Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 15:39:48 -0400
From: Mary Castner < and Jean Waskiewicz <>
Subject: Rockford Case, April 1955 - CRIFO Newsletter Transcripts
Cat: 1, 11

CRIFO Newsletter Transcripts:

CRIFO Newsletter June 03, 1955 pp 2 & 3

U.S. JETS FIRE ON UFO:  (Case 82, Rockford, Ill, April 1955)  Another bombshell, and, more evidence dismissing the idea that saucers are U.S. weapons! CRIFO's source for this information is very reliable and we are endebted to Frank Gallagher, of Roseville, Mich., for passing on some of the details with a promise of more to come. The account, according to Gallagher, centers around four GOC members, all businessmen in the Rockford area. Together, on watch, they witnessed an UFO near their post, and sent in a repot to the Filter Center in Chicago. Within minutes, jets were up on an intercept mission, and, according to the GOC members, fired on the mysterious object, causing it to explode. Before the explosion, however, GOC reported that a smaller round object shot out of the side of the parent device, then, in horizontal flight, passed up the jets, after which it was seen to turn on edge and disappear straight up into the sky. Gallagher's informant said that Air Force personnel moved in quickly and warned the GOC members to say nothing about the incident. However, earlier, the local Civil Defense Chief of the Rockford area did report the firing to the local press - who, in turn, explained away the affair by stating that jets had fired on a balloon.

EDITOR:  This incident of pursuit and firing upon an UFO by U.S. military aircraft is not without precedent. The writer has learned of several such incidents, one dating back to the Like Field affair, 1945. We also understand that, not too long ago, a guided missile installation near a certain AFB, fired a Nike at a saucer, hitting its target.


CRIFO Newsletter July 01, 1955 p 3



In light of these disasters, we may better understand the reason for secrecy and possibly a reason for the USAF's recent offensive-defensive action when intercepting UFOs. We cannot say that secret orders exist, permitting jet interceptors to fire on UFOs, but the Rockford incident, Case 82, seems indicative of such action. Mr. Frank Gallagher of Roseville, Mich., has sent us additional information surrounding the incident, and we believe that its review here is important.

We quote from the Rockford Register-Republic, April 8, 1955:

Three air force jets, a weather balloon and an interloper from out of nowhere added up to an aerial display between Rockford and Cherry Valley about 9:30 a.m. today. John C. Gregory, executive of the Winnebago county civil defense council, said he witnessed the weather balloon blowing up between here and Cherry Valley after the jets made a pass at it. Just prior to the explosion, Gregory said he saw a burst of flame. After the balloon exploded, Gregory said, another flat spherical object described as a brilliant white shot by the jets at a high speed, going from southeast to northwest. The jets were from O'Hare field at Park Ridge. Air Force officials at the field said the weather balloon was sent up from Minneapolis. Gregory watched the show from atop the old city hall building after he had received a report from a Rockford resident who saw the same display.

This lurid write-up brings many questions to mind. In the first place, we question the target being a balloon for the following reasons: (1) the jets were scrambled to intercept an unidentified flying object, thus ruling out any prearranged engagement; (2) jets are not permitted to fire on meteorological balloons; (3) jets are not permitted to fire on practice or random targets in or near residential areas.

Also Gregory's mention of an interloper described as flat, spherical and brilliant white removes any lingering doubts as to the nature of the intercept mission. On good evidence it seems that early April was aerially busy.9 We also note that April 8, the date of the Rockford incident, other UFOs of bizarre characteristics, were at large, not too many miles away.

9 See May, 1955 Issue, CRIFO Newsletter. Note dates of incidents.


CRIFO Newsletter August 05, 1955 p 2


Knowing the resounding importance of the Rockford Incident, Case 82, we wrote the Defense Department for information concerning Air Force policy which governs such action as described in July Orbit. We quote from their reply of July 28, 1955 in a letter signed by Captain Robert C. White: With regard to the Case 82 which you mentioned, we know of no instance where a military aircraft has fired on any unidentified object. Our aircraft do not fire on balloons, nor would they fire on any target in a residential area unless we were invaded by an enemy force.

Ed: Is it possible, in this instance, that our aircraft may have regarded the interloper as acting in a hostile manner and therefore considered it as a member of an enemy force?