Did you know many UFO researchers believe the U.S. came as close as it ever has to what might have been an alien invasion 64 years ago?
Thousands of sightings were reported in 1952 all over the country.
For example, seven blips were seen on radar heading to the White House. However, nearby military jets that were sent to shoot them down couldn’t keep up — the UFOs disappeared from view on the radar, then returned after the military fighter jets left.
Were they real? Has our government told us everything they found out?
Before you dismiss the invasion idea as far-fetched science fiction, you might want to check out some of the official UFO government documents from that year.
I went through Project Blue Book’s files for 1952 and found that out of all the cases the military documented around the world, there were 196 cases — if I sorted through them correctly — that were listed as “unidentified.”
Among those was a sighting in April 1952 north of Goodland in the northwest corner of Kansas.
That particular sighting was taken seriously by the top Air Force investigators who were assigned to probe into unusual unexplained aerial phenomena.
What happened 64 years ago this month is that a U.S. Air Force bombardier flying in a B-29 about 30,000 feet above Goodland, Kansas, saw something that still remains a mystery today.
That sighting is part of Project Blue Book’s real-life X-files cases — those cases that still have no plausible conventional explanations.
In Chapter 6 of my book, UFO Cold Cases: Kansas, I go over the bombardier’s story: He saw a large fan-shaped light traveling at an impossible speed across western Kansas skies. I went through the available details in the documents that have eventually made their way to the public arena for study.
I also found out that same day, April 29, 1952, the Air Force top brass put a lid of secrecy on all such reports: They issued written orders that none of the military reports they were generating should be passed on to local media.
Why? Wouldn’t it be helpful to find out if any civilians in the area saw the same things?
Meanwhile, three months after that April 29 Goodland sighting, Major Gen. John Samford, who was then the USAF director of intelligence, tried to quell the public’s fears about flying saucers.
Samford spoke in a press conference following the Washington, D.C., sightings in July 1952. We don’t have the entire transcript of the press conference, but we can watch an old black and white film, (which might be heavily edited) that was made available by the National Archives on YouTube.com.
In the black and white film version, Samford tells the off-camera reporters that as of July 1952, the Air Force had analyzed between 1,000 to 2,000 UFO reports. Most of those were explained away as hoaxes, friendly identified aircraft, meteorological or electronic phenomena, or as light aberrations.
However, Samford admitted, there had been a certain percentage of those reports made by “credible observers of relatively incredible things.”
He said the Air Force was still attempting to resolve those reports, which we can surmise were the “unidentified” reports we find listed in the documents that have been released to the public.
However, in the black and white film, Samford quickly came out with a statement apparently designed to put the public at ease about the rash of sightings that year.
The Air Force had come to one conclusion about the remaining group of unsolved cases: That group “does not contain any pattern of purpose or of consistency that we can relate to any conceivable threat to the United States,” Samford said.
He was obviously referring to any “conceivable threat” from the Russians or from any other country that might have been hostile.
On the film, Samford also appeared to be answering a reporter’s question if the sightings could be those of our own secret aircraft tests.
But Samford insisted the 1952 sightings were in no way connected to any secret development by any U.S. department or agency.
In other words, nobody on earth — not the Russians or even our own engineers —had the technology that could produce the kinds of sightings that credible people were reporting that year.
And that was that, as far as what Samford was willing to say about it.
The military would not answer what many members of the press and public really wanted to know: Could the UFOs be a conceivable threat from a technologically superior civilization that might be visiting this planet?
While Samford didn’t touch on that question, we know others were looking into the extraterrestrial possibility.
At the end of Samford’s statement on the black and white film, another man who is wearing civilian clothing sits down at the two microphones.
It was Donald Keyhoe, a former Marine Corps major who had just authored the book, The Flying Saucers Are Real.
In the years that followed, Keyhoe went on to become one of the most respected civilian investigators of UFOs in the country. He also was a founding member of NICAP, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.
In his short statement on camera, Keyhoe said that, with all due respect to the Air Force, he believed some of the 1952 sightings would be found to be of interplanetary origin.
“During a three-year investigation I found that many pilots have found objects of substance and high speed,” Keyhoe said
Keyhoe says on camera that one plane was buffeted by a solid object estimated at 500 mph — an object he thought had probably originated in space.
Probably due to the newness of filmed press conferences, Keyhoe’s statement was very brief. It would have been interesting to listen to him talk for much longer.
Unfortunately Keyhoe probably didn’t know about the UFO event over Goodland, Kansas, a few months earlier and that it featured an object that was estimated traveling at 2,000 mph.
And that would have given Keyhoe even more of an argument for the extraterrestrial hypothesis.
It’s too bad Keyhoe couldn’t have asked Samford at the press conference which earthly government had the technology at that time to travel at 2,000 mph.