Passenger Plane "Asked" To Chase UFO  
New York State  
April 8, 1956

Bill Weitzel:
Don Berliner's "Index to the Case Files of Project Blue Book" (published by FUFOR, 1997), with material from the Condon Committee, shows the Kuhl case, and the Ryan sighting, which is divided into two sightings, at different latitudes and longitudes (77.61/43.18 and 73.94/42.82), the first without numbers for object(s) and duration, the second indicating one object seen for 45 minutes.  Why two sightings?  In the transcript (below), Ryan says "The light went off momentarily," and that brief discontinuity may have supported someone's interpretation that there were two UFOs.

This division by the University of Colorado classifiers (or perhaps another decision of Blue Book), of the event into two sightings intrigues me.

Broadcast April 16, 1956, "Meet the Millers", a Toronto talk show.

Transcript typed by Bill Weitzel, who would be glad to get ideas about corrections and missing material from other listeners.  :-)

R: Captain Ryan
N: First Officer Neff
M- Male interviewer
B- Bruce Foster, another interviewer
F- Female interviewer

Dash means interviewer, colon means Ryan or Neff)
This means "muffled" -- (....)
This means "uncertain" -- (?"") (better clarity than "(.....)")

M- (....) Bell Aircraft, Captain Ryan, of the American Airlines, First Officer Neff, of American Airlines.  Now, you fellows had a real experience.  What date was this?

R: This was a week ago last night, on April the 8th.

M- Was this a regular flight, of American Airlines?

R: Yes it was--

M- (...) New York, or--

R: Well, this flight comes out of New York, and lands at, uh, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and sometimes in Buffalo.

M- What was your first idea, uh, uh, idea that anything was happening?  That you were seeing things?

N: Well this was a (clears throat) 'scuse me, very brilliant, white light, like an approaching aircraft, with its landing lights on, and naturally we moved away from it, thinking that's what it was.  So then we noticed it was standing still at the time, and we got sort of curious.

M- Exactly about what, uh, location was this?

R: This was just about over Schenectady, we were coming off of, Albany, and we took off north, and we made a left turn, and we noticed this light over Schenectady.  It seemed to be standing still.  We--

M- A light.  Now you say a light.  Do you mean a light like a light bulb, about that color, or--

R: Oh, yes, very fluorescent, a very bright light--

F- Big one?

R; Oh, uh, a large light, looked more like, uh, maybe it was an airplane coming in to, uh, Albany Airport, to have it

F- (....) doesn't stop(?""), at the same time?

M- How close were you to it, do you think?

R: Well, we, uh, turned a little bit to the, to pass it, to the south of it, and we were probably two to three miles from it.

M- And the thing was just a-standin' there, huh?

R: Just about standing.  It was off our wing tip (...)

M- Was there anyone else beside, with you?

R: We had, uh, Miss Reynolds, our stewardess was with us, and--

M- Did she notice it too?

R: Well, she came up, we called her, and she came up and looked at it later on, after this had taken off at this terrific speed, from, when we first noticed.

M- Now how long was it stationary there?

R: Oh, we couldn't say that it was actually stationary--(mixed voices here)

M- Well, it was standing there, whatever you would want to call it--

R: About from the time we were off the ground at Albany, until we, it's 15 miles by air to Schenectady, and it was off our wingtip, and we watched it just, go through a 90-degree arc, go right straight to the west, and it was, uh, how many seconds it takes to go through a 90-degree arc?

M- Bruce?

B- How fast would you say, uh, it seemed to be going, would it have changed speed very likely, during the time that you saw it?

R: Uh, the initial speed I would say probably eight hundred, a thousand miles uh, an hour, how fast can it, uh, how-- it's hard to say, just, uh, to, uh, compute that speed.

B- Certainly much faster than another airplane, wouldn't you say?

R: Oh, much faster, much faster than a jet.


R: Yes ma'am.

F- My word!

B- It couldn't be a jet, now, at that altitude, because, uh, their fuel is so critical, and, uh--
(several voices)

M- Could it have been a rocket?

B- Well, I doubt if it could have been a-- Did it appear to be powered at all?

R: Yes, it did.  It changed color after it got, uh, to the west of us, uh, probably eight to ten miles, it appeared to-- The light went out, that's what had Bill and I confirmed, uh, it went out momentarily and we knew there was a, something up there, and now here we are with a load of passengers, something on our course, up ahead, and we are-- What are we gonna do, so we watched this
while it's takin' off, and, uh, this orange object, came on, this orange light--

M- Did you blink back at it?

R: No, we didn't (laughter, several voices)

M- Then what did you do, uh, Captain?

R: (...) I'm a little bit amazed, so we decided we'd call, uh, Griffith Air Force Base, and I thought they had the radar on.  It was on a Saturday night, I guess not very many people are home at an Air Force Base, and they didn't have it on.  It'd take 'em thirty minutes to energize it.  But--

M- That-- Do they not usually have those on all the time?

R: I would assume they did, eh--

M- Uh huh

R: I thought they did but evidently--

M- Maybe we'd better not get into that discussion.

R: Uh, probably not, we could get a little bit off the track on that.  Uh, they, uh, asked us to, uh, keep it sighted, and we did, and we kept calling out there, uh, our location, and as we told 'em where we were, we turned all our lights on, and they asked us to turn 'em off, and they could see us, and then they asked us "Is the object you see, orange in color?"  We said it was; they said, "We have it--"

M- This is after it turned orange, then?

R: Yes

N: Yeah

R: They said, "Well we have a definite silhouette in sight, south of the field.  Now, there, those fellows are observers, who are in a tower.  They could, they said that they could see a silhouette.

M- Well, now. maybe looking with the eye?  Naked eye?

N: That would be on the screen.

M- I wonder what kind of silhouette they would see, a silhouette of light?

N: Well usually on a radar screen it's referred to as a target or a, a blip, on a radar screen; a silhouette is usually referred to something that you see, like a silhouette in, eh, something black up against something white.

M- But this was on a screen.

R: Well ... we don't know (several voices)

N: (...) referred to as a radar silhouette, or a visual.

M- I see.

N: But Watertown could see it, and they're quite, quite north of Griffith, and Albany saw it, and two men in a tower in Albany, one an Air Force man and one a C.A. man.  And, uh, they saw it after we first called 'em and they looked right up there into the west and saw it right away.

F- And there was no doubt, was it moving?  Appear to be moving?

N: ,,, didn't talk with them

F- But it was moving, to you.

F- And can you --- (original tape seems to be interrupted) --- that's all.

R: It stayed, uh, just that far, ahead of us, and, uh, I asked this fellow * our point of next intended landing was, and I told him Syracuse, and * they wanted to, to be identified, and our aircraft number, and serial number, and uh, they said, "Well, abandon that next landing temporarily, and
maintain the course and your altitude.  So we did.  They were calling scramble.  A scramble is, uh, jets that they send up to-- I suppose to go out and intercept these unidentified objects.

M- Is that, uh, do you know about those, Bruce?

B- Well, there's a, one of these bases right up next to the Bell plant up there, and we see these fellows taking off, uh, most any time of the day or night, up there on various training missions--

M- (...) at all times-- In other words, they're alerted--

B- Yes they are.  They're, uh, usually have a couple of planes alerted on, out or near the end of the runway, and on a very short notice these people can take off, and climb up to some interception point directed by a radar operator.

M- Intercep--  As you say in a, in a very short time; how long would it take them to get, get airborne?

B- Well they talk about times of five minutes, I don't know just exactly how, what they can do it in.

F- Now I asked that, and you said that, uh, (...) couldn't be a jet.  Was it large?  Or was it low for a jet?

N: Well it was low, and it was also low for a jet.  There happened to be an overcast that evening; that eliminated the possibility of a star right off the bat, and, uh-- (two voices)

N: A jet burns up three to four times the amount of fuel at a low altitude than it does a higher altitude.  And, uh, I didn't, I don't think they kept this thing down, that long, without, uh, using up a considerable amount of gas.

M- I didn't know that about jets.  I, you knew that, of course, but--

N: It's also true of rockets, uh, one of the reasons why we didn't think it could be a rocket.  As far as, they saw it for a half an hour, this is quite a long time to operate a rocket engine.

F- Well now I got to ask a question, how fast to you go?

R: About 260 miles an hour.

F- Well then, did they slow down, or why wouldn't they be out of your sight, going 800 miles an hour?

R: They must have slowed down.  They or it must have slowed down, for sure.

F- Yeah, right.  Uh huh.

R: "The unidentified object" must have slowed down.

M- Flying into parts. (?"")

N: (...) Oswego, flying (...) shore of Lake Ontario, and we passed up our point of landing in Syracuse, and we didn't feel we could hold the passengers up any longer, we got (?""),

F- Oh, I could (...), I think that's just wonderful, why didn't--

N: Oh, too (...), that's a lot of technicalities.

M- So did you just, uh, fly right on, was it standing there,

R: Oh we called, uh, we were calling Griffith, and I asked that they change over to the emergency frequency, which is, uh, 121.5, and we couldn't read them any more at one eight, one eight point five, since we were down rather low, and the VHF (?"") is a line of sight operation.  And, uh, we did, we came to overtake 'em at the interceptors(?"") --

M- This is over my head and I don't even know what you're talking about. That's all right, go ahead.

R: I just figured the interceptors were gonna operate on that frequency and talk to us, and then come along side of us and take off from where we were, in our heading.  That, uh, we called 'em, and they said they were about off, and that was about eight minutes, and we couldn't work 'em any longer and uh, and we turned over to work Syracuse tower, and they were giving, uh, relaying the
message back and forth, it was then about ten and twelve minutes and they're still not off yet!  So we can't, I don't know, course we thought it (...) plan.

F- Mm hmm!

R: I don't-- I just don't know where the jets were, that's it. Why didn't they get the jets up.

M- Well what happened to the object?

R: It went off.  It just went to the northwest, and it went out of sight.

M- More rapid, like suddenly, accelerated speed?

R: It did appear to, after it got over the water, it appeared to, really, uh, get out of sight very fast.

N: It didn't that direction (?""), there, but saw it in that, in that direction.

B- You people in Toronto see a, kind of orange light?

F- (chuckles) (....) pilot *in* the orange light, who knows.

M- I got it.

F- Well now tell us.  What do you think it was?

B- Well this sounds, uh, very much like some of the, uh, investigations that Mr. Ruppelt reports in his book on, uh, unidentified flying objects.  Uh, seems that most of the good sightings that, uh, he talks about are, have all uh, (tape interruption) were the, sort of comings that either the airplane
wouldn't get off in time, or someone wasn't alerted or there was some reason why they just didn't get a real direct, uh, look at one of these things.  Uh, well, I think that, uh, what you people are seeing is part of the same thing that has been reported many times in, uh, the past five years.  In relation to this subject, though, you notice you hesitate to call them "flying saucers"; so does Mr. Ruppelt, he refers to them as "unidentified flying objects" because many of them are not saucer, saucer-shaped.  (....) saucer shaped or not?

R: No, uh, no, I couldn't say that.

N: There's no definite shape to them, string of lights.
B- We talked about three different general types, one is a, a (...) light, much as what you appeared to have seen, and, another is a cigar shaped, uh, light, and a third is a, uh, sort of a glob of bluish light.  Did this at any time appear to be blue?

R: No, at no time it was seen.

M- Captain Ryan, have you, uh, had any phone calls about this, or anything?

R: Good number of them, yes.  (laughter)  And letters also.

B- Uh, didn't, uh, didn't someone call you and talk at some length, someone in the Air Force here, whatever, and say that your experience, and this object that you saw, corresponds very definitely to other reports?

R: That's right, that's what they said.

F- And you don't think it can be a jet.  And you don't think it can be a rocket.  And you don't think it's an airplane--

N: No--

F- What (............)?

N: I don't know!

F- Ah, ha ha ha.

R: I wish somebody would come up with the answer.

M- Well I think that they oughtta make an all out effort to find out what these things-- If they're a military project(?""), having (...) for 100% security, but if it's another military(?"") project or something of our own, I think that, uh, (....) uh, find out what they are.  If it's possible,

F- (....)

M- Next time, if you see another one, would you please come and tell our friends?

R: I'm not gonna say a THING about it (...laughter)  Let the Army find out what it is.

M- Thank you Mr. (...) for coming, Mr. Neff (music, fade)
** (Two asterisks together) Two lines here, seems to be confusion as to who is
asking what of whom.
* Seems to be a break in the original tape, with a change of subject.
Footnote to citation of 16-mm microfilms of Blue Book -- Date-locator for the appropriate film roll is in Box 1 of 6, location RG341 / 190 / 68 / 08 / 03, boxes 1-6, 70 films, numbers 30,362 through 30,431.  There was no "T-" number as of early March 1998.  This situation, including location, may change, because several Archive workers were puzzled as to why the 16mm microfilms were not on the 4th floor with the other collection of microfilms.  The 16- and 35-mm versions of Blue Book are different, in two ways.  (1) The 35mm version was made from censored copies of the original papers, and the 16mm version, from the original papers.  (2) The content of the files photographed in the two collections is somewhat different.   Both the original papers and the censored papers, are at the National Archives in College Park, MD.  If you are looking at a censored document, with smudges over the names, an archivist might look up the uncensored version for you -- If it isn't classified.

Source: UFO Evidence, 1964, page 41