; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The 1978 Fort Dix / McGuire AFB Incident

Reconstruction of the Fort Dix incident

Preamble: January 18, 1978 - Fort Dix/McGuire AFB, New Jersey - The primary eyewitness in the case, Jeffrey Morse, alleged that he had been working as a security policeman at McGuire AFB when he was notified about UFO activity over Fort Dix army base. Morse alleged that he heard that a non-human entity had been shot and he later witnessed the dead body of the entity lying on the ground on a disused runway at McGuire AFB.

Incident: The primary eyewitness in the case, Jeffrey Morse, alleged that he had been working as a security policeman at McGuire AFB at 03.00 on January 18, 1978 when he was notified about UFO activity over Fort Dix army base that adjoined McGuire AFB. Morse alleged that he heard that a non-human entity had been shot and he later saw the dead body of the entity lying on the ground on a disused runway at McGuire AFB. The scene was rapidly cordoned off and the body was crated and flown to Wright-Patterson AFB (WPAFB) for examination. Morse himself, two days after the shooting incident, was allegedly summoned to WPAFB and interrogated about the event. He was warned to keep quiet and shortly thereafter was transferred to Okinawa, Japan.

Location of Fort Dix / McGuire AFB, NJ

Letter from sergeant Morse summarizing his experience and the incident:

In January of 1978, I was stationed at McGuire AFB, NJ. One evening, during the time frame of 0300hrs and 0500hrs., there were a number of UFO sightings in the area over the air field and Ft. Dix Army camp. I am a security policeman and was on routine patrol at the time. N.J. State Police, and Ft. Dix MPs were running code in the direction of Brownsville, NJ. A state trooper then entered gate #5 at the rear of the base requesting assistance and permission to enter. I was dispatched and the trooper wanted access to the runway area which led to the very back of the air field and connected with a heavily wooded area which is part of the Dix training area. He informed me that a Ft. Dix MP was pursueing (sic) a low flying object which then hovered over his car. He described it as oval shaped, with no details, and glowing with a blueish (sic) green color. His radio transmission was cut off. At that time in front of his police car, appeared a thing, about 4ft tall, grayish (sic), brown, fat head, long arms, and slender body. The MP panicked and fired five rounds from his .45 Cal into the thing, and one round into the object above. The object then fled straight up and joined with eleven others high in the sky. This we all saw but didn?t know the details at the time. Anyway, the thing ran into the woods towards our fenceline and they wanted to look for it. By this time several patrols were involved.

We found the body of the thing near the runway. It had apparently climbed the fence and died while running. It was all of a sudden hush-hush and no one was allowed near the area. We roped off the area and AF OSI came out and took over. That was the last I saw of it. There was a bad stench coming from it too. Like ammonia smelling but it wasn?t constent (sic) in the air. That day, a team from Wright-Patterson AFB came in a C141 and went to the area. They crated it in a wooden box, sprayed something over it, and then put it into a bigger metal container. They loaded it in the plane and took off. That was it, nothing more was said, no report made and we were all told not to have anything to say about it or we would be court martialed.

Morse, in subsequent conversations, revealed that two days after the incident he and others on duty at the scene were summoned to Wright Patterson AFB for interrogation, and each was transferred promptly to a separate base overseas.

The Fort Dix/McGuire case was also of interest because a prominent UFO investigator, George Filer, claimed to have been present at McGuire AFB on the morning of January 18, 1978. Mr. Filer told NIDS that he witnessed a commotion with red lights on one of the disused runways at McGuire when he arrived on the base at 4:00 AM. He further claimed that he heard from a Senior Master Sergeant at McGuire command post on the same morning that UFO activity had been sighted by the control tower and on radar at neighboring Fort Dix and an alien had been shot that morning and that it had been found dead on the runway at McGuire. - NIDS - National Institute for Discovery Science

Eyewitness sketch of the dead extraterrestrial


Alien Being Shot Dead by MPs - Body Found on New Jersey Air Force Base

January 18, 1978

During the early morning hours of January 18, 1978, UFOs were sighted flying over Fort Dix and McGuire AFB, adjacent military bases. Shortly afterward, an Air Force security patrol was ordered to the back gate of McGuire AFB to allow entry to New Jersey State Police who were searching for something. One of the airmen on duty was Sgt. Jeff Morse (pseudonym). The state trooper told Morse that a Fort Dix MP was pursuing a low-flying object that had hovered over his car; then a small being with large head and slender body appeared in front of his car. The MP had panicked and shot the alien several times with a .45 automatic. The being had fled over the fence between the two bases, before falling and dying on the deserted runway.

Morse and his colleagues found the body lying on a deserted runway. As they followed routine procedure and roped off the area of the "crime scene," other "blue beret" forces unfamiliar to Morse and his companion took over. Morse was relegated to a back-up role, but could see from a slight distance what was happening. Later that day a team from Wright-Patterson AFB arrived in a C-141 cargo aircraft, crated up the body, loaded it on board, and took off. Morse and his companion were warned not to talk about the incident or they would be court-martialled.

Two days later Morse and other participants were taken to Wright- Patterson AFB, OH, where they underwent intimidating interrogation and were again warned not to talk about the incident. (Morse supplied the names of the interrogation team taken from their name badges, and their identities have been verified.) Morse reported; "[They] told me about my duty to keep my mouth shut. . . . I signed a form and it is supposed to bind me for life."

Shortly after returning to McGuire AFB, Morse was debriefed by his commanding officer, a lieutenant colonel (name also known), and heard no more about the incident. Shortly thereafter each of the airmen who had been involved was transferred to a separate overseas base. Morse was shipped to Okinawa.

The author has met with Morse face-to-face several times, talked with him on the telephone numerous times, and considers him completely credible. He has cooperated fully, answering all questions to the best of his ability and agreeing to meet and talk with various colleagues. He has given a formal deposition on the incident in the presence of several witnesses, and was subjected to questioning on specific details.

As a direct consequence of innocently being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Morse has been harassed and threatened, and his reputation defamed to the point that he had difficulty finding employment in the law enforcement field.

Another witness is George Filer (Major, USA, Ret.), who was stationed at McGuire AFB in 1978, serving as an intelligence officer; one of his duties was to brief the commanding general. He was not on duty at the time of the incident, but the next morning he heard talk about the "alien body" and saw a lot of unusual activity He is prepared to testify on what he knows firsthand and what he has learned since about the incident. - Richard H. Hall - "The UFO Evidence - A Thirty Year Report"

A detailed account is also available at THE FATAL ENCOUNTER AT FT. DIX-McGUIRE: A CASE STUDY; Status Report IV - Leonard H. Stringfield


10/4/1985 - Copy of form letter sent to Senator Dan Quayle, Senator Richard Lugar, Representative Frank McCloskey, which included attachments: copy of letter to Stringfield, copy of Incident/Complaint Report, responses from AF and Army.

Dear Sirs:

I am the State-Section Director for Posey, Vanderburg, and Gibson counties for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), an international organization. I work with the local police, sheriff, state police, airport control tower people, etc., in regards to unidentified aerial phenomenon reported by the public (and sometimes by the law enforcement people, etc.). In the earlier years I served with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (1960- 1974) and they worked with a lot of congressional committees trying to get serious attention on the problems inherent in the situation. We ran into a "wall" when in 1968 the House Committee on Science & Astronautics, chaired by George P. Miller (California) and J. Edward Roush (Indiana), had to wait & see what the University of Colorado decided, as far as the fate of future investigations by the Air Force Project BLUE BOOK. As a result, Dr. Condon's study recommended BLUE BOOK be shut down, and it was, in 1969. Newly released documents uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act show that the government is withholding a lot of information on UFOs, and that the government is still interested in UFOs. Project BLUE BOOK was only a "front".

I am assuming that you have some knowledge in regards this subject. The public opinion polls show that we have come a long way the last 10 years. I have a request. This is being done all over the country and you will not be the only one working on this, but your help is needed if we are to succeed. I have enclosed a document that we of MUFON feel is of key importance to the issue. It is an Incident Report that was given to us by a confidential source. It appears to be authentic. After months of exhaustive research by Leonard Stringfield, Richard Hall, and a few others, the case seems to be standing the test of time. Also, besides the "leaked" document, the person reporting says that he will "go public" with his name when he is assured of a safe forum for his story, such as a congressional committee hearing.

The incident reportedly occurred on January 18, 1978, at Fort Dix-McGuire AFB, N.J. It describes a UFO encounter/alien body retrieval operation. It is a "leaked" document confirming the basic facts of the reporting personnel's story - the document being an "Incident Report" filed by the McGuire Security Police & forwarded to the USAF Office of Scientific Investigation (OSI) for coordination of any follow-up request.

what I am asking, initially, is for you to send this request to the appropriate House/Senate committee for their review and investigation. After about thirty days I will write to the committee chairman, directly, to determine what his committee is doing, or plans to do, to resolve the issue. There is always the possibility that documents like this may be deliberately "planted" so as to be easily discredited, especially since we have gotten over 3,000 cleared as a result of FOIA lawsuits. One such document turned out to be fraudulent about a year ago, but wasn't an embarrassment to us since we exposed it. But this document that you have appears to be real.

In the meantime, we are trying to track down the current location of the several principals cited in the preliminary Incident Report (whose names we deleted from your copy) so as to protect them from the same type of reprisal allegedly incurred by Stringfield's informant.

If you need further information, please contact me whenever possible. Surely, you can see the implications if this one of many incidents can be confirmed. What we hope to get are the follow-up reports that can help resolve any question about the case's authenticity, comparative importance, and outcome. Where do the reports repose now ? The letter, dated 1 February 1985 (also enclosed) states the reports would have been held 5-years, then destroyed! Or, if they were important and classified (which we assume something of this nature would be), where are they now ?

This is only one of the problems involving UFOs that we are trying to resolve, but the implications here are staggering. The full 17-page SYMPAP report by researcher, Leonard Stringfield, will be provided upon request.


Francis L. Ridge
State-Section Director,
Mutual UFO Network, Inc.


Leonard Stringfield
Dix-McGuire Updated Report

The former Air Force security policeman who claims to have witnessed a UFO incident on January 18, 1978, involving military police at McGuire AFB, New Jersey and adjacent Fort Dix, and New Jersey State Police, recently visited the Washington, D.C., area from overseas, where he is employed and met with the authors. The Fund for UFO Research sponsored a mini-conference to bring Stringfield from Cincinnati, Ohio, and have representatives of the Fund meet the witness to form their own impressions of his credibility.

The witness, Jeff Morse (pseudonym), had contacted Stringfield in 1980 and described the alleged events, including a non-human-appearing body found near a deserted runway, allegedly shot by a Fort Dix MP, crated up and hauled away on a special aircraft from Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Afterwards, Morse was flown to Wright-Patterson for a "debriefing," instructed to remain silent, and shortly afterwards transferred overseas, while his colleagues who also witnessed the event were shipped to various parts of the world.

A preliminary report on this incident (and many others) is included in Stringfield's 1982 "Status Report No. III" and a detailed follow-up report appears in the MUFON 1985 UFO Symposium Proceedings. Over several years, Morse remained incommunicado, surfacing briefly at times in response to Stringfield's communications. His silence, he said, was due to harassment and threats by officials as a result of talking to Stringfield.

The Fund-sponsored mini-conference took place on January 24, 1987, at a large shopping mall in the Washington, D.C., area suburbs. In addition to the authors and Morse, Dr. Bruce S. Maccabee (Chairman of the Fund) and William H. Hall (electronics engineer and brother of Richard) were present. Dr. John B Carlson, Univ. of Maryland astronomer and Fund Board Member, was to have been present, but a postponement caused a schedule conflict and he was out of town on the date of the conference. William Hall. a former technical consultant to the National Investigations Committee an Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), substituted since he had a number of things in common with Morse (including military police background and overseas duty stations) and would be able to judge Morse's credibility as he talked about his activities .


By prior arrangement Morse remained incognito, using only his first name, but talked freely and responded to questions by Maccabee and William Hall. (The authors know his full name, employment status, past biography, etc.) During the questioning and review of the alleged incident, Morse filled in details that were missing from his previous account, but offered no startling new information. A number of questions were clarified, and some new information (including claims that can be checked and proved or disproved) were offered. However, the authors were again impressed by Morse's straight forwardness and lack of embellishment.

The most significant new information related by Morse, briefly, was his claim that on a trip to the United States to visit his family in October 1986 he had been "detained," while in California, under obscure pretenses. Outraged, he filed a lawsuit against the California-based authority and notified Stringfleld by letter that he would return to the United States in January 1987 for court appearances and, at that time would be willing to meet him and Dick Hall and a couple other well-trusted friends to discuss the matter. But, during Morse's layover in the States he could learn nothing about the cause or reason for his detainment, nor the identity of the source who dictated the "pick up and hold" order. His legal probes, for some inexplicable reason, had been stalled in a tangle of red tape.

Among other things discussed at the mini-conference was the entire question of alleged harassment of UFO crash/retrieval witnesses, apparently in an attempt to intimidate them into silence. If Morse's story is credible, he is potentially an important witness who would tend to undermine the official cover-up. Unfortunately, this makes him vulnerable to retaliation (which may account for his detainment) and inhibits his ability to lead a normal life.

Skepticism about crash/retrieval reports may be fully justified and entirely understandable on the part of UFO "believers" and "disbelievers" alike unless they have met Jeff Morse or one of his many counterparts face-to-face. Morse has now provided many additional leads that we intend to check, and we will report our findings objectively as new information is


Meanwhile, the authenticity of the "Incident Report" form Morse supplied to Stringfleld (reproduced in the MUFON 1985 UFO Symposium Proceedings), obtained from a colleague still on active duty, has been disputed by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) on the grounds that the style and terminology used "allegedly" does not follow proper Air Force style and is therefore probably a hoax. One of the key statements made by AFOSI was that pay grades (E-2, E-3...) were given instead of ranks (Corporal, Sergeant...) on the official form.

Aside from the fact that Morse has claimed all along that this was a rough draft "back room" copy subject to review and revision, and that minor errors would be corrected by responsible officials before the final report was filed, the AFOSI statement is inaccurate. Pay grades, rather than ranks, are routinely filed in official Air Force reports. Two examples of this are an Air Force form reproduced in a November 6, 1985 Congressional hearing transcript (copy provided to MUFON) and an Air Force Serious Incident Report form on a 1973 case reproduced in Appendix A of Clear Intent by Fawcett and Greenwood (Prentice-Hall, 1984), labeled Figure 6.

Participants of the mini-conference discussed ways of obtaining additional confirmation of the reported 1978 event, and various initiatives will be undertaken to do so. Results will be reported periodically.

As a result of the mini-conference, two additional persons (B. Maccabee and W. Hall) now have met and talked with Morse and can confirm that he is not a "fairy tale" or a figment of the imagination. They are also now in a position to help confirm or disconfirm his story. - Leonard Stringfield & Richard Hall


Former Air Force Maj. George Filer III told reporters that when he was at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, an alien craft came down, and an alien got out and was shot by a military policeman.

"Our security police went out there and found him at the end of the runway dead," Filer said. "They asked me to brief the general staff," he said, but was later told not to. He said he would tell the story in front of Congress.

Filer is not new to UFO sightings. He has his own Web site called Filer's Files, where he says he also chased an alien ship over England when flying for the U.S. Air Force. "I personally have observed a UFO both visually and on radar. I've been chasing them ever since," he writes. - ABC News

NIDS - National Institute for Discovery Science
Richard H. Hall - "The UFO Evidence - A Thirty Year Report"
Citizens Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS)
Multiple Anomaly Detection & Automated Recording (MADAR)
Stringfield, Leonard H. - "UFO Crash/Retrievals: Amassing the Evidence: Status Report III" - 1982