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USAF letter 200-5:

This document is from the US Air Force. It requires that Air Force personal seriously report UFOs observations by civilians and gives the recommendations as how to report and to whom. This document is considered by many as a sufficient proof of the high importance of the UFO phenomenon in the eyes of the military in 1952. The regulation applies in the US and also Canada. Interestingly the Air Force's public opinion on the subject of UFOs at that time was often not that they are a phenomenon of high importance but that only alcoholics and crackpots see UFOs. An important point in that Letter is the definition of UFOs: a UFO here is not a foreign country's airplane. And indeed, FLYOBRPTS (Flying Objects Reports) that were then made according to this Letter are not reports of soviet spy planes, but reports of airborne objects "which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features," do "not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type."

AFL 200-5

This is the Air Force Letter 200-5 original text. The formatting was changed for consistency with this site's design, the text itself was not changed in any way. Anyone can get copies of it and authentication is easy, the Canadian state for example answers positively on requests for copies of this document who is currently declassified.

No. 200-5 WASHINGTON, 29 APRIL 1952

(Unclassified) Unidentified Flying Objects Reporting (Short Title: FLYOBRPT)
(Effective until 29 October 1953 unless sooner rescinded or superseded)

Purpose and Scope - 1
Definition - 2
Background - 3
Guidance - 4
Responsibility - 5
Material Evidence - 6
Reports - 7

1. Purpose and Scope.

This Letter sets forth Air Force responsibility and reporting procedures for information and materiel pertaining to unidentified flying objects. All incidents observed by Air Force personnel or received at any Air Force installation from a civilian source will be reported in accordance with this Letter, except that all airborne sightings by Air Force personnel, Civilian Air Patrol, and regularly scheduled United States airline pilots will also be reported as provided by JANAP 146 series (CIRVIS).

2. Definition.

Unidentified flying objects, as used in this Letter, relates to any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features, does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type.

3. Background.

The Air Force has been conducting a continuous analysis of all reports of unidentified flying objects for the past several years. Analysis of these reports has neither proved nor disproved the possibility of the existence of such objects. The possibility of future development of some type of flying object, unconventional by present standards, dictates a continuing need for reports of observations.

4. Guidance.

Theodolite measurements of changes of azimuth and elevation and angular size are of great aid to the evaluation of reports. Interception, identification, and air search action may develop additional information important for evaluation purposes. These actions may be taken if appropriate and within the scope of existing air defense regulations.

5. Responsibility:

  • a. Analysis. The Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, has been designated the Air force activity responsible for conducting analysis of all information and material received.
  • b. Cooperation. All Air Force activities will assist ATIC in the development of pertinent investigations, including the furnishing if air and ground transportation, as may be requested by ATIC representatives and when feasible. Direct communication between ATIC and zone of interior activities is authorized when essential due to time and economic factors.
  • c. Reporting. Installation commanders are responsible for insuring that reports are initiated.

6. Material Evidence.

In the event any actual or suspected items of material pertinent to any unidentified flying object incident comes into the possession of any Air Force echelon, two actions will be taken without delay:

  • a. Safeguard the material carefully to prevent any defacing or alteration which would reduce its value for technical analysis.
  • b. Notify ATIC immediately and request shipping instructions or other special instructions as may be appropriate.

7. Reports.

Information relating to unidentified flying objects will be reported without delay. Originators will select the priority appropriate for each incident in accordance with its apparent importance as intelligence. Reports will be concerned with a single incident. Reports will be forwarded immediately by electrical means and confirmed and elaborated upon by a written report within three days.

  • a. The symbol FLYOBRPT will appear at the beginning of the text of electrical messages and will be used as subject of written reports to facilitate identification.
  • b. Security. Reports should not be classified higher than "Restricted" unless inclusion of data required by c and d below mandates a higher classification. Local publicity concerning this reporting and analysis activity is to be avoided.

R E S T R I C T E D 1


  • c. Electrical Means. Reports forwarded by this method will include, insofar as possible:
    • (1) A Brief description of the object(s); shape, size, color, number, formation if more than one, aerodynamic features, trail or exhaust, propulsion system, speed, sound, maneuvers, manner of disappearance, and other pertinent or unusual features.
    • (2) Time of sighting in 24-hour clock zonal time, and length of time observed.
    • (3) Manner of observation; visual or electronic, from air (give speed, altitude, and type of aircraft), or surface. Any type of optical or electronic equipment used should be described.
    • (4) Location of observer during sighting, given exact latitude and longitude as closely as feasible, and/or reference to a known landmark. Location of object(s) with respect to observer, giving distance, direction, and altitude.
    • (5) Identifying information of observer(s) and witness(es), estimate of reliability and experience, and any factors bearing on estimated reliability of the sighting.
    • (6) Weather and winds aloft conditions at time and place of sightings.
    • (7) Any activity or condition, meteorological or otherwise, which might account for the sighting.
    • (8) Existence of any physical evidence such as fragments, photographs and the like, of the sighting.
    • (9) Interception and identification action taken. (Such action may be taken whenever feasible, complying with existing air defense directives.)
    • (10) Location of any air traffic in the general area at the time of the sighting.
  • d. Written Reports. These reports will be submitted on AF Form 112, "Air Intelligence Information report," and will expand on the points enumerated in c above. photographs, sketches, and signed narrative statements of observers will be appended. Statements should be recorded in as great detail as possible, with particular attention given to times, angles of observations, locations, flight paths, etc., should be drawn on aeronautical charts or maps.
  • e. Channels:
    • (1) Electrical reports will be dispatched in multiple address to:
      • (a) Director of Intelligence, Headquarters USAF, Washington 25, D.C.
      • (b) Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, ATTN: ATIAA-2c
      • (c) Commanding General, Ent AFB, Colorado Springs, Colorado
      • (d) Appropriate major air command headquarters
    • (2) Written reports will be submitted through channels to:
      • (a) Director of Intelligence, Headquarters USAF, Washington 25, D.C. for ozalid-type reproduction and dissemination.
      • (b) Chief, Air Technical Intelligence Center, ATTN: ATIAA-2c, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, one copy for information.

By Order of the Secretary of the Air Force:
Chief of Staff, United States Air Force
Colonel, USAF
Air Adjutant General



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