This is one of the earliest "flying saucer" sightings, predating Kenneth Arnold's encounter by more than three years.
I tried a couple searches and nothing came up, so I apologize if I have re-posted this.
Our story starts on August 11, 1944. The witness, Ronald Claridge, was a crew member on a RAF Lancaster bomber returning to its base in England. Ron
and his fellow officers were returning from a raid in France, when suddenly Ron's radar screen went blank.
I was the radio and radar operator and as such was concentrating on my 'Fishpond' screen looking for the blips of German fighters... suddenly my
screen went blank—I thought it was an electrical failure. I was reporting this to the skipper when he shouted over the intercom, 'What the hell is
I moved into the astrodome, which gave 360-degree vision. I stood looking into the night. On our starboard side was a sight I have never
forgotten. By this time our Lancaster was flying straight and level. There was a string of lights shich streched ahead and behind us for what seemed
As my night vision improved I saw a grey saucer-like object emarge as part of the lights. It is still difficult to describe its size... Our
Lancaster was a large aeroplane but the only comparison I can make is that we were but a dot on a sheet of foolscap paper. We all watched this object
for about three minutes. We watched it shoot away—it was just a flash of light and the vast size was gone in less than a second, without any
The crew was left speechless for some time. Ronald had the feeling that he was being watched, but he and the rest of the crew (strangely) felt very
calm and relaxed. The entire sighting had lasted about three minutes.
Upon landing the men were debriefed by RAF intellegence, who warned them not to discuss the incident or make any entry about it in their logbooks.
Ronald was an artist and he made a painting of what he saw that day. I have not been able to locate the picture online, so I took a picture myself of
the painting as found in a book. (the book is 'The UFO Files', it is listed in my sources). The picture didn't turn out very well, but you can still
see how big this saucer was...
I am surprised this encounter is so little-known, it seems amazing and it occurred some time before Kenneth Arnold had his sighting.
For me, the report seems very interesting. The craft was described as huge, but able to shoot away at incredible speed in an instant. It would also
appear that the saucer affected Ronalds radar screen, as it went black only moments before he saw the UFO.
Any thoughts guys?
The UFO Files: The Inside Story of Real-Life Sightings, by David Clarke
Need to Know: UFOs the Military, and
, by Timothy Good (look at pages 22 and 23 for information about this particular sighting)
edit on 31-3-2012 by
thesearchfortruth because: added picture