Published: 12:48 PM 4/5/2010
Santa Barbara Channel, 1953
Kelly Johnson was known as one of the world's leading aircraft designers. He was in charge of designing the U-2 spy plane for the CIA.
On December 16, 1953, a Lockhead WV2 aircraft was being flown by one of Johnson's test crews over Long Beach California, at the same time that Johnson and his wife were on the ground in Agoura, California.
Johnson, his wife, and the flight crew all spotted a UFO at almost the same time. Because the plane and Johnson's location were both known, the location of the unknown object could be triangulated exactly.
The object spotted by the observers was a 200 foot long, black craft, similar to the military's "Flying Wing." The UFO was seen for 6-7 minutes as it hovered over the Santa Barbara Channel.
The W-2B decided to get a closer look, and proceeded toward the UFO, which was about 15,000 feet altitude. All the while, Johnson was observing the UFO with his binoculars.
He, along with the crew in flight, saw the UFO take off at a great speed. It headed out over the Pacific. It reached 90 miles altitude as it disappeared from view.
Later, in Johnson's official report, he stated: "I am now more convinced than ever, that such devices exist, and I have some highly technical converts in this belief."
After looking over the case, the US Air Force concluded that Johnson, his wife, and the airplane crew had seen a lenticular cloud.
Although the government thought that Johnson could not tell the difference between a cloud and a structured, flying object, they continued to employ him for many years to come, designing some of the most secretive, cutting-edge planes of his era.