Form: Report
Dated: Undated
From: Brad Sparks
Subject: Archie 29 KC-97 Radar Case (BBU), July 5, 1955, Newfoundland, Canada


3:00-3:56 a.m. (AST).  At 3:00 a.m., USAF 97th Air Refueling Sq pilot Lt. Homer H. Speer and copilot Lt Paul Daily of KC-97 call sign Archie 29, and pilot Lt. Robert W. Schneck and copilot Lt. David Cueldner (sp?) of KC-97 Archie 91, both planes at 20,000 ft on a refueling mission out of Harmon AFB (48°32.7'N, 58°33.0'W), saw 2 bright objects at 49°10' N, 59°50' W, at 20,000 ft appearing stationary.  They reported sighting to Harmon at 3:05, made contact with radar site, 2nd Lt. Charles H. Denney, Senior Director, USAF ADC site N-23 (Air Defense Direction Center, 640th AC&W Sq, Harmon AFB, Stephenville, Newf., CPS-6B search and height-finder radar, TPS-502 backup height-finder, at 48°35.3' N, 58°40' W).  Radar painted object at 3:07 with intermittent contact till 3:56 (also 4-5 additional objects).  Archie 29 KC-97 in best position to close on object ordered to do so by Harmon, position 290° from radar site at about 80 miles, 10 o'clock to KC-97 [inconsistent with lat-long coords].  Objects started moving to NE at 50° true heading accelerating to 275 knots (300 mph) faster than Archie 29 KC-97.  After object reversed course to S heading, pilot Lt. Speer of Archie 29 reached closest approach to 18 miles distance, maintained visual contact with object calling direction changes of object to radar site by radio, changes correlated exactly with those painted on scope by controller. Brief height-finder radar contact at 35,000 ft.  Object began climbing at 3:38 a.m. and fighters scrambled, no radar or visual contact made.  Speer lost sight of object at about 40,000-50,000 ft.  Radar then tracked object accelerating to 1,600 knots (1,800 mph) moving off to NE.  At same times radar also painted 5 smaller objects at 5,000-10,000 ft (briefly detected on height-finder) and thus below the KC-97's at 30° true [heading??], 60 miles from radar, [inconsistent with other coords] moving very fast, changing direction and azimuth, jumping on and off scopes, forming circular pattern, changing to line abreast, traveling 10-20 miles then changing direction, speed 1,500+ knots (1,700+ mph).  Radar tracked about 4 objects at point of initial sighting on 40° true heading, speed 300 knots (350 mph).  Objects at 3:40 a.m. at 50°10' N, 57°50' [?] W.  One C-119 aircraft en route from Goose Bay passed within 5 miles of the objects, not known if seen.  Radar targets confirmed by 1st Lt. Anthony G. Scarpace (sp?), Ground Electronics Officer of 670th ACW Sq, who found radar operating properly and no inversion effects present.  Investigated by NEAC AFSSO (AF Special Security Office), reported to AFSS (NSA subunit not to be confused with AFSSO compartmented security agency), NSA and CIA.  (Sparks;  CIA, AF, NSA FOIA;  Project 1947) 56 mins 11+ witnesses RVJ