U.F.O. Sightings and Encounters July 19, 1952 Washington, D.C.

About a series U.F.O. sightings on July 19th, 1952 in Washington, D.C., history and account of the encounter and description of the spaceship, official comment on the event.

Encounters with UFOs



In early July, 1952, Edward J. Ruppelt, then head of the Air Force's official Project Blue Book, was in conference with a scientist from a government intelligence agency that Ruppelt was not at liberty to name. "Within the next few days," he told Ruppelt, "You're going to have the granddaddy of all UFO sightings... in Washington or New York. Probably Washington."

The "Washington sightings"--a series of UFO encounters that quickly became the most publicized ever and included flights by unknown objects over the White House and the Capitol--started at 11:40 P.M. on July 19, when the radar screens at National Airport picked up eight UFOs flying in formation southwest of Andrews Air Force Base. The blips would cruise along at a little over 100 mph and then shoot off the screen at extremely high speeds. The radar at Andrews also began to track the objects.

All airliners in the area at the time were put on alert for the objects, and several reported sightings. Capt. S.C. "Casey" Pierman, at the controls of Capital Airlines Flight 807, made visual contact with seven UFOs, the same ones that were being simultaneously tracked on radar.

"They were about the same size as the brightest stars," Pierman said, "and they were much higher than our 6,000-ft. altitude."

Some of the UFOs were in horizontal flight, others were seen diving at an angle of 25 deg. at high speeds. Captain Pierman maintained visual contact for approximately 12 minutes, and then the objects shot suddenly out of sight.

Just before dawn the radar indicated that an object was hovering directly over Andrews Air Force Base. When tower personnel looked up, they saw what they described as a "huge fiery orange sphere" directly above them. The Air Force sent an F-94 jet into the air about dawn to investigate, but by this time the UFOs had disappeared from radar and were nowhere to be seen.

A week later the UFOs returned. On July 26 the Air Force launched several jet fighters in an effort to intercept a new rash of radar blips. One of the pilots did make visual contact and pushed his jet to its top speed, trying to close in on the object. The UFO shot out of sight at an incredible speed, leaving the Air Force jet far behind.

As suddenly as they had begun, the "Washington sightings" stopped.

Eyewitness Report

"In all my years of flying, I've seen a lot of falling or shooting stars, but these were much faster than anything I've ever seen. They couldn't have been aircraft. They were moving too fast for that."--Capt. S.C. "Casey" Pierman

Official Comment

"We don't know the answer positively, and there's no use pretending we do."--Official press release from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

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