The Many Still Unexplained Case Files Of Project Blue Book – The Early Years

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
November 21, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
20 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

Most people in UFO circles will be familiar with Project Blue Book of the fifties and sixties, as well as some of the explanations that were put forward to explain what have become some of the most famous UFO cases on record. However, there are literally hundreds of cases in their files that remain unexplained, many of them hidden in plain sight garnering the attention of hard-core UFO fans and researchers only and consequently remaining unaware to the general wider public.

Two UFO pictures blended over a promo shot of Blue Book TV show

Project Blue Book investigated thousands of UFO cases

Many of these sightings have little information or details and given that the Blue Book records go back to 1947, many of the witnesses may have since passed away. It is important, however, that these incidents remain spoken about and reexamined if only to prevent them from being lost to history and forgotten about completely.

With all of that in mind, then, while we don’t have time to cover each and every one of these unexplained files, even from the initial years of the project (which are concerned with here), we will examine some of the most intriguing, as well as those at potential risk of disappearing with the sands of time. Before we do, though, we will look briefly at the hows and whys of Project Blue Book’s existence.

A Brief History Of Project Blue Book

The fact is there are many, many unsolved cases in the Project Blue Book files. Although Project Blue Book was not officially established until March 1952, it investigated in retrospect many of the sightings from the previous years of what is now referred to as the start of the Modern UFO Era going back to 1947.

The official operation was to establish once and for all if UFOs were “real” and, more importantly, if they were a security threat to the United States. However, as the years went on before it was eventually terminated in December 1969, the project was increasingly seen as a disinformation exercise, with many accusing the leaders of the project of looking to do nothing more than to question the credibility of all UFO sightings.

During its existence, though, over 12,000 UFO reports – both from the United States and in other countries – were investigated and examined.

J Allen Hyneck

J Allen Hyneck

When it did come to an end, the US Air Force determined that no UFO sighting had been determined to be a threat to National Security. Perhaps most damaging to UFO researchers and investigators (then and now), though, was their apparent conclusion that none of the UFO reports they had examined appeared to demonstrate advanced technology or scientific knowledge and that none suggested “extraterrestrial vehicles”. Given the recent revelations from the Pentagon, we know this to be, at best, a misjudgment, while at worst, purposeful suppression of evidence and data.

Even today, many of the files are heavily redacted, and there very well could be further information buried away somewhere awaiting release or even discovery. For now, though, we will turn our attention to the summer of 1947, the start of the Modern UFO Era, and a time when “flying saucers” appeared to arrive in our skies out of nowhere.

Many Unexplained Cases From The Start

We have examined some of the unexplained Blue Book cases previously. The Snake River incident, for example, is particularly intriguing – not least as it featured shiny, silver, disc-like objects over rural America only weeks after the more well-known Roswell crash and was witnessed by several people around the area. We have also examined the UFO sightings over Muroc (Edwards) Air Force Base in early July of 1947 during a wave of sightings across the United States.

There are, however, other sightings with much less detail but still as valid. For example, at just after 12 noon on the 9th July in Meridian, Idaho, a former B-29 pilot, Dave Johnson, witnessed a black disc from an Idaho Air National Guard AT-5 that made a roll in the sky before climbing up into the clouds.

The following day at Harmon Field in Newfoundland in Canada, between 3 pm and 5 pm, three Pan American Airways crew witnessed a “translucent disc or wheel-shaped object” moving “very fast” across the sky, cutting through the clouds and leaving a dark blue trail as it did so.

A picture claiming to show a real UFO

Does this picture show a real UFO?

Just short of three weeks later, over Hamilton Air Base in California, at around 3 pm on 29th July, Captain William Rhyerd and B-29 pilot, Ward Stewart, witnessed “two round, shiny, white objects” moving around the sky over the base. The witnesses would recall that while one of the objects remained in a straight line, the second moved from side to side as if acting as an escort.

At a little after 12 noon on 3rd September, Mrs. Dupui from Oswego, Oregon would report between 12 to 15 “round, silver objects” making their way steadily across the bright, blue sky over her home.

Another daylight sighting occurred around noon on 14th October near Cave Creek in Arizona when fighter pilot, J.L. Clark and a civilian pilot known as Anderson, as well as a third unidentified man witnessed a “flying wing” that moved across the sky at almost 400 miles per hour. The object appeared red when viewed against the blue sky, and black when it flew across the clouds. It remained in view for around 45 to 60 seconds before disappearing.

The First Full Calendar Year Of The Modern UFO Era

As 1947 handed off to 1948, UFO sightings would continue across the United States. [1]

During the afternoon of 5th April 1948 at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, three Geophysics Lab balloon observers (known as Alsen, Johnson, and Chance) witnessed “two irregular, round, white or golden objects” which, according to Jacques Vallee’s summary of the case, performed a “series of violent turns and maneuvers” overhead (Vallee, incidentally, would call the witnesses “competent observers). [2]

According to the Blue Book report, one of the objects did three loops overhead before rising rapidly and disappearing from sight. The other “flew in a fast arc” and remained in sight for around 30 seconds. The witnesses, who were all scientists and more than familiar with aerial objects, all estimated that the size of the strange objects was approximately 35 feet across.

Later that afternoon on the same day another scientific unit spotted a bizarre disc-shaped object that moved across the sky with great speed, performing the same “violent” turns as had been described earlier.

The Toney-Huggins Sighting

Just short of four months later, at just before 10 am on 29th July 1948 in Indianapolis, Indiana, two employees of a rug cleaning firm – James Toney and Robert Huggins – witnessed a strange, shiny metallic object as they drove across a bridge in the city. According to Don Berliner’s summary of the case, the object was “shaped something like an airplane’s propeller” and had “10-12 small cups protruding from either blade”. [3]

The witnesses certainly had a good look at the object, as it passed right in front of their vehicle as it crossed over the road at a distance of around several hundred feet. It remained in sight for several seconds before it disappeared into nearby woodland. You can see an artist’s sketch of the object in question below.

Artist's sketch of the UFO seen by Toney and Huggins

Artist’s sketch of the UFO seen by Toney and Huggins

Another sighting in Indianapolis was reported only two days later when Mr. and Mrs. Swigert witnessed an “object shaped like a cymbal, or domed disc” at 8:25 am on 31st July. As it moved in a straight line in the early morning sky it was clear to the witnesses that it was “white without any shine” and was “shimmering in the sun as if spinning”.

Several weeks later, at 12 noon on 23rd September in San Pablo, California, two local residents – Sylvester Bentham and Horace Eakins – witnessed two strange objects making their way across the sky at a considerable pace. One of the objects was a grey triangular shape while the other was a “translucent amoeba with a dark spot near the center”.

The Black Widow Incident, Fukuoka, Japan

Just short of a month after the San Pablo incident on the other side of the Pacific over Fukuoka in Japan, another intriguing incident unfolded. At just after 11 pm on 15th October the pilots of a P-61 Black Widow fighter (Baron Halter and Oliver Hemphill) tracked six unknown objects on their radar [4] while on a routine patrol.

According to the data they received, the object was moving at a speed of around 200 miles per hour and was at an altitude of between 5000 to 6000 feet. Halter would recall that the object “showed no evasive action at first” and the crew members thought, at first, that it was simply another patrolling fighter aircraft.

However, when they made attempts to intercept the object but could not closer to 12,000 feet of it before it increased its speed to a blistering 1000 miles per hour and so putting a considerable distance between them.

A depiction of a UFO

There were many UFO sightings in the years after Roswell

The witnesses would also get a brief visual sighting of the object, describing it “like a rifle bullet” and was approximately 20 to 30 feet in length. Halter would elaborate in the Project Sign report it was “translucent” and with a “short body and stubby appearance”. Hemphill would state that “it did not look like any aircraft I was familiar with”.

Halter would later state that it was his opinion that they had witnessed “a new type (of) aircraft by some agency unknown to us”.

The Last Year Of The Forties

Another unexplained Blue Book cases goes back to the 4th January 1949 at Hickam Field in Hawaii. At around 2 pm on the afternoon in question, USAF pilot, Captain Paul Storey witnessed a “flat, white, elliptical object with a matte top circled while oscillating to the right and left”. Storey was on the ground when he witnessed the object, which “sped away” after several moments. [5]

A little over three weeks later, at 10:20 pm on 27th January on the other side of the United States in Florida, the acting chief of the Aircraft Branch at Eglin Air Force Base, Captain Sames, along with his wife, witnessed a “cigar-shaped object” for almost 30 minutes. They would report that the object was “as long as two Pullman cars” and appeared to have several square windows that glowed brightly with an apparent light from inside the craft and occasional let off “sparks”. At one stage the object began to descend before it climbed “with a bouncing motion” at approximately 400 miles per hour.

Around two weeks later at Camp Hood in Texas, at just before 8 pm on 17th March, several guards from the 2nd Armored Division witnessed “eight, large, green, red, and white flare-like objects” which appeared to move in straight lines. Although the unit was awaiting the start of a flare firing, it was determined that what they saw was not the expected flares.

Just before midnight on the evening of 3rd April in Dillon, Montana, a construction company owner, Gosta Miller, as well as three other anonymous witnesses, saw an object that was “shaped like to plates attached face-to-face”. They would further recall that the underside was a matte shade while the top appeared to be made of bright aluminum. They would state that the object “rocked or rotated in six cycles” and also descended and rose again with alarming speed.

The following evening, at around 10:20 pm in Merced, California, a former Air Force pilot, William Parrott witnessed a similar object. He would report that the strange craft was round with a “curved bottom and dull coloring”. He also noticed a strange “clicking sound” that appeared to come from it as it moved. He also noted that his dog reacted to the object’s presence.

Reports Continue Through The Summer Of 1949

Many unexplained sightings are on record after the incident in New Mexico and they stretched out through the summer. During the early evening of 28th April, for example, at just before 6 pm in Tucson, Arizona, a local resident, Howard Hann reported a “bright, sausage-shaped object” that was visible in the sky for around 40 minutes before it disappeared from sight.

Just over a week later, at just before noon at Fort Bliss in Texas, three military officers – Major Day, Major Olhausen, and Captain Vaughn – witnessed “two oblong white discs” that appeared to move across the sky at around 250 miles per house. They were in sight for between 30 seconds and just short of a minute.

A depiction of a UFO

Many UFO sightings share the same details

The following day in Livermore, California, at 9:35 am, two “shiny disc-like objects” were witnessed by C.G. Green. They would recall that they “rotated around each other and banked” before one of them “shot upwards with a grey trail” eventually joining the other one. The objects were in view for around five minutes.

Three days later at around 2:30 pm in Tucson, Arizona, Troy Putnam witnessed two very similar objects that he described as “round, flat, (and), silvery” and also claimed moved at a speed of between 750 and 1000 miles per hour.

At 12 noon on the 24th July in Mountain Home, Idaho, the manager of a flying service who was flying a Piper Clipper aircraft witnessed seven “delta-shaped objects” moving across the sky in a “tight formation of twos”. The object remained in sight for around 10 minutes before heading away from his plane. Also of interest was the fact that the engine of the Piper Clipper “ran rough” while the object was close by, and when he landed, Clark discovered that the engine’s spark plugs had completely burned out.

One thing we might note is that the majority of the sightings describe similar, and in some cases, identical objects. Often disc or oval shaped, and very often bright or extremely reflective. And as we shall see as examine some of the sightings from the early years of the 1950s, these similarities continued.

A True Wave Of Sightings In 1950

By February 1950, sightings of UFOs were beginning to come in with increased regularity. [6] Perhaps the first of these occurred at a little after 5 pm on 5th February in Teaticket in Massachusetts. On the afternoon in question several residents, all with air force experience, witnessed “two thin, illuminated cylinders” in the darkening skies overhead. Even more amazingly, one of these objects “dropped a fireball” before each of the crafts came together and then rose into the sky with great speed.

During the afternoon of 24th February, at a little before 2 pm, Harrison Manson and Luther McDonald, who were both Municipal Airport Weather Observers, witnessed a “white, slightly elongated oval” object that remained visible for around 90 seconds. They each recalled that it remained in a perfectly straight line as made its way across the sky before disappearing.

Just over 48 hours later at just before 4 pm in Los Alamos, New Mexico, multiple Atomic Energy Commission security officers witnessed a silver “cylinder” shaped object that had “tapered ends” and appeared to flash in the late-afternoon sky. It appeared to change course several times before eventually disappearing into the distance.

Radar Sighting Over Selfridge Air Force Base

According to a report by Lt. Francis Parker of the United States Air Force, at just after 11 pm on the evening of 3rd March, radar operators (including Parker) at the Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan were monitoring night flights. Parker received communication from the crew of an F-80 who claimed their radar had picked up an unknown aircraft. [7] at an altitude of around 45,000 feet.

At first, Parker dismissed the report to a fault with the equipment, partly due to the fact that the F-80s were instructed to fly at a maximum altitude of around 24,000 feet (generally speaking), so it couldn’t be one of their unit, and also because the radar at ground control had not picked up anything anomalous on their radar. However, for the next 15 minutes, the crew made repeated reports of the object. Each time they made a report, the object was at seemingly random altitudes.

Eventually, Parker himself spotted the unidentified craft on his radar screen – this time at an approximate altitude of 47,000 feet and around 70 miles from their location. After checking that all of the F-80 were indeed no higher than 24,000 (which they were) Parker felt sure that the anomaly was indeed some kind of aircraft. From the radar data, Parker determined that this aircraft was likely slightly smaller than the F-80s.

The object remained visible (on radar) for around 45 minutes, continuing to appear at different altitudes and always in the same vicinity as the F-80s, as if monitoring them. After observing it for this time, the object began to rise rapidly. It would eventually begin to make its way away from their location, disappearing from their scope at an approximate distance of around 120 miles.

UFO Encounters On Three Consecutive Days

Several sightings occurred in different locations around the world over three consecutive nights in late March.

At around 10:30 am on the 27th March, United States Air Force radar operator, Corporal Bolfango, tracked an anomalous object for almost two minutes over Okinawa. It remained stationary at first before moving away at a speed of around 500 miles per hour.

The following afternoon at around 3 pm in Santiago, Chile, a US military pilot witnessed a “white object” through his binoculars for around 5 to 10 seconds. He would report that appeared to be at a high altitude and moved extremely fast.

The next morning at around 7 am over Marrowbare Lake in Tennessee, two real estate salesmen (referred to in the report as Whiteside and Williams) witnessed between six and 12 “dark objects” that they described as being “shaped like bombs” moving around 500 miles per hour and appearing to descend. As they moved they noted that they appeared to make a noise that was like “wind blowing through the trees”.

Silver-White Object Over Oak Ridge, Tennessee

An extremely intriguing UFO sighting took place on the afternoon of 16th October in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. [8] According to the report, Oak Ridge Patrol Force Trooper, John Isabell, was at Blair Gate at around 1:30 pm when he noticed a strange object hovering over the E-25 highway.

It was moving in a straight line and at a considerable pace. Isabell would recall that the object was “white or silvery in color” as well as it being “round like a ball”. It also appeared to be at a relatively high altitude.

A depiction of a UFO

UFOs were witnessed across America

Just short of 90 minutes later, at just before 3 pm, Isabell witnessed the object once more. This time, Isabell stopped a nearby patrol car and asked the motorist to get out so that they could witness the strange object too. The troopers – Landelle Clark and Hank Briggs – each exited their car and saw the strange object also.

As they watched, they noticed that the object was “circling in a wide circle” and was “spinning very fast”. They watched the strange, spinning, bright object for several minutes before it disappeared into the distance and was out of sight.

They immediately reported what they had seen to police headquarters. Around 15 minutes later, an F-82 fighter plane appeared in the sky where the object had been seen. Each of the witnesses noted in their report that the fighter plane appeared to be “thousands of feet lower” than the mysterious object appeared to have been.

UFO Reports Continue Across The Globe

Just over a week later, just after 12 noon on the 23rd October in Bonlee, North Carolina, former United States Air Force pilot, Frank Risher, reported his sighting of an “aluminum object” that was shaped like a “dirigible or Convair C-99 cargo plane”. He would further report that the object had three portholes and hovered overhead for around three to five seconds. It then flew off into the distance after around 30 to 40 seconds.

Another sighting was reported from Oak Ridge in Tennessee at just before noon on 5th November by a Fairchild Aircraft illustrator, Don Patrick. According to his brief report, the object was translucent while being “light grey with (a) dark core”. He would further state it was “shaped like a pear or bean”. It remained in sight for around 10 minutes while moving with “rapid darting movements”.

A depiction of a UFO

UFO sightings occurred around the globe in the 1950s

An intriguing sighting occurred a little over a month later on 2nd December in Nanyika in Kenya when Mr. and Mrs. Scott reported a “pearly, iridescent” object that had a “flattened top”. They would report to the East African Standard newspaper that it appeared to spin in the air while it hovered and also appeared to make a sound “like bees buzzing”. What is interesting about this last detail is that it shows up seemingly randomly in UFO reports across the decades.

Only four days later at Fort Myers in Florida, at around 5 pm, Harry lamp along with four others witnessed a strange silver object with a “red rim” and a bubble on the topside, each using binoculars. It simply hovered, to begin with before it suddenly made its way into the distance at an alarming speed.

Less than a week later at a little after 10 pm on 11th December just outside of Gulcana, Alaska, the crew of Northwest Air Lines Flight 802 witnessed two sudden “white flashes” before seeing a rising dark cloud. They watched in amazement as the cloud then split in two. What is perhaps interesting about this sighting is that some UFO researchers have suggested that not only might UFOs use clouds as simply covers for them to move largely undetected, but might even produce them to do so.

The following year would more than hold its own in terms of UFO sightings.

1951 Sees No Let-Down In UFO Activity

Although perhaps not as active as the previous year, 1951 began with several UFO reports that can be found in the Blue Book case files. [9] At just before 11 pm on the 8th January 1951 a multiple witness sighting occurred just outside of Fort Worth in Texas. Several motorists had brought their vehicles to a stop, including Mr. and Mrs. Boggus, in order to view “two groups of red and green lights” that were in a clear triangular formation overhead. They remained motionless, to begin with before moving away and disappearing out of sight.

Just over a week later in Artesia, New Mexico, two employees of the General Mills balloon project witnessed a “dull, white, round object” at an approximate altitude of over 100,000 feet. It appeared to hover motionless and was considerably larger than the balloon. A short time later, two other objects were reported that appeared to circle the balloon in a side-by-side formation before disappearing into the distance.

A depiction of a UFO

Were aliens visiting our planet in the 1950s?

On the afternoon of 13th March at McClellan Air Force Base in California, at around 3:20 pm, Lt. Hastie and Mrs. Rafferty witnessed a cylindrical object with “twin tails”. They would estimate that the object was approximately 200 feet long and 90 feet wide. It would eventually turn and move into the distance at a blistering pace. It remained in sight for around two minutes.

Two days later, at around 10:20 am on the 15th March on the other side of the planet in New Delhi, India, 25 members of a local flying club witnessed and reported a “metallic, cigar-shaped object” that appeared to have a “white exhaust which turned black when it accelerated”. The witnesses suggested that the mysterious vehicle was moving approximately 1,000 miles per hour and remained in view for a little over five minutes before disappearing.

Sightings Continue To Be Reported

Several months later in the early hours of 1st June at around 4:20 am back in the United States at Niagara Falls, New York, three military personnel witnessed a “glowing yellow-orange saucer-shaped object” that had “arc-shaped wings” flying straight up into the air, remaining visible for around 30 seconds.

Just under two months later in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, another intriguing encounter unfolded. Two operations officers from Hanscom Air Force Base – Captain Cobb and Corporal Fein – witness a huge tubular object moving across the sky at an approximate speed between 800 to 1000 miles per hour and at an altitude between 1000 to 2000 feet. They would estimate the object was around 200 feet long and was at least five times as long as it was wide. It was visible for around 20 seconds before it suddenly disappeared from sight.

At around 9:30 pm on the 14th September another intriguing encounter occurred over Goose Bay, Labrador in Canada, not least as an unknown object appeared to respond to the radio commands of ground control.

On the night in question, two unknown objects were tracked on radar appearing to be on a direct collision course with each other. Radar operators request that one of the objects move to the right to avoid a collision. Perhaps unbelievably, at the last second, it did as requested. Following this, a third object appeared on the radar screens and appeared to fly steadily behind the first two. The operators checked their information and there were no known aircraft in the area of the sighting at the time.

Another intriguing radar sighting took place at a United States Air Force Base in Kadena, Okinawa, when radar operators noticed a huge blip on their screens which appeared to be moving at a lightning pace of almost 5000 miles per hour.

In the early hours of 18th November over Washington DC, at around 3:20 am, the crew of Capitol Airlines DC-4 Flight 610, and the air traffic controller at Andrews Air Force Base, Tom Shelby, witnessed several strange lights that followed the aircraft for around 20 minutes before turning around and heading back in the direction they came.

Just under a week later, at just before 4 pm on the 24th November in Mankato, Minnesota, two pilots – WH Fairbrother and DE Stewart, each flying a P-51 Mustang – witnessed a “milky white object” that flew in a steady straight line and remained visible for around five seconds before disappearing into the distance.

The 7th December would see two sightings in the United States unfold. The first occurred around 8:15 am in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a security guard at the Atomic Energy Commission, JH Collins, witnessed a square object that was around 20 feet across. Collins recalled that it was a “white-grey” color and didn’t appear to shine at all. It disappeared into the clouds twice before reappearing, each time for around 30 seconds. It then disappeared for good.

For all of the sightings to be found in the Blue Book files for 1951, some stand out more than the rest. And it is to these where we will turn out attention next.

The Flying-Wing Sighting In Albuquerque, New Mexico

At just before 10 pm on the 25th August in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a security guard, and his wife witnessed a “flying wing type aircraft” moving overhead as they stood in the backyard of their trailer home. [10]

The witnesses would estimate the object was flying at approximately 1000 feet and was around the same size as the wingspan of a B-36 aircraft. They would further estimate that the object appeared to be traveling at a speed of between 300 to 400 miles per hour.

The pair could not be sure of the color of the object due to the darkness of the night, but they were certain that it remained perfectly silent for the duration of the sighting. They also noticed that there appeared to be “chordwise stripes” on the underside of the object, as well as “six to eight pairs of soft glowing lights” on the trailing edge of the wing.

The security guard (from Sandia Base) had “Q” clearance (meaning he was relatively high-ranking) and so would be assumed to be a credible witness. It was also determined by check with local airports that no known aircraft was in that part of the sky at the time of the sighting, meaning the possibility of the object simply being a misidentified plane is highly unlikely.

Highly Credible Witnesses Report Pear-Shaped UFO Over Matador, Texas

Less than a week later another particularly intriguing UFO encounter unfolded at around 12:45 pm on 31st August over Matador, Texas, when Mrs. Tilson and her friend, Mrs. Bethard, witnessed a “pear-shaped object” in the blue skies overhead (some reports suggest that Mrs. Tilson’s young daughter was also present). [11]

According to the report, the two women were driving in a car several miles to the north of the town of Matador when they first witnessed the strange object. Realizing straight away they were witnessing something a little out of the ordinary, they brought the car to a stop and exited the vehicle in order to get a clear look.

A depiction of a UFO

Did the government know more than they let on?

They would describe the object as being a similar shape as a pear and “aluminum or silver in color”. The exterior was clearly shiny as it reflected the sun brilliantly as it drifted in a slow, calm manner through the sky. The witnesses further described the object as having “a port of some type of aperture” on its side. They also noted that the object – that appeared to move small-side first – remained completely silent and was approximately the same size as a B-29 fuselage.

They watched the object for several seconds before it suddenly began to rise, picking up speed as it did so. Within a few more seconds it had disappeared out of sight.

The two women concerned, incidentally, were judged to be credible and reliable witnesses and both of “excellent character”. Also of interest, although they were (to the best knowledge) tracked down and identified, there were several reports that a road repair crew witnessed an identical (and likely the same) object only minutes later a short distance away, potentially corroborating the women’s statements.

Also of interest, according to a report of the sighting in the 1st September 1951 edition of The Lubbock Morning Avalanche, Mrs. Bethard had lived on several United States Air Force bases and was more than familiar with aircraft. What’s more, she was certain that “the machine she saw was different from any she had seen before”.

Round Silver Object Over Witnessed Twice Only Minutes Apart Over Indiana And Illinois

Another sighting of a bright, silver, metallic object unfolded a little after 1:40 pm on 9th October when a Civil Aviation Authority Chief Aircraft Communicator, Roy Messmore, observed the object fly over Hulman Municipal Airport. [12] Messmore would recall that the object was the “same size as a 50 cent piece held at arm’s length” and was traveling at an incredible speed. It made no sounds and produced no vapor trails, and had disappeared from sight within no more than 15 seconds.

Only three minutes later a private pilot flying from Greencastle, Indiana to Paris, Illinois, witnessed a “silver object” at an approximate altitude of 5,000 feet. At first, as the plane approached the object the strange craft remained stationary. Then, without warning, it began to move to the northeast in the direction of the Newport, Indiana Atomic Energy Plant. [13]

Whether the object witnessed over Paris, Illinois was the same as that witnessed over Terre Haute remains unknown. It is, though, highly likely. And while the 20-plus miles that separate the two locations is not a great distance, it would suggest the object moved at a pretty decent speed. It is also perhaps interesting to note that it appeared to be heading to the Atomic Energy Plant. Many UFO – or at least their apparent occupants – appear to have a persistent interest in the energy capabilities of the human race, particularly nuclear energy.

Balloon Researchers Witness Two Glowing UFOs At 10,000 Feet Over Minnesota

At 6:30 am on 11th October, while flying at an altitude of around 10,000 feet over Minneapolis, Minnesota, a crew of General Mills balloon researchers witnessed a brightly glowing object with a “dark underside and a halo around it”. The object was [14] “moving from east to west at a high rate and was very high”.

A picture of an apparent real UFO

Does this show alien vehicles?

After the object crossed by the plane, it slowed somewhat and then started to “climb in lazy circles slowly”, with the report elaborating that it made a pattern similar to a “falling oak leaf”. What is interesting here is the description of UFOs descended or ascending in a “floating leaf” way comes up more than many might think in UFO reports.

The pilots would watch the object for around five minutes before it disappeared “with a very rapid acceleration”. Several minutes later, a second identical object arrived. This one, however, simply passed by their plane and disappeared into the distance without slowing.

At this point, a report was made to the ground, who did register the strange objects temporarily. However, they were moving too fast to keep them within the scope of their instruments.

Ample Activity In The Years Before Blue Book Officially Began

As we can see, then, even the years before the official start of Project Blue Book were rife with UFO sightings. What’s more, as we mentioned above, the vast majority (although not all) of the sightings describe very similar, if not identical objects. Does this make each individual sighting more credible? Or might it be evidence of “copycat” sightings, with people simply repeating details they had heard from other incidents, even if they didn’t realize they were doing so?

While the answer to that question may (and we stress the word, may) be the case in some of the incidents on record, many of the reports feature witnesses that are viewed as very credible, with many being serving police officers, and others being members of the military and so very familiar with aviation at the time.

What is perhaps certain is that UFO sightings were in abundance at the start of the Modern UFO era of the late 1940s and early fifties. What might the reason be for this? Might we find that many of these sightings were the experimental aircraft of the military following the transplanting of German scientists following the end of the Second World War? Or might the brutal nuclear end to that conflict have alerted one or more alien races to our presence and activities resulting in a sudden regular appearance of these seemingly otherworldly crafts in our skies.

As we shall in our next article on the Blue Book case files, the years between 1952 and 1957 – which saw several UFO waves – would become increasingly active, with reports, at times, coming in each day. With this in mind, it is perhaps easy to see why there was an underlying fear – if only subconsciously – during these years of an imminent invasion of aliens from another world.

For now, though, check out the video below that looks at the UFO and alien question.


1 Blue Book unexplained cases summaries with witness names: Year 1948, Ufologie
2 Scientists see a 35-meter disc at Holloman AFB, 1948, Ufologie
3 Indianapolis, Indiana, July 29, 1948, Ufologie
4 Fukuoka, Japan, October 15, 1948, Ufologie
5 Project Blue Book unexplained cases summaries with witness names: Year 1949, Ufologie
6 Project Blue Book unexplained cases summaries with witness names: Year 1950, Ufologie
7 Selfridge AFB, Michigan, March 3, 1950, Ufologie
8 Atomic plant UFO case, 1950, Ufologie
9 Project Blue Book unexplained cases summaries with witness names: Year 1951, Ufologie
10 UFO Report Albuquerque, Ufologie
11 UFO Report Over Matador, Ufologie
12 UFO Over Terre Haute Report, Ufologie
13 Paris, Illinois UFO Report, Ufologie
14 UFO Report Over Minnesota, 1951, Ufologie

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 of 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.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

Fact Checking/Disclaimer

Fact Checking

The stories, accounts, and discussions in this article may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports, accounts and documentation available as provided by witnesses and publications - sources/references are published above.

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