The series was produced and narrated by Jack Webb. It’s based on incidents from the files of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book which looked into reports of U.F.O.’s from 1952-69.
The first year featured William Jordan as Major Jake Gatlin and Caskey Swaim as S/Sgt.Harry Fitz. Jordan was replaced in season two by Edward Winter. The show stays away from camp and does its best to be authentic. Since this is a Jack Webb creation it has the “Dragnet” like clipped dialogue but without the zinger at the end of a sentence. It also has some quirky characters.
Opening episode: February 19,1978 – “Sighting 4001:The Washington D.C. Incident – A U.F.O. is spotted over a farm in Kentucky and then by a truck driver in West Virgina. A woman in Virginia says it landed in her yard.
Later that night a sighting is made near Washington D.C. when the sky was supposed to be clear. A commercial flight on its way in spots something ahead of it and there’s some turbulence.
The next day two interceptors are sent up to track it down. One has to come back due to equipment failure. The other, piloted by Lt.Gary McNair, chases the U.F.O. As he approaches it the plane’s canopy comes off and then the jet plunges to the ground at eleven hundred miles per hour.
Gatlin and Fitz go to see the widow, Helen. They ask what Gary was feeling like that day and she gets steamed and they leave. The truck driver,who is in the hospital, says the thing came right at his truck during a thunderstorm. The woman in Virginia, Martha Carlyle, says she saw a symbol on the ship as it landed and then something got out.
Helen shows up the next day at their office and Gatlin isn’t happy that she’s being followed by a newspaper reporter. Gatlin’s also not happy that she’s talking to him. He gets a call to report to the Pentagon. Now everything east of the Mississippi is raised to Defcon 3.
Gatlin and Fitz think they have a logical explanation and tell the witnesses. No one is buying it.
The episode is based on an incident from January 7,1948 in which an Air National Guard pilot was killed.