Friday, August 26, 2011

The famous Washington UFO sighting - 20 July 1952

This UFO sighting was a classic back in the 50s, and it shows how sometimes having a documented UFO sighting by the authorities other than the "normal" citizens only can make these facts very important.

20 July 1952 - This event, covered a large area, covering both the U.S.A. capital and its outskirts. The most touching scenes, though, have been experienced by the National Washington Airport's Air Traffic Management staff. They occupied a large room without windows, close to the watch tower. (The staff working into the tower managed only the final steps of the planes' arrivals, covering a 10 miles radius, whereas the Air Traffic Management staff observes all the planes in hundreds of miles).

Everything started into the radar room of the Air Traffic Management center. The time is 00 A.M.and the 20th day of July just hit the calendar, 8 traffic management experts lead by Harry G. Barnes entered the room to start their 8 hours night shift. The center was following a solitary airplane that was flying many miles away from the airport. Now most of you know how a radar works: (pretty simple actually, and seen in many movies) every 10 seconds a new "blip" appears in the radar monitor (the classic little light that shows the object that is being observed) almost at the same place of the previous one, which indicates the movement of the object that the radar is tracing, the expert Barnes could find out in a matter of seconds just by looking at the signal the position, the speed and the direction of the object.
That night the radar monitors were almost empty, except for some planes that were flying far, far away from each other.

Around 00.30 A.M. Barnes was sitting at his desk doing some paperwork, leaving Ed Nuggent at the radar observation place, together with Jim Ritchey and James Copeland.

Exactly at 00.40 A.M. seven detailed objects suddenly appeared on the monitor, those strange planes or whatever it was, seemed to have appeared from nowhere! The only explanation for this is that these unknown machines entered the radar surveyed area at terrific speeds and then slowed their movement and the radar managed to catch their position.

Nuggent screamed at Copeland to call Barnes, who promptly arrived. Both the radar's monitors showed these seven unidentified objects clearly.  Barnes called the watch tower control in a hurry to verify the real existence of said objects, and Howard Cocklin confirmed their existence, they were receiving the same exact signals as well, but not only that, Howard told Huggens that he could actually see one of the objects with his own eyes, saying that it emanated a bright orange light.

The now very alarmed Barnes gave the alarm to the Aerial defense department, then went back to observing the unknown objects to find out that their positions changed. Two of them were stationing onto the White House, one onto the Capitol Hill two no fly zone areas.
While observing the objects carefully, Barnes gave a call to the Andrews airport in Maryland, and they confirmed that they followed those objects with their radar as well.
Barnes asked for a scramble, but the fighter planes were in New Castle because the Maryland airport was undergoing some maintenance. Some fighters from Delaware were on their way, though, but it would have taken them at least 30 minutes to get there (there are some rumors saying that the Delaware fighters were sent to some other place to intercept other UFOs).

While waiting for the fighters Barnes kept watching these objects in the radar monitors, and not much later one of the UFOs started following a passenger plane of the "Capital" company, Barner contacted the plane and provided the pilot Cap. ex fighter Casey Pireman with all the coordinates of the object so that he could try to get eye contact with it. As soon as the pilot started the necessary maneuvers, with the surprise of all the radar observers, the objects, all of a sudden, disappeared. Right after the pilot of the passenger plane called Barnes back, and with a scared voice told him that the managed to see the object with his own eyes but it "ran away" before he could get close to examine it better, it disappeared by gaining height in under 4 seconds. Now the staff watching the radar knew how the objects managed to disappear in such a way, they were so fast that not even the radar could keep up with their speed, incredible.

A couple of minutes later, a new incredible signal appeared in the radar. One of the objects managed to do a 90° turn, something completely impossible both for any kind of aerial craft every created and for the pilot, but that is not all, shortly after another incredible signal appeared, one of the objects basically stopped in the air and started going backwards, all of that in not more than 5 seconds. To all this disconcerting data, another sensational debrief from the watch tower has to be added.
The operator Joe Zacko worked with an ASR radar which is made especially to keep watch on high speed air crafts and when one of the objects appeared on his monitor, he didn't need much time to find out at what incredible speeds their were flying around, while being completely astounded by the find, he called Cocklin, and after some simple calculations together, they managed to find out the exact speed of this amazing aircraft, covering around two miles per second, the objects was flying at 7200 miles per hour, simply amazing. From the radar traces, the object lowered its height for some seconds entering the ASR radar field of view, kept a constant speed for some seconds, and then gained height again, out of the radar field of view again.

For some unknown reason, the fighter planes didn't arrive yet, and the UFOs were flying onto Washington for over two hours already. Barnes also believed that somehow these "mysterious visitors" could listen to what he was saying at the radio, because every time he told one of his pilots the coordinates of their positions, the objects promptly disappeared.
In fact, not even once the pilots manged to get close enough to the vehicles to see more about them.

Finally at 3:30 A.M. the fighter planes arrived at Washington, but that didn't really change the situation at all. Because after a short while, the saucers were gone. The fighters didn't have a reason to fly anymore and left shortly after. 5 minutes after that happened, the objects appeared again roaming onto Washington. At the first lights of Dawn, after around 5 hours of "inspections" the objects finally left our planet,
There weren't many witnesses in the city, considering the time of the day.

The next day, as soon as the event became public, a general state of nervousness grabbed the city and the US in general.
At first, the air force tried to hide the event, saying that no one ever sighted anything on the radars, and just that the radars had a malfunction.
Another officer, said that no fighters were sent over Washington that day as well.
Their efforts to keep the event hidden, though, didn't really work. They even got a scientist named Menzel to find out an excuse to explain what those lights in the sky were, he came up with some ridiculous theory that because of the change of the temperatures in the night the lights of the cars were projected in the sky (yeah right!)
Many, many letters and telegrams were sent to the pentagon by the civilians, who were upset about those false motivations and wanted to know the truth.

Radios, TVs, newspapers and independent groups together asked for an official press release. This was a real problem to the intelligence department, because admitting that the UFOs were real, would have been like throwing fuel on fire. The best that they could do, was simply not talk at all.
Too bad that the UFOs came back in Washington the 26th!

 It was 9:08 A.M. when 9 flying saucers roamed the skies of the capital, they were flying really high this time, so not many citizens managed to see them. But like 6 days before that, the National Washington Airport's Air Traffic Management staff confirmed everything and analyzed the maneuvers of the incredible vehicles.
Strangely enough, the fighter planes came late also this time, but on the other hand, some of the saucers didn't disappear at their arrivals.
In fact, the lieutenant William L. Patterson tried to get close to one of the saucers, pushing his F-80 "shooting star" at its maximum speed, he managed to stay at a distance of around 1 mile of the saucer for some minutes, he could make an estimate of the dimensions of the vehicle, which was around 30 meters big.
At the same time, the USAF intelligence already alerted in those days, joined the action. The Sergeant Major Dewey Fournet jr. pentagon investigator arrived at the control center as well. He was accompanied by Albert M. Chop and a radar operator. For so much as 2 hours they observed the objects together with Barnes and his men.

Obviously these events exploded like a bomb in basically everything that had to do even remotely with news. Radios, TVs and newspapers were all FULL of these events.
For 48 hours after the second UFO event all of them bombed the Air Force with letters and telegrams asking for news, Gen. Samford always negated any kind of news to the civilians until he had no other choice than holding a press conference to calm down the masses. Instructed by "higher powers" he said that all of this was no other than optical illusions because of the atmospheric light reflections.
Almost no one believed him, but the official explanation was that, and slowly the population forgot about it...

Here are some photos of the radars and some newspapers:

                       From a controller's original sketch, some saucer movements July 20
                       on Washington radar scope are diagrammed above. At A, seven blips
                       appeared suddenly. Two moved (B) near White House, one near Capitol.
                       At C, one fled a northwest bound airliner (indicated by row of blips).
                       Later (D) ten flocked at Andrews Field. E illustrates a saucer's right-
                       angle turn compared with curving turn of ordinary aircraft

 This event was actually important all over the world, we can see in this English document of the 1952 how the prime minister Winston Churchill asks what is this UFO thing all about.

Taken from - Adapted, translated, and personally modified in some parts.

1 comment:

  1. Ah great, now I'll never get to sleep after reading about this haha


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