The 30th Air Division, active from 1949 until 1968, was originally based at Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan. The station then moved to Willow Run Airport (later Willow Run Air Force Station), Michigan, on 7 April, 1952, before transferring to Truax Field, Wisconsin. The Division was finally declared inactive at Sioux City Municipal Airport, Iowa, on 18 September, 1968.
Assigned to the Air Defense Command (ADC) for most of its existence, the 30th's initial mission was the equipping, administering, training, and provisioning of operationally ready forces to the appropriate commanders for the air defense of upper Great Lakes area of the United States. Their Area of Operation included maintaining air defenses above the closely guarded AEC nuclear facilities at the Oak Ridge plant, Tennessee.
The following UFO reports are excerpted from the 30th Air Division's Official History between 1950 and 1952.
On the 15th of October the Atomic Energy Comnission reported to Station 47 the appearance of an unknown object at the main gate of the AEC. Two guards reported seeing the object and described it as being bullet shaped with a ribbon tale (sic) four to six feet long. It was reportedly hovering below fence level and when the guard came within fifty feet, it took off over the fence and disappeared over a hill. The object appeared to grow larger as it ascended, and made no noise. The incident was reported to EADF. (Eastern Air Defense Force)
During the quarter there were nine known violations of the Oak Ridge Air Domestic Identification Zone. Thirty-nine aircraft violated the Oak Ridge Air Space Reservation, among these, 20 were military aircraft, eight were civilian, and eleven were not identified.
The Oak Ridge Air Space Violations show a steady decrease over the past six months. This is attributed to the information concerning the prohibited zone being disseminated to a greater number of pilots, and the penalty action taken against both military and civilian pilots for violations.
Preliminary work has been started on an SOP on "Intelligence Reporting Procedure". The purpose of this SOP is to establish a uniform method in reporting unusual radar objects, unusual flying objects, sabotage, and similated (sic) (or actual) hostile aircraft, which is to be followed by all subordinate units.
One unusual unusual flying object was reported to have been observed in the vicinity of Battle Creek, Michigan. Further investigation by this office revealed that the observer, a civilian pilot of fourteen years flying expedience, encountered a disk like, highly polished flying object which closed head on with his aircraft at an extremely high rate of speed. Estimated altitude of the object was 3,000 feet, 1,000 feet below the observer’s aircraft. Investigation of the unusual object revealed that the observer is a very stable individual. Check of available sources both civil and military indicated no knowm aircraft in the vicinity of the sighting at that time. A report of the incident was forwarded to AMC, ADC, and EADF.
During November several flying objects were observed. One was seen in the lower Michigan area between 24/2320Z and 24/232(?)Z by the observers at five different points. The object in all cases was observed at speeds as fast or faster than jet aircraft. It was described variously as round, football shaped, eggshaped and bullet shaped. Its reported color was variously described as bright, white, white, grayish white and brilliant bluish white.
The second flying object was observed at 26/1025Z by a Capital Airlines pilot 25 miles due east of Milwaukee. It was described as a ball of fire, orange in color and had a blue exhaust like flame behind it. A second Capital Airlines pilot apparently observed the same object although he was approximately 75 miles south of the first observer. He did observe the blue colored exhaust flame but did not recall any orange colored object preceeding it. Reports of each incident were prepared and forwarded to AMC, ADC and EADF, through Technical Intelligence Channels.
A civilian guard on duty at Oak Ridge, Tennessee reported sighting an airborne object on 7 December 1951, at 0815 EST. Traveling at a constant speed, equivalent to conventional aircraft, the object was described as square, approximately 20 feet wide, grey-white in color, with no markings. The observer, age 40, is described as honest and conscientious, and is held in high respect by his employer. Two F-47s were unsuccessful in an attempt at interception.
Another report of an unusual flying object came from a Mr. Charles Huston in Hamden, Ohio. Mr. Huston reported observing a large round light for nearly three hours early on the morning of 22 December 1951. Telephone conversation with Mr. Huston produced names of corroborating witnesses and additional details. A report was made to EADF.
There were no flying saucers reported to this headquarters during the quarter.
During the period from 13 July 1952 through 17 October 1952 there were thirty-five (35) reports of unusual objects of which the majority were reported during the latter part of July through August. Five (5) reports were received on 30 July 1952. The reports varied from fast flying objects to large circular objects which seemed to hover and then speed away. All reports stated the objects were of a brilliant color. Interceptor aircraft were directed to the vicinity of the reported objects on several occasions to investigate, but there were no contacts by radar nor pilots flying interceptor aircraft during any of the incidents.