The Case of the USS Philippine Sea
February 2, 1952
Off the east coast of Korea

Dr. J. Allen Hynek:
On February 2, 1952 radar operator aboard the aircraft carrier Philippine Sea picked up an unidentified high-speed UFO off the east coast of Korea.  The object was first detected at a distance of twenty-five miles and when it closed to twenty miles it made a wide turn to the east, opening to a course directly away from the carrier.  As excerpted from a message to the Commander Naval Forces Far East sent by the Philippine Sea, the report on the speed and unusual separation into two objects of this UFO contact stated:  "Measured speed 10 miles per-minute (600 MPH) for first minute, I5 miles per minute (900 MPH) for second minute, 30 miles per minute (1800 MPH) for third minute.  Opened as 2 contacts 5 to 12 miles apart."

Three signal observers on the deck of the Philippine Sea also sighted the UFO visually and reported independently to the bridge that they could detect three exhaust flames.  The observers stated that the trail appeared to them as aircraft exhaust during the time the object reversed its course.  However, no aircraft at that time was capable of the incredible speeds attained by the UFO and no conventional aircraft were reported in the area.  The position of the object, sighted at seventeen miles from the carrier, was also held on the radar scope at that time. The estimated altitude of the object was 52,000 feet, and it faded from the radar scope at 110 miles.  During the time it was in view, the coast of Korea and the island of Uflung Do were visible at a distance of  twenty miles, and an escorting destroyer was visible on the scope 2,000 yards from the carrier.

The comment of the Intelligence Officer who prepared the report on this case was as follows:

"A thorough debriefing was made of the radar operator.  Personnel stated that the operator was very intelligent, efficient, and cooperative. Operator was cognizant of capabilities and limitations of the radar equipment and made careful plots, checking constantly.  At the time contact was closing, he queried the aircraft controller and when it was determined that it was not a friendly aircraft, the general alarm was sounded. The three minutes of careful plotting were made after the object had turned and was heading away from the station.  Operator was sure of the accuracy of the plots for the three minutes, and was adamant that the speeds shown were approximately correct."

A letter classified SECRET was sent on April 8, I952, by the Commander Naval Operations, Far East, to the Chief of Naval Operations, enclosing a track chart of the UFO and stating in part: “This is probably the first instance of a visual and radar contact on a high-speed aerial target being made simultaneously in the Far East.”

J. Allen Hynek