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Documents - CIA FILES

CIA FILE: Swedish Pilot Observes Round Shaped Object Moving at Speed of Sound

Captain Christiernsson Who was flying for a commercial airline at the time, but has flown over 30 missions for the military made the following statement about the object. "I do not doubt for an instant that it was not a jet plane. What I saw was a completely unorthodox, metallic, symmetric, round object which was unlike anything I have seen before."

Full transcript of the documents below.

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The chief pilot for Transair Airlines, Flight Captain Ulf Christiernsson and his flight mechanic, Olle Johansson, reported that on the afternoon of 17 December 1953, while flying in a DC-3 over Skaane, they sighted a mysterious circular metal object flying in an opposite direction of them at a speed estimated at about the speed of sound. The airmen estimated that the object was about 10 meters in diameter.

Captain Christiernsson, at present employed by Transair in flying the morning [Stockholm] papers to southern Sweden, has very extensive air experience, having served as a volunteer with the RAF from 1942-1946, finishing his service with the rank of captain. He flew 30 missions against enemy territory from North Africa and Italy.

Captain Chrestiernsson made the following statement to Dagens Nyheter: "I do not doubt for an instant that it was not a jet plane. What I saw was a completely unorthodox, metallic, symmetric, round object which was unlike anything I have seen before. The mysterious object appeared suddenly on the air route traveled by all controlled air traffic between Bulltofta and Bromma air fields. I myself was en route to Bromma. Over Hassleholm, I saw an object -- on my right and obliquely in front of me, flying at a somewhat lower altitude -- which at first I though to be a jet plane. The silhouette was thin and it approached me at a very high velocity. Olle Johansson and I have discussed the matter of its speed, and comparing its speed with, for example, that of the flying barrels [J-29], we have estimated the speed to be about that of sound. The whole business took place fantastically quickly, but I believe that I was able to see the object for 4 to 5 seconds."

"When the object got closer, I was able to ascertain that it was symmetric and metallic. It is very difficult to describe something that one has never seen before, but I would say that it looked like a flying lozenge. The object did not seem to have a crew, but seemed more to be a robot. The mechanic, who was able to observe it for five more seconds, confirms the fact that it was circular or possibly somewhat elliptical in form. At the time of the incident, we were flying at an altitude of 2,150 meters and the cloud ceiling was about 1,500 meters. Thus, the object should have been flying at an altitude of between 1,500 and 1,600 meters. We estimated the size to be about 10 meters in diameter. It left no exhaust or condensation trail."

"We are both absolutely convinced that it could not have been a meteor or other celestial phenomenon. We did not see any distinct light but were only able to see that the object had a metallic lustre. Immediately after the observation, we reported to F5 in Ljungbyhed and to the regional civil air security service at Bulltofta. The course of the object was south-southwest. The whole thing happened so quickly that we could not have managed to change course [and follow the object]..."

Olle Johansson's statement was as follows: "I was sitting forward in the right-hand seat of the pilot's cabin when Captain Christiernsson pointed to the object. What I saw was an ellipse with sharp outlines and something between silver and white in color. I saw it for about 10 seconds. It was approaching from the north in a direction opposite to ours, at a speed of about 1,200 kilometers per hour. Its was flying entirely above the clouds. From Malmo northward, we were able to see the ground for only a few myriameters and after that there was a cloud covering all the way to Stockholm. We were flying at a speed of about 270 kilometers per hour. Ten minutes after the incident, we met an SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) DC-4. There upon, we estimated the object's speed at about three times that of the DC-4. There seemed to be no flames or smoke trail from the object. Since we had the automatic pilot on, we had no chance to turn quickly enough to see where the object went."

The Defense Staff's short communique on the incident read as follows: "At 1457 hours on Thrusday, the crew on a civilian commercial plane observed, in the vicinity of Hassleholm, an unknown object which moved at a high speed in a direction opposite to that of the plane. The object was viewed for 6 to 7 second. At the time of the incident, there was clear weather at the altitude at which the plane was flying. Because of the low cloud ceiling, the object could not have been seen from the ground. Within the knowledge of the Defense Staff, there was no Swedish plane in the area concerned at the time of the incident. Investigation continues."

Reports of "flying saucers" have arisen in both Europe and America on countless occasions in recent years, but according to a statement to Dagens Nyheter by a member of the Air Staff, these observations over Skaane can be termed the clearest and most detailed which heretofore have been made regarding mysterious, unknown aircraft.

Both the Defense Staff and the Air Staff were working feverishly on Friday (18 December) to solve the mystery of the "flying lozenge." They arrived at no definite result, but the experts are mostly of the opinion that the observed object was a daylight meteorite. The possibility that it was a balloon or an unknown type of foreign aircraft is not ruled out, however. The theory of a meteorite was put forth by one of the persons in Seden best acquainted with the region, Bertil Lindblad of the observatory in Lund.

According to Lindblad, precisely in December the Earth passes a swarm of meteors known as the Geminids. The maximum occurred on 13 December. Studies of the meteors have shown that just at the time of day at which the object was seen -- about 1500 hours -- the meteors are approaching the Earth at an angle of 3 degrees which means that their path is nearly parallel to the Earth's surface. The direction of the meteors is from north to south with a displacement of 17 degrees which also seems to agree with the observations made. In space, meteors have a speed of 36 kilometers per second, but the speed is reduced very greatly when they come into the vicinity of the Earth. It has not heretofore been possible to observe meteors during the day so it is not known how they look in daylight. When the Earth passed the same meteor swarm last year, a lone meteor was observed some days after the swarm had disappeared. That meteor was plainly a straggler. It was observed at nigh, however, and therefore gave off a weak, red glow. It fell also at an entirely different angle since it was a different time of day.

Captain of the Defense Staff stated that other possible explanations of the phenomenon have not been written off by any means. To be sure, no Swedish balloons have been sent up, but propaganda and weather balloons have been sent up from both Germany and Denmark. With the type of wind and weather prevailing in recent days, it would have been possible for a balloon to have been driven over Sweden. Captain Chritiernsson and his mechanic; Olle Johansson, stated in their report that the speed of the object approached that of sound; however, there is great difficulty in judging speeds of suddenly appearing objects, even for experienced observers. Captain Killenius commented that if a balloon prior to its observation had soared to a great altitude, it might have lost some of its gas, giving it a flat form.

In some quarters, Capain Christiernsson's report has been regarded as a prank. The Defense Staff, however, does not consider it a prank. Christiernsson, on returning from another flight to Malmo on Friday, gave heated assurances that his report was the absolute truth. He said, "To be sure, I joke a bit, but one does not joke about things like this. I saw something and reported my observations. What it was, I do not know."

Object Stated to Be Advertising Balloon

The mysterious "flying lozenge" over Hassleholm was probably neither a meteor nor a robot weapon, it was more likely an advertising balloon for a perfume firm. The object was observed at 1500 on Thursday (17 December) and on the same day between 1200 and 1300, Director Bertil Dahlstrom of Malmo had been up Asphult on Linderodsaasen, some myriameters south of Hassleholm, to release 300 advertising balloons.

Whether the perfume advertising balloons, which are considerably smaller than meteorological balloons, would, through angles of refraction and radiation of light, take on the appearance and size which cannot be answered until detailed calculations are made. Very likely, composite photographs and other techniques will be utilized to determine the matter.

No new observations have been reported during Saturday (19 December), and the experts are now working with the material which came in earlier. Telephone calls have been received from a number of persons with new theories, some of which will be tested. In the meantime, the balloon theory seems to have been strengthened through the latest reports from Skaane.


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