(Washington State MUFON, March 21, 1988.) An interesting UFO report from the 1960's involving the test firing of an Apollo space program booster rocket recently came to light as a result of follow-up to the January 21, 1988 Whidbey Island UFO sighting. Dan MacIndoe of Oak Harbor, Washington received many phone calls from other UFO witnesses as a consequence of reporting his UFO sighting to a local radio station and giving out his phone number. One of them was from Paul J. Allen of Snohomish, Washington, who told him of his encounter with a UFO while working for GE/NASA in the summer of either 1966 or 1967.
A quality control inspector working for General Electric at the NASA Mississippi Test facility at the time, Mr. Allen was at work during the first captive test firing of the second stage, Saturn IV-B rocket. He doesn't recall the exact date but he believes it was probably during the summer of either 1966 or 1967. [The date should be easily obtainable from archived historical records of the Space program.]
At approximately 11:00 p.m. he stepped outside the Data Processing Center building for a smoke and to view the test firing. He noticed a bright light approaching rapidly from the east, which he took to be a light from a plane at first. However, it approached the Test Facility at an unbelievable speed, slowing over the Saturn V-B test stand before continuing on towards the Saturn IV-B test stand, whereupon it stopped and stood over the exhaust blast from the test firing for a minute to a minute and a half. He described the UFO as 200 feet in diameter. It hovered at 3,000-5,000 feet during the stage 2 captive firing, directly over the exhaust blast updraft until the firing ended. Then it approached at about 30 mph, came over the data processing center for about another minute, and left travelling almost straight up.
Mr. Allen states there were 19 people who witnessed the UFO where he stood and another 9 to 11 people on the roof of the Control Facility Building, who had been filming the test firing and also saw it. No pictures of this test firing were ever shown to his group although they were shown film footage of all other firings. They were told that a weather balloon with a flashlight attached had been the cause of the UFO report and that was what they had seen. They were also told that if they discussed the sighting with the public they would lose their jobs.
A complete report of this sighting is being sent to MUFON national headquarters and to CAUS.
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