A 1956 Florida UFO Sighting Revisited

January 3, 2018

Pensacola, Orlando, Air Force, Project Blue Book, Captain Ruppelt, George Gaines, Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program, Foo Fighters

Got a call from my old friend, George Gaines, just before 2017 winked out of existence. We hadn’t been in direct contact for quite a few years and this was our chance to get reconnected.

Howard Middle School, Orlando, FL

George and I started teaching together at Howard Middle School in Orlando back in 1966. Turned out we discovered both our fathers, veterans of WWII, had flown B24 bombers out of England, his dad for the Navy and mine for the Army Air Corps, but both through the 8th Air Force.

In that December phone call, I told George that at a later date, I would love to talk to him about the new revelations by the Air Force in relation to their recent 10-year continuing investigation o UFOs titled, Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program.

I brought this up because long ago, George had told my wife and me a fascinating story about a Pensacola UFO sighting he had made in 1956 at the age of 12 and a visit he had several days later by two Air Force officers.

Against his mother’s wishes, he mailed a written report to Eglin Air Force base which resulted in him being grilled by those two officers for over 7 hours. Very strange,especially since they also brought with them films and great big photo albums for him to review. All because of an interesting, but definitely not a close encounter of the third kind by a 12-year-old kid.

In response to my request, George astounded me by saying that since we last discussed this topic, he had made a couple of very enlightening discoveries. One was the fact that he found a synopsis of his `956 meeting with the military gentelmen in the online archive for the Air Forces’ Project Blue Book. In that synopsis, was a rather clumsy debunking of what he saw. And then when George went back to the Blue Book site to check that report once again, he found that the file was now missing.

Second, George did a visual search of photos on the Internet regarding Project Blue Book and UFOs to see if he could identify the Air Force Captain and Lieutenant who had visited him in 1956. To his amazement, he found that the Captain was none other than Edward J Ruppelt, the first director of Project Blue Book. Yup, the man himself. The Lieutenant was Ruppelt’s assistant was Ruppelt’s assistant during the Blue Book days.

But, the thing is, George said, his research on Ruppelt showed him leaving the Blue Book project in 1953 and retiring soon after. So why was he showing up in uniform and conducting  such an intensive onsite interview of a seventh grader in 1956? George’s conclusion is that Ruppelt never really left government service and something else was going on. Perhaps, George concluded, his sighting just happened to fit into whatever larger event or events that Ruppelt was already investigating.

So there you have it in a nutshell. George’s radio interview was recorded on YouTube in audio mode and you will see it below, available for you to hear for yourself. I suggest it is well worth listening to if you are interested in all the details. George Gaines is a solid, honest guy with a doctorate in educational psychology and who has held many responisble positions in his life. You can take what he said to the bank.

Oh, a couple of more things about the following online interview: 1. George doesn’t actually join the conversation until about 17 minutes into the broadcast. So you might want to put your cursor on the left side of the progress bar and drag it, the red part, out towards the right and stop at 17 minutes when George appears. And 2. Towards the end of the interview, you will hear George discussing a conversation he had with his father about Foo Fighters during WWII and his dad’s very intense and telling reaction when discussing UFOs after WWII. Very interesting.

And after the segment with George below, I’ve included two videos relating to the current Air Force disclosures about their recent UFO investigations as well as a couple of useful links.



The former director of the Air Force’s Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program interviewed on CNN in December 2017.


 A video released by the Air Force as part of their recent UFO project disclosure.


That Secret Government Program to Track UFOs? It’s Not the First (airspacemag.com)

Former Navy pilot describes UFO encounter studied by secret Pentagon program (washingtonpost.com)

Aliens, flying discs and sightings — oh my! A short history of UFOs in America (cnn.com)

Project Blue Book Online Archive (archives.gov)



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