The Pax River Radar Incident
Patuxent River Naval Air Station
December 19, 1964



Not too far from the Pax River area, Francis Ridge is shown at HQ,
"Hawk" 8th Missile, Fort George G. Meade, MD, in late 1964

Fran Ridge:
James Catt and I were Field Investigators (I was Subcom ChairmanI) for the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, Indiana Unit No.1 in late 1964. Wer were on TDY with the 8th Missile Battallian (Hawk), at Fort Meade, MD, when this event took place. However, we were unaware of the incident until we arrived home after TDY in January. Wendell Shaner, another former FI  with our NICAP Subcommittee (Indiana Unit No.1) was stationed right at Patuxent at the time of the incident, and  sent word of the Pax River Case to us that January. Shaner's position at the base in question was Fire Fighting Squad, United States Navy. The report was confirmed by NICAP HQ on January 24th. The full report was issued by NICAP on March 5, 1965. Richard Hall was the investigator in this case and the source of the report record used for these web pages.. 

Joel Carpenter: 
I think it's been an aircraft test facility since the 1950s, and also a base for naval antisubmarine patrol bombers (P-3 Orions), and these definitely were nuclear capable. According to the Patuxent River base history web page, several long-range antisubmarine patrol bomber squadrons were established at the base, such as VXN-8, which went operational on 01 July 1965.

Ridge:
According to the web page: 
 http://nas.nawcad.navy.mil/cs/nas/history/50s.htm (now obsolete)
"Hostilities in Southeast Asia in the 1960s brought a sense of urgency to test programs at Patuxent, particularly those dealing with ordnance. The unorthodox nature of the action in Vietnam turned the focus at Patuxent from technological advancements to further refinement of more conventional weapons." To an "observer", the testing might have indicated something more serious, something needed to the end an "endless" war, such as what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki two decades earlier. 


  Incident Directory - Pax River
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