in the news 1948
Above: Flying disc of the future by famed illustrator Arthur Radebaugh, which appeared under the heading of "Can You Imagine?", in the April 10, 1948, edition of the Holland, Michigan, Evening Sentinel. The caption read...
Flying Disc Of Future
Instead of being a mirage, flying disc propulsion may become a major means of driving airborne craft in the world of the future.
Up straight from mid-town air terminals, the craft would zoom on the helicopter principle plus auxiliary jets. Then as the huge spinning top started to bite the air, passengers in the suspended gondola would speed through the sub-stratosphere at a tremendous rate. Slowing to a stop at your destination, the huge flying saucer would come down like an elevator to deposit you on a rooftop in the center of town. And think of the fun advertising people will have when they promote these flying tops as -- "Tops in Travel."
MARCH 6 THROUGH MAY 1, 1948:
Marion, Ohio Star - 6 Mar 48
Strange Object Seen In Sky Over Marion
Something akin to a flying saucer was observed by Marion residents in the sky Thursday evening just before sundown. The object, which seemed to be cloudlike, was described as elongated in shape, with a dark substance at the front of it. Moving slowly in the western sky it curved to the right and took off in a southerly direction. The object remained visible for some time the observers reported.
Ogden, Utah Standard Examiner - 14 Mar 48
Discs Are In Again
NAMA, Idaho, March 13 (AP) Those flying discs are back again!
Three Nampa women have reported seeing a formation of saucer shaped objects traveling at a high rate of speed toward the Pacific coast.
Rochester, New York Democrat and Chronical - 22 Mar 48
Atomic Research Seeking Long-Range Bomber Fuel
By JAMES B. HUTCHISON
Gannett News Service
Washington -- Top U.S. research project in these days of new crises is the development of atomic energy as fuel for real long-range bombers and guided missiles.
If science could solve this problem in a hurry, it might be the deciding factor in resolving the East-West conflict in favor of peace.
A practical atomic fuel would meet these two major obstacles that are holding back development of a true "round the world" strategic Air Force:
1. It would cut down the weight-load in gasoline that now limits the range even of the biggest bombers and thus enable them to carry bigger bomb loads to virtually every corner of the earth and return.
2. It would end U.S. worries of facing another all-out war with the fast diminishing domestic supplies of petroleum, and solve the problem of securing "advance bases" for air attacks.
Significantly, latest designs in big bombers and in guided missiles of the V-2 variety could go anywhere if they weren't held back by fuel limitations.
German V-2 Tests
At White Sands, N.M., the armed forces have been testing "souped up" German V-2 bombs captured in the closing days of World War 2.
The German V-2s, when a near-perfect "shoot" is obtained, have zoomed slightly over 100 miles, when launched vertically into the upper air. They can go over 200 miles when fired "horizontally," or on an artillery-shell trajectory.
The V-2 can tune up [sic} some 3,000 miles an hour. Fully-loaded, the 46-foot V-2 weighed 12.5 tons. More than eight tons of the total weight represented its alcohol and liquid oxygen fuel.
New designs in guided missiles are being perfected, and an improved version of the V-2 -- longer but more slender -- is expected to soar twice as high into the upper atmosphere as the V-2.
If the limiting factor of fuel-weight can be solved by use of atomic energy, scientists say there would be almost no ceiling on the range of V-2 type weapons. Not only that, but speeds could be stepped up enormously.
Possible Atom Rocket
The Germans fired 2,000 V-2s into England during the war and 1,230 of them crashed into the London area.
Willy Ley, internationally-known pioneer German rocket scientist who fled the Nazis to help the Allies develop guided missiles, points out that a V-2 type rocket, carrying an atomic bomb, would be "the final weapon."
"With an atomic warhead," Ley says, "the V-2 does not need to be accurate. Four or five chance hits in the London area, for example, would leave a blob of molten masonry which only by its presence would indicate that it marks the site of a former city.
"And with atomic warheads, only four or five out of several hundred V-2s would have to go through to accomplish complete destruction."
Ley says it might be possible to create a guided missile as a robot interceptor of long-range rockets, but these at best could bring down only a small percentage of a salvo of attacking rockets.
Chicago, Illinois Daily Tribune - 24 Mar 48
Swiss Say They Saw Large Luminous Ball Moving Across Sky
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 23 (Reuters) - A large luminous ball was sighted yesterday moving southward over Weinfelden, northeastern Switzerland, the Swiss News agency said today. Inhabitants of Schwytz [sic, should be Schwyz], central Switzerland, later said they saw a luminous disc with a long tail streaking westward.
A "flying saucer" scare began last July with reports of mysterious air borne objects hurtling across the sky from almost every state in the United States. "Saucers" were also seen in Canada, Denmark, Sweden, France, Portugal, Austria, and Italy.
Lead, South Dakota Daily Call - 30 Mar 48
Flying Saucers Again Seen In Ohio
COLUMBUS, O., (UP) -- Mrs. Charles A Worthen reported that she saw "six or seven flying saucers" last night from an upstairs window of her home.
"They seemed to rise into the sky from behind the houses. They went south a short distance, then veered and travelled east," she said.
Bakersfield, California Californian - 30 Mar 48
Atom Trade Mark Rush About Over
WASHINGTON -- (UP) -- Bombardment of the trade mark office has virtually ceased, Department of Commerce official report.
Besieged since Hiroshima with applications requesting registration of trade marks using the word "atomic," the harried officials said they were glad the demands had "run their course."
Of 180 "atomic" applications, 54 have been registered, ranging from toys to medicines and horseshoes.
Officials said "atomic" applications were the most popular and confusing in their memory but added that "Shangri-la" did well and "Flying Saucers" hit their application records soon after they were headlined.
Adelaide, Australia Advertiser - 31 Mar 48
U.S. In "Flying Saucer" Mood
From Don Iddon
NEW YORK, March 31. Brace yourself for a return of the flying saucers in the American sky -- and not merely saucers, but whole tea sets and probably pots, pans and kettles as well. People here are beginning to see things. Little Red men are hammering at their brains and there is a harvest of hallucinations.
UNFRIENDLY submarines are expected to be spotted in the Hudson and East Rivers any day now, and dust-clouds over the Kansas plains could be caused by tanks of another Power. Men are becoming frightened of their own shadows as the military whip up fear and hysteria more fiercely.
The spring time has brought not hope, but apprehension, and war talk grows. During the past few days the defence Chiefs have not only roused the nation from sleep, but have got it running around the room at the double. Some think that they have gone too far, and the newest strategy is to impress upon the public that while the Russians are a menace, and mighty, the United States has what it takes to deal with them, and quickly.
For instance, Glenn Martin, plane manufacturer, who is close to the generals, has out lined the pattern of conflict. He says that it could conceivably be a 65-day war -- a neat, speedy job with victory in the bag at the end of two months.
First, says Martin, America has guided missiles that can destroy enemy ships and steel factories from a range of several thousand miles.
It has 1948 model atomic bombs far more devastating than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It has new bacteria weapons which can cause wholesale death.
It has radio-active atomic clouds which, moved by a favorable breeze, can destroy the country through which they pass.
Ideal As Need
THIS box of horrors has only just been opened, and people are still gasping. They wonder what madness has come upon their world, and wait vainly for an expression of faith. Most feel that Communism will not be stemmed or smashed by terrible armaments alone. They seek a philosophy, an ideal, a way of life, possibly the American way, as an unchallengeable moral force.
But no man, and certainly no statesman, speaks of this, and perhaps it will be left to the Church and Christianity and the Cross to counter the Kremlin.
From New York and other ports Marshall Aid begins to flow. Few begrudge the goods or money. The entire $5,000m. worth for this year is only as much as the United States shot away every three weeks in the fighting during the last war.
Hurtling from crisis to crisis under the jet propulsion of power politics, the American and his wife can only hope that the dollars sent abroad will help to keep his home, his job, and his country safe. He is cheered by production figures, which are breaking all records and are sensational -- 93 p.c. above the average of 1935-39. Never have the factories turned out so many goods.
Despite this and the honeyed words of Congress concerning tax cuts, citizens here are pre- pared for a sacrifice. They are not such fools as to imagine that a vast defence programme can be carried through without the national economy feeling it. They will give until it hurts.
However, they are getting tired of financing UN, which is generally considered to be a dead duck. This week an agreement was signed for a US loan to UN of $65m. The "New Yorker" asks -- "For what?" ...
Chester, Pennsylvania Times - 1 Apr 48
Youths Undaunted by U.S. Rejection of Claim to Moon
Sewickley, Pa. (UP) -- Two far-sighted young men said today they weren't April fooling about laying claim to the moon.
Robert W. Eaton and Charles W. Honhold, both 34, were undaunted at rejection of their lunar enterprise by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
They said they would appeal their title to the moon to the World Court and maybe to the United Nations.
Secretary of Interior J.A. Krug turned down their application yesterday on the ground the United States has no sovereignty over the moon. He wrote Easton and Honhold that the government couldn't act officially on their claim "at this time."
Eaton, who has applied for Army officers candidate school, and Honhold, a University of Pittsburgh physics student, believe a rocket trip to the moon may take place during their lifetimes.
"Charlie and I would like to take the trip and inspect our properly," Eaton said. "And even if man doesn't reach the moon in our generation, my claim could be passed on to my heirs, if any."
They got the idea of laying claim to the lunar real estate one night during a bull session about "the universe in general." They decided they had better be the first to lay claim, since they figured the moon might become the object of a land rush in the event of an atomic war.
Lubbock, Texas Morning Avalanche - 2 Apr 48
Rocket To Moon Is Now Claimed Possible By Leading Scientists
By JOSEPH L. MYLER
United Press Staff Writer
WASHINGTON, April 1 -- Rocket men believe they know enough right now to shoot a missile as far as the moon.
But, as an official of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics puts it:
"Nobody can think of any good reason for wanting to do it.
"It would be interesting, all right," he said, "but it would cost a lot of money, take a lot of figuring, and use up a lot of time that might be better spent."
Among the big difficulties would be power and control. To escape the earth's gravitational pull, a rocket would have to hit 25,000 miles an hour.
High Speed Needed
The best rocket speed yet attained in tests is 3,500 miles an hour. A captured German V-2 went that fast at White Sands, N.M. last year.
It went 114 miles almost straight up and then fell back to earth. An escaped rocket, if it missed the moon, would keep going until it was captured by the gravitational field of some other planet.
Or, if the velocity wasn't quite enough to kick it entirely free of the earth's pull, it would become a satellite, endlessly following an elliptical orbit around this planet.
To hit the moon, a rocket using the best fuels now available would have to pack something like five or more powerful punches.
With several fuel chambers, one firing immediately after another, the rocket probably could achieve the constant acceleration necessary to boost it to the moon if the chambers were dropped off after exhaustion.
But what was left of the rocket after losing its weight of fuel and fuel chambers would be very little. The ratio of gross weight to pay load is about 1,000 to 1. If the rocket weighed 1,000 pounds at the start, it would weigh only one pound at the end of its journey.
One theoretical design calls for a five-step rocket weighing about 400 tons with an initial thrust of 3,000,000 pounds. The 14-ton V-2 develops an initial thrust of only 55,000 to 60,000 pounds.
Control difficulties are, if anything, tougher than power problems. To hit the moon, the rocket's path would have to intersect the satellite's orbit.
"In other words," the NACA man said, "you'd shoot the rocket out into space and let the moon catch up with it."
That would lake some fancy calculating and aiming. To control the rocket's course it would be necessary to trace it with radar and to energize its steering mechanism via radio.
Army signal corps engineers have bounced radar pulses off the moon, so it is known that ultra high frequency microwaves can be projected far into space.
But the manifold problems of navigation, instrumentation, and control are a long way from being solved. There are other difficulties, too. Such as the fact -- arrived at mathematically -- that rocket noses would tend to melt off at the speeds required.
Much has been written about missiles of the future that will fly continuously around the earth -- until told via radio to descend on their target -- and of rocket ships plying inter-planetary space.
Government rocket men here are inclined to compare such talk with the kind they heard during the "atomic silly season" just after the bombing of Hiroshima. They remember the stories they heard about driving airplanes with bits of uranium the size of aspirin tablets.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts Berkshire Eagle - 2 Apr 48
"Flying Disks" Reported
Unconfirmed reports have been circulating about the community in the past several days that several persons have seen "flying disks" spinning through the sky. These objects are traveling at great speed and heights.
Nashville, Tennessee Tennessean - 3 Apr 48
Disc-Like Object May Be Venus, Weatherman Says
Another one of those mysterious "flying saucer" objects spent the afternoon in Nashville skies yesterday.
The general opinion among weather bureau men who observed it several times during the afternoon agreed with the statement of Dr. Carl K. Seyfert, Vanderbilt university astronomy professor, that it "was probably the planet Venus," but some other suggestions were advanced.
The object, a very bright disc in the sky east of the sun, was first seen about 2 p.m. at Berry field by Eugene Woods, Negro, 911 J.C. Napier homes, a porter for American Airlines. Weather bureau observers said at that time it was about 75 degrees up, and was visible to the naked eye several times during the afternoon.
Another local astronomer, Latimer J. Wilson, Watkins institute astronomy Instructor, said he looked for the object and "couldn't find anything but Venus," he said the planet is now 45 degrees directly east of the sun, and one person who saw the disc said "it was almost exactly 45 degrees from the sun -- it was overhead at 3 p.m." [sic, entire sentence]
Mayor Thomas L. Cummings, who saw it while at the airport to greet visiting Gen. George C. Kenney, commanding general of the Strategic Air Force, said positively it was "a weather balloon." But those who saw it at the weather bureau said it could not have been a balloon of any kind because "it was too bright, and a balloon would have blown off [sic] at that height."
Seyfert said he did not see the object, but "Venus is often visible to the naked eye on a clear day." He added, however, that Venus would not move with respect to the sun during the afternoon, and several people who saw it said it did move. One said it moved in a south-southeastern direction, another said it "appeared to waver around in a little orbit," and a third said it did not move with respect to the sun but followed the sun westward.
"It looked more like a little sun than anything else," said one observer.
Sight of the object recalled the appearance of a similar brilliant object in the western sky directly above the sun last Jan. 7. This object, described as pear-shaped and extremely bright, appearing to be made of a glass-like substance, was at last said to be a balloon, although Wilson expressed himself as undecided as to its true nature. At about the same time, similar objects were seen in Kentucky skies and a national guard airman crashed to his death while chasing one, and shortly afterward a "flaming red cone" was seen in the night sky in Ohio.
Bismarck, North Dakota Tribune - 5 April 48
Now that spring is more or less here, so is the "flying saucer" season. First to report this year Is J.C. Metzger according to the Hebron Herald. "He was watching the ice drop from the telegraph wires when the 'flying saucer' crossed his vision", says the Herald. "As near as Mr. Metzger could judge, the object was between a thousand and two thousand feet in the sky. It was silver or white in color and had the appearance of an egg."
Salt Lake City, Utah Tribune - 5 Apr 48
Germans Flee War Clouds
KELMSTEDT, Germany, April 1 (UP) -- Many panicky Germans, confused by allied-Soviet tension and fantastic rumors, fled back and forth across the Russo-British zonal border Sunday. They said they didn't know which way to turn.
Refugees from the Russian border area of Germany took their belongings and went to the British zone. Those from British-occupied territory fled to the Russian zone. Some, unable to decide where to stay, crossed the border, looked around, and then went back where they had started from.
The Germans were jittery because of a wave of false rumors. Some sought refuge from a coming "flying saucer" attack. Others wanted to hurry across Germany to board sea-going rafts, which they heard were being constructed to carry Germans to other countries.
Marion, Ohio Star - 9 Apr 48
Flying Saucers Back, Reported in Delaware
By the United Press
DELAWARE, O., April 9 -- The flying saucers are back.
Rev. John Berger, pastor of the First Presbyterian church here, reported he and three other persons saw the phenomenon yesterday.
"Whatever they were, they seemed large, round and white," Rev. Berger said. "At first they looked like a white cloud. Then we noticed they were moving against a heavy wind. We watched them for 10 minutes."
Others who viewed the sight were Mrs. Berger and Mrs. H.S. Kirkpatrick and Robert Cochran, next door neighbors.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Evening News - 9 Apr 48
"Monster Bird" Reported In Flying Saucer Area
By United Press
Belvidere, Ill., April 9 -- A farmer and a truck driver reported today that they had seen a bird "bigger than an airplane."
They believed it might be a visitor from another planet.
The giant bird was reported by Robert Price and Veryl Babb. Price said he saw it while working near his barn on his farm near Caledonia, Ill.
He said it had a long neck and "what I suppose were its feet trailing behind it."
Price said he and his wife both watched as the "monster bird," flapping its powerful wings, flew off to the northeast.
Babb, a Freeport, Ill., truck driver, reported seeing the bird at a different location on the same day.
"I saw the bird but at first I didn't say anything because I thought people would laugh at me," Babb said. "When I read that Price had seen it I decided to report all about it.
"When I spotted the thing it was coasting. It was bigger than an airplane and reminded me of one of those prehistoric monsters I learned about when I was in school."
Dothan, Alabama Eagle - 11 Apr 48
Colonel And A Boy Back Up Stories Of 'Monster Bird'
By Paul Dix
ST. LOUIS - (UP) - A retired Air Force colonel and a 12 year-old boy last night backed up the report by two Belvidere, Ill., residents of spotting a "monster bird."
It was either the same mysterious bird of gigantic size they saw or one just like it, they said.
Col. W.F. Siegmund, former commandant of the Army air base at Kearns, Utah, said he observed the creature at about 11:30 a.m. last Sunday while horseback riding four miles north of Alton, Ill.
James Trares, 12, said he saw the bird flying over his home in suburban Glendale, Mo. about three months ago. Both Siegmund and the boy said they were apprehensive of telling anyone about it until they read the United Press dispatch from Belvidere.
THE BELVIDERE report quoted Robert Price and Veryl Babb as saying the bird was "bigger than an airplane" and flapped its wings.
Siegmund, now sales manager for the Western Cartridge Co. at Alton, said he didn't see any flapping of wings but he was sure it was a huge fowl and not a type of aircraft.
Siegmund was riding with a companion, Col. Ralph Jackson head of Western Military Academy, at the time. Jackson, however, was talking to a farmer and didn't see it, Siegmund said, "and I didn't mention it to him because it looked too incredible."
"At first I thought there was something wrong with my eyesight," Siegmund said. "But it was definitely a bird, and not a glider or jet plane."
He described the creature as about the size of a small pursuit plane and said it was flying northeast at an altitude of between 4,000 and 5,000 feet.
"TWO ARMY planes had just flown over in the same direction, and I thought at first it was a pursuit craft following them," Siegmund related. "But from movements of the object and its size, I figured it could only be a bird of tremendous size."
The Trares boy said he spotted the bird in the air one evening at sunset and ran yelling into his house to tell his mother. He said it was gray-green in color and about the size of an airplane.
Belvidere, Illinois Republican - 12 Feb 48
Two More Say They Saw Bird 'Big As Plane'
A former army air base commander, Col. U.S. Sigmund of Alton, Ill., and James Trares, Glendale, Mo. corroborate the tale of three residents of this section who reported seeing a bird bigger than an airplane.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Price of near Caledonia reported they saw the bomber-size bird soaring over their farm late last Tuesday morning. Veryl Babb, Freeport truck driver, declares he saw the creature about the same time while driving west of here.
Spotted Near Alton
Sigmund, wartime commander of the Kearns, Utah, air base said he saw what was probably the same bird April 4 while horseback riding four miles north of Alton. Young Trares said he saw it flying over his home at suburban Glendale about three months ago.
All agree that it makes an eagle look like a canary as far as size is concerned and is an ugly looking thing that "just coasts when it tires of using its monstrous wings for air power."
"I thought there was something wrong with my eyesight but it definitely was a bird of tremendous size and not a glider or jet plane," Sigmund said in a United Press news dispatch. "To me, it appeared to be about the size of a pursuit plane and was flying northeast at an altitude of about 4,500 feet."
Sigmund said he was accompanied on the horseback ride by Col. Ralph Jackson, head of the Western Military academy of Alton. He stated that Colonel Jackson was talking with a farmer at the time and didn't see it.
"I didn't say anything about it to him because it looked too incredible," Sigmund continued. "However, when I saw the news dispatches Friday about the people near Belvidere seeing the same thing I decided my eyes had not been playing tricks on me."
Price and his wife, as well as Babb, reported after seeing it fly over Boone county that it looked like some monstrous survivor from the dark ages. Babb said it was bigger than an airplane.
The Chicago Museum of Natural History said it certainly was no prehistoric monster because no pterodactyls (that's a bird-like reptile, chum) are still in circulation. Officers [sic] there suggested it might be a sandhill crane.
Honolulu, Hawaii Star-Bulletin - 13 Apr 48
Not Flying Saucers But Flying Men Now!
LONGVIEW, Wash., April 13 (INS) -- A tale of three men flying over Longview without the help of airplanes or parachutes has startled the lower Columbia river area.
The mysterious apparitions were reported by Mrs. Viola Johnson and James Pittman, both employes of a Longview laundry.
Mrs. Johnson said what she saw "looked like three men in dark drab flying suits flying through the air." She continued:
"As far as I can judge they were about 250 feet high, circling the city. [sic, no end quote]
Feferring [sic] to their height, she admitted "I'm not very good at judging distance."
Mr. Pittman could not be reached.
Harlingen, Texas Valley Morning Star - 16 Apr 48
Something in Air Over McAllen
McALLEN (AP) Something floated over McAllen Thursday. Clerks left their store counters and butchers left the meat block to stare. A score of people saw it.
Some said it looked like a floating nickel, some thought it was a balloon and others thought it was like a gliding pie plate.
No one called it a flying saucer.
All agreed it was heading northwestward toward Tri-cities Airfield.
Brownsville, Texas Herald - 16 Apr 48
Flying Saucer Rumor Revived
McALLEN, April 16 -- It was all very confusing!
A group of spectators -- gathered in the vicinity of Broadway and Dallas Ave. here this morning -- saw something moving in the sky. All agreed something was there.
Some thought it was a white object -- others declared it was aluminum in color. Some said it looked like a shiny nickel while others expressed the opinion that it was as big as a pie plate.
One spectator said it moved in a general northwesterly direction, and another said it dodged around in a sideways motion." Another said it moved in and out of the clouds. Someone theorized it was a piece of paper caught up in a whirlwind. Someone else said it was an airplane. And still another suggested the possibility of it being a flying saucer.
It was all very confusing!
Lincoln, Nebraska State Journal - 18 Apr 48
'Plane-Sized' Bird Nothing But Glider
BELVIDERE, Ill. (UP). The mystery of the airplane sized "monster-bird with flapping wings" was apparently solved Saturday when two witnesses to its flying last week said it wasn't a bird, it wasn't superman -- it was just a glider.
Over a period of several days reports were received from witnesses who described the flying shape as a "huge bird about the size of a pursuit plane with long flapping wings." The witnesses included a retired army air force commander, two women, a truck driver, a farmer and a small boy.
Saturday, Bill Gesell of Belvidere, another of those who saw it, put his foot down on the tale and said it definitely was an airplane-towed glider. Veryl Babb of Freeport, the truck driver, said he had to agree.
Anniston, Alabama Star - 22 Apr 48
Radar-Guided Missiles May Circle Globe
Push Button Wars Are Not Remote -- Possible With Atomic Warheads
By JOSEPH L. MYLER
United Press Staff Correspondent
ABERDEEN, Md., April 22. (U.P) -- True guided missiles, weapons of push button warfare, are being designed and tested now.
And, Army Ordnance experts said today, it is reasonable to suppose that eventually they will carry atomic warheads and be powered by atomic energy.
Even without atomic power, they said, no insurmountable difficulties stand in the way of making radar-controlled missiles capable of circling the earth at speeds faster than sound.
They agree with the Pentagon generals who say that push button warfare is not just around the corner. But they add that it is the job of research to spot trends and be ready with new data when it is needed.
Pile Up Knowledge
That is just what ballistics experts, working in multi-million dollar laboratories at the Army's vast weapon proving ground here, have been doing in the past two years. They have been piling up knowledge -- not only for the Army but also for the Atomic Energy Commission, the Navy, and the Air Force.
Their most "highly urgent" project, the one now being emphasized above all others, is the accumulation of basic data about guided missiles. Already they have mountains of it.
Right now, missiles superior to the German V-2 rockets are being perfected by means of testing equipment here which has no counterpart anywhere else in the world This equipment includes the only supersonic wind tunnels -- one of them never publicized before -- capable of sustained operations 24 hours a day.
Another gadget filling an entire room, is Aberdeen's famous electronic problem-solver, known as eniac [sic, throughout]. It is solving problems daily in rocket trajectory, nuclear physics, and much else which would take a mathematician a lifetime to figure out with paper and pencil.
Two Years Behind
So heavy is the demand for what eniac can supply that it is two years behind in its work. But before the end of this year, an even more marvelous computer, edvac [sic] by name, will be in operation.
One new development made possible by Aberdeen's wind tunnels, its "true flight" ranges, and its rockets fuel lab is the "mother-daughter" rocket.
This combination, under field test at
White Sands, N.M . is a German rocket with a U.S. Wac Corporal projecting from its warhead. The Wac Corporal takes off from the top of the V-2's flight. It is expected to attain altitudes of "several hundred miles" and a horizontal range of 500 miles, twice the V-2's.
The V-2 as used by the Germans in the war was not a true guided missile. It could not be directed in flight by means of radio orders from the ground. But the radar-controlled rockets of American design are responsive to such orders.
In their effort to find out everything about supersonic guided missiles, scientists have been testing models of every conceivable design in a wind funnel that produces air speeds of 1,300 miles an hour. This is about 1.7 times the speed of sound.
A new tunnel, not yet dedicated, has produced 3,040-mile-an-hour winds. To build up velocities of that order requires five mammoth compressors totaling 13,000 horse power.
C.L. Poor III, who operates the tunnels, said models of American guided missiles already have been tested at speeds far beyond the transonic region where invisible shock waves spell destruction for conventional winged craft.
Bugs developed in some of the designs, "but others worked out just as we had predicted," Poor said.
Although Ordnance officers foresee atomic missiles, they do not expect to produce anything "fantastic." As Col. L.E. Simon, director of the Ballistics laboratories, put it:
"We don't know how to make an effective death ray."
Titusville, Pennsylvania Herald - 22 Apr 48
Space-Flying Within Ten Years Seen Possibility
By HOWARD W. BLAKESLEE
Associated Press Science Editor
NEW YORK. April 21. -- (AP) -- The possibility of man-carrying rocket ships flying into space within ten years was reported today.
Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle (retired) cited a report to that effect at the dedication of an exhibition of the work of the father of modern rocketry, the late Robert H. Goddard of Clark University.
Doolittle said he personally thought ten years too soon, but spoke of an engineering survey backing an early plunge into space.
"Some day," said General Doolittle. "we may be able to leave the earth entirely and fly to the moon or even to a nearby planet. Or set up an artificial orbit around the earth, from which we can patrol the earth or carry on scientific research in space.
"Such dreams sound like pure fantasy; however, each advance in rocket research brings them closer to reality.
"It is interesting to note that about 25 percent of the leading rocket engineers questioned by the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation predicted that flight into space might occur in the next ten years.
"I put it considerably further away than that, but I am confident that this new form of power, pioneered by Dr. Goddard, may ultimately permit some adventurous men to explore beyond the boundaries of the earth's atmosphere. And it could happen within the lifetime of some of us here this afternoon."
Harlingen, Texas Valley Morning Star - 25 Apr 48
'Enormous' Bird Is Sighted Again, Flying Over City
ALTON, Ill. April 24 (UP) -- An "enormous" bird, first reported sighted two weeks ago, was seen flying over the outskirts of Alton shortly before noon today.
E.M. Coleman, a former salesman, and his 15 year-old son, James, said the bird was flying at about 500 feet and "cast a shadow the same as that of a Piper Cub at the same height."
Coleman said it was an "enormous, incredible thing with a body that looked like a naval torpedo."
He said he was in his yard in Alton's northern outskirts when he saw a shadow thrown over his house and that of a neighbor.
"There was no sound of motors, and I thought at first it was a glider," Coleman said. "Then I saw it flap its wings. It would soar for a time and then flap.
"It appeared to be gray and black in color and was much larger than any eagle, albatross, pelican or flamingo I've seen," he said. "It appeared to have set down about half a mile west of my house."
The bird was first sighted here by Walter F. Siegmund, a retired Air Force colonel, while horseback riding north of Alton. Siegmund said it looked about the size of a small pursuit plane. Two residents of Belvidere, Ill., earlier reported seeing a similar bird.
Siegmund said he had been doing considerable research on birds since sighting the fowl and had concluded it was an albatross or condor that had wandered far from home. S.B. Heckler of the St. Louis Audubon society said it was probably a huge pelican.
Coleman said it didn't look like either of those to him though.
Coleman said his son was in the yard with him when the bird flew over. They called to neighbors, "There's that big bird" but by the time the neighbors ran out of their houses the fowl was out of sight.
Coleman said James and some of his friends were planning to search the area, along the Mississippi River, where the bird appeared to have alighted, tomorrow in the hope of finding some trace of it.
St. Louis, Missouri Post-Dispatch - 26 Apr 48
Flying What-Is-It Is Seen Chasing Plane Over City
Police Also Get Look at It -- One Says It Appeared Like A Witch
New accounts of the huge bird seen over St. Louis and Alton heightened the mystery of the flying what-is-it today.
Mrs. Kristine Dolezal, 2055 Russell boulevard, heard an airplane flying low over her home today. "When I looked up," she said, "I was amazed to see this big dark thing apparently chasing the plane. It was clumsy, and flapping its wings sort of lazily. The plane and the bird finally flew off in different directions."
Even the police are unable to solve the mystery. Cpl. Clarence Johnson and Patrolman Francis Hennelly saw the bird silhouetted against the moon as they were leaving the Penrose Street Police Station Saturday night.
"The thing was as big as a small airplane," Hennelly reported. "Its wings were flapping, and it was headed southwest, flying at an altitude of several hundred feet. I thought it was a large eagle, but I've never seen one that big before."
Johnson had a different description: "It looked like a witch flying across the sky," he asserted. "It wasn't Halloween, either."
St. Louis, Missouri Post-Dispatch - 26 Apr 48
U.S. Troops In Europe Told To Watch For 'Flying Disks'
Official Directive Issued; the Clue Given to Reason for Order [sic]
FRANKFURT, Germany, April 26, (UP) -- American troops in Europe have been told officially to watch for flying saucers.
In a directive to soldiers, the Army said that "unconventional aircraft" including "flying disks" should be reported promptly to headquarters.
No indication was given as to what caused the order.
Fort Myers, Florida News-Press - 27 Apr 48
Yankees Alerted For Flying Discs
Frankfurt, Germany, April 26 -- (AP) -- American troops in Germany have been ordered to report it immediately if they see any "unconventional aircraft" -- like the "flying discs" which alarmed the U.S. a few months ago.
Army officers said, however, the orders were routine instructions from the army department for all troops at home and abroad.
"No flying discs or anything like them have been reported over here and we have no reason to expect any," one officer said.
Rochester, New York Register and Chronicle - 28 Apr 48
Flying Discs Again Seen Here! Says Man Flying Kite Near Lake
The ghosts of the skyways -- flying discs -- reportedly have been seen in the Rochester area, it was revealed yesterday.
Lyle Frasch, 41, of 87 Watkin Ter., said while flying a kite on his brother's farm at 558 Kings Highway, he saw four of the saucer-like phantoms slicing eastward through the sky, and seemingly following the Lake Ontario shoreline.
"They were about three-quarters of a mile north," he said, "and maybe a mile high when my brother spotted them. Only a minute before, two Army planes, flying low, had passed directly over our heads heading east. Then, my brother saw the discs." Frasch described them as being "bright silver, three in formation, the fourth lagging behind."
"Art, my brother, called his wife and she came out of the house just as the lagging one caught up and the four disappeared. Moving about the same speed as the planes, they made no smoke or sound. The planes were out of sight before we saw the discs," he added.
Frasch estimated the size of the discs to be about a foot in diameter. The event occurred, he said, at 11:15 a.m. Apr. 18, but he hadn't bothered to report it because "I thought flying discs were becoming a common sight around the country." When Frasch saw a story in Tuesday's Democrat and Chronicle asking soldiers in Germany to report any flying discs, he said, "I thought I'd let you know about it."
St. Louis, Missouri Star-Times - 1 May 48
No people in the world so thoroughly enjoy a mystery as do Americans. The more nonsensical it is the more attention it gets. In this country this is a sign of mental health and is possible only when the morale of a majority of our citizens is high. In some European or Asiatic country it might have a different connotation.
We have been through the flying saucer, submarines-off-the-coast and balls-of-fire stages recently, and right now St. Louis has a queer-bird mystery which it is enjoying immensely. This creature, which in many ways resembles the fabled filli-lulu bird (and may be one for all we know) has so far been positively identified as an enemy projectile, an eagle, a small plane, a condor, a magnetometer towed by aircraft, the last surviving member of the great auk family and a blue heron. Those who have seen it agree that it flaps its wings, doesn't flap it [sic] wings, is very large, just a little bigger than a duck, flies quite high, stays near the earth, has feathers and is as naked as a billiard ball.
Just what we needed to top off this new and, perhaps, unhappily temporary era of wonderful nonsense came out of Wiesbaden, Germany, when a woman positively identified her next-door neighbor in President Roosevelt st., Liegnitz, as Herr Adolf Hitler. Adolf now has a triangular mustache and sideburns. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could spot him flying low over St. Louis? It is not a safe wager that no one will report seeing him.
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