it seemed impossible
-- but there it is
PART TWO OF EIGHT PARTS
By the end of July 1947 the UFO security lid was down tight. The few members of the press who did inquire about what the Air Force was doing got the same treatment that you would get today if you inquired about the number of thermonuclear weapons stock-piled in the U.S.'s atomic arsenal. No one, outside of a few high-ranking officers in the Pentagon, knew what the people in the barbed wire enclosed Quonset huts that housed the Air Technical Intelligence Center were thinking or doing.
-- Captain Ed Ruppelt
Chief of the Air Force Project Blue Book
The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1956)
ON JUNE 24, 1947 A PILOT named Ken Arnold reports seeing nine aerial objects from his plane -- and the term 'flying saucer' enters history.
Seventeen days later, an official press release announces that 'the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc' -- and a legend is born.
This is the story of those amazing two and a half weeks when it all began... exclusively as told through the daily newspaper reports of the time.
Note: The period of June 24 through June 28 is covered in Part One, arranged solely by date. Beginning here with Part Two the reports are arranged geographically for each day, generally beginning on the east coast of the United States and Canada and moving west, as well as moving north to south within each region, with some exceptions. Separate sections will also be included through this and the next six parts for Nationwide coverage as well as for Commentary and Features, as appropriate.
SUNDAY : 29 JUN 1947
Texas / New Mexico:
Source: Galveston Daily News, Texas - 29 Jun 47
'Flying Discs' Seen By Galveston Woman
"The mystery of the flying saucers," which focused interest toward
the Pacific Northwest last week after an air-traveling salesman reported that he saw silvery discs streaking through the ozone at tremendous speeds took on a Galveston slant Saturday.
Early Saturday, a woman, residing near 81st and [Illegible], called The News office to relate having seen saucer-like objects "flying" in from the gulf and headed northward at 5 p.m. Wednesday. She described them as reddish-looking discs and said they were about 1000 feet in the air.
The "discs," she related, caused excitement among neighborhood children.
"I gave the incident no further thought, assuming that they were targets for the air force," she said.
Source: Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Wash. - 29 Jun 47
EL PASO, Tex. (AP) -- Three El Pasoans Saturday told of seeing flying discs in the skies during the last few days.
Mrs. W.B. Cummings said that while driving from Albuquerque, N.M. to El Paso Friday she saw a falling silver object about five miles southeast of San Antonio, N.M., at 9:45 a.m.
J.E. Shelton Jr., said that as he was driving from Pecos, Tex. to El Paso Friday he saw a flying object "so bright it nearly blinded me." Shelton said he was 12 to 15 miles east of Van Horn, Tex., at the time.
Source: Clovis News-Journal, New Mexico - 29 Jun 47
Flying Discs Believed To Be Meteorites
WHITE SANDS, N.M. -- The trail of New Mexico's flying discs Saturday led to meteorites.
Lt. Col. Harold R. Turner, White Sands commandant, came to that conclusion after investigation of two new reports of objects seen in the sky -- one near Tularosa and another near Engel.
Turner revised a guess that the shining objects might be an illusion created by hot circular exhausts of jet planes upon a check of the two new observations. The officer gave this report:
Captain Dvyan of the Alamogordo Air Base, in a private plane near Engel at about 8,000 feet altitude looked down and saw "a ball of fire with a blue fiery tail" about 2,000 feet below him. It disintegrated as he watched. Dvyan said he was sure it was a meteorite.
W.C. Dodds, track inspector, saw a flame "high in the sky" at [Illegible] about half a mile south of Hope. Capt. E.B. Deichmendy of the Ordnance Department at White Sands saw it too from St. Augustine Pass.
Reflection of the sun's rays, Col. Turner said, could give a meteorite the appearance of a shiny flying disc which might appear to be quite near and traveling slowly whereas it actually is many miles away and traveling at more than the speed of sound.
Another report of the shiny discs came Saturday from El Paso where Dr. G. Oliver Dickson, optometrist, said he saw the object Sunday near the outskirts of El Paso.
Dickson said the object looked like a blimp, was traveling over a mountain top, and although it appeared bright and shiny, it did not reflect the sun's rays.
From his 15 second observance, he estimated its speed at 150 miles and hour and its size as about [Illegible] feet across and five feet thick.
Source: Del Rio News-Herald, Texas - 29 Jun 47
Local. Woman Reports Seeing Flying Disc Over Del Rio In January
One of the famous flying shining discs reported first in the Northwest and later in other sections of the country was seen in Del Rio but several months ago, a local resident said.
The resident, a woman, said "I saw exactly what those pilots have been reporting but it was January 26 or 27 that I saw it. It was the same shape they describe and was shining so brightly I had to close my eyes, then look ahead. It was flying very fast.
"When they find out what those objects are they'll know that they were seen here as early as January. Because I saw them myself and called the attention of a 17-year old boy to them at the time and later reported seeing it in broad daylight to my friends. It makes me mad that the paper said the man who reported seeing them just had an optical illusion, and called his report [Illegible]," she said Saturday.
Source: Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Wash. - 29 Jun 47
VANCOUVER (CP) -- The "flying saucers" which have the experts puzzled and many citizens bewildered in the states of Oregon and Washington have invaded Canada.
Two Vancouver citizens reported Saturday that they had seen the saucer-like objects flying over the city at great speed.
"I saw a silver object without wings or tail," William Crodie reported. He sighted it Friday Night.
"It was sinking slowly, so I couldn't tell whether it was going straight away from me or dropping."
A woman, who did not disclose her name, told a reporter that she had seen some vaporous disc-shaped objects swoop over her house.
She saw them about a month ago, but didn't tell anyone because "people would think I was crazy."
Washington / Oregon / California:
Source: Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Wash. - 29 Jun 47
'Saucers' Still Keep Experts Puzzled Here
SEASIDE (AP) -- The latest report on the "flying saucers" came Saturday from a Seaside woman who said she saw one of them winging soundlessly south at 5:05 p.m.
She was Mrs. Sidney B. Smith, wife of a Seaside policeman, who with her eight-year old daughter Joanne said she watched the "round" object for nearly three minutes.
"It was very fast, and when the sun hit it, it flashed brightly, like polished silver. We could see it dimly when it was not flashing," she said.
Mrs. Smith added that it was flying high east of the city, but she believed it was close enough for her to have heard regular engines. She said she could hear nothing.
Hers was the latest in a series of reports started Wednesday by Kenneth Arnold, Boise, flying businessman, who said he saw nine of the "saucerlike" objects flying at an estimated 1200 miles an hour over Western Washington Tuesday. He also reported them heading south.
Experts have placed little credence in the reports, suggesting that what Arnold saw may have been reflections from the windshield of his own plane.
Meanwhile a forest lookout from Diamond Gap, near Salmon, Wash., said he also saw them last Tuesday and a tulip farm operator near Woodland, Wash., reported he and his foreman saw two groups of them Friday.
A suggestion that the "flying saucers" might be navy planes popped up, while the Northwest residents reported seeing the phenomenon.
The forest lookout, Robert W. Hubach, said that he saw some "shiny, silver objects that didn't look like airplanes" last Tuesday while on lookout at Diamond Gap.
May Be New Plane
A recent issue of Mechanix Illustrated said that the navy has developed a plane designated the XF5U-1, "a queer, saucer-shaped object" capable of well over 500 miles an hour.
Clyde Homan, operator of a tulip farm and writer of special newspaper articles, said he and his farm foreman saw two batches of the flat objects undulating through the sky near Woodland, Wash.
Source: The Oregonian, Oregon - 29 Jun 47
Rankin Report Adds Credence to 'Disks'
The report of a long-time West Coast man was added today to the growing account of "flying saucers" over the west.
Richard Rankin, veteran of more than 7000 hours in the air, said he saw the much-debated mystery disks high over Bakersfield, Cal., and going "maybe 300 or 400 miles an hour."
There were 10 in formation flying north, he told the reporter, but when "they returned on the reverse course, headed south, there were only seven.
"I couldn't make out the number or location of their propellers and couldn't distinguish any wings or tail. They appeared almost round," he said.
Rankin said he saw them June 23, but hesitated to describe what he saw until he noted others were reporting the same thing.
At first, he continued, he assumed he had seen the XF5U-1, the experimental navy "Flying Flapjack." The navy since has announced it has only one XF5U-1, and it has not left Connecticut.
Rankin, ex-Portlander who now lives in Palm Springs, Cal., and is brother of late John G. "Tex" Rankin, pioneer stunt flyer, said he observed the "planes" from the ground.
New reports meanwhile came in from 3 Oregon cities, Astoria, Madras, and Portland.
At least 10 or 12 of the mystery craft tipped noiselessly from side to side as they moved along the course of the Columbia river Tuesday noon to convince two Portland skeptics that Kenneth "Saucer" Arnold of Boise was telling the truth when he first reported the disks a week ago.
"We didn't believe the story when we saw it in the papers but we definitely saw the flying objects at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday," reported Mrs. Herbert Baillet, who with her husband is building a house near NE 74th Ave. and Prescott St.
"I first saw three of them as we sat down to lunch and called my husband's attention to them. Later there were 10 or 12 of them, flying low below the foothills and apparently over the Columbia river or just on the Washington side. There was no noise and they did not appear to be flying fast."
Source: The Miami News, Florida - 29 Jun 47
New Eyewitnesses See 'Flying Saucers'
SEATTLE, Wash., June 30 (AP) -- The "flying saucer" controversy continued today with eyewitness converts almost a numerous as the announced skeptics.
The latest appearance of the mystery objects seen "tumbling" or "undulating" through the skies from Texas to Canada, was reported last night. Frank M. King of San Leandro, Cal., told newsmen he and a group of friends heard a "swishing, whistling sound" and, from his backyard, sighted a "gleaming object" last night.
"The moon was shining brightly and we could see it plainly," he said. "It seemed to be oval in shape and fairly flat."
The controversy began after Kenneth Arnold, Boise, Idaho, flying businessman, reported last Tuesday he saw nine mysterious objects whizzing over western Washington. He estimated their speed at 1,200 miles an hour.
MONDAY : 30 JUN 1947
Source: El Paso Herald-Post, Texas - 30 Jun 47
Couples See 'Flying Top' Flash Across Sky Near E.P.
Mr. and Mrs. R.C. Burgess of 516 North Mesa avenue yesterday joined the rapidly growing ranks of El Pasoans who have seen mysterious bright objects flying overhead.
"We were driving on the Mesa road in front of the Westerner Inn shortly after 4 p.m.," Mrs. Burgess said. "Just as we reached the top of the hill, I was blinded for an instant by a flashing object passing across the sky at high speed.
"It was silver colored and shaped like a boy's top. It looked something like a large toy balloon. There was no sound. The object continued north and disappeared in about 10 minutes. It seemed to melt into the sky."
Grenville Mott of 817 East Kerby street advanced the theory that some of the "flying discs," especially those seen after dark, were fireworks. He reported seeing Roman-candle trails in the sky over Mt. Cristo Rey last night.
"It was several seconds before I realized what was happening," Mr. Mott said. "I think someone is playing a practical joke on the people of El Paso."
Source: El Paso Herald-Post, Texas - 30 Jun 47
Glowing Object Sighted In Sky North Of Gallup
By Associated Press
GALLUP, June 30. -- Miss B.A. Tillery of Newcomb trading post on the Navaho reservation north of here has joined the ranks of those claiming to have seen unexplained glowing objects in the air.
In a letter to Gallup Independent Miss Tillery writes:
"My mother and I feel reasonably sure that is what we saw about 6:30 or 7:00 Wednesday evening, June 25.
"When we first saw the shining disc, I said 'what, a star in broad daylight?' However we soon decided against this because aside from being improbable, it was too large for that. In a short time it had disappeared into the south-eastern sky, leaving us baffled until we began hearing these reports."
Idaho / Utah:
Source: Spokane Daily Chronicle, Wash. - 30 Jun 47
Seven See Disc
MOSCOW, Idaho, June 30. (AP) -- Seven persons here saw a "flat, shining disc" oscillating across a clear, sunny sky yesterday, "and we weren't drunk or crazy," one of them said today.
He was Frank Lark, who said he saw his neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Cook, gazing at the sky shortly before 1:30 p.m. Looking directly overhead, he said a "big, shiny disc" was moving rapidly "above cloud level" in an easterly direction.
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Hellman, also neighbors, joined the gazers and said the object moved in a rapid oscillating motion.
"It wasn't a plane; we know what a plane looks like," said Mrs. Hellman.
The party was joined by two daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Cook, and then the object was gone.
Source: The Deseret News, Utah - 30 Jun 47
Mystery Flying Discs Seen By Six Utahans
The mystery of the "Flying Saucers" with brilliant tails received further substantiation today when nine Utah residents joined the list of people who reportedly have seen the objects flying eastbound at a terrific speed.
Associated Press reports, meanwhile, continued to carry news of people throughout the nation, including eight other Idahoans, who spotted the strange sight.
Utah observers reportedly spotted the objects Wednesday and Thursday about 7:45 p.m., however, the number dwindled from the nine originally spotted by an Idaho pilot-businessman to one seen by a Cache Valley resident and two seen by Salt Lake and southern Utah residents.
In Salt Lake, Homer B. Duncan, 573 Tenth Ave., and Mack McKague, 570 Tenth Ave., reported they saw two of the elusive saucers fly over the Sugar House area and disappear over the mountains to the east. The time was 7:45 p.m. Wednesday.
In Logan, Glen Bunting, school teacher, said he spotted a similar object flying east. The time was 7:43 p.m. Thursday.
Three aeronautical experts at Cedar City airport said they also saw similar objects flying east Thursday night.
Mr. Bunting said his wife wouldn't believe him, but two other observers reported to the local newspaper that they saw the same thing.
Mr. Duncan said the object's color was lighter than silver and that they resembled an exclamation point and may have been tied together.
Reported From Idaho
Eight Moscow, Idaho people yesterday afternoon saw a "flat, round shining disc" oscillating across a clear sunny sky, "and we weren't drunk or crazy," one of them declared this morning.
He was Frank Lark, who said he first saw his neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Cook, gazing at the sky shortly before 1:30 p.m., looking up directly overhead he said a "big, round shiny disc" was moving rapidly across the sky "above cloud level" in an easterly direction.
He and Mrs. Ernest Heilman, neighbors, then joined the gazers and said the object moved forward in a rapid oscillating motion.
"It wasn't a plane, we know what a plane looks like," said Mrs. Heilman.
Picks Up Speed
The party then was joined by two daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Cook, and then the object was gone. "It seemed to pick up speed as it went out of sight east," said Mrs. Heilman.
None could estimate the object's size, speed or height but all agreed this morning that it was "high up" and "as it oscillated, it shone brightly."
Frank M. King of San Leandro told newsmen he and a group of friends heard a "swishing, whistling sound" shortly after 9 o'clock (PST) last night, and from his backyard, sighted a "gleaming object."
"The moon was shining brightly," King said, "and we could see it plainly. It seemed to be oval in shape and fairly flat. It was moving in a northerly direction."
King, who said he formerly was connected with an airline, estimated its altitude at 4000 to 5000 feet and said if his height estimates were correct the "object" could have been "30 to 50 feet across."
Other reports of flying objects were received Saturday from Seaside, Ore.; Vancouver, B.C., and from the grand Canyon in Arizona.
In El Paso, Tex., Lt. Col. Harold R. Turner, commander of the White Sands Proving grounds, today said he believed the "shiny discs" reportedly seen over various parts of the nation were meteorites.
Turner, who is conducting an investigation of "falling bodies" reported near Tularosa and Engle, N.M., said:
"They appear much larger and apparently are coming closer to the earth than usual.
"A meteorite could give the appearance of a shiny flying disc because of the reflection of the sun's rays. It could easily cause the illusion of being quite near and traveling slowly, while actually it was many miles away and traveling at a high rate of speed."
Turner said Army investigators who had checked reports of a "ball of fire with a blue, fiery tail" had found nothing.
Source: Oregon Journal, Oregon - 30 Jun 47
Lads Declare They Saw "Flying Disks"
Two boys Sunday said they saw "flying disks" speeding southeast of the Lambert Gardens, 5120 S.E. 28th Avenue, shortly after 4 pm.
John Waymire, 6210 S.E. 34th Avenue and Freddie Hodge, 3438 S.E. Holman Street, both 13, telephoned the Journal that they observed the "disks" dipping and flashing in the sun.
They were flying very high, according to the boys, and appeared larger than a plane soaring near the earth.
Source: Eugene Register-Guard, Oregon - 30 Jun 47
Oregonians Continue to Report 'Flying Saucers' Over State
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
The "flying saucer" controversy continued to rage thick and fast Monday with eye-witness converts almost as numerous as the announced skeptics.
New reports of the mystery disks' appearances continued over the weekend.
The end of the world is imminent, declared Rev. Lester Carlson, pastor of the Gospel Tabernacle Church in La Grande, after "flying saucers" were reported by several persons here Monday.
The strange zooming objects, first reported zipping across south-western Washington, are the signs of the second coming of Christ, Rev. Carlson insisted.
He said the millennium would come at any minute.
The disks were reported here by Leland Jones, La Grande High School student, who said his attention was called to them by two Catholic nuns. There were nine, Jones said, and they kept weaving in and out of formation. He estimated their speed to be around 300 miles an hour.
Sound Like Tops
Mrs. Morton Elder, Pendleton area farm wife, reported seeing seven "perfectly round, umbrella-like" objects flying in a north-westerly direction about 11 a.m. Sunday.
She said the "planes" made a humming noise that resembled the sound of a musical top.
She said they were flying in a perfect wedge-shaped formation at a "very fast" speed. She described them as "white as snow" and "round like a mushroom or an umbrella."
At the same time, Bill Schuening, foreman of the Lester King rang about 15 miles north of Pendleton, reported he saw similar objects.
Features and Commentary:
Source: El Paso Herald-Post, Texas - 30 Jun 47
FLYING FLAPJACK -- This is the Navy's experimental plane which, with landing gear withdrawn, would look like a saucer or disc in sky.
Are 'Flying Discs' Seen Over E.P., Navy's 'Flapjack' Plane?
The "flying discs" seen over El Paso recently could have been flights by the navy's "flapjack" experimental plane, Hal W. Harman, El Paso inventor, suggested today.
As pictured in a recent issue of Mechanix Illustrated the Navy's mystery plane is a wingless saucer-shaped object which shooting across the sky at high speed might well be taken for a flying disc or flying saucer.
Mr. Harman, who operates the Harman Process Welding Co. at 401 Montana street, has not seen one of the curious flying objects that have kept El Pasoans and people in other parts of the country guessing. He merely suggested that the Navy plane might be the answer to the mystery.
The Navy so far has released little information about the Flapjack.
In 1942 the navy tested its first model, the V-173, a saucer-shaped affair with two propellers and long, stilted landing gear.
Two years later, according to Mechanix Illustrated, the Navy tested a slicked-up model, the XF5U-1.
The newer model is all-metal with retractable landing gear -- which would give it the appearance in the air of a shiny metal disc.
It has 19-foot, four-bladed propellers, and has a reported speed of 425 miles an hour.
The magazine says it is planned to install a single gas turbine which would enable the Flapjack to hover motionless in the air or reach a speed of more than 500 miles an hour.
With a jet or rocket engine and the pilot in a prone position to reduce thickness of the fuselage the Flapjack "offers a sure bet to lead the field in the race to smash the supersonic barrier," the magazine continues.
"So don't be amazed when one of these days you hear a whistling sound from the sky and see a blurred, circular object scaling across the heavens at a speed never before attained by man," the article concludes. "It will be the Navy's Flapjack, the XF5U-1, breaking through another frontier in aviation's history."
In Washington the Navy said it has only one prototype of the XF5U and that the aircraft called a "pancake" plane is at Bridgeport, Conn.
Commander J.B. McLaughlin of the Naval Unit at White Sands Proving Ground said he has heard of a naval aircraft similar to the Flapjack, but declined to say whether that could be the "flying discs and saucers."
Source: Portland Press Herald, Maine - 30 Jun 47
Flying Saucer' Reports Persist As Row Brings Heat But No Light
Portland, Ore., June 29. (AP) -- Westerners were seeing "flying saucers" almost everywhere today -- from Canada to Texas -- and a red-hot controversy raged about it all.
Kenneth Arnold, Boise, Ida. flying businessman, started it by reporting he saw nine mystery objects zipping over western Washington last Tuesday at what he estimated was 1,200-mile-an-hour speed.
Experts dismissed his report with statements that no known aircraft could go that fast and that no guided missile tests were being made in that part of the West.
Hardly were the words out of their mouths when others began reporting "flying saucers" and the controversy was on.
There was a similarity in all reports -- the objects were round like saucers, traveling south at a high rate of speed with little or no noise, and of such brightness that reflections from the sun were "almost blinding."
Three persons in El. Paso. Tex, said they had seen them recently, as did two persons in Vancouver, B.C. The latest of a score of reports in the Pacific Northwest came from a Seaside, Ore., woman, who said she saw one before sunset Saturday night.
There were two popular theories -- that the objects were experimental airplanes or guided missiles to which the armed forces will not admit, or that they were guided missiles from foreign soil.
A spokesman for the army expressed interest in anything that could go 1,200 miles an hour, but no responsible official or air expert came to the defense of the reports or of the theories behind them.
Some suggested that perhaps imagination had become the better part of sight.
Source: Spokane Daily Chronicle, Wash. - 30 Jun 47
Flying Saucer Explanation Produces Denial From Navy
An apparently plausible explanation of the "flying saucers," reported seen in western skies last week, was pointed out here today, but met with a denial from the navy department at Washington, D.C.
Howard Miller, 19, W2415 Boone, who entered the navy six weeks before the end of the war and who is a G.I. student at Eastern Washington College of Education, said a description and pictures of the navy's saucer-like experimental planes, having speeds ranging from a theoretical zero to more than 500 miles an hour, were contained in the May issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine.
When questioned today for the Chronicle by the Associated Press, the navy department replied:
"Only one Flying Flapjack or V-173 has been flown thus far, and it hasn't left Stratford, Conn."
The magazine article said at least two saucer-type planes have been constructed for the navy. The first was the V-173, and a later model is known as XF5U-1, the magazine said. The article was concluded with these words:
"So don't be amazed when one of these days you hear a whistling sound from the sky and see a blurred, circular object scaling across the heavens at a speed never before attained by man. It will be the Navy's Flapjack, the XF5U-1, breaking through another frontier of aviation history."
Charles H. Zimmerman, an aeronautical engineer at the Chance-Vought plane factory, is credited with the being the designer of a saucer-shaped plane completed in 1942 and test-flown for the navy by Boone Guyton.
An advanced model, XF5U-1, was brought out about 1944, but no information about its performance was given out by the navy or the manufacturer, the magazine says.
The first plane, V-173, and the later design did not have conventional wings. Instead, they had a somewhat circular fuselage, serving both as wing and housing for the pilot and two engines. Propellers were installed at the extreme ends of the leading edge.
Source: Las Vegas Daily Optic, New Mexico - 30 Jun 47
Along The Banks Of The Gallinas
Columnist WALTER VIVIAN
Have you seen a sliver disc floating across the skies? If not, it seems, you'll soon be in the minority. (Might try contacting those things with radar -- or maybe with anti-aircraft weapons.)
TUESDAY : 1 JUL 1947
Source: Dunkirk Evening Observer, N.Y. - 1 Jul 47
"Those Things" Are Being Seen Again
Bath, S.C. (UP) -- People in South Carolina are seeing things in the sky, too.
Jack Reams reported today that a flying disc whizzed through the sky in plain view about 10:30 last night.
It was just a just a baby saucer -- only 12 inches in diameter -- compared to the bigger ones reported in the state of Washington by businessman-pilot Kenneth Arnold of Boise, Ida.
"But I saw it, just the same," Reams said. "It was the weirdest thing I ever saw. It traveled at a tremendous rate of speed. It gave off a faint eerie light and it was gone from sight in a few moments."
Reams was waiting for some expert to call it a meteorite, but he had an answer ready.
"I don't think it was," he said. "Not that thing."
Texas / New Mexico:
Source: Brownsville Herald, Texas - 1 Jul 47
Dr. G. Oliver Dickson of El Paso, Texas, says he saw a "flying disc" dipping over the city. He said it was about 30 feet in diameter and five feet thick. Here, he holds two pie pans together to show the shape of the disc he saw. It hurtled over Mt. Franklin and disappeared over Mexico. Lt. Col. Harold Turner, commander of the White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico, said he is convinced, after an investigation, that the "flying discs" are meteorites. (NEA Telephoto).
Source: Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Wash. - 1 Jul 47
EL PASO, Tex., (AP) -- Troy Pendergrass came up Monday with a solution to the flying disc mystery.
He said he found one.
He said he chased a flying disc Sunday afternoon until it landed in Ash canyon, in the southwest corner of Elephant Butte lake in New Mexico.
The disc was a five by eight piece of tinfoil.
Pendergrass said he and friends were watching birds in the sky at 1 p.m. when they first say the flying object.
"It looked bright as a mirror," he said. "It was so bright we couldn't tell how big it was or how far away it was."
He said that the tin foil was slightly heavier than that used for gum wrappers and was very crinkled.
It looked like it had been wrapped around a round object, he related. He said it was partially burned and melted.
A Biggs Field, Tex., officer said he saw a piece of silvery insulation material picked up from the ground and carried 1,000 feet by a gust of wind, and said that was a possible answer to the source of the tinfoil.
The material was being used in large quantities at Biggs field, he said.
The officer said the foil can be separated from the brown paper, which forms a backing for the material.
Source: Paris News, Texas - 1 Jul 47
A disc-shaped object was reported seen by members of a Lamar County family as it flashed over the southwest edge of Paris 6:30 o'clock Monday evening.
According to Mrs. Jerrold Ray of Route 5, she was standing on the rear porch of her home when her attention was attracted by her two young daughters, Bonnie and Patsy, excitedly pointing toward the sky.
Mrs. Ray said she glanced up and saw a "silver looking ball" careening across the sky at terrific speed. "I didn't hear any noise as the thing went over," she declared.
She explained that before an older daughter, Martha, could step from an adjacent room to the porch, the object had passed into the distance.
Source: Lubbock Morning Avalanche, Tex. - 1 Jul 47
'Flying Disc' Seen Near City Sunday
A silver, disc-shaped object flying at a high speed towards the southwest was reported seen Sunday afternoon between Lubbock and Smyer by an unidentified Lubbock couple.
The object was "about the size of the moon," the couple said. It was not apparent to them whether the object was an airplane, missile or meteorite, or whether its flight was controlled.
Clay Thompson, Jr., of 2408 Twenty-third, commercial manager of radio station KFYO and former air force officer who received a report of the disc, pointed out that the description fits the objects seen by persons in various parts of the West and Southwest during the last few days. Thompson, although he emphasized that he was "just guessing," said that a new Navy plane, the Chance Vaught XF5U, is a flying wing and pancake shaped, and might be the object seen. The plane was a highly secret wartime project, but its description and pictures have been in several flying magazines in recent weeks.
Mrs. Cuba Womack of 112 Vernon avenue, also reported sighting one of the objects. She described it as looking like a 'silver plate' flying at a 'fast speed' through the skies toward the southwest over Lubbock between 3 and 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon. The object seemed to zoom down and then speed on toward the southwest, she said.
Source: Harlingen Valley Morning Star, Tex. - 1 Jul 47
More Flying Discs, 'Buck Rogers Stuff'
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A Lubbock couple said they saw a silver disk-shaped object flying through the air near Smyer but in Fort Worth Army officials said all this talk about flying disks was "Buck Rogers stuff."
The Lubbock couple would not give their names for fear of ridicule, but they reported positively they saw the disk "about the size of the moon." They said they saw it Sunday, and it was moving in a southwest direction.
Three El Paso residents Saturday told of seeing flying disks several times in the last few days. They were Mrs. W.B. Cummings, J.E. Shelton, Jr., and Dr. G. Oliver Dickson.
Shelton said it was "so bright it nearly blinded me." Dr. Dickson said the one he saw was traveling south.
Several such reports have been received from widely scattered parts of the west.
In Fort Worth, Col. Alfred F. Kalberer, Intelligence officer of the 8th Air Force, said that "It might be true, but I doubt it."
Brig. Gen. Roger Ramey, commanding general of the 8th, said he thought persons making the reports "have been seeing heat waves."
Source: El Paso Herald-Post, Texas - 1 Jul 47
'Discs' Not Tinfoil, Say Air Experts
Air experts doubted today that a piece of tinfoil is the solution to the flying discs which have been observed in El Paso skies during the last few days.
Pieces of tinfoil were used extensively in Biggs Field radar exercises during the war with no such avalanche of scientific wonder stories as has poured into newspaper offices during the flying disc epidemic.
The phenomena have been described variously as due to meteorites, beer bottle caps and the Navy's "Flying Flapjack" plane by a host of local "observers.
Troy Pendergrass of Hot Springs, N.M., said he chased a flying disc Sunday afternoon until it landed in Ash Canyon, in the southwest corner of Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico.
The disc was a five by eight inch piece of tinfoil.
A Biggs Field officer said he saw a silvery insulation material picked up from the ground and carried 1000 feet by a gust of wind, and said that was a possible answer to the source of the tinfoil.
One guesser said maybe the tinfoil was wrapping from a skyrocket or some other kind of July 4 fireworks.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Penn. - 1 Jul 47
'Flying Saucers' Reported Again
SAN FRANCISCO, June 30 (UP) -- Weird, super-fast "flying saucers" reported flashing through western skies for nearly a week had a new aerial companion Monday night -- a strange "oval-shaped" aircraft.
A former airline purser, Frank M. Kijx, of San Leandro, Cal., said he and a group of friends saw "a strange looking, oval-shaped object that gleamed in the moonlight and went with tremendous speed at about 4,000 feet altitude."
Another version of the martian-like aircraft was given by a Lexington, Ky., physician. Dr. Leon Oetinger said he and three other witnesses saw a falling "silver ball" above the Grand Canyon in Arizona last Thursday, "too swift to be an airplane."
Idaho / Washington / Oregon:
Source: Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Wash. - 1 Jul 47
Walla Walla Man Sees Flying Disks, Finds Them Seagulls
A Walla Walla man threw his explanation of the famous "flying saucers" into the ring Monday after he observed what he believed to be the same thing. Only they were seagulls.
Oliver Hystop, employed at the Bonneville power station west of the city, sighted the 'saucers' Monday morning. He said they were moving at a high speed, at a 45 degree angle and flashed in the sun. But when the objects hit air thermals they moved up or down as the case might be and upon hitting certain types of air whirlpools they were blown up and built up a circular motion.
Soon he was able to get his binoculars trained on the objects and discovered they were seagulls.
Gulls are known to fly inland in search of insects and have been in this area and some inland portions of Western Washington for some weeks because of a grasshopper and cricket invasion.
All details of the birds, Hystop said, flying at great height resemble the "flying saucers."
"Winds aloft" reports from the CAA station in Walla Walla Monday showed the wind velocity or movement of the wind at 10,000 feet at about 19 miles-an-hour over Ellensburg, the closest wind measurement station. Highest in the past six months has been approximately 50 miles. Assuming that the wind speed was the same over Walla Walla Monday, the movement of the wind would not be able to add much to the bird's normal speed.
LA GRANDE (AP) -- A minister listened to more reports of flying saucers Monday and opined that the end of the world is at hand.
The Rev. Lester Carlson, pastor of the Gospel Tabernacle church, declared that the shiny flying discs reported in many western states, were the advance guard of the second coming of Christ.
The millennium, added the reverend, will come at any minute.
Leland Jones, La Grande high school student, said he and two Catholic nuns saw nine of the disks, late last week. They were weaving in and out of formation, Jones said.
"They looked bright and round, and seemed to have fins."
City Patrolman George Webb didn't see any flying saucers, but reported a vapor trail -- unlike any he had ever seen -- high above La Grande last Friday. He said it was visible northwest of the city for almost a half-hour.
Mrs. Morton Elder, a farm wife living south of Pendleton, said she saw seven of the objects flying speedily toward the Northwest at 11 a.m. Sunday. They hummed, she said, like a musical top.
While other "flying saucer" reports came in from other areas, the FBI in Portland maintained silence about the whole thing. "We are not conducting an active investigation," was the only FBI comment.
One theory -- that the disks might be a new navy plane called the "flying flapjack" -- blew up when the navy said it had only one such plane, which has never left Connecticut.
Source: Spokane Daily Chronicle, Wash. - 01 Jul 47
Spokane Observers See Flying Saucers
Add two Spokane men to the list of "flying disc" observers.
John Mourning, night jailer at the Spokane county jail, made a formal report in the sheriff's office about his observations.
He said he was working in his yard at N2519 Belt about 3:45 p.m. yesterday when he saw the saucer-shaped object. He looked up, he said, and saw a "bright, shiny object coming from the west. It was high, much higher than most airplanes fly."
"It did not have any wings, but appeared to be round," he asserted, adding that there was no motor sound, but the speed was "unbelievably fast."
"I have seen jet planes take off and disappear," he said, "but they are very slow in comparison with what I saw."
He said he had no way of knowing its size.
"I watched this object disappear in the east and I know I wasn't seeing things," he asserted.
David Allen, 18, W2611 Courtland, said he was washing windows at Riverside and Washington shortly before noon yesterday when "I saw this flying pan zooming across the sky over the south hill. It looked like a silver dollar and was going very fast.
"Every one I've told about it says I'm crazy, but I saw it."
LEWISTON, Idaho, July 1 (AP) -- Add sky discs:
Observers - Mrs. Bernice Marvel and daughter, Barbara, of Lewiston.
Time - Yesterday, noon till 12:20 p.m.
Description - White, about the size of "stove lids."
Comment - Moving southeast "at a very fast clip."
Source: Twin Falls Times News, Idaho - 1 Jul 47
"Flying Discs" Reported Soaring Over Galena in Wavering "V" Formation
The "flying discs" have invaded Magic Valley!
About 4:30 p.m. Monday, eight to 10 of the much-publicized "flying discs" flew over Galena summit in a "V" formation. There were two eyewitnesses -- Hunter Nelson, forest ranger at the Russian John ranger station, and Walter Nicholson, Twin Falls.
The two men were marking timber on South Cherry creek about three miles south of Galena summit. Nelson mentioned that he heard a buzz, then looked directly overhead and noticed the "flying discs." He called Nicholson's attention to the soaring, shining objects and the two men watched them for about a minute, before they went out of sight. Nicholson said he heard no noise.
Nicholson said there were about eight or 10 of the discs in a "V" formation. The left wing of the formation contained five of the discs in a perfect line, but the right wing of the formation seemed to waver, he reported. He said it was impossible to tell how many discs were in the right wing.
"It wasn't anything like an airplane," he remarked. "At first I thought the reports of the discs were nothing but jet-propelled planes, but it is nothing like that."
Nicholson said the "flying discs" were flying "extremely high" and they moved so fast the two men had to back up the hill to keep seeing them. Nicholson said the discs were flying in a northwest direction when they passed over Galena summit.
The much-publicized "flying discs" were first reported nearly a
week ago by Kenneth Arnold, Boise businessman-flyer, skimming through the air in formation near Mt. Rainier, Wash. They were clocked at 1,200 miles an hour by the stop watch on the plane's instrument panel.
Ever since the first reports of the "flying saucers" Pacific. Northwest residents have seen the objects. Most reports have placed the number at nine, shining "discs."
For as many people as have seen the "discs" there have been as many "logical" explanations -- ranging from meteorites, men from Mars, new Russian bombs, newly-designed navy planes and the end of the world.
1. The original quote by Kenneth Arnold stating "It seemed impossible..." changed in all later news reports to "It seems impossible...".
2. As the purpose of this series is to recreate the experience of reading about the phenomenon as it occurred, inconsistencies and inaccuracies are being left un-noted, but will be revisited in a new multi-part series coming in early 2012.
3. As this series continues, each part becomes progressively longer.
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