Air Force Regulation 200-2, Unidentified Flying Objects Reporting

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Air Force Regulation 200-2 (or AFR 200-2) version August 1954  (1954) 
by United States Air Force

This version, dated 12 August 1954, was created after the 4602 Air Intelligence Service Squadron (4602d AISS) was brought in to assist the USAF Air Technical Intelligence Center with preliminary and field UFO investigations. It supersedes AFR 200-2, 26 August 1953, Including Change 200-2A, 2 November 1953.

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Purpose and Scope[edit]

This Regulation establishes procedures for information and evidence material pertaining to unidentified flying objects and sets forth the responsibility of Air Force activities in this regard. It applies to all Air Force Activities.


  • Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOB) relates to any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features, does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which cannot be positively identified as a familiar object.
  • Familiar Objects - Include balloons, astronomical bodies, birds, and so forth.


Air Force interest in unidentified flying objects is twofold: First as a possible threat to the security of the United States and its forces, and secondly, to determine technical aspects involved.

  • Air Defense. To date the flying objects reported have imposed no threat to the security of the United States and its Possessions. However, the possibility that new air vehicles, hostile aircraft or missiles may first be regarded as flying objects by the initial observer is real. This requires that sightings be reported as rapidly and as completely as information permits.
  • Technical Analysis thus far has failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for a number of sightings reported. The Air Force continues to collect and analyze reports until all sightings can be satisfactorily explained., bearing in mind that:
  • To measure scientific advances, the Air Force must be informed on experimentation and development of new air vehicles.
  • The possibility exists that an air vehicle of revolutionary configuration may be developed.
  • The reporting of all pertinent factors will have a direct bearing on the success of the technical analysis.


  • Reporting Commanders of all Air Force activities will report all information and evidence that may come to their attention, including that received from adjacent commands of the other services and from civilians.
  • Investigation Air Defense Command will conduct all field investigations within the ZI, to determine the identity of any UFOB.
  • Analysis The Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, will analyze and evaluate: All information and evidence reported within the ZI after the Air Defense Command has exhausted all efforts to identify the UFOB; and all information and evidence collected in overseas areas.
  • Cooperation All activities will cooperate with Air Defense Command representatives to insure the economical and prompt success of an investigation, including the furnishing of air and ground transportation, when feasible.


The thoroughness and quality of a report or investigation into incidents of unidentified flying objects are limited only by the resourcefulness and imagination of the person responsible for preparing the report. Guidance set forth below is based on experience and has been found helpful in evaluating incidents.

  • Theodolite measurements of changes of azimuth and elevation and angular size.
  • Interception, identification, or air search action. these actions may be taken if appropriate and within the scope of existing air defense regulations.
  • Contact with local aircraft control and Warning (AC&W) units, ground observer corps (GOC) posts and filter centers, pilots and crews of aircraft aloft at the time and place of sighting whenever feasible, and any other persons or organizations which may have factual data bearing on the UFOB or may be able to offer corroborating evidence, electronic or otherwise.
  • Consultation with military and civilian weather forecasters to obtain data on: Tracks of weather balloons released in the area, since these often are responsible for sightings; and any unusual meteorological activity which may have a bearing on the UFOB.
  • Consultation with astronomers in the area to determine whether any astronomical body or phenomenon would account for or have bearing on the observation.
  • Contact with military and civilian tower operators, air operations offices, and so forth, to determine whether the sighting could be the result of misidentification of known aircraft.
  • Contact with persons who might have knowledge of experimental aircraft of unusual configuration, rocket and guided missile firings, and so forth in the area.

ZI Collection[edit]

The Air Defense Command has a direct interest in the facts pertaining to UFOB's reported within the ZI and has, in the 4602d Air Intelligence Service Squadron (AISS), the capability to investigate these reports. The 4602d AISS is composed of specialists trained for field collection and investigation of matters of air intelligence interest which occur within the zone of the ZI. This squadron is highly mobile and deployed throughout the ZI as follows: Flights are attached to air defense divisions, detachments are attached to each of the defense forces, and the squadron headquarters is located at Peterson Field, Colorado, adjacent to Headquarters, Air Defense Command. Air Force activities, therefore, should establish and maintain liaison with the nearest element of this squadron. This can be accomplished by contacting the appropriate echelon of the Air Defense Command as outlined above.

  • All Air Force activities are authorized to conduct such preliminary investigation as may be required for reporting purposes; however, investigations should not be carried beyond this point, unless such action is requested by the 4602d AISS.
  • On occasions - after initial reports submitted - additional data is required which can be developed more economically by the nearest Air Force activity, such as narrative statements, sketches, marked maps, charts, and so forth. Under such circumstances, appropriate commanders will be contacted by the 4602d AISS.
  • Direct communication between echelons of the 4602d AISS and Air Force activities is authorized.


Information relating to unidentified flying objects will be reported promptly. The method (electrical or written) and priority of the dispatch will be selected in accordance with the apparent intelligence value of the information. In most instances, reports will be made by electrical means: Information over 24 hours old will be given a "deferred" precedence. reports over 3 days old will be made by written report prepared on AF Form 112, Air Intelligence Information report, and AF Form 112a, Supplement to AF Form 112.


  • Electrical Reports All electrical reports will be multiple addressed to:
  • Commander, Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • Nearest Air Division (Defense) (For ZI only.)
  • Commander, Air Technical Intelligence Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
  • Director of Intelligence, Headquarters, USAF, Washington 25, D.C.
  • Written Reports:
  • Within the ZI, reports will be submitted direct to the Air Defense Command. Air Defense Command will reproduce the report and distribute it to interested ZI intelligence agencies. The original report together with the notation of the distribution effected then will be forwarded to the Director of Intelligence, Headquarters, USAF, Washington 25, D.C.
  • Outside the ZI, reports will be submitted direct to the Director of Intelligence, Headquarters, USAF, Washington 25, D.C. as prescribed in "Intelligence Collection Instructions" (ICI), June 1954.
  • Short Title "UFOB" will appear at the beginning of the text of electrical messages and in the subject of written reports.
  • Negative Data The word "negative" in reply to any numbered item of the report format will indicate that all logical leads were developed without success. The phrase "not applicable" (N/A) will indicate that the question does not apply to the sighting being investigated.
  • Report Format Reports will include the following numbered items:
  • Description of the object(s):
  • Shape
  • Size compared to known object (use one of the following terms: Head of a pin, pea, dime, nickel, quarter, half dollar, silver dollar, baseball, grapefruit, or basketball) held in the hand at about arms length.
  • Color.
  • Number.
  • Formation, if more than one.
  • Any discernible features or details.
  • Tail, trail, or exhaust, including size of same compared to size of object(s).
  • Sound. If heard, describe sound.
  • Other pertinent or unusual features.
  • Description of course of object(s):
  • What first called the attention of the observer(s) to the object(s)?
  • Angle of elevation and azimuth of the objects when first observed.
  • Angle of elevation and azimuth of the objects upon disappearance.
  • Description of flight path and maneuvers of object(s).
  • Manner of disappearance of objects(s)
  • Length of time in sight
  • Manner of observation:
  • Use one or a combination of the following items: Ground-visual, ground-electronic, ir-electronic. (If electronic, specify type of radar.)
  • Statement as to optical aids (telescopes, binoculars, and so forth) used and description thereof.
  • If the sighting is made while airborne, give type of aircraft, identification number, altitude, heading, speed and home station.
  • Time and date of sighting:
  • Zulu time-date group of sighting.
  • Light conditions (use one of he following terms): Night, day, dawn, dusk.
  • Locations of observer(s). Exact latitude and longitude of each observer or Georef position, or position with reference to a known landmark.
  • Identifying information of all observer(s):
  • Civilian - Name, age, mailing address, occupation.
  • Military - Name, grade, organization, duty, and estimate of reliability.
  • Weather and winds-aloft conditions at time and place of sightings:
  • Observer(s) account of weather conditions.
  • Report from nearest AWS or U.S. Weather Bureau Office of wind direction and velocity in degrees and knots at surface, 6,000', 10,000', 16,000', 20,000', 30,000', 50,000', and 80,000', if available.
  • ceiling.
  • Visibility.
  • Amount of cloud cover.
  • Thunderstorms in area and quadrant in which located.
  • Any other unusual activity or condition, meteorological, astronomical, or otherwise, which might account for the sighting.
  • Interception and identification action taken. (Such action may be taken whenever feasible, complying with existing air defense directives.)
  • Location of any air traffic in the general area at the time of the sighting.
  • Position title and comments of the preparing officer, including his preliminary analysis of the possible cause of the sighting(s).
  • Security. Reports should be unclassified unless inclusion of data required by c and d belowmandates a higher classification.


The existence of physical evidence (photographs or material) will be promptly reported.

  • Photographic:
  • Visual: the negative and two prints will be forwarded, all original film, including wherever, possible both prints and negatives, will be titled or otherwise properly identified as to place, time, and date of the incident.
  • Radar: Two copies of each print will be forwarded. Prints of radarscope photography will be titled in accordance with AFR 95-7 and forwarded in accordance with AFR 95-6.
  • Material: Suspected or actual items of material which come into the possession of any Air Force Echelon will be safeguarded in such manner as to prevent any defacing or alteration which might reduce its value for intelligence examination and analysis.

Release of Facts[edit]

Headquarters USAF will release summaries of evaluated data which will inform the public on this subject. In response to local inquiries, it is permissible to in form news media representatives on UFOB's when the object is positively identified as a familiar object (see paragraph 2b), except that the following type of data warrants protection and should not be revealed: Names of principles, intercept and investigation procedures, and classified radar data. For those objects which are not explainable, only the fact that ATIC will analyze the data is worthy of release, due to many unknowns involved.