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Sunday, September 27, 2015


There are some events in history that we just cannot ignore or forget. Just like the memorable incident of "1952 Washington, D.C. UFO incident" or also known as the Washington flap or the Washington National Airport Sightings. It was a series of unidentified flying object reports from July 12 to July 29, 1952, over Washington, D.C. The most publicized sightings took place on consecutive weekends, July 19–20 and July 26–27. It was said to be captured on TV but it was mysteriously banned from being shown.

At exactly 11:40 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, 1952, Edward Nugent, an air traffic controller at Reagan National Airport was able to spot seven objects on his radar. The objects were said to be located 15 miles (24 km) from the south-southwest of the city; there was no known aircraft to be spotted in the area and the objects were not also following any established flight paths. Nugent’s superior, Harry Barnes watched the objects on Nugent’s radarscope.
“We knew immediately that a very strange situation existed . . . their movements were completely radical compared to those of ordinary aircraft.” - Harry Barnes
Barnes then called the National Airport’s other radar center; the controller present at that time, Howard Cocklin, told Barnes that he also had the objects on his radarscope. Furthermore, Cocklin said that by looking out of the control tower window he could see one of the objects:

At that time, other objects appeared in all sectors of the radarscope; when they moved over the White House and the United States Capitol, Barnes called Andrews Air Force Base, located 10 miles from National Airport. Meanwhile, the control tower personnel were tracking on radar what some thought to be "unknown objects".  At one point both radar centers at National Airport and the radar at Andrews AFB were tracking an object hovering over a radio beacon. The object suddenly vanished in all three radar centers at the same time. The objects were last detected by radar at 5:30 a.m. The White House expressed concerns and the believed “shoot-down” order was made. The sightings of July 26–27 obviously made headlines which led President Harry Truman to personally call Capt. Ruppelt and ask for an explanation of the sightings. Ruppelt told the President that the sightings might have been caused by temperature inversion. This condition can cause radar signals to bend and give false returns. A CIA historian Gerald Haines, said in his 1997 history of the CIA’s involvement with UFOs, mentions Truman’s concern.
“A massive buildup of sightings over the United States in 1952, especially in July, alarmed the Truman administration. On 19 and 20 July, radar scopes at Washington National Airport and Andrews Air Force Base tracked mysterious blips. On 27 July, the blips reappeared.”

The overwhelming concerns from the White House may possibly be the reason for the releasing of an order to shoot down the UFOs, as reported in various International News Service (INS) stories on July 29, 1952. E.g., one such story reported that “jet pilots have been placed on a 24-hour nationwide ‘alert against the flying saucers’ with orders to ‘shoot them down’ if they ignore orders to land.”  Of course, public protests resulted to that which included telegrams and letters to the White House stating that the policy was dangerous if the UFOs were controlled by extraterrestrial beings.


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