Famous UFO cases: 1952 Washington D.C. UFO incident

Believe or disbelieve?

We owe UFOs to the decades of speculations and factoids we’ve grown all our lives listening too. Inter-galactic invasions, revolving saucers etc. have been an important fragment of these claims. However, the cases of this abnormal genre do not make it till the end and turn into a myth. A similar attitude would’ve been adopted towards a congruent intrusion but if it’s the one that made it to the famous White house in Washington D.C, it’ll certainly be dignified by catching eyes.
It was a Saturday midnight, July 19, 1952, when the air traffic controller picked up the erratic signals on the radar. The characteristics of this supernatural phenomenon included boosting at incredible speeds beyond the radar’s capability to catch and non-uniform orbits around the White house. Over the years, the U.S government agencies have been staunch on keeping the mere existence of UFO’s a secret. This happening just seemed to have really crossed the line. As soon as the intrusion was acknowledged by the U.S military, fighter jets were ordered to a hunt down and intercept mission. By the time the fliers were soaring in the sky, these unknown lights had vanished out of sight. When encountered later that night, turned the tables on the interceptor and started to hunt after the fighter planes. Dreading the scourge, the pilot asked for an ‘open fire’ command but fortunately, the enemy air craft retreated without any violence.
This day came down in history as one of the closest apprehensions of extra terrestrials. The President of the United States took a personal interest in this UFO incident. Clamoring media and scientists got the explanation of ‘temperature inversion’ out of the whole unknown lights trauma. The purported rationality of the government agencies was treated derisively. The testimony of the hundreds of eye-witnesses fell on deaf ears and the famous UFO incident at White house, Washington D.C. to this day, remains a mystery to all of us.

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Washington Post, fron page article from Monday, July 28, 1952:

‘Saucer’ Outran Jet, Pilot Reveals

Investigation on in secret after chase over capital
Radar spot blips like aircraft for nearly six hours – only 1.700 feet up
By Paul Sampson, Post Reporter
Military secrecy veils an investigation of the mysterious, glowing aerial objects that showed up on radar screens in the Washington area Saturday night for the second consecutive week. A jet pilot sent up by the Air Defense Command to investigate the objects reported he was unable to overtake the glowing lights moving near Andrews Air Force Base.
The CAA reported reported the objects traveled at “predominantly lower levels”-about 1700 feet. July 19. Air Force spokesmen said yesterday only that an investigation was being made into the sighting of the objects on the radar screen in the CAA Air Route Traffic Control Center at Washington National Airport, and on two other radar screens. Methods of the investigations were classified as secret, a spoken said.
“We have no evidence they are flying saucers; conversely we have no evidence they are not flying saucers. We don’t know what they are,” a spokesman added. The same source reported an expert from the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton Ohio, was here last week investigating the objects sighted July 19.
The expert has been identified as Capt. E. J. Ruppelt. Reached by telephone at his home in Dayton yesterday, Ruppelt said he could make no comment on his activity in Washington. Capt. Ruppelt confirmed he was in Washington last week but said he had not come here to investigate the mysterious objects. He recalled he did make an investigation after hearing of the objects, but could not say what he investigated.
Another Air Force spokesman said here yesterday the Air Force is taking all steps necessary to evaluate the sightings. “The intelligence people,” this spokesman explained, “sent someone over to the control center at the time of the sightings and did whatever necessary to make the proper evaluation. Asked whether the radar equipment might have been mis-functioning, the spokesman said, “radar, like the compass is not a perfect instrument and is subject to error.” He thought, however, the investigation would be made by persons acquainted with the problems of radar.
Two other radar screens in the area picked up the objects. An employee of the National Airport control tower said the radar scope there picked up very weak “blips” of the objects. The tower radar’s for “short range” and is not so powerful as that at the center. Radar at Andrews Air Force Base also registered the objects from about seven miles south of the base. A traffic control center spokesman said the nature of the signals on the radar screen ruled out any possibility they were from clouds or any other “weather” disturbance. “The returns we received from the unidentified objects were similar and analagous to targets representing aircraft in flight,” he said.
The objects, “flying saucer” or what have you, appeared on the radar scope at the airport center at 9:08 PM. Varying from four to 12 in number, the objects appeared on the screen until 3:00 AM., when they diappeared. At 11:25 PM., two F-94 jet fighters fro Air Defense Command squadron, at New CAstle Delaware, capable of 600 hundred mph speeds, took off to investigate the objects. Airline, civil and military pilots described the objects as looking like the lit end of a cigarette or a cluster of orange and red lights.
One jet pilot observed four lights in the vicinity of Andrews Air Force Base, but was not able to over-take them, and they disappeared in about two minutes. The same pilot observed a steady white light in the vicinity of Mt Vernon at 11:49 PM. The light, about 5 miles from him, faded in a minute. The lights were also observed in the Beltsville, MD., vicinity. At 1:40 AM two-other F-94 jet fighters took off and scanned the area until 2:20 AM., but did not make any sightings.
Visible two days
Although “unidentified objects” have been picked up on radar before, the incidents of the last two saturdays are believed to be the first time the objects have been picked up on radar-while visible to the human eye. Besides the pilots, who last saturday saw the lights, a woman living on Mississippi Ave., told the Post she saw a very “bright light streaking across the sky towards Andrews Air Force Base about 11:45 PM. Then a second object with a tail like a comet whizzed by, and a few seconds later, a third passed in a different direction toward Suntland, she said.

Radar operators plotted the speed of “saturday night’s visitors” at from 38 to 90 mph, but one jet pilot reported faster speeds for the light he saw. The jet pilot reported he had no apparent “closing speed” when he attempted to reach the lights he saw near Andrews Air Force Base. That means the lights were moving at least as fast as his top speed-a maximum of 600 mph. One person who saw the lights when they first appeared in this area did not see them last night. He is E.W. Chambers, an engineer at Radio Station WRC, who spotted the lights while working early the morning of July 20 at station’s Hyattsville tower.
Chamber’s said he was sorry he had seen the lights because he had been skeptical about “flying saucers” before. Now he said, he sort of “wonders” and worrys about the whole thing. Leon Davidson, 804 South Irving St. Arlington, a chemical engineer who made an exhaustive study of “flying saucers” as a hobby, said yesterday reports of saucers in the East, have been relatively rare. Davidson has studied the official report on the saucers, including some of the secret portions never made public, and analyzed all the data in the report.
Davidson, whose study of saucers is impressively detailed and scientific, said he believes the lights are American “aviation products”-probably “circular flying wings,” using new type jet engines that permit rapid acceleration and relatively low speeds. He believes, they are either “new fighter,” guided missiles, or piloted guided missiles. He cited some of the recent jet fighters, including the Navy’s new ” F-4-D, which has a radical “bat-wing,” as examples of what the objects might resemble. Davidson thinks the fact that the lights have been seen in this area indicates the authorities may be ready to disclose the “new aircraft” in the near future. Previously, most of the “verified saucers” have been seen over sparsely inhabited areas, Davidson explained, and now, when they appear here, it may indicate that “secrecy” is not so important any more.

. . . . . .

UFO over Washington DC film footage from 1952
This video of film footage does indeed show a pattern of lights that would be very difficult to explain. Is it a hoax?

1952 Washington DC UFOs zoomed in

UFO activity over Washinhton D.C. 1952 NEWS

General Samford’s UFO press conference Pentagon, July 29, 1952
Press conference of Air Force Intelligence Chief, Major General John Samford.
It was held in Room 3E-369 of the Pentagon, July 29, 1952
Following the Unidentified Flying Objects over Washington D.C. A few nights of intense activity over Washington, D.C. On July 19/20, July 26/27 the skies above the nation’s capital were crowded with UFOs darting here and there, over the White House, over the Capitol Building, over the Pentagon. Tracked on radar and visual sightings from the ground. Jet fighters was also scrambled to investigate the UFOs, the jets were outclassed by the speed of the objects. The sightings continued 3 days after this press conference on the nights of August 2/3 – With no real answers from the Government to the mystery.

UFOs – Are we alone? FOX 5 Washington DC UFO Story
News broadcast talks about the historic UFO sightings of 1952 over Washington DC and other historic sightings. Interviews with Steven M. Greer, M.D (disclosure project) and Kevin Randle (author).

WetaExtra: UFOs Washington DC!
Information on the UFOs Washington DC 1952 including interview with Howard Cocklin, retired air traffic controller.

Bill Birnes (UFO Hunters & UFO Magazine author and investigator): 1952 Washington D.C. UFO incident (HST)
W/ Sara Seager, Ph.D., prof. of planetary sciencer, MIT and Nick Pope, British Ministry of Defence (MOD) 1985-2006

Your opinion?
  • Real (1)
  • Fake (0)
  • Not Alien (0)


  1. I’m now age 71 and as a child one night my father took us outside to look at this strange light circling around in the sky and I’ve believed in UFO’s ever since. As an adult in country Victoria, on the first time the space station was passing over, I went outside to watch but there was a thick fog. While I was standing in the area between my carport and the orchard next doors fence, a large white light appeared above my head and continued on over the rear paddock. There was no sound whatsoever and I became scared and ran inside. I’ve had several other episodes since including photographing an unknown creature above my head at the same place in 2005. It has not yet been identified and I was advised to never delete the image from my camera.

  2. Everything posted made a ton of sense. However, what about
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