John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

UFO's over Washington DC

From July 12 to July 29, 1952, there were a series of UFO sightings over Washington D.C. with the most publicized sightings took place on consecutive weekends, July 19–20 and July 26–27.

July 19–20

On Saturday, July 19, 1952 Army artillery officer Joseph Gigandet, was sitting on the front porch of his home in Alexandria Virginia just outside of Washington DC. At almost exactly 9:30 p.m. he saw "a red cigar-shaped object" which sailed slowly over his house. Gigandet estimated the object's size as about the same as a DC-7 airplane and flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Following the red cigar-shaped object were a "series of lights very closely set together" on its sides. The object eventually flew back over his house a second time, which led Gigandet to assume that it was circling the area but on the second fly by it turned a deeper red color and sailed over towards Washington DC. Gigandet claimed that his neighbor, an FBI agent, also saw the object.

 Photos of National Airports Radar Tower

At 11:40 p.m. that night Edward Nugent, an air-traffic controller at Washington National Airport, spotted seven objects on his radar. The objects were located 15 miles south-southwest of the city; no known aircraft were in the area and the objects were not following any established flight paths. Nugent's superior, Harry Barnes, a senior air-traffic controller at the airport, watched the objects on Nugent's radarscope.

He later wrote: "We knew immediately that a very strange situation existed . . . their movements were completely radical compared to those of ordinary aircraft"

Barnes had two controllers check Nugent's radar; they found that it was working normally. Barnes then called National Airport's other radar center; the controller there, Howard Cocklin, told Barnes that he also had the objects on his radarscope. Furthermore, Cocklin said that by looking out of the control tower window he could see one of the objects: "a bright orange light. I can't tell what's behind it"

At this point, other objects appeared in all sectors of the radarscope; when they moved over the White House and the United States Capitol, Barnes called Andrews Air Force Base, located 10 miles from National Airport.

Although Andrews reported that they had no unusual objects on their radar, an airman soon called the base's control tower to report the sighting of a strange object. Airman William Brady, who was in the tower, then saw an "object which appeared to be like an orange ball of fire, trailing a tail . . . [it was] unlike anything I had ever seen before."

 As Brady tried to alert the other personnel in the tower, the strange object "took off at an unbelievable speed" and vanished in "a split second". He then observed a second, similar object, but it also disappeared before anyone else in the tower could see it.

At 12:30 a.m. on July 20, another person in the National Airport control tower reported seeing "an orange disk about 3,000 feet altitude". On one of the airport's runways, S.C. Pierman, a Capital Airlines pilot, was waiting in the cockpit of his DC-4 for permission to take off. After spotting what he believed to be a meteor, he was told that the control tower's radar had picked up unknown objects closing in on his position. Pierman observed six objects — "white, tailless, fast-moving lights" — over a 14-minute period Pierman was in radio contact with Barnes during his sighting, and Barnes later related that "each sighting coincided with a pip we could see near his plane. When he reported that the light streaked off at a high speed, it disappeared on our scope."

At Andrews AFB, meanwhile, the control tower personnel were tracking on radar what some thought to be unknown objects, but others suspected, and in one instance were able to prove, were simply stars and meteors. However, Staff Sgt. Charles Davenport observed an orange-red light to the south; the light "would appear to stand still, then make an abrupt change in direction and altitude . . . this happened several times"

At one point both radar centers at National Airport and the radar at Andrews AFB were tracking an object hovering over a radio beacon. The object vanished in all three radar centers at the same time

Air Force Capt. Harold May was in the radar center at Andrews AFB and upon hearing that National Airport's radar had picked up an object heading in their direction, he stepped outside and saw "a light that was changing from red to orange to green to red again . . . at times it dipped suddenly and appeared to lose altitude." However, May eventually concluded that he was simply seeing a star that was distorted by the atmosphere.

 At 3 a.m., shortly before two jet fighters from Newcastle AFB in Delaware arrived over Washington, all of the objects vanished from the radar at National Airport. However, when the jets ran low on fuel and left, the objects returned, which convinced Barnes that "the UFOs were monitoring radio traffic and behaving accordingly"

 The objects were last detected by radar at 5:30 a.m. when E.W. Chambers, a civilian radio engineer in Washington's suburbs, observed "five huge disks circling in a loose formation. They tilted upward and left on a steep ascent."

July 26–27
At 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, 1952, a pilot and stewardess on a National Airlines flight into Washington noticed strange objects above their plane. At almost exactly the same time both radar centers at National Airport, and the radar at Andrews AFB, were tracking more unknown objects. A master sergeant at Andrews visually observed the objects; he later said that "these lights did not have the characteristics of shooting stars. There was [sic] no trails . . . they traveled faster than any shooting star I have ever seen"

Two more jets from Newcastle AFB were scrambled during the night. One pilot saw nothing unusual; the other pilot moved towards a white light which "vanished" when he closed in.
A while later, a Capital Airlines flight leaving Washington spotted "odd lights" which remained visible for about twelve minutes. As on July 20, the sightings and unknown radar returns ended at sunrise.

By that time the stories about the UFO were all over the news and President Harry Truman called in USAF Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, the supervisor of the Air Force's
(then-secret) Project Blue Book investigation whose job was to figure out what the UFO’s appearing across the country were.

By coincidence, Captain Ruppelt was in Washington the night of the first sightings although he didn’t learn about the sightings until Tuesday, July 22, and he learned over it only then when he read his morning newspaper.

Ruppelt called a meeting with intelligence officers at The Pentagon about the sightings and then spent most of the rest of the morning trying to get permission to use a staff car to investigate the matter but was turned down (only generals and senior colonels could use staff cars.) 

Captain Edward J. Ruppelt

Frustrated, he flew back to Blue Book's headquarters at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio.

Then President Harry Truman called Captain Ruppelt back to DC and told him to report to the White House. Truman said he wanted two things. He wanted the Air Force to calm down the general public of the UFO issue and he wanted answers. 

At the meeting, Truman asked for an explanation of the sightings, and Ruppelt, (Who had not yet interviewed any of the witnesses or conducted a formal investigation) had no explanation, said that the sightings might have been caused by temperature inversion, in which a layer of warm, moist air covers a layer of cool, dry air closer to the ground. This condition can cause radar signals to bend and give false returns.

Above: Pivotal scene from 1956 docudrama "UFO: The True Story of Flying Saucers", clipped from "UFO Investigator Magazine" and found in Project Blue Book files. The "Lt. Holden" referred to is actually a pseudonym for Lt. Holcomb.

To deal with the press and calm the public Air Force Major General John Samford (Stamford was also a director of the National Security Agency, the super-secret NSA) called a press conference at the Pentagon on July 29, 1952. It was the largest Pentagon press conference since World War II.

The general, (Above)  who had no idea what he was talking about, said that the UFO sightings over Washington could be explained as “misidentified aerial phenomena” meaning the US Air Force and trained radar personnel were mistaking  stars or meteors as UFO’s.
Further, Samford said that the unknown radar targets could be explained by temperature inversion, which was present in the air over Washington on both nights the radar returns were reported. (Yet in the six decades that have passed since the incidents, the temperature inversion phenomenon of presenting itself as UFO’s has never been repeated.

To support their case, the Pentagon mentioned that the crew of a B-25 bomber, which had been flying over Washington during the sightings of July 26–27, was called by the control tower at National Airport several times over unknown targets on the airport's radarscopes, yet the bombers crew saw nothing. A crew member related, "The radar had a target [which] turned out to be the Wilson Lines steamboat trip to Mount Vernon . . . the radar was sure as hell picking up the steamboat"

Above: July 29, 1952 photo op showing from left, Captain R.L. James, Maj. Gen. Roger Ramey (seated, left), Capt. Edward Ruppelt (standing, center), Maj. Gen. John A.Samford (seated, right), Col. Donald L. Bower, and B.L. Griffing.

But otherwise nobody bought the temperature inversion theory including Captain Ruppelt himself who discovered that "hardly a night passed in June, July, and August in 1952 that there wasn't a [temperature] inversion in Washington, yet the slow-moving, solid radar targets appeared on only a few nights"

According to Ruppelt, when he was able to interview the radar and control tower personnel at Washington National Airport, not a single person agreed with the official explanation. However when Ruppelt interviewed the tower at Andrews Air Force base, the Airmen and Officers insisted that they had been mistaken and had merely seen a bright star. 

Ruppelt checked an astronomical chart he found that there were no bright stars over the station that night, and, he wrote later, that he had "heard from a good source that the tower men had been 'persuaded' a bit" by superior officers to state that their sighting was merely a star.

Dr. James E. McDonald, a physicist at the University of Arizona and a prominent ufologist in the 1960s, did his own analysis of the Washington sightings. After interviewing four pilot eyewitnesses and five radar personnel, McDonald argued that the Air Force explanation was "physically impossible".

National Airports Harry Barnes told McDonald that the radar targets "were not shapeless blobs such as one gets from ground returns under anomalous propagation", and that he was certain the unknown radar blips were solid targets; Howard Cocklin, the National Airport radar tech who first spotted the objects, agreed with Barnes.
The United States Weather Bureau also disagreed with the temperature inversion hypothesis.


After the Truman meeting, Captain Ruppelt sent Albert M. Chop, the press spokesman for Project Blue Book, to National Airport to interview the radar center personnel. Just as he did, at around 9:30 p.m. the radar center was picking up unknown objects in every sector. The objects traveled slowly and every now and then reversed direction and moved across the radarscope at speeds calculated at 7,000 mph.

At 11:30 p.m., two jet fighters from Newcastle AFB in Delaware arrived over Washington. Capt. John McHugo, the flight leader, repeatedly flew right at the location of the radar pips but saw nothing. However, his wingman, Lt. William Patterson, did see four white "glows" and chased them however the glows suddenly turned and surrounded his fighter. Patterson asked the control tower at National Airport what he should do; according to Chop, the tower's answer was "stunned silence". The four objects then sped away from Patterson's jet and disappeared

After midnight on July 27, Major Dewey Fournet, Project Blue Book's liaison at the Pentagon, and a Lt. Holcomb, an Air Force radar specialist, arrived at the radar center at National Airport.

From reports from the Washington National Weather Station Lt. Holcomb knew that a slight temperature inversion was present over the city, but Holcomb felt that the inversion was not "nearly strong enough to explain the 'good and solid' returns" on the radarscopes and according to conversations that Major Fournet had with the radar teams the targets were most likely caused by solid metallic objects. There had been weather targets on the scope too, he said, but this was a common occurrence and the controllers "were paying no attention to them."

Later that evening, at 3 a.m., an Eastern Airlines flight over Washington was told that an unknown object was in its vicinity; the crew saw nothing unusual. When they were told that the object had moved directly behind their plane, they began a sharp turn to try and see the object, but were told by the radar center that the object "disappeared" when the plane began to turn.
Officially Project Blue Book would label the Washington radar objects as "mirage effects caused by a double inversion", and the sightings as "meteors coupled with the normal excitement of witnesses" in other words, it didn’t happen.

However…..exactly 50 years later, on Friday July 26 2002, according to WTOP News Radio in Washington DC, this is what happened;

What was that bright light in Maryland's sky???
 WTOP has learned that residents near Andrews Air Force base were shaken from their beds early Friday morning by some strange activity in the air.
"Incredible. Absolutely incredible" is what Renny Rogers of Waldorf calls it. Just before two in the morning, Rogers says he saw a large blue ball of light streaking across the sky. But it was the military jets that really startled him.
"(The jets) were right on its tail. As the thing would move, a jet was right behind it," Rogers recalls.
He is not the only one who saw it. Several people called WTOP Radio reporting seeing a bright blue or orange ball moving very fast, being chased by jets.
Rogers says there was no smoke coming from the object, no flashing lights, and says it was smooth, and eerily silent. The Air National Guard confirms they scrambled the 113th squadron.
Spokesman Sheldon Smith says they are investigating and in contact with NORAD.


April 1947; Richmond, Virginia at 11 a.m., a Meteorologist named Minczewski saw a silvery disc through a theodolite while tracking a pibal weather balloon, traveling east to West at less than 15,000 ft., appeared larger than the balloon.

June 2, 1947; Rehoboth Beach, Pilot Forrest Wenyon in aircraft flying at 1400 feet
saw a silvery jar-shaped object 15 inches across cross in front of the plane at 1,000-10,000 mph heading East on a straight course at same altitude, with a silver-white fire exhaust. It is possible he saw a Daytime meteor.

July 7, 1947; Arlington, Virginia between 10:30 and 11 p.m.  AAF Lt. Col. Cobb saw a "blob," the size of a small airplane, reflecting white light flying at less than 500 ft. above ground to at about 1,350 mph.

Nov. 18, 1948; Andrews AFB at 9:45-10:03 p.m. Technical Sergeants Jackson and Combs, 2 reserve pilots, aboard an Andrews AFB T-6 aircraft traveling 150 mph and 2 independent ground observers saw a highly maneuverable whitish-grey oval lighted object smaller than the T-6 cross over Andrews AFB from North to South and back again in a circular pattern from 4,000 ft. dropping to 1,700 ft. then climbing to 7,000 ft. The T-6 followed object to identify it, made 3-4 passes at the object while climbing, dove on the object at 240 mph but it dropped down and came up behind the T-6 and continued circling the base. The T-6 was able with difficulty to put object in front of city lights on the ground to try to make out details, and came within about 300-400 ft. turned on landing light and object responded with a dull glow, then sped off to the northeast at 8,000+ ft. and 500-600 mph disappearing. Another reserve pilot, a USAF 2nd Lt. in another aircraft over the northeast corner of Andrews at 1,000 ft. saw the object directly overhead. A further independent witness, USAF Staff Sgt. John J. Kushner, observed object from the ground.

Jan. 24, 1950; Near Blackstone, Virginia at between 4:50-5:05 p.m. two USAF combat flying officers, pilot Capt. G. B. Edwards and copilot Capt. Theron C. Fehrevach, were flying with three Pentagon officials, in a C-45 transport plane at 5,000 ft., when they saw a dark 200-250 ft. diameter hemispherical parachute-shaped or B-35 flying wing shaped object about 5-10 miles away with a large black smoke region below it. The UFO was darker than the cloud cover and “easy to distinguish as not being cloud.” The object moved smoothly horizontally to the right and then back again without any noticeable turn radius. Edwards put the C-45 into a climb to 7,000 ft. so they would be on the same height level as the UFO and turned left slightly to 20° to head directly toward it. Army Courier Service passenger 1st Lt. John H. Van Santen was alerted by Fehrevach and now also saw the object move right then left, then they all saw the object recede at high speed radically away and disappear. About 1-1/2 mins later object reappeared to the right of their heading at the same level but at greater distance, stationary in position, then oscillating or “wiggling” about that position horizontally right-left about 1-1.5x object’s width. Object moved horizontally to dead ahead again and disappeared by receding in the distance at high speed.

May 29, 1950; A UFO was spotted about 7 miles west of Mt. Vernon, Virginia at 9:20 p.m. by Capt. Willis T. Sperry, a pilot with 10,000 flying hours, and his  copilot Bill Gates, his flight engineer Robert Arnholt, a stewardess and 2-3 or 8 passengers on a DC-6 airliner headed  out of  D.C., en route to Nashville. They all reported a spindle-shaped 150 ft. long metallic object with intense blue light  on the tail, beginning with Gates who sighted blue light from their DC-6 airliner on head on collision course. Sperry made evasive 45° turn to the right, object passed from 11 o'clock to 7 o'clock position to the left at slightly higher altitude.

March 20, 1952; In Centreville, Maryland at 10:42 p.m. A combat veteran of World War one and two, A. D. Hutchinson and his son, saw a dull orange-yellow saucer-shaped light fly straight and level very fast.

March 29, 1952; in Glen Burnie, Maryland at 10:45 p.m. Donald F. Stewart and George Tyler III, saw 50 ft. flat silver disc with cupola/dome to one side, a porthole and hatch on the dome, neon-like lighting around the edges that pulsating.  It hovered and "wavered slightly" for 3 minutes at several hundred feet off the ground with “whirring sound like a vacuum cleaner” The engine of a passing car died while object hovered. The two men got out of car with Thompson submachine gun considering whether to shoot the disc, but decided not to. Object suddenly turned up on edge seeming to "roll across the sky faster than a jet” and disappeared, leaving their car wires "magnetized" and paint cracked.

April 18, 1952; in Bethesda, Maryland at 11:30, Robert Poerstal and two others reported a UFO with a 7-9 circular, orange-yellow lights in a 40° V-formation fly overhead, silently

May 22, 1952; In Falls Church, between 1 and 2 a.m. A top CIA official and several dinner guests, including a retired general, noticed noiseless red light approach from West at about 5,000 ft. then suddenly climb almost vertically in the SE, stop, level out for a few secs, go into near vertical dive, level off, disappear.

June 13, 1952, Fox Hill, Virginia, at 10:30 a.m. An aluminum awning salesman observed an object described as similar to a discussed in athletics, about 25 to 30 feet in diameter hovering approximately 200 feet over a group of pine trees. The object made a slight whistling sound. After approximately 10 seconds the object tilted slightly, flew upward at an angle of 45 degrees and away from him at a tremendous speed.

July 10, 1952; Near Quantico, at 8:18 p.m. The pilot of National Airlines Flight 42, a C-60 aircraft, saw a very bright amber glow, stationary then climbing slowly till disappearance.

July 12, 1952; Annapolis, at 3:30 p.m. Insurance company president William Washburn saw 4 large, elliptical-shaped objects fly very fast, stop, turn 90° and fly away. 7-8 secs.

July 13, 1952. 60 miles southwest of DC at 4 a.m. National Airline Flight 611  airline Capt. William Bruen saw round ball of bluish-white light hovering to the West then ascend to airliner altitude of 11,000 ft., then parallel course off left wing at about 2 miles distance, took off upwards at 1,000 mph when Bruen turned on all aircraft lights.

July 14, 1952; 20-25 miles North of Norfolk, at 9:12 p.m.  Pan American Airways FO William B. Nash, Second Officer William H. Fortenberry, in a DC-4 airliner at 8,000 ft. sighted a total of 8 large, round, glowing red coin-shaped objects, 100 ft. diameter 15 ft. thick, maneuvering in two groups of 3 then joined slightly after by another 2. Objects approached head on at high speed estimated at about 12,000 [27,000] mph at about 2,000 ft. altitude.  At about 10 miles S of Newport News objects ascended as a group in fixed formation in an arc to the right towards Newport News to about 10,000 ft. altitude

July 16, 1952; Hampton Roads, Virginia at 8 p.m. NACA aeronautical engineer Paul R. Hill saw 2 amber-colored objects approach from the south, turn West reach overhead, begin a maneuver to revolve around a common center, change to a vertical plane after a few orbits, were joined by 2 more objects and flew off to the South.

July 19, 1952; Baltimore, Maryland at 6:28 a.m.  Mrs. Carolyn Smith, on duty as a volunteer ground observer aircraft spotter, observed two flying saucers heading northeast at 2000 feet altitude. The objects suddenly shot upward and went out of sight. Duration of the sighting was approximately 20 seconds. Saucers were large, round, bluish in color and emanated a blue jet exhaust.

July 19-20, 1952; Andrews AFB and Washington Nat'l Airport, Washington, D.C. (BBU) at 11:40 p.m.-6 a.m. numerous visual, radar and radar-visual sightings by ground observers and pilots in the air. 6 hours 20 min.

Shortly after midnight civilian radar operators at National Airport began tracking a group of 7-10 unidentified targets southwest of the  city, moving  about 100-130 m.p.h. An individual object would disappear from the scope at intervals, then another target would appear.  This continued for about 6 hours, while airline pilots in the area reported sighting unidentified lights in the positions where radar detected unexplained targets. They were not any known aircraft.

July 20, 1952; Herndon, at 3:00 a.m. a Capital Airlines flight approaching Washington National Airport reported that an unidentified light was following it. Air Route Traffic Control radar tracked the UFO to within about 4 miles of the airport before it disappeared.

July 20, 1952; Andrews AFB, in mid-evening Air Force radar tracked up to 10 UFOs for 15-20 minutes. The objects approached the runway, scattered, and made sharp turns and reversals of direction. (Air Force weather observer report to NICAP.)

July 23, 1952; Alexandria, at 9:00 p.m. A red object, size undetermined, was sighted southwest of Alexandria, Virginia. The object hovered for 10 minutes, then disappeared in a westerly direction at a high rate of speed. The witnesses were a County Policeman, two airmen and a civilian.

July 26, 1952; Hampton, and bet. Newport News and Langley AFB, Virginia (BBU)
12:15-12:45? a.m. Ground observers saw a brilliant luminous alternately bright silver, red and green object hovering over the James River Bridge at about 1,500 ft. for 1/2 hour, then ascend towards the E where seen by Langley AFB tower. USAF crews of 2 F-94's and ground observers saw 4 round silver/bluish objects in V-formation shoot straight up and disappear at 5,000 ft., one tracked by USN ground radar at Norfolk and by airborne radars.

July 26, 1952; Langley, at 1430 hours, Capt. Daniel G. Moore and T/Sgt Edward W. Reamer of the 1907-7 AACS Det., Langley AFB, observed an unidentified target on a radar scope approaching Langley AFB from the south from a distance of 15 miles. Speed of the target was determined to be 2,600 miles per hour at an altitude below 5,000 feet. At 1450 hours an unidentified target was observed on a radar scope. The target stopped and hovered for 2 minutes and then resumed its flight at an extremely high speed. 
The spectacular radar-visual sightings at Washington, D.C., on the weekend of July 19/20 were repeated with some new twists on the following weekend.

July 26-27, 1952; Andrews AFB and Washington National Airport, Wash., D.C. (BBU 1661) 8 p.m. until after 12 midnight  Radar operators at several airports, airline and F-94 fighter pilots, sighted and tracked many unidentified blips and/or lights all over Washington area, at varying speeds. 3 hrs. 10 mins. 

"I saw several bright lights. I was at my maximum speed, but even then I had no closing speed....Later I chased a single bright light which I estimated about 10 miles away. I lost visual contact with it [at] about 2 miles." -- Lt. William Patterson, F-94 pilot who chased UFOs over Washington, D.C.

July 27, 1952; Washington, at 7:30 p.m. Both Air Force personnel and National Airport employees observed a large round object reflecting sunlight as it hovered over the U.S. Capitol Building. After about one minute the object ...wavered then shot straight up disappearing from sight.

July 27, 1952; The Pentagon, on July 27 and July 28, 1952, observers saw a white light immediately over the Pentagon, it made a direct descent toward the Pentagon, stopped and veered off.

July 28, Washington, D.C. Daily newspapers headlined a United Press story  from Washington reporting that the Air Defense Command had ordered its pilots to pursue and, if necessary, shoot down UFOs sighted anywhere in the country.

July 28, 1952 Washington, D.C. President Harry Truman at a National Security Council meeting asked the CIA to look into the UFO question.

July 29, 1952; Washington, D.C. CAA radar in the early morning tracked 8 to 12 UFOs at a time traveling about 100-120 M.P.H. in a 10-mile arc around the Nation’s Capital. When an Eastern Airlines pilot tried to check on the radar targets at CAA request at 3:00 a.m., he saw nothing. The targets disappeared from CAA radar screens when the airliner approached, then came back in behind him after he passed through the area.

July 29, 1952 D.C., what was characterized as the largest Air Force press conference since the end of World War II was held, with Maj. Gen. John A. Samford, Director of Air Force Intelligence, presiding. He attributed the radar-visual UFO sightings to weather effects, temperature inversions that caused radar mirages. 41-second sound byte

July 29, 1952; Langley AFB, Virginia  2:30 p.m. USAF Capt. D. G. Moore, military air traffic controller, saw an un-described object fly at about 2,600 mph, below 5,000 ft. altitude, toward the air base.

July 29, 1952; Langley AFB, at 2:50 p.m. Mr. Moore and Gilfillan electronics rep W. Yhope tracked a radar target moving away, stopping for 2 mins, again moving extremely fast. 4 mins.

Aug. 5, 1952; Baltimore, Md.  Experienced amateur astronomer observed two copper-like discs.

Sept. 22, 1952; Fairfax County, Police observed 3-4 UFOs maneuvering erratically.

Sept. 24, 1952; Charleston, West Virginia at 3:30 p.m. Crew of USAF B-29 bomber saw a lot of bright, metallic particles or flashes, up to 3 ft. in length, stream past the B-29. 15 mins.

Nov. 24, 1952; Annandale, Virginia at 6:30 p.m. L. L.  Brettner saw a round, glowing object fly very fast, make right angle turns and reverse course. 1 hr.

Nov. 30, 1952; Washington, at 12:30 a.m. Radar operators at Washington National Airport tracked UFO’s

Dec. 14, 1952; Charlottesville, Virginia at 11:45 a.m. Aeronautical engineer former test pilot saw a light orange elliptical shaped object, hovering then move NE at extreme speed, 1,000+ mph estimated. Object gave off discharge that changed brightness when object moved; debris lofted in the air apparently by the object.

Feb. 9, 1953; A Marine Corps fighter pilot, alerted by a Navy facility in Norfolk, searched for a silver, maneuvering object that had been seen from the ground near the Virginia-North Carolina border. The F9F Panther pilot at first saw nothing and was returning to the base. He then saw "what looked like an airplane with red lights which appeared below me... What caused me to look back at the object," said 1st Lt. Ed Balocco, "was the fact that it moved from below me 10,000 feet vertically in a matter of seconds." He turned to investigate and chased the object at speeds over 500 mph for 3-4 minutes, but could not close in on it.

April 7, 1954; at 3 p.m. USN pilot C. R. Allen flying F-6F for Fleet Training Center, Norfolk, Virginia, at 3,000 feet, saw 2 strange saucer-shaped discs in close formation at 3,500 ft. height about 15 miles away at about 2 miles NW of Lake Drummond heading NE. Allen turned right to follow objects as they covered about 140° of arc maintaining about the same distance, disappearing near Cape Henry

May 11, 1954; Washington, at 10:45 p.m. 3 USAF air policemen at Washington National Airport saw 2 bright lights on 3 occasions fly straight and level, make 90° degree turns and fade.

June 11, 1954; near Baltimore, there were reports of a huge glowing object seen by observers; alternately hovered, moved rapidly.

June 12, 1954; A UFO was reported over Southeast DC.

Aug. 26, 1954; In Danville, Virginia at 6:15 a.m. Rev. W. L. Shelton saw 2 domed ellipses, 20 ft. long, 8 ft. thick, 10 ft. at ends, glowing silver or orange, hover, then climb side-by-side while getting brighter.

In January of 1955; A Navy pilot over DC observed domed disc.

Feb. 10, 1955; Bethesda, at 10:03 p.m. E. J. Stein, model maker at U.S. Navy ship design facility, saw an object, shaped like a small portion of the bottom of the Moon, with a radiant yellow color, hover for 30 seconds. The bottom changed to a funnel shape.

Feb. 17, 1955; Blackstone, Virginia a USAF pilot in flight saw an extremely large light-blue object at 35,000 ft.

June 26, 1955; D. C., a brilliant round object with trail 4 or 5 times its own length approached National Airport, stopped, oscillated, and moved off at high speed. Ceiling lights at airport went out when object approached; returned to operation when UFO left.

Aug. 23, 1955; Arlington, at 10:45 a.m. G. M. Park, using a 400x telescope saw six orange lights moving singly or in groups, circling and stopping.

Sept. 7, 1955; in D.C. at 6:30 a.m.  2 photographers, one a plate maker for the Army Map Service, one named Smith, saw a glowing round object fly an arc.

Oct. 11, 1955; at Point Lookout, Maryland at 4 p.m. B. Hale and A. Ostrom saw round object, white in daylight and turning red with sparks near end of sighting, with a deep roar unlike an aircraft. 

June 25, 1957; a UFO was reported over Baltimore, Maryland. Witnesses said that a car radio stopped playing and street lights went out as a formation of seven white discs with red rims passed overhead.

Oct. 7, 1958; A UFO was reported over Alexandria, Virginia at 6:02 p.m by John R. Townsend, Special Assistant for Research & Engineering to the Asst. Secretary of Defense. Townsend said he saw a large stationary sharply outlined Saturn-shaped "silvery" or "aluminum clad" oblate spherical object with "gossamer" surface appearance with a rim or girdle around its equator in clear sky due South.  At about the same time, the pilot of Capitol Flight 407 took off in a DC-4 at 5:59 p.m. from Washington National heading and climbed to 2,000 feet and reported "unidentified aircraft" with "nose light"

Oct. 26, 1958; A UFO was reported over Loch Raven Dam, Maryland at 10:30 p.m. by Phillip Small and Alvin Cohen, who said they saw a large, flat egg-shaped object, flying low about 100-150 ft. above the bridge, which affected their car's electrical system and caused a burning sensation, rose vertically and disappeared in 5-10 secs. (

June 9, 1959; Manassas, at 1:05 p.m. a number of unknown objects traveling abreast were tracked on an FPS-6 radar of the 649th Radar Squadron. The objects were detected at 62,200 feet heading northeast at 200 knots. The objects moved out of radar range and faded. The length of observation was 15 minutes. Apparently same objects were picked up northeast of Roanoke by adjacent radar sight.

Aug. 2, 1959; UFO reported over Washington

Aug. 3, 1959; UFO reported Silver Springs

August 24, 1959; UFO reported over Emmetsburg, Maryland, said to be Planet-like, the UFO hovered and then took off, straight up.

Oct. 19, 1959; UFO reported over Langley AFB

Footnote: Both Presidents Carter and Reagan have admitted to seeing UFOs. Carter was in Georgia, prior to his presidency, when he claimed to see his UFO, which he said changed color from white to blue to red.
Reagan was reportedly flying to California when he saw “a bright white light” that “went straight up into the heavens.” And Reagan’s wife had her dealings with the mystical after her husband was shot, taking to consulting an astrologer
President Jimmy Carter, known by some as the "UFO President," got his nickname by publicly claiming that he had a UFO sighting prior to becoming president. On at least one occasion while campaigning for president, Carter declared that, if elected he would "make every piece of information this country has about UFO sightings available to the public and scientists.
Jimmy Carter spotted the foreign object in the sky in 1969. "It was the darndest thing I've ever seen. It was big, it was very bright, it changed colors and it was about the size of the moon." Carter continued, "We watched it for 10 minutes, but none of us could figure out what it was. One thing's for sure, I'll never make fun of people who say they've seen unidentified objects in the sky."

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