in the news 1952
Above: Enlargement of photo from the August 18, 1952 edition of the Yuma Daily Sun. The object was not noticed by the photographer at the time he snapped the picture. 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 17, 1952:
Cumberland, Maryland Times - 17 Aug 52
MIAMI, Fla. -- Want to make your own "flying saucer" pictures?
You can. And you don't have to sit around in your backyard waiting for one of the strange, zooming little things to zip past overhead.
After all, you might have a long wait. And if the neighbors found out what you were doing the men in the white coats might pay you a little visit.
And your explanation wouldn't be any help at all.
So why wait when all you need is an ordinary box camera and a roll of film.
Here's The Technique
All you have to do is take a close-up snapshot of an electric light bulb in a darkened room.
That's all. Make a snapshot from about three or four feet.
With a fixed-focus box camera you'll get a fuzzy-edged image of the bulb.
Then go outdoors and make a picture of a skyline or building or outdoor scene -- right on the same film.
This is known as a double exposure -- something that photographers don't always do on purpose.
When your negative is developed you'll have a beautiful, sharp, clear, fuzzy, out-of-focus, blurry-edged little blob of light flitting around in the sky.
Provided you got the light bulb in the right place.
You want two saucers? Just snap the light bulb twice -- on the same film, of course -- then make your skyline scene for a third exposure.
Three saucers? Shucks, you can make a dozen of them. Maybe you know somebody who has an old-fashioned chandelier.
Just think of the possibilities.
And if you have your own darkroom, you don't have to work half as hard.
All you have to do is put your favorite negative in the enlarger, then make all the saucers you want by drawing them with a grease pencil on the enlarger glass, over the negative.
Now you can put tails on them, make them do loops in midair, and crash them into your neighbor's house.
Maybe if a few million people make a few million flying saucer pictures it'll put an end to the whole silly thing.
Syracuse, New York Post Standard - 17 Aug 52
They Fabricated Space Ships of Marsium
To the Editor of The Post-Standard:
Several years ago a broadcast by Orson Welles is said to have caused consternation among radio listeners as he described an imaginary attack on our planet by Martians. If all people were better versed in astronomy, they wouldn't so readily fall for such a hoax.
For example, earth journeys around the sun in 360 days at an average distance from it of 93 million miles.
To do this earth must travel at about 19 miles per second; or about 35 times as fast as an army rifle bullet.
Likewise, Mars is traveling around the sun in 687 days at an average distance from it of 141 million miles, it's speed being 16½ miles per second.
Hence, these two planets sometimes get on the same side of the sun and as close to each other as 36 million miles; while at other times they may be on opposite sides of the sun and as far apart as 230 million miles.
Now we know that Mars is smaller than the earth, has less air, water and vegetation, and is colder. The Martians know these things, too: because our vast oceans and green clad continents are visible to their astronomers. Of course they didn't know that earth was inhabited, but earth did look more attractive to them than Mars as a place of abode.
Accordingly, they lent their top technicians to devising space-ships capable of a speed of four miles a second. At this speed they could arrive it earth's orbit while the earth made one complete journey around the sun, and when earth came bowling along at 19 miles per second they could plunge head on into earth's atmosphere, and soon be happy inhabitants of our wonderful planet.
Thus they planned, and this they have tried to do, but they made one big mistake. Plunging into earth's atmosphere at such terrific speed turned their spaceships into blazing meteors which disintegrated, and upon cooling became luminous flying saucers.
What makes them luminous? Well, Mars has a metal, Marsium, which is very light and strong and an ideal material for spaceships. But when turned into blazing meteors this Marsium combined with oxygen in our atmosphere, forming Marsium oxide, a very light fog-like luminous material which can easily be seen by those blessed with a vivid imagination and sufficient gullibility to accept this explanation as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about flying saucers.
Syracuse. W.H. JAKWAY
Long Beach, California Press-Telegram - 17 Aug 52
Saucers Look Like Plain Old-Fashioned "Angels" on Radar, but Get Along Faster
WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 -- Dr. Robert M. Page, who declares he built the world's first radar in 1934, says that if it weren't for the speed of those strange blips noted on some radar sets in "flying saucer" conscious Washington he'd be inclined to lump them with the mysterious "angels", which have popped up on radar screens ever since the invention's infancy.
The newly noted blips are ascribed to "something" moving at 100 to 5000 miles an hour. The "angels" are slow pokes.
"Angels" which also appear as blips have been ascribed to such various things as atmospheric phenomena, large insects or spiders wafted aloft by winds, and even high-floating cobwebs, but no radarman has definitely pinned them down.
JUST LOAF AROUND
The "angels" are said to "fly" at speeds up to three miles an hour, although they sometimes reportedly just hover. They're not known to give visible light. Dr. Page is associate director of electronics research at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) here and is called "the father of American radar" by Navy scientists. He says he believes the unexplained radar apparitions recently, reported in the nation's capital could be caused by unusual conditions in the atmosphere.
But radar's "angels," he theorizes, are caused by "some material object, such as large insects, small spiders or spider webs."
Birds, he said, are old stuff and are no puzzle to a radarman. Dr. Page says he believes he was the first man ever to spot a bird by radar during a 1939 shakedown trial of the first naval radar set built in the United States aboard the historic battleship New York.
Page says he saw his first "angels" in 1944 when looking at radar equipment set up by M.W. Baldwin Jr. of the Bell Telephone Laboratories at the Navy's Chesapeake Bay research station.
"They appeared," he recalled, "to be reflections of something drifting with a very slow wind at various heights between 100 and 1000 yards, and they would disappear for a time and then come back again." (Other "angel" spotters have pegged them at altitudes up to 3000 yards.)
Baldwin, in a published account of the "angels" over Chesapeake Bay, waxed somewhat more poetic. He said: "When a fully automatic tracking antiaircraft radar follows an 'angel,' the motions are what you might call majestic."
Abilene, Texas Reporter News - 17 Aug 52
'Saucers' Described As Optical Illusion
Much his been written and speculated about the recent appearances of flying saucers, but according to Donald H. Menzel, professor of astrophysics at Harvard, flying saucers are nothing new.
His new book "The Truth About Flying Saucers" which will be published by Harvard in the fall, compares the phenomena to optical effects such as cause the common rainbow.
Flying saucers, called "Lubbock Lights" and "Mt. Ranier Saucers" were reported both in the 19th century and earlier.
But all his extensive research leads him to the conclusion that flying saucers are, after all, only an optical illusion and not invaders from Mars or Venus.
Lima, Ohio News - 17 Aug 52
Ohio Northern university has joined in the hunt.
Along with jet pilots, airlines, navigators, skywatchers, and Army and Navy researchers, the professors will try to solve the mystery of the flying saucers.
The biggest difficulty is that they haven't been as predominant hereabouts as some places -- Washington, for instance. But we never were able to do things on the Washington scale.
The big radar station near Bellefontaine hasn't seen a sign of one. The Navy training center here, like Astronomer Peltier, doesn't even want to talk about them.
We've been hearing about flying saucers since 1947, but only recently has the Army come up with any acceptable explanation. One national magazine announced a couple of years ago with a lot of fanfare that the saucers were an experimental job by our Navy. A few weeks ago the same magazine said with equal seriousness that they are only refracted light, such as reflections of lights on the earth that somehow form a blip on radar screens.
WE'VE HEARD so many stories that Ohio Northern will have to come up with something unique to attract more than local interest. Army researchers say they have made synthetic saucers in their laboratories at Ft. Belvoir, Va. Maybe the Ohio Northern profs can make us some real ones, the kind that play tag with jet planes.
We recommend for their guidance a copyrighted story in the Washington Star, giving details of how the Army research laboratory has synthesized the saucers.
Scientists simulated the atmosphere from the earth's skin out to the stratosphere by using a vacuum bell 18 inches across and approximately three feet high. First they took most of the air out of the bell, matching the pressure believed to exist at an altitude of 200 miles. Then they fed into this near vacuum static electricity to get the conditions which are probably present as a result of this summer's scorching heat.
Feeding small quantities of cool air into the bell produced some hair-raising results. An orange colored globe appeared and floated up toward the top of the bell. At times it had a bluish halo around its base. By employing their imagination, eyewitnesses said, they could see a space ship being propelled by a purplish jet exhaust.
But that wasn't all. From time to time "strings of orange marbles" ran across the base, then floated up to the top, darting erratically, but almost always in formation.
The experimenters said the physical principle involved was an old one, but that this synthetic production of "saucers" was brand new.
Lubbock, Texas Avalanche Journal - 17 Aug 52
Saucers May Have Been Flock Of Geese
Mr. And Mrs. H.G. Kilgore, 4307-B Canton Ave., believe that what some Lubbockites saw and heard Friday night was not a group of flying saucers, but a flock of geese.
Mr. And Mrs. Kilgore and their three children were in the back yard of their home when they sighted the geese twice, once about 9:30 p.m. and again at 10:30 p.m., she reported. Mrs. Kilgore said that on the second trip, the grease were low enough to be clearly seen and that the sound of their wings beating the air was faintly audible.
She theorized that the whirring sound might be responsible for the report of a noise like the rustling of paper. The flock was going from north to south, she stated.
Paris, Texas News - 17 Aug 52
Saucer Seen In Lamar, And It Changes Colors!
Flying saucer story to "cup" them all:
It didn't fly. It was the size of four full-size stars. It turned itself off and on and changed colors.
It was seen in the southern sky about 11 p.m. Friday by five persons who watched it from their automobile on Highway 271 between Deport and Pattonville.
The Rev. Jack Kee, pastor of the Church of God at Lannius, who has been conducting a revival in Paris, reported the strange light Saturday.
"We had been to church at Bogata and were coming back to Paris when we saw the odd light in the southern sky," the pastor said. "We noticed that it appeared and disappeared and changed from red to white in color. So we stopped the car and all of us watched it for about five minutes. Then it turned white for the last time and disappeared for good."
It was about halfway from the horizon to the zenith of the sky, the Rev. Mr. Key said. "Too high for any kind of beacon light and too stationary for an airplane." He added that four other persons in the car with him watched the "saucer" until it faded from sight. They were his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Kee of Powderly; his daughter, Jackie, and Mrs. Monnie Brown of Paris.
He described the light as being "about the size of four evening stars put together."
Odessa, Texas American - 17 Aug 52
'Flying Saucers' Spotted Over City
Flying saucers came back to Odessa Friday night.
Mrs. K.P. Harbold, 2311 W. 13th, while standing in her backyard about 11:30 p.m., spotted about nine of the saucer objects.
Mrs. Harbold said they were orange in color, very high and going west to southeast at a fast clip.
Three Odessa youngsters also said they saw a lone saucer going northwest. The boys, who said the saucer went out of sight in a couple of seconds, are W.L. Hollowell, 13, 408 N. Adams, Jimmy Owens, 14, and his brother, Bobby, 13, 922 N. Texas.
Newswire Report Reuters - 17 Aug 52
BOGOTA, August 17 -- Hundreds of persons agreed today that early last night they saw a "flying saucer" disappearing behind the hills two miles north of Bogota.
Descriptions were all similar -- an oval shaped object of great brilliance, emitting a trail of smoke and flying at tremendous speed at about 6,000 feet.
Hutchinson, Kansas News Herald - 17 Aug 52
Our Town --
If you believe everything you read in the papers, you may be interested in a report Mrs. Herman Bachman, 205 West 10th, found in a Pueblo newspaper last week.
Quoting Joseph Rohrer, head of the Pikes Peak Broadcasting Co., the article says he was inside one of seven flying saucers in California in 1942. They are, he adds, giant flywheels covered with metal skins, powered by electrostatic turbines with cabins in the center. Through use of the flywheel, a magnetic field is created which whizzes the saucers through the air at more than 1,000 mph.
One occupant has been found alive in a saucer, Rohrer reports, but it isn't known whence he came. The others, who were killed when the saucers crashed, were between 30 and 40 inches tall.
Which is positively the last flying saucer story this column will report until it sees one.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Press - 17 Aug 52
Plane to Equal Flying Saucers Designed by Mt. Lebanon Engineer
A Mt. Lebanon engineer with a flair for aircraft design, believes he has perfected a plane that will equal the reported abilities of flying saucers.
He is Ralph Dravo Davia, 38, of 890 Meadowcroft Avenue, Mt. Lebanon.
And, if his aircraft . . . which he calls the "Verti-jet," . . . can do what he expects, it will be as far in advance of modern aviation as the saucers are supposed to be.
Mr. Davia's theory is that the ship will combine the power of vertical ascent, supersonic speeds in advance of 2000 m.p.h., and the ability to hover in the air. The exact way it will accomplish this is a top drawer secret.
Mr. Davia says many scientists all over the country agree that the plane would be practical from an engineering standpoint.
Air Force Interested
These experts include scientists in major technical schools, aircraft engineers, and Air Force officials in the Pentagon.
Most of the experts requested that their names not be used in connection with the Verti-Jet.
They have had too much experience with jangling telephones after committing themselves on ideas such as this one. But some did give their opinions in writing so that Mr. Davia would have support for his design when he needed it.
One expert considers the plane the closest approach yet to conquering the complex problems of outer space.
Another thought the craft "operationally practical," but speculated that it would have fuel problems limiting it to an hour of flying time.
But this opinion never dampened the inventor's ardor.
He thinks fuel problems will be solved in the near future. At any rate, the Verti-Jet could go from New York to Denver in an hour, he asserts.
Mr. Davia began flying shortly after his graduation from Penn State in 1937 as a civil engineer.
When war broke out in Europe he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force as a pilot.
After two-and-one-half years with the R.C.A.F., he transferred to the U.S. Air Force where he spent another 30 months.
This flying experience he credits with deciding him to find out what lies at the bottom of some of the major problems of flight.
Shown to Rickenbacker
When he had completed primary drawings on the Verti-Jet he took the plans to Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, president of Eastern Airlines.
He was referred to Eastern's vice president in charge of engineering, Charles Froesch.
As a member of the Commission on Aeronautics at the Pentagon, Mr. Froesch asked him to present the plans to the Bureau of Air at the Pentagon, for further study.
Air Force technical men there also showed a keen interest in the drawings.
They informed Mr. Davia that a major aircraft producer in the U.S. was experimenting with a similar model, though not as far advanced.
That was several months ago and the inventor-designer-engineer complains that he has been fighting the battle of the bureaucrats ever since.
Tied Up in Red Tape
"I just haven't been able to work my way through the red tape or the proper channels to get the thing started," he says.
Disinterest notwithstanding, the younger designer is determined to get research started on the plane as soon as possible. If necessary, he may submit them to the British government for possible research.
Since his plane can land and take off in an area the size of a tennis court, he has visions of its being adopted as an air defense unit in large industrial areas, with models of it on the roofs of large downtown buildings.
But the main thought in his mind is how to get started with research on the Verti-Jet now, not in a couple of years.
Galveston, Texas Daily News - 17 Aug 52
Cross-Country Balloon Flights Announced for Coming Week
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 -- The Navy sought today to forestall a rash of flying-saucer reports by announcing plans to launch a series of cross-country balloon flights next week.
The primary purpose of the flight is to "study atmospheric radio wave propagations characteristics by use of balloon-borne electronic equipment," the Navy said in a news release.
Navy spokesmen declined to elaborate. Projects of this kind normally are kept secret, but it was acknowledged this one was being announced in advance to prevent it from adding to public speculation about strange objects in the sky.
The balloons, 37 feet in diameter, will be unmanned and harmless, the Navy said. But they will have aboard delicate electronic equipment which the Navy hopes to recover.
The balloons will be released near Tillamook, Ore. Because of the prevailing winds, they are expected to float across the country from west to east.
The first probably will be launched next Monday. Four or five others will be sent up, singly, later this month or early in September. The balloons are expected to float at high altitudes, for the most part out of sight.
Lima, Ohio News - 17 Aug 52
Restyling the News
by Maurice Dee
The Air Force says there are no flying saucers . . . but they're still carrying on investigations. That's making a U-turn without sticking out your hand. We don't know what's riding the air waves . . . but something has been seen by flyers and other alert observers, and has registered on radar screens. A radar screen isn't easily panicked. If it produces a "blip" it has picked up something solid . . . and it's not confused by clouds or reflected lights. We have no idea what the flying saucers may be, or where they come from. But we're delighted to hear the Air Force is keeping its feet on the ground and its eyes on the skies.
AUGUST 18, 1952:
Tucson, Arizona Daily Citizen - 18 Aug 52
At last somebody has been able to name something that the Russians did not invent!
When Vladimir L. Lomovisev, a Russian Embassy attache, was asked by a Washington reporter if the "flying saucers" which have bobbed up in the news again, were of Russian origin he said first "I don't know" and then "No."
This is remarkable in two respects: That a Russian official should admit there was anything he didn't know, and that he would make a positive denial of a technical achievement.
When Pravda and/or Izvestia get ahold of that story, however, the comrade may wish he had kept silent. If either paper decides to claim the saucers for the Soviet Union, Lomovisev may find himself digging salt with a rusty pick. -- Los Angeles Times.
Salt Lake City, Utah Deseret News - 18 Aug 52
Saucer Mystery Has Adherents, Debunkers
What are flying saucers? Are they actual machines built by humans or are they weather phenomena playing tricks on observers?
Most scientists and military investigators say they are light reflections from layers of ice crystals, dust or clouds which trick the eye. Yet they can not explain away every sight of the objects as tricks by nature.
Dr. Ronald I. Ives, a geophysicist specializing in meteorological research at Cornell's Buffalo laboratory, declares that between one-third and one-half of the flying saucer reports must be accepted as genuine and honest.
Dr. Ives is considered as one of the foremost authorities on mirages in the country. He says there is reason to believe that some of the reported saucers may be mirages.
"Perhaps these saucers are something knowable in the atmosphere that we haven't spotted before. On the other hand, it may be an entirely new phenomenon.
"From their described behavior, I certainly do not believe that the saucers can be any physical objects made of any substance we know about."
DON'T TREAT LIGHTLY
"Whatever saucers are, don't treat them lightly. Half the saucer reports you can throw in the waste basket. Half of them you cannot," he said.
Another scientist, Dr. Ira S. Bowen, director of the Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories in California, said that his staff has never observed any flying saucers so "we have no information about them."
Other scientists have either dismissed the reports with a wave of the hand or have reserved comment until future time.
Miniature saucers have been produced by a Washington, D.C., physicist, Noel W. Scott, who recently exhibited the midget objects in a vacuum jar with static electricity.
On the other hand, other reliable persons, including experienced pilots, will swear just as vehemently that the objects are solid substance and piloted by an intelligent hand.
Take for instance, 1st Lt. George Kinman of Birmingham, Ala., now flying jets in Germany.
The officer was quoted by a Cleveland, O., newspaperman as declaring that his plane -- a F-51 -- he was piloting a year ago over August, Ga., was attacked by a saucer.
Kinman said he was cruising at about 250 miles an hour when the saucer headed for him head on and at the last minute pulled up and over him. It then returned and came from the rear. Kinman said the saucer repeated the actions for about five minutes and then disappeared.
So the reports come and go. Some are given credence but in the most part are confirmed then denied then confirmed by the Air Force and its Project Saucer.
Only one agency seems to delight in the discomfiture of the air arm. That's the Navy.
When asked recently to take a position on the saucers, one way or another, the Navy said it is a problem for the Air Force, which is responsible for the nation's air defense.
With a tongue in cheek attitude the navy statement said: "The Navy does not expect to say anything officially on the matter unless a saucer-born battleship appears in our skies."
But in defense of the Air Force it can be noted that quite a few times during World War II navy big guns were leveled at and fired on mirages in the ocean.
Flying Saucers! Are they fact or fancy?
Tucson, Arizona Daily Citizen - 18 Aug 52
Most 'Objects' -- Meteorites
GEM VILLAGE, Colo. -- Most objects reported as flying saucer's are nothing more than meteorites in the opinion of Dr. H.H. Nininger, director of the American Meteorite museum west of Winslow, Ariz.
Speaking out here yesterday for the first time for publication, Dr. Nininger qualified the statement by adding that some of the things still have not been explained.
He said that a book he wrote recently on meteorites did not include any mention of flying saucers, but if he were to write another book he would include chapter on them.
He told of tracking down a report of an object seen by hundred of persons in the southwest. The object was described as an out-of-space aircraft.
"After some months of interviewing various individuals scattered over an area of several thousand miles," he said, "I eventually found a sheepherder who had heard meteorite stones rain down around him."
Alton, Illinois Evening Telegraph - 18 Aug 52
'Flying Saucer' Called Reflection Of Searchlight
Alton's latest "flying saucer" report resulted from the fact that a searchlight reflected in a weird manner on a low cloud at 9 p.m. Friday. So says Mrs. Ray S. Renault of 811 Center Street, East Alton, who informed the Telegraph today that she is almost "positive" that this is the answer.
With her husband, Mrs. Renault at that time Friday night was riding in their car on Niagara avenue near Milton road when they saw in the sky a saucer-shaped object, header [sic] at regular intervals, west-to-east.
Upon studying the phenomenon, she said, they determined it was searchlight which they have seen at other times, emanating somewhere on the Missouri side of the river or from a barge.
At this particular time, she said, the clouds hid the "stem" of the beam and its terminal reflection was all that could be seen, giving the illusion of a saucer darting cross the sky.
Her sister noted the same light at the same time while travelling in an automobile on Route 111 toward Collinsville, Mrs. Renault said.
Iola, Kansas Register - 18 Aug 52
Reports Sighting Flying Saucer Over Humboldt
A brilliant flying saucer was watched for nearly 10 minutes early Sunday morning as it maneuvered over Humboldt, according to a report received by Emerson Lynn Jr., editor of The Union, Lynn said that the observer, an employee of the Monarch Cement Plant, requested that he not be identified.
The man was stationed on the top of a 100 foot high silo when he saw an object, a dark red or orange in color, approaching Humboldt from the east. It appeared to reduce speed as it neared the town and paused briefly when directly over the water tower which is about a mile north of the silo upon which the observer was working.
Seconds later it made a loop in the air and then encircled the town twice. Its speed was estimated at from 80 to 85 miles per hour; its altitude at from 800 to 1,000 feet.
After its second trip about the Humboldt business district the object appeared to move due south, gaining altitude rapidly and disappeared into the heavens.
The man, Lynn reports, estimates that the saucer was 30 or 40 feet in diameter. He said it was uniformly bright in color from edge to edge but changed in hue from a deep red to orange to gold. He said that it appeared to pulsate while hovering over Humboldt.
Pampa, Texas Daily News - 18 Aug 52
'Saucers' Are Sighted By Pampans
Those flying saucers have been reported over Pampa again.
Five people were sitting on the front porch at 9:50 p.m. Sunday when they saw two clusters of saucer-like objects. The 'saucers'
were flying in two formations with six to eight objects in each formation.
Mr. and Mrs. John R. Gray, 211 N. Nelson; A.B. Cunningham, Mrs. Nelson's father; and Mrs. O.M. Briggs and Sue Riggs, 9, neighbors, watched them, as they flew overhead in perfect formation, going in a south-southeast direction.
"They were flying swiftly," Mrs. Gray said, "but they were gone before we had chance to count them."
Mrs. Gray described them as round, flat and bright. She admitted that all five people who saw them were "most excited" -- and, indeed, somewhat frightened.
"It was really a weird feeling to see them," she commented.
Lubbock, Texas Morning Avalanche - 18 Aug 52
Sky Objects Are Sighted By Groups At Drive-In Theater
"Saucers" or somewhat were active east of Lubbock Sunday night, with at least three sightings reported from a drive-in theater on the Idalou highway.
Jerry McKee. 3106½ 21st St.; J.M. Green, 1912 63rd St.; Ronald Anderson, Lorenzo, called in to report the "flying whatsits." Several other persons in each party also saw the objects.
McKee said his party spotted an oscillating V-formation of 12 or 14 greenish-white objects traveling approximately north to south about 9:30 p.m. About 40 minutes later a similar flight, dimmer and to the east, passed heading southwest to northeast. Two of the objects were lagging, McKee said, one on either side of the formation.
Most of the reports agreed, but Anderson said he spotted a similar formation flying from east to west about 9:25 p.m. The objects were visible for about three seconds.
Lubbock, Texas Evening Journal - 18 Aug 52
Nicky Hilton, Son Of Hotel Magnate, Sees "Flying Saucer" Near Houston
HOUSTON, Aug. 18 – Conrad (Nicky) Hilton Jr., an adopted Texan, son of the hotel magnate and former husband of screen star Elizabeth Taylor, has seen a "flying saucer."
Hilton reported Monday he and band leader Nat Brandwynne, now playing an engagement at the Shamrock Hotel, saw a big, yellow-white "ball of fire" soaring through the skies near Houston municipal airport Saturday morning.
Returning From Houston
Hilton and Brandwynne said they were returning from Galveston and had just turned off the Gulf Freeway near the airport. They estimated the time at about 2:13 a.m.
"I looked out the window and there it was," said Hilton, "a yellow-white ball of light about the size of a basketball.
"I asked Nat, 'did you see that?' But he couldn't see too well, so I stopped the car and we got out."
The band leader said the strange, flowing object seemed to hover from side to side. And personally, Brandwynne said, it gave him "goose pimples."
Yuma, Arizona Daily Sun - 18 Aug 52
FLYING SOMETHING -- The Daily Sun photographer, intent on getting a picture of the lightning last Friday night, came up with this shot. The picture was taken from Prison Hill at 1:20 a.m. And was pointed west. Lightning can be seen lighting up the sky in the background while street lights and passing cars light up the Wilson House in the foreground. A bright object (arrow) appears in the sky although the photographer saw nothing there while taking the time exposure. Just as a coincidence, D.D. Ellis of Yuma reported seeing six flying saucers earlier that evening.
Now Flying Saucers Reported Flying Low Over Yuma Valley
The question before the house is:
Did anybody see any flying saucers last Friday night?
A report to The Daily Sun from D.D. Ellis of 311 8th Avenue says that Mr. Ellis and his wife saw a formation of six of them last Friday night at around 9 p.m. Ellis would like to know if he was just seeing things or if somebody else noticed the strange flying objects.
Ellis and his wife were lying out in the back yard of their home when they noticed the round objects in a V-formation heading south over 5th avenue. The objects were described as being a dull white as though they had a light shining on them or as though they were translucent and with lights on the inside.
Like a covey of geese, the objects were headed south but Ellis said that there was no movement to the objects other than they were sailing smoothly and quite fast. He said that the objects were a mile or two high and were flying too fast to be jets. His wife thought at first that they were jets but when the couple heard no noise at all they had to drop that theory.
So Ellis, who said he hadn't had a thing to drink, would like to know if anyone else saw the flying saucers. The Daily Sun is curious too.
Tucson, Arizona Daily Citizen - 18 Aug 52
'Saucer' Flight Is Confirmed
Another witness today reported seeing flying saucers witnessed by moviegoers at a drive-in theater last Wednesday night.
Ben H. Anderson, 3962 E. North st., wrote that he had seen the same lights at the same time, flying in the same direction and disappearing in the same brief interval.
The "saucers" first were reported by Stanley W. Thompson, 725 Calle de Casa Lindas. Thompson, a reserve air force captain, said he saw a V-formation of large elliptical lights streak from north to south over Tucson at tremendous speed. He said they definitely were not conventional aircraft or meteorites.
ANDERSON wrote him to say he also saw nine lights in a V-formation. He said they were flying in precision formation and disappeared in four or five seconds "at tremendous speed."
The lights were observed by Thompson and his family at about 11:10 p.m. Anderson confirmed the time.
Only discrepancy in the reports concerned the formation. Thompson said he got the impression of a V-formation consisting of three smaller V's of three units each.
ANDERSON drew a picture to show what he thought he saw. It was a simple V-group.
An air force intelligence officer already has interviewed Thompson about his report. He said the report was one of the best yet received at Davis-Monthan air force base. Results of the investigation were to be sent to air force headquarters in Washington.
San Mateo, California Times - 18 Aug 52
Three More See Sky Saucers
REDWOOD CITY, Aug. 18. -- Three persons in San Mateo county reported seeing strange objects in the sky again last night.
One report came from Earl Sloan of Pacific Manor who said he sighted two strange objects traveling side by side and at a high rate of speed flying over that coastside community about 10 o'clock last night.
"They were a bright, creamy pink color, flying in a straight line and extremely fast," he said. He added that they disappeared over the mountain toward the bay.
The second report came a few minutes later from William Farnsworth and Darlene Stice, both of Redwood City, who said they saw two "bright, bluish-white lights come over the hills from the west, traveling very fast and turning slightly to the southeast."
They said they watched the two strange objects until they disappeared over the hills east of the bay.
Jailer Jack McCann who received the reports made two brief entries on his activity report. "10:00 p.m., Earl Sloan reported flying saucers over Pacific Manor; 10:15 p.m. Bill Farnsworth reported flying saucers over Redwood City."
Hagerstown, Maryland Morning Herald - 18 Aug 52
Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 17 -- "Flying saucers" were being sighted by hundreds of persons in Venezuela last week. Some of the saucers even got their pictures in the papers.
Bedford, Pennsylvania Gazette - 18 Aug 52
Venezuelan 'Saucers' Routine Jet Planes
Caracas, Venezuela -- "Flying saucers" were being sighted by hundreds of persons in Venezuela last week. Some of the saucers even got their pictures in the papers.
Today the Venezuelan Air Force said cool down, people, all you saw was jet planes engaged in training maneuvers.
Newswire Report International News Service - 18 Aug 52
PARIS, Aug. 18 -- A Trans-World Airlines Captain said tonight that he saw an "extra-terrestrial object" flying directly head-on in front of his New York to Paris Airliner early today.
The pilot, Capt. Walter W. Hawkins, of Coatesville, Pa., said the swiftly-moving object was "too bright to be a star" and was nothing like any of the thousands of meteors he had seen. The object was sighted at 2:32 a.m. (10:52 p.m. Sunday EDT) 115 miles east of Gander, Newfoundland.
Capt. Hawkins said it also was spotted by both the pilot and co-pilot of a TWA Airliner enroute from Frankfurt to Gander on their radar screen.
The object, which he estimated to be traveling at an estimated speed of 700 mph, was described by Capt. Hawkins as "white with a faint reddish tint."
Capt. Hawkins said he was flying above the clouds at 15,000 feet when he noticed the light right in front of him at actually the same altitude.
Continuing, he said:
"It was too bright to be a star. Barlett (Leland Barlett, of Bethpage, N.Y.), my relief pilot, noticed it at the same time.
"We flashed our nose light but there was no answering signal.
"It kept growing. Then, without appearing to accelerate, it veered to the left and travelled in a horizontal arc of about 45°. It remained constant in brilliance and then just quit."
The pilot said the object did not fade out but was "just like an electric light being turned off."
Capt. Hawkins said:
"I am convinced the object was not a plane. And it was not like any of the thousands of meteors I have seen.
"It had no tail and travelled horizontally -- making two reasons why it wasn't a meteor, unless there is some new type."
Newswire Report Agence France Presse - 18 Aug 52
Paris, Aug. 18 -- In an interview published by the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet and quoted by the Stockholm radio, Dr. Waldemar Beck confirms the statement he made recently in the German periodical Der Flieger concerning flying saucers, and he adds that these craft are a German invention perfected by the Russians during the last war.
The Stockholm radio also announced that several objects, probably guided missiles, were observed yesterday in Norway in the region of Spitsbergen, traveling from west to east. Several photographs were taken, and the Norwegian police, cooperating with the military, has opened an investigation.
Reno, Nevada Evening Gazette - 18 Aug 52
Nellis Trains Combat Fliers Used in Korea
LAS VEGAS, Aug. 18 -- Nellis air force base, seven miles north of Las Vegas, is training almost half of the combat fliers sent by the United States to join UN forces in Korea, Col. John Ulricson, new commanding officer of the base, told newsmen Thursday at his first formal press conference.
Col. Ulricson, a West Point trained officer, told the newsmen that Nellis AFB is one of the "key" installations in the nation as he stressed the vital importance of the training mission being fulfilled by airmen here.
Col. Ulricson arrived here late last month to assume command of the base and to replace Col. Avelin P. Tacon, jr., who was transferred to a new command.
The commanding officer said also that he would like to see "more greenery" at the base as he indicated that a program of landscaping would soon be started at the installation.
Asked about the current rash of flying saucer reports in the local area -- as elsewhere -- Col. Ulricson said no aircraft from Nellis had yet been sent aloft to investigate, mainly because reports received at the base have come in too late to permit planes to chase the elusive "objects."
Col. Ulricson said Nellis is under the same orders as all other air force bases regarding unidentified objects in the sky, but that as yet no reports have been received to cause concern locally.
The press conference was held in the officer's club at the base when Col. Ulricson was host to the newsmen at a luncheon in which other top executive personnel at Nellis were introduced also to the reporters.
Time Magazine - 18 Aug 52
Religion: The Theology of Saucers
If a flying saucer swooped down to earth some day and disgorged a crew of bulbous-eyed Martians, Christian theologians might have to do some fast explaining. The Bible does not mention the existence of any inhabited worlds other than earth. Last week Father Francis J. Connell, C.S.R., dean of Catholic University's School of Sacred Theology, decided that the time had come to summarize his church's position on the question of invaders from outer space. "It is well for Catholics to know," he said, "that the principles of their faith are entirely reconcilable with even the most astounding possibilities regarding life on other planets . . . Theologians have never dared to limit the omnipotence of God to the creation of the world we know."
Theologically speaking, there are four principal classes into which outer-space dwellers might fall: 1) they might have received, like earthmen, a supernatural destiny from God, might even have lost it and been redeemed; 2) God could have created them with a natural but eternal destiny, i.e., like infants who die unbaptized, they could live a life of natural happiness after death, without beholding God face to face; 3) they might be rational beings who sinned against God but were never given the chance to regain grace, like evil angels of the Fall; or 4) they might have received supernatural gifts and kept them, leading the paradisiacal existence of Adam & Eve before they ate the forbidden fruit.
Father Connell added a practical point: "If these supposed rational beings should possess the immortality of body once enjoyed by Adam & Eve, it would be foolish for our superjet or rocket pilots to try to shoot them. They would be unkillable."
1. The reported sighting told in "Saucer Seen In Lamar, And It Changes Colors!" does not appear in Blue Book files. There is a Blue Book file on a reported sighting three hours before and 130 miles southwest in Cedar Hill, Texas, of a "steady white light, no distinguishable shape, a little larger than a navigation light... moving a little faster than normal aircraft travel, but not as fast as a meteor. Object wavered on course." The observer was described as "Major in Marine Reserve, more than average intelligence, steady, mature person". The report was evaluated as "insufficient data".
2. The article in the Pueblo Chieftan mentioned in "Our Town" about Joseph Rohrer and the three-foot tall aliens is as follows...
Flying Saucer Talk Startles Chamber Membership Meeting
A three-foot tall pilot of a flying saucer from another planet has been kept alive in an incubator room in the state of California for two years, and progress is being made in efforts to communicate with him, startled Chamber of Commerce members were advised here Tuesday.
Information on the still mysterious individual who reportedly was rescued from a "saucer crash" in Montana was divulged at the Vail hotel luncheon by Joseph Rohrer, president of the Pikes Peak Broadcasting Co.
The reputed lone survivor among crews of three saucers that have fallen in that state "has been shown pictures and has shown great interest in them and primary steps used in teaching a child to read and write are being employed," the speaker stated.
In his revealing talk Rohrer said dissection of dead pilots from the craft disclose that the only basic difference in anatomy is that their bone structure is heavier and their stomachs are smaller.
The speaker, alleging that he was inside one of the seven flying saucers at a California federal base in 1942, said that the mechanisms are giant flywheels covered with metal skins.
He stated that the saucers are covered by electrostatic turbines and have cabins in the center. The cabins are pressurized and have an atmosphere containing 30 percent oxygen and 70 percent helium, instead of part nitrogen.
Thru use of the flywheel, a magnetic field is created which permits the saucers to travel at tremendous speeds, said Rohrer, who became interested in flying saucers as the result of a thesis he wrote on electronic tubes used to measure electronic tubes during his college training in electrical engineering.
"If a magnetic field is opened around the earth it would be possible to travel at about the speed of light," he stated. "They have never tried to fly the saucers that have been captured. They are put together in five sections and come apart easily after the center section is removed.
"I have been in one which is 100 feet in diameter and 18 feet thick," Rohrer stated. "The sleeping quarters for crew members are tubes with caps on the ends and the cabin was pressurized and air conditioned."
The color of flying saucers changes because of the magnetic field set up by the magnetic motors, he said. Reports of a flying saucer seen successively over Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Trinidad have made it possible to estimate its speed at more than 1,000 miles per hour. Six weeks ago a space ship was traced for 600 miles as it flew across Australia and in Seattle, Wash., all electrical appliances were burned out or fuses were blown in one section of town when a flying saucer "turned on power in the vicinity of a power line," Rohrer maintained.
Little information has been released by the government on flying saucers because of the possible panic that might result and because some religious leaders object to the thought of other universes, he stated. Venus, with its cloud covering, is one of the most likely planets in the solar system to support life, but there are 22 other known solar systems which have satellites similar to the earth's. By traveling at the speed of light and waiting until Venus and the earth were closest in their orbits around the sun, it would take about two years to fly to Venus and return, he pointed out.
Flying saucers first became evident when radar was being developed in 1942 and "unknown" objects appeared on radar screens. The Air Force set up a commission to study saucer reports in 1947 and discovered that 20 per cent of the reports could not be explained satisfactorily. The air defense command at Colorado Springs has a unit designed to study the saucers and a pin-marked map showing saucer reports indicate they are seen frequently around military installations and atomic research centers, he added.
Background on the article and Joseph Rohrer may be read at UFO Seek.
3. The fate of Ralph Davia's Verti-Jet ambitions, as told in "Plane to Equal Flying Saucers Designed by Mt. Lebanon Engineer", is unknown. Aircraft manufacturer Ryan Aeronautical carried out a program on a VTOL jet of its own beginning in 1947, resulting in the Ryan X-13 Vertijet.
4. The statement found in "Saucer Mystery Has Adherents, Debunkers" by Mt. Palomar Observatory director Dr. Ira S. Bowen, that "his staff has never observed any flying saucers so 'we have no information about them'" is not true, as in a 1949 report where a reported sighting by Harley C. Marshall, Manager of Public Relations for the observatory, which coincided with off-scale oscillations of a recording Geiger counter. Mr. Marshall had been with the observatory for 12 years at the time.
5. Although the sighting reported in "'Saucers' Are Sighted By Pampans" does not appear in Blue Book files, a Blue Book file exists on an incident three hours earlier and approximately 250 miles southeast by USAF Captain James H. Perry during "a routine training flight from Hensley Naval Air Station, Dallas, Texas, to Webb Air Force Base, Big Spring, Texas. I saw an unusual object approximately one and one-half miles 45° off my heading to the right... I was flying an Air Force T-6-D at an altitude of 8000 feet above MSL with an indicated air speed of 150 knots... The weather was clear with visibility unlimited... The object was at an altitude of approximately 15000 feet above MSL on a heading of 275° and traveling at a terrific rate of speed....well over 500 MPH. The object was just below cloud base when first sighted and was climbing. It continued to climb through scuddy clouds and disappeared from sight in about three seconds, still climbing at approximately 2000 feet per minute to the west... Its movement was in a straight line with no smoke trail or streamer in its wake. No excessive static was noticed in the radio receiver. It was very attractive and seemed to move with ease traveling at a constant rate of speed. There were no wings or rudder visible. The object appeared oblong in shape and of a size slightly smaller than the Air Force B-25. Exact size and shape of the object would be hard to describe definitely due to only 3 or 4 seconds of observation and the apparent distance covered in this time. The object covered approximately thirty miles in the three seconds observed."
6. The 9:30 p.m. reported sighting of "an oscillating V-formation of 12 or 14 greenish-white objects" told in "Sky Objects Are Sighted By Groups At Drive-In Theater" occurred 20 minutes earlier and approximately 145 nautical air miles southwest of the 9:50 p.m. reported sighting of objects "flying in two formations with six to eight objects in each formation" told in "'Saucers' Are Sighted By Pampans". Lubbock, Texas is approximately 130 nautical air miles northwest of the location of the sighting report by USAF Captain Perry included in Note 5, above.
7. The report told in "'Saucer' Flight Is Confirmed" by reserve air force captain Stanley W. Thompson does not appear in Blue Book files, despite the story's assertion that "An air force intelligence officer already has interviewed Thompson about his report. He said the report was one of the best yet received at Davis-Monthan air force base. Results of the investigation were to be sent to air force headquarters in Washington.".
8. The sightings reports in Pacific Manor and Redwood City, California told in "Three More See Sky Saucers" do not appear in Blue Book files. Reports are listed for that same date from nearby Richmond and San Rafael (all are located within the San Francisco Bay Area), but those files are either not easily locatable or may not exist in declassified files. All that is known is that the San Rafael report was evaluated as "aircraft" and the Richmond report was evaluated as "balloon".
9. Translations of foreign newswire reports in this post come from the files of Project Blue Book.
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