The 1951 Fort Monmouth Radar UFO Incident

The 1951 Fort Monmouth Radar UFO Incident

It is not the first time US military fighters chased UFOs and released it was weather balloons. Learn about the 1951 Fort Monmouth Radar UFO Incident.

The Fort Monmouth Radar UFO Incident

In September 1951, there were several cases of UFO sightings, radar detection, and pursuit by American Air Force fighters (USAF).

At the time, the cover-up policy was in full swing, and it was present in all the cases that occurred at that time, in American, Australian, English, and Canadian territory, as well as in areas controlled by Americans, notably conflict areas in North Korea and American military bases in Japan.

Among the cases that occurred at that time, the Fort Monmouth incidents are noteworthy, not only for the testimonies of the military involved but also for the confirmation by radar and the cover-up maneuvers of the American military carried out shortly after the sightings.

Fort Monmouth is an American military installation in Monmouth County, New Jersey, founded in the early twentieth century.

The 1951 Fort Monmouth Radar UFO Incident

During World War II, it was an essential instruction field for officers. In the post-war period, Fort Monmouth continued to receive and train officers.

It was from these installations that some UFOs were recorded in September 1951.

The first UFO

The first incident occurred around 11:10 am on September 10, when an unknown target appeared on the AN / MPG-1 radar screen. The object moved at high speed, at a low altitude (exact value undetermined), 11 km southeast of Fort Monmouth.

The thing moved following the coastline and at a pace higher than that of the planes of the time. The object continued to be tracked until it disappeared 12.8 km northeast.

The one operating the radar was an experienced technician who, when the UFO appeared, was performing a demonstration for the officers present.

He assumed that the object would be an aircraft moving at high speed due to the difficulty of tracking the unknown target.

His equipment was programmed to track conventional aircraft that, at the time, reached 700 mph.

Speeds higher than that, it was challenging to track the target.

The Second UFO

Shortly after, around 11:35 am, another episode occurred, this time with visual contact.

Lieutenant Wilbert S. Rogers, a veteran of World War II and Captain Ezra S. Ballard, flew aboard a T-33 plane of the US Air Force.

They had moved from Dover Air Base in Delaware to Mitchell Air Base in New York.

The aircraft was heading NNE, at 450 mph, at 20,000 feet in altitude. Near Sandy Point, Lieutenant Rogers observed a flying object descending towards Sandy Point.

Such U.F.O. leveled off and maintained its altitude for a few seconds, long enough for the lieutenant to realize that the object had a disc shape of silver appearance, between 9 and 15 meters in diameter, and did not reflect sunlight.

The pilot decided to intercept the object and made a left turn to follow the UFO.

During this maneuver, he descended the aircraft from 20,000 to 17,000 feet.

During this maneuver, Captain Ballard saw the object, which performed a maneuver descending from 8,000 to 2,000 feet near Freehold.

During this maneuver, the UFO disappeared just when it crossed the coast. When it disappeared, the plane was at 550 mph.

The pilot followed to Mitchell Air Base, reporting the fact to his superiors.

This report ended up falling into the press publicized the episode.

Later that same day, the base’s military launched a weather balloon and requested that radars track the target to determine the maximum altitude at which a balloon could be observed.

On the morning of the next day, September 11, another UFO sighting was confirmed by radar. Around 10:50 am, two SCR 584 radars recorded the same target, 27.4 km northeast of Fort Monmouth and at 31,000 feet (9440 m).

This radar could register targets with speeds higher than 700 Mph but also presented difficulties in tracking the object due to its speed and irregular flight.

Another UFO

Still that day, around 13:30, another UFO was detected by the SCR-584 radar.

With great agility, the UFO performed erratic maneuvers over Navesink, New Jersey, at 6,000 feet in altitude.

At one point, the object hovered statically in the sky.

Therefore, the operators went out to visually confirm the UFO.

However, there was a lot of haze, and they returned to the equipment.

Then the UFO began to rise very quickly.

After hovering again, the object moved southeast at a very high speed.

The 1951 Fort Monmouth Radar UFO Incident Investigation

At the time, the US Air Force (USAF) maintained a department of investigation of UFO cases called Project Grudge.

This committee worked analogously to the Project Blue Book, being of a debunking nature and following the traditional protocol of USUS authorities on this subject.

In 1952, Project Grudge changed to Project Blue Book, which lasted until 1966.

For these cases, the USAF attributed as origin: balloons, thermal inversion, and confusion on the part of the witnesses.

Balloons would have originated most of the registration cases by radar, except those with irregular movement and at high speed.

For these, the cause would be a thermal inversion. The T-33 pilots, for their part, would have confused balloons released by the base at Fort Monmouth with flying disks.

According to the findings of Project Grudge, the sightings at Fort Monmouth could be attributed to the Evans Signal Laboratory’s release of two balloons on September 10 at 11:12 EDST, which occurred during the time of the sightings.

The balloons’ maximum bursting diameter was about 39 feet.

User error was cited as the cause of the radar anomaly.

The 1951 Fort Monmouth Radar UFO Incident

Let’s consider the USAF’s traditional behavior in this and other cases. We can see that the military quickly acts in the sense of shuffling the information and reports on the subject.

The use of balloons, precisely at that time, reinforces this.

Shortly after the first radar registration, on September 10, two balloons were launched.

They had approximately 8 feet in diameter (2.5 m), had a rounded shape, and rose at a rate of 8 feet per minute (9 miles per hour or 14.6 Km / h).

Its horizontal displacement occurs at the whim of the winds.

Therefore it does not explain the erratic movements (common in UFO Incidents) and those apparently intelligent, as observed in the sightings of day 10.

Curiously, if we observe the times and constants in the official documents related to the case, we observe that the official version does not hold.

Considering the trajectory developed by the plane, the balloon launch times, and the observation of the UFO, it is concluded that during the interception maneuver, the balloons would be initially seen in front of the fighter at low speed and ascending movement, passing to the right and in a matter of seconds behind the fighter.

On the contrary, we have an object in the shape of a silver disc coming from the front, passing to the left in maneuver, and disappearing over the ocean.

“I don’t know if it was a flying saucer, but it was something I had never seen before. We couldn’t get it with an F86. I pointed it out to Captain Ballard, who suggested we try to follow it but found out it couldn’t. He was too fast. It can’t be a balloon because it was going down, and no balloon flies at that speed.”
Lieutenant Rogers.

Where is Fort Monmouth?

Where is Fort Monmouth?Monmouth County, New Jersey, is located on the Jersey Shore along the Atlantic Ocean. It has various beaches, parks, recreational areas, and a rich history and culture.

At the time of the UFO incident, Monmouth County had a population of around 332,000 people, making it one of the most populous counties in the state.

Monmouth County is also home to several military bases, including the McGuire Air Force Base, which was in operation at the time of the incident.

Monmouth County has many minerals, including quartz, feldspar, mica, olivine, and magnetite.

The area also has many different water resources, such as reservoirs, lakes, rivers, and streams.

These water resources come from underground aquifers containing iron, manganese, and sulfur minerals.

The area is also home to many different soil types, ranging from clay to sand.

The minerals in the soil are mostly made up of tiny particles of quartz, feldspar, and mica, while more significant pieces of mica, quartz, and feldspar can also be found in the area.

Monmouth County also has many rock formations, such as sandstone, limestone, and shale.

These rocks comprise quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals, such as iron, manganese, and sulfur.

The area also contains many metals, such as copper, lead, and zinc.

The minerals found in the area have many different uses, such as for construction, jewelry, and industrial processes.


  • Witness Credibility: Good;
  • Number of Witnesses: +8;
  • Evidence: Radar Data;
  • Physical Evidence: Radar Data;
  • Official Investigation: USAF, Project Grudge;
  • Close Encounter: First Kind;
  • Documents: +10

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