MICHIGAN – Reports have been released by the United States Air Force (USAF) that detail UFO sightings in Fort Smith.
John Greenewald, a UFO enthusiast, spent nearly 20 years filing Freedom of Information Act requests for the federal government’s files on UFOs, the USA Today reported. Thousands of reports from a project called “Project Blue Book” were released, according to the USA Today.
“Project Blue Book was based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Between 1947 and 1969, the Air Force recorded 12,618 sightings of strange phenomena — 701 of which remain ‘unidentified,” the USA Today reported.
UFO investigations included sightings in Michigan:
“It really gets your thinking," said John Ventre, with the Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON. “You can’t look at this stuff and say there’s nothing to it, it’s impossible.”
Ventre, who also hosts 'UFO Files' on the History Channel said, while enlightening, the documents released from Project Blue Book don't tell half the story.
“I think the public needs to know the whole story on Blue Book and that the best cases were never part of it. The ones that affected national security over military installations, power plants… those were never reported," he said.
“In the UFO community, Blue Book was nothing but a white wash of the UFO question.”
Michigan ranks in the 'Top 10' of states with the most UFO sightings since the 1950s with more than 2,400, according to the National UFO Reporting Center. California, ranked at the top of the list, has had more than 11,000.
One report filed on Aug. 15, 1966, states “Observers reported various lights in the sky (red, green and white in color), occasionally blinking and twinkling. Some of the lights were traveling in a southerly direction.”
The report goes on to state that local FAA towers reported objects resembling aircraft, and no radar paints of any unusual objects were reported by the FAA. No physical evidence was found, the report states.
Also included in the report are scanned stories from local newspapers with headlines like “SkyGazers See Something” and “Air Force Investigating Local Reports of UFOs."
Audio tapes with interviews on them concerning the sightings from August 1966 were also taken as part of the USAF investigation, but they were not included with the report.
On Sept. 7, 1966, a USAF memo was sent from the Little Rock Air Force Base further detailing the August 1966 UFO sightings. The memo describes the objects seen as:
- Circular in shape
- Pea size
- Red, green and white in color
- One to four traveling in a straight line
- Blinking white light that changed to a steady white light
Binoculars were used for a few of the sightings, the memo states. It also states all of the UFO sightings were made from the ground.
Sightings were recorded between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Aug. 16, 1966, according to the documents released.
One of the people noted as an observer of the UFOs in the reports is former Fort Smith police officer Sgt. J. W. Gilbreth, according to the memo.
“No military personnel were involved in the sightings. It was noted that hundreds of city and area personnel were witnesses to the sightings. However, all were not interviewed,” the memo states.
Weather conditions on the night of the UFO viewings were:
- Clear, no haze
- No reading taken on wind direction
- Apparently unlimited ceiling
- No cloud cover
- No storm areas
- Temperature was normal for the time of year (70-75 degrees)
“No unusual activities as far as meteorological conditions are concerned. No air traffic designated for the area,” according to the memo.
The memo states that 1,500 people around Fort Smith reported seeing UFOs in August 1966. It also states that the USAF did not attempt to formally interview more than two people (due to the large number of people who reported seeing UFOs). The UFO viewings were only noted in Fort Smith.
Another Fort Smith resident noted in the report that claimed to see a UFO was Jerry Baines with the FAA at the Fort Smith Municipal Airport.
To view the full report, click here.