Sunday, September 4, 2011

UFO Classic Case, The Dogfight With a UFO, The George Gorman Case

The Gorman Dogfight Case - 1948


Artist depiction
This was one of the most credible cases of its era and has never been fully explained other then to say that "Lt. Gorman had a close encounter with an unknown object."

Wave of UFO-Plane Encounters
UFO sightings that come in waves are always of great interest. Has a group of alien ships made a reconnaissance run on planet Earth for a brief period of time? In 1948, there were three cases of UFO contact with airplanes. In addition to the case of the Gorman dogfight addressed below, also see the Thomas Mantel Case (first pilot to die chasing a UFO) and The Chiles / Whitted Case.


Routine Flight

In the skies above Fargo, North Dakota, on October 1, 1948, Lieutenant George F. Gorman of the North Dakota Air National Guard had an experience he would never forget. After flying a cross-country flight with this Guard squadron, he elected to do some night flying. He flew over the football stadium, and then circled the city before deciding to land at Hector Airport.

One Plane Too Many

It was 9:00 PM when he received clearance from the control tower to make his landing. The tower warned him of a Piper Cub in his vicinity. Gorman could see the Cub about 500 feet below him. All of a sudden, he saw what he thought were the tail lights of different plane. Radioing the tower, he was informed that the tower only had Gorman's F-51 and the Piper Cub on the radar. Gorman decided to investigate the uncharted plane.


Out Run by UFO

He got to within 1,000 feet of the flying object and got a good look at it. Gorman would later make this statement:

"It was blinking on and off. As I approached, however, the light suddenly became steady and pulled into a sharp left bank. I thought it was making a pass at the tower. I dived after it and brought my manifold pressure up to sixty inches but I couldn't catch up with the thing. It started gaining altitude and again made a left bank, I put my F-51 into a sharp turn and tried to cut the light off in its turn. By then we were at about 7,000 feet."


Playing "Chicken"

The unknown object suddenly made a sharp turn. Suddenly, the two planes were heading straight toward each other. Gorman went into a dive, missing the unknown object as it passed at about 500 feet above him. The UFO then went to 1,000 feet, Gorman still in pursuit. The UFO had turned and was again heading toward the F-51. Was it playing games with him? What was this object? Just before the two fliers hit head-on, the UFO made an unbelievable move, streaking straight upward.

Plane Stalls

Gorman made one final attempt to approach the UFO, but his F-51 stalled at 14,000 feet. The object was nowhere in sight. Time elapsed-exactly 27 minutes. Gorman, an experienced flier, was shaken to the point that he struggled to control his plane. He recalled that he saw no exhaust at all from the disc-shaped UFO, and heard not a sound. He had flown his F-51 at 400 mph, pushing it to its limits, yet was no match for the unknown object.

Witnesses Testimony

Traffic controllers Lloyd D. Jensen and H. E. Johnson, both in the tower during the dogfight, witnessed Gorman's ordeal. The two had seen the Piper Cub and the UFO independently, eliminating any possibility that Gorman had somehow chased the Piper.

Testimony by the Piper Cub pilot Dr. A. E. Cannon, and his passenger, Einar Nielson also validated the flight of the UFO. They both stated that they had witnessed the unknown object streaking through the sky, at the same time they were communicating with the tower. The tower had previously asked them what the "third plane" (UFO) was.


Gorman's final word on the dogfight was:
"I am convinced that the object was governed by the laws of inertia because its acceleration was rapid but not immediate, and although it was able to turn fairly tight at considerable speed, it still followed a natural curve."

Gorman would serve over 20 additional years in the military before retiring. His case has never been explained other than to say he had a close encounter with a flying object of unknown origin.

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