in the news 1948
Above: From the files of Project Sign (the original official U.S. Air Force investigation into the mystery of the flying saucers), selected photos and documents concerning a report from Hamel, Minnesota. The incident concerned two brothers, aged 8 and 10-years old, who reported a small "flying saucer" had descended, hit the ground -- leaving an impression -- and then flew off again. The reputation of both brothers and their parents were vouched for by the local postmaster (the photos had been taken by the invetigator). Based on the age of the boys, and in spite of the physical evidence, the incident was classified as "unreliable". Original news report below.
AUGUST 13, 1948 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 1948:
Pulaski, Virginia Southwest Times - 13 Aug 48
ATOMIC-POWERED AIRPLANES ARE THEIR GOAL: Scientists at Oak Ridge, Tenn., are working on the problem of harnessing atomic power to propel aircraft. If it can be done, planes will have a virtually "limitless" range -- they'll be able to fly around the world at high speeds, powered by fuel weighing almost nothing. Andrew Kalitinsky, wearing glasses, 34, is chief engineer of the project, assisted by, left to right, Edward S. Bettis, 38; Asa N. Kitchen, 27; and Jerome B. Ruble, 36.
Helena, Montana Independent Record - 13 Aug 48
With Other Editors...
Your Eyes Can Be Wrong
It used to be flying saucers. Now it's an aluminum balloon and a wingless aircraft, spurting flame.
"Seeing is believing," people say, and certainly most of us find it hard not to believe our own eyes although we may be skeptical enough as to whether we hear all remarks correctly.
Yet our eyes are just as capable of playing tricks on us as our other senses. If we didn't have an innate belief in what our eyes tell us, the magicians of the world would have been out of jobs long ago.
We don't doubt that the airline pilots who saw the wingless aircraft and felt shock waves as it passed really saw and felt an unusual phenomenon.
Being airmen, they naturally thought of aircraft and their eyes, yielding to subconscious command, told them that aircraft it must be. If, like the ancients, they thought in terms of supernatural beings, they might have seen Icarus himself, his wings melted away from flying too close to the sun but still rushing along with his tail feathers on fire. Thus a new myth would have been born, vouched for by men of unquestioned veracity.
Don't sneer at the ancients. They saw things their way -- we see them ours. -- Denver Post.
Bend, Oregon Bulletin - 13 Aug 48
Jack in the Corner
By JACK HOLBROOK
Well, the flying discs are back with us again and it's open season for explanations. You get more choices than a millionaire in a penny arcade. The engineer in charge of the Navy's guided missile program during the war says it COULD be men from Mars! Another expert states the planet Venus may be involved. They could both be as wrong as a sun-dial in a coal cellar ... but nobody knows. The trouble with the rocket theory is that rockets make noise ... and the "discs" are as quiet as a wink. Some folks claim it's all just hysteria ... but if so, we're certainly putting our hysteria on a regular schedule.
Hagerstown, Maryland Daily Mail - 13 Aug 48
"Flying Saucer" Seen Over City
Summit Avenue Youngster Thought It Looked Like Garbage Can.
A "flying saucer" that looked to one little fellow like a big garbage can, was seen high over the Park lake about 10:30 o'clock this morning and headed north.
David Michael McCardell, residing at 331 Summit avenue, is the little fellow who thought the object resembled a big garbage can.
David and his mother called the attention of several of their neighbors to the strange object which, if a plane, was a most unusual one.
Asbury Park, New Jersey Evening Press - 13 Aug 48
Amarillo, Texas Daily News - 13 Aug 48
Inside New Mexico
Albuquerque Slates Southwest First For Television Station
By ED SCHNEIDER
Albuquerque will be one of the first cities west of the Mississippi River to have television when station KOB-TV opens this fall. The Duke city probably will be the smallest city in the nation to have television for some time. "Live show" will originate in Albuquerque and a method of transmitting pictures of events happending [sic] in other cities is being developed.
Mt. Pleasant, Iowa News - 13 Aug 48
Fort Worth, Tex. (INS) -- Texans at last will be able to watch football games this fall without a worry about the weather. They'll be the ones with televisions sets.
Television, long promised to the southwest will be available within the next two months. The Fort Worth Television station will be the first of its kind in the area bordered by Richmond, Virginia, St. Louis, and Los Angeles.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Press - 13 Aug 48
Stratovision License Asked
Firm Would Bring Television to Area
An application to operate the first commercial stratovision station was filed today with the Federal Communications Commission by Westinghouse Radio Stations, Inc.
The airborne television station would do its broadcasting from a point about 30 miles west of Pittsburgh. It would serve an estimated six million persons in a 200-mile radius.
Stratovision broadcasting, in which a plane picks up a television broadcast and then sends it out again over a wider area, has been under study here since 1945.
It was developed by the Westinghouse Electric Corp., of which Westinghouse Radio Stations is a subsidiary, and the Glenn L. Martin Co., Baltimore aircraft manufacturing firm.
A public exhibition of stratovis1on broadcasting was put on here during the Republican national convention in June.
The application said the stratovision station here would bring television to six million people who will not be covered even when all of the proposed ground television stations are in operation.
The stratovision plane would work in conjunction with the proposed ground television station for which Westinghouse's KDKA is seeking a permit now.
Poughkeepsie, New York Journal - 14 Aug 48
A Woman's New York
HOWDY-DOODY -- Every chance I get I drop in at one of our half-dozen television stations to see how the thing works. The fascination never ends! I can't get over seeing four cameras shooting at the same time, with a couple of editors watching all four in the control room, switching from one to another according to the best shot that fits the story. I stayed for the rehearsal of an elaborate Lanny Ross singing program and then dropped in on Howdy-Doody, the sensational kid show that has swept the county. Howdy is a dummy animated by a ventriloquist. He has a lot of funny props, plays games with the kids in the audience, and feeds lines into the commercial.
The kid audience got me. Little shavers from 2-1/2 to 6 came trouping in by themselves. Their mothers were looking on from an upstairs TV machine, but the kids got right into the live show. Even when one of them bawled for mam, Howdy tried to comfort him but the sobs sounded right through the program. These were extremely well-dressed youngsters. When I asked where they came from I figured out why. Their parents all own television machines, which means the family must have money, for TV instruments come high.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Times - 14 Aug
New York, Aug. 14 (AP) Events in the world of electronics: RCA's Camden, N.J. plant turning out 17 transmitters monthly for new television stations ... Drive in television theaters on coast reported going big but sale of home sets slumping ...
Wilmington, Delaware Journal - 14 Aug 48
Flying Disc Spotted High Over Salisbury
SALISBURY, Md., Aug 14 -- (Special). A "flying whatsit" was spotted speeding high over this area yesterday about noon heading north.
Four men declared they saw the flying disc. They said the disc was 4,000 or 5,000 feet in the air. It was of a silver color, appeared flat and 25 to 30 inches long, they added, with a fine-like [sic] tail.
"I never saw anything go that fast before," said Isaac Parker, 26-year old farmer.
Frederick, Maryland News - 14 Aug 48
Flying Discs Reported Seen On Eastern Shore
Salisbury, Md. Aug. 13 (AP) -- Another one of those flying discs -- or whatever they are -- was reported going north over this Eastern Shore town around noon today.
Isaac Parker, a farmer and produce buyer, and Howard Kelley, part owner of a drive-in restaurant, said they saw the plate-shaped thing flying at about 4,000 to 5,000 feet.
Two other unidentified men also reported seeing the object while they were at the Wicomico Farmers Co-operative market.
Parker said the "thing" was silver and from the ground appeared to be flat. He said from where he was standing it seemed to measure about 36 inches across and said it appeared to have a fin.
Declared Parker: I never saw anything go that fast before."
At the Salisbury-Wicomico county airport a spokesman said a Navy-blue jet plane buzzed the airport around noon. He said that it was flying south and from the ground would appear to be painted black.
Minneapolis, Minnesota Morning Tribune - 14 Aug 48
Boy, 10, Describes Tiny 'Flying Disc'
Ten-year-old Jerome Leur of Hamel looked up and there it was, a "plate-like thing, an aluminum or tin bowl about a foot high and the size of a plate."
The "plate-like thing" floated within three feet of the ground near his house "struck the ground with a rattling noise and shot off into the air again."
The small dent in the ground alongside the Leur home on a farm just outside Hamel is the imprint the "flying disc" made. All this happened Wednesday, and that's the way Jerome reported it.
Twin Falls, Idaho Times-News - 15 Aug 48
Oregon Astronomer Ridicules Latest Flying Saucer Reports
By J. HUGH PRUETT
Astronomer, Extension Division,
Oregon Higher Education System
"Much ado about nothing" seems to be our inherited hangover from the good old days of William Shakespeare. In this writer's opinion nearly 100 per cent of the recent flying saucers, rugs, cigars, sausages and other household belongings that are cavorting merrily in the "ether blue," dismaying excited bystanders and making glaring newspaper headlines the country over, have amazingly simple explanations.
Consider the "Yakima, Wash., object," first reported July 25 over Punkin center at a height of 3,000 feet, at 10:14 a.m. The news got on the radio, and soon hundreds were seeing the object. Not very far south of the zenish [sic], it looked like a little white dot.
"Sometimes you can see it just by looking and other times you have to use binoculars," reported Don Hunt. Planes sent up to investigate seemed to lose it. "Against an 88-mile wind" it was slowly moving westward.
For several hours it bucked this terrific "breeze," and around 4:20 p.m. (daylight time) "disappeared high over the western Cascades." The next day another disc -- or was it the same one? -- traversed almost the same celestial arc.
The descriptions and positions fit splendidly the daylight appearance of Venus. At present, this planet rises about three hours before the sun and is by far the most brilliant object in the dawn.
It crosses the sky three hours ahead of the sun all day -- and is easily seen by good eyes where the sky is clear and very blue. It is useless to look for it if the atmosphere has a milky tinge.
At 9 a.m. standard time (10 a.m. daylight tine), Venus is about due south and very high in the sky -- a little higher than the sun will be three hours later. It sets around 5 p.m. daylight time.
The excitement always created when Venus becomes visible in daylight is an old story to astronomers. In the writer's country-school days, the report was rife that this was a reappearance of the Star of Bethlehem and the world would soon be destroyed. During the recent war, planes were sometimes sent up to shoot it down.
Many other familiar objects might conjure up mysterious mirages. Thistle down or other fluffy seeds flying at considerable height could cause confusion. Weather bureau balloons, sent up for determining wind directions and velocities, have evidently done their bit.
Sunlight reflecting from planes too distant easily to be spotted presents round appearances. At Roseburg, Ore., a woman saw two shadows ahead of a circling plane which, "whenever it flew in a certain direction, looked like saucers on edge." Perhaps airplane lights at night shining momentarily on bits of clouds may confuse some.
Charles West of Plummer, Ida., was called to investigate "some reported flying discs with my powerful spyglass. They were flying all right -- but they were just sandhill cranes."
Twin Falls, Idaho Times News - 16 Aug 48
Don't Look Now -- New "Disc" Is Observed at Filer Sunday
Those flying disc stories still persist.
The latest to witness what could have been one of those strange objects are Mr. and Mrs. Paul Turnipseed, who reported a ball-shaped "something" hanging over Filer between 11 a.m. and noon Sunday.
"My wife saw it first," said Turnipseed. "She thought it was a star, and pointed it out to me. We had been looking at an airplane some 8,300 feet above town.
Turnipseed then looked at the object through a pair of powerful field glasses, and observed that it looked something like an airplane although it was so high that it could not be clearly observed.
"It just hung there in the sky for about 20 or 30 minutes, then took off at a terrific speed, heading south," he said.
In the time that it stayed over Filer, Turnipseed called in several of his friends and neighbors, all of whom looked at the object through the field glasses. He said it was impossible for him to establish the height of the object, although it appeared to him to be three or four times as high as the aircraft previously seen.
Turnipseed talked to the pilot of the airplane later, thus arriving at the height of that aircraft. The pilot, however, had not observed the phenomena in the sky above him.
Honolulu, Hawaii Star-Advertiser - 16 Aug 48
Balls Of Fire
From The St. Louis Star-Times
Unless there is a great mass of population between Yakima, Wash. and Atlanta Ga., given to playing high, wide and handsome with the truth, there has been something queer going on in the skies -- again.
Too many people made simultaneous reports of these celestial whatsits for it to be mass hysteria. These included employees of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, pilots of commercial airlines and hundred of citizens who must have seen something and who reported it to harassed police and other officials.
Last year the Army quieted public clamor by insisting the flying saucers were weather balloons. Some officials think the big disk seen in Washington was a Navy target balloon. But how does that explanation stand up under the insistence of witnesses that the thing was moving at high speed against the wind? Even discounting the Georgia tales of flashing lights, streaks of smoke and balls of fire, the balloon theory sounds too pat.
The Washington CAA is trying to laugh it off, saying of the witnesses, "They know as much as we do." That won't do. Get up there, CAA, and find out what's going on. As a taxpayer, we demand it.
Miami, Oklahoma Daily News Record - 17 Aug 48
Notes from Your Town
A FLYING saucer, which appears only on Friday evening and once looked more like a golden octopus, has aroused the curiosity of several people living in the southeastern part of Miami.
G.B. Jenkins, 728 A street southeast, reports he has seen the astronomical wonder several times and each time about 8:30 p.m. on a Friday. Jenkins said several people in his community have watched the "saucer" move slowly in a circular pattern then disappear. It appears to be about eight feet in diameter and has a dull, golden look, Jenkins claimed.
"Once it had six legs and looked like an octopus. It usually comes from the southeast and travels very slowly and at a great height," said Jenkins, who added that he'll be watching for the thing's appearance again next Friday evening.
Quanah, Texas Tribune Chief - 19 Aug 48
County Man Responsible for 'Saucer' Scare
A "Flying Saucer" was reported over Pike's Peak last weekend in Colorado, but the Army announced that it was only a red and silver colored helicopter conducting high altitude tests.
Witnesses had claimed that the "Saucer" was moored in the clouds and many insisted that the object was over 30,000 feet in the air.
The Army said that it was an H-15 Bell helicopter, based at Camp Carson for high altitude flights. The ship had been sent to Colorado from Fort Bragg, N.C., and is commanded by Capt. J.Y. Hammack.
Capt. Hammack is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Hammack of Goodlett, and a son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. H.M. Bumpass of Quanah. Mrs. Hammack is visiting her parents here while the Colorado tests are being made.
Darmstadt, Hesse European Stars and Stripes - 20 Aug 48
Flying Saucers Anew
TRIESTE, Aug. 19 (UP) -- Eyewitnesses at Lucinico, near Gorizia, reported they saw flying saucers or rockets shooting from a southerly direction of Yugoslavia northwards.
Battle Creek, Michigan Enquirer - 21 Aug 48
Zig-Zagging 'Saucer' Reported Over Goguac
Cottagers at Goguac lake might have seen a flying saucer yesterday if they had turned their gaze skyward instead of into the lake for the Goguac sea serpent.
To detect the whirling disk, however, the bifocals would have had to be strong enough to bring it into focus from an estimated distance of three to five miles.
The flying disk was spotted by Gael V. Simpson of 19 Caroline from his vantage point at 106 Lathrop avenue, where he was doing a roofing job. From his perch on the roof, he noticed the fleeting object at 11 a.m.
"At first it appeared to be white, but reflection from the sun gave it the appearance of aluminum," Mr. Simpson said. "It was circular, moving very fast and zig-zagged six times about three to five miles up, over Goguac lake."
Mr. Simpson said he called across the street to Glenn Brenner of 126 Champion, a yard engineer for the Grand Trunk. He said Mr. Brenner looked and saw the same thing.
Ardmore, Oklahoma Ardmoreite - 22 Aug 48
I wrote to National Geographic magazine to ask them if they had made an investigation of the flying saucers which excited the people last summer. They sent back a courteous reply but said they had made no personal investigation. The letter cited notes in the Science Service bulletins published in Washington but the man who wrote the notes had never seen the saucers and his observations are worthless.
Twin Falls, Idaho Times News - 22 Aug 48
Another "Skyborne Object" Is Mystifying to Twin Falls Man
Another "skyborne object" of unknown identity has been reported over the Twin Falls area.
It was too high for visual observation, but was estimated by Elbert Wolfe, 1830 Elizabeth avenue, to be travelling in a southeasterly direction at a speed well above the sonic barrier, which is roughly 760 miles per hour.
Wolfe is a federal communications commission engineer with the FCC monitoring station in Twin Falls and a good authority on aeronautics.
He was a flying radioman with Pan American airways and worked at the USAF cold weather testing station at Ladd field, Alaska.
He said he first heard the noise at approximately 1:30 p.m. Saturday. He guessed its speed by the 45 or 50 seconds he said it took to cross from horizon to horizon and disappear from hearing range.
The engineer said it sounded like a light aircraft, but doubted if it was jet propelled because it left no smoke or vapor trail. He stated he definitely heard an engine, though it was too high to be seen.
This report recalls other "high-flying" objects seen in the vicinity this summer, except these were seen and not heard.
In June A.J. Meeks and Clarence Schneider, Twin Falls, sighted a tear-drop shaped flaming object southwest of Hagerman, and in July a grounded "flying disk" was discovered in the park at Shoshone falls. The latter proved to be a hoax, improvised with porcelain-covered metal domes and electrical fixtures.
Lowell, Massachusetts Sun - 23 Aug 48
Flying Saucers Pop Up Again -- Seen by Westford Residents
WESTFORD -- Ma, those things are here again -- the flying saucers that is.
Four highly reliable residents of this community have the air buzzing again with talk of those elusive flying saucers, which had the country agog a year ago. James McAvinnue of Providence road was peering over a hill near his home with binoculars yesterday when he claims he spotted a diamond shaped object, flying through the air at a considerable height, moving in different directions and forming gradual curves. McAvinnue stated that the object was glowing in the sunlight and he called the members of his family to look at it through the glasses.
Others who viewed the shiny object and vouched for McAvinnue's version were Ivan and Harry Whitney of Main street. The group watched the thing moving through the air for about three quarters of an hour, they contend and it seemed to stay in a certain course.
Lowell, Massachusetts Sun - 25 Aug 48
Man About Town
This may put an end to all flying saucer stories, at least it will help clarify the point in the minds of many who figure the saucers may be something deadly sent from some nation across the sea. Latest reports of the saucers came from Westford Sunday and Monday, with several residents claiming they witnessed the phenomenon. Well, Sergt. McTighe, attached to the local recruiting office, was at a nearby airport Sunday and several calls regarding the saucers were received there. Taking an L-4 type plane, he went aloft to investigate, climbing so high he was hardly able to breathe. Several other planes also took off to probe the mystery of the skies and finally all landed, with what they hope is a solution to the problem. Sergt. McTighe reported that he saw the object floating lazily around and ascertained that it was nothing more than a meteorological appendage used for gathering weather data. That, we hope, ends it.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal - 25 Aug 48
'Flying Saucers' Just Flock of Birds
"Flying Saucers" were seen over Albuquerque Tuesday night by a number of residents who deluged The Journal office with calls.
The saucers turned out to be flocks of birds apparently circling the lights of the city. The combination of low clouds and the city's lights gave the flocks an unusual appearance, and caused one resident to report them as "going two to three hundred miles an hour." The birds were not identified.
Statesville, North Carolina Daily Record - 25 Aug 48
Flying Smoke Rings
Pete Beck, city bus driver, has come up with a new one in this day of flying saucers and falling stars. He reports having seen a huge smoke ring float across the Tuesday evening sky.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Post-Gazette - 28 Aug 48
Air Force Asks P-G For Flying Disc Data
Lieutenant on Trail of Aviating Saucers Sighted Near Uniontown on June 30
The high cost of flying saucers was demonstrated here Friday when a flying second lieutenant of the United States Air Force dropped into the Post-Gazette editorial room on the trail of some aviating discs sighted near Uniontown on June 30.
Lieutenant Wallace Shirey's errand was obviously important enough to call for a commissioned second lieutenant, though ordinarily it would appear a mess sergeant would be more ideal as a hunter of flying crockery.
Running Down Discs
Lieutenant Shirey flew into the Post-Gazette local room on instruments, and shyly explained that he was spending a chunk of the tax-payers' dough in running down the Uniontown skylights.
A mental computation by a reporter suggested that far from being a joke, flying saucers were pretty expensive. For every sky-bound plate there seems to be a relentless second lieutenant assigned as permanent Nemesis.
Lieutenant Shirey displayed a photostatic copy of a story concerning the Uniontown discs. He did not explain why the Air Force waited two months before investigating the June 30 highjinx at Uniontown.
The celestial Spode was sighted near Uniontown by Mrs. Margaret Hollar, Charles Schuh and Mrs. Catherine MacDonald and her daughter, Catherine. The display was over the Pittsburgh road sector on June 30, the fifth Wednesday in that month.
The occurrence of the fifth Wednesday did not inspire any of the awestruck observers to quote "what is so rare as a day in June." A day in February is the answer.
Photographed Near Seattle
But Mrs. MacDonald and company may expect a visitation any day now from Lieutenant Shirey. He'll want to know the size, velocity, shape and nationality of the soaring dinnerware.
During the Post-Gazette phase of his investigation, Lieutenant Shirey dug up the name of Coast Guardsman Frank Ryman, who photographed a disc near Seattle last year.
It was plain to see, however, that Lieutenant Shirey didn't have much hope of getting that assignment.
It plainly calls for a brigadier general.
Albany, Oregon Democrat-Herald - 28 Aug 48
Roseburg Group Sights 'Large Disc' in Sky
ROSEBURG, Ore., Aug 28. (UP) Residents scanned the skies overhead today for the return of flying saucers.
Charles Hodson and five other carpenters at work on the Sutherlin school reported a "large, round disc" traveling at a high altitude yesterday. He said it was visible seven minutes, made of metal which reflected the sun and was at the same height as a nearby airplane.
Los Angeles, California Times - 29 Aug 48
Flying Saucer Plus Subs Bother Danes
COPENHAGEN, Aug. 28 -- A Langeland island woman has reported seeing a flying "silver" saucer moving in an east-to-west direction. At the same time five submarines of unknown nationality were observed off Denmark. They were of a type previously unseen in Danish waters. Their presence was reported to the Danish Navy Ministry.
Council Bluffs, Iowa Nonpareil - 29 Aug 48
Flying Saucers On Wing Again
Osmond, Neb. -- (AP) They're seeing them again.
Eight persons reported late last night that a "flying object" passed over the Ernest Stark farm 1-1/2 miles east of here.
S.P. Hering, personnel officer for the bureau of reclamation at Indianola, said he and his wife and mother, Mrs. Doris W. Hering, were visiting at the Stark farm when they sighted the object.
They said it moved in a "cross-wise circle" and appeared to have a "halo" around it. The Herings and Starks said it appeared to be a big, bright light with a reflected light around it.
The object, they went on, was visible for about 25 minutes. It appeared stationary at first, moved erratically, then stood still again before going out of sight.
R.J. Hering of Royal, who said he saw the object from another vantage point, said it was almost impossible to describe. He confirmed that it was "circular" in shape.
Council Bluffs, Iowa Nonpareil - 31 Aug 48
Bluffs Woman Reports Seeing 'Flying Saucer' Here Sunday Night
A "flying saucer" floated over this area about 6 p.m. Sunday, Mrs. Pearl Hayworth, 615 Mynster street, reported Tuesday.
She was lying on a couch in the basement looking out the window when it appeared, she said.
"It looked like a round ball," she said, "just like sun shining on metal. It was about the size of a kid's balloon."
Mrs. Hayworth said it came from the south and floated out of sight.
At Osmond, Neb., eight persons reported late Sunday night they saw a "flying object." They said it was circular in shape.
Popular Science - Sep 48
Atomic-Powered Rocket For Carrying Man to Moon
Around-the-moon flights of man-carrying rockets, powered by atomic energy, are foreseen by a member of the British Interplanetary Society. The rockets would have to weigh about 1500 tons, 80 to 90 percent of which would be stored propellant. A high temperature pile would supply the heat energy to a fluid, like liquid oxygen, just as chemical reaction now does in chemical rockets. The rocket conceived has a single propulsor, or motor, and uses fuel drawn from four tanks that jettison successively from the nose. As the first three tanks emptied en route to the moon, two separate bays in each would divide and be thrown off by centrifugal force. A fourth would head the vessel earthward. Reverse-thrust motors would use the remaining propellant to brake the rocket's speed sufficiently for it to re-enter the atmosphere, where the crew chamber would be parachuted to the surface. A strobo-periscope would provide stationary external vision from the rotating cabin.
Oakland, California Tribune - 7 Sep 48
I wonder if this might not be the solution of the mystery of the flying Saucers? A few days ago, when walking on the street on 40th, two small girls came toward me, each with a glass of dissolved soap in their hands, they dipped a ring or something like that in it and let the wind blow bubbles through it. I followed the bubbles, wondered how long they would last before breaking. Some burst right away, others, many of them, went with the wind, higher and higher and was [sic] carried away without bursting, and looked to me from a distance like Flying Saucers.
-- MRS. ANNA NORGAARD.
Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal - 8 Sep 48
Newest Disc Equipped with Mirror on Tail
A flying disc, supposedly with "a vibrating mirror tail attachment" was reported to the Statesman Tuesday night.
Dean Morse, 1005 N. Summer st., said he and his wife saw the gadget flying south as it passed a northbound plane. Time of the passing of the plane and disc was about 6:30 p.m., Morse said, as he and his wife observed it while sitting on their front porch.
The attachment on the tail of the disc was described by Morse as being "very brilliant in the sunlight and vibrating as the disc flew southward."
Altoona, Pennsylvania Mirror - 10 Sep 48
Flying Saucers Turn Out to Be Lights at Fair
For several hours last night hundreds of Altoonans had a thrill as they thought they saw the flying discs, or saucers, or Orson Wellesian objects over the city. It was finally determined that the things seen in the sky were reflections of two huge army searchlights at the fair grounds in Ebensburg.
It probably was the last thing in the world that the fair's publicity manager would have dreamed up for calling Altoona's attention to this week's exhibit, but the low cloud formations, plus the powerful army searchlights, turned the trick. Groups stood in streets all over the city as the word spread by mouth and telephone that there were things to be seen in the sky. The conjectures were many and varied, arguments waged hot and heavy, and the police department's telephone, as usual, was beseiged [sic] with calls.
The searchlights can throw a shaft of light into the sky to an altitude of 30,000 feet and the beam can be seen for 30 miles. They have one at the east and one at the west end of the fair grounds to advertise the fair in the Ebensburg district.
This story won't hurt the fair's advertising in Altoona, either.
Indiana, Pennsylvania Gazette - 10 Sep 48
'Flying Saucers' Reported Here
Those "flying saucers" are back again, and this time they were reported in Indiana County.
William K. Fetterman called the Gazette this morning and said that five people in his party saw the "things" last night, between 10:30 p.m. and 11:10 p.m., while stopping at Home Station.
Mr. Fetterman said they looked like "ovals at first, and then just a bright light." He said the object would "circle at times and then hover in mid-air." The other members of Mr. Fetterman's party, who witnessed the peculiar sight were his wife, Mr. and Mrs. L.P. Fetterman, Marion Center R.D. 1 and Mrs. Richard Carbaugh, formerly of Indiana but now residing in Illinois.
An unidentified party called the Gazette last night and reported seeing a "flying saucer" in the skies over Alverda, at 11:10 p.m.
The "saucers" were also reported over Indiana at 9:27 p.m. last night, and were estimated to be about 1,500 feet up in the air. This report said that the "objects [sic, no end quote], two in number, were centered in a huge circle, similar to a smoke ring.
Indianapolis, Indiana Star - 12 Sep 48
Main Street Indiana
... When it comes to reports of flying discs, mysterious lights in the sky, etc., the Martinsville Reporter just can't take it any more. It told its subscribers, via Page 1, to be not alarmed at great rays of lights or even flashes coming from the southeast end of the city. "It's only the new 1,500-watt lights at the local football field," said the Reporter, and added -- somewhat optimistically -- "Don't call police, don't call firemen, don't call your mother, DON'T CALL US." ...
Detroit, Michigan Free Press - 13 Sep 48
'Flying Saucer' Chased in Vain
HILLSDALE -- Chester and Leonard Jay, Hillsdale brothers who are taking GI flight training, took off in a chase of a metal object which they reported they saw floating over the Municipal Airport.
Chester said they chased what he believed was a "flying saucer" for several miles before their trainer plane was outdistanced.
Chester, Pennsylvania Times - 24 Sep 48
Flying Discs Unveiled
To The Chester Times:
I should like to verify the report on the flying saucers made by a Garden City girl in today's paper. They were very definitely balloons. When I first saw them at 7:20 this morning, I believe they had just been revealed as they were only about 75 feet in the air. It is my belief that they were released in the vicinity of Swarthmore. They were drifting slowly towards Shoemakerville Bridge and rising steadily. If I had had a .22 caliber rifle, I could easily have shot them down, and offered them as proof that the flying saucers are really toy balloons, around this area, anyway.
I watched them go up until they appeared as small as a penny. I will agree that if I hadn't seen them go up. I would have sworn they were flying discs at that distance. They did all kinds of tricks in the wind currents up there, and the sun shining on them gave them a shiny appearance. There were six balloons, tan or golden in color, and one pure white one. Attached to the bottom was a metal cylinder with two white streamers at the very end.
I think this should be interesting to the people and that it would clear up the flying saucers, and set peoples' minds at rest. I don't see why whoever is sending them up doesn't reveal the truth to the public. I wonder who I wou1d have had to answer to if I had shot them down?
417 Liberty road, Overlook Heights.
Minneapolis, Minnesota Star - 27 Sep 48
'Flying Disk' Scare Flares
Balloon Freed at Ripley
THE 'FLYING DISK' SCARE flared up briefly today when a white object was sighted in the clear air floating high above the city, but the thing had an immediate explanation.
It was a free balloon released at Camp Ripley, near Little Falls, as part of a navy experimental project being conducted by General Mills, Inc. It was tracked by the General Mills aeronautical research division here in the hope it soon would being to descend with its load of instruments.
As visible from the ground for several hours, however, it was a tiny, shining globe, its load not visible, floating above northeast Minneapolis.
The fact it drifted here from the north was evidence it must be very high, above 10,000 feet. Winds below that level are blowing from the southeast, while above 10,000 feet winds switch to the northeast.
The weather bureau also releases balloons from St. Cloud, Minn., for upper-air observation. The General Mills balloons are larger, and of shining plastic...
Eau Claire, Wisconsin Leader - 28 Sep 48
When 41-year-old Lt.-Gen. Curtis E. LeMay was named to head the Strategic Air Command, it marked another exhibit of the Air Force's "young blood" policy since youthful Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg became Chief of Staff. Other young men in top posts are Lt.-Gen. Lauris Norstad, head of Air Force Operations and reportedly in line for the deputy chief of staff post; Lt.-Gen. Elwood R. Quesada, tactical air commander; Maj.-Gen. Laurence S. Kuter, Air Transport Service commander: Maj-Gen. Emmett O'Donnell, commander of the 15th Strategic Air Force; and Maj.-Gen. Roger Ramey, commander of the 8th Strategic Air Force. The 15th and 8th are the two heavy bombardment outfits.
Corvallis, Oregon Gazette-times - 30 Sep 48
Flying Discs Said Seen Here Tuesday
The discs were here again.
Mrs. A.C. Wicks reported today that she and a neighbor had witnessed the flying objects passing over Corvallis about 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, and she was particularly anxious to know if anybody else had seen them.
She described them as "big silver things" going very fast and coming from the north headed toward the southwest. She was at 15th and Jackson streets when the discs were noted.
Billings, Montana Gazette - 30 Sep 48
Doctor Says There's No Defense Against A-Bomb Radioactivity
Boston, Sept. 29. -- (U.P.) -- An Army doctor who witnessed the Bikini tests two years ago warned Americans that there is no practical defense against the radioactivity of the atomic bomb.
Dr. David Bradley, San Francisco, gave the warning in his forthcoming book "No Place to Hide," the first installment of which appeared in the October Atlantic Monthly.
His text has been passed by the office of information control of the United States atomic energy commission, the publication said.
Bradley, a radiological safety officer at "operations crossroads," [sic] said the tests convinced him that the survival of the human race is at stake "in the indiscriminate use of atomic energy for political coercion."
Bikini, he said in his conclusions prepared for the December Atlantic Monthly, taught:
"That there is no real defense against atomic weapons.
"That there is no satisfactory countermeasures and methods of decontamination.
"That there are no satisfactory medical or sanitary safeguards for the people of atomized areas.
"That the devastating influence of the bomb and its unborn relatives may affect the land of its wealth for centuries through the persistence of radioactivity, and the people for generations through the persistence of adverse changes in the mechanisms of heredity."
He will say in his November installment that soap, water and even lye failed to remove radioactivity from steel and merely soaked the poison more deeply and permanently into the wood.
The only thing that did work, he said, was applying strong acid or sandblasting steel and planing the contaminated surface off wood.
Doctor Bradley warned, "You can't sandblast Pearl Harbor or Bremerton shipyards or Chicago. You can't sandblast a whole ship under battle conditions."
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