INFORMATION REPORT IR-1-56
DATE OF INFORMATION 13 August
DATE OF COLLECTION 27 August 1956
DATE OF REPORT 31 August 1956
LOCATION OF ACTIVITY REPORTING
COUNTRY OR AREA CONCERNED
ACTIVITY SUBMITTING REPORT
81st Fighter Bomber Wing
Captain Edward L. Holt
NAME OR DESCRIPTION OF SOURCE
USAF Personnel, Bentwaters, England
REFERENCES (EAIR Subject, previous reports, etc. as applicable)
[nothing in this space]
SUBJECT (Descriptive title. Use individual reports for separate subjects) (Unclassified) Unidentified Flying Objects Reporting (UFOB)
SUMMARY (Give summary which highlights the salient factors of narrative report. Begin narrative text on AF Form 112e unless report can be fully stated on AF Form 112. List inclosures, including number of copies)
Between 2120Z and 2200Z, 13 August 1956, Unidentified Flying Objects were reported observed visually and by ground electronic means by USAF personnel stationed at RAF Station Bentwaters, England.
Most significant are the reports of three courses of UFOBS tracked on the Bentwaters GCA Radar. These UFOBS flew courses as follows: 1 group of 12 to 15 UFOBS from a point 8 miles SW of Bentwaters to approximately 40-45 miles NE of Bentwaters at an estimated speed of 80 to 125 miles per hour; a single UFOB was tracked by the Bentwaters GCA from approximately 25 miles SE of Bentwaters to approximately 15 miles NW of Bentwaters at a speed estimated at more than 4,000 miles per hour; a third UFOB was reported as tracked by the Bentwaters CCA from approximately 30 miles E. of Bentwaters flying a westerly course to about 30 miles west of Bentwaters at an exceptionally high speed.
The GCA operators making these radar sight ings were of the opinion that malfunctions of the GCA Equipment did not cause these radar sightings.
ORVILLE E BIXEL
Wing Intelligence Officer
DISTRIBUTION BY ORIGINATION (Except USAF and file. Indicate Dupl M/oz and copies w/o inclosures, if applicable)
Hq USAFE, APO 633, N.Y., N.Y., I cy
Hq Third Air Force, APO 155, N.Y., N.Y., I cy
The following information was obtained from USAF personnel assigned to RAF Station, Bentwaters, England concerning visual and radar sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects in the vicinity of their assigned station during the period 2120Z to 2220Z, 13 August 1956. The reliability of all the following sources of information is estimated to be usually reliable.
On 27 August 1956 the following information concerning subject Unidentified Flying objects was received irom S/Sgt Lawrence S. Wright, Control Tower Shift Chief, l264th AACS Squadron, RAF Station Bentwaters, England.
Sgt Wright indicated that his attention was first called to the object by its position, size and unusual color. He was also aware that the Bentwaters GCA was tracking Unidentified Flying Objects by radar at this time. Sgt Wright described the UFOB as spherical and the size of a pin-head held at arms length. He sighted only one object which was described as amber color when first observed later changing to bluish-white. No discernible details or features were observed and no sound from the object was noted. Sgt Wright sighted the object from the Bentwaters Control Tower visually with the aid of 7 x 50 power binoculars. Time of his sighting was between 2120Z and 2220Z, 13 August 1956. He indicated that the object was first observed at about 10° elevation toward the south east. The object was in sight for approximately one hour during which time it intermittently disappeared and reappeared. At the time of the object's disappearance, it was located approximately 40° above the horizon in south south-easterly direction. Light conditions during sighting: dusk to night. Sgt Wright indicated that the sky was clear with unlimited visibility during the time of this observation.
T/Sgt Elmer L. Whenry, GCA Operator, 1264th AACS Squadron, RAF Station Bentwaters, England reported the following information relative to subject Unidentified Flying Objects.
Sgt Whenry stated that l2 to 15 unidentified objects were tracked by the Bentwaters GCA (AN-MPN-11A) between 2130Z and 2155Z, 13 August 1956. This group was picked up approximately 8 miles southwest of RAF Station Bentwaters and were tracked on the radar scope clearly until the objects were approximately 14 miles northeast of Bentwaters. At the latter point on the course of these objects, they faded considerably on the radar scope. However, the I2 to 15 objects were tracked to a point about 40 miles N.E. of Bentwaters. At the approximate 40-mile range individual objects in this group appeared to converge into one very large object which appeared to be several times larger than a B-36 aircraft due to the size of the Blip on the radar scope. At the time that the individual objects seemed to converge into one large object, the large object appeared to remain stationary for 10 to 15 minutes. The large object then moved N.E. approximately 5 or 6 miles then stopped its movement for 3 to 5 minutes then moved north disappearing off the radar scope.
Sgt Whenry stated that the I2 to 15 unidentified objects were preceded by 3 objects which were in a triangular formation with an estimated 1800 feet separating each object in this formation. The other objects were scattered behind the lead formation of 3 at irregular intervals with the whole group simultaneously covering a 6 to 7 mile area. Prior to consolidation into one object 40 miles N.E. of Bentwaters. Course flown by this group of objects had slight deviations from S.W. to N.E.
Sgt Whenry added that these objects appeared as normal targets on the GCA scope and that normal checks made to determine possible malfunction of the GCA radar failed to indicate anything was technically wrong. Sgt. Whenry estimated that the unidentified objects in this group moved at the rate of between 80 and 125 miles per hour. He computed this speed by using the range margins on the GCA scope.
Sgt Whenry added that another UFOB was sighted on the GCA radar at about 2200Z, 13 August 1956. This object was tracked on the radar screen for approximately 16 seconds. Course of the object being tracked was from about 30 miles east of Bentwaters to approximately 55 miles west of this station. Speed of this object was estimated to be in excess of 4000 miles per hour. All radar returns appeared normal on the scope for this object except for the last return which seemed slightly weaker that the rest. Sgt Whenry explained that object suddenly disappeared off the radar screen by rapidly moving out of the GCA radiation pattern. Light conditions were night. Weather was clear with good visibility and light winds.
The following information pertaining to an Unidentified Flying Object sighted electronically on the Bentwaters GCA at 2130Z, 13 August 1956 was submitted by A/2C John L. Vaccare Jr, GCA Operator, 1264th AACS Squadron, RAF Station Bentwaters, England.
Airman Vaccare indicated that he tracked one Unidentified Flying Object on the Bentwaters GCA screen for approximately 30 seconds at 2130Z, 13 August 1956. The size of the Blip when picked up was that of a normal aircraft target. The Blip diminished in size and intensity to the vanishing point before crossing the entire radar screen.
The unidentified flying object was picked up at an estimated 25 to 30 miles east south-east o-f Bentwaters and -flew a constant course of 295° to the vanishing point on the scope which was 15 to 20 miles west north-west of Bentwaters at an undetermined altitude. Airman Vaccare estimated the speed of this object to be in the vicinity of 4000 miles per hour. This speed was calculated by comparing the speed of the object on the GCA scope with speeds that the operator is familiar with on the electronic simulator. A/2C Vaccare added that some idea of the speed of the object could be computed from the fact that each time the GCA antenna completed a revolution the Blip from this object moved 4 to 5 miles on the radar screen. The GCA antenna completes a revolution once every two seconds [N.B: this is wrong4 seconds is correct]. The weather was reported as clear with unlimited visibility.
Lts Metz and Rowe
On 30 August 1956 the following in-formation was received from 1st Lt Charles V. Metz and 1st Lt Andrew C. Rowe concerning their aerial search for subject unidentified flying objects. Lts Metz and Rowe are pilots assigned to the 512th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Bentwaters, England. The above named officers indicated that they were returning to Bentwaters from a T-33 flight about 2130Z, 13 August 1956. At this time they were vectored to the north-east of Bentwaters to search for unidentified flying objects which were being tracked by the Bentwaters GCA. Lts Metz and Rowe stated that they searched the areas to the north-east, east, and south-east of Bentwaters for approximately 45 minutes. Altitude of flight was between 2000 and 5000 feet. Results of this aerial search were negative. Both officers reported that they observed a bright star on the horizon to the east of Bentwaters which might have been mistaken for an Unidentified Flying Object by the visual observer [Sgt. Wright]. Lt. Rowe also stated that a flashing beacon was flashing through a low haze along the east coast of England from the vicinity of the village of Orford.
Weather report from the Bentwaters weather detachment for the period 2100Z to 2200Z, 13 August 1956 for the Bentwaters area follows:
Surface - Direction 230° velocity 5 - 10 knots
6000 ft - Direction 260° velocity 30 knots
10,000 ft - Direction 260° velocity 40 knots
16,000 ft - Direction 260° velocity 55 knots
20,000 ft - Direction 260° velocity 70 knots
30,000 ft - Direction 260° velocity 90 knots
50,000 ft - Direction 260° velocity 40 knots
ceiling: 25,000 ft
Visibility: 9 miles
No thunderstorms were located in the area of the sight ings.
Several aircraft were in the Bentwaters area at the time of these sightings but these could not have been mistaken for the Unidentified Flying Objects.
No physical evidence of the sightings is available.
EDWARD L HOLT
Air Targets Officer
[End of Air Intelligence Information Report IR-1-56.
Verbatim Transcript prepared by G. David Thayer 18 July 1987]