The McGuire Air Force Base Alien Encounter, 1978

An alleged alien encounter occurred at McGuire Air Force Base on January 18, 1978 that resulted in the shooting, and killing of an extraterrestrial alien. According to the Browns Mills Community News, a Fort Dix MP on duty in the early morning hours “pumped five bullets” into one of the “grey” variety of aliens and then fired at the flying saucer that hovered over his vehicle. The grey alien cleared a high fence, then collapsed dead on a runway of the adjacent McGuire AFB, stinking of ammonia in its reptilian-looking skin. The dead alien was whisked off to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, which is supposedly where the aliens from the Roswell, NM UFO crash are stored. Security personnel were “debriefed” at Wright-Patterson, too.

According to the News, Ufologists claim to have evidence that the event happened, via a principal eyewitness named “Jeff Morse.” Morse was a “rookie Air Force security officer” at the base, and while he didn’t shoot the alien, he saw it sprawled out dead on the tarmac. And it was he who provided a copy of an incident/complaint report (a standard DD 1569 form) that detailed the night’s events. Investigators with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon (NICAP) spoke with Morse and found him to be a credible witness.

But U.S. Air Force officials say the story just doesn’t hold water. McGuire’s civilian base historian told the News that while numerous people have contacted the base over the years trying to get records about the incident, the event is “complete fiction.” The Air Force claims they cannot find Jeff Morse, and the incident report has many inaccuracies, including the base’s chain of command and its ZIP code. An outside group, the National Institute of Discovery Science (NIDS), found that the base commander at the time of the incident and four other air force officials claimed no memory of the event. –Thanks to Roger Murray

An Interview Major George Filer III, who was on the base that night

Major George Filer III is a retired intelligence officer from the US Air force with almost 5,000 hours of flight time to his credit. He did not believe in UFOs until he witnessed something unexplainable over England in 1962. He had also been involved with one the strangest alien cases ever to come from New Jersey. On Jan. 18, 1978, he was present at McGuire AFB when an alleged alien was captured and shot on one of the runways.

When Filer retired in 1997, he went on to become the East Coast Director of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the nation’s largest UFO organization. He lives in Medford, NJ. Weird NJ’s Mark Sceurman talked with Mr. Filer about his involvement with the incident at Fort McGuire.

My name is George A. Filer, III. I was in the U.S. Air Force and my final rank was major. I was a navigator in various aircraft and tanker transport aircraft. I was an intelligence officer most of my career, and in that period, frequently briefed generals and congressmen on our capabilities and the threat to our forces.

I was a briefing officer, and I would come to work at 4:00 or so in the morning. On the morning of January 18, 1978, I drove through the main gate at McGuire, and I noticed that there were red lights out on the runway, and that probably something was going on out there. I didn’t think too much about it until I got to the 21st Air Force Command Post, which was where I worked. I was the Deputy Director of Intelligence for the 21st Air Force, which controlled half the military aircraft that flew the presidents and the various VIPs from the Mississippi River around to India. We had some 300 aircraft, and we were flying all kinds of missions — almost anything that had to do with military airlift, we accomplished.

This particular morning, when I went into the command post, I was met by the head of the command post, and he said that it [had] been a very exciting evening — that we’d had UFOs over McGuire all night, that one had apparently landed or, possibly, crashed at Fort Dix, and that when a military police-man came upon the alien, that he had pulled out a gun and shot him. And I said, foreigner, that kind of alien? I was a little bit confused by him saying alien. And he said, “No, an alien from outer space.”

He was very specific about the fact that an alien from outer space had been shot at Fort Dix, and that he had run away after being wounded, and headed for McGuire. Now McGuire and Fort Dix just have a fence between them, and this alien apparently climbed the fence or went under it, and got to McGuire and died out on the end of the runway. The security police were out there and had captured the body, so to speak, and were guarding it. He said that a C-141 from Wright-Patterson was coming in to pick up the body. That made me stand up, because I didn’t realize that Wright-Patterson had C-141s — I thought Military Airlift Command was the only one who owned C-141 aircraft — so I was like, my gosh, what’s going on here?

He said, “We want you to brief us at the standup general briefing this morning and explain what happened to everybody.” And, I said you want me to tell General Tom Sadler and everybody in the command post that we captured an alien?! They said, “Yes, we want you to brief [them] this morning.”

Well, I did some checking around, and I called the 438th Military Airlift Wing Command Post to check with them to see if the story was the same as I was given. They said, yes, that they had heard the same information; they said that this actually did happen—that an alien was found on the base.

Later that morning, I was told that they decided not to brief it in the standup briefing, so I didn’t actually brief it. Later that morning, I carried the code word down to General Sadler’s office, and I noticed some commotion going on in there, and that some of the security police people were there, looking rather disheveled. Since General Sadler was a stickler for everyone looking perfect, it was surprising to see these people that obviously needed and were in fatigues, so then I knew that this might tie into the story that I had heard.

After the briefing I went to the photo lab; almost every day I went to the photo lab, because in these briefings, you have four screens and you have to keep them all filled up with pretty pictures, and so on. There, they indicated that they had taken pictures of something extraordinary, and I said, well, let me see them. The sergeant was handing them to me, when his master sergeant said, “He can’t see those,” so all I knew is that they had some pictures that I wasn’t allowed to see—but normally, being the general’s briefer—I had never been stopped from seeing any pictures that they had.

It was a very serious operation. There are nuclear assets on the base—they used to carry nuclear weapons back and forth to Europe — and I talked to one of the security policemen who claimed to have been out there. He indicated that he essentially saw a small body that could have been like a child, but it seemed to have a larger-than-normal head.

One interesting thing is that many of the key personnel on the base at that time who had a connection with this event, were quickly transferred—from the wing commander on down—indicating that if you knew something, they tended to split you up, so to speak, so you couldn’t talk about it. This was done within a matter of weeks. The security policeman told me that he was transferred within a few days—as a matter of fact, he was taken to Wright-Patterson within a day or two, debriefed by a number of people, and essentially told not to talk about it anymore.

I also heard that they listened to this going on, on the radios, and they heard that this chase was on; that the alien had been shot at Fort Dix. They were chasing it towards McGuire—for whatever reason, it chose to run toward McGuire Air Force Base—and that both the state police and the military police were chasing this person or alien that came from what looked like a UFO. As I understand it, it was a disc-shaped craft.

They indicated to me that the UFOs had been in the area for quite some time that evening, that they had them on radar, and that the tower operator had seen them. Some of the other aircraft in the area had apparently seen them as well. There were six or eight people guarding the body; then there was the commander of the security police, and a few of us in the command post who knew of this event. I assume that General Sadler was briefed about it.

Forty-five years later, it’s still a controversial event. All that’s really known for sure is that opinions about the incident on both sides, pro and con, have taken the same stances they usually do.

The preceding article is an excerpt from Weird NJ magazine, “Your Travel Guide to New Jersey’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets,” which is available on newsstands throughout the state and on the web at  All contents ©Weird NJ and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

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