to astronomical charts, there were no exceptionally bright stars where the UFO was seen over the range station, however. And I heard from a good source that the tower men
had been "persuaded" a bit. )
Then the pilot of the F-94C changed his mind even after he'd given the press and later told me his story about vainly trying to intercept unidentified lights. In an
official report he says that all he saw was a ground light reflecting off a layer of haze.
Another question mark arose about the lights that the airline pilots saw. Months after the sighting I heard from one of the pilots whom the ARTC controllers called to
learn if he could see a UFO. This man's background was also impressive, he had been flying in and out of Washington since 1936. This is what he had to say:
The most outstanding incident happened just after a take-off one night from Washington National. The tower man advised us that there was a UFO ahead of us on the take-
off path and asked if we would aid in tracking it down. We were given headings to follow and shortly we were advised that we had passed the UFO and would be given a
new heading. None of us in the cockpit had seen anything unusual. Several runs were made; each time the tower man advised us we were passing the UFO we noticed that we
were over one certain section of the Potomac River, just east of Alexandria. Finally we were asked to visually check the terrain below for anything which might cause
such an illusion. We looked and the only object we could see where the radar had a target turned out to be the Wilson Lines moonlight steamboat trip to Mount Vernon.
Whether there was an altitude gimmick on the radar unit at the time I do not know but the radar was sure as hell picking up the steamboat.
The pilot went on to say that there is such a conglomeration of lights around the Washington area that no matter where you look you see a "mysterious light."
Then there was another point: although the radars at Washington National and Andrews overlap, and many of the targets appeared in the overlap area, only once did the
three radars simultaneously pick up a target.
The investigation brought out a few more points on the pro side too. We found out that the UFO's frequently visited Washington. On May 23 fifty targets had been
tracked from 8:00 p.m. till midnight. They were back on the Wednesday night between the two famous Saturday- night sightings, the following Sunday night, and again the
night of the press conference; then during August they were seen eight more times. On several occasions military and civilian pilots saw lights exactly where the radar
showed the UFO's to be.
On each night that there was a sighting there was a temperature inversion but it