One of the most important and large-scale events in the history of UFO research took place July 12-29, 1952 in Washington, DC.
On July 19, 1952, at 11:40 p.m., airport dispatcher Edward Nagent saw seven objects on radar. They were 24 kilometers southwest of Washington, D.C. The movement of the objects was far from the established air lines for air transport. The UFOs gradually approached the city line. Then they also hovered over the presidential residence and the Capitol. At that moment, American researcher Harry Barnes contacted Andrews Air Force Base and they confirmed that they had indeed sighted seven unidentified flying objects.
The second incident occurred a week later at the same spot, on July 26, 1952, at eleven o'clock in the evening. Two planes from Newcastle Air Force Base were flying into Washington, DC. As they approached the city, one of the pilots, Lieutenant William Patterson, noticed four whitish, phosphorescent objects and decided to follow them. But suddenly his aircraft was surrounded by a UFO. Patterson requested support from the airport control tower regarding what to do in such cases. In response, he heard a "deathly silence." Soon the UFO disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared.
In order to "tame" the public at the Pentagon, a press conference was held on July 29, 1952. Present were Major General John Samford, Director of Air Force Intelligence, and Roger Ramey, Director of Air Force Operations. During the conference, Samford said that the objects seen were most likely aerial phenomena and added that investigations would be conducted into the matter. The answer to the question of whether this had happened elsewhere was the phrase that many such contacts had been recorded, but the planes dispatched had nothing to do at the site, since no UFOs had been found there.
The huge number of reports of UFO sightings in 1952 alarmed the Air Force Command and the Central Intelligence Agency. In January 1953, Robertson teams were established. Howard Percy Robertson was the leader of the team, which included some of the best known scientists. The result of four days of research into the sightings of unidentified flying objects "obtained" by Project Blue Book was a statement that the UFO sightings did not pose any harm or danger to the United States. A recommendation was also made to the Air Force and the Blue Book to give UFO reports special status. Since then, the Blue Book has been much less frequently cited in various incidents.
An official investigation of these events later revealed that the detected flashes were nothing more than "the most common temperature inversion".