The flip side of the flying-saucer coin has always been the possibility that the discs were manmade devices. Though the Air Force -- and indeed, the entire military establishment all the way up to President Harry S. Truman -- publicly and repeatedly denied that the flying discs were either of American or Soviet manufacture, the theory began to emerge in earnest in mid-1949, with the following article by Frederick G. Moorehouse in the July, 1949, issue of Argosy magazine....
Above, top: Opening pages of article. Bottom: Enlargement of headline illustration. The caption below reads: "Author's conception of flying saucer, as the advanced guided missile might perform in action.".
The Case of the FLYING SAUCERS
by Frederick G. Moorehouse
Here an aviation expert starts on the trail of one of flying's biggest mysteries -- and comes up with conclusions which are new and startling.
I AM putting myself way out on a limb. As a writer who spends all his time investigating and reporting modern-day aviation, I say baldly:
1. There are flying saucers.
2. They represent the most advanced form of guided missile yet to appear.
3. They use a new source of propulsion which derives from an incredibly compact "soft fission" atomic power plant that affords amazing performance in terms of range and speed.
4. They use a new scheme for guidance-and control. It's simple, yet it gives a never-before-reached degree of precision.
Now for documentation:
When I started on the Flying Saucer trail, I found myself -- in common with a lot of my colleagues -- at a dead end, as far as the military was concerned. So I started out on a new trail by working backward. I consulted several aero-dynamicists: "Is it aerodynamically possible for a disc-shaped object to fly? If so, how?"
The well-known Chance Vought XF5U-l "Flying Flapjack" has a partly oval-shaped wing; and this was the closest thing in recent years to a circular airfoil. (This was the plane which was called the answer to the saucer riddle, although only two models were built and neither ever left the East Coast.) A circular airfoil would prove highly efficient. But if you didn't have propellers and rudders -- which the Flapjack did and the saucers did not, so far as anyone knew -- where would the power for flight come from, and how could the round flying wing be controlled?
The experts suggested, secondly, that if a circular wing were large and thick enough, a radial engine might be mounted vertically in its center and drive a horizontal propeller, helicopter fashion. But it would be too unwieldy for good performance.
Thirdly, the principle of rotation, or autorotation, was recommended. Give a disc enough spin and it will fly far and fast. This principle makes it possible for Junior to sail pie plates or old Victrola records amazing distances. The spinning disc could be controlled like a helicopter, by "cyclic pitch," or tilting in the direction you wanted to go. The problem of powering a rotating circular airfoil was admitted to be an engineer's nightmare, however. The trail got hot when I dug up some new information from private scientific sources which have proved extremely reliable in the past. This data fits so logically into the saucer jigsaw that I believe that only the U.S.A.F., Army, or Navy could elaborate any further, and that when their official account is revealed it will serve to prove further my Case of the Flying Saucers.
They are discus-shaped, with a sharp edge and the same general cross section as the diamond airfoil used on some high-speed airplanes. This is shown in the diagram on page 23, which is based on one scientist's "reconstruction" of the disc.
SAUCER SAILS, like a pie plate thrown by a child, because of its flat shape and high-speed spinning. At left, above: Some experts say this is what a saucer looks like and how it works -- (1) ramjet fission engine, (2) offset blast nozzles, (3 } gyro-autopilots, (4) timer and throttle motors, (5) beam following radio device, (6} magnetic sensing device, (7) stationary center, (8) rotating rim, (9) main blast nozzles, (10) auxiliary top jet for burst speed, (11) magnetic sensing antenna in fin. Jet stream from atomic engine in disc's center is ducted into offset nozzles in rim, kicking rim around, pinwheel fashion. Auxiliary top jet cuts in automatically for quick bursts of speed needed to escape pursuing planes. Another "defense" is optical proximity fuse to destroy disc when inquiring plane -- or ground -- approaches too closely. Magnetic "sensing" device keeps disc in formation. Automatic gyropilot governs banking and turning in flight.
Photographer says this is actual saucer picture.
One model is nearly thirty-three feet in diameter and about five and one-half feet thick at its center. A smaller disc is approximately twenty-three feet in diameter and correspondingly thinner.
The disc has a cantilever structure, with only four internal bracing members. The rest of its strength is incorporated in the skin, which is of sheet-steel alloy of a new molecular forn1ation. The center section is stationary and contains the fission engine and instruments for guidance and control. The outer two-thirds of the disc's diameter revolve at moderate speed.
The autorotation principle makes flight possible. To obtain the necessary spin, the engine's jet stream is ducted into three tailpipes -- equally spaced around the disc -- and "canted" at angles to the disc's diameter. This is the arrangement which, in an elementary way, makes those pinwheel fireworks spin. There is a larger, straight auxiliary tailpipe which cuts in automatically for burst speed. This explains the undulating motion which many observers first noticed in the saucers' flight -- this resulting from the rotation -- and also accounts for the amazing bursts of speed in which the discs often disappeared.
An extremely clever device, which works on the same general principle as the optical proximity fuse, triggers off the main jet when another object such as an airplane comes within a certain distance of it. My sources believe that these optical fuses are half "blind" in that they respond to all shapes or patterns except circles or ovals. This might explain why a formation of saucers can operate -- they can "tolerate" each other. The only object that might sneak up on one is another disc. It would take a disc to catch a disc, in other words.
Formation flight, the weirdest part of the saucer behavior, is controlled by a device described only as "magnetic regulators." There is a master disc or "commander" that controls the "slave" saucers by locking them together magnetically -- towing them on what is, in effect , an invisible magnetic rope.
This corroborates information from another source that the saucer idea is the brainchild of the German scientist who designed those mysterious "silver balls" used for a while as an antiair [sic] weapon against Ailed bombers. These were aerial mines, said to have been made of gas-filled steel-impregnated glass spheres that were highly magnetic.
The control mechanism is said by my sources to have three principal elements: ( l ) a horizontal gyro to keep the disc's stationary center stabilized in a fore-and-aft line along the direction of flight; (2) a combination vertical gyro and pendulum device to keep the disc level in straight flight or govern banking (turning) when change in direction is desired; (3) an automatic "throttle" that regulates engine fission (and, thereby, the amount of thrust) and works the tailpipe "gates."
The guidance scheme is, of course, hooked up with these controls and consists of three or four elements: (1) A compact apparatus that permits "preset" flight over a definite course for a given interval of time. (This might be of the rather simple type used to guide the V-1 and JB-2 robombs [sic], which are pre-set missiles.) (2) A compact beacon receiver no larger than that used in personal planes: This is for "beam following." This corroborates one of the first peculiarities observed in the discs' behavior -- their tendency to hew close to our airways. (3) A timer device. (4) An independent magnetic regulator, used only when formations are employed. Complete disintegration is caused by a self-destroying detonator which is believed by my sources to be hooked up in some way with the engine. What has not been established, insofar as these informants know, is the exact manner in which the detonator works. This may be accomplished by use of a proximity fuse, adjusted to operate under certain conditions. The few scattered reports, none officially confirmed, of the discovery of small segments of apparently exploded flying saucers, may quite possibly have resulted from a slight malfunction of this detonating device.
Another moot point concerns the methods by which the saucers are launched. One possibility is a catapult which is a larger, glorified version of the gimmick that shoots the trap-shooter's disc-shaped clay pigeons. Another more likely scheme involves the use of JATO rocket bottles to start the disc on its way. Because its engine is essentially a ramjet, considerable speed must be gained before it becomes operative. In any case, some launching device is essential not only to start off the discs but to get them out of the way of the people concerned before the fission engine starts trailing radioactive "ash."
Last, but most important of all, is the soft-fission powerplant which is the only kind of engine that provides intercontinental range today without a prohibitive load of conventional fuel such as gasoline. In fact, the atomic powerplant's range is limited only by the time it takes the plutonium charges to exhaust themselves. Even at the high heat level these charges must operate, their productive time is estimated to exceed twenty hours. At 1200 m.p.h., that is all anyone needs.
My sources reconstruct the fission powerplant as being a compact, cylindrical case of stainless steel lined with beryllium and graphite. Inside this six-and-a-half-foot long cylinder are the "reactor" or miniature pile, a heating element, a beryllium reflector, and two cadmium control rods that serve as throttles.
Fissionable slugs of uranium or plutonium are incorporated in the reactor. When throttle movement withdraws the cadmium rods (which, when inside, "stop the engine" by soaking up all the streaming neutrons), the atoms of these fissionable slugs are released. These are directed against the heating element. This heat expands the compressed air in the same way that burning fuel expands the air in a conventional ramjet. The expanding air rushes out the tailpipe. The recoil action spins the disc or, when the main jet is used, kicks the disc forward. The stream of fast neutrons is regulated by the position of the throttle to govern the speed of the saucer. The design of the engine is the significant item; anyone with scientific training could figure out how it works -- so I am not revealing any dark atomic secrets here.
Two years have passed since the first reports of flying saucers over America. Since that time it is known that the Air Force has conducted extensive research into the matter. Late in April, in the first of its official reports on the subject, the Air Force stated that sixty percent of the reported appearances of flying saucers could be dismissed under the four general explanations of "weather balloons," "planets," "clouds" and "imagination." They added, significantly, that forty percent of the flying saucers could not be explained on any grounds.
The Air Force has stated that the flying saucers are not due to American experimentation in a new type of flying missile. I say that what many people saw was exactly what I have described in such detail. They were actual flying saucers, guided missiles of a new and revolutionary design.
Your guess is as good as mine as to who was flying them, but this I can tell you: Our Armed Services have had -- perhaps miraculously -- two years of grace since the first flying saucer was sighted. You may rest assured that their research has not been confined to tracking down reported observations. If a foreign country has perfected such a fantastically efficient weapon of attack, our own scientific researchers and weapon designers have not been idle. Every weapon produced by man has always developed a counter-weapon capable of checkmating it. In a recent official comment, our Air Force noted, significantly, "Flying saucers are no joke, but they are no cause for public alarm."
The following year -- 1950 -- would produce a floodtide surge of analysis and opinion on the flying saucers both in print and over the broadcast airways (with television in its infancy and radio the dominant player in broadcast news). Kicking off the year was an article by Major Donald Keyhoe in the January, 1950, edition of True magazine, asserting the flying saucers were real, and interplanetary; then in its March, 1950, edition True published an article by U.S. Navy commander Robert McLaughlin documenting sightings during rocket tests at White Sands Proving Grounds (both reprinted in Part Four of this series).
Along with Commander McLaughlin's article, March, 1950, also brought with it a new wave of saucer-sighting reports. And on March 24, 1950, it brought as well a new public assertion of the flying discs being manmade -- in this case, as an Axis-powers' (Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy) innovation from World War II. The first U.S. report on this development was a newswire report, as printed in the March 24, 1950, edition of the Los Angeles, California, Mirror...
Above: Giuseppe Belluzzo's interview in il Giornale d'Italia included a diagram of Germany's 'flying disc'. The interview was the basis for the following Associated Press newswire story...
Flying discs 'Old Story' says Italian
ROME, March 24 (AP) -- An Italian scientist said today that types of flying discs were designed and studied in Germany and Italy as early as 1942.
Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, he added, were interested in the instruments, and the idea was developed concurrently both in Italy and Germany.
Flying discs or saucers have been reported sighted recently in many parts of the world. There has been no scientific confirmation of the existence of such things, nor any universally accepted explanation of what their purpose might be.
The Italian scientist, Giuseppe Belluzzo, noted Italian authority on projectiles and cannons and builder in 1905 of the first steam turbine in Italy, made his declarations in Rome's independent Giornale d'Italia.
"There is nothing supernatural or Martian about flying discs," he said, "but they are simply rational application of recent technique."
Prof. Belluzzo expressed the opinion that some great power is launching discs to study them.
Reports of flying discs in Italian skies have been frequent. The latest report came last night from Northern Turin, where several persons said they saw a saucer speeding across the moon-lit sky leaving a fiery trail.
A more ominous version of Belluzo's interview appeared that same day in the Olean, New York Times-Herald...
Flying Saucer Designs Given To Il Duce And Hitler In 1942
ROME Italy -- Professor Giuseppe Belluzzo, seventy-three year-old Italian turbine engineer, said today that designs for "flying saucers" were prepared for Hitler and Mussolini in 1942.
"According to those designs," he said in an interview, "the discs could carry a cargo of explosives of any kind -- and today an atomic bomb -- to destroy entire cities."
Of the present rash of reports of "flying saucers," which the United States Air Force has declared are without foundation in fact, Belluzzo said:
"It has passed my mind that some great power is experimenting with flying discs -- without explosives or atomic bombs.
"There is nothing supernatural or Martian about flying discs. It's just the most rational use of recently-evolved techniques."
Belluzzo said he personally had drafted plans for a "flying disc" thirty-two feet in diameter, but claimed they disappeared with Benito Mussolini when he fled to Northern Italy in 1943.
"Both Hitler and Mussolini were interested in flying discs," he said. "The idea was born in Italy about the same time it was heard of in Germany.
"The principle of the flying disc is very simple. Its construction is easy and can be done with very light metal."
The missiles could be aimed like the war-time German V-2 rockets, he said, and would descend when the fuel was exhausted, or cut off by an automatic timing device. No human pilot would be required.
Also in late March, 1950, radio programs in the United States began to seriously weigh in on the saucers as well. On March 26, 1950, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt conducted an on-air interview with Captain Jack Adams and First Officer G.W. Anderson -- two airline pilots who had just days before reported encountering a flying saucer -- on her NBC radio program, from which the following transcript is taken....
Above: Mrs. Roosevelt conducts an interview.
MRS. ROOSEVELT: Last Tuesday, when I took up my paper, I saw that we had again sighted in the air strange objects flying very fast, or an object. But this time two people who had sighted it were really qualified people to know what they were looking at. One was Capt. Jack Adams, the other was first officer Anderson. And they were flying their usual route, I imagine, for the Chicago and Southern Airlines, and were over Stuttgart, Arkansas. Now I'm going to ask them, first Capt. Adams, what did you see?
ADAMS: Mrs. Roosevelt, I'm very elated that since the person that you are, that you have an interest in these objects. I'll have to admit that I have been very skeptical up until this point, or I should say until last Monday evening when we saw this. The first thing that attracted our attention with [sic] a bright blinking light that was approaching us from the south traveling north. We were at 2,000 feet flying on a general heading of west. When I saw this very brilliant light, I knew that it was a different kind of light, at least one that I had never seen. So I called Andy's attention to it, and it was in his view as well as mine, and we watched it for a period of approximately 20 or 30 seconds. As it drew nearer to us and crossed our path, I would estimate not over a thousand feet above us or 1500 feet in front of us, making a total of not over a half mile, the underside of the object, in my opinion what was the underside, there was a circular group of lights arranged in a manner that gave it an appearance of a definite circle. Of course, being at night, we could not see the very outline or the rim of the thing. It could be in a little different shape than a circle. I do feel it had body to it due to the fact that as it crossed our path in front of us and above us, the light that was on top was blocked from our view and then came back into view as it flew on past and beyond.
MRS. ROOSEVELT: That's a very good description of what you saw, Capt. Adams. I'd like to ask you, Mr. Anderson, whether you have anything which you could show us that would give an idea of what this was like?
ANDERSON: This displayed here approximates what we did see, with a few exceptions. We of course have to assume that the object was round. However, this light on top was the fast brilliant blinking light that we saw approaching us. And then on the bottom we have circular lights that were sort of bluish or fluorescent in nature. They were in circular pattern and approximately 100 feet in diameter.
MRS ROOSEVELT: You flew overseas and have seen many kinds of airplanes and you have done a great deal of flying, Capt. Adams, so that for two people qualified, as you are, to have seen this, you must be pretty sure now that you have actually seen something quite different and new.
ANDERSON: Neither Jack or I have ever seen anything that approached this. I mean it's nothing like jet or anything like that we've ever hear [sic] or seen other than the flying saucer itself.
MRS. ROOSEVELT: Well that of course is such as we have -- at least never remember hearing before, and I will say I've been a little skeptical before; I thought people were seeing things. But you honestly feel Capt. Adams, that this had body and was something flown. You don't know whether anyone was in it?
ADAMS: Well, of course, about anyone being in it, naturally I don't know that, but the way it was flying, I'm positive that it was a definite controlled flight. It maintained a constant altitude and constant course and traveled at a terrific rate of speed.
MRS. ROOSEVELT: That was certainly very interesting, and I thank you for coming here today. Thank you.
Captain Jack Adams would also express a personal belief that the saucers were manmade, when during an interview for a newsreel he stated, "I'm not inclined to believe that it's anything that's from some far-off place, some planet. I am of the opinion that we will know what this, what this disc or saucer is, in the near future."
The day following Mrs. Roosevelt's broadcast, on March 27, 1950, the assertion that the saucers were manmade emerged once again -- beginning with a broadcast speech by radio commentator Henry J. Taylor speaking from Dallas, Texas on his "Your Land and Mine" program, sponsored by General Motors. From the March 28, 1950, edition of the Abilene, Texas, Reporter...
Above: One of a series of pamphlets for the Henry J. Taylor radio program, which would include transcripts of different broadcasts.
Flying Discs Real, Commentator Says
DALLAS, March 27 (AP) -- Radio commentator Henry J. Taylor said here Monday night that he thinks flying saucers are real and when the U.S. air force confirms the news, it will be wonderful.
Taylor made his regular ABC broadcast from here at a dinner meeting of the Dallas General Motors Club.
"They (the saucers) are not from another planet, not from Russia, but right here from the United States of America," Taylor said.
He said he believed the saucers were "a military secret" and nothing to cause hysteria or to be frightened about.
Taylor told listeners that his investigation of the many reports of flying saucers had convinced him they were some type of guided object which disintegrates after a given period in the air.
The commentator said eight air force pilots filed official written reports of seeing a flying saucer over Columbus, Ohio. He said the reports show the object picked up speed "in a lazy sort of way" when they sought to chase it, and moved out of range "exactly as if it had wished to, or was guided."
"The report is in the pentagon building files Monday night," Taylor added.
He said the pilots described the saucer as about the diameter of a two-story house and made of metal.
The transcript for Taylor's March 27, 1950, broadcast was later reprinted in one of the program's pamphlets...
Pamphlet including transcript of March 27, 1950, Henry J. Taylor speech, which was simultaneously broadcast.
- - - - -
Let me tell you something about tracking down the "flying saucers." They're in the air over America, all right. I've been asking about them, wherever they were reported, all over the country.
It's a fascinating search. But it's led me right back here to Texas -- to the original and only-known place where a saucer was reported found on the ground.
The saucer was described in the Houston Chronicle of July 6, 1947, as floating near the beach at Trinity Bay, Baytown, Texas. It bore a number -- M4339658.
Now I do know the story of that particular instance, including what the saucers are used for. But I assume that it is a military secret -- and, in fact, it is.
However, in answer to the question that folks are asking across the country tonight -- namely, are there really such things as flying saucers -- may I say this: Yes, there are flying saucers, and they are flying in the air over our land.
Hallucinations? Hysteria? You be the judge. But remember, there is nothing to be frightened about at all.
Now, in addition to my investigation among airline pilots who, as you know, are conscientious, trained men, of the highest competence and caliber, let me take you with me to Columbus, Ohio.
An Army Air Force reserve officer pilot -- widely experienced in identifying planes when skillful identification in the wartime air meant life or death -- was flying near the Columbus airport, in a group of four planes. There were eight flyers all together.
Suddenly he looked up and saw, about 1,000 feet above him, a flying saucer. Over his radio he instantly alerted the other three planes, all of whom saw it. He also alerted the control tower at the Columbus field. There were four men in that control tower. They signaled back instantly: "We see it."
The planes climbed to close in on the saucer. It was a whirling object, about the diameter of a two-story house, presumably made of metal.
This is the usual type seen and reported. It is totally different from the cigar-shaped type generally described as flying, with a bright light, at high altitude -- like the one recently reported over Georgia. But like others observed by trained airline pilots, flying at altitudes anywhere from 1,000 to 30,000 feet, the Columbus saucer was apparently regulated as to both speed and altitude.
As in other instances, when the four planes tried to chase the saucer, it picked up speed in a lazy sort of way and moved out of range -- exactly as if it had wished to, or was guided.
On landing, all eight flyers made a written report to their superiors, agreeing to exactly what they had seen and done. All eight signed it.
Every one of these pilots was thoroughly familiar with, and could not be confused by, weather balloons and other devices often given as an explanation.
Although these eight flyers and the four men in the Columbus control tower agreed not to allow their names to be used, these and other occasions I have investigated are hardly hallucinations, hysteria, or pipe dreams.
These saucers are not coming from another planet. They are not coming from Russia. They are coming from right here in the U.S.A.
The answer is a wonderfully encouraging answer. When the U.S. Army Air Force is ready to release the information, it will be a joy to !ell you the whole story. For these objects are very real in the air over Your Land and Mine.
That same day also brought an announcement from the University of Texas at Austin. From the March 28, 1950, edition of the San Mateo, California, Times...
University at Texas Admits Making Saucers 'Target Drones' of Incredible Speed Turned Out by Defense Lab
AUSTIN, Texas, Mar. 28. -- (UP) -- Target drones of apparently fantastic speed are being created by University of Texas scientists for sky scrimmages with new guided missiles, it was revealed today.
The work, a terse, carefully worded university announcement said, is being done at the school's defense research laboratory.
It followed by only a few hours a broadcast by Radio Commentator Henry J. Taylor, who said that "flying saucers" are real, and the answer to the mystery of the saucers "will be very reassuring when the air force is prepared to give it."
No Longer Secret
The university announcement carefully omitted any mention of design of the target drones, and a spokesman said it was released with full knowledge that it probably would give rise to speculation linking drones with recurring stories about "saucers."
The announcement did not make clear whether any drone has been perfected and put into actual use. The air force repeatedly has denied the existence of "flying saucers." The university spokesman said the announcement contained only "declassified" information, no longer regarded as secret.
Cleared for Release
It was cleared for release by military authorities in Washington.
The information was revealed in a terse announcement that Dr. M.J. Thompson, associate director of the defense research laboratory, had been named a member of the research and development board panel on target drones. Thompson was reported to be at San Diego, Calif., for consultations with the Ryan Aeronautical company. Dr. Paul Boner, laboratory director, was at Norman, Okla., for talks with University of Oklahoma officials. From Norman, Boner was to go to Washington.
Thompson was quoted as saying the target drones would have a speed far exceeding that of conventional aircraft.
"Guided missile development is an extremely complex technical problem, and target drones, which are needed to test adequately our missiles' combat performances, are just as complicated," the statement said.
"The name drone doesn't mean that we are working with an inferior device as its identification with the lazy male bee suggests. In fact, our job is to perfect a drone which will out-perform the missile it is to test."
The statement pointed out that radio-controlled airplanes were the first drones, thus indicating the possibility that design of the new target drones were radically different in design from conventional aircraft.
"Scrimmages with the drones running enemy plays," Thompson said, "will help us find and correct flaws in our weapons."
Thompson had been engaged in aerodynamic research on guided missiles since 1945. He is technical supervisor of all university programs in that field for the navy bureau of ordinance and the air force.
The university spokesman said neither Thompson nor Boner would elaborate on today's statement. "And if you asked them about flying saucers," he said, "they'd tell you all they know is what they've read in the papers."
The claims of the saucers being manmade would continue into April, starting off with another assertion that the saucers were Nazi war devices, as reported in the April 2, 1950, edition of the Lima, Ohio, News...
Above: International News Service (INS) national newswire graphic on the claims of Rudolph Schriever.
Ex-Luftwaffe Flier Offers To Build 'Saucer'
FRANKFURT. Apr. 1 (INS) -- A German aircraft designer who says that engineers thruout the world in the early '40s experimented with "flying saucers" offered today to build a "workable prototype" for the United States.
Former Luftwaffe Capt. Rudolph Schriever made the offer in a telephone interview with International News Service.
He called his version of the "flying saucer" a "flying top" and predicted it would be capable of a maximum speed of 2,600 miles an hour with a radius of 4,000 miles.
THE 40-YEAR-OLD graduate of the University of Prague said that he made blueprints for such a machine before the collapse of Germany in World War II, but that they were stolen from his laboratory by persons unknown.
He said that duplicates of his blueprints were given to colleagues in Prague for safe-keeping and he presumed that they are now in the hands of the Soviets, enabling them or another nation to make a "saucer."
Schriever, who is now a driver for the United States Army in Bremerhaven, said that he could build a workable model "within six or nine months providing the military security board authorizes facilities."
THE EX-OFFICER expressed surprise over world speculation on the nature of the oft-reported -- tho never proved -- "saucers."
"The publicized craft are assuredly United States experimental craft and perhaps of other nations as well, but certainly are not pipe dreams or visitors from Mars."
Schriever said that his "flying top" version would consist of three co-axially mounted sections able to rotate independently.
THE CONTROL cabin, he said, would be in the upper section of the main gondola section. Beneath the lower gondola would be a rotating cartwheel-like affair forming a hub 14 yards in diameter with three-yard-long paddles in place of spokes.
Three starting jets would be slung beneath this "cartwheel" to set off the rotation. The hot gasses given off by the jets, Schriever added, would give the impression of "balls of fire" in flight.
He estimated that each gondola of his "flying top" would weigh about three tons and would be nearly 12 feet wide and just under 11 feet in height.
Schriever said that the ship would be able to ascend at a little better than 300 feet per second and that the "paddles" would revolve at a rate of 1,650 revolutions per minute giving the ship a top speed of 2,600 miles an hour and a radius of 4,000 miles.
Then, on Monday, April 3, 1950, Henry J. Taylor again went into the subject of saucers being manmade as part of his nationwide radio program for the second time in less than a week -- as repeated in a transcript of the broadcast printed in the April 4, 1950, edition of the Miami, Florida, Daily News...
Above: Front page of newspaper. The caption underneath the illustration read: "MODEL DRAWN FROM DESCRIPTIONS OF A SAUCER REPORTED BY TWO AIRLINE PILOTS In Recent NBC Telecast And Interview With Mrs. Roosevelt, Fliers Were Certain Object Was Not A Plane"...
News' Flying Saucer Photo Real, Taylor Says
A photograph which appeared exclusively in last Wednesday's Miami Daily News is that of a real flying saucer, Henry J. Taylor, the General Motors reporter said last night, on a nationwide broadcast.
Over the American Broadcasting co. network Taylor, who maintained all along that there is "nothing for us to fear" in the flying saucers and that they will make "wonderful news" when the story is told, said of photo which appeared in The Miami Daily News:
"That saucer was real all right so was the photograph."
Taylor referred several times in his broadcast to The Miami Daily News stories by Columnist Bill Baggs and the copyrighted pictures which accompanied Baggs' stories last Wednesday and Thursday.
The text of the broadcast follows:
Mr. Taylor: I spoke from Dallas about a "saucer" found on the ground In Texas.
It was real all right and nobody was in it. And it did not come from Russia. It came from right here in your land and mine, I'm glad to say.
Actually, I found that the key to this nationwide mystery is two mysteries -- both fascinating -- but more about the answer to the second one later.
Now, when I reached San Antonio, after my Dallas broadcast, the editor of The Miami Dally News telephoned me asking me to identify a photograph he had which he thought was a "flying saucer." In fact, he offered to fly an airplane from Miami to San Antonio for this purpose of identification, which was not necessary.
That "saucer" too was real all right -- very real -- and so was the photograph. It was taken off Wildwood. N.J. at the edge of the sea. So there is the photograph, on the front page of The Miami Daily News, dated March 29, and it will be widely reproduced.
Now, as I said from Dallas, I have been tracking these things down all over the place, and believe me, there is no cause for alarm, nothing to be frightened about, in peace or in the event of war.
As you may know, I move around our country a great deal. Our economic welfare, which I usually investigate, and our military welfare, are tied together. And I've travelled to many parts of the world, and hundreds of thousands of miles on every continent to get the truth about many stories less important than this.
So it occurred to me that one thing was sure about these flying discs in terms of our country's welfare.
Either the "flying saucers" exist, or they don't. No one can quarrel with that as a starter. So I set out to find out just one thing. Do "flying saucers" exist, or don't they exist? That's one question the minds of tens of millions of us are fixed upon, especially in event of war.
If I had found they didn't exist, I then knew something to tell you as soon as I could be absolutely sure.
We have enough to worry about without "flying saucers," if they don't exist, in our air. If I found out they do exist. I knew something more. Further, if they do exist, do they come from Russia? That's on our minds, important to every home in our land and in any threat to us here. For there has been a very old report many times repeated that these saucers or missiles come from Russia, and still being repeated.
At the end of the trail, as I said from Dallas, it's better news than that. They are no joke, I found. And, equally important, they do not come from Russia. We have them, they do exist, they're ours; and they're wonderful news -- and they come from right here in the U.S.A.
Further, if they succeed in doing what they're designed to do -- and I know what they're designed for -- they are of utmost importance to your land and mine.
Let me cover the whole range, incredible as they may seem:
There are several types; but nobody is inside any of them. They vary in authentically reported size from small white discs 20 inches in diameter and six inches thick, such as was found and then hushed up in Galveston Bay, Texas, to sizes actually 250 feet in diameter -- and that's very big.
There are several shapes; some flat and edged upward like a saucer, others raised in the center more like a pie, which is the type in the photograph in The Miami News, but nearly all of them are round.
Henry J. Taylor says this is a flying saucer.
Some are guided; others are not. They have no stream of light or smoke, or indication of a propelling mechanism, and no sound. But they are very real in our skies.
Momentarily they can stand stationary in the air -- so you can see them, as I am about to show in a moment --and they're far from obsolete when you see one like this. Then they dash off to left or right, wobbling and picking up speed in a lazy sort of way until they move like lightning. But they are utterly harmless.
Are they hallucinations? Pipe dreams? There ls the usual froth of wild and crack-pot reports, numbering over 300 which are a nuisance to any investigation, like the man in Massachusetts who told me he saw a "flying saucer" come down a chimney and disappear, and the lady in New Orleans who told me she saw one in a dream launched out of a submarine, or the report published from Mexico about a little man from Mars 28 inches tall being in one. But all the many reports are not hallucinations or confusions or trumped-up tales by publicity seekers. Let me be exact about this.
Nine flying discs sighted on the west coast by United Airlines Captain E.J. Smith, his co-pilot and stewardess, were real. They were real, Captain Smith. And they were made in the U.S.A.
Five flying discs sighted by Fred M. Johnson banking overhead and zooming the Cascade Mountains of Oregon were real. Those, Mr. Johnson, were genuine.
The 100 foot disc flying high on a bright, clear Sunday morning in April 1949 over New Mexico was real.
The disc spotted by eight fliers in four planes and four men in the control towel, over Columbus, Ohio -- which I described last week, was real.
The disc -- at least 250 feet in diameter -- sighted Jan. 7, 1948 over Madisonville, Ky. by the state police, and by Thomas F. Mantell, jr., who died while chasing it in an F-51, was real.
The great discs sighted in about 30 out of over 300 reports -- about one out of ten reports -- were real. They were genuine.
And now as for their coming from Russia. No, they're not coming from Russia so far as these in America are concerned. I can't vouch for foreign rumors involving saucer sightings in Norway, Copenhagen, Turkey, Romania or other places. I've never got any place trying to verify those reports when I have been in Europe.
But the true "flying saucers" seen here are part of a big and expanding experimental project which has been progressing here ever since June 25, 1947 -- nearly three years.
Like all large and vastly complicated experimental projects it has gone, and is still going, through several phases of development, reaching a peak in public observation in July 1947, and again in January 1948, and at the present time. And the saucers have grown bigger and better with each phase.
There is no cause for alarm or hysteria even if you see one flying right over your head, as well you may.
They fly at altitudes all the way from 1,000 to 30,000 feet, and even higher. And again, they are coming from right here in the United States of America.
I know what these so-called "flying saucers" are used for -- very important and wonderful.
But they are a U.S. military secret. And, meanwhile, until the United States air force sees fit to release the information, I do not believe it is the proper business of anyone to say how they are flown or what they are used for. But when the proper military authorities are ready to release the information it will be a joy to tell you the whole story -- for it is good news -- wonderful -- for our country.
But here is something to remember -- for it is news -- and it caused me great difficulty in trying to get to the bottom of this matter -- so conflicting were many authentic descriptions of the "flying saucers."
Time and again serious and honest descriptions just didn't match up; as if one reliable man should describe to you a weird yellow animal 18 feet tall with a thin long neck and long legs. You would call it a giraffe. But another equally reliable man would describe a fat animal with short legs that swam under water. That was no giraffe. Until you found out for yourself that there were two strange animals in existence, one a giraffe and the other a hippopotamus, you would have to doubt both men, the authentic descriptions were so different.
So, in my search for the facts I was stumped in the same way until I finally found that there are two great mysteries in our skies instead of one.
The answer to much of the public confusion is that some reliable people are seeing the first mystery -- namely genuine "flying saucers" -- and others are seeing the second. Accordingly, here are the facts about that. For the second mystery in our skies has not only been seen but felt high in the air. And the facts behind it are also good news.
Announcer: Mr. Taylor, from Dallas a week ago tonight you differentiated between the true "flying saucer" you spoke about and reports by conscientious airline pilots of a great flaming, cigar-shaped object, about a hundred feet long. It is reliably described generally with a brilliant light at high altitude -- a terrifying thing to read about, if it exists.
Mr. Taylor: The fact is that it does exist. This object roars through the night with flames pouring from squares on the edge of the body-fuselage that look like windows. And it is wingless -- a wingless phantom you might say -- no wings at all.
Now, such appearance and performance is nothing like a "flying saucer," any more than a weather test balloon is like a "flying saucer" or a giraffe is like a hippopotamus. That's the thing that causes public confusion and much confusion in the newspapers in spite of the best possible reporting.
Perhaps you recall the Eastern Airlines episode? It happened over Montgomery, Ala. July 24, 1948. The airliner's pilots were Captain Clarence S. Chiles and Pilot John B. Whitted, both wartime pilots of long experience. "They are both fine fliers," Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, Eastern's president, told me when I checked with him on this, "utterly reliable." And so they are.
They were flying their Eastern Airline passengers from Washington to Atlanta. It was 1:45 in the morning; a bright, moonlit night with scattered clouds above.
Here is pilot Captain Chiles' report, word for word, of what happened -- and officially given:
It coincides with earlier sightings over Jackson, Miss. by two Chicago & Southern airline pilots near Memphis last week, and others near the nation's capital, which I ran onto again and again in this search. I found that all these were genuine.
"Suddenly," reports Captain Chiles, "a brilliant fast-moving object appeared overhead. It flashed down toward us. We veered to the left. It veered sharply too. It passed about 700 feet above us. The thing was about a hundred feet long," continued Captain Chiles, "cigar-shaped and wingless. It was bright as a magnesium flare. Its exhaust was a red-orange flame. An intense glow came from the side edge and ran the entire length of the fuselage like a fluorescent factory light. The thing zoomed into the clouds at incredible speed, its jet or prop wash (from its rear flames) rocking our Douglas DC3 airliner."
That, which I have read, is Eastern airlines Captain Chiles and Pilot Whitted's signed statement. Hallucinations? Pipe dreams? St. Elmo's fire? Men from Mars? Space ships from some other planet, including the serious studies on this angle? Oh, no. It exists.
But, my friends, this terrifying looking thing was not a "flying saucer." Nor was it really the shape of a cigar. It was nearly round, and men were in it. But anything round, moving at such speed, looks elongated, cigar-shaped to the human eye -- even a cannon ball if you could see it.
So here are the facts about the thing seen repeatedly that is not a "flying saucer":
In addition to other models which I cannot mention, it is a United States navy experimental fighter called the XF5U. It is a great jet airplane of incredible speed. It really looks like and is shaped like a pancake. It has roughly circular outline. Around the edge of its disc-like body is a series of jet-engine louvres. These are squares framing the blazing light of the exhausts. They are not windows. Its jet motors are inside the pancake shape and flying at night it looks for all the world like a flat flaming disc in the air, and flies faster than I am permitted to say.
No. This didn't come from Russia. It did not come from Mars either. It came from Maryland. And I'm glad to report the men who are in it are Americans -- like you or me. This our own navy out of Patuxent, Md., has confirmed I am free to tell you, but anything more must come from the military authorities.
So one more word before I close on this saucer subject which has long puzzled -- and perhaps frightened -- tens of millions of folks across your land and mine. For the truth has been a fascinating search for me. It has been an old-fashioned reporter's job in the tradition of leg-work, and I hope you feel this report of the actual facts is as interesting, too.
If you found an original and genuine "flying saucer" -- and the chances are slight because most are made of material which disintegrates in the air and disappears after a given time -- you will be visited at once by the proper military authorities. So any fake reports are merely a bother to busy authorities and to your neighbors. and an embarrassment to you, for the military authorities will know if you are telling the truth.
And in closing, let me tell you that something is printed on the saucers. Let me tell you as a final and reassuring proof what was printed in stencil on the original saucer found in Texas, for there simply wasn't time to include this in my broadcast last week from Dallas:
An hallucination? A pipe dream! Coming from Russia? Well, hardly. Listen to these words stenciled in black letters on the "flying saucer."
Military secret of the United States army air forces -- and a number.
And then this:
Anyone damaging or revealing description or whereabouts of this missile is subject to prosecution by the United States government. Call collect at once. Then a long distance telephone number, and the address of a U.S. air base and finally the words on the "Saucer" in big, black letters: Non-Explosive.
So, my friends, at the end of the trail, there you have it. They do exist, and they are ours. Good news for all of us in your land and mine.
That same week the weekly news magazine U.S. News & World Report published its own announcement that the saucers were in fact secret U.S. devices...
Above, top: Cover for the April 7, 1950 issue of U.S. News & World Report in which the following appeared. Bottom: Opening pages for article.
FLYING SAUCERS -- THE REAL STORY:
U.S. BUILT FIRST ONE IN 1942
Jet-Propelled Disks Can Outfly Other Planes
Observers of "flying saucers" aren't just seeing things. They're real -- aircraft that conform to accepted laws.
Sky disks, manned by regular pilots, can hover aloft, spurt ahead at tremendous speed, outmaneuver conventional craft.
No official announcements are being made yet. But about the only big secret left is who makes them. Evidence points to Navy experiments.
The real story on "flying saucers" is finally coming to light. What the saucers are, how they operate, and how they have been tested in U.S., all can be told in detail at this time.
That story, without violating present security regulations, points to these basic conclusions by engineers competent to appraise reports of reliable observers:
Flying saucers, seen by hundreds of competent observers over most parts of U.S., are accepted as real. Evidence is that they are aircraft of a revolutionary type, a combination of helicopter and fast jet plane. They conform to well-known principles of aerodynamics. An early model of these saucers was built by U.S. engineers in 1942, achieved more than 100 successful test flights. That project then was taken over by the Navy in wartime. Much more advanced models now are being built. Just where present saucers are being built also is indicated by evidence now available.
In more detail, the story pieced together from nonsecret testimony of responsible U.S. scientists, private observers and military officials, is this:
Early models of the flying saucer, pictured on this page and the next, were built by U.S. Government engineers of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Similar flying-saucer projects were begun in Germany and Italy at the same time, in 1942.
The first U.S. model, designed by Charles H. Zimmerman, of NACA, was elliptical in shape, powered by two piston engines and driven by twin propellers. It had a maximum speed between 400 and 500 miles an hour. More important, it could rise almost vertically and its minimum speed for landing was only about 35 miles an hour, a great advantage in military and naval aircraft. And it was far more maneuverable than conventional military planes.
Idea behind those original flying-saucer projects, both in U.S. and abroad in Germany and Italy, was to overcome basic drawbacks of conventional aircraft by new techniques. A plane that could rise almost straight would not need long airfields, could be used from any cleared area just behind front-line troops or from the deck of any Navy combat ship. If that plane, in addition, had great speed and more maneuverability, it could probably outfly any conventional aircraft. In United States, the first model seemed to fulfill these requirements, but the lessened stability of the wingless craft required more research.
U.S. 'SAUCER' 1942 MODEL
...a combination of saucer and fast jet plane.
Present flying saucers apparently have overcome this problem of stability by use of very advanced design. An analysis of reports submitted by competent observers show this:
What they look like, first, is described in well-documented accounts. Those accounts show saucers to be exactly 105 feet in diameter, circular in shape. They have what appear to be jet nozzles arranged all around the outer rim, just below the center of gravity. They are made of a metal alloy, with a dull whitish color. There are no rudders, ailerons, or other protruding surfaces. From the side, the saucers appear about 10 feet thick -- there are no exact measurements from this angle in publicly available accounts. They are built in three layers, with the center layer slightly larger in diameter than the other two.
That is the picture agreed on by qualified observers of saucers in flight -- commercial aircraft pilots, fighter pilots who have chased these aircraft, trained airplane spotters, high-ranking Army and Air Force officers. It is backed by exact measurement made by a group of scientists last April near White Sands Proving Ground base, with instruments set up to observe high-altitude balloons, who suddenly observed a saucer and tracked it for several minutes, thereby getting reliable data on its size, speed, altitude and maneuverability.
How they operate now can be told in some detail, too. Based on this description, the probable technique used by current saucers is explained by a top-level Government aeronautical engineer in this manner:
Power for these aircraft, at their present stage of development, obviously is supplied by jet engines. Each saucer appears to have a series of variable-direction jet nozzles around its rim, with a complicated central control system. Fuel used is unknown -- the exhaust flame has been observed to be red-orange in some cases, blue in others, missing in still others. The saucers appear to have the power to "coast" long distances, thus saving on fuel consumption.
Direction of the aircraft and its velocity, in turn, evidently are controlled by the angle at which the jet nozzles are tilted, the number operating, the power applied. By choosing which nozzles to turn on or off and the angle of tilt, the pilot could make the saucer rise or descend vertically, hover, fly straight ahead. or make sharp turns. A right-angle turn, for example, could be made by turning off the rear jets, turning on the side and front nozzles. Great speed can be obtained by focusing to the rear all nozzles in the after half of the aircraft. With all nozzles pointed downward. the saucer could rise straight off the ground, and, with less power, could descend the same way.
That is the explanation, based on accepted principles of aerodynamics, given by an authoritative engineer as the likely answer to how these saucer aircraft operate. As evidence that this explanation is correct, there are these actual cases of publicly observed saucer behavior:
Rows of window-like openings around the rims of saucers traveling at more than 500 miles an hour are mentioned in several documented reports. In all cases, these "windows" glowed as if they were jet-nozzle openings. The most recent of these reports was made last month by two experienced pilots of the Chicago and Southern Air Lines, who passed within 1,000 feet of a saucer traveling over Arkansas. Another similar report was made by two Eastern Air Lines pilots who narrowly missed colliding with a saucer in July, 1948, while flying a DC-3 over Georgia.
Saucers' ability to hover in mid-air, accelerate at tremendous speed, and then rise almost vertically is described in several reports, one documented by Air Force officers at Fort Knox, Ky. That saucer, seen by dozens of officers at the post, was chased by three military pilots flying fast F-51s. The saucer quickly outmaneuvered the planes.
Speed of one saucer was measured by ground instruments in the White Sands case at well over the speed of sound, indicating the use of a number of jet engines. Cruising speed has been estimated in other cases at 200 to 600 miles an hour.
What it all adds up to is this: Flying saucers being observed in many parts of the U.S. are not mysterious visitors from Mars. They are actual planes, soundly engineered on principles developed by U.S. in wartime. By using this new design, they can do things that no conventional aircraft can be expected to approach.
DISK-LIKE NAVY FLOUNDER PROJECT WAS DROPPED
MOCK-UP OF EARLY MODEL IS TESTED IN WIND TUNNEL
...latest models are circular, faster, more maneuverable
Who's building the saucers now being observed in test flights over U.S. is not yet publicly disclosed. It cannot be proved until a public announcement is made or until a saucer crashes away from its home base -- which is highly unlikely because of its jet helicopter action that makes take-offs and landings almost completely safe. But there are these factors that point to an answer:
Official inquiry by the Air Force, in the face of overwhelming evidence that the saucers are real, was called off last December. This indicates clearly that top Air Force officials know where the saucers originate and are not concerned about them, as they would be if these aircraft were from Russia or Mars. These officials, at the same time, denied emphatically that a secret Air Force project is responsible.
Best use of fully developed saucer aircraft, however, could be made in wartime not by the Air Force, but by the Navy. All fleet operations now require an air cover, even in antisubmarine warfare, and a plane that can rise like a helicopter could be used from any Navy combat ship, not only from big, expensive aircraft carriers. It was for that reason that the first U.S. flying saucer was purchased by the Navy after the original model was tested in 1942. That first full-size aircraft, built by Chance-Vought, was thoroughly tested by Navy engineers. Then a statement was released that this project had been dropped. Early experimenting with saucers, thus, centered in the Navy.
Big spending on missile aircraft centers in the Navy now, too. More than twice as many dollars were spent by the Navy last year as by the Air Force on secret guided-missile research. There is no public accounting for these millions, the only Government funds aside from atomic-energy dollars that still are being spent with great secrecy.
Surface indications, then, point to research centers of the U.S. Navy's vast guided-missile project as the scene of present flying-saucer development. That project has the scientists, the engineers, the dollars, the motive, and the background of early Navy development of saucer-type aircraft. This likelihood will remain, despite any future denials by the Navy front office, until secrecy is lifted on the big missile program.
But, regardless of just where these saucers are being built now, the evidence points to a U.S. development that will mean a radical change in aircraft design in coming decades. In war, this combination of helicopter and fast jet plane will easily outfly any present types of military aircraft. In peacetime, the safety of a nearly crash-proof aircraft may be expected to revolutionize civil air transport. It all points to a big advance in the science of flying.
And as if to tidy it all up, April 9, 1950, brought a news report that a manmade saucer was already flying -- if only as a model prototype. From Parade magazine, a Sunday supplement syndicated to newspapers nationwide...
Above: April 9, 1950, pictorial feature in Parade magazine. The caption below the main picture reads: "No visitor from another planet, model 'flying saucer' spins away from hands of its inventor, aeronautical engineer E.W. Kay. Model reaches 70 m.p.h.".
Saucers Can Fly!
E.W. Kay's aircraft looks like a phonograph record, but takes off straight up, flies 70 m.p.h.
ALL MOST PEOPLE do about flying saucers is talk about them.
Not so Dr. Eugene W. Kay, Glendale, Cal. aeronautical engineer. He makes them.
The Kay "saucer" is actually a 41-inch circular aluminum disk with eight slotted vanes like fan blades. A midget motor spins the vanes and also powers a propeller for forward motion. The result: when Dr. Kay and helper John Boyle start the engine, the saucer rises like a helicopter. It's steered by a rudder.
BEFORE flight, Dr. Kay and Boyle carefully note all adjustments.
SPINNING like giant phonograph record, new type aircraft rises almost vertically, then swings in 36-foot circle. Its main feature may be high maneuverability.
DRAWING of ultimate craft hangs over Dr. Kay's design board.
The small model, already demonstrated before Air Force authorities, is only Kay's first. He's already at work on an 18-foot model which will carry a pilot.
Kept Under Control
Fully a dozen other disk craft have been proposed by aviation designers during the past 25 years. But only one, a pancake type designed by Charles Zimmerman for Chance Vought and the U.S. Navy during the war, ever showed promise. The Zimmerman project was finally abandoned, but not before a flying model had actually been built and tested.
Have test flights of Dr. Kay's disk inspired reports of flying saucers? Not at all. To keep it from getting away, its inventor flies it from the end of a wire.
And then -- in the final entry for this post -- the May, 1950, issue of Popular Science ran a double-page spread on Kay's saucer...
Above: Opening pages of article.
Flying Disk Aircraft
WHETHER or not there actually are flying saucers, as observers have reported, there is nothing wrong with the principle of a rotating-disk aircraft. That's the conclusion of Dr. E.W. Kay of Glendale, Calif., who is testing a flying disk of his own design.
Doctor Kay estimates that a jet-powered flying disk 18 feet in diameter could rise like a helicopter and fly forward at about 400 miles per hour. The wide rim would rotate at 500 revolutions per minute but the cabin or fuselage would not spin. His present model is 41 inches in diameter and consists of an aluminum-and-magnesium rim that is built around a central cabin, inside of which is an electric motor. The rim is spun at 400 revolutions per minute by means of a ring gear and the motor also powers a small conventional propeller for achieving forward motion. The model has a large stabilizer rudder, a feature that would be eliminated in the proposed jet-powered flying disk.
Dr. E.W. Kay and 41-inch flying-disk model he designed. Its main operating features are labeled. The inventor has completed drawings for an 18 foot, one-man disk that he hopes to build.
Lift comes from eight vanes or airfoils that fit into slots in the disk and that are arranged like the blades of a fan. The vanes are hinged at each end and their angle of attack varies with the speed at which the disk rotates. When a pair of governor weights on the whirling rim is moved outward by ·centrifugal force, a collector ring to which they are attached increases the angle of attack of the vanes. The vanes are secured in an open position in the test model.
With the present vane setting, the model takes off like an airplane after a short run and flies around a post, at the end of an 18-foot arm, at speeds up to 72 miles per hour. A higher vane setting would reduce or make unnecessary the take-off run.
Kay believes that a jet-powered disk 18 feet in diameter would have a forward speed of about 400 miles per hour, after taking off vertically like a helicopter.
Whirling around test stand at the end of an 18-foot arm, the flying disk has a speed of 72 m.p.h.
Underside of model shows test landing gear, vanes in their slots and the gear that turns the rim.
Doctor Kay has designed several experimental aircraft. His interest in flying disks was aroused by reports of the so-called flying saucers and he decided to experiment to determine whether the design had merit. Several models proved to be unstable before he arrived at the present design.
Structural difficulties would limit the disks to a maximum diameter of 50 feet, he believes, but these would have enormous weight-carrying possibilities.. Their principal value, in his opinion, would be their high top speed in relation to slow landing speed, a combination that not even the helicopter achieves. Doctor Kay hopes to begin construction of an 18-foot, one-man model soon.
1. It was a widespread practice at this time to append words together, as in "powerplant" rather than "power plant" or "nonsecret" rather than "non-secret".
2. The V-1 flying bomb (referred to by Frederick G. Moorehouse as a "robomb") was an offensive missile deployed by the Germans during WWII, shown as a cutaway below...
As the pilotless predecessor to both cruise missiles and modern drone weapons, it was a radical weapons innovation for the time.
The JB-2 (second of Moorehouse's "robombs") was a United States reverse-engineered copy of the V-1, developed in 1944...
It never saw action during the war.
3. The "JATO rocket bottles" referred to by Moorehouse stand for "jet-assisted takeoff", also known as "RATO" for "rocket-assisted takeoff".
4. The quote given in the post by Capt. Jack Adams as to the disc "not being from some far-off place" comes from the following newsreel clip...
5. Much more on the allegations of the flying discs being a German war development can be read in The Tale of the Nazi Saucer available through the "Past Weeks" portal of this site.
6. The source for Henry J. Taylor's claim that "eight air force pilots filed official written reports of seeing a flying saucer over Columbus, Ohio" was not readily discernable in the declassified files of the Air Force's Project Blue Book.
7. Regarding Henry J. Taylor's statement that...
It's a fascinating search. But it's led me right back here to Texas -- to the original and only-known place where a saucer was reported found on the ground.
The saucer was described in the Houston Chronicle of July 6, 1947, as floating near the beach at Trinity Bay, Baytown, Texas. It bore a number -- M4339658.
An Associated Press newswire story printed in the July 8, 1947, edition of the Lubbock, Texas, Morning Avalanche provides the details...
TWO flying discs were reported found in Texas and at least one is being investigated by military officials as the total number of Texans claiming to have seen the mysterious objects passed the 50 mark Monday.
The discs were reported found on a beach near Trinity bay, near Houston, and near Hillsboro.
The Houston Chronicle said a great deal of mystery surrounded the one found near there by Norman Hargrave, a jeweler, Sunday. He first reported that he had found the aluminum disc floating near the beach while he and his wife were walking. He described it minutely, even giving an inscription he said it carried.
Monday he said it was all a joke, but The Chronicle, after extensive checking, said "there are some mysterious facts contained in his (Margrave's) first report that lend credence to the tale."
Hargrave first said the disc bore this wording: "Military secret of the United States of America, Army Air Forces M433-9685. Anyone damaging or revealing description or whereabouts of this missile subject to prosecution by the U.S. government. Call collect at once, LD446, Army Air Forces depot, Spokane, Wash." He said the words "non-explosive" also "were carried.
It was recalled that the initial reports of flying saucers or discs originated in the Spokane area.
The Chronicle, meanwhile, telephoned Spokane, and said it "brought interest" on the part of the commanding officer, but he would not confirm or deny that the missile may have carried the message. Later he referred Houston to Wright Field, Ohio, but the commanding officer there was out of town.
Army Said Investigating
In Houston, Col. R.W. Warren, commanding officer of Ellington Field, said he had been instructed by Washington to investigate.
Houston police would not say if they had the missile.
(In Spokane, Col. Frank D. Hackett, commanding officer of the Spokane Air depot, told the Associated Press that he "knew nothing about" the reported finding of a flying disc on the Texas Gulf coast other than that his public relations office had received a call from the Houston Chronicle.)
The San Angelo Standard Times said yesterday that an observer with the McDonald observatory situated a mile high in the Davis mountains at Fort Davis said the flying discs are "man made" and not any asteroid disturbance.
"Nothing which originates in the sky would behave in the manner the discs are reported to be going," the Standard Times quoted the McDonald observer as saying. The observatory, housing one of the largest telescopes in the world, would advance no theory about what the discs might be, the paper said.
8. The claims made in the Henry J. Taylor broadcast as well as in the U.S. News & World Report article that the "flying flapjack" explained some saucer reports had been refuted by the military since the time of the first such allegations in early summer, 1947. The same week as the Taylor broadcast and U.S. News article, the designer of the aircraft, Charles Zimmerman, told newsman Edward R. Murrow...
This aircraft never flew. The official designation of the aircraft was the XF5U1, which was to be a high-performance Navy fighter. However, a low-powered, lightly loaded version of this craft called the V173 made a large number of successful flights. I conceived the original idea for this craft back in 1933.
That same week the U.S. Navy also denied both reports, noting that it had "built only one machine of the general saucer shape" and that it "never built a jet version".
9. A very informative article on the XF5U1 and V173, published in the May, 1947, edition of Mechanix Illustrated, may be read in full at the supremely excellent website Modern Mechanix.
10. Dr. Kay's saucer had earlier appeared in mid-January, 1950, as a newswire photo-story carried in many papers nationwide...
11. Dr. Kay's saucer also appeared in the May, 1950, issue of Flying magazine...
12. The last known public mention of Dr. Kay's activities came in a blurb in the December 3, 1953 edition of entertainment publication Billboard...
3 Frederick Exhibits Handled By Shilling
NEW YORK, Nov. 28. --Three Floyd Frederick exhibits are being booked by William Shilling of New York, who is getting up circular material on them. In addition to the Hitler limousine which had toured the nation several times, the list includes the Russian Pobeda sedan, described as "the only Russian car outside the Iron Curtain," and Dr. E.W. Kay's Flying Saucer, described as a five-foot working model.
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