New Developments Show Incoordination in Government UFO Report
As the countdown to the release of the government report on UFOs intensifies, new developments reveal just how uncoordinated the response has been.
With new reports on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) coming forward almost daily (some from high-level officials) mainstream media has gotten in on the coverage. As Washington prepares for the report released at the end of June, the issue has turned from farce to serious inquiry. And now, many questions are being raised as to the government’s handling of the matter.
Nick Pope ran the British Ministry of Defence’s UFO project where he conducted official investigations into the phenomenon in the U.K.
Having worked within these infrastructures, Nick Pope gives us his take on the lead-up to the U.S. report.
The 1952 Washington, D.C., UFO Incident, Explained
The Great 1952 Washington, D.C., UFO Incident
It was around 11:40 p.m. on Saturday night, July 19, 1952. Air traffic controller Edward Nugent was at his radar screen at Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., when he saw seven unusual blips on the screen. No known aircraft were in the area and there was no explanation for the presence of the objects. Nugent called his superior, Harry Barnes, to come and look. Together, they watched the mysterious objects dart across the sky. They even checked to make sure the radar was working properly.
Nugent and his boss checked with the control tower and learned that both controllers in the tower had also seen the blips. They called nearby Andrews Air Force Base, where controllers also saw strange objects on their radar screens.
Two of the objects clearly hovered over the White House, with another one over the Capitol. Controllers at both airports began tracking the objects, which they estimated to be traveling at about 130 mph when they suddenly disappeared from the radar screen. Then appeared again, zipping all around the sky. One made a 90-degree turn and another one suddenly went in reverse, both maneuvers that American airplanes could not make at the time.
An airline captain, S.C. Pierman, was waiting on the tarmac in the cockpit of his DC-4 at National Airport for authorization to take off. While waiting, he saw six objects moving about the sky. Over a 14-minute time period, Pierman would see the objects and then they would disappear, reappearing moments later. He was talking to controller Barnes this entire time. Every time Pierman reported a sighting, a blip appeared on Barnes’s radar screen. At 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, July 20, the objects disappeared entirely.
Were these really unidentified flying objects (UFOs)? Did they come back again on another day for a second look? What was the significance of the 1952 UFO sightings and how did the sightings become known as the Great UFO Flap of 1952?
The Objects Return on July 26, 1952
At around 8:15 p.m. one week later, a stewardess and a captain were on an inbound flight into Washington National Airport. They observed strange lights above their plane. At the same time, an officer at Andrews Air Force Base also observed the objects. Other pilots in the air at the time saw them, too. Similar to the occurrence from the week before, the “encore performance” of the UFOs ended around dawn on Sunday morning. The objects disappeared from sight and off of the airport radar.