25 May. North Korea, (night)
According to military files, crewmen of an F-94 jet interceptor reported the following encounter in the night sky over the front:
".. .we saw a brilliant object above and in front of us and asked Bromide [the ground controller] if we could investigate. With his permission we made our first pass from north to south within 600 feet, then a succession of passes from cardinal compass points ranging to within 50 feet, but, because of the brilliancy of the light, we could discern no outline. On our last pass my Radar Observer looked back and said he thought he saw an object on our tail. I did not give much credence to his observation until Bromide called and said he painted an object on my tail. I then requested Bromide to vector me for an interception on this new unknown.(At this time the object was still in sight.) When I received my first vector I was south of the brilliant object and started a starboard turn to the intercept vector for the new unidentified. On a northeasterly heading my R/O gave me a lock-on, overtaking 50 knots, range 7,000 yards, nearly dead ahead and slightly above. When I closed to 6,000 yards, the object started to pull away and I threw the afterburner in (airspeed at this time was 250 knots). In a gradual climb and still with the object nearly centered on the scope, the range increased at a steady rate from 6,000 yards to approximately 26,000 yards in 12-15 seconds. At that range we broke lock. No evasive action was observed and no exhaust patterns such as might be expected."
(xx.) Air Intelligence Information Report No.52-85. Air Force BLUE BOOK files.
After checking the data, General Banfill released this conclusion:
"The distance covered by the object is approximately 68,500 feet. Acceleration is 650ft/sec/sec,(or approximately 20 'G' acceleration, (which is much more than the human body can stand for more than a fraction of a second). The final velocity is found to be 9450 ft/sec, or approximately 5580 knots (6420 mph)
"The radar sets are checked before and after every mission, and in this case appeared to be working normally. Even if it were assumed that the operator's timing, or the APG-33 [the F-94's airborne radar] calibration were off as much as 50%, the speed is still above any known type of missile.
"No information has yet been received from the ground controller at Bromide [K-13] as to the returns plotted or the length of time that object was held in contact by the ground radar.
"The phenomenal acceleration reported leads to the belief that the APG-33 was not operating correctly at the time of contact, despite checks before and after the mission[!!!].
Signed: Charles Y. Banfill
Brigadier General, USAF
Deputy for Intelligence (xx.)