DENVER – The object first appeared to be a shooting star, the Littleton man told U.S. Airforce investigators in 1951, but then suddenly changed course and color as it drifted off into the horizon and ultimately disappeared.
Bill Johnson’s encounter in the Four-Corners area is just one of thousands of bizarre sightings documented in a recently declassified government report related to Unidentified Flying Objects. A trove of more than 130,000 pages of UFO records, known as Project Blue Book, hit the internet last year.
After the infamous alleged alien landing in Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947, the US Air Force investigated 12,618 sightings from 1947 to 1969, and many of those cases occurred in Colorado.
The following are some of the notable cases from our state profiled in Project Blue Book:
Pikes Peak UFO
DATE: May 19, 1947
LOCATION: Pikes Peak
Page Scan: http://bluebookarchive.org/page.aspx?PageCode=USAF-SIGN8-384
If you work at Pikes Peak, you are probably used to the stunning view and can easily identify points of interest, but three employees of the Pikes Peak Railway viewed something on a spring day in 1947 that they couldn’t quite explain.
The report states the three employees were on their lunch break when the crew spotted a silver object in the sky. The object appeared to be traveling at a high rate of speed. The men were certain the object was not a conventional aircraft, the report reads. The craft stayed in the area for several minutes, maneuvering in ways no other known aircraft could move.
Senator sees UFO
DATE: Nov. 25, 1955
LOCATION: La Veta
Page Scan: http://bluebookarchive.org/page.aspx?PageCode=NARA-PBB91-48
You can’t get a more credible witness than Sam T. Taylor, the Democratic Floor Leader of the Colorado State Senate in 1955. He pops up in the report for the strange encounter in La Veta on Nov. 25 of that year.
Investigators interviewed Taylor at the State Capitol. He told them he saw a barrel-shaped object with a large front-end. The object was greenish-blue in color and appeared jelly-like. The object was silent and flew ten miles before it disappeared over Mt. Mestas. He estimated the speed of the object to be about half the speed of a meteorite.
DATE: Aug. 21, 1954
Page scan: http://bluebookarchive.org/page.aspx?PageCode=
The biggest movie of the summer in 1954 was The Egyptian, and the best place to take in a film during that time was at the Drive-in. That is what one Aurora man was doing when he came across several flying objects on an August night in Lakewood (Edgewater now).
The man said he saw “flying saucers” at the Lakeshore Drive-in at 1701 Sheridan Blvd. (where a King Soopers shopping center is now). The man said he saw a flying object fly north in the vicinity of Stapleton Airfield. Fifteen minutes later, up to 12 objects were seen flying at a high-rate of speed toward Stapleton.
Flying disk over SW Denver
DATE: Aug. 20, 1949
LOCATION: Southwest Denver
Page Scan: http://bluebookarchive.org/page.aspx?pagecode=MAXW-PBB7-358&tab=1
What happens when you work at an airforce base and report a UFO? You end up in Project Blue Book. Hopefully, he didn’t end up on any other government list.
That’s how Theodore Mahoney ended up in this report. He was a flight instructor at the old Lowry Airforce Base in Denver. On Aug. 20, 1949, he reported seeing a flying disk from his backyard at 2801 West Dartmouth Street. The object was traveling at a high-rate of speed west from where he stood. The object maintained a steady flight path until it disappeared over the horizon.
The report notes that Mahoney was well acquainted with aircraft of the era, but he didn’t recognize the oval-shaped object flying over his southwest Denver home.
Cigarette-shaped UFO near Pueblo
DATE: Dec. 1, 1956
LOCATION: 29 miles south of Pueblo
Page scan: http://bluebookarchive.org/page.aspx?PageCode=NARA-PBB91-49
They used to own the Alpine Café in Walsenburg, but this couple wasn’t serving up the soup of the day when the encountered this strange light in the sky.
The couple said they spotted a cigarette-shaped object creating a strange vapor trail. The object was white in color and glowing at the top. The couple told investigators that the object was moving too slow to be a jet. The UFO disappeared over Mt. Baldy.