I've collected a few available reports of known UFO activity during the Korean War, including an incident where an American soldier was struck by a beam of light from a supposed UFO.
This text is an edited transcript of an interview between Mr. Francis P. Wall, a private first class (PFC) in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and John Timmerman, an associate of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) in Chicago, Illinois. The interview took place in January, 1987. Noted UFO researcher Richard F. Haines checked military records and found Mr. Wall listed as a Korean combatant in the infantry unit he names below. Haines also requested and received from Mr. Wall a drawing of the aerial object he claims to have seen. The drawing depicts a very typical "flying saucer." CNI News thanks John Timmerman for permission to reprint this text. Mr. Wall recounts his experience as follows:
"This event that I am about to relate to you is the truth, so help me God. It happened in the early Spring of 1951 in Korea. We were in the Army infantry, 25th Division, 27th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 'Easy' Company. We were in what is known on the military maps as the Iron Triangle, near Chorwon.
"It is night. We are located on the slopes of a mountain, below [which] there is a Korean village. Previously we have sent our men into this village to warn the populace that we are going to bombard it with artillery. On this night, we were doing just that. We had aerial artillery bursts coming in.
"We suddenly noticed on our right-hand side what appeared to be a jack-o-lantern come wafting down across the mountain. And at first no one thought anything about it. So we noticed that this thing continued on down to the village to where, indeed, the artillery air bursts were exploding. It had an orange glow in the beginning. We further noticed that this object was [so] quick that it could get into the center of an airburst of artillery and yet remain unharmed.
"[The] time element on this, I would say, [was] anywhere from, oh, forty-five minutes to an hour all told.
"But then this object approached us. And it turned a blue-green brilliant light. It's hard to distinguish the size of it; there's no way to compare it. The light was pulsating. This object approached us.
"I asked for and received permission from Lt. Evans, our campany commander at that time, to fire upon this object, which I did with an M-1 rifle with armor-piercing bullets. And I did hit it. It must have been metallic because you could hear when the projectile slammed into it.
"Now why would that bullet damage this craft if the artillery rounds didn't? I don't know, unless they had dropped their protective field around them, or whatever. But the object went wild, and the light was going on and off. It went off completely once, briefly. And it was moving erratically from side to side as though it might crash to the ground. Then, a sound -- we had heard no sound previous to this -- the sound of, like, diesel locomotives revving up. That's the way this thing sounded.
"And then, we were attacked. We were swept by some form of a ray that was emitted in pulses, in waves that you could visually see only when it was aiming directly at you. That is to say, like a searchlight sweeps around and... you would see it coming at you. Now you would feel a burning, tingling sensation all over your body, as though something were penetrating you.
"So the company commander, Lt. Evans, hauled us into our bunkers. We didn't know what was going to happen. We were scared. These are underground dugouts where you have peep holes to look out to fire at the enemy. So, I'm in my bunker with another man. We're peeping out at this thing. It hovered over us for a while, lit up the whole area with its light, and then I saw it shoot off at a 45 degree angle, that quick, just there and gone. That quick. And it was as though that was the end of it.
"But, three days later the entire company of men had to be evacuated by ambulance. They had to cut roads in there and haul them out. They were too weak to walk. They had dysentery. Then subsequently, when the doctors did see them, they had an extremely high white blood cell count which the doctors could not account for.
"Now in the military, especially the Army, each day you file a company report. We had a confab about that. Do we file it in the report or not? And the consensus was 'No.' Because they'd lock every one of us up and think we were crazy. At that time, no such thing as a UFO had ever been heard of, and we didn't know what it was.
"I still don't know what it was. But I do know that since that time I have periods of disorientation, memory loss, and I dropped from 180 pounds to 138 pounds after I got back to this country. And I've had great difficulty keeping my weight up. Indeed, I'm retired and disabled today." - John Timmerman, J. Allen Hynek Center For UFO Studies (credit: CNI News) - Advanced Aerial Devices Reported During the Korean War
PDF - Advanced Aerial Devices Reported During the Korean War
The Navy Korean Case
Certified by the following NICAP Board members: Reverend Albert Bailer, Dr. Earl Douglass, Mr. Frank Edwards, Colonel R. B. Emerson, Professor Charles A. Maney, and Rear Admiral H. B. Knowles.
"It was a night in '51. Under lowering clouds, a United States task force of fourteen ships was cruising near Korea. Down in the Combat Information Center of a CVE-class carrier, intercept officers and radar men were keeping a routine watch.
Suddenly a strange blip appeared on the CIC radarscopes. Some unknown machine, larger than carrier aircraft, was circling the fleet.
In minutes, Navy interceptors were boring up into the clouds that hid the intruder. At first, the CIC men had thought it was some new Red aircraft spotting the fleet by radar. But an hour passed with neither an attack nor message to bring enemy bombers. Even before this the CIC men knew, from the object's speed and maneuvers, it had to be a UFO.
As the hours went on, fresh pilots replaced the first group. Again and again, flying by instruments in the misty dark, they risked collision for a look at the unknown craft. But the UFO stayed deep in the clouds.
Down in the CIC, puzzled intercept men watched the mysterious "target." What could explain the hours of circling up in the overcast? Could "they" see through those tight-packed clouds by some unknown device—or a different kind of vision? What was behind this long surveillance—curiosity, or something more ominous?
Near the end of the seventh hour, another squadron was launched. Abruptly, the UFO stopped circling. As the tense CIC men watched, it swung in behind the nearest Navy plane.
"Target joining up on wingman!" the lead pilot reported.
"Close in for visual on target!" ordered the CIC, fearing an attack on the wingman.
Though the clouds made it almost hopeless, the leading pilot turned. Swiftly, the UFO speeded up, leaving the plane behind. In less than ten minutes, the radarscopes showed it was two hundred miles away.
The signed report later certified by Board members was given to NICAP by one of the pilots involved, now a lieutenant commander on duty in this country. The unknown machine, officially logged as a UFO, was tracked by radar operators on all fourteen ships. Its long surveillance of the task force remained a mystery. - Flying Saucers Top Secret
USAF AIRCRAFT ENCOUNTER UFOS OVER NORTH KOREA, MAY 15, 1952:
On May 15, 1952, U.S. Air Force planes chased UFOs over North Korea. The incidents appear to have taken place in the lakes district south of Changsong-ni and north of the Nangnim Mountains. Here are the actual combat reports for both UFO encounters.
Air Intelligence Information Report 52-79 dated 28 May 1952 describes a brief but interesting encounter with a UFO by two 'very reliable' pilots of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 25th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. The two planes were on Mission C/51-02 flying wing positions in Maple flight. Lt. McCarthy was the first pilot to see the strange object. He had completed 27 combat missions. The other unnamed pilot was the Interceptor Group Operations Officer with 56 combat missions completed. Following is a summary of key events:
A silvery oval-shaped object larger than a MiG jet airplane was seen at the nine o'clock position below the two F-86E jet airplanes at an estimated altitude of from 8,000 to 10,000 feet and about twenty miles (32 kilometers) away. The single-seat airplanes were on a heading of 280 degrees; the object continued on in a straight flight path and disappeared at about the three o'clock position. While flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet and an airspeed of 500 knots, both eye- witnesses saw the object for only 3 to 5 seconds and noted that the object travelled at an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 mph in a 'rolling maneuver'.
The reported weather (at 8 p.m. on May 15, 1952) was a medium haze with visibility of 10 to 12 miles.
The second report was at 6:35 p.m. on May 15, 1952:
Air Intelligence Information Report No. 52-81 describes an encounter between the pilot of an F-51 propellor - driven fighter bomber and a silver object estimated to be about 50 feet in diameter. The aircraft was assigned to the 18th Fighter Bomber Group. The pilot had flown 76 combat missions in World War II. He was... flying on a heading of 180 degrees at an altitude of 9,000 feet; he first noticed the object at the one o'clock position. 'By the time I called the object in as a bogie, it had moved to the 3 o'clock position and started a steep climb, which I assumed was the beginning of a loop, but at the vertical position in the loop, the object moved forward in its original course of travel (360 degrees) and wavered momentarily and then descended and disappeared into the haze which reached an altitude of approximately 7,000 to 8,000 feet.' While the (F-51) airplane was traveling at only 240 mph, the UFO was estimated to be moving at 1,000 mph, first to the east and then changing to the north. It was at approximately the same altitude as the airplane during the 15-to-25-second-long sighting. - ufologie.net
The Case of the USS Philippine Sea
February 2, 1952 - off the east coast of Korea
Dr. J. Allen Hynek:
On February 2, 1952 radar operator aboard the aircraft carrier Philippine Sea picked up an unidentified high-speed UFO off the east coast of Korea. The object was first detected at a distance of twenty-five miles and when it closed to twenty miles it made a wide turn to the east, opening to a course directly away from the carrier. As excerpted from a message to the Commander Naval Forces Far East sent by the Philippine Sea, the report on the speed and unusual separation into two objects of this UFO contact stated: "Measured speed 10 miles per-minute (600 MPH) for first minute, I5 miles per minute (900 MPH) for second minute, 30 miles per minute (1800 MPH) for third minute. Opened as 2 contacts 5 to 12 miles apart."
Three signal observers on the deck of the Philippine Sea also sighted the UFO visually and reported independently to the bridge that they could detect three exhaust flames. The observers stated that the trail appeared to them as aircraft exhaust during the time the object reversed its course. However, no aircraft at that time was capable of the incredible speeds attained by the UFO and no conventional aircraft were reported in the area. The position of the object, sighted at seventeen miles from the carrier, was also held on the radar scope at that time. The estimated altitude of the object was 52,000 feet, and it faded from the radar scope at 110 miles. During the time it was in view, the coast of Korea and the island of Uflung Do were visible at a distance of twenty miles, and an escorting destroyer was visible on the scope 2,000 yards from the carrier.
The comment of the Intelligence Officer who prepared the report on this case was as follows:
"A thorough debriefing was made of the radar operator. Personnel stated that the operator was very intelligent, efficient, and cooperative. Operator was cognizant of capabilities and limitations of the radar equipment and made careful plots, checking constantly. At the time contact was closing, he queried the aircraft controller and when it was determined that it was not a friendly aircraft, the general alarm was sounded. The three minutes of careful plotting were made after the object had turned and was heading away from the station. Operator was sure of the accuracy of the plots for the three minutes, and was adamant that the speeds shown were approximately correct."
A letter classified SECRET was sent on April 8, I952, by the Commander Naval Operations, Far East, to the Chief of Naval Operations, enclosing a track chart of the UFO and stating in part: “This is probably the first instance of a visual and radar contact on a high-speed aerial target being made simultaneously in the Far East.” - J. Allen Hynek
UFOs in Wartime: What They Didn't Want You To Know
UFOs and Government: A Historical Inquiry
21st Century Secret Documents: NSA Files - National Security Agency Declassified Documents on Cryptology, NSA History, JFK, Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, UFOs (DVD-ROM)
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