According to our weather records, on the night of July 12 it was hot in Chicago. At nine forty-two there were at least 400 people at Montrose Beach trying to beat the
heat. Many of them were lying down looking at the stars, so that they saw the UFO as it came in from the west northwest, made a 180-degree turn directly over their
heads, and disappeared over the horizon. It was a "large red light with small white lights on the side," most of the people reported. Some of them said that
it changed to a single yellow light as it made its turn. It was in sight about five minutes, and during this time no one reported hearing any sound.
One of the people at the beach was the weather officer from O'Hare International Airport, an Air Force captain. He immediately called O'Hare. They checked on balloon
flights and with radar, but both were negative; radar said that there had been no aircraft in the area of Montrose Beach for several hours.
I sent an investigator to Chicago, and although he came back with a lot of data on the sighting, it didn't add up to be anything known.
The next day Dayton had its first UFO sighting in a long time when a Mr. Roy T. Ellis, president of the Rubber Seal Products Company, and many other people, reported a
teardrop-shaped object that hovered over Dayton for several minutes about midnight. This sighting had an interesting twist because two years later I was in Dayton and
stopped in at ATIC to see a friend who is one of the technical advisers at the center.
Naturally the conversation got around to the subject of UFO's, and he asked me if I remembered this specific sighting. I did, so he went on to say that he and his wife
had seen this UFO that night but they had never told anybody. He was very serious when he admitted that he had no idea what it could have been. Now I'd heard this
statement a thousand times before from other people, but coming from this person, it was really something because he was as anti-saucer as anyone I knew. Then he
added, "From that time on I didn't think your saucer reporters were as crazy as I used to think they were."
The Dayton sighting also created quite a stir in the press. In conjunction with the sighting, the Dayton Daily Journal had interviewed Colonel Richard H. Magee, the
Dayton-Oakwood civil defense director; they wanted to know what he thought about the UFO's. The colonel's answer made news: "There's something flying around in
our skies and we wish we knew what it was."
When the story broke in other papers, the colonel's affiliation with civil defense wasn't mentioned, and he became merely "a colonel from Dayton." Dayton was
quickly construed by the public to mean Wright- Patterson AFB and specifically ATIC. Some people in the Pentagon screamed while others