UFO DOCUMENTS - 1952 - Korea


Korea - 1952

Wonsan - Sunchon Sightings

Washington, D.C.   Daily News - 19 February, 1952

U. S. Bomber Crewmen Report:

"F  L  Y  I  N  G     S  A  U  C  E  R  S"
S  E  E  N     I   N     K   O   R   E  A

Sighted by B-29 Crews
"Saucers" Seen Over Korea

By United Press

The Air Force disclosed today that objects resembling “flying discs” have been sighted over Korea by crew members of two U. S. bombers.

Top officials have ordered a full investigation of the reports, which came thru regular military intelligence channels.

A spokesman said the objects were described by four eyewitnesses as globe-shaped, bright orange in color and emitting an occasional flash of bluish light.

He indicated that several were sighted, but did not give the number.

The Air Force, which has thrown cold water on hundreds of previous “flying saucer” stories, apparently was impressed by circumstances under which the new sightings were reported by its own personnel.


The first report reached Air Force intelligence officers from two crew members of a B-29 Superfortress who said they saw the objects flying parallel to their plane at about midnight on the night of Jan 29. The plane was over Wonsan, Korea at the time.

The report might have been discounted as over-imaginative.  But on the same night, a B-29 from a different squadron returned to its base after a flight over Sunchon, Korea, a considerable distance from Wonsan.  Two crew members told intelligence officers that they had seen "flying discs" moving parallel to their plane at a high altitude.


"The objects remained with the B-29 over Wonsan for five minutes and with the B-29 over Sunchon for one minute," the Air Force said.

While officials declined to elaborate on the bare announcement that a full investigation is underway, the open-minded Air Force attitude toward the new reports contrasted with the blunt skepticism it has voiced about previous sightings of mysterious objects in the skies.

The Wonsan/Sunchon incident was mentioned in Edward J. Ruppelt’s 1956 book, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects.  The unpublished manuscript provides more detail of the official reaction to the sightings.  Both versions are presented below:

The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects:

[Published version:]

Ever since the new Project Grudge had been organized, we hadn’t had to deal with any large scale publicity about UFO’s.  Occasionally someone would bring in a local item from some newspaper about a UFO sighting, but the sightings never rated more than an inch or two of column space.  But on February 19, 1952, the calm was broken....

[Here a partial hand-written line was inserted into the final version to compensate for the removal of more than a page of text from the manuscript] a story of how a huge ball of fire paced two B-29 in Korea.

[Published version]

The story didn’t start a rash of reports like the story of the first UFO sighting did back in June 1947, but it was significant in that it started a slow build-up of publicity that was to far surpass anything in the past.

[Unedited original Manuscript version:]

The story was about a sighting in Korea.  ATIC had received the report about two weeks before, and it was in the process of being analyzed when the story broke.  When the report came into ATIC, it was classified Secret, but two weeks later it appeared in the newspapers word for word and it had never been declassified. Evidently the reporters’ “usually reliable sources” were reliable.

The sighting had occurred on the night of January 29.  At 11:00 PM a B-29 crew was flying south returning from a bombing mission in Northern Korea.  They had just passed through an area where they'd picked up a little flak and some searchlights, but they’d gotten through untouched.  When they were about 30 miles west southwest of Wonsan, a town about 80 miles north of the 38th parallel on the east coast of Korea, one of the gunners called out a light “at 8 o’clock level.”  The aircraft commander told him to keep an eye on it.  He did and in a matter of seconds it had moved in.  For five minutes the crew watched a huge ball of churning, swirling fire as it paced the B-29.  Then almost as swiftly as it had appeared, it dropped down a little, swung in under the big bomber and streaked away to the west.

Twenty-four minutes later a second B-29 crew flying near Sunchon, about 90 miles northwest of where the first sighting had taken place, had an almost identical experience.  But this time the ball of fire only stayed for a minute.

By the time we got the report at ATIC, the two B-29 crews had been interrogated by a dozen different FEAF intelligence officers.

At first FEAF intelligence officers thought that possibly this was a case for “the power of suggestion,” but the two crews had made independent reports — neither crew knew about the other's sightings.

The crew were reinterrogated, but they couldn’t add any more to their original story.  The UFO was just a big, spherical mass of swirling fire — “like the color of the sun.”  It had fuzzy edges and all of the observers stressed the fact that the fiery mass had an “internal churning motion.”  The estimate of relative size varied from “a golf ball held at arm's length” to “an automobile.”

Project Grudge's new policy of giving out all of the answers to the press to dispel any feeling of hidden intrigue or mystery about the UFO project almost fell flat on its face at the start.  The sighting was listed as “unknown” but since it occurred in a combat zone and could have been a new enemy weapon, as well as a UFO or some natural phenomenon, all we could give the press was a “no comment” answer.  We did explain the reason for our “no comment,” however, the press was happy.

[It appears this last phrase should actually read “the press was not happy.”]

Project 1947 comments:   Suddenly, without warning, news stories on the Wonsan-Sunchon incidents appeared in the press across the United States and the world on 19 February, 1952.  The above United Press wire service story appeared in The Washington Daily News City edition on 19 February, 1952.  The first page had a three line headline which took up one third of the tabloid's front page.

The USAF Directorate of Intelligence and USAF Public Relations Office in Washington, D. C., the “New” Project Grudge at Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and the Far East Air Force (FEAF) Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan were all caught completely flat-footed by the leak.  The source of the leak has never been identified, but must have been highly placed given the classified nature of the 29/30 January sighting reports.

A story with large front page sensationalism appeared in many cities, but in Washington, D. C. such a story was bound to catch the attention of government, military and Congress members.  The media attention resulted in a scramble by the USAF to come up with answers for superiors, the media, and finally Senator Richard Russell, powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

As General Twining stated in his letter to the Secretary of the Air Force, the news stories carried incorrect information and media interpretations.  It did, however, bring the news to the Public's attention and they looked to the government for answers.  While Air Force intelligence suggested exhaust from Communist fighter aircraft as an answer for Senator Russell, ATIC advanced the phenomenon known as “foo-fighters” to visiting Life magazine writer, Robert Ginna, which was later communicated to the public in April, 1952, in a long article, “Have We Visitors from Space?”

The following group of official documents on the Wonsan-Sunchon incidents come from the files of Dr. J. Allen Hynek.  They show the communication between the Far East Air Force Headquarters (FEAF), Tokyo, Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC), Dayton, Ohio and the Directorate of Intelligence (D/I or AFOIN) in Washington, D. C.

1.  Request for more information and questions about the UFO sightings go out from ATIC on February 1 to the D/I with a request to pass the details on to FEAF HQ, Tokyo.


   FROM: (Originator)
     CO, ATIC
  0119452 Feb 52



Reference your message A 1925 dated 310956Z re B-29 crew sighting of unidentified flying objects.  Request that answers to following questions be forwarded immediately:

(1)  Geographical coordinates of location of sighting.  (2)  Altitudes, headings and air speeds of two aircraft at time of sighting.  (3)  Which direction did objects appear to be rotating?  (4)  Were times object was in sight estimated or timed in some way?   (5)  Why did object appear to be a disk; was it observed both edgewise and flat?   (6)  What was length to thickness ratio?  (7)  Have photo interpreters noticed anything on the ground similar to reported object?   Suggest that all combat crews be briefed to be alert for more such incidents and attempts be made to obtain photos.  Further suggest that all fire control officers be briefed on the feasibility of making rough estimations using two sighting stations and approximations of size in comparison with reticle center dots.  Dot is estimated to be two (2) mile.  Reference all replies to AMC-3117-C

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  DRAFTERS NAME (and signature when required)
R.L. Woodall/jb
Asst Air Adjutant General



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2.  On 4 February, ATIC sends a routine message for Brig. General Garland (AFOIN-A) at D/I that ATIC has considered the possibility that the UFOs could be jet exhaust, afterburner exhaust or vortex in the airstream, a Ramjet helicopter, or an air-to-air weapon dropped from higher altitude; however, all the proposed explanations seem weak.  "Fireballs" i.e., "foo-fighters" were mentioned and trailed bombs considered.  It was also suggested that aircrews be alerted to possible repetitions of the sightings and to use their targetting equipment to gather additional data about the unknown objects.


INITIALS: Col R.W. Taylor
DATE: 4 February 1952

   FROM: (Originator)
     CO, ATIC
  41700Z Feb 52

Director of Intelligence
Headquarters USA
Washington 25, D.C.

ATTN: AFOIN-A   Subject: Comments on FEAF Observations of Unidentified Objects, 20 Jan 52.  Reference above subject and telephone conversation between the undersigned and Col Sherman on 1 Feb, following possibilities considered:  (a) Exhaust stack flare from aircraft running rich.  Considered doubtful because no known Soviet aircraft have exhaust stack arrangement that would produce this illusion.

(b) Jet aircraft engine or afterburner exhaust.  Considered doubtful because it is thought such an exhaust would have been recognized and identified by observers. 

(c) Vortex in airstream.  Considered doubtful because of time of sighting and description of object as colored.  (d) Ramjet helicopter.  Considered doubtful because of the unlikelihood of the presence of any such aircraft at the altitude and in the positions given, and because of the comparatively slow forward speed such an aircraft would possess.  (e) Air-to-air weapon in the form of sheet metal discs dropped from higher altitude.  Germany was known to have had such a development during World War II.  Such a weapon might well have the disc-shaped appearance and the spinning motion described, and it might also either be illuminated or



reflecting illumination from some other source.  However, the description of the object sighted as having maintained a position parallel to the sighting airplane for some time, would seem to eliminate this possibility.  It is therefore considered doubtful, although somewhat less so than other possibilities mentioned above.

(f) "Fireballs."  These phenomena made their appearance over both Germany and Japan during World War II.  They have never been completely explained, and there is no record of aircraft having been damaged by them.  One evaluation is that they may have been flying bombs launched either from the ground or from aircraft, and that the characteristic fiery glow was the exhaust of the powered missile.  Another is that they may have been ground-launched rockets containing illuminating or incendiary agents that drifted downward on parachutes.  Some such weapon or a development of it is considered a fair possibility in this case.

(g) Trailed bombs.  This weapon was developed in 1942 by Germany, and in its original application was intended as a defense by bombers against persuing (sic) fighters.  It consisted of a bomb of 20 to 25 kg in weight attached to a wire some 100 to 250 metres long, finned to cause



the execution of wide swinging circles behind the bomber when the wire was paid out from the bomber's tail.  It could be exploded at will by a crew member of the bomber.  A variation of this weapon that may have been intended for use against bombers, was a cylindrical object trailed by wires from a Ju.88.  Such a weapon would appear circular or disc-shaped, might well take on a spinning motion when trailed, might be illuminated or reflect light, and might for a time, parallel the course of an aircraft attached; for these reasons it is considered a fair, or perhaps even a good, possibility.

    FEAF has been requested to supply additional details of sightings, and to alert all aircrews to watch for repetitions.  The suggestion has also been made that crews attempt to measure distances, angles, size, etc. by a system employing Central Fire Control equipment.  Signed, Air Technical Intelligence Center

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  DRAFTERS NAME (and signature when required)
Lt Col Ray W. Taylor/im
 Chief, Air Technical Intelligence Center



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3.  HQ, USAF relayed FEAF's answers to item #1.  Observers provided clarification on the shape of the objects; globular rather than flat (disk-like).  Also suggestions in item #1 were relayed to FEAF Bomber Command.

AIR 017

AIR 017






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4.  FEAF Bomber Command, Yokota, Japan, provides details of the original sighting to D/I, ATIC and Air Defense Command at Ent Air Force Base, Colorado.  This report was delayed due to servicing of the communication equipment.

This msg delayed due to servicing.
operational immediate
Fm FEAF Bomber Comd Yikota [Yokota] Japan
To AMC WPAFB Ohio, For Chief Air Tech Intel Center
Adf Ent AFB Colo For CG ADF
Info CS USAF Wash DC, For Director of Intel
Subj is report on info on unidentified flying objects: (1) observed 1 globe shaped object with a slight tear drop effect noted on lower side.  Estimated size to be 3 feet across when at its nearest point to B-29.  The size was not definitely established as the distance from the observer was not known.  The color of the object resembled the sun, a light orange, and it occasionally changed to a bluish tint.  The outer edge of the object appeared to be fuzzy and it seemed to have an internal churning movement like flames or fiery gases when it was at its nearest point to B-19. (sic)  The object was first observed parallel on course at 8 o'clock lever (sic), where it seemed to be about the size of a saucer, gradually becoming larger as it approached the B-29.  It came in on the same level as the B-29 and remained in the same relative position to the B-29 for approximately 1 min and then receded on the same path, fading away in the distance.

(2) Sighted on Jan 29 13 24Z for a period of approximately 1 min.  (3) The left gunner and tail gunner observed the object without the use of any optical or electrocic (sic) equipment.  The B-29 was at 22250 feet and ground speed 125 knots.  (4) The 2 observers were airborne on the B-29 in the crew positions of left gunner and tail gunner. Object was observed at YD 5469 and level with the B-29.  (5) The observers are veterans of World War 2 combat and have flown several combat missions over Korea and are thoroughly familiar with Flak, flares and rockets.  The observers stated very emphatically that the object observed bore no resemblance whatsoever to anyghing (sic) they had previously seen.  This sighting is almost the same as sighting reported in BOX 5447.  This report came from a different squadron and interrogations were conducted at different times.

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5.  On 18 Feb, 1952, Lt. Edward J. Ruppelt requested an evaluation of the reported observations from ATIC's Propulsion Branch.  The evaluation was supplied in a second comment by Peter A. Stranges.

  SUBJECT         (Uncl)   Evaluation of Project Grudge Report

  Attn: Mr. Stranges


  DATE   18 Feb 52  COMMENT NO.  1.

  Lt Ruppelt/vs
  5426l/B 263D/P D-2

1.  On two occasions on the night of 29 January 1952, B-29 crews observed a spherical shaped object paralleling their course. The object was described as being "the color of the sun with occasional bluish tint”. Details of the report may be obtained from Lt Ruppelt, ATIAA-2c.

2.  Since the objects followed the aircraft for times of one minute and five minutes, it can be safely assumed that they were propelled (i.e., not soaring or free-drop missiles). Therefore, it is requested that the shape and color of the reported flame be analyzed for the possibility of the object being:

                  a.   A conventional jet engine.
                  b.   A conventional jet engine with an afterburner.
                  c.   A ramjet engine.
                  d.   A pulse jet engine.
                  e.   A rocket engine.

Aeronautical Sciences Group



  DATE   20 Feb 52  COMMENT NO.  2.

  Mr/ Stranges/deh

1.  A review has been made of descriptive material regarding the observations made on the night of 29 January 1951 by members of B-29 crews of globe-like fiery objects flying courses similar to friendly aircraft for short durations.

2.  This group concurs that the objects appear to be propelled but from the descriptions and the time durations cited it is not considered that the objects are conventional jet engine, conventional jet engine with afterburner, pulsejet or rocket propelled. Slight credence, however, is given to the possibility of a ramjet powered helicopter or a modification thereof, with provisions incorporated for exhausting along a section of the trailing edge of the rotor blade, creating the fuzzy edged, internal churning of flames and gases, globe shaped phenomena observed recently by the B-29 crews in Korea.

Reaction Power Plants Group
Propulsion Branch

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6.  An Air Intelligence Information Report from 66 Bomber Squadron Intelligence, Lake Charles Air Force Base, Louisiana, (66 Bomber Squadron Report #IR 131-52, USAF Intelligence serial # AF505394, Subject: USAF Air Crew Debriefing Requirements (ZI)).  This does not have anything directly related to the Wonsan/Sunchon Incidents.  It is a routine debriefing of FEAF combat crews returning to the USA.  It does include a UFO report, something that Ruppelt had fought to include in such debriefings.


                              IR131-52     AF505394


                    USAF Air Crew Debriefing Requirements (ZI)

     North Korea
   FROM (Agency)
  66 Bm Sq Intelligence 44 Bm Wg LCAFB, La

  22 August 1952

Nov 1951 - Apr 1952
                  Captain Donald M. Gregory

                    Korean Combat Crew Returnees


The report contained herein is an intelligence debriefing of combat crew returnees from Korean Combat Theatre as set forth in USAF Debriefing Requirements Ltr Hq USAF AFOIN-C/CC-9 dtd 17 April 1952.  Salient features of this report are namely:

(1) One encounter with unidentified enemy fighter.  (2) Encounter with enemy anti-aircraft fire on missions on primary target to include one encounter with unguided rockets.  (3) Observations of unidentified flying objects at Maha AFB and Kadena AFB, Okinawa, and (4) Recommendations and comments USAF equipment procedures and training.


Lt Col, USAF
Director of Intelligence


  FROM (Agency)
  66 Bm Sq Intelligence
  44 Bm Wg, LCAFB, La


One minute later two more objects were sighted in formation along same course from the East, and disappearing to the West.  Five minutes later two more objects were sighted flying in formation with the same observation.  All five objects were each observed to have the same characteristics namely:  (1) eleptical (sic) in shape (2) approximately 2-3 feet long (3) noiseless (4) no trail of sparks or flame (5) brilliant white light that blinked at regular interval of one or two seconds similar to running lights of conventional aircraft (6) covered course from East to West in approximately 5-10 seconds with estimated speed at 1000 knots (7) objects flew straight and level course.  Said observations were reported to the officer of the day in MATS terminal by 1st Lt Herbert E. Johnson.

11. Observation II

  1. Observers:  A/1 T/Sgt A/1C A/1C

  2. Time and Place:  Approximately 2400 hours 5 April 1952, Tent Area, 372 Bomb Squadron, 307 Bomb Wing, Kadena AFB, Okinawa.  Crew member made observations from tent area.

  3. Weather:  Thin layer of broken clouds at approximately 20,000 feet with northerly wind.

  4. Observation:  Unidentified flying object observed at an approximate altitude of 20,000 feet flying an erratic course from position on North horizon to Base Area and then disappearing to the West.  The object was observed to approach the base flying a straight and level course on and then maneuvered over the base with violent high speed zig-zagging stopping momentarily and then maneuvering.  Finally object shot up out of sight heading West. Total time of observation was ten (10) minutes.  The object was observed to have the following characteristics, namely; (1) white steady light (2) no definite shape but larger than the stars, (3) noiseless (4) no trail of sparks or flame (5) grew larger and brighter on approach and smaller and dimmer ascending and breaking away. (6) all maneuvering done at speeds higher than any conventional jet aircraft -- estimated at 1000 knots.


12. N/A
13. N/A
14. Removal of chaff dispenser when not in use.  Move (bombing) salvo switches from bomb-bay to cockpit eliminating necessity of gunners operating switches.
15. Multiple 50 caliber guns are satisfactory.
16. N/A
17. N/A
18. N/A
19. N/A
20. (Ref 3 & 5) observed whitish brown puff of smoke as jet aircraft broke away.
21. Not observed
22. Not observed
23. N/A
24. N/A

11 Fighter Pilots

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7.  A sheet entitled "Observation" which describes, "Globe-shaped, orange-colored objects" as possibly similar to balloons used by the Japanese during WWII.  Hynek wrote a note stating that this may be the USAF solution for "foo-fighters."  This suggested explanation coming long after the "foo fighters" were no longer the focus of attention of higher headquarters or the media.


Reference Marine pilot observation of balloons in Wonsan area reported FEAF Intsum 651, 8 Apr 52, this Hqs has received no previous report of the sighting or use of such balloons.  An F-4 report recently received (D/l 5 AF IR-17-52, 6 Mar 52) stated that "Globe-shaped-orange-colored objects recently reported sighted by UN aircraft were in reality a type of WW II Japanese balloon to be elevated "to frighten UN planes from areas", and were being manufactured in Manchuria.  One possible explanation of the presently reported sightings, if accurately described, could be that the enemy is experimenting with a new defense measure against low-level UN interdiction efforts.  However, the size of the balloons (10-15 ft. in diameter) would seem to preclude any great altitude capability.

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Buffalo, New York   Courier-Express - 20 February, 1952

Joseph and Stewart Alsop Weight
Problems of Scientific Developments

WASHINGTON–What is nonsense and what is worth reporting?  Are facts to be taken seriously if they are undoubted as facts, and have already caused considerable stir among the government's intelligence chiefs and technical experts?  Or are they to be laughed off, because they might mean nothing, and quite probably do not mean as much as the mystery suggests?  All these questions are raised by facts that follow.

On January 29th, one of our B-29 bombers performing a solitary mission in Korea was flying at somewhat more than 20,000 feet above the town of Wonsan.  The bomber's speed was slightly under 200 miles per hour. The time was shortly before midnight.  Simultaneously, two members of the B-29's crew, the lonely rear gunner and the fire control man in the waist, saw the same peculiar object.

It was round, and both airmen thought it was disc-shaped.  It was orange in color, and around its circumference it seemed to have a series of small bluish flames, but both airmen thought close to their B-29, and only about three feet in diameter.  To both of them, it seemed to fly with a revolving motion.  For a full five minutes, this object moved parallel to the plane–or at least the two airmen thought it did–and then it disappeared.

When the B-29 completed its mission, the two airmen reported what they had seen to their squadron intelligence officer.  Both men had experienced combat in World War II as well as Korea, and both were considered steady, sensible fellows.  Hence the intelligence officer, who might otherwise have been inclined to ignore their tale, rather gingerly transmitted a routine report to headquarters.

At headquarters, the report might have been ignored, as the product of fancy, if another, almost closely similar report had not been almost simultaneously received.  This second report, which came from an entirely different B-29 squadron, also concerned the observation of a fire control man and waist gunner in a B-29 on a mission on the night of January 29th.

The second B-29 had been flying, again at about 20,000 feet, over the town of Sunchon, which is considerable distance from Wonsan.  At about midnight, the rear gunner and fire controlman saw a round object moving level with their aircraft or a little bit below.  As subsequently described by them, what they saw or what they imagined was almost exactly what the other airmen saw or imagined, except they were inclined to think the object was globular instead of disc-shaped.  It followed their plane–or so they thought–for a minute or a little more.

Such are the facts.  When queried about them, the highest sources in the Air Force have replied that "there is no doubt about the facts but the Air Force still does not believe in flying discs."

Apparently the idea of an elaborate hoax has been ruled out, since the crews of the two bombers did not know each other.  That leaves the experts picking and choosing between all the other possible explanations, ranging from an oddly simultaneous illusion produced by reflections of bright objects in the B-29's plexiglass windows, to a Soviet test of a new form of disc-shaped guided missile.

Whether as hoax, or as illusion or as intimation of something unpleasant to come, the fact nonetheless seem worth recording to these reporters, simply because they are symbols of the opening of the Pandora's box of science.  Here is a tale, in source at least not laughable but close to laughable in substance, which is not being laughed off.  In fact, it is the subject of anxious enquiry at high official levels.

The plain truth is that this now-opened Pandora's box of science may contain almost any kind of disagreeable surprise; and thus the experts can no longer say with assurance:  "This is silly, that makes sense."  The further truth is that the Korean experience has convinced American experts of our earlier folly in underestimating Soviet technical capabilities.

Much more solid evidence than the two queer intelligence reports from the B-29 crews continues to pile up.  Most recently, for example, information has come in of Russian production of a genuinely supersonic jet fighter, the MIG-19.  The raised estimates of Soviet atomic output are in the same category.  There is, of course, counterbalancing evidence, such as the startling withdrawal of the large Soviet air forces formerly stationed in East Germany and the European satellites which suggests Russian air production problems.  Yet over-all, it is clear that we can no longer rely drowsily on "superior American know-how."

It is also clear, one might add, that the habits of democracy demand much wider ventilation and more serious public consideration of the huge issues raised by the Soviet rummaging in Pandora's box.

Sydney Morning-Herald - 20 February, 1952

Flying Saucers Again
      — Over Korea

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (A.A.P.)– Flying saucers have reappeared:  This time over Korea flying alongside U.S. bombers.

The U.S. Air Force disclosed to-day that it has ordered a full investigation of reports by two bomber crews that they had watched the "saucers."

An Air Force spokesman said the objects were described by four eye-witnesses as globe-shaped, bright orange in colour, and emitting an occasional flash of bluish light.

Several were sighted, but the spokesman did not say how many.

The first of the reports were given to intelligence officers by two members of the crew of a Superfortress.  The airmen said that they saw the objects flying parallel to their plane at about midnight on January 29, near Wonsan, in Communist-held North Korea.

On the same night a Superfortress from another squadron returned to its base after a flight over Sunchon, also in Communist territory, with a similar report.  Two airmen said that they saw the objects parallel to the bomber at about midnight.

"The objects remained with the B-29 over Wonsan for five minutes and with the B-29 over Sunchon for one minute," the spokesman said.

[In June 1947, a private pilot named Kenneth Arnold, told reporters that he saw nine shimmering discs flying at high speed near Mount Ranier, Washington.

Soon similar stories of "flying saucers" were pouring in from all parts of the world.

The U.S. Air Force set up a special investigating body to look into the reports and two years later after investigating nearly 400 separate "sightings," it reported that it was satisfied that there was nothing to the scare.]

Newspaper unknown - 20 February, 1952

Air Force in Far East Silent on Aerial Globes

TOKYO, Feb. 20 — American bomber crews have reported seeing strange looking objects over Korea at night.

Air Force spokesmen in Tokyo and in Korea refuse to comment.  They say the information was classified.

Night-flying B-26 bomber pilots in Korea told today of seeing “things” in the air.  Earlier Air Force spokesmen in Washington said B-29 crewmen reported sighting “strange looking orange globes” in night flights.

One veteran pilot in Korea said the “orange globes” could be flashes of exhaust from Communist jets.

Stars and Stripes   (Pacific Edition) - 22 February, 1952

Nothing Conclusive On Globes: Weyland

TOKYO (AP)—Far East Air Forces commander Lt. Gen. O. P. Weyland Thursday said “no conclusive evaluation had been made at the present time” on the Washington reports that two B-29 crews sighted globe shaped objects over Korea on the night of Jan. 29-30.

He added that intelligence officers are making a further investigation.

The full statement follows:

THIS HEADQUARTERS can add nothing to the information released by headquarters, USAF, since details are the same as furnished from intelligence channels of this command.

“As to what the objects were, no conclusive evaluation has been made at the present time.  Competent intelligence personnel are charged with the responsibility of further investigation.

AIRCREW SIGHTINGS — for the most part routine reports on enemy tactics and equipment — are an important part of intelligence functions of any command.  These reports are made to the responsible intelligence officers for such action as may be necessary.

“It is the desire of such crew members that they remain anonymous — their only desire being that their observations be used to further the operations of their command and Allied commands.”

Traverse City, Michigan   Record-Eagle - 21 February, 1952

Flying saucers—Congressmen turned their backs on the latest 'flying saucer' report from Korea.  A member of the house armed services committee suggested that the air force investigate the reports and 'we wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole.'  A spokesman for the senate armed services committee echoed this sentiment by saying: “Don't ask us to take a stand on flying saucers in an election year.”

Bridgetown,   Barbados Advocate - 22 February, 1952

“Flying Discs” Seen In Korea

    TOKYO, Feb. 21.

Lieutenant General O. P. Weyland Far East Airforce Commander said his headquarters can add nothing to the United States Airforce report that “flying discs” had been sighted over Korea by B-29 bomber crews.  He said in addition it is “the desire of such crew members that they remain anonymous.”

The Pentagon said Tuesday that the crews of two B-29's, one over Wonsan on Korea’s east coast and another over Sunchon in Western Korea reported they saw glowing disc-like objects flying through the sky at midnight January 29.

Considerable importance was attached to the Washington announcement since it has been the practice of the Airforce to scoff at “flying saucer” sightings. —U.P.


STARS AND STRIPES   (European Edition) - March 6, 1952

Chinese Silent on Air 'Heroes'

TOKYO, March 5 (AP)—The lack of tub-thumping by the Chinese Communists about their air force in the Korean war may mean that the only Red victories in MIG alley are won by Soviet pilots.

Lt Gen O. P. Weyland, head of the Far East Air Forces, expressed that thought on the mysterious reticence of Peiping propaganda broadcasts, which never mention alleged exploits of Chinese pilots.

General Otto P. Weyland

Gen. Otto P. Weyland

“The Soviets,” he said in an interview, “cannot publicize their successes because they have continually maintained the position that only volunteers are participating in the Korean war.

“This would legally divorce Russia from overt identification with the forces there.”

Shun Publicity

“Publicity on any of the Red pilots as Russian would definitely detract from the position of the Chinese, who have declared at the current armistice negotiations that Russia is the most neutral of neutrals.”

Weyland emphasized that “we have no definite confirmation that any of the pilots are Russian” beyond pilot reports that “Russian voices” had been heard on plane radios.

However, the Peiping radio beats its breast over exploits of Communist tanks, infantrymen and women factory workers.  And Weyland finds it strange that the enemy radio has never invented any air heroes.

“Perhaps,” he observed, “they don’t have anything to crow about.”

Weyland expressed the thought that pilots of the swift MIG-15 jets which patrol MIG Alley in northwest Korea are Soviet on some days, but mostly they are Chinese Communists.

He said he had reason to believe the Communists were using the skies over North Korea for training fighter pilots.  He estimated there were 700 to 800 Soviet made MIGs operating in the Korean theater and observed: “They have to be getting a lot of training to have built up that air force.”

The tall, boyish-looking air general who once commanded Gen George S. Patton’s air arm in Europe, gave the interview in his Tokyo office.

An assistant produced official figures up to Feb 23 showing that Allied jets had shot down 181 MIGs and probably destroyed 27 in air combat.  Allied air combat losses were 43 jets and 15 propeller-driven planes.

Weyland said Allied news stories may have exaggerated the merits of the MIG-15 over the U.S. F86 Sabre jet, its chief opponent.

MIG Limitations

“At extremely high altitudes, say above 25,000 to 30,000 feet, the MIG is better at speed and climb,” he said.  “But our boys believe the MIG has limitations when it comes down lower.”

“There is no question but that the Sabre is stronger and operates better at lower level.  It also has more range.  We believe they built the MIG as an interceptor against our bombers.

“The Chinese air force is built as a defense organization.  That seems to be the whole plan.”

Weyland said he still was investigating reports that “flying saucers” had been sighted over Korea.

“We can’t say there’s nothing to it,” he added, “but unless we can get more data, I don’t think we can expect a conclusive answer.”

Two B29 Superfort crews reported seeing orange discs while flying a night mission recently.  One guess was that they might have seen night flying jets, but Weyland demurred.

“You’d have to be looking right up the tail pipe of a jet to see the glow,” he said, “and I can’t say that I ever have.”

The following letter is from Senator Richard Russell and is found in the Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Information UFO file 1949 to April 1952.


Committee on Armed Services

February 21, 1952                  

Honorable Thomas K. Finletter
Secretary of the Air Force
Department of the Air Force
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Members of the Committee on Armed Services have expressed a desire to be informed of Air Force evaluation of recent news articles concerning the observation of "flying saucers" by combat airmen in the Far East.

I shall appreciate you furnishing for the use of the Committee an official report of these observations together with your evaluation thereof and such other information as you deem pertinent to this inquiry.


Richard B Russell [signed]

Record Group 341, Air Force Director of Intelligence correspondence files, File # 000.9 Flying Discs, January-June 1952, from National Archives (NARA) College Park, Maryland

[This is the Air Force Director of Intelligence copy the Memo sent to Secretary of the Air Force.  At the top is a small Memorandum for Record.  We have extracted this from the letter to better illustrate what was sent to the Secretary of the Air Force and then on to Senator Russell.]

M/R [Memorandum for Record] Ltr fr Sen Russell to Sec Finletter, dtd Feb 21 re recent news articles re observation of flying saucers by combat airmen in the FAR EAST, recd Feb 25 w/sus of Mar4, ack Feb 26, fwded to Dir of Intelligence for info for reply Mar 4 Final reply prpard and fwded fr Analysis Div Mar 5,52; Rewrtn/Col Miller 6 Mar.

[Rewrtn=rewritten is thought to be the abbreviation here, but is not very legible.]

[Copy of Twining's memo shown below.  It does not have Air Force letter head.]

SAFIL-3/Maj Turk/jem/5D920/53346/5 Mar 52
File: INV. 155


SUBJECT: Evaluation of Observation of Unidentified Object in the
                Far East

You recently asked for an evaluation of the observations of an unidentified object in the Far East as reported in recent news articles.

This unidentified object was sighted by two Far East Air Forces B-29 crews on the night of 29-30 January 1952.  The crews described the object as being globe shaped with a slight tear drop effect on the lower side, light orange in color, occasionally changing to a bluish tint.  One B-29 crew observed the object for 5 minutes while the second B-29, at a different location and 24 minutes later, observed a similar object for 1 minute.  The size was estimated to be 3 feet in diameter in both cases, although the distance of the object from the B-29's could not be determined.  The crew members who reported the sighting were experienced combat men in the Korean operations as well as World War II veterans.

FEAF was requested to alert bomber crews to the possibility of similar sightings in the future and to utilize fire control equipment to determine the distance of these unidentified objects from the observing aircraft.  Thus far there have been no additional reports.

Based on the meager information available, two tentative evaluations of these observations have been made:

a.    Observation of the exhaust from an La-9 or La-11 Soviet aircraft.  The exhaust stacks on both these single-engine fighters are arranged in a cluster on the side of the fuselage, and it is believed that the exhaust, when seen at night, would give an illusion such as described in the report received.

b.    There have been several reports in the last few months of searchlights attached to enemy aircraft which have intercepted FEAF bombers over Korea.  These identifications have been stated to be positive in most instances.  The use of such an airborne searchlight attached to a conventional aircraft on a very dark night would be a second possible explanation of the above incidents.  The attention of the crew would most probably be focused on the light source.  This fact, coupled with the difficulty of discerning the aircraft silhouette under extremely poor light conditions, could conceivably account for a report of this nature.

N. F. TWINING             
General, U.S. Air Force 
Vice Chief of Staff        

[File copy of Letter to Senator Richard Russell, Chairman of the Senate Armed Committee.  The "Blame Line" and a Memorandum for Record are included at the top file copy of the letter in the Air Force Director of Intelligence file Record Group 341, File number 000.9 Flying Discs, National Archives II (NARA)]

SAFIL-3/Maj Turk/msw/SD 920/53346/5 Mar 52
[remainder illegible]

M/R: Ltr fm Sen Russell to Sec Finletter, dtd Feb 21, re recent news articles concerning the observations of flying saucers by combat airmen in the Far East, recd Feb 25/w/sus of Mar 4, acknowledged Feb 26, fwded to Dir of Intelligence for Info upon which to base reply Feb 20, reply recd Mar 4. Final reply prepared and fwded fm Analysis Div on Mar 5, 1952

Mar 8, 1952

Dear Mr. Chairman:

You recently requested us to furnish the Air Force evaluation of recent news articles concerning observation of "flying saucers" by airmen in the Far East.

I have received a report on the matter from the Chief of Staff, which I am forwarding to you.

Sincerely yours,


Thomas K. Finletter


Honorable Richard B. Russell
Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

[copy without letterhead in USAF Director of Intelligence files date stamped 4 Mar 52]

Evaluation of News Articles Concerning Observation of Flying Saucers

Director of Legislation and Liaison
ATTN: Analysis Division

Director of Intelligence, DCS/O Col J. G. Eriksen/vb/52466

1.  In accordance with your request, the following information is submitted:
  1. The incident referred to in Senator Russell's letter occurred on the night 29-30 Jan 52. Two different B-29's of FEAF BOMCOM reported sighting an object which was described as follows:
  1. Globe-shaped with slight tear drop effect on lower side.  Color resembling sun (light orange) and occasionally changing to a bluish tint.  Seemed to have internal churning movement like flame or fiery gases when at nearest point to B-29.  (The original report stated that the object was disk-shaped and about three feet in diameter.)  One B-29 observed the object for five minutes while the second B-29 at a different location and 24 minutes later observed a similar object for one minute.  Although the size was estimated at three feet in both cases, the distance of the object from the B-29's could not be determined.  The second aircraft received flak shortly after sighting the object.  Crew members who reported the sighting were in both cases experienced combat crew men, having experience over Germany in World War II as well as previous experience in the Korean theater.
  1. The press release referred to by Senator Russell contains a mixture of the information given in the preliminary FEAF report plus that contained in their detailed report, which was submitted subsequent to reinterrogation of the two crews.  This release actually played up the "flying saucer" aspects of the incident based upon the initial description of "disk-shaped."

  2. ATIC requested FEAF to furnish additional particulars, if available, following receipt of the preliminary reports.  Additionally, they requested that FEAF alert their bomber crews to the possibility of such sightings in the future whereupon they would utilize fire control equipment in an effort to determine the distance of such objects from the observing aircraft.  Thus far, there have been no additional reports from FEAF of similar sightings and neither ATIC nor AFOIN-V/TC have arrived at a final evaluation of this incident.

  3. Based on the meager information thus far available, it is possible to arrive at only tentative evaluations of what the objects may have been.  Two possible evaluations follow:

    1. Observation of the exhaust from an La-9 or La-11 Soviet fighter aircraft.  The exhaust stacks on both of these single engine fighters are arranged in a cluster on each side of the fuselage, and it is believed that the exhaust emanating from this installation, when seen at night, would give an illusion such as described in the reports received.

    2. There have been several reports in the last few months of searchlights attached to jet and piston engined conventional aircraft which have intercepted FEAF bombers over Korea.  These identifications have been stated to be positive in most instances.  The use of such an airborne searchlight attached to a conventional aircraft on a very dark night would be a second possible explanation of the above incidents, since the attention of the crew would most probably be focused on the light source and this fact coupled with the difficulty of discerning an aircraft silhouette, under extremely poor light conditions, could conceivably account for a report of this nature.

Colonel, USAF   
          Director of Intelligence

[Hand written: No M/R necessary]

[At the bottom of the second page are the office symbols of the sections of the Directorate of Intelligence and signatures of the responsible officer

AFOIN-V [illegible] AFOIN-A B/Gen Garland AFOIN Col Kieling

FEAF [Far East Air Force] Weekly Intelligence Roundup Issue no.74.    
From 0001/I 26 Jan 52 To 2400/I 1 Feb 52, II.  Enemy activity in Korea. pp II 3-4,
Air to Air [I denotes local Korean time]


Although there were two afternoon sightings of an aggregate of nine MIGs and two night sightings of unidentified type aircraft, all were without incident.  Shortly before midnight, however, an extremely unusual sighting took day's activity completely out of the routine.  Two B-29 crews reported identical observations of round, sun-colored objects approximately three feet in diameter, which approached each aircraft from the eight to nine o'clock position and flew parallel to the course of the bombers, one of which was travelling at 148 knots ground speed, the other at 125.  The object came no closer than an estimated 200 yards in either instance and no hostile or overt action was evident.  After a few minutes, the object withdrew to the same clock position from which it approached. In one of the incidents, the disc withdrew until almost out of sight, then returned to again parallel the course of the bomber, after which it pulled away at eight o'clock and disappeared.  The two sightings occurred approximately 24 minutes and 63 miles apart and each incident was corroborated by two men on the same aircraft.  In each sighting the object was under observation for periods of one to five minutes respectively and was described as brilliant to the point of being almost dazzling.  There have been no sightings similar to these since the Korean war began and because of their nature, special effort was made to determine the possibility that the sightings were attributable to causes such as reflections, searchlights, flares, natural phenomena or pure fabrication; however, as yet, no positive estimate has been possible concerning the identity of the objects.  Investigation and attempts at evaluation are continuing in the belief that if the objects represent a few from of experimentation by the enemy, in all probability they will be sighted in the near future.

UFO Investigator

NICAP The U.F.O. Investigator Vol III No. 9 - August September 1966

Intelligence Colonel Disputes Official Answers

On Aug. 7, 1966, readers of the Washington “Star” had a big surprise — in fact, several surprises.  Before then, any serious discussion of UFOs in the “Star” was almost unheard of.  But there in the Sunday edition was a full-page fact piece on “flying saucers.”

Surprise No. 2:  The article was written by Lt. Col. Charles Cooke, USAF, Ret., founder and editor of the Air Intelligence Digest.  Col. Cooke, refusing the official explanations, calmly set down his conclusions that the UFOs are real and from somewhere in outer space.

Colonel Cooke's Air Force service record has other surprises linked with UFOs.  In World War II, he was intelligence officer for a bombardment group in Europe, where he heard first-hand reports from pilots who encountered the mysterious “foo fighters.”  In 1948-1952, at the Pentagon, he became the founder and editor of “Air Intelligence Digest” — the worldwide AF intelligence publication.  Later, in Tokyo, he became editor of FEAF — the “Far East AF Intelligence Roundup.” During all this time, “information copies” of steadily increasing UFO reports flowed across his desk.

In 1952, Col. Cooke helped rename “Project Grudge.”  Asked to select a name “without overtones,” he selected “Project Book” - on the grounds that “book” has so many overtones that it in effect actually has none.

"The Little Blue Boys”

“Upstairs (at the Joint Chiefs of Staff level), somebody made it ‘Blue Book,'” Col. Cooke reveals.  “No one in the USAF assembly line down which the reports passed read and pondered them more absorbedly, more dedicatedly, than I.  I duly noted the myriad ‘Emanations’ given out by the Blue Book staff — widely referred to as ‘The Little Boy Blues' or ‘The Little Blue Boys' — of sightings which they evaluated as mistakenly identified stars, planets, meteors. . . birds, reflected lights, mirages, marsh gas — or as delusions. . . hoaxes, publicity stunts, etc.”

In discussing the massive UFO evidence, Col. Cooke corrects one of the most widespread false beliefs; That UFO sightings began on June 24, 1947, with Kenneth Arnold’s famous report of flying discs over Mt. Rainier.  (This idea has long been officially fostered, that Arnold's story set off the “flying saucer craze.”)

“Far from having begun in 1947,” says Col. Cooke, “reported UFO sightings go way, way back.”

Commenting on the new Frank Edwards book — “Flying Saucers - Serious Business” - Cooke says “Edwards book gives me great joy in its attention to Pre-1947.”  Citing one famous case related by Edwards — a bishop's report of a torpedo-shaped body hovering above a building - Col. Cooke wryly asks “I can’t help wondering what Project Blue Book's 'explanation' of this report would have been.  Marsh gas?”

John Fuller’s book, “Incident At Exeter,” also is highly recommended by Col. Cooke, along with NICAP’s “massive 200,000 word document, ‘THE UFO EVIDENCE.'”  But “Flying Saucers and the U.S.Air Force,” by Lt. Col. L. J. Tacker, then AF-UFO spokesman, gets a cool reception.

Considering Col. Cooke's exceptional qualifications, as an Intelligence analyst, with access to hundreds of the best UFO reports, his evaluation should have a far-reaching effect:

"My lifelong hobby of astronomy, together with what I consider to be overwhelming affirmative evidence, incline me toward the belief that UFOs are ‘real’ and of celestial origin - interplanetary or interstellar.”

We congratulate the Washington Star for publishing this authoritative article.

The complete Charles Cooke Washington Star article can be read here.

Extract from Fifth Air Force Mission Summary, 2 April, 1952:

At 292110/I [29 March 1952 2110 Korean time] over YD 1545 [map sheet designator], the crew of a B-26 observed 4 dull lights shaped in a square, approximately 1 mile apart.  These lights appeared to be stationary and suspended at 7000 feet altitude.  This observation was made from 20 miles to within 3 miles at which time the lights went out.  1 crew member states that he has made the same observation in the general area on 3 other flights.

a.   Comment–No other reports have been received of any such phenomena in this area.  The placement of the lights in a square may indicate radio long-wire antenna carried by balloons, or a visual beacon or method of communication.


[Comments and evaluation made by the Air Technical Intelligence Liaison Office, Directorate of Intelligence, Far East Air Force.]

Extract from Fifth Air Force Periodic Intelligence Report for 19 May, 1952:

Balloon sightings:  At 160210-I of CT 4035, [16 May 1952 0210 am local Korean time at map coordinates CT 4035] an F-94 crew observed a balloon approximately 3 feet in diameter.  Observation was made by means of a small light suspended from the balloon.  The balloon was first observed at 13000 feet and the F-94 followed to 24000 feet.  Estimated rate of climb of the balloon was 2000 ft/min, as the F-94 had to use afterburner in the chase.  The balloon was shot down over CT 4610.  At 160353-I, vicinity CT 2828 [?], an F-94 crew again observed a balloon, this time at 12000 feet, again by means of a steady burning light suspended from the 3 to 6 feet diameter balloon.  Friendly pursued the balloon using afterburner, shooting it down at CT 4010.  The light, described as "Very powerful," was still burning as the balloon fell.  D/I [Director of Intelligence]Comment (5th AF) - Further investigation is being made by the 6004th AISS [Air Intelligence Service Squadron].

a.   Comment–This report of lighted balloons may be a basis for many of the sightings reported over this area of Korea.


Project Blue Book Files
Not a case.  Information Only
Ground Radar, Air Radar, Air Visual Combined Sighting
North Korea - 26 May, 1952

An F-94 flying a mission was told by ground radar that there was an unidentified object on its tail.  The interceptor aircraft turned into the unknown and locked on with its radar at 7000 yds, and started to close.  Both the pilot and the R.O. observed a brilliant white light straight ahead.  The unidentified performed a steady climbing turn and accelerated at a tremendous speed drawing away from the F-94 which now had cut in its after-burner.  The pilot was unable to close and the R.O. [radar officer] lost the object at 2600 yds. after 15 seconds of contact.

The airborne radar was checked for malfunction before and after the mission and found to be in perfect condition.  No exhaust patterns from the unknown were noticed.  Pilot - 1LT John W. Martin, Radar Officer - Lt. Edward A Monard, Experience - 1 year.

Solution: Possible malfunction of airborne radar set.

Project 1947 Comment:  Little information on visual sighting.  Did the person who proposed the solution actually read the case....ground radar detected the object and it was seen visually. Also, radar was "was found to be in perfect condition."

Extract from Fifth Air Force Periodic Intelligence Report for 27 May, 1952:

At 260323/I over CT 5050 [26 May 1952 0323 local Korean time at Korea map coordinate of CT 5050] at 7000 feet altitude, an F-94 observed an unidentified aircraft with a very strong light which was visible from at least 5 miles.  The F-94 crew stated that it was definitely not a balloon as several passes were made directly beneath at 50ft range.  No outline was visible because of the brilliant light.

a.   Comment–There have been a number of balloon sightings over this area.  Reports have also been received of enemy aircraft carrying searchlights over the Northwest target areas of Korea, though none have been reported in the CT area.


Extract from Fifth Air Force "Perintrep"
[Periodic Intelligence Report] for 27 May, 1952:

At 260320/I [at 26 May 0320 A. M. local Korean time] over CT3930 [map coordinates CT 39 30] at 7599 feet altitude, radar controller vectored an F-94 into a tail chase on an unidentified aircraft.  Contact was made at 7000 yards.  After closing to 6000 yards, the unidentified picked up speed and travelled from 6000 to 26000 yards in 14 seconds.  The F-94 crew said they had afterburner in operation and were accelerating from 250 knots. 

D/I [Director of Intelligence] 5th AF Comment - The 6004th AISS [Air Intelligence Service Squadron] is investigating the incident, and if further info is obtained it will be forwarded.

Comment – IF true as reported, the final velocity of the object would be approximately 3000 mph.  Further questions, to be used in interrogating the F-94 crew were sent to Fifth Air Force.  The results are to be forwarded via Form 112 [Air Intelligence Information Form]


[Handwritten Comment below this item:  "Where's the rest of the report."]

Extract from 8th Army "Sitrep" [Situation Report] #1561, for 31 May 1952:

ROK [Republic of Korea. i.e., South Korea] 1st Div Sector: At 302200 [30 May 1000 P. M. local Korean time] forward observer at CT 2226 [military map coordinates CT 22 26] observed flying object emitting streaks of light moving west at high speed at approximately 10,000 feet.  Object dived low then regained altitude and continued due west.

a.   Comment – No further information is available to date.  The object was possibly an F-94.


AIR Report UFO Sighting, Kimpo AFB, South Korea – June 6, 1952

Kimpo AFB, June 6, 1952 Project 10073 Card

TWX From Kimpo AFB Korea Re: June 6, 1952 UFO Sighting


            Sighting of an Unidentified Dlsk Shaped Flying Object
   South Korea
FROM (Agency)
Det 1, 6004th AISS, APO 970
    28 June 1952
20 June 1952    
              1st Lt., Gregory B. Burch
REFERENCES (Control number, directive, previous report, etc., as applicable)
            FLYOBRPT 783
SUMMARY: (Enter concise summary of report.  Give significance in final one-sentence paragraph.  List enclosures at lower left. 
  Begin text of report on AF Form 112--Part II)

  This report contains information on the ground sighting of a flying object shaped like a coin which was dull silver in color, possessed a high rate of speed and odd flying characteristics.  This was described as a series of tumbling and spinning motions.  Time required to complete the tumbling was estimated to be seven (7) seconds and the spinning motion an estimated twelve (12) seconds.




              DI, FEAF, cy 1
              DI, 5th AF, cy 2
              CO, 6004th AISS, cy 3

ATI, 6004th AISS, cy 4
ATLO, FEAF, cy 5
File, cy 6


FROM (Agency)
Det 1, 6004th AISS, APO 970
Page  2  of  3  PAGES

1.   Time Sighted:  08:42 zonal time

Length of time sighted:  four (4) minutes

Date of sighting:  6 June 1952

2.   A brief description of sighted object or objects:

Shape:  Round (similar to a coin)

Size:  Estimated 50 to 60 feet in diameter.

Color:  Silver without any decided reflection of light.

Number of Objects:  One.

Trail or exhaust:  None observed.

Propulsion System:  None observed„

Estimated speed:  300 knots.

Aerodynamic features:  Round and flat with clear cut edges.  It appeared to be seven times as long as it was thick.  The color of the edges was dark blue (twice as dark as sky color), and the top and bottom was silver (dull enough not to reflect any considerable amount of light).  On the large surface, which appeared to be the top, several evenly spaced concentric dark or black lines were observed.  From this observation the spinning in a clockwise direction was determined (see sketch number one).

Any unusual maneuvers:  The object was reported proceeding on a course of approximately 140 degrees, estimated speed of 300 knots, alternately revolving 360 degrees in seven (7) seconds and then proceeding on a spinning course for approximately twelve (12) seconds.  This action was observed for approximately three (3) minutes while object approached the field increasing about one half again in size at the point where it paused momentarily.  It then climbed straight up for six (6) seconds decreasing one half in size, paused again, picked up a 60 degree heading and began to proceed on a straight course alternately spinning and tumbling in the same manner as before.  The object stayed on this course for 40 seconds stopped and then disappeared into the sun.  This object was first noticed when the observer saw two F-86’s making a let down into the field on a similar heading of 140 degrees and an altitude of 1500 feet.  At one point during this observation the flying object and an F-86 were in the same line of sight giving the observer an opportunity to make a comparison (see sketch number 2).  The F-86 was traveling at a faster rate of speed than the object.  Sketch number 3 is an illustration of the objects actions.  A few seconds later the object was again observed by the original observer and an additional person, flying back and forth just below the position of the sun and traveling an almost equal distance to either side of it.  (see sketch number four)  The object was seen to pause for approximately five (5) seconds at point A, flew rapidly for three (3) seconds to point B, paused for approximately seven (7) seconds then moved to point C, paused again momentarily and flew rapidly for approximately three (3) seconds to point D and then disappeared.  The second observation lasted for an estimated 30 seconds.

Formation if more than one:  Negative.

3.   Manner of Observation:  Visual or electronic:  Visual

From air or surface:  Surface

Course:  Not app  Altitude:  not app  Type of reporting Aircraft: Not app.

Any type of optical or electronic equipment used should be described:  None

If radar, the type and whether it was functioning normally before and after the incident:  None

Location of observer during the sighting:  K-14 Kimpo Air Field, Korea

Location of object relative to observer, giving distance:  Unknown

Direction:  Heading of 140 degree to 50 degree Altitude:  Unknown


FROM (Agency)

Page      OF     PAGES  

Statement of Flight Sergeant Kenneth Dudley Smith, 77th RAAF Squadron - K-14.

I, Flight Sgt. K. D. Smith, witnessed the following event at 0842 hours on 6 June 1952 at Kimpo Airfield, Korea.

An object, first thought to be a piece of paper or a bird, approached the airfield from the North.  It was a silver metal disk shaped like a coin which was spinning clockwise as it approached me.  It then began to tumble end over end continuing to spin like a large top.  I judged it to be approximately 50 to 60 feet in diameter.  I based this on an estimated altitude of 8 to 10 thousand feet and the comparison made to the F-86 flying over the field.  When first observed it was estimated to be moving at 300 knots against the wind.  The object traversed three fourths the airfield, stopped momentarily, then shot straight up, stopped again and changed course 90 degrees to the east.  When it reached what I estimate to be 35 to 40 thousand feet it started on the easterly course tumbling in the same manner as before.  At one point on this course it paused, changed direction to the South east and disappeared into the sun.  I again observed this object a few seconds later flying at a rapid rate of speed back and forth in front of the sun.  Another member of my organization, Flight Sgt. Kenneth Fawner, also observed the objects actions at the time of the second sighting.  This observation lasted only 30 seconds.

/s/t/ Kenneth Dudley Smith
  Flight Sgt.           


FROM (Agency)
Page     of     PAGES


Sketch of Kimpo Korea UFO By Flt Sgt K. D. Smith RAAF


FROM (Agency)
Page     of     PAGES


Kimpo Korea UFO Sketch No2 by Flt Sgt K. D. Smith, RAAF


FROM (Agency)
Det 1, 6004th AISS, APO 970
Page  3  of  3  PAGES

Identifying information on observer and witnesses, estimate of reliability and experience and any factor bearing on the estimated reliability of the sighting: Sgt Pilot K.D. Smith performs the duties of a combat pilot in this theater.  He has a total of 122 missions, no technical background other than pilot training, two and one half years in military service, and has been in this theater for three and one half months.  He was positive in his statements and has good judgment of time.

Weather and wind condition at time of sighting:  clear with visibility unlimited.

If sighting was by electronic methods a statement whether any attempt to visually sight the object was made:  Negative

Any activity or conditions meteorological or other wise which might account for the sighting:  None

Comments of Reporting Officer:    

All items included in this report are self explanatory.



No further information is available on this reported sighting.


      Download Report as .pdf Document

Extracted from FEAF "Intsum" [Far East Air Force Intelligence Summary]
#717, dtd 0320Z 13 June 1952 [dated 0320 hours Greenwich Mean Time,
13 June 1952]

Enemy balloons: Recently several reports have been received concerning the sighting of an unidentified object in the air having a primary color of white changing to red then to green, and located in the area of DT204398 [Korea military map coordinates DT 204 398].  These observations were made on 10 May and on 4, 6, and 7 June between the hours of 2102/I and 2400/I [local Korean time].  In the majority of cases the object was described as being egg shaped or round, at an altitude estimated between 1000 ft and 10,000 feet, and in one case was observed through a battery commander's scope [also a BC-scope] and measured for ten miles travel, but the operator reported that he could not traverse fast enough to keep on target.  The object was observed on 7 June for 1 hour and 5 minutes by a trained Air Technical Intelligence specialist and an ordnance Technical Intelligence specialist.  As a result of these observations, a forward observer investigated the area at 091445/I June and saw a balloon being raised and lowered on a cable.

DI FEAF [Director of Intelligence Far East Air Force]  Comment:  Most of the previous sightings of unidentified objects have occurred in the CT and DT grid areas.  The high horizontal speed of the one sighting could be accounted for by a free balloon caught in a horizontal draft in the mountainous areas of that sector.  The purpose of raising and lowering a balloon so near the front lines is not apparent, but could possibly be a method of communication.


Pusan (Busan) South Korea, September 4, 1952 — AI-F-35B

Pusan, Sept. 4 (Agence France-Presse)—A "flying saucer" was supposedly seen today by several persons over Pusan, the temporary capital of South Korea.  This is the second such report in two months.

According to the witnesses the object of a whitish color, spun slowly above the city for 11 minutes, then disappeared at a "terrific" speed.

Letter to NICAP from Theodore S. Greene, Major USAF Reserve (Ret.)
(See newspaper clipping mentioning Greene's World War II service.)


On or about Nov 20 1952, while flying the Douglas B-26 (WWII A-26), as a night intruder in Korea, I had the following experience:

B-26 Over Korea 1951

B-26 Invader over Korea, 1951

I was involved in interdiction (Covering certain areas behind the enemy lines with the object of stopping the movement of supplies to the front).  We attacked with bombs or 50 Caliber machine guns as the case arose.  The enemy on this night had a false train engine on the rails with smoke pots etc. to lure us into expending our Bombs uselessly.  We had made several passes over to examine it when a very white light appeared 150 feet behind us.  It was shaped like a pear with the small end at the top.  It appeared to be six feet tall.

I contacted "Olympic" which was our radar control.  They had no friends or enemies in our vicinity.  I asked and was given permission to attack.  We were flying on a heading 90° True (East).  We turned 270° to the left to a heading of 180°, which is due South, and attacked under maximum power.

Without the necessity of banking the object turned instantly to a 180° and was drawing rapidly away.  It's (sic) appearance had changed.  There was now a narrow band of red which extended horizontally from 12 to 15 feet wide and in the red reflection from this exhaust, (or what ever it was) the faint outline of a craft shaped like a saucer appeared.

Theodore Greene Korean UFO Encounter 1
Theodore Greene Korean UFO Encounter 2

The B-26s were not uniform, (depending upon which depot converted them.)  The one we were flying had the regular four fifty caliber machine guns in the wings and an additional four in the nose.  The gun switches were accessible only to the radio operator (Who served also as gunner and a safety co-pilot even though he was not trained in flying.)  Immediately that I launched the attack I directed the radio operator to turn on the guns and immediately both radio operator and Navigator/Bombadier (sic) were "blanked out" in such a way that they could neither talk nor respond in any way.  This lasted one and one half to two minutes.  When the crew returned to reality and the guns were on I fired several bursts at what I judged to be in excess of 2,000 yards range.  As far as I know the shots were to no effect.

In this part of Korea the terrain was approximately 6,500 feet above sea level.  Our cruising altitude was 8,500 feet, (above the peaks about 2,000 feet, theoretically.)  On this occasion we went down into a valley between the peaks, did a l80° turn to the left, away from the nearest peak, as soon as the UFO passed out of view.  We then climbed out on a reciprocal heading of 0° or due North.  We had descended to about 4,000 feet so it was necessary for us to regain our original altitude of 8,500.  I had reasoned that as long as the craft was visible to us with the space that was in between us, we were safe as far as the terrain was concerned.  At the point of origin of the attack the fake train engine was still there but it was out of smoke.

Several hours later we finished the night's mission and went to home base.  We saw nothing else that was unusual.  The "blanked" out period was not remembered by the crew members affected.

I have been told that UFOs are no longer classified in the military and so now I am free to tell of this encounter.
Theodore S. Greene

Korea - 1953



A spectacular UFO case has come to light almost exactly ten years after it happened. NICAP can thank one of its members, Joe Poggi of Boston, for uncovering the incident and George Nassif of Squantum, Massachusetts, for revealing it to both Poggi and myself.  Although Nassif did not witness the UFO visually, he heard the sound it emitted and he states the whole experience is one he will never forget.

Mr. Nassif, 31, is married, father of two young girls (another child expected), and lives at 4 Bellevue Road, Squantum, Massachusetts.  He works at the Boston Post Office. Mr. Nassif is in the process of writing a book about his experiences during the Korean War.

It is interesting to note that the sighting did occur during a period of increased UFO activity in Korea and Japan.  In 1952 and early 1953 the Air Force received many good reports from those two countries. The cases involved radar-visual sightings, UFOs following or pacing jet aircraft or jets pursuing the objects, and UFOs over Air Force bases.  Although an official month-by-month breakdown of UFO activity is not available for the year 1953, the Air (now Aerospace) Technical Intelligence Center admitted that during the first seventeen days of February alone, it received 42 military reports from bases in the United States and overseas.

Mr. Nassif believes his Korean sighting took place around March or April, 1953.  My files reveal three other UFO cases from Korea, that happened early in 1953.  On February 7 radar picked up an unknown; an F-94 was scrambled, the pilot saw a bright orange object which departed at high speed.  On April 17 (?) several luminous objects traveling at speeds of 800 mph were observed (visually?) and tracked by radar.  And on April 19 a triangular object was reported by pilots of two aircraft.  The official intelligence report reads: "At approximately 1 p.m. today aerial observers in two separate planes flying routine reconnaissance missions observed a white, rounded, delta-shaped object.  It was estimated to be five to seven feet in diameter. The observers had no idea of its depth or. thickness. It was traveling between 60, and 80 mph in a vibrating motion.  The course of flight was north-northeast to south-southwest over enemy territory.

During this period George Nassif was a supply sergeant stationed at an Air Force base known as K-8 at Kunsan, Korea.


This base was used as a back-up installation for other air bases, and its own B-26s, F-84s, and Marine interceptors conducted bombing and strafing runs as well as fighter intercept missions.  One night, around 8:00, Sgt. Nassif was returning to his barracks after taking a shower.  Although the sky condition was not noted, the air was clear and cool and the ground still muddy following rains that had lasted all week.  The base was dark except for a few lights here and there.

He had just entered the barracks when he suddenly heard a very loud roaring sound overhead--"like thousands of planes." Everyone (at least 25 men in the building) thought it was an enemy attack.  Someone yelled "turn off the lights," and everyone hit the floor.

When the roar was gone (after at least a minute) and nothing had happened, the men got up off the floor.  There were plenty of frightened and mystified faces around, George recalls, including his own. In the few minutes it took him to put on some clothes and shoes (no more than two or three minutes, he estimates), the roar was back and gone again.

The mystery object that caused the noise was also seen, George later learned from his buddies.  Among the eyewitnesses were the control tower personnel. The first time they reportedly watched the object come in from the west over the Yellow Sea — like a streak of light — and then saw it hover momentarily close to the tower.  The UFO was circular, rotating with a strip of light or lights in the middle section.  The object was so close that the towermen could see figures looking out, according to this second-hand account.  The UFO then picked up speed, passed over the barracks, and proceeded on a south-easterly course toward Pusan, 140 miles away, where it was also seen.  Radar tracked the object.  As a result of the UFO’s proximity, communications were knocked out at K-8 and apparently at other points between Kunsan and Pusan.  (Knowing the electromagnetic effects sometimes associated with UFOs, I questioned Mr. Nassif closely on this point.  It is possible that electric power might also have been affected. Nassif did not actually see anyone turn the lights off nor did he recall when the lights were on again.)

After a brief visit at Pusan, the object returned to K-8, where it was once more observed by tower personnel.  The UFO headed out over the sea and disappeared from sight.

In order for the object to have covered the round-trip distance of 280 miles between Kunsan and Pusan in two or three minutes, it would have had to travel at a speed of 5,600 to 8,400 miles per hour -- and possibly even faster since Nassif's estimate was no more than two or three minutes.  (This speed is not unusual and is in keeping with other estimates of UFO velocities.  UFO speeds are typically high.)


The next morning the topic of discussion around the base was the mystery aircraft and its terrific roar.  Around noon, George remembers, the base commander Colonel LaBailey ordered everyone at K-8 to report to the baseball field.  There the colonel, standing on his staff car, addressed the men about the UFO.  He told them the object had knocked out communications, that there was no known enemy or ...friendly aircraft in the air at the time of the sighting, and that the object was completely unidentified.  He requested everyone to raise his right hand and take an oath not to discuss the incident any further and, most importantly, not to write home about it.  The oath was kept because, so far as I know, this is the first report of this sighting to be released publicly.  George Nassif did not tell anyone about it until after his return to civilian life.

I interviewed Mr, Nassif at my apartment March 13, 1963, with Joe Poggi present.  If this report is published by NICAP, the witness wishes to have his name omitted from the report.  He states that he will be glad to cooperate in any way if his aid is needed in the analysis of the sighting.

- Walter N. Webb                  

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