THE UFO EVIDENCE, published by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, Copyright 1964
The many obvious patterns which appear in UFO sighting data are summarized
under the following general types:
(See also patterns of formations, Section II).
The Air Force Project Grudge Report of December 1949 (Technical Report No. 102-AC-49/15-100) concluded, on the basis of intelligence reports of UFOs, that the objects were of three basic types:
(1) "The most numerous reports indicate daytime observation of metallic disc-like objects roughly in diameter ten times their thickness."
(2) Rocket-like objects.
(3) "Sharply defined luminous objects" appearing as lights at night.
Thirteen years of UFO sightings have been added to the record since this
evaluation was made. A statistical study of the cases listed in the chronology
of this report [Section XI], covering a period of 22 years beginning with
1942, indicates that the above pattern is well-established.
One particular type of disc, whose shape occasionally has been compared to the planet Saturn, has been sighted periodically since 1947. It resembles a flattened sphere (sometimes with a centrally located surrounding ring). The following list, including one 1884 sighting, shows that many independent witnesses have used very similar terminology in describing the symmetry of the discus shaped UFO.
143COMMONLY REPORTED UFO TYPES
Note: These drawings are hypothetical constructions, generalized from hundreds of UFO reports. They are intended to indicate basic shapes which have been reported, and are not necessarily completely accurate in every detail. Additional details sometimes reported, such as portholes, projections, body lights, etc., are not portrayed. The general types shown do represent with reasonable accuracy virtually all UFOs which have been reliably described in any detail. Examples of each type appear in the left-hand column.
UFOs observed in daylight rarely have shown any particular color. Common
descriptions have been "silver" or "white". Occasionally some "glow" or ''shine"
has been observed in daylight or twilight, appearing to be self-illumination
rather than reflection. At night, UFOs have most often appeared as bright
light sources, occasionally as silhouetted objects (sometimes with body lights).
The color of the light sources or body lights have ranged across the spectrum,
and sometimes UFOs have shown more than one color or changed color during
the observation. (See part C of this section for color change study.)
Frequency of Reported Colors
Daylight or Twilight NICAP (575 Cases) Air Force* (2199 Cases)
UFO WITH "PORTHOLES". SARASOTA, FLORIDA
Comparing the UFO shape to type of "porthole", to determine whether a particular type of UFO tended to have a particular type of "porthole", the findings were largely negative. The UFOs reported as cigar-shaped (11 cases) did not have rectangular "port holes" - with one exception (November 22, 1961).
Circular or disc-shaped objects (19 cases) were reported as having circular "ports" in 4 cases, rectangular in 6 cases, rows of lights in 7 cases.
Elliptical or oval UFOs (10 cases) were reported as having rectangular "ports" in 5 cases, circular in 3 cases, rows of lights in 1 case.
The most striking consistency or pattern to "porthole" reports is the description of their arrangement on the body of the UFO. In no case were the lights or markings arranged haphazardly. On the contrary, in every case the "portholes" were arranged either in straight lines, or circular patterns (most often around the curved surface).
In many cases the "portholes" were arranged exactly along the major axis of UFOs which presented elliptical outlines to the observer.
The "row of lights" cases, alone, consist of two basic types:
The position and geometrical arrangement of the "portholes," and the light usually associated with these markings, strongly suggest that they are indeed ports or vents. They could well be actual windows, particularly those of distinctly square or round construction. The "row of lights" cases are subject to several different interpretations: (1) Lighted windows seen at greater ; (2) Running lights, such as those on normal aircraft; Exhaust or propulsion vents.
A study of hundreds of UFO reports has revealed several recurring maneuver patterns. these include:
* Hovering (or very slow motion) and sudden rapid acceleration.
* Circling and pacing of human vehicles. [Section II]
* UFOs rendezvousing, then operating together [e.g., Aeronautical Engineer report, July 16, 1952, Section VI; Airline Pilot report, July 14, 1952, Section V.
* Satellite objects, associated with and maneuvering around larger central parent objects. [Section II.]
Numerous examples of these features appear in previous sections, especially Section II which discusses the evidence that UFOs are intelligently guided. A number of rendezvous cases is included in the formation chart, Section II, and other examples may be found throughout the report.
The remaining feature, hovering followed by rapid acceleration, occurs so regularly that it can practically be considered a defining characteristic of a "UFO." No man-made objects or known natural objects can perform in the manner described. The objects which were observed performing this maneuver were predominantly the typical discs and ellipses so often reported.
The following table lists one hundred sample cases between 1947 and 1962, illustrating this feature.
Over 60% of the UFOs which maneuvered in this manner, therefore, were the typical circular and oval objects so often described in UFO reports.
A disc can present either a perfectly circular outline or, if viewed from an angle, an oval or roughly elliptical outline. Assuming that a certain percentage of the UFOs reported as round or elliptical/oval actually were discs viewed from an angle, we have from 35% minimum to 66% maximum dise-shaped objects.
At any rate, objects described as disc-shaped or round constitute
55% of the cases.
C. FLIGHT CHARACTERISTICS
A special study was made of cases in which UFOs reportedly changed color during flight. A sample of 82 color change cases was accumulated. In addition, 25 cases of change in luminosity or brightness (some overlapping the color changes) were singled out for examination. Could any pattern be discovered relating these changes to the motion or maneuvers of UFOs?
No attempt was made to discover what relation might exist between type or shape of UFO and color patterns. The large majority of color change cases occurred at night, when the UFOs mostly appeared as light sources only.
(*) The colors observed during acceleration were isolated. (*) Shifts of color toward the red and violet ends of the spectrum were studied in relation to hovering, acceleration, etc. (*) Cases in which white, or dark (absence of color) constituted one predominating color were examined as a class. (*) Luminosity changes were similarly analyzed.
Though it is admittedly a small sample and may not be significant, the 25 cases of luminosity change yielded the most promising pattern. In all except two cases, the luminosity change occurred during acceleration or direction change. (The sequence of events was not clear in one exception. The UFO flared up brilliantly sometime during the observation, as it moved back and forth at low altitude.)
In 18 cases the luminosity increased with acceleration. (In two of these cases, the opposite was also observed: dimming during deceleration.)
In 2 additional cases (for a total of 4) decrease of luminosity was observed. (One occurred as the UFO made a turn; dimming caused window-like lights to become visible on object. One occurred just before hovering luminous sphere accelerated and sped away; lower hemisphere dimmed.)
In 3 cases, pulsating or blinking lights were observed. (One, pursued by an aircraft, sped up and the light became steady. One pulsated from bright to dim twice while hovering. One pulsated more brightly as it began a series of erratic maneuvers.)
Acceleration & Color
A secondary pattern, more difficult to assess because of in exact descriptions in many sightings, is suggested by the data. Careful interrogation of witnesses on this point in future sightings (or appropriate tracking instrumentation) would provide a test of it.
Hypothesis: That the colors of UFOs which undergo change during acceleration shift toward the red end of the spectrum.
From the original sample of 82 cases, it could be determined that in a minimum of 23 cases (28%), the color change occurred during - and seemed to be associated with - acceleration. These cases were broken down into three categories:
(a) Change from one specific color to another (10 cases). In 9 out of 10 cases the color shift was toward red, (7 shifting to red, 2 to amber). The remaining case was a red UFO which gave off a green flash of light while changing direction, but not changing to that color.
(b) Change, specific color to or from white (10 cases). In all 10 cases the color shifted white to or from red/orange (5 each way).
(c) Change, specific color to or from dark (3 cases). In all 3 cases the color shifted dark to or from red/orange (2 from dark to red/orange, 1 from orange to dark).
In 21 of the 23 color change cases related to acceleration, red/ orange was either the first or last color observed in the sequence. In two cases, the color shifted to red, then back toward the violet end of the spectrum, to blue or green.
The only other conclusion of possible significance is that the data (primarily U. S. cases) failed to verify the prediction of Lt. Plantier's theory reported by Aime Michel, that UFOs should give off green luminescence during sharp turns. 
Only one confirming instance of this was found.
a. Wobble on Axis
A regular feature of UFOs, observed periodically since the first U.S reports, is the tendency of the objects to wobble much as a spinning top does when it begins to slow down. The sample of 35 cases in this chart is not the result of an exhaustive search; no doubt, there are many more. However, it was impractical to search the thousands of UFO reports on record for this one feature without use of an expensive punchcard system. In the listed eases, the following points stand out:
* The UFOs which show this feature, with few exceptions, are disc-shaped.
* The wobble does not necessarily occur only during hovering or slow flight.
* With few exceptions, the observations of this feature occurred during relatively close-range sightings in daylight.
b. Pendulum/Falling Leaf Motion
A curious, but fairly common, flight characteristic of UFOs is a pendulum-like motion (swaying back and forth) during hovering, slow climb, or descent. Witnesses frequently have compared this to the gyrations of a falling leaf.
October 11, 1951. J.J. Kaliszewski (then Supervisor of balloon manufacture for General Mills, Inc.) and Dick Reilly were flying near Minneapolis, Minnesota, observing a balloon at 6:30 p.m. They noticed a bright glowing object overhead moving at high speed from east to west. The UFO had a dark undersurface, and a halo of light. Finally it slowed, and started climbing "in lazy circles." Kaliszewski: "The pattern it made was like a falling oak leaf inverted." [Section VI.]
February 9, 1957. At 1:00 a.m. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Roger Standeven observed a white oval-shaped UFO with a red light visible on top. The object would stop, "fall like a leaf," speed up again, and repeat the sequence, gaining altitude each time it sped up.
[For other examples; See Section XI, Chronology: 9-20-52, 9-26-54, 11-25-56,
(c) Side-to-Side Oscillation
A very similar pendulum-like motion, occurring as a UFO travels in a horizontal plane (rather than ascending or descending) has been noticed occasionally. It consists of a side-to-side oscillation as the UFO proceeds in a constant direction.
(3) Violent & Erratic Maneuvers
In a sample of 40 cases in which erratic maneuvers were reported, there is a noticeable repetition of certain motions which appear to be characteristic of many UFOs. All of the cases involve UFOs which abruptly altered direction and/or speed, usually more than once during the observation. Of the total, 63 percent occurred during night hours.
Hovering & bobbing UFOs
In 14 cases (35%) the UFOs jumped or "bobbed" around while hovering in
one general area of the sky, moving abruptly up and down, side to side. The
words "bobbing," "erratic" and "jerky" regularly appear in the report. Sometimes
the maneuvers are compared to the bouncing of a ping-pong ball. At least one
witness said the motion was like the bobbing of a float on a fishing line.
VIOLENT AND ERRATIC MANEUVERS
Another pattern is of UFOs zigzagging across the sky, usually in constant motion rather than hovering in one general area. Twelve cases (30 per cent).
Most of the remaining cases involve motions which can only be described
as "maneuvering." These include UFOs which circled, darted here and there,
climbed, dove, and reversed course.
D. Concentrations with Time
The word "flap" has been applied to one feature of UFO activity: periodical surges of sightings with attendant publicity. "Flap" originally was a military slang word indicating a high degree of excitement and confusion, such as might result from the unannounced visit of a V.I.P. to a military base. Its adaptation to similar reactions related to UFO sightings is very appropriate.
The UFO "flaps" have involved elements of sudden news media attention to UFO sightings concentrated in a short period of time, or relatively small geographical area; resurgence of public interest in UFOS (frequently introducing larger numbers of erroneous reports from inexperienced observers); confusion about the interpretation of these events. Analytically, it is not clear whether so-called "flaps" result from and feed on publicity, or vice versa. Does the occurrence of a "flap" really indicate a sudden increase in UFO sightings? Or does it merely represent occasional attention to something which is going on virtually all the time?
Sometimes there have been concentrations of sightings which were widely publicized. At other times there have been concentrations which received little or no publicity (these shall be termed "concentrations" rather than "flaps" here). It appears that "flaps" are the combined products of concentrated UFO activity plus a sudden outbreak of publicity and more
thorough news coverage. If so, this would tend to give a false picture of total UFO activity.
News coverage and publicity have been spotty and erratic over the years, largely reflecting the degree of official attention to UFOs. In this connection, it is interesting to note that during the past six years the Air Force has constantly debunked UFOs; during that period no real "flap" has occurred in the United States. In the same period, concentrations have occurred.
The following chart probably gives a more accurate picture of real increases and decreases of UFO activity.
The first major wave of UFO sightings in the United States began in June 1947. Kenneth Arnold, a private pilot flying near Mt. Ranier, Washington, first reported a sighting to the press. On June 24 he observed 9 flat, shiny objects which fluttered and skipped along as if in a chain. In describing the sighting to newsmen, he said the strange objects flew "like a saucer skipped across water." Newsmen promptly dubbed the objects "flying saucers, "and the name stuck.
In the next three weeks, similar objects were spotted all over the country,
but reports were concentrated in the north west. Later research in library
files, by a NICAP member traveling around the country, uncovered 125 separate
UFO reports for June and July. These covered 25 states, with 30% coming from
Ninety-one (72% of total) came from states west of the 100 degrees W longitude line. East of that line, Oklahoma had 9 reports, other states had only one or two.
The Air Force Project Blue Book Report, released in 1955, lists for the
June - 13 sightings, 4 unknownThe following chart lists the main sightings of this period.
The 1952 "Flap"
The year of 1952 saw the greatest wave of UFO reports in the United States; a wave which carried with it a major group of simultaneous radar-visual sightings of objects displaying out standing speed, maneuverability and persistence.
By official Air Force figures (Project Blue Book, Special Report No. 14), there were 1501 sightings during the year which were reported through official channels. As an indication of a much larger total number of sightings, one Ground Observer Corps Filter Center (Columbus, Ohio), covering about 1% of the continental U.S., reported 70 UFOs during six weeks at the height of the activity in mid-summer (on-the-spot count by NICAP member).
Project Blue Book Chief, Capt. E. J. Ruppelt stated that as of July 21, when the tide approached flood stage, "We were getting an average of 40 reports a day, 1/3 of which were unidentified." 
The early part of the year was marked by a number of interesting events:
January 29 - An Air Force pilot flying north of Misawa, Japan, in a practice intercept mission, watched a small disc pace one of the jet interceptors, then climb steeply away. [Section I.]
May 13 - In National City, California, two aeronautical engineers, an ex-Navy pilot and an amateur astronomer watched a round, white UFO descend at meteor-like speed; the UFO then leveled off and circled the area, darting erratically from side to side. [Section 1.]
The first of more than a dozen simultaneous radar-visual observations occurred just after midnight, June 19, at Goose Bay AFB, Labrador. A light-first, red, then changing to white- hovered briefly. When it appeared to oscillate, its image on the radar scope flared up. Then it returned to its original size and disappeared. [Section VIII; Radar.]
On the first of July, the pace began to quicken. Capt. Ruppelt later stated, "By July 1 were were completely snowed under with reports." 
At Fort Monmouth, N.J., three radar instructors and 12 trainees tracked two objects on an SCR 584 radar set as they hovered at 50,000 feet for about five minutes. Viewers outside saw two shiny objects at the same time. [Section VIII; Radar.] Later that day, in Washington, D.C., hundreds of persons, including a physics professor from George Washington University, watched a dull gray object for about eight minutes, as it hovered, with an occasional movement to the side and return.
The next day, July 2, Navy photographer W/O Delbert New- house took color movies of 12 disc-shaped UFOs maneuvering in a group at high speed near Tremonton, Utah. [Section VIII; Photographs.]
After a week of nationwide activity, there began a period marked by almost daily accounts of almost unprecedented reliability and detail.
At 3:00 a.m., on the morning of July 13, Captain W. Bruen, National Airlines, reported to Washington, D.C., ARTC Center that a blue-white light was approaching his aircraft. He was 60 miles SW of National Airport. The UFO "came up to altitude of aircraft, hovered two miles to left of northbound aircraft. Pilot turned on all lights. Ball of light took off, going up and away." [From Civil Aeronautics Administration Report. See Section VIII; Radar.]
Group sightings played a significant part in the 1952 "flap", with some patterns appearing. Near Newport News, Va., July 4, the pilots of a Pan American Airways DC-4 watched a formation of six red discs speed below their plane, turn sharply and speed away, joined by two more discs. [Section V.]
Over a three-day period, July 16-18, there were three observations of groups of four UFOs. (See below).
An American Airlines pilot, Capt. Paul L. Carpenter, was approaching Denver, Colorado enroute to Chicago on the night of July 17/18. Capt. James Smay, on a flight ahead, radioed back and reported some odd lights maneuvering in the area. About 2:45 a.m., while at 17,000 feet over Denver, Capt. Carpenter noticed a speeding yellowish light to the south. It darted from a compass bearing of about 165 degrees (SSE) to about 180 degrees (S). About a minute later, a light sped back toward the east from about 195 degrees (SSW) to about 180 degrees. Simultaneously, two more lights sped from south to the south- southwest. Moments later, two lights were observed headed from south-southwest to south.
To Capt. Carpenter, it seemed that some unidentified objects were speeding back and forth, reversing direction sharply. The objects maneuvered over an arc of 30 degrees. Assuming they were over Colorado Springs, Capt. Carpenter estimated the speed at 3000 mph. If they were farther away, he pointed out, the speed would be even more fantastic.
The first of several well-publicized nights of radar-visual sightings in the Washington, D.C., area began about 11:40 p.m., July 19, at National Airport. Ground observers and military and civilian pilots observed unidentified lights while as many as ten strange blips were on radar scopes. Radar indicated hovering, sudden accelerations and great speeds until near dawn. Objects followed and passed incoming airliners, often seen by pilots and crews. USAF F-94 interceptors arrived at 3 a.m., after reportedly being delayed to check on UFOs over New Jersey, but the objects had left the scene (confirmed by radar), returning when the jets departed.
About 1:00 a.m., July 20, Capt. S.C. (Casey) Pierman, piloting Capital Airlines Flight #807 had just taken off from Washington National Airport and was swinging around to head south. At the airport, radar controllers had been noticing unidentified targets on the sets for some time. They had recalibrated the sets and were now convinced the targets were legitimate. Chief Controller Harry Barnes called Capt. Pierman and asked him to check for objects. Pierman, in the vicinity of Martinsburg, W. Va., agreed and quickly called back: "There's one, and there it goes!"
In a detailed interview published later, Barnes stated: "His [Pierman's] subsequent descriptions of the movements of the objects coincided with the position of our pips [radar targets] at all times while in our range."
In the next fourteen minutes, Capt. Pierman reported six such lights, "like falling stars without tails" which "moved rapidly up, down, and horizontally. Also hovered." [C.A.A. Report. See Section VIII; Radar.]
Two hours later, Capt. Howard Dermott on incoming Capital Flight #610 reported that a light followed his aircraft from the vicinity of Herndon, Va., to 4 miles west of the airport. Radar sets both in the control center and the tower at National Airport showed the object.
Again the following weekend, radar targets and maneuvering lights appeared. On the night of July 26/27, from 4 to 12 objects were tracked at various times between 8:00 p.m. and 1.20 a.m. on radar sets at the CAA control center, Washington National Airport tower, and Andrews AFB, Md. Lights were seen individually and in groups, both from the air and the ground.
Air Force interceptors were called in, and criss-crossed the area from 10:25 p.m. to 1:20 a.m. The pilots observed fast-moving lights where radar told them to look. One, Lt. William Patterson, was badly frightened when a group of glowing objects surrounded his interceptor. As the CAA radar operators watched the blips on the scope cluster around his plane, the pilot asked them in a scared voice what he should do. There was a stunned silence; no one answered. After a tense moment, the UFOs pulled away and left the scene. (Incident confirmed by Al Chop, then Air Force spokesman on UFOs. Taped statement on file at NICAP).
The dramatic visual sightings of unexplained lights in the same places that radar showed unexplained objects were later attributed to unusual weather conditions. Ground lights refracted by inverted layers of cool and heated air (temperature inversions) were said to account for the visual sightings. The same conditions were said to cause refraction of the radar beams causing simultaneous false radar targets. Unfortunately for this theory, the stable air conditions required to produce persistent light (refracted from a ground source) are inconsistent with the reported rapid motions of the observed lights across the sky and large angular displacements. [See Radar analyses, Section VIII.]
At the time of the Washington radar-visual sightings, the NICAP Director consulted both a civilian scientist and an Air Force radar expert about the degree of temperature inversion necessary to produce false radar targets. The scientist stated the inversion would have to be 10 degrees Fahrenheit (about 6 degrees Centigrade), and much larger to produce strong radar effects. The Air Force expert, who had made a special study of temperature inversions, stated it would take an inversion of 5-10 degrees Centigrade.
The following weather information was obtained from the National Weather Records Center by the New York City NICAP Affiliate (photo-copy on file at NICAP).
"For the dates of interest to you, upper air observations were made at Silver Hill Observatory, Maryland rather than at Washington National Airport, but these locations are sufficiently near each other for Silver Hill to be representative of the general area of interest.
"In the data which follow, local time is given, temperature difference
is given in degrees Centigrade and altitude is given as altitude above mean
sea level. To convert to altitude above station level, 88 meters would be
subtracted from the metric altitudes given below.
The unusual concentration of UFO activity in the Washington, D.C. area continued on July 29, as radar tracked unidentified targets for almost six hours. Unlike the first two nights, there were few visual sightings of these objects.
During the afternoon of July 29, the Air Force attempted to quiet the national concern which by now had grown to unprecedented proportions. In the heaviest attended Washington press conference since World War II, USAF Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. John A. Samford explained that the UFOs tracked and seen in the Washington area were the result of the refraction of light and radar waves by atmospheric temperature inversions. (Transcript on file at NICAP.) Weeks later, after scientists had made it clear that the inversions on the nights of the Washington sightings had been grossly insufficient to cause highly qualified radar observers to err so drastically, the Air Force re-classified these objects as "unknown."
Although they received less publicity after the Air Force press conference, UFO sightings continued at a high rate throughout August.
As the flood of reports was beginning to wane, late in the month, an Air Force Colonel, flying an F-84 between Hermanas, N. Mex., and El Paso, Tex., on the morning of August 24, saw two round, silvery objects flying abreast. One made a right turn in front of the jet, then both disappeared over Hermanas. They reappeared over El Paso. One was seen to climb straight up for several thousand feet.
The Colonel stated, "From their maneuvers and their terrific speed, I am certain their flight performance was greater than any aircraft known today." (Statement from Air Force Intelligence Report.)
The Operation Mainbrace Sightings
After UFO reports in the United States had begun to taper off in August 1952, a wave of sightings began in Europe. All over the continent, strangely maneuvering objects were seen in the skies. A particularly interesting series of reports came from the vicinity of the "Operation Mainbrace" NATO maneuvers then in progress.
The maneuvers commenced September 13, and lasted 12 days. "Units of 8 NATO governments and New Zealand participated, including 80,000 men, 1,000 planes and 200 ships. . . in the vicinity of Denmark and Norway . . ." They were directed by British Admiral Sir Patrick Brind. "It was the largest NATO maneuver held up until that time." (Information from U.S. Navy).
September 13 - The Danish Destroyer "Willemoes," participating in the maneuvers, was north of Bornholm Island. During the night, Lt. Cmdr. Schmidt Jensen and several members of the crew saw an unidentified object, triangular in shape, which moved at high speed toward the southeast. The object emitted a bluish glow. Cmdr. Jensen estimated the speed at over 900 mph 
Within the next week, there were four important sightings by well-qualified observers. (Various sources differ by a day or two on the exact dates, but agree on details. There is no question about the authenticity of the sightings; the British cases were officially reported by the Air Ministry, the others are confirmed by reliable sources. All occurred on or about September 20). About September 20 - A British Meteor jet was returning to the airfield at Topcliffe, Yorks., England just before 11:00 a.m. As he approached for landing, a silvery object was observed following him, swaying back and forth like a pendulum. Lt. John W. Kilburn and other observers on the ground said that when the Meteor began circling, the UFO stopped. It was disc-shaped, and rotated on its axis while hovering. Suddenly, the disc took off westward at high speed, changed course, and disappeared to the southeast. The Air Ministry announced it was investigating. 
About September 20 - Personnel of the U.S. Aircraft Carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt, participating in the Mainbrace maneuvers, observed a silvery, spherical object which was also photographed. (The pictures have never been made public). The UFO was seen moving across the sky behind the fleet. Reporter Wallace Litwin took a series of color photographs, which were examined by Navy Intelligence officers. The Air Force UFO project chief, Capt. Ruppelt stated: "[The pictures] turned out to be excellent ...judging by the size of the object in each successive photo, one could see that it was moving rapidly." The possibility that a balloon had been launched from one of the ships was immediately checked out. No one had launched a balloon. 
September 20 - At Karup Field, Denmark, three Danish Air Force officers sighted a UFO about 7:30 p.m. The object, a shiny disc with metallic appearance, passed overhead from the direction of the fleet and disappeared in clouds to the east. 
September 21 - Six Royal Air Force Pilots flying a formation of jets above the North Sea observed a shiny sphere approaching
from the direction of the fleet. The UFO eluded their pursuit and disappeared. When returning to base, one of the pilots looked back and saw the UFO following him. He turned to chase it, but the UFO also turned and sped away. 
September 27/28 - Throughout western Germany, Denmark, and southern Sweden,
there were widespread UFO reports. A brightly luminous object with a comet-like
tail was visible for a long period of time moving irregularly near Hamburg
and Kiel. Once, three satellite objects were reported moving around a larger
object [cf., Section II; Satellite Object cases]. A cigar-shaped object moving
silently eastward also was reported. 
The November 1957 "Flap"
When the Soviet Union launched the first earth satellite, October 4, 1957, Americans suddenly became "space (and sky) conscious." Amateur astronomers and average citizens strained for a glimpse of the barely visible sphere. However, there was no particular increase of UFO reports. The whole month of October produced no more than 4-5 substantial UFO cases in the United States. One of the most intriguing accounts, never fully investigated, described a whitish oval-shaped object observed in the vicinity of Cape Canaveral on the nights of October 6 and 7. 
Immediately following the launching of the dog-carrying Sputnik II, late on the evening of November 2 (Eastern Standard Time), the country was suddenly inundated with UFO reports. The sightings actually began before word of the satellite launching was flashed to the western world. Most of the significant reports concerned very large, usually elliptical objects, observed on or near the ground (not merely fleeting lights in the sky). The possibility that hysteria played a part in the reports which followed cannot be ruled out entirely. But clearly it is not the whole answer. Reliable witnesses soberly described plainly observed UFOs, and the press gave their stories very full coverage.
Before the sightings began to taper off two weeks later, eager citizens began to introduce many erroneous reports. After elliptical UFOs were reported daily in the press for a week, people began to scan the sky hoping to see one for themselves. The planet Venus, glowing prominently in the early evening sky to the WSW, was often reported as a UFO by inexperienced sky observers. To complicate matters, there was a spectacular aurora display the evening of November 6, which was also visible unusually far south. The flashing red aurora lights, in some cases, were transformed into "UFOs." An occasional fireball (exceptionally bright and long-lasting meteor) flashed through the skies, adding to the confusion.
The features of the UFO reports which defied explanation were the consistent descriptions of red to reddish-orange, egg shaped (roughly elliptical) objects on or near the ground, and electrical failures experienced in their vicinity. For the month of November, NICAP has records of 118 apparently reliable sightings. In approximately one of every three cases, electro magnetic (E-M) interference was reported. Subsequent research showed that E-M effects associated with UFOs were not uncommon, [Section VIII].
By November 3, newspapers were full of UFO reports; by November 5 reports were given banner headlines. Also on the 5th, the Air Force issued a special press release to the effect that no evidence of UFOs had been found and all except 2% of the reports had been explained. The release did not even mention the sightings then in progress. A second press release November 15, after which the reports virtually died out, listed and debunked five specific cases which had been widely publicized. [Section IX].
An Air Force press release nearly a year later (No. 986-58) listed 414 sightings for November 1957. About 64% (266) were explained as stars and planets, aircraft and balloons. Only four were listed as "unknown;" 70 as "insufficient data." The Air Force gave no weight to reports of electro-magnetic interference, later stating "the number of cases involving car stallings is negligible." (Air Force letter on file at NICAP)
Anything reported to the Air Force as a UFO is included in their statistics.
This procedure makes it a foregone conclusion that only a comparatively small
percentage of total reports might remain which would be difficult
to fit into a known category. NICAP considers it a more meaningful approach
to first weed out fairly obvious reports of meteors, etc., then to
study the remainder of more substantial reports as a group. The percentage
of mistaken observations is considered irrelevant.
The following chronology lists the 118 cases which appear to be authentic and presently unexplainable, plus a few unverified or probably explainable incidents (in italics) to give a more complete picture of what was being reported at the time. The information is drawn from many sources, including signed or taped reports, investigation reports compiled by NICAP personnel, and newspaper and radio reports when crosschecks have given reasonable assurance the data is reliable.
Because of the flood of published information on UFOs at the time, it is likely that minor inaccuracies or inconsistencies will subsequently be discovered. On the whole, the picture given is believed to be essentially accurate. Collectively, the reports are too widespread and consistent to be ignored. They have not been adequately explained in conventional terms, and apparently cannot be so explained.
Totals, 1-30 118 40
* Cases on night of November
2/3 whose times are given as "about midnight" are included in November 2.
The first series of sightings to be widely publicized, and the most intensive single concentration, occurred on the night of November 2/3 in and around Levelland, Texas. The first recorded sighting was at about 10:50 p.m.; the last at 1:30 a.m. In less than three hours, there were 10 very similar sightings within a radius of 20 miles around Levelland. (see map).
Why should reddish elliptical UFOs which caused cars to stall suddenly be reported from one small Texas town? No answer is apparent. Within a few hours after the last Levelland sighting, an Army jeep patrol at White Sands proving grounds, about 300 miles to the west, reported an elliptical UFO which descended and hovered. (See below). The following account of the Levelland reports was compiled by Walter N. Webb, NICAP Adviser.
Levelland is an oil and cotton town, population about 10,000, located in northwest Texas 32 miles west of Lubbock, in plains country. Early on November 3 its sheriff, Weir Clem, suddenly found himself cast into national prominence following a rapid series of nightmarish reports.
At 10:50 p.m. Officer A. J. Fowler received a phone call from a "terrified" farm hand, Pedro Saucedo. He and a friend, Joe Salaz, were driving on Route 116 about 4 miles west of Levelland when they saw a flash of light in a field. "We didn't think much about it," Saucedo said, "but then it rose up out of the field and started toward us, picking up speed. When it got nearer, the lights of my truck went out and the motor died. I jumped out and hit the deck as the thing passed directly over the truck with a great sound and a rush of wind. It sounded like thunder, and my truck rocked from the blast. I felt a lot of heat."
When the object had passed, Saucedo got up and watched it go out of sight toward Levelland. It was "torpedo-shaped, like a rocket," and about 200 feet long. As the UFO moved into the distance, the truck lights came back on. Saucedo was able to start the truck and drive to a telephone. Ptn. Fowler thought his caller was drunk and shrugged off the report.
About an hour later, the phone rang again. Jim Wheeler, driving on Route 116 about 4 miles east of town had come upon a 200- foot egg-shaped thing sitting on the road. The brightly lit object cast a glare over the area. As he approached the object, his lights and motor died. When Wheeler started to get out of his car, the UFO rose into the sky. As its light blinked out, the car lights came back on.
Another call came from Jose Alvarez at Whitharral, 11 miles north of town. Driving on Route 51, he had approached a similar glowing object on the road and his motor and lights had failed.
At 12:05 a.m., Newell Wright (who did not report the experience until the next day, and then only at his parents' urging) had "motor trouble" while driving toward Levelland on Route 116 from the east. His ammeter began jumping, the motor gradually died, then the lights went out. Puzzled, Wright got out and lifted the hood to check his battery and wires. Finding nothing wrong, he closed the hood and turned around. For the first time, he noticed an oval object sitting on the road ahead of the car. The object appeared to be over 100 feet long, and was glowing a bluish-green. Frightened, Wright jumped in the car and frantically tried to get it started, without success. Then he sat helplessly watching the object, hoping someone would drive up. After several minutes, the UFO rose "almost straight up," veered to the north, and disappeared almost instantly. The car then started without difficulty.
Meanwhile, another telephone report was made at 12:15 a.m. Frank Williams had encountered a similar object on the road close to the position where Alvarez had seen it. He also experienced motor and headlight failure. The light from the UFO was pulsating steadily on and off; each time it came on, Williams' lights went out. Finally it rose swiftly with a noise like thunder, and disappeared. Then the car functioned normally.
By this time, Sheriff Clem and other police officers had begun searching the roads around Levelland, as reports continued to come in. At 12:45 a.m., Ronald Martin saw a glowing reddish UFO descend and land on Route 116 ahead of his truck, then turn to bluish-green. The electrical system of the truck failed. When the object took off, it turned reddish again.
About 1:15 a.m., James Long encountered a glowing egg-shaped object on a farm-to-market highway just north of town. His engines and lights failed. Then the object rose quickly and sped away.
About 1:30 a.m., Sheriff Clem and his deputy were searching on the same road. Near where Long had seen the UFO, Clem saw an oval light "like a brilliant red sunset" streak across the road about 300 yards ahead of his car, lighting up the pavement. Fire Marshal Ray Jones, farther to the north, had a similar experience sometime after 1:00 a.m.; his lights dimmed and motor "almost died, then started up again."
The Pettit incident, same night, was uncovered during an investigation by NICAP member James Lee. Two grain combines, each with two engines, failed as a UFO was observed passing.
An impressive feature of these reports is that the witnesses (in most eases) were going about their business when the UFOs intruded upon the scene. There is no evidence that the witnesses were searching the sky or otherwise expecting to see anything unusual. Their independent reports told a consistent story.
LEVELLAND, TEXAS (HOCKLEY COUNTY); NOVEMBER 2-3, 1957
Click here for larger image
White Sands Military Police Patrols
At 3:00 a.m. (MST) - 4:00 a.m. Levelland time - November 3, two military policemen on routine patrol at the White Sands missile range, reported an egg-shaped UFO which descended over the base. A report on this case, and a similar sighting next evening, was issued to the press November 4 by 1st Lt. Miles F. Penney, Commanding Officer of the Stallion Site Camp north of the base headquarters.
Cpl. Glenn H. Toy and Pfc. James Wilbanks, patrolling in a jeep, noticed a "very bright object" high in the sky. The object descended to a point about 50 yards above a bunker which was used during the first atomic bomb explosion. Then its light blinked out. A few minutes later the light flared up again, becoming bright "like the sun," dropped toward the ground on a slant about 3 miles away and disappeared. According to Lt. Penney, the M.P.'s described the UFO as egg-shaped, and about 75-100 yards in diameter. A search party later was unable to find any trace of the object.
[On November 5, in an open session with Public Information Officer William Haggard and newsmen (reported by International News Service), Cpl. Toy stated: "It looked like a completely controlled landing."]
That evening, about 8:00 p.m., Sp. 3/C Forest R. Oakes and Sp. 3/C Barlow,
on another two-man jeep patrol, reported seeing an unidentified light hanging
above the old A-bomb bunker. Oakes described it as "200 or 300 feet long.
. . very bright." The patrol was about 2-3 miles west of the bunker. As the
M.P.'s watched, the UFO took off climbing at a 45 degree angle, its light
pulsating on and off. Moving slowly, sometimes stopping, the UFO gradually
diminished to a point of light "like a big star," and finally disappeared.
About 17 hours after the second jeep patrol sighting at White Sands, James Stokes, a high altitude research engineer at the base, watched an elliptical UFO maneuver over the area. While driving toward El Paso, Texas, on Highway 54, near Orogrande, N.M. (at the southeast corner of the Proving Grounds, about 15 miles from the Missile Test Center), Stokes began experiencing motor trouble. As the motor failed and he coasted to a stop, he noticed other cars ahead of him stopped on the roadside with people looking up and pointing to the sky.
Climbing out of his car, Stokes also looked up and saw a large, whitish egg-shaped object moving in and out of clouds to the northeast, in the direction of the Sacramento Mountains, The UFO made a shallow dive, turned and crossed the highway a few miles ahead. As the UFO flashed by, Stokes felt a wave of heat. (His face later appeared "sunburned.")
Moving at fantastic speed, the featureless object turned sharply and disappeared over the Organ Pass west of the base. In a taped interview broadcast on station KALG, Stokes estimated the speed at 2500 mph. It was "definitely a solid object," he said.
Declining to speculate on what the object was, Stokes said, "I just hope we're ready for whatever it is." 
Next day sightings reached a peak with numerous reports from all over the country. Included was the radar-visual sighting by the Coast Guard Cutter Sebago, south of New Orleans. [Section VIII; Radar.] Stories of alleged encounters with "spacemen" began to be reported, including a claim by a grain salesman in Nebraska who said he had met German- speaking beings in a landed spaceship. The story was subsequently discredited when it was learned that the "witness" had a prison record. (Later, he was convicted of two counts of swindling elderly women out of large sums of money in California).
On the 6th, a similar report came from Dante, Tennessee, where a young boy reported a landed "spaceship" at 6:30 a.m. Human-like figures were walking near the ship, he said, and their voices sounded like German which he had heard on television. (About the same time, a few reports of "little men" associated with landed craft also began to circulate). NICAP was unable to investigate the Tennessee report sufficiently to pass judgment on it. Some of the story is plausible, but lacking concrete proof and substantiation by other witnesses, we cannot accept it as authentic. (See Section XIV.]
A more thoroughly investigated case (without the "spacemen" aspect) occurred
on the night of the 6th. The case also includes the implication of high-level
knowledge of UFOs, which is kept secret from the public.
About 11:20 p.m., Olden Moore, a plasterer, was returning to his home in Huntsburg, Ohio, from Painesville, driving on Route 86. He noticed a bright star-like light approaching, apparently following the course of the road. As the light got brighter and brighter, Moore pulled to the side of the road to watch, and switched off his ignition. (When his story was first publicized, some erroneous news reports were circulated that his motor had failed.) Moore was later interviewed by NICAP member C. W. Fitch in Cleveland, and gave a detailed statement:
"In a matter of seconds from the time I first saw the object it was over a large field at the intersection of Hart Road and Route 86. While it was still high in the air, it [the light] seemed to split apart and one section moved upward out of my range of vision. The other descended slowly and silently into the field adjoining the road, where it loomed big like a house in front of me. In the darkness I could not discern whether it was actually resting on the ground or hovering just above it.
"It appeared to be perhaps 50 feet across and 20 feet from the top to the bottom. It was round and shaped like a saucer with another inverted one resting on top of the lower saucer. It had an inverted cone-shaped dome in the center of the top part. It was mirror-like. . . surrounded by a bluish-green mist or haze, through which it glowed like the dial of a luminous watch. It began to pulsate, first glowing brightly and then dimming with rhythmic repetition.
"I sat in my car and watched the strange object for about 15 minutes, then got out and walked toward it to get a closer look. My feelings at the time were more of curiosity than of anything else, in fact, I do not recall having any feeling of fear. I was so amazed at what I was seeing that I was filled with a sensation of wonderment and curiosity which occupied my mind completely.
"The sky was clear and the moon shining brightly and the surface of the object reflected the moonlight. It appeared to be of a very shiny substance, though I cannot say whether it was metallic or not. . . As I got closer I heard a humming or ticking sound like that of an electric meter. About halfway up to it the thought crossed my mind that no one would believe me if I told them what I saw so I decided I would try to get someone else there as a witness. I stopped, returned to my car and drove home to get my wife. Though I made a hurried trip, when we got back to the field about twenty minutes later the object was gone."
Next morning Mrs. Moore phoned the sheriff and reported the incident, since Moore had been reluctant to report it. Moore was subsequently interviewed by Sheriff Louis A. Robusky, Geauga County; Civil Defense Officials; newsmen and others.
Kenneth Locke, Lake County Civil Defense Director, led an investigating party to the site of the report next day. At the point where the UFO was observed, Locke found small markings about 1-1/2 inches deep. Each marking consisted of three holes arranged in a triangular pattern with a fourth hole outside of the lines of the triangle. NICAP Adviser Ralph C. Mayher (then associated with the news department of station KYW) made a plaster cast of one set of the holes. The cast was turned over to Richard Gray, research physicist at Case Institute of Technology for examination. It was reported that the markings could have been made by some very heavy type of tripod.
Locke took a Geiger counter reading at 2:00 p.m. (about 15 hours after the sighting). An area about 50 feet in diameter showed a reading of 150 micro roentgens per hour above normal background radiation at the center of the area. At the perimeters, the reading tapered off to about 20-30 micro roentgens per hour above normal. A second reading at 5:00 p.m. showed that the radiation at the center of the area had dropped off to 20-25 micro roentgens per hour above normal, and the count at the perimeter was now normal. The 2:00 p.m. reading was approximately 10 times greater than the normal background radiation for the area, which is 15-20 micro roentgens per hour.
A few weeks later the news leaked out that Moore had been taken to Washington, D.C., where "high officials in the Defense Department" interrogated him. Later probing uncovered that Moore alleged he had been sworn to secrecy after being shown films and slides of UFOs, but felt that he had kept silent long enough. He described the experience in detail to a NICAP member. [See Section IX.]
Other witnesses reported UFOs in the area the night of Moore's sighting. Because of this, the physical evidence, and Moore's sound reputation, his story would appear to warrant the attention of Congressional investigators. If his story is accurate merely in broad outline, the implication is obvious: Highly important information about UFOs is being withheld from the public.
August 1960; Northern California
An intensive concentration of UFO sightings occurred over a six day period in northern California. Dozens of witnesses, including at least 14 police officers, reported typical disc, elliptical and cigar-shaped UFOs. The state police sighting of a highly maneuverable ellipse, which shone red beams of light toward the ground the night of August 13, was reported on the front page of state newspapers and on the newswires.
Chronology of Main Cases:
LIST OF CALIFORNIA POLICE WITNESSES, Aug. 13-18, 1960
Argentine Concentration, 1962
(Sources: Argentine Embassy, Washington, D. C. Also Argentine newspapers: Buenos Aires Herald, La Razon, La Nacion and La Prensa).
May 11 - Photograph of a UFO taken by a reporter of the "La Nueva Provincia." (Another photograph was taken by one Miguel Thome at some unspecified time during this concentration).
May 11 - Rear Admiral Eladio M. Vazquezant and Captain A. Molinari, Navy officers at the U. S. Military Mission in Espora, confirmed that they had seen a UFO about 7:40 p.m., possibly the same one that was photographed.
May 12 - Truck drivers traveling toward La Pampa about 4:10 a.m. reported seeing a UFO on the ground which looked like "a brightly lighted railroad car." As the trucks neared, the UFO
took off showing flickering body lights. It emitted a red flash, rose quickly, and separated into two bodies which flew off in different directions. Navy Capt. Luis Sanchez Moreno investigated and interrogated witnesses. They said light seemed to come through small windows in the UFO. Samples of a grayish substance found at the site were taken to Puerto Belgrano Naval Base for analysis. (Capt. Sanchez Moreno told the press the Navy had been investigating UFOs since 1952, and he had personally observed UFOs with other witnesses in Mar del Plata, "mobile bodies with incredible speed and irregularity of movement.")
May 12 - The Navy Department received reports from four people who sighted a UFO about 4:30 a.m., while traveling by automobile. The UFO illuminated the car like daylight; one of the passengers had to undergo treatment for eye damage.
May 13 - Many residents of Cordoba witnessed a bright elongated UFO passing overhead at high speed about 4:30 a.m. Two women in a car then saw a glowing object in woods near the road.
May 14-16 - Several UFO reports from Bahia Blanca, La Rioja, and La Barrera. In the latter location, 4-5 elliptical UFOs in a line were sighted by Dr. Jorge M. Vallina and others.
May 18 - A highly luminous reddish UFO flew over an airport early in the morning at such a low altitude that tongues of "flame" were easily visible on the object.
May 22 - A formation of Navy planes near Espora Naval Air Base had several UFO sightings over a 35 minute period. The formation was headed by an instructor, Lt. Galdos.
7:10 p.m. Student pilot Eduardo Figueroa saw an orange object moving on an oscillatory path below the visible horizon.
7:20 p.m. Student pilot Roberto Wilkinson, flying at 4000 feet, reported that his cockpit was suddenly illuminated by an object astern. A luminous UFO then passed below his plane and was lost from sight in city lights. During the observation, his radio transmitter failed to operate.
7:30 p.m. The flight instructor, Lt. Rodolfo Cesar Galdos, was asked by the control tower whether he saw an object in the sky. "At about 30 degrees above the horizon over Bahia Blanca he saw a disc or luminous circular spot, orange colored and of an apparent diameter of a small moon. . . The object was moving to the south, obscured at times by the lights of Punta Alta."
7:45 p.m. Lt. Jose A. Ventureira and Ensign Eduardo Vigier, in the control tower, watched a luminous object about 10 degrees above the horizon. The UFO "moved vertically and horizontally and 15 seconds later disappeared in the horizon."
About May 24 - La Pampa woman rancher reported landed UFO and two robot-like beings.
May 24 - The astronomical observatory at Cordoba announced that it was collecting reports on the UFOs to try to determine what they are.
May 24 - Medical Capt. Constantino Nunez of the National Atomic Energy Agency was reported to be in Bahia Blanca to take part in the official investigation. La Nacion stated he flew to the landing site by helicopter. (The Agency next day said they had sent no one to investigate the UFO reports, and denied that Capt. Constantino Nunez was one of their employees.)
May 25 - La Prensa reported that results of the Navy analysis of samples
taken from the May 12 landing site were released. No radioactive elements
were present. (No other details given). The analysis report was said to confirm
results already obtained from scientists of the National University of the
(NICAP has no record of reports in June)
July 17 - La Razon reported that five UFOs were sighted by airport employees and farmers in the lake region of San Carlos de Barilocha, maneuvering in the sky in broad daylight. Radio messages were sent to all aircraft in the vicinity requesting eye-witness reports. (Embassy report dates incident: July 7).
July 24 - La Razon reported that three mathematics and astronomy students in Cordoba obtained 9 clear photographs of a UFO. Photographic experts reportedly declared the pictures authentic.
August 2 - Numerous witnesses at Camba Punta airport near Corrientes, including the airport director Luis Harvey, sighted an obviously controlled UFO. Advised by telephone that the strange object was approaching, Harvey cleared the landing strip. A "perfectly round" UFO approached the field at high speed, stopped and hovered for about 3 minutes. Rays of blue, green, and orange light were visible projecting from the UFO. When the observers attempted to move closer, the UFO took off at high speed.
August 2 - An engineer and his wife traveling from La Plata to Chaseomus about 1:40 a.m., noticed a reflection of light on the hood of their truck. Then they saw a cylindrical UFO, emitting red sparks, which flew parallel to them at low altitude for about 15 kilometers. The engineer told reporters he believed the UFO was "some space vehicle from another planet."
August 23 - A newsman of the "Saporiti" information agency and his wife saw two luminous spheres approaching his house on a zig-zag course. The movement of the UFOs, which were close together, were "rhythmic and violent." They left an intensely luminous trail and made no noise. After about 4 minutes, the UFOs disappeared upwards at high speed.
September 8 - Navy Lt. (j.g.) Juan Jose Vico, in the Floresta district, saw a "burnished metal" disc-shaped UFO maneuvering so smoothly that he stated it must have been manned or "tele-controlled."
(Embassy report lists additional sightings, with no detail, on May 23,
Bahia Blanca; May 25, General Pico, La Pampa; July 19, Parana, Entre Rios;
July 31, Misiones (4 towns); July 9, Mar dcl Plata; Sept. 9, Santa Lucia,
1. From Air Force Intelligence Report
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