AFOSI - Air Force Office of Special Investigations
report, from Project Blue Book files, National Archives
AF Int - Air Force Intelligence Report, most obtained by
Citizens Against UFO Secrecy via the Freedom of Information
Act, declassified Jan. 1985.
UFOE - The UFO Evidence, National Investigations Committee on
Aerial Phenomena, Washington, D.C., May 1964. (NICAP)
CAA - Civil Aeronautics Administration (later FAA, Federal
ARTC - Air Route Traffic Control radar center approach-control
(Note: Though Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT) was in
effect during these sightings, AFOSI reports used Eastern
Standard time. They have been converted to EDT here.)
July 13: 0400 EDT.
- National Airlines plane en route to
National Airport, about 60 mi. SW of the city observed a blue-
white ball of light hovering to the west. Object then "came
up to 11,000 ft. [and] then maintained a parallel course, on
the same level, at the same speed, until the aircraft pilot
turned on all lights. Object then departed from the vicinity
at an estimated 1000 m.p.h. Weather was excellent for
observation." The crew said the object "took off up and
away." No other air traffic was reported in the area at
the time. (AF Int.)
July 14: 2012 EDT.
- Newport News, Va. Southbound Pan American
Airways plane at 8,000 ft. nearing the Norfolk, Va, area
observed six glowing red, circular objects approaching below
the airliner; objects flipped up on edge in unison and then
sped from behind and under the airliner and joined the in-line
formation, which "climbed in a graceful arc above the altitude
of the airliner." "Then the lights blinked out one by one,
though not in sequence." Next day the crew was thoroughly
interrogated by AFOSI, and advised that they already had seven
other reports of red discs moving at high speed and making
sharp turns. (UFOE, p. 38-39.)
July 16: 2200 EDT.
- Hampton Roads, Va. A Government
aeronautical research engineer observed two amber-colored
lights approaching from the south at about 500 m.p.h. These
slowed and made a U-turn, revolved around each other at a high
rate of speed, then joined by two other objects from different
directions, the four sped off to the south at about 500 m.p.h.
"They moved jerkily when moving slowly. Their ability to make
tight circling turns was amazing." (UFOE, p. 57;
Ruppelt , p.
210-211, gives time as 2100 hrs.)
July 18: 0200 EDT
- Washington, D. C. Radio station chief
engineer observed 6-7 bright orange discs moving in single
file. Each in turn veered sharply upward and disappeared.
(UFOE, p. 160; Associated Press story, July 19.)
July 19: 2340 EDT.
- ARTC at National Airport began picking up
unidentified targets on radar. (UFOE, p. 160; AFOSI;
Ruppelt, p. 211)
July 20: 0100 EDT.
- Herndon, Va. Capital Airlines flight from National Airport called
by control tower to check on unidentified radar targets saw three
objects, and three more between there and Martinsburg, W. Va.
"like falling stars without tails [which] moved rapidly up, down,
and horizontally. Also hovered." Chief CAA air
traffic controller Harry Barnes later said in a newspaper interview:
"His [the pilot's] subsequent description of the movement of the
objects coincided with the position of our pips [radar targets] at all times
while in our range." (UFOE, p. 159; AFOSI; CAA evaluation report on radar-UFO sightings.)
July 20: 0105 EDT.
- Andrews AFB, Md. (Nr. Washington, D.C.). Five witnesses visually
observed three reddish-orange objects moving erratically. (AFOSI.)
July 20: 0300 EDT.
- Capital Airlines flight incoming to National Airport reported that
an unidentified light followed his airliner from the vicinity of Herndon,
Va., to within about 4 miles west of the airport, confirmed on
ARTC radar. (AFOSI; UFOE, p.159.)
July 20: 0430-0630 EDT.
- Additional unidentified targets on
ARTC radar at National Airport. (AFOSI.)
July 20: mid-evening.
- Air Force radar operators at Andrews AFB weather tower
tracked 10 UFOs for 15-20 minutes. Objects
approached runway, scattered, made sharp turns and reversals of
direction. (UFOE, p.160, based on detailed report to NICAP
from AF weather observer.)
July 26: 2115 EDT (to 0020 EDT July 27).
- Sharp UFO targets on ARTC radar at National Airport.
Civilian pilots saw glowing white objects on four occasions, including a
United Airlines pilot near Herndon, Va., and two CAA pilots over Maryland.
National Airlines pilot near Andrews AFB at 1700 ft. saw a UFO
"flying directly over the airliner." (AFOSI;
AF Int; UFOE, p. 159-162; Ruppelt, p. 218-221.)
July 26: 2130 EDT.
- ARTC radar at National airport tracked a
UFO on radar ("big target"), confirmed by Andrews AFB radar.
July 26: 2150 EDT.
- ARTC radar at National Airport tracked
"solid returns" of "four targets in rough line abreast,"
and eight others scattered over the radar scope. (AF Int.)
July 26: 2154 EDT.
- Andrews AFB, Md., surveillance radar
tracked 10-12 UFOs in Washington, D.C. area. (AFOSI.)
July 26: 2157 EDT.
- Wash. Natl [ ] 10-12 objs on radar (AFOSI)
July 26: 2215 EDT.
[*] From this time into following morning,
"good sharp targets" of 4-8 UFOs on ARTC radar at National
July 26: 2238 EDT.
- Air Force Command Post notified of
unidentified radar targets. Two F-94 jet interceptors scrambled
from New Castle AFB, Delaware, to investigate. (AF Int,
July 26: 2304 EDT. 2323 EDT.
July 27: 0015 EDT.
- Maj. Fournet (Project Blue Book Officer in
Pentagon) and Lt. Holcomb (Navy electronics expert) arrived at
National Airport ARTC Center. Observed "7 good, solid
targets." Holcomb checked on temperature inversions, but they
were minor and could not explain what was going on. He so
advised AF Command Post, requesting interception mission. By
the time the F-94 jets arrived from Delaware, no strong
unidentified targets remained and no visual contacts were made.
July 27: 0020 EDT.
- [*] F-94 jet interceptors
scrambled from New Castle AFB, Del., to investigate Washington, D.C., radar-
UFOs. One F-94 pilot made visual contact and appeared to be
gaining on target; both F-94 and UFO were observed on radar and
"appeared to be travelling at the same approximate speed."
When the F-94 pilot tried to overtake the UFO, it disappeared
visually and on radar. The pilot remarked about the
"incredible speed of the object." (AFOSI.)
July 27: 1930 EDT.
- Air Force Lieutenant at Andrews AFB saw a
dark disc moving slowly northeast with "oscillating rolling
motion." Clouds were moving southeast. UFO entered base
of clouds. (UFOE, p. 161, from CAA report.)
July 27: 2100 EDT.
- Air Force personnel and others at National
Airport saw a large round object reflecting sunlight,
apparently hovering over the Capital Building. After about a
minute, the object "wavered then shot straight up disappearing
from sight." (AF Int.)
- Daily papers headlined a United Press story from
Washington, D.C., that the Air Defence Command had ordered its
jet pilots to pursue, and if necessary "shoot down, " UFOs
sighted anywhere in the country.
July 29: 0130-0500 EDT.
- Many unidentified targets tracked by
CAA radar, 8-12 on the radarscope at a time, moving southeast
in a belt 15 miles wide near Washington, D.C. (CAA report.)
July 29: 0300 EDT.
- Eastern Airlines pilot asked to check on
ARTC radar targets, reported seeing nothing. CAA official said
the targets disappeared from the radar screen when the plane
was in their area, "then came back in behind him." (UFOE,
July 29: 1500 EDT.
- Air Force pilot sighted three round white
UFOs 10 miles southeast of Andrews AFB. Other UFOs tracked by
ARTC radar during the afternoon. (CAA report.)
July 29: 1600 EDT.
- Air Force press conference at which the
sightings were attributed to temperature inversions causing
"radar mirages," typically ground lights reflected in the sky
under freak atmospheric conditions. Also announced new
scientific program to evaluate sightings. (UFOE, p. 162;
Ruppelt, p. 223.)
[*] These AFOSI documents date
the events as occurring on the night of July 25/26, rather than July 26/27
as indicated by all other sources. It is assumed here that the
latter dates are correct.