MacDill AFB Sighting

MacDill AFB Sighting

Date: August 1, 1952

Location: MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL

Triangulation radar fix, USAF, civil, Navy.

I ordered intercept by SAC B-29.

B-29 tracked object.

Central fire control system locked on, armed itself, prepared to fire.

Object then left area at estimated 4,600 mph.

At the time noted I was a Staff sergeant in SAC, 2nd Air Force, 6th Air Division.

Was volunteered to join a Captain as investigator of UFOs.

Captain handled off base sightings, they were more fun, and I was stuck with military cases.

This occurred at MacDill AFB, Tampa.

About 9:30 p.m. one night, I received a call from the Base Operations officer, a Lieutenant colonel.

He was a little miffed to be reporting to an enlisted man but such are the curiosities of the military.

The Captain was out of town.

The Lieutenant colonel reported that a UFO was cruising over the base at 40,000', 4,600 mph.

This was serious, we had A-bombs at MacDill.

I determined there was no civil traffic within 300 miles.

The object was being radar tracked by MacDill, the Navy, and Tampa civil.

I determined there was our B-29 on a downwind leg to land.

He had 5 hours fuel left.

I ordered the pilot to up his gear and take a look-see.

At midnight the pilot reported that he had tried to close with the object.

He was at 20,000' the object at 40,000'.

Of course, the B-29 was woefully slow but as he turned toward the UFO his central fire control system radar locked on the target, armed itself, and prepared to fire.

At that moment the UFO changed course and left the area at an estimated 4,600 mph.

Next morning the pilot reported to my office.

He was a full Colonel, a command pilot with 27,000 hours in the air.

One of the top men in SAC.

He gave me his preliminary report and said he would send his waist scanner, a Master sergeant down to supply details.

The whole crew saw it, a bright white oval light.

A hard radar target.

Since I had no orders to the contrary, I printed the story in the base newspaper and offered it to the Tampa newspaper.

Believe it or not they turned it down, refusing to print it because the Master sergeant was black.

Associated Press found out and was furious, and sent a man out to get the details.

Another oddity being just before the Colonel came to my office I received a TWX from the Pentagon.

From a general.

It said:

Any of our people who see flying saucers have holes in their heads.

That Colonel yelled:


In the loudest and most authoritative tone I've ever heard.

Eventually the Captain wrote a report of the more than 1,800 sightings we handled.

A large number, more than 280, were absolute unknowns.

That report stated that:

In our opinion we have no option but to conclude that we are under surveillance by intelligent life of extraterresrial origin.

I also signed that report.

I remember the Captain said:

This report will never see the light of day.

He was right.

For the record I served 3 years in USAF, later worked as a reporter/city editor, and spent 7 years with NBC-TV.

I was a reporter/producer of news documentaries and won 6 national awards including 3 Emmys.

I'm not a kook...yet.

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