The Washington National Sightings

Clearer copy in pdf (Barry Greenwood)

A CIA memo, following the wave of sightings over Washington, DC, in July 1952, illustrates the serious nature of the UFO problem.

Note Brad Sparks recent (8/11/2020) comments at the bottom of this page.

Francis Ridge
NICAP Site Coordinator

                                                            SECRET                                        EYES ONLY


Declassified by 058375
date 20 APR 1977

                                                                                        JUL 29 1952 

                                MEMORANDUM FOR:           Deputy Director/Intelligence  

                                 SUBJECT:                    Recent Sightings of Unexplained Objects  

                              In the past  several weeks a number of radar and visual 
                        sightings of unidentified aerial objects have been reported. 
                        Although this office has maintained a continuing review of 
                        such reported sightings during the past three years, a special 
                        study group has been formed to review this subject to date. 
                        O/CI will participate in this study with OSI and a report 
                        should be ready about 15 August. 

                                                                          RALPH L. CLARK 
                                                                       Acting Assistant Director 
                                                                          Scientific Intelligence 

                       OSI:FCD:RLC/mtw (28 July 52)  
                                  Opns/SI - 3 ; Chrono; Daily Reading File, 'Flying Saucer" File  
                                  AD/SI -2  

                                          SECRET                        EYES ONLY

I got the CIA to declassify by MDR request this complete unredacted memo by CIA OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence) acting chief Ralph L. Clark, whom I also interviewed.  But since then CIA has absurdly redacted Clark's name out.

Clark's Geophysics Branch Chief Dr Frederic C. E. Oder told me this high-level CIA investigation was triggered by President Truman ordering the CIA Director to investigate (on July 28, 1952).  The President was briefed at TOP SECRET level as revealed in TOP SECRET CIA notes planning the briefing later in 1952.

Note that Frederick C. Durant III prepared the memo for Ralph Clark to sign ("FCD" initials at bottom, next to "RLC").

Brad Sparks