The 1952 Sighting Wave
Radar-Visual Sightings Establish UFOs
As A Serious Mystery
By Richard Hall
(Revised version adapted from the Journal of UFO History for the NICAP web site.)
Map of sightings, courtesy of Larry Hatch's *U* Database at http://www.larryhatch.net/YDAY52.html
Created Dec 15, 2005, updated: 10 May 2012
This is a 54-page comprehensive and qualitative effort and it will take many months, if not years, to get active links to cases all in place. Sixty additional case links were added on July 7. With the help of William Wise (Project Blue Book Archive), and Dan Wilson (digging out the cases from my checklist), the task was much easier. But without Brad Sparks' Comprehensive Catalog of Project Blue Book Unknowns, the entire project would have been impossible. Sparks also provided several historic entries. And our thanks go to Jean Waskiewicz who created the online NICAP DBase (NSID) that helped make it possible to link from the cases to the reports themselves. Others who provided information are also noted with their contributions. (Items on the Chop clearance list are coded "CCL"). But none of this would be complete without the story behind the wave of 1952, as told by none other than Richard Hall.
On March 2, 1950, a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) meeting focused on establishing goals for a minimum air defense by 1952. The followoing month at a USAF Commanders Conference at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, planners familiarized commanders with the thinking behind the plan of minimum defense as welll as with its contents. Referred to as the Blue Book Plan, it stipulated that a minimum air defense could be in place by mid-1952. It was estimated that July 1, 1952, as the critical date when the Soviets would pose a dangerous threat. General Charles Cabell expected the Soviets to have between 45 and 90 atom bombs and 70 to 135 Tu-4 bombers (copied B-29s) by that time. Was there a nuclear connection between this threat and the massive UFO sighting wave of 1952 and the events over Washington in July?
The summer 1952 UFO sighting wave was one of the largest of all time, and arguably the most significant of all time in terms of the credible reports and hardcore scientific data obtained. Electromagnetic (EM) effects and physical trace evidence were more prominent in other waves, but 1952 (and 1953) featured recurring radar detection of UFOs, often from both ground and airborne radar, visual sightings by jet interceptor pilots sent up to pursue the mysterious objects, and cat-and-mouse chases in which the UFOs seemed to toy with the interceptors. Further, Air Force investigators who plotted the sightings noticed that they were concentrated around strategic military bases, and this clearly posed a threat to national security since their origin was unknown. Senior generals in the Air Force concluded that UFOs were interplanetary in origin, and broadly hinted this belief in LIFE magazine for April 1952.