By Bruce S. Maccabee
(Copyright Bruce S. Maccabee, 1978)

I will begin with the Alaska sightings, which I will describe completely since they have never before been published (to my knowledge) and since they are not in the Blue Book file.

On April 24,1950, the FBI received from the ONI (Office of Naval Investigation - now the Naval Investigative Service) a copy of a report on flying discs. The FBI was not alone in receiving copies — the CIA got 8 copies, the State department received 5, and the Air Force Director of Intelligence got 5. There are a few scrawled initials on my FBI copy which suggest that someone might have read it, but the report probably did not make much of an impact on the FBI, even though it was at least one of the most credible, if not the most credible report which the FBI had received up to that time. The report outlined three sightings of unidentified objects by enlisted and commissioned Navy personnel in the vicinity of Kodiak, Alaska.

The sightings took place during the mornings of 22 and 23 January, 1950. The report referred to enclosures which contained verbatim accounts, airplane track data, and weather and balloon data. Apparently the enclosures were not sent to the FBI. Since the copy I received from the FBI was partially illegible, and since I did not receive copies of the enclosures, I attempted to locate an original copy by appealing directly to the Navy. After a "paper chase" lasting about 3 months I obtained a completely legible copy of the report, less the enclosures, but including the comments of offeial Navy investigators who tried to explain the sightings! I have been informed that the enclosures, if they exist, are probably in the uncatalogued records of a no-longer-existing research group known as "Op322F2". However, even without the enclosures the summaries within the report are sufficiently detailed to indicate that something unusual was in the Alaska skies in February 1950.

DATE OF REPORT: 10 Feb. 1950
PLACE:   Kodiak,   Alaska
SOURCE:   Official   U.S.   Navy
          BRIEF: A report of sighting of unidentified airborne objects, by various navy personnel, on 22 and 23 January 1950, in the vicinity of Kodiak, Alaska, is contained herein.
          ENCLOSURES: (these were not obtained with the copies I received — BSM) 1. Enclosures (1), (2), and (4) are completed forms suggested by Commander in Chief, Alaskan Command, Fort Richardson, Alaska for the reporting of sighting of unidentified objects. (These enclosures were filled out by Smith, Morgan, Carver, and Barco.) Enclosure (3) is a sketch of radar interference experienced in aircraft piloted by Lt. Smith. Enclosure (5) is a track chart of aircraft in which Lt. Barco was embarked when he sighted unidentified object. Enclosure (6) contains statements by Morgan and Carver relative to their sighting. Enclosure (7) is a copy of Lt. Barco's statement and enclosure (8) is a summary of weather and balloon release information.

2. A summary of the information contained in enclosure (1) through (8) follows:

          a) At 220240W (Jan 22. at 2:40 A.M.) Lt. Smith, USN, patrol plane commander of P2V3 No. 4 of Patrol Squadron One reported an unidentified radar contact 20 miles north of the Naval Air Station, Kodiak, Alaska. When this contact was first made, Lt. Smith was flying the Kodiak Security Patrol. At 0248W (2:48 A.M.), 8 minutes later a radar contact was made on an object 10 miles southeast of NAS, Kodak. Lt. Smith checked with the control tower to determine known traffic in the area, and was informed that there was none. During this period the radar operator, Gaskey, ALC, USN reported intermittent radar interference of a type he had never before experienced (See enclosure (3)). Contact was lost at this time, but intermittent interference continued.

2. b) At some time between 0200 and 0300W, Morgan, BMC, USN, was standing watch on board the USS Tillamock (ATA 192), which was anchored in the vicinity of buoy 19 in the main ship channel. Morgan reported sighting a "very fast moving red glow light, which appeared to be of exhaust nature, seemed to come from the southeast, moved clockwise in a large circle in the direction of and around Kodiak and returned but in a generally southeast direction." Morgan called Carver, QM1, USN, also on watch, to observe this object, and they both witnessed the return flight. No odor or sound was detected, and the object was described to have the appearance of a ball of fire about one foot in diameter.

2. c) At 220440W {4:40 A.M.), conducting routine Kodiak security patrol, Lt. Smith reported a visual sighting of an unidentified airborne object at a radar range of 5 miles, on the starboard bow (i.e., simultaneous radar-visual observation!). This object showed indications of great speed on the radar scope. The trailing edge of the blip gave a tail like indication, (i.e., the blip was smeared because the object was moving noticeably during the time that the radar beam swept by it). At this time Lt. Smith called attention of all crew members to the object. An estimated ten seconds later, the object was directly overhead, indicating a speed of 1800 mph. Lt. Smith climbed to intercept and attempted to circle to keep the object in sight. He was unable to do this, as the object was too highly maneuverable. Subsequently the object appeared to be opening the range, and Smith attempted to close the range. The object was observed to open out somewhat, then to turn to the left and come up on Smith's quarter. Smith considered this to be a highly threatening gesture, and turned out all the lights in the aircraft. (Perhaps Smith thought the object couldn't see in the dark and had no radar?) Four minutes later the object disappeared from view in a southeasterly direction.

2 d) At 230435W (Jan.23 at 4:35 A.M.). the day following Lt. Smith's sighting. Lt. Causer and Lt. Barco of Patrol Squadron One were conducting the Kodiak Security Patrol and sighted an unidentified object. At the time of the sighting the aircraft in which those officers were embarked was approximately 62 mies south of Kodiak. The object appeared to be on an ascending westerly course, and was in sight for ten minutes. During this period the object was observed by Lieutenants Causer and Barco, and Paulson, ADl, plane captain. At no rime was radar contact made on the object. Lt. Causer was unable to close the object at 170 knots (about 196 mph; during 10 minutes the plane could travel about 32 statute miles).

2. e) The objects sighted have been described as follows:
1) To Lt. Smith and crew it appeared as two orange lights rotating about a common center, "like two jet aircraft making slow rolls in tight formation''. It had a wide speed range.
2) To Morgan and Carver it appeared as a reddish orange ball of fire about one foot in diameter, travelling at a high rate of speed.
3} To Causer, Barco, and Paulson it appeared to be a pulsating orange yellow projectile shaped flame, with regular period of pulsation on 3 to 5 seconds, off 3 to 5 seconds. Later, as the object increased the range the pulsation appeared to increase to on 7 to 8 seconds and off 7 to 8 seconds.
3. A check with the Navy Weather Central, Kodiak, Alaska revealed that balloons were released at the following times:
22 January • 0445W and 2200 W, approximately (i.e., 4:45 A.M. and 10:00 P.M.)
23 January-0400 W, approximately

4. On 23 January winds aloft at 1000 feet were reported at 0400W as from 310 degrees (i.e., from northwest) at 36 knots (41 mph), and at 2000 feet, from 240 degrees (west-southwest) at 37 knots, while the object was reported to be on an ascending, westerly course (i.e., into the wind).

COMMENT: In view of the fact that no weather balloons were known to have been released within a reasonable time before the sightings, it appears that the object or objects were not balloons (bravo! — BSM). If not balloons the objects must be regarded as phenomena, possibly meteorites (sic), the exact nature of which could not be determined by this office.

This concludes the report of the Alaska sightings as received from the FBI. Parenthetical statements and emphasis in the above sentences have been added by myself. From the Naval Historical Center I received the above summary and also the official Navy analysis. The analysis was carried out by two groups, apparently independently. Neither group had very enlightening things to say. The official opinion of OP322F2 was:

"Many of the previous reports of radar interference tend to indicate local interference (generated within the aircraft). This looks more like external interference from sources outside the aircraft than previous reports, though it is far from conclusive. These reports are always of interest."

The official opinion of OP322V2C was; "The possibi/ify exists that incidents covered by para. 2. a,b, & d might be jet aircraft; however, there is insufficient intelligence to definitely identify the unidentified objects as aircraft. Several reports of similar radar interference have been received from DIO/17ND. It is possible that this is interference from another radar in the vicinity, malfunctioning of components within the radar set or both."

(Note: D1O/17ND is the intelligence unit of the 17th Naval District which included Alaska.)

Notice that the explanations offered by F2 ignored the visual sightings completely. V2C tried to offer explanations for the visual and radar sightings for paragraphs 2. a,b, and d above. However, V2C "choked" when it came to 2.c. In the margin of the copy of the report which I received from the Navai Historical Center there are notations which give us some idea of the way V2C approached these reports. Next to paragraphs 2.a,b, & d are the notations "A/C?" which stand for "Aircraft?" However, next to paragraph 2.c there is simply the notation "?", which suggests that the radar-visual sighting that included a chase by the aircraft involved (Lt. Smith) completely stumped the "experts". Perhaps within the inner souls of the persons who viewed this report there was a glimmer of the truth — "flying saucers exist." But who would dare make such a statement in an official document at a time when the Air Force had "proven" that flying saucer reports, or at least most of them, can be explained away? Perhaps OP322F2 had something besides Navy radar interference problems in mind when he (they) wrote at the end of the statement, "These reports are always of interest."