Teletype BOI-485, August 16 1956
Transmitted 16 August 1956 at 1635Z from 3910th Air Base Group (United States Strategic Air Command), RAF Lakenheath, England, to:
Air Defence Command, Ent AFB, Colorado
7th Air Division (ADC), US Air Base, South Ruislip, England
ATIC accession # T56-18870, received 0002-0003 hours (local) 17 August 1956
Originally encrypted and classified SECRET for 12 years, BOI-485 was finally released to Colorado University investigators in September of 1968.
(The full text is here reconstructed into the AFR 200-2 questionnaire format)
This is "UFOB" report in compliance AFR 200-2, 12 August 1954.
Preliminary or background info: At 2255Z, 13 August 56 Bentwaters GCA sighted object thirty miles east of the station travelling westerly at 2000-4000 mph. Object disappeared on scope two miles east of station and immediately reappeared on scope three miles west of station where it disappeared thirty miles west of station on scope. Tower personnel at Bentwaters reported to GCA a bright light passed over the field east to west at terrific speeds and at about 4000 feet altitude. At same time pilot in an aircraft at 4000 feet altitude over Bentwaters reported a bright light streaked under his aircraft travelling east to west at terrific speed.
At this time Bentwaters GCA checked with RAF Station Lakenheath GCA to determine if unusual sightings were occurring. Lakenheath GCA alerted 60th AAA (stationed at Lakenheath) and Sculthorpe GCA to watch for unusual targets.
Following info is the observations made by this station radar, tower and ground personnel placed in format required by AFR 200-2:
1. Description of object(s):
a) [Shape] Round white lights
b) [Size compared to a known object (use one of the following terms: Head of a pin, pea, dime, nickel, quarter. half dollar, silver dollar, baseball, grapefruit, or basketball) held in the hand at about arms length] One observer from ground stated on first observation object was about size of golf ball. As object continued in flight it became a "pin point."
c) [Colour] Colour was white.
d) [Number] Two from ground observation; undetermined number of blips appearing and disappearing on radar scopes.
e) [Formation, if more than one] No formation as far as radar sightings concerned. Ground observers stated one white light joined up with another and both disappeared in formation together.
f) [Any discernable features or details] No features or details other than the white light.
g) [Tail, trail, or exhaust, including size of same compared to size of object(s)] Negative.
h) [Sound. If heard, describe sound] Negative.
i) [Other pertinent or unusual features] Objects as seen by ground observers and GCA radar has feature of travelling at terrific speeds and then stopping and changing course immediately.
2. Description of course of objects:
a) [What first called the attention of the observer(s) to the object(s)?] Ground observers looked at sky and saw the object(s). RAF station Lakenheath GCA was alerted by Bentwaters GCA to be on the lookout for unusual targets.
b) [Angle of elevation and azimuth of the object(s) when first observed] Ground observers estimate objects were 20-2500 feet altitude and were on a SW heading. Object stopped and immediately assumed a easterly heading. RAF station Lakenheath GCA and Air Traffic Control Center reports radar tracking from 6 miles west to about twenty miles SW where target stopped and assumed a stationary position for five minutes. Target then assumed a heading North Westerly into the station and stopped two miles NW of station. Lakenheath GCA reports three to four additional targets were doing the same maneuvers in the vicinity of this station.
Thus two radar sets and three ground observers report substantially same. Radars reported these facts to occur at later hours than the ground observers.
c) [Angle of elevation and azimuth of object(s) upon disappearance] Ground observers report no change in altitude and objects disappeared in easterly heading. Radar sets stated no definite disappearance factors other than targets disappeared from scopes at approximately 140330Z.
d) [Description of flight path and maneuvers of object(s)] Flight path was straight but jerky with object stopping instantly and then continuing. Maneuvers were of the same pattern except one object was observed to "lock on" to fighter scrambled by RAF and followed all maneuvers of the jet fighter aircraft.
In addition, Lakenheath RATCC observed object 17 miles east of station making sharp rectanngular course of flight. This maneuver was not conducted by circular path but on right angles at speeds of 600800 mph. Object would stop and start with amazing rapidity.
e) [Manner of disappearance of object(s)] Objects simply disappeared.
f) [Length of time in sight] Objects were observed intermittently by RAF station Lakenheath radars from 140010Z to 140330Z.
3. Manner of observation:
a) Ground-Visual, Air-Electronic and Ground-Electronic. Ground electronic equipment was TS-ID, CPS 5, and CPN 4.
Air electronic was A-1 equipment in British jet aircraft. Type of aircraft scrambled Venom.
b) [Statement as to optical aids (Telescopes, binoculars, and so forth) used and description thereof] Negative.
c) [If the sighting is made while airborne, give type aircraft, identification number, altitude, heading, speed, and home station] British jet aircraft, Venom, operating out of RAF station Waterbeach, England.
4. Time and date of sighting:
a) 140010Z through 140330Z.
b) [Light conditions (use one of the following terms): Night, day, dawn, dusk] Night (sky clear and minimum of clouds-moonlight)
5. Location of observers: RAF Station Lakenheath 5224N 033E
6. Identifying information of all observers:
a) [Civilian] Negative
b) [Military - Name, grade, organization, duty and estimate of reliability]
Earnest D. Perkin, T/Sgt. AF15253257, Lakenheath Radar Air Traffic Control Center Team Supervisor; reliable.
Thomas Emerick, S/Sgt. AF12422490, Lakenheath RATCC, Controller; reliable.
James M. Kastner, A/3C AF12473618, Lakenheath RATCC, Asst. Controller; reliable.
Ronald R. Erickson, A/1C, AF16929256, Intelligence Specialist, 307th Bomb Wing, considered very reliable by immediate officer in charge of section;
Richard T. Lynch, A/2C Intelligence Specialist, 307th Bomb Wing, considered reliable;
Gene O. Godfrey, A2/C, Intelligence Specialist, 307BW, considered reliable;
Philip R. Fowler, A/2C, Intelligence Specialist, reliable.\par \par 7. Weather and winds-aloft conditions at time and place of sightings:
a) [Observer(s) account of weather conditions] Clear sky until 0300Z shortly thereafter scattered clouds at 3500 ft.
[Report from nearest AWS or U.S. Weather Bureau Office of wind direction and velocity in degrees and knots at surface, 6,000', 10,000', 16,000', 20,000', 30,000', 50,000', and 80,000', if available] From midnight until 0600Z
surface wind was 230 deg at 15 knots;
6000 ft 290 deg at 24 knots;
10000 ft 290 deg at 35 knots;
16000 ft 290 deg at 45 knots;
20000 ft 290 deg at 53 knots;
30,000 ft 290 deg at 62 knots;
50,000 ft 290 deg at 75 knots.
c) Ceiling unlimited.
d) Visability from 0001Z to 0400Z was 10 nautical miles.
e) 1/10 of sky covered at 0300Z.
[Thunderstorms in area and quadrant in which located] Negative.
8. [Any other unusual activity or condition, meteorological, astronomical, or otherwise, which might account for the sighting] Ground observers report unusual amount of shooting stars in sky. Further state the objects seen were definitely not shooting stars as there were no trails behind as are usual with such a sighting.
9. [Interception or identification action taken (such action may be taken whenever feasible, complying with existing air defense directives).] Interception was undertaken by one British jet fighter on alert by 60th AAA Sector Control. Aircraft is believed to have been a Venom.
The aircraft flew over RAF station Lakenheath and was vectored toward a target on radar 6 miles east of the field. Pilot advised he had a bright white light in sight and would investigate.
At thirteen miles west he reported loss of target and white light.
Lakenheath RATCC vectored him to a target 10 miles east of Lakenheath and pilot advised target was on radar and he was "locking on." Pilot reported he had lost target on his radar.
Lakenheath RATCC reports that as the Venom passed the target on radar, the target began a tail chase of the friendly fighter. RATCC requested pilot acknowledge this chase. Pilot acknowledged and stated he would try to circle and get behind the target.
Pilot advised he was unable to "shake" the target off his tail and requested assistance. One additional Venom was scrambled from the RAF station.
Original pilot stated: "Clearest target I have ever seen on radar!"
Target disappeared and second aircraft did not establish contact. First aircraft returned to home station due to being low on fuel.
Second Venom was vectored to other radar targets but was unable to make contact. Shortly second fighter returned to home station due to malfunctions.
No further interception acitivities were undertaken. All targets disappeared from scopes at approximately 0330Z.
10. [Location of any air traffic in the area at time of sighting] Other aircraft in the area were properly identified by radar and flight logs as being friendly.
11. [Position title and comments of the preparing officer, including his preliminary analysis of the possible cause of the sightings(s).] Paula W. Stimson, Capt. USAF, Intelligence Officer, 3910th ABGRU (SAC), RAF station Lakenheath, Suffolk, England.
All personnel interviewed and logs of RATCC lend reality to the existance of some unexplainable flying phenomena near this air field on this occasion. No Air Base; however, the controllers are experienced and technical skills were used in attempts to determine just what the objects were. When the target would stop on the scope, the MTI was used. However, the target would still appear on the scope.
All ground observers and reports from observers at Bentwaters agree on colour, maneuvers and shape of object.
My analysis of the sightings is that they were real and not figments if the imagination. The fact that three radar sets picked up the targets simultaneously is certainly conclusive that a target or object was in the air. The maneuvers of the object were extraordinary; however, the fact that radar and ground visual observations were made on its rapid acceleration and abrupt stops certainly lend credulance to the report.
It is not believed these sightings were of any meteorological or astronomical origins.
12. [Existence of physical evidence, such as materials and photographs]
[End of text of BOI-485]