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The Fukuoka UFO Incident, Japan, 1948.

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posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 06:43 PM
Strange UFO incident from over Japan in 1948 which is still held as officialy unidentified and may have the distinction of being the first ever radar correlated UFO case.

Dr James E. Mcdonald reported on the incident in his statement on UFOs to U.S. House Committee on Science and Aeronatics and he makes some interesting comments below about flight characteristics.

Fukuoka, Japan, October 15, 1948

In his book The Report on the Unidentified Flying Objects (Link), 1955, Captain Ed Ruppelt, who was the head of Project Blue Book when it began, wrote:

Then [in 1948] radar came into the picture. For months the anti saucer factions had been pointing their fingers at the lack of radar reports, saying, "If they exist, why don't they show up on radarscopes?" When they showed up on radarscopes, the UFO won some converts.
On October 15 [1948] an F-61, a World War II "Black Widow" night fighter was on patrol over Japan when it picked up an unidentified target on its radar. The target was flying between 5,000 and 6,000 feet and traveling about 200 miles per hour. When the F-61 tried to intercept it would get to within 12,000 feet of the UFO only to have it accelerate to an estimated 1,200 miles per hour, leaving the F-61 far behind before slowing down again. The F-61 crew made six attempts to close on the UFO. On one pass, the crew said, they did get close enough to see its silhouette. It was 20 to 30 feet long and looked "like a rifle bullet."

Ufologie Link

Dr James E. Mcdonald's Report:


From USAF Project Bluebook files comes the material summarized here for this officially unidentified case involving airbone-radar and air-visual observation of an unconventional "bullet-shaped" object. At 11:05 p.m. LST, a USAF F-61 Black Widow fighter, with a crew of pilot and radar observer, flying near Fukuoka, obtained a radar pickup on an unknown target at an altitude of around 6000 feet, and an initial range of about 10 miles. The total encounter, occupying a period of about ten minutes, is too complex to describe in full detail here."

"The Bluebook file is thick and contains a number of different intelligence reports that are not mutually compatible on certain quantitative details such as closure distances. Briefly, a total of six radar passes were made, and each time the F-61 closed to about 400 yards, the unknown accelerated suddenly from about 200 mph to an estimated 1200 mph."

"The original report from Far East Air Forces intelligence sources states that the unknown "had a high rate of acceleration and could go almost straight up or down out of radar elevation limits.
There was sufficient moonlight to permit a silhouette to be discerned although no details were observed". The F-61 crew thought it possible that the six passes might have been made on two separate unknowns, but this was inferential."

"Another portion of the official file includes a FEAF follow-up report, describing some other points:"When the F-61 approached within 12,000 feet, the target executed a 180-degree turn and dived under the F-61. The F-61 attempted to dive with the target but was unable to keep pace. It is believed that the object was not lost from the scope due to normal skip null-zones common to all radar equipment. The pilot and observer feel that it was the high rate of speed of the object which enabled it to disappear so rapidly.

James McDonald, Statement on UFOs to U.S. House Committee on Science and Aeronatics, 1968 Symposium on UFOs


[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 08:48 PM
I was unaware this event even took place. Thank you for the heads up Karl and the presentation. Guess I can add another "Goodie" to the list of incidents that have stood the test of time, and naturally won't be touched by the pseudo-skeptic de-bunkers on this site.

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 09:32 PM
reply to post by karl 12

Interesting if I had to guess and make a rational guess at what this could have been I would gander to say the Top Secret Air Craft of the Bell X-1. The time period fits in quite well and the speeds would have smoked the F-61 which could only reach speeds comfortably at around 350-450. The Bell X-1 could easily reach speeds of 950mph. That would have made it seem like it flew by them and just made it look silly. Also the shape of the aircraft is bullet like as well. Check it out:

On October 14, 1947, legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager became the first man to fly faster than Mach 1, the speed of sound. He was piloting the Bell X-1, a bullet-shaped rocket plane that was the first in a series of secret high-speed research aircraft. The X-planes came to symbolize the danger and glamour of test flying at California's Edwards Air Force Base in the late 1940s and 50s.
Bell X-1

The advantages of swept wings for supersonic flight were as yet unknown, so the X-1 had straight, very thin wings. The shape of its fuselage was modeled after a .50 caliber machine-gun bullet. To maintain its bullet shape, the X-1's cockpit canopy was flush with the fuselage, which severely limited visibility.

During 157 test flights from 1946–51, the X-1 achieved a maximum speed of Mach 1.45 (957 mph) and an altitude of 71,902 feet, both world bests at the time. The X-1A, a later version with larger fuel tanks and an improved cockpit, reached 1,650 mph and 90,000 feet.

Like I said it is just a guess, but the time frame fits nicely and the description matches up to a point. Starred and Flagged! Nice Find Karl.

[edit on Feb 22nd 2010 by TheMythLives]

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 10:22 PM
reply to post by TheMythLives

Good presentation and information on the Bell X-1. But I completely disagree my friend. Firstly, why would that craft be being flown over that area? Those were only tested in the US, in test ranges like Edwards (at that time called Muroc AFB). And they were rocket powered and only capable of short duration flight, hardly logical to take it all the way over there.

I think it is reaching to postulate the UFO was a Bell X-1 IMHO. And here is the clincher that it wasn't the Bell IMHO:

Briefly, a total of six radar passes were made, and each time the F-61 closed to about 400 yards, the unknown accelerated suddenly from about 200 mph to an estimated 1200 mph."

"The original report from Far East Air Forces intelligence sources states that the unknown "had a high rate of acceleration and could go almost straight up or down out of radar elevation limits. There was sufficient moonlight to permit a silhouette to be discerned although no details were observed". The F-61 crew thought it possible that the six passes might have been made on two separate unknowns, but this was inferential."

"Another portion of the official file includes a FEAF follow-up report, describing some other points:"When the F-61 approached within 12,000 feet, the target executed a 180-degree turn and dived under the F-61. The F-61 attempted to dive with the target but was unable to keep pace. It is believed that the object was not lost from the scope due to normal skip null-zones common to all radar equipment. The pilot and observer feel that it was the high rate of speed of the object which enabled it to disappear so rapidly. *

*Parts highlighted by me...

We all know the Bell could not make turn like that, as well instant decel/acel movements. This WAS NOT a Bell X-1 in my humble opinion. What it was is a UFO in the truest sense. Alien? I don't know, but I would be major money it was NOT a Bell.

[edit on 2/23/2010 by jkrog08]

posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 10:48 PM
reply to post by TheMythLives

Nice presentation, I only wish others on this forum would put as much effort into their debate like you have, rather than ignoring these special cases and picking on the easy ones like so many do. Nicely done.

Was this Aircraft ever tested anywhere outside of the U.S. during this time frame? If it was a rocket based craft it's speed would have been constant and very fast for a short period of time without slowing down...

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 02:46 AM
reply to post by TheMythLives

G'day TheMythLives

I always enjoy your posts, so it's nice to see you in this thread


I don't believe the flight characteristics of the object as described match the flight capabilities of the X1.

I don't believe the X1 flew over Japan.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 05:44 AM
reply to post by TheMythLives

It's good to see you Myth.

Very nice memory regarding old prototypes. It's a very good guess relating to the shape of the object.

But I don't think it's a perfect match.

This is why:

1. Flight capabilities - The Bell X-1 had to be launched from another aircraft, it can't take off on it's own (see why in point nº2 ). This brings the question of the F-61 not sighting that other aircraft (from what is public, it was almost always launched from the belly of a B-50).

2. Propulsion System -The X-1 uses a rocket engine. That means that it can only being fired once, i.e., if you speed up the engine, the plane will start to speed up until it loses all the fuel that is left, like a space rocket

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 06:14 AM
reply to post by karl 12

Very nice thread Karl. S&F.

This case has the very important ingredients that make me love a UFO case. It's just amazing, either it's a alien aircraft, or an unknown advanced prototype.

Points in favor of a possible alien aircraft:

1- The prototypes at the time (like the X-1, beautifully presented by MythLives) were launched from another aircraft, because they had no controlled propulsion. That means that their flights would consist of being dropped like a missile (actually a missile is a very good example of how this aircraft were flying), make their top speed, trying to reach the speed of sound, and then glide back to the airport.

This raises a very important point.

To glide, you need big wings (you have all seen the commercial gliders with no engines) to sustain lift because you have no propulsion system (after used). But at that time, you couldn't have it both ways, because in order to make huge speeds you need to shape the body of the aircraft in order to make the less resistance possible.

That translates into a thin and slim body, like a bullet. In order to keep the flight steady enough to control at high speeds (one of the bigger issues with the first X's) you need to have small but powerful wings.

Which raises a problem. You need to glide, but you don't have big wings. How did they solve it? Altitude.

These aircraft had to be launched from altitudes up to +40,000feet, and they would need to even raise altitude in order to maneuver back to land.

Summarizing this point, it means that in no way it was a (now known) prototype from that time period, because in no way they were able to fly around 6,000 or 12,000 feet. That's too low for them. They wouldn't have the distance to maneuver back to safety.

2 - The speed. I know that most people can't imagine the speed capabilities of an aircraft, but believe me, the acceleration on that UFO is trully amazing even on our modern standards.

As an example, the SR-71 Blackbird, which was a beast regarding speed and altitude, took some minutes to get to full speed, even after the pilot "kicked" the throttle to the max.

10 minutes would be the time for the SR-71 to go from cruise speed, to full speed in mid flight. While this UFO took seconds, and the WHOLE sighting took around 10 minutes.

It's just mad. It's like comparing a Formula-1 car to a bicycle.

3 - Looking into the technological context at the time, it's just not only about the propulsion system, it's about everything. You have to realize that an aircraft is not just a piece of metal with wings and a huge engine.

They have a lot of issues to resolve, from aerodinamics to how to maneuver the aircraft, how to land, how to take-off. It's a huge project to even think about building a new plane.

Picking up again the great example provided by MythLives, the X-1 had a lot of trouble to reach the speed of sound. They didn't even realize, until the actual flight, that the speed was so enormous that the air "rules" completed changed, and what once worked fine, like the wings, now had to be re-thinked in order to keep up with the speeds.

A good example of how this works is the F-14 Tomcat. It has mobile wings. In low speeds and low altitude, the wings are completely open, in order to sustain lift and maneuverability. In high speeds, above the speed of sound, the wings fold back, because you don't need lift (the speed alone does that), you just need less drag and the capability of controlling your trajectory.

All this examples are AFTER this case, and everyone of them was developed separately and through out decades of engineering. This thing is even far advanced for OUR time, let alone post-WWII.

4- Visual references.

Let's assume it is a human prototype, with advanced flight capabilities, using human technology (or known, at least).

In order to make those speeds, and those accelerations, you will:

*See a clear after-burner flamme, during the acceleration of the aircraft. To make a huge acceleration you need a huge amount of fuel being burned, the after-burner system is great in that. But even with the new, efficient, F-22, you will see a after-burner flame, that is visible far away.

*Hear a sonic boom. You either hear it (which is questionable regarding the distances involved), or see it (see picture below). But I give this the benefit of a doubt, since the distance plays an important factor in this.

*Hear the gigantic noise made by such a powerful engine. It would simply crush the noise of the F-61, even if you were inside of it.

At that time, there were no stealth capabilities. It was pure, raw, massive noise.

In the end, this UFO displays flight characteristics impossible for the technology at that time.

I don't have much more time to elaborate more on this, but I'll give it some thoughts and pull out my own theory regarding what it was.

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 08:05 AM
reply to post by karl 12

bullet shaped? its preferrably described as chevron shaped in ufo speak, I think

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 08:59 AM
reply to post by TheMythLives

I think the only thing your missing is the rate of speed that the aircraft was going innitially. It says they came up on it going 200 mph, which seems a bit odd because a 747 cruises at about 500mph and a small engine craft goes about 100mph. It may just be a hunch but I'm guessing that the Bell doesn't exactly cruise at a very slow speed and then get to 1200mph extremely quickly, also can a Bell bank a 180 degree turn on a dime?

Great idea and it does resemble the same "bullet" appearance but in my opinion I don't really see this as being the answer.

[edit on 23-2-2010 by NoJoker13]

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 09:03 AM
reply to post by karl 12

S&F karl, thanks for showing me something I had not been previously aware of.

I really am not an expert when it comes to this time period and secret projects regarding planes, so I can't say much on this subject other then look at it as a spectator would.

In my opinion, it seems like a solid case. I mean think about it, lets say that the craft was military (which is very well could have been), that doesn't make it any less interesting obviously. If they had the capabilities to go the speeds and do the maneuvers with a craft back in 1948, then just think about what sort of tech they would have now that is hidden from us...

We all know there is plenty of technology hidden from us that is in use every day, and only a small percentage of privileged (if you want to call them that) people know about any of it. I believe there is ET life out there and that they have/do visit(ed) us. I also believe the US, and other countries, have UFO technology that either they reverse engineered or were given to by said ET's.

Either way, there are UFOs out there and we have no way of knowing if they are military or ET. Maybe they are extraterrestrial military? Ha, how funny would that be?

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 09:12 AM
Nice points by several posters on the capabilities of the Bell X-1 aircraft. It was just a high speed test bed aircraft. It was not made to execute 90 degree turns, much less 180!
I remember reading that the SR-71 required the airspace over four of our western states to execute a 360 degree turn at cruising speed.
When it comes to cases like these, I tend to lean towards an alien hypothesis. If any country had an aircraft with those capabilities in 1948, I believe that we would have known it by now.

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 09:30 AM
Thanks for the replies.

TML - I'd have to agree with Jkrog's comments about the reported flight characteristics not being compatible with known aircraft of the time but certainly do appreciate the input.

As for the object itself, in the excerpt from his report found at this link, Dr James Mcdonald states there were pilot drawings of the object contained within the official file - I can't find them for love nor money though.

A sketch of what the object looked like when seen in silhouette - against the moonlit cloud deck is contained in the file. It was estimated to be about the size of a fighter aircraft, but had neither discernible wings nor tail structures. It was somewhat bullet- shaped, tapered towards the rear, but with a square-cut aft end. It seemed to have "a dark or dull finish".

I also thought he made a very,very good point here:

We deal here with one of many cases wherein radar detection of an unconventional object was supported by visual observation. That this is carried as Unidentified cannot surprise one; what is surprising is that so many other comparable instances are on record, yet have been ignored as indicators of some scientifically intriguing problem demanding intensive study.


[edit on 02/10/08 by karl 12]

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 09:40 AM
reply to post by karl 12
Star and Flag. Thanks for putting this up. I never saw this case before.

It's nice to see one that they admitted couldn't be Venus or swamp gas!

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 09:54 AM

Originally posted by Tifozi
This case has the very important ingredients that make me love a UFO case. It's just amazing, either it's a alien aircraft, or an unknown advanced prototype.

Tifozi, thanks for the comprehensive post -theres certainly some great info there.

I also think you make a fair point in the sentence above as there exists a great many other cases which involve unknown objects executing completely unprecedented flight characteristics (such as right angle turns) as far back as the 1950's ( link ).

As for the Fukuoka case, there's another interesting report below made by Dr J. Allen Hynek which contains a statement by Lt. Barton Halter who was radar operator of the P-61 during the incident:

The Hynek UFO Report, page 125

In the fall of 1948, Project Sign received a report from Kyushu, Japan, describing the encounter of an F-61 aircraft with from two to six unidentified flying objects. Intelligence reports from the Far East air forces indicated that the UFOs might have “carried radar warning equipment.” because the “object seemed cognizant of the whereabouts of the F-61 at all times.”

The sighting took place at about 11:05 P M. on October 15, 1948, some 50 miles northwest of Pukuoka, off the northwest coast of Kyushu. A statement of January 28, 1949, by 2nd Lt. Barton Halter of the 68th Fighter Squadron, who was radar operator of the P-61, explains the

"My present duties are Radar and Communications Maintenance Officer, and Radar Observer Night Fighter with the 68th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group (AW), APO 75. On 15 October 1948, my pilot and I started out on a routine mission off the northwest coast of Kyushu. When, at 2305 (11:O5 P.M.), we were approximately 5O males at 330° from Pukuoka, I picked up an airborne target. It showed up at a range of five miles dead ahead and slightly below us. We increased our speed to approximately 220 MPH and obtained an advantage of 20 MPH. The target showed no evasive action at first, and we thought that it was probably one of the fighter aircraft from our home field. As we closed in I noticed a slight change in azimuth and a rapid closure between us. Shortly thereafter, a matter of seconds, the target gave the indication of diving beneath us. We dived in an attempt to follow the target and before we could get squared away to follow, it had passed beneath us and was gone. I was notified by my pilot that we were diving at a rate of 3,500 feet a minute at 300 MPH. I had intended to ask the pilot to peel off after it split “S,” but it was gone too fast.

The next, or second, interception was from the rear of the target as was the first; however, the target added a burst of speed dead ahead and outdistanced us immediately. On the third interception, my plot called a visual at 60° portside. By the time I made the pickup it we at 45° port 3,000’ and 5° below. My pilot made a rapid starboard turn in an attempt to head off the target. By the time we got astern of it, it was off again in a burst of speed and disappeared between nine (9) and ten (10) miles.

On the fourth interception, the pilot called to me that we had been passed from above from the rear by our target. I picked up target as it went off my scope from five to ten miles dead ahead and slightly above. On the fifth and sixth interceptions, the target appeared at 9-plus miles doing approximately 200 MPH. We had as advantage of 20 MPH taking our IAS approximately 220 MPH, a safe high-speed cruise for F-61 type aircraft. We closed in to 12,000 feet, then, with a burst of speed the target pulled away to the outer limit of my set which is 10 miles for airborne targets. This took approximately 15 to 20 seconds.

In my opinion, we were shown a new type aircraft by some agency unknown to is. . . ."



posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 11:06 AM
Star and Flag. As i read about this case, i can't help but to think, How do these craft pull off such maneuvers so easily? Could it be that they found a way to fly without any air resistance at all, to where they could move more easily in any direction?

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 12:06 PM
Great case here!

Question though:

I've recently read Ruppelt's book. Weren't the unexplained cases in the book included specifically because all conventional explanations have been more or less ruled out?

I don't have access to the text right now to do a quick search, but didn't Ruppelt (and some of his men) have Top Secret clearance? I remember him saying they had access to all of the top secret balloon data coming out of Wright-Patternson, and that officials from various intelligence services were working for Ruppelt. I get the impression they would've known if it were the Bell. No?

[edit on 23-2-2010 by Elepheagle]

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 01:19 PM
Alright, I have been reading through out the case, and I think I have some input to give into the thread:

In Favor - Part I

The USAF P-61 Black Widow

This military aircraft was mainly built to serve as an advanced radar post. It had the most recent air-to-air radar system available at the time, and it was only improved during/after the 50's.

But the radar operators where very well trained. Participated in exercises where friendly targets would pose as radar targets, in order to instruct the radar operators (+pilots) about what they are seeing, and teach them to interpret the feedback of information provided by the radar.

This particular aircraft was seen as a guided missile. It would detect and follow the targets, getting close if possible.

The maneuver capability of this aircraft was average to good, meaning that he was very well capable of keeping up (not in dogfights, but in tracking down the target) with an evasive target.

A true accomplishment of engineering that opened up the window to the modern radar systems in air superiority jet-fighters and bombers.

The radar

The radar used by the P-61 was a SCR-720. A most modern and efficient (although a few years later it was updated) radar system that was used to track down submarines and enemy ships, BUT could also search and track down Air-to-air threats.

It was a normal radar system, that inspired modern radars. It was very good at the time, because at that time, having a radar was like having eyes in a blind world. The military enhancement it provided was great, considering the fact that was "new" to the world of combat.

While in the past, recon was made based upon eye-sight, now the range of detection was much more further into the territory, meaning, that while in the past they had to launch several aircrafts in all directions to cover a small piece of territory, now they could simply send 2 P-61's and they would do the job with even more efficiency.

But, there are some problems with this radar.

To know how it works, you must imagine a bubble of microwaves. It has a maximum and minimum altitude of range (you can't aim it at the ground, or you'll get false readings, and it can't look above a certain angle), and has limited range.

While the operational range is the one considered where you can get an enough precise target, it was well known the limits of the range. While the limit could be 100km's, a target at 90 Km's could be a bird, and still emit a signature of a carrier.

This happens because of the strength of the signal, it looses strength in relation to distance. While in close range you can almost see the shape of the target, at long range you can only see a blur in the radar. You know something is there, but you don't know what.


We all agree that no known aircraft in that time was able to make the speeds, acceleration and maneuvers reported in this case.

But let's put that into data:


The UFO made several maneuvers that are impossible for any aircraft at that time.

The one that raises more attention is the Split-S (its called like that looks like a spited S).

The P-61 was at least at 12,000ft away from the UFO. The UFO reduced speed, lowered his altitude and started moving towards the P-61.

Reading the maneuver (like any other fighter pilot would do) the pilot from the P-61 started to do a counter-maneuver, that would (in any conventional aircraft) put him in advantage.

While the UFO was heading his way, but below him, the P-61 would rotate (or not) and stay behind the UFO, in a clear shot scenario, because the time it would take the UFO to reach the position of the P-61, the P-61 would already have turned and lowered altitude, and with the right timing (which was the case), the UFO would be at the front of the P-61.

This maneuvers were commonly used during dog-fights in the WW2.

But here is the problem. The UFO not only made a timed maneuver, it also made it a lot faster than the P-61 (in such a way that the P-61 actually had time to abort the maneuver), AND it accelerated so fast that he had already passed the P-61.

Not only that, but when the P-61 tried to follow the contact while he was passing under, when they looked back, the UFO had already stepped AWAY from range.

Altitude changes:

The UFO made astonishing rises and descends. Assuming that the P-61 was flying 6,000ft most of the time, that means that the radar has a altitude range of 10,000ft in altitude (from ground to flight level, and from flight level to maximum angle above).

It was reported that the UFO was "jumping" inside the radar scope, which means that the UFO was changing altitude from 1,000ft to 15,000ft in seconds.

This doesn't only imply tremendous speeds and G-forces. It also implies that the UFO had some serious maneuver capability. In order to "jump" altitude so fast, you need to be able to make vertical U-turns, which is simply amazing, even by today standards.

Although some people think it was a multiple target sighting, I don't think so. According to the data displayed, and using just the example of the 180º turn made by the UFO, it is clear that whatever was flying in that night in front of the P-61 had amazing speed and maneuverability, which makes acceptable the possibility of a single UFO.

The sighting:

The importance of this case is that there was a radar sighting AND visual confirmation.

Not only that, but the UFO was sighted in perfect condition (considering the problems with eyeball contact during the night in the skies). The object was viewed against a bright object (the Moon), giving away its shape and location.

The crew:

Experienced pilot and radar operator. Making mistakes is a human characteristic, but we can't forget this guys are experts in what they do. They weren't pilots cruising around looking into a radar scope. They were on actual surveillance duty during the patrol.

UFO Nature:

This point doesn't need much further discussion. From analyzing the data available, you can clearly see that there is a pattern in the UFO movement, which is called "intelligent response and movement". That means that is not something computerized (like in our days, even assuming they had that back then), or an error. It showed awareness about the P-61 location and actions.

posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 01:19 PM
Against - Part II

P-61 Black widow

This aircraft, like stated in the first post, was a recon aircraft. While that means that it had surveillance capability and could track down threats... It also means that they had to endure heavy missions, where fatigue plays a huge role in the outcome of the efficiency of the crew on the aircraft in question.

Although average regarding speed and maneuver, it lacked some "top" details that other fighters had. For example, it was considered rather difficult to fly, and a bit unstable, which follows us to the next argument.

The radar

These radars (the SCR-720 is the one being discussed) were very primitive. To understand how hard it is to analyze the feedback from a scope in those days, look at this picture:

Although they were only used by trained operators, we all know that human error is a huge deal in this UFO cases, and many are simply explained by that.

Not only it wasn't a perfect and exact "science", but it was also very flawed regarding to what it would detect.

Looking into this hand-made (by a amateur like me, lol) example, the radar was susceptible to wrong signals. VERY wrong signals.

Imagine the aircraft flying, going up and down (yes, planes don't keep a perfect flight level), and occasionally aiming the radar to the ground.

If it aims completely to the ground, the operator would immediately read it as "the ground". But imagine that it only tilts the angle enough to catch a tree, or a ground object, or even a wave.

That means that a target appears on the radar, giving away the possibility of a wrong interpretation from the operator.

ANYTHING bigger than an insect will give away a radar signature. Even a single medium-sized bird.

To understand what I'm saying, imagine a flashlight in the dark, aiming to a wall.

The distance between the flashlight and the wall is your radar range. The round shape are your angles of detection (up, down, and side to side).

You can only understand the shadow (not seeing the actual targets), that's your radar signature reading.

Now imagine an insect passing near the wall, lighted up by the flashlight it casts a shadow. That's your target. You see it, you ID it, you move along.

But if that same insect passes very close to the flashlight, the shadow will look huge, and instead of a insect, you have a sky monster flying next to you.

Not only that, but in relation to distance, the light (radar waves) looses strength, so the insect doesn't always look like an insect, even in a good reading range (not too far, not too close).

THAT'S how a radar works, and those are the problems a operator has to face. You can be the most experienced radar operator in the world, you can STILL be fooled by the radar deficiencies.

Although displaying some weird behavior, the radar contact could, possibly, be anything from a bird to....anything.


If you keep in mind the explanation of how the radar works, the behavior of the UFO doesn't look that exotic anymore.

If you consider human error, using the radar wrong reading explanation, you could accept as plausible a wrong reading, which would explain the erratic and amazing behavior of the UFO, AND the multiple target business.

The simple motion of the P-61 WOULD cause an amazing reading. A slight bump in the sky would make a target 50 km's away look like it would move 50,000ft up and down. It's like aiming a sniper rifle. A slight difference HERE has a huge difference THERE.

The sighting

Although we have to pay respect to a experienced pilot eye-sight, being a pilot myself, I'm the first to say that experts are even more susceptible to mistakes than the average joe. We actually tend to forget about obvious and simple explanations, if we have to act under pressure.

Because of the speed of the UFO, and the low visibility environment, the sighted object could be anything.

To this, you must add and consider the fact that none of the surrounding ground radars actually detected the same thing that the P-61 detected.

Have in mind that the ground radars are more precise (since they don't have to worry about size and weight) and trust-worthy. None of them detected what was claimed by the P-61, they only detected the P-61 itself (which rules out malfunction).


posted on Feb, 23 2010 @ 01:27 PM
Personal conclusion:

From the details provided, you have to balance your opinion.


I think it was indeed a possible UFO, even considering the facts against.

If you consider the explanation of human error, and lack of precision of the tools provided to the crewmen, you have to throw into the garbage everything that you rely on to your safety (that is, the competence of surveillance aircraft and personnel), which doesn't happen often in the military.

Furthermore, this was AFTER WW2, which means that the US military wasn't going to underestimate the power of the radars, especially considering the attack on Pearl Harbor (which was detected on radars).

Although we now know that Japan was wasted after the war, back then it was very recent. They couldn't afford to be surprised by a rogue squad of Japanese fighters and carriers, making a last stand against the American occupation.

Even that the UFO looks too amazing to be true, it has some strong points. The visualization of the target passing by, the multiple radar contacts and follow ups, the competence of the crew (praised on several sources from credited personnel), and the professionalism showed during all the sighting, make this case even stronger to the UFO possibility.

My verdict: Plausible alien UFO.

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