McDonald notes
Patuxent Radar Case, Dec. 19, 1964

19 December 1964    Patuxent R NAS Md      Notes from file WFAFB 7/1/69

Carried as Radar Anomalies.

Dates was in confusion since no report of it went out right away and since it was reported as Dec 29 at first.   But in file, in backpocket is Navy Speedletter showing transcript of taped conversation between PAX River and DCA ARTCC that dates it positively at 2055Z (1555EST) on Dec 19.   The above times are times of the taped conversation.   No name of Pax person calling, but he was clearly impressed by the strength of the returns ("I never saw one give such a big radar return. They give a radar return on this radar scope about the size of a pencil eraser.")   DCA/ARTCC tells Pax that they're not getting them down here at DCA and Pax then remarks that Pax is getting it only on the short range radar, not on their long range radar.

File has TWX dated 9 Jan 65 that seems to be initial formal report. Was on CFN-18A radar, using MTI.  Two observers excellent credibility, one observer doubtful.   Suspected electronic freak.   File seems to make clear that no distinct turns were observed.   Targets carne in and faded.   Thus paths Sujka indicated to me aren't borne out by this material.   Clearly if interference, this was odd interference, and of type that neither EDP nor JDF the two experienced men had seen.

Weather is given as ceiling unlimited (0.7 cirrus), and time 1505 local, both of which contradict Sujka's statements.

A ltr of Jan 8 65 to Navy from an RW Schumann Jr. seems to indicate that the two senior observers tended to write it off as electronic and hadn't reported it.   One gathers that Maj. Marston Jacks queried Pax on it when AP story carne out, primarily because some DC radioman queried USAF on it.   This seems to have led to inquiries at Pax that led to the report.   Or so I here piece it together.

Says the FPS-37 radar was checked to verify the unknowns but revealed nothing.   That's significantly negative unless there's some odd circumstance involved.   If real should have appeared on the other set.   Report does specify that the CFN-18 was in good operating condition, and had been routinely checked one day previously.

Important is point that all tracks were radials -- contradicting Sujka again.  Says the observers stated they'd never seen interference like this before nor ever seen radar targets similar to the ones seen here. Speeds given as 4800-6000 knots.

Study of this casefile seems to suggest that this one is moot. Interference not clearly enough ruled out.   Radials suggest it, as does lack of corresponding return on long-range set and absence of similar returns on other stations. 

Sujka wrong on time of day and wrong on why no visual.   Nothing in report re any tower check on visual.