Tuesday, March 12, 2013


A sighting which was difficult to investigate because it took place on military property and involved military personnel occurred on September 9, 1958, and we must rely entirely on published press statements by the principal.  Private Jerome A. Scanlon of Jersey City, New Jersey, was stationed at a Nike Base in Maryland, just seventeen miles from Washington, D.C.  On the night in question at 5:30 a.m. he reportedly was walking from the sentry post to his barracks to sound reveille when he heard a humming noise above him, looked up, and saw a teardrop-shaped object at about one hundred yards altitude and moving away very slowly.  He estimated its speed at about thirty miles per hour.

Scanlon's description is interesting because although that shape of UFO has often been reported in flight, his was the first report of such an object coming in for a landing.  He said it moved over trees, breaking branches in its path, and finally appeared to land about a mile and a half away from him.  Scanlon watched as the object rose again and seemed to disappear before his eyes.  He then ran to inform Riney Farris, the sergeant of the guard.

Investigation later proved that Farris had sighted the bullet-shaped object shortly after Scanlon did and was attempting to locate Scanlon when they finally made contact.  The two went to the area where the object had apparently landed and found broken branches on the ground and a scorched strip of earth and vegetation about a half mile long.

Scanlon claimed that he got a good, long look at the UFO, and described it as about the size of a medium plane and shaped like an oversized bullet which tapered to a blunt "tail."  Neither he nor Farris observed propellers or wings or portholes or hatches or anything which might indicate that it had a crew.  Exhaust flames were issuing from the rear of the thing as it approached the ground, and its luminous green skin lit up the surrounding terrain with a weird glow

The upshot of this incident was that Scanlon talked to the press about his sighting, it was verified by Farris, and he was invited to the Pentagon during the first week of October to describe his experience to "high brass," as the news stories put it.

On the day after the press story about Scanlon's proposed visit to the Pentagon, On October 8, to be precise, an Associated Press dispatch out of Washington, DC, said that the Air Force officials had hazarded a new explanation for the mysterious object.  They pointed out that repair trucks had been doing some welding jobs on high-tension wires near Derwood at the time and that the flashes caused by the torches could have been the basis for the report of the flaming object.

It is not known what the precise disposition of this particular case is, but it would seem that the flashes from welding torches would not account for a bullet-shaped thing first seen overhead, then observed as it followed a glide path to a landing a little over a mile away.

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