Edwards Air Force Base, the supersecret test center in the Mojave Desert of California; in 1949 the
sightings centered in the midwest. None had panned out to be anything.
Then came the clincher.
On the night of August 23rd, shortly before midnight, reports of a UFO began to come in from the Mt. Healthy GOC observation post northwest of Cincinnati. Almost
simultaneously, Air Defense Command radar picked up a target in that area. A minute or two later the Forestville and Loveland GOC posts, also in Hamilton County, made
sightings. Now, three UFO's, described as brilliant white spheres, swinging in a pendulum-like motion, were on the ADC plotting boards- confirmed by radar. All pretext
of ignoring the UFO's was dropped and at 11:58P.M., F-84's of the Ohio Air National Guard were scrambled. They were over Cincinnati at 12:10A.M. and made contact.
Boring in at 20,000 feet, at 100% power, they closed but the UFO's left them as if they were standing still.
The battle in the Cincinnati sector was on.
Almost every night more UFO's were reported by the GOC. Attempts were made to scramble interceptors but there were no more radar contacts and a jet interceptor without
ground guidance is worthless.
At the height of this activity it was decided that more information was needed by the Air Defense Command. Maybe from a mass of data something, some kind of clue,
could be sifted out. The answer: establish a special UFO reporting post. The man to operate this post was tailor-made.
On September 9, Major Hugh McKenzie of the Columbus Filter Center contacted Leonard H. Stringfield in Cincinnati. Stringfield, besides being a very public minded
citizen, was also known as a level-headed "saucer expert." Sooner or later, usually sooner, he heard about every UFO sighting in Hamilton County. He was
given a code, "Foxtrot Kilo 3-0 Blue," which provided him with an open telephone line to the ADC Filter Center in Columbus. He was in business but he didn't
have to build up a clientele--it was there.
For the next few months Stringfield did yeoman duty as Cincinnati's one-man UFO center by sifting out the wheat from the chaff and passing the wheat on to the Air
Force. As he told me the other day, half his nights were spent in his backyard clad in shorts and binoculars. Fortunately his neighbors were broad-minded and the UFO's
picked relatively warm nights to appear.
Most of the reports Stringfield received were duds. He lost track of the number. The green, red, blue, gold and white; discs, triangles, squares and footballs which
hovered, streaked, zigzagged and jerked, turned out to be Venus, Jupiter, Arcturus and an occasional jet. A fiery orange satellite which