This Month In UFO History
Some of the more interesting
sightings this month on the UFO Timeline
Compiled by James Neff for


December 1387

A "fire in the sky, like a burning and revolving wheel..." was seen in Leicester and Northamptonshire, England. The objects "emitted fire from above, and others in the shape of long, fiery beams".
December 16, 1742
On December 16, 1742, a member of the Royal Society in London was about to cross St. Jame's Park on his way home from a meeting when he saw a strange object in the sky while on his way home. He described the large, bright object as moving slowly and having a flame coming out the back. It had a frame on one end, "like bars of iron".
"...a light arose from behind the trees and houses, to the south and west, which at first I thought was a rocket, of large size. But when it rose 20 degrees, it moved parallel to the horizon, and waved like this - - he draws an undulating line -- and went on in the direction of north by east. It seemed very near, its motion was very slow. I had it for about half a mile in view. A light flame was turned backward by the resistance the air made to it. From, one end, it emitted a bright glare and fire like that of a burning charcoal. That end was a flame like bars of iron, and quite opaque to my sight. At one point, on the longitudinal frame, or cylinder, issued a train in the shape of a tail of light more bright at one point on the rod or cylinder; so that it was transparent for more than half of its length. The head of this strange object seemed about half a degree in diameter, and the tail near three degrees in length."
The observer signed himself "C.M.," probably preferring to remain anonymous to avoid the expected skepticism and scoffing of his fellow members. (Harold T. Wilkins, "Flying Saucers on the Attack," p. 206)

December 1948 - Early Sighting - Russia
Moscow, Russia. Above Moscow a number of longish, fish-shaped metal objects were seen, reflecting the sunlight. (Vallée, Anatomy of Phenomenon, page 54)
December 22, 1958 - Flying Saucer Witnessed & Photographed In Russia

In 1958 as Poland was in the middle of the first eastern UFO flap the press was overwhelmed by the amount of sightings and lowered their garde and quite a large number of cases was published. And for a short time the subject was not taboo. Some respected newspapers as Dookola Swiata, a monthly magazine for popular science, dared to present the possibility that these UFO sightings could be connected to ET's and little green men. Before this, thoughts like that were a one way ticket out of the scientific communion. Allthou articles about space-journeys, spacemen and MIB's was presented as Space Fables. One of those articles was about an incident in the Carpathian Mountains (an area with much UFO activity at the time) which caused a number of journalists to go to the site for research. But the article to come out of this work was modest. Even the news of a photographed UFO on December 22nd at Muszyn was treated in the same way.
1958. About 3:00 on December 22nd Dr. Stanislaw Kowalezewski took at photo (see picture) of a shimmering light coming from the clouds. Although he had no filter on his camera he took the photo through the window hoping the light would make the film record the orange glow. Dr. Kowalezewski said that he could see the road to Zegiestowa, the railway, the Poprad river and trhe top of the mountrains silluette bathing in orange light which was about 500 metres from his window. The negative has been examined by several experts which has found it to be genuine.
(Source: )

December 17, 1969 - Project 'Blue Book' Terminated

Following the recommendations of the Condon Committee and the National Academy of Sciences, the Secretary of the Air Force, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., announced on 17 December 1969 the termination of BLUE BOOK.
December 12, 1974 - Japanese Boys Photograph Saucer

December 12,1974 Obihiro City, Hokkaido, Japan. About noon, 11 year old twin brothers Yoshitsugu and Katsuji Iino were looking out of a back window of their home. They noticed a dark disc-shaped UFO hovering in the sky. One watched the object as the other brother ran for a camera. They took four color photos of the UFO before it disappeared into the cloudy sky.
December 1978 - Freedom of Information Act Used To Pry Open CIA UFO Files

Beginning in the mid-1970s, UFO researchers began using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request government, including CIA, documents on UFOs. Once again, the CIA mishandled the requests. After William Spaulding, head of Ground Saucer Watch, wrote in 1975 requesting UFO records, the CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator Gene Wilson wrote to Spaulding that the Robertson Panel was "the summation of the Agency interest and involvement in UFOs." As Haines states, "Wilson was ill-informed."
Not believing Wilson's statements, ufologists sued the CIA for records and won the release of about 800 pages in December of 1978. Since the CIA had, unwisely, been denying its inolvement in UFO matters, the media was surprised to learn how many documents were held by the agency. The New York Times claimed as a result that the CIA was probably secretly involved in the study of UFOs.
CIA Director Stansfield Turner was so upset by this that he asked his senior officers "Are we in UFOs?" He received a negative answer from his deputy and so moved to quash a new lawsuit asking for the withheld documents from the first release.Notwithstanding the reply Turner got, Haines found that the CIA continued a few activities during the 1980s. As he writes:
During the late 1970s and 1980s, the Agency continued its low-key interest in UFOs and UFO sightings. While most scientists now dismissed flying saucers [sic] reports as a quaint part of the 1950s and 1960s, some in the Agency and in the Intelligence Community shifted their interest to studying parapsychology and psychic phenomena associated with UFO sightings. CIA officials also looked at the UFO problem to determine what UFO sightings might tell them about Soviet progress in rockets and missiles and reviewed its counterintelligence aspects. Agency analysts from the Life Science Division of OSI and OSWR officially devoted a small amount of their time to issues relating to UFOs. These included counterintelligence concerns that the Soviets and the KGB were using US citizens and UFO groups to obtain information on sensitive US weapons development programs (such as the Stealth aircraft), the vulnerability of the US air-defense network to penetration by foreign missiles mimicking UFOs, and evidence of Soviet advanced technology associated with UFO sightings.
If I hadn't checked the calendar after reading this, I would have sworn this was 1952 and I was reading of CIA concerns about how UFOs could be used by the Soviets against the United States, as eventually expressed in the recommendations of the Roberson Panel report. Some things never change, at least during the Cold War. Haines notes that during this period, "Agency officials purposely kept files on UFOs to a minimum to avoid creating records that might mislead the public if released," and Haines says he found almost no documentation on CIA involvement with UFOs in the 1980s. This certainly is an effective method to circumvent FOIA, but it hardly leads to further confidence in the CIA.
Finally, in an intriguing footnote, Haines says that the "CIA reportedly is also a member of an Incident Response Team to investigate UFO landings, if one should occur. This team has never met." Say what? He offers no evidence for this statement, which, if true, belies the notion that the government completely ignores UFO reports.
In the end, Haines's article is not as revealing as press reports indicated, but it does open a window on CIA activities that have long been closed to the public. Perhaps its chief contribution will be the documents referenced in the footnotes which can now be specifically requested through FOIA by an enterprising UFO historian. His historical analysis is unremittingly pedestrian, but he does admit that CIA errors of commission and omission contributed directly to the notion of a UFO cover-up, and he demonstrates that there was indeed a cover-up, though not of spy planes, of a UFO crash near Roswell, norother events of similar import.
Another effect of Haines's article is a gradual shifting of media opinion toward granting greater credibility to the statements of UFO groups and investigators and a concomitant greater distrust in government claims about its UFO activities. This is all to the good and here the old phrase "better late than never" surely applies. Those wishing to acquire the full text of the article may download a copy from the CIA's Web site at (This site has since been removed from the CIA website.). Hard copies can be obtained from the Photoduplication Service, National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161. To expedite service, call the NTIS Order Desk at (703) 487-4650.
(Source: )
December 29, 1980 - A UFO Related Death? Betty Cash's Fatal UFO Encounter
Near New Caney, Texas, Betty Cash along with Vickie Landrum and her grandson traveling along a dark, rural road encountered a massive, diamond shaped UFO emitting tremendous bursts of heat and light from its underside, scorching the car they were in and leaving them with severe burns and trauma. The UFO was apparently escorted by - or followed by - many "Chinook" style (dual-rotors/blade) military helicopters. Betty Cash took her case to the air force and demanded satisfaction. She was stonewalled. Even the rural road where the incident took place was mysteriously repaved by neither state or federal highway crews for more than two miles to cover-up any evidence of the event. Witnesses said the road crews showed up and worked at night. Betty developed cancer and though treated successfully, she died of complications on precisely the same day, Dec. 29, 1999 she had her encounter. For more on the Betty Cash incident, see ...

Remembering UFO Casualty Betty Cash
Injuries Caused By UFO Claim Woman's Life
December 27-30, 1980 - Rendlesham Forest - The UK Roswell

When it comes to UFO cases, it doesn't get any better than the Rendlesham UK UFO encounter: A large air force base known for highly classified work; UFO tracked by radar at Heathrow; Living eye-witnesses of considerable reputation amd stature; tape recorded evidence from the scene by military personnel; numerous external reports of UFO sightings in the same area by towns people; phenomenal level of military cover up later exposed through freedom of information act.
In December of 1980 Rendledham/Bentwaters Air Force base and adjacent forest became the site of several extraterrestrial visitations clearly intended to be seen, reported and never forgotten.
Case info -- Early in the morning of 27 Dec 80 (approximately 0300L), two USAF security police patrolmen saw unusual lights outside the back gate at RAF Woodbridge. Thinking an aircraft might have crashed or been forced down, they called for permission to go outside the gate to investigate. The on duty flight chief responded and allowed three patrolmen to proceed on foot. The individuals reported seeing a strange glowing object in the forest. The object was described as being metallic in appearance and triangular in shape, approximately two to three meters across the base and approximately two meters high. It illuminated the entire forest with a white light. The object itself had a pulsating red light on top and a bank(s) of blue lights underneath. The object was hovering or on three legs. As the patrolmen approached the object, it maneuvered through the trees and disappeared. At this time the animals on a nearby farm went into a frenzy. The object was briefly sighted approximately an hour later near the back gate.
Halt took with him a team of specialists which included: Lieutenant Bruce Englund, Sergeant Monroe Nevilles, who operated the Geiger counter, and Master Sergeant Bobby Ball. The team was later joined by Airman First Class John Burroughs, who would be one of the principal figures in the investigation.
One of the patrolmen, Staff Sergeant Jim Penniston, later reported that, as they neared the object: "The air was filled with electricity. You could feel it on your skin as we approached the object."
After observing the object from a safe distance, Penniston also examined it at close range for some twenty minutes, actually touching the "smooth, black, glass-type fabric" and the strange symbols etched into its surface. Finally, the craft rose upwards and as quoted in the 'Strange But True?' interview, "It slowly started moving back, weaving in and around the trees. It got about 40 feet away, then it raised up into the air and it shot off as fast as you could blink. On the upper left side of the craft, was an inscription. It measured six inches high, of symbols. They looked familiar, but I couldn't ascertain why."
The next day, three depressions 1 1/2" deep and 7" in diameter were found where the object had been sighted on the ground. The following night the area was checked for radiation. Beta/Gamma readings of 0.1 milliroentgens were recorded with peak readings in the three depressions and near the center of the triangle formed by the depressions. A nearby tree had moderate (.05 - .07) readings on the side of the tree toward the depressions.
Lt. Colonel Halt insisted that an appropriate entry be made in the security police log. Halt's report did not end there, because the next night more activity occurred in Rendlesham Forest, pulling Halt away from his dinner:
Later in the night a red sun-like light was seen through the trees. It moved about and pulsed. At one point it appeared to throw off glowing particles and then broke into five separate white objects and then disappeared. Immediately thereafter, three star-like objects were noticed in the sky, two objects to the north and one to the south, all of which were about 10° off the horizon. The objects moved rapidly in sharp angular movements and displayed red, green and blue lights. The objects to the north appeared to be elliptical through an 8 - 12 power lens. They then turned to full circles. The objects to the north remained in the sky for an hour or more. The object to the south was visible for two or three hours and beamed down a stream of light from time to time.
The Halt document, one of the most important papers in the study of UFOs, states that patrolmen on the base encountered a "saucer-like" object in the forest adjacent to the military bases. Halt describes the craft as maneuvering through the forest's trees, and eventually disappearing into the sky. He further states that the next day's investigation found marks at the spot of the encounter, and abnormal levels of radiation. On the same night of the event, strange objects were observed performing aerial moves that defied the laws of physics. These lights divided into smaller lights, and eventually disappeared from view.
After years of speculation and theory, Colonel Halt released an 18-minute audio cassette that he states was made on the night of the encounter. On the tape could clearly be heard various senior officers , including Halt, communicating via walkie-talkies, as personnel tramped through the woods investigating the unusual craft. The voices are at times panic stricken, as they conveyed that a beam from the craft disabled electrical devices in the area for a time. Incredibly, the tape also relates that "video" and "still" photographs were taken of this strange object. (Source: Excerpted from

Read more on the Rendlesham/Bentwaters case...

Rendlesham 'X-Files' Released Under Freedom of Information Act
December 21, 1994 - Ridiculous Frauds Captivate Far Too Many

Phoney contactee, Carlos Diaz, likes to make bogus UFO videos using models and lights. Filmed so-called 'plasma ships' that are clearly models that no three-year-old would believe. Claimed that aliens lent him a tripod to take photos of their ships...did the aliens lend him all his fake photos and video too? Endorsed by Sean David Morton - a sure sign that it's a hoax. Has refused independent analysis of his 'evidence.' Diaz is Mexico's version of Billy Meier...
(Source: )
December 27, 2000
The first UFO seen by Stan (actual still image, right) was in the daytime at the location of Alameda and Jewel in west Denver (Lakewood). When first observed, (paraphrased here) "it was about 50 feet from Stan's car, directly above the level of power lines along the side of the road. It was keeping pace, just ahead of my moving car at about 40 miles per hour and in the air at a slight angle forward. The approximate size was that of a minivan. I slowed then stopped my car, as did other cars and their drivers observing this object. After a few moments, the object instantly "popped" to a higher height several hundred feet up, causing an intense "sonic boom" that was felt on my clothes and body. Other than this sonic "pop", the object made absolutely no sound. At this point the camera was ready to film, and the video was taken."
At least five other witnesses watched this object from the side of the road.
The object is seen from the side and slightly below (photo above). The top of the object is domed shaped, and six rotating smaller balls were along the lower edge. Stan commented that the underside of the object was the darkest black he had ever seen, as if it were a window to beyond the object itself, a "black hole", a look into infinity.

This strange shaped craft has been sighted and photographed/videotaped many times the world over. Below are several examples. (1) Nellis AFB - footage. 1994. (2) Eastern US/ September 11, 2002 (multiframe digital shots) (3) Anthony Woods, 2002 (video). Click numbers for further info or accessing footage.

(1) Nellis footage (mpeg)

(2) Daylight Craft

(3) Anthony Woods footage/UK



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