History of UFOs

A Brief History of UFOs

Note: The information below highlights important events related to the UFO phenomenon since the beginning of World War II.  This is a condensation of major events.  Therefore many important events are not included. (UFOs Northwest is of the opinion that UFOs – extraterrestrials have been visiting Earth since biblical times.) Most of the books below can be purchased from the list of dealers.  Also many
UFO organizations  that sell books and videos.

Pacific Northwest

Electric Monster Sighted by Fisherman

Headlines From July 3, 1893 Tacoma News Ledger Newspaper Article

On July 3, 1893 several fishermen were awakened in the middle of the night by the presence of a strange craft that they described as an “electric monster.”  Their watches stopped and the craft/monster emitted electricity and light.  The craft also made a loud sound.  Two men were knocked unconscious in the encounter.  The rest of the party fled in terror.  They returned and found their two unconscious friends who were revived.  Apparently the two men suffered no permanent injuries.  This is the first known documented encounter with a UFO in the Pacific Northwest.  You may download a copy of the actual article as it appeared in the Tacoma Daily Ledger Newspaper by
clicking here (PDF 930K).

Kenneth Arnold Sighting.

Cover of Book by Kenneth Arnold & Raymond Palmer
(Available on Reprint)

Although UFOs likely have been spotted since biblical times, the first major reports started on June 24, 1947 when Pilot Kenneth Arnold spotted nine disk shaped objects near Mt. Rainier, Washington.  Mr. Arnold described that these objects moved like a rock skipping over water.  Therefore the name “flying saucers” were coined.  Several other sightings occurred in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho on June 24, 1947.  Many of these sightings involved similar objects to those sighted by Kenneth Arnold.  (See map of sightings for June 24, 1947.)  Ten of these sightings occurred in Washington State on June 24, 1947.  (See table of time and locations of sightings.)

The official Air Force report (Project Bluebook) made some errors in the investigation of the Kenneth Arnold Sighting.

(Listen to audio of Kenneth Arnold Interview on Radio Station KWRC  Pendleton, OregonJune 25, 1947 -).

Suggested reading: A book authored by Kenneth Arnold and Raymond Palmer titled “The Coming of the Saucers” describes in detail Kenneth Arnold’s Experience.

Summer of 1947 Sighting Wave.  In the months of June and July of 1947, 853 sightings occurred in June and July.  These sightings were compiled by Ted Bloecher in a 1967 publication (see suggested readings).  The sightings were collected from newspaper articles and a few were collected from Project Bluebook.  A chart of the daily sightings shows how the sightings gradually increased from June 15 to early July and then gradually decreased.  The number of sightings peaked on July 7, 1947 when 162 sightings were reported.  (Of course the sighting peak was around the time of the alleged Roswell crash.)  Most of these sightings were of high quality and involved daytime disk sightings.  (However, not all were unknowns.)  California had the most sightings with 107 cases while Washington was second with 84 sightings.  Oregon was third with 52 sightings and Idaho fourth with 43 sightings.  Obviously most of the sightings were in the Pacific Northwest.  See the graphic which shows the top 15 states that had the most sightings in June and July of 1947.
Suggested reading: Report on the UFO Wave of 1947 by Ted Bloecher.  Available from the Center of UFO Studies.

Maury Island Affair.

Cover of Book of Maury Island Incident Written by Kenn Thomas
Cover of Book of the Maury Island UFO Incident
by Kenn Thomas

This incident actually happened before the Kenneth Arnold sighting, but was not as well known to the media.  (The incident was said to have occurred on June 21, 1947.)  The incident happened at Maury Island (near Seattle, Washington) and involved a sighting by Harold A. Dahl who saw six donut shaped ufos.  Dahl took a few photos of the UFOs, and then one appeared to explode and then ejected some materials which dropped into the Puget Sound.  Dahl said that the debris killed his dog and injured his son resulting a trip to the hospital.  Dahl reported the sighting to his supervisor Fred Crisman.  Dahl collected some of the debris and mailed it to Chicago publisher Raymond Palmer.  Palmer subsequently called Kenneth Arnold and asked  him to investigate the sighting.  Arnold flew to Tacoma from Boise to investigate the sighting in late July, 1947.  The investigation was inconclusive and thought to be a hoax.  However, later investigators have shown that the sighting may not have been a hoax.  This was compounded by the fact that it was later learned that Fred Crisman was actually a CIA agent.  Air Force Officers later arrived via A B25 aircraft to the study the incident. The Air Force officers picked up some of the debris, but the B25 crashed on their way back from McChord Air Force Base to Hamilton Field.
Suggested readings/Resources:
Maury Island UFO: The Crisman Conspiracy” by Kenn Thomas.
2. Detailed Maury Island Incident Report
Coming of The Saucers” by Kenneth Arnold and Raymond Palmer
4. Seattle Museum of Mysteries Press Release on B25 Crash. (April 17, 2007)
5. Seattle Post-Intelligencer Article. (April 26, 2007)
UFO Crash Debris Recovered From B25 Likely Meteor or Lava Rock (PDF)
6. Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber (June 20, 2007)
Maury Island Incident Revisited 60 Years Later. The Mystery Lingers.

McMinnville, Oregon Photos  On May 11, 1950 Mr. and Mrs. Paul Trent in rural Oregon near McMinnville took two photos of a flying saucer which was hovering over his farm.  The photos are considered some of the best ever taken of a UFO.  The photos have been extensively analyzed by experts and are considered authentic.
Suggested reading: The book titled “UFOs and The National Security State” by Richard Dolan has information about the Trent photos.

Air Force C-118 Aircraft Has Airborne Collision and Then Crashes – Killing Crew of Four.

Headline From Seattle Post Intelligencer – April 2, 1959

On April 1, 1959 a military C-118 cargo plane collided with what was described by witnesses as a UFO, burst into flames and crashed near Orting, Washington (southeast of Seattle – see map below).  All four crew members were killed.  The plane was on a routine training mission and had taken off from McChord AFB (near Tacoma, Washington) at about 6:30 PM.  The plane had been in flight about 90 minutes when the collision and crash occurred.  An article regarding the incident appeared on the front page of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on April 2, 1959 (PDF 815K). An article about the crash also appeared in the Seattle Times on April 2, 1959 (PDF 1.3 Megabytes). In the Seattle Times article a sub-headline said: “Collision Unexplained.” Bob Gribble (founder of the National UFO Reporting Center) investigated the case.  When he attempted to reach the site of the crash he was kept out by law enforcement and military personnel. He interviewed two witnesses who saw a brilliantly glowing UFO moving rapidly northward near the area where the aircraft was moving. (See a report written by Bob Gribble in the April, 1989 MUFON Journal.) The original investigation in 1959 concluded that the aircraft was flying south and the UFO that witnesses saw was moving north (at approximately 8:30 PM).  One of the newspaper articles said that the aircraft crashed at around 8:15 PM. The aircraft crashed a few miles to the north of Orting, Washington. The incident is also briefly described in a book by journalist Terry Hansen titled: The Missing Times.  According to Hansen right before the crash the pilot radioed that “We’ve hit something or it’s hit us,” just before the plane’s flaming wreckage crashed to the ground.

I have checked the Air Force Project Bluebook index and found that this incident was not reported.  It is not known if the Air Force reported this incident as a UFO event. 

I have received a lengthy response to my Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) that I submitted to McChord AFB regarding the Air Force investigation of this crash.  The report was received from Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM.  The report was declassified 25 years after the crash (1984).  However, several portions of the report were “blacked out.”  After review of the accident report prepared by the Air Force, the newspaper articles, and witness testimony I concur with the Air Force explanation that the aircraft crashed as a result of an engine fire that occurred during execution of a sharp right hand turn.  The aircraft collided with trees with the right hand wing resulting in the number four engine catching fire. Ultimately the right wing was destroyed resulting in the pilot losing control of the aircraft which crashed to the north of Orting, Washington.  The two witnesses near Tenino, Washington who saw a “streak of light” moving rapidly northward over the treetops (to the East of their position) were actually witnessing the aircraft on fire and about to crash.  Prior to the new information that I received from the Air Force the assumption was made that this northward moving light collided with the aircraft that was moving southward. The witnesses thought that this bright light was a UFO.  The Air Force concluded that cause of this crash was pilot error and flight controller error. 

On October 25, 2010 I interviewed a nephew of the pilot of the aircraft. The nephew related that the family believed the Air Force explanation of the crash that the aircraft crashed as the result of collision of one of the wings with a tree (see above). The nephew did say that the family was aware of the “UFO collision rumor” right after the crash and that the rumor persisted through the years. I am not sure where the family found this information as the UFO collision possibility was not in any local newspapers.

Location of Takeoff – McChord AFB
Two Witnesses in Tenino See UFO Towards The East
Location of Crash – Near Orting, Washington

Picture of a C-118 Transport

Suggested readings:
The Missing Times News Media Complicity in the UFO Cover-up” by Terry Hansen .  The book makes mention of the C-118 crash incident
Seattle Post Intelligencer – April 2, 1959 – Front page article on the above incident.
Seattle Times – April 2, 1959 – Front page article on the above incident.
MUFON Journal, April, 1989 – Bob Gribble “Looking Back Article.”

Elk River Mudflats UFO Crash (Western Washington State) – November 25, 1979

Archived Image of 1979 Article About Alleged Elk River UFO Crash.
Archived Image of 1979 Article About Alleged Elk River UFO Crash
(The Daily World – Aberdeen, Washington)

The first hint that something unusual had occurred in the skies over Grays Harbor County on Sunday, November. 25, 1979, came in to the sheriff’s office around 11 PM. On the line was a Westport, Washington man reporting that a low-flying object with a fiery glow had just exploded in the vicinity of the Elk River mudflats. Other reports soon followed.

Suggested Readings:
The Daily World- Aberdeen, Washington– November 26, 2009 – Article on the above incident.

National UFO Reporting Center Started.  In September of 1974 Bob Gribble started the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) in Seattle, Washington.  Bob quickly distributed contact information around the U.S. regarding where to report UFO sightings.  Hundreds of reports were received each month from around the country and the world.  In 1994 Peter Davenport became director of NUFORC.  NUFORC now
Suggested reading: Visit the NUFORC web site at: http://www.ufocenter.com.

Jonathan Reed Case.  In October of 1996 Jonathan Reed allegedly encountered an alien while hiking east of Seattle, Washington in the Snoqualmie Falls area.  The creature killed his dog.  Reed in turn killed the creature and carried it several miles down a hiking trail and eventually to his house.  Reed then stored the creature in his freezer.  Allegedly the creature came to life and escaped.  Reed was threatened by authorities and allegedly a lady friend was killed.  Although many ufologists question this story, nonetheless it received international attention and involved publication of a book (see below).  Some ufologists continue to investigate this case.
Suggested reading:   Jonathan Reed and Robert Raith wrote a book on this encounter titled “Link – An Extraterrestrial Odyssey“.

Sighting Statistics – National UFO Reporting Center (Through 2002).  The National UFO Reporting Center NUFORC) has collected thousands of UFO sightings throughout the world.  Most of the sightings have occurred in California.  (See bar chart for a listing of sightings by state collected by NUFORC.)  Notice that Washington state is second after California in the number of sightings reported.  A total of 2,793 sightings have come from California while 1,637 reports have come from Washington state.  When you consider the much higher populace in California Washington has the most sightings per capita. See also a map of Washington State sightings for 2002 that were reported to NUFORC.  (Note that high sighting locations like Seattle and Spokane may have several sightings at the same point on the map.)


Foo Fighters – World War II.  During the second world war both allied and axis pilots saw strange lights which would demonstrate non-conventional aerial maneuvers.  Both sides at the time thought that the lights were secret weapons, but after the war was over it was learned that neither side had weaponry that could account for these sightings.

Ghost Rockets of Sweden – 1946.  Right after the second world war several sightings were made of rockets over the skies of Sweden.  The sightings began in the spring of 1946 and later spread to other parts of Europe.  Nearly and thousand sightings were reported and several radar confirmations were received.  Some crashes occurred and debris was recovered.  However, the origin of the rockets was never explained.  There was not evidence that the rockets were of extraterrestrial origin.
Suggested reading: UFOs and the National Security State by Richard M. Dolan

Kenneth Arnold Sights Flying Saucers Over Mt Rainier,Washington – June 24, 1947.  This sighting began the modern wave of UFO sightings.  Right after Arnold’s sighting hundreds of people were seeing flying disks in the skies.  Many of the sightings were in the daytime.  The sightings continued into July and dropped off rapidly in late July, 1947.

Roswell, NM Mexico Flying Saucer Crash. – July 2, 1947.  No one really knows the date of the alleged crash.  The general accepted dates are July 2 or 4, 1947.  The Roswell crash remained buried for nearly 30 years until Stanton Friedman contacted Jesse Marcel in New Orleans, LA in 1978.  Marcel told a story of a crash recovery of remains of a strange aircraft which he perceived as likely not coming from “this world” in July, 1947.  In the next few years hundreds of civilian and military witnesses came forward and told about their experience with Roswell.  Many relatives of decreased participants also related intriguing stories.  The event has spawned a long list of books and documentaries which continue to be produced.  The Air Force has produced two documents with explanations of the Roswell event.  Officially the Air Force denies that an extraterrestrial vehicle crashed and that a Mogul balloon launched on June 4, 1947 was mistakenly identified as a flying saucer crash.  The Air Force says that the alleged crew members recovered from the crash were really experimental crash dummies.   The Roswell story is long with many witnesses and details involved.  Please refer to the suggested readings below for information about the Roswell event.
Suggested Readings:
Crash at Corona
by Don Berliner and Stanton Friedman
Top Secret/Majic by Stanton Friedman
The Day After Roswell by Col. Philip Corso
The Roswell UFO Crash by Kal K. Korff (debunks Roswell crash)

Project Sign.  January, 1948 – January, 1949.  Established by the Air Force.  Sign’s role was to serve as the official investigation of UFOs.  At the time Project Sign was known to the public as “project saucer”.  In Project Sign 243 domestic sightings and 30 foreign sightings were investigated.  About three dozen reports were classified as unknown.  Officially the “bottom line” conclusion: Although visits from outer space are believed to be possible, they are believed to be very improbable.  In particular, the actions attributed to the “flying objects” reported during 1947 and 1948 seem inconsistent with the requirements for space travel.
Project Sign. – 1948 (Exact Date Unknown).  Unofficially a report was prepared titled the “Estimate of the Situation”.  The Situation was “UFOs”, the Estimate was “Interplanetary”.  General Hoyt Vandenberg (Air Force Chief of Staff at the time) flatly rejected the report and requested a more “mundane” explanation.  All personnel involved in writing the report were reassigned.
Suggested Readings:
UFOs and The National Security State by Richard M. Dolan
Technical Report: Unidentified Aerial Objects, Project “Sign”, February, 1949, Air Materiel Command

Project Grudge “Final Report: – December 27, 1949.  Report prepared by U.S. Air Force (Air Materiel Command – Wright-Patterson Air Force Base).  Of 237 cases examined, 23 percent were not identified.  Project Sign was changed to Project Grudge on February 11, 1949.  The Project Grudge name lasted until March, 1952 at which time it was changed to Project Bluebook.
Suggested Reading:
Project “Grudge” Unidentified Flying Objects, Release Data, August, 1949.

Project Blue Book 1952 – 1969.  The Air Force continued to investigate UFOs for another 17 years.  By 1953 the more dramatic (harder-to-explain) sightings were handled by the 4602 AISS (Air Intelligence Services Squadron).  Sightings easier to explain were forwarded to Blue Book.  This an effective implementation of Air Force Regulation 200-2 (AFR 200-2) which ordered that no information of value regarding UFOs reach the public.  Nevertheless Blue Book has been the last “official” Air Force investigation of UFO sightings.  (See graphic for year-to-year display of UFO sightings investigated by Project Blue Book.)  Bluebook was terminated in 1969 when it was determined through a report issued by University of Colorado (Condon Report) that further study of UFOs was not justified.  The conclusion of the report was that “further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby.
Suggested Readings:
UFOs and the National Security State by Richard M. Dolan
Above Top Secret, The Worldwide UFO Cover-up by Timothy Good

French Humanoid Encounters – 1954  A wave of UFO sightings occurred in France. Forty-six “creature” reports in France occurred between September 10 to October 27, 1954.  From this number, many were dwarf-like beings and frequently a light beam was sighted and the witnesses would become temporarily paralyzed.
Suggested Readings:
Flying Saucers and the Straight-line Mystery by Aime Michael
Passport to Magonia by Jacques Vallee
Situation Red – The UFO Siege by Leonard H. Stringfield

Encounter at Kelly – August 21, 1955

This case is considered to be one of the most authentic “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”  Read More About Case
Suggested Readings:
Close Encounter at Kelly and Others of 1955 – Center For UFO Studies
The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters – Ronald D. Story (2001)
Flying Saucer Occupants – Jim & Coral Lorenzen (1967)
The Hynek UFO Report, PP 212-216 – Dr. J. Allen Hynek (1977)

Special Bluebook Report Number 14 (Declassified – 1955).  This report consisted of a detailed analysis of UFO reports received by the Air Force from 1947 through 1952.  The press release of the report contained a brief synopsis of reports received in early 1955.  This was a good report, but the Air Force deliberately tried to mislead the public.  The report actually showed that 21.5% of the sightings were unknowns.  However, the first page of the report contains the press release which stated that only 3% percent of the sightings were unknowns.  (This only represented reports received in early 1955 and not reports in the actual study which covered 1947-1952.)  The Air Force also tried to weight the report by removing astronomical phenomena from the study.  This had an effect of showing that known and unknown sightings were more similar (using characteristics such as color, speed, number of objects, aerial maneuvers etc.)  However, dropping astronomical phenomena didn’t much difference in the outcome of the report, but it illustrates how the Air Force was trying to deceive the public.  In other words the Air Force didn’t appear to want the public to know the results of there own study of UFOs!  It is also worthy of noting that Air Force Blue Book recorded 2,344 sightings in the 1947 through 1952 time period.  Special Report Number 14 said that the Air Force recorded 3,201 reports.  This is nearly one thousand more reports than listed by Blue Book.  Where did the extra reports come from?  Many suspect that these reports were collected by the 4602 AISS (see discussion above) and that only reports which had more mundane explanations ever reached Blue Book.  (The details of individual reports were not listed in Special Report No. 14.)
Suggested Reading:
Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14 Air Technical Intelligence Center, Wright Paterson AFB, Ohio
Air Force Project Bluebook File Number 62-83894.  (Click here to read document.)

1952 UFO Flap.  In 1952 Project Blue Book officially received 1,501 sightings of which 303 were listed as unidentified.  This was by far the largest number of UFO sightings reported to the Air Force in a single year for the 1947 through 1969 period of official investigation.  The 1952 flap was highlighted by the Washington, D.C. sightings which occurred on two weekends (July 19-20 and July 26-27).  Radars at Andrews Air Force Base and Washington National Airport picked up several slow moving targets.  The radars both agreed on the location of these targets. F-94 aircraft were scrambled after these targets, but the targets would soon disappear from the radar scopes as soon as the aircraft were in flight.  When the aircraft returned to base, the targets would reappear.  These targets were in restricted air space near the Whitehouse.    Officially the Air Force debunked the sightings as due to radar beams glancing off of temperature inversions and were therefore picking up ground level targets (e.g. cars).  This explanation was rejected by personnel who operated the radars due to the fact that they felt that the targets were solid metallic objects and not due to anomalous propagation of radar beams (resulting from temperature inversions).
Suggested Reading:
UFOs and The National Security State by Richard M. Dolan.
Captain Edward J. Ruppelt Summer of the Saucers – 1952 by Michael David Hall and Wendy Ann Conners

1957 UFO Wave Project Blue Book received 1,006 reports of UFO sightings in 1957.  This was the third highest UFO sighting year in the 1947 through 1969 time period of official Air Force investigations.  The year of 1957 was highlighted by the Levelland, Texas sightings which occurred in November of 1957.  Several anomalous lights were seen in the area on the night of November 2, 1957.  Reports were received by the Sheriff’s office all night.  In many cases car engines would abruptly shut off when the UFOs approached.  These sightings were never explained.  Many other significant sightings were reported in 1957.  Details regarding these sightings can be found in suggested readings below.
Suggested Reading:
UFOs and The National Security State by Richard M. Dolan.

1961 – Abduction of Betty and Barney Hill.  In the fall of 1961 Betty and Barney Hill were driving home from a vacation.  At 10:05 PM they left a diner in Colebrook, NH and drove south along U.S. Route 3.  A large glowing object approached the Hill’s car and they stopped to look at it.  The next thing that they remembered was driving 35 miles south near Ashland, NH.  The Hills arrived home 2 to 2.5 hours later.  They remembered hearing a beeping sound when seeing the object and another beeping sound when “waking up” near Ashland, NH.  Barney had a sore back, neck, and mysterious spots (warts) appeared on his groin.  The car also had mysterious circles on the trunk which later proved to be quite magnetic.  Later in 1964 the Hills underwent hypnosis by a Boston psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Simon.  Under hypnosis the Hills recalled a terrifying ordeal whereby they were stopped and taken aboard a spacecraft by strange beings.  They also recall being subjected to a physical examination.  In 1965 a series of articles appeared in “Look Magazine” recounting the Hills experience.  This is the first publicized account of “alien abductions.”  Since then an increasing number of people claim to have been abducted by unknown beings.  The abductees frequently recall being taken aboard a craft and are subjected to physical examinations.  Many people claim to be abducted from their bedrooms while sleeping, but others claim to have had experiences similar to the Hills whereby they are taken from
Suggested Readings: Incident at Exeter, the Interrupted Journey: Two Landmark Investigations of UFO Encounters Together in One Volume by John G. Fuller
UFOs and The National Security State by Richard M. Dolan.

1964 Police Officer Lonnie Zamora  Views Landing of Strange Craft and Occupants.  On  April 24, 1964 in Socorro, New Mexico police officer Lonnie Zamora was pursuing a speeding car when he noticed  a strange craft with a loud, flaming exhaust moving overhead.  He consequently abandoned his pursuit of the speeder and drove up to the top of the hill where he last saw the craft.  Right below the hill in a gulley Lonnie Zamora saw an egg shaped craft with two small humanoid entities along side the craft.  Upon observing Zamora the entities immediately boarded the craft and an explosive exhaust came from the craft as it ascended.  The craft ascended a short distance and then the flaming exhaust subsided and the craft silently sped away.  This strange craft and occupants has never been explained.  This is considered one of the best UFO landing and occupant cases
Suggested Readings: UFOs and The National Security State by Richard M. Dolan.
Above Top Secret The Worldwide UFO Cover-up by Timothy Good.

1965 Kecksburg, Pennsylvania UFO Crash.  On December 9, 1965 a fire ball was seen over eastern Canada, Ohio, and Michigan.  The fire ball was observed to have maneuvered and then crashed in a wooded area near Kecksburg, Pennsylvania in the early evening hours (around 5 pm E.S.T.).  Several firefighters, state police, and military officers were immediately on scene.  Some of the firemen saw the object before the military arrived..  It was the shape of an acorn and had some hieroglyphic type writing.  When the military arrived the firemen were told to leave.  Some witnesses later saw a flat bed truck hauling an object from the area of the crash.  The object was covered with a tarp.  One witness saw the hieroglyphic type writing right below the tarp.  Recently the Science Fiction Channel aired a documentary summarizing an in-depth investigation of the Kecksburg incident and has obtained some convincing forensic evidence that suggests that an object did crash in the area around 1965.  Officially Project Blue Book says that three military officers were dispatched to the area and did not find anything.  Blue Book concluded that the object was a meteor.
Suggested Readings: The Military UFO Retrieval at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania (1987)
by Stan Gorden (Out of Print)
UFOs and The National Security State by Richard M. Dolan.

1969 University of Colorado – Condon Report on UFOs.  The Air Force contracted with the University of Colorado to conduct a study of UFOs.  Dr. Edward Condon was head of the group who conducted the study at the university.  Many of the cases reported to Project Blue Book were examined.  The conclusion of the report was that UFOs were not worthy of further scientific study.  Most of the report was “filler” consisting of topics like how radar echoes are affected by weather anomalies, psychological implications, optics, plasmas, etc.  Little space was allocated to specific UFO cases and all of the “unexplained cases” were put in the middle of the report.  Dr. Condon also wrote his conclusions at the head of the report.  Most scientific papers have the conclusions at the end of report.  Many feel that Dr. Condon had made up his mind about explaining UFOs before the study was ever conducted.
Suggested Readings: Condon Report Onlinehttp://www.ncas.org/condon/
Dr. James E. McDonald’s Fight For UFO Science Firestorm by Ann Druffel
UFOs and The National Security State by Richard M. Dolan.
(Many other books not mentioned have information about the Condon Report.)

1969 Project Blue Book Terminates. 
In December of 1969 it was announced that Project Blue Book was terminated.  Air Force Secretary Robert Seamans announced: “On the basis of recommendations by Dr. Condon, Blue Book could not be continued because it cannot be justified either on the grounds of national security or in the interest of science.”
Suggested Readings: UFOs and The National Security State by Richard M. Dolan.
Air Force Project Bluebook File Number 62-83894.  (Click here to read document.)

1973 Alien Abduction – Pascagoula, Mississippi.  On October 11, 1973 Calvin Parker (19) and Charles Hickson (42) were fishing on a pier in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  They heard a buzzing behind them, turned around and were terrified to see an approximately 10-foot-wide, 8-foot-high, glowing egg-shaped object with blue lights hovering above the ground about 40 feet away. As they watched, a door appeared at the bottom of the object and three gray-skinned creatures floated out. The creatures were about five feet tall, had bullet-shaped heads without necks, slits for mouths and conical structures sticking out where their noses and ears would be. They also had rounded feet, clawed hands and no eyes. Two of the beings grabbed Hickson, while the third grabbed Parker. The 19-year-old immediately fainted with fright. Hickson, who remained conscious, claimed that the creatures floated them into a brightly lit room aboard the UFO. The two men were examined with some sort of electronic eye that Hickson reported “hung in mid-air” with no visible connection to any other part of the compartment. Twenty minutes after the incredible events began, Hickson and Parker were returned to the riverside. The UFO rose straight into the air and shot out of sight.

On October 11, 1973 a very loud “sonic type boom” was heard across a several state area from Ohio and progressed eastward to the East Coast. The sound was first reported at 8:41 PM in Ohio and later at 8:53 PM in Pennsylvania.  This incident researched extensively at the time by Irene Scott (MUFON
Board Member). Contacts with NASA and the Air Force ruled out a squadron of jets or a meteor.  Ironically after the boom an unusually high number of UFO reports occurred. For example on October 17, 1973 Franklin County, Ohio law enforcement officials received a record 150 UFO reports and officials in Wheeling, West Virginia received 100 reports.

The Hickson – Parker abduction occurred on the same day as the “big boom” occurred across the midwest and eastern U.S. As a matter of fact the time even lines up. The Hickson – Parker encounter occurred around 9 PM Central Time. The loud boom occurred between 8:41 PM and 8:53 PM Eastern Time (7:41 PM and 7:53 PM Central Time). Is this a coincidence? Did something enter our atmosphere that resulted in the Hickson – Parker encounter and a wave of other UFO sightings? Is this a coincidence?
Suggested Readings: UFO Contact at Pascagoula (May 1983) by Charles Hickson & William Mendez
MUFON Journal, March, 2011,”Scientists Should Look Closely at the Big Bang,”
PP 6-7 (PDF)

1975 Tavis Walton Abduction Case.  On November 5, 1975 a group of loggers in the mountains of northeastern Arizona observed a strange unusually bright light in the sky.  One of these men, Travis Walton, recklessly left the safety of their truck to take a closer look.  Suddenly, as he walked toward the light, Walton was knocked to the ground by a beam of energy.  His companions left in fear.  They later returned to the same location finding that both Travis and the craft were gone.  The men reported their experience to the authorities and were accused of murder.  Travis turned up about five days later disoriented and naked near a highway several miles from where he was abducted.  He recounted a terrifying experience whereby he had been abducted and carted away on a craft by strange creatures.  To this day this case remains one of the most documented alien abduction cases.
Suggested Readings: Fire in the Sky The Walton Experience by Travis Walton. (Out of print.)

1980 Rendlesham Forest Incident (Bentwaters & Woodridge Air Force Bases).  In the early morning hours of December 27, 1980 two security officers at Woodridge Air Force Base (England)  obtained permission to investigate some strange lights in a nearby forest.  The officers thought that perhaps an aircraft went down.  One of the officers came across a strange craft which had landed.  The craft looked unlike any craft that he had ever seen.  He approached the craft, touched it, took some “rough” measurements.  The craft then ascended, moved up through the trees and disappeared.  Two nights later Colonel Charles Halt (assistant commander of Woodridge base) went out with other officers because the mysterious lights returned.  He took a tape recorder and recorded the events of the night.  He was astounded to see the unconventional lights which defied explanation.  Colonel and other patrolmen saw a light land in a field.  They also saw a craft in the sky which beamed a light down close to their position as if trying to communicate with them.  Radiation readings were also taken the next day at a site in which landing marks were left.  Radiation levels were 10 times over background within the landing marks.  Recently the Science Fiction Channel aired documentary summarizing their investigation of this incident.  This is considered one of the most documented and unexplained incidents involving U.S. Military interaction with UFOs.
Suggested Readings: UFO Briefing Document by Don Berliner
Above Top Secret The Worldwide UFO Cover-up by Timothy Good.

1980 Cash-Landrum Incident.  On December 29, 1980 several thousand miles from Rendlesham Forest, England another intriguing UFO incident occurred.  Betty Cash, her friend Vickie Landrum and her grandson, Colby were driving toward Dayton, Texas.  They noticed a bright, fiery object with shooting flames which stopped and hovered about 135 feet directly ahead of them.  They got out of the car to look at the object.  Betty stayed outside the longest.  The object then departed and was accompanied by several helicopters (now identified as Chinook helicopters).  Betty followed the object with her car for awhile and then dropped off her passengers.  She then returned home.  She immediately developed severe symptoms which were later attributed to radiation exposure.  The other two witnesses also had symptoms, but to a lesser degree.  Betty eventually succumbed to cancer several years later.  It is not known if this incident contributed to her cancer illness.  Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum sued the U.S. Government over this incident, but eventually the case was thrown out of court due to lack of evidence.  This case is considered one the most significant physical effects cases related to UFOs.
Suggested Readings: The Cash-Landrum UFO Incident by John F. Schuessler
Above Top Secret The Worldwide UFO Cover-up by Timothy Good.

1989-1990 Belgium Sighting Wave. From October 1989 throughout 1990, hundreds of reports of lighted objects frequently recorded as triangular in shape were observed.  Several times Belgium Air Force jets pursued these objects to no avail.  The objects were frequently observed simultaneously on by both airborne and ground-based radars.  These objects were never explained, but the Belgium government has cooperated fully with the press and disclosed all details known about these sightings.
Suggested Reading: UFO Briefing Document by Don Berliner

1997 Phoenix Lights. 

Headline Caption From USA Today Newspaper - June 18, 1997 - Phoenix Lights
Headline From USA Today Newspaper – June 18, 1997

On March 13, 1997 several residents in the Phoenix, Arizona  area observed lights which appeared to be hovering and later disappeared.  Some videos were taken of these lights.  Many residents in Phoenix and across other parts of Arizona observed a slow moving pattern of lights moving southward on the same night.  Some observers could see a “large black craft inside these lights.  One witness saw jets scrambled from Luke Air Force Base in pursuit of this object (lights).  Officially the Air Force stated that the lights were due to flares being dropped for training exercises.  However, the flares do not explain the strange large craft which moved slowly across Arizona on that same night.
Suggested Readings: The Phoenix Lights by Lynne D. Kitei
USA Today Newspaper Article – June 18, 1997 (PDF)

1997 Workshop at Tarrytown, NY – Physical Evidence Related to UFO Reports.  From September 29 to October 4, 1997 a team of scientists headed by Dr. Peter Sturrock heard testimony from several UFO investigators about interesting UFO cases that have occurred during the past 50 years.  This workshop was funded by Laurance S. Rockefeller.  The conclusion of the panel was that UFOs deserve further scientific study.  This was an opinion that differed from the conclusions rendered by both the Robertson Panel (1953) and the Condon Report (1969).  The panel stopped short of saying that evidence exists that UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin.
Suggested Reading: Journal of Scientific Exploration, Volume 12, Number 2, Summer, 1998
The UFO Enigma by Dr. Peter A. Sturrock

2 Responses to History of UFOs

  1. Mark D. says:

    It was approximately 1964-68 (I would have been 7 to 11). My parents called me and my 4 siblings to the living room of our house (Dash Point, north of Tacoma) to see a UFO hovering above the south end of Maury/Vashon Island. As I recall there were 2-3 distinct gray objects hovering. It was about 3-5 minutes by the time I got there to watch. The UFO’s then rapidly flew to the North and disappeared from sight very quickly ( around 3-5 seconds). The rate of speed they flew away eliminates any airplane including military jets. It should be noted that W. Washington is home to Boeing and several military bases including McChord Air Force base. I don’t recall anyone in my family discussing this incident again. To my knowledge nobody in my immediate family is a UFO enthusiast and\or conspiracy theorist. My family members are all relatively level headed conventional people. As I recall this occurred during warm months therefore, between May and October. It was more than likely during the summer for all of us to be home at the same time, as I recall in the afternoon.

  2. Cheryl T. says:

    While living in Phoenix, AZ in 1983-1987 I saw a huge blood-red Round UFO in the sky. It was also seen by my neighbor at the time. I can’t remember the exact or year. I haven’t found any other mention of it. It was larger than a football field or moon. You couldn’t miss it if you looked up. It was just there and didn’t move or make a sound. It was there for several minutes and then poof it was gone. Who out there saw what I saw? I have never forgotten this and it has been driving me crazy. I reported it to MUFON in 2018 or 2019, but have heard nothing.

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