engineer and former Air Force P-38 pilot, Joseph J. Kaliszewski, flying for the General Mills Skyhook balloon program on balloon-tracking missions, saw highly unconventional objects on two successive days in October, 1951 (Refs. 5, 7, 10). Both were reported through company channels to the official investigative agency (Bluebook), whose report (Ref. 7) describes the witnesses as "very reliable"' and as "experienced high altitude balloon observers."

On October 10, at about 10:10 a.m., Kaliszewski and Jack Donaghue were at 6000 ft. in their light plane, climbing toward their target balloon, when Kaliszewski spotted "a strange object crossing the skies from East to West, a great deal higher and behind our balloon (which was near 20,000 ft. at that time)." When I interviewed Kaliszewski, he confirmed that this object "had a peculiar glow to it, crossing behind and above our balloon from east to west very rapidly, first coming in at a slight dive, leveling off for about a minute and slowing down, then into a sharp left turn and climbing at an angle of 50 to 60-degress into the southeast with a terrific acceleration." The two observers had the object in view for an estimated two minutes during which it crossed a span of some 45-degress of the sky. No vapor trail was seen and Kaliszewski was emphatic in asserting that it was not a balloon, jet, or conventional aircraft.

The following morning, near 0630, Kaliszewski was flying on another balloon mission with Richard Reilly and, while airborne north of Minneapolis, the two of them noticed an odd object. Quoting from the account submitted to the official agency (Ref. 7, Rept. No.2):

"The object was moving from east to west at a high rate and very high. We tried keeping the ship on a constant course and using the reinforcing member of the windshield as a point. The object moved past this member at about 50-degrees per second. This object was peculiar in that it had what can be described as a halo around it with a dark undersurface. It crossed rapidly and then slowed down and started to climb in lazy circles slowly. The pattern it made was like a falling oak leaf inverted. It went through these gyrations for a couple of minutes and then with a very rapid acceleration disappeared to the east. This object Dick and I watched for approximately five minutes."

Shortly after, still another unknown object shot straight across the sky from west to east, but not before Kaliszewski succeeded in radioing theodolite observers at the University of Minnesota Airport. Two observers there (Douglas Smith, Richard Dorian) got fleeting glimpses of what appeared to them to be a cigar-shaped object viewed through the theodolite, but could not keep it in view due to its fast angular motion. In my conversations with Kaliszewski about these sightings, I gained the impression of talking with a careful observer, in full accord with impressions held by three other independent sources, including Air Force investigators.

Discussion - The October 10 sighting is officially categorized as "Aircraft," the October 11 main sighting as "Unidentified." When I mentioned this to Kaliszewski, he was unable to understand how any distinction could be so drawn between the two sightings, both of which he felt matched no known aeronautical device. Clearly, objects performing such intricate maneuvers are not meteors, nor can they be fitted to any known meteorological explanations of which I am aware. Instead, these objects seem best described as devices well beyond the state of 1951 (or 1968) technology.

Source: Dr. James E. McDonald, Prepared Statement on Unidentified Flying Objects, Page 44-45, Hearings, 1968.


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