in the news 1952
Above: From the files of Project Blue Book, sketch of the path of an object reported by dozens of witnesses at a Bakersfield, California drive-in move theater. Full story below.
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...
AUGUST 14, 1952:
Rocky Mount, North Carolina Evening Telegram - 14 Aug 52
Many Balloons Launched Daily
WASHINGTON -- Between 4,000 and 10,000 balloons of all shapes and sizes are launched each day in the United States by government agencies and private institutions, thus causing many of the "flying saucer" scares.
Some fly way up at 100,000 feet, making measurements of weather conditions and cosmic rays. Others go up only 10,000 to 30,000 feet to provide the Weather Bureau and the Air Weather Service with information on which to make forecasts.
They rise from about 1,000 launching sites in all parts of the United States. Naval research scientists and the Air Research Defense Command let some of the largest go -- to the highest altitudes.
One of these research balloon flights caused a "flying saucer" scare in central Ohio Tuesday night. Four balloons tied together, lifting research instruments high into the atmosphere, were seen by many of the residents of Columbus.
The Air Force's Air Intelligence Information Center, in charge of Project Bluebook which investigates reports of strange objects in the air, says it cannot make a positive identification of a balloon in less than 1.5 hours because of the great number of them in the air every day.
The high-flying balloons released by the Air Research Development Board are 45 to 110 feet in diameter and up to 130 feet long. The height at which they can fly can now be controlled for periods as long as three days.
Beginning next fall, there will be more of the big balloons in the air. ARDC will start daily flights from three West Coast launching sites. They will be tracked as they move across the country with radar and by ground observers.
They will discover new facts about winds, turbulence, temperature, atmospheric pressure, facts useful for guided missiles and jet planes.
Farmington, New Mexico Daily Times - 14 Aug 52
SAUCER SAILING SERENELY through space was taken by Professor George Adamski. Adamski says the sun is in the background making this silhouette of a saucer. The professor claims none of his pictures are retouched. (Copyrighted by George Adamski)
Oh! You're the Spoon In Our Saucer for Two
At the turn of the century Daisy and her beau looked sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two. Within the next few years a happy couple bowled along in their merry Oldsmobile. Not so very long after that it was "come Josephine in my flying machine."
And if Prof. George Adamski of Palomar, Calif., is right the next tune for the spooners to croon will be, "You're the spoon in my saucer, my saucer built for two".
Adamski says flying saucers are real -- and he means it. He even has photographs to prove his point. The photographs first showed up in Farmington July 29 carried by a man named Joe Halloran. Halloran, to say the least, was a flying saucer aficionado -- that's Spanish for "fan" as in "fan mail".
Halloran was very generous with his time. He showed us 14 pictures which he said were saucers in various attitudes and at various distances from earth. He also told us that the photographs were taken by Professor Adamski. So we went right to the horse's -- or astronomer's -- mouth and wrote to the professor. Post haste he sent a letter giving permission to print his pictures and including three pages of explanations of the mysterious objects.
Watches the Skies
Adamski says that for the past three years he has "watched the skies almost constantly, day and night, and taken over 700 shots through my six-inch telescope in an effort to photograph and thereby prove the reality of spacecraft visitors from another world.
In reference to his pictures Adamski claims he has all his developing and printing done by a commercial photographer and that he has an affidavit from the photographer that no re-touch work has been done.
But the professor doesn't stop with the pictures -- he even interprets them for those of us who are either unbelievers or slightly skeptical. He explains at length that the saucers sailing about the earth come from "mother ships" or cruisers far out in space. He is sure they come from some other planet and that in the absence of hostile action on the part of saucer pilots we must assume they are friendly.
The professor said in his letter:
"They (the saucers) have been coming a long time, but now they are coming in ever greater numbers and it is my opinion that they are coming for a very definite purpose . . . They will continue to come until their mission is completed and we of earth would do well to show friendliness toward them that we may learn their purpose . . .
But no matter what anyone may think about the saucers it must be admitted that the couple who may someday spoon and zoom as they croon in a saucer have come a long way from Daisy, her beau, and the two-seater.
All that remains to be seen is if the moon is as romantic from a saucer as from a haystack.
(See other pictures on Page 5).
[The following are the pictures and captions found on Page 5...]
PROFESSOR GEORGE ADAMSKI claims this photograph proves space craft travel in large numbers and in formation. The professor says this picture was taken May 18, 1951 and that he had his telescope focused on Venus. "Venus was almost obliterated from view," Adamski says, "by the large numbers of space craft moving between here and our earth. I did not see these ships in my telescope or in my finder at the time I took the picture." (Copyrighted by George Adamski)
THE CIGAR SHAPED dark thing in the center of this picture, Professor George Adamski says, (and the Daily Times has no way of checking) is a "mother ship". Hovering around it, according to Adamski, are six flying saucers either leaving or approaching the "cruiser". Adamski says he watched the cruiser for four minutes and took four pictures of it. (Copyrighted by George Adamski)
THE WHITE TEAR DROP against "the face of the moon" is, according to George Adamski, a flying saucer or space ship. He says the whole white object is not the photo of the ship -- "It contains the radiation around the ship and the trail behind the ship". Adamski also claims the ship is so close to the moon that a shadow is thrown on the moon's surface. The shadow is the dark square beneath the wide part of the white thing and was caused by the sun's light and the reflection of light from the earth, says the professor. (Copyrighted by George Adamski)
Titusville, Pennsylvania Times Herald - 14 Aug 52
Unidentified Sky Objects Cause Alert
BALTIMORE, Aug. 13 -- The Baltimore filter center tonight confirmed reports of an alert in the Maryland-Pennsylvania area for unidentified flying objects.
At Hagerstown, Md., Edgar King, local civil defense director, said spotters were alerted by the filter center in Baltimore at 2:10 p.m. (EDT).
King said spotters were told a group of unidentified flying objects had been reported 20 miles northeast of Harrisburg, Pa., and were believed to be heading toward Hagerstown.
The Hagerstown civil defense crew reported several hours later that nothing had been seen.
Officers at the Baltimore filter center first denied they had alerted Hagerstown, but later admitted putting out the call at the request of the civil defense organization at Harrisburg.
Their admission came after they were asked if the alert call to Hagerstown may have been a hoax.
The Eastern Air Defense Command at Newburgh, N.Y. said no general alert had been issued, and opined that if anything was spotted in the area under question, it may have been some Navy planes on a "simulated aggressor attack."
The Harrisburg center admitted it had received a report from another town, but refused to disclose any further information.
Hagerstown, Maryland Morning Herald - 14 Aug 52
Flying Saucers Alert Local Plane Spotters
Hagerstown had a flying saucer scare yesterday -- but the winged platters failed to show up.
Edgar King, in charge of civilian defense activities around here, said that he received a call about the saucers from the Baltimore filter center of the airplane spotting system.
That was 2:10 p.m. Baltimore told him that a fleet of flying saucers had been seen 20 miles northeast of Harrisburg, and they might be heading this way.
King, who is also city purchasing agent, sent several men outside the purchasing headquarters on West Memorial Boulevard with instructions to watch the sky. The men kept up their vigil for two hours, without seeing anything.
Hagerstown does not yet have an official plane spotting center, although plans have begun to establish one near the West End reservoir.
The spotter posts which are operating in several other towns in this county were apparently not alerted.
The Herald didn't receive any calls about flying saucers during the afternoon, even though the moon emerging from behind the clouds has brought frantic phone calls to the newspaper office in recent weeks, since the flying saucer publicity began.
It wasn't clear whether the saucers were seen anywhere except near Harrisburg.
Fairchild Flying Boxcars were in the skies most of the afternoon, but their presence had no apparent connection with the flying saucer reports.
Hagerstown, Maryland Morning Herald - 14 Aug 52
Yes, No, Well...
The Baltimore filter center first denied, then admitted that it had requested yesterday's alert.
It first told the Associated Press that it had not alerted Hagerstown. Then when asked whether the whole thing might be a hoax, the center admitted that it had placed the call.
The Baltimore filter center referred to "unidentified flying objects," rather than flying saucers as the reason for the alert.
Statesville, North Carolina Daily Record - 14 Aug 52
Down In Iredell...
MORE VIEWERS -- Two more persons reported today they had seen the flying saucers. This time it was Patricia Setzer and Charles Dagenhart who live near Lookout dam. Patricia said the saucers appeared from the east and disappeared toward the north. She said they left an orange streamer of light behind them, about two yards long and a foot wide.
Statesville, North Carolina Landmark - 14 Aug 52
Three Boys See Flying Saucers Or Something
The Flying Saucers flew over Statesville Monday night and they came, "not single spies but in battalions."
A group of boys and girls were having a wiener roast at the home of Tommy Kerr on Caldwell street, and the report of the saucer comes from three members of the group, Jim Lippard, Tom Kerr, and John Roueche. The boys aren't identifying what they saw but they know, beyond doubt, that they saw things the like of which they had never seen before. At 8:05 there first one of the objects appeared, at 9:05 there was another, or else the same one gave a return showing, and then at 9:20 came a third one, or a third running of the same.
The boys described the objects as bigger than a softball, very bright, the first two looking flat in the sky, the third one at an angle. All were moving north to south. They estimated the objects as 75 to 100 feet in diameter. Pushed as to the chance of it being lighted airplane, the boys said the objects were light, but not lighted, and as they moved a trail of light seemed to follow.
Bakersfield, California Californian - 14 Aug 52
Theatergoers Witness Flying Saucer Antics
Officials at Edwards Air Force Base today were studying eyewitness reports that a mysterious crescent-shaped object swooped down over the Terrace Theater Tuesday night.
The official Air Force investigation was touched off yesterday after more than 22 persons had called the Sheriffs Office reporting the "flying saucer."
Descriptions of the mysterious visitor varied. According to Desk Sergeant Leroy Hatfield some persons described the object as oval shaped with dim lights shining through the center of the crescent. Others said the "saucer" moved silently through the night like a ghost, not more than 200 to 300 feet above the ground. The object, according to spectators, was seen twice, once at 11:30 p.m., and again at about midnight.
Officials even had a picture of the visitor today. Walter Hauptman, 2520 Park Way, who was attending the outdoor movie, rushed home and drew a likeness of the crescent. He said the "saucer" moved slowly across the sky above the outdoor theater from the southeast to the northwest.
Another observer reported the object was illuminated by six or seven lights. Still others said it was triangular in shape.
From Edwards Air Force Base, J.A. Murphy, an air controlman, said his department has received similar reports of mysterious objects in the night. The Air Force has not commented officially on, the most recent report of "flying saucers" roaming Bakersfield skies.
Bakersfield, California Californian - 14 Aug 52
By Jim Day
"Last evening (Tuesday) at approximately 9:30 o'clock I stepped outside my home to turn off the sprinkler." P.L. Jayson, 401 First St., reported to me. "I happened to glance toward the eastern heavens and for a period of one or two seconds I saw a very bright, seemingly round light streak from north to south, then disappear."
"With all the flying saucer talk," he continued, "I would like to qualify myself and then make these observations. I served for three years as a pilot (1942-1945) with the Army Air Force and hold, at the present time, the grade of captain in the Reserve. I have more than 2,000 hours of logged pilot time and have never been known to suffer hallucinations."
What It Was Not
"What I saw last evening was not a searchlight beam. It was not a phosphorescent weather or observation balloon. It was not exhaust from any aircraft known to me, nor was it a falling star. Nor do I believe it was a phenomenon of the elements known or unknown.
"The object moved extremely fast and made no sound. As to what it could have been I have no idea. This is the only time that I have witnessed anything of this nature. I offer these observations as personal and as I saw them and they represent no official opinion.
"If it was a known object I'd have said it was from three to five thousand feet elevation and east of my vision and roughly 30 degrees above the horizon. It was not a falling star because of the path of flight"
Saw Other Lights
Captain Jayson said that he saw two similar lights while at an outdoor motion picture theater, the one at Terrace Way. The time was between 9 and 10 p.m.
Shortly after I talked to Captain Jayson, I talked to Reno Zanotto, veteran of the Second World War with service as an officer in the CBI.
Reno told me he saw the odd object Tuesday night while he was at the drive-in theater. He and 25 or 30 others viewed it at the same time and these persons were interviewed by the sheriffs office, he told me.
The object, according to Mr. Zanotto, was crescent or wedge-shaped. He thought it was brown in color but it was reflecting lights, possibly from the theater as it passed overhead. After it passed on it faded out of sight in a comparatively short space of time. It moved from the southwest to the northeast and was going about 40 to 60 miles an hour, he believes. The object was described by him as being as large as an airliner.
"It was not a light patch nor an optical illusion," Mr. Zanotto reported to me. It was a very weird experience, he declared. Among the other persons seeing it at the same time he observed the phenomenon were Mrs. Mabel Stone, of Taft, and Judy Rucker, of this city, Reno told me.
He said the sheriffs office after the spectral object was reported investigated and interviewed a number of persons, all of whom are said to have corroborated the story.
"We have had lots of reports," Mr. Zanotto said, of "one or two persons seeing flying saucers, but this is the first time that I know of where more than 25 or 30 persons saw the thing and at the same time."
Well, there are the stories just as they were reported to me.
Tokyo, Japan Pacific Stars and Stripes - 14 Aug 52
25th Div 'Saucer' Mystery Explained
WITH U.S. 25TH DIV -- The Tropic Lightning Division's great flying saucer mystery has apparently been solved.
The strange floating lights sighted several times by personnel of the 5th and 14th Infantry Regiments, and reported to Air Intelligence, proved to be weather balloons released from the 25th Division air section.
Witnesses reported seeing the mysterious lights rise above the horizon and zigzag silently across the sky. The airstrip reported that weather balloons bearing lights are released nightly at the same time the "saucers" were seen.
Hobart, Australia The Mercury - 14 Aug 52
'Flying Saucer' Over Tamar
A "FLYING SAUCER" was seen over the River Tamar in the vicinity of Rosevears yesterday afternoon by a number of people.
Mr. J. Tehan, assistant Public Works Department engineer in Northern Tasmania, saw one about 2 p.m. just after he crossed the Cataract Bridge over the Gorge before driving down the West Tamar Rd.
It was a round, bright metallic-looking object and appeared to be about 5.000 ft. up and over the direction of Rosevears, he said.
He kept the object in view as he drove slowly down the road, and stopped his car near Riverside to observe it from the side of the road for about four minutes.
It appeared to hover for several minutes, then make off in a northerly direction.
Hobart, Australia The Mercury - 14 Aug 52
No R.A.A.F. Report
CANBERRA, Wed. -- The Minister for Air (Mr. McMahon) said in the House of Representatives today that he had received no reports from the R.A.A.F. of "flying saucers" in Australia.
He told Mr. Downer (Lib., S.A.) that he had not been in contact with the U.S. Air Force about reports of "flying saucers."
Laurens, Iowa Sun - 14 Aug 52
Pocahontas County Now Has Flying Saucer Club
Pocahontas county has at least one flying saucer club, now popular throughout the nation.
An organization for watching saucers, if any, was formed recently in Fonda, according to a town official there. Club members, with field glasses and cameras, relax in lawn chairs and just watch.
One party reported seeing flying saucers plus cups some time ago.
AUGUST 15, 1952:
Long Beach, California Press Telegram - 15 Aug 52
The Point Of View
Look To The Bomb
To The Editor of The Daily Mail:
There are several explanations of these strange phenomena. Many people think they come from outer space. Others believe they are made by the Russians. Some people believe they are results of our experiments with new found elements or chemicals. In solving the problem of their existence consider the following facts:
A) They were never heard of until after the use of uranium in making atomic bombs.
B) When an atom bomb is exploded it releases millions of cubic feet of radioactive gas under extraordinary high pressure. This gas expands in the direction of least resistance. Having a metallic base it is easily picked up by radar. In color, it is sometimes red, sometimes yellow. This is due to the fact that there are various metallic elements mixed with the uranium, and in the explosion these metallic elements are gassified, the same as the uranium when it is exploded.
The gas from the explosion of the atomic bomb is exceedingly diffuse, and being much lighter than the air around it is pushed or propelled by the air pressure. The particles of the gas may cling together by mutual attraction for many days. The difference in specific gravity, weight and color may make the atomic clouds visible against the background of the atmospheric air.
In conclusion I state that in my belief the clouds of atomic gas produced by explosion of the uranium bomb constitutes the source of the Flying Saucers.
Charleston, Aug. 11, 1952
Hobart, Australia The Mercury - 15 Aug 52
Another "Flying Saucer"
THREE persons saw what they described as a flying saucer over Hobart on Tuesday evening.
They are Mr. V.W. Taylor, Bayswater Rd., Moonah, and his daughters. Myra and Fay.
Mr. Taylor and Myra called at "The Mercury" office yesterday, and both said they saw an oblong object high in the sky.
It was of a gold or orange colour, and moved rapidly from the southeast in a northerly direction.
Billings, Montana Gazette - 15 Aug 52
Combat Marines Report Flying Saucers Seen In Northern Korea
With United States First Marine Division, Korea, Aug. 15. -- Combat marines are now seeing those round things in the sky.
The marine division's public information office Thursday related this frontline "flying saucer" story:
Lieutenant Paul C. Mahoney of Brooklyn was leading a night patrol into Chinese territory Thursday.
One marine and then another noticed a strange looking object east of the moon at about 10,000 feet. It was round and very thin, the marines said. It was a light color but not shiny.
The object remained stationary for a few moments, then moved sharply and was still again. The second time it moved, the patrol lost sight of it.
Syracuse, New York Post Standard - 15 Aug 52
Flying Saucers Reported by Many In N. Lowell Ave.
The elusive flying saucer was back in the heavens last night and several persons at the home of Mrs. Gloria Carter, 705 N. Lowell ave., spotted the mysterious missile about midnight.
Mrs. Carter said the flame-colored sphere moved about the sky and changed directions several times while remaining visible for a long period.
Weather observers at Hancock Field reported "nothing unusual in the heavens."
Anniston, Alabama Star - 15 Aug 52
Science Fiction Writer Spots 'Flying Saucers'
SUFFOLK, Va., -- Harold Annas, 45-year-old "science fiction" writer reports he saw three "orange-colored" discs zooming overhead in formation while on duty as a volunteer sky watcher here.
He said each object was a "circular mass of orange" and flew at "very fast rate of speed" without any visible means of propulsion.
Annas added that as a writer of science fiction he had never written any "flying saucer stories."
Galveston, Texas Daily News - 15 Aug 52
Transport Pilot Declines to Identify 'Big, Orange Light' as Flying Saucer
DALLAS, Aug. 14 – Capt. Max M. Jacoby, who has been flying for 16 years, disclosed Thursday that he chased a big, orange light, apparently not of earthly origin, Wednesday night in a transport plane.
The light was of the type generally put in the "flying saucer" category, but Jacoby declined to call it more than a "light" for fear he would be laughed at. He never did catch it.
Jacoby, who is chief pilot of Pioneer Airlines, Capt. J.W. McNaulty, a pilot, and a maintenance man saw the light about 11:30 p.m. at 3,000 feet altitude, 15 to 25 miles from Love Field.
They were making a routine test flight. Jacoby said he was the first to see it. It seemed to be standing still and was not a "focused" light, such as the landing light of a plane.
"Then it suddenly started moving northwest," Jacoby said. "So I turned the plane on a course (at a speed of 240 miles an hour) that would intercept it at about 20 degrees. It went across and completely out of sight.
"It dived down. But the body of the thing did not change when it turned. It was bright, then it began to die down (dim). I couldn't tell whether it was just a light or a light coming from some object.
"I was still flying on this heading when the light reappeared. It was dim at first then got bright and Capt. McNaulty timed it. And it was at its brightest point about 10 seconds. I turned to line up with the light and it went out of sight in a southeasterly direction. We were unable to find it again."
Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal - 15 Aug 52
Saucers Return After 'Refueling' In Secret Place
After an absence of more than a week, what-ever-they-are have returned -- possibly from refueling on some other planet or at some forbidden place.
Albuquerque residents phoned The Journal Thursday night to report "flying saucers" in the New Mexico sky.
Two housewives said they saw a mysterious "saucer" light hover over the Sandia mountains for about 10 minutes, then fly westward and disappear. Mrs. Leslie Kyle, 304 64th St. NW, described the object, sighted about 7:30 p.m. as appearing like a "real bright star" flying above the clouds.
Watches Sky in Vain
Meanwhile, Charles Kowall, 71 Lead Ave. SW, who has seen "flying objects" here recently and who has developed a few theories about them, watched the sky fruitlessly for an hour Thursday night for the return of a formation of "saucers" sighted three times before.
Formerly an observer for the British Air Force, Kowall first reported seeing a formation of lights on July 21 at 9:24 p.m. He described them at about 7000 to 9000 feet up, traveling from south to north, then turning off to the northwest. When first seen, from his back porch, they were 65 to 70 degrees up from the horizon. They remained in view for about eight seconds, during which they covered a quarter of the sky.
The amazing thing to Kowall, who said the July 21 "saucer" was his first, is that on Tuesday night of this week -- at 9:12 o'clock -- he saw a V formation of about a dozen of the objects cover the same course in the sky. This time, he phoned the Weather Bureau and learned that the ceiling -- the altitude of the clouds -- was 25,000 feet.
Discs Above Ceiling
The discs, Kowall said, were above the ceiling -- how far, he doesn't know. Again they were in sight from eight to 10 seconds.
Then, more amazing still, and enough to convince Kowall that "flying saucers" are real, was his view of them again on Wednesday night, this week -- at 9:27 o'clock.
This time the Weather Bureau told him the ceiling was 15,000 feet; the objects (10 or 11 of them) covered the same course and were in view six to eight seconds because of the overcast.
Thursday night, with a ceiling of 30,000 feet, Kowall saw nothing in the sky at the apparent favorite time for the appearance of "saucers."
Theories Not Shaken
But the fickleness of the discs has not shaken Kowall's faith in them or his theories about them.
He still believes they are not a phenomenon -- that they are material things from another planet or built by earthlings. He said the same course taken on the three occasions, and the appearance of the objects at about the same time of the night all three times indicates that they could be circling the globe -- covering the 25,000 miles in 24 hours at about 1000 miles an hour.
With this as a basis for his theory, Kowall figures the objects which appear about 12 inches in diameter, must be flying at an altitude of some 14 miles.
Too Bright for Reflections
"Their lights are too bright to be reflections from the city," he explained; so, assuming the light for reflection comes from the sun and with the objects appearing about two hours after sundown, Kowall estimated the height from the angle of the sun's rays in relation to the earth's surface.
Kowall feels that with help from observers in other parts of the country, he may be able to determine the speed of the objects and perhaps partly solve the mystery.
"There's something up there," he declared. "Nowadays nothing is ridiculous. When you can turn a knob in your living room and see a man dance in New York City, nothing is ridiculous," he added.
Phoenix, Arizona Republic - 15 Aug 52
V-Formation 'Saucers' Sighted Over Tucson
TUCSON, Aug. 14 -- Lights flew in formation over Tucson Wednesday night, an Air Force Reserve captain reported Thursday.
The captain, Stanley W. Thompson, 32, said he and his wife and two boys saw the lights going at high speed in a V-formation from north to south while they were at a drive-in motion picture theater.
"They bore no relation to anything I have ever seen before," Captain Thompson said.
"From my point of observation the appearance was as though the lights were picking up speed. As they became more distinct, I could see definite symmetry and make out individual lights.
"MY IMPRESSION is that there were three elements of three lights each in a perfect V-formation.
"They were in view 3 to 4 seconds only. The individual lights were of an order of magnitude approximately one-quarter to one-third the size of the full moon.
"I had read about these things but I was always more interested in the visible objects seen in the daytime than in the lights reported at night. The light business left me cold. It doesn't any more.
"THE LIGHTS gave the impression, from their speed and apparent non-lineal velocity, of intelli- MlwoW [sic].
"I definitely observed what I saw, and it bore no relation to anything I've ever seen in the air before."
Captain Thompson said they could not have been temperature inversions, the explanation the air force recently has given for mysterious lights sighted at night in other parts of the country.
"The perfect formation," he said, "movement, and rapid rate of speed such as I observed Wednesday night can't be reduced to such a feeble explanation as the one now in vogue."
Ellensburg, Washington Daily Record - 15 Aug 52
Skywatcher At Airport Here Sees 'Saucer'
Mrs. Wayne Hertz of Ellensburg, who has read and heard about "flying saucers" these many months with the normal half-believing skepticism, now is numbered in the ranks of those who have seen them.
Standing a skywatcher shift of the Ellensburg Ground Observer Corps unit at Bowers Field Thursday morning about 10 o'clock, Mrs. Hertz saw a high-flying Air Force B-36 make a wide circle around the airport. As the plane circled back over the field heading east, she saw a circular object appear to swirl away from and below the plane, make a couple of dips to the south and disappear. As the plane went over the hangar at the field, she saw the bright object swirl again.
Frankly flabbergasted, Mrs. Hertz said she kept reminding herself that she wasn't dreaming and that she must remember what she had seen. Her impressions of the object are very similar to those who have seen the "saucers."
Winona, Minnesota Republican Herald - 15 Aug 52
Looking At Hollywood
By Hedda Hopper
Marge and Gower Champion swear they saw a flying saucer, and Gower has rigged up a camera at his window to get a picture of the thing if it appears again. He was out of film at the time, but says the saucer was visible for five minutes...
Winslow, Arizona Mail - 15 Aug 52
With Other Editors
(Tempe Daily News)
Why is it, we demand in the name of fairness, that everybody gets to see a flying saucer except us? But that's always our luck, and we shouldn't expect it to change now.
Twenty years ago, in the dim and distant pre-radar age, there was an invasion of sea monsters. We can't say just how they fared in the Salt River, as we were then observing other portions of the great American scene, but elsewhere they were as prevalent as egg shells at a Sunday school picnic.
In Scotland they acted as stand-ins for pink elephants, but in this country they flocked around the sober as well as the sinful, the scientist as, well as the yarn-spinning seaman.
Out of the depths of the ocean they came, 50 and 75 feet long, with great curving necks connecting the mighty bodies and the savage, teeth-flashing heads. They churned the water around the Florida keys, and emerged from fogs to scare the fishermen off the Newfoundland Banks. You wouldn't think a man would be able to overlook anything as big as they were, but we did. Strain our eyes as we would, no sea serpent ever finned its way into our horizon.
Twenty-five years ago, in the dimmer and even more distant past, before the second coming of sea monsters, spiritualism held the news spotlight; and it was just as easy -- for most people -- to hold a conversation with a ghost as it now is to tune in on a TV show. Why in those days you couldn't even hold hands with a girl under the table without a ghost butting in, wanting to tell you how your Great Uncle Charlie was making out in the world beyond the grave. Or so they told us. And tables? If you flipped off the lights and thought deep thoughts they'd prance around the room and end up by kicking the cat into the goldfish bowl. Except when we were around, that is. Possibly because our thoughts weren't deep enough tables did a remarkably good job of digging in and holding their ground, whenever we were there to observe.
With two strikes against us, we haven't much hope of scoring in the flying saucer field, though these aerial objects are now as plentiful as anti-macassars used to be. Still we can't help keeping a wistful watch on the skies, in the dim hope that the men from Mars will see to it that we are not scooped again.
AUGUST 16, 1952:
Rocky Mount, North Carolina Evening Telegram - 16 Aug 52
Special Service Sunday Night!
WHITAKERS BAPTIST CHURCH
at 8:00 O'clock
DR. C. B. PEACOCK
will be preaching a special
sermon on the subject:
"The Flying Saucers In The
Light Of The Bible"
Come see what God's Word says
about this subject.
Gastonia, North Carolina Gazette - 16 Aug 52
Flying Saucers To Be Forum Theme
Rudd Friday, Ches Freeman, Ed Robinson, Jack Thomas and Roland Bradley will be heard tomorrow afternoon in a public opinion forum broadcast by Radio Station WLTO. George Ransom is the moderator of this program.
The Five men will discuss flying saucers. The program will be on the air from 5:30 until 6 o'clock.
Long Beach, California Independent - 16 Aug 52
Expert Will Air 'Saucer' Views
Pros and cons of the existence of "flying saucers" will be discussed by space travel expert Willy Ley on tonight's edition of his weekly "Looking Into Space" broadcast at 6:30 p.m. on radio station KECA.
While much credence is put in objects seen during flights, Ley will point out that these are seen usually during hot spells. He observes that most saucer reports are from persons near deserts or large bodies of water which reflect the sun's rays.
Ley also discounts the power of radar in "picking up" flying saucers and gives a full explanation as to why he feels this way.
Lowell, Massachusetts Sun - 16 Aug 52
Saucers Not Hallucinations
CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. Aug. 16 -- Flying saucers are not hallucinations, rocket research pioneer Willy Ley told a Chautauqua institution audience last night, but neither are they visiting space ships or secret experiments of the Russians, he added.
Ley, the author of books on rocket and space ships engineering, said he believes the saucers are mirages.
The objects reported in the sky are not space ships, the German-born scientist explained, because practically all flying saucers have been reported noiseless and rarely described as larger than 100 feet, in diameter. The motor of the V-2 rocket heard from a mile away sounds louder than Niagara Falls from a quarter of a mile, he pointed out.
Ley said he was sure the Russians would make their secret experiments at home since they have three times the territory of the U.S.
Great Bend, Kansas Daily Tribune - 16 Aug 52
He Knows All About It
Mexico City -- Ry-Ting came from Tum-Brum according to Diks-Yu.
Translated that means flying saucers come from Mars according to Diks-Yu, the head man on that planet. Diks-Yu has been talking through "spiritualist channels" with Mexican medium Jose C. Rapines.
The Mexican spiritualist said yesterday he had made his "first contact" with the Martian chief. He said Diks-Yu had told him civilization on Mars was 2000 years ahead of earth's.
The spiritualist told the newspaper Ultimas Noticias.
"The flying saucers which crisscross the heavens of Mexico and the United States come from the planet Mars.
"The saucers, known as Ry-Ting to the Martians are aircraft beyond human intelligence," Ramirez said. Diks-Yu told him the flying saucers were on peaceful missions trying to investigate the earth's development.
Mars isn't named Mars at all -- the correct name is Tum-Brum, Ramirez added.
Portsmouth, Ohio Times 16 Aug 52
Greenup Patrolman Sees 'Flying Saucer'
GREENUP -- Leroy Blankenship, night patrolman, didn't take any chances on anyone doubting his story of seeing a flying saucer.
The patrolman was at the top of the Ohio River bank between 2 and 3 a.m. when he noticed a red streak in the sky. He hastened to the telephone exchange and had the operator, Mrs. Marie Bruce, view the sight from a window to back up his saucer story.
The object was traveling northwest at rapid speed, according to Patrolman Blankenship.
Logansport, Indiana Press - 16 Aug 52
Cairo Skywatch Program Today
Little Town Attracts Attention of C.D.
CAIRO, Ind. -- The prime mover of one of the nation's first skywatch towers Friday accused Purdue University and Lafayette with attempting to get into the act.
This hamlet of 19, eight miles northwest of Lafayette, dedicates its 40-foot tower Saturday. The Air Force will send several officers and jets. Public officials will attend too.
Larry O'Conner, a World War II veteran who runs the village general store, set up the air spotting station and enlisted 90 persons from the surrounding area to volunteer as watchers.
O'Connor says it was done without any Lafayette help.
"Just as soon as we start getting this publicity," said O'Connor, "Lafayette comes along and pulls the big brother act."
"Why, they even say they helped us organize our skywatch program," he added. "Truth is, they couldn't even organize a station in Lafayette. We had to go down and help them."
The Cairo station is one of the few in Indiana that actually operates around the clock. An observer saw a flying saucer Thursday night, O'Connor reported.
"It was a reddish object in the northeast," he said, adding that the radar filter center at South Bend was notified.
Mattoon, Illinois Daily Journal Gazette - 16 Aug 52
Flying Saucers? Yep! Green One Seen Here
A green flying saucer, in the shape of an electric light bulb and traveling "faster than a jet plane" sailed across the sky north of Mattoon about 8:30 p.m. Friday.
That was the report being phoned to The Journal-Gazette this morning. Hundreds of persons reported seeing the object at the Mattoon baseball park.
It was described as traveling from west to east and was seen "three or four" seconds.
An Associated Press story earlier in the week predicted flying saucer reports would perk up. Astronomers said the northern skies would be filled with meteors.
Mitchell, South Dakota Daily Republic - 16 Aug 52
by Jim Watson
A flying saucer may have been seen in Mitchell recently, but the fellow who spotted it isn't making any predictions.
Last Saturday about 4 p.m. Lewis Erickson said he and his wife were standing in their back yard at 305 So. Wise. St. when they saw something that looked almost like a star in the distance.
It was moving north fast, but not as fast as a shooting star and it didn't leave a trail like a shooting star does, "It had a kind of halo around it," Erickson said.
Erickson didn't claim it was flying saucer -- he said it was too far away to tell just what it was.
Well, all we have to say is, if everyone else in the country can have flying saucers, there's no darned reason why Mitchell can't have them too.
Lubbock, Texas Morning Avalanche 16 Aug 52
Shades Of Mars! They're Still Here After A Whole Year
This is an anniversary story.
Shortly after Aug. 15, 1951 -- five days to be exact -- four Texas Tech professors, and a host of other Lubbock residents, began to get stiff necks from tilting their heads skyward to observe what later became known as the famous "Lubbock Lights."
And last night -- Aug. 15, 1952 -- the "whatsits" again winged -- or is it blasted -- their way at "terrific speed" across area skies and right into the line of vision of at least three groups of Lubbockites.
The saucer reports which tumbled in last night were amazingly like the same scanty information which first trickled in last year.
Were In "V" Formation
First to report last night was Mrs. R.T. Yates, 1906 Nashville. She and her husband and their neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Tate Lockhart, caught glimpse of "a group of lights flying in a "V" formation with the open end leading and giving off a bluish glow." That was at 9:22 p.m.
Next, Dale Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. B.T. Smith, called in to tell an almost identical story. Smith's lights had one thing others have lacked, however -- sound. He said he and his parents with several friends saw the "dull grey or green" colored objects shoot swiftly from north to south over the Smith residence at 2604 Second. The noise they heard sounded like "somebody was rattling paper," Smith said.
Tech Instructor Sees Object
The third group to report seeing the lights last night was two couples at the Westerner Drive-In theatre west of the city. Berwyn Tisdell, Bill Breedlove, Carolyn Newman and Janice Dardin, all reported seeing a "string of bluish lights traveling from north to south." That was at 10:30 p.m.
Tisdell said they were flying in a "V" formation, just as the others reported. The elder Smith, who is an instructor at Tech, said at "least 20 or 25" were in the group that was observed from his front yard.
Mrs. Yates was lying in a hammock in her front yard and got a "good view of the formation all the way across the sky." She heard nothing, but like the rest said the lights were flying at a terrific speed.
Each of the three stories told last night closely follow what Prof. W.L. Ducker and his associates of Texas Tech observed on several occasions during the last days of August, 1951 and on through the fall.
Carl Hart, a young Lubbock photographer snapped a picture of the formations last Aug. 7 -- and that picture became the center of a nationwide controversy.
It still is.
So after one year of "saucer" sightings on the South Plains -- which have been attributed to just about everything under the sun from birds to little green men three feet tall -- they are apparently still with us.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Tribune - 16 Aug 52
Bright-Light 'Saucer' Ought To Be Ashamed
By JACK GILL
There's one "flying saucer" that ought to be ashamed to appear over Albuquerque again.
Half a dozen persons phoned The Journal Friday to report they also had seen the so-called saucer sighted in the sky Thursday night by two housewives. They all insisted the light was that of an airplane.
"We could even hear the motor," said W.O. French of 304 Chula Vista Pl. NE. He said he and his neighbor, Lawrence Lowe, 301 Chula Vista Pl. NE, watched the plane, which "had brighter than usual lights," climb to come over the mountains. He added that when the plane climbed it gave the impression of hovering over the mountains, as the housewives said it did.
"I saw it too," said Mrs. L.H. Demaris, 2226 Indian School Rd. NW. She said it appeared to climb like a helicopter as she watched it from her car at a drive-in theater.
Another observing resident, who refused to give his name, said he had an idea some pilot had rigged his plane with extra-bright lights so he could fly over and alarm people by making them think they were seeing a saucer.
Mrs. Charles Marshall, Rio, Grande Blvd. NW, said she also saw the light flit across the sky, but before it disappeared she examined it with a pair of binoculars and proved to herself that it was an airplane.
Angry, and going out on a limb, Harold Mullen, an Albuquerque public relations consultant (who also says he saw the airplane light and adds he is not doing any PR work for the saucer people), blamed poor eye-sight, dirty glasses and too-vivid imaginations for a number of the reports of flying objects.
He added that residents should be cautious about reporting reflections, airplanes, etc. as "flying saucers." Panicky alarms can cause hysteria, he declared.
Nevertheless, at the same time citizens were phoning to report that Thursday night's "saucer" was an airplane, others told The Journal of seeing objects in the sky Friday night. One called back to say the star-like thing he had seen was really a star, and another reported a "saucer flew east across the night sky, and (hic) a little man in it waved to me."
French, without realizing the incongruity of his statement, critically summed up the latest disc sightings with: "It was no more a flying saucer than the man in the moon."
Long Beach, California Independent - 16 Aug 52
It's Saucers Flying Again In Long Beach
It was too bright and going too straight to be a comet or a falling star . . . so it must have been a flying saucer. At least that's what W.H. Martin, 757 Belmont Ave., reported last night. The "saucer" was headed from east to west at 11:50, Martin said. There was no sound, as with airplanes, and the flash lasted for about a minute, he said.
Oran Republicain, Oran, Algeria 16 Aug 52
Luminous Disk Or Ball Seen Over Moulay Bousselham
In Ain Sefra, on the night of 12 August 1952, a railroad agent observed a ball of fire suddenly appearing against a background of clouds, racing across the sky from east to west and leaving behind a luminous pink trail. Apparently increasing in volume, the object stopped suddenly, became bright red, and seemed to explode, but the observer did not hear any noise.
Hagerstown, Maryland Morning Herald - 16 Aug 52
The Flying Trapeze
THE manner in which officials in Baltimore and Harrisburg handled Wednesday afternoon's local aircraft spotters alert was hardly to increase public confidence in the civil defense program.
In both cities -- not in Hagerstown -- it was a case of misinformation and fragmentary information given by filter centers to the press.
Hagerstown, you may remember, was alerted in mid afternoon. The Baltimore filter center told local plane spotting officials that flying saucers had been seen near Harrisburg, and might be headed this way.
A couple of hours later, the Associated Press asked the Baltimore filter center about the alert. An official at the Baltimore filter center denied that Hagerstown had been altered.
It wasn't until the AP contacted the Baltimore center a second time, asking if the whole thing could be a hoax that the Baltimore center reserved itself. This time, Baltimore admitted that it had sent out the alert. The Baltimore official said that Harrisburg's civil defense organization had requested the alert.
So the Associated Press talked to the Harrisburg center. The Harrisburg center admitted that it had received a report from "another town" which caused the alert. But it would say nothing more.
It still isn't clear whether the alert was touched off by a flying saucer. "Unidentified flying objects" was the description that the APPLICATION was given. But Hagerstown spotters were definitely hunting for flying saucers.
The entire plane spotting network is founded on the principle of civilian participation. Dozens of countians have volunteered many long hours of their time to watching the skies at spotter posts already operating in this area. Under these circumstances, it is impossible to keep the news of an alert from becoming known by word of mouth throughout a town. Attempts to deny the existence of an alert to a press service are folly.
If the international situation or flying saucer mystery is so grave that secrecy is necessary, then the entire spotting system must be revamped, removed from the hands of civilians, and placed on a wartime footing with personnel from the armed forces. This is the only way to insure proper security, if the nation's safety requires a blackout on information about "unidentified flying objects."
If such drastic measures are not necessary, the filter centers should play fair with the public. Misinformation on the existence of an alert is going to cause people to wonder how much misinformation is being disseminated about other phases of civil defense by its national leaders.
1. George Adamski, the subject of "Oh! You're the Spoon In Our Saucer for Two", would go on to become both celebrated and excoriated for many years afterwards not only for his photographs and film of purported flying saucers but especially for becoming the first self-proclaimed "contactee", describing a meeting with Nordic-type aliens who communicated with Adamski telepathically, and whom he said later took him on interplanetary journeys in their spaceship. His first appearance in Project Blue Book files was connected with a series of odd incidents at Mt. Palomar observatory in 1949 where reported sightings seemed to coincide with off-scale oscillations of a recording Geiger counter which was part of the observatory's equipment. Adamski's role in this incident was tangential -- he operated a concession nearby to the observatory at which investigators stopped by during the course of the investigation. At that time he told them of some of his own sightings, one of which coincided with the reports being investigated. By the time of the 1952 news story, Adamski was already being featured in Fate magazine. Without regard to Adamkski, the incidents at Mt. Palomar contain many intriguing details, which unfortunately occurred during the heyday of the debunking Project Grudge effort, predecessor to Blue Book, and which will be included as part of a future series.
2. The use of the term "unidentified flying objects" in "Yes, No, Well..." is one of the earliest, if not the earliest public use of the term.
3. Selected Blue Book documents on the Bakersfield, California multiple witness reports at a drive-in theater may be read here. Blue Book's final evaluation was "insufficient data".
4. Though the August 15, 1952, Mattoon, Illinois report told in "Flying Saucers? Yep! Green One Seen Here" does not appear in Blue Book files, there was a case file for a report from Urbana, Illinois on the same day for which declassified files are either not easily locatable or non-existant. Three and one-half hours after the report told in "Flying Saucers? Yep! Green One Seen Here", at 12:03 a.m. August 16, 1952, a Blue Book case file includes a report from Chanute Air Force Base from a "Major [Blacked Out] Senior Pilot, with 3,000 hours flying time and combat experience in B-25s, presently assigned as Education Advisor of the [Blacked Out] Training Group, Chanute AFB" who reported that he, along with a Captain and both of their wives "observed four (4) unidentified objects flying directly over" the major's quarters. The "objects were flying in a "V" formation" and were in view "5 to 10 seconds". They were described as having "a phosphorescence like, bluish-gray color. They were oblong in shape with the major diameter being at right angles to the line of flight. The larger diameter of the objects appeared to be approximately the same as the wing span of a B-25 would appear to be at 5,000 feet altitude. The minor diameter was approximately one-half (1/2) as large as the major diameter. The distance between the objects was equal to about their minor diameter. The apparent speed, position in the formation, and color remained constant during the period of sighting." Both Urbana and Chanute AFB are approximately 60 miles northeast (nearly directly north) of Mattoon. Both the Urbana and Chanute reports were evaluated as "insufficient data".
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