in the news 1947
PART TWO OF SEVEN 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)
FOR THE FIRST two to three weeks of summer, 1947, the so-called "flying saucers" or "flying discs" were a public phenomenon covered in newspapers regardless of whether the source was civilian or military. But beginning in early July, and for decades to come, witness accounts of the sightings began to diverge onto two separate tracks -- civilian reports continued to be publicly featured in newspapers, while military reports were confidentially referred to military intelligence and not shared publicly. By the end of 1947 the military intelligence effort had coalesced into the first official Air Force investigation of the phenomenon, under the code name Project Sign.
But by that time six months had passed, and although Project Sign looked back briefly at a few of the most notable civilian reports, its declassified files today give only a part of the story of 1947. This then is the other "half" of the story, the publicly-reported accounts, opinion and analysis -- and especially the public's reaction -- exclusively as told through the newspaper and magazine articles of the time.
Note: News reports for the period from June 25, 1947 to July 9, 1947 (plus a few from July 10, 1947) were featured in the eight-part series It Seemed Impossible -- But There It Is. The story of Project Sign will be covered in an upcoming series.
JULY 11, 1947
Benton Harbor, Michigan News-Palladium - 11 Jul 47
Fire Chief Wallace E. Newcomb, North Hollywood, Calif., is shown as he phoned Army officials to come to his office to examine the finned 30-inch disc shown on his desk. Russell Long called firemen to come to his North Hollywood home to get the object which, Long said, landed in his flower bed. Long said the gadget was giving off smoke and a bluish glare when he first saw it. (NEA Telephoto).
Lubbock, Texas Morning Avalanche - 11 Jul 47
'Discs' Not Navy Planes
WASHINGTON, July 10 (AP) - The Navy today denied again a repeated rumor that the "flying saucers" are new Navy secret planes. The department said it is "positively untrue."
Logansport, Indiana Pharos-Tribune - 11 Jul 47
A Streamlined Terror Ousts Witches of Old
By K.M. Landis
LOGANSPORT, Ind. One of these days, if we aren't careful, we're all going to end up in the nut house.
It is true that the human race always has been seeing things in the sky, from gods riding clouds to witches riding broomsticks over the chimney tops.
But all of these concoctions, even the monstrous dragons and Minotaurs, had familiar human or animal attributes.
The terrifying thing about these disks that have been flying in formation over 40 states is their scientific, streamlined symmetry.
Only one exception has been noted. An excited Chicago woman saw a disk with legs on it which she thought was going to come down and slap her in the face.
This lady had a sound instinct. In her own way, she was trying to bridge the folklore of the past and the featureless terrors of science.
But it is unlikely, in this fantastic day of nuclear fission, that many of us can achieve such a comforting compromise.
"Citizens of a country which possesses the atom bomb ought not to be afraid of anything," scoffs the Communist Daily Worker of London.
Well, the Communists can scoff. The Russians can deny, as their vice consul in Los Angeles has done, that the flying disks are of Russian origin.
"Russia respects the sovereignty of all governments and by no stretch of the imagination would it use another country for a proving ground," said the vice consul.
But Russian denials give no assurance. Last summer the Moscow press bitterly denied that Russia was shooting the mysterious rockets that were being reported daily over Sweden.
Few people believed the Russians then. Stockholm dispatches said that the rockets were coming from the Russian-held Baltic coast, probably from Peenemunde, the former German rocket base.
Excitement reached a new height last Sept. 5, when an Athens dispatch reported rockets east and west of Salonika, flying at 15,000 to 30,000 feet.
On Sept. 2-1, the Italian interior ministry ordered an inquiry of reports that rockets were seen over Rome, Turin. Bologna, Imola, Florence and Naples.
It was hard for most people to accept the debunking Swedish military communique of Oct. 10 which reported that the supposed rockets were partly "celestial phenomenon" and partly "pure imagination."
The final blow came when American correspondents were allowed to visit Peenemunde and found to their surprise that the former German rocket base had been dismantled by the Russians.
Opinions have been more divided about the flying disks. George Kruger of Denver made a lot of people feel better when he saw a flying saucer with an American flag on it.
Even so, military aircraft took to the skies with telescopic cameras. Nobody could be sure what was happening.
What will happen when Russia finally gets the Bomb is anybody's guess. We all may have to be locked up.
Charleston, West Virginia Gazette - 11 Jul 47
'Flying Disc' Scare Not New; Was First Seen 25 Years Ago
By ARTHUR EDSON
Associated Press Staff Writer
Don't bother about those flying saucers anymore. They've been around before.
For the fact is that we poor mortals scare easily.
It used to be natural phenomena that gave us fits. Eclipses, for instances, obviously would frighten anyone who never had heard of such things.
And comets, the Encyclopedia Britannica points out, always "have been regarded with mingled interest and apprehension."
Written records show that in 240 B.C. the Chinese took one gander at Halley's comet and figured the world was at an end.
It wasn't though.
The Roman philosopher Seneca tried to soothe people about the comets.
"Someday," he wrote, "there will arise a man who will demonstrate
in what region of the heavens the comets take their way, why they journey so far apart from the other planets, what their size, their nature."
But of course nobody paid any attention Seneca, always a one for talking through his wreath.
Getting down to modern times and flying saucers, they first were seen 25 years ago on Brown mountain in North Carolina.
Charles Fort, who collects stories of freaks, tells about them in his book "Lo."
The saucers were globular-shape then, and in those more leisurely days they floated instead of whizzing.
An investigator from the geological survey went down and studied them. His report: 47 percent automobile headlights, 33 percent locomotive
dittos, 10 percent houses and 10 percent brush fires.
Another Fort story concerns a man named Lithbridge who lived in Wales.
Lithbridge saw two strange looking, strange-talking characters climb into a tube-shaped projector and shoot off.
They were, he said, headed for (Oh, Oh!) Russia.
But don't bother writing your congressman. The date of Lithbridge's amazing sight: May 18, 1909.
Winslow, Arizona Mail - 11 Jul 47
Dr. Ninninger Talks About "Flying Disc"
Dr. H.H. Ninninger, director of the American Meteorite Museum west of Winslow, said this week that he had been receiving many inquiries concerning the possible nature of the "flying discs" which have been attracting such wide attention.
"Of two things we are sure." he said. "They are actual objects and not mere figments of imagination, and they are definitely not meteors or meteorites."
He expressed the belief that they will be found to be some type of mechanical device, but said he could not give any more definite information than that.
"We simply do not know what they are yet," he said. He has had direct descriptions of the "flying discs" from persons who have seen them, he said.
Dr. Ninninger, is nationally known for his work with meteorites, their behavior and composition.
Mexia, Texas Weekly Herald - 11 Jul 47
'Saucers' Visit Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile, June 10 (UP) - Two Santiago newspapers
reported today that "flying saucers" had been seen over the Los Cerillos airdrome. They were described as "oval and silvery."
Dunkirk, New York Evening Observer - 11 Jul 47
It Happened Here?
It has finally happened here!
Two Jamestown women reported today they had seen a flying disc near Fredonia on Thursday afternoon. They were en route to Niagara Falls from Jamestown and saw the saucer in the sky between Laona and Route 20.
The women are Mrs. Mary Sampson, 10 Linwood avenue, and Mrs. Roland Larkin, 31 Linwood avenue.
The silver disc was travelling at a tremendous rate of speed from west to east. The object moved much faster than any plane either had seen and quickly disappeared from sight.
New Castle, Pennsylvania News - 11 Jul 47
Another Version Of Flying Saucers
PITTSBURGH, July 11. (INS) - A new series of "flying saucers" described as "small moons" were a subject of much discussion in nearby Mt. Lebanon today.
Mrs. Violet Sumner, 24, said she saw the "small moons" last night.
"They were very round and traveled very fast. They looked like moons but not as bright. They didn't look like saucers to me," Mrs. Summer said.
Another resident of Mt. Lebanon reported seeing 16 of the "small moons" whirling toward Pittsburgh.
Altoona, Pennsylvania Mirror - 11 Jul 47
And Saucers Continue!
Another of the elusive "flying saucers" was seen sailing lazily over Brush mountain last evening at 7 o'clock, according to Mr. and Mrs. G.M. Croft of 1700 Seventh avenue, Juniata. They reported they were sitting on their back porch enjoying the summer evening when they observed the lone little "saucer" as it nosed its way over the mountain ridge and disappeared.
Charleroi, Pennsylvania Mail - 11 Jul 47
Bradford Residents Report Seeing Discs
BRADFORD, Pa. - Bradford joined the long list of areas in the United States reporting appearance of the mysterious "flying saucers."
George Zenner, 24, reported he saw an object resembling a "flying saucer" last night while walking home. He said he saw the object flying through the sky at a height of approximately 150 feet.
Zenner described the object as "about the size of a dinner plate, pretty flat and shiny." He said it was traveling in a spinning motion. It did not make any noise, he said and the flat side was toward the ground.
He said he heard a "zip" and the object shot off in a northwesterly direction. Zenner was an observer with the United States Coast Artillery during World War II.
Bluefield, West Virginia Sunset News - 11 Jul 47
Learns Shots Can't Ground Flying Discs
Johnny Johnson, employee of the E.L. Mansure company on the Virginia Side made a vain attempt to ground the 'flying discs' with his shotgun Wednesday night when they were sighted by his wife on the Brush Fork road.
Johnson explained that his wife and some friends were on their way home from church about 10 p.m. when the objects were first sighted. At that time he was asleep but when his wife awoke him, he grabbed his shotgun and shot into the sky several times.
However, the only thing that fell was Johnson's hope of capturing one of the nationally-known curiosities.
He says the discs were saucer-shaped objects and appeared to be a short distance from the ground.
They flew around for about thirty minutes, stated Johnson, and after several tries, he admitted defeat and returned to his bed to dream of such things as pink elephants and flying disks.
Charleston, West Virginia Daily Mail - 11 Jul 47
Signs in the Sky
To the Editor of the Dally Mail:
As a constant reader of your paper, I have been reading about the "flying saucers." I haven't seen them yet but believe they are the signs that we will see in the sky, which are spoken of in the Bible. You may look in the Bible In the 21st chapter of Luke.
Mrs. Virgie Ball
Logan, W. Va., July 8, 1947.
Winona, Minnesota Republican-Herald - 11 Jul 47
Mystery of Flying Disks Explained
While reports were received today of flying disks being seen near Ettrick and Blair, Wis., a Winonan turned up with his own explanation of the mystery.
The Winonan who sent a letter to The Republican-Herald declared that most persons reporting the disks are undoubtedly "suffering from hallucinations."
The reason for this, the writer explained, is that in the past several months the price of food has been so high that a meal consisted of practically "an empty plate." The thought of these "empty plates preyed upon the minds of the citizens and made such an impression that now they can see these empty plates floating around in the
Good food at a low price, the writer suggested, will bring an end to all flying saucer reports.
At Blair four boys reported seeing a disk Thursday morning near Beaches Corner. Four adults reported seeing a disk near Ettrick Wednesday.
Wallace Solberg, Richard Strand, Richard Beck and David Kensmoe, Blair, reported they saw a disk while on a bicycle trip. The lone saucer the boys said, was flying at a rapid speed, high in the air, and was about the size of a large washtub.
Mr. and Mrs. John Burman, Mrs. Ansel Holter and Stanley Holter living about six miles southeast of Ettrick, said they saw one of the flying disks at 11 a.m. Wednesday. It was very high, they said, and appeared to be about as large as the top of a hat box.
An automobile dealer in Winona today said he thinks he has a good idea where the saucers are coming from. In the last few weeks three white sidewall rims have been stolen from his cars, he said, in substantiating his theory.
Burlington, Iowa Hawk-Eye Gazette - 11 Jul 47
Flying Dishpan in the Sky
Either the flying saucers are growing up or other kitchen utensils have joined the heavenly display.
Freeman Hayes reported that he and his wife saw a bright, silvery object in the sky Thursday night that looked the size of a flying dishpan.
Hayes said the object appeared over the city about 7:45 p.m. high In the sky and heading southeast at a rapid clip.
"I've laughed at the idea until I saw this one," Hayes said, "and take it from me, this wasn't imagination, we really saw it."
Neosho, Missouri Daily Democrat - 11 Jul 47
Flying Saucers Seen By At Least 100 Persons In Three Missouri Hamlets
Princeton, Missouri — At least 100 persons in three Missouri towns watched "shiny discs" flit across the sky for about 30 minutes last night in what is believed to be the first mass observation of the new notorious "flying saucers."
First noticed by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Dykes and Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Buren, of Princeton, the discs were seen as the couples drove along highway 65, one mile south of Princeton.
The two couples raced back to Princeton and spread the news they had seen the "flying saucers."
Within a few moments, 30 automobiles were lined up along the road, the occupants watching the phenomenon.
At Mercer, 10 miles north of Princeton, an ice cream social was in progress on the Cox farm when the festivities were interrupted by the appearance of the discs in the sky.
About 30 persons attending the social saw the discs.
Lilly Collins, telephone operator at Savanna, eight miles east of Princeton, said that she and "several other persons" saw the ovals in the sky there.
All reports were similar in description of the "saucers."
"Like nebulous balls, they were round and shiny, and seemed about the size of the moon, moving at a slow rate of speed from north to south," she said.
Most witnesses said there were dozens of the discs. They traveled in groups of two and three.
Ada, Oklahoma Evening News - 11 Jul 47
Two Airmen Report Seeing 'Saucers'
TULSA, Okla., July 11. (AP) - An air force veteran from Muskogee and a Fort Worth, Tex., pilot, both Tulsa visitors, are the latest to report sighting the mysterious flying discs.
J.C. Penman, Muskogee farmer and former army air force crew chief in the Mediterranean theater during the war, said that while en route to Tulsa last night from his home he saw what appeared to be a ring of light, resembling a circular lamp moving in a north-easterly direction at approximately 800 miles per hour. He said the object maintained a steady course at an altitude of about 7,000 feet and he was able to follow its movement for about one minute.
The other report was furnished by Robert E. Lee, Jr., of Fort Worth, a pilot for the Lee Geophysical Co., Cisco, Tex. The pilot described the "disc" as a shiny object traveling at about 6,000 feet and going "...much too fast for an airplane." He estimated the speed at about 600 miles per hour.
Pampa, Texas Daily News - 11 Jul 47
Flights Of Discs Being Reported By East Texans
Flying discs "hatched out" yesterday over Sulphur Springs and sped over Commerce in a flight of between 15 and 20.
Miss Irene Carpenter said she got up at 3 a.m. yesterday (Thursday) for a drink of water and heard a roaring sound.
She looked out at the darkened sky.
She said she saw an illuminated funnel-shaped "something" which she estimated to be between 20 and 30 feet in length.
It was traveling south, she said.
As it passed overheard, she said, it exploded -- showering a couple of dozen "disks" which floated aimlessly around for a half hour before disappearing.
But the flying saucers Louis Smith, business manager of East
Texas State College saw did not float to earth
He said he saw a formation of between 15 and 20 "shining white disks" flying west over Commerce, Tex., at a high rate of speed.
He said he and his wife watched the objects for four or five minutes.
"At first I thought they were advertising circulars dropped from an airplane." he said, "but there was no plane in sight."
"Their course was too sure and straight."
The Commerce Journal reported that a flying disk interrupted an open-air revival in Cooper, 14 miles from Commerce.
A man attending the services said "look," and pointed upward.
Several others said they believed they saw a flying saucer
Services were resumed after the excitement died down.
At Fort Worth. Col. Alfred P. Ralberer, 8th Air Force Intelligence Officer, told a Lions Club meeting at Arlington Heights that mass hysteria, fleeting glimpses of distant P-51's or just plain specks before the eyes were factors to be considered to the flying disk reports.
He pointed out, however, that "we are playing around with all sorts of freak things -- almost as were the Germans at the end of the war."
Corsican, Texas Daily Sun - 11 Jul 47
Flying Disks Said Seen Flying Over Corsicana Friday
Flying disks were reported over Corsicana Friday afternoon.
Mrs. C.H. Crabb, 416 South Twentieth street, daughter of B.I. Tarbutton, same address, telephoned the Sun office that she and neighbors saw what they considered disks or saucers moving at a high rate of speed in a northwesternly direction toward Fort Worth.
Mrs. Crabb said the disks resembled quartermoons as they were frequently hidden from view by lower clouds.
Others telephoned the newspaper office, declining to give their names or addresses other than that they resided on South Twentieth street.
Harlingen, Texas Valley Morning Star - 11 Jul 47
Harlingen Has Disk
Celia Montes, 315 W. Washington, reported she and several neighbors saw a flying disk traveling towards the south about 7 p.m. Thursday. She said the disk was silvery bright and moving "very fast."
Laredo, Texas Times - 11 Jul 47
Flying Discs Clue Given
ALAMOGORDO, N. M., July 11 (UP) - A possible explanation for the many "flying saucers and discs" seen over the Rocky Mountain region recently came from the Alamogordo Army Air Field today.
Maj. James B. Pritchard, Public Relations Officer at the air field, said that balloons with attached equipment have been released from the air field for the past 15 months, with a large number of them being released just recently.
He expressed the opinion that the discs reported seen in the Pacific Northwest may be an experimental project, used by the Navy in that area. However, he said those seen in the Rocky Mountain region probably came from the army air field here.
He said that the balloons were used to train men in observance and tracing the flights of V-2 rockets and other experimental projects. An extensive program is planned along this line, he said.
Helena, Montana Independent Record - 11 Jul 47
Flying Disc Reported Found in Idaho; Now in Army Hands
Butte, July 11. (AP) - FBI Agent W.G. Banister said an object which appeared to be a "flying disc" was found early today at Twin Falls, Idaho, and turned over to federal authorities.
Banister, special agent in charge of the FBI In Montana and Idaho, said the bureau had reported the discovery to the army at Fort Douglas, Utah.
An FBI agent in Twin Falls inspected the "saucer" and described it as similar to the "cymbals used by a drummer in a band, placed face to face."
The object measured 30-1/2 inches in diameter with a metal dome on one side and a plastic dome about 14 inches high on the opposite side, anchored In place by what appeared to be stove bolts. The gadget is gold painted on one side and silver (either stainless steel, aluminum or tin) on the other. It appeared to have been turned out by machine, reports from Twin Falls said.
Twin Falls, Idaho Times-News - 11 Jul 47
Shown above is an artist's conception based on an eyewitness account of the mysterious, circular device found Friday morning in the yard of Mrs. T.H. Thompson, shown pointing to where the object was lying. City, federal and military authorities, who are investigating, have refused to comment on what it may be or to release photographs of it. (Photo by Charley Buster—staff engraving)
Attention Focuses On City as 'Disc' Is Found in Yard
The eyes of the nation that have been seeing "flying saucers" for the past two weeks focused on Twin Falls Friday when a strange, circular device was found by Mrs. Fred Easterbrook in the yard of her next-door neighbor, Mrs. T.H. Thompson, 219 Seventh Avenue east.
Immediately after finding the object at about 8:20 a.m., Mrs. Easterbrook notified Twin Falls police who took the disc into their custody. In turn it was referred to the federal bureau of investigation and to military intelligence officers who clamped down a lid of secrecy pending outcome of further investigation. Army officers were understood to be en route here this afternoon from Ft. Douglas at Salt Lake City, Utah, to examine the discussion.
News of finding of the device, described by eyewitnesses as about 30 inches in diameter and built like something out of Buck Rogers, quickly spread through Twin Falls and from there to points throughout the nation. indicative of the interest that has been whetted by the repeated reports from over the country by persons who have vowed that they have seen fast-flying circular objects were calls received by the Times-News from news agencies in surrounding states for information on the discovery.
No commitments were made by investigating officers as to authenticity of the object as being related to the "flying saucers," and military authorities refused to confirm the report that they were investigating the matter.
Without, with the belief that readers should have the privilege of knowing all the facts to reach their own conclusions, the Times-News present all available information on the discovery.
The disc, about 30 inches in diameter, tore up patches of grass from Mrs. Thompson's back yard when it landed.
Skeptics brought out that no one had seen the disc while in the air and that it might be a practical joke played by a prankster.
Had the disc been less elaborate and detailed more would have adopted this theory; however, the work necessary in constructing the disc
[Remainder of article unavailable.]
Walla Walla, Washington Union-Bulletin - 11 Jul 47
Films Fail to Show Saucers
By Dave Johnson
Boise (AP) - Eastman laboratories in San Francisco reported Thursday that film sent them by the Idaho Statesman failed to show any trace of any object I saw and attempted to photograph during my third aerial search for a flying disc.
The laboratory, speeding the processing on the motion picture film, had it ready by noon. It was projected before an audience of three persons. Nothing was apparent in the screening, and the film was then examined by magnifying glasses.
R.W. Stohr, manager of the laboratory's Cine service division, said that it was doubtful the camera could have caught the object at the distance attempted.
The film used was eight millimeter, about the width of a finger nail. For those interested in the technical side of the subject, the exposure was F. 16, at a speed of 16 frames per second.
The object I saw could have been anywhere from 10 to 40 miles away. Its apparent size to me was that of a twenty-five cent piece. The picture was made from an altitude of 14,000 feet. The object was maneuvering against a background of towering alto cumulus and alto stratus clouds.
I am now in the position of having seen an object which might have been a flying disc, but without photographic proof of it. A constant patrol by 190th fighter squadron P-51 fighter planes from three p.m. until dark Wednesday failed to result in sighting one of the objects which people throughout the nation claim to have seen.
I can only reiterate that I saw something. That I don't believe I was seeing it through the power of suggestion, and that what I saw was definitely not an aircraft. It was not a balloon.
Salt Lake City, Utah Tribune - 11 Jul 47
Another Salt Laker Reports Seeing Disc
Secret weapon ... toys ... radio-controlled missiles ... intrigues -- whatever they may be, those "flying saucers" sill are being seen around Salt Lake City.
LaVerne Crowley, Darlington, S.C., visiting with her aunt and uncle, Mr. And Mrs. Theron W. Borup, 827-7th East, reported to The Tribune that she saw a disc Thursday at 8:30 a.m. while standing on a corner waiting for a bus.
Describing the disc as an "aluminum type of thing," she said she watched it for about two minutes. She said it was over the mountains northeast of the city and "moving awfully fast with a funny motion."
Reno, Nevada State Journal - 11 Jul 47
Disc Reported Near Hawthorne Looks Like Wheel
Another Nevada resident has seen something that may have been one of the flying discs, he reported to the Journal yesterday.
"On Friday, July 4, at just after 7:30 in the evening, and Just before dark, halfway between Hawthorne and Liming, I was driving southerly, returning from Hawthorne," the man said. "I happened to look upward and there was one of those discs going towards the west. It was silver in color and seemingly perfectly round and the forward motion seemed to be as if it were rolling, just like a very large wheel rolling along at about 6,000 or 7,000 feet in elevation, above the surface of the earth, giving it a possible altitude of 10,000 or 11,000 feet. It was visible to me for probably three or four seconds. Its speed would have been much faster than any plane I have ever seen."
The man asked that his name be withheld because he has no time to answer questions.
Covina, California Argus Citizen - 11 Jul 47
Covina Woman Says She Saw 'Saucers' Last Week in L.A.
Anyone who wants to interview, take the blood pressure, or feel the pulse of anyone who has been seeing "flying saucers" is referred to Mrs. Mabel Riegel, 255-1/2 East College street.
Mrs. Riegel, who returned home this week after spending three weeks at her daughter's home in Los Angeles, reports that she saw the controversial but fascinating sailing saucers last Wednesday night, July 2, as she stood on the porch of her daughter's house in the Glendale-Atwater district.
"It was about 8:45 p.m." Mrs. Riegel said. "The moon was out, and was almost full, and there was just a slight veil of haze in the sky."
"My daughter's home is near the Los Angeles river, and when I first saw these discs they appeared to be flying right over the riverbed. They looked like salad plates, and they were twisting and turning in the air like a flock of little butterflies.
"I think there may have been as many as ten of them, but they were cavorting so fast I couldn't count them."
Mrs. Riegel would not attempt to estimate how high they were, nor from what direction they came.
Hoping to find someone to corroborate her vision, Mrs. Riegel went into the house to tell her daughter, Mrs. Ross Matthews, and a visiting friend about her discovery.
"But they only laughed at me, and said I must have seen searchlights playing on the clouds," Mrs. Riegel said. "They weren't interested, anyhow."
Mrs. Riegel did not report her discovery to anyone until she returned home and told the Argus-Citizen. "Because," she said, "I have been living in Covina for a long time, and I know people here will, believe me."
Hayward, California Daily Review - 11 Jul 47
"Flying Saucers" to Be Sermon Sunday
"Flying Saucers" will be the topic of Rev. E.G. Eskelin of the Bethel Gospel church at the meeting at 8:00 p.m. Sunday.
"There are over three hundred scriptures in the Bible that pertain to the signs and wonders that will take place in the last days, not only in the sky and atmosphere but in the home, labor, government and education," Rev. Eskelin stated.
Plans are now being formulated for the expansion of the church located at 349 A Street, as it has been filled to capacity every Sunday.
Butte, Montana Standard - 11 Jul 47
Editorial: Have You Been Scared by the Sailing Saucers?
Some of our more sensational journalists are trying to cook up a case of national hysteria out of the sailing saucers. We do not believe that we as a nation are that far gone. Curiosity, yes. But mass hysteria, no. Anyway, mass hysteria is too expensive. We can't afford it, what with our national debt and our tax reduction veto. And the consequences of succumbing to mass hysteria are too fresh in most people's minds. All of us remember Hitler and how he used mass hysteria as a major weapon of aggression.
When the mystery of the floating flapjacks is solved we believe that it will be proved that they were nothing more than a gnat on the nation's eyebrow. The phenomenon of nearly everyone in the country having testified to seeing the same thing at about the same time can be explained by psychologists. It's like a tall gawky person stopping in the middle of the street to allow the sun to shine down his throat for a moment. Everyone thinks he sees something up there, when, as a matter of fact he merely may be trying to get a kink out of his neck.
If it weren't for the fact that the psychoanalysts are already overworked we'd recommend that the sighters of the stratospheric static call at their offices at once and get a dose of their peculiar medicine. Apparently a lot of people have become overly excited at seeing less alarming phenomena than wheels in the skies. And it could be that some of the more wobbly wheels in people's heads have been shaken loose from their moorings and have gone sailing out through stellular space.
Mere man from the earliest recorded history has been seeing things in the skies, and at night -- more especially at night. Balls of fire have come down chimneys and cut off the legs of people warming themselves at the hearth.
But surpassing mere man's fear of such strange antics of Mother nature has been mere man's curiosity. Hence, mere man has been able to solve, or subdue, most of the hazards of existence in a troubled and conniving world. In fact, the population increase of the world in the last 50 years has been about as great as the total world population of 545,000,000 in 1650.
Most people upon hearing about the flying saucers recall the experience of the Swedes and other Scandinavian peoples shortly after the end of World War II. The Russians were supposed to have been testing on the island of Swinemunde some of the rockets left over from Hitler's attempt at conquering the world. Bouncing balls of fire were seen in the skies over the far north countries. In some instances great fires were reported to have been set in heavily timbered areas.
But the reports gradually dimmed out. In fact, they were nothing more than reports. No substance was ever proved.
And we believe that the current crop of rumors, reports and gossip about the fluttering figures in the firmament will die out similarly. Should it prove that someone is trying to scare us by filling our atmosphere with rumors and rotating rings, he is certain to have the setback of his life.
1. In 1947 -- having just lived through five years of world war -- much of the U.S. population had at least passing familiarity with the concept of describing aerial objects in terms of their "apparent size". This was part of basic civil defense training intended to avoid estimations of actual size, which is notoriously difficult to gauge accurately for an object at an unknown distance and/or elevation (for instance, an aircraft at a certain distance and elevation might visually appear to an observer on the ground to be only two feet long). Both military and civil defense training included such things as comparing an aerial object to the size of a coin held at arm's length, so that, for instance, an object might be reported as the size of a dime or as the size of a quarter. Another common descriptor was comparing an object to the apparent size of a full moon. Therefore it is sometimes extremely difficult to discern whether witness reports given to the newspapers refer to an object's actual size or its apparent size, and such descriptions as "the size of a serving tray" or "the size of a washtub" should not necessarily be seen as a literal description of size.
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