1951 UFO Chronology
Ruppelt Becomes Chief of Revised Project GRUDGE

Bethune Case, Feb. 10, 1951, off Newfoundland, Canada

Created:  2 Jan 2006, Updated  5 June 2020
This chronology is currently a 20-page report. I want to thank all the members of the A-Team who made this possible. Finally, but certainly not least, I want to thank Loren Gross for thoughtfully and diligently collecting data many years ago for his UFO Histories and supplemental notes, in particular here the year 1951. A big thanks to CUFOS and Mary Castnor for housing them on the CUFOS site at.
Francis Ridge
NICAP Site Coordinator:

The Chronology

1951; Iron Triangle Chorwon, Korea
Craft hit soldier with light beam.

Jan. 8, 1951; S of Ft. Worth, Texas (BBU 864)
10:45 p.m. Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Boggus, plus unidentified drivers and passengers in other cars stopped to watch 2 stationary groups of red and green lights in triangular formations which then moved. (Berliner; FUFOR Index)

Jan. 12, 1951; Fort Benning, Georgia (BBU 868)
10 (11:01?) p.m. U.S. Army 2nd Lt. A. C. Hale saw a light with a fan-shaped wake remain motionless like a star then speed away. (Berliner; FUFOR Index)

Jan. 14, 1951; Jolon [S of King City or near Salinas?], Calif. (BBU)
11:40 a.m. Private pilot Rosenburg of Navion 4582K saw 3 rectangular objects with flat tops. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

12:38 p.m. Private pilot Hillman flying with 3 passengers saw 150 ft circular object at 30,000 ft. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

Jan. 16, 1951; Nr. Artesia, N. Mexico
General Mills personnel tracking a Skyhook balloon saw two disc-shaped objects approach rapidly, tip on edge, circle the balloon, and speed off over the NW horizon. [I]

9:20-9:26 p.m. (CST). Capt. Lawrence W. Vinther, copilot James F. Bachmeier, passengers AF Colonel and aide, and CAA tower controller John M. Williams. At 9:20 the 2 CAA tower controllers sighted light in the W [NW?]. After Vinther's Mid-Continent Airlines DC-3 took off, he was asked by the tower to look for light, then while still in a climbing 360° turn at about 1,000 ft they spotted object to the NNW at about 8,000 ft and 4 miles away that looked like a B-29 fuselage with wings but no engines, which blinked some lights like running lights. Object came at the DC-3, flew across the nose within 200 ft, they had to turn their heads to follow it then suddenly found it instantly appeared on the other side again, paralleled them for 2-3 secs, then flew under them and disappeared in 2-3 secs to the NW. (Battelle Unknown No. 3; cf. NARCAP)

Jan. 21, 1951; Oak Ridge, Tenn. (BBU)
4:20 p.m. An unidentified object was sighted on a radar scope of an F-82 fighter plane over the controlled area at Oak Ridge. The radar operator intercepted an indication of an airborne target at 18m (18,000 yards?). The GCI gave the go ahead to intercept the target. The radar set on the F-82 was "locked on" and the run began. The interception was unsuccessful and the fighter returned to base. In all, three passes were made at targets all with radar indications, but they could not be completed since the target was over the restricted area of Oak Ridge including the X-10 plant. (McDonald list; FUFOR Index)

Jan. 22, 1951; 50 miles SE [ESE?] of Holloman AFB, New Mexico (BBU)
10 a.m. (EST [sic; PST?] 11 ? a.m.). Pilots Capt. Ernest W. Spradley of Aerial Photo Lab and Capt. James E. Cocker of All-Weather Flying Division both AMC, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, a General Mills Aeronautical lab project engineer Mr. McAleese [sp?] and an airman, were flying in a C-47 heading E [ESE?] at about 10,000-12,000 ft and tracking a Project GOPHER plastic balloon at about 50,000-70,000 ft when they saw a bright star-like object seemingly next to the pear-shaped balloon or above and to the side. As they approached and flew under the balloon they noticed the object descend to the balloon's level and grow larger in apparent size until about 1/4 to 1/2 the 70 ft balloon, when it appeared to be round and flat like a dime, milky white or silvery in color with a clear outline. Cocker and McAleese left the cockpit went to the astrodome to observe the object. After 3 mins they saw the object separate from the balloon and head W at high speed, after about 1 min it emitted a series of 3 bright flashes like photoflashes at 1 sec intervals and disappeared from sight. (Jan Aldrich; FUFOR Index)

Jan. 24, 1951; Westover AFB, Mass. (BBU)
At 10:45 a.m. local time, the Westover Approach Control radar picked up three unidentified returns. The returns were the same or larger than a B-36. The course of the objects varied.The length of the observation was approximately 15-20 minutes. The Project 10073 Record Card does list the type of observation as Air-Intercept Radar, as well as saying in a brief summary of the sighting that Approach Control picked up unidentified returns. (McDonald list; FUFOR Index, Sparks, Wilson)  

Jan. 24, 1951; Westover AFB, Mass. (BBU)
10:45 a.m. (McDonald list; FUFOR Index)

Jan. 26, 1951; Sea of Japan off coast of South Korea (BBU)
2:05 p.m. During an ASP coverage flight a target echo was observed on the aircraft's radar (APS-15). During a 15 minute period between 2:05 p.m. and 2:20 p.m. local time, the object was observed to make what appeared to be a run over the tanker being escorted (the USS Passumpsic) and seven runs over the observing aircraft at speeds computed at 3,000 knots. (Dan Wilson)      

February 1951
Look magazine article: Dr. Urner Liddel, Office of Naval Research, stated "There is not a single reliable report of  an observation which is not attributable to the cosmic balloons (plastic "Skyhook" research balloons)."

Feb. 1 [2?], 1951; Johnson AFB, Japan (BBU 886)
5:10 p.m. [?] Pilot and radar operator of F-82 night fighter saw an amber light make 3-4 360° turns to the right, reverse towards the F-82 then climb out of sight. (Berliner)

Feb. 9 (not 10th), 1951; off Newfoundland, Canada
On the night of the UFO encounter, a four engine Navy R5D transport was flying west over the Atlantic. On this trip the 30-year-old pilot was bringing two flight crews home from special duty in Europe. Including his own crew there were over twenty-five pilots, navigators and flight engineers aboard the transport. The National Archives turned up a number of supporting documents on this case, including Air Intelligence Information Reports by five of the crew members. Although it isn't documented, reports indicate the object was tracked by ground radar. (NICAP, BB, Dan Wilson)

Feb. 14, 1951; Alamogordo, N. Mexico
Time not given. Two Wright-Patterson AFB officers, Captain J. E. Cocker of the all-weather flying division, and Capt. E. W. Spradley of the aerial photography laboratory, were tracking a large weather balloon in a C-47 aircraft when Capt. Spradley spotted a flat, milky white object that looked like a dime hovering next to the balloon. Cocker left the seat and watched the object from the C-47's astrodome for about 5 minutes. The object and balloon were at an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 feet altitude. The object, now a perfectly clear silver color separated from the balloon and three bright flashes like photo flashes were seen before it disappeared. Dan Wilson, UFO Evidence, Section III)
Feb. 15, 1951; Sea of Japan, off coast of South Korea
In the early afternoon five radar contacts with high-speed objects were made by a Navy patrol plane using a AN/APS-15B radar. Objects were tracked at estimated speeds from 12,600 mph to 14,400 mph. The radar equipment appeared to be working normally.(Jan Aldrich, Dan Wilson)
Feb. 19, 1951; Near Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya (BBU)
7:20 a.m. East African Airways Lodestar crew and several passengers saw stationary silvery elongated object. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

Feb. 19, 1951; Rodeo, New Mexico (BBU)
USAF? C-54 pilot saw a green flare [fireball?] pass his plane. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

Recognition of Flying Saucers. Document which states, "A flying machine in so featureless a form as a saucer would probably be one of the most difficult things to recognize as such, even in ideal observing conditions."

Feb. 21 [26?], 1951; Durban, South Africa (BBU 896)
4:55 a.m. 3 men in a truck and several other persons, none named, saw a dark red, torpedo-shaped object with darker center, fly straight and level. (Berliner; FUFOR Index)

Feb. 21, 1951; Bt. Newfoundland and Iceland (BB)
3:00 AM. The Incident #26 report describes the event in more detail. Lt. George Williams was piloting a Navy Fleet Logistics airplane cruising at 10,000 feet. At first he thought the object was a ship and then called the copilot forward. Nine witnesses saw the object approach at terrific closing rate.  It veered to their port side and hovered momentarily, then rose at extremely rapid rate and disappeared off their port quarter. Size was estimated at 200 feet in diameter, flat elliptical or cigar shaped by side view and seemed to be producing a ring of red-orange exhaust all along the edge.  (Jan Aldrich, Project Interloper report).

7:10 a.m. USAF Sgt. J. B. Sells saw a dull grey, metallic object, about 120 ft long 10-12 ft thick, hover, puff smoke and speed away. (Berliner)

March 1951 (exact date unknown), off Cape May, NJ
11:30 PM. It was during the Korean War and a naval destroyer was on the alert for bombers coming in from the northeast, east and south­east. It was plotting all aircraft going north and south along the coast and in as far as the Appalachian Mountains. Source reporting said they tracked an object coming in from due east at a speed of 85 to 90 knots and an altitude of 3,000 to 4,000 feet. It got within about 30 miles of the destroyer and just stopped and hovered. Source informed the bridge, which informed the captain, and he instructed them to head out toward the object. About half an hour later, when the ship was within 15 miles of the object, the object suddenly took off on a northerly course very rapidly. Its speed was estimated at about 5,000 kms an hour. The object got to within 35 to 40 miles south of Nantucket Island and suddenly went straight up into the atmosphere. Altitude-determining radar tracked the object up to 100 miles above the earth and still going straight up. A report was made to the Pentagon..

March 9, 1951; About 20 miles SE of Tsushima Island, Japan (BBU)
2:25 p.m. This description was extracted from the Air Intelligence Information Report IR-29-52, Page 16 of 27.   A high-speed air target was tracked by a Mariner SA4 aircraft. The target was initially observed bearing 320 degrees true for approximately 60 seconds. During this time the target tracked 55 miles. The calculated speed was approximately 3,350 mph.  (Dan Wilson, Jan Aldrich)
March 10, 1951; Chinnampo, Korea (BBU)
9:51 a.m. Crew of USAF B-29 bomber, including scanners and tail gunner, saw a large red-yellow glow burst and become blue-white. No further information in files. (Berliner)

March 13, 1951; McClellan AFB, Sacramento, Calif. (BBU 907)
3:20 p.m. USAF 1st Lt. B. J. Hastie and Mrs. Rafferty saw a cylinder with twin tails, 200 ft long and 90 ft wide, turn N at incredible speed. (Berliner)

10:20 (9:50?) a.m. 25 members of a flying club, including the chief aerial engineer (Floats?) and his two assistants saw a metallic cigar-shaped object with white exhaust which turned black when it accelerated to about 1,000 mph and made a large loop. (Berliner; FUFOR Index)

March 24, 1951; Holloman AFB, Alamogordo, New Mexico (BBU)
5:55-6:00 a.m. (MST). Project TWINKLE personnel photographed with a Leica 3c 50 mm camera an unidentified elliptical object with major axis 8.31 arcmins minor axis 6.343 arcmins (0.1385° and 0.1057°). (Sparks)

March 31, 1951
Project TWINKLE's extended contract ends.  (Brad Sparks)

It's interesting to compare the August 29, 1950 version of the script for "The Thing From Another World" with the dialog in the film as actually released on April 6, 1951. Sometime between August 1950 and the time the film was completed, a pretty interesting detail was added -- the concept of  "radiation-triggered cameras" to track UFOs. (See report by Joel Carpenter).

April, 1951; Atlanta, Georgia
Morning. Pilot was flying a Loan L-4 that had taken off from Atlanta Municipal Airport. He climbed to 3000 feet on a 180° heading. The wind was from the west, 270° at 12-15 mph and there was some low ground fog and scud. Overhead, it was very clear, no overcast or cloud. Pilot was in the rear seat, as the aircraft was placarded for solo flights the pilot was to fly from the rear. He was about 20 minutes out of Atlanta when he saw a perfectly round disc slightly SW at about the two o’clock position. See full report. (NARCAP Case 12, Source : Capt. Robert H. Pasley written report sent to Major Donald Keyhoe, NICAP in March 1965).

April 14, 1951; Yellow Sea (BBU)
1:22 p.m. Radar tracking of unidentified target at 3,755 mph. (Jan Aldrich)

May 21/22, 1951
AF Intelligence (AFOIN) finally captures the AMC Intelligence Dept from AF R&D and names the new unit that is formed, the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC), also known as the 1125th Field Activity Group of AFOIN. The first Chief of ATIC is Col. Frank L. Dunn who displaces Col. Harold W. Watson, the last Chief of AMC Intelligence Dept, who is left in limbo later to be transferred out to USAF-Europe, effectively having been fired by Gen. Cabell, the AF Director of Intelligence.  (Brad Sparks)

May 22, 1951; Nr. Dodge City, Kansas
American Airlines pilot observed maneuvering star-like object. [V]

June 1 [May 31?], 1951; Niagara Falls, New York (BBU 925)
>4:20 a.m. [GMT?] M/Sgt H. E. Sweeney and 2 enlisted men saw a glowing yellow-orange, saucer­ shaped object with arc-shaped wings, fly straight up. (Berliner)

June 1951
In the first of a number of visits, LIFE magazine reporter Robert E. Ginna visits the Pentagon and ATIC to obtain information for what will turn out to be a landmark UFO article (published in the April 7, 1952, issue).  Ruppelt later recalled that when news of Ginna's imminent arrival was received at ATIC that "pandemonium" broke out because the anti-UFO biased personnel left over from Col. Watson's tenure (such as James J. Rodgers and Capt. Roy L. James) were unprepared to be challenged or exposed to public scrutiny.  (Brad Sparks)

June 1, 1951; Dayton, Ohio
Wright-Patterson AFB official watched disc make sharp turn. [III]

June 7, 1951. Los Alamos area?, New Mexico (BBU)
11:10 a.m. Los Alamos Lab employee sighted pointed cylinder with clothlike construction in vertical orientation fall into a canyon. Search party unable to find traces. (Sparks; BB NARA Microfilm Roll 85, p. 505; Maxwell Roll 1, p. 905)

July 1, 1951; Seoul, South Korea (BBU)
10:50 [10:20?] p.m. USMC pilots flying 4 F4U­5N fighters with 1st Marine Air Wing saw several bright green spheres [fireballs?]. Ground radar confirmation [?]. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

July 9, 1951; Near Dearing (25 mi W of Augusta), Georgia (BBU)
1:40-1:50 p.m. (EST). 1st Lt. George H. Kinmon, Jr., 160th [117th?] Tactical Recon Wing, Lawson AFB, Columbus, Ga., flying F-51 fighter at 250-270 mph at 8,000-8,500 ft on heading 247° saw high speed white oval disc about twice size of his plane [or about 75 ft] [or 10­ 15 ft?] in head on collision from the direction of the sun [sun at about 237° azimuth 72° elevation]] suddenly dive underneath narrowly missing his plane. He turned to pursue but couldn't find object, then 15 secs later the object made another head on dive at him, repeated it several times, on last pass climbed upward out of sight. [Conflicting account to AFOSI states after first dive object continued to barrel-roll around the plane for 10 mins, then disappeared under the plane. Pilot states object was 300 to 400 feet from plane and appeared to be 10 - 15 ft diameter.] Object flat on top and bottom, white not aluminum. Front view with rounded edges slightly beveled, and small crater-like spots. Top view as it dived, object appeared round and spinning clockwise. From front view as object dived observer noted.. No vapor trails or exhaust or visible system of propulsion. Described as traveling tremendous speed. He compares its speed to that of a jet plane. Pilot turbulent wake "bump" when object passed under plane. Object left the plane a few miles S of Milledgeville, and 15-20 miles from Macon. (Weinstein; NICAP; BB files??)

July 9, 1951; Corona, New Mexico (BBU)
10:30 p.m. USAF Sgt. Meadows, security guard at Corona Experimental Radar Site, saw red glowing ball about size of full moon to the W descending into the tree line for 30 secs and afterglow seen another 10 secs. [Crescent moon was setting in the W about 268°­272° azimuth about 10-10:30 p.m. depending on height of mountains and tree line to the W.] (McDonald files; Jan Aldrich; FUFOR Index)

July 14, 1951; Holloman AFB, New Mexico (BBU)
A UFO which sped near a B-29 was tracked on radar, observed visually and photographed. [VIII] (McDonald list; FUFOR Index)

July 23, 1951 (wrong date in UFOE. See Sept 23rd); March Field, Calif.
Radar-visual sighting of silvery object circling high above aircraft. [VIII]

July 24, 1951; Portsmouth, New Hampshire (BBU 943)
7:10 p.m.? Hanscom AFB Operations Officer Capt. Cobb and Cpl. Fein saw a greyish 100-200 ft tubular object with many black spots, 5:1 length/width ratio, with fins at one end, fly 800-1,000 mph at 1,000-2,000 ft altitude, leaving a faint trail. (Berliner, Wilson)

July 30, 1951; Selfridge AFB, Mich. (BBU)
At 7:14 a.m. EDT, an unidentified object was observed on the scopes of an AN/CPS-6B radar at the 752nd AC&W Squadron at Empire, Michigan. The speed of the blip varied from 3,000 mph to 28,000 mph. The length of the observation was 18 minutes. (McDonald list; FUFOR Index, Dan Wilson)

August 1951
Popular Science. Editors surveyed witnesses to choose most plausible explanations for UFOs; 70% believed they were intelligently controlled devices, either man-made or extraterrestrial.

August 1951; Central, N. Mex.
Mining engineer sighted two discs with "portholes." [VI]

August 2, 1951; Lubbock, Texas (BB)
At 0857 hours to 0903 hours five civilian men observed a metallic looking spherical shaped object hanging in the air. The only apparent movement was a quivering motion. The object after about six minutes moved straight east until it disappeared into a cloud bank. One witness, Mr. Gibbs, was very familiar with weather balloons and he was positive that the object was not a balloon of any type. Reese AFB was located just west of Lubbock, Texas. (Fran Ridge, Dan Wilson, Bill Schroeder, BB files MAXW-PBB14-90-97)

August 3, 1951; Nr. Pinckney, Mich.
NICAP Adviser saw a glowing, yellowish UFO which moved on an undulating course. [VI]

Aug. 8, 1951; NE of Port Clinton, Ohio (BBU)
2:10 p.m. USAF pilot Skelops (?) in flight and ground witnesses saw a 20 ft dark cigar-shaped object flying at high speed. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

August 11, 1951; Portland, Ore.
Former Air Force fighter pilot observed formation of three discs. [V]

Aug. 21, 1951; Northern Sea of Japan (BBU)
At 12:05 a.m. local time a USN P2V-3W patrol plane at the position of 41 degrees 55' N - 133degrees 52' E, a target appeared of the plane's radar, an AN/FPS-20. The squadron electronic officer viewed the scope and identified the target as authentic and distinct from sea return. The target caused a strong presentation on the scope throughout the 45 minute contact. (Dan Wilson)
12:05 p.m. Radar tracking of unidentified target. (Jan Aldrich, Dan Wilson)

Aug. 25, 1951; Lubbock, Texas
Famous Lubbock Lights/Carl Hart photo case. This case may be questionable, but the next one isn't.

Aug, 25, 1951; Albuquerque, New Mexico (BBU 955)
9:58 p.m. Sandia Base Security guard Hugh Young and wife saw a flying wing-shaped craft pass overhead at about 800-1,000 ft altitude and 300-400 mph with no sound. Size estimated at 1.5x wingspan of B-36 bomber, or 350 ft. Dark, clockwise stripes on underside, and 6-8 pairs of soft, glowing lights on trailing edge of wing. (Berliner, Wilson, Schroeder)

Capt. Edward Ruppelt:
I almost overlooked the report from the radar station (Larson, see next report) because it was fairly short. It said that early on the morning of August 26, only a few hours after the Lubbock sighting (Albuquerque), two different radars had shown a target traveling 900 miles per hour at 13,000 feet on a northwesterly heading. The target had been observed for six minutes and an F-86 jet interceptor had been scrambled but by the time the F-86 had climbed into the air the target was gone. The last paragraph in the report was rather curt and to the point. It was apparently in anticipation of the comments the report would draw. It said that the target was not caused by weather. The officer in charge of the radar station and several members of his crew had been operating radar for seven years and they could recognize a weather target. This target was real. I quickly took out a map of the United States and drew in a course line between Lubbock and the radar station. A UFO flying between these two points would be on a northwesterly heading and the times it was seen at the two places gave it a speed of roughly 900 miles per hour. This was by far the best combination of UFO reports I'd ever read and I'd read every one in the Air Force's files.

Aug. 26, 1951; Larson AFB, Washington (BBU)
At 8:28 a.m. PST, an object was picked up on an AN/CPS-1 radar set and an AN/CPS-4 radar set. The object was tracked continuously for a period of six minutes at an estimated altitude of 13,000 feet and a speed of 950 mph. Initial pickup was at 0828U (Uniform Time Zone or PST) and the last plot was at 0836U. An F-86 was scrambled but radar contact was lost before the aircraft was airborne. An electronic signal was received from this object that appeared to be a mode one response from an AN/APX-6 transponder. This response was received twice at approx.115 miles and at 80 miles from the radar station. (McDonald list; FUFOR Index; cf. Ruppelt pp. 96-98, 108-109)

Aug. 27, 1951; Vandalia, Illinois (BBU)
8 p.m. Private pilot Raymond Williams was on the runway about to take off when he saw a large blinding orange light to the SW, radioed the CAA tower but light went out. After takeoff he saw the object again, noticing it was not an airplane, the light was at one end of the object and had a small red light on top, and it came directly at him, circled his plane twice, then headed  to W to Greenville. Williams followed, saw object circle Greenville twice then return E towards Vandalia. Commercial pilot at 20,000 ft radioed he also saw the object. (NARCAP; FUFOR Index)

Aug. 31, 1951; Matador, Texas (BBU 962)
12:45 p.m. Mrs. Tom Tilson and 1-2 other women driving N on Hwy U.S. 70, all apparently of excellent reputations, saw to the W a pear-shaped object the length of a B-29 fuselage (100 ft), aluminum or silver-yellow with a port or some type of aperture on the side, move with smaller end forward, drifting slowly at about 150 ft altitude, then shot up in a circular fashion and out of sight after a few secs. (Berliner; McDonald files; Jan Aldrich)

Fall, 1951: Pacific Ocean, off Korea
Night. UFO circles a U.S. task force of fourteen ships. Navy interceptors were scrambled. After hours of circling and out-maneuvering the jets, the UFO speeded up, leaving an interceptor behind. In less than ten minutes, the radarscopes showed it was two hundred miles away. (The NICAP source gives the time period as the fall of 1951; others only give the year, UFO Evidence, VIII)

Civilian Instructions For Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings from Aircraft, another of the Intelligence regulations governing reporting in accordance with Joint Army-Navy-Air Force Publication 146 (JANAP 146). Several versions are known to have existed from 9-Sept-1951 to 13-May-1955. Presented here is a text copy of the 10 March 1954 version.

Sept. 6, 1951; Claremont, Calif. (E of Hwy 66?) (BBU 964)
7:20 p.m. (GMT?). S/Sgt W. T. Smith and M/Sgt L. L. Deuel (?) saw 6 orange lights in an irregular formation, fly straight and level into a coastal fog bank. (Berliner; FUFOR Index)

Sept. 9, 1951; Off Nort Korean coast (BBU)
1850 hours local time. A high speed target was observed on radar on the USS Cony DDE 508, operating with Task Force 77. The object was tracked on a course of 225 degrees true, with a speed of about 900 knots for approximately one minute. The operator's interpretation was "Many Bogies" on a line of bearing perpendicular to the course of the target. The AN/SPS-6B air search radar was in use and was functioning normally before and after the incident. (Jan Aldrich)

Sept. 9, 1951; About 50 miles off coast of North Korea (BBU)
6:50 p.m. Radar tracking of multiple unidentified targets at 900 mph. (Jan Aldrich)

Sept. 10, 1951; Fort Monmouth, New Jersey
11:10 a.m. .Several unidentified objects were sighted by radar at Fort Monmouth, N.J. The objects varied in speed from 0 to 700 mph and were sighted at varying altitudes. The objects were observed on an AN/MPG-1 radar set and on an SCR-584 radar set. (Ridge/Wilson)

11:35-11:37 a.m. (EDT) USAF pilots Lt. Wilbert S. Rogers and Major Ezra S. Ballard flying in a T-33 at 20,000 ft from Dover AFB, Delaware, to Mitchel AFB, New York, on a NNE course at 450 mph saw a silvery metallic discus-shaped 30-50 ft object to their 11 o'clock position below their altitude viewed against the Sandy Point area and silhouetted against the ground. Rogers immediately turned left and descended to intercept the object which then banked, revealing its flat round profile, no appendages, no trail, and curved in more tightly on the turn than the T-33, covering an estimated 30-50 n. mi. in 2 minutes (about 1,000-1,500 mph), and seen projected against the ground near Red Bank and Freehold, New Jersey, as the T-33 descended to 17,000 ft, accelerated to 550 mph and covering about 120° of its 360° turn during the sighting. The object passed within about 8,000 ft distance of the T-33, descending from about 12,000 to 5,000 ft and headed at high speed out to sea near Pt. Pleasant at about 120° heading until disappearance. (Sparks)

Sept. 13, 1951; Goose Bay, Labrador (BBU 969)
9:30 [10?] p.m. AST (+-0100Z). Two GCA operators observed what appeared to be three targets on the PPI (Plan Position Indicator) scope. Warner B. Maupin and Cpl John W. Green, both assigned to 1932nd AACS Squadron, Goose AB, were on duty at the local GCA trailer at the request of the pilot of a C-54, No. 5527, inbound from Westover AFB, Massachusetts. They arrived at the GCA trailer and turned the equipment on and were awaiting further instructions from the pilot of C-54 or the tower when the following sequence of events took place.  (See report and reference to an attached photo on NARA-PBB89-1203). (Berliner; McDonald files; Jan Aldrich)

Sept. 17 [16?], 1951; 3 miles NE of Marion, Ohio (BBU)
12:17 p.m. Cessna pilot Grover saw a black swept-wing object at 2,800 ft in near collision with his aircraft. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

10:20-11:55 p.m. (EST). USAF B-36 radar operator Major Paul E. Gerhart and navigator Major Charles J. Cheever on a flight from Goose Bay, Labrador, to Resolute, North West Territories, heading NW at 208 knots (239 mph) over Hudson Strait, picked up radar interference which came from an unidentified aircraft at relative bearing 130° (E) at 28 n. mi. (32 miles) heading away. Anti-jamming device on the APQ-24 radar was turned on at 11:20 p.m. but did not affect the jamming on the radar scope. At 11:35 jamming covered 120° of the right side of the radar scope and then an unidentified aircraft was seen visually on the right side of the B-36, which was then at 18,000 ft at 65°40' N, 71°40' W (over SW Baffin Island). Object had "unconventional running lights" all white instead of red-green, with twin white flashing tail lights, traveling about 30 knots faster than the B-36, crossed the front from right to left heading 334° true towards the NNW, and was in view about 20 mins [to a distance of about 12 miles]. While the object was still visible, at 11:50 p.m. the B-36 autopilot and APQ-24 radar set went out, the latter returning after a few mins about when the object disappeared. ECM operators S/Sgt. Donald E. Jenkins and S/Sgt. Doty T. Larimore on 2 B-36 flights from Goose to Resolute while still over Labrador the next day detected carrier wave signals at several frequencies and some radar­ like pulses at other frequencies, all below 1,000 MHz. (Jan Aldrich; cf. Hynek UFO Exp ch. 7, case RV-11)

4:35-5:31, 7:10 a.m. Air Defense Command sites P-34 & P-31, P-69, respectively. USAF CPS-6B and CPS 5 radar tracks of 6,000 mph (intermittent?)  targets. (McDonald files; Jan Aldrich; Grudge Rpt 1; FUFOR Index)

Sept. 23, 1951; Nr. Long Beach Airport to Camp Pendleton, and March AFB, Calif. (BBU)
9:25 a.m. (PDT). 2 F-86 jet interceptors were scrambled from George AFB, near Victorville, Calif., then vectored by air defense GCI radar to [a target?] at 33°50' N, 118°40' W (off the coast about 30 miles W of Long Beach Airport), where the jets circled and headed E toward Long Beach when an object was seen at 12 o'clock high position at 7:55 a.m. in a left orbit at about 50,000 ft above the F-86's, appearing to be a bright silvery aircraft with highly swept back 45° wings; [the F-86's tried to climb to intercept the object but it climbed away in response]. Another 2 F-86's were scrambled from George AFB at about 8:00 as the first 2 were running low on fuel and were released to return at 8:10-15 when the 2nd flight arrived. The 2nd pair of F-86's was vectored by GCI radar to 33°20' N, 117°30' W (Camp Pendleton), arrived there at 8:10 at 43,000 ft [and circled?], spotted the object at 1 o'clock high back to the N toward Muroc/Edwards AFB appearing at about 50,000-55,000 ft in a controlled orbit right and left, appearing as a swept wing aircraft [that sped up when the F-86's tried to close] and the object was found near March AFB, Riverside, to the NNW but they broke off intercept because of low fuel at about 8:20-25, landing at 8:45. 3rd flight of 2 F-86's scrambled [at about 8:45??] from George AFB [?] saw the object shortly after takeoff seeming to be heading S as F-86's made climbing turns up to 43,500 ft under the round silvery object [at 55,000? ft over the San Bernardino Mtns. ?] until breaking off intercept at about 9:25 a.m. [A 7th F-86 was scrambled to the S toward Long Beach but the UFO was gone.] (GRUDGE Rpts. 1 and 2; Ruppelt pp. 94-5)

Oct. 2, 1951
In a dramatic 10 a.m. conference in the office of the AF Director Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Charles P. Cabell, the ATIC officers who investigated the Ft. Monmouth UFO sightings and radar tracking, Lt. Col. Nathan R. Rosengarten (Chief, Aircraft & Propulsion Branch, Technical Analysis Division, ATIC) and Lt. Jerry Cummings, gave a briefing to Cabell and his top staff, plus representatives of Republic Aircraft, including a Mr. Brewster. Cabell at the end is very upset at the dismissive reassurances he had been hearing from some of his nay-saying anti-UFO senior officers and explodes in anger, "I've been lied to, lied to, lied to!  I want it to stop!  I want answers, good answers."  Cabell orders an overhaul of the UFO program at ATIC.  (Brad Sparks)

Oct. 2, 1951; Columbus, Ohio (BBU 980)
6 p.m. Battelle Memorial Institute physicist Howard Cross saw a bright oval with a clipped tail fly straight and level, fading into the distance. (Berliner)

Oct. 3, 1951; Kadena AFB, Okinawa (BBU 984)
10:27 (8:27?) p.m. Radar operators Sgt. M. W. Watson, Pvt. Gonzales and another Sgt. saw a large, sausage-shaped blip [arc shape due to radar display?] tracked at about 4,800 mph. (Berliner; FUFOR Index)

At 7:37 p.m. local time Site 6, 621st AC&W Squadron at Nigata Air Base, Japan, established radar contact with an unidentified object at 37 degrees 37' N - 137 degrees 15' E. The heading of the object was 260 degrees. This object was detected by CPS-5 modified by an AN/GPA-7. There were no friendly aircraft in the area at the time of the initial sighting. (Dan Wilson, Jan Aldrich)

1:42 [1:43?] p.m. (CST). CAA Chief Aircraft Communicator Roy Messmore at Holman Municipal Airport saw a flash on the distant SE horizon then a growing pinpoint of a rapidly approaching object appearing as a silvery "flattened tennis ball" when directly overhead disappearing to the NW [or SE??] after traveling from horizon to horizon in 15 secs, no sound or trail. (Berliner; cf. Ruppelt pp. 112-3; GRUDGE Rpt 1)

Oct. 9, 1951; east of Paris, Illinois
1:45 p.m. (CST). Sighting by pilot Charles Warren at 5,000 ft flying W from Greencastle, Ind., to Paris, Ill., located E of Paris (about 15 miles NW of Terre Haute) of silvery "flattened orange" appearing stationary at first to the left rear (SE? or E? towards Holman Airport?) for a few secs (or longer?) then Warren banked in a tight left turn to pursue the object when it suddenly picked up speed and headed off NE towards the S of Newport, Ind. (Berliner; cf. Ruppelt pp. 112-3; GRUDGE Rpt 1)

Oct. 10, 1951; 10 miles E of St. Croix Falls, Wisc. (BBU)
10:10 a.m. Private pilot (Kaliszewski? General Mills Aero Labs?) saw a cigar shaped object cross the sky, dive slightly, level off, then accelerate. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

6:30 a.m. General Mills Aeronautical Labs balloon researchers, including aeronautical engineer J. J. Kaliszewski, aerologist C. B. Moore, pilot Dick Reilly in the air, and Doug Smith on the ground (also Dorian and Zuckert). Flight crew saw the first object, brightly glowing with a dark underside and halo around it. Object arrived high and fast, then slowed and made slow climbing circles for about 2 mins, and finally sped away to the E. Soon they saw another one (at 8:30 a.m.?), confirmed by ground observers using a theodolite, which sped across the sky. (Berliner; FUFOR Index)

Oct. 16, 1951; W of Whidbey Island NAS [S of Port Angeles?], Wash. (BBU)
11:01 a.m. USAF pilots flying 3 F-94 fighters and USN ground personnel saw a round medium-grey object at high speed and high altitude, no sound. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

Oct. 18, 1951; 140 miles from Tsingtao, China over Yellow Sea (BBU)
At 3:33 a.m. local time a waist gunner aboard a PBY Mariner, RD-5, US Navy patrol plane sighted an unidentified light on the port side of aircraft and notified Ensign George Gregory, the Patrol Plane Commander. The radar man confirmed the contact reporting the distance at 12 miles. The craft was at an estimated 4000 feet altitude. The hull was very large estimated to be 60 feet long. The wings were swept back and down with a dihedral at the tips. The PBY made a turn to place the object between the moon and the PBY. The craft turned also and pulled ahead to twelve miles. The PBY applied power and closed to about 3 to 4 miles. During this time the craft was observed with binoculars. All hands on board observed the hull shape. The craft accelerated slowly to 16 miles where it again was confirmed by radar. It then rapidly pulled away to 22 miles and all contact was lost. The total length of observation was approximately 22 minutes. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

12:50 p.m. [10:25 a.m. CST?] Private pilot N. Manteris flying Navion aircraft (s/n N21424) at 4,000 ft saw a silver oval domed disc­ shaped highly polished object closing at high speed on collision course at about 3,000 ft, pass underneath his plane, he turned 180° to pursue but it was gone. No trail or vents, upper surface had an indentation for a crown or dome. (Project 1947; McDonald list; GRUDGE Rpt 1; NARCAP)

Oct. 21, 1951; North Truro, Mass. (BBU)
11:18  to 11:22 PM local time (22-0418Z to 22-0422Z) An unidentified target was picked up on the Plan Position Indicator CPS-6B radar set. The returns were "sausage shaped" and the target was moving on a ESE course at a speed of approximately 1800 knots at an unknown altitude. AIR INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION REPORT, IR-47-51E states, the possibility remains that the object may have been an unconventional flying object. (Dan Wilson, McDonald files; Jan Aldrich; FUFOR Index)

Oct. 22, 1951; North Truro, Mass. (BBU)
At 7:30 a.m. to 7:32 a.m. local time (1230Z to 1232Z, 22 October 1951), radar operators detected an object on a course west and then to the south. The speed of the object was 2400 knots.The length of the observation was 2 minutes. A message from the 32nd Air Division stated, the individual echo returns and the appearance of the track substantiated the probability of these radar pickups being of a flying object rather that some kind of radar interference or malfunction. (Dan Wilson, McDonald files, Jan Aldrich, FUFOR Index).

Oct. 26, 1951; Australia
4:00 a.m. The engineer of a transcontinental train on the east-west line was surprised to see the track brilliantly illuminated by an object that came close to the train, seemed to examine it closely and even gave the impression it was going to land in the desert, but took off and disappeared. (UFOs A History 1951, pg. 84; 239 [Valle, Jacques. Anatomy of a Phenomenon, p. 195]}

October 22, 1951
Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt, new chief of revised Project GRUDGE, the Air Force UFO investigation.

Nov. 2, 1951. E of Abilene, Texas (BBU)
7:15 a.m. Crew of American Airlines DC-4 flying Los Angeles to Dallas, at 4,500 ft, saw a bright green projectile-shaped object, about same size as DC-4, streak past at about same altitude and same E heading. Object left trail then exploded, shooting red balls of fire in all directions. Green fireball sighted in Ariz., NM, Texas, Okla. Radiant about 3.5 hrs RA, 0 Dec (Taurid fireball? 3.5-4 hrs RA, +13° to +22° Dec.). (Sparks; LIFE Incident 10?; Saunders/ FUFOR Index?; Keyhoe 1955, pp. 92-93)

Nov. 2 (7?), 1951; Arizona [New Mexico, Texas, Okla.] (BBU)
Green fireball. (LIFE Incident 10; [FUFOR Index?])

Nov. 2, 1951; 30 (35?) miles N of Mojave, Calif. (BBU)
11 p.m. Bromley and another forest observer in a canyon saw a 30 ft disk­ shaped flying object in the SW, 10 ft thick, blue­ green, well-defined, surrounded with a glow of same color. Stopping their jeep, they signaled to the object, which approached within 10 [?] ft, flew away, seemed to play with them, vanished "like a magician's trick." (Vallée Magonia 85; FUFOR Index)

November 7, 1951; Lake Superior
Steamship Captain and crew watched elongated orange object with six glowing "portholes" speed towards Ontario. [XII]

November 9, 1951
After 7 sightings of green fireballs in 11 days Dr. Lincoln Lapaz, Institute of Meteorics, said: "There has never been a rate of meteorite fall in history that has been one -fifth as high as the present fall. If that rate should continue, I would suspect the phenomenon is not natural. . . (they) don't behave like ordinary meteorites at all." (Associated Press)

Nov. 10, 1951; Albuquerque, N.M.
The eighth fireball in 13 days was seen here and as far away as Wyoming. (United Press)

Nov. 18, 1951; Washington, D.C. (BBU)
3:20 a.m. Crew of Capital Airlines Flight 610 and Andrews AFB senior air traffic controller Tom Selby saw an object with several lights, follow the DC-4 for about 20 miles then turn back, with ground radar tracking [?]. (Berliner; FUFOR Index)

Nov. 25, 1951; 20 miles E. of Bimini, Key West, Florida
10:42 a.m. EST. Five objects were seen moving south, trailing smoke. This interesting CIRVIS report, although not detailed by any means, came from the Sixth Naval District, Charleston, South Carolina, and went to the Air Defense Command, Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as several other agencies. (UFOs A History 1951, 243 [Project GRUDGE Status Report 1, pg. 3])

3:53 p.m. One of 2 USAF pilots flying P-51 fighters flying W at 25,000 ft, 210 knots IAS, Capt. William Fairbrother, saw a white 8 ft flying-wing­shaped object hovering then pass 100 ft over and 100 ft to the left of his fighter, he immediately turned 180° to follow but could not find object. (Project 1947; NARCAP; FUFOR Index)

Nov. 24, 1951; Lower Michigan (BBU)
Six observers at five different points in the lower Michigan area report, the sighting of an unusual flying object between 24/2320Z and 24/2325Z. The object in all cases was observed in the Southeast quadrant travelling at speeds as fast or faster than a jet aircraft in flight parallel to the earth in a southwesterly, west south westerly or westerly course. Altitude estimates of the object are not conclusive in any case but indicate object was below 2,000 feet in opinion of most observers. The object was described variously as round, football shaped, egg shaped and bullet shaped. (Dan Wilson)

Nov. 24, 1951; Coopersville, Mich (BBU)
5:34 (5:25?) p.m. (CST). Capital Airlines Flight 94 pilot and ground observer(s) saw a large round object flying at 500-1,000 ft height at about 1,000 mph. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index)

Nov. 24, 1951; Selfridge AFB, MI
6:20 p.m. (DST???). UFO and Radar Outage. 2320Z to 2325Z. Two men at Selfridge AFB, Michigan sighted a large oblong and brilliantly lighted object moving at a rapid rate of speed with no apparent audible sound. Object was reported as having a red exhaust. At 2320Z, for an unexplained reason, Selfridge AFB radar ceased operation. Pilot (see Coopersville above) had also heard that the tower had intercepted a message saying that a radar, whose location was classified, had picked up an unidentified return 20 miles east of the station and he assumed that this was what they were asking him about over the phone. (Dan Wilson)

Nov. 26, 1951; 25 miles E of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (BB)
4:25 a.m. CST. Larry Schroeder, Capital Airlines pilot, flying a DC-3 at 5,000 feet on top of an overcast on a heading of 260 degrees at a point 25 miles due east of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, observed a ball of fire, orange in color, with a tail behind it of blue exhaust-like light 200 feet long. There was a space between the object and the tail. The object made no sound and flew on a level course from west to east. The object passed the aircraft on the right at an estimated distance of about one mile and slightly higher than the DC-3. The co-pilot, Stowell also saw the object which was observed for approximately 10 seconds. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index, Dan Wilson)

Nov. 26, 1951; 15 miles E of Chicago (BB)
4:23 a.m. CST. Mr. William Verplank, pilot of Capital Airlines trip #14, states that at approximately 26/1023Z, when 15 miles north east of Chicago, he noticed a bright blue exhaust-like light directly to the north of him.  He estimated its altitude at 25,000 to 30,000 feet, and its course due east. Mr. Verplank estimated the object's speed at 2,000 mph, but states it wasn't traveling as fast as a meteor or a comet.  He describes it as long with a tapered tail "like an ice cream cone on its side".  He could make no estimate of its size and heard no sound. Mr. Verplank did not observe any orange ball or other object ahead of the exhaust like tail. He states that there was an undercast below him at 2300 feet, but visibility was unlimited at and above his altitude and he was able to observe the object for possibly 3 seconds.  It disappeared in the eastern sky or over the horizon. Mr. Verplank''s co-pilot, a Mr. Leonard Padano also observed the object, but was not available for interrogation at the time this report. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index, Dan wilson)

Dec.1951; NW of Peru, Nebraska (BBU)
3 a.m. Mr. Barry from Lincoln driving to Indiana saw a blue light in the NW, vanish to the SE. He missed a turn, went back toward Auburn, when NW of Peru he saw an orange glow in the sky from a cauldron-shaped object on the ground, about 40 ft from the road. He stopped to examine the 30 ft diameter cast-iron object, with a row of 10-inch round windows 1 ft from the top, glowing orange; on the other side a blue flame like glow. No noise, no sign of life or activity, no antenna or protrusion. Witness drove away. (Vallée Magonia 86; FUFOR Index)

Dec. 1951; Red Springs, North Carolina
9:00 p.m. At dusk, Sam Coley's 12-year old son called his father and 17-year old sister out to see a strange object coming out of the sky. It was shaped like two saucers put together, with a cabin like bulge in the center. It was almost silent; a slight "purr" could be heard. It stopped about 6 ft above the ground, about 300 yards from the house. "It gave off no light except from windows in the cabin. Coley said he saw a man inside." After hovering for 10 minutes, it took off, almost silently, "like a bolt of lighting." The police chief apparently lost his skepticism after the interview. (Barry Greenwood, Albert Rosales).

Dec. 7, 1951; Oak Ridge, Tenn. (BBU 1021)

8:15 a.m. AESS guard J. H. Collins saw a   20 ft square object, white-grey but not shiny fly above ridge to the clouds and back again twice, taking 30 - 40 seconds each time. (Berliner; FUFOR Index)

Dec. 7, 1951; Sunbury, Ohio (BBU 1023)
4:30 p.m. Amateur astronomer Carl Loar saw a silvery sphere through telescope; 2 specks sighted at sides, object seemed to explode was then replaced by a dark cloud and many specks. (Berliner)

Dec. 19, 1951 (approx.)
Ruppelt gives his first briefing to the new AF Director of Intelligence, Maj. Gen. John A. Samford (who replaced Gen. Cabell Nov. 1), and his top staff, including his right-hand man the new Assistant for (Intelligence) Production, Brig. Gen. William Garland.  Ruppelt reveals that his preliminary analysis of UFO sighting patterns has uncovered a disturbing correlation of unexplained sightings around nuclear weapons labs and highly-classified nuclear stockpile sites and some SAC strategic air bases. Gen. Samford orders ATIC to conduct an exhaustive statistical study to verify Ruppelt's findings, using the newly established ATIC Project WHITE STORK contract with the research think-tank Battelle Memorial Institute (which eventually spent $100,000 on the study, Subproject PPS-100, which does confirm Ruppelt's pattern).  (Brad Sparks) 

The 1951 directive which outlined reporting procedures to be used in Project Blue Book (1952) was AFOIN-C/CC-2, subject: "Reporting Information on Unidentified Flying Objects." (Pg. 59 of Project Grudge Report No. 3, 31 Jan 1952) Not believed to be adequate to cover all phases of the project, it was to be revised. (Francis Ridge)

Dec. 12, 1951; Hastings, MN
1:50 [3:50?] p.m. (CST). USAF 133rd FI Wing pilot Donald K. "Deke" Slayton [future NASA astronaut] flying P-51 fighter at 10,000 ft at 280-300 mph heading back to Holman Field saw a 3 ft white (or gray) object at 1 o'clock level position looking like a kite at first, then like a weather balloon then 2 revolving discs [?], he overflew it within about 1,000 ft, turned left 180° to pursue and found it flying away from him, then it made a sudden 45° climbing left turn, accelerated and disappeared. In 1980 Slayton estimated angular size as grapefruit at arm's length or about 11° but size/distance data indicate about 0.2°. (Project 1947; FUFOR Index; Richard Hall)

Dec. 18, 1951. Andrews AFB, Washington, D.C. (BBU 1011)
Civilian pilot. [Nov. 18, 1951, case??] (Sparks; NARA)

Dec. 22, 1951; 5 miles east of Columbus, Ohio (BB)
10:30 a.m. EST. Captain Walter J. Koby, piloting an F-84C aircraft flying west at approximately 15,000 feet observed a silver looking object that looked like an airplane without a tail section. The object was traveling in the opposite direction at an altitude of at least 20,000 feet and appeared to be tumbling or rolling until it was lost in the sun. The speed of the object was estimated to be more than 300 mph. The length of the observation was approximately 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. (BB files, Dan Wilson)


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