Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 15:15:15 -0500
From: Jan Aldrich / Francis Ridge <>
Subject: RB-36H Encounter Over Dakotas
To:  A-Team

Late, 1956                      M/GR
Border between South and North Dakota, USA
(45°57N/ 103°36 W)

In the latter part of 1956, First lieutenant Lyod was a navigator on a RB-36H belonging to the 718th Squadron out of Ellsworth AFB near Rapid City, South Dakota. The RB-36H was cruising above the border between North and South Dakota in straight and level flight at about 435 mph and at 40,000 ft. Suddenly the left scanner in the aft compartment saw a metallic disc about one hundred feet across. He called on the intercom to tell the rest of crew that there was an object flying toward the airplane from its left-hand side and and took up a fixed position off the left wing less than 300 ft away. The object had a dome on top, like an observation dome, that had some portholes around it and it was circular in shape, approximately 100 ft in diameter. It flew just a few hundred yards off the aircraft wingtip in formation with it. Several crew members took 35 mm photographs using their standart-issue cameras. A radar site on ground confirmed that there was an object flying in formation with the RB-36H. (from Dr Richard F. Haines article "RB-36H Navigator describes UFO encounter in late 1956" and Colonel Llyod's testimony)

Interesting comments by Colonel Llyod:

This RB-36H was able to do every form of reconnaissance. It carried a huge amount of photographic equipment on board: gang camera, oblique cameras, and radar cameras on the radar sets. It had also countermeasuring equipment. The bomb bay compartment had been reconfigured to be a pressurized compartment with very big cameras (the films was probably 12 inches wide - enable to photograph the whole continent of Africa in one pass). Al! crew members were issued, under Operation Blue Book, received Haine cameras, binoculars and a special reporting form from USAF Project Blue Book. The crew had also a discrete frequency that they could report these sightings. When they got on the ground, the crew members had to turn in all their logs, equipment, photographs, and everything to an intelligence unit called "Reci-Tech" (for Reconnaissance Technology) which was a central processing unit for the whole wing, they were debriefed by intelligence officer, reminded that they all held top-secret clearances, and that they couldn't reveal any of this information for a period of 12-years. Then, several weeks later, they were debriefed again by some officers from higher headquarters who reminded them also of the same 12-year period. When Colonel Llyod was discharged back in 1960 from the active Air Force into the actives, he was also reminded again of the 12-year period to not reveal any of this information.

Sources: Dr Richard F. Haines Files and article « RB-36H Navigator describes UFO encounter in late 1956 »