On September 24, 1959, just before dawn, police officer Robert Dickerson was cruising the city streets in his patrol car when he noticed a bright falling object like a meteor. But instead of “burning out,” the object took on a larger, ball-like appearance, stopped abruptly, and hovered about 200 feet above the ground. Its glow lit up juniper trees below it.
The patrolman watched the UFO for several minutes, then drove toward it on Prineville Highway, turning in at the airport. The UFO, meanwhile changed color from bright white to a duller reddish-orange color, and dived rapidly to a new position NE of the airport.
The object flew over Redmond Airport, situated southeast of the city of Portland and hovered over the field, where it was observed for several minutes by FAA officials.
At the FAA office, Flight Service Specialist Laverne Wertz had just completed making weather observations minutes before, and had seen nothing unusual. Now Patrolman Dickerson, Wertz, and others studied the hovering object through binoculars. The UFO was round and flat, with tongues of “flame” periodically extending from the rim.
At 1310Z (5:10 am. PST) official logs show, the UFO was reported to Seattle Air Route Control Center. Logs of the Seattle center show that the report was relayed to Hamilton AFB. The Seattle log continues:
“UFO also seen on the radar at Klamath Falls GCI [Ground Control Intercept] site. F-102’s scrambled from Portland.”
Six F-102 fighters were scrambled from Portland. As they took off, the Air Force radioed the pilots of a B-47 bomber and a F-89 fighter on routine flights nearby, ordering them to join the chase.
As the Redmond Observers studied the UFO, they noticed a high speed aircraft approaching from the southwest. The Redmond log continues:
“As aircraft approached, UFO took shape of mushroom, observed long yellow and red flame from lower side as UFO rose rapidly and disappeared above-clouds.”
The UFO was seen again briefly, hovering about 25 miles south of the airport. Radar continued to show the UFO south of Redmond for about two hours, at various altitude changing from 5.000 feet to 52.000 feet.