An American fighter pilot was reportedly shaken after spending 30 minutes battling in the sky with a white shape that appeared to totally outclass his fighter jet.
Lt. George F. Gorman was a veteran aviator of World War II, but he was stunned by the strange encounter he had in the skies over Fargo, North Dakota.
And his so-called “dogfight” with a UFO on October 1, 1948 is one of the most disconcerting encounters of the phenomenon’s early days.
Gorman allegedly witnessed a glowing white ball from an object that appeared to totally outclass his P-51 Mustang.
Serving with the North Dakota National Guard at the time, the pilot was on a training mission when he spotted the object around 9 p.m.
He was also seen by people on the ground and a civilian plane – but when Gorman flew in to intercept him he found himself in a high-speed cat-and-mouse game with the form for 27 minutes.
The official story is that the experienced and balanced Gorman simply encountered a lighted weather balloon or was confused by a particularly bright Jupiter.
But that would never have been washed away with Gorman, telling friends he was ‘never convinced he dueled with a lit balloon for 27 minutes’.
Gorman died in 1982, so he’s no longer around to tell his story – and The Sun Online has made moves to speak to his surviving family via social media, but with no response as of press time.
His story is an enduring mystery – and one that continues to ignite as UFOs now take center stage in Washington DC as the subject moves out of the realm of fringe conspiracies.
Chris Lehto, an experienced F-16 pilot who investigated the Gorman case, told The Sun Online: “xxxxx”.
The incident began as Gorman and his wingmen were returning to Hector Airport.
With the others taking off, Gorman decided to stay aloft so he could practice night flying in cloudless skies.
And after flying over a crowded stadium where the North Dakota Bison were taking on the Augustana Vikings, Gorman spotted something in the sky he couldn’t explain.
It was a flashing ball of white light.
Gorman radioed the air traffic control tower, but they said they only had him and a nearby civilian Piper Cub on their screen.
Firing his P-51 shell, he went to investigate – and suddenly the object sped away from him, accelerating to around 600 mph.
It blinked and went out. However, as I approached, the light suddenly became steady and went down a steep left bank
What followed next was nearly half an hour of aerial chicken as Gorman engaged with the object at full speed.
The shape dived directly above his plane and appeared to totally outsmart his P-51.
He described it as “clear white and completely fuzzless around the edges” – and he performed acrobatics such as 180 degree turns, sudden steep climbs and head-on passes with his plane.
“It was flickering occasionally. As I approached, however, the light suddenly became steady and headed towards a strong left bank,” Gorman told investigators.
As the “dogfight” unfolded, air traffic controllers at Hector Airport Tower also spotted the light – as did the civilian pilot and the Piper Club passenger.
Gorman pushed his plane to the limit – at one point even briefly blacked out due to the forces and speeds involved – but still couldn’t match the UFO.
And then 27 minutes into the encounter, the UFO sped away in a vertical climb – moving so far and so fast that the WWII veteran lost sight of form.
Shaken and disturbed, Gorman landed his fighter jet.
And in the hours that followed, he found himself having to give affidavits to the first official UFO investigation in the United States, Project Sign.
What could be described as “men in black” descended on Fargo, questioning those involved and even checking the P-51 with a Geiger counter for radiation.
They discovered that the Mustang was considerably radioactive – but this fact has since been attributed to the altitude at which it was flying.
“I am convinced that there was a definite thought behind [the UFOs] maneuvers,” Gorman told investigators.
“I am further convinced that the object was governed by the laws of inertia because its acceleration was rapid but not immediate and although it could have rotated quite tightly at considerable speed, it still followed a natural curve.”
He continued, “When I tried to spin with the object, I temporarily passed out due to excessive speed.
“I’m in fairly good physical condition and I don’t believe there are many, if any, pilots who could handle the turn and speed affected by the object, and still be conscious.
“The object was not only able to rotate and outpace my aircraft…it was able to achieve a much steeper climb and was able to maintain a constant rate of climb much greater than that of my aircraft. “
Project Sign’s g-men rated Gorman as a “sincere, serious individual” who was “considerably intrigued by his experience and made no attempt to blow his story”.
Air traffic controller Lloyd D. Jensen meanwhile was deemed “reliable, deliberate and calculated in his observations”, as was his colleague HE Johnson – who they said was “stoic, quiet, not easily impressed”.
Piper Cub pilot Dr. LN Cannon was rated as “highly alert, quick-witted and very capable” – but was reportedly “unimpressed by the incident”, instead believing the object was simply a Canadian fighter plane.
Project Sign investigators reportedly initially believed that “something remarkable” happened that night over Fargo.
But in later UFO probes – Project Grudge and Project Blue Book – saw the case reassessed and cast aside as a mere weather balloon.
For many, however, this explanation remains unsatisfactory, and Gorman’s story remains an extraordinary early encounter with a UFO.
Gorman never spoke publicly about the encounter after the initial buzz – and would have been threatened with a court martial if he did.
But her story is another piece of the UFO puzzle that is coming back to the fore as the stigma around the subject crumbles.
U.S. officials dismissed UFOs at the end of Project Blue Book in the 1960s – saying there was nothing to see.
And yet, some five decades later, the debate has returned and is now being treated as a serious national security issue.
The topic that for decades was considered a goofy fringe and damaging topic is now being openly spoken about by very high profile figures including former President Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
US lawmakers commissioned the Pentagon’s UFO report after a stunning series of leaked videos that showed military encounters with objects such as the infamous “Tic Tac”.
Washington continues UFO talks, with new legislation proposed to protect whistleblowers.
Questions remain as to whether the objects encountered by the United States are previously unknown drones, a natural phenomenon, dark technology – or perhaps something more extraterrestrial.
And last week, The Sun Online revealed a family’s search for answers after an American pilot died in a crash while chasing a UFO.