THE UFO EVIDENCE, published by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, Copyright 1964
Air Force Observations
Before the issuance of Air Force Regulation 200-2 in 1953 (see extracts), a large number of significant UFO sightings by active Air Force personnel were made public. During the early 1950's, dozens of Intelligence Reports describing amazing UFO performances were released to the present NICAP Director. [1.] An article in LIFE, April 7, 1952, suggesting UFOs were interplanetary, represented the opinion of "several very high-ranking officers in the Pentagon," according to the former Air Force UFO project chief. [2.] After an early phase of official confusion and secrecy following the first publicized U.S. sightings in 1947, the Air Force was openly treating UFOs as a serious and important problem.
As indicated in the following chart, UFOs have been sighted regularly at dozens of Air Force bases in the United States and in foreign locations. Since 1953, however, Air Force UFO reports have steadily diminished. The effect of AFR 200-2 (and other Air Force policies; see Section IX) has been to dry up this source of current information about UFOs. With Air Force fliers active all over the globe, it is easy to imagine the amount of information which has been lost to the public.
In spite of the repressive effects of AFR 200~2 in recent years, a considerable number of good UFO sightings by Air Force witnesses has accumulated. These reports are a matter of public record. Others from unofficial and private sources have been obtained by NICAP.
Within the Air Force there is a strong difference of opinion about the official policies toward UFOs. Many officers and airmen do not agree with them, and favor more public disclosure of UFO information. A number have supplied NICAP with information when this could be done without violating security.
After NICAP was formed in 1956, Air Force officers (active and retired) began to visit the office. Some had personal experiences to relate, others had general information about the UFO project. The visitors have included several former Project Blue Book (the UFO project) personnel and intelligence officers; a Master Navigator who had sighted several UFOs while on active duty; and a fighter pilot still on active duty. All expressed general agreement with NICAP's goals, and offered encouragement and support.
The reports from Air Force sources, many taken directly from Intelligence Reports, constitute good evidence that unexplained aerial objects are seen with regularity by observers who spend more time than the average person scanning the sky. (This is also true of airline crews; see Section V).
Bomber Paced by UFO
(Capt. Alvah M. Reida, during his military flying career, was an Airplane Commander on B-26's, B-24's and B-29's. At the time of the sighting, he was based at Kharagapur, India, in the 468th Bomb Group, 792nd Squadron, XX Bomber Command, All quotes from his report, on file at NICAP).
"I was on a mission from Ceylon, bombing Palembang, Sumatra. The date was August 10, 1944, time shortly after midnight. There were 50 planes on the strike going in on the target at about 2 or 3 minute intervals. My plane was the last one in on the target and the assignment was for us to bomb, then drop photo flash bombs, attached to parachutes, make a few runs over the target area, photographing damage from the preceding planes. The weather was broken clouds, with an overcast above us. Our altitude was 14,000 feet, indicated air speed about 210 mph.
"While in the general target area we were exposed to sporadic flak fire, but immediately after leaving this area it ceased. At about 20 or 30 minutes later the right gunner and my co-pilot reported a strange object pacing us about 500 yards off the starboard wing. At that distance it appeared as a spherical object, probably 5 or 6 feet in diameter, of a very bright and intense red or orange in color. It seemed to have a halo effect. Something like this:
"My gunner reported it coming in from about five o'clock position at our level. It seemed to throb or vibrate constantly. Assuming it was some kind of radio controlled object sent to pace us, I went into evasive action, changing direction constantly as much as 90 degrees and altitude about 2000 feet. It followed our every maneuver for about 8 minutes, always holding a position of about 500 yards out and about 2 o'clock in relation to the plane. When it left, it made an abrupt 90 degree turn, up and accelerating rapidly; it disappeared in the overcast."
Capt. Reida added: "During the strike evaluation and interrogation following this mission, I made a detailed report to Intelligence, thinking it was some new type of radio controlled missile or weapon."
Cigar-Shaped UFO Near AF Transport
(Capt. Jack Puckett, at the time of his UFO sighting, was Flying Safety Officer, Hdq., Tactical Air Command, 300th Base Unit, Langley Field, Va. His duties included supervision of flying operations and training, investigation of all aircraft accidents in his command. He has served as an instructor pilot, four engine aircraft, and flew a tour of combat in the European Theater, World War II).
"I was making a scheduled flight from Langley Field, Virginia [August 1, 19461 to MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida. At approximately 6 p.m. while flying a C -47 at 4000 feel northeast of Tampa I observed what I thought to be a shooting star to the southeast over the Atlantic Ocean. My copilot, Lt. Henry F. Glass and my engineer both observed this object at the same time.
"This object continued toward us on a collision course at our exact altitude. At about 1000 yards it veered to cross our path. We observed it to be a long, cylindrical shape approximately twice the size of a B-29, with luminous portholes."
The UFO seemed to be rocket propelled, Capt. Puckett stated. The object trailed a stream of "fire" about one-half its own length, and remained in sight 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
Pilot Has "Dogfight" With Oval Object
About 9:45 p.m. November 18, 1948 Lt. Henry G. Combs was approaching Andrews AFB, Maryland, near the Nation's Capital, in a T-6. Suddenly he noticed an odd light over the base, so he closed in to cheek on it. Abruptly, the light "began to take violent evasive action." Repeatedly, Combs tried to close in on the maneuvering object. But each time it would turn so sharply that he couldn't turn with it.
In his official report on the incident, Lt. Combs stated: "I chased the light up and down and around for about 10 minutes, then as a last resort I made a pass and turned on my landing lights. Just before the object made a final tight turn and headed for the coast I saw that it was a dark gray oval-shaped object, smaller than my T-6."
The UFO moved at variable speeds, vertically and horizontally. Lt. Combs estimated it traveled as fast as 600 mph.
TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE CENTER OFFICIAL OBSERVES DISC, SHARP TURN
On June 1, 1951, about 10:00 p.m., an official at Wright- Patterson AFB, Ohio, sighted an apparently disc-shaped UFO. Because of his sensitive position, he has requested that his name be kept confidential. The report is certified by the NICAP Director and Assistant Director. (Note: All confidential reports in this document, certified by NICAP officials, will be made available to any authorized Congressional investigators.)
"While driving West near Dayton, Ohio, I suddenly became aware of a large blue-white light moving parallel to me. It was parallel and to the left at 30 to 45 degrees elevation. I can best describe it as being similar to the flame trail from a rocket power plant. It was a clearly defined outline similar to a stubby cigar. It was much brighter at the leading end, and gradually dimmer toward the trailing end. After l0 to 15 seconds it made approximately a right angle turn, became circular and even-colored, and rapidly disappeared. I detected no trace of yellow, orange, red or purple in the color. The speed was faster than an airplane, slower than a meteor."
Disc Buzzes Fighter Plane
The following case was reported by Cleveland Press Aviation Editor Charles Tracy, a former wing operations officer in the Air Force. (Originally reported in Cleveland Press, picked up by United Press International, July 30, 1952).
During the Summer of 1951, Lt. George Kinman was flying over Augusta, Georgia, on a clear, sunny day. At the time, he was a seven year flying veteran, since a jet pilot at overseas bases.
"I was cruising at about 250 mph.," Lt. Kinman told Tracy. "All of a sudden I noticed something ahead, closing in on me, head on. Before I could take evasive action - before I even thought of it, in fact - this thing dipped abruptly and passed underneath just missing my propeller. The thing was definitely of disc shape. . . white. . . pretty thick. . . it looked like an oval. . . it was about twice as big as my plane. It had no visible protrusions like motors, guns, windows, smoke or fire."
Lt. Kinman swung his F-51 around, but the disc was out of sight. Within about 15 seconds, he said, the disc came at him again, dipping at the last minute. This performance was repeated several times for a period of 5 to 10 minutes. Finally, on its last pass, the UFO zoomed upward instead of down, just missing his canopy.
Radar, Pilot, Spot Elliptical UFO
One of the former Project Blue Book personnel who have visited NICAP is Don Widener. During 1952, he was a Staff Sergeant, senior information specialist in the Strategic Air Command, stationed with the 809th Air Base Group, MacDill AFB, Florida. Mr. Widener was assisting a Captain who was doing investigative work. When the Captain was called off base, Widener kept track of all sightings in the area for Project Blue Book.
Extracts from a letter to NICAP signed by Mr. Widener:
"One of the key sightings which I was involved in was a radar sighting in the summer of 1952. Captain________was off base and the operations officer notified me of the UFO, which radar had picked up at 40,000 feet proceeding at a speed of 400 knots. A check showed only two aircraft in the area; one a commercial airliner 300 miles out and the other a B-29 on the downwind leg to land.
The B-29 was piloted by a Colonel who reported he had five hours fuel and would investigate. The craft searched until midnight and finally reported a visual sighting at 20,000 feet. The object was at 40,000 feet flying at about 220 knots. The sighting was witnessed by the co-pilot and scanner. The Colonel and other witnesses described the object as a glowing white light shaped like a football. The B-29 turned to give chase, but the object reversed its field and disappeared at high speed. . . The weather that night was excellent. Bright moonlight, no inversion. Perfect for flying."
Jet Instructor Observes Circling UFO
A former Air Force jet pilot instructor, in a signed report to NICAP, detailed a sighting of a cigar-shaped UFO which left a contrail of constant length. 1st Lt. Edward B. Wilford III, a West Point graduate, was on a maintenance test flight in a T-33 from Laredo AFB, Texas, in about April 1953.
"While flying, I noticed a contrail at least 100 miles southeast coming in my direction. I had previously seen B-36's in our area, but within 5 minutes the contrail approached so rapidly that I thought it must be a B-47." He had just passed through 20,000 feet in a climbing spiral over the field.
Lt. Wilford gave the following log of the sighting:
T. First sighting, 100+ miles ESE of Laredo. [Approached from over Gulf in direction of Corpus Christi].
T+5. Passed north of air base (my altitude, approx. 25,000 ft.)
T+ l0. Almost out of sight WNW of Laredo (my altitude 30,000 ft.), appeared to make 90 degree left turn.
T+17. Passed south of Laredo. I passed object through sun, but could not see any wing or tail structures. (My altitude, approx. 35,000 ft.)
T+20. Passed north of Laredo. I saw waves in contrail for first time. (My altitude, 37,000 ft. +)
T+25. Contrail disappeared to NW 100 miles away. (My altitude 41,000 ft. +).
Part of the time the UFO was sharply outlined, appearing as a "solid brown cigar-shaped object with contrail beginning one ship length behind," Lt. Wilford stated. "The contrail was a constant 2-1/2 or 3 ship lengths, disappearing as rapidly as it was forming, thus keeping constant length."
Based on the fact that the visibility at altitude exceeded 100 miles, Lt. Wilford estimated the UFO's speed at 1200 m.p.h. After circling the base, it took the UFO 5 minutes to speed out of sight to the NW. The object was as much as 45-50 degrees above his plane, and when he reached 40,000 feet it still seemed to be at least 20,000 feet above him.
Pilot Reports Two "Intelligently Controlled" Objects
In a letter to NICAP, Lt. Col. Richard T. Headrick, USAFR, Senior Pilot, described briefly a sighting of two UFOs in Dayton, Ohio, during 1954. A full report was made at the time to Project Blue Book. Col. Headrick outlined his views in this manner:
1. "Saucers exist. (I saw two).
1. UFO first appeared as vapor streak, bright flare of light. Then turned
red-orange, solid shape
2. Specks disappeared, object tilted to 45 degrees from horizontal, began moving slowly WSW.
3. Object tipped to horizontal, then as it moved into distance tilted upwards again.
SAC Officers Watch UFO With Satellite Objects
At SAC headquarters in 1958, a group of officers, airmen and missile engineers observed an elongated UFO with satellite objects for about 20 minutes. The case was reported to NICAP by Major Paul A. Duich, USAF (Ret.), one of the witnesses, who was then on active duty. Until recently, Major Duich was an Air Force Master Navigator, accumulating 4000 flying hours and 300 combat hours. During World War II he was one of those who saw "foo-fighters," while crew member of a B-29 making bomb runs on Japan.
The time was approximately 1840. The date: 8 September 1958. I had just ordered dinner at the Officers Club, Strategic Air Command Headquarters, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha,
Nebraska. I excused myself from my friend and co-worker, Major __________ , and went out the side door to cross the open space between the club and the Visiting Officers Quarters next door. I wanted to buy a newspaper in the lobby of the VOQ to read after dinner.
As I crossed the open area, something caught my eye. Glancing up and to the west, I noticed what appeared to be a short vapor trail in an otherwise clear, blue sky. There were no clouds. The sun had just set. I continued walking but somehow that vapor trail didn't register properly. I have seen thousands of vapor trails but this one was peculiar. I did a double take at that point for suddenly the short 'vapor trail' became a brilliant Source of light, much the same as a magnesium flare. I stopped dead in my tracks and watched.
The light was intense, but the "vapor trail" hung motionless. Even a short trail shows generation and dissipation as the aircraft moves across the sky. I watched for several minutes-- maybe 2 or 3--before I called to another officer: "Hey, what do you make of that?", pointing to the spot in the sky. He replied, "Looks like a short vapor trail." I pointed out that it wasn't moving or growing or diminishing in size. He stopped to gape and several others joined us.
By then, I decided this called for a better look. What we all agreed, rather quickly, was that the vapor was reflecting sunlight, the effect being similar to a sun-dog, even though the sun had already slipped below the horizon.
As the small crowd gathered, I hurried into the VOQ office and called the Offutt tower. I asked the tower operator to look west, about 30 degrees from the horizontal and tell me what he saw.
"Looks like a short vapor trail. Very odd."
"Vapor trail my foot! Look at it now."
I could see it through the window as I talked to the tower operator. The glow was now diminishing and changing to a dull red-orange and at the same time the fuzzy appearance gradually took on a solid look, in the distinct shape of a pencil or slender cigar. The upper end was blunter than the lower end.
By then all those in the office were curious and we all stepped outside to join the 10 or 20 others who had gathered to gape at the thing. All of a sudden we all started checking each others faces for some silly reason--for assurance of reality, perhaps, for as we watched there appeared at the lower end of the object a swarm of black specks cavorting every which way, much like a swarm of gnats. This procedure continued for a minute or so before they (the black specks) disappeared.
Then the object, which had hung motionless on the same spot, slowly changed attitude from an upright position to a 45 degree angle with the horizontal and started moving slowly toward the west. At the same time there was no drastic change in the coloring, but a perceptible color change did take place. It remained a dull orange-red color and continued its westerly movement.
We watched in awe for several minutes--perhaps 5-- and then the object changed attitude, again very gradually, until its longitudinal axis appeared parallel to the horizon. The westward movement continued, slightly to the southwest. The apparent size of the object diminished gradually and the color faded. About 5 minutes before we lost it completely (as it faded into the haze just above the horizon) the object changed attitude again, back toward the 45 degree position, but not quite.
As it continued on its westerly path, it maintained this last attitude until completely swallowed up by the haze. It never did drop below the horizon--just faded away. The fading, of course, was due to the many miles of hazy atmosphere between us and the object. The sky was cloudless, but the western horizon did have a slight haze, readily apparent against the bright background.
About 10 minutes after I sighted the object, a full colonel set up a tripod and 35 mm camera with color film and took several photographs of the object. He later denied getting any successful exposures after I asked him on several occasions.
Immediately after the object faded away, we asked one another what it was we saw. The popular answer was, "I don't know, but I saw something."
The crowd was composed of airmen, officers and civilians (at least 25 officers
and airmen were present). Several of the officers (and possibly a few civilians)
were from the Air Force
I collected a few names of individuals present, as I intended to report the UFO to the proper authorities. I called the filter center and reported the facts over the telephone in the presence of a fellow officer and co-worker. I was told that I would be contacted for interview within 48 hours by ATIC [Air Technical Intelligence Center representatives. I am still waiting--5-l/2 years later.
1. Keyhoe, Donald E., Flying Saucers From Outer Space, (Henry Holt, 1953).
2. Ruppelt, Edward J., Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, (Doubleday, 1956), ppg. 177-178.
3. American Legion Magazine; December 1945.
5. New York Times; January 2, 1945.
6. Ruppelt, Edward J., op. cit., p.36.
7. Ibid., p.35.
8. Ibid., p.37.
9. Ibid., p.37
10. Ibid., p.61.
11. Ibid., p. 96. (See also Saturday Evening Post, May 7, 1949.)
12. Keyhoe, Donald F., Flying Saucers Are Real, (Gold Medal Books, 1950), ppg. 79, 158.
13. Los Angeles Daily Mirror; February 2, 1950.
14. Associated Press; June 21, 1950.
15. New Yorker; September 6, 1952.
16. International News Service; September 12, 1951. (See also Ruppelt, Edward J., op. cit., p.127).
17. From USAF Intelligence Report. (See also Ruppelt, Edward J., op. cit., p.131).
18. Ruppelt, Edward J., op. cit., p.26.
19. Newsweek; March 3, 1952. LIFE; April 7, 1952.
20. Report on file at NICAP. (See also International News Service; April 18, 1952.)
21. Ruppelt, Edward J., op. cit., p.195.
22. Ibid., p.204.
23. Ibid., p.205.
24. From USAF Intelligence Report.
25. United Press; August 1, 1952.
26. From USAF Intelligence Report. (See also Ruppelt, Edward J., op. cit., p.217).
27. Ruppelt, Edward J., op. cit., p.24.
28. Tape recorded statement by Al Chop, former Air Force press official. (See also LIFE; August 4,1952).
29. Ruppelt, Edward J., op. cit., p.222.
30. From USAF Intelligence Report.
31. From USAF Intelligence Report. (See also Ruppelt, Edward J., op. cit., p.217).
32. Associated Press; August 14, 1952.
33.-42. From USAF Intelligence Reports
43. True; May 1954.
45. Associated Press; March 9, 1953.
46. Keyhoe, Donald F., Flying Saucer Conspiracy, (Henry Holt, 1955), p.30
4?. Ruppelt, Edward J., op. cit., p.312.
48. United Press; June 30, 1954 (from Major James Zicherelli, public information officer)
49. Keyhoe, Donald F., Flying Saucer Conspiracy, op. cit., p.190.
50. Ibid., p.191.
51. Ibid., p.270.
52. Associated Press; November 26, 1956.
53. Associated Press; February 28, 1957.
54. Los Angeles Times; November 6,1957.
55. Japan Times; July 20, 1958.
56. Col. Headrick is Field Engineer and West Coast Military Coordinator for Bowser Inc., Engineers & Manufacturers.
|Section IV, Army, Navy & Marine Corps (pages 29-32)
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