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The F-86 jet interceptor UFO Incident
Captain Edward J Ruppelt's account
In the summer of 1952 a United States Air Force F-86 jet interceptor shot at a flying saucer. This fact, like so many others that make up the full flying saucer story has never before been told. I know the full story about flying saucers and I know that it has never before been told because I organized and was chief of the Air Force Project Blue Book, the special project set up to investigate and analyze unidentified flying object, or UFO reports. (UFO is the official term that I created to replace the words 'flying saucers.")
There is a fighter base in the United States which I used to visit frequently because, during 1951, 1952, and 1953, it got more than its share of good UFO reports.
The commanding officer of the fighter group, a full colonel and command pilot, believed that UFO's were real. The colonel believed in UFO's because he had a lot of faith in his pilots - and they had chased UFO's in their F-86's. He had seen UFO's on the scopes of his radar sets, and he knew radar.
Once we were alone, the intelligence officer shut the door, went over to his safe, and dug out a big, thick report. It was the standard Air Force reporting form that is used for all intelligence reports, including UFO reports. The intelligence officer told me that this was the only existing copy. He said that he had been told to destroy all copies, but had saved one for me to read.
With great curiosity, I took the report and started to read. What had happened at this fighter base?
About ten o'clock in the morning, one day a few weeks before, a radar near the base had picked up an unidentified target. It was an odd target in that it came in very fast - about 700 miles per hour - and then slowed down to about 100 miles per hour. The radar showed that it was located northeast of the airfield, over a sparsely settled area.
The radar picked up the F-86's soon after they were airborne, and had begun to direct them into the target when the target started to fade on the radarscope. At the time several of the operators thought that this fade was caused by the target's loosing altitude rapidly and getting below the radar's beam. Some of the other operators thought that it was a high-flying target and that it was fading just because it was so high.
The F-86's continued to search the area at 40,000 feet, but could see nothing. After a few minutes the aircraft ground controller called the F-86's and told one to come down to 20,000 feet, the other to 5,000 feet, and continue the search, The two jets made a quick letdown, with one pilot stopping at 20,000 feet and the other heading for the deck.
The second pilot, who was going down to 5,000 feet, was just beginning to pull out when he noticed a flash below and ahead of him. He flattened out his dive a little and headed toward the spot where he had seen the light. As he closed on the spot he suddenly noticed what he first thought was a weather balloon. A few seconds later be realized that it couldn't be a balloon because it was staying ahead of him. Quite an achievement for a balloon, since be bad built up a lot of speed in his dive and now was flying almost straight and level at 3,000 feet and was travelling "at the Mach."
Again the pilot pushed the nose of the F-86 down and started after the object. He closed fairly fast, until he came to within an estimated 1,000 yards. Now he could get a good look at the object. Although it had looked like a balloon from above, a closer view showed that it was definitely round and flat saucer-shaped. The pilot described it as being "like a doughnut without a hole."
By now he had been following the object for about two minutes and during this time had closed the gap between them to approximately 500 yards. But this was only momentary. Suddenly the object began to pull away, slowly at first, then faster. The pilot, realizing that he couldn't catch it, wondered what to do next.
When the object travelled out about 1,000 yards, the pilot suddenly made up his mind - he did the only thing that he could do to stop the UFO. It was like a David about to do battle with a Goliath, but he had to take a chance. Quickly charging his guns, he started shooting. . . . A moment later the object pulled up into a climb and in a few seconds it was gone. The pilot climbed to 10,000 feet, called the other F-86, and now was able to contact his buddy. They joined up and went back to their base.
Burn the report:
..The intelligence officer wrote up his report of a UFO sighting, but at the last minute, just before sending it, he was told to hold it back. He was a little unhappy about this turn of events, so he went in to see why the group commander had decided to delay sending the report to Project Blue Book.
They talked over the possible reactions to the report. If it went out it would cause a lot of excitement, maybe unnecessarily. Yet, if the pilot actually had seen what he claimed, it was vitally important to get the report in to ATIC immediately. The group commander said that he would make his decision after a talk with his executive officer.
They decided not to send the report and ordered it destroyed.
When I finished reading, the intelligence officer's first comment was, "What do you think?"
Since the evaluation of the report seemed to hinge upon conflicts between personalities I didn't know, I could venture no opinion, except that the incident made up the most fascinating UFO report I'd ever seen. So I batted the intelligence officer's question back to him.
"I know the people involved," he replied, "and I don't think the pilot was nuts. I can't give you the report, because the Colonel told me to destroy it. But I did think you should know about it." Later he burned the report.
Captain Edward J. Ruppelt
Former Director, Project Blue Book
In January of 1998 I received a large collection of notes by Edward Ruppelt that his wife had turned over to the Center for UFO Studies in Chicago. These were actually provided to me by Robert Swiatek of the Fund for UFO Research. They included interesting information regarding this case. In June of 2002 our Nuclear Connection Project team made a startling discovery. A few years before we had found that there were193 incidents where UFOs and nuclear energy or weapons sites were common factors. Kirtland had figured in on two of them (1957 & 1980). We then realized any major sighting over Kirtland would also have a NC and this incident was added to the list.
Lt. Glen Parrish was the Intelligence Officer at the 34th Air Defense Division at Albuquerque where Col. Matheny was the CO. Ruppelt: "Parrish sent in some of the best reports that we had and he is the man who showed me the report on the pilot who shot at the UFO." (Sept. 1952) According to Ruppelt, with all of the good reports that Parrish had submitted, he wasn’t a confirmed believer. But he did think that the reports were important enough to warrant careful investigations. In addition to the above, Parrish was the middle man for the reports from the people who were doing the radiation work in Los Alamos. The date of the encounter was discovered by Brad Sparks to have been sometime in September of that year. Dan Wilson recently posted some BB docs that show incidents in September, but have them listed as explained as "balloon".
After the Fort Monmouth, NJ, radar sightings (which started on Sept 10, 1951), the Air Force held a meeting at the Pentagon. General Cabell presided over the meeting, and it was attended by his entire staff plus Lieutenant Cummings, Lieutenant Colonel Rosengarten, and a special representative from Republic Aircraft Corporation. The man from Republic supposedly represented a group of top U.S. industrialists and scientists who thought that there should be a lot more sensible answers coming from the Air Force regarding UFOs.
"Every word of the two-hour meeting was recorded on a wire recorder. The recording was so hot that it was later destroyed, but not before I had heard it several times......it didn't exactly follow the tone of the official Air Force releases--many of the people present at the meeting weren't as convinced that the 'hoax, hallucination, and misidentification' answer was quite as positive as the Grudge Report and subsequent press releases made out."
Captain Edward J Ruppelt - Chief of Project Bluebook.
"Every time I get skeptical, I think of the other reports made by experienced pilots and radar operators, scientists, and other people who know what they are looking at. These reports were thoroughly investigated and they are still unknowns.
We have no aircraft on this earth that can at will so handily outdistance our latest jets... The pilots, radar specialists, generals, industrialists, scientists, and the man on the street who have told me, I wouldn't have believed it either if I hadn't seen it myself, knew what they were talking about. Maybe the Earth is being visited by interplanetary space ships.
Captain Edward J Ruppelt - Chief of Project Bluebook
"Of these UFO reports,the radar/visual reports are the most convincing.
When a ground radar picks up a UFO target and a ground observer sees a light where the radar target is located,then a jet interceptor is scrambled to intercept the UFO and the pilot also sees the lights and gets a radar lock only to have the UFO almost impudently outdistance him,there is no simple answer."
Captain Edward J Ruppelt - Chief of Project Bluebook
Originally posted by sparrowstail
reply to post by karl 12
Thanks for the book link. I sent it to my dad and uncle, they're ufo enthusiasts too.
Originally posted by osouthlondon
So is there any visual effect (or theorized effect) when viewing an object travelling at or over the speed of light? *(Other than the obvious in the sense than it would be moving very ******* fast).
Would we even be able to see it?