F-94s Called Out To Chase
Saucers Over Washington
WASHINGTON. — The status of the flying saucer following radar sightings over Washington and a Pentagon “saucer” conference this week is just where it was previously — all up in the air.
Comments of high-ranking Air Force intelligence and “saucer project” officers are on the intangible side, as befits talk about phenomena on which the Air Force says no scientifically useful observations have been made.
In an effort to settle one rumor which declares that the “limitless” power which would be required for saucer propulsion could be obtained from a nuclear power plant generating electricity, The TIMES stated the theory to Maj. Gen. John A. Samford, Air Force director of intelligence.
“That’s a pretty strong idea, but wait until it gets a little further along,” he replied. Quizzed as to his meaning, he said that the idea is “mentally implausible.”
Washington has had a flurry of sightings of unidentified objects. Around midnight on July 19 the Air Route Traffic Control Center (CAA) at Washington National Airport sighted from seven to 10 unidentified aerial objects. The radar operators said that eight were picked up in the vicinity of Andrews AFB, Md., moving at from 100 to 120 mph.
The control center notified the Air Force and also asked planes in the air if they could see anything.
Capt. S.C. Pierman, piloting Capital Airlines Flight 807, southbound from National Airport, soon reported seeing seven objects between Washington and Martinsburg, W. Va. He said they changed pace, sometimes moving at tremendous speed, at other times hanging almost motionless. He described them as “like falling stars without tails”, and added:
“In all my years of flying I’ve seen a lot of falling or shooting stars, but these were much faster. They couldn’t have been aircraft. They were moving too fast for that. They were about the same size as the brighter stars, and were much higher than our 6000 ft altitude.”
Another airliner, Capital National airlines flight 610, also reported seeing a light and following it from Herndon, Va., to within four miles of Washington.
The Air Force did not send up interceptor planes that night because its own radar had not picked up the images and because the round-the-clock observer operation had not sent out warnings, officers said.
The night of July 26 at 9:08 unidentified objects were picked up by radar at National Airport. At various times four to 12 in number, the objects were seen on the radar screen until 3 a.m. Radar at Andrews AFB showed the objects from around 8:30 until midnight, and located them at approximately seven miles south of the base.
At 11:25 p.m., two F-94s from the Air Defense Command at New Castle AFB, Del., took off to investigate. One of the F-94 pilots saw four lights near Andrews, but he could not overtake them and they disappeared in two or three minutes. He also saw a steady white light 10 miles east of Mount Vernon but it faded quickly.
At 1:40 a.m., two more F-94s took off and patrolled the area until 2:20 a.m., but they saw nothing suspicious.