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Revisiting the 1952 Washington DC UFO Flap

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posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 02:01 PM

originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: mirageman

While this thread quotes several times the words of Capt. Edward Ruppelt from his book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects his words should not be taken as a true and correct presentation of any aspect of the situation but a sanitized version. ....

Yes indeed. I think Ruppelt's book was one of the first UFO books I ever read because it was one of the few UFO books in the local library back in the 1970s when I was a young boy. It is one of the 'classic' UFO books. However we should still be wary that it was written by a "company" man.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 02:17 PM

originally posted by: CardDown
The event is real, but photographs of it are not. It was also not widely witnessed in the sky by civilians, just by pilots and radar operators.

The picture seen upthread and most often associated with it is of lens reflections from lamps at the base of the Capitol.

FOTOCAT's input follows, including two versions of the picture:
Event date: July 19, 1952
Location: Washington, D.C. (USA)
Date information: Non-event (actually dated 1965)
Event is filed as: Lens flares
Time: Between 23:40 and 06:00
Photographer: Unknown

Perhaps first published in Ray Palmer's Flying Saucers in 1973:

In addition, animated versions of this photo have been seen in a number of UFO shows, such as Unsealed Alien Files, Hangar 1, and Sirius. All fake, and usually not noted as simulations, which creates greater confusion.

I have to admit I even got confused myself. As there are so many websites passing off photos and footage as genuine.
I probably should have added a comment in the original post to clarify this matter as well. Apologies for not doing so.

It was not my intention to mislead anyone so I will make it clear that the photo used in the post above does indeed show lens reflections of the street lamps below. It DOES NOT SHOW UFOs flying over the Capitol.

A number of UFO documentaries have used this footage.

This is NOT GENUINE MOVIE CAMERA FOOTAGE from 1952 and has been created for TV as an illustration only. The first time I saw this it was used was in "UFOs : The Secret Evidence". As CardDown points out it has also been used in numerous other shows.

edit on 30/11/14 by mirageman because: Bold text used for emphasis

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 02:21 PM
a reply to: mirageman

The "scientist from the agency" was most likely George Van Tassel.
Can't say for sure if he's the one being mentioned, or if it was someone he told, but he did predict it a few weeks before it happened.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 02:29 PM
a reply to: easynow

That's some interesting information and very welcome additions to the thread.

Especially the video of Howard Cocklin (RIP). He certainly seems convinced what he saw was a solid object.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 03:12 PM
Sweet thread! I've heard this of course but i don't think I've seen all the info. Can't wait to check it out after school tomorrow!

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 04:41 PM
Superb thread mirageman, very well researched, laid-out and written!

This is what surprises me about this 1952 Washington UFO case. I consider myself a well-read, educated, curious amateur historian, yet, even though my first half-century is creeping up on me, I had never heard about this case until a couple of years ago.

If you look at the facts of the case, you can really only come to one of two conclusions. You can rule out the Russians, Chinese - any foreign power in this case due to the high-tech for the time. Also way-ahead of what the US had at the time.

That leaves us with some secret human faction - or aliens. Yet by definition, some secret human faction would not be parading their hardware over Washington for multiple days - that does not help to keep people secret, that is logically inconsistent. So we are left with some kind of extraterrestrial intelligence. Why is this so surprising? People get all upset when you say that is possible - as if it were impossible. Even Time Life said it in their by-line as the OP showed in one of his posts:

So I laugh when people say the proof for ET doesn't exist and is not out there..IT IS! This case is one! What people should really say is this, the proof is out there, but I'm ignoring it until the government tells me I can believe it, and it makes me uncomfortable and I experience cognitive dissonance when I see stuff that looks like proof yet the government won't confirm it, so I chose to mock it in order to subconsciously gain a feeling of "control" about the situation.

I think most people would agree that contact with ET is more significant than any news story of the past century, say including something like 9/11. Yet 9/11 is all over and easy to find, it is part of our "story", and yet I went most of my life without hearing about this truly significant story, and others like it like the amazing "Battle of Los Angeles" story that should have been one of the most significant stories of WWII, or Operation Highjump whose cover "purpose" sounded like a scientific expedition which normally would have included a few hundred personnel, which instead had as many men as the Dieppe Raid - a good medium size military operation.

It is obvious these incredible incidents have been deliberately sanitized from the public consciousness, and projects like Bluebook and SETI were just sophisticated psyops.

edit on 30-11-2014 by PlanetXisHERE because: epiphany

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 05:13 PM
a reply to: PlanetXisHERE

I was literally about to PM you to thank you for inspiring me to look into this thread in more detail and invite you to comment. I am glad you found it.

I know our views are not exactly the same on this subject from the previous thread. But that does not mean I don't respect your opinions because you are willing to debate in an intelligent manner.

I don't know what this case really points to. But there most definitely was something being covered up during the 1950s.
The DC Sightings are probably not the most solid cases from 1952 by the way. But they are the most famous and if I have some more free time (sometimes life gets in the way) over the next few days then I'll try to add some more information.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 06:06 PM
a reply to: mirageman

Have you ever heard of Project Palladium? I came across this about a year ago and was trying to determine if there is anything to it. Its worth a mention.

UFO mirages and Project Palladium

It seems Captain Ruppelt was suggesting intelligence officials accurately anticipated the D.C. flap of 1952. Writer, researcher and filmmaker Mark Pilkington holds another point of view that he apparently thinks much more likely; in his book, 'Mirage Men', Mr. Pilkington suggested the D.C. flap may have involved testing a weapon designed to create false radar paints.

“The first incident took place in July,” Pilkington said during an interview with 'U.S. News'. “It was reported extensively in the newspapers that a number of unknown objects appeared on radar screens around Washington. Now, it looks very plausible to me that the Washington incident was a demonstration of a technology from the Defense Department, known as Project Palladium, which allowed the operator to project radar blips onto other radar screens. Later on, the technology became very sophisticated to the point where you could change the shape of the blip and its speed and so forth. We go on in the book at length about the evidence that suggests that the Washington radar incident was a planned operation."

Pilkington additionally explained in 'Mirage Men' how he confirmed such technology and weapons continued to be considered for use as late as 1986. U.S. officials contemplated conducting such an operation in Libya in order to create confusion and paranoia within the Khadafi regime.

Project Palladium was explored at the blog, 'The UFO Trail'. “Gene Poteat, formerly of the CIA Directorate of Science and Technology, composed a 1998 report titled, 'Stealth, Countermeasures, and ELINT, 1960-1975',” it was explained at the blog. “Poteat, who was directly involved in PALLADIUM, wrote about the project, 'I came up with a scheme to electronically generate and inject carefully calibrated false targets into the Soviet radars, deceiving them into seeing and tracking a ghost aircraft... [W]e could now simulate an aircraft of any radar cross section from an invisible stealth airplane to one that made a large blip on Soviet radar screens – and anything in between, at any speed and altitude, and fly it along any path...

“'Every PALLADIUM operation consisted of a CIA team with its ghost aircraft system, an NSA team with its special COMINT and decryption equipment, and a military operational support team.'”

The sightings reported around Washington in the summer of 1952 will no doubt continue to be sources of debate and fascination. It will be argued that some or all of the reports were the results of truly unknown phenomena. Others will argue it more likely that some of the reports could have obviously been anticipated by an intelligence community responsible for their origin. Ruppelt's claim of being seemingly accurately forewarned of an impending extraordinary and unprecedented UFO event, as well as its location, could be considered to add feasibility to Pilkington's suspicions. At the least, Ruppelt's allegations might be interpreted to have origins in Cold War intelligence games of some nature.

Whatever one may choose to make of the D.C. flap, Ruppelt's claims contained in his 1956 book and as cited by Mark OC certainly deserve mention when the case is discussed. It is relevant that the director of Blue Book made such claims, whatever the ultimate reasons may have been. It is also relevant that the existence of Project Palladium, whether or not it had anything directly to do with the D.C. reported sightings, demonstrated that the U.S. intelligence community was actively involved in manipulating perception of the UFO phenomenon and the intentional creation of false UFO events.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 06:12 PM
Excellent thread OP, and very well organized. Thank you.

I was only three years old when this happened, and lived in Framingham, MA.
Although I was way too young to remember anything that would have been said about it, I do remember my Dad taking me in the backyard at night occasionally and pointing out the stars. I am sure it was on his mind back then, as in later years we talked about it a few times and he said that most people did not believe it was a weather phenomena, and he had seen some strange things in the sky when he was an aircrewman in a PBY, in WW2. It was one of the things that kept me interested in the subject all my life.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 06:43 PM
a reply to: ZetaRediculian

An interesting alternative explanation, which might bear further scrutiny if the only reports had come from radar contacts. However, there were multiple sightings of bright lights and orbs by airmen and airport personnel which coincided with the radar returns they were watching or hearing reported.

originally posted by: mirageman

Howard Cocklin, the controller there, confirmed he also had the objects on radar. More significantly Cocklin also stated that he could see one of the objects, a bright orange light, from the control tower window. Although he could not make out what was behind it.

Andrews Air Force Base did not see anything unusual on their radar initially. But in the early hours of Sunday 20th July, William Brady, who was in the tower responding to another strange sighting, observed an orange ball of fire with a trailing tail that suddenly "took off at an unbelievable speed."

Capital Airlines pilot, S.C Pierman, was waiting on a runway, and told that the control tower's radar had picked up unknown objects closing in on his position. He noted six white, fast-moving lights that he reported over the radio to Barnes . Barnes said "each sighting coincided with a pip we could see near his aircraft. When he reported that the light streaked off at a high speed, it disappeared on our scope."

Back at Andrews Air Force Base, the control tower staff were tracking multiple objects on radar. SSgt. Charles Davenport saw an orange-red light which appeared to stand still, then make several abrupt changes in direction and height. The National Airport’s and radar centres at Andrews AFB were simultaneously tracking an object hovering over a radio beacon. The object vanished in all three radar centres at the same time.

Around sunrise, a civilian radio engineer E.W. Chamber reported seeing five enormous disks circling in a loose formation, tilted upward and leaving on a steep ascent from the Washington suburbs.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 06:56 PM
a reply to: mirageman

Well, you're welcome, but it looks like you have done all the hard work, I should be thanking you. I know I shortchanged this incident severely when I mentioned it in that thread, but it was tangential to the OP in that thread, and I'm lazy. I had been actually planning on using this incident in a series of threads I had been planning, relating to significant and important UFO cases that have been seemingly sanitized from the public consciousness. But you have saved me the trouble with this one, if I ever get around to documenting the others I hope it can come close to the standard you have set.

I'm not sure about what we disagreed on, I'm guessing my conclusion that after ruling everything else out, it must be non-human. I try to envision what I'm missing, like the poster above brought up a decent explanation of a classified radar generating image project, however that doesn't fit with the non-radar sightings in this case.

It is great to disagree, I have disagreed with some on here and learned much, I like to think I have an open mind. The problem is sometimes one can get emotionally attached to an idea, I have at times but try to be wary of it (but you haven't at all in this thread or anywhere I can remember), and emotion tends to make one passionate, and passionate can get you heated, and heated can get you angry........not a good cycle when trying to get at the facts.

Anyway, it is great to discuss mysteries like this without getting all high-schoolish, this is what ATS should be about.

So I'm curious mirageman, if my assumption was correct and you're not ready to come to the conclusion that this case was due to some non-human intelligently controlled objects, are you open to the possibility? Have you come up with any decent alternative explanations?

What do you think about some of the other cases I mentioned - Battle of LA, Operation Highjump, and the WWII Foo fighters, to name a few? I also look forward to your presentation of more significant events from that time period......seems almost hard to believe there was something more significant than that!

edit on 30-11-2014 by PlanetXisHERE because: addition

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:10 PM
a reply to: ZetaRediculian

It seems plausible that in the early days of RADAR that the systems could be spoofed by returning signals that would appear to indicate aircraft of various sizes and configurations.

“'Every PALLADIUM operation consisted of a CIA team with its ghost aircraft system, an NSA team with its special COMINT and decryption equipment, and a military operational support team.'”

This kind of jumped out at me when I read it. The NSA wasn't created as a separate entity until November 4, 1952. That's about 3-1/2 months after the Washington, DC event. Of course the author of that passage could have meant the predecessor of the NSA, given the fact the agency was created only a short time later.


posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:13 PM
a reply to: PlanetXisHERE
yeah, I have no idea. But I am still fascinated that the US gov't had such technology and could have tested it out on its own military. So I really have no idea if it explains this case in part or even at all. Google only gets a few posts on blogs and my own inquiry from a year ago here. If the US did possess this technology in 52, I don't think it should be ignored when discussing any radar case.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:15 PM
a reply to: mirageman

I don't have anything of substance to add here. But, I wanted to compliment you on an extremely well-done thread. Even though there was a significant quantity of information in your write-up, it was an easy and quick read.

I particularly liked your original artwork with the newspaper headlines and the capitol building.


posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:18 PM

originally posted by: ZetaRediculian
a reply to: PlanetXisHERE
yeah, I have no idea. But I am still fascinated that the US gov't had such technology and could have tested it out on its own military. So I really have no idea if it explains this case in part or even at all. Google only gets a few posts on blogs and my own inquiry from a year ago here. If the US did possess this technology in 52, I don't think it should be ignored when discussing any radar case.

Certainly, if the technology does exist, and there is a UFO incident where there are mysterious radar returns combined with weak/single/absent non-radar sightings, then this kind of scenario should definitely be considered.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:47 PM
Nice read. Still doesn't resolve the question: Have ET UFOs ever visited Earth? It's like a blurry photo. It doesn't resolve to anything really.

I think most of us just assume since 95% or more of cases are easily explained as misidentified conventional or terrestrial phenomena that the remaining 5% would also be explained similarly if investigated.

We're a people rich with deceit, stupidity, religion, delusion and induced altered mental states. Real ET's seem too far fetched when it's much easier explained as one of the aforementioned.

Never attribute to ET's that which is adequately explained by Terrestrials.
edit on 30-11-2014 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 08:31 PM
Outstanding job putting this thread together.

Every once in awhile, a thread like this comes around ATS that provides a lot of information on a particular subject that is well presented in the OP. I hope I have the time to come back and follow up on the links and supporting data. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of time any time soon.

But I did want to say that I found it very informative. I wish I had more to offer.

posted on Dec, 1 2014 @ 12:13 AM
a reply to: mirageman

That photo looks like lens flares from the lights below the whitehouse.....I have always loved that photo but just now realised they line up with those lights.

Dammit...I am a debunker.

Good thread otherwise.

posted on Dec, 1 2014 @ 12:19 AM
a reply to: mirageman

Very nice presentation. Thank you!

posted on Dec, 1 2014 @ 04:22 AM
I'm new to this forum but hearing people emphatically stating that there is no evidence for alien visitation haven't spent 5 minutes researching the phenomenon.
especially lately with the new influx of evidence from highly regarded officials in military, pilots ( both military and public), and now even astronauts. check out Gus Grishams statements about the phenomenon, or especially Gordon Cooper. both plainly state that we are being visited and that it is a known fact within government and nasa.
what about the dismissal attitude of nasa in many of the shots from Mars or the moon, that almost certainly show signs of past life, if not current. for anyone wanting to do real research I recommend Leslie Keens book called "UFO's / generals, pilots, and government officials go on the record". it's an easy read to get someone interested.
I'm a fairly educated guy, and to me, the FACTS that I've seen, along with the gigantic amount of evidence that has popped up in the last few years, make it a NO BRAINER. at this point I need evidence against the phenomenon. and that's not coming from the government, or NASA... especially NASA. who know the truth.
this situation did start in the 40's and 50's im sure because they didn't have a way to explain it. at this point I think it's moved to more of a money (free energy anyone?) and/ or a black ops situation. I respect anyone's oppinion that has looked at the full evidence and still disagrees, but I think there would be far fewer in that boat if they truly looked at everything that is out there. there is a resin why all the other countries are opening up recently.

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