With the targets back at Washington the traffic controller again called Air Defense Command, and once again two F-94's roared south toward Washington. This time the
targets stayed on the radarscopes when the airplanes arrived.
The controllers vectored the jets toward group after group of targets, but each time, before the jets could get close enough to see anything more than just a light,
the targets had sped away. Then one stayed put. The pilot saw a light right where the ARTC radar said a target was located; he cut in the F-94's afterburner and went
after it, but just like the light that the F-94 had chased near Langley AFB, this one also disappeared. All during the chase the radar operator in the F-94 was trying
to get the target on his set but he had no luck.
After staying in the area about twenty minutes, the jets began to run low on fuel and returned to their base. Minutes later it began to get light, and when the sun
came up all the targets were gone.
Early Sunday morning, in an interview with the press, the Korean veteran who piloted the F-94, Lieutenant William Patterson, said:
I tried to make contact with the bogies below 1,000 feet, but they [the radar controllers] vectored us around. I saw several bright lights. I was at my maximum speed,
but even then I had no closing speed. I ceased chasing them because I saw no chance of overtaking them. I was vectored into new objects. Later I chased a single bright
light which I estimated about 10 miles away. I lost visual contact with it about 2 miles.
When Major Fournet finished telling me about the night's activity, my first question was, "How about the radar targets -- could they have been caused by
I knew that Lieutenant Holcomb was a sharp electronics man and that Major Fournet, although no electronics specialist, was a crackerjack engineer, so their opinion
meant a lot.
Dewey said that everybody in the radar room was convinced that the targets were very probably caused by solid metallic objects. There had been weather targets on the
scope too, he said, but these were common to the Washington area and the controllers were paying no attention to them.
And this something solid could poke along at 100 miles an hour or outdistance a jet, I thought to myself.
I didn't ask Dewey any more because he'd been up all night and wanted to get to bed.
Monday morning Major Ed Gregory, another intelligence officer at ATIC, and I left for Washington, but our flight was delayed in Dayton so we didn't arrive