The Naha Air Base UFO Incident

First Published: May 15, 2020 Last updated: September 1st, 2020 Written by: Marcus Lowth Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes Posted in: UFOs, Sightings

UFO encounters unfold over military bases all over the world. And there are perhaps many reasons for this from the most obvious, that an intelligent race from elsewhere would wish to assess our military capabilities and indeed attitude before making a subsequent move, to more complex theories that revolve around a top-secret extraterrestrial presence here in Earth, one that, if we subscribe to such theories, certain high-ranking military members are aware of.

A UFO superimposed on to a picture of an air base at night

Many air bases report UFO activity

An incident in June 1963 at an American military base in Japan would feature two witnesses, at least in the first instance. The sighting, while perhaps not the most dramatic on record, is one that resonates with many other sightings – both before and after the incident at Naha Air Base. Not least because, as we will see, despite the two witnesses, the object seemingly managed to avoid detection on the base’s radar.

What’s more, these strange encounters around military facilities and aircraft around Japan, like elsewhere around the world, have been taking place for some time. We have examined several of the foo fighter accounts of the Second World War previously, for example. However, while most of those accounts appear to have taken place over Europe, several intriguing encounters took place in the skies around Japan. Particularly toward the end of the war. And the country has a long history in its records and writings of strange objects flying overhead.

While we will no doubt explore some of those other historic UFO sightings over Japan another time, for now, we will turn our attention to the summer of 1963 and the Naha Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and an incident that would enter the public arena via the NICAP Subcommittee.

A Sudden Flash In The Sky

Just before midnight on June 26th, 1963 two United States airmen, Marty and Frank, were watching the night skies above Naha Air Base. They had become quite used to watching the multiple aircraft coming and going from the base. And not just to pass the time – it gave them ample experience in spotting and identifying all manner of different aircraft.

A UFO superimposed on to a glowing city at night

The 1950s was rife with UFO reports

On this particular evening, as they stood on the sundeck of their barracks, it was clear and visibility perfect. Even without their military-issued binoculars, their view of the runway and the skies above was clear and without obstruction. However, despite having been there for an hour, there appeared to be little traffic to view. They would begin focusing on the stars. Frank had a good knowledge of the constellations and their positions.

It was as Frank was pointing out such a constellation that he suddenly noticed a strange flash out of the corner of this eye. He turned to his friend and asked if he had seen it too. He had. Neither of the men knew what it was, but realized it was certainly something out of the ordinary. And while both men had an urge to run and take cover inside, they both remained and watched the strange glow in the skies above.

After a moment, Marty and Frank raised their binoculars to their eyes and viewed the anomaly more closely.

A Disc-Shaped Craft As “Flat As A Quarter!”

It was clear to both men that what they were seeing was not in the “Air Force’s aircraft inventory”. It was a large, disk-shaped object, clearly moving against the night sky. Strangely, and another clue that the vehicle was not a known terrestrial aircraft, was the fact there were no navigation lights anywhere to be seen.

They would estimate that the object was moving at an approximate speed of 100 knots per hour and was at an altitude between 3,000 to 4,000 feet. And while they were not sure what the object was – which they estimated had a width of around 75 feet – they were certain that it was not merely a balloon or a strange cloud formation. It was clearly a nuts-and-bolts vehicle, although they would claim to see “no antennae, dome, windows, or markings”. What’s more, it was completely silent for the duration of the sighting.

The craft itself, while disc-shaped, had such dimensions that it appeared “as flat as a quarter”. And while the metallic exterior appeared to be of a dull metal, it also appeared to reflect the light.

The two men agreed that if the craft began in their direction, they would take cover. However, much to their relief, it continued moving away from them. Feeling a little more at ease, the pair decided to climb onto the roof of the building to maintain a good view of the strange craft.

Reflecting The Lights Of Naha City Miles Away!

The two men climbed the fire ladder and positioned themselves on the roof of the building. From there, they could still the strange object. And more importantly, for them, it was still moving away from their location.

They once more observed the object through their binoculars. It was heading in the direction of Naha City, which was several miles to the north of their base. What was noticeable to each of the men, though, was how the lights from the city appeared to reflect off the surface of the craft’s exterior.

From there, they watched until the craft vanished into the distance. They would guess the sighting lasted no longer than two minutes from when they first noticed it to when the object disappeared from view.

A UFO superimposed onto a picture of large mountain

UFO reports come from all over the planet

Realizing the size of the moment, they ran back downstairs looking to inform their superiors of what they had just witnessed. Marty would dial the number for the control tower. The call, according to the witness, was answered by George Bernard.

Marty would excitedly blurt out “Did you see it?” before elaborating on the “huge disc-shaped object” that had made its way over the base. Bernard would reply that he hadn’t seen anything at all, asking if he was certain of what he had seen. Marty would confirm he was, adding that Frank had also seen the object.

After fully briefing Bernard on the events, the two men would wait while he contacted the radar center.

No Confirmation Data On The Radar

Although it was only several minutes, the wait for Bernard to return to them felt much longer. When his voice returned over the phone, they were more than surprised at his response. He would state that the radar data had shown nothing out of the ordinary and hadn’t done so all night.

Marty would press Bernard if other radar operators in the area had been contacted. They had. All showed nothing strange in their readings. The two men relented and then returned to the barracks. Each agreed that it would be difficult for them to file an official report without any radar evidence to back up their claims. Ultimately, each would decide against doing so.

A flying saucer superimposed onto an aerial view of the countryside

Are UFOs alien visitors from another world?

Marty, though, would purchase an 8mm camera in the hopes of the object returning so that he might capture it on film. However, despite watching the skies over the base intently for several weeks after the sighting, he would not see the strange object again.

Then, one evening in the late summer, he did indeed witness the strange craft once more.

He was in his barracks, on the landing of the building, following a shift at the base’s Communications Center. It was around 1 am and he was staring idly out of the window contemplating whether to call it a night. However, just as he was about to do so, he noticed an object exactly like the one he had witnessed that June.

A Second Sighting With No Radar Data

As soon as he noticed the strange craft, he became instantly alert. And more than a little alarmed as he was, this time, alone.

His mind froze for a moment in indecision when he realized his camera was back in his room. Finally, he decided to make his way as fast as he could to the main office opposite the building and use the phone at the main desk. If he could alert the control tower, then they would witness the object too.

After arriving at the desk, he grabbed the phone and dialed the control tower. On the other end of the line, once more, was Bernard. Marty would inform him of the sighting, stating the craft was over the base once more moving in the same direction as it had previously.

Once more, Bernard put Marty on hold while he checked with radar operators for confirmation of the strange craft. However, much to the surprise and dismay of Marty, once more he was informed that no signs of it had registered in the radar data. And what’s more, no other personnel had witnessed anything strange all evening.

As he had done before, Bernard would advise Marty to make an official report of the sighting. However, without any radar evidence, he would decline to do so, fearful of any consequences of making such an outlandish report.

UFO Battle Over Genzan Air Group Base

Whether or not there is a connection, according to the book Military Encounters With Extraterrestrials: The Real War of the Worlds by Frank Joseph, several similar crafts were involved in UFO incidents at the end of the Second World War off the coast of Japan. One particular encounter, however, would prove much more deadly than that witnessed by the two American servicemen almost two decades later.

According to the report, at around 3 pm on the afternoon of 24th April 1945, the alarm went out at the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Genzan Air Group base in the coastal city of Wonsan. Overhead, several strange and unidentified craft were heading straight for the base.

Two flying saucers flying near a World War Two type plane

Many UFO encounters were reported by pilots during the Second World War

Two Zero fighters were scrambled to intercept the approaching craft, flying at an altitude of around 1,000 feet. As the planes closed in, the pilots realized the two craft were disc-shaped and made of silver material. There was, however, no markings whatsoever on the exterior. After a second or two hesitation, the two Japanese pilots opened fire.

One of the craft was apparently hit square on. However, much to the pilots’ dismay, it remained in the air. This, despite the clear damage they could see to its exterior. However, the other, undamaged disc would fire a “bright beam of light” at one of the Zero fighters. As soon as the light made contact with the plane, it went into a sudden tailspin, crashing into the waters below.

The two strange discs then shot upwards at great speed before disappearing.

A Persistent Presence?

Were the disc-shaped crafts in the 1945 incident with the Japanese pilots the result of the same intelligence as those witnessed by the two American servicemen at Naha Air Base in 1963? The description is remarkably similar, as is (relatively speaking) the location.

Even in the weeks following the end of the conflict as many United States soldiers began being deployed to the region in “peace-keeping” directives, strange sightings of similar, bright, reflective, elongated crafts were witnessed.

One particular sighting, from a plane carrying American servicemen near Okinawa, would result in Sergeant Leonard Stringfield witnessing a “tight formation” of these strange objects from his plane window.  What’s more, according to Stringfield, they appeared most definitely “intelligently controlled”.

And was the act of sending one of the Zero fighters merely an act of self-defense? Or a display of their own, seemingly superior technical capabilities? Might these advanced technical capabilities be the reason why the control tower and radar operators had no record of the strange crafts on their screens and in their data? Or might, as speculative as it is on our part, such data have simply been suppressed and covered up?

Might these crafts, and more specifically their occupants, be of the same intelligent race? If so, then what was the purpose of their presence in the region? And how long before the outbreak of war and how long after did they remain? Indeed, are they still here today in the twenty-first century? Are they operating in an observatory capacity? Or might these apparent surveillance missions have an end goal as yet unknown to us?

Check out the short video below. It looks at a recent UFO sighting over Japan.


The stories, accounts, and discussion in this article are not always based on proven facts and may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports and accounts available to us as provided by witnesses and documentation.

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About Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years experience. Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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