September 10, 1951
By Francis L. Ridge, NICAP Site Coordinator
We refer to this report as the Fort Monmouth Incident, although it actually covers a wider territory and is better documented in the T-33 jet encounter at Sandy Hook. I seriously doubt that we would have ever learned of either case had the latter encounter not been leaked to the press. The Sandy Hook, NJ, encounter involved two credible witnesses, an AF lieutenant and a major, flying the T-33. The domed object, described as being discus-shaped and as large as a fighter plane, traveled 30 miles in two minutes (900 mph), made an 120-turn and vanished out to sea, something impossible for a balloon. And the fastest thing we had at the time was an F-86 Sabre jet which had just recently set a world's speed record at 735.411 mph.
And prior to this, Fort Monmouth witnesses had observed and radar-tracked an unknown they could not lock-on to because it was traveling too fast, above 700 mph. These witnesses included a radar expert who stated he had never seen anything like this object before. It was four years later that Captain Edward J. Ruppelt brought out the radar report which was glossed over in the Sandy Hook press coverage and Air Force documents.
The equipment at Fort Monmouth was in perfect working order and there is no evidence to indicate that the students were ever confused. In fact, information that might have been of use in determing more about the students was on page 4 of the 17 page wire transcript. Page four is strangely missing. The SCR-584A radar failed to auto-track the unknown because it was moving faster than a jet, and the unknown was headed directly towards Sandy Hook, right where the T-33 had picked up the action.
The incident caused a major stir at the Pentagon and a restructuring of the Air Force UFO Project from GRUDGE to BLUE BOOK. The incident also had something to do with the project changing policies to restrict release of further information on UFOs. The evidence also indicates that these two events seemingly (temporarily) ushered in more pro UFO advocates at ATIC and AFOIN.
We haven't heard the last concerning