70 years ago, ND pilot chased UFO


When  it comes to UFO stories, North Dakota has its share, one of which ranks up with the best that have yet to be adequately explained.

On Oct. 1, 1948, a World War II veteran pilot and member of the North Dakota Air National Guard, engaged in a 27-minute chase and “battle” over the skies of Fargo.

What makes this encounter especially interesting is the length of the encounter and the fact that other witnesses recorded the event on the ground and in the air.

The gist of the incident is this: Former fighter pilot George Gorman was taking part in a cross-country flight with other National Guard airmen.

The group, except for Gorman, landed at Hector Airport — Gorman wanted to get in some nighttime flying experience before landing.

Around 9:00 p.m., Gorman saw what looked like the flashing taillight of another aircraft passing by.

“It was about six to eight inches in diameter, clear white and completely without fuzz at the edges,” he wrote in his report. “It was blinking on and off. As I approached, however, the light suddenly became steady and pulled into a sharp left bank.”

He tried following the light, but it was moving faster than his P-51 Mustang plane.

Then the light, making sudden and rapid turns, played “chicken” with Gorman, coming in straight at him.

The first time, Gorman dove to avoid hitting the object.

The second time, the object came at him and, at the last second, abruptly shot upward, not to be seen again.

The strange UFO was also seen by two air traffic controllers in the Hector Airport tower, two Civil Aeronautics Authority employees and a pilot and passenger in a Piper Cub airplane flying near Gorman and the airport.

After an investigation, authorities concluded what Gorman chased and everyone else saw was a lighted weather balloon that had been launched 10 minutes before Gorman saw and chased his UFO.

You can read a more in-depth report about the encounter here.

You can also browse through the Project Blue Book files of the incident here.


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