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Red Bluff case, USA, August 1960:

Highly maneuverable ellipse with red light beam:

This multiple independent witnesses long duration close encounter event took place at Red Bluff, California, on August 13, 1960.

Table of content:

Click! Case summary.
Click! Presentation at the House Committee on Science and Astronautics Symposium on UFOs, 1968, by Dr. James A. Harder.
Click! James E. McDonald, case 4 in "UFOs greatest scientific problem of our times."
Click! Presentation in UFO section.
Click! Sources and references.

Case summary:

Officers Charles A. Carson and Stanley Scott of the California Highway Patrol were on patrol near Red Bluff, California, at about 11:50 p.m., when they saw a large illuminated object apparently falling from the sky. Thinking it was an airliner crashing, they quickly stopped and leaped out of the patrol car to get a position fix.

Carson stated in his official report:

"The first thing we noticed was an absolute silence."

"We continued to watch until the object was probably within 100 feet to 200 feet off the ground, when it suddenly reversed completely, at high speed, and gained approximately 500 feet altitude. There the object stopped."

It was an oblong or elliptical object with a definite red light at each extremity. In between the red lights, about five white lights could be seen occasionally.

"As we watched the object moved again and performed aerial feats that were actually unbelievable... The object was capable of moving in any direction. Up and down. Back and forth... It moved at high (extremely) speeds and several times we watched it change directions or reverse itself while moving at unbelievable speeds."

Twice the object came directly toward them; each time it turned and "swept the area with a huge red light.

"Officer Scott turned the red light on the patrol vehicle towards the object, and it immediately went away from us. We observed the object use the red beam approximately 6 or 7 times, sweeping the sky and ground areas."

When the object was closest to them, they experienced radio interference.

As the object began moving off to the east, they attempted to follow it. At a point near the Vina Plains Fire Station they saw a second similar object approach the first. "Both stopped, remaining in that position for some time, occasionally emitting the red beam." Both then disappeared to the east.

Carson and Scott talked with several deputies at the Tehama County Sheriff's office who had also seen the UFO and observed the same maneuvers. The sighting lasted a little over two hours. The UFO was estimated to be about 150 feet in its longest dimension.

The case was investigated by Walter N. Webb. Carson told Webb:

"I have been told we saw Northern lights, a weather balloon, and now refractions. I served four years with the Air Force. I believe I am familiar with the Northern lights, also weather balloons. Officer Scott served as a paratrooper during the Korean Conflict. Both of us are aware of the tricks light can play on the eyes during darkness. We were aware of this at the time. Our observations and estimations of speed, size, etc. came from aligning the object with fixed objects on the horizon."


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This page was last updated on October 18, 2003.