Email (fwd) from Dave Clarke to Joel Carpenter, Jan 14 2003
thought you might be interested to see this message I sent to Joel Carpenter.
----- Original Message -----
From: David Clarke <------>
To: joel carpenter <----->
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 9:20 AM
Subject: UFOs and U2
You may be interested in some information I received from a retired RAF Flight Lieutenant regarding a 'UFO' sighting which which he strongly suspects was a U-2 overflight -- it sounds very much like the sort of scenario described by Gerald Haines and Pendlow/Welzenbach.
I called this guy, Ron Richards, as part of my ongoing research into the Lakenheath-Bentwaters case of 1956 (he was a navigator with 23 Squadron based at Coltishall at the time). When I asked him about the UFO event there was a little silence, followed by a "oh, I thought you were going to ask me about the 'special' we saw."
Anyhow it turned out that although he could not recall the L-B case, he was involved in another incident around the same period (1957-59), whilst above the North Sea on practice interceptions. On this occasion, whilst at 20,000 feet he and the pilot sighted an 'aircraft' at possibly three times that height or more, directly above them and glinting in the sunlight. At first they believed it was a met balloon but on closer examination they could make out a fuselage and extended wings (sounds like a classic U-2).
According to Richards' story, they reported the incident as a "UFO" to their ground controller (the GCI radar station at Neatishead, Norfolk) and made a report, but were poo-pooed and ridiculed, and the incident was apparently not taken seriously. However, when the Gary Powers incident occurred and the presence of the U-2 in the UK was revealed they were assured 'on the Q-T' that this is what they had seen.
Of course we know that the U-2 was based at Lakenheath temporarily for a few months in 1956 before it moved to Germany. I came across some references in Cabinet Records for 1961-62 to the U-2 being based in UK again.
Richards has a note in his flying logbook of the date etc of the sighting and has promised to find and copy this at some point.
Interesting, isn't it?