Occurred: 1954-07-01 21:00 Local - Approximate
Reported: 1999-08-23 00:00 Pacific
Duration: 20 sec.
No of observers: 500

Location: St. Louis Airport (Lambert Field), MO, USA

Shape: Oval
Characteristics: Lights on object

EXTREMELY bright, red oval near airport. Suddenly accelerates and STREAKS over horizon.

I am fairly certain of the year of the incident (1954), although I am guessing at the month, even though I believe the incident occurred during the hot part of the summer of 1954. I remember the year, because I was sitting in the passenger seat of our family car, a 1953 Studebaker. I was six years of age at the time of the sighting. My mother, my older brother (10 yrs.), and I (age 6 yrs.) were attending a movie at the Airway Drive-in Theater, situated on the southwest edge of the St. Louis airport (Lambert Field). The theater used to be located south of the main east-west runway, directly across the airport from McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, approximately where the Missouri Air National Guard building currently sits today.

Suddenly, as the three of us were watching the movie, it came to our attention that some kind of disturbance had begun to brew at the theater. We didn't know what was taking place, but I seem to recall we could hear people shouting. I remember looking around to my right side to look at the concession stand, located toward the center rear part of the parking spaces, but could see nothing that appeared unusual. At about the time I looked back toward the screen, people started walking in front of our car, and they were looking, and perhaps pointing, up to our right. I looked out the right passenger's window, and immediately witnessed a generally oval shape, EXTREMELY brightly luminous, red object hovering virtually motionless in the sky. I vaguely recall that the object may have been casting a faint red light over the theater and surrounding area. The object's apparent size (from my vantage point) was approximately from 50% to 100% the diameter of the moon, and its long axis appeared to be horizontally oriented.

The object appeared to be moving generally to the north, but almost imperceptibly slowly, perhaps even not at all. It gave the appearance of simply hovering motionless in the sky. Suddenly, the object accelerated to the north, perhaps passing directly over the airport, and disappeared within 2-3 seconds over the horizon to the north! The object covered approximately 90 degrees of arc, viewed from my vantage point on the ground, in that amount of time, and appeared to fly in a somewhat straight line, perhaps with slight deviation from a perfectly straight-line course. I seem to recall that my father may have viewed the event from the control tower, which prior to June 30, 1956, was located on the north side of the airport. Whenever my family gets together, we always talk about that event. Our minds seem drawn to it! My brother, now a physician, remembers it very clearly, as does my mother. That object was BIZARRE!!

I am now Director of the National UFO Reporting Center.


Date of the incident is approximate. I am reasonably certain that the incident occurred during the summer of 1954, but not positive. If anyone reads this report who may have been present at the incident, I would welcome a communication from the individual. PD

Posted 2000-12-02

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