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The Bethune Flight 124 airmiss in 1951:

U.S. Naval Reserve Lieutenant Graham Bethune, co-pilot on Flight 125 from Keflavik, reported:

"While flying in the left seat on a true course of 230 degrees at a position of 49-50 North and 50-03 West, I observed a glow of light below the horizon about 1,000 to 1,500 feet above the water. We both observed its course and motion for about 4 or 5 minutes before calling it to the attention of the other crew members... Suddenly its angle of attack changed, its altitude and size increased as though its speed was in excess of 1,000 miles per hour. It closed in so fast that the first feeling was we would collide in midair. At this time its angle changed and the color changed. It then [appeared] definitely circular and reddish orange on its perimeter. It reversed its course and tripled its speed until it was last seen disappearing over the horizon. Because of our altitude and misleading distance over water it is almost impossible to estimate its size, distance, and speed. A rough estimate would be at least 300 feet in diameter, over 1,000 miles per hour in speed, and approached to within 5 miles of the aircraft."

Table of content:

Click! The case, general information.
Click! The Air Intelligence Report page 1 of 2.
Click! The Air Intelligence Report, page 2 of 2.
Click! Project record card.
This page. Fleet logistic report by witness Fred W. Kingdon (This page).
Click! Letter to CG, AMC, by Colonel S. Harris.
Click! Letter from North East Air Command: all experienced North Atlantic flyers.
Click! Radio Note from J.J. Rogers to Colonel Harris of Wright Patterson AFB..
Click! Major Keyhoe of NICAP's story.
Click! Dominique Weinstein's case summary.
Click! Graham E. Bethune's public testimony at Washington Disclosure conference 2001.
Click! Other sightings in that area.
Click! Letter from North East Air Command: weather clear, no planes.
Click! The Parrot letter; explaining it away: it was a meteor, or Northern Lights (This page).
Click! Drawings by witnesses.
Click! References.

Picture of a Navy R5D transport. The R5D is a variant of the C-54 transport, whose civilian version is known as the Skymaster.

Fleet Logistic Air Wing, report by Fred W. Kingdon:



10 February 1951

MEMORANDUM REPORT to Commanding Officer, Air Transport Squadron ONE

Subj: Report of Unusual Sighting on Flight 125/9 February 1951

At 0055Z on 10 February 1951 while serving as second Plane Commander on above flight, I was an eye witness to an unusual sighting of an un -identified object. This occurrence took place at approximately 49-50 N and 50-03 W, which is approximately 200 miles north east of Argentia, Newfoundland. We were at 10,000 feet altitude cruising on a true course of about 230 degrees at time of incident.

At the time of the sighting I was occupying the right hand (copilots) seat and the left hand (pilots) seat was occupied by Lieutenant G. E. BETHUNE.

My attention was first called to the occurrence by Mr. BETHUNE, who asked me to look at an unusual light which was to my right. I then saw that there was a glowing light beneath a thin layer of strato-form clouds beneath us. This light was to my right and down at an angle of about 45 degrees. This object appeared to lie on the surface and was throwing a yellowish orange glare through the cloud deck. It appeared to be very large and I first thought that it could be a large ship completely illuminated.

Mr. BETHUNE and I watched the object for several minutes in trying to determine its nature. We then called our Navigator, Lieutenant N. J. P. KOGER to the cockpit to scrutinize the object and render his opinion as to its nature.

While further observing the object I saw that it suddenly started ascending through the cloud layer and it then became quite bright. The object was very large and was circular with a glowing yellow-orange right around its outer edge. This object appeared to be climbing and moving at a tremendous speed, and it appeared to be on a more or less collision course with our aircraft. When it appeared that there was a possibility of collision the object appeared to make a 180 degree turn and disappeared over the horizon at a terrific speed. During the course of events LTJG A. L. JONES had come to the cockpit and he made a turn in the direction of the object but it went out of sight in a short period of time.

Due to the fact that this object was seen over water at night it would be most difficult for me to estimate speed, size or distance we were from it during the course of events. However, the speed was tremendous and the size was at least 200 to 300 feet in diameter. The object was close enough to me to see and observe it clearly.

Upon request, I will attempt to submit a more detailed and complete report of my observations.

Upon arrival at NAS, Argentia, I was contacted by Capt. D. H. PAULSEN, USAF, who interrogated me relative to the subject.

[Signed] Fred W. KINGDON, Jr.
Lt., U. S. Navy

Fac simile of the report:


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This page was last updated on October 10, 2001.