The Bridgeport Post
July 28, 1952
WASHINGTON, July 28 -- (AP) Radar - which normally doesn't show something which is not there - has picked up "flying saucers" near the nation's capital for the second time within a week. Jet fighter pilots searched the skies without directly contacting anything during the six hours that four to 12 unidentified objects intermittently appeared on radar screen at Washington National airport and nearby Andrews Air Force Base.
Described as 'lights'
One pilot said he saw four lights approximately 10 miles away and slightly above him, but they disappeared before he could overtake them. Later, the same pilot said, he saw a "steady white light" five miles away that vanished in about a minute.
Officials carefully avoided mentioning "flying saucers" just as they did when radar picked up seven or eight unidentified objects near Washington last Monday. But the Air Force was expected to add the report to its long list of saucer sightings, which officials say are coming in faster than at any time since the initial flurry in 1947.
An Air Force spokesman said all necessary steps were being taken to evaluate the newest phenomenon.
Later an Air Force spokesman said:
"We have no evidence that they are flying saucers; conversely we have no evidence they are not flying saucers. We don't know what they are."
There was no agreement whether the recent reports are the first of such mystery objects appearing on radar. At least officials agreed they were unusual.
Radar normally does not register anything without substance - such as light. But it can pick up such things as a bird in flight or a cloud formation. And one expert said radar is not infallible.
The Air Force reported that between four and 12 unidentified objects appeared at 9:08 p.m. Saturday on the radar screen at the air route traffic center operated by the Civil Aeronautics Administration. Their position was estimated at 10 miles east of Mount Vernon, Va., which is near Washington National Airport.
Jet 'Contact' Fails
Word went to the Air Force, which sent up two jet fighters interceptor planes from a base in Newcastle, Del., some 90 miles from Washington.
The pilot who sighted the lights said they "were really moving" - faster than 600 miles per hour. But radar operators at Andrews Air Force Base said they [...] at a "slow rate of speed" - - [...] miles per hour. This was much the same pattern as last week's sightings - slow moving objects with bursts of speed.
One woman in Washington reported she saw "a very bright light" streak across the sky towards Andrews Base at about 12:15 p.m. Later she said she saw an object with a tail like a comet whiz by and a few seconds later a third in another direction.