"Saucer" outran jet, pilot reveals
Investigation on in secret after chase over capital
Radar spot blips like aircraft for nearly six hours - only 1.700 feet up

By Paul Sampson, Post Reporter


"Washington Invasion"

A series of incidents in the latter part of July 1952, centered on Washington, D.C., which came at the peak of a major flying saucer flap that year. Events began in the early hours of Jul. 20 when two radars covering the capital picked up eight UFOs in restricted air space, flying at a few hundred km per hour and suddenly accelerating to a tremendous speed. A number of military and civilian pilots reported seeing strange lights in the sky around the same time. On the night of Jul. 26-27, more strange lights and radar contacts were logged. Interceptor planes from Wilmington, Delaware were scrambled. One pilot, Lt. William Patterson, reported himself surrounded by a ring of great blue-white lights, which disappeared before he was given permission to fire on them. In its investigation of the incidents, the Civil Aviation Authority's Technical Development and Evaluation Center concluded that the radar images were the result of temperature inversions which could cause radar signals to be reflected back to the ground. Excitement caused by the radar anomalies could have led to misidentification of ordinary, bright sources of light with mysterious aerial objects.

Military secrecy veils an investigation of the mysterious, glowing aerial objects that showed up on radar screens in the Washington area Saturday night for the second consecutive week.

A jet pilot sent up by the Air Defense Command to investigate the objects reported he was unable to overtake the glowing lights moving near Andrews Air Force Base.

The CAA reported reported the objects traveled at "predominantly lower levels"-about 1700 feet. July 19.

Air Force spokesmen said yesterday only that an investigation was being made into the sighting of the objects on the radar screen in the CAA Air Route Traffic Control Center at Washington National Airport, and on two other radar screens. Methods of the investigations were classified as secret, a spoken said.

"We have no evidence they are flying saucers; conversely we have no evidence they are not flying saucers. We don't know what they are," a spokesman added.

The same source reported an expert from the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton Ohio, was here last week investigating the objects sighted July 19.

The expert has been identified as Capt. E.J. Ruppelt. Reached by telephone at his home in Dayton yesterday, Ruppelt said he could make no comment on his activity in Washington.

Capt. Ruppelt confirmed he was in Washington last week but said he had not come here to investigate the mysterious objects. He recalled he did make an investigation after hearing of the objects, but could not say what he investigated.

Another Air Force spokesman said here yesterday the Air Force is taking all steps necessary to evaluate the sightings. "The intelligence people," this spokesman explained, "sent someone over to the control center at the time of the sightings and did whatever necessary to make the proper evaluation.

Asked whether the radar equipment might have been mis-functioning, the spokesman said, "radar, like the compass is not a perfect instrument and is subject to error." He thought, however, persons acquainted with the problems of radar would make the investigation.

Two other radar screens in the area picked up the objects.An employee of the National Airport control tower said the radar scope there picked up very weak "blips" of the objects. The tower radar's for "short range" and is not so powerful as that at the center. Radar at Andrews Air Force Base also registered the objects from about seven miles south of the base.

A traffic control center spokesman said the nature of the signals on the radar screen ruled out any possibility they were from clouds or any other "weather" disturbance.

"The returns we received from the unidentified objects were similar and analagous to targets representing aircraft in flight," he said.

The objects, "flying saucer or what have you, appeared on the radar scope at the airport center at 9:08 PM. Varying from 4 to 12 in number,the objects appeared on the screen until 3:00 AM., when they diappeared.

At 11:25 PM., two F-94 jet fighters fro Air Defense Command squadron, at New CAstle Delaware, capable of 600 hundred mph speeds, took off to investigate the objects.

Airline, civil and military pilots described the objects as looking like the lit end of a cigarette or a cluster of orange and red lights.

One jet pilot observed 4 lights in the vicinity of Andrews Air Force Base, but was not able to over-take them, and they disappeared in about two minutes.

The same pilot observed a steady white light in the vicinity of Mt Vernon at 11:49 PM. The light, about 5 miles from him, faded in a minute. The lights were also observed in the Beltsville, MD., vicinity. At 1:40 AM two-other F-94 jet fighters took off and scanned the area until 2:20 AM., but did not make any sightings.

Visible two days

Although "unidentified objects" have been picked up on radar before, the incidents of the last two Saturdays are believed to be the first time the objects have been picked up on radar-while visible to the human eye.

Besides the pilots, who last saturday saw the lights, a woman living on Mississippi Ave., told the Post she saw a very "bright light streaking across the sky towards Andrews Air Force Base about 11:45 PM. Then a second object with a tail like a comet whizzed by, and a few seconds later, a third passed in a different direction toward Suntland, she said.

Radar operators plotted the speed of "Saturday night's visitors" at from 38 to 90 mph, but one jet pilot reported faster speeds for the light he saw.

The jet pilot reported he had no apparent "closing speed" when he attempted to reach the lights he saw near Andrews Air Force Base. That means the lights were moving at least as fast as his top speed-a maximum of 600 mph.

One person who saw the lights when they first appeared in this area did not see them last night. He is E.W. Chambers, an engineer at Radio Station WRC, who spotted the lights while working early the morning of July 20 at station's Hyattsville tower.

Chamber's said he was sorry he had seen the lights because he had been skeptical about "flying saucers" before. Now he said, he sort of "wonders" and worries about the whole thing.

Leon Davidson, 804 South Irving St. Arlington, a chemical engineer who made an exhaustive study of "flying saucers" as a hobby, said yesterday reports of saucers in the East, have been relatively rare.

Davidson has studied the official report on the saucers, including some of the secret portions never made public, and analyzed all the data in the report.

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Davidson, whose study of saucers is impressively detailed and scientific, said he believes the lights are American "aviation products"- probably "circular flying wings," using new type jet engines that permit rapid acceleration and relatively low speeds. He believes, they are either "new fighter," guided missiles, or piloted guided missiles.

He cited some of the recent jet fighters, including the Navy's new " F-4-D, which has a radical "bat-wing," as examples of what the objects might resemble.

Davidson thinks the fact that the lights have been seen in this area indicates the authorities may be ready to disclose the "new aircraft" in the near future. Previously, most of the "verified saucers" have been seen over sparsely inhabited areas, Davidson explained, and now, when they appear here, it may indicate that "secrecy" is not so important any more.




WASHINGTON -- "Rumors about the saucer mystery fly almost as fast as the strange sights themselves," pronounced the narrator of a 1952 Paramount newsreel, commenting on a rash of UFO sightings from New York to Washington.

He added ominously: "With this evidence, the mystery thickens."

And so it seemed.

A comic book narrative of the time came down on the side of believers. "SAUCERS OVER WASHINGTON, D.C.," blared its bold black headline. It dismissed the military's "glib" explanation of radar blips seen that July by National Airport flight controllers. Simply a case of temperature inversion or reflections of ground objects, insisted the Air Force brass. But what about the pilot, the cartoonist countered, who described "a bright light moving faster, at times, than a shooting star"?

Well, what about it?

From 1947 to 1969, Americans accounted for 12,618 reports of unidentified flying objects. It was up to investigators at Ohio's Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to determine if extraterrestrial beings, in fact, had descended from space to Earth.

This work was incendiary enough to be classified. But the government bestowed a bureaucratic name just the same: "Project Blue Book". It went on until 1969. That year, the United States Air Force declared itself out of the UFO business, but not before concluding that 701 sightings remained "unidentified."

Not to worry, Wright-Patterson officials assured the public in a 1985 fact sheet:

No UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security; there has been no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as `unidentified' represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge; and there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as `unidentified' are extraterrestrial vehicles.

Just to be clear: Should anyone feel threatened by something he or she sees, the Air Force advised, "contact a local law enforcement agency."

And one last thing:

Periodically, it is erroneously stated that the remains of extraterrestrial visitors are or have been stored at Wright-Patterson AFB. There are not now nor ever have been, any extraterrestrial visitors or equipment on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Did Project Blue Book really lead to such a disappointing end?

The unconvinced -- or the merely curious -- are welcome to see for themselves. Blue Book's documents and photographs comprise 42 cubic feet of declassified records -- numbering 2,000 pages per cubic foot -- now housed in the Military Reference Branch of the National Archives. They can be accessed through 94 rolls of 35 mm microfilm.

A glimpse inside the files finds a graphic charting coverage of UFOs -- including in the popular magazines LOOK and LIFE -- against subsequent spikes in sightings. There was a outbreak of them in the summer of 1952. Even Harry S. Truman got involved. A July 26, 1952 memo out of Box 26 reveals that "the President had requested Gen. Landry to find out the details of the sighting that had occurred in Washington on Saturday night."

That 1952 newsreel, with its breathless narration, describes how "across the river from New York City, a Jersey City volunteer air-defense observer reports that not only has he spotted a flying saucer in the nighttime sky over Manhattan, but that he's actually photographed it."

What was it, really?

We are left to wonder.




President Truman was facing a crisis, which no American government had ever before encountered Alien forces outside the human race were suddenly flying, at will, into American airspace and none of the American military branches could stop them or repel the alien beings from doing whatever they wanted to do.


On July 9, 1947, between 10:30 and 11:00 A.M., President Truman received a visit from Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico. While these two men were meeting, Lt. General James Doolittle (1896-1993) and the vice-commander of the Army Air Force, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg were in a conference with Army Air Force Secretary Stuart Symington (1901-1988) in a Pentagon office. At 10:48 A.M., while Hatch was still at the White House, General Vandenberg called the president. A few minutes later the group in the Pentagon went to the office of the chief of staff of the Army, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969). This was followed by a series of meetings at the very top level in the Pentagon, culminating with a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All these meetings are recorded in the U.S. National Archives, but what was discussed has been taken away from the records.


On July 10, there were more high-level meetings and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) was briefed on the alien crisis. On July 26, 1947, President Truman signed a sweeping change in the nation's structure, called THE NATIONAL SECURITY ACT (Compare this with the passing of the HR-3162 PATRIOT ACT of 2001 signed by President Bush after the 9/11 attack).


President Truman ordered that a strong propaganda effort should be launched by all military branches, denying the fact that alien space craft existed and were flying, at will, over the entire world. Instead, the official line was, that people were seeing falling weather balloons, meteorites, or just imagined that they had seen anything flying, looking like a flying disc.







, Germany -- The flamboyant fighter pilot known as the Red Baron not only shot down 80 enemy planes for the Germans during World War I -- he also was the first human in history to gun down an alien spaceship!  

That is the fascinating claim of former German Air Force ace Peter Waitzrik, who says he watched in astonishment as the deadeye fighter pilot shot a UFO with undulating orange lights out of the sky over
Belgium in 1917.

Then, Waitzrik says, he stared in disbelief as two bruised and battered occupants of the downed craft climbed from their spaceship and scampered off into the woods -- apparently never to be seen again.


"The Baron and I gave a full report on the incident back at headquarters and they told us not to ever mention it again," the feisty, 105-year-old retired airline pilot recently told a reporter.


"And except for my wife and grandkids, I never told a soul. But it's been over 80 years, so what difference could it possibly make now?"


The aging Waitzrik said he and Baron Manfred von Richthofen -- the renowned Red Baron -- were flying an early morning mission over western Belgium in the spring of 1917 when the UFO suddenly appeared in a clear, blue sky directly ahead of their Fokker triplanes.


"We were terrified because we'd never seen anything like it before," recalled the easygoing great-great grandfather of five. "The U.S. had just entered the war, so we assumed it was something they'd sent up.


"The Baron immediately opened fire and the thing went down like a rock, shearing off tree limbs as it crashed in the woods. Then the two little baldheaded guys climbed out and ran away."


Waitzrik said he assumed the glittering silver spaceship was some sort of enemy invention until the flying saucer scare that began in the late 1940s convinced him that his buddy had shot down a UFO.


"The thing was maybe 40 meters (136 feet) in diameter and looked just like those saucer- shaped spaceships that everybody's been seeing for the last 50 years," the awed oldster said.


"So there's no doubt in my mind now that that was no U.S. reconnaissance plane the Baron shot down, that was some kind of spacecraft from another planet -- and those little guys who ran off into the woods weren't Americans, they were space aliens of some kind.


"You know, sometimes I wonder what ever became of those guys, anyway."