1965 - One of the Largest UFO Flaps in History
Thousands of reports rolled in across the central plains over a three day period from July 31, 1965 through August 2, 1965. Some reports claim that the flap lasted for longer and extended beyond the 7 main states where sightings were taking place. What prompted such a concentrated amount of sightings in the region back in the 60s?
7 States, 3 Nights, Thousands of Reports
The end of July into the beginning of August of 1965 saw the beginning of a massive flap over the central plains where thousands of unexplained sightings were reported within a matter only a few days. This 3 day period represents one of the highest concentrations of UFO sightings in recent history, but has largely failed to capture public attention like some of the more publicized single encounters. The reports kicked off on the night of July 31st, when officer Lewis Sikes of the Wynnewood Police Department spotted a strange blue green object with a rotating center just Northeast of his location. Nearby Tinker Air Force Base and Carswell Air Force Base in Texas both acquired a radar signal from the object at 8,000 feet just 15 Miles Southwest of Tinker and tracked it to a position 29 miles South of Tinker before losing signal. The sightings were just kicking off and the first night had already produced impressive response having been logged by both law enforcement and 2 separate military bases.
The following night on August, 1st, there was a steady stream of sightings pouring in from around central Oklahoma. By around 9 PM, Oklahoma Highway Patrol had received over 20 calls about a multicolored object seen in the Western sky. It was performing incredible maneuvers and heading in the direction of Oklahoma City. Citizens began congregating at the Police Tower on the north side of town, hoping to get a glimpse. At this time, Tinker Air Force base began tracking 4 unknown objects on their radar, flying at an altitude of 22,000 feet and traveling at speeds up to 200 miles per hour. By 10 PM a report came in about a man and wife who witnessed a 30 foot long domed object flying at approximately 8,000 feet heading toward the Southwest. By 11 PM, another object is spotted over El Reno, located west of Oklahoma City. It was flying in an Easterly heading and was witnessed by the group who has gathered at the police tower which included 6 Highway Patrolmen and the Director of the International UFO Bureau. They described the object as a white light with a green glow and flashing red, white, and blue lights. By Midnight, Officer Joel Cobb and Officer Chuck Jones, both of the Edmond Police Department, also had separate sightings of unexplained lights in the sky over the area.
An hour and a half later, an object is spotted over Tulsa, Oklahoma located about 100 miles northeast of the city, and this time, there is photographic evidence. Project Blue Book investigated this sighting under Case Number 9966. Despite the thousands of witnesses dispersed across 7 different states that night including Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming, only the Tulsa sighting is known to have produced any photographic evidence of the encounters over Oklahoma. Despite all of the confirmation from Air Force, Law Enforcement, and hundreds, if not thousands of everyday citizens, that objects were being seen across the region, the Air Force Official in charge of investigating the Alan Smith photo still concluded that it was an “Explained” case.
The next day, the Associated Press released an article highlighting the sightings it read in part:
"Most of the flying objects reported seen in Oklahoma were over the central section of the state. Reports of similar sightings came from police in New Mexico and Texas. Police in Hobbs, N.M., near the Texas border, said a round, white object with an orange tail was seen there, moving west. A police dispatcher at Carlsbad, N.M., about 69 miles west of Hobbs, said she saw a similar object, and Artesia City, N.M., police, 36 miles northwest of Carlsbad, received four reports of a bright red trail passing overhead to the northeast. Police at Amarillo, Borger and Dalhart, Tex., received hundreds of telephone calls from persons who said they saw flashes in the sky. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said it received 25 to 30 reports of sightings, many by police officers and patrol troopers. The flying objects were reported over Purcell, Norman, Chandler, Shawnee and Meeker areas, all in central Oklahoma. Descriptions of the flying objects varied. Some reports said the objects were reddish in color, others said they were white or blue. One report from Shawnee said four of the objects appeared to be flying in a diamond shaped formation. A Liberal, Kan., man reported to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol headquarters in Guymon, in the Oklahoma Panhandle, that he saw what looked like a large comet shooting across the sky over the area of Forgan, east of Guymon. Melton Smith of Bartlesville in north central Oklahoma saw what he first thought was a burning plane about to crash near Bartlesville. No trace of a plane crash could be found in the area and Smith said later it could have been either a plane or a large meteor. "
There were also multiple reports coming out of Ardmore, OK the same night. The objects threw off a greenish metallic glow while emitting red, white and blue lights. They appeared to be saucer, or cone shaped and spun like a top. Ardmore Police Department reported that ham radio operators had been watching them for hours. The objects were reported to zip around the sky, and at times line up horizontally, dipping as low as tree top level. The objects were seen in the nearby towns of Lake Murray Lodge, near Dickson, Springer, Durant, Marietta, Madill and Kingston. The Ardmore Highway Patrol reported that a jet and helicopter were sent up from Perrin Air Force Base in Sherman, Tex., but they did not receive a report to confirm that the crafts had intercepted the UFO. Air Force officials from Sherman, Fort Worth and Wichita Falls reported that they had been unable to pick up the objects with radar although Tinker had been able to track 4 of them.
During the chaos of the night, reports of the mysterious objects were also coming in from Ent Air Force Base in Colorado, where 5 military members and 1 civilian reported seeing multiple bright silver objects flying approximately 9 miles apart. They slowly started moving closer to each other until only 4 miles was seen between them. Each object was observed for periods of time up to 30 minutes, but the sightings were dismissed by the Air Force as being stars.
Sometime during the night of August 1st, a TWA 707 was flying over the area of Topeka Kansas, when they started picking up multiple targets on their Air Intercept Radar. The pilot, co-pilot, and engineer tracked 12-15 objects on their 20 miles scope as they flew directly towards them in formation. The crew watched as they passed directly by the targets, but were not able to visibly see the objects responsible for the radar returns.
An investigation was launched by Blue Book to get to the bottom of the outbreak of sightings taking place over the course of July 31st through August 2nd. In the end, they concluded that the majority of sightings could be attributed to misidentifications of stars of the planet Jupiter. I think anyone would be hard pressed to describe the planet Jupiter as appearing to be multiple objects at once, or flying at 22,000 feet, or able to be tracked on radar.
In the same vane, Robert Risser, the director of the Oklahoma Science Arts Foundation Planetarium weighed in on the Air Force findings. His analysis showed that Jupiter wasn’t even visible from Oklahoma City during the time of the sightings, although meteors could account for at least some of the reports. He states: “That is as far from the truth as you can get…These stars and planets are on the opposite side of the earth from Oklahoma City at this time of year.…The Air Force must have had its star finder upside-down during August.”