Updated Draft Catalogue of UFOs/USOs Reported
by Seagoing Services - NavCat 2.0

Compiled and copyright © 2013-2015 by Jan L. Aldrich  


1850 - September 15 - 6:20 hours - Wellington Channel, Canada - Google Map

Dr. Elisha Kent Kane, USN surgeon and chief medical officer on the First Grinnel Expedition to find Sir John Franklin lost in 1845.
Captain De Haven, Commanding Officer of the USS Advance.

USS Advance In The Ice,  26th September, 1850     

USS Advance in The Ice, 26th September, 1850         
Click photo for additional images     


“A large spheroidal mass seen floating in the air at an unknown distance to the north.”  Joined by a second smaller object a short distance from it.  Capt. De Haven thought it might be a kite.  The other Grinnel ship, the Resolute had launched a balloon on the 2nd, but it probably could not have survived a storm in the meantime.  Other British vessels on the same mission might have launched a balloon, but there was no mention of this in English publications. 

Dr. Elisha Kane's 1st edition of his two-volume book on the expedition contains an illustration of an object which looks like "a dark dirigible."

Source:  Lore and Deneault, Mysteries in the Skies, pp. 44-45

1904 - 28 February - Pacific Ocean about 300 miles WSW of San Francisco
- 36° 20' N 127° 36' W - Google Map

Officer of the Deck (OOD) and two crewmen on watch.
LT Frank H. Schofield, the USS Supply's Captain, is often erroneously listed as a witness, but he did not see the objects.  He was the one who reported the sighting in a number of publications.

USS Supply before World War I       

USS Supply before WW I    
Click photo for additional images    


“3 remarkable meteors” bright red.  Lead object egg-shaped the others round.  Approached from NNW toward ship.  Soared through clouds at angle 75 deg.  Departed WNW...

Source:  Monthly Weather Report, March 1904
Hall II
Barry Greenwood: Meteors
The log of the USS Supply – see:

1939 - July - about 9:30 p.m. - Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania - Google Map

J. M. Williams, identified as 15 years in the Navy, but no further information, and his wife


"We were sitting on our front porch enjoying a nice evening when my wife called me to look at the funny thing in the sky so I proceeded to the sidewalk where I noticed this object sitting at an angle up in the sky.  We both watched for about 15 minutes until a cloud came by and covered [it].  As soon as the cloud passed I was startled to find the object had disappeared."

J.M. Williams 1939 UFO Sketch Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania    

Sketch of UFO Sighting by J.M. Williams         
Click photo for enlarged image     

Appearance was one solid sharply outlined self-luminous object resembling a "sword," "as long as 12 inch ruler at arms' length, something like the brightness of a car's fog lamp."  The weather was partly cloudy, dusk as the sun had set.  There was no moon, but the stars were visible through breaks in the clouds.  There was a slight 5 mph west wind.

Richard Hall comment:  See Vinther case, Sioux City, Iowa, January 20, 1951.

Source:  Report date 18 February, 1958
Richard Hall's notes on Pre-1947 incidents (circa 1965-1966)

1941 - December (after Pearl Harbor attack 7 Dec) - Day - Sevenmile Slough,
Twitchell Island, California - Google Map

Robert C. Avila, operator of the Twitchell Island ferry


While out of the shelter checking the water depth to make allowances for tide, Avila looked up and saw several of “what appeared to be large balloon objects in the sky.  They were orange-red and appeared to be luminescent.  They were about 1/4 of a mile away and maybe 1000 feet above the ground.  They were evenly spaced perhaps 300 to 400 yards apart, and they were in a very straight line or row.  They seemed to extend well over Sacramento. They remained stationary for perhaps 45 minutes.  I went into the shack and phoned Mather Field in Sacramento to report the incident.  When I came outside again they were gone.”

Project 1947 Comment:  After the Pearl Harbor attack, the mood in the country was very "jumpy." Such reports would be taken very seriously and were probably recorded in some files, FBI, Army Intelligence or similar agency. The Western Defense Command was formed in March 1941 and such a report might be in the records of this organization.

FOURTH ARMY and Western Defense Command Order of Battle:

Source:  Letter to Major Donald E. Keyhoe, 3 August 1960

1942 - 12 August - Day - Tulagi, Solomon Islands - Google Map

Sgt Stephen J Brickner, USMC 1st Marine Division


During lull in fighting air raid alert was sounding.  Loud roaring noise. Large formation of silvery objects, with slight wobbling, high overhead

Source:  Chester, Strange Company: Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II page 28-29

1942 - 9-10 October 10:00 a.m. - Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands - Google Map

USS Helm

USS Helm (DD-388) Off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 26 February 1942.

USS Helm DD-388, off Mare Island Navy Yard, Ca., 26 February, 1942
Click photo for additional images


Incoming object observed by witness thru 7x50 binoculars.  Silvery disc shaped with a dome on top with portholes around disc.  At 3000 yards crew opened fire, object turned, circled fleet twice.  Radar tracking.

Source: Taped interview by Paul Cerny, "MUFON Journal" #185, July 1983, pp14-15

Project 1947 Note:  Various researchers believe the witness may have recalled the wrong date for the sighting.  The USS Helm took part in the invasion of Guadalcanal beginning in early August of 1942.  Naval records indicate that during October the Helm was active on escort protection duty between Australia and New Guinea, beginning on 8 September, 1942, and continuing for "some months".

This image of "gunnery practice by Destroyer Squadron Four" was taken from the deck of the USS Helm on 9 October, 1942.

The location was ten miles north of the Palm Islands, off the Australian coast, some 1500 kms away from Guadalcanal where the sighting was supposed to have occurred the next day.

A check of the USS Helm's log by Kevin Randle reveals only this entry for July 6, 1942, for anything unusual:  "Sighted steady white light bearing 061 [degrees], distance about 10 miles; unidentified."”

1942 - November - Night - With the Atlantic Fleet Off Casablanca,
Morocco - Google Map

LT George H. Simpson from New Haven, CT


“..observed a strange nocturnal light in the skies formed a ‘V’ while his task force was underway toward the battle.  Lt Simpson and scores of others aboard the ship are ready to admit they aren’t far from superstitious about the ‘V for Victory’ slogan.”

Source: Hammond, Indiana, Times, 18 December, 1942, Delayed INS report
Aldrich: Morale boasting story.

1943 - Russell Islands (Pavuvu and Mbanika), Solomon Islands - Google Map

Lloyd Kenyon, ship fitter


Aboard ship with several others who observed a number of high speed objects.

Source: Portland, Oregon Journal, 6/27/1947

1943 - Night? - Persian Gulf - Google Map

Seaman Matthew Mangle


Huge disc beneath surface of water glowing with soft green light paced ship at 12 knots before speeding up moving out of sight.

Source: "NICAP UFO Investigator" July/August 1960, page 7

1943 - Early 2300 - Patrolling the Bering Sea, N of Alaskan
Peninsula bearing N at about 20 knots - Google Map

Gunner on starboard 20mm gun on watch, USS Williamson

USS Williamson DD-244 San Francisco Bay, California on 23 January 1944

USS Williamson DD-244, San Francisco Bay, Ca., 23 January, 1944
Click image for additional information


Very dark night.  Port gunners report sighting of at least 8 red lights in a row, traveling parallel and slightly ahead of the ship.  The row was canted at a 15 degree angle to surface of the sea.  The lights paced the ship for about an hour until the watch was relieved.  Did not find out what happened after.

Source: MUFON CMS Reporting System

1943 - Summer - about midnight, North Atlantic (Ferrying a PB2Y-5
              'Coronado' from the US to Great Britain)

Consolidated PB2Y-5 Coronado

Lieutenant Commander James Greider (after war a commercial pilot and PhD) and 7 other crew members on the flight.


Flying at about 10,000 feet altitude at a speed of 200 mph.  During the flight a UFO was first sighted "flying formation" with the aircraft at just about 300 feet off the Coronado's wing.  Its size was estimated anywhere between 30 to 100 feet in diameter.  "Depth perception is difficult on a single lighted object."

Whenever the plane changed into a different position the UFO would duplicate the change.  After a short time, a minute or two, the UFO took off until it disappeared from view in about 20 seconds.

The UFO was described as "a big orange (or red-orange) ball of fire."  It appeared "fuzzy at the outer edge of light – like a glowing coal."  Its shape was completely round.  The duration was about 3 minutes.  No report to authorites was made at the time as it was considered a common occurrence over the North Atlantic and a common topic discussed over meals by air crews.

Source: Hall I, page 23, Interview with witness by Richard Haines

1944 - April - Night - Mullinix Field, Bonriki Island, Tarawa
(now Bonriki International Airport, Kiribati) - Google Map

ARGUS Portable Radar Units Coming Ashore With Marines

Argus unit following Marines ashore with Early Warning radar set

ARGUS 16 CIC Tarawa 1943

Exterior Argus 16 CIC Tarawa Island, 1944

ARGUS 16 CIC Interior

Interior Argus 16 CIC Tarawa Island, 1944

LTJG Matthew P. Dillingham:   “I was on evening duty at our Argus 16 Combat Information Center and senior officer present.”

Radar and CIC personnel


Lore/Denault account: “One day in April, radar plotters for Argus suddenly picked up a 'bogey' – the blip of an unknown object – moving swiftly from North to South.  The speed was calculated at approximately 700 miles per hour far greater than any aircraft then known to exist.”

The track was running roughly north to south at a range of about 40 miles from Mullinix Field.

Dillingham commented: "….we were conjecturing that this might be some reconnaissance aircraft (Presumably Jap since it displayed no IFF), when a second and then a third 'bogey' followed the track of the first across the board, running at the same speed."

Lore/Denault: "The radar sets were in excellent condition, and the operators, Dillingham emphasizes, were all expert plotters. Even so, some incredulous Navy officers at first called it poor calibration.  But not long after this, there was a second mysterious 'bogey,' and again Navy plotters computed the speed at 700 miles an hour.  When this happened once more, Dillingham and his group knew there was no error."

Dillingham commented: "At the time, I entered the 'anomaly' in the log and the following day asked our chief radar technician to check out the equipment and possibility of unusual weather 'distortions' such as temperature inversion, which might have caused the sightings.  His reply was 'negative in both cases."

Sources: “NICAP UFO Investigator”, Volume, I, No.1, July, 1957 in an article by Major Donald E Keyhoe, “The Flying Saucer Story - A History of Unidentified Flying Objects - Beginning a Series”
Lore, Gordon and Harold Denault, “Mysteries of the Skies”, pp. 126-7
“Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) Associate Newsletter”, December 1983-January 1984, Volume 4, Number 6

For more information about ARGUS – “a thousand eyes in the night” – and ARGUS Unit 16 see:

For a detailed history of the Tarawa Campaign see:

1944 - June about midnight - Anchored at Palmyra Atoll,
Northern Line Islands, Northern Pacific - Google Map

Edward W. Ludwig Executive Officer on a Coast Guard crewed cargo vessel.


After searching for a lost Navy aircraft, sighted a moving star-like light which began to swell like a balloon as it came closer.  Viewed with binoculars: it was a round sphere hovering 5X brighter than the stars.  It moved slowly for half an hour covering 90 degs, then headed northward.

Sources: Water UFO
Jerome Clark and Lucius Farish, "The Mysterious Foo Fighters of World War II."
Saga UFO Report, Spring 1975: p. 44-47, 64-66.

1944 - 6 June - just off Omaha Beach, France - Google Map

USS George E Badger APD-33 Leyte Gulf, October 1944

USS George E. Badger APD-33 Leyte Gulf, October, 1944
Click photo for additional images

Edward Breckel, gunner, USS George E. Badger


Dark ellipsoid object.  Seen 5 miles away about 15 ft above water moving in circular course for 3 minutes.

Source: Chester, Strange Company page 67, "C.R.I.F.O. Orbit," Jan 1955

1944 - November night? - Departing Lingayen Gulf, Philippines
- Google Map

USS Gilliam APA-57 26 July, 1944     

USS Gilliam APA-57 at 18 knots during trials on 28 July, 1944
Click photo for additional images

LTJG P. Kendall Bruce, Fire Control Officer, USS Gilliam


While on watch observed a bright green globe shaped object raising out of headlands, reached altitude and sped off. Too slow for missile.

Source: Chester, Strange Company: Military Encounters with UFOs in World War II pages 95-96,
Letter to NICAP, USS Gilliam Ship’s Log

1944 - 1 November - 1825-1830 - En route Milne Bay, New Guinea
from San Francisco (base San Cristobal Island at 0200)

LT. A. Swalling, USNR, OOD, USS Gilliam APA 57, in company Task Unit 79.15.1


Radar indication bearing 185 deg T Distance 8000 yards. (Commenced zig-zagging, exercised general quarters.  Radar indication faded.

Source: USS Gilliam Ship’s Log

1944 - 16 November - 2355 - En route Leyte, Philippine Islands
           from Oro Bay, New Guinea

USS Gilliam APA-57 in Pearl Harbor, 5 May 1946    

USS Gilliam APA-57 in Pearl Harbor, 5 May, 1946.
Click photo for additional images

LT. J. L. Besmond, OOD, USS Gilliam, APA 57, in company Task Unit 79.15.1


Combat reports unidentified object, distance 21 miles. (No further info.)

Source: USS Gilliam Ship’s Log

1945 - Night (?) - Tokyo Bay, Japan - Google Map

Photo obtained from Naval Intelligence


Aerial photo shows an object or light below aircraft (infrared?) Jo Chamberlin asked for intel reports on foo-fighters after his return from his visit from Europe and 415th Night Fighter Squadron, (no further info.)

Source: Lt. Col. Jo Chamberlin's Air Force papers within General of the Air Forces H. H. (Hap) Arnold collection at Library of Congress

1944-45 - Winter? - (Probably closer to Spring 1945) - Day -
Naval Air Technical Training Center, South Base,
Norman, OK - Google Map

Vern Seifert (then student) later a pilot


Standing in the chow line with others when one pointed out the spinning shimmering aluminum or stainless steel bright sphere which seemed to have lines running up and down giving it a texture.  It hovered, then seemed to instantaneously skip over 35 degs, then resume hovering.  It was about 1-2 miles N of witnesses, below 1000 ft, about 35-40 ft in diameter. Men moved into chow hall so did not see it disappear.

Source: NICAP Report form 13 Feb 1967

  1945 - Btn 26-31 January - Day - Btn Solomon Islands, New Caledonia

USS McCracken (APA-198) anchored in San Francisco Bay, circa 1946 

USS McCracken APA-198 in San Francisco Bay, circa 1946
Click photo for additional images

Louis Gracie and 4 other sailors USS McCracken, APA 198, Troop Transport


Submerged round object about the size of a gun turret, 20 feet, with a dull finish, sharply outlined and no sound.  Ship passed over it laying still in the water.  Not reported as sailor thought at the time it was a sea turtle.

Source: International UFO Bureau report form date 25 September, 1976

1945 - January-February Pasco NAS, WA - Google Map

Navy SNJ Similar to Hendershot's Plane    
US Navy SNJ similar to Hendershot's plane

Commander R. W. Hendershot, USNR


Radar targets detected and interception attempted at least twice by F6F Hellcats with no results.  Hendershot flying out of Pasco NAS, attempted an interception of high altitude, slow moving blips.  Negative results.

Source: Chester, Strange Company page 142, Letter from Commander Hendershot to APRA in NICAP files
4th Air Force Intel Summaries indicate overflights of Hanford Labs, and possible countermeasures using Navy assets at Pasco NAS. (NARA)

1945 - Between 9 January 9 to 15 February - Night - Pasco Naval
Air Station, Washington - Google Map

Lt. Commander Richard Brown
Lieutenant Junior Grade Clarence R. "Bud" Clem, USNR
Ensign C. T. Neal,
All F6F pilots assigned to Air Group 50 at Klamath Falls NAS, Oregon deployed to Pasco NAS during this period for training.


While at the Officers Club Lt. Commander Brown took a call intended for the Captain who was in conference and unavailable.  The duty officer at the radar station across the Columbia River from the Hanford Ordnance Works informed him that an unidentified target – a "bogy" – had been detected over Hanford and he wanted it investigated.  (The pilots were unaware there was a radar station in the area, but they did know that Hanford was strictly "a no fly area.")  Lt Commander Brown asked the other two pilots to help with the interception.

Lt. Commander Brown took off in an F6F fighter, while Ens. Neal stood by in another aircraft and Lt Clem went to the tower to help coordinate communications between the radar station and the pilots.  (Due to the threat of the Japanese Fugo balloon attacks, aircraft were on standby on the flight line to intercept them.)

Lt. Commander Brown quickly found the object – looking like a ball of fire – and gave chase.  The object was so bright he had trouble looking at it.  He could not close with the target even with the added shot of speed the water-injected "war emergency power" setting provided his R-2800 Double Wasp engine.  The object headed out to the NW in the direction of Seattle and was quickly lost by the radar.

Later Clem was assigned to fly the entire Hanford installation at a low altitude to determine radar blind spots.

There were two other such incidents but Clem only vaguely recalls the details.  The next intercept was possibly Ens. Neal, but the object disappeared before he got airborne.  The last one was just before they returned to Klamath Falls NAS.

There are no references to these incidents in their squadron history, but Clem thinks the Pasco NAS history might have details.

Source:  Hastings, Robert, UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, in 2d revised edition.
4th Air Force Intel Summaries indicate overflights of Hanford Labs, and possible countermeasures using Navy assets at Pasco NAS. (NARA):

1945 - 7 February - Afternoon - Alethea, Ulithi Atoll - Caroline Islands
- Google Map

F6F-5 Hellcat on USS Wasp Flight Deck, 1945
F6F Hellcat on flight deck of USS Wasp, 1945

LCDR Norman P. Stark, F6F Combat Air Patrol, USS Wasp

USS Wasp CV-18 at sea in the western Pacific, 6 August 1945.

USS Wasp CV-18 - Western Pacific, 6 August, 1945
Click photo for additional images


Alert for bogie at 30,000 feet, 10 miles W on radar.  Interception attempted, but by that time the bogie had passed over the fleet heading back to W, outrunning pursuit.

LCDR Stark's assessment: “Japanese jet recon aircraft”.

Source: Web site:
WWII F6F Navy Fighter Pilot's Experiences in the Pacific
by LCDR Norman P. Stark USNR(R), January 1, 2000

1945 - April (approximate date) - Day, near Okinawa, Japan - Google Map

Crew on a minesweeper


A lookout on the flying bridge of a minesweeper approaching Okinawa observed a shiny, silvery disc at a very high altitude directly over the ship.  The main concern at the time was Kamikazes. The sighting was reported to the office of the deck and others viewed it also.  It remained directly over the ship the rest of the day with no action on the object's part.  Since Japanese weapons were the primary concern, no action taken.  NFIA.  (No Further Information Available)

Project 1947 Comment: When Richard Hall left the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), he took his desk blotter with him.  Attached to the blotter was a note concerning a telephone message which said that the commander of the USS Defense, a minesweeper, called about a UFO sighting in 1945 which would be in the ship's log.  A check of the USS Defense's log and war diary revealed no such incident.  However, experience has shown that most ships' logs do not record such sightings even if a separate report were made.

Source: NUFORC 2/24/2005

1945 - May or June - Daylight - Okinawa - Google Map

Crew of Marine Transport


Cylindrical object with 3 smaller discs which appeared to enter the larger object, then it took off with tremendous acceleration.

Source: Hall I, page 30,
D. M. Hall 1999, page 22,
Witness letter to NICAP

1945 - Early June - Afternoon about 1400 - enroute from Eniwetok
in the Marshall Islands to Ulithi in the Caroline Islands
- Google Map

World War II Victory Ship SImilar to SS Calvin Victory

World War II Victory Ship similar to SS Calvin Victory

The Captain
Wesley Brown, Jr., Naval security officer
Naval gun crew
And others on the Victory Ship S. S. Calvin Victory #780 VC2-S-AP2


Brown was on the bridge when a lookout spotted “a silver object directly overhead.”  Viewed with the naked eye it was about as big as an aspirin tablet at arm’s length.  Under Navy glasses (50 x 7) it looked like a brilliant silver object, circular in shape.  Through the glasses it appeared the same size as the moon or slightly smaller.

The captain surmised that the object was “one of those new-fangled Japanese magnetic balloons,” and ordered the Navy gun crew to fire on it.  They estimated an altitude of 40,000 feet and fired.  Adjusted the height for 35,000 feet and about eight to ten shots were fired, with no observable effect on the object.  Since the object stayed directly overhead, without taking evasive action or trying to attack the ship, the captain ordered the firing to cease.

The weather was clear.  Cruising speed was 16 knots on a westerly course and the object stayed directly overhead for the remainder of the afternoon.  It did not disappear until nightfall when the lookouts lost it in the darkness.

The incident was recorded in the ship’s log.

Source:  Letter from Wesley Brown, Jr. Head, Department of Police Science and Administration, Northern Arizona University to J. Allen Hynek August, 28, 1974.

1945 - June - Noon - Pasco NAS, WA, USA - - Google Map

Pasco NAS WW II flightline with F6F-Hellcats   

WW II Pasco NAS Control Tower with F6F Hellcats

Roland D. Powell and 5 other F6F pilots


Sent to intercept a large high speed radar contact, then hovering over Hanford.  Visual contact with a large object: Oval-shaped, very streamlined, like a stretched egg and pinkish in color.  Vapor emitted by vents around the edge of the object F6Fs could not reach object's altitude of about 65,000 feet.  It went straight up and disappeared.

Source: Chester, Strange Company page 188

1945 - 25 June - Day - Approximately 675 NE of Honolulu, TH
           26° 08' N, 148° 05' W - Google Map

Navy ship (not identified)


Reported that an object described as a balloon was sighted at ship... traveling E at an altitude of 30,000, estimated speed 20 knots. The actual time of sighting is unknown. (B-4)

Source: Western Defense Command, Annex #3 to G-2 Periodic Report #183, 1200 GCT, NARA

1945 - Summer - about 11:00 a. m. - South of Okinawa, Japan
- Google Map

UUSS Salamaua (CVE-96) off San Francisco 1945.jpg  
USS Salamaua CVE-96 off San Francisco, 1945
Click photo for additional images

Lieutenant (j.g.) E.L. Wells, interceptor officer
Other crew of USS Salamaua (CVE 96) escort carrier


A blip of one object on the radar screen, traveling at an estimated 1000 mph.  "It was moving on a course of zero one zero, coming in from the direction of Formosa and traveling toward Japan.  We at first thought it was a baka bomb, but it was too fast for that.

"We just braced ourselves and waited for it to hit.  Then, after tracking it just a few miles from the ship, as the radar made another sweep, we lost it.

"We never heard another thing about it, but we wondered a lot what it was."

Source:  St Petersburg Times, Florida, July 6, 1947

1945 - July - Day - near sunset in open waters past Adak, Alaska
(on the way to Seattle, Washington) - Google Map

USS Delarof Alaska May 15, 1943

US Army Transport Delarof off Alaska, 1943

14 of the ship's crew,
Naval Gun crew,
Army personnel,
Merchant marine of the U. S. Army Transport Delarof,
PFC Robert S. Crawford, radioman


As the Delarof experienced 10-degree rolls in fairly heavy seas and strong winds, a crew member yelled out and drew Private Crawford's attention to an object ascending roughly vertically upwards.  It was perhaps a mile away according to a 1960 interview.  In a follow-up interview Dr James E. McDonald conducted with Crawford in 1967, the estimated distance between the ship and object was described as varying from 1/4 to two miles.

The object ascended to an angular elevation of 5 degrees before arcing into a level, circular path.  Then it circled the Delarof at least twice, possibly a third time.  Crawford estimated the speed might be 100 mph, about the speed of a small aircraft.

At first the gun crew thought it might have been a balloon released for target practice, but on checking, no balloon was reported released.

Speed of object was uniform, with no oscillatory motion.  The object was dark and stood out against the setting sun.  After circling it departed towards the SSW where some of the crew saw "three flashes of light from the area where it had vanished."  No sound was heard.

Crewmembers signed statements in Seattle.

Richard Hall Comment:  Several attempts were made by NICAP's Assistant Director, Richard Hall, to contact the other seaman, the captain of the ship and perhaps obtain a copy of the ship's log for that day.  Hall's search began with the Alaskan Packers Association, Inc., whose firm owned the DELAROF which had been chartered as an Army Transportation vessel during the war.  Letters to the Chief of Public Information, Department of the Army, to the Military Sea Transport Service and Department of the Navy all ended in a dead-end.  The Navy checked with the Army Transportation Corps., and their final reply was:
“The Army Transportation Corps has no record of the incident you describe, and assumed that if such a record had been sent to Washington it probably would have been directed to Army Intelligence: also, that any such report would be classified.”

Project 1947 Comment:  The Army chartered a large number of civilian seagoing transports and freighters during the second World War.  Despite earlier reports about this incident, no one actually saw the object emerge from the sea.  Crawford corrected this information during his interview with Dr. James E. McDonald.  The USAT (US attack transport) designation often reported for the Delarof is incorrect.  USAT stood for US Army Transport.

Sources:  Hall II
Richard Hall's notes on Pre-1947 incidents (circa 1965-66)
Lore & Denault, pages 131-132
McDonald papers.

1945 - August - about 6:00 p. m. - Gulf of Mexico - Google Map

SS Jeremiah OBrien Liberty Ship 1994.jpg

SS Jeremiah O'Brien Liberty Ship similar to S.S. George L. Curry

14 of the ship's crew
Capt. Bennett, master
Capt. L. T. Frost (at the time chief officer)
6 U.S. Naval Armed Guards (Naval gun crew)
11 other crewmembers of the Liberty Ship S.S. George L. Curry


Frost was on the bridge watch and noticed a small jumping light abeam of the ship which he pointed out to the gun crew.  The light became larger and was later ascertained to be moving vertically about 50 feet up and down.  Frost became alarmed and gave the order "hard right wheel", and called the master, Capt. Bennett, to the bridge.  The light followed the ship and remained in the same relative position as the ship swung right.  Within 30 second from first seeing the object, it was alongside and about 20 feet away from the ship and fixed in its position instead of moving up and down. Capt. Bennett ordered the original course resumed. 

The blue round light appeared to be 20-50 feet in diameter and remained with the ship for five minutes while performing various antics including vanishing and reappearing.

Frost wrote the Smithsonian Institution who answered that they might have seen "St. Elmo's fire."  The original report may still be at the Smithsonian.  (The sighting was annotated in the ship's log according to Frost.)

Sources:  2 letters to J. Allen Hynek
Audio tape of Frost

For more information on Liberty Ships and the men who sailed and defended them, see:

1945 - August - Twilight just after Sunset - Ulithi, Caroline Islands
- Google Map

Andrew Cimbala


Red streak like a hot bar of steel, not a flame in the sky to the east, traveled overhead toward Japan.  Duration about 40 second.

Source: Wilkins, Harold, Flying Saucers Uncensored, 1956
Farish and Clark

1945 - August (possibly after Hiroshima A-bomb) - about 2:00 a.m.
            600 miles ESE of Kyushu, Japan

USS Bradford DD 545 off Mare Island on October 19, 1944    

USS Bradford DD-545 off Mare Island, San Francisco October 19, 1944
Click photo for additional images

Dan MacDougald, Jr., OOD (Officer of the Deck),
A petty officer,
QMOW (Quartermaster Of the Watch),
and Troina, rank and rating unknown, who operated both the radar and optical range finder aboard USS Bradford, DD-545


Star-like object traveling horizontally with the horizon.  Checked with three radars with no indication.  Optical range finder on infinity so more than 40,000 yards.  The object had crossed the bow and was apparently increasing its distance.  Its color was white with a reddish tinge.  After reaching 10 degrees on the Port bow it seemed to turn to its right, increase its speed and altitude and disappeared on an upward line of flight changing white with a bluish tinge.  Task Force commander's voice came over the TBS asking for reports of the object.  Other ships answered, but MacDougald remained silent.

Source: Letter to Congressman E. Mendel Rivers, Chairman of the House Armed Service Committee. Letter to NICAP

1945 - Fall - night? - about 300 miles off Massachusetts

Woods Hole Research Vessel Atlantis  

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution RV Atlantis circa 1940s
Click photo for additional images

Research Vessel (RV) Atlantis
George H. Jennings, Belfast, Maine, master
And three other men


RV Atlantis returning from Bermuda bound for Woodshole, Massachusetts with a group of scientists from the Institute.  About 300 miles off the coast Capt. Jennings and three other men watched a fast moving glow which came from the ESE.  Was thought to be a meteor until it made a loop when the object was on the same meridian as the ship and disappeared off in a NNW direction.  The captain consulted the scientists who suggested he send an account to the Fowler Planetarium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which he did.

Source:  Letter from the ship's radio man.

1945 - 25-27 September - Exact date uncertain - Night - Buckner
Bay (Nakagusuku Bay) Okinawa - Google Map

USS Beaver AS-5 departing Mare Island Navy Yard, 20 September 1943 

USS Beaver AS-5 Mare Island Navy Yard, 20 September, 1943
Click photo for additional images

George M Reynolds, Machinist Mate, First Class, USS Beaver AS-5/ARG-19 with Submarine Squadron 45


Bluish light moved to the south, turned right, went over to the west, stopped and stood still.  When it moved again, back to the general area it started from.

Source: Chester, Strange Company 195-6

1945 - Probably after Japanese surrender - 2400-0400 Watch -
            Okinawa to Samar, Philippine Islands

SS LSM-220 underway, date and location unknown.    

USS LSM-220 underway, date and location unknown.
Click photo for additional images

LTJG John Kopke, OOD,
Frederick M. Seehell, Quartermaster LSM 220


2 green lights appeared off port about 8-10 degs up bearing 333 degs, relative to course.  Grew larger as it approached, passed 35-40 degs to port, and disappeared at same elevation.  Circular shape with haze behind 2X diameter of objects.

Source: Letter 4 April 1952, to USAF in response to LIFE magazine article of April 1952

1946 - 31 January 2:23 p.m. near Bridgeton, NJ - Google Map

Radar and flying boats otherwise unspecified


An unidentified object in the air 40 miles SE of Philadelphia detected on radar. Flying boats sent to check with no result.  Blamed on unusual cloud formation.

Source: Philadelphia (PA) Enquirer, 1 February, 1946

1946 - March - between Panama City, Panama and San Diego, California

USS Attu CVE-102 September, 1944  

USS Attu CVE-102 September, 1944
Click photo for additional images

George Allison, aboard the USS Attu, CVE-102


A photograph taken by George Allison on the flight deck of the USS Attu was submitted to the Johnson City, Tennessee Press-Chronicle which had asked for proof of “flying saucers” in one of its articles.  The treatment of the photo was light-hearted with no details supplied and no follow up on the article.  In 1946, the USS Attu’s main mission was the return of military personnel from the Pacific to the US. 

Source:  Johnson City, Tennessee Press-Chronicle, 12 July, 1947

1946 - May - Forenoon - LaGrange, FL - Google Map

LTJG Andrew A. Titcomb gunnery and radar officer on terminal leave.

May 1946 UFO Illustration by Andrew A. Titcomb

May, 1946, "Flying Football" UFO as seen by LTJG Andrew A. Titcomb


Dark elliptical object moving slowly east to west at about 1000 feet disappearing in clouds.

Click here to see original report to NICAP.

Source: Hall II, page 6

1946 - August - Day? - N of Chicago, IL - Google Map

Charles A. Johnson working in motor pool awaiting discharge at Great Lakes Naval Training Center.


After driving an officer to Chicago, he was returning on Route 41 along Lake Shore when he saw 3 silver discs moving E to W. Objects were in triangular formation.

Source: Letter to CUFOS

1947 - 29 June - btn 1:00-1:30 p.m. on Highway 17 from Las Cruces
to White Sands V-2 firing range, NM about a third the
distance from Las Cruces - Google Map

Carl J. Zohn, Administrative Assistant in Rocket Sonde Section Naval Research Laboratory (NRL);
Curtis C. Rockwood, NRL Rocket Sonde high altitude spectrograph scientist & Mrs. Woodward;
Mr. J. R. Kauke, NRL Rocket Sonde Section Telemetering Supervisor


All 4 occupants of the car observed a silver sphere or disc moving at a rapid velocity in a northerly direction unknown altitude (~10,000 feet) crossed highway in front of car.  Lost from sight after about 30 seconds.  Mr. Kauke thought there was a vapor trail

Source: SIGN/Grudge Incident #80: Project Grudge (Hynek) Insufficient Information
Project Blue Book: Balloon
Hynek/CUFOS reevaluation: (Obviously not a balloon.)

1947 - 30 June - 0910 MST - Rim of the Grand Canyon, AZ
- Google Map

Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star   

Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
Click photo for additional images

LT William G McGinty, USN,
P-80 student pilot at Army Air Forces William Field, Chandler, AZ


Flying a P-80 at 30,000 feet heading south observed 2 gray circular objects diving at high speed.  They appeared to land 25 miles south of the Grand Canyon.

Source: SIGN/Grudge Case #78 Hynek: free falling objects: either instruments or possibly meteors
Project Blue Book #

1947 - 3 July 12:45 p.m. - San Diego NAS, CA - Google Map

Chief Robert L Jackson,
Chief William Baker, motor machinists


3 saucer-shaped objects twice the size of Navy aircraft, gleaming in sun like aluminum, flying about 400 mph, over ocean west of San Diego.

Source: San Diego, CA Union, 4 Jul, 1947
Bloecher Case 194

1947 - 3 July - 4:50 p.m. - Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Santa Rosa, CA
- Google Map

confirmed by Dr. R. W. Nelson, (a civilian dentist) off base


Object shaped like a giant pocket watch, colored like aluminum about 15-20 feet in diameter, about 1000 feet above main runway.  It moved N to end of runway, turned E banking, headed toward Santa Rosa

Source: Gross
Santa Rosa Press-Democrat

1947 - 4 July - 5:45 p.m. - Lake City, WA - Google Map

Yeoman Frank Ryman, USCG photographer


Photographed a white disc object as it flew over the city.

Source: Hall II, 87
SIGN/Grudge Case 3
Project Blue Book #
Bloecher Case # 257

1947 - 5 July - 12:40 p.m. - Seattle, WA - Google Map

SGT Raynar Cain, USMC


2 disc-like objects (like night footballs.)  One banked slightly at about 8000 feet, then shot up and out of sight to N.  Second one following a minute behind, wobbling. Headed N climbing out of sight.

Source: Bloecher Case #326

1947 - 6 July - Day - Buckley Naval Air Station, CO - Google Map

LeRoy Krieger, Aerologist Second Class
James Cavalieri, hospital apprentice


A bright round silvery object shooting up and down (noiselessly) for several minutes, then left at high speed.

Source: Bloecher Case #403

1947 - 7 July - Day - Norfolk, Virginia - Google Map

LCDR L. G. Patterson, pilot


Five yellowish discs "like the moon" flying in formation over the Air Station from the West.  The formation seemed to be surrounded by a mist, and the bodies each left a trail.

Source: Norfolk, Virginia, Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch, 7 July, 1947
Aldrich, "Project 1947: A Preliminary Report."

1947 - 8 July - 5:30 p.m. - HST Pearl Harbor, TH - Google Map

About 100 Navy personnel
Yeoman 2c Ted Purdue
Yeoman 1c Douglas Kacherle
Seaman 1c Donald Ferguson
Yeoman Morris Kzamme
Seaman Albert Delancey


Oblong (silvery colored like aluminum) object moving fast and slow very high up with (alternate bursts of speed) and in a (slow, zigzag flight path) going westward toward Honolulu.  Balloon flight at Weather Bureau at Honolulu at 4:35 p.m. went to the SW on prevailing winds.

Source: Bloecher Case #769

1947 - 9 July - 2:20 p. m. - Norfolk, Virginia - Google Map

Harry Stepte (Steptoe?), Coast Guard Reservist


Observed an object more or less square with “cut-in” places on it which appeared to be trailed by a P-80 aircraft flying at about 12,000 feet.

Source: Norfolk, Virginia Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch, 10 July, 1947

1947 - 12 July - 6:35 p.m. - Sand Point Naval Air Station, WA
- Google Map

Seaman John C. Kennedy
Seaman Ben Bobberly on duty


A disc-like object seen flying overhead headed east toward Kirkland over Lake Washington.  (Silvery, perfectly round and made no noise.) Reported to officers on base.

Source: Bloecher Case #835

1947 - 24 July - Morning - Squantum Naval Air Station, MA
- Google Map

Joseph Muka, Seaman 2c
John Francis Nihen, aerographer 3c


During routine weather check on the Operations Building. “A highly polished, silver ball” hurtled thru air between about 8 to 10 thousand feet at a speed of 300 mph and rising in a north-westerly direction. It was not a weather balloon.

Source: Gross Supplement to Supplements, page 40-41
Quincy (MA) Patriot-Ledger 24 July 1947, page 1

1947 - August (?) - Coffeyville Airport Dedication, KS - Google Map

CDR L.H. (Tex) Witherspoon, his civilian air show support staff and large number of attendees.


Disc-like object flashed over airport.

“It was circular in shape and much darker blue or blue-gray than the sky surrounding with a rapidly whirling, white gaseous ring and was definitely in motion in a clockwise spinning motion.  The gaseous ring left no residual trail, as it disappeared over the Eastern horizon, the illusion was definitely that of a flat spinning shape.”

              — Letter from CDR Witherspoon to Lt Joe Hatton at
    District Engineers APO 942 (Alaska), 12 January, 1950

Source: Hall II, page 30
Letter from Cmdr Witherspoon to friend

1947 - 11 August - 1630 E.S.T. - St Louis, Missouri - Google Map

2 softball teams and 25 spectators who included 9 pilots and others
Calvin E. Wallace, pilot, and A & E mechanic later employed by the Navy as inspector at McDonnell Aircraft, Corp.


An odd number of objects either 7 or 9 objects, disc-shaped size of a grape held at arms length black on one side, white or reflecting light on the other.  Disc appeared to flip in unison from black to white approximately every two seconds.  Moved from South to North in straight flight, duration about 3 minutes.  “They seemed or rather were in a vertical Vee formation.  [With] one on a point and then stepped down above or below in trail.”

Estimated altitude 25,000-30,000 feet.  CAVU.  At first it was thought they might be bombers, but there were no contrails or sound.  A flight of ducks was considered, but they were going in the wrong direction for that time of year and the formation was too perfect.

Source:  Project Blue Book: Not a case, information only, Maxwell microfilm roll 3 frame 65

1947 - 6 September - 2140Z - Persian Gulf - Google Map

USS Chipola (AO-63) at anchor at Hong Kong in 1962    

USS Chipola AO-63 at anchor at Hong Kong in 1962
Click photo for additional images

LTJG R. L Simmons
Ensign J. B. Farris
CM3 J. A. Wisnienski
Richard Carruthers, Jr., USS Chipola, AO-63


“Unidentified luminous phenomena” seen at 10 degs elevation at an estimated range of less than 5 miles.  Two groups of eight bluish oval-shaped objects moving at about 5 knots. They banked away from the ship and disappeared in about 8 seconds.
Carruthers: 8 objects made a climbing turn in echelon formation and passed from sight.

Source: Log of the USS Chipola
Letter from Carruthers to parents quoted in Astoria (OR) Astorian-Budget, 4 Nov 1947

1947 - 12 November - Early Morning - off coast of Oregon
40 miles from Cape Blanco - Google Map

Williamson, 2nd officer USS (?) Ticonderoga – an oiler, not the CV-14 aircraft carrier – and another sailor


2 flying objects observed from ship and reportedly observed on radar.  (No radar in official report).  2 balls of fire with fiery tail headed NW at estimated speed 700-900 mph.

Project 1947 comment:  This incident is more important historically than it is for what it contributes to the field of unknown aerial phenomena.

In August 1947, after the death of two Counter Intelligence Corps agents in a plane crash while returning from looking into the Maury Island hoax, LTC Springer, the 4th Air Force Intelligence officer, stated that no further UFO investigation would be undertaken.  The press misinterpreted this statement to mean that all Air Force UFO investigations had been terminated.  The newswire services reported this statement world-wide, being carried in newspapers as far away as India.

LTC Springer apologized for this misinterpretation in a letter to Wright Field, but made no attempt to correct the public press accounts.  Neither did Wright Field nor the Air Force.

Later when David Johnson, aviation editor of the Boise, Idaho Statesmen newspaper, heard about the Ticonderoga report, he sent a telegram to the head of the Air Defense command asking whether the UFO investigations had definitely been terminated.  Johnson’s request was sent to General Spaatz, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who answered that the investigations were ongoing.  The reporting of this incident served to correct the public misinformation regarding the supposed termination of official military inquiry into UFOs.

The Ticonderoga in this case was an oiler, not the more famous aircraft carrier.  It may have been a civilian vessel contracted to the navy, but it is listed on all the reports as the “USS Ticonderoga” and there is a log book identifying this vessel at the national archives. 

Source: SIGN/Grudge Case #35 (Hynek: Insufficient information/possibly two parts of a meteor)
Telegram from Dave Johnson Boise (ID) Statesmen aviation editor to LTG George E. Stratemeyer, 18 Nov 1947
Observation reported by radio-telephone to the Hydrographic Office in San Francisco.

1948 - 18 April - 1500 hours GCT - Ocean Station Able 62° North, 33° West
- Google Map

USCGC Bibb WPG-31, at her home port of New Bedford, MA.  

USCGC Bibb WPG-31 at home port of New Bedford, MA, date unknown
Click photo for additional images

US Coast Guard Cutter Bibb, (V. O. Johnson, Commanding)


Radar contact made by air search radar at about 6500 yards and was tracked to 18,000 yards at a velocity of about 30 miles per hour.  Visual and surface radar search were negative.  There were no clouds or weather fronts in the area.  Target strength was S5 fading at 18,000 yards.  This was the only time the phenomenon was observed.

Source: Letter from CO, USCGC Bibb to Commander, First Coast Guard District, Boston, dated 12 May, 1948
Project SIGN Incident:124. Project Blue Book: Birds

1948 - 30 April - South of Anacostia Naval Air Station, MD - Google Map

LCDR Marcus L. Lowe, USN SNJ(?) aircraft


Flying South at 180 degs magnetic at 5,500 feet a yellow sphere was seen moving on the opposite course South to North at a constant altitude.

Source: SIGN/Grudge Case #126 (Hynek and Air Weather Service: possible balloon)
1948 AF Headquaters Intelligence file .009 Flying Discs, NARA
Analysis of Flying Objects Over the US (formerly Top Secret), page 11

1948 - 26 July - 9:00 p.m. - Atlanta Naval Air Station, GA
- Google Map

Doyle L Avery, tower operator


A blue-white object in horizontal flight at high altitude in the NE heading SE in a few seconds gain altitude and suddenly turn South, without noise.  About the same time Georgia Tech students and others [saw] green light with a silver tail to the SE slowly descending as if for landing.

Source: SIGN/Grudge Cases #165, 165a (Hynek: bright meteor)

1948 - 3 December - 1715 hours - Outskirts of Dayton, Ohio
- Google Map

LT Edgar S. Miller
LT G. G. Reeves
Bureau of Aeronautics General Representatives, USN, Central District, Wright-Patterson AFB


A yellow-orange object like the exhaust of a ramjet or rocket seen intermittently which maneuvered both horizontally and vertically and appeared to climb at a high rate of speed.  Observed from a vehicle in motion.

Source: Project SIGN Incident #213
Project SIGN: B-29 circling Patterson Field with landing lights on.

1949 - 24 April 10:30 a.m. - 3 miles N of Arrey, NM - Google Map

David White Manufactured ML-47 Theodolite  

A David White ML-47 Theodolite as used by Charles B. Moore
Click photo for additional images

Charles B Moore, General Mills meteorologist
Navy aerographers:


Saw a white, round ellipsoid shadowed yellowish on one side, length/width ratio 2.5 cross the sky.  S to E at 5 degs/sec angular velocity tracked through 25x ML-47 Theodolite.  Object seemed to turn N. Sudden climb from 23 degs to 29 degs.

Source: Project Blue Book Case # 358
Letter from Robert McLaughlin, US Naval Unit, White Sands to Dr. James A. Van Allen, Applied Physics Laboratory, John Hopkins University, 12 May, 1949

1949 - 9 May - White Sands Proving Grounds, NM
- Google Map

Commander Robert B. McLaughlin and a USMC Captain.

WAC Corporal Missile

WAC Corporal missile.


During a WAC B firing object appeared overhead gradually gaining velocity to the west and disappearing in a burst of speed.  Hard to observe as it was within a few degrees of the sun.

Source: TRUE Magazine: “How Scientists Tracked a Flying Saucer”, by Robert McLaughlin
Letter from Robert McLaughlin, US Naval Unit, White Sands to Dr. James A. Van Allen, Applied Physics Laboratory, John Hopkins University, 12 May, 1949

The White Sands Missile Range firing records confirm a WAC B Corporal launch
on 9 May, 1949: -

1949 - about July - approx. 6:15 a. m. near Vallejo in a narrow strait
entering into San Pablo Bay near San Francisco Bay,
California - Google Map

USS President Andrew Jackson APA-18 8 March, 1947  

USS President Andrew Jackson APA-18, March, 1947
Click photo for additional images

Charles B. Harnett, aboard the USS President Jackson, APA 18
On watch and in contact with radar, the signal bridge and fan tail lookout


The ship had been in dry dock for repairs and had left the facility and was moving backwards south in the strait from Vallejo to San Pablo.  Maneuvering at the southernmost end of the strait to enter San Pablo Bay in the forward direction when Harnett caught sight of 12 to 14 objects directly above and to the east of the signal bridge.  Their shape was not clearly outlined in a modified “8” formation.  The color of the objects was alternating light and dark (witness was color-blind) and they appeared to move in a “nervous” zig-zag” pattern: light during the zig and dark during the zag.  Their speed appeared to be faster than a fighter plane.  “The pattern was not of equal distance traveled in each direction, but rather shorter distance was covered in their movement west than in their movement north.”

As he watched the formation, he took his eyes off it to look at the deck momentarily to make sure he was not seeing things.  When he looked back, they had progressed about 1/5 of their observed flight.  Total duration was about 10-12 seconds.  They traveled from southeast to northwest and disappeared into a low cloud band to the north of the ship.

He was too startled to inform the others through the “talker,” but later reported the incident to the Communication Officer who said he would make an official report.  After considering his observation, he thought one explanation might be high flying geese whose wings alternately reflected the sun, causing the zig-zag illusion.

Source:  Report to NICAP received 19 July 1957

1949 - 3 July - Day - Longview, Washington - Google Map

Commander M. B. Taylor
Attendees at the local airshow


At the Longview Fairgrounds, Commander Taylor was giving commentary at the beginning of an air show when he and others spotted an object in the sky above a sky-writing biplane.  The UFO moved against the wind with an undulating motion, then made a right-angle turn after which it appeared like a discus of bright metal when viewed through 8x30 field glasses.  Other reports of discs in the area at about the same time.

Commander Taylor served under Rear Admiral Delmar S. Fahrney, who is regarded today as the US Navy’s “Father of Guided Missiles.”

Sources:  Hall, II

1949 - 8 August 1300-1330 - Medford ATS Base, OR - Google Map

Wallace Lee McDonald, Aviation Photographers Mate, Naval Air Auxiliary Station, Alameda
Pilot P. O. Hull, AP1, Seattle
Co-pilot R Tuswell, Chief Air Pilot, Alameda
J. H. Sparks, AF1, Alameda


During the refueling of SBM-5(?) witnesses observed 5 white luminous objects overhead traveling ESE in V formation.  Pilot called tower which had also observed object.  Aircraft attained 8000 feet, the shape was discerned to be like camera lens (Convex on top, flat on bottom), traveling ESE from airport at about 150 mph.  One object dropped down to 1000 feet, then returned to formation.

Source: Gross, 1949
From McDonald's log book.  (Not possible to obtain photograph.)
Project Blue Book (Spot Intelligence Report) by Col. John G. Swope, AFOSI DO#19 21 April 1950

1950 - 22 January - 2:40-4:40 a.m. near Kodiak Naval Air Station, AK
- Google Map

Lockheed Neptune P2-V3

Lockheed P2-V3 Neptune

USS Tillamook ATA-192 Auxiliary Fleet Tug Date and Location unknown  

USS Tillamook ATA-192, Auxiliary Fleet Tug, date unknown
Click photo for additional images

LT Smith, Pilot and A. L. C. Gaskey radar officer flying in a Neptune P2-V3
Morgan and Carver, on watch USS Tillamook off S of Kodiak Island


Briefly detected radar target 20 miles N of Kodiak Island, then another to the S at 2:48. Strong radar interference which prevented further tracking.  At 3 a.m. watch on the Tillamook saw a red or orange ball of fire like an exhaust circle Kodiak Island in about 30 seconds, beginning and ended in the SE. P2-V3 radar picked up target at 5 miles which closed to dead ahead in 10 seconds.  Visually, (2 orange lights rotating about a common center like 2 jet aircraft making slow rolls in formation.)  P2-V3 tried to pursue, but object came at aircraft.  Pilot turned off lights, then object departed to SE in 4 minutes.

Source: Navy Intelligence Report found within FBI UFO files.
Swords and Powell, UFOs and Government, page 90
Gross, 1950

1950 - Before noon - Salton Sea, California - Google Map

Grumman F9F-5 Panther

Grumman F9F-5 Panther

Commander Robert W. Weber, flying an F9F-5 jet out of Miramar Naval Air Station
AF jet pilot near Catalina Island
Los Angeles Air Port tower (LAX)
Another aircraft pilot, not remembered if it was military or civilian


Weber flying near the Salton Sea at 25,000 feet heard a call from an Air Force pilot near Catalina Island (40-50 miles offshore) about an unidentified object.  Weber had plenty of fuel and decided to help in the interception.

The object was about the size of a dime at arm's length and very bright, not as big as the moon, but too large to be Venus.  Its shine was peculiar.  It was elliptical, almost a cigar 1 to 6 ratio like a dime seen at an angle.  Seemed motionless.  It was hard to acquire at first and the Air Force pilot told him where to look.  He could not estimate range as there were no clouds near the object.  Tried to close with it for 15 to 20 minutes doing almost 400 knots, but made no progress.

The tower personnel at LAX confirmed the object to the Air Force pilot, but Weber did not recall if it were radar or visual contact.  Another pilot also saw the object.

He was disappointed he could not close on the object.  Weber reported the incident to operations officer.  While the characteristic of the sighting might suggest Venus, Weber was sure it was not.  He told Dr. McDonald he would try to supply a copy of his flight log book to determine the date, but there is nothing in McDonald's files.

Source: Dr. James McDonald's interview with Commander Robert W. Weber

1950 - 23 January 4:35 a.m. about 62 miles S of Kodiak Island
- Google Map

Lt Causer and Lt Barco
Lt Paulson, ADI, plane captain Patrol Squadron One


Sighted object on an ascending westerly for 10 minutes.  No radar contact.  Unable to close at 170 knots.  A pulsating orange-yellow projectile-shaped flame, with a regular period of 3 to 5 seconds.  Later as the object increased in range the pulsations increased to 7 to 8 seconds.

Source: Navy Intelligence Report found within FBI UFO files
Gross, 1950

1950 - February - Day - About 10 miles North of Quonset Point
            Naval Air Station, RI - Google Map

Retired CDR (name on file), at the time student at the General Line School, Newport, RI


Flying at 10,000 ft noticed 3 objects through thin wisp of cirrus cloud in perfect formation, the middle one slightly ahead of the others, disc-shaped passing overhead at great speed.  Called Quonset Pt. Tower, but first time they asked for another call, the second they did not answer.  Estimated that the objects were 150 ft in diameter with a dark spot in the middle.  From the spot triangular light-colored (aluminum type color) thin triangles extended out to the circumference.  Upon landing pilot went to tower.  They informed him that the called had been heard, but they were dealing with an emergency and ignored it.  On consulting with class leader and another senior officer they advised such report would not be good for career.

Source: Statement to CAUS (Larry Fawcett)

1950 - 22 February - Night - Boca Chica Naval Air Station,
Key West, Florida - Google Map

Ground personnel


“On February 22 two similar glowing objects were seen above Boca Chica Naval Air Station at Key West.  A plane sent up to investigate was hopelessly outdistanced; it was obvious the things were at a great height.  Back at the station, radar men tracked the objects as they hovered for a moment above Key West.  They were found to be at least fifty miles above the earth.  After a few seconds, they accelerated at high speed and streaked out of sight.”
          — (Keyhoe, Flying Saucers Are Real, page 12)

They were glowing objects too high for pursuit.

Sources:  Project Blue Book files
Keyhoe I
Hall II

1950 - 7 March - Day? - Dallas Naval Air Station, Texas - Google Map

C.E. Edmundson, control tower operator


Edmundson, according to NAS commander, Capt. M. A. Nation, saw an object similar to the later sighting by Charley Lewis.  Edmundson estimated its speed at 3,000 to 4,000 miles an hour.  No sound.  Capt. Nation said there were no jets in the area at the time.

Sources:  Hall II
Gross, 1950
The Dallas (Texas) Morning News, 18 March 1950

1950 - 10 March - 11:35 - about 12:00 a. m. - Las Vegas, New Mexico
- Google Map

LT Robert Hilgers, USNR
Corroborated by:
Carl Bruening
E. R. Daughtery
Mrs. Ford Edwards
Jack Parsons
Fred Lewis


An object which appeared to be round, shiny, and giving off smoke seemed to be flying circles in the southwestern sky.  After circling it appeared to zoom upward and out of sight.

Sources:  Las Vegas, New Mexico Daily Optic, 18 March, 1950
Gross, 1950

1950 - 16 March - 11:28 a.m. - Dallas Naval Air Station, Texas
- Google Map

Convair B-36 Peacemaker Bomber    

Convair B-36 Peacemaker Bomber  

C. P. O. Charley Lewis
Jack Lawler, Lewis' brother-in-law and a former Air Force
Major and Mrs. W. B. Webb


Oblong, flat, disc-shaped object rapidly approached a B-36, followed under it briefly for a second or two and then left at a 45 degree angle.  He shouted to the other two, and they had time to see the object.  “I guess the whole thing took no more than 15 seconds.  I've been in aviation for 18 years and I've never seen anything like it. I don't mind telling you it shook me up plenty,” Lewis told the Dallas Morning News.

He immediately reported the sighting to his superiors.  He said the object appeared to be about 20 to 25 feet in diameter.  Its height he estimated between 10,000-15,000 feet.

“I just stepped out of my car and heard the B-36.  When I looked up, I saw a very bright object racing at it at an incredible speed.  It got under the bomber and seemed to hang there for a couple of second or so.  Its color by then looked cream or light tan…It was smooth; there were no wings or projections from it, and it could have been a jet or a rocket ship because there was no fire.”  The object made no sound.

Capt. M. A. Nation, NAS commander told the press this was the second phenomenon observed at the NAS in ten days.  He said there were no jets in the area at the time, and Love Field Weather Bureau observer A. M. Hamrick said there were no balloons in the air at the time.

Sources:  Hall II
Gross, 1950
The Dallas (Texas) Morning News, 18 March, 1950:

1950 - 23 March - between 0900-1000 hours - Pensacola, Florida
- Google Map

Eight Navy enlisted men at Saufley Field and
A group of paper mill workers


“On 23 March 1950 two groups of persons in Pensacola, Florida, reported sighting the 'mysterious objects.'

“A group of eight Navy enlisted men, ground crew members at Saufley Field were reported to have viewed the object through binoculars for about half an hour.  A group of paper mill workers were reported to have seen the same or a similar object for about the same period.

“Both sighting were between 0900 and 1000 hours.

“The object sighted by Navy personnel was reported to be silvery flat round, and flying east at an estimated speed of perhaps 300 miles per hour.

“Navy officials are reported to have indicated that the object was not a weather balloon and pointed out that the object was flying directly against the winds of high velocity.”

Sources: Pensacola, Florida News Journal, 24 March, 1950
Gross, 1950

1950 - April - Off Northern and Central California

USS Colahan DD 658 pre 1960    

USS Colahan DD-658 pre 1960
Click photo for additional images

USS Colahan, DD-658


Sent to investigate 9 separate reports by fishermen, Coast Guard stations Coast Guard patrol planes.  No subs sighted in 5 day search, but contacts indicated high speed underwater craft operating in the coastal Eureka area.

Source: Modesto (CA) Bee. 10 Nov, 1950

1950 - 24 June - Day - Near Daggett, California - Google Map

Crews of two airliners and a Navy transport


A Navy pilot in a transport plane alerted other aircraft in the area

Source:  Hall II
McDonald's paper

1950 - 4 July 0530Z - berthed at Sasebo, Japan- Google Map

USS Cavalier APA-37 Off Hong Kong, 1959    

USS Cavalier APA-37 off Hong Kong, 1959
Click photo for additional images

Capt. Victor Stoyanow, USMC, one of 4 members on watch the USS Cavalier, APA-37


A light of great intensity appeared over the harbor and under an overcast at about 30,000 feet, brighter than a star, about the size of a planet like Venus.  Dawn had broken and this was the only light in the sky.  It hovered for 5 minutes, wobbling eccentrically, at times making lateral movements.  Then the light shot rapidly behind the horizon. Viewed through glasses showed no shape or other features.

Source: Interview with Major Dewey Fournet, Unclassified Operation Interloper Incident #17

1950 - 11 July - Day - Near Osceola, AR - Google Map

LTJG J. W. Martin, pilot
R. E. Moore, enlisted pilot
G. D. Wehner, electronic technician
and the crew of another Navy aircraft


The object first appeared as a round ball, ahead and to the left of their planes.  As it crossed their flight path, disappearing in the distance to the right.  It was caught on radar at its closest point.  It resembled “a World War I helmet seen from the side, or a shiny, shallow bowl turned upside down.”

Source:   Hall II

1950 - September - 7:00 a.m. - Korea - Google Map

3 Carrier-based fighter-bombers


While observing the ground for the day's target, a truck convoy, two pilots observed two large circular shadows coming along the ground from the NW at a high rate of speed.  The pilot in the third plane flying north saw the disc-shaped objects chasing the other two.

The objects “suddenly seemed to halt, back up and began a jittering, or fibrillating motion.”  When they prepared to fire on the objects “the radar went haywire.”  The screen bloomed and became very bright.  Calling the carrier, the radio was affected by a strange buzzing sound which prevented communication.  Changing frequencies did not work.  The new band was clear for a moment then the buzzing resumed.

The object matched the speed of the aircraft and continued its jittering motion.  The objects began maneuvering around the planes above and below.  They were at least 600 feet in diameter and “had a silvered mirror appearance, with a reddish glow surrounding them.”  Their shape, “somewhat like a coolie hat with oblong ports from which emanated a copper green colored light which gradually shifted to pale pastel-colored lights and back to the copper-green again.”  Above the ports was a shimmering red ring which encircled the top portion. 

When the objects maneuvered above them the bottom became visible.  “ In the middle of the underside was a circular area, coal black and non-reflective.” The objects continued to jitter while maneuvering.  The objects then departed the way they had come.

Haines I
Hall II (EME Catalogue)

1950 - 6 September - 5:40-5:50 p.m. - Edison Court, Waukegan,
Illinois - Google Map

Dr. John J. Robinson, Histopathologist at Naval Medical Research Unit 4, Great Lakes, Illinois and An unnamed acquaintance


“On September 6, 1950 I was at Edison Court, Waukegan, Illinois about 5:40 to 5:50 PM.  The day was perfectly clear, no clouds in the sky at that time, and a slight south wind blowing.  I saw an object in the sky over the northern part of Waukegan which I have not seen been able to identify.  It was sausage-shaped, measuring perhaps 20 feet in diameter or greatest length, and perhaps 15 to 20 feet in center thickness.  When first seen, it was possibly 5,000 to 7,000 feet north at about 75 degree angle.  It was nearly stationary but had a constant revolution of about 15 to 20 revolutions per minute, with a motion of rotation end over end and about a central axis.  The object was very clearly visible and I could have made a good picture had a camera been available.  It was entirely silent.  The outer or convex part was a silvery color with a peculiar light appearance different from sun reflection and suggestive of luminescence; the concave or under side was a light gray color.

“My first thought was that it must be a peculiar large balloon-like object, but I wondered at its large size, constant speed of rotation, and strangely bright appearance.  It hovered in nearly one location for about 2 to 3 minutes and then abruptly traveled westward in the direction of the Waukegan airport which lies NW of Waukegan a few miles.  It traveled very rapidly toward this airport, with a speed I would judge to be that of a jet plane ocassionally seen here.

“As it traveled, it continued to be perfectly silent and also maintained its continual, slow rotation about its central axis.  No flashes of light from an exhaust were visible.  When it reached a position perhaps 2-3 miles south of the Waukegan airport, it again slowed down and became nearly motionless.  At the time a friend of mine arrived and I pointed this object out to him, which was equally puzzling to him.

“After remaining rather localized for a few minutes, it again began a fast, westerly movement and in a few seconds rapidly passed beyond sight.  When last seen, it had a remarkable fast speed which might have been several hundred miles per hour faster than any aircraft I have seen.”

It was not a balloon which the University of Chicago released that day as that landed at Lake Forest, Illinois between 3 and 4 PM.  It was reported to the Medical Officer in Charge, CDR John R. Seal, MC, USN, Naval Medical Research Unit 4.

Source:  Letter to USAF Intelligence, 10 July, 1952 in USAF HQ, Director of Intelligence file (NARA)
Gross, 1950

1950 - 30 September - 12:37 p.m. - Seoul, Korea - Google Map

LT E. J. Ambrosia, USMC MP
SSG Robert J. Bowden, USMC MP
SSG Franklin Ryerson, USMC MP
And other members of the patrol


At 12:37 p. m., LT Ambrosia and others in his detail observed a silvery object flying west to east at about the height of bombers observed during the conflict.  They reported the sighting to 5th Marine Regiment S-2 (intelligence) officer.

Source:  Baltimore, Maryland, Sunday Evening Sun 1 October, 1950

1950 - October - about 8 p.m. - Between Browerville and Clarissa
on Route 71, Minnesota - Google Map

George W. Christie, Jr., USNR pilot, associate editor of the Red Lake Falls Gazette, and son of George Christie, publisher, and Eva Lindbergh, daughter of Charles Lindbergh
His wife, Peggy Christie


Driving on a southeasterly course George Christie sighted a light source out of his left front window rather high in the sky.  At first he thought it was a meteor, but it lasted too long for that.  As they continued traveling at 65 mph the light appeared to be on a converging course with the car.  It crossed in front of the car about 100 feet high and about 300 feet ahead and a speed of about 100 mph.

Once it crossed the highway the engine failed just as if it had been switched off.  There was no other traffic on the road.  The light was bright, circular and whitish and there was no noise during its passage.

Sketch of Christie UFO Sighting October, 1950  

Sketch of The Christies' UFO Sighting by the witnesses

Both husband and wife had knowledge of astronomy.  A short account was written for the newspaper.  Much later Ted Bloecher wrote the newspaper for a copy of the article, but his letter was never answered.

Project 1947 comment:  The year 1950 had many accounts of low level approaches, close encounters and buzzings. Mostly the incidents were reported in small newspapers.  The USAF investigation effort at this time was minimal so few accounts survive in the Project Blue Book files.  Naval Intelligence put out a release seconding the Air Forces' position.  Only the Army intelligence actively collected material during this period.

True magazine had printed an exposé of the Frank Scully Behind the Flying Saucers story, and Keyhoe following the lead of his employers, adopted a similarly conservative view of reported low-level sightings.  Only later did a survey of newspapers reveal a surprising number of such incidents.

Source:  Report to CSI-LA.

1950 - 14 October - 8:13 p.m. - Atlantic Ocean, 22 miles Off
Portsmouth, NH - Google Map

USCG Yankton WYT-72    

USCG Yankton WYT-72
Click photo for additional images

USCG Yard Tug Yankton, WYT-72


Several crew members observed a bright cigar-shaped craft that also appeared to others as a disc with a flat bottom and a glowing red top pass overhead.  Observed for 8 seconds to one minute, by crew at various positions.

Source: Project Blue Book files

1950 - 7 November - 7:15 p.m. - East of Lakehurst, NJ - Google Map

US Navy Douglas AD-4Q Skyraider

US Navy Douglas AD-4Q Skyraider

Grumman F9F-2 Panther
Grumman F9F-2 Panther

LTJG Robert Haven piloting Douglas AD-4Q Skyraider aircraft and an F9F-2, Panther jet pilot


At 3500 feet heading W saw a steady white light to his right at 4000 feet 5 miles away heading SE.  Pilot made a climbing turn to get behind object.  Object made a head-on pass at aircraft.  5 more such passes made as object climbed about 2000 feet/minute to 11,500.  When jets arrived, object at about 25,000 feet.

Source: Project Blue Book Case #: Balloon
Hynek UFO Report pp 68-70
Keyhoe II (based on Special Delivery letter from LTJG Robert Haven to Keyhoe now lost)

1950 - 10 November - Off Southern California Coast

USS Blue DD-744  

USS Blue DD-744, date unknown
Click photo for additional images

USS Blue, DD-744 (stationed in San Diego)


Destroyer has unidentified radar contact.  Ship keeping contact with the unidentified object.  Navy PIO did not give out information on the type or nature of contact.

Source: Modesto (CA) Bee. 10 Nov, 1950
San Diego (CA) Union 10 November, 1950
San Diego (CA) Union 11 November, 1950
San Diego (CA) Union 3 December, 1950

1950 - 14 November - 2000 hours - Near Boca Chica Naval Air
Station, Key West, Florida - Google Map

Grumman F6F-5N Hellcat Night Fighter

Grumman F6F-5N Hellcat night fighter with AN/APS-6 radar pod under right wing

Ground radar personnel
Pilot of Grumman F6F-5N - Night fighter version of the Hellcat, fitted with AN/APS-6 radar


“Tuesday, 14 November 1950, approximately 2000 at 15,000 feet 30 miles north of NAS, Key West.  (Unknown) aircraft picked up tracked intermittently by ground radar.  Ground speed 480 miles per hour, heading 180, made turn to right and faded from scope.  F6F-5N picked up aircraft on radar one and one half miles range.  Unable to close for visual contact.  Weather clear visibility excellent clear night.  At approximately 2015 unidentified aircraft sighted by pilot of F6F-5N near NAS, Key West, traveling at high speed.”

Source:  Gross, 1950
Project Blue Book files   Naval Speed Letter.  To: Commander Fleet Air Jacksonville.  U.S. Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida.  From: S.J. Lawrence, Commanding Officer.
Fleet All Weather Training Unit, Atlantic. U.S. Naval Air Station, Boca Chica Field, Key West, Florida

1950 - 15 November - 2100 hours - Near Boca Chica Naval Air
Station, Key West, Florida - Google Map

Two Grumman Hellcat F6F-5N night fighter pilots
Ground Control Intercept radar personnel


“Wednesday, 15 November 1950, at 2100 at 15,000 feet aircraft picked up by ground radar within 3 miles of two F6F-5Ns on GCI flight, bearing 270 degrees distance 42 miles from NAS, Key West.  One experienced VF(N) pilot made a visual contact on aircraft with long silver fuselage, no lights.  The unidentified air craft followed the F6F-5Ns being controlled by GCI [Ground Controlled Interception] radar.  Return on radar twice the size of radar return of F6F.  Aircraft speed estimated as more than twice as fast as F6F cruising at 160 knots.”

Loren Gross Comment:  The reference to “warning area” may be violation of territorial waters or some other restricted air space.  It's possible this report has a conventional explanation but it was sent to Fleet Air HQ.  Fleet Air was notified of two incidents of contact with an unidentified “aircraft” operating with no lights in the warning area assigned to FAWTULANT [Fleet All-Weather Training Unit, Atlantic], NAS, Key West, Florida.  In both cases Military Flight Service knew of no aircraft scheduled or flight plan for operations in the area.

Source:  Gross. 1950
Project Blue Book files   Naval Speed Letter. To: Commander Fleet Air Jacksonville.  U.S. Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida.  From: S.J. Lawrence, Commanding Officer.  Fleet All Weather Training Unit, Atlantic. U.S. Naval Air Station, Boca Chica Field, Key West, Florida. 21 November 50.

1950 - December - Day - Steaming up the channel from Incheon, Korea
- Google Map

USS Gardiners Bay AVP-39 in San Francisco, 1957  

USS Gardiners Bay AVP-39, seaplane tender, in 1957
Click photo for additional images

Crew members from the seaplane tender, USS Gardiners Bay, AVP-39


Two mysterious smoke-trailing objects stuck the water at tremendous speed off the ship's port bow.  “Two huge columns of water rose to about 100 feet in height at the point of contact.  No aircraft could be sighted by radar or visually overhead although the ceiling was unlimited.  Identification remains a great mystery.”

Source:   Naval Aviation News, February 1951

1950 - 18 December - 0820-0830 - Oak Ridge, Tennessee - Google Map

Witnesses: 2 Groups in 2 automobiles going to work at Nuclear Energy Propulsion for Aircraft (NEPA) Project.

Group One:
Lt. Col. John R. Hood, USAF
Cdr. Edward W. Hribar, USN
Maj. Walter L. Carss, Jr. USAF
and three other civilians who did not observe the UFO.
They were riding to work at the NEPA Division, Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp. in the S-50 area at Oak Ridge, TN, one mile from the White Wing Entrance and Y-12 plant.

Group Two:
Dr. A. J. Miller
Mr. J. Frank Coneybear
Mr. A. O. Monneyham
Mr. F. T. Bly and one other who did not see the UFO.
They were also riding to work on a turnpike within the Controlled Area toward the NEPA Project about one mile short of the “Y” cutoff to the White Wing entrance and Y-12.

USAF McGhee Tyson Air Force Radar Station


Group One at about 0827, while riding SW just outside the restricted area observed an object which “appeared only as the bright reflection of the sun from an apparently metal surface, much as might be expected at a great distance.”  It appeared to the WSW of the Oak Ridge Townsite at an elevation of 25 degrees.  It was lost from sight when the car turned as the side windows were frosted, and when the car again turned in the direction of the object, it could no longer be seen.

Group Two saw a light in the shape of a circle, with an intensity greater than a bright moon.  The observers’ impression was that there was a form in connection with the light rather than just a point source.  The light was 15 to 20 degrees in elevation in the W and NW and appeared to travel in a northwesterly direction.  No trail was observed.  Part of the perimeter of the circular light appeared to partially darken until the light was concentrated in part of the upper position, at which point it appeared like a large star.  Radar showed contact at 0839; fighter interception attempted with negative results.

Source: 111th Army Counter Intelligence Command, Knoxville, TN
Report by Plant Protection Manger, Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp, Oak Ridge, TN.

1950 - About 20 December (No Earlier Than (NET) 16 December
(The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, Korea) and Not Later
Than (NLT) Christmas - Afternoon - North Island, Naval
Air Station, San Diego, CA - Google Map

WAVE Aerographer's Mate 3rd Class Launches Weather Balloon From Theodolite Platform

WAVE Aerographer's Mate 3rd Class on theodolite platform, circa 1944-45.

Aerographer 3/c (later a sales engineer at Zinsco Electrical Products, Los Angeles) William Albert Broka
Aerographer Driscoll
Aerographer (later Chief) Jim Rose
The Watch Chief (later Chief Warrant) Barich
Commander (later Capt.) Chandler, Station Commanding Officer
The Meteorological Officer from Holtville Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Imperial Valley, CA
Other aerographer
Navy pilots
A number of Air Force pilots who had participated in evacuating frostbitten Marines from the Chosin Reservoir Battle
Control tower personnel


Broka and Driscoll tracking a pilot balloon (pibal) when Broka saw something cross through the theodolite’s field of view.  Objects were seen singularly, in pairs or in threes and fours traveling at high speed over Point Loma to the northwest.  The objects were teardrop-shaped or like a cross section of an aircraft wing, grayish white with a cottony white tail which seemed to wave, but not grow larger.  The trails were unlike jet contrails.  They reported the incident which no one believed until Chief Barich came up and looked.  Then, everyone came.  The objects could not be seen with the naked eye nor binoculars brought from the tower. 

The objects traveled from north to south and then made a high speed turn and disappeared.  They kept reappearing as if they were making a circular track out to sea and back.  The sighting went on for about one-and-a-half hours.  Radar supposedly tracked them at 100,000 feet.  Commander Chandler saw one which was not moving.  Many had a look at it through the theodolite.  Commander Chandler saw a sudden white puff of smoke from the bottom of the still object and it shot up out of sight.  He said it looked like someone had dropped a bag of flour out of the bottom and it was gone.  The other objects stopped appearing.  They looked for their return over the next few days, but they were not seen again.  A complete report was made, but there was no feedback.

Source: Letter from William Broka to Jacques Vallée, 10 August, 1965.
Listed in Project Blue Book as “Not a case. Information only”

1951 - 20 January - 9:20-9:26 p.m. - Sioux City, IA - Google Map

Airline Capt Lawrence W. Vinther
Co-pilot James F. Bachmeier (LCDR, USNR) and 1 passenger
Aide to Col. Matthew Thompson, Offut AFB who investigates unconventional aircraft reports And 2 tower personnel


Cigar-shaped object with bright body light approached, reversed direction climbed away.  First civilian UFO CIRVIS report through the revised directive JANAP 146B.  When the airliner reached Kansas City, Col. Thompson and the other USAF officer from Offut AFB questioned the crew.

Source: Project Blue Book Case #
Article in “Flying” Magazine, June, 1951
Hall II
United Press, 2 January, 1951

1951 - 10 February - 0055Z (9:55, 9 February local time) - Enroute
from Keflavik, Iceland to Naval Air Station Argentia,
Newfoundland, Canada, at about 49°50'N, 50°03'W
- Google Map

U.S. Navy Douglas R5D-3 (C-54Q)_Skymaster at Naval Air Station Argentia, Newfoundland

U.S. Navy Douglas R5D-3 (C-54Q) Skymaster assigned to
Naval Air Station Argentia, Newfoundland

LTJG A. L. Jones, flight commander
LT Fred W. Kingdon, Jr. second flight commander
LT Graham E. Bethune, USNR, co-pilot at the time
LT John M. Meyer
LT N. G. P. Koger
ALO Quentin R. Shiever
AE3 Gerald R. Daniels
Other members of the crew, the relief crew and passenger aboard the aircraft.
Dr. McDonald later interviewed LT William D. Bridge
Paul Abrams, USNR (Bridge recalled he might have been on the flight)


A US Navy VR-1 Squadron Douglas R5D (C-54Q) Skymaster aircraft, (Bureau # 56501), was at 10,000 feet, enroute from Keflavik, Iceland, to Argentia, Newfoundland.  Pilot LT Bethune saw a light glowing in the distance beneath a thin layer of strato-form cloud which appeared to be the lights of a completely illuminated large ship or a small city.  He alerted co-pilot LT Kingdon who confirmed the sighting.  As they observed the light it started ascending through the cloud layer and became "quite bright".

The object appeared circular with a glowing yellow-orange ring - “like fire in color” - around the outer edge.  It was on a true course of 125 degrees with the plane on a true course of 225 degrees.  As it approached the plane, it suddenly turned about 180 degrees and disappeared rapidly over the horizon.  Its speed "was terrific."

Interior Douglas  R5D-3 Sketched by Graham Bethune

Click image for larger version

Various explanations for the incident were offered:
Project Blue Book:  Aurora
Others:  Mis-identification of the moon which was near setting at the time (crew did not mention the moon in their statements).  The moon was supposedly mistaken for the initial sighting and an “auroral meteor” was responsible for the illuminated receding object.

Richard Hall comment:  I must say that after reading the BB file, the notion that they saw the moon seems absurd.  It is very clear that the object approached from one direction, then (à la Nash-Fortenberry) reversed direction at a very sharp angle and disappeared over the horizon in quite a different position.  Quite an "illusion!"

Project 1947 comments:

Note the similarity with Lt George P. Williams' account of 21 February, 1951.  Is this another version of the above earlier incident, or an entirely separate case?  Note that Williams mentions the moon as full while during the other incident it would have been almost a quarter.  Major Fournet, the Pentagon USAF UFO monitor, received LT Williams' account during his visit to the Naval Intelligence Class #9.  He did not make it part of the official USAF files, but rather kept this account and two others received from Class 9 Naval and Marine officers in an unclassified collection entitled: “Operation Interloper”.  The purpose of this collection is not known, but it might have been used to discuss UFOs with people who did not have sufficient clearance to study UFO reports.

Fournet had access to the Feb 10 incident, but he apparently made no comments to his superiors or to ATIC about the similarity between the two accounts.

Keyhoe learned of the 10 February incident in 1959.  He used it in his book "Flying Saucers: Top Secret" changing the date, aircraft type and crew names to protect their identities.  He considered this incident as his most important "NICAP hidden case" and he nominated Bethune as a potential star witness for his hoped-for Congressional hearing into UFOs.

Over the years some details of Bethune's account of the incident have changed.  His account in Naval Aviation News mentions radar tracking of the object from Newfoundland, but not the EME effects.  His later account authored by Robert Durant mentions both.  The Project Blue Book files mention neither.

The reported electromagnetic effects consisted of the main compass – which was on the center frame separating the two cockpit windows – rocking back and forth.  LT Kingdon commented that when the object was closer the effect was more pronounced, with the compass spinning more erratically.  It was considered highly unusual for any external source to influence the instruments in this way.  The radio direction finder's “needles were jumping all over the place.”  There was another magnetic compass connected to sensors on the wing tips which also behaved abnormally.  The vacuum-driven gyro compass remained unaffected and the other compasses returned to normal when the object departed.

Some doubt has been cast on whether LT William D. Bridge was actually on the same North Atlantic flight as Bethune.

In both Bethune's interview with NICAP's Stuart Nixon in February, 1970, and Dr McDonald's interview with Bridge in April 29, 1970, mention was made of a “skeptic psychiatrist” who was on board the flight.  He refused to look at the object because he said he did not believe in flying saucers.  This unique aspect of both testimonies would seem to indicate that Bridge and Bethune were on the same flight that witnessed the UFO sighting.

Most accounts of this incident state that Bethune, Jones and Kingdon later learned that there had been radar confirmation of the UFO.  Essentially, it can be said that there is no official confirmation of any radar detection.  The sighting occurred too far from Gander's radar installation for the object to have been tracked initially, however, the UFO's departure might have been tracked as it left the area.  Bridge claims he was told when they landed that there had been no radar trace of the object.

Bethune stated that Keyhoe wanted him to testify before Congress on his sighting during possible hearings about 1960-1963. The hearings never materialized.

Bethune writes:

“Keyhoe wanted me to go public with my story, and to participate in planned congressional hearings. I declined, seeing no sense in becoming a celebrity and attracting ridicule from the press and possibly from military colleagues.

“But Keyhoe did produce a story in his 1960 book Flying Saucers – Top Secret,” and submitted a summary to the Congress along with much other data showing that the UFO problem was very real, indeed.  It was not until 1970 that I learned of the book.  I was told about it by Stuart Nixon, who worked closely with Keyhoe on the NICAP publication.  Keyhoe was a real gentleman, and used a pseudonym instead of my real name.”

Keyhoe apparently never had any direct contact with Bethune when the report was first received at NICAP and during the run up to Congressional hearings.  It appears that all communication was through intermediaries.

In Aliens from Space, page 100, Keyhoe says to one of his contacts, who had interviewed one of the Navy pilot crewmembers who was reluctant to testify:

“If he was really one of those witnesses he could be a big help.  He might get in touch with some he knew personally and ask them to join in.  The congressmen who told me about this said he’d guarantee immunity.”

On page 101-102, speaking on Bethune testifying before Congress:

The main reason was a suggestion by Admiral Fahrney, in 1959, that we plan to use this startling case and the Navy air crews’ testimony when we got congressional hearings.  We were both confident that the Navy department would produce these witnesses without resisting a congressional committee summons.”

The suggestion was made that Admiral Hillenkoetter's influence would offer protection for the witnesses as well.

Keyhoe also relates a lurid tale in which he asks a friend who was not associated with UFO research to call the Navy to try to get Bethune’s address.  This was at the time when Bethune was still on active duty.  Keyhoe said after his friend made the request, two agents who worked for the CIA questioned him about the reason for his inquiry.  When he told them about Keyhoe’s plan for Congressional hearings, he also mentioned the expectation of possible assistance from Admiral Hillenkoetter, the former Director of Central Intelligence.

Project Blue Book documents at this time discuss methods of avoiding any Congressional hearings into UFOs and the possibility of neutralizing Hillenkoetter. Hillenkoetter resigned from NICAP shortly after this.

In Bethune’s account of the sighting, he mentions that “the navigator was so frightened and astonished by the onrushing UFO that he lost his balance, fell and struck his head against the navigation table.  The radioman’s arm was hurt during the melee.”

We have no confirmation of this from any other source, official or otherwise.  However, it should be pointed out that beside the crew and the relief crew, there were a number of passengers on board who had also observed the object.  Despite this large pool of witnesses, almost no one came forward to publicly talk about the UFO incident.

As Durant stated in his report, Bethune had absorbed certain fringe UFO theories in the years since his sighting and had written about them in an obscure publication.  It remains important, however, to remember that the totality of this incident does not depend on the account of any one witness.

Project Blue Book files
Hall II
Keyhoe IV
Keyhoe V
NICAP files
McDonald papers
Personal conversation with Bethune at the MUFON conference
Naval Aviation News, June, 1973
NICAP website compilation
Haines, Richard F. and Dominique Weinstein, “A Preliminary Study of Fifty Seven Pilot Sighting Reports Involving Alleged Electro-Magnetic Effects on Aircraft Systems”, NARCAP, Boulder Creek, CA, 2001
Cover 57 Pilot Reports Involving Alleged Electromagnetic Effects on Aircraft Systems  

“Final Text”, Graham Bethune and Robert Durant (The Durant Report)

1951 - 21 February - About 3:00 a.m. - Atlantic En route from
Keflavik to Newfoundland about 60° N, 33° W - Google Map

US Navy Fleet Logistics Douglas R5D Skymaster
US Navy Douglas R5D Skymaster

LT. George P. Williams USN piloting a Navy Fleet Logistics Air Wing Douglas R5D Skymaster and 9 crewmen


3 hours out of Iceland at 10,000 feet with an almost full moon and thin layer of broken cumulus below with tops at 3000.  Viewed a bright light through the clouds ahead.  Thinking it was a ship called co-pilot forward. Light rose up from beneath the clouds at a terrific closing rate and disappeared off port quarter.  It was flat elliptical or cigar-shaped by side view and seemed to be spewing a ring of red-orange exhaust all along the periphery.  It appeared larger than the R5D.

Source:  Interview with Major Dewey Fournet, Unclassified Operation Interloper
Incident #26 -

See also the remarkably similar Bethune-Gander incident:

1951 March - about 11:30 p.m. - about 125 miles off Cape May,
New Jersey - Google Map


USS Dyess DDR-880, date and location unknown
Click photo for additional images

LT CDR Robert Wood (later professor astronomy at Brevard Community College)
Ships personnel of the USS Dyess, DDR-880


While on picket duty for an air defense mission, a strange target was picked up on radar approaching the ship from the east.  When it closed within 30 miles it stopped dead.  It had approached at a speed of about 80 to 90 knots.

Initially the height finder radar was not on, but once enabled it determined the object was at approximately 4000 feet.  The return of the target was about the size of a large aircraft like a DC8 or DC9.  After the Captain was informed he ordered the ship to head in the direction of the contact.  They closed to within about 15 miles when the object took off at a high rate of speed.  When it was about 35 to 40 miles south of Nantucket, it suddenly went straight up and disappeared.  It was reported up the chain of command, but Wood heard of no follow up.

Robert Pratt interview with Robert Wood:
Gross, 1951

1951 - 2 March - 2030M - 12°10' N 63° 21' E - (Arabian Sea)
- Google Map

USS Moctobi ATF-105 circa late 1960s to 1970s  

USS Moctobi ATF-105 Fleet Tug circa late 1960s
Click photo for additional images

USS Moctobi, Fleet Ocean Tug ATF-105


"Unidentified radar target on screen for 6 minutes.  Course 220, speed 18, distance 11 mi. from ship."

OPNAV Evaluation: Doubtful, Index # 370

Source:  Director of Naval Intelligence, Report of Submarine Contacts, 29 May 1951

1951 - 10 March - 1040Z 22°06'N, 86°29'W - (Off British Honduras)
- Google Map

USNS Sgt George Peterson T-AK-248  

USNS Sgt George Peterson T-AK-248
Click photo for additional images

USNS Sgt George Peterson, T-AK-248


“Master and crew saw low black or gray hull superstructure with two short masts amidships.”
NAVOP Evaluation: Doubtful, Index # 379

Source:  Director of Naval Intelligence, Report of Submarine Contacts, 29 May 1951

1951 - 19 March - 0049Z - 27°06' N, 121°35'E - (North of Formosa
(now Taiwan) - Google Map

Lockheed P-2V-2 Neptune of VP-22

Lockheed P-2V-2 Neptune of VP-22

Crew of Navy Lockheed P-2V-2 Neptune of Squadron VP-22


"Radar contact, distance 23 mi.  Swirl sighted 4 minutes after disappearance of contact.
OPNAV Evaluation: Doubtful, Index #378

Source:  Director of Naval Intelligence, Report of Submarine Contacts, 29 May 1951

1951 - 3 June - 0100R - 12°14'N, 73°42'W (50 miles off Columbia,
South America - Google Map

USS_Tappahannock (AO-43) South China Sea 1 August, 1969  

USS Tappahannock (AO-43) South China Sea 1 August, 1969
Click photo for additional images

USS Tappahannock (AO-43)


"Radar contact - definite submergence."
OPNAV Evaluation: Doubtful, Index #403

Source:  Director of Naval Intelligence, Report of Submarine Contacts, 4 October 1951

1951 - 21 June - 1430R - 700 yards off Eatons Neck, Long Island,
New York - Google Map

Chief Leroy Johnson


"Part of submarine coning tower sighted.
In view of shallow water 700 off Eaton Neck, evaluation non-sub."
OPNAV Evaluation: Non Sub, Index #406

Source:  Director of Naval Intelligence, Report of Submarine Contacts, 4 October 1951

1951 - 1 July - 2250K - near Seoul, Korea - Google Map

Vought F4U-5N and Grumman F7F-3N Night Fighters

Vought F4U-5N Corsair (top) and Grumman F7F-3N Tigercat Night Fighters

4 night fighter pilots of the 1st Marine Air Wing


"…pilots in different areas simultaneously reported a large green ball, very bright, and trailing streaks of red which soon turned blue, passing overhead at 10-15,000 feet on NNE heading.  Pilot's location at time of sighting were as follows.  One F4U-5N 2 miles N of Seoul, one F4U-5N at CT 1070, one at CT 4020, one at CT 4020, one F7F-3N at CU 2010.  Pilots concur that object was moving with tremendous velocity."
    — Air Technical Intelligence Liaison Office, Korea, IR 33-52

Source: Project Blue Book: Meteor
Haines, II

1951 - 17 July - 1130Z - 58°55' N, 151°58'W - (Alaska) - Google Map

USNS Mission San Francisco T-AO-123 date and location unknown  

USNS Mission San Francisco T-AO-123, date and location unknown
Click photo for additional images

USNS Mission San Francisco (T-AO-123)


"Radar contact tracked at 14 kts, disappeared."
OPNAV evaluation as non-submarine.  Incident index #441

Source: Director of Naval Intelligence, Subject: Report Submarine of Contacts, 29 May, 1951

1951 - August - Night - near Norfolk, VA - Google Map

Chance_Vought USMC F4U-4 Corsair Korean Era

Vought USMC F4U-4 Corsair of the Korean Era

Major H. Covington, USMC pilot flying a Corsair aircraft
Control tower personnel


Flying in the vicinity of Norfolk, Covington saw a pair of orange lights about 3000 feet below him cruising at about 1/3rd his speed of 380 mph.  Believing they were the exhaust glow of another aircraft he was unconcerned until one of the lights turned and departed the area at very high speed.  Covington then went into a diving turn toward the other light which executed a 90-degree turn, changed its coloration and then vanished.

After losing sight of the light, Covington turned back towards base, but while glancing in his rear view mirror he saw below and to his rear a 50 foot disc flashing neon-like pink, orange, red, and very bright white.  He attempted to evade the object with violent twists and turns but the object stayed with him. 

With his plane low on fuel, he headed for base, asking for landing instructions and informing the tower of the presence of the object.  Tower personnel also viewed the object which stopped and hovered for a time before departing.

Source:  Charlotte, NC, Charlotte News, 5 December, 1966
Gross, 1951

1951 - August - 1830hrs - Alexandria, Virginia - Google Map

LT William G. Neville, Jr., OPNAV 342Y1, Pentagon


LT Neville reported to the Pentagon Command Post the sighting of an oval-shaped silvery object over Alexandria.  His report was forwarded to ATIC.

Source:  DF to Chief, ATIC, from AFOIN (Air Force Intelligence, Subject Unidentified Flying Object, dated 7 September 1951 with Memo for Record 24 August 1951
Project Blue Book files

1951 - About August to May 1952 - off East Coast of Korea

USS Essex CV-9 1952  

USS Essex CV-9 in 1952
Click photo for additional images

Electronic Repair Officer,
and LT Robert Houston,
others in CIC, USS Essex, CV-9


“The radar contacts were...operating at altitudes and speeds greater than any known aircraft.” The contacts were reported to the Navy in Washington. Polaroid photographs and pictures of radar targets were submitted to Navy HQ.  Called several times to check radar and look at pictures.  Speed report at 3000 mph and at 75,000 feet; higher and faster than aircraft at the time.

Source:  Letter to Dr. Hynek, 25 June, 1975, confirming earlier verbal discussion with Dr. Hynek.

1951 - September - about 1800 - Naval Air Station - Memphis,
Tennessee - Google Map

Crews and students of two Navy radar planes
Running exercises with ground station


While flying at 5,000 feet the lead pilot called the attention of all on board to a silver object flying off the port side at about 1200 to 1500 feet.  The pilot tried to make a slow port turn towards the object which immediately moved off at right angles to its course in excess of 5000 mph.

Upon landing the two planes were met by the Public Relations Officer who had alerted the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper.  The story later appeared on the newspaper's front page.  The same day as the story ran, the NAS was reprimanded for releasing the information to the public.

PROJECT 1947 Comment: This may be the same incident as the July 11, 1950, Osceola, AR account which was reported in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Source:  Letter from Wesley Brown, Jr. Head, Department of Police Science and Administration, Northern Arizona University to J. Allen Hynek August, 28, 1974.

1951 - About September - about 25 miles South of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania - Google Map

Four Corsairs, flight led by Major Gordon Allen of Lubbock, TX
Major Henry Covington and two other pilots


Flying at 6000 feet (south of Glassboro, New Jersey, approximately over Malaga, New Jersey) when Major Allen shouted, "What is that?" over the radio.

Major Covington looked but could see nothing.  Suddenly, Major Allen shouted, "My God!" and pulled straight back on the stick.  The others followed him in the maneuver, and as we did so, this orange disk passed directly under us, not more than 30 or 40 feet away," Major Covington said.

"That made three more believers in our squadron." (See Covington August, 1951 sighting.)

Comment by Ted Bloecher: This sighting by Major Allen and Major Covington over southern New Jersey may have occurred about the same time at the Fort Monmouth radar-visual series on September 10-11, 1951.

(Cf., Lt. C. A. Johnson, USN, Summer or Fall 1952, Near San Diego, CA and Squadron Leader Donald Higgin, RAF, 10 May 1953 Near Oceanside, CA)

1951 - Fall - Night - off Korean coast

LCDR M. C. Davies, with 4000 flying hours at time of sighting, flying an Anti-Submarine Squadron aircraft, assigned to check the proficiency of the radar operators of 14 surface and airborne radars


A radar contact was detected circling the fleet.  There was another aircraft in the wingman's position about 3 miles behind, the object took up a position astern of the wingman about the same distance between the aircraft.  The target showed on radar as slightly larger than the wingman.  Contacting one of the ships, Davies was told that 14 ships had the target on radar and he should attempt to intercept.  No visual confirmation was possible to cloud cover.   After about 5 minutes in the same position relative to the aircraft, the object departed the area at about 1000 mph.

Upon landing, LCDR Davies made a UFO report and was informed that the object had been on the fleet radars for about seven hours.

Formerly one of the "Hidden" NICAP/Keyhoe reports.

Sources:  Letter to NICAP from LCDR Davies, 16 May 1957:
Hall II
Haines I
Gross, 1951

1951 - 18 October - 0333 hours I (Korean time) - 38°48' N, 123°16' E
              (Yellow sea) - Google Map

Martin Mariner PBM-5

Martin PBM-5 Mariner

Ensign George Gregory and copilot of a PBM-5 in VP146 unit heading NW


Flying at 5000 feet heading 194 degrees True on a weather mission, a waist gunner sighted a light on the port side and notified the crew.  The contact was about the same heading as the plane at about 4000 feet.  Radar confirmed contact.  Both pilots saw it, and applied power in an attempt to intercept.  As they approached radar contact was lost.  They closed to three or four miles.  It seemed to have a cigar-shaped body about 60 feet long with flames of orange red and white coming from the rear.  It appeared silvery in color, slightly swept back and down wings with a dihedral at the tips observed through binoculars.  Pilots attempted to get the object between them and the moon to take a picture but were unsuccessful.  The object accelerated slowly increasing range to 16 miles as indicated by radar.  Visual contact lost in the clouds.  Contact lost at 25 miles at which time the speed was computed at 530 knots.

Source: Report in CUFOS files of an interview with George Gregory
Project Blue Book files:  Letter, HQ Far East Air Forces, Subject: Unidentified Air Contact, 12 Nov 1951
Message 54557 1 Nov 51 from AF HQ requesting information (not seen)
Air Intelligence Information Report Form 28 June 1952 Compiled by Air Technical Intelligence Liaison (ATIL) Office, Far East Air Forces

Project 1947 Comment: ATIL was an ATIC detachment in Far East Air Forces Intelligence.  They were in both FEAF HQ and in Korea.

1951 - November - about 8:30 p.m. - Jacksonville Naval Air
Station, FL. - Google Map

Charles W. Knee, Jr. and 18 other men waiting outside the chow hall


The men watched an unidentified light make a high speed flight over the airfield and then execute a 90 degree turn.  All the witnesses were required to make a report and sign that they would not discuss the matter for 3 years.  There was a rumor that an F9F Panther jet was sent after the object and was lost, but this was unfounded.

Source:  Interview with Walt N. Webb, 13 May, 1968 NICAP files
Gross, 1951

Between 1952 to 1955 - Daytime - Tropical Waters

USS Albany CA-123 1956  

USS Albany CA-123, 1956, redesignated in 1958 as guided missile cruiser CG-10
Click photo for additional images

Entire bridge watch on the USS Albany CA-123


The slow descent of a red sphere about four feet in diameter from the sky to the water close to the ship.  It then slowly submerged.  Frank Drake did not see the object, but came to the bridge a few minutes after the sighting which was related to him and logged.

Source:  Letter to Dr. James McDonald from Dr. Frank Drake in Dr. McDonald's papers.

1952 - Night - Washington, D. C. area - Google Map

Chance-Vought F4U-5 Corsair Fighter.jpg

US Navy F4U-5 Corsair

Grumman F7F-3P Tigercat Photo Recon version

US Marine F7F-3P Tigercat

LCDR E. E. Kligington
John Ford
Michael Krause, pilots at Naval Proving Ground Dahlgren,VA


Flying 3 fighter aircraft F4U-5, and F7F one at NPG, one over Washington area and one over Fredericksburg at about 10-15,000 feet. When Kligington saw a light close in front of him.  He dived to avoid it, and made a sweeping climb to inspect it.  Realized it was a large object between Fredericksburg and Quantico.  Krause also saw the object and headed towards it and finally the other pilot did also.  They were approaching from N, S and E at about 5 miles it put on a burst of speed and disappeared to the W.  Radar at Washington National Airport and MCAS Quantico supposedly watched the action.

Note: witness does not recall other pilot's ranks at the time nor what aircraft each was piloting.

Source: George Fawcett's UFO report form filled out by E. E. Kligington.

1952 - 11:00 p.m. - Jacksonville Naval Air Station, FL - Google Map

4 sailors standing watch


Black spearhead-shaped object suddenly appeared approaching from Jacksonville traveling N to S.  Reporter was the first to see it, then the other 3.  It stopped over NAS, no slowing down, it hovered for 15 secs. While it hovered it looked like a dark spearhead in front of a dim yellow light.  2 aircraft took off at the same, however, the witness did not know if it was related to the object. Object suddenly left at a high rate of speed to S.  Reported to the tower who replied it was probably a weather balloon.

Source: Reported in 2003, MUFON CMS Reporting System

1952 - 21 January - 9:50 a.m. EST - Mitchel AFB, NY - Google Map

Grumman TBM-3 Avenger

Grumman TBM-3 Avenger

LCDR J.R. Zeitvobel flying a TBM


Chased dome-shaped object, which made sharp turns and moved at “unbelievable” speed.

Source:  Project Blue Book Case # - Balloon
Pilot: balloon was south of my encounter.

1952 - 2 February 1030hrs - Off East coast of Korea

USS Philippine Sea CV-47 in the WesternPacific July_1955 

USS Philippine Sea redesignated CVA-47 in the Western Pacific, July, 1955
Click photo for additional images

USS Philippine Sea, CV-47


Detected a radar return of an object traveling 767 mph.  No visual.

Project Blue Book Case # - Unidentified
Phillip Robertson (in Independent Aerial Phenomena Research) - Unidentified
Hynek II

1952 - 2 February - 1040hrs - Off East coast of Korea

USS Philippine Sea CVA-47 3 May, 1953

USS Philippine Sea CV-47, 3 May, 1953
Click photo for additional images

USS Philippine Sea, CV-47


Detected a return that an object traveling 1257 mph.  No visual.

Source: Project Blue Book Case # - Unidentified
Phillip Robertson (in Independent Aerial Phenomena Research) - Unidentified
Hynek II

1952 - 2 February - 1935hrs - Off East coast of Korea

USS Philippine Sea CV-47 1951  

USS Philippine Sea CV-47, at sea, 1951
Click photo for additional images
USS Philippine Sea, CV-47


Detected a return that an object accelerated from 600 mph first minute to 900 mph second minute, to 1800 mph third minute.  Initially detected at 25 miles out and was tracked to a range of 20 miles, where it made a wide turn to E and was seen as 2 objects 5 to 12 miles apart.  3 signal bridge personnel independently observed 3 “exhaust flames.”

Source: Project Blue Book Case # - Unidentified
Phillip Robertson (in Independent Aerial Phenomena Research) - Unidentified, but note speed progression 300-600-900
Hynek II

1952 - 16 February - 2:40 to 3:50 p. m., about 60 miles North-East
of Pusan (now Busan), Korea - Google Map

AN/CPS-5 Search Radar Antenna 1950  

AN/CPS-5 Search Radar Antenna, 1950

US Marine Corps Ground Control Intercept (GCI) Squadron at Yongil, Korea (36°N, 129°E)


A CPS-5 GCI radar tracked an unidentified target traveling at 4320 knots (5,000 mph).  A second track at 3:50 p. m. at position 36°30' N, 129°30' E (a few miles off the coast of the Republic of Korea).  The target was the equivalent of 6-8 jet aircraft traveling at 1,380 knots (1,600 miles per hour), target heading 170 degrees.  It faded momentarily on a heading of 120 degrees until lost.  There was a sighting of a contrail in the direction of the radar track.

Source:   Letter from Naval Intelligence (OP322F2) Subject: Unusual Radar Scope Presentation, Report of, dated 23 July 1952 in Project Blue Book files.

1952 - 28 February - 1000Z - In Yuma Bay - Dominican Republic
(18°22'N, 68°35'W) - Google Map

US Navy ZNP K-Class ASW Blimp Moored in Brazil in WW II  

US Navy K-Class ASW Blimp Similar to K-38 of ZP-2
Click photo for additional images

US Navy Airship Squadron ZP-2 Patch
Patch of US Navy Airship Squadron ZP-2

Dominican civilian
US Navy Blimp K-38 of Airship Squadron ZP-2 based at NAS Glynco, Georgia
Dominican Navy ship DD-102


Civilian report (sic) sighted object in bay approximately 1 kilometer offshore.  Object more or less bell-shaped that emerged about six feet above surface.  Object headed to sea at high rate of speed making heavy stern wake.  US [Navy] ZP2, K-38 [blimp] reported MAD [Magnetic Anomaly Detector] contact 18°25'N/68°00'W 2305Q Feb 28.  Dominican DD-102 reported sighting conning tower 4 feet awash 2330Q vic [vicinity] 18°25'N/68°00'W 28 Feb.
OPNAV Evaluation: Doubtful sub. Index #497.
{On 29 Feb Dominican DD-102 reported 5 unidentified sub sightings which were smoke lights and sonobouys dropped by the US blimp. Index # 498.)

Project 1947 comments:  In 1952 Capt Ruppelt requested submarine reports from the Navy.  He was not looking for USO reports, but rather trying to find any correlation between UFO reports and reports of Soviet submarine activity near the US.  One idea of such a Soviet mission was put forward in the September 10, 1952 issue of People Today magazine.

Ruppelt found no such correlation and returned the reports to the Navy.  In this catalogue we have presented some instances of unidentified submarine contacts in the Navy reports that Ruppelt had reviewed.  The reports do not represent unusual objects of high strangeness as many UFO reports do.  Several submarine contacts reported to the Navy or Coast Guard by merchant ships or civilians did contain reports which could be considered of high strangeness.

The Navy has maintained, much like air and space defense systems, an extensive submarine detection system which has been little discussed publicly. The Soviets and other nations operated a highly active intelligence gathering system utilizing submarines during the Cold War.  Such activities and submarines as covert weapons platforms continue right up to this day.

Sources:  Director of Naval Intelligence, Report of Submarine Contacts, 11 March, 1952
Director of Naval Intelligence, Report of Submarine Contacts, 10 April, 1952

1952 - March - 1900R - Approximately 3 miles off the SE coast
of Cuba near Punta Irmia

USS Isherwood DD-520 December, 1959, location unknown  

USS Isherwood DD-520, December, 1959
Click photo for additional images

Radar personnel USS Isherwood, DD-520


"Radar Contact disappeared at Punta Irmia.  Did not merge with coast line."
OPNAV Evaluation: Doubtful Sub, Index #509.

Sources:  Director of Naval Intelligence: Report of Submarine Contacts, 10 April 1952

1952 - March - Between 3:00-4:00 a.m. - Barbers Point Naval
Air Station, TH (Territory of Hawaii) - Google Map

1952 March  Barbers Point Naval Air Station, Oahau, Hawaii (at the time Territory of Hawaii (TH)  drawing by James Kuenzle  

UFO over Barbers Point NAS, Oahu, Hawaii, drawn by witness James Kuenzle

James Kuenzle and other seamen on watch


Saucer-shaped bright object hovering 150 feet over air strip.  Object was circular with flat bottom, tapered sides, and dome on top glowed with bright blue-white light, about 50 feet in diameter.  After 3 minutes moved out to sea at high speed.

Source:  Skylook

1952 - 14 March - Night - Between Pearl Harbor and Guam

Pilots on two Navy aircraft, one carrying Secretary of the Navy Dan Kimball, and the other Chief of Office Naval Research, Admiral Arthur Radford


2 disc-shaped objects approached at high speed, estimated at 1500-2000 mph, circled Kimball's plane twice and left to the E. Radford's plane about 50 miles behind also encountered the discs that circled the plane and departed.  The UFOs had covered the 50 miles in about 2 minutes.  Neither Kimball nor Radford viewed the UFOs.

Source: Kimball publicly revealed his report to officers and air cadets at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, Boston (MA) Traveler, 5 May, 1952
Confirmed by Captain Walter Karig, Special Deputy to Chief of Information, U. S. Navy writing in The American Weekly, 22 November, 1953, "Operation UFO".

1952 - 14 April - 6:34 P. M. - US Naval Air Range Station, Memphis,
Tennessee - Google Map

LT JG Blacky
LT JG O'Neil


They were flying on 18 degree (NNE) heading at 2000 feet over the Range Station when they observed the object to their left, below the overcast at 4200 feet.  An object about three feet in diameter and a foot high with the likeness of an "inverted bowl" sped by the pilots.  It was a peculiar glowing red object that passed their plane only 100 feet away.  In addition to the bowl-like appearance it appeared to have "….slots running vertically from the top to the bottom."  Duration was about 50 seconds.

Sources:  Gross, 1952
Project Blue Book # 1112

1952 - 20 April - 2115-2240 EST Flint, MI - Google Map

Naval Aviation Cadet Kohut and wife, and several others


At a drive-in movie about 20 groups of 2 to 9 aircraft-shaped objects enveloped in a cherry red glow flying in a straight line except for two groups which changed direction.

Source: Project Blue Book Special Report #14: Unknown
Project Blue Book Case #: Possibly birds.

1952 - Early May - Willow Grove Naval Air Station, PA - Google Map

Illustration of UFO Radar targets by Lt Featherstone

UFO on Radar displays as drawn by radar operator Lt. Featherstone

LT Thomas A. Featherstone, USN operating GCA radar in the first director's position


Awaiting an inbound plane a target was noticed near center of scope.  By first sweep it had advanced near 5 miles by 4th sweep object sped out of 10 mile scope limit.  Radar operates at 32 RPM yielding a speed about 3600 mph.

Another target detected next morning.  Weather for both contacts bad, ceiling 250 ft less than 1 mile visibility.

Source: Interview with Major Dewey Fournet, Unclassified Operation Interloper Incident #28.

1952 - Mid-May - About 3:00-3:45 a.m. off Korean coast in
Sea of Japan - Google Map

USS Valley Forge CV-45 1951 

USS Valley Forge CV-45 at sea, 1951
Click photo for additional images

LT James R. Boulware, operation officer
RNSN J. W. Bashaw USS Valley Forge, CV-45


2 or 3 objects picked up on radar, also observed through binoculars. “At first at a fairly low altitude.  Then they zoomed up high and seemed to seemed to stay stationary.”  They were about as bright as the North star.  Boulware lost interest and went to bed so departure was not noticed,

Source: Pacific "Stars and Stripes", 18 February, 1953

1952 - 29 May - 1700 hours - off Florida Keys - Google Map

USS Oriskany CVA-34 off Southern California 27 January, 1955  

USS Oriskany CVA-34, 27 January, 1955
Click photo for additional images

Vickers Electronic Division Field Representative Engineer
Radar officer, USS Oriskany, CV-34, (redesignated "Attack Aircraft Carrier" CVA-34, 1 Oct, 1952)


Aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany, CV-34 (Commanded by Captain J. O. Lambrecht) enroute from Norfolk, Virginia to Guantanamo, Cuba.  The radar officer came out from the radar room and said there were two "saucers" in the sky.  The Vickers Representative was standing beside the ship's telescope, on the starboard side of the navigation deck.  He immediately looked at the objects in the sky through the telescope.  They were elliptical in shape with what appeared to be a ""bubble top", at an estimated altitude of 10,000 to 15,000 feet flying in a front formation.  Each object was leaving a white trail.  No propulsion system was observed.

Sources: Office of Special Investigation, USAF report 13 June, 1952
Project Blue Book files

1952 - June - Day - Tombstone, Arizona - Google Map

Lt Cdr. John D, Williams and his wife


Object like a domed disc observed to make sharp turns at "unbelievable speeds."

“The day was hot and clear, except for scattered clouds,” Williams reported.  “It was about 6:30 p.m., and the sun was still fairly high.  My wife and one of our guests were watching the sunset reflections on Cochise's Hide-Out, north across the valley, when they sighted a strange object flying toward Tombstone from the direction of Tucson.

“My wife called the rest of us and we were amazed to see this huge, circular object in level flight somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 feet.”  (This estimate is based on the height of the clouds.)

“Suddenly,” Williams said, “the UFO stopped in mid-flight.” It hovered, oscillating or tilting from side to side for several moments.  Then it reversed its direction and retraced its course.

“Two times, it repeated this performance,” Williams told NICAP.  “There was no noise whatever.  We saw no lights, nor any evidence of a jet stream or exhaust.”  As the object hovered, Williams and his guests could distinctly see the shape of the strange machine.

“It looked like two saucers, one inverted on top of the other,” Williams described it.  “I estimated the diameter to be at least three hundred feet – though it could have been greater depending on the altitude.

“ It left at a slight climbing angle,” said Williams.  “Its speed was unbelievable.  It headed northwest toward Tucson, diminishing to a tiny speck and then vanishing, in about four seconds.””

   — Keyhoe, Donald. Flying Saucers: Top Secret. G.P. Putnam's Sons: New York, 1960.  pp.47-48.

Sources:  Hall II
Keyhoe IV

1952 - Summer or Fall - Day - Flying towards San Diego, Ca.

LT C. A. Johnson, flight leader of 4 Corsairs from VC-3 squadron.


While flying to San Diego for a qualification cruise on the USS Valley Forge, the flight leader tried to alert his flight to a rapidly approaching aircraft.  When it came closer, he saw that it was heading for his group on the opposite course and below.  It was flying so fast that it had passed by before he could call out a warning. The object was clam-shaped, 30 feet in diameter, with a dull aluminum finish, and no visible means of propulsion.  The other pilots did not see the object and had no comments.

Source:  Naval Aviation News, February 1953:

1952 - NLT June 6 - Time unknown - Boca Chica Naval Air Station,
Florida - Google Map



  – TWX from Ed Ruppelt, Project Blue Book to Major Fournet, at Air Force Intelligence, the Pentagon.


Project 1947 Comment:  No further information in Project Blue Book files.  Newspaper archives currently online do not have the story.  We are awaiting posting of more Florida newspapers from this era.

Source:   Project Blue Book files.

1952 - 20 June - 1503I - CT 0909 Grid area - Korea

Vought Corsair F4U-4B  
Vought F4U-4B Corsair

Captain Bobbie Foster, USMCR
Captain Richard Francisco, USMCR
Captain Teddy L. Pittman, USMCR
Captain Ronnie A. McDonald, USMCR
Flying Corsair F4U4-Bs at about 5300 feet


The pilots observed an oval-shaped, white or silver colored object from 10 to 20 feet in diameter with no vapor trails or exhaust approaching from the south.  The object made a complete left hand orbit and headed away in an easterly direction.  Object was at approximately 4000 feet and about 2 miles away from the aircraft.  One pilot made an attempt to dive at the object but was outdistanced.  Pilots and information considered A-1 by FEAF Intelligence.  They had flown an average of 44 combat missions.

Source:  Haines I
Project Blue Book #1313

1952 - 22 June - 10:45 p.m. - K-6 air base, Pyungthek, Korea
(Now USAG Humphreys, Pyeongtaek, Korea) - Google Map

Two Marine Sargeants
From operations office


An orange object about 4 feet in diameter dived towards the runway from the north from a height of 800 feet down to 100 feet altitude where it reached the west end of the runway and leveled off.  There were red flames shooting 2-5 feet from the rear of the object.  It headed west for about a quarter of a mile then hovered briefly over some hills nearby.  It then circled in a 180-degree turn to the right spending about 45 to 60 seconds in the turn.  Then it emitted a bright flash and headed off in an easterly direction.  A second flash was followed by complete darkness.  There was no sound.  No moon that night.

Source:  Hynek II, pages 82-82
Project Blue Book #1323, conclusion: Unknown

1952 - 14 July - 9:30 a.m. - Washington, D. C. - Google Map

Eight employees of the Naval Gun Factory


“Another significant Washington D.C. sighting in July occurred on the 14th at 9:30 in the morning.  A total of eight witnesses watched all or part of the passage of what could only be called flying saucers.  In broad daylight three objects in triangular formation swept through an arc of 75 degrees and disappeared in the haze along the horizon to the southeast.  They were shining chrome-like ovals clearly discernible against the blue sky.  The employees of a Naval gun factory on the outskirts of Washington D.C. observed the flyby and excited by the incident, continued to stand watch.  Within five ainutes a pair of similar objects raced out of the southwest, zipping along on a reciprocal heading.  The two were in an in-line formation and were flying in a vertical position.  These last two were visible for 35 seconds until they were obscured by the factory's smokestack.”

Source:  Gross 1952

1952 - 14 July - about 8:10 p.m. EST - over Newport News, VA
- Google Map

Pan American Airways DC-4
Pan American Airways DC-4 as flown by Nash and Fortenberry

FO William B Nash (LTJG, USNR)
SO William Fortenberry
PAA flight to Miami


6 discs flew below airliner, executed sharp turn in formation, sped away joined by two more discs.

Source:  Hall II, pp 35, 38-39
Gross, 1952
The Nash/Fortenberry Sighting Revisited by Thomas Tulien:
Nash, William B. and Fortenberry, William H.  “We Flew Above Flying Saucers.”  True Magazine, October 1952: p. 65, 110-112.
(Asked if the editors of True Magazine edited the article, Nash said they printed it word for word except for changing the word "attitude" to "altitude.")
Nash, William B., 2002.  Interviewed by Thomas Tulien and Jan Aldrich, January 4, (Sign Oral History Project).

1952 - 14 July - about 9:00 p. m. EDT - Norfolk, VA - Google Map

USS Roanoke CL-145 early 1950s

USS Roanoke CL-145 at sea early 1950s
Click photo for additional images

Naval officer, not identifed, assigned to the USS Roanoke docked at Norfolk,


Driving inside the base, he saw 8 objects in a line headed toward Point Comfort.  "Let me put it this way: I did see eight objects streaking across the sky on the night the airline pilots reported seeing 'flying saucers.'  I can't explain them: can you?"

Source: Norfolk, VA, Virginan-Pilot, 17 July, 1952
Norfolk, VA, Virginan-Pilot, 20 July, 1952 (letter to the editor with the officer's
personal account, but name removed.)

1952 - 16 July - Night - Off Lahaina, Maui, TH - Google Map

USS Bugara SS-331 in 1962 

USS Bugara SS-331 at sea July, 1962
Click photo for additional images

Crew members USS Bugara, SS-331


White-reddish oval disc observed through binoculars.  The colors varied as it moved across the sky.

Source: Project Blue Book Case #
Ruppelt 1952: Unidentified
Honolulu, HI, Star-Bulletin 12 Nov, 1952

1952 - 21-22 July - Night - near Washington, D. C. - Google Map

Navy jets from Anacostia Naval Air Station, VA


News reports said jets were sent up to investigate.  Andrews AFB was closed. USAF aircraft were sent in from New Castle, DE.  No official documents confirm Navy involvement.

Source: Washington (DC) The Washington Daily News 23 July, 1952
Gross, 1952

1952 - 22 July - Night - Boston, MA - Google Map

USMC Master Sergeant (unnamed but known to Boston Globe journalist, Hy Hurwitz. who served with him in the Pacific during WWII)


Unable to sleep due to heat he saw 2 luminous globes roughly over the Boston Navy Yard.  They appeared larger than Venus.  All of sudden, one moved rapidly downward.  Then it swept through the sky in the direction of Newton.  A few seconds later the other did the same.

Source: Boston (MA) Evening Globe 23 July 1952
Gross, 1952

1952 - 22 July - 11 p.m. - Key West, FL - Google Map

Naval officer (unnamed) and
John and Helen Lorrette,
Willis Alfopab and others


Fireball traveling “at a terrific rate of speed” from the Gulf of Mexico. Navy officer said it started and stopped several times.  W. W. Jackson, Executive Officer at Boca Chica NAS said Navy was investigating.

Source: Miami Herald (FL) 25 July, 1952

1952 - 22-23 July - 2:15 a.m. EDT - Nahant Coast Guard Station, MA
- Google Map

Former US Coast Guard Station Nahant  

Former USCG Station Nahant, Massachusetts
Click photo for additional information

Seaman Henry Armpriester


2 bluish lights about 5 feet in diameter flat, disc-shaped with no aerodynamic features, no exhaust.  Speed faster than a 4-engined airliner at an altitude of 1,100 to 2000 feet.  Circled base.

Source: Hall II
Project Blue Book Case #
Spot Report AFOSI Detachment B, 1st District OSI, Boston, MA

1952 - 23 July - 7:36 a.m. - Jamestown, RI - Google Map

USN radar personnel
USAF Air Defense radar at Camp Hero, NY


Radar tracked a high speed target heading N at 42,000 ft.  F-94s and F-86s scrambled unsuccessfully

Source:  Gross, 1952

1952 - 26 July - 0533Z - Norfolk Ocean Base (NOB), Virginia - Google Map

NOB radar personnel


At 0052 EST, Navy radar at Norfolk Ocean Base (36°54' N, 76°18' W) stated they had detected four objects which seemed stationary for only four minutes.


There is no indication that the Air Force followed up on the Norfolk radar contact.  This was the time of the famous Washington "Merry-go-around" sightings, when UFOs were being reported and tracked over the nation's capital.  Dr Michael Swords characterized the official response to these events thusly:  “The Air Force was completely overwhelmed by the task of sorting things out and did a poor and very fragmentary job of doing so *ndash; concentrating nearly exclusively on the radar returns....”

To explain the context for the general area in which the Norfolk Ocean Base radar contact occurred, here are the details of the series of messages reporting it: (Pdf copies of the documents are linked below).

0030 EST (0530 Zulu or Greenwich Mean Time)  Approximately 1500 feet over James River Bridge, Newport News, VA a luminous rotating blue-colored flying object was sighted visually from the weather station on the roof of the Daily Press newspaper building, 215-17 25th Street, Newport News, VA, by William W. Parkinson, Jr.  Object “resembled a rotating mirror chandelier.” (1 and 3)

0033 EST (0533Z)  At least four objects sighted possibly in a Victor ("V") formation.  No aerodynamic features, trail, exhaust, propulsion system, speed or sound reported.  Visual report from the ground. (2)

(First report from a civilian, other reports from Naval radar, Langley AFB tower, and USAF fighter pilots.) (2)

0052 EST (0552Z)  Navy radar at NOB stated they detected four objects which seemed stationary for only four minutes. (1 and 2)

0120 EST (0620Z)  A sighting was made at Langley Air Force Base control tower by SSG Howard A. Anderson and Airman 2d class Glenn T. McCall of a bluish colored object moving WSW of the tower, bearing 240 degrees at ten miles distance from the tower.  The object moved straight up and disappeared at approximately 5000 feet.  Duration was five or six seconds.  The object resembled a lighted cotton ball. (1, 2, and 3)

0125 EST (0625Z)  Two F-94's were dispatched from the Salisbury ADIZ [Air Defense Identification Zone], Fort Curtis, VA and made radar contact with four objects at 10,000 feet in Victor formation for two minutes. (3)

0130 EST (0630Z)  Object at Newport News moved slowly over a ball park at 39th Street, Newport News, VA at an approximate altitude of approximately 5000 feet and the color changed from red to white to green.  About 10 to 20 people at the News Press observed the object during the two hours and fifteen minutes duration (1)

[The 0033 EST entry seems erroneous.]

Here is a note from Capt. Edward Ruppelt's notebook:  “26 July 1952 - Newport News, Virginia.  At 0015 EST (0515Z) civilians called the tower at Langley AFB and reported seeing a luminous light which rotated and gave off alternating colors.  The tower could see the object and alerted an F-94 that was in the area.  The F-94 could not get a 'visual' on anything but did get several radar pickups on a target that could not close on due to its high speed.”

Ruppelt's comment: “This is damn good because it took place during or shortly after the Washington affair.”

Project 1947 comment: As Dr. Swords noted, the sightings around Washington, D. C. were poorly investigated.  The foregoing illustrates this point.  Some context can be gained for the apparent low level of official interest in this sighting during the highly publicized Washington area flap from this timeline:

While this document is an update of earlier chronologies, it will be revised further in due course.

Langley Air Force Base also reported two additional sightings at 1450 EST 26 July.

1.  Message 261930Z July 1952 from CO, 771 ACW Sqdn, [Air Control and Warning Squadron], Fort Eutis, VA, No subject.
2.  Message with same header but is probably a retransmission with more information.
3.  Air Intelligence Information Report, AF Form 112, Dated 30 July 1952, AF Serial Number AF 483997
(1, 2, and 3 Project Blue Book files.)
Swords, Michael, Robert Powell et al. UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry.  2012, San Antonio, TX, page 154.
Ruppelt's personal papers.

1952 - 26 July - 8:15 p.m. - Boca Chica Naval Air Station, FL
- Google Map

USS Greenwood DE-679  

USS Greenwood, DE-679, destroyer escort, a training ship at
the Fleet Sonar School at the time of the sighting.

Click photo for additional images

Large numbers of sailors watching a movie


A soundless “faster than sound” object, 10 foot long, white in color traveling N to S. Officials were “non-committal.” The newspapers reported that USS Greenwood dispatched to investigate.  Ship's log indicates move to check a contact.  (Type not stated and no results reported.)

Source: Miami Herald (FL)) 31 July, 1952
USS Greenwood Ship’s log

1952 - 26 July - (approximate date determined from personnel
records) - 9:00 p.m. Delaware Bay near Cape May to 20
miles over the ocean - Google Map

U.S. Navy Douglas F3D-2 Skyknight
U.S. Navy Douglas F3D-2 Skyknight

AT3 Ralph E. Stephenson APQ-35 radar operator on F3D assigned to Composite Squadron 4 VS-4, Atlantic City Naval Air Station, NJ


Under alert sent South over Delaware Bay closed on flying objects above and just milling around.  The objects were picked up on radar. The objects made a pass. Aircraft climbed to approach objects.  The objects were above and fading out.  Objects flew in formation, sometimes making right-angle turns in a gradual manner.  When flight returned to base, they were debriefed by an Air Force officer.

Source: Investigative report in CUFOS files, 1978

1952 - 29 July - Night - Miami, FL - Google Map

PFC Ralph C. Mayher, USMC photographer, assigned Marine Corps Air Station, Opa-Locka, off duty
Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein, civilians


With a 16mm movie camera, Mayher shot 40 feet of film of a yellowish, high, fast moving object.  It was hard to keep the object in the view finder, so only a few frames show the object.  Film was developed at Reela Films and eventually turned over to USAF.  Years later the film was returned to Mayher.

In 1954 Mayher wrote about his film in a photography magazine, "PIC."  He signed an exclusive agreement with the magazine which gave them sole rights to the copies of the film he had retained.  Much later Mayher was interviewed by the CIA about his film.

Source: Hall II
Miami Herald (FL), 31 July, 1952
Mayher, Ralph C., “I Proved Flying Saucers Are Real.”
PIC Magazine, July, 1954 p. 12-15, 66-67
Miami News (FL), 31 July, 1952
Letter from Ralph C. Mayher to PAA Capt William B Nash, 5 March, 1954
Cleveland, OH Plain Dealer, 4 April, 1954

1952 - 29 July - Night - Miami Beach, FL - Google Map

LCDR Joe Gardner, pilot
LT Joe Mills, co-pilot
LT I. M. Blum all Navy, flying at the time


3 pilots saw object supposedly same time as PFC Mayher was filming his UFO.  Gardner and Mills described greenish and reddish variation.  Blum said it was deep blue.

Source: Miami Herald (FL),  31 July, 1952
"PIC" Magazine July, 1954

1952 - August - Exact date unknown - 3:30 p.m., Skylight Mountain,
Washington County, Arkansas - Google Map

Chief Petty Officer, stationed at Naval Communication Station, Washington, D. C. and another witness not identified


An object that looked like two saucers glued together, one inverted over the other.  Silver, "shiny like a new tin building or even brighter."  It moved into and out of a cloud bank several times.  "From a hover to a speed a that took it through five mile circles in five seconds."   A photograph was taken, but turned out poorly.  No protrusions or exhaust visible.

Source:  Hynek II, page 106-107

1952 - 5 August - 12:40 a.m. - Electric Boat, New London,
Connecticut - Google Map

Frank Pollock, wet dock morning shift
Warren Schultz, driller
2 other unnamed men


Just after beginning work Pollock saw an object rising "like a rocket" in the northern sky.  It moved rapidly south and passed right over head and disappeared "in a split second."  The object glowed steady white against the darkly cloudy sky.  Only in the east did the moon lighten the clouds at the time.  At first it appeared about the size dinner plate, but as it passed overhead it appeared bigger.  It was gone before he could call other's attention to it.  Its shape was "oblong with the edges feathered somewhat as side rays showed when looking direct at the light."  There was a streak stretching behind it, about four or five times as long as the main diameter of the oblong.

PROJECT 1947 Comment: At the time General Dynamics Electric Boat was starting work on the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus.  Employees there recalled that Navy security personnel were everywhere and questioned people about anything unusual.

Source:  New London, Connecticut The Day, 5 August, 1952

1952 - 6-7 August - Night - Port Lyautey, French Morocco - Google Map

3 Naval Officer, pilots flying and Tower personnel


Brilliant white light, leaving a smoke trail, traveling fast in straight level flight, then went vertically upward to 15,000 ft at high speed.  Tower then saw object also.  Object then hovered, started to move again. Pilots quit the chase due to object's high speed

Source: Project Blue Book Case# - Balloon
Hynek/CUFOS reevaluation: NL

1952 - 8 August - 10:30 p.m. - Miami, Florida - Google Map

2 Marines from Masters Field


"….declared they have seen an orange-colored flying object in the air over Miami Beach about 10:30 in the evening."


Source:  Miami Florida, Miami News 10 August, 1952 Gross, 1952

1952 - 10 August - 9:45 p.m. - Japan - Google Map

USMC Major, 10 years experience, flying on duty


Object spiraling downward from 8000 to 1500 feet, then hovering before abruptly vanishing.  Attempted interception, with negative results.  Could not get UFO on radar.

Source: Project Blue Book Case # - Unidentified
Hynek/CUFOS reevaluation: NL

1952 - 14 August - Several miles east of "Bunker Hill" in enemy
territory, Korea - Google Map

2LT Paul D. Mahoney and all but one man of his patrol from
the 1st Marine Division


A very thin round object, light in color but not very shiny seen "east of the moon" while on patrol.  The saucer-like object hung there for a few minutes, then it veered sharply and the patrol lost sight of it.

Source: Peoria, IL  STAR, 15 Aug, 52

1952 - 22 August - 9:12 to 10:25 p.m. - Los Altos, CA - Google Map

LCDR Henry P. Jorda, pilot, his wife, and a neighbor


7 large bright lights traveling at an estimated speed of 1000 mph at an estimated altitude of 30,000 ft above Mountain View, CA.  Reported to Moffett Field.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune, (CA)
Letter from mother-in-law in New Zealand to SGT Harold Fulton, RNZAF, and Civilian Saucer Investigation, NZ in 1952

1952 - 23 August - 4:10 am - Akron, OH - Google Map

2LT H. K. Funseth, USAF ground radar observation
2 Navy men


A pulsing amber light flying straight and level

Source: Project blue Book Case #1956 (Berliner) - Unidentified

1952 - 29 August - About 3 p.m. - Greenland - Google Map

US Navy P4B-Y2 Privateer VP-23, Patrol Squadron 23, as flown by LT Callahan    

US Navy P4B-Y2 Privateer VP-23, Patrol Squadron 23,
as flown by LT Callahan

LT. John Callahan Patrol Squadron 23, flying a P4B-Y2 Privateer, Thule detachment
LT (jg) William O'Flaherty, co-pilot
and Merchant (not further identified) aircraft commander


“Three bright silver discs” seen by pilot Callahan tracking a NY University balloon for 30 seconds.  Formed into a “compact vee”, banked to the left, and accelerated out of sight at “blinding speed” in less than three seconds. 

Source: Omaha, NE World Herald 18 Oct, 1952 based on official Navy statement
Keyhoe II – Listed location as North Atlantic

1952 - About September - Pre-dawn - Korea

Major Henry Covington and several members of his squadron.


In the pre-dawn hours they watched as an object maneuvered at 2,000 feet for between 15 and 20 minutes.

Source:  Charlotte (North Carolina) Charlotte News, December 5, 1966

1952 - 14 September - Atlantic between Ireland and Iceland

NATO Naval Exercise Operation MAINBRACE


Military personnel from several countries aboard ships, reports include a blue-green object flying at 1500 mph and 3 objects in formation giving off white light exhaust.

Source: Project Blue Book Case #2087 (from Berliner)

1952 - 16 September - over Task Force 77 - Off the Korean coast

US Navy Grumman F9F-2B Flying CAP over Task Force 77 1 August, 1952  

US Navy Grumman F9F-2B Panther over Task Force 77, 1 August, 1952

 USS Princeton  CV-37 replenishment underway with USS Ashtabula (AO-51) 30 Sep 1952  

USS Princeton CV-37 during underway replenishment with
USS Ashtabula (AO-51) off Korea, 30 September, 1952

Click photo for additional images

C. B. Scott Jones piloting an F9F-2B Panther BuNo #122583 on Combat Air Patrol (CAP)


Returning to the USS Princeton, CV-37 after CAP, pilot rolled into a split-S to descend to a lower altitude from about 30,000 feet.  He spotted a silver disc directly overhead.  After he completed his roll, he tried to spot it again but it had disappeared, or perhaps it was only a reflection of the sun on the top of the canopy.  He asked USS Princeton if they had anything on radar.  No radar target.  He tried to get into position to recreate the same "sun reflection" possibility but was unable to.

Photocopy of his war diary states, "CAP spotted silver bogie over the force just as we were relieved.  No radar contact of bogie"

Source:  Letter from Jones to Dr. Richard Haines
Haines I

1952 - 16 September - 2000hrs local time - near Portland, ME
- Google Map

US Navy P2V-5 Neptune in 1952  

US Navy P2V-5 Neptune

Navy P2V Neptune crew


P2-V and two UFOs flying at 4000 feet altitude. One elongated black out-lined cigar-shaped object and a group of bright white or yellow lights.  Both UFOs traveled on a parallel path. As aircraft approached object sped up to 300 mph.  Radar showed a line not a “pip” 3 miles distant.

Source: Haines, II p146
Project Blue Book Case #2099: Aerial refueling

1952 - 19 September - Day - between Ireland and Iceland

USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) underway circa 1950-51 

USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVB-42
Click photo for additional images

One of three UFO pictures taken by Wallace Litwin

One of three UFO photos taken by newspaper photographer
Wallace Litwin aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wallace Litwin, reporter aboard USS Franklin D Roosevelt during Operation MAINBRACE


3 color photographs of a large silver object moving rapidly above the fleet.

Source: Project Blue Book Case # - US Navy possibly balloon, USAF possibly balloon
Hall II, page 88-89

1952 - 25 (approx) October - Night - vicinity of the Marshall Islands
(During Operation Ivy) - Google Map

USS Curtiss (AV-4) underway at San Diego, circa 1956.   

USS Curtiss AV-4 underway at San Diego, circa 1956
Click photo for additional images
Tom Kramer and other sailors stowing benches used to show outdoor movie on the USS Curtiss, AV-4


On the USS Curtiss after a movie had been shown, detail noticed a strange object in the sky which was round, bright white and made no sound.  It appeared to be about as big as a dime held at arm's length.  The object was almost motionless at first, then it zigged in one direction and zagged in another for a short distance after which it took off at great speed.  Kramer was not debriefed, nor anyone else he knew, although the sighting was the talk of the crew.

Source:  Hastings, Robert, UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, Author House, Bloomington, IN, 2008, page 2008, pp. 90-91

1952 - 25 (approx) October - Night - vicinity of the Marshall Islands
(During Operation Ivy) - Google Map

USS Fletcher DDE-445 Location Unknown 1950  

USS Fletcher DDE-445, location unknown, 1950
Click photo for additional images


Operation Ivy, "Mike" shot fired on Enewetak on October 31, 1952
Click photo for additional images

Abelardo "Abe" Marquez, seaman apprentice, going on watch aboard the USS Fletcher, DD-445, and others on watch.


Abe Marquez was coming on watch on the port side when some sailors pointed to a light in the sky.  He went to his station and was told by the man he'd' relieved to watch the unusual light.  It appeared to be coming down and getting larger and larger.  When it stopped, it was about the size of a dime at arm's length.  It was at elevation of about 40 to 45 degrees.  The sky was clear, the sea calm, but the Fletcher was underway and steaming fast.  The Captain was on the bridge in his bathrobe.  The object was at a relative bearing of 220 degrees, off the port side to the stern.  After about 4 or 5 minutes the light took off straight up at about the same speed it had descended, appearing smaller and smaller until it disappeared.  Marquez and his fellows on the watch were not debriefed.

Captain Grover L. Rawlings, USN Retired, the Fletcher's Captain at the time of the incident said he had no recollection of such an incident.  Commander Robert McCurley, USN, Retired, an Ensign on the Fletcher at this time told Dan Wilson that there was no mention of the event in the ship's log.

Source:  Hastings, Robert, UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites, Author House, Bloomington, IN, 2008, page 2008, pp. 91-95

1952 - 16 November - 6:38 p.m. - Naval Communication Station,
            Imperial Beach, CA - Google Map

Carl Crittenden, Asst Supervisor Security and Parks (no further identification)


Both men observed yellow sphere hovering in the air for 3 minutes, before it zoomed out to sea.  Observed from lookout tower.  Later Parks on foot saw it again and radioed Crittenden, who also saw it moving above the wave tops.

Source: Project Blue Book Case #
“Incident Report” by LCDR J. T. Rugh, Jr. Nav Com Sta, Imperial Beach, CA, 20 Nov, 52
Gross, 1952

1952 - 17 December - 3:15 p.m. - Navy Electronics Laboratory,
            San Diego, CA - Google Map

C. F. Althouse, Electronic Scientist
Nate Waddington, Electronic Mechanic
N. C. Kelly, Electronic Mechanic
H. W. Volberg, Electronic Scientist


2 white lights at a low altitude over San Diego.  One dropped down and was lost from sight from the mask of the ground.  The other continued N, then head toward the mountains.

Source: Project Blue Book Case #
Special Inquiry, by Col. Arthur T. Cameron, AFOSI, Maywood, CA, 19 Feb, 1953
Gross, 1952

Late 1952 or early 1953 - Not quite dark - At sea off Key West, Florida
- Google Map

Donald L. Merriman, OOD 2000-2400 watch
Other members of the watch and ship's officers


Heading north towards Newport, Rhode Island, a light appeared on the right side and went to the left “in a perfect horizontal plane, and it disappeared across the horizon to the left.”  It was the opinion of the officers that it was not a meteor.  Merriman logged it in the ship’s log, and the Captain was informed.  After they arrived at Newport, one of the crew received a copy of a Key West newspaper in the mail which told of a similar phenomenon that was seen at an outdoor movie in Key West approximately 200 miles away from the location of the ship's sighting.

Source: "The A.P.R.O. Bulletin," December, 1978, pp. 5-6

1953 - On deployment - USS Franklin D. Roosevelt

USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVB-42 underway, November_1952.jpg  

USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVB-42 underway Novermber, 1952
Click photo for additional images

CDR William H. “Boots” Pierce, Retired


“In fact, the FDR's log will show a UFO sighting during 1953 when we took her to the Med, both a visual from the bridge and on CIC's radars.  It was an interesting thing of which I was a part.”

Source: USS Franklin D. Roosevelt/Chester Grusinski file, Keyhoe Archives

1953 - Atlantic Ocean

AD-4_of_VA-75_USS_Bon_Homme_Richard_(CV-31) off Korea 1952

Douglas AD-4 Skyraider of Attack Squadron VA-75 taking off
from USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31), off Korea, 1952


AD-4 Skyraider Squadron, VA-75 assigned either to the CAV 31, Bon Homme Richard or CAV-20, Bennington


During off-shore maneuvers, a rocket-shaped UFO swooped down to about 1000 feet above the squadron, matching speed.  When pursued, it turned sharply so its tail pointed away and shot upward out of sight in a few seconds.

A "Hidden" NICAP/Keyhoe report.

Source: Report obtained by Adm Fahrney and Lou Corbin and later confirmed to Donald Keyhoe by Naval officers in the Pentagon.  Report lost with NICAP/Keyhoe confidential files.
Keyhoe IV, Hall I, page 31. Additional details found by Dan Wilson, NICAP

This Navy Skyraider case is somewhat similar to this Air Force B-47 bomber encounter in 1954.
See also: Navy report of July 27, 1955 for similar UFO description.

1953 - About noon - US Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland
- Google Map

Yeoman J. Gloria Silva, USNR WAVES, on Active Duty for Training and about 500 others waiting in the chow line.



3 solid revolving objects with spinning rings around the center section.  Rings appeared detached with friction side toward the center.  The silvery metallic objects were brighter than the background sky.  She could see the space between the ring and the central section.  A glow on the friction side though red had no blurring of the outline.

“Objects were seen by about 500 people because of faint whooshing sound as they appeared directly overhead at about 1000 feet altitude.  Flying V-formation at approximately 500 mph.  Changed angle or heading and shot straight up and disappeared.  No change of shaped noted.  No trail only fuzzy glow of red on the inner side of the revolving rings.  In view for about 5 seconds.”

Source: NICAP report formed dated 17 July, 1967

1953 - 8:00-12:00 p.m. watch - Key West Naval Air Station, Florida
(Now Boca Chica Field) - Google Map

Thomas H. Smith, Aviation Electronics Technician
Guard on the adjacent post
Duty Officer


About 11:00 p. m., while on guard at the runway with parked aircraft, looking to the north, a white light was seen to appear from over the horizon to a position at 30 degrees elevation and come to a dead stop.  The light looked like an aircraft light except that it was stationary.  There was no sound and the speed of the approach was "phenomenal."

While observing the object it changed color from white, to red, to green, to blue, and back to white.  Then it moved rapidly to the observer's right, and another light appeared on the horizon and moved to the original position of the first light.  The first light moved down to the horizon and disappeared.  The second one moved over to the other's position and another light appeared.  After this, other lights appeared and disappeared with no set pattern as to color, direction of movement.  There were no more than three light visible at one time.  They were at different altitudes, some changed colors, some remained white, and some went in different directions.  There was no sound, and when the lights moved it was at tremendous speed.

After watching this display for fifteen to twenty minutes, Smith called the guard on the adjacent post to watch the lights.  The duty officer was informed and he confirmed their presence.  He watched the lights then shrugged his shoulders and admitted he had no idea what they were.  Smith did not know whether an official report was made.

The color change was very definite and vivid, not like stars sometimes appear to change color as they scintillate.  The lights were like aircraft lights, not like stars.  There was a blimp squadron assigned on base there at the time, but the movements were nothing like blimps and there was no sound.  Other explanation including experiments at Cape Canaveral were considered but did not fit the observation. The movement of the lights seemed deliberate.

Source:  Letter to Edward J. Ruppelt, 12 January 1959, Ruppelt's papers.

1953 - January - Near San Angelo, Texas - Google Map

Glenn Hovland
Vern Baumgartner, both working for Wizen Research as airborne balloon trackers.
Unnamed ground crew.


Objects observed from aircraft and also from ground.  No report made.  NFIA.

Source:  Two separate USAF UFO report forms filled out by Hovland and Baumgartner concerning a UFO filming near Tuscaloosa, Alabama on 1 February, 1954

1953 - 28 January - 1:06 p.m. - Offshore S of the Mugu Naval Air Missile
            Training Center - Google Map

R. W. Love, contractor and owner
Mr. Ferrenti
Love Diving Co.


While engaged in retrieving radio controlled drones on a boat 1000 yards offshore, saw an 18-20 inches white flat disc with fuzzy or shimmering edges approach from about 305 azimuth (NW), fly straight and level before overtaking a jet flying around 200 knots in 3 seconds. Passed overhead, disappearing in haze to the E.

Source:  Project Blue Book Case# 2364

1953 - 29 January - Night - El Toro Marine Corps Air Base, CA
- Google Map

Major Harvey N. Patton, USMC “flying all weather fighter”
El Toro Tower personnel
Edward S. Downs, CAA Tower controller at Long Beach, CA


Bright object observed by El Toro tower at about 1000 feet over the field and moving in a westerly direction.  Maj. Patton ordered to chase object.  To his view it appeared as a round amber light.  Chased object for 25 miles until his plane was low on fuel. A few minutes later Downs spotted “an orange object resembling a ball of fire.”  He said the object traveled W at a high rate of speed over the ocean, and disappeared several minutes later.

Source: AP Santa Ana, CA, Jan 29 in Wilmington, DE, Morning News 30 Jan, 1953

1953 - 3 February - North Carolina-Virginia border - Washington, NC
- Google Map

1st LT Ed Balocco flying an F9F Panther
Capt. Thomas W. Riggs, both of VMF-224, Marine Fighter Squadron
Civilian at the North Carolina/Virginia border
Gerald Midget, civilian on the ground
A navy pilot out of Norfolk


An unnamed civilian near the Virginia-North Carolina border called the Navy control tower at Norfolk about a silver object near the ground.  The tower alerted LT Balocco who attempted to find the object for about a half hour.

Over Washington, North Carolina (not Washington, D. C. as reported in some publication) he saw what appeared something like an aircraft with a red light below him.  He was at 20,000 feet and as he looked back he saw the object had climbed vertically 10,000 feet in a matter of seconds.  “The object was the color of white heat and it threw out a red glow behind it.  It had two red lights on the left hand side, bouncing and flashing off the end, encircling an arc.  He seemed to gain on it for a while, but then it dropped from his altitude and disappeared toward the coast.  Lt Balocco dived toward where the object disappeared and saw a flash, but was unable to locate the object again.  He called on other pilots to look for the object.  Capt. Riggs, also from Balocco’s squadron, sighted an object low near the Carolina coast, but he could not definitely identify it.

Similar flashes were reported by a Navy pilot and by a civilian, Gerald Midget of Oriental, North Carolina ,who thought the flashes were followed by a ground fire.  Marine helicopters searched the area, but only saw a small forest fire.

Source:  Hall II
Naval Aviation News, April 1953

1953 - 14 March - 11:45 p.m. - N of Hiroshima, Japan - 37°25'N, 132°25'E
            (Sea of Japan) - Google Map

LT. Wooton, pilot
LT. J. S. Rose, co-pilot
LT D. W. Case, navigator
CAPT G E. Truelove
G. F. Delmel, radar operator
R. D Kelly, radar operator
J. Schaefer, radioman
J.L. Chavers
L. B. Brown
G. E. Noiseux


Saw groups of 5-10 colored lights totaling 90-100 slowly move aft of the left side of the aircraft at a range of 3-7 miles.  Unidentified target tracked at 7 mile range by airborne APS-20 radar from 45 deg to 250 deg relative bearing during a P2V-5 aircraft flight.  (One of the 5 cases from 1953 sent to Dr. H. P Robertson by Project Blue Book.)

Source:  Project Blue Book Case # 2496
James E. McDonald's papers

1953 - 29 April - 100-1705 - Enroute to FEAF from San Francisco, CA
            28°14' N, 166°05' W - Google Map

USNS General A. W. Brewster (T-AP-155) underway, date and location unknown    

USNS General A. W. Brewster T-AP-155, date and location unknown
Click photo for additional images

Major Henry L Brown, USAF
2LT Lloyd V. Jan, Army MSC aboard the USNS General A. W. Brewster, T-AP-155


Sighted object about the size and speed of an F-80 jet at 3 o'clock altitude 2000 feet and below the clouds.  Stationary for a few seconds, then turned at right angles toward ship in an arc to 5 o'clock and disappeared through cloud aft of ship.  Its controlled actions were erratic with turns at 90 deg angles and near vertical climbs.

Source: Project Blue Book Case#
Gross, 1953

1953 - 30 April - about 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. - Near Panmunjeom, Korea
- Google Map

Kelley, Paul K. (rank not stated, reporter)
SGT Stichter
Corporal Pregont
and one PFC.
All members of the the S-3 (Operations) section,
1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment,
1st Marine Division


At Changdan waiting for a truck to move the troops to another area, a brilliant white object about the size of a dime at arm’s length was spotted at 80 degrees elevation at 30 degrees in azimuth.  The white was described as “pure white” and brilliant, but unlike an electric light bulb, it did not strain the eyes to watch it.  No protrusions or exhaust trails were seen.  Most of the time the object was stationary, but when it did move it was very rapid.  Some movement involved a 90 degree change of direction with no slackening of speed.  It went from a dead stop to a “fabulously fast” speed and stopped as fast as it started.  The object would “suddenly become very much larger and become three or four times its size.  Later, when it disappeared, it suddenly became very much smaller and finally became so small it disappeared.  When it was becoming larger it seem to be coming closer and when it grew smaller it seemed to be going out and out into space.”

Source:  AF UFO report form executed on 26 July, 1955, in the CUFOS files.

1953 - 10 May - 1240 - Near Oceanside, CA - Google Map

Douglas F3D-2 Skynight of VMF-(AW)542

Douglas F3D-2 Skyknight of VMF(AW) Squadron 542  

Squadron Leader Donald R. Higgin, RAF, on duty with Marine All Weather Squadron 542, El Toro Marine Base, CA, flying F3D2 WH20 heading 240 degrees, speed 300 knots


Flying right wing position on other aircraft observed a dark gunmetal hue delta-winged object with third fin pass over two aircraft on exercise at 22,000 feet.  Object heading 30 degrees at 240 knots. No one else observed UFO.

Source: Project Blue Book Case #: Unidentified

1953 - 1 June - Day - LaGrande, OR, enroute from Seattle, WA,
            to Buckley AFB, CO

Navy pilot Aft 0811 flying at 10,000 ft


Sighted bright metallic-colored triangular object at 18,000 feet. Also observed by airline personnel on the ground through 25 power glass.

Source: FLYOBRPT DA In 289093 20 July, 1953
CIRVIS DA In 289056 20 July, 1953

1953 - 18 July - 9:10 p.m. - Naval Station, Key West, FL - Google Map

2 USN Lieutenants


Sighted a plain, circular, light source of unknown size.  It appeared about 20 degs and moved in a fantastic series of maneuvers, diminished in size and brightness until it reached the zenith where it disappeared.

Source: Project Blue Book Case #
Gross, 1953

1953 - About August - Voice of America ship moored off the Isle of
Rhodes, Greece - Google Map

USCG Courier WAGR-410 Off Rhodes, Greece in 1958  

USCGC Courier WAGR-410 Off Rhodes, Greece, 1958
Click photo for additional images

Leroy S. (Bud) Wenger, Radio technician
Ivan G. Boor, Radio technician
A visiting USAF officer, aboard USCGC Courier WAGR-410


2 dull yellow objects flying low above the horizon for about 15 minutes and then reappeared 15 degs above the horizon behind and between two hills.  Both flying faster than jets, one behind the other, W to E.

(The "Voice of America" radio relay ship, USCGC Courier held the record for longest deployment overseas.  She was stationed off the Island of Rhodes, Greece, from 17 July, 1952, until 13 August, 1964.)

Source: Wenger interview by Capt. William B. Nash, 1954.  Nash's papers.

1953 - 27 August - 1:30 a.m. - Hialeah, Florida - Google Map

Mr. Boyer and his friend, a Navy man visiting on leave.


The 2 men were driving home after getting a newspaper when… “A huge round disc throwing off a weird green light and leaving a trail of green in the sky, dropped down vertically toward them, swerved, curved sharply and flashed back up before it disappeared.”  Mrs. Boyer observed, “I have never seen two men more shaken or disturbed than my husband and his friend…”

Source: Miami, Florida, Miami Herald, 27 August, 1953

1953 - September - South bank of the Savannah River, Savannah, GA
- Google Map

USCG Hamilton WHEC-715

USCGC Hamilton WHEC-715
CWO Williams C. Cumming assigned to USCG cutter Hamilton, WHEC-715


2 green or bluish-green lights near Eastern horizon.  They drew close to each other, then rotated about a common center.  After 6-8 rotations one light departed to the South.  The other light passed overhead to western horizon in a few seconds.

Source: UFO report form sent to George Fawcett.

1953 - 7 September - after 8:00 p.m. - Near Vandalia, Ohio - Google Map

Goodyear FG-1D Corsair

Goodyear/Chance-Vought FG-1D Corsair  

LT (JG) “S. D. S.”, USNR
And his wingman, FG-1D pilots


At about 8 p.m. while flying Indianapolis to Columbus at 4000 feet, witness “noticed a brilliant white flashing light pass directly below us from south to north, traveling extremely fast at about 2000 feet.”  The wingman did not see it.

“After passing beneath us, it pulled up and climbed rapidly out of sight to the north.  The light at 12 o’clock was much like a burning magnesium.”

“Returning from Indianapolis (about 9 p. m.) I was leading the flight.  I noticed the same brilliant light at 12 o’clock high and called my wingman again.  This time he saw it.  It stayed motionless relative to the airplane’s movement for about two minutes, then disappeared.  It reappeared again quickly at 9 o’clock and dove and pulled up ahead of us and climbed out of sight.  At no time were we close enough to see any concrete object or shape.  Both of us were at a loss to explain this phenomenon.”

Source:  Hall II
CRIFO “Orbit”

1953 - 20 November - 4:30 p.m. - Atlantic - 36° 55' N 76° 00' W
- Google Map

Navy Air (TF 41?)


Small silver egg-shaped object moving on Northerly course at estimated 55,000 feet, estimated speed of 1000 mph.  In sight for about 15 minutes.

Source: Project Blue Book Case#
CINCLANT: Rawinsonde balloon via MERINT(?)

1953 - 16 December - about 4:58 to 5:05 p.m. near Agoura, California
- Google Map

Lockheed WV-2 EC-121K - Warning Star 1954  
A Lockheed WV-2 (EC-121K) Warning Star in 1954  


2 Independent groups:

1.  On the ground at Agoura:
Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson, Chief Engineer, Lockheed Aircraft
Corporation (head of the “Skunk Works)
Althea Louise Johnson, wife and former Lockheed employee

2.  Lockheed Aircraft Corporation technical employees engaged in a test flight of a prototype aircraft for the Navy’s Airborne Warning aircraft WV-2, “Warning Star” over the Pacific Ocean:
Roy E. Wimmer, Engineer Test Pilot
Rudy L. Thoren, Chief Flight Test Engineer and co-pilot
Philip A. Colman, Chief Aerodynamics Engineer
Charles Grugan, Flight Engineer
Joseph F. Ware, Jr., Flight Engineer


The Johnsons’ home was about 3 miles west-north-west from Agoura.  At about 4:58 p.m. Johnson and his wife sighted a black ellipse or crescent-shaped object at about 15,000 to the west.  Almost at the same time Lockheed engineers flying a prototype WV-2 aircraft for a Navy contract also sighting the object.  The object took off in a shallow climb and accelerated as it went.  It was estimated that the final velocity might have been as much as 25,000 miles per hour (earth’s escape velocity).  Johnson observed the object with the aid of 8 power binoculars.  Both sets of observers were unaware of each other’s sighting until the next day.  Johnson prepared a report, but decided not to send it to Project Blue Book.  However, Lt. Gen. Putt obtained a copy of Johnson's report and forwarded it to USAF Intelligence at the Pentagon.  The report is in the Project Blue Book files, but required some work to reassemble it.   Joel Carpenter did so and reported his finding in the fall 2001 issue of CUFOS’ “International UFO Reporter” (IUR), Volume 26, Number 3.  The Air Force apparently conducted no further investigation as documented in the Project Blue Book files.

Source:  Project Blue Book files
“IUR,” Vol. 26, No. 3 (2001)
Martin Shough’s analysis:

1953 - 24 December - 8:04 a.m. - El Cajon, CA - Google Map

Grumman F9F-1 Panther
Grumman F9F-2 Panther  

LT J. B. Howard
LT L. D. Linhard
Both F9F-2 jet pilots


Saw 10 silver oval objects flying at 400+ knots, straight and level

Source: Project Blue Book Case #2840

"NFIA":(No Further Information Available) has been added to catalog entries for which no other details or information is known to exist.

“Hidden Cases” A number of cases given to NICAP were often from serving military personnel or people in other high security capacities where their identities had to be protected from possible official repercussions.  The authenticity of the cases were certified or sworn to by NICAP Board members or officials and they were referred to as “Hidden Cases.”  See: Introduction to the First Update of the Catalogue for more information.


Some Notes on Sources

Since UFO Evidence was published in 1964, few collections of US Navy UFO reports have been compiled.  Notable exceptions on the Internet are:

Water UFO: (Carl Feindt) which covers not just US Navy UFO reports but reports from foreign navies, merchant marine, fishermen, and other vessels on oceans and bodies of water:

See also Carl's book: UFOs and Water

Blue Book UFO Report at Sea by Ships by Tony Rullan.  This is a compilation of Navy and other reports from ships in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans with discussions and analysis:

One other large source of Navy reports is contained within a Chronology of general UFO reports.  See the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), The UFO Sighting Chronology:

The current preliminary listing covers about 60% of the reports collected.  They are from diverse sources: official documents, especially the US Air Force Project Blue Book files, media sources, various UFO books, and collections of reports from various UFO organizations:

Project Blue Book Archives

Official Project Blue Book and other government microfilms converted to PDF files:

National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP)
J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS)
Mutual UFO Network (MUFON)

and other UFO organizations. Authors’ works cited include the following:

Bloecher, Ted

Bloecher, Report on the UFO Wave of 1947

Chester, Keith

Chester, Strange Company

Gross, Loren.  UFOs: A History (cited by year of the booklets) later titled The Fifth Horsemen of the Apocalypse: UFOs: A History.

Greenwood, Barry and Larry Fawcett, Clear Intent

Haines, Richard, PhD

Haines I       Advanced Aerial Devices Reported During the Korean War
Haines II      Project Delta

Hall, Richard

Hall I        Airships to Arnold
Hall II       UFO Evidence, Volume 1
Hall III      UFO Evidence, Volume 2
Hall IV      Alien Invasion or Human Fantasy? The 1966-67 UFO Wave

Hynek, J. Allen, PhD

Hynek I        The UFO Experience
Hynek II       The Hynek UFO Report

Keyhoe, Donald E. Major, USMC, Retired

Keyhoe I        The Flying Saucers Are Real
Keyhoe II       Flying Saucers from Outer Space
Keyhoe III      Flying Saucer Conspiracy
Keyhoe IV      Flying Saucers Top Secret
Keyhoe V       Aliens from Space

Ruppelt, Edward J.

Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects

The other main source is the Internet reporting site National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC)

Large collections of newspaper clippings from Barry Greenwood, Loren Gross, the late Robert Gribble, Katherine Brisendine, and Project 1947 were used in this compilation.  The authors of UFOs and Government contributed materially to this compilation, especially Professor Michael Swords and Robert Powell.

Other collections consulted were The Keyhoe Archives, Dr. James E. McDonald’s papers, Dr. Willy Smith papers, George Fawcett’s papers at the Roswell Museum and several other sources.

Origin of Reports and the Quality of Sources

The biggest reservoir of official Navy reports is the Project Blue Book files.  No complete listing of Navy reports within the Project Blue Book files has been made although Tony Rullan’s paper probably contains the most comprehensive for ships in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

World War II cases in the current list mostly come from personal accounts in various civilian publications and reports to UFO organizations.  Few reports have official documents to back them up either as ship logs or official war diaries.  However, four decades after Commander Hendershot's 1945 letter voicing concerns about unknown aerial intrusions over the Hanford Nuclear installation, we find official backing in 4th Air Force documents suggesting the Navy uses its Pasco Naval Air Station, Washington, to counter the unknown incursions.

The Navy reports of flying discs sightings during the 1947 UFO wave come mostly from the media.  Some are from official documents in the Project Blue Book files.  More report went to the press as opposed to those which went through intelligence channels.

After the Air Force established Project SIGN more reports started to go through channels to the Air Force, and sometimes were also reported in the press.  Occasionally the accounts only appeared in the local press.  A New Zealand woman wrote to Sgt. Harold Fulton who led a UFO organization in New Zealand, Civil Saucer Investigations, New Zealand, that her son-in-law, an officer in the US Navy stationed near San Diego had seen a UFO in 1952.  Recently, the San Diego Union newspaper became available online and Barry Greenwood was able to recover the news report.

Interestingly there was a report mentioned in the CSI-LA newsletter number 2 about an incident at the Naval Air Station at San Diego:

A very well confirmed report from an aerographer of San Diego, California, North Island Navy Station, reports that he saw numerous objects through a theodolite while tracking a weather balloon.  The spectacle continued for such a long time that he informed his chief officer.  Also the latter saw the objects passing by in large numbers.  Other witnesses present were an aerological officer, a group of USAF and Navy pilots, the control tower operator and the commander of the field.

So it appears that rumors of this account were kicking around for years.  Although in the CSI-LA newsletter the context implies it happened in 1952.  A letter in the Project Blue Book files indicates the date was December 1950.

Beside official records and media reports there is a vast area of personal reports and rumors, some which have fantastical elements as one would expect occasionally from men that go down to the sea in ships.  However, we have tried to maintain a serious demeanor here and eliminate the journalistic hoaxes and tall tales while keeping an open mind.  Some of these reports have explanations, but are still listed here because they have historical significance.

This is a work in progress with many more accounts to be added in the future.  As always, Project 1947 welcomes the addition of new accounts, clarifications, comments, criticisms at:

— Jan L. Aldrich      

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