The Pickering report was Albert Pickering’s report to Lockbourne of an unidentified sighting at about 1925 EST on the very day of Thomas Mantell’s death associated with a UFO encounter. The following is a transcript of the actual document ( See image here ):
DETACHMENT 733RD AF BASE UNIT
14 JANUARY 1948
SUBJECT: Report of Unusual Circumstance
TO : Commanding Officer
On Wednesday January 7, 1948 at about 1925 Eastern time I observed in the sky an object which I could not identify. It appeared to hover in one position for quite some time, moving very little. It disappeared once for about one minute and I assumed it entered the overcast, which was at about 10,000 feet. After descending again below the overcast it circled one place for the duration of three 360 degree turns, then moved to another position to circle some more. Turns required approximately 30 to 40 sec- onds each, diameter estimated about two miles.
In moving from one place to another a tail was visible of approximately five times the length of the object. Not knowing how close or how far the object was from me at the time, I could not estimate the size very accur- ately, but it appeared as large or larger than one of our C 47 planes, and of a different shape. Either round or oval shaped. Just before leaving it came to very near the ground, staying down for about ten seconds, then climbed at a very fast rate back to its original altitude, 10,000 feet, leveling off and disappearing into the overcast heading 120 degrees. Its speed was greater than 500 mph in level flight. It was visible to me for a per- iod of twenty minutes. No noise or sound could be detected. The color was amber light but not sufficiently bright to cover or obscure the out- line of the configuration was was approximately round. During up and down movement no maneuvering took place. Motions was same as an elevator, climbing and descending vertically. Exhaust trail was noticeable only dur- ing forward speed. It appeared as a thin mist approximately same color (amber) as the object. Length about 5 times length of object.
During descent it appeared to touch the ground or was very close to touching it. It was approximately 3 to 5 miles away from Lockbourne Air Base in immediate vicinity of COMMERICAL POINT. It positively was not a star, comet or any astronomical body to the best of my knowledge of such thing. I also rule out the possibility of it being a balloon, flare, dirgible, military or private aircraft. Ltr, Subj: Report of Unusual Circumstance, 14 Jan 48 (Cont'd) I am 26 years old and in good health and have excellent vision. I have been actively engaged in aviation 6 years. I have a private pilot license and spent 3 years 10 months in the U. S. Army Air Corps as a Sergeant link trainer instructor, instrument flight observer. The statements made herin are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and may be used for any official purpose as deemed necessary.
ALBERT R. PICKERING