The 1952 Washington, D.C. UFO incident, a.k.a. the "Invasion of Washington", was a series of UFO reports from the 12th to the 29th July 1952 over Washington DC.

At 11:40 p.m. on Saturday, July 19, 1952, Edward Nugent, an air traffic controller at Washington National Airport (today Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport), spotted seven objects on his radar.


At 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, 1952, a pilot and stewardess on a National Airlines flight into Washington observed some strange lights above their plane. Within minutes, both radar centers at National Airport, and the radar at Andrews AFB, were tracking more unknown objects

The official statement, especially about the peak of the wave, was that the causes were temperature inversions and mirages.

At the request of the Air Force, the CAA's Technical Development and Evaluation Center did an analysis of the radar sightings. Their conclusion was that "a temperature inversion had been indicated in almost every instance when the unidentified radar targets or visual objects had been reported."[27] Project Blue Book would eventually label the unknown Washington radar blips as false images caused by temperature inversion, and the visual sightings as misidentified meteors, stars, and city lights.

The history of this story was also covered in a 2011 article in The Guardian.

Seeing all the details and reports, radar data, etc., I feel very skeptical about such an explanation.

  • Let's rework the question with notable sources. Either the claim that the radar blips detected were caused by temperature inversions or the murky claim (notable?) that this footage is from 1952. – Oddthinking Mar 31 at 11:17
  • I added the guardian article, saying two major USAF (air force) generals held a press conference claiming temperature inversions.. – Ezio Mar 31 at 11:27
  • Okay, so the question is NOT about whether that video is authentic, but about the radar blips? I will edit to focus on that. Note: Please remember the Code of Conduct – Oddthinking Mar 31 at 11:53
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    I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think I will be proven right.... THAT VIDEO IS NOT FROM 1952! It is a modern reconstruction. Note there are no references to the video in contemperaneous reports? Including it here is just making the question murkier. – Oddthinking Mar 31 at 12:56
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    Any explanation of the phenomena does not need to explain what is in the video. Alternatively (or additionally) we can have a question asking whether that video is from 1952, and separate it entirely from the question of temperature inversions. – Oddthinking Mar 31 at 12:57

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