The 1957 RB-47 UFO Encounter: Unraveling a Secret Signal

In 1957, an extraordinary UFO encounter involving a U.S. Air Force RB-47 aircraft provided a compelling case of an unidentified flying object being detected through advanced electronic intelligence (ELINT) equipment. This incident, combining visual confirmation, radar detection, and ELINT data, remains one of the most fascinating and well-documented UFO encounters in history.

The RB-47 Aircraft

The RB-47, a modified version of the B-47 bomber, was equipped with sophisticated ELINT equipment. This six-engine turbojet-powered strategic bomber was primarily designed for reconnaissance missions during the Cold War. The RB-47H variant, involved in this encounter, was specifically adapted for electronic intelligence gathering, carrying a crew of six, including three electronic warfare officers.

The Encounter

On July 17, 1957, an RB-47 took off from Forbes Air Force Base in Kansas for a training mission over the Gulf of Mexico. As the aircraft returned from the Gulf, it detected an unusual radar signal. Frank McClure, the operator at the number two ELINT monitor, noticed an airborne radar signal at 2.8 gigahertz, a frequency typically associated with ground-based radar.

Unusual Signal Behavior

McClure initially thought his equipment was malfunctioning, but the signal exhibited behavior that no ground-based radar could replicate. The signal moved around the aircraft, which was flying at 500 miles per hour, indicating it was emanating from an airborne source. This unexpected movement led McClure to realize that the signal was from an unidentified object following the RB-47.

Visual and Radar Confirmation

At around 4:10 a.m. CST, the pilot, Lieutenant Chase, and co-pilot James McCoy observed a luminous object moving at high speed across their flight path. The object appeared as a bright light, sometimes white and other times red. Concurrently, the ELINT equipment detected the same signal, confirming the presence of the unidentified object.

As the RB-47 flew over Louisiana and Texas, the crew continued to detect the signal and visually observe the object. Ground radar stations, including one in Duncanville, Texas, also tracked the object. The synchronized detection by ground radar, airborne radar, and ELINT equipment provided strong evidence of the object’s existence and capabilities.

Extraordinary Maneuvers

The UFO demonstrated extraordinary flight capabilities, such as abrupt stops, rapid altitude changes, and the ability to evade pursuit. At one point, the object dropped 15,000 feet in altitude and disappeared from radar, only to reappear moments later. These maneuvers were beyond the capabilities of known aircraft at the time, further deepening the mystery.

Investigation and Analysis

Project Blue Book, the U.S. Air Force’s official UFO investigation program, and other agencies investigated the RB-47 encounter. However, they could not provide a satisfactory explanation. The encounter was classified as “unknown,” and crucial ELINT data reportedly disappeared during the investigation process, adding to the intrigue.

Significance of the Encounter

The RB-47 UFO encounter stands out due to the convergence of multiple forms of evidence: visual sightings by experienced military personnel, radar detection by both the aircraft and ground stations, and ELINT data. This combination of evidence from credible sources makes the RB-47 encounter a pivotal case in UFO research.

The incident underscores the potential existence of advanced, unidentified aerial technology and highlights the importance of thorough documentation and investigation. As UFO phenomena continue to capture public and scientific interest, the RB-47 case serves as a critical reference point for understanding and exploring these mysterious events.


The 1957 RB-47 UFO encounter remains a remarkable and enigmatic event in the history of UFO sightings. With its combination of visual, radar, and ELINT evidence, it provides a compelling case for further investigation into the phenomena of unidentified flying objects. The encounter challenges our understanding of aerial technology and continues to intrigue researchers and enthusiasts alike, emphasizing the need for openness and scientific inquiry in unraveling the mysteries of the skies.

Your opinion?
  • Real (3)
  • Not Alien (1)
  • Fake (0)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.