On October 1, 1948, World War II veteran fighter pilot George F. Gorman, then serving in the North Dakota Air National Guard, decided to get in some night flying practice while the conditions were ideal. Gorman was soaring along in his P-51 Mustang, reports History, when he encountered something he'd never seen before: a glowing white orb.
Being such an oddity, Gorman flew closer to the orb to check it out. He reports that the orb was blinking on and off until he came close to the object, at which point it remained a steady white. Gorman estimated the object was roughly six to eight inches in diameter. The object must have sensed the plane’s presence somehow, because it banked sharply to the left when Gorman approached it.
The pilot gave chase, but the object wasn’t having it. According to Gorman, the orb accelerated faster and moved more sharply than any craft he’d ever seen in the air. At two points during the chase, the object and Gorman played a game of chicken, with Gorman pulling away at the last second during the first encounter and the orb doing the same during the second. After the second near-collision, the orb shot up vertically and climbed so fast that the P-51 Mustang stalled out in its chase. All in all, Gorman says he followed the object for nearly half an hour. After landing, Gorman reported that the object had no exhaust trail and made zero sounds.
Before you start thinking that George Gorman was some sort of kook, you should know that several other sources saw the object as well. This includes one other pilot, two air traffic controllers, and two Civil Aeronautics Authority employees who were on the ground. Gorman was checked out by government investigators who found him to be stable and trustworthy, so insanity is out the window.
The P-51 from the chase was examined by a U.S. Air Force investigator from Project Sign, which would later be named “Project Blue Book.” What is Project Blue Book? According to another entry at History, it’s the Air Force project that investigated UFOs and UFO phenomena. The Project Sign investigation showed increased radioactivity from Gorman’s aircraft. To be fair, this could have been caused by trying to follow the orb at high altitudes.
The object was too highly advanced to have been new Cold War tech of the times, but was ultimately rationalized as a weather balloon, in the same way the National Security Agency rationalized the Roswell incident: Rapid movements of the “balloon” were caused by the air movement created from Gorman’s P-51. Gorman never spoke publicly about the incident, which was then classified for decades. “Weather balloon.” Sure, yeah, right.