On 23 September 1951 at 0810 PST, an unidentified object was sighted over Long Beach, California. Four F-86 aircraft were scrambled and the object was sighted by them over Muroc, California. On attaining an altitude of 43,000 ft. the F-86's reported the object to be orbiting March AFB at an estimated altitude of between 50,000 ft. and 55,000 ft. The object appeared to be a swept wing, fighter type aircraft.
Unavailable at this time.
Status of investigation
Radiosonde balloons were released from San Diego, Long Beach and Santa Maria, California at approximately 0700 PST. All of these weather balloons were checked by OSI personnel and although the balloons were released all weather station personnel stated that it would be very doubtful if their balloons would have traveled the course that the object traveled.
All of the major aircraft factories and installations conducting experimental flight tests were contacted. No experimental aircraft airborne at the time of the sighting.
Additional information has been requested as to additional details of the incident such as times and locations during the attempted interception by the F-86's and other possible balloon launching.
See also the second status report, as the Air Force wrote in it:
"The first report of this incident, which appeared in Status Report No. 1, proved to be incomplete and misleading. Further investigation has corrected the discrepancies and the following account of the incident is considered to be accurate."