in the news 1952
Feature in the September 17, 1952 edition of the Portsmouth, Ohio, Times on the publication of "The Coming of the Saucers" by Kenneth Arnold and Ray Palmer. The book consisted primarily of Kenneth Arnold's account of a 1947 investigation of a flying saucer report at Maury Island outside Tacoma, Washington. Arnold's 1952 account was largely a mix of distortion and fabrication of events (for details, see "The Positively True Story of Kenneth Arnold", parts five through ten, available through the Past Weeks portal of this site). Click on image to open full-size version in a separate window.
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...
SEPTEMBER 17, 1952:
San Mateo, California Times - 17 Sep 52
This is the custom-built "flying saucer" which is currently being exhibited at the Peninsula Home Show, Fiesta building, San Mateo. Home show models Carol Thompson, Marilyn Frances and Charlotte Hanker pose in the cockpit of the astral flier. The home show ends this Sunday evening.
Charleston, West Virginia Gazette - 17 Sep 52
2 Who Saw 'Monster' Will Appear On TV To Tell Their Story
SUTTON. Sept. 16 -- (Special) -- Two of the Flatwoods residents who saw the "monster" Friday evening and A. Lee Stewart, Jr., co-publisher of the Braxton Democrat, will appear on the "We The People" television program from New York City at 7:30 p.m. Friday to tell their story.
Stewart said that several national magazines have evidenced great interest in the sighting of the "what-is-it," including True Magazine, which specializes in flying-saucer tales.
He added that a minister who reportedly had visions of the "thing" 10 years ago and drew its picture also was supposed to arrive soon for the confirmation of his vision.
Austin, Minnesota Daily Herald - 17 Sep 52
Others Viewed Flying Saucers
Mrs. William J Campbell, 204 W. Maple, wasn't the only person who saw "flying saucers" Monday night.
Mrs. Grace Morgan, Austin Rt. 3, says her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. D.L. Clark, Austin Rt. 3, saw the "saucers" at the same time and described them in the same way.
Mr. and Mrs. Clark, with the help of three men from Lyle, were culling chickens at the time. At first, Mrs. Morgan said, Mr. Clark thought what they saw was an airplane but after a good look at the objects, decided it wasn't.
That Was Tame
Their experience, however, was tame compared to the one Mrs. Morgan had while driving through Nevada in 1950.
A "flying saucer" or something followed the car she was driving for a half an hour. Mrs. Morgan was doing the driving and her husband was asleep in the house trailer behind.
"It was about the size of a basketball," she said, and looked like a misty sort of light. It had three-foot tail and would disappear when it got to the radiator. It would come up beside the car on the driver's side."
Mrs. Morgan wasn't alone in her experience either. Other people
saw it, according to radio reports the next day.
"Believe me, it was weird," she said.
She told her husband about it the next day and he asked her why she let him sleep through it. "I told him I was afraid to stop the car to wake him up," she said.
Great Bend, Kansas Daily Tribune - 17 Sep 52
Great Bend Man, Wife Sight 'Flying Saucer' Over The City
The latest episode In the chapter on "flying saucers sighted in the Great Bend territory" has been supplied by H.T. Burgner, who lives at 1437-10th.
At precisely 8:30 p.m. Monday evening, Burgner walked out of his house into the yard and was startled, to say the least, by having his first glimpse of the phenomenon, usually called a flying saucer.
It was a ball of fire, whitish in color, like a mercury light, he said, that was moving across the sky in an easterly direction. It was about 30 degrees above the horizon, and because he could not tell how far away it was he couldn't guess it's size and speed.
"My wife also saw it," Burgner stated in verification of his report. "In fact, she let out a cry when she looked up and saw it. I looked up about the same time and there it was, moving across the sky."
The strange light was seen between two trees north of the Burgner house and because it became hidden by one of the trees as it moved across the sky. The Burgners were unable to watch it for more than a few seconds.
Friends visiting the Burgners that evening missed the spectacle because they were sitting with their backs to the brilliant light. Burgner would not swear that it was a flying saucer, but thinks it must have been because it tallied with the descriptions he has seen in newspapers by others who have seen the unexplained lights moving in irregular patterns across the sky.
Although the Tribune has had no other reports of flying saucers this week, it may be assumed that others who may have seen the light described by Burgner have kept the information to themselves.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal - 17 Sep 52
Flying Dining Table Reported
WICHITA, Kas., Sept. 16 -- Not just a flying saucer, but a whole "dining room table" was reported seen last night by two airmen at the Wichita Air Force base.
Sgt. Carlyle McLendon, 39, and Staff Sgt. William Muse, 25, saw the object at 8:15 p.m. (CST) as they were driving five miles south of Douglas, Kas.
They said it was oblong in shape, "resembling an old-fashioned dining room table," about 30 or 40 feet long and 20 feet wide. It was about 100 feet off the ground and about 200 feet from them, traveling parallel with their car at about 20 miles an hour.
The airmen could see portholes and lights shining through. Orange-colored flames and sparks were emitted from the rear of the wingless craft, but there was no noise.
When the airmen stopped their car, the object turned in front of them and was "out of sight in a split second."
Phoenix, Arizona Republic - 17 Sep 52
Saucer? Seen Near Russ Base
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Sept 16 -- Lt. Cmdr. Schmidt Jensen said Tuesday that he and crew members of the Danish destroyer Willemoes spotted a "flying body traveling at terrific speed" over the southern end of the Baltic Sea 50 miles from a Russian guided missile base.
The Willemoes, participating in Operation Mainbrace, was north of the island of Bornholm when the object was sighted. Jensen, second in command of the destroyer, said the object came out of the south and disappeared to the north.
Jensen said the body flew silently at a very high altitude and was followed by three glowing streams of red and white. The Danish officer said he was sure it was not a shooting star but added:
"I'm sorry I cannot give any acceptable explanation."
The area where the object was sighted is about 50 miles northeast of the German island of Ruegen where the Russians are reported to be using German wartime proving grounds for rockets and guided missiles.
Newswire Report Agence France Presse - 17 Sep 52
BLIDA, Italy, Sept. 17 -- About 1930, local time, Sept. 16, reputable citizens saw in the sky over a Blida a "squadron" of flying saucers, which first flew in an arc formation and later in Indian file. The "squadron" resumed its arc formation four times before it disappeared in a northerly direction.
Uniontown, Pennsylvania Evening Standard - 17 Sep 52
Straight From The Notebook
The common salutation around here these past few days hasn't been "Hello" or "How's Things?", but "Seen Any Flying Saucers?" Talk about a bull let loose in a china shop!
We can truthfully say we've never seen any celestial pottery and we can just as truthfully say that we've been grievously disappointed -- especially since last Friday night.
If the Air Force and the scientists are as mystified as they seem to be, we're not going to set ourself up as an authority on whether 'tis or tain't. But there surely to goodness must have been something up there, even if it was a common old meteor.
One report we got said that the "thing"' fell into the old slag dump at Leith. We were all set to go out there and start diggin' (maybe sell a little red-dog on the side), when the fellow called back and said he wasn't so sure it fell in there, after all.
In Ohio, Too
Mr. and Mrs. Steve Harmon, and Mr. and Mrs. Jeff McDowell (both couples are from Hopwood) were on a fishing trip to Seneca Lake, Ohio, last week and apparently saw the same object there that scared the bejabers out of so many people around here.
They said that the back part was like a ball of red fire and the front looked like a white light, that it traveled from east to west, and "disappeared as quickly as someone turning off an electric light." Said it fit the description of the local flying saucer as carried in The Evening Standard.
Danny Goss, the Brownsville aviation enthusiast, was telling us about a flier from Greensburg named Tate who inadvertently started something of a flying saucer scare one night last week.
He took off from Connellsville Airport and was circling around in the airport vicinity, 'way up high, apparently switching his lights off and on -- both the red-and-green navigation lights and the white landing lights.
Wasn't long before calls started coming into the Airport about a strange object up in the wild blue yonder and wasn't that a saucer zooming around up there.
Saucer Sees Man
But for the absolute last word on the situation, we'll have to hand it to the anonymous gentleman who called up the newspaper -- anything can happen at a newspaper -- a few days ago.
"This is a flying saucer," he said in a sepulchral voice. "I want to report that I've just seen a man."
Silly, but somehow it tickled us.
When we started this page of the Notebook out, we really didn't intend to devote the whole thing to strange doings among the clouds, but space is running out . . .
Which reminds us, has anyone gotten the Space Cadets or the Interplanetary Patrol onto this matter? Maybe it's all atmospheric disturbance caused by Captain Video sliding down a television aerial.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1952:
Tyrone, Pennsylvania Daily Herald - 18 Sep 52
A NEW astronomer type camera which the U.S. Air Force will use at stations throughout the nation to photograph "flying saucer" objects is held in Washington by Airman 1/c Jo Anne Smith, Superior, Wis. It has two lenses. One lens of the 35-mm. camera makes conventional photos while the other separates light rays by color, thus indicating source and makeup of object in the photo. Also shown is a photo of ceiling lights in the Pentagon taken with the camera. They take on a "dancing disk" appearance. (International Soundphoto)
Kerrville, Texas Mountain Sun - 18 Sep 52
Edingtons Entertain With Dinner
Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Edington entertained with a dinner Thursday evening in the dining room of the Behreiner Institute when the guests included the members of the faculty, their wives and a few of the friends of the school.
The theme of flying saucers was predominant in the decorations on the tables and in the spacious room. The waiters wore saucer hats, animated with propellers, as they served the delectable meal.
"Education for Flying Saucers" was the theme of the address which Dr. Edington made as he stressed the importance of christian [sic, uncapitalized] education in our day as the best bulwark against flying saucers or any other un-explainable phenomena.
Cumberland, Maryland Times - 18 Sep 52
'Saucer' Reported Flying Over City
Five residents of the Cumberland area last night said they saw a flying saucer over the city. The reports were received almost simultaneously at the Times and Alleganian switchboard as the object whirled over the city and disappeared in a northerly direction.
All of the observers generally agreed that the luminous object, ranged in size from a saucer to a dinner plate, flew across Wills Mountain.
The object seemed to spin very rapidly and at the same time whirled in circles in its northerly flight. Observers from Mann's Terrace Piedmont Avenue, Bedford Street, Winchester Road and Valley Road all gave similar descriptions of the phenomenon.
Lubbock, Texas Morning Avalanche - 18 Sep 52
Flights Of Birds Cause New Flying Saucer Reports Here
So okay, Ronny . . .
This is for the 10-year-old boy who called The Morning Avalanche last night and got through in one breath that "this is Ronny Clinton I saw a flying saucer I want my name in the paper."
For the information of Ronny and his family at 1903 42nd, about 40 other Lubbock residents called to report V-shaped flights of bluish-colored objects. But they won't mind if we skip their names this time.
Anyway, Ronnie, [sic, spelled Ronny elsewhere] a careful sifting of opinion puts the blame for last night's lights on a bunch of southbound birds.
But thanks for the call, anyway.
Jet Magazine - 18 Sep 52
N.Y. Preacher Says God Sent Flying Saucers
God is sending flying saucers to earth to protect the United States from Soviet atom-bomb attack, radio evangelist Charles Beck told his Buffalo, N.Y., audience. The elder says he saw his first flying saucer in a vision in 1944, three years before the first platter was spotted soaring over Mt. Rainier in Washington. He did not mention it then, he declared, for fear he would be called crazy. But when the dream recurred in 1947 and 1948, he had an artist draw an imaginary picture, took it to the Pentagon where he was listened to politely. He was then referred to a saucer-expert at Wright Field in Dayton who refused to listen at all. The 41-year-old minister, who ogled his fourth saucer in a dream this month in Washington, said he is writing a book called Space Men Are Here.
Baytown, Texas Sun - 18 Sep 52
MRS. GUSSIE COKER
CHAMPION READER -- Mrs. Coker takes as many as 20 books at a time from the Baytown Library. (Rogers Photo)
Mrs. Coker Is Champion Reader At Baytown Library
She likes to keep scrapbooks of interesting information. She enjoys the radio. She likes to turn out short articles on her typewriter. She thinks flying saucers are real. She often stays up until 2 a.m. to finish a book.
Sounds like one of our more high-powered teen-agers, doesn't it? But the description fits a white-haired, regal-looking lady -- 75 years old -- who lives at 1314 Cherry.
Mrs. Gussie Coker's first love, however, is reading. She has been a constant visitor to the Baytown Public Library since moving here ten years ago, and can't remember when she was not taking books out of libraries.
A native of Louisiana, Mrs. Coker has lived in Texas for 65 years. "Mammy," as she is affectionately known, usually stocks up with about 20 books per library trip. She is something of an honored guest to librarians Mrs. C.T. Shewell and Miss Eva Collier. Regular library rules are waived so that she can keep books longer. If there is something special "Mammy" might like, it's put aside for her.
"I feel blessed that I am able to read," says Mrs. Coker. "And I always say bless the Phoenicians for inventing the alphabet!" she adds.
Because it is difficult for her to get out, neighbor children and relatives frequently drop by the library for her. Just this week, Eugene Coker, a grandson, brought her a fresh supply of reading matter.
Of course, Mrs. Coker is "all for" the current membership drive conducted by the Friends of the Library. Funds collected this month will buy more of the books that Mrs. Coker and hundreds like her enjoy every year.
Right now Mrs. Coker is reading "The President's Lady," a fictional history of the Andrew Jackson era. Besides history, she likes romances, mysteries, and stories of the occult. In fact, psychic matters are one of her research topics.
For several years she has been getting first-hand information on "ghosts" that supposedly haunt the home of her English "ancestors. How did she find her pen-pal in England? That, too, makes a story.
She picked up a Houston newspaper one day, not long after she decided to find out something about the family home in England. In the paper was a letter from a woman who lived on Cheney Manor Road. (Mrs. Coker's mother's name was Cheney). A letter over, and a quick answer revealed that the Britisher lived next door to the very house from which the local families think their ancestors came 700 years ago.
Mrs. Coker's husband, Charles S., died in 1935. The couple had four children, of which three survive. They are Floyd Coker" of Houston, Cheney Coker of Baytown, and Mrs. R.A. Ramsey of Highlands. Mrs. Vesta Coker, widow of another son, Willie Lee, has lived with Mrs. Coker for the past 12 years. Five grandchildren and three great grandchildren round out the family of this active lady.
Lima, Ohio News - 18 Sep 52
IF THERE BE other worlds than ours
And other men with other powers
Tho vastly different, it could be
They are as curious as we.
'TIS POSSIBLE, if this is so.
They've learned what we as yet don't know
And may be trying year by year
To find a way to visit here.
WE CALL ourselves God's children all,
But this, the world we know, is small,
And it may be God's children are
Inhabitants of realms afar.
FOR YEARS amazing tales have been
Of lights and objects some have seen,
Hinting, perhaps, of greater powers
And wisdom more advanced than ours!
SEPTEMBER 19, 1952:
Billings, Montana Gazette - 19 Sep 52
Speed, Thrills, Exciting Auto Races!
EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT!
On Top Of The Rims
THE FLYING SAUCER
TIME TRIALS 7 P.M. RACES START 8 P.M.
Local and out-of-town DRIVERS cordially invited to enter races!
You'll really enjoy watching the thrilling auto races at the Flying Saucer -- the Northwest's newest and finest track. Spectators can enjoy a splendid view of the track from sturdy elevated seats -- oiled track prevents fans from being covered with dust!
Cold Beer - Pop - Hot Coffee - Sandwiches
BILLINGS' FASTEST STOCK AND MODIFIED CAR RACES!
Washington, D.C. Daily News 19 Sep 52
"You Can't Get One Out At Night By Hisself"
By EVERT CLARK
FLAT WOODS, W. Va., Sept 19 -- It has been seven days since the strange flaming object flashed across the skies and left the monster in its wake.
Days pass quickly. But the nights are long. The woods and hills are black and threatening. A lot of the folks in the farming town of 200 won't go out alone after dark.
The fear -- or the caution -- set in right after the trip up Fisher's Hill -- the same night the green fire ball slashed high across five Eastern states on a path that might have carried it directly over this town.
FEAR ON FISHER'S HILL
Other people, in the other states, thought the fireball could be a meteor. But those who saw the monster -- and the silvery object in which he crashed -- know what they saw, and to them it was no meteorite that fell on Fisher's Hill.
Gene Lemon, a 17-year old farm boy, was one of the first to see it. He was playing football at the schoolhouse. This is the story he tells:
"Well, the little May's boy was standing on the top of an old Dutch oven down there where they throw away things, and he said, 'Look, boys -- there's a flying saucer.'
"It just looked like sheets of flame, like the top of a washtub -- kind of silver like. We all saw it, all but the Martin boy way down in the field, he didn't see it.
"It looked like it landed right thar up on the hill on Bailey Fisher's farm. I said, 'Let's go up.' Some of 'em wasn't going, but the May's boys went in the house and threw down the football and told Mrs. (Kathleen) May, and she said, 'Boys, you're crazy.'
"We said no we wasn't. Finally she went with us. When we got outside the house we could see it lit up the trees a little bit. It was just orange looking -- the light."
Fisher's Hill rises some 400 feet above the surrounding ground. Pastureland, mostly field. An old wagon path runs near a small patch of woods on top.
"By the time we got up there, there wasn't no light at all," Gene said. "We just ran into this here mist. It wasn't like any regular mist, just a funny looking mist. Burnt you up.
"It burnt your nose and eyes and throat. I've smelt a lot of things but I never smelt any thing like that there.
"Then we saw these eyes -- I said it could be a possum. But I never thought you could see possums' eyes at night unless you shined a light at 'em.
"I was the one with the flashlight so I shined it and then we seen this here -- just flared up in front of us, and I fell back.
"It had . . . I can't hardly say what kind of a head it had . . . just red looking, and its arms were just green. It was in the neighborhood from 8 to 10 feet tall.
"It was 5 to 8 feet from us and just seemed to be floating toward us. Nobody said anything. Everybody ran."
Mrs. May is a 32-year old beautician.
This is her story:
She said her boys, Eddie, 13, and Freddie, 12, told her the flying object looked "like a silver mirror about the size of a washtub, with a tail of fire behind it."
"They could hear it fizzing," she said. "It titled up as it started to land. I told them, 'Boys, you're crazy,' but they said, no, it was a flying saucer and they were agoin' to go.
A SKIRT NOW
"You could see the trees just plain as day. We were about half-way when we hit this real warm mist and it smelled. Burned your nostrils.
"Well, on the top we saw these eyes about as big as 50-cent pieces and about a foot apart and orangish-red, like a 'possum in a tree.
"The very minute that flashlight hit it it flared up, 10-feet tall, every bit of it, green with a green skirt four feet across the bottom, a big flared skirt all part of its body, and its face a big red moon, just looked like pure blood to me, that's the only thing I could say.
"It had clay-looking arms and a black object extended out from its shoulders and behind its head like a shield, you know, and the shield was coal black and shaped almost like an ace of spades.
"It wasn't more than 5 feet, bouncing in our direction and making a sizzling noise. It was just beyond my judgment to know what it was.
"I didn't see a nose or eyes or ears or nothing, just the face and the eyes -- orange with greenish pupils. It was like it had a great big light bulb inside. It just lighted up from all inside."
Mrs. May and her two boys and Gene and the three other boys who had come along ran terrified down the hill and went to their separate homes.
Mrs. Kathleen May, 32, beautician of Flat Woods, W. Va., points to the strange grease spot she got on her unifrom the night she climbed Fisher's Hill to hunt the Green Monster. He son, Eddie, 13, is with her.
In no time at all the word had spread to A. Lee (Ace) Stewart Jr., editor of the weekly Braxton Democrat in Sutton, six miles to the south.
Within an hour he had talked Gene into going back up the hill with him to have another look.
"I had to keep my hand on his shoulder," Mr. Stewart said. "He just shook and shook like he was scared to death."
FOUND SKID MARKS
Mr. Stewart found no monster, but he found the evil smell all right. He said he could not recall smelling anything like it before.
"There were two sort of skid marks, about 8 or 10 feet apart and a foot or a little more wide, running 10 yards or so down a steep slope from the wagon path," he said.
"The grass there is about waist high, and in these tracks it was pushed right down to the ground. At the end of them there was an area about 10 feet wide that was trampled down."
State police weren't in, and the sheriff was asked to investigate.
"Well -- the sheriff never did get up there," Mr. Stewart said. "He went up part way and turned around and came back. I wouldn't want to say why.
"The state police went up there Wednesday. They got back from a shooting match or something and went up to see.
"I questioned each one of these people away from the others, and tried to mess up the stories, and checked every angle -- and they all tell the same story."
"All I can say is, they certainly saw something." He has had 70 or 80 out-of-town calls since that night, he said -- all from what he now calls "monster hunters" -- mostly newspapers and radio stations.
Gene was asked if any of the boys who saw the monster are still worried about it.
"Well, sir, you can't get one of 'em out of the house at night by hisself, and I know a lot of others like that," he said. "I won't go myself."
CAME AWAY FAST
Editor Bob Earl and Advertising Manager Creel Cornwell of the weekly Democrat in Weston, 40 miles to the north, did some investigating too.
"Mrs. May told me she jumped a gate coming down that hill," Mr. Cornwell said, "and I estimated it was three feet high. As soon as she cleared it the boy who fainted, or was overcome with the gas, or fell back or whatever, passed her.
"One of the boys practically went into hysterics, and I understand they were all pretty shaken up."
Mr. Cornwell found what is left of the skid marks, and the strange gray grease-like substance which Mrs. May got on her beautician's uniform.
"At this fence were what looked like footprints on one side, and on the other -- two gray areas on otherwise green foliage. Two spots, turned gray, not burned, spots about a foot or foot and a half in diameter and about three feet apart.
"There is a small plant sort of like plantain that is native to West Virginia, and most of the gray seemed to be on these. We found some of this -- chemical, or whatever -- almost like a crankcase grease.
"I got some on my pants. We were just calling them 'interplanetary grease marks,' and I don't know whether to have the plants [sic] cleaned or not now."
He also found a small piece of rusted cast iron which had a smear of the gray substance on it.
"It had discolored the metal -- the rust was gone where the grease was," Mr. Cornwell said. "I understand someone took some of the grease to be analyzed, a Mr. Cutlip, but I don't know where he lives."
Just as Mr. Earl and Mr. Cornwell were leaving Flat Woods a little girl brought them a slip of paper on which a man had sketched four tear-shaped objects, one behind the other.
"She said he said he saw them in the sky about the time the fireball and the 'saucer' went over," Mr. Cornwell said, "but we didn't get to talk to him. We were in a hurry to catch a train."
Gene is a private in National Guard Co. G, 150th Infantry, at nearby Gassaway. His captain, Dale Leavitt, said Gene has "a good record and is thoroly [sic] honest, as far as I know."
"I talked to every one of them, looked over the hill Sunday, checked to see if there had been any horses or cows in the pasture that night, and so on," the captain said. "There weren't. Their stories are all identical."
AFRAID TO GO OUT
"They are scared. That boy hasn't been out of the house by himself at night since then. They are serious about it.
"I saw some of the grass, and I got the odor -- like burning celluloid. The grease is like a graphite grease, and they say there is an oil grass in West Virginia, but I never saw anything like this before."
Fear was not the only thing the monster brought to Flat Woods. Fame came too.
Mrs. May has had "more than a hundred" phone calls from "all over the United Sates." Several radio and television stations have made tape recordings.
But the big night comes tonight -- exactly a week from the evening of the day it happened.
Mrs. May and Gene and Editor Steward have gone to New York to get set to tell the nation the story of the green-bodied monster on the television program, "We, the People." It can be heard here tonight at 8:30 over WNBW.
Yuma, Arizona Daily Sun - 19 Sep 52
The Public Forum
Editor, the Sun:
About two years ago I wrote a letter to the Sun explaining how I thought the "Flying Saucer" could conceivably operate, and what its purpose may be. I realize now that although basically the system I explained would work, that power limitations and material limitations make the utterly fantastic speeds recorded of Saucers sighted impossible in the system I explained. I therefore would like to submit this addendum which some of you may or may not take seriously, but at any rate it is an attempt toward an answer in the absence of known fact.
First of all let us assume the Saucers are real and physical objects, capable of flying at tremendous speeds. Usually little or no sound accompanies them, they have been seen in different colors, and appear to give off colored lights. They do not make vapor trails, and have made high speed turns which no human can withstand due to induced gravitational forces.
Most of the sightings are without doubt illusions of one form or another. There are many more however which cannot be dispelled. The only four reasons I will deal with here are, human limitations, material limitations, power limitations, and a purpose. Since human physical characteristics are not apt to change much, I would like to further assume the Saucers are for the most part pilotless. They could be controlled by combination of Radio-Radar and a form of telemetering could plot their position from a remote base. Operators at the base could observe the craft's instruments and also the surrounding area by a television and radar combination.
Power sources can be improved to a great extent, how much, no one can say for certain, but future engineering of atomic power will be to find out how to best change it into useable forms, and then to find what transitional medium to use to do the work without loss of various types.
In all mechanical energy transfer systems, as you know, we have one Gremlin, Friction, to dissipate power. This is not too important at slow speeds where it is only a few percent, but at supersonic speeds it can amount to more than the work being done.
Here I believe may be the key to the whole puzzle. If we could eliminate friction so that only the energy to move the frontal mass of air was required, the power problem would not be too great even for present day engineering. We used to pull a sled on the ground but it caused friction so we put wheels on the sled and called it a wagon. When we pull an airplane through the air it is just as crude in a molecular sense as it was pulling a sled down a rocky road.
If we could ionize the air around a ship (give it a charge of electricity) momentarily as the ship passed through it, then repel the air away from the ship a few thousandths of an inch with an even stronger charge of electricity of like polarity, we could then go through the air without even touching it. Impossible as this sounds, it would satisfy some of the observations, namely the reduction of noise, lack of vapor trails (caused by disturbing the air, causing the moisture to condense) and the colored lights which would be given off by repelled energy going off into the air. We could then attain tremendous speeds without skin friction causing destructive heat.
We could go a step further since we have the air ionized and repelled we could induce radio frequency current of very high frequency into the entire ship as an antenna and by applying two of these sources 90 degrees out of phase, make each molecule of air close to the ship as a pole of an alternating current motor. The ship would then pull and push on each molecule with each reversal of the cycle and the lagging phase would start to pull just as the first phase was started in reverse to push as it passed a molecule. The speed would be proportionate to the frequency of the R.F. current applied. Direction could be maintained by shifting one of the points where the energy source was applied to the ship surface, this would neutralize the pull and push on one side and apply it to the other causing the ship to turn.
This would simplify the power transmission system, by applying a uniform power to all the air around the ship, it would not be disturbed to a great extent as it is with jet planes. This is very important aerodynamically at high speeds.
I also feel we have come within sight of our best structural metals and future engineering may begin to deal with how to place individual atoms and molecules in exact spots, and with how to fill in all the little niches between them on surfaces that are subject to friction.
This whole idea may sound very confusing to many people but to make it more understandable, take a perfectly machined and ground ball of a bearing, perfect as it is to the eye, under microscope it would contain craters and mountains like the moon. If we had perfect control of this ball while it was in a molten state and could form all of the molecules into patterns like billions of tiny beads on its surface so there were no holes or bumps, we would have perfect ball as far as friction with other objects is concerned. In fact we may not get even any friction at all, because friction is just the power used to dislocate molecules from two surfaces that are being rubbed together. If the molecules were arranged in patterns like paving blocks on both objects where friction was encountered, the outer rings of electrons of each atom would repel the electrons of another object causing the two objects not to even touch at all.
This type of perfection is beyond our engineering certainly and at a time when our synchrocyclotrons are like a shotgun loaded with black powder trying to hunt bear, it does seem a long way off. That is why I am writing this.
We have minimized other great power's ability to build such things because they seemed too far in advance of our theory. So was our atom bomb ahead of theirs. They could have been spending time along this line very easily. We haven't the faintest notion what is going on in parts of Siberia or in some of the back hills of Argentina. We don't know what happened to a lot of secret German scientific data, much of which could have been on the investigation of friction at the molecular level.
Endless commentators have stated that "No foreign power would risk trying out their secrets over the U.S." Why not? We have not at present instruments sensitive enough to tell how the molecular structure of one piece of metal compares with another. And even if we did find a whole ship of this type it would take us several years to even find out what we had.
Its purpose may be more serious than to just cause curiosity as many commentators would have us believe. I will name but a few; there are many more possibilities. It could contain telemetering devices to broadcast to a foreign power all kinds of information. It could scout our mountain ranges to locate and map positions of radioactive ore sources. It could locate and map all of our atomic energy plants and laboratories which give off radioactive energy. It could locate and map every single radar position in the entire U.S., information which any possible belligerent nation would love to have. From high altitude it could receive every V.H.F. radio communication used in our services and rebroadcast them to a remote base staffed with intelligence personnel which would get an almost perfect insight into what was going on in all arms of our services. This would be very important during actual combat. They are not here to "play tag" as one commentator stated they appeared to.
I think it is time we stopped minimizing these" foreign powers. "American know how" is a much overused phrase and is just plain foolhardiness as a laurel upon which to rest. We do have productive power beyond any other nation; our general public does seem to know more about mechanical operating techniques than any other nation. We don't now, or at any time have a corner on intelligence or progress in theory or application.
Ideas of this nature if engineered into reality by a small group could so concentrate power in the hands of a few that any amount of productive capacity and general knowledge would be of very little importance to any country trying to hold out against them.
That is why I am against clothing from the public any ideas "for security reasons". Progress is a slowly awakening process throughout the entire world and because a sporadic idea occurs to one nation or another it does not mean real security to that nation if it hides that idea from itself or from the rest of civilization. In fact it may retard growth in that field so greatly that another nation may surpass it. Nowadays a year of Progress is like a decade passed or like a century before that. I wouldn't like our nation to fall prey to its own folly. We need all of us to think together to make proper progress. If these Saucers are a sign of our progress, and will need it a lot more if it belongs to a foreign power, or on the other hand this village idiot may have been behind the plow too long.
Edwin L. Hansberger, Jr.
24th Aenue, Yuma
1. The story of a creature sighted by Kathleen May, Eugene Lemon and several children told in several articles above would eventually come to be known variously as "the Flatwoods monster" or "the Braxton county monster". Their complete story can be found in the "Past Weeks" portal of this site under the title "Here There Be Monsters".
2. The report of Lt. Cmdr. Schmidt-Jensen of the Danish destroyer Willemoes would be the first of several reports during the naval portion of "Operation Mainbrace", a large-scale NATO military exercise to test NATO's ability to resist Soviet military aggression across Western Europe. More stories will follow in part 42 of this series.
3. The term "Indian file" used in the 17 Sep 52 newswire report from Blida, Italy has the same meaning as "single file".
4. An obituary for Edwin Layton Hansberger, Jr. -- presumably the same Edwin L. Hansberger, Jr., who wrote the letter to the "Public Forum" of the Yuma Sun included above -- may be read here.
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