The Air Force considers this case to be two separate incidents. The first incident took place at the city of Redmond, Oregon, which is about 150 miles southeast of Portland. The most detailed account of the "visual" incident is the interview of officer Robert Dickerson of the Redmond police department by Dr. James McDonald. The questioning took place in 1966. (158.) Writing to Richard Hall, Dr. McDonald says:
"I asked him to
the episode as he recalled it. He said he'd
When Officer Dickerson arrived at Roberts field, he went to the air traffic communication station which was upstairs in the administration building. According to the Redmond station log Dickerson reported in at 1259Z or 4:59 a.m. (160.) McDonald continues:
was on duty and Dickerson got him out-
The Redmond FAA log states Seattle ARTC was contacted at 1310Z or 5:10 a.m. This is interesting because the Seattle log says the Remond station contacted them at 1400Z or 6:00 a.m. (162.) Even more interesting is an Air Force document that states two F-102s were scrambled from Portland International Airport to identify an unknown flying object at 1300Z. or 5:00 a.m. That would mean that the jets took off ten minutes before Redmond reported in? The same Air Force document states the jets were turned over to the control of Mt. Hebo radar site at 1311Z or 5:11 a.m. If these times have any meaning, it would seem the scramble was for a radar return and not the visual report from Redmond. In any case, the jets got to Redmond quite fast. According to the Redmond FAA log, observers (Wertz and someone else? Mr.Davis?) saw the UFO do something extraordinary:
"We continued to
UFO. Stayed very steady and projected long tongues
According to what Dickerson told McDonald, he wasn't at Roberts airport when the UFO shot upward. Instead, officer Dickerson was in his patrol car speeding toward Powell Butte. McDonald writes:
"As Dickerson drove
towards Powell Butte, he had gone only about 2-3
McDonald wondered if Seattle had HRI capability but the Redmond log, according to chief Davis, confirms, to an extent, Dickerson's claim. Prior to the object's rise the Redmond log says the UFO was: "...approximately 10 miles northeast of the station at an estimated 3,000 feet [note this is an estimate]. (165.) After the jump, the Redmond log says: "UFO reappeared south of Redmond approximately 20 miles and at an estimated [must have been a visual guess] 25,000 feet." (166.) The next figures specify radar confirmation: "Seattle Air Route Center advised radar contacted UFO at 1420Z [6:20 a.m.] located 25 miles south of Redmond at 52,000 feet. No further sightings made at this station." (167.)
There is a definite possibility altitude information was being fed to Seattle by the Klamath Falls GCI site which was controlling the jet interceptors.
Was the UFO Venus?
"The next AM, at
time, he and Wertz checked the eastern skies.
The radar incident. Part two of the Redmond case.
The Keyhoe puzzle.
The director of NICAP was not known
information, but the lack of footnotes in his books can lessen the
of his writings. He was protecting his sources in every case one
assumes. The Redmond "jet chase," as related by Keyhoe, is
stuff, but from where did he get his material? He gives no
The earliest Redmond account appeared in NICAP's UFO investigator
1960), a second very brief reference appeared in Flying Saucers:
Top Secret (1960), and an extensive article was published in the UFO
edited by Richard Hall (1964). In none of these accounts is there
the sensational version of events Keyhoe mentions in his 1973 book,
from Space. (169.) In a Chapter titled: "The Hidden
Keyhoe asserts that the jets scrambled out of Portland were on a
mission," the purpose of which was to: "...capture the UFO--and
crew, if one was aboard. This was the goal--the powerful driving
purpose behind the Redmond mission." (170.)
banked to avoid a collision. As the UFO shot up
"As the UFO
the clouds at 14,000 feet, one AF pilot, guided by
"When the pilots
still tense from their frightening experience, they were
Keyhoe even adds more sensational claims:
"Within hours, a
upset the AF. When HQ learned of the discs'
The Air Force admits scrambling jets to investigate a unidentified blip which was given the number "JB-129." In a letter to Senator Magnuson, the Air Force said the Seattle and Redmond FAA logs were "misleading." The scramble was in response to the notification of a UFO sighting, but that there was no: "...evidence of radar tracking of the UFO or any success of the attempted intercept." (173.) Moreover:
"The radar return
track No. JB-129 on the Klamath Falls ground-
The way the letter to the Senator describes it, there didn't seem much to be excited about. So why did the Air Force go to so much trouble to check out a "stationary" target?
The 25th Air Division compiled a
the radar/jet case in early 1960. Fortunately this was more than
three months after the incident, because after three months recorder
and intercept action reports were routinely destroyed, thus the
records that would have showed the speed and altitude performance of
JB-129 were not available and never would be. The Senior Controller on
duty, Captain Gordon Poland, was also unavailable, having been
What we do know is in the 25th Air Division summary. The two F-102s scrambled at 1300Z (5:00 a.m.) returned to base at 1420Z (6:20 a.m.) with "negative results." (175.) We assume no radar or visual contact was made in contrast to Keyhoe's "wild" story. We are then told two more jets were sent up at 1452Z (6:52 a.m.). (176.) It should be remembered that 1420Z Seattle reported the UFO was about 25 miles south of Redmond at 52,000 feet. At 1511Z (7:11 a.m.) Seattle notified Redmond that the UFO was 25 miles south but that the UFO was at: "various altitudes from 6,000 to 52,000 feet." (177.) Orders came from McChord AFB, Washington to have two more F-102s held in readiness. (178.) At 1529Z (7:29 a.m.) the airborne jets returned to base "without results." <179.) At 1608Z (8:08 a.m.) a single F-102 was scrambled. At 1613Z (8:13 a.m.) the Air Division summary says: "One civilian Tri-Pacer aircraft took off from Redmond for low altitude search. One of the crew members was equipped with a Geiger counter." (180.) This confirms some of what Keyhoe claims. At 1655Z (8:55 a.m.) the single F-102 aloft reports in from the area of Pauline Mountain. The pilot is making a visual search of the ground apparently. He reports seeing boats on a lake and a radio relay station. He also reports weather conditions: "scattered clouds and bumpy air." (181.) At 1718Z (9:18 a.m.) another single F-102 was scrambled. This pilot reports clouds from 20,000 to 12,000 feet. He sights a ranger station near Pauline Lake. (182.) At 1821Z (10:21 a.m.) the Tri-Pacer aircraft returned to Redmond. No object sighted and no radiation detected. (183.) At 1823Z (10:23 a.m.) yet another aircraft, an F-89, was scrambled from Portland. The F-89 returned to base with negative results. at 1949Z (11:49 a.m.) the senior controller at 25th Air Division ordered the scrambling of an H-19 helicopter from Kingsley Field. The craft conducted a search until 2154Z (1:54 p.m.) with negative results. At 2155Z (1:55 p.m.) track JB-129 was scrubbed from plotting board. (184.) The summary noted that beginning at 1700Z, or 9:00 a.m., the 25th Air Division scrambles were made part of an Air Defense exercise. (185.) It had to be full daylight by then and would explain the single plane scrambles and the helicopter. Apparently the pilots of these flights were in no hurry because they were requested to check for any ground features or weather that might be affecting the radar beam. The Pauline Mountain /lake area was where the gap filler radar antenna was located. The Air Force record states:
by the interceptors at levels from 40,000 down
With the information the Air Force provides, there isn't much of a case for a Redmond radar object, but there is some indirect evidence the military felt there may have been a strange craft in the sky over Oregon on the 24th. A press account states: "Wertz also said the Seattle FAA office ordered him to search the Redmond area by plane. He and private pilot, Ben Jacques, canvassed a large area southeast of here [Corvallis] using a device to check for radioactivity, but nothing turned up." (187.) This confirms some of what Keyhoe claims and tells us it wasn't Wertz's idea, nor could it have been the FAA's idea. The agency isn't in the nuclear business. The request had to come from the military.
Interest in the case lingered for many months because there was a hope an IGY aurora research camera located near Redmond, that took pictures of the night sky on a regular basis, might have captured the UFO on film. Richard Hall of NICAP pursued this possibility but eventually received bad news from Mr. G. Sprague of the IGY World Dada Center:
Gartlein's letter of December 22, 1959, we