SAC B-47 Crews Encounter UFO Over Texas – September 3, 1954

Shreveport (LA).  Shreveport Times – July 10, 1988


Barksdale Air Force Base figures into one sighting, and several Shreveporters admit having seen something in the sky they can’t explain — even as much as 10 years later.

Walter Andrus, head of the Texas-based Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON, says the widow of a B-47 crew member based at Barksdale provided information about a sighting involving her husband's airplane.

The aircraft, he said, was flying a practice bomb run over Texas on Sept 3, 1954, when the control tower at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth directed them to investigate a suspected UFO.

“They were at 25,000 feet when they discovered the object — flying within 100 feet, above them,” Andrus said.

The UFO dogged the airplane for an hour, then left as quickly as it had appeared.  During the hour, however, the crew took photographs.

“But when the plane landed at Barksdale, their film was confiscated and they were questioned for three days,” Andrus said, adding that the men were told to share their tale with no one — not even their wives.

“Finally, the bombardier-navigator told his wife, and she called us,” he said.

Spokesmen at Barksdale could not confirm the incident.

NAS_Fort_Worth_JRB.jpg - includes Carswell Field

Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Includes Carswell Field

View On Google Maps


Close Encounter at 25,000 Feet: Government Cover up

by Paul C. Cerny

[Ed. note: There are today so many straws in the wind concerning alleged government cover up of genuine UFO cases that, taken together, they would make quite a haystack.  Yet, no definitive proof has been forthcoming, proof that would withstand a severe Congressional investigation, for example.  The following story, released by the widow of one of the principal witnesses after an enforced silence of many years, would, if true (and Mr. Cerny holds it is true, based on his private interviews with the narrator), constitute such proof.  We present it here for the record through the kindness of Mr. Cerny.  In 1954, the date of this event, I was quite active with Project Blue Book and I do not recollect ever seeing this report in Dayton.  If it had come into Blue Book, it would have stood out like the proverbial sore thumb and it certainly would not have escaped my attention.  So here may be additional evidence of Government cover-up.]

TIME: 4:30 PM
DURATION: Over one hour
WITNESSES: Crews of 3 B-47 bombers
PLACE: 25,000 feet over Texas vicinity of Dallas

During a radio call-in talk show, in which MUFON astronomy consultant Tom Gates and I participated, we were rewarded with an unusual and highly significant story from the widow of a former Air Force major, a pilot and navigator on B-47 and B-52 jet bombers.  She stated that after many years of remaining silent as requested, she felt that the public had the right to know about her deceased husband's, and his companion's, exceptional UFO encounter.

I arranged for several personal interviews which revealed an astounding story of high altitude, extremely close UFO encounter.  Her detailed recall of the events of many years ago, as told to her by her husband shortly after the event, was impressive, as was her obvious intelligence.  I almost felt that I was listening to her husband retelling the story himself.

Strategic Air Command Shield Her husband at the time was Maj. Robert J. Waste (she has since remarried) #73028, classified as a 1037, basically a navigator of a specialized elite crew.  He was a Wing Officer with the Strategic Air Command (SAC).  He lost his life in the crash of a B-52 bomber on Memorial Day, 1955, which also cost the lives of the entire crew. The UFO encounter had occured (sic) eight months earlier.

On Sept. 3, 1954, Major Waste had gone out with his squadron on routine bombing exercises.  They were competing for accuracy by dropping "bombs" of sacks of flour.  Each B-47 carried a crew of three – a pilot, co-pilot, and navigator-bombardier.  Major Waste was acting in the latter capacity, riding in the nose portion of the aircraft.

They had been over various mid-western States and were now returning home to Barksdale A.F.B., Shreveport, La.  At about 4:30 P.M., on this relatively clear day, they were in the general area of Dallas, Tex., when they received a radio communication from Carswell A.F.B., near Fort Worth, asking them to investigate and be on the lookout in their immediate vicinity for reported UFOs.  They were cruising at 25,000 feet.

They were suddenly startled to discover a strange craft pacing their plane only 100 feet overhead.  The alien machine was a beautifully stream-lined, missile-shaped device slightly larger and longer than their own B-47 fuselage.  It was dull metallic in color and had two rows of oval-shaped port holes along each of its sides, about a third of the way up from the bottom.  An orange exhaust flame emanated from the rear of the aerial intruder, as well as from what appeared to be smaller control exhaust ports slightly ahead of the main thrust unit.  The bottom of the craft seemed to be lighted or glowing.  This description of the appearance and performance of the craft resembles that of the famous Chiles-Whitted DC-3 airliner case of July 23, 1948, near Montgomery, Ala.

The immediate concern of the crew was the frightening possibility of a mid-air collision.  After pacing the B-47 overhead for a short time, it suddenly shot ahead and then zoomed almost straight up at incredible speed, disappearing momentarily from view.  As per their radio instructions, they tried to climb after it at full throttle, but almost stalled the B-47 in the attempt.  Nothing we had would come anywhere near the its performance capabilities.

The sleek UFO then came back down to within about 300 feet of the jet bomber and began circling the aircraft. It circled overhead and underneath at fantastic speeds, so fast that they could hardly see it.  The object stayed with them, pacing overhead and underneath, doing all sorts of maneuvering around the B-47 for well over an hour.

RB-47E Similar to Plane Major Waste Was Flying

RB-47E Bomber similar to Major Waste's aircraft

During this time Major Waste had made his way back through the inside passageway to the pilot's area where he and the co-pilot shot photos of the missile-like intruder with their personal cameras.  Many of their pictures were taken when it was close overhead, displaying considerable detail.  Major Waste had a new Nikon sequencing camera with a telephoto lens.  An expert photography buff, he shot 32 frames of 35mm color film of the craft during the encounter.

The maneuvering capability was incredible.  The object would cut in front of the plane, at one time doing a perfect figure eight, as if showing off.  Once it slowed down in front of them, and they started into its exhaust flame.  When they were sure they would collide, it pulled away and maneuvered around the aircraft.

Their radio instructions from the ground were to pursue and, if possible, force the UFO down.  Major Waste remarked, "No way were we going to be able to force that thing down!"  The crew's opinion was that this unusual craft did not come from anywhere on this planet, due to its appearance and maneuvering capability.

The two planes behind were watching and listening to the air-to-ground communications between Major Waste's plane and the air base.  When the action started, they did move up for a closer look, but kept at a safe distance.  All immediate action was centered around the lead aircraft.

As if content with the time spent "showing up" the inferior B-47, the sleek craft once again shot upward into the sky and disappeared, not returning again.

All the B-47s on this training mission landed safely at Barksdale A.F.B. and the crews were released after debriefing and sent home, except for the crew of Major Waste's plane and the two other accompanying aircraft.  The wives and family members of these three planes were all anxiously awaiting their arrival and release from duty at the base, but were told to go back home without them, that they would be detained for some time.  The crews are specifically instructed not to discuss military matters or incidents while on duty with anyone, even their wives.

The three involved B-47 crews were confined to the A.F.B. for almost three days for special debriefing as the result of their encounter with the unknown craft.  All the film the crews took of the UFO was confiscated.  The luggage bags and other personal effects thoroughly searched for any possible additional film. The planes were carefully searched as well.  Family members calling the base, inquiring why the three crews were being detained and why they could not come home, were told they could not discuss the reasons.  No information at all was available.  Major Waste finally came home on the third day at about 9 p.m. to a very upset wife and her son, whose birthday he missed because of the detainment.

Mrs. Waste prodded her husband, promising not to tell anyone the reason for his detainment, and she kept that promise all these years until now.  He finally agreed to tell her in the strictest confidence about the unusual encounter, and told her never to tell anyone about it.  Since that time, she has remained in touch with the other two crew member's families and three other retired officers acquainted with the incident.  She was good enough to phone these retired officers for me to ask for verification and permission to use their names or let me talk to them.  All flatly refused and one even denied any knowledge of the event.  The others did verify to her that the encounter took place but refused to discuss it, even with her.

It is incredible the "strangle hold" our government agencies have over military personnel, threatening reprisal to silence them about their involvement in a world-wide phenomenon which, in most cases, does not involve classified military information.

In the case at hand, we apparently have an answer to James Oberg's question stated in his article in TRUE 1981. Outer Space and Paranormal World Quarterly, "Where are the UFO photographs?"  Perhaps Captain James Oberg's influence with the Pentagon is sufficient to obtain the release of the Major Waste photographs, or at least to disclose where they are filed?

PROJECT 1947 Comment: The Editor's Note in the introduction to this case is by Dr. J. Allen Hynek.  As in the case of the Navy Skyraider Squadron incident, the above report exists with no official documentation.  A number of other reports are also in this category.

One of the best known examples involved the USAF UFO spokesman, Col. William T. Colemen – Public Relations Officer covering, among other things, UFOs from 1961-1962.

Col. Colemen reported his UFO sighting of 1954 or 1955, but after he became Air Force UFO spokesman, he could not locate his report in the Project Blue Book files.  It was not listed as a "missing case," but completely absent like the report above, from the Blue Book records.

We have references to several serial numbered USAF intelligence reports on UFOS – i.e., Intelligence reports sent to USAF HQ and recorded in the logs of USAF intelligence files – which apparently are also not in the Project Blue Book files.

When Capt. Edward Ruppelt became Project Blue Book chief, he searched intelligence files in the Pentagon to locate UFO reports not passed on to Project Grudge/Blue Book.  He did everything in his power to make sure that all such reports were funneled to Project Blue Book for evaluation.  Even so, a few UFO reports from the 1947-1952 period that were not in the Project Blue Book files have been recovered in other USAF activities' files.  It has been harder to locate such reports made after 1952.

There continues to exist a large body of reports made by former US military personnel during the Project Blue Book era that do not exist in the project's files.

Back to Folio Index
Return to MAIN PAGE