Thursday, May 26, 2011

UFO, Aliens, ET, One of the Most Interesting UFO Cases on Record

UFO over Washington DC 

Early in the morning of July 19, 1952, two former Air Force personnel were driving down Highway 211 near Centerville, VA, when their car was struck by an object falling from the sky, which left powder burns on the hood. The two veterans were puzzled about the object, but inexplicably, left it behind on the road without getting out of the car and examining it.

That bizarre incident, detailed in this declassified Air Force report, may have been the beginning of one of the seminal events in the American UFOology: A series of sightings in July and early August 1952 in the vicinity of Washington DC. Occurring disturbingly close to the epicenter of the nation’s political and military power, the sightings aroused a public and media frenzy, and prompted inquiries all the way up the chain of command to President Truman himself.

Declassified government documents, books on UFO history and other sources, including this 2002 50th anniversary retrospective from the Washington Post, provide ample details, but no ultimate explanation for what multiple eyewitnesses and radar screens saw.

The first major event occurred at 20 minutes to midnight on Saturday, July 19, 1952, when an air traffic controller at Washington National Airport spotted seven mysterious unidentified aircraft on his radar screen. The aircraft were flying about 15 miles to the southwest of the nation’s capital and not following any approved flight paths. The controller, Ed Nugent, jokingly told his supervisor, Harry G. Barnes: “Here’s a fleet of flying saucers for you.” But the mood changed from amusement to puzzlement and even alarm. Barnes consulted a second controller at the airport’s other radar facility. He also had the objects on his screen, and even more amazingly, he could see one of them through the window of the airport’s control tower. The second controller described what he saw as a “bright orange light.”

Then, other objects appeared, all over the screen. They were moving toward the White House and the U.S. Capitol. Alarmed, the supervisor at Washington National called Andrews Air Force Base, which was about 10 miles away, to see if they were tracking the mysterious aircraft. Oddly, the radar screens at Andrews showed nothing at all. But shortly after that, an airman called the tower, to alert them to a strange “orange ball of fire, trailing a tail” that he had spotted overhead. A controller in the tower then saw the same object, and then a second one.

At 12:30 a.m., back at Washington National, another controller got a clearer look at one of the mysterious objects. It appeared to be an orange disk, hovering 3,000 feet over one of the airport’s runways. Shortly afterward, a pilot from now-defunct Capitol Airlines, who was waiting to take off, observed six white, fast-moving lights, which the tower determined were in sync with what they were seeing on the radar screens. The objects hung around for about 14 minutes, and then streaked away and disappeared.

(Video 33 Sec)

This story is features on Most Credible UFO Cases Page;
Source, National Geographic
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