VANDALIA, ILLINOIS - 27 August 1951
The only information available on this incident is a newspaper article from "Vandalia Leader" of 30 August 1951.
"It wasn't a flying saucer! Nor was it a conventional type airplane! But whatever it was, it has aroused the curiosity of at least five persons who saw it soaring through the air Monday night.
"'It was a big orange light with blinding intensity when I first noticed it over the southwest corner of the airport,' Ray Williams told the Leader. 'I had just taxied out on the runway preparing to take a flight around the city when I noticed the light. It was between 8 and 8:30 p.m. I called over the radio to the CAA official on duty Albert Draocklec, and to Paul Reese [Air Force Base] and asked them to take a look.'
"'The lighted object disappeared into the west and we decided maybe there was nothing to it. So I decided to continue with my flight plans,' Williams stated.
"'Shortly after I had taken off I noticed the light again, approaching my plane. It came directly at me and then circled my plane twice before heading toward Greenville. I followed it and it made a circle round that town and came back toward Vandalia. I last saw it near the country club. The CAA radioed a transport pilot who was passing over Vandalia at the time at about 20,000 feet and he too saw the object.'
"'It was all very spooky,' the Vandalia airman said. 'It wasn't an airplane but whatever it was the light was on the tail of it, and there was a small red light on top. Probably it was some military craft from Scott Field making a test run.'
"The lighted object which appeared to have a 10 to 12 inch lens [sic, "length"?], was also seen by Dwight Kerns in St. Elmo the same evening."
Status of Investigation
An attempt will be made to obtain further information on this incident.