On March 17, 18 and 19, 1950, beginning between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon and lasting for approximately two hours each day, an armada of 200 to 500 UFOs, flying saucers, was seen by approximately 1500 residents of Farmington, New Mexico.
Persons along Main Street once again could be seen looking skyward and pointing. Farmington citizens stood in the streets yesterday watching the first reported mass flying saucer flight ever sighted. Traffic was slowed to avoid hitting sky gazers. The office of the Farmington Daily Times was deluged with calls from persons who saw the objects. High winds and a dust storm prevented clear vision.
Fully half of this town's population still is certain today that it saw space ships or some strange aircraft, hundreds of them zooming through the skies. The objects appeared to play tag high in the air. At times they streaked away at almost unbelievable speeds. One witness did a triangulation sighting on one of the objects and estimated its speed at about 1,000 mph, and estimated its size as approximately twice that of a B-29. Many described the objects as silvery disks. A number agreed they saw one that was red in color, bigger and faster, and apparently the leader. Whatever they were, they caused a major sensation in this community, which lies only 110 air miles northwest of the huge Los Alamos Atomic installation.
Speed Estimated at 1000 mph, Altitude 20,000'.
Clayton J. Boddy, 32, business manager of Farmington Times and a former Army Engineers captain in Italy, was one of those who saw the startling objects. He was on roadway when all of a sudden I noticed a few moving objects high in the sky. Moments later there appeared what seemed to be about 500 of them, He could not estimate their size or speed, but said they appeared to be about 15,000'.
Boddy's account was confirmed by Joseph C. and Francis C. Kelloff, retail grocers from Antonito, CO., who were in Farmington to inspect the site of a proposed new store, and by Bob Foutz and John Burrell of Farmington. The Kelloffs said the objects appeared to be flying in formation.
One of the most impressive accounts came from Harold F. Thatcher, head of the Farmington unit of the Soil Conservation service. Thatcher made a triangulation on one of a number of flying craft, He said if it had been a B-29 it would have been 2,000' and traveling more than 1000 mph. I'm not a professional engineer, Thatcher said, but I have engineers working under me and I know how to work out rough triangulation on an object. He emphatically denied an earlier report that the objects could have been small pieces of cotton fuzz floating in the atmosphere. It was not cotton, I saw several pieces of cotton fuzz floating around in the air at the time, but I was not sighting on any cotton. The cotton report was started by State Patrolman Andy Andrews, who quoted several Farmington Residents as asserting it was cotton they saw. The residents denied Andrew's report.
The first reports of flying saucers were noted a few minutes before 11:00 a.m. yesterday.
A second large scale sighting occurred at 3:00 p.m. At that time, Mrs. Wilson Jones, 27, and Mr. Roy Hicks, 33, housewives reported seeing objects to the north of Farmington, flying in perfect formation. Others reported the same sight. Johnny Eaton, 29, a real estate and insurance salesman, and Edward Brooks, 24, an employee of the Perry Smoak garage, were the first to report the red colored sky object.
Brooks, a B-29 tail gunner during the war, said he was positive the objects sighted were not airplanes. The very maneuvering of the things couldn't be that of modern aircraft.
John Bloomfield, another employee of Smoak's garage, said the objects he saw traveled at a speed that appeared to him to be about 10 times faster than that of jet planes. In addition, the objects frequently made right angle turns. They appeared to be coming at each other head on, at the last second, one would veer at right angles upward, the other at right angles downward. One saucer would pass another and immediately the one to the rear would zoom into the lead.
Marlow Webb, another garage employee, said the objects to the naked eye appeared to be about 8" in diameter as seen from the ground. He described them as about the size of a dinner plate. they flew sideways, on edge and at every conceivable angle, this is what made it easy to determine that they were saucer shaped.
None of the scores of reports told of any vapor trail or engine noise. Nor did anyone report any markings on the craft.They made no noise.
Reports from the Residents of Farmington, New Mexico
The flying saucers were silver colored metallic disk shaped objects (Except for the single red craft), without visible windows.
Between 200 and 500 oblects appeared between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon for a 2 hour period on three consecutive days, March 17, 18, and 19, 1950.
The craftss seemed to be flying in formation, and could fly at different angles. They could fly with their edge perpendicular to the ground.
Shortly after the first sighting on March 17th, government agents from an unspecified organization arrived in Farmington. Residents of the town, which had a population of approximately 3000 in 1950, were encouraged to not discuss the incident. World War II had ended just a few years earlier, and Farmington townspeople were told that for national security reasons, they should forget what they saw.
All of the newspapers which reported the incident quickly disappeared from every location selling the papers. It isn't known whether the US government or residents of Farmington purchased every copy of each edition. There isn't much information available online about what has been described as the largest armada of flying saucers seen anywhere in the world. It has been surmised that this is because the US government wanted the incident hushed up.