Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Multiple Witness UFO Sighting: Tucson Sept. 3, 1952.

Frame from AF film, Operation Moby Dick, 01/1952

Dateline: Tuscon Arizona, September 3, 1952.
A UFO appeared high over the city, a hovering, silvery reflective object seen by multiple witnesses, and was reported on live over a radio broadcast. This story is notable for the testimony by a "trained observer," USAF pilot instructor Don McCraven who described the UFO's phenomenal flight, speed and maneuvers in detail.

Tucson Daily Citizen, September 3, 1952.

May Appear as "Flying Saucers" 

1951 DoD photo.

On 11 October 1951, the Department of Defense sent out an official press photo on the 
USAF research project "Moby Dick,"stating that: 
The 50 to 110 diameter balloons will drift over the United States and altitudes of 10 to 20 miles for the purpose of transmitting data concerning the high altitude winds and will be clearly visible at 100,000 feet above the earth during clear days. The transmitter suspended 100 feet below the balloon will send out signals to direction-finding stations. The Air Force has warned that the "Moby Dick" balloons may appear as "flying saucers" during the early and late hours of the day because of the sun reflecting from the transparent coverings. Persons finding collapsed balloons will receive a reward for the return of the radio unit.
Weather balloons? It was a cover story. The Moby Dick project was being developed for a Cold War surveillance program. For more details, see The Cold War’s Classified Skyhook Program: A Participant’s Revelations by B.D. Gildenberg

As with so many of the most interesting UFO cases featured here at The Saucers That Time Forgot, Project Blue Book has no file on this incident.


  1. Wasn't the Mantell plane crash (the USAF pilot who died pursuing what he believed was a UFO) also a Skyhook balloon?

    1. Yes, but it's puzzling why it took so long to solve. Here's a great report on it (a PDF) An Analysis of the Thomas Mantell UFO Case by Kevin Randle. http://www.nicap.org/docs/mantell/analysis_mantell_randle.pdf

      There were a lot of balloons flying in the peak saucer years, but the military made a huge blunder in claiming that they were responsible for all UFO sightings.

  2. With Mantell the ufoologists/aluminum hat crowd had to spread BS that his body was pumped full of bullet holes, the wreckage was radioactive, and his body was missing. Of course we don't have that problem today, do we? :S


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