The case of the Sightings over the capitol city in the summer of 1952 is among the UFO classics, and is often cited in reply to the question: "why don't UFOs just go to Washington?" These sightings remain controversial since the 'bebunkers' contend that the official position is correct: that temperature inversions caused the radar reflections, and some have gone so far as to contend that the inversions were responsible for the visual and radar-visual aspects of the sightings. The 'belivers' contend that the temperature inversions were present, but of insufficient magnitude to account for the radar and visual sightings. This appears to be the case from the official information available.

It is important to see that these famous sightings were part of a much larger UFO "flap;" many reports were recorded from all over the world in 1952. Quite a few of the Project Blue Book reports from 1952 are among those reports which remain classified "unknown," as indeed are the sightings over Washington DC July 26, 1952.

What this Web document contains is the text of Project Blue Book Case 1661, (12W2, 18/5A, Bx 35, RG 341 Records of the USAF (Project Blue Book) obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration, the text and illustrations of A PRELIMINARY STUDY OF UNIDENTIFIED TARGETS OBSERVED ON AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL RADARS (HTML), CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION Technical Development -Report No, 180, May 1953, (Report in .PDF format), and a partial list of reference materials

We've never seen this CAA report published anywhere else, but we must note that it concludes that the 'blips' seen on the Washingon DC radars in July 1952, were weather related effects. Also of note is that the report ignores the more famous incidents of July 26, 1952 and concentrates on Washington DC 'blips' of the previous weekend, and on radar observations in August 1952 and in locations other than Washington DC. This report makes its point partially by not treating the most important aspects.

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