intelligence officers from Kirtland decided that maybe they could get a good look at one of
them, so on the night of December 8 two officers took off in an airplane just before dark and began to cruise around north of Albuquerque. They had a carefully worked
out plan where each man would observe certain details if they saw one of the green fireballs. At 6:33P.M. they saw one. This is their report:
At 6:33P.M. while flying at an indicated altitude of 11,500 feet, a strange phenomenon was observed. Exact position of the aircraft at time of the observation was 20
miles east of the Las Vegas, N.M., radio range station. The aircraft was on a compass course of 90 degrees. Capt. ------ was pilot and I was acting as copilot. I first
observed the object and a split second later the pilot saw it. It was 2,000 feet higher than the plane, and was approaching the plane at a rapid rate of speed from 30
degrees to the left of our course. The object was similar in appearance to a burning green flare, the kind that is commonly used in the Air Force. However, the light
was much more intense and the object appeared considerably larger than a normal flare. The trajectory of the object, when first sighted, was almost flat and parallel
to the earth. The phenomenon lasted about 2 seconds. At the end of this time the object seemed to begin to burn out and the trajectory then dropped off rapidly. The
phenomenon was of such intensity as to be visible from the very moment it ignited.
Back at Wright-Patterson AFB, ATIC was getting a blow-by-blow account of the fireball activity but they were taking no direct part in the investigation. Their main
interest was to review all incoming UFO reports and see if the green fireball reports were actually unique to the Albuquerque area. They were. Although a good many UFO
reports were coming in from other parts of the U.S., none fit the description of the green fireballs.
All during December 1948 and January 1949 the green fireballs continued to invade the New Mexico skies. Everyone, including the intelligence officers at Kirtland AFB,
Air Defense Command people, Dr. La Paz, and some of the most distinguished scientists at Los Alamos had seen at least one.
In mid-February 1949 a conference was called at Los Alamos to determine what should be done to further pursue the investigation. The Air Force, Project Sign, the
intelligence people at Kirtland, and other interested parties had done everything they could think of and still no answer.
Such notable scientists as Dr. Joseph Kaplan, a world-renowned authority on the physics of the upper atmosphere, Dr. Edward Teller, of H-bomb fame, and of course Dr.
La Paz, attended, along with a lot of military brass and scientists from Los Alamos.
This was one conference where there was no need to discuss whether or not