MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. - 11 October 1951
The only information available on this incident is a letter quoted below.
"TIME: 0630, 11 Oct 51. Dick Reilly and I were flying at 10,000 ft. observing the grab bag balloon when I saw a brightly glowing object to the S.E. of U. of M. Airport. At that time we were a few miles north of Minneapolis and heading east. I pointed it out to Dick and we both made the following observation:
"The object was moving from east to west at a high rate and very high. We tried keeping the ship on a constant course and using reinforcing member of the windshield as a point. The object moved past this member at about 50 degrees per second.
"This object was peculiar in that it had what can be described as a halo around it with a dark undersurface. it crossed rapidly and then slowed down and started to climb in lazy circles slowly. The pattern it made was like a falling oak leaf inverted. It went through these gyrations for a couple minutes and then with a very rapid acceleration disappeared to the east. This object, dick and I watched for approximately five minutes.
"I don't know how to describe its size, because at the time I didn't have the balloon in sight for a comparison.
"Shortly after this we saw another one, but this one didn't hang around. It approached from the west and disappeared to the east, neither one leaving any trace of vapor trail.
"When I saw the second one I called our tracing station at the U. of M.. Airport and the observers there on the theodolite managed to get glimpses of a number of them, but couldn't keep the theodolite going fast enough to keep them in the field of their instruments. Both Doug Smith and Dick Dorian caught glimpses of these objects in the theodolite after I notified them of their presence by radio."
Status of Investigation
Further details of the incident have been requested. The sources have been investigated and are known to be experienced high altitude balloon observers with General Mills balloon projects.