1952 Washington DC UFO (Capitol Building) photo

There is evidence that there was some sort of UFO activity in/near Washington DC in 1952.  This post is not about the 1952 incident, but the photograph(s)  that are often associated with it.

The most common photo associated with this story is this one:


Wow!  It sure looks like a fleet of something-or-other near the capitol building!  But this photo is a little misleading.  The above photo is an enlargement of this NEXT photo:


Now, I don’t know where this picture comes from.  But you can find it all over on the web.  There’s no indication that it is from 1952, or was taken during the 1952 incident.  However, there are a bunch of objects in the sky that appear to be UFOs, so people may have made the assumption that this picture was taken in 1952 at that event.

My theory is that these are not UFOs, but a reflection.

The “1952” image appears to be a night shot, where the lens was held open for an extended length.  Parts of the image are overexposed.   The bright spots at the base of the capitol building are combinations of lanterns and lights within the windows.  Here’s another similar, but closer shot, for comparison. 



Let’s do a little detective work.  First, I’m going to highlight the ‘UFO area’ of the image.


I’m going to use this section as a template.  I’m going to cut a hole into all of the areas that appear to be UFOs or lighted objects.


I’m also going to remove the building, and paint the template black so it will be easier to distinguish, once we lay it back on our original image.



Now I’m going to use a bright green to  highlight the overexposed “hot spots” at the bottom.



OK!  Let’s see if the holes in our mask match the hot spots!


😦  No match.  Was the theory wrong?  What if the lenses on this camera were convex?  Would that make a difference?  Would the reflection be upside down, like a spoon?  So I flipped the mask vertically, and horizontally.


Now that’s a match!

What about underneath the mask?  Did I account for all of the lights?


There are three hot spots under the mask that are not reflected on the top area, for whatever reason.   The other two that fell within the ‘building’ area would not have been brighter than the building itself, and so those refelctions do not appear in the ‘UFO pattern.”

Overall, I think the position of the overexposed lights, when compared with the ‘UFO’ pattern above, is so similar, that it must be a refelction. 

Whether UFOs actually visited the capitol building is still up for discussion.  But my conclusion is that this particular image is a camera refelction, and was not taken at the 1952 incident.

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3 Responses to “1952 Washington DC UFO (Capitol Building) photo”

  1. robert Says:

    If you want to see the hidden history of UFOs over Washington, D.C.
    please visit this site:


    As for the lens flare theory for the above photo, hundreds of people saw these UFOs which were also tracked on radar. The US military did attempt to intercept. Therefore, they could not be lens flares.

  2. lookathimnow Says:

    “Therefore, they could not be lens flares.”

    I disagree. There is no indication when this picture was taken. There is no indication that this picture was taken in 1952.

  3. erkol Says:

    awesome comment. thanks

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