in the news 1952
PART TWELVE OF TWENTY-SIX PARTS
Above: Comic book version of Washington, D.C., radar-visual reports of July 19-20, 1952, as found in the files of Project Blue Book.
NINETEEN FIFTY-TWO might be remembered for many things, large and small. The election of Dwight Eisenhower as President of the United States. Fifty thousand American families afflicted by Polio. The British A-bomb. The first issue of Mad magazine. The theory of the Big Bang.
But for those of a certain bent, 1952 will also be remembered for the second great 'flying saucer flap' which climaxed with the reports of radar and visual sightings over the nation's capital in late July.
Part of the story of that event-filled year is now available in declassified government files. But for the public back then -- at a time when only one in three families in America had a television set -- the story was mostly found in the newspapers and magazines.
This then is a look back at those stories, as they first appeared in print...
JULY 28, 1952:
Dixon, Illinois Evening Telegraph - 28 Jul 52
Air Force General, Prof Discount Flying Saucers
WASHINGTON -- An Air Force general and a psychology professor both discounted flying saucer reports, but the nation's capital still buzzed with them over the weekend.
Maj. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, who heads the Air Force's investigation of the current rash of reports, said six years of study has convinced him "reasonably well" there is no such thing.
Dr. Jessie Sprowls, professor of abnormal psychology at the University of Maryland, apologized for his grammar but said flying saucers "just ain't there."
But within hours after Gen. Ramey made his talk -- on the CBS television show "Man of the Week" -- telephones started ringing at newspapers and TV stations in Washington.
See More Objects
The callers said they had seen a light shoot through the sky across the capital about 7 p.m. CST Sunday. The Washington National Airport's radar team reported it had picked up no unidentified objects around that time.
While Gen. Ramey was pretty definite about the saucer reports which he said the Air Force has been tracking since the first one in 1947, he edged around another topic.
There was a report of vapor trails over Alaska last April 17 which an interviewer said "caused quite an alert." Ramey gave no direct answer, even when asked: "What was found?"
Of the saucers, Ramey said: "We are reasonably well convinced they are not material, solid objects." About 20 per cent of the reports in Air Force hands -- he said there were 1,500 such reports -- "remain to be explained."
Professor Sprowls said in a radio interview from Silver Springs Md. that saucer reports are due "primarily to hallucination."
Washington, D.C. Post - 28 Jul 52
Note: The transcript below is from an earlier edition on the same day as the "final edition" pictured above.
Fiery Objects Outrun Jets Over Capital
Investigation Veiled In Secrecy, Following Vain Chase of 'Blips' Coursing Night Sky
By Paul Sampson
Military secrecy veils an investigation of the mysterious, glowing aerial objects that showed up on radar screens in the Washington area Saturday night for the second consecutive week.
A jet pilot sent up by the Air Defense Command to investigate the objects reported he was unable to overtake the glowing lights moving near Andrews Air Force Base.
The CAA reported the objects traveled at "predominantly lower levels" -- about 1700 feet.
Air Force spokesmen said yesterday they could report only that an investigation was being made into the sighting of the objects on the radar screen in the CAA Air Route Traffic Control Center at Washington National Airport, and on two other radar screens. Methods of the investigations were classified as secret, a spokesman said.
"We have no evidence they are flying saucers; conversely we have no evidence they are not flying saucers. We don't know what they are," a spokesman added.
The same source reported an expert from the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton Ohio, was here last week investigating the objects sighted July 19.
The expert has been identified as Capt. E.J. Ruppelt. Reached by telephone at his home in Dayton yesterday, Ruppelt said he could make no comment on his activity in Washington.
Capt. Ruppelt confirmed he was in Washington last week, but said he had not come here to investigate the mysterious objects. He recalled he did make an investigation after hearing of the objects, but could not say what he investigated. The captain said he had been informed of the latest sightings of the lights.
Another Air Force spokesman said here yesterday the Air Force is taking all steps necessary to evaluate the sightings.
"The intelligence people," this spokesman explained, "sent someone over to the control center at the time of the sightings and did whatever necessary to make the proper evaluation."
Asked whether the radar equipment might have been mis-functioning, the spokesman said, radar, like the compass is not a perfect instrument and is subject to error. He thought, however, the investigation would be made by persons acquainted with the problems of radar.
Two other radar screens in the area picked up the objects. An employee of the National Airport control tower said the radar scope there picked up very weak "blips" of the objects. The tower radar, however, is for short ranges and is not so powerful as that at the center. Radar at Andrews Air Force Base also registered the objects about 8:30 p.m. until midnight. Andrews radar located them about seven miles south of the base.
A traffic control center spokesman said the nature of the signals on the radar screen ruled out any possibility they were from clouds or some other weather disturbance.
"The returns we received from the unidentified objects were similar and analogous to targets representing aircraft in flight," he said.
The objects, "flying saucers" or what have you, appeared on the radar scope at the airport center at 9:08 p.m. Varying from four to 12 in number, the objects appeared on the screen until 3 a.m., when they disappeared.
At 11:25 p.m., two F-94 jet fighters from Air Defense Command squadron, at New Castle, Del., capable of 600-mile-per-hour speeds, took off to investigate the objects.
Airline, civil and military pilots described the objects as looking like the lighted end of a cigarette or a cluster of orange and red lights.
One jet pilot observed four lights in the vicinity of Andrews Air Force Base, but was not able to over-take them, and they disappeared in about two minutes.
The same pilot observed a steady white light 10 miles east of Mt. Vernon at 11:49 p.m. The light, about five miles from him, faded in a minute. The lights were also observed in the Beltsville, Md., vicinity. At 1:40 a.m., two-other F-94 jet fighters took off and scanned the area until 2:20 a.m. but did not make any sightings.
Visible in Two Ways
Although unidentified objects have been picked up on radar before, the incidents of the last two Saturdays are believed to be the first time the objects have been spotted on radar -- while visible to the human eye.
Besides the pilots who last Saturday saw the lights, a woman living on Mississippi ave. se. told The Post she saw a "very bright light" streaking across the sky toward Andrews Base about 11:45 p.m. Then a second object with a tail like a comet, whizzed by, and a few seconds later, a third passed in a different direction toward Suitland, she said.
Radar operators plotted the speed of Saturday night's "visitors" at from 38 to 90 miles an hour, but one jet pilot reported faster speeds for the light he saw.
The jet pilot reported he had no apparent "closing speed" when he attempted to reach the lights he saw near Andrews. This means the lights were moving at least as fast as his top speed -- a maximum of 600 miles per hour.
One person who saw the lights when they first appeared in this area did not see them last night. He is E.W. Chambers, an engineer at Radio Station WRC, who spotted the lights while working early the morning of July 20 at the station's Hyattsville tower.
Chambers said he was sorry he had seen the lights because he had been skeptical about "flying saucers" before. Now he said, he sort of "wonders" and worries about the whole thing.
Leon Davidson, 804 South Irving st., Arlington, a chemical engineer who has made an exhaustive study of flying saucers as a hobby, said yesterday reports of saucers in the East have been relatively rare.
Davidson has studied the official Air Force report on the saucers, including some of the secret portions never made public, and analyzed all the data in the report.
Davidson, whose study of saucers is impressively detailed and scientific, said he believes the lights are American "aviation products" -- probably "circular flying wings," using new-type jet engines that permit rapid acceleration and relatively low speeds. He believes they are either new fighters, guided missiles, or piloted guided missiles.
He cited some of the recent jet fighters, including the Navy's new F-4-D, which has a radical bat-wing, as examples of what he thinks the objects might resemble.
Davidson thinks the fact that the lights have been seen in this area indicates the authorities may be ready to disclose the new aircraft in the near future. Previously, most of the verified saucers have been seen over sparsely inhabited areas, Davidson explained, and now, when they appear here, it may indicate that secrecy is not so important any more.
Alexandria, Virginia Gazette - 28 Jul 52
Jet Fighters Outdistanced By "Flying Saucers" Over Mt. Vernon And Potomac
Jet fighters of the Eastern Interceptor Command today were maintaining a 24-hour alert for "flying saucers" over the Alexandria vicinity.
The order was issued after radar operators at the CAA Air Route Traffic Control Center at National Airport sighted the mysterious objects Saturday night -- the second time in eight days.
The Air Force said two jets pursued "between four and twelve" of the elusive objects Saturday night, but the pilots reported they were unable to get any closer than seven miles before the saucers disappeared.
One pilot said he saw "a steady white light" about ten miles east of Mt. Vernon. His supersonic jet, traveling at a speed of more then 600 miles per hour, was outdistanced when he sought to overtake the object.
Initial appearance of the objects was reported at 8:08 p.m. EDT Saturday. Two jets from the 142nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, at Newcastle, Del., zoomed into action and scouted the area in relays until 2:20 a.m.
Radar operators at Andrews Air Force Base just across the Potomac River from Alexandria reported a "long series of sightings on and off until midnight."
Between seven and twelve of the fiery discs had been picked up by the radar equipment at National Airport last week. Radar experts said the instruments are not infallible but normally don't show something that isn't there.
Radar will not usually register something without substance such as light but will pick up birds and dense cloud formations. A CAA spokesman said, however, that the mysterious objects recorded definite "blips" on the radar screen similar to those given off by aircraft.
Meanwhile, the Air force clamped a tight lid of secrecy on investigations being made by the military. Information gathered on the local sightings is being sent to a special saucer center at Wright Field, Dayton Ohio, where all such reports are evaluated.
Capt. E.J. Ruppelt, who heads the special saucer investigation crew, said at Dayton last night that most of the saucer information is highly classified and added that many of the reports he received are spurious.
This was believed to be the first time that the Air force, in the past skeptical of the saucers' existence, has acknowledged them to the point of giving Interceptor pursuit.
Col. Jack C. West, commander of the 142nd Squadron, said his jets are ready now to go in the action again "at a moment's notice."
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Record - 28 Jul 52
Air Force Jet Fighters Fail to Catch Objects Flying over Washington
'Things' Sighted Twice in 7 Days
Pilot Reports Seeing Lights That His Ship Is Unable to Follow
Washington, July 27 -- Jet fighter planes scanned the night sky over Washington last night and early today after unknown aerial objects were spotted intermittently on radar screens over a six-hour period.
No contact was made with any of the subjects, which pilots said looked like "lights."
It was the second time within a week that unidentified flying objects in the sky had been tracked by radar in the Washington area.
The Air force said tonight that the latest unknown objects were spotted on radar screens at the Washington National Airport for at least six hours.
They were first detected at 9:08 p.m. Saturday by the Air Route Traffic Control Center at the airport.
The Air Force was notified.
Between four and 12 unidentified objects over the Washington vicinity were detected by radar, the Air Force reported.
Two jet fighter-interceptor planes were ordered aloft and searched the area, and later another pair took over the search.
But neither group made any direct contact with the unknown objects, which appeared to one pilot as being four lights that disappeared before he could overtake them.
After the planes had returned to their base, the unknown objects continued to be observed for some time on the radar screens at the airport, the Air Force said.
The jet pilots gave no description of what the aerial objects might have been beyond saying they looked like lights.
The jet planes came from Newcastle, Del. approximately 90 miles from Washington.
These pilots appeared on the CAA radarscopes at approximately 1:25 p.m. and were guided on several of the unknown objects.
The Air Force said in its statement:
"One of the jet pilots reported sighting four lights in front approximately 10 miles and slightly above him but he reported that he had no apparent closing speed. They disappeared before he could overtake them." Later the same pilot reported a steady light that disappeared in about a minute.
Sightings of unidentified things in the sky by radar indicate that something of substance was involved, not only light. It could, however, be small or large, as radar is capable of picking up a bird in flight. Radar also can detect such things as cloud formations.
The Air Route traffic control center made several further attempts through its radar observation of the unidentified objects to guide the jets to a contact. It was unsuccessful, the Air Force said, until about 11:49 p.m. when the same pilot who reported the first visual contact again reported sighting what he described as "a steady white light." The light disappeared within a matter of one minute, the Air Force said.
The CAA radar operator at the traffic control center, located at the Washington National Airport, calculated the unknown object's position at approximately 10 miles east of Mount Vernon, Va., which is near the airport.
The pilot said this light was about five miles ahead of his aircraft.
The Air Force said no further contact, either visual or by radar, was made by the planes, although the "unknowns" were still apparent at 2:20 a.m. on the CAA radarscope.
Great Bend, Kansas Daily Tribune - 28 Jul 52
'Saucers' Outrun Jets At Washington
Washington -- Jet planes capable of speeds of 600 miles an hour made a futile attempt to intercept mysterious glowing objects that streaked over the capital for the second consecutive week end.
The air force, which always has maintained a skeptical attitude about "flying saucers," said today it was investigating the unidentified objects, described as "glowing white lights," that were spotted by radar and then visually by air force and commercial pilots Saturday night.
"We don't know what they are, but we are investigating," an air force spokesman said today.
"We have no concrete evidence that they are flying saucers. Conversely, we have no concrete evidence that they are not flying saucers."
The spokesman said the reports had been relayed to intelligence officers in the Pentagon and to the air force technical intelligence center at Wright Patterson air force base, Dayton, 0., center for the investigation of "flying saucer" reports.
"The air force will take whatever action is necessary to evaluate the reports," the spokesman said. He pointed out that air force intelligence officers had been sent to the civil aeronautics air route traffic control center to observe the mysterious objects on the radar screen Saturday night.
The CAA control center, located at the National airport across the Potomac river from Washington, first picked up the mysterious objects on its radar screens at 9:08 p.m. Saturday.
In the next four hours before the objects disappeared, the CAA reported as many as 12 of the unidentified "blips" appeared on the radarscope at the same time.
CAA officials immediately alerted the air force and commercial pilots to be on the lookout for the objects, and the air force ordered up F-94 jet planes in an attempt to intercept the mysterious lights tracing an eerie pattern over Washington.
Two jets from the Newcastle, Del., air force base gave chase from about 11:25 p.m. until 12:15 a.m. Sunday. One of the pilots reported spotting the objects twice but said he was unable to overtake them. Two other jets went aloft at 1:40 a.m. and remained in the air tracking down the objects without success until 2:10 a.m.
Civilian pilots also reported seeing the "lights" on four different occasions from 9:15 p.m. to 10:46 p.m., all in the immediate vicinity of Washington. One was spotted by a National airlines pilot near Andrews air force base, one by a United airlines pilot seven miles from Herndon. Va., and two by a CAA inspection aircraft pilot -- one at Beltsville, Md. and the other near Andrews air base.
The reports of the civilian and military pilots were all the same -- "glowing white lights" racing across the skies, mostly at low altitudes.
Much the same description was given a week ago, again on a Saturday night, when the mysterious objects were first reported swooping over the vicinity of the capital. Then two veteran commercial pilots reported seeing "lights like shooting stars without tails" racing across the skies.
On both occasions, the objects first were spotted on the CAA radar -- the first time in the long flurry of "flying saucer" rumors that the unknown lights have been picked up on radar and then visually.
Wilmington, Delaware News - 28 Jul 52
[Note: The following taken from Project Blue Book files seemingly is missing a larger banner headline.]
One Airman Reports Lights in Distance Outspeed 600 MPH Planes in Chase
4 Aircraft Roar Into Air When Screen Shows Something Over Washington
Four jet aircraft of the Air Force's 1710th Defense Wing made an unsuccessful attempt to intercept unknown objects in the sky over Washington late Saturday and early yesterday, after they had been spotted by radar.
Although an Air Force statement made no mention of "Flying Saucers," the pattern followed earlier reports of these mysterious objects in the sky.
It was the second time within a week that unidentified objects had been radar-observed in the vicinity of the nation's capital.
Sights Lights In Sky
In a statement released by the Air Force in Washington it was reported:
"One of the jet pilots reported sighting four lights in front approximately 10 miles and slightly above him, but he reported he had no apparent closing speed. They disappeared before he could overtake them."
The 4710th planes were used because it is that organization's mission to defend Washington. Headquarters are located at the New Castle County airport, with interceptor squadrons located there, in Dover and Washington.
Planes on the first mission were piloted by men of the 142nd Fighter Squadron, the former Delaware Air National Guard squadron.
The pilot who reported seeing the lights was on the first mission which was called at 9:08 o'clock Saturday night at the air route traffic control center operated by the Civil Aeronautics Administration in Washington.
Up To 12 Objects Reported
The center reported that "between four and 12 unidentified objects" had been picked up by radar over the Washington vicinity.
Planes were ordered up from the New Castle airport and reached the scene at 11:25 p.m. and were guided in by radar on the objects. The one pilot reported seeing the lights, but the other pilots on the two missions reported seeing nothing.
The second patrol of the 600-mile-an-hour jets reached the Washington area at 1:40 a.m. yesterday and patrolled the Washington and nearby Virginia and Maryland areas until 2:20 a.m.
These pilots saw nothing at all, although the objects were still visible on the CAA radarscope.
Sighting of the unidentified objects in the sky by radar indicates something with substance was involved, not just light. It could, however, be small or large, as radar is capable of picking up a bird in flight. Radar also can detect such things as cloud formations.
Radar Guides Planes
The Air Route traffic control center, located at the Washington National Airport, made several attempts to guide both flights of jets to a contact through its radar observation of the unidentified objects.
This was unsuccessful, according to the Air Force announcement, until about 11:49 p.m. when the pilot who reported the first visual contact again reported sighting what he described as a "steady white light." The light disappeared within a matter of one minute, he reported.
The pilot said this "light" was about five miles ahead of his aircraft.
The CAA radar operator at the traffic control center, calculated that unknown object's position at approximately 10 miles east of Mt. Vernon, Va., which is not far from the National Airport.
At the New Castle Airport it was reported the first two planes were from the 142nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, the former Delaware Air National Guard unit, while the second flight of two planes were from the 121st Fighter Interceptor Squadron, the former Washington, D.C. Air National Guard unit. Both units of the 4710th.
Pilots in Charge
The 142nd members who took part were First Lt. William L. Patterson as pilot and First Lt. Andrew J. Sabation [sic, should be Sabatino] as radar observer of the first plane and Capt. John W. McHugo, pilot and First Lt. Joseph Van Laecken, radar observer, of the second plane.
Members of the 121st, who took part in the second flight were Capt. Francis T. Evans, Jr., with First Lt. Timothy Akeds as radar observer, and Capt. John C. Long as pilot and First Lt. Thomas F. Farrell as radar observer.
It was Lieutenant Patterson who reported seeing the lights. The center at the Washington Airport reported seeing the objects for the first time at 9:08 p.m. with the call being received at New Castle at 11:04 p.m.
2 Planes Go In Air
The two planes were put into the air immediately with Lieutenant Patterson flying [Illegible] level at about 1,000 feet and Captain McHugo covered him at between 10,000 and 15,000 feet.
At 11:25 p.m. Saturday night the lieutenant made his first visual observation -- "two or three lights" ahead of his plane at about the same level. When he continued flying toward them they disappeared.
In his report he said there was no indication that they were flying objects of any kind. His radar observer, Lieutenant Sabatino, said that he had no reading at any time on his radar screen.
At 11:49 p.m., Lieutenant Patterson said that he saw a bright light, which he placed at between five and 10 miles away from him. When he started flying towards it he seemed to gain on it, but again it disappeared when he was what he judged to be two miles away from it.
Again it was pointed out by the Air Force that there was no verification that it was a flying object of any kind.
Lieutenant Sabanino [sic] had no conclusive scope targets on his screen at any time, while Captain McHugo reported that there absolutely was no visual or radarscope contacts which could not be identified by him or his observer, Lieutenant Van Laecken.
The pilots and observers of the second two planes, which left the New Castle field at 1:20 a.m. and returned at 3 a.m. also reported nothing that they could not identify. Among the things which Captain Long and Lieutenant Farrell could identify, however, were several small meteors and a number of private planes.
After the planes had returned to their base, the unknown objects continued to be observed from some time on the radar screen at Washington, the Air Force said.
A spokesman at the Traffic Control Center said the nature of the electronic signals reflected on the radarscope from the objects ruled out the possibility that they were clouds or some form of weather disturbance.
"The returns (electronic signals) we received from the unidentified objects were vry [sic] similar and analogous to targets representing aircraft in flight," the spokesman said.
He said commercial pilots observed a "white light" in the area of flight of the mysterious objects before the Air Force sent the jet fighters aloft to give chase.
He said subsequent reports by other pilots in different areas within the scan of the scope gave similar descriptions.
There were conflicting reports about the altitude at which the strange and unknown objects raced across the skies. But, he said, the altitudes were at "predominantly lower levels" – above 1700 feet.
There was no estimate of the maximum speed at which they traveled.
Rochester, New York Times-Union - 28 Jul 52
They've Been Seen Over Rochester
Those saucers have appeared over Rochester and this time nobody is laughing.
That's why control tower operators at Rochester Airport are more than ordinarily alert. They had several telephone reports yesterday that saucers have been sighted.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Caswell of 63 Glenora Rd., Greece, said they had watched a flight of five Air Force P-51 planes at 3:15 p.m. Five or 10 minutes after the last plane disappeared, the Caswells said, a "big silvery ball going like the wind," streaked across the sky at such a speed it was visible for only a minute. The object left no smoke or vapor trail and appeared to be about 30 feet in diameter.
A McCall Rd. man reported seeing two objects which resembled round pieces of silver. Another caller described the object as resembling "an egg-shaped disc." James L. Henimerich, a service man at the airport, said while jet planes are very fast, their shape is easy to identify and they frequently leave vapor trails.
In Albany, stargazers said they had a good look through their telescope last night at a round, white object "very much like the flying saucers."
Mrs. Jack Sussman reported she and her husband saw an object "lower than the stars and moving very slowly" across the field of their telescope.
Another skywatcher, Mrs. Louise Demarest, said she and her husband watched a "saucer" for half an hour. The Civil Defense ground observation post in Albany did not witness the object.
Tarrytown, New York News - 28 Jul 52
Spotters Here See Sky Lights
May Have Been Fireworks Display At Verplancks Point
Flying saucers, last week reported from as nearby as Yonkers, were observed in Tarrytown last night by air spotters on duty at the local Observation post atop 19 South Broadway. Somewhat doubtful as to what their reception would be, they reported the strange flying lights to the White Plains Filter Center and were gratified to get the Center's full and immediate attention.
It is not known whether an unusually large display of fireworks in Verplanck last night could have been related to the objects seen here.
At 10 P.M. Bill Janos and Jack Murphy, observers on duty at the post, telephoned Post Supervisor Joseph J. Pulsoni, reporting that they saw several brilliant objects moving through the sky, which seemed to trail a streak of light like fire, behind them. Mr. Pulsoni, understandably, treated the report with some levity, but was finally convinced that the men were serious, and himself went to the observation post, arriving there about 10:30.
Saw Bright Objects
He at once saw two bright objects, which he estimated at about two miles south of Tarrytown moving rapidly westward, and soon vanishing. He did not, however, observe any comet-like tail on the objects. Though he saw about a dozen of the objects, Mr. Pulsoni said that no more than two were ever visible at once. It was 11:45 when he telephoned his report to the Filter Center, after prolonged observation.
Learning today of the chase of similar objects by jet planes in the sky over Washington, Mr. Pulsoni feels better about the whole thing. He also anticipates added interest in air spotting locally, where a shortage of volunteers has restricted the post's participation in Operation Skywatch to the period from 6 P.M. Friday to midnight Sunday.
Plainfield, New Jersey Courier-News - 28 Jul 52
Park Place Resident Reports Mystery Light
Russell Stewart of 84 Park Pl., with an unidentified friend, reports seeing a mystery light Friday about 10:30 p.m. He said that the light was a dim, rusty red and that it traveled at incredible speed from south to north. The observation point was Linden Ave. in North Plainfield.
Stewart said the light was dimmer than a first magnitude star and that its flight was straight. He said it did not resemble a meteor.
Atlantic City, New Jersey Union - 28 Jul 52
Local Woman Reports Seeing Flying Saucers
A resort woman today reported she saw what might have been flying saucers streaking across the resort skies last night.
She is Mrs. Emma Vickers, secretary of the Atlantic County Mosquito Extermination Commission, who said she viewed the mysterious objects from a fourth floor bedroom window of her apartment at States and Atlantic Aves.
"At first I saw what appeared to be a shooting star but four more roundish objects much larger than stars followed in quick succession," she said.
Mrs. Vickers added that the "saucers" were traveling at high speed oceanward and not much above the horizon.
Hagerstown, Maryland Mail - 28 Jul 52
Strange Lights Spotted In Skies Over Frederick
Frederick, July 28 -- An amateur astronomer reported he saw two lights playing hi-jinks in the sky last night.
Brian B. Shockley, Jr. and his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Austin James said they were at a street intersection when they spotted the mysterious beams. Shockley said the lights were zooming from the west to a southwesterly direction at a high altitude.
The objects, brighter than a major star according to Shockley, stopped and raised and lowered themselves several times.
Jet fighter planes streaked over the Washington skies late Saturday night and early yesterday morning to try to intercept some mystery objects. They had been spotted on radar screens and pilots said they looked like lights.
Titusville, Pennsylvania Herald - 28 Jul 52
Round Bubbles Hum Past Hydetown, Then Blink Out; Are 'Saucers' Big Balloons?
Two round "soap-bubble like" objects flew over Hydetown at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, injecting a new note into the current flying saucer mystery in this area.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Ridgway said they definitely heard the hum of motors as the objects went by. It sounded as though the engines were being raced in fits and starts for the sound alternately increased and decreased.
Another witness to the strange sight was Chester Sullivan of Hydetown. He also heard the motor hum, and not in a steady drone.
Mr. Ridgway said the two big bubbles were more toward the Gresham area. They were flying side by side when they suddenly went out like a soap bubble bursting in the air.
"The objects glistened in the sun," Mr. Ridgway said. "The hum of motors was unmistakable."
He said they remained in view for about 15 seconds before suddenly blinking out of sight.
They went out like a light, the Hydetown resident said.
He thought it was especially queer the way the round objects disappeared from view all at once instead of receding in the distance.
The bubbles were not shaped like the silver disk spotted Friday noon by 30 workmen at the Struthers Wells Corporation. Several golfers at the Titusville Country Club Friday also watched the "silver saucer" which resembled a bright half dollar. Among the golfers viewing the spectacle were William Stocker and George Farley...
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania Beaver Valley Times - 28 Jul 52
11 County Persons Report Seeing "Saucers" As Air Force Puzzled By Glowing Objects
Eleven persons today told the TIMES they saw flying saucers this morning -- all of them about the same time.
While they were puzzled about the mysterious aircraft, Air Force officials were trying to figure out what the mysterious glowing objects are which streaked over Washington, D.C., for the second consecutive week end.
Reporting seeing the saucers here today were:
Mrs. J.A. Smith and Mrs. Clarence Fry, who live on Beaver avenue at the foot of Fifteenth street in Monaca, and nine Ambridge residents:
Mrs. Charles Moran, 61 Church street; Mrs. William Hendrickson, her two sons, Bob, 13, and Tom, 11, and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Vito, 63 Church street; Kostas Gerazounis, 1666 Ohioview, and Mr. and Mrs. John Kosko, 1664 Ohioview.
All said the circular objects left a stream of smoke when they departed after an apparent brief stay in one position.
The Ambridge folk said they saw two. Both came from the east, they reported.
Then, according to them, one flew down river towards Pittsburg and the other went west across the river and hills.
The Monaca women said they saw theirs while looking out over Monaca Heights, which would be in the direction the latter took from Ambridge.
After hovering momentarily, the women said, the object moved on towards Kobuta, leaving a trail of smoke.
All said they heard a slight hum, rather like the drone of an airplane motor.
The objects were said to be "very high." ...
Goldsboro, North Carolina News-Argus - 28 Jul 52
FLYING SAUCER... Over Goldsboro?
Goldsboro Going Modern -- Flying Saucer Spotted Here
By JIMMY ELLIS
News-Argus Star-Gazer 1st Class
After being behind time for years and years, Goldsboro has finally caught up with the rest of the world in the biggest game of the half century, seeing saucers where stars ought to be.
The first of the supposed out-of-space visitors crossed Goldsboro's horizon-to-horizon area about 9:15 last night. For the benefit of cynics and other non-believers, there are four witnesses available to testify to the authenticity of the saucer.
Mr. and Mrs. W.B. Griffin were entertaining another couple in their back yard at 509 North Audubon Avenue when the saucer came into view. The visitors were Mr. and Mrs. Owen Dail, Camp Ogallalla.
Griffin said the saucer came out of the north-northeast and took about two minutes to traverse the 12 miles of horizon he could see from his observation post.
He described it as "definitely not a plane. It was a bright, flaming red cylindrical object that seemed to travel in rhythmical spurts.
"It slowed down at periodic intervals, then speeded up again until it disappeared."
Griffin said just before seeing the mysterious missile, he and his wife and guests had heard a news cast which described the efforts of the Air Force in Washington to trail some of the "flying saucers" reported in that area the past few days.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina Twin City Sentinel - 28 Jul 52
Three See Objects In Forsyth County
The report of a "mystery object" in Forsyth County skies was made this morning by Mrs. O.F. Thomas of 734 Buxton Street.
She said the object, in the form of an unflickering light very high up, was seen by her and two relatives she was visiting, Mr. and Mrs. Perry Thomas, at their home in the Union Ridge Church community.
All three of them were in the front yard about 9:20 p.m. when Mr. Thomas said he heard a whistling noise overhead. Looking up they saw the light, about the size of a bright star, moving in a straight path southward.
Mr. Thomas, described as having some knowledge of mechanics, said the noise did not sound like a jet plane, although none of the three dismiss the possibility that the object might have been some sort of plane.
The object appeared to be moving at a rapid speed, they said, but was so high up that it stayed in sight for about a minute. Its course did not change during the time it was observed.
Most "flying disc" reports from other parts of the country have reported no sound accompanying the objects. If the object sighted here had been at any great height more than five or 10 miles, no sound would have been heard, because the thin air at high altitude does not carry sound very well.
Lexington, Kentucky Herald - 28 Jul 52
Viewers Report 'Saucers' Seen Over Lexington
"Flying saucers," which Air Force planes chased over Washington Saturday night, may have made their way to Lexington skies.
Five persons last night said they saw objects in the sky at about 9 p.m. Saturday while they were sitting in the parking lot at Ball's Ice Cream Company, South Limestone street. The report was made by Pat Wylie, Richmond.
Wylie said that he and Charles Tucker, Elam Tucker and Mrs. J.T. Tucker, all of 1101 South Limestone, and Wolfgang Peinecke, Hanover, Germany, saw the "round, flat-like" objects.
The "saucers" had an orange-yellow glow and alternately disappeared and returned, Wylie stated. He added that two of the objects seemed very large, followed by about 15 smaller saucers.
Wylie said that it was difficult to determine the direction of travel. At times, he said, the saucers looked as if they were spinning and making wide turns to the northeast.
Wylie and Elam Tucker said they watched the objects for about 15 minutes.
Lima, Ohio News - 28 Jul 52
Looking At Lima
THE FLYING SAUCERS that Air Force jet planes at Washington, D.C. couldn't find Sunday seem to have been over Lima, reports received from several local residents indicate.
Mrs. Walter Morrisey, 823 N. Main-st, reported seeing several Sunday.
At 6:30 a.m. Monday while standing at the corner of W. Wayne and Kelmworth-av, William Davis, 1107 W. Spring-st, and Thomas Wilson, 1317 W. Wayne-st, not only saw but also heard a "something or other."
The Monday morning disk, the west siders report, was traveling northeast and they could hear a loud humming noise which they described as sounding like a huge dynamo.
Zanesville, Ohio News - 28 Jul 52
Flying Light Sighted Over Zanesville
At least six Zanesville persons, picnicking yesterday afternoon, were certain they saw a flying saucer speeding high and westward.
Loren Nolan of Pine street first saw the object, a flying light, about 7 o'clock, and pointed it out to his companions. The light was so high they reported, it appeared not much larger than a silver dollar...
Ypsilanti, Michigan Press - 28 Jul 52
'Things' in Sky Here Sunday Appear Like Flying Saucers
Ypsilanti residents were "seeing things" too, Sunday, adding to the accumulation of evidence that there are really flying saucers. Other areas in south central Michigan also reported the objects.
Mrs. A.M. Vandersall, living east of Ypsilanti and south of the new George School got a good view last Sunday night.
Unable to sleep because of the heat, she had gone into the garden at approximately 11 o'clock. She describes the sky visitors as luminous, with a white light and the front rounded and the rear ragged or feathered, something like the exhaust of jets. First she saw three close together and three strung out behind. All traveled at incredible speed.
The Vandersalls live but a short distance from the Air Terminal and are familiar with various types of planes including jets. These were much faster than the jets flown from the terminal here. The accompanying sketch was drawn by her to indicate the approximate contour of the strange objects. She glimpsed them through two treetops, fairly low in the sky and going from north to south. All seemed to have a flat, oval shape.
Sunday morning at about 10:15 Warren Erlewine, 437 Owendale, was startled to see a silvery disc sweep over jet planes moving in an arc toward then before lifting away. It was cloudless at the time and he had heard planes going south and saw their vapor.
He estimated that the "flying saucer" was between 200 and 300 feet across and faster in flight than jets. It looked to be circular and was first noticed north of the jet planes. He saw it east to southeast of his residence, apparently in the vicinity of the air terminal.
Other residents of south central Michigan also reported seeing mysterious flying objects in the sky last night.
One person said he saw an object that looked like a "giant bulb." Other said the objects were "football shaped."
Objects were also reported sighted in the Detroit area.
Volunteer observers of the Civil Air Patrol's "Operation Skywatch" at the Ionia airport reported seeing the objects between 10:15 p.m. and 11 p.m.
This time coincided with reports of sightings at Battle Creek to the south.
Mrs. Herman Zanders and Mrs Ray Martin, on duty at the Ionia Airport, were first to report them at that point. The woman's sightings were confirmed by James and Jack Hall, also skywatch observers.
They said the objects were "football shaped" and appeared to resemble shooting stars. Headed southwest, they were reported seen twice, the second time at a lower altitude. The Hall brothers trained binoculars on them.
Mrs. R.D. Davis, Battle Creek housewife, said she saw 14 very bright objects, blurred at the edges, about 10:15 p.m.
Harrison Howes, an accountant living across the street from her, came out of the house in time to see one of the objects. He said it looked like a giant light bulb.
Lloyd Rainier, a Marshall machinist, said he saw what appeared to be a brilliant white light hovering in the sky when he looked up at Lyons Lake, south of Marshall.
Mrs. Davis acknowledged that she had heard reports of the mysterious unknown objects picked up by radar over Washington D.C. before she saw the lights. But she insisted these reports had nothing to do with what she saw. And she insisted that she had been drinking "only ice tea."
In Detroit, several citizens reported seeing "yellowish-orange things" hovering in the sky.
Descriptions of the "things" varied from cigar-shaped to looking like flying saucers.
The Air force at Selfridge Field where some of the "things" were reportedly seen refused to comment.
Air Force authorities at the local radar base reported no signs of "flying saucers" on their screen. They stated, however, that they may be the Sunday bomber mock raid of Detroit and stated the B-36 bombers, which participated this "raid" flew over this area at high altitudes.
The surprise "attack" on Detroit by B-36 jet bombers climaxed as the first joint air defense test on the U.S.-Canadian Boundary, "exercise sign post."
Detroiters by the scores turned into raid spotters and called police to report the sham battles in the air as 20 of the huge bombers appeared over Detroit.
One wave of the make-believe attackers flew directly over the loop area, leaving spectacular vapor trails.
Anderson, Indiana Daily Bulletin - 28 Jul 52
Indiana Has Saucers, Too
Indianapolis -- Police and military observers and hundreds of civilians reported seeing three "flying saucer" objects over south central Indiana between midnight and dawn today.
State police troopers at Indianapolis, Seymour, and Connersville posts, and army and air force observers at Camp Atterbury said they watched the objects for several hours.
"The things were so weird. I hesitate to even talk about them," one state trooper at Seymour said.
SOUTH BEND ALERTED
Robert Wolfe, civil defense director at Franklin, 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis, alerted the Air Force observation post at South Bend, thinking they were jet fighters flying from Selfridge Field Mich. The South Bend observer told him to "stand by."
Wolfe said one of the three objects was bluish, another orange, and a third was white. The bluish object sailed in from the south, the orange from the north, and the white from the east.
He said they seemed to have a dogfight over Franklin.
State Trooper Charles Longstreet said he saw one of the objects as early as 1 a.m. (CDT) while be was east of Franklin.
"It was very high in the sky," Longstreet said. "It was like a star. It moved up and down and back and forth, and at times would hover."
Hundreds of motorists reported seeing the objects. Some said they were not like shooting stars, and they doubted they could be weather balloons or a searchlight beam on low clouds.
Wolfe said two of the objects, "The white and the yellow ones -- were chasing each other under what I'd call the Little Dipper."
He said they traveled at high speed but he could not estimate their size or altitude.
"They danced all over the sky -- like a kid pulling up and down on two or three balloons," he said.
Seymour, Indiana Daily Tribune - 28 Jul 52
Local Post Personnel Witness 'Flying Saucers'
The Seymour state police radio station at the local post was kept busy early this morning recording reports of "flying saucer" objects in this section of Indiana, several of the reports having been made by troopers from the local post.
The reports here were supplemented by police and military observers from other parts of the state north of here who reported seeing the objects over south central Indiana between midnight and dawn. In addition to reports of officers of the local post, state troopers of the Indianapolis and Connersville state police posts and army air force observers at Camp Atterbury said they watched the objects for some time.
First report was made at 1:07 o'clock this morning by Trooper William Torrance of the Seymour post, who said he saw an unusual illumination northeast of the Atterbury Air Force base. Another report came from a Connersville post officer, who said he saw it north of Flatrock.
At 1:18 o'clock this morning, Trooper Phillip Stout of the local post, reported seeing the object when he was one-half mile west of Clifford and other reports were made a few minutes later by troopers from the Connersville and Indianapolis posts.
Arville K. Guthrie, radio operator at the local post who was receiving the reports said he saw it from the post at 1:45 o'clock and that calculations would place the object about over Greensburg.
Later reports from troopers indicated they had seen the object in Shelby county and at 2:56 o'clock the Camp Atterbury signal center reported seeing a light, barely moving, due east of the camp and changing color. Next report of seeing the object was from Franklin and Camp Atterbury at 3:19 reported seeing the object again, this time blue white, due east of the center. Trooper Torrance, who was at the stop light on Road 31 at Edinburg, verified this report.
Three Objects Seen
At 3:39 o'clock, Franklin police reported five witnesses had seen three of the objects, two orange or yellow and the third red, about 55 degrees south of east and moving toward Franklin. They said the first two were circular as a disc and gradually varying in intensity.
At 4:18 o'clock, Robert Wolfe, civil defense director at Franklin, alerted the Air Force observation post at South Bend, and it was planned to send out aircraft in an effort to determine what the objects were.
At 4:24 o'clock, the Camp Atterbury center said they had watched one of the objects with powerful field glasses and that it was red, white and blue with a tail. It was traveling southwest, gaining altitude and flashing its colors, moving slowly.
Later reports from Franklin said observers there saw three objects, yellow, orange and white, in the dawn light and that all were moving north. They said they saw the three apparently merge into one and change their course to move due west.
New Albany, Indiana Tribune - 28 Jul 52
Indiana State Troopers Watch 'Saucer Dance'
INDIANAPOLIS -- Police and military observers and hundreds of civilians reported seeing three "flying saucer" objects over south central Indiana today.
State police troopers at Indianapolis, Seymour and Connersville posts, and Army and Air Force observers at Camp Atterbury said they watched the objects for several hours.
"The things were so weird I hesitate to even talk about them," one state trooper at Seymour said.
Robert Wolfe, civil defense director at Franklin, 25 miles south-east of Indianapolis, alerted the air force observation post at South Bend, thinking they were jet fighters flying from Selfridge Field, Mich. The South Bend observer told him to "stand by."
Wolfe said one of the three objects was bluish, another orange, and a third was white. The bluish object sailed in from the south, the orange from the north, and the white from the east.
He said they seem [sic] to have a dogfight over Franklin.
State Trooper Charles Longstreet said he saw one of the objects as early as 1 a.m. (CDT) while he was east of Franklin.
"It was very high in the sky," Longstreet said. "It was like a star. It moved up and down and back and forth, and at times would hover."
Hundreds of motorists reported seeing the objects. Some said they were not shooting stars, and they doubted they could be weather balloons or a searchlight beam on low clouds.
Wolfe said two of the objects, "the white and yellow ones -- were chasing each other under what I'd call the Little Dipper."
He said they traveled at high speed but he could not estimate their size or altitude.
"They danced all over the sky -- like a kid pulling up and down on two or three balloons," he said.
Washington, Iowa Journal - 28 Jul 52
Objects In Sky Are Reported In Many Iowa Communities
Persons in half a dozen Iowa cities said today they saw strange flying objects which shot off sparks in the sky over the weekend, but an astronomy expert said he believed the objects were stars.
"They probably were looking at Jupiter, which is pretty bright and low now, or other stars," Professor C.C. Wylie, head of the University of Iowa astronomy department said. "Or it might have been a meteor. There have been many bright meteors lately."
State highway patrolmen and other persons in Fort Madison, Burlington, Mount Pleasant, Albia, Red Oak and Ottumwa reported seeing a strange object late Saturday night and early Sunday.
Fort Madison police said they received reports of flying objects that bobbed up and down in circles, shooting off sparks. A patrolman in the area said he saw a bright object shooting off red and blue lights.
A multi-colored object also was reported seen from the Burlington airport. Airport personnel said it disappeared when search lights were turned on.
A patrolman said he saw a strange object of similar description while driving form Ottumwa to Burlington, and another patrolman reported seeing a mysterious bright object from Albia.
At Red Oak
Several residents of Red Oak said they watched a strange object between midnight and 2 a.m. Sunday. State Patrolman Dale [Illegible] said he watched the object for two hours and thought it was moving. Similar reports came from Mount Pleasant.
Wylie said state police radio called him out of bed about 1:30 a.m. Sunday to ask about the objects.
"I saw Jupiter, which is low and bright now and I imagine that's what others saw," he said. "You can see it in the east about 1 a.m."
Referring to reports that strange objects were picked up by radar over Washington over the weekend, Wylie said they might have been meteors "which can be picked up by radar."
Iowa City, Iowa Press Citizen - 28 Jul 52
Southeast Iowans See Celestial 'Fireball'
BURLINGTON -- Burlington and southeast Iowa had a celestial mystery on their hands today.
The big question is whether an object seen in the early morning sky Sunday was just a star or planet performing some high jinks or whether it was something else.
Evidence can be had from observers to substantiate either point of view. Then, too, some point out that maybe everyone wasn't observing the same object.
In Burlington it caused quite a commotion. Airport landing lights were turned on when it was thought the object might be an aircraft looking for a spot to land.
AT THE IOWA ordnance plant, a powerful searchlight probed the darkened sky. It was so powerful it could be seen in Ft. Madison and police there radioed at one time the beam was too far south of the mysterious object.
Burlington police cars were sent to the airport and outskirts of the city as observers. The local naval reserve was contacted to see if the object could be picked up on radar but no operator was immediately available. The air defense filter center in Des Moines was contacted but there has been no report of its findings.
Various observers described the object as a zig-zagging ball of fire which changed color, a helicopter, a blimp, a possible planet or meteor, or just a plain star that was shining brightly.
AT MT. PLEASANT state highway patrolman Donald Platt said he saw four glowing cone-shaped objects which moved with tremendous speed. Platt said he rounded up 20 witnesses in the three or four minutes the objects were in view. He said they were three to five times larger than any star in the sky.
At Iowa City, Prof. C.C. Wylie who is an expert on meteors said it was possible that some of the sightings were of the planet Jupiter which is "quite bright" at this time of year.
Called out of bed at 1:15 a.m. Sunday by the Iowa City police radio, Professor Wylie observed nothing unusual in the skies here at that time.
He added today that any star when rising above the horizon would appear to be shooting off multicolored sparks, and that the Burlington ordnance plant guard who watched the object in the sky for about three hours after midnight and became convinced it was a star was "probably right."
"In the old days," Professor Wylie remarks, "the better high schools all taught astronomy. There were not so many electric lights to add to the confusion, nor was there the added factor of world tension. If someone saw something a little unusual in the sky, he merely compared notes with someone else. People KNEW stars!" The long-time head of the University of Iowa astronomy department adds he took his first course in this subject in high school.
Professor Wylie suggests it would do no harm for everyday citizens to become familiar with the heavenly constellations. "Anyone possessed of this knowledge could impart it to a bright Girl or Boy Scout in one evening," he declared.
In any event, he adds, every town in Iowa should have a few citizens reasonably familiar with the stars who might be consulted when these phenomena are observed.
In Des Moines, the air defense filter center said it relayed reports of the sighting to its secret radar station.
The filter center said it was awaiting word from the station on whether the objects were picked up on the sighting screen.
THE FILTER CENTER later advised that its radar post reported only that it was unable to intercept the objects reported by eastern Iowans. The radar station did not disclose any additional information, except to say it did not identify the objects.
In Des Moines, meanwhile, a night watchman said he saw "several bright objects" hovering in the sky about 3 a.m. today. He said one object was much brighter than the others and disappeared from view twice during the four minutes he watched it.
Hutchinson, Kansas News-Herald - 28 Jul 52
Anybody lost a flying saucer?
John Dick, Hutchinson fireman, says he saw one Saturday several miles west and several miles straight up from Hutchinson.
Dick said he heard an airplane's engines and looked up to see a B-29 flying west.
"Then to the east of the B-29 quite a ways," Dick relates, "I saw this other object. It was round, disc-like, without wings and as bright as if it were chrome plated. It moved pretty fast up toward the B-29. Then it made a quick right-angle turn. It seemed to stand still in the air for awhile. Then it started straight up and went up until it was out of sight."
Ottawa, Kansas Herald - 28 Jul 52
Saw Flying Saucer Over Coffeyville
Coffeyville, Kas. (Special) -- What looked like a flying saucer was observed here on two days. Early one morning Homer G. Blass observed an object, flying high, as he was driving to Coffeyville to work. Next night several others reported similar observance.
Blass said the "thing" was flat on the bottom and curved on top and seemed to be about the size of a stock watering tank, about 12 feet in diameter. It appeared to be moving slowly in a south-south-easterly direction. All at once it stopped completely and then went west at a high rate of speed, he said.
Miss Sarah Carpenter, Mrs. Vi Stephens, Miss Cythia [sic] Carey and Dr. R.L. McConnell observed the "glistening flying saucer" while at the latter's home. It was described as brilliant in front, yellow-white in color, with a short tail, and was travelling at a high elevation. All at once it shot straight up in the air and disappeared. The four agreed that it had a [Illegible] appearance, was curved on top, and similar to the one Blass had reported.
Ada, Oklahoma Evening News - 28 Jul 52
Several Here Saw That 'Flying Saucer'
After announcement in THE NEWS Sunday that Louis Long and his son Russ had seen a 'flying saucer' early Saturday night, others began calling him to report that they had seen the same phenomena.
And almost every one said that husband or wife had advised against saying anything about it as they'd be regarded as 'nuts' or something of the sort.
Long had reported seeing a large object moving slower than a meteor, giving off a greenish white light, and traveling west or northwest at a point northeast of Ada.
Fred Ely, night watchman at the new sewage disposal plant, told Long he saw some parts break off.
Lowell Adams, 1215 South Highschool, pushing his small daughter Ann on her tricycle, watched it and to him the light was a bit behind the rapidly moving object.
Mrs. Bart Smith, northwest of the City, related seeing it break up and disappear.
Mrs. Ben Covenlon, in northeast Ada, and Mrs. L.C. Bryant, on North Francis, called Long to report they had seen it, Mrs. Bryant saying that it looked to her as if it was pointed at each end, with a rim around it.
Mrs. G.E. Allender, 129 East Fifteenth, told of seeing the 'saucer' and Tom J. Hays, who was at the drive-in theater north of Ada, reported that he saw it disintegrate in the northwest.
Some called Long early Sunday morning and others Sunday night and Monday morning and he figures still others must have called while he was out of town Sunday afternoon.
Kalispell, Montana Daily Inter Lake - 28 Jul 52
'Saucer' Rumors Hit New Peak
Bright flying objects in the sky continue to be seen in Northwest Montana -- and throughout the nation, adding credence to "flying saucer" rumors.
Mr. and Mrs. Dale Gorton, 392 Third Ave. East North, Kalispell, today report they saw a "bright white object (round) in the southeast sky Sunday evening."
Mr. Gorton first spotted the object traveling through the sky and called his wife. She said the object had nearly disappeared behind the trees before she saw it.
The Gortons were camped on Bitterroot Lake when they saw the object at 9:50 p.m. Sunday...
The flying object seen by Mrs. E.A. Meehler in Northwest Montana on July 7 was about the same shape of the Gorton object and in the same general direction. Lookouts of Glacier National Park, Flathead Forest Service, and Northern Montana Forestry Association failed to see the object seen by the Gortons although one fire dispatcher said one of his mountain top observers had gone to bed.
Hayward, California Daily Review - 28 Jul 52
4 Reports Of Saucers In Bay Area
HAYWARD -- Four independent reports of "unidentified objects" in the sky, one from an excited Ashland resident Saturday night, were received by San Francisco Bay Area authorities during the weekend.
Walter Tomoff, 13278 Hesperian boulevard, gave the Hayward substation of the sheriff's office a knotty problem in the bargain.
Tomoff phoned about 9:30 p.m. Saturday that he had spotted what looked like a flying saucer. "It looks like a big bat," he told deputy sheriff Bert Harrison.
Sgt. Harrison said he would send a patrol car to the man's house for further details. After hanging up the receiver, the sergeant scratched his head.
"I don't dare say "flying saucers" on the radio," he told a reporter. "We'll get swamped with calls."
(The reporter suggested using 928b, the call number for a Japanese balloon during the war, but this was politely declined.)
Finally the deputy picked up his microphone and said to the patrol car, "Proceed to 13278 Hesperian, contact Mr. Tomoff regarding a miscellaneous public nuisance."
The episode did have an explanation: lights from the San Francisco airport playing across the clouds had created the illusion of a moving white disc.
Sunday night three more reports were received in San Francisco. Leslie N. Wetherby, of that city, told authorities he had seen two objects at 7 p.m., with long tails. Wetherby said they were over the bay and headed west.
Approximately an hour and one-half later Mrs. Paul Stefurak in Menlo Park reported to the San Mateo county sheriff's office she saw two white objects -- headed west and going fast. She said they were not planes.
Within a few minutes Mrs Margaret McBride, of San Carlos, phoned the sheriff's office and reported the same spectacle.
A Hamilton air force base spokesman said the only air force plane in the air at the time was a B-26 light bomber. He added it was not likely it could be confused with the weird objects reported.
San Mateo, California Times - 28 Jul 52
Three S.M. Groups See Flying Saucers
Two flying saucers, or "unknowns," described without variation as "round in front with long tails and brilliant in color," were sighted by nine persons in three widely separated localities over San Mateo county last night between 8:20 and 8:30 o'clock.
The unidentified objects were seen over Menlo Park, San Carlos, and Millbrae, and were reported by Mrs. Margaret McBride of 1031 Riverton drive, San Carlos; Mrs. Paul Setfural of 504 Vidol drive, San Francisco; and H.G. Fawcett of 1055 Millbrae avenue, Millbrae. With Mrs. McBride to confirm her story was Mrs. Ann Burch of Oakland.
Fawcett, his wife and their two children spotted the two objects at "approximately 8:20 p.m." while sitting in their back yard shortly after sundown. He is a mechanic at Mills field for Pan American Airways.
Mrs. McBride said at the time she and Mrs. Burch sighted the two "very bright objects" they were riding in the back of a pickup truck driven by her husband, James P. McBride, a subcontractor, and were entering San Carlos on Old County road.
Her attention was called to them, she said, by Mrs. Burch, who declared, "Oh, for heaven's sake, Peggy, look!"
Hovered In Sky
Mrs. McBride said the two objects were round in front with long, greyish-red tails. At the time they were sighted, she said, they were hovering in the air west of San Carlos.
"I don't think they were too far up," she explained, "but I'm no judge of distance. They were very bright and shiny in front with greyish-red tails." She added, "They were not just a figment of the imagination; they definitely existed in the air."
After she and Mrs. Burch sighted them, she said, she shouted to her husband to stop, but when he pulled to the side of the road the objects were hidden behind a steel high voltage tower. However, after they started up she said they sighted them again.
The Fawcett children, Joyce, 11 years, and Kenneth, 8 years, first called their parents' attention to the sky objects.
"I looked up and north and west of our observation point and I could see two shining objects with long vapor trails," Fawcett said. "They must have been 40,000 feet up and had white tails at least a block long."
Fawcett and his wife reported the saucers were apparently flying slowly to the southeast. "They came almost overhead and suddenly speeded up and turned east. Then they vanished.
"They made no noise and when they speeded up the vapor trail just disappeared," Fawcett added. "My wife, Gertrude, noticed that the vapor trails vanished shortly after the objects speeded up.
"We watched them for almost three minutes. I went into the garage to get a transit for a closer look, but couldn't find it. They looked like the sun shining off highly polished metal.
Mrs. McBride stated that they watched them for "two or three minutes" and that they finally rose and slowly disappeared in the direction of Half Moon Bay. "I'm certain they were not planes," she declared.
"When we first saw them, she said, "they appeared to be suspended in the air. When they disappeared, they rose at a sharp angle toward Half Moon Bay." She added that during the whole time they watched the two objects they remained equi-distant from each other.
She said they had been to Half Moon Bay and were returning home when they sighted them.
She reported the incident to the sheriff's office after talking to a friend on the telephone. She said the friend suggested she call the sheriff's office to see if other persons had reported a similar experience.
The sheriff's office, only a few minutes before, had received a similar report from Mrs. Setfural who said she was in Menlo Park when she saw "two white objects west of the moon" traveling at a high rate of speed toward the west. She said they were very bright and "definitely were not planes."
About 7 p.m., Leslie H. Weathersby reported to San Francisco police that he saw two objects answering the same description flying west over San Francisco.
Kennewick, Washington Tri-City Herald - 28 Jul 52
2 Flights Of Discs Reported
TWO FLIGHTS of "flying saucers" were sighted streaking across the Kennewick sky Sunday evening.
The strange objects were seen by W.J. Luebke, 1614 West Fifth St., Kennewick, at 9:48 p.m. Sunday.
"There were 12 disc-shaped crafts going southwest in perfect 'V' formation," Mrs. Luebke said. "They traveled at a terrific rate of speed and emitted a pale blue light. They were gone in 10 seconds."
Just 35 minutes later, Luebke and his wife spotted another group of three saucers.
"These were larger and brighter, and seemed to be playing tag," Mrs. Luebke again reported. "They scurried around the sky for a few minutes, one following another, then flashed out of sight," she said.
"I'VE HEARD all these flying saucer reports before," Mrs. Luebke continued, "and I always considered them a lot of hooey, but after seeing them with my own eyes, I'm definitely convinced that the discs are real."
Oran, Algeria Echo d 'Oran - 28 Jul 1952
Saucers Observed In Two Areas Of Oran
On 26 July 1952, people in two areas of Oran reported seeing unusual flying objects, described as 'saucers.'
At about 2300 hours, three women in the Eckmuhl district of Oran noticed a large, orange-red, luminous patch in the sky, of the size of a duck's egg, but flatter. Traveling from east to west, it appeared to halt for a second then vanished.
Three trustworthy individuals living on the Tiaret plateaus saw an unusual object at 1045 hours. The local parish observed it for about 40 seconds and described it as a shining, cigar-shaped mass without a smoke trail. It disappeared toward the northwest. A teacher and his wife gave a similar description, adding that the object had a dark center, was in an oblique position, and moved at an altitude of about 3,000 meters. No one heard any sounds of a motor.
Hayward, California Daily Review - 28 Jul 52
Scientists Convinced Ships Real
Several scientists, still stumped for an explanation of "flying saucers," were convinced Monday that the mysterious objects really exist.
One expert said they may be space ships from another planet.
Reports of fast-travelling, extremely light objects over Washington during the weekend gave weight to the theory that the "saucers" are real," according to some experts.
"I definitely believe the objects sighted over Washington were not a figment of someone's imagination," said R.L. Farnsworth, president of the U.S. Rocket Society, a reputable organization devoted to the study of rocket travel.
Farnsworth said "there is a possibility" they are interplanetary space ships. He added that there was no way for him to know, with certainty, what the objects were.
"Interplanetary space travel is definitely possible," he said, "We know there is vegetation on the planet of Mars, and this could be an indication there is life on that planet."
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer at Ohio State University, said he was convinced these persons saw something -- "some type of object or phenomena." But Hynek said it is "highly improbable" that the "saucers" come from another planet.
"There would be too vast a distance and too much of an engineering problem involved," he said. One scientist, who asked that his name be withheld, speculated that the "saucers" might be experimental aircraft developed by the U.S.
If this is the case, he said, "it's time the government quit playing jokes on the people."
The same scientist said he thought it was "slightly fishy" that many reports of the weird objects come from the general area of Washington and atomic proving grounds in New Mexico.
Other scientists were keeping their hands off the mystery, waiting for more clues to the identity of the objects.
Otto Struve, director of the Leuschner Observatory and chairman of the department of astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley, was baffled by the mounting reports of "saucers."
"I have no idea what flying saucers could possibly be. I have no knowledge on the subject whatsoever," he said.
An official of Mt. Wilson Observatory at Los Angeles, who asked that his name be withheld, said the objects reportedly sighted near Washington apparently were not a form of meteor or "other natural phenomena."
(Regarding the possibility of visitors from space. It has been pointed out by many experts, and recently by Arthur C. Clarke, president of the British Interplanetary society, that of the nine planets within our solar system, we know of life on one, Earth, and suspect either vegetable or animal life exists on two others, Mars and Venus.
(If the ratio should continue by the same pattern in all space bodies similar to our planets of which there are billions, it would logically follow that several maintain advanced life –- possibly capable of exploration of space which would lead, eventually, to the Earth, Clarke says.)
Garden City, Long Island New York Newsday - 28 Jul 52
Old Spacemen Never Die
We deplore the earthbound realism of the news chiefs of this paper who felt called upon last week to explode with harsh facts the wondrous illusions of the flying saucers. It is their job to turn the unfiltered spotlight of information on all and sundry in an effort to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Fortunately, the information from the Air Force that the saucers are the "pendulum-like oscillation of a weather balloon's light combined with additional vector velocities" will convince no one but the disenchanted pessimist.
For the rest of us, it matters not whether the saucers actually exist. Although there are various reports that they are instruments of (1) the Russians, (2) the Devil, as differentiated from the Russians, or (3) the Air Force, saucers remind us of the Cockney woman in London whose home was hit by a V-2 rocket. "That's all right, chums," she said. "It takes me mind off the war."
The real reason for the continued existence of the saucers is that every man still wants to be his own explorer. It's a healthy sign. Bowed down with the cares of a job in the city, commuter trains, war scares and political conventions, men can no longer go off to know the unknown. The unknown must come to them. This refusal of modern American man to be deterred by facts shows clearly that we are not degenerating as a race. The pioneer blood of our ancestors still flows strong in our veins.
Madison, Wisconsin State Journal - 28 Jul 52
Those Flying Saucers Again
A professor of astrophysics at Harvard has struck a hard blow at the Society Attributing Unusual Celestial Events to Riddles (SAUCER).
But the SAUCER fans (we thought, they should have a proper name and volunteered one) won't be entirely routed
In a new book, "The Truth About Flying Saucers," the professor says flying saucers actually are optical effects, like rainbows or mirages, or we presume, envisioning an end to the national debt.
The professor, Donald Menzel, scoffs at the idea that the saucers are space ships from another planet.
He says that the sight of the saucer like objects flying at incredible
speeds usually results from the trick refraction of light under special weather conditions called "temperature inversion."
Well, that's all to the good, from the astronomy and physics standpoint.
But, Dr. Menzel qualifies his whole theory with the word "usually." In other words, there's still an opening for the SAUCER fans, and they'll hop through it at the speed of light, now upped a little beyond the accepted 186,324 miles a second.
And Dr. Menzel overlooked one big factor. That is that a lot of people are going to continue believing in flying saucers because they want to.
In these hectic days, when the roads are full of non-refracted headlights and the air is full of refracted political talk and bent Russian double talk; it's good to have something reasonably unreasonable for relief.
And the professor is going to feel awfully silly when a couple of extraterrestrial gents bop out of some strange looking device and ask us, "Which way to Harvard?"
1. Many of the foreign-language publications quoted in this series come from translations provided within CIA documents of the time, now released under the Freedom of Information Act, as well as translations found in the declassified files of the Air Force's Project Blue Book. A lesser number come from the (now-defunct) French site Ufologie.net.
2. Most Blue Book documents for the Washington National-Andrews AFB reports of July 26/27, 1952 consist of later summaries, which will be included in the upcoming October entry Spotlight 1952: General Samford Meets The Press. However two short "Memos for the Record" concerning Capt. Ruppelt may be seen here.
3. Within approximately one-half hour of the witness report related in "Park Place Resident Reports Mystery Light" a sighting 200 miles off the coast of New York was reported by the gunner of a B-29, which may be read here.
4. There were other newspaper accounts of the sightings in Indiana told in "Indiana Has Saucers, Too", "Local Post Personnel Witness 'Flying Saucers'", and "Indiana State Troopers Watch 'Saucer Dance'" which included additional sighting reports within the larger stories. There are no Blue Book case files for Indiana for the period July 27-28, 1952.
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