The Chop Clearance List
updated: 13 Feb 2011

Fran Ridge:
In regard to the famous Albert M. Chop Clearance Letter and the Chop Letter to Henry Holt & Company here is the clearance list referred to in both letters. Items, dates, and locations are exactly as found in the original. Added click-on links take you to the detailed reports with any corrected data. For example, Item #2 shows wrong date. Major Donald E. Keyhoe, later to be NICAP's director, was investigating and reporting on history being made on the UFO subject. His status report turned out to be, "Flying Saucers From Outer Space" in 1953. This page is still under construction.

Jan Aldrich: 
As Al Chop revealed in his Sign Historical Group oral history interview, the Air Force policy was if asked about a certain case, the Air Force would release the details.  Chop said that Keyhoe had a good network feeding him leads and  he also had access to newspaper clippings and was able to ask about many cases which the Air Force released to him in 1952.  Keyhoe was very persistant and would not go away or could not be discourage with a simple, "no."  Chop said when he came to work, he would find Keyhoe already there with more questions for him. An important point was: one still had to know about a case to get the details. Later, the policy was not so open which led to charges of cover up.

List of Air Technical Intelligence UFO sightings and other information secured and cleared for Major Donald E. Keyhoe by Mr. Albert M. Chop, Air Force Press Desk.

1. Laredo Air Force Base, Tex., December 4, 1952. Air Force pilot's "fight" with a UFO.

2. North Atlantic area, August 29, 1952". Three disc shaped objects seen during tracking of a balloon.

3. Santa Ana, Calif., January 9, 1953. B-29 pilots saw rapidly moving UFO lights, bluish white, in formation.

4. Pesque Isle, Maine; Jan. 29, 1953. Pilots of an F-94 and two other fighter aircraft sighted a dark gray object,  with a very definite oval shape.

5. Hempstead, Long Island; October 29, 1952. Two F-94s; very strong statement on object's maneuvering, high speed, that it seemed to be controlled.

6. Duncanville, Tex., January 6, 1953. Strange lighted object seen by CAA tower operator and others.

7. Goose Bay Air Force Base, Labrador, December 15, 1952. Two Air Force crews got a momentary radar lock on a strange object. One pilot had seen similar object before, on November 26, 1952.

8. Gulf of Mexico area, December 6, 1952. B-29 training flight. Radar and visual reports, accurate details, double-checked; speeds computed showed UFO making 9,000 m.p.h.

9. Minneapolis, Minn., October 11, 1951. Extremely important sighting by two airborne balloon observers, General Mills-Navy balloon project; observers were in a plane, sighted two smoky-gray cigar shaped objects moving at terrific speed. Also one of the objects was sighted and briefly seen in a theodolite by a ground observer.

10. March Air Force Base, Calif., September 28 (actually March 23), 1951. F-86s trying to intercept a strange object in controlled orbit at 50,000 feet or higher.

11. Terre Haute, Ind., October 9, 1951. CAA communicator report; silvery object seen overhead, moving at high speed. (See next case.)

12. Greencastle, Ind. (Paris, Illinois), October 9, 1951. Private pilot sighted silvery object at (estimated) 5,000 feet.

13. Japan. Rotating lights case. December 29, 1952. Extremely accurate details, with ground and airborne radar and visual confirmation; three plane crews confirmed position, movements, and speeds.

14. Northern Michigan area, November 24, 1951. UFO observed from four locations, faster than any jet.

15. Greenville, S.C., May 13, 1952. Four amateur astronomers observed a diamond-shaped formation, oval shaped objects, wobbled in flight.

16. Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., July 18, 1952. Three officers, four airmen, saw a series of UFO lights. Objects hovered, speeded up, stopped, turned.

17. July 29, 1952.  An Aircraft and Warning Station in Michigan reported an extremely important case: Ground Control Intercept tracked UFO by radar, target speed 550 knots. Chased by F-94s; one got a radar lock-on; bright flashing light seen at the same time, same position.

18. Los Alamos, N.M., July 29, 1952. Several pilots and a Los Alamos guard saw a UFO, metallic in color, in straight, fast flight object made a 360 degree turn behind fighters trying to intercept it.

19. Albuquerque, N.M.; July 29, 1952. Air Force reserve colonel at Los Alamos saw a strange ellipse shaped light; indicated its rapid speed.

20. Bellefontaine, Ohio, August 1, 1952. Two F-86s chased a strange round object, got gun camera pictures.

21. Truth or Consequences, N. M. Three cylindrical objects sighted.

22. Azores; September 26, 1952. Strange green lights seen by Air Force crews approaching the Azores.

23. Washington, D.C., July 19-20 and July 26-27, 1952. The Washington Airport cases, radar and visual sightings.

24. Norfolk, Va., July 14, 1952. Pan American pilots' extremely' accurate report to ATIC on several lighted objects maneuvering and flying at terrific speeds.

25. Pittsburg, Kans., August 27, 1952. ATIC states basic details and soil sample forwarded from town where sighting occurred. Object reported hovering over open field; bluish lights seen through ports; swift ascent when observed. Soil sample broken up, unable to analyze for radioactivity.

26. Yuma County Airport, February 4, 1953. Theodolite tracking of two elliptical shaped objects.

27. Fort Worth, Tex, February 13, 1953. B-36 radar tracking and visual sightings of strange flying objects.

28. Terre Haute, Ind., February 1, 1953.  Sighting of a UFO by a T-33 pilot.

29. Japan, April 19, 1952 (March 29 is the corrected date). A T-6 pilot, Lieut. D. C. Brigham, reported to ATIC the sighting of a small disc shaped object closing in on a fighter, maneuvering around it.

30. Uvalde, Tex., July 22, 1952. Details on separate list.

31. Manhatten Beach, Calif., July 27, 1952. The "stack of coins" sighting.

32. Near Hermanas, N. M., August 24, 1952. F-84 pilot observed two strange objects (disc shaped and maneuvering at high speeds).

33. Hamilton Air Force Base, Calif., August 3, 1952. Sighting of a series of UFOs; extremely accurate report of maneuvers, speeds.

34. Rosalia, Wash., February 6, 1953. A B-36 report, very accurate sighting description, showing object circled as B36 approached it, and light commenced flashing at short intervals.

35. Truk Island, Feb. 6, 1953. Shiny, metallic looking object sighted by officer in charge of weather station.

36. Korea area (Okinawa), February 7, 1953.  Radar picked up a UFO; an F-94 was scrambled, pilot saw bright orange colored object, which changed altitudes, pulled away at high speed.

37. Tunis-Tripoli, February 11, 1953. UFO sighted by crew of an Air Force C-119, closed in, fell back, paced plane for long period.

38. South Carolina. Preliminary report on case, in February, 1953, where a man named Booth fired at an apparently hovering lighted object. (Possibility he fired on a Navy blimp is being investigated.)

39. Falls Church, Va.  Preliminary report on a sighting in August, 1952; rotating light UFO seen by ground observers including police. When police officer tilted scout car spotlight upward, object seemed to descend toward it. Light was hurriedly turned off, and object rose to former height, continued rotating.

40. Erie, Pa., February 22, 1953.  Former Navy gunner, now plane spotter, reported silvery disc, with very brilliant glow, estimated to be at least 150 feet in diameter.

41. Panama, Canal Zone, November 25-26, 1952. Two UFOs, tracked by defense radar, no visual sighting.

42. Series of questions in regard to Dr. Donald Menzel's theories. Answered by ATIC.

43. Questions regarding claims of Henry J. Taylor, U.S. News and World Report, Dr. Urner Liddel, Frank Scully, Dr. Anthony Mirachi. Answered by ATIC.

44. Questions on Tremonton, Utah, pictures; existence known from outside source, confirmed by Air Force, including confirmation by Intelligence officers at showing of the McLean pictures.

45. Summary of early Air Force investigation; admission by Albert M. Chop that early phase was not well handled, but attitude now changed, with a very serious approach.

46. Fact that an increasing number of Air Force personnel, including officers both in and out of Intelligence and the Project, are convinced that the saucers are interplanetary in origin, unless some strange natural phenomena. (This statement was cleared before the official statement made to Henry Holt and Company.)

47. Fact that classified briefings are given by Intelligence to various important officials (as indicated by the Finletter report).

48. Fact that various highly reputable scientists, astronomers, astrophysicists, engineers, aeronautical experts, guided missile and rocket experts, etc., are used by the Project in analyzing reports and other evidence.

49. Fact that I helped the Air Force secure the McLean pictures for analysis.

50. Fact that Col. William C. Odell submitted an article (through Mr. Chop) indicating possible exodus from an other planet; that he was not allowed to use his rank in connection with it, and that after discussing the matter with True magazine I returned the manuscript to the colonel (again through Mr. Chop).

51. Clearance of the Tremonton, Utah, case, and the facts I previously had confirmed.

This itemized list bears the following notation.

"As initialed, the above is the true account of subjects discussed, opinions expressed, and material cleared for publication."

(Signed) Albert M. Chop.