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FLYING Magazing article: UFO sighting by pilots Adams and Anderson

Source: Curtis Fuller, FLYING Magazine, July 1950 (credit: Project 1947)


Summary: Excerpt from the 1950 article in FLYING magazine, discussing the sighting by Capt. Jack Adams and First Officer G.W. Anderson.

The night of March 31, 1950, was dark and clear. The Chicago and Southern Air Lines DC-3 had taken off a short while before from Memphis airport for a regularly scheduled flight to Little Rock, Ark. Off in the distance Capt. Jack Adams, 31, a veteran of 7,000 hours and seven years on the airline, could see the glow of lights that meant Little Rock, 40 miles away.

"There was only a small piece of moon showing," Adams said. "Our altitude was about 2,000 feet. Visibility and ceiling were unlimited. We could see 20 or 30 miles easily."

In the right hand seat was Co-Pilot G. W. Anderson, Jr., 30, a 6,000-hour veteran. Anderson and Adams knew the route perfectly, had flown it many times together

At exactly 9:29 p.m. Adams' attention was caught by a lighted, fast-moving object. "My God, what's that?" he asked.

Anderson looked up. "Oh no, not one of those things!" he said.

Unfortunately for his peace of mind it was " one of those things."


"It was about 1,000 feet above us and about a half mile away," Anderson told intelligence officers. "It zoomed at terrific speed (perhaps as much as 700-1,000 m.p.h.) in an arc ahead and above us, moving from south to north . . .

"This object remained in full view for about 30 seconds and we got a good look. It had no navigation lights, but as it passed ahead of us in an arc we could plainly see other lights -- as though from eight or 10 lighted windows or ports -- on the lower side.

"The lights had a fluorescent quality. They were soft and fuzzy, unlike any we'd seen before. The object was circular, apparently, and the lights remained distinct all the time it was in our view. There was no reflection, no exhaust, and no vapor trail. That's definite. "

Captain Adams added that "there was a bright white light flashing intermittently from the top of the thing. The speed attracted our attention first, that and the blinking light. It was the strongest blue white light we've ever seen.

As the object passed, its underside apparently was then exposed to the pilots because the blue-white light was obscured. The object then continued in a straight line and disappeared.

"I've been a skeptic all my life, but what can you do when you see something like that?" Adams said. "We both saw it and we were flabbergasted."

The night was so dark that neither Adams nor Anderson could detect any dark or solid outline to the object. They assume that it was circular only because the lighted "portholes" were arranged in a circle.

The two pilots told a Memphis Press-Scimitar staff writer:

"We tried not to be too fantastic in making our report. We sort of figured on the short side of everything. We never had been interested in these things before. In fact, frankly, we did not believe in them.

"The thing was not a shooting star or a comet. We know a comet, and we see shooting stars between Memphis and Houston all the time."


Article ID: 679


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