Collins, from Cambridge, Mass., was among at least a dozen workers at the Navy’s Pinecastle Electronic Warfare Range who said they spotted brightly lit objects late Sunday (14 May 1978).
The Navy personnel, interviewed by the Ocala Star-Banner, said one object seemed to hover, then turned abruptly and sped off. Computer-equipped radar could not follow the UFO, they said.
NAS Cecil Field consisted of four separate facilities, the NAS Cecil Field Complex (Cecil Field), Outlying Field Whitehouse (OLF Whitehouse), the Yellow Water Weapons Department and the Pinecastle [Pine Castle] Electronic Warfare Target Area / Warfare Range. Including nearly 2,500 acres (10 km²) at OLF Whitehouse, the NAS Cecil Field complex consisted of 22,939 acres (92.8 km²); in addition, the base leased another 8,379 acres (33.9 km²). By late 1999, approximately 17,200 acres (69.6 km²) were transferred to the civilian sector in the form of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, while the remainder was transferred to Naval Air Station Jacksonville.”
Wikipedia article: “Ocala National Forest”:
Quote from the Wikipedia article:
“The United States Navy’s Pinecastle Bombing Range in the Ocala National Forest is the only place on the East Coast where the Navy can do live impact training. The Navy drops nearly 20,000 bombs a year at the site, a few hundred of which are live. The Pinecastle Bombing Range is a fenced 5,760 acres(23.3 km2) area, with the eastern edge of the range located about 2 miles (3.2 km) west of State Road 19 and the Camp Ocala campgrounds, and one-half mile (800 m) west of the Farles Lake campground. F/A-18 Hornet jet fighters and other aircraft take off from Naval Air Station Jacksonville or from aircraft carriers off the Florida coast, fly low over the forest, and drop their bombs in the middle 450 acres (1.8 km2) of the range. P-3 Orion and P-8 Poseidon aircraft will also use an instrumented range in the southeast quadrant of Lake George to conduct aerial mining training utilizing inert 500lb mines. All air-to-ground exercises using conventional ordnance up to and including 500 pounds (230 kg) MK 82 bombs and five-inch (127 mm) Zuni rockets are authorized. Napalm and High Explosive Incendiary (HEI) are prohibited. Live ordnance is restricted to the Live Ordnance Impact Area; inert ordnance is used on all other targets. Pinecastle targets have also been certified for laser operations. The Navy has used the area for target practice for 50 years under a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service.”