Graham Bethune was a retired Navy commander pilot with
a top-secret clearance. He was a VIP Plane Commander who
flew most of the high-ranking officers and civilians from
Washington D.C. In his testimony he explains how he was
flying a group of VIPs and other pilots into Argentia,
Newfoundland when they all witnessed a 300 foot UFO that
traveled 10,000 feet straight up in a fraction of a second
toward their plane and was on radar. He has documented
the event extensively. It occurred on Feb. 10, 1951.
name is Graham Bethune. I am a commander, retired pilot
from the Navy and I went through the regular Navy program
of training pilots. I graduated in 1943 from Pensacola,
the Academy Air. And of course all Navy pilots are trained
navigators, which is very important when you are going
to talk about what were going to discuss here, because
we had to know all of the star systems and we had to know
these types of things. I navigated maybe 13 years around
the planet with the stars. And when I first graduated
from Pensacola in 1943, I went to the South Atlantic and
we were hunting German submarines. This was all night
flying. Everything we did was at night in patrol planes.
was transferred to Air Transport Squadron One in 1950.
I was sent to Keflavik, Iceland, along with two other
officers after a meeting that they had in Washington,
D.C., where Iceland was involved in seeing UFOs over Keflavik,
Iceland, and they wanted troops up there to protect them.
our meeting they were explaining to us why they had requested
the troops and what they were seeing. And we asked them
if they could really go into more detail about the type
of craft that they were seeing. And their explanation
was that they were seeing most of them at night -- lighted
craft, circular. And we knew coming from a naval air test
center, we tested everything there, that we had nothing
like that that we had tested.
I asked them, well, what did our government tell you that
they were? And they said, your government said they were
experimental, probably experimental Russian bombers (laughter).
flight was normally about ten hours. But this particular
night we had a 16-knot head wind. And about maybe 300
to 400 miles outside of Argentia, Newfoundland I saw something
below the horizon, on the water, that looked like approaching
a city at night. It was just kind of an ambient light,
no definition whatsoever. But it looked like the same
thing that you would see if you were approaching a large
city at night. So I watched it for a while. It was about
then finally I called Kindens attention to it, who
was sitting in the right seat. He was route checking me.
And he took a look at it and he didnt know what
it was. We couldnt figure out
there was nothing
out there. We had passed over the guard ship already.
In those days, they had a guard ship that was between
Iceland and between Newfoundland. The guard ship had given
us the latest weather. The weather was clear. There was
no Northern Light activity, which they give as part of
the weather report. And we had ship plots. There were
no ships plotted in that area. So we asked control if
he could give us another fix and find out if we were really
on course. We thought maybe we had drifted, that we were
seeing Labrador or maybe the tip of Greenland. So he said,
no, we were right on course.
we watched it for a while and we were drifting to the
right of it. Our heading was 222 degrees, 225 degrees.
We were at 10,000 feet, I would say it was 40 miles away
originally. When we were about 25 or 30 miles away we
could see defined lights and there was a pattern on the
water. So, with that pattern we couldnt figure out
what was going on. Maybe the Navy was doing something
that was highly classified, recovering something down
in the ocean or something of this nature, we thought.
And it was a circular pattern. And it was very large.
I sent the crew chief back to get the other plane commander,
Al Jones, because they wanted to land at Argentia. There
were 31 passengers and we had two VIP crews that had pilots
also, and patrol plane pilots. And at the time that they
came forward, the lights went out on the water. There
was nothing on the water. This was about 15 miles away.
I mean it was just dark.
standing behind me was the navigator, the radioman, and
also the plane captain the cockpit was full. All
of a sudden we saw, on the water, a yellow halo that was
very, very small, about 15 miles away. And it came up
to 10,000 feet like that a fraction of a second.
is an annotated drawing by Graham Bethune explaning the
movements and changes
of aspect of the flying disk during the whole observation.
I thought that it was going to go right through us. So
I disengaged the autopilot, pushed the nose over, because
I was going to go under it at the angle that it was coming
what happened, the minute that I did that, it was up at
our altitude and I could see nothing outside of the cockpit
but this craft. And so I didnt know which way to
go. And then all of a sudden I heard a racket. I didnt
know what it was. And I said, Fred, what the hell was
that? He looked around and he said, everyone was ducking
in the back of us and they collided and they are all lying
on the deck back there, scrambling on the deck. So when
I looked back it wasnt there. And he said, its
over here on the right hand side. Now it was about a mile
or so away. It kind of drifted forward, maybe to a position
five miles away, and thats where it stayed with
us for quite some time.
is when we could first see it wasnt above our altitude.
It was below our altitude. But it was still above the
horizon where you could see the side of the craft. You
could see the dome and you could see the color around
the perimeter of the craft.
then we knew that it was a friendly encounter. We knew
that it knew that we were there. We knew that it came
out to see us. But we didnt think at that time that
the reason that it did this was because they wanted to
show us what the Icelanders were talking about.
we watched it for a while. And Al says, well, let him
get in the seat. So I let him get in the seat and he disengaged
the autopilot and was going to chase it. Now we had a
head wind of about 60-knots, so our ground speed was only
maybe 120, 130-knots. And so he wasnt going to go
too far in chasing this thing. But he did turn to chase
I decided that I would go back to see how the passengers
reacted and also talk to the doctor who was back there.
And so I went to him first, I said, Doc, did you see what
we saw? And he said, yeah, he looked me straight in the
eye and said, yeah, it was a flying saucer. He says, I
didnt look at it because I dont believe in
such things. Well, it took me a couple of seconds to realize
what he was saying. He couldnt believe, being a
psychiatrist, in that kind of thing. So I went back forward
and I said, Al, whatever you do dont tell anybody
we saw anything, they will lock us up as soon as we get
on the ground. He says, its too late. I just called
Gander control, to see if they could track this by radar.
So thats how the story got out.
when we landed at Argentia, the Air Force was there and
they interrogated us. And the captain that did the interrogation
did a real good job. But you could tell this wasnt
his first time that he had ever interrogated anybody as
far as this type of encounter was concerned. He made a
good report, which went to the headquarters of the Air
Force in Washington, D.C.
the color was yellow. Since then Ive learned from
the boys upstairs why we saw different colors as it was
coming toward us. The colors were around the perimeter.
And it turned from a yellow to an orange to almost a fiery
red and then almost a purplish red. And they said that
that had to do with the amount of energy being used or
dissipated. It had to do with the power so to speak. And
so when it slowed down, close to us, in a fraction of
a second, it was back to the yellow range. And it was
foggy around it to where it was like a plasma mist or
something of this nature.
we were asked about the craft's size, 300 feet came to
my mind. And when I got the report out of the Archives
in 1991 I had never seen anybody elses report, everyone
said it was anywhere from 250 to 350 feet in diameter.
And when I talked to the others they said it was just
something that they knew and estimated. Now the velocity
when it left us was estimated from between 1,000 miles
an hour to 2,000 miles an hour. And when I looked at the
report, Al Jones had estimated 1,800 miles an hour. Mine
was 1,000. Another was 1,500 miles, but in that range.
It turns out that the radar report, which I have never
seen said it was 1,800 miles an hour
had nothing that would go that fast. And of course I was
at the naval air test center. This is where we had our
test pilot training school. This is where we did all the
highly classified tests of aircraft. And to my knowledge
we had nothing anywhere near that speed or anything that
this craft went 15 miles in that short period of time
(one second or so). Now you could calculate how fast it
came toward us. And then just like put the brakes on in
front of us. You take something 300 feet in diameter,
and you dont see much out of your cockpit window.
been corresponding with a magnetic engineer for several
years thats writing a book. Hes already gotten
pretty close to 100 pilot reports (of UFOs with magnetic
effects on the aircraft). And I gave him, in detail, everything
I went to set the automatic pilot back, the magnetic compass,
which was in the center of the panel, was swinging back
and forth. I said to Fred, I said, did you see that? He
said, you should have seen it when the craft was close.
He said it was spinning. And so then we looked at the
other compasses. At that time the craft was sitting out
maybe five miles from us. We had what we called Bird Dogs.
They are low frequency radio components that will point
to the station when you tune in the station. These two
Bird Dogs were pointing toward the craft. We had two other
compasses. We had a remote compass, which is out in the
wing; it was reacting. There were a total of five different
directional gyros in that airplane. And out of the five,
three of them were acting up.
was told that it was tracked by radar. He said, as far
as he knew the radar report was sent in to the Air Force
Headquarters in Washington, D.C. It usually goes from
there to Wright Patterson AFB. But my boss found the report
in the Archives in Wright Patterson in Project Blue Book
after talking to Colonel Watson, and he confirmed the
speed of 1,800 miles. I said where did you find that out?
He said, well, it was a radar report and it said that.
So something happened to the radar report before they
microfilmed it. Because what I have on microfilm I got
from the Archives (and the radar report is missing). I
was told by a friend of mine at Wright Patterson AFB that
Ive known for years that they had allowed Steven
Spielberg microfilm this, the Blue Book records or whatever
for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So he (Spielberg)
had a pretty high clearance. He had to be associated with
some of the
well, you know who, as far as the control
group is concerned.
other plane commander I located many years ago but he
was with this company and he wouldnt talk. After
he retired, I got a hold of him again in 1996 and I flew
out to where he lived and I said, what we will do is well
just take a tape recorder and well just discuss
it. So thats what happened. In the report that I
wrote, his statement is in there, several pages of his
statement. His schematic of what he saw is in there. And
it was amazing how they matched.
document that I found [See Government Documents] was the
official document that the Air Force had put together.
And it was originally filed under Project Grudge.
on the front page it says Project Twinkle where they put
a lot of reports that they had to get rid of somehow.
were 18 pages according to the Archives. But they only
at that time, Admiral McCormick, who had relieved Eisenhower,
was the NATO Commander, the Supreme Allied Commander.
Now his aides had approached me. Everybody seemed to know
about this event. Like Admiral Radford, who became the
first Joint Chiefs of Staff, his aides knew about it because
he had talked to me about it. So there were quite a few
who knew about this. So this was how I learned a lot that
really was not official and was really not in any books.
in May, I had an Intelligence officer come to the house.
And he showed me pictures. The first pictures that I had
ever seen. There was nothing, absolutely nothing there
that looked close to it. There was one that was 100 feet
in diameter. It didnt look like it was damaged too
hes the one that I asked a lot of questions. I said
what happens to this report. And he told me exactly what
happens. He says there is a committee. Now these are his
words: There is a joint intelligence committee
And he said,
and they make the decisions
as to where it goes.
were coming to me a lot of times and showing me photographs.
A lot of them looked like what we would call foo fighters.
A lot of them looked like just a round, bright disc of
was a Secretary of the Navy Kimball
I was what
you would call a VIP Plane Commander in the Flag Division,
which flew most of the high-ranking officers and civilians
out of Washington, D.C. Several of these officials told
me what they had seen. For example, there were two craft
flying together out in the Pacific. And a bright disc
came up beside one of them and stayed with them for a
while and flew around it. Our office came under the headquarters
of Wright Patterson. It was a central district. You had
pilot meetings. You had all these types of meetings. And
I would go down there about once or twice a month to the
meetings, plus I would go maybe two or three times a year
it would be a week or so.
while on the flight line where we parked our plane we
werent too far from what looked like a hanger. It
looked like a corrugated metal hanger. And it was open
most of the time. Every time my boss and I would go by
there he couldnt understand why I was not interested
in going and looking at what was behind the metal wall
back there. And he told me basically that they had a craft
(UFO) back there. And he told me basically that they did
have ET bodies there. Now hes not the first one
that ever told me that.
discussions that he had had with Admiral Forney he learned
that Admiral Forney (who was our missile chief and had
spent time at White Sands) was convinced that craft from
other planets were visiting us. He kept bringing up Colonel
Watson also. He said Colonel Watson let him look at a
lot of these files, plus he was the one that told him
about what they had there. He saw what they had there
[the ET craft and bodies], and as I said he couldnt
understand why I wasnt interested. I said, well,
really I dont have any interest because I will never
be able to talk about it. And I know enough now from what
Ive seen that I know they exist. It was a craft
at Wright Patterson AFB. It was a craft that did crash
the bodies that he was talking about were extraterrestrial.
Im convinced of what I saw. To my knowledge we wouldnt
have had anything of that size. And Im certain that
it was from another planet, not from this planet. Our
technology was not such at that time that we could have
any kind of a craft like that, Im sure of that.
had a top-secret clearance. But here we get back to the
need to know. And I am sure that in a lot of cases the
other people had the need to know about certain things
that I didnt have. And so Im sure that if
we had anything from another planet, that some of these
engineers would be involved, whether they were magnetic
engineers or aeronautical engineers or whatever they were,
they would be involved.
Corsos book, I was involved in some things that
Im suspicious were of the same nature. They were
asking us to see if we could find a contractor in the
area that could build something like this, to back-engineer
something like this. And we never thought about it when
he said, well, it wasnt our technology.
in the 60s, we were just moving into a new home.
My son was about eight years old. And we were sodding
the backyard. And I went into the house to wash up and
he came into the house and says, dad, mommy wants you
outside. I said, what for? He said, were looking
at flying saucers. Well, I thought to myself what the
heck does he know about flying saucers? So I go outside
and here she is standing and pointing to something up
above us. And you know what it was? It was a ship and
there were smaller craft all around it. So I go back in
the house to get the binoculars because I wanted to get
a good look at this. So I come back and the ship itself
had gone but I got a chance to see two or three of the
small ones. So when we got back in the house I said to
my wife, how did you find out about flying saucers? Because
we were not supposed to tell even our wives of our encounter,
which was in 1951."
Graham E. Bethune talks about his ufo sighting