in the news 1952
PART THREE OF TWENTY-SIX PARTS
Above: From the files of Project Blue Book, a comic book version of a report by J.J. Kaliszewski and Charles Moore of the General Mills Aeronautical Research Laboratories. 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...
APRIL 7 THROUGH MAY 1, 1952:
Lubbock, Texas Evening Journal 7 Apr 52
Expert Doubts Flying Saucers Come From Other Planets
Rare Objects Not Explained
SAN ANTONIO, April 7 -- Dr. Hubertus Strughold, head of the Department of Space Medicine at the Air Force school, doubts that flying saucers, if they are real, come from other planets in the solar system.
An article in the current issue of Life magazine says mysterious objects have appeared in the sky that cannot be logically explained and it is "plausible" that they come from out of space, perhaps from nearby planets.
Report Was Released
A few months ago, Dr. Strughold released a project report called "Life on Mars in View of Physiological Principles." An article by him in the forthcoming April issue of the Journal of Aviation Medicine takes up conditions on other planets in the solar system as a possible environment for living beings.
His conclusion is that temperature considerations and other factors rule out the possibility of life as human beings know it on any planets except Mars or Venus.
In the case of Venus, he mentioned a suggestion by an associate, Dr. Heinz Haber, that primitive cells akin to bacteria, known as "aerosols" might be found high up in the atmosphere of Venus, but he does not believe other living matter could be on Venus.
Not Enough Oxygen
As for Mars, he doesn't think there is enough oxygen to support any higher plants or animal life. He does think it possible that Mars may have a lowly form of animal life resembling the lichens and mosses that grow in earth's desolate Arctic regions.
He believes if there are flying saucers or space craft and that if they are piloted by intelligent creatures, they must come a long way, from a satellite of Alpha Centauri, the nearest star, which is 40 trillion miles away, or points even farther.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Tribune - 10 Apr 52
'Flying Bow-Tie' Turns Somersaults In New Mexico Sky
SANTA ROSA, April 10 --Flying saucers are "bow-tie shaped" now. They somersault too! At least that's what a Southern Pacific Railroad section gang said one did.
The object traveled faster than a jet plane, according to Jesus Dimas, foreman. It was sighted about a mile high near Pintado, six miles west of here, at 3:05 p.m. yesterday and just one hour later was flying several miles high.
The men, who frequently sight jet planes, said the aluminum-colored object appeared to somersault during its high-speed flight.
Manitowoc, Wisconsin Herald Times - 12 Apr 52
Aerial Researchers Report Flying Disks in Minnesota
See Glowing Objects of Unknown Origin
MINNEAPOLIS -- Two General Mills, Inc., aeronautical research men said yesterday three "aerial objects of undetermined origin" had been observed in the Minneapolis area last October.
The men are Charles B. Moore Jr., aerologist in the "Skyhook" balloon project, and J.J. Kaliszewski, supervisor of balloon manufacture in the firm's aeronautical research laboratories. General Mills and the Office of Naval Research jointly engaged in the balloon project, which is concerned with cosmic rays. Kaliszewski gave this account of seeing one of the objects, while on a balloon tracking mission on Oct. 10.
"At 6,000 feet," he related, "I noticed a strange object crossing the skies from east to west, a great deal higher and beyond our balloon.
"The object had a peculiar glow to it.
"It was crossing behind and above our balloon from east to west very rapidly, first coming in at a slight dive, leveling off for about a minute and slowing down, then a sharp left turn and a climb angle of 50 to 60 degrees into the southeast with terrific acceleration and disappeared.
"We saw no vapor trail and from past experience I know that this object was hot a balloon, jet, conventional aircraft or celestial star."
Madison, Wisconsin Capital Times - 12 Apr 52
Scientist Reveals Experience
Saw Strange Aerial Objects Over State
MINNEAPOLIS -- A General Mills aerial expert said today he has seen "strange unidentified aerial objects" whizzing through the air over Minnesota and Wisconsin and "I'm not going to say what they were because I haven't the slightest idea."
"I can't say they were space ships," J.J. Kaliszewski said. "I can't say they were flying saucers. All I can say is that they were strange. I had never seen them before and, so far as I know, they have never been identified."
Kaliszewski, supervisor of balloon manufacture for the General Mills Aeronautical Research Laboratories, said he saw the "objects between 10:10 a.m. Oct. 10, 1951 and 8:30 a.m. Oct. 11, 1951."
"I was flying a plane over this area," he said, "tracking a balloon we had just sent up. There were two different flights."
With him on one of the flights was Jack Donaghue, member of the General Mills flight operation crew. With him on a second flight was Richard Reilly, another crew member. Douglas Smith and Richard Dorian, ground crew members, viewed the strange objects through theodolites at the University of Minnesota airport.
Theodolites are telescope-like measuring instruments installed at the airport, where all of the General Mills balloon flights are launched.
Here is Kaliszewski's official report on the first flight:
"It was 10:10 a.m. Oct. 10, 1951, about 10 miles east of St. Croix Falls, Wis. At 6,000 feet I noticed a strange object crossing the skies from east to west, a great deal higher and beyond our balloon.
"The object had a peculiar glow to it.
"It was crossing behind and above our balloon from east to west, very rapidly, first coming in at a slight dive, leveling off for about a minute and slowing down, then into a sharp left turn and climbed at an angle of 50 to 50 [sic] degrees into the southeast with terrific acceleration and disappeared.
"Jack Donaghue and I observed this object for approximately two minutes and it crossed through an arc of approximately 40 to 45 degrees.
"We saw no vapor trail and from past experience I know that this object was not a balloon, jet, conventional aircraft or celestial star."
After the second flight, he made this report:
"At 6:30 a.m. Oct. 11, 1951, Dick Reilly and I were flying at 10,000 feet observing a balloon when I saw a brightly glowing object to the southeast of the University airport.
lowing [sic] observation:
"The object was moving from east to west at a high rate and very high. We tried keeping the ship on a constant course and using a reinforcing member of the windshield as a point. The object moved past this member at about five degrees per second.
"This object was peculiar in that it had what can be described as a halo around it with a dark undersurface.
"It crossed rapidly and then slowed down and started to climb in lazy circles slowly. The pattern it made was like a falling oak leaf inverted. It went through these gyrations for a couple of minutes.
"This object Dick and I watched for approximately five minutes. I don't know how to describe its size because at the time I didn't have the balloon in sight for a comparison.
"Shortly after this we saw an another one, about two hours later, but this one didn't hang around.
"It approached from the west and disappeared to the east, neither one leaving any trace of vapor trail.
"I called our tracking station at the University airport and the observers there on the theodolite managed to get glimpses of them but couldn't keep the theodolites going fast enough to keep them in the field of their instruments. Both Doug Smith and Dick Dorian caught glimpses of these objects in the theodolites after I notified them of their presence by radio.
Kaliszewski said "I realize that people have been calling such objects flying saucers, but I think they use that term for lack of a better word."
"The fact is," he said, "we don't know what they were. The U.S. Air Force was notified of our observations, but I don't know what the Air Force has to say about them."
Last March 27, a mysterious airman landed in a balloon near Stratford, Wis. The mystery man got out of the balloon, flashed an Army identification card and told the townspeople to ask no questions.
A day later, a General Mills official identified the mystery man as Nicholas Green, a GM employe, who went for a joyride in one of the company's balloons on his day off.
This story was then officially denied by the company, which said the official made it up to "protect government security." The company said the balloonist was engaged in a secret research project for the Navy and "no details can be given."
It was reported later that Green resigned his job in the aeronautical division of the company.
General Mills got into balloon research at the request of the armed forces several years ago, setting up laboratories and constructing balloons to carry out cosmic ray research.
The balloons sent up by General Mills vary in diameter from 20 to 100 feet. A "load train" hangs vertically beneath the balloon, attached by cables. The load train carries instruments which react to cosmic ray activity.
"Our chief general interest," a company official said, "is to get a balloon that will take cosmic ray recording instruments up to 100,000 feet and keep them up there long enough to gather results, something that rockets can't do."
Madison, Wisconsin State Journal - 13 Apr 52
Scientist Urges 24-Hour Alert to Watch for 'Flying Saucers'
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- A balloon expert urged the government Saturday night to stop depending on "chance observers" and set up a 24 hour watch until strange aerial objects seen in Minnesota and Wisconsin skies are identified.
Aerial objects "of undetermined origin and terrific speed" have been sighted by Charles B. Moore Jr., an aeronautical engineer in charge of balloon operations for General Mills.
The objects also were seen and reported in detail by J.J. Kaliszewski, General Mills supervisor of balloon manufacture. Kaliszewski said he saw the "objects" while making two airplane flights over Minneapolis and St. Croix, Wis., on Oct. 10 and 11, 1951.
"I can't say whether they were space ships, flying saucers, or what, because I don't know," Kaliszewski said. "I had never seen them before. They were strange, terrifically fast.
"They had a peculiar glow. One seemed to have a halo around it with a dark under-surface."
He said he thinks the government ought to set up a 24-hour alert with radar, telescopes, sky cameras, and other instruments.
"We shouldn't have to depend on those who chance to see something without proper instruments or any scientific approach," he said.
Moore is the man who first gave some scientific credence to the "flying saucer." While making balloon tests 18 miles south of Hot Springs, N.M., on Apr. 14, 1949, he picked up an unknown aerial object in a theodolite. (A theodolite is a telescope-like measuring instrument.)
Ground crewmen at the General Mills tracking station here, Doug Smith and Richard Dorian, both confirmed sighting the objects last fall when Kaliszewski was in the air over Minneapolis.
"They couldn't keep the theodolites going fast enough to keep them in the field of their instruments," Kaliszewski reported, "but they did catch glimpses of them."
Moore said these "strange things" have been seen at least 20 times by General Mills personnel working with the firm's balloon operation.
The company, working on armed forces contracts is trying to construct a balloon that will rise 100,000 feet in the air with instruments sensitive to cosmic ray activity.
Kaliszewski was in a plane, tracing a balloon flight, when he saw
the objects. "We saw no vapor trail and from past experience I know that this thing was not a balloon, jet, conventional aircraft or celestial star."
Moore said scientists don't have enough data to say more than that the "objects are of undetermined origin."
"But I suspect that some pretty interesting things would turn up if the government would only set up a pretty good observation site," he said.
Moore said White Sands, N.M. might be a good location for the site.
Pulaski, Virginia Southwest Times - 14 Apr 52
Flying Saucer Reported Seen At Winchester
WINCHESTER -- The "flying saucers" are flying again. At least that is the opinion of Harrington Smith and John Seabright, both of Winchester.
They reported that they observed a tracer object traversing southern skies here on Saturday night.
The two men were standing on the front steps of Smith's apartment building when Seabright noted the unusual object in the sky, and called the other's attention to it.
They said the "saucer" appeared to be of a spiral shape and was revolving clockwise at terrific peed. They reported it appeared in the southern skies and passed across the area in just a few seconds. It was further described as having somewhat rough and uneven edges and no tail.
Lubbock, Texas Evening Journal - 14 Apr 52
Airman Reports 20 Saucers Over Waco
WACO, April 14 -- An Air Force lieutenant from James Connally Air Force Base said last night he saw what might have been 18 or 20 flying saucers over Waco. But other Wacoans said they were only birds.
Lieut. Ed Gaucher told a reporter for the Waco Times-Herald the objects appeared to be flying in formation at about 5,000 feet. He said they were doing better than 600 miles an hour, traveling in a northeast direction.
An orange glow appeared to come from inside the objects, Gaucher said.
Gaucher's story was substantiated by two witnesses, according to the Times-Herald reporter. But other Waco residents said the, objects were birds, flying low and at a slow speed. The orange glow came from the reflection of neon lights, they said.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Tribune - 14 Apr 52
Quartet Sights Flying Saucers Speeding North
Flying saucers -- about 25 of them -- were reported speeding over Albuquerque by four persons Easter Sunday afternoon.
Mary Muses, Journal staff member; her sister Estel Westheffer; Jean Oliver, photographer for Home Builders magazine, all of 5116 Fastura Place, and Lyfin Prehn, 2909 Santa Monica, who has a photo laboratory at 808 East Coal, all reported seeing the saucers.
Miss Muses said they were in the front yard at her home taking pictures when they sighted the white objects going north by northeast, up at about an 80 degree angle at 3 p.m. She said they flew in a triangular formation like wild geese and changed formation as they seemed to bob gently up and down.
The craft, described as about the size of a dinner saucer, round and white, were in view about two minutes, Miss Muses said.
She added the other three witnesses reported they could still see flashes from the sun's reflection as long as six minutes later. The objects gained altitude and finally disappeared. Miss Muses said it was impossible to determine the size or altitude of the objects.
Both Miss Oliver and Mrs. Prehn had cameras, one with color film, but Miss Muses said, "We were so amazed we didn't think to take pictures."
Albuquerque, New Mexico Tribune - 14 Apr 52
Strange Flying Object Reported
An oblong, silver-colored object moving slowly south was sighted over the Sandias this morning by two Sandia Base employees.
"We don't know whether it was a flying saucer or something else," said Gerald Coster, 237 Riverside dr., one of the men, "and we'd like to know whether anyone else sighted it."
Mr. Coster and Richard O'Boyle, 1618 Anderson pl., saw the object at 7:40 a.m. just as they were entering the gates at Sandia.
They watched for three minutes as they drove down the main street of the base, then lost it when they turned behind a building momentarily.
North Bay, Canada Daily Nugget - 16 Apr 52
Little Men from Other Planets Hovering in Saucers? Well, Maybe
By Alan Harvey
If you should wake up tomorrow morning and find little men in quaint blue suits swarming all over the blankets, don't reach for a broom or a shotgun. Take down from the shelf a volume called "Behind the Flying Saucers," by Frank Scully, and peruse with care, intermittently brushing the visitors from the bed.
We secured a copy of "Behind the Flying Saucers" (No. 326, Popular Library) yesterday, after publication of a story in this newspaper quoting personnel of RCAF Station North Bay as having seen "flying saucers" on at least two occasions.
That the airmen saw what they claimed they saw we have no doubt, and although Ottawa hasn't said so, it seems to have little doubt of the incidents either, since the high brass has not issued any white-hot or otherwise statements which boil down to "baloney."
About "Behind the Flying Saucers," we are more inclined to take vanilla, but it must be admitted that Mr. Scully gives names, places and word for word quotes throughout his book.
To head off the more confirmed skeptics, he opens his author's preface by quoting Hamlet as follows: "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." And, if that was true in Will Shakespeare's day, how much more so now!
The more spectacular incident at the North Bay air station occurred last Saturday night. Warrant Officer First Class E. H. Rossell, an aircraft maintenance superintendent with 13 years service, and Flt. Sgt. Reg McRae, of RCAF Station Weston, had just left Rossell's home in the married quarters area, and were driving in to North Bay.
Suddenly, they spotted a bright amber disk racing across the sky over the field. Get this -- the disk STOPPED, hovered for a brief time, and then took off in the direction from which it had come, at terrific speed and a 30-degree angle. There were no aircraft in the air at the time, a check showed, and even if there were, aircraft as we know them don't stop on a dime at supersonic speed, hang around for a while, and then take off again.
What was it? Well, read on; then conclude.
Last week, LIFE ran an article detailing no less than 10 authenticized incidents of so-called flying saucers being spotted in the States. Most of the incidents occurred in the U.S., where the majority of flying saucer activity is said to be.
However, Warrant Officer First Class W.J. Yeo, one of the men who sighted the first flying saucer over RCAF Station North Bay last January, said yesterday that he had heard of previous strange appearances of the disks from other air force people. For example, when he was in Resolute Bay, way up near the North Pole, he recalled "lots of guff being shot around" about strange flying machines cavorting over the polar bears. "It wasn't an aircraft we saw," he said of the January incident. "I've been looking at them for 16 years, and that was no aircraft that I know of. For lack of a better description, we called it a flying saucer."
But about "Behind the Flying Saucers." Scully points out that authorities in the U.S., while they would just as soon forget the matter or class it as an extended nightmare, can't do it, for the simple reason that the mystery is not that simple.
He does a good job of writing the book, so we'll just heist a few excerpts as they are:
Excerpt 1: "I have talked to men of science who have told me that they have not only seen them (flying saucers) but have examined several. (Scully admits he never saw a flying saucer, up or down). I have tried to the best of my ability to find flaws in their stories. But to date (1950) I have not succeeded in placing them in any of three categories laid down by the U.S. air force."
Excerpt 2: TRUE (The Magazine), said Keyhoe's article, was the most important it had ever published, was 'utterly true' and 'could document every occurrence reported.' Among its conclusions were:
"1. That our planet has been under systematic observation for 175 years, with a greater intensification since 1947."
". . . TRUE didn't believe the ships (three types are listed) were operated by any means of propulsion unknown to us, but that the operators were 225 years ahead of us in their thinking. This ruled out the likelihood of their being designed by today's aerodynamic engineers."
Excerpt 3: I met him shortly afterward. (Him was a prominent American doctor of science who Scully calls Dr. Gee). He was the man who told us the whole story of the first flying saucer that had landed in the United States.
". . . When they found it, it was in a very rocky, high plateau territory, east of Aztec, New Mexico."
(Scully now quotes the doctor). "Apparently, there was no door to what unquestionably was the cabin. The outside surface showed no marking of any sort, except for a broken porthole, which appeared on first examination to be of glass. On closer examination, we found it a good deal different than any glass in this country. Finally, we took a large pole and rammed a hole through this defect in the ship."
"Having done this, we looked into the interior. There, we were able to count 16 bodies, that ranged in size from 36 to 42 inches."
". . . We took the little bodies out, and laid them on the ground. We examined them and their clothing. I remember one of our team saying, 'That looks like the style of 1890.' We examined the bodies very closely and very carefully. They were normal from every standpoint, and had no appearance of being what we call on this planet 'midgets.'"
". . . The overall dimensions of the ship were found to be a fraction short of 100 feet. From the outer tip of the wing, which was entirely circular, to the bottom of the saucer, measuring in an imaginary line vertically, was 27 inches. The cabin which was entirely round, was 18 feet across, and 72 inches in height."
That's enough of the verbatim copy. We'll summarize the rest of the excerpt. Scully wrote that the bodies were dissected, and found to be exactly the same as humans, except that the teeth were "perfect." The ship was dismantled after a good deal of trouble, and examined by scientists.
Scully also includes a lengthy treatment of the details of the finding of two other ships in the U.S. All very interesting. For example, more than 150 tests failed to break down the metal of the gears found in one of the "saucers."
Still think flying saucers are a lot of bunko? Well could be, but don't be surprised if that knock on the door isn't the Fuller Brush man.
Winnipeg, Canada Free Press - 16 Apr 52
Those Flying Discs In North Bay Now
NORTH BAY. Ont.. April 16 -- R.C.A.F. officials said Tuesday they plan to investigate two reports of flying saucers in this area. The reports came from airmen stationed here.
WO F.H. Rossell, a veteran airman with 13 years in the service, and FS Reg. McRae, a visitor from Weston. Ont., said they spotted a "bright amber disk" in the sky over the airfield around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
The two said the disk came from the southwest, moved across the air-field, stopped and then took off in the reverse direction. It climbed at an angle of 30 degrees at "terrific speed" and disappeared.
WO W.J. Yeo, a master telecommunications superintendent, and Sgt. D.V. Crandell, an instrument technician, reported seeing a flying saucer the night of Jan. 1.
"The saucer appeared to be at great height, probably outside the earth's hemisphere," they testified. "It appeared to be moving at supersonic speed."
The disk was described as reddish-orange in color, "similar to a rock burning."
An R.C.A.F. spokesman said Tuesday there is no reason to doubt the validity of the reports since the men concerned are seasoned veterans familiar with conventional aircraft.
Winnipeg, Canada Free Press - 17 Apr 52
Flying Discs? 'Hmm Maybe' Say Scientists
OTTAWA. April 17 – Flying saucers?
"Wel-l-l. . ." said the R.C.A.F. and top government scientists Thursday.
Confronted with new reports of saucer sightings by R.C.A.F. airmen, the experts wouldn't say "no" and came up collectively with a cautious "maybe."
The new reports came from air force men at North Bay, Ont. -- 110 miles from the atomic-energy centre at Chalk River, Ont. -- who told of seeing flying objects described as "discs" or "saucers. "The latest appearance was last Saturday night.
While an R.C.A.F. intelligence officer questioned the sighters on the spot, these reactions to the flying-saucer phenomenon developed here:
DR. O.M. SOLANDT, chairman of the defence research board: "We are as mystified as anyone else . . . and are keeping an open mind."
DR. PETER MILLMAN, Dominion astro-physicist: "We can't laugh off these observations."
DR. C.J. MACKENZIE, chairman of the atomic energy control board: "These reports cannot be ignored as nonsense."
An R.C.A.F. spokesman added:
"The R.C.A.F. has come to no conclusions about saucers on the basis of what has been seen in Canada."
Fairbanks, Alaska Daily News-Miner - 17 Apr 52
Territorial News Roundup
...ALSO IN ANCHORAGE, a flying saucer was sighted this week, with at least a dozen people swearing that it was a real "saucer." The weather bureau reported that this unidentified object was tracked over the city for almost a half an hour.
One resident who sighted it, Robert E. Bratcher, said it resembled a huge disk. He said he followed it with binoculars until it vanished behind clouds. Many others reported seeing it, and all seemed to agree that it was real, and that it was flying at an altitude of about 30,000 feet.
Nashua, Iowa Reporter - 17 Apr 52
Big White Balloon Soars Over Area on Way to Southland
Folks in this vicinity who were up and around early enough Wednesday craned their necks skyward to watch a big white balloon which was drifting almost due north.
There was no talk this time of flying saucers, men from Mars and the like. It just shows how folks are getting accustomed to this atomic age. They talked, instead, about how the balloon might be a weather observation instrument, or a testing device for cosmic rays, and so on. Many of these balloons are launched by General Mills at Minneapolis, which does a good deal of research, as does Minneapolis Honeywell.
B.W. Tefft, who farms two miles west of Nashua, was among the first to spot the balloon. He saw it about 7 a.m.
Reno, Nevada State Journal - 17 Apr 52
Dr. Kraftt A. Ehricke, the German guided-missile expert who now works for the United States Army, says any nation with a billion dollars to spend can build in ten years its own celestial satellite outside the atmosphere. Dr. Ehricke says nothing new needs to be invented, all the necessary elements are available and scientific calculations are complete. The U.S. can start any day building a junior grade moon.
The sky platform would be disc-shaped, constructed in space from materials shot up by ferry rockets. Once assembled, it would swing in the earth's orbit at 15,000 miles an hour, circling the globe once every two hours at a height of 625 miles.
Dr. Ehricke says this man-made moon would have many advantages. In wartime it would give its owner a bird's eye view of enemy territory, force his troops to operate only at night and provide a base for air attack.
In peacetime it would be useful for weather forecasting and scientific observation and possibly as the first of a series of way stations on the trip to the moon. Ferry ships from earth could reach it in an hour. It could be inhabited or not, as desired.
Dr. Ehricke makes it sound very simple, but to the lay mind many difficulties present themselves. How are the rockets going to be made stationary long enough for the building materials to be removed? How long would an enemy with rockets and jet planes permit such an object to pass over his territory every two hours?
However, the layman is characteristically skeptical about scientific prophecy, despite a succession of modern miracles. Actually, the possibility of an artificial moon is no more incredible than electricity, radar, television, nuclear fission or supersonic flight. And besides, it is an American article of faith that a billion dollars can do anything.
Lubbock, Texas Morning Avalanche - 18 Apr 52
'Flying Saucers' Are Reported Seen Near Atomic Test Site
LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 17 --"Flying saucers" in the area of the Nevada test site, where important new atomic tests are in progress, were reported today.
An Air Force technical sergeant and four civilian workers at the Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas, said they saw 18 circular objects flying an easterly course which carried them over or very close to the test site.
Those who reported seeing the objects were T/S Orville Lawson, Rudy Toncer, sheetmetal shop foreman, and sheetmetal shop workers R.K. Van Houtin, Edward Gregory and Charles Ruliffson.
Streak Across Sky
The objects went by at 12:05 p.m. Van Houtin saw them first and called the attention of the others to them.
The men watched the saucers for about 30 seconds while they streaked across the sky in an easterly course north of Las Vegas and disappeared.
The men estimated that the craft were 40,000 feet high and flying at a speed of at least 1,200 miles an hour.
The objects flew in an irregular formation with one of them off to the right, moving with a zig-zag motion. They left no smoke or vapor trail.
A check at the air base showed that there were no planes in the air at the time and that no observation balloons had been released.
The Atomic Energy Commission said that none of its personnel had seen the objects.
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LUBBOCK FORMATION SIMILAR
Reports of a series of flying saucers -- numbering 18 with one object off to the side -- over the Nevada atom test site are startlingly similar to the formations sighted and photographed over Lubbock last August. In the photos of the "Lubbock lights" there were 19 objects with one off to the side in one picture, 18 in another flight with one off to the side.
Naugatuck, Connecticut, Daily News - 18 Apr 52
Cleveland -- An Eastern Air Lines radio operator says he has seen what looked like a flying saucer over a Cleveland airport. Joseph Radford has submitted a report on what he saw to government intelligence officers.
Twin Falls, Idaho Times News - 20 Apr 52
Flying Saucers Are Reported By Picnickers at Twin Falls
Flying saucers apparently have returned to Magic Valley.
At least that is the report of a local family picnicking Thursday at the Idaho Power company's park at Twin falls. The picnickers who reported seeing the objects asked to remain anonymous for fear of being termed "crackpots."
Eighteen objects were seen flying in two formations along Snake river at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Two of the picnickers viewed the objects which constantly changed formation. Formations resembling a V and a walking cane were observed.
The saucers were in sight for 30 seconds and followed the general course of Snake river before disappearing from sight. No estimate was given of the height at which the objects were flying, but they were reported moving at great speeds. "They weren't birds or like anything we've seen before," one observer declared.
Approximately 60 flying saucers were reported over the Twin Falls area during 1947 when many people reported seeing them.
Reno, Nevada Evening Gazette - 21 Apr 52
Delphos, Ohio State Journal - 21 Apr 52
Saucer Reports Come from Cleveland
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Hopkins Airport Control Office received several calls Sunday from pilots and residents who believed they had sighted flying saucers.
The station said that one man of the city's East Side reported seeing what he thought were seven saucers flying in formation.
Pilots on Trans-Canada Airlines planes also reported unknown objects. One pilot said he traced 11 objects that might have been saucers on his radar track and that they flew from horizon to horizon in three seconds.
Air control officials in Toronto reported the latter phenomenon might hove been caused by a search light. They said objects reported by four other pilots may have been anything from wild ducks to reflections of aluminum barns.
North Bay, Canada Daily Nugget - 21 Apr 52
Colored "Saucer" Observed Again
WINNIPEG -- A mysterious light, first reported over Manitoba Monday, was seen whirling across Winnipeg last night.
Newspaper offices received numerous calls from citizens who said the sparkling disc kept changing color as it moved across the evening sky.
Toronto, Canada Globe and Mail - 21 Apr 52
Dim Orange Lights Seen in Formation Flying Over City
A collection of 50 to 60 lights in V-formation moving rapidly from southeast to northwest was observed at 10:30, last night by a Wychwood Park resident. The lights were a dim orange in color and judged to be at a great height. There was no sound. He was able to observe an arc of approximately 30 degrees in the sky and the collection of lights appeared and disappeared over that distance in approximately six seconds. The observer admitted he was greatly shaken by the experience.
Sandusky, Ohio Register Star News - 21 Apr 52
LONDON, ONT. – Widely separated reports of an unidentified craft high in the skies, leaving a vapor trail and traveling at a speed estimated at more than 1,000 miles an hour, were received last night from western Ontario points.
Canadian Air Force reserve fighters were ordered to intercept the mysterious craft. The pilots reported they could not come anywhere near the source of the vapor trail, although they pushed their planes to more than 450 miles an hour.
Toronto, Canada Globe and Mail - 21 Apr 52
Estimate 1,000 MPH
Mystery Plane Streaks Across Ontario Skies
London, Ont., April 20 -- An unidentified aircraft streaked across the northern section of Western Ontario shortly before noon today at a speed estimated by experts as "in excess of 1,000 miles an hour." It left a vapor trail from horizon to horizon and aroused the curiosity and speculation of thousands of residents.
Fighter aircraft from No. 420 City of London Squadron which were aloft at the time were directed to intercept the object but the Mustang pilots reported they could not come anywhere near, although they pushed their planes up to 450 miles an hour.
Its height was estimated at 30,000 feet by several aviation officials who saw the vapor trail. This height was borne out by actual bearings taken from several points in London.
No high speed jet aircraft of the RCAF or the U.S. Air Force were reported in the vicinity. No known aircraft now in service have speeds as high as this object appeared to have.
The vapor trail, led by a "dark cylindrical object," first was seen by Department of Transport airport officials in Toronto. By the time these observers had called London City airport control tower phone connections, the trail was seen streaking from east to west north of London.
Before local airport officials could make any report to Toronto, the Detroit airport control tower messaged on the airways communications system the trail was visible north of that city.
Time between the first Toronto report and the Detroit sighting was estimated at 12 minutes. Department of Transport officials at London airport said they had no report of any aircraft which could clear up the mystery, nor had they any solution to suggest.
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada Daily Star - 21 Jul 52
RCAF Claims "Saucer" Speedy British Bomber
Toronto-Detroit In 12 Minutes
TORONTO - A dark, cylindrical object which streaked across Ontario skies yesterday, at a speed estimated to be as high as 1,000 m.p.h., revived talk today, of "flying saucers."
Leaving a long vapor trail, which stretched from horizon to horizon, the object was first reported over Toronto, and then, over Hamilton -- before Toronto Airport officials had a chance to telephone ahead to warn of the approach of the object.
One Toronto newspaper, in a report from R.C.A.F. officials in Ottawa, said it was a British Canberra jet bomber enroute from Montreal to Omaha, Neb., and thence to Baltimore, Maryland, where the aircraft is to be made under license by the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Co., a large U.S. producer of warplanes. However, the top speed of the British jet is estimated to be in "excess" of 600 m.p.h. The Toronto newspaper report estimated the craft's speed at "in the neighborhood of 1,000 m.p.h."
Within a reported 12 minutes of passage over Toronto, Detroit Airport Control messaged that the trail was visible north of that city.
The vapor trail was sighted above Toronto by airport officials, about noon, and shortly afterwards over London, Ont. RCAF officials said the jet bomber, one of the fastest planes in the air, flew at a height of about 30,000 feet, and it was going so fast that it sped over Toronto before its flight plan reached Air Traffic Control officials.
At London, fighter aircraft from No. 420 Squadron attempted to intercept the plane, but it quickly left them behind. The mustang fighter pilots pushed their craft to speeds of 450 miles an hour in the futile chase.
R.C.A.F. officials at Ottawa said that Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Lloyd, chief of the R.A.F. Bomber Command, arrived at Montreal Saturday, in a Canberra and took off yesterday, in the same plane for Omaha. His ultimate destination is Baltimore, Maryland, where the Canberra will go into production.
The R.C.A.F. said there is a possibility the Canberra created the controversy.
But the reports that it was going 1,000 miles an hour stump them.
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada Daily Star - 22 Apr 52
Plane or Saucer? Take Your Choice
OTTAWA -- The Air Force was pretty sure today that southwestern Ontario's Sunday "mystery aircraft" was a 600-mile-an-hour British jet bomber. However, some skeptics still had doubts, including one Air Force Wing Commander who saw it.
Defence Minister Claxton communicated the R.C.A.F. feeling to the Commons the object "almost certainly" was an R.A.F. Canberra bomber flying from Montreal to Omaha, Neb., with Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Lloyd aboard.
In London, Wing Cmdr. A. D. Haylett, officer commanding No. 420 City of London Reserve squadron of the R.C.A.F. estimated that the object must have been doing 2,000 miles an hour.
Tangier, Morocco Espana - 22 Apr 52
Glowing Spheres Seen Over Almansa, Spain
Almansa, 21 April -- At 0800 hours today, many persons saw a series of four glowing spheres crossing the sky, along the Murcia-Valencia trajectory at high speed and at a great height. The spheres looked like locks of wool of a vivid reddish color which changed to an intense yellow as they flew further away. They gradually disappeared in the distance. No unusual sound was heard. The spectacle lasted hardly a minute.
Winnipeg, Canada Free Press - 23 Apr 52
Winnipeg Too Has Saucers
Winnipeg is in the flying saucer act.
Within the past 24 hours, mysterious objects in the sky have been reported to the Free Press by a Carlton street housewife, a machine accountant in Fort Rouge, a Tuxedo schoolboy, and an unidentified individual who said he was calling from "just south of Winnipeg.
The reports differed as to the size, and coloring of the object, but agreed that it changed direction abruptly and was "definitely not an aircraft, or a falling star.
First report was received from John Woods, 17 year old Tuxedo schoolboy, of 132 Cirton boulevard who saw a small circular object, yellow and then turning orange hurtling overhead across the sky and moving very fast at 8:26 p.m. at Tuxedo.
High And Fast
He said: "I was standing on Hertford boulevard Tuesday night, when I saw a small, circular object moving across the sky. I'm sure it wasn't a falling star because I watched it. It was good and high, changed from yellow to orange as it moved towards the horizon, and then it turned east, almost at right angles, and disappeared."
Mrs. J.E. Woods says her son is "not a star-gazer and definitely not the imaginative type."
Stevenson field reported having received a similar report about 9 p.m. from an "unidentified individual calling from just south of Winnipeg."
A 'White Object'
P. Alderdice, accountant, of 495 Rathgar avenue, Fort Rouge, told the Free Press that both he and his wife had seen a "white object moving "much higher and much slower than any aircraft I've ever seen."
This is Mr. Alderdice's report: "It was 10:15 p.m. and I had just left the Park theatre at Fort Rouge with my wife. My wife drew my attention to a starry white object moving northwards. It was definitely not an aircraft, because it was moving much higher and slower than any aircraft I've ever seen. We watched the object moving north and then it suddenly stopped and started back, reversing almost exactly in its own tracks."
"I've never seen a falling star do that." he added.
Mrs. D. Shaw, who lives at 368 Carlton street, witnessed a peculiar green light from the front yard of her home shortly after 10 o'clock.
"It was moving slowly, and seemed to be close to the ground," she told the Free Press Wednesday morning. "First it was green then a red light appeared and merged into the green haze. The green vanished completely, and the red turned to yellow."
Mrs. Shaw said another family watched the phenomenon at the same time she did.
"It certainly was strange," she said. "I don't know what it was, but it wasn't a star."
Traffic control at Stevenson field reported "normal activity, at this time of night."
"Normal for us, that is," an official sighed. "I guess it must be the season."
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada Daily Star - 23 Apr 52
Flying Saucers "Real Problem" Expert Declares
TORONTO -- Most reports of "flying saucers" can be explained as natural phenomena - but there still remains "a concrete group of reports that are unexplained."
This is the cautious assessment by Dr. Peter Millman, chief of the Dominion Observatory's astrophysics division at Ottawa.
"It is difficult to dismiss casually the weight of evidence that now has accumulated," he wrote in an article for the Toronto Telegram. "It is also a mistake to ridicule anyone making a sincere report."
He felt that 99 per cent of those who have reported seeing flying saucers were "perfectly honest" although they might have misinterpreted what they saw, "or was a little over-enthusiastic in describing an event."
Dr. Millman said he had no "inside information" on flying saucers but for 20 years, he has studied reports of objects seen in the sky during observations of meteors.
Accounts Very Similar
The saucers had usually been described as disc-shaped or cigar-shaped. A few observers claimed to have seen rows of lights or port holes along the sides. Nearly all reports said the objects moved rapidly and were highly manoeuverable.
Many normal phenomena in the sky had given rise to flying saucer reports, he said. These included aircraft, balloons, meteors, planets, northern lights, reflections and mirages.
All of these can "under special circumstances appear in such an unusual way that the observer is sure he has seen a unique and inexplicable event."
After allowing for human error and eliminating sightings explainable as natural phenomena, however, "there still remains a concrete group of reports that are unexplained."
"One, two or three of these might be disregarded but there now seems to be too many peculiar cases to eliminate in this way . . ."
"Personally, I haven't come to any definite conclusions about these objects . . . I am awaiting further developments with interest. There seems to be a good deal that has not yet been satisfactorily explained."
Sidney, Australia Morning Herald - 23 Apr 52
"Cigar-shape Saucer" Seen Over Singapore
SINGAPORE, April 23 -- Many people in Singapore believe they saw their first "flying saucer" to-day.
Early this morning, newspaper offices were swamped with phone calls from people who said they saw a cigar-shaped silvery object belching smoke as it streaked southwards high over Singapore Island.
At Johore Bahru, 16 miles north of Singapore, Yee Hong-hoy, a Chinese employee of a shipping company, said: "The cigar-shaped object appeared to turn back for about two minutes, then resumed its flight. It was very high and very fast."
Traffic was at a standstill in busy Raffles Place, the city's business centre, as people told of seeing "something like a wingless rocket, spouting white smoke at intervals."
The object "disappeared in the distance after emitting a bigger than usual puff of smoke."
A newspaperman reported seeing "about 10 narrow silvery lines of vapor trails in the sky."
An R.A.F. spokesman said no jet aircraft from Singapore bases were in the air at the time, and a Meteorological Department spokesman said no weather balloons were up.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Tribune - 23 Apr 52
Flying Saucer Sighted Here
Another flying saucer was sighted over Tijeras canyon east of the city today.
Mr. and Mrs. Everton Conger, who live on N. Highland-rd., said they saw the aluminum colored disk hovering beneath a cloud as they drove east on Mountain-rd. near the intersection, with Campus-blvd. at 8:32 this morning.
Mr. Conger, associate journalism professor at the University, said the disk, was within 10 degrees of the horizon.
"A strato-cumulus cloud was above it," he said. "We could see the disk tilting slowly. It remained in one spot about two minutes. Then it moved slowly north and disappeared, probably into the cloud."
Mr. Conger said he telephoned the Weather Bureau to learn the altitude of the cloud and said he was told such a cloud forms about 13,000 feet above sea level. When the disk tilted, it reflected sunlight he said, but apparently had no source of light in itself.
"The object was very small," Mr. Conger said. "But the most unusual aspect of it was that I saw the very same thing in almost the exact spot and at the same time in the summer of 1948."
A different object -- a fireball -- was spotted in the sky a few minutes before 10 last night by several Albuquerqueans.
D.D. Miller, 1320 San Andres-dr., said he spotted the object, which had a soft white glow in front and a brilliant bluish green toward the rear. He watched it move along in the sky, moving slower than a star falls at about 500 feet, and said he heard no noise. He said it looked like a flare, only larger.
W.A. Hannett, Blake-rd. said he spotted the object, moving at a horizontal angle and that it looked like a green shooting star, only bigger than a star.
Winnipeg, Canada Free Press - 25 Apr 52
Around The World
Canada... You've heard of flying saucers? Well, now it's flying trowels. Mr. and Mrs. Harold W. Kennedy said they spotted a "trowel-shaped affair with a dark tail" over Ottawa's northeast end, travelling at terrific speed.
Burlington, Iowa Hawk Eye Gazette - 28 Apr 52
this & that by j.p.h.
Probably it will take World war 3 to let the public in on the secret of what flying saucers are, but after three years' study, the air force has decided one thing they aren't. They aren't imagination.
Lubbock, Texas Evening Journal - 29 Apr 52
WEATHER BALLOON FOUND -- R.V. Brannan, 3304 1st St., pictured above, was puzzled over what appeared to be a piece of a large
balloon with a small home-made storage battery inside it that his
father-in-law, Emil Neiman, found recently out in his field six
miles northwest of Wilson. "We thought it might have something to
do with those flying saucers people have been seeing," Brannan
said. He turned the balloon and battery over to official at Reese
Air Force Base Monday and learned that they were part of a
Rawinsonde weather balloon. Sent up twice each day at Reese, the
balloons are also equipped with a small box that sends back radio
impulses which record information about weather conditions. These
balloons are the property of Reese and should be returned, officials
said. (Staff Photo).
Cairns, Australia Post - 29 Apr 52
Flying Saucer Over N.Z.
WELLINGTON. Apr. 28 -- The report of a flying saucer over New Zealand came to-day from a North Auckland farmer, Mr. J. Erceg of Kokopu, 13 miles west of Whangarel, who claims to have seen an oval boat shaped object travelling across the sky at 10.35 p.m. on Saturday.
Mr. Erceg said that the object was bright blue and seemed about 10 to 12 feet long. It travelled across the night sky "slower than a meteor but faster than a plane." The saucer travelled from north to south.
Mr. Erceg claims to have seen it while he was returning with his family from an evening at the pictures.
Mitchell, South Dakota Daily Republic - 30 Apr 52
Flying Saucers Sighted By Trio Over Rapid City
RAPID CITY -- Flying saucers may become an added attraction in the Black Hills this summer if reports of three residents who sighted one hovering over the city Monday are any indication.
Witnessing the saucer's antics were Roy Edwards and. Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Edwards, of Rapid City and several unidentified tourists.
According to Roy, he saw a "comet-like" shape flying toward Rapid City from the south between 6 and 7 p.m. He stopped his truck on highway 79 about 15 miles south of here to watch the aerial maneuvers.
His brother and wife caught up and stopped with him. While the men argued whether the ship was a jet a jet plane or a saucer, it stopped completely in mid air. The witnesses said the ship appeared to be directly above Rapid City.
After a two-minute pause, the saucer suddenly took off toward the west at a right angle to its previous path of travel, Roy said. It then circled the city and zoomed south again.
Marion, Ohio Star - 1 May 52
Radio and Television
By JOHN CROSBY
"THE NEXT MAN who reports a flying saucer will be broken by me personally," shouted Gene Raymond on the last "Tales of Tomorrow" I saw. He was echoing my sentiments exactly. (I broke the last man who reported a flying saucer over my knee and ate him). Mr. Raymond, who was impersonating a Colonel in the Air Forces, didn't follow through. The next flying saucer was not only reported, it actually landed at his air base. Colonel Raymond's first act was to close the field and send a copy of a message taken from the saucer nose to the cryptographers at the Pentagon.
The cryptographers definitely established that the message was in Martian "and believe me those boys know their business." I did not know the Pentagon's cryptographers could break the Martian's code and I'm happy to hear they're so clever down there. Out of this flying saucer they brought a creature who the hospital established definitely was Martian. I don't know how you decide these things with such definiteness.
THE REAL Martians, the ones who ran the ship, were microbes with brains who proceeded to strike down all the personnel of the air base except Colonel Raymond, who ordered his own destruction and theirs by atom bomb. If this makes no sense to you, then science fiction isn't for you. It isn't, frankly, for me either. All I can say for this particular operation was that I'm helpless with admiration for Gene Raymond who acted out this malarkey with great poise -- almost as if he understood what he was doing.
Popular Science May 52
Flying Saucers Are Old Stuff
They've been sighted and reported in pretty much the same terms for centuries, says writer who has found 300 ancient accounts.
IN 1872, long before there were any airplanes or plastic weather balloons, the Royal Meteorological Society of Britain received a strange report from the captain of the sailing ship Lady of the Lake.
While homeward bound for England from tropic ports, the vessel's crewmen had called Capt. Frederick William Banner's attention to an amazing sight in the sunset-stained sky.
Captain Banner later described it in his log as "a most curious-shaped cloud." It was circular, light gray, and luminous. It looked, he wrote, "like the sun or moon with a halo around it." Furthermore, it was behaving most unlike a cloud. It was moving against the wind, rising from a point in the southeast where no other clouds were at the time until it was nearly overhead. There it briefly hovered and the astonished sailors saw that it had strange markings and a distinct tail, like a comet's. Captain Banner noted that "patches of cirro-cumulus seemed to squirt from the back." Then the frightening object headed downward toward the horizon, still against the wind, and disappeared into the northeast as a darkness shut in.
Captain Banner sent a copy of his log to the Royal Meteorological Society. At the society's next meeting, January 15, 1873, the report was read, discussed, and dismissed as unexplainable.
Similar sights still baffle scientists. Many of the flying saucers seen in recent years have turned out to be weather balloons. But, an Air Force spokesman admitted this spring, "a number of reported sightings cannot be thus explained, and as long as this is true, the Air Force will continue to study the problem."
While pondering this problem, Robert L. Unger, who is now a technical writer for the Republic Aviation Corp., of Farmingdale, L.I., began to wonder how long such strange things had been appearing in our sky. Unger flew B-25s in the Pacific theater of operations during the war, and later did graduate work at Yale. While there, he began prowling through the long history of "saucer stories."
He reports now that he has found evidence that men have been seeing things which resemble saucers for at least 355 years. He has collected, he says, 300 such reports as the one from Captain Banner that mystified the Royal Meteorological Society 80 years ago.
Mystic's Work Started It
The books of a man named Charles Fort, half scientific writer, half mystic, who died in 1932, inspired Unger to continue this fascinating research. Fort had paged through hundreds of scientific journals, some of them dating from the sixteenth century, and extracted accounts of strange happenings in the sky that science had never been able satisfactorily to explain.
Unger, beginning in 1948, followed in Fort's path, eagerly picking out the reports that sounded like current newspaper accounts of flying-saucer sightings. He carefully tracked down every source, and found at least half again as many new ones. The 300 accounts he has gathered date from 1907 back to the late eighteenth century.
Of all the baffling reports that the Air Force has received since 1947, when "flying saucer" entered the language, some of the hardest to explain have been those concerning the Lubbock Lights. That is the name the group of luminous spots which several responsible citizens of Lubbock, Tex., repeatedly saw travel noiselessly across the night sky in 1951 at tremendous speed and in distinct flying formation, usually V-shaped.
Seen by Navy in 1904
When Unger read the first reports from Lubbock, he immediately remembered an experience reported to the U.S. Monthly Weather Review in 1904 by Lieut. F.H. Schofield, aboard a Navy supply vessel at sea.
Shortly after six o'clock on the morning of February 28, the lieutenant and two members of his crew were staggered to see what appeared to be three meteors hurtling towards the ship in a tight little group from the northwest.
"At first," Schofield reported, "their angular downward motion was very rapid and their color a rather bright, glowing red. But as the approached the ship they suddenly soared upward at an angle of 45 degrees and passed through the clouds. After rising above the clouds their angular motion became less and less until it ceased, when they appeared to be moving directly away from the earth at an elevation of 75 degrees and in a west-northwest direction."
The largest meteor, which Schofield said looked as large as six suns, was egg-shaped and led the formation. The two others were perfectly round, one appearing to be the size of two suns, the other the size of the sun itself. When they shot away from the ship in the direction from which they had come "there was no change in their relative positions."
When the newspapers, beginning in 1948, told of terrifyingly bright green fireballs that hundreds of people in the Southwest had seen flash across the bare hills in straight, silent, horizontal flight, Unger recalled a striking similar account that he had come across in an old issue of a magazine called The Observatory. The writer, a professional British astronomer, said the most remarkable experience he had ever had took place one clear evening in the autumn of 1882.
"A Disk of Greenish Light"
"A great circular disk of greenish light suddenly appeared low down in the east-northeast, as though it had just risen, and moved across the sky, as smoothly and steadily as the sun, moon, stars, and planets move, but nearly a thousand times as quickly," he wrote. As it moved, in "a steady, uniform progress from east to west," it lengthened out. "When it crossed the meridian and passed just above the moon, its form was that almost of a very elongated eclipse, and various observers spoke of it as 'cigar-shaped,' 'like a torpedo,' or a spindle or shuttle."
Like the distinguished German rocket designer, Doctor. Walther Riedel, and Dr. Maurice A. Biot, a top U.S. aerodynamicist, Unger is convinced that flying saucers, "cigars," and unexplainable lights in the sky at night are all evidence of visitations from some other world. The objects may not be manned; they may be radio-controlled, pilotless craft rigged up with some other world's notion of television to record what we are up to. Judging by the similarity of the reports since 1597, they may have been watching us a good, long time.
Algona, Iowa Kossuth County Advance - 1 May 52
The Old Goat Says…
THE OLD GOAT hopes the flying saucers are real. A threat from space would make Truman and Stalin hug each other to meet the outsider who might horn in on their private racket of keeping the world all stirred up. If a flying saucer could just roost over the Kremlin and one over the White House, and a few assorted over such places as No. 10 Downing street, it'd give the guys something to think about instead of each other.
1. Many of the foreign publications quoted in this series come from translations provided within CIA documents of the time, now released under the Freedom of Information Act. A lesser number, primarily French publications, come from the (now-defunct) French site Ufologie.net. Some Canadian reports were found at NOUFORS (Northern Ontario UFO Research and Study, available through the links section of this site).
2. Selected documents from Air Force Project Blue Book files relating to the Kaliszewski-Donaghue-Reilly reports, Oct 10 & 11, 1951 are available here.
3. In his 1956 book The Report On Unidentified Flying Objects Capt. Ed Ruppelt, former chief of the Air Force Project Blue Book, wrote...
On another occasion the crew of a C-47 that was tracking a skyhook balloon saw two similar UFO's come loping in from just above the horizon, circle the balloon, which was flying at just under 90,000 feet, and rapidly leave. When the balloon was recovered it was ripped.
I knew the two pilots of the C-47; both of them now believe in flying saucers. And they aren't alone; so do the people of the Aeronautical Division of General Mills who launch and track the big skyhook balloons. These scientists and engineers all have seen UFO's and they aren't their own balloons. I was almost tossed out of the General Mills offices into a cold January Minneapolis snowstorm for suggesting such a thing but that comes later in our history of the UFO.
I don't know what these people saw. There has been a lot of interest generated by these sightings because of the extremely high qualifications and caliber of the observers. There is some legitimate doubt as to the accuracy of the speed and altitude figures that McLaughlin's crew arrived at from the data they measured with their theodolite. This doesn't mean much, however. Even if they were off by a factor of 100 per cent, the speeds and altitudes would be fantastic, and besides they looked at the UFO through a 25 power telescope and swore that it was a flat, oval- shaped object. Balloons, birds, and airplanes aren't flat and oval shaped.
Astrophysicist Dr. Donald Menzel, in a book entitled Flying Saucers, says they saw a refracted image of their own balloon caused by an atmospheric phenomenon. Maybe he is right, but the General Mills people don't believe it. And their disagreement is backed up by years of practical experience with the atmosphere, its tricks and its illusions...
While I traveled around the United States getting the project set up, UFO reports continued to come in and all of them were good. One series of reports was especially good, and they came from a group of people who had had a great deal of experience watching things in the sky - the people who launch the big skyhook balloons for General Mills, Inc. The reports of what the General Mills people had seen while they were tracking their balloons covered a period of over a year. They had just sent them in because they had heard that Project Grudge was being reorganized and was taking a different view on UFO reports. They, like so many other reliable observers, had been disgusted with the previous Air Force attitude toward UFO reports, and they had refused to send in any reports. I decided that these people might be a good source of information, and I wanted to get further details on their reports, so I got orders to go to Minneapolis. A scientist from Project Bear went with me. We arrived on January 14, 1952, in the middle of a cold wave and a blizzard.
The Aeronautical Division of General Mills, Inc., of Wheaties and Betty Crocker fame, had launched and tracked every skyhook balloon that had been launched prior to mid 1952. They knew what their balloons looked like under all lighting conditions and they also knew meteorology, aerodynamics, astronomy, and they knew UFO's. I talked to these people for the better part of a full day, and every time I tried to infer that there might be some natural explanation for the UFO's I just about found myself in a fresh snowdrift.
What made these people so sure that UFO's existed? In the first place, they had seen many of them. One man told me that one tracking crew had seen so many that the sight of a UFO no longer even especially interested them. And the things that they saw couldn't be explained.
For example: On January 16, 1951, two people from General Mills and four people from Artesia, New Mexico, were watching a skyhook balloon from the Artesia airport. They had been watching the balloon off and on for about an hour when one of the group saw two tiny specks on the horizon, off to the northwest. He pointed them out to the others because two airplanes were expected into the airport, and he thought that these might be the airplanes. But as they watched, the two specks began to move in fast, and within a few seconds the observers could see that "the airplanes" were actually two round, dull white objects flying in close formation. The two objects continued to come in and headed straight toward the balloon. When they reached the balloon they circled it once and flew off to the northwest, where they disappeared over the horizon. As the two UFO's circled the balloon, they tipped on edge and the observers saw that they were disk shaped.
When the two UFO's were near the balloon, the observers also had a chance to compare the size of the UFO's with the size of the balloon. If the UFO's were as close to the balloon as they appeared to be they would have been 60 feet in diameter.
After my visit to General Mills, Inc., I couldn't help remembering a magazine article I'd read about a year before. It said that there was not a single reliable UFO report that couldn't be attributed to a skyhook balloon.
4. The April 17, 1952 sighting at Nellis Air Force Base, adjacent to the Nevada Proving Grounds, came two days after a one-kiloton atom bomb was detonated above ground and five days before a 31-kiloton atom bomb was detonated above ground and viewed live on television. They were the 14th and 15th such detonations at the proving grounds.
5. The distance between Toronto and Detroit is approximately 220 air miles. If the same object leaving the vapor trail was seen at the two points, as suggested in the article RCAF Claims "Saucer" Speedy British Bomber, then the speed estimate of the observers reported in Mystery Plane Streaks Across Ontario Skies was accurate.
6. The "Lieut. F.H. Schofield" noted in the article "Flying Saucers Are Old Stuff" was in fact Frank Herman Schofield, born January 4, 1869. Schofield went on to a long and distinguished naval career. He served on the Naval General Board from 1921 to 1923; was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1924; commanded Destroyer Squadrons, Battle Fleet, from 1924 to 1926; headed the War Plans Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations from 1926 to 1929; was a member of the Naval Advisory Staff, Geneva Conference in 1927; and commanded Battleship Division 4, Battle Fleet in 1929. In 1930, he was commissioned Commander in Chief, Battle Force, with the accompanying rank of Admiral; and in 1933, after 47 years of service, he retired. Admiral Schofield died at Bethesda, Maryland, on March 21, 1942, five years before the "modern" era of flying disc reports began in 1947.
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