in the news 1949
Above: From the January 17, 1949 issue of Life magazine, an imagined rocket to the moon. Story below.
JANUARY 1 THROUGH JANUARY 31, 1949:
Popular Mechanics - Jan 49
PIECING together scraps of information from many sources, the famed British illustrator, G.H. Davis, presents for Popular Mechanics readers his impressions of Russia's front-line fighters and bombers. Most of the details were culled from photos and data in Swedish, Polish, French and British technical papers and from direct observation at air displays over Moscow. Virtually no information has been released by Russia on new equipment. Foremost among Soviet designers are Yakolev, Ilyushin, Migoyan, Gurevich, Lavochkin, Tupolev and Sukhoi, aided by German research centers and technicians now under Russian control. Other than British Rolls-Royce turbojet engines, most of the power plants have a distinct German touch and Nazi-type rocket motors are used in their latest experimental supersonic craft. Some fuselages strongly resemble American planes, like the new Yak fighter and Republic's F-84 and, earlier, the TU-70 and the Boeing B-29. The Yak's top speed is believed to be near 650 miles an hour. The main armament of Russian aircraft is apparently centered in the 20-mm. Sk-Yak cannon and the 12.7-mm. Beresin machine gun.
Popular Mechanics - Jan 49
Twin-Jet Flying Wing
Twin jet engines power a flying-wing aircraft developed for the British Royal Air Force. The plane consists of a wing with a nose section and two jet engines. It was shown recently at an aircraft constructor's exhibition in England. Of 60 aircraft at the show, 20 were powered either by turbojet or turboprop engines, and some attained speeds of 600 miles an hour.
Popular Mechanics - Jan 49
Tailless Glider Seating Two Completes 2400-Mile Trip
Similar in size and design to the U.S. Air Force's flying wing, a giant glider developed in Canada has no tail section. The motorless craft, which carries two men, has a tricycle landing gear that is retractable. It recently completed a 2400-mile trip.
Austin, Texas American-Statesman - 1 Jan 49
PROPOSED ROCKET OUTPOST This is an artist's conception of how a proposed "rocket outpost," described in Defense Department's "earth satellite vehicle program," disclosed by Secretary James Forrestal, would appear in relation to the moon and earth. The program is exploring the possibility of stationing a rocket propelled craft in the non-gravitational belt which, scientists calculate, exists about eight- to nine-tenths of the distance from earth to moon. At this point gravitational forces of the two bodies are neutralized.
Sydney, Australia Sun - 2 Jan 49
Death might descend from space ships 22,000 miles up
Ranging from the Buck Rogers fantasies of men walking in air to the hard caution of scientists there emerged this week some idea of the space ships which experts in Britain, America and Australia were studying as practical possibilities of the future.
Originally conceived as an elaboration of balloon and rocket aids in gaining weather data, the experiments have been quickly seized upon by military chiefs as a means to world domination.
This week US Defence Secretary James Forrestal reported to Congress that American military experts had begun research on "earth satellite vehicles."
From these space ships, poised beyond the earth's gravitational pull, suggest some American scientists, atomic warheads could be lodged on any spot on the globe's surface, as it came round once in every 24 hours
FACT cabled its London and New York offices, interviewed Sydney University physiologist Professor Frank Cotton. Experts' replies showed:
• Once the space ship is established beyond the earth's gravitational pull, the men could work in them and build bigger ships.
• But the suggestion that men could walk about in space is ridiculous.
V2 rocket tests as the inspiration
In New York, Fact interviewed Waldemar Kaempffert, science editor of the New York Times.
Kaempffert insisted that as there would be no air to breathe 22,000 miles beyond the earth, the stations would have to be hermetically sealed rooms or buildings, provided with oxygen for the workers inside them.
No masks would be needed in the sealed room, but apparatus would have to be installed to supply air containing the right amount of oxygen, and for removal of exhaled carbon dioxide.
"What the physiological effect on the heart and other vital organs may be when they are weightless, nobody knows," he added.
Kaempffert outlined the project thus:
• A space-ship would have to be invented and constructed to carry parts of the satellite station to the proper distance from the earth.
In later voyages, workmen, wearing pressure suits, would step out from the space-ship. They would not fall, but become satellites themselves, and fit parts together. They could always return to the space-ship by firing a pistol or setting off a rocket whose recoil would drive them back to the ship.
They would enter and leave through the usual type of air lock.
Kaempffert believes Forrestal's suggestion was inspired by Dr. James Van Allen of Johns Hopkins University, who has been sending up automatic recording instruments and cameras, in German V2 rockets, to a height of 65 miles.
Recently Van Allen suggested the possibility of constructing an artificial moon in space as an observatory. It would not be necessary to man the satellite observatory, as communication with the ground could be established with an automatic radio set, which would signal to earth information of the kind now collected and transmitted by little radio sets on sounding balloons.
Pre-fabricated space ships in 66 parts
In London Dr. Harry Ernest Ross, Council member of the British Interplanetary Society, told how he would get the space ship into position.
The space ship would be a completely enclosed saucer-shaded object, 200 feet in diameter.
Such a ship would have to be propelled by atomic rockets, 22,000 miles, in 66 pre-fabricated parts. They would be dumped in space, and stay there free from gravitational pull.
Once the parts were floating, engineers, encased in smaller ships, would be shot up to assemble the parts.
Artificial gravity would have to be created for the entire station, enabling men to stand, walk and perform normal locomotive functions.
This force, which would keep them to the floor instead of floating about in space, would be similar to the centrifugal force which keeps "wall of death" riders glued to the almost perpendicular walls of their arena.
Similarly, men inhabiting a space-station would be standing on the inward-sloping sides of a saucer-shaped structure.
"Food and water would be sent in airtight containers in rockets fired from the earth," said Ross. "The space-station would be air-tight and the interior would be air-conditioned and temperature-conditioned.
"Men would arrive in rocket ships wearing space-suits which completely enclosed them and breathing oxygen from a portable oxygen apparatus."
Radio engineer Ross suggested that, once on the platform, space pioneers could create their own gravity by rotating the floating disc.
A real ship would cost £130-milion
He thought energy created from mirrored reflections of the sun's rays might be used for this.
Dark-haired, 44-years-old bachelor Ross and his partner have already completed the design for a model space-station which they are hoping to have built shortly.
But he says a full-size space-ship would probably cost £130-millions, would need the resources and cooperation of several Governments, as did the construction of the atomic-bomb.
Sydney's Professor Cotton says that once the physicists have solved the atomic energy problems of getting platforms and equipment 20,000 miles away from the earth the physiological problems could be solved comparatively easily.
But Cotton shattered the vision of engineers floating on their jobs, propelling themselves by squirting jets of gas from cylinders strapped to their backs.
"If they stepped out into space, complete absence of atmospheric pressure would expand the air in their bodies immediately and they would blow up like puffed wheat and burst," says Cotton.
Earth's atmosphere reproduced
Men could work on the space ships only inside pressure cabins which reproduced the earth's atmospheric conditions, he said.
From their original cabin they could build a larger one, and from that a larger one still until they had room for their other activities.
The cabins would have to be filled with oxygen and nitrogen. But a cabin 50ft by 60ft by 20ft would need about two tons of liquefied oxygen and nitrogen to make its atmosphere livable.
Sydney, Australia Sun - 2 Jan 49
Flying saucers tale revived
FACT'S New York Bureau
Cabled suggestions that minute-scale space ships have already been tried have revived interest in the flying saucers.
Americans who claimed to have seen these saucers flying through the air -- and sometimes exploding -- are asking whether they were the Army's hush hush space ship experiments.
Portland, Maine Press-Herald - 3 Jan 49
Robot Rocket Hits 850 Miles An Hour
London, Monday, Jan. 3. (UP) -- The Daily Express reported today that an "instrument-carrying" robot, developed by the Royal Air Force at Farnborough, "touched 850 miles per hour" several days ago in a test above the Scilly Isles.
The robot craft, launched from a Mosquito, is 11 feet long and weighs 900 pounds, the newspaper said.
"Observers in a jet meteor watched it glide gracefully for 15 seconds and then streak across the sky as its rocket motor took over, [sic, no end quote mark] the Express said.
"After flying for several minutes it was deliberately nosedived into the channel. Aircraft and shipping had been warned to keep clear."
Janesville, Wisconsin Daily Gazette - 3 Jan 49
By Bill Bladon
Well, with the close of another year we can't help a quick swivel-necked peek at the fanfares and follies of '48. It was a year of international pushing and shoving ... with threats of war that seldom got farther than a glare. A top note was struck with the presidential campaign. Then there were the Olympics, flying saucers, China, Elizabeth's young prince, floods, fires, storms, "red herring" investigations, shmoos, the new look, supersonic planes, television and the atom bomb. We've all had our quota of worries, but 10 years from now the worries will be forgotten, and we'll be talking about "back in good old '48".
Lincolnshire, England Echo - 5 Jan 49
A number of people in Ghent claimed to have seen what appeared to be a radio-guided missile passing over the town last night.
Medford, Oregon Mail Tribune - 5 Jan 49
Newcastle, Pennsylvania News - 8 Jan 49
Plans For Piloted Rockets Rejected
LONDON, -- (INS) -- British government officials have turned down plans for the immediate production of man-carrying rockets.
For many years, Ralph Andrew Smith and Harry Ernest Ross, members of the British Interplanetary Society spent all their spare time perfecting a piloted rocket. It was to be the forerunner of space ships.
Their design provided for a rocket-pilot to sit in a specially constructed cradle in a pressure cabin. The pilot would he eqipped [sic] with a pressure suit and standard high-altitude flying kit including personal parachute.
Cabin Can Be Released
By means of quick release mechanism the cabin could be released itself, with the pilot still inside. The cabin itself would be attached to a parachute.
A deep crumple skirt -- to reduce the shock of striking the ground and preventing too harsh a bounce -- is fitted below the cabin floor.
The designers believed that such a machine should be launched from an extensive desert area or from a location close to open sea. They estimate that their rocket would reach a height of 225 miles.
'No Cracked Brained Idea'
In an interview, Harry Ross said:
"This is no crack-brained idea. A long time has been spent working out details. The man-carrying rocket as we envisage it is really the forerunner of space ships. After the first experiments our rockets should reach a height of 700 miles.
"The process of evolution is such that exploration of the higher altitudes is vital to gain knowledge. Our man-carrying rocket is the first stage in this new sphere of exploration."
Both inventors are keenly disappointed over the rejection of their plans.
"One day, perhaps sooner than many of us think, space ships will be flying."
Newcastle, Pennsylvania News - 8 Jan 49
An experimental Bell X-l (above) zoomed to 23,000 feet in one minute and 40 seconds after engine start in a flight at the Muroc, Calif. Air Force base, the Air Force announced in Washington yesterday. The flight chalked up a record-smashing climb of more than 13,000 feet per minute by a rocket powered plane, an achievement in research on fighter-interceptors for defense against possible enemy bombers.
Hutchinson, Kansas News - 8 Jan 49
It wasn't a flying saucer but John Chalmers, 540 East E, never could figure what the bobbing light in the sky near the reformatory was the other night. He said it looked like a light attached to a kite.
Portland, Maine Press-Herald - 11 Jan 49
'Flying Saucers' Seen Over Maine
Dole Believes Bright Objects Meteorites
Flying saucers, accompanied by a dinner plate, the size of a rising moon, were reported soaring through the air Monday night by persons ln several sections of the state.
First reports of the phenomena came from Oxford and Greater Portland to be followed a short time later by reports from Gray, Dover-Foxcroft and Eastport.
Frank Teague, Oxford woolen mill worker, reported seeing "a pale yellow object about the size of the moon floating north to south over Lake Thompson."
At first Teague said he believed it to be a meteor but discarded the theory when he failed to see the usual crescent-like streamer.
As the object floated alone, Teague said it seemed to explode and then three smaller discs were seen floating with it. The smaller discs seemed to burn themselves out and disappeared to be followed a few moments later by the disappearance of the larger disc.
A South Portland resident who saw the object said he believed it to be a flare such as employed by the military services.
Fernald Richards, Dover-Foxcroft geogolist [sic], said he believed the "fiery ball" to be a meteor.
At Eastport the sight was described much like some giant fireworks display.
The ball was reported by Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Mealey, Eastport, to be blue-green and rose colored as it moved across Quoddy Bay. It passed close to the Mealey home and exploded without sound and appeared to drop in separate brilliant segments to a dock between the Summers Fertilizer plant and the George H. Lyon Company.
Also witnessing the display at Eastport were Clark Sherman and Police Officer Russell Apt.
A Cape E1izabeth astronomer said the glowing objects probably were meteorites, or "shooting stars."
This is the season for such displays. said Robert M. Dole, a retired U.S. Weather Bureau meterologtst [sic].
The U.S. Weather Bureau here agreed with Dole that the lights might be meteorites. Haze in the earth's atmosphere, officials said, would account for varying colors, although the normal light is a brilliant white.
Several persons in the Bangor area reported seeing a brilliant meteor darting across the sky at 5.25 p.m. (est). It was reported to have been in the northeastern sky. Witnesses said it was orange in color and had a sparkling tail.
Professor Maynard F. Jordan, astronomer at the University of Maine in Orono, saw the meteor and said it was "larger than usual."
Some witnesses said the meteor "disintegrated" in the sky.
The meteor was reported seen by Frank Teague of Oxford and George Wardwell of Auburn.
The latter saw it as he drove from Portland to Auburn.
Teague said it appeared to drop "several saucer-shaped lights" shortly before it passed from sight.
Witnesses agreed it passed in a north-south direction about 5:30 p.m.
Salem, Oregon Capital Journal - 11 Jan 49
Man Who Saw Saucers Fined in Hunting Case
Ontario, Ore., Jan. 11 (AP) The pilot who first reported sighting "flying saucers" two summers ago has been fined $25 plus costs for a hunting violation.
Justice of the Peace Dan Graham at Nyssa convicted Kenneth Arnold, Boise, of hunting without a license. Graham said he also would have confiscated the gun, but learned it had been borrowed.
Arnold's report of seeing saucer-like aircraft over eastern Washington in 1947 resulted in an epidemic of similar reports across the nation.
Brandon, Manitoba Daily Sun - 13 Jan 49
... A flying saucer was seen in the sky at Rivers, about 10 p.m. Monday by Graham Barker and Norman Tivy. It appeared like a ball of fire with a luminous tail as it sped through the air at a height of about 500 feet, then disappeared. It was travelling from the northeast toward the southwest. ...
Eugene, Oregon Guard - 16 Jan 49
The first flying disc to find its way into at least partial reality is that devised by Sam Katzman for his Columbia serial, "Bruce Gentry".
Marysville, Ohio Evening Tribune - 17 Jan 49
'Saucer' Seen In Kentucky
Number of motorists saw fiery object streak through the sky
PARIS, Ky., Jan 17. -- Almost every newsman who has written stories on "flying saucers" and related objects in the sky has hoped that some day he might verify some of those reports for himself -- but few have succeeded.
Paul Brannon, publisher of the Paris Kentuckian-Citizen and the Nicholas County Star, is one of the luckier ones. Brannon claims he saw "something" "up there" [sic] and has witnesses to back up his story.
The publisher said he was driving near Paris with Mrs. Brannon and Miss Elizabeth Fritz of Lexington, yesterday afternoon about 4:30 p.m. (CST) when they saw a moving object traveling south-eastward across the sky. It trailed a bright streak of either light or fire.
Brannon said that several other cars stopped along the highway and watched the unknown object. He described it as a "ball-like object literally opening up a path across the heavens."
The publisher and his wife said it was impossible to estimate any size or height but believed it was relatively close to the earth.
He explained that he has seen meteors and Halley's comet but this was not as small as those. It took about 15 minutes to pass out of sight although it must have been traveling at a high rate of speed." [sic, no beginning quote mark]
St. Petersberg, Florida Times - 17 Jan 49
Publisher Sees 'Flying Saucer' Near Paris, Ky.
PARIS, Ky. (AP) An unexplained moving object, trailing a bright light across the sky was sighted near here yesterday. Paul Brannon, Paris newspaper publisher, reported.
Brannon said he, his wife and other persons observed a ball-shaped object "literally opening up a path across the heavens." It was sighted about 4:30 p.m., he said.
Brannon said it at first appeared silver color but took on a golden hue from illumination of the sun.
"It looked almost like another planet," he said. "I've seen meteors and Halley's Comet but it wasn't as small a those ... this thing was a brilliant shaft of light that you couldn't help but see."
Life Magazine - 17 Jan 49
In take-off rocket gets extra boost from Earth's rotation and spins around planet. Later it will revolve about moon while it slows before landing.
ROCKET TO THE MOON
Earth-bound man, watching the pale sphere of the moon swing across the night sky, has long dreamed of visiting this nearest of heavenly bodies. Long the subject of fantasy, travel to the moon is now, as a result of recent scientific developments, not only a possibility but a probability. From tests made with the V-2 rocket engineers believe that a similar rocket, adapted to carrying humans, could make the 238,000-mile trip in about 48 hours. Fuels exist which are theoretically (but only theoretically) powerful enough to enable a rocket to break out of the gravitational grip of the earth. Radar, which has already been used to contact the moon, would be an aid to navigation. Complex engineering problems are yet to he solved, but the U.S. government, at the request of Defense Secretary Forrestal, is planning an unmanned spaceship which would circle the earth like the moon itself and automatically radio back information which may solve them. Considering both progress made and problems ahead, some hardheaded engineers believe that a manned rocket, like the one in the drawing above, may get to the moon within the next 25 years.
Man May Travel To Earth's Satellite
Within 25 Years
There are practical as well as romantic reasons behind man's desire to reach the earth's satellite. Forward-looking military leaders are considering it as a base from which rockets could be launched to control the world. Astronomers would like very much to construct observatories there because unlike earth the moon has almost no atmosphere to interfere with study of the sun and the other stars. Most important, a successful trip to the moon would mean that man was no longer bound to his own planet but would be free to visit other worlds and to explore the regions outside the boundaries of the solar system.
ESCAPE VELOCITIES differ for planets because mass and size of each determines the amount of its gravitational pull. A rocket leaving earth would have to attain a speed of 25,000 mph before its upward velocity overcame the downward attraction. If this speed were reached the rocket's motors could be shut off and it would continue to coast away. Because the moon has only about one eightieth the mass of earth, a rocket could escape from it with a speed of only 5,300 mph.
Main Problem Is How To Utilize Fuel
When men finally travel to the moon they will travel by rocket. The rocket is the only vehicle which can operate in the airless regions beyond the earth's atmosphere. With an almost unlimited power supply, such as atomic energy might provide, a rocket could overcome the earth's gravitational pull without great speed. But with present types of fast-burning chemical fuels, of which only a limited amount can be carried, a rocket would have to attain a speed of at least 25,000 mph (above) in order to escape. A number of chemical fuels (below, right) can produce this speed. But enormous quantities would be required, particularly for a heavy rocket carrying humans and equipment for lunar exploration. At present efficiency of rocket motors, only a spaceship far bigger than the Queen Mary could hold the required fuel. One way to reduce weight and conserve fuel would be to employ a multistage rocket, built in sections which could be dropped off one by one as fuel was used up. Whether an improved chemical fuel or an engine using atomic energy supplies the power, travel to the moon seems likely to become an actuality. The drawings on the following pages, based on known facts and reasonable supposition, show details of a hypothetical journey.
TYPES OF PROPULSION for flight are airplane, which needs air both for motion and combustion; ram jet, which needs air for fuel, and rocket, which does not need air for either fuel or traction. Only the rocket will operate in airless space.
FUELS for space travel are listed above according to their relative power. The figures refer not to speed of the rocket but to the velocity of its exhaust. Actually any of these fuels, if used in sufficient quantity, could achieve escape velocity.
SPECTACULAR PROGRESS has been made in recent years in the direction of space travel. The drawing above shows that until the V-2, the highest altitude reached by a man-made device was 26 miles. The Viking, a rocket to be launched soon by the U.S. Navy, is expected to rise 215 miles through the region in which most meteorites burn up as they streak into the earth's atmosphere. Next major step is a rocket ship which will clear atmosphere completely and head into space.
FIRST MANNED ROCKET may look very much like the imaginary spaceship shown above -- a 200-foot, two-stage rocket made of polished steel to reduce friction and reflect sun's rays. Its design, as conceived by LIFE's artist, is based on present knowledge and plausible guesses. Starting journey into space, huge craft rises slowly from the ground, its exhaust blasting downward with a force of thousands of tons to form a swirling pool of flame on the concrete ramp below. Acceleration to the immense speed the rocket will reach must be controlled, partly for the safety of the crew and partly to prevent the ship from burning like a meteor.
INSIDE CABIN crewmen lie flat on their backs in their narrow bunks to lessen the strain of the initial acceleration period. During this time rocket is steered automatically. The men are specially selected, young, in top physical condition and trained to act as reliable scientific observers. Their 10-foot-wide, rubber-lined cabin is crammed with radar and other electrical apparatus with which they will keep track of their position in space. Trap door in floor leads to lower deck which houses control equipment for the motors and which will serve as an air lock through which to leave the rocket after it has landed on the moon.
300 MILES UP the rocket turns to fly parallel to the earth's surface and pick up sufficient speed to head out into space. Up to this point it has climbed straight up to get through the atmosphere quickly.
TAIL SECTION IS JETTISONED when the fuel it carried (which brought rocket to escape velocity) is exhausted. Nose section, which houses crew, is a complete rocket with enough fuel in it for rest of trip.
APPROACHING THE MOON, crewmen get first close look at earth's satellite. Rocket circles moon, drawn by its weak gravity, finally lands in cold region on opposite side of satellite from burning sun.
LANDING ON THE MOON, the rocket is turned completely around by its gyro controls until its exhaust points straight down to brake its fall. The powerful thrust of the jet is gradually reduced so that instead of rising straight up the spaceship is drawn slowly downward to an easy landing by the pull of the moon's gravity.
PREPARING TO DISEMBARK on the airless surface of the moon, the men put on heated pressure suits made of rubberized cloth and bubblelike [sic] plastic helmets with built-in binoculars. Each man has a small automatic camera attached to his chest and carries tanks full of compressed oxygen and helium for breathing.
LEAVING THE ROCKET, the travelers become the first men ever to set foot on a foreign world. The bulky, cumbersome-looking equipment they carry, which would weigh hundreds of pounds on the earth, is a light burden here where gravity is so weak. Without it the men would bound uncontrollably with every step.
EXPLORING THE LUNAR LANDSCAPE, the crewmen work fast to take pictures, collect rock samples and make astronomical observations with their telescopic camera (center) before the blazing dawn drives them back to their air-conditioned rocket. Having almost no atmosphere, the moon is subject to vast temperature changes: the land in the foreground, illuminated only by the dim light reflected from the earth, stands at a frozen 240° below zero Fahrenheit, but the bright region in the distance, lit by powerful rays of the rising sun, is seared by 250° heat. The landscape, made up of bone-dry, jagged rocks and drifting dust, reflects the lack of a protective atmosphere. Before the sun strikes them the travelers will take off again, break free of the moon's gravity and coast back to earth. They will circle the globe several times in order to lose speed then, reversing the rocket, use the last of their fuel to slow up their descent to their native planet.
Nashua, New Hampshire Telegraph - 18 Jan 49
Mayor Gets Warning From Danville Man
From Danville, Ill., Mayor Maynard received a warning today which had him back on the ropes for a minute or two as he remembered the flying disks, saucers, and the like, which the worthy citizenry of our fair nation have reported every now and then.
Not wanting to frighten his constituents, but at the same time not desirous of having them overlook any of the potentialities of this push-button age, the Mayor turned the penny postcard over to one of this paper's reporters. This is what it said:
"An Alert to the Nation"
"There is a radar fifth column within the nation, using secret radar death ray".
"A radio 'technition' [sic] who heard their plans against our country".
Nottingham, England Journal - 20 Jan 49
For Your Book List
... As its title indicates, Bernard Newman's latest thriller, The Flying Saucer, is right up to date. It is written with all this author's customary skill in blending fiction with near-fact, and the result is a tale which will hold the attention all the time. ...
Corvallis, Oregon Gazette-Times - 25 Jan 49
Flying saucers were seen again in Tillamook Saturday. To revamp an old saying, "If flying saucers are here, can spring be far away?"
Lowell, Massachusetts Sun - 29 Jan 49
Man About Town
... We were shocked to hear the words which came into our ears over the phone the other night: "There's a flock of flying saucers out here in South Chelmsford." Immediately we recalled all the furore created all over the county, including this section, last year when the dizzy things in the sky were spotted by everyone everywhere. The most plausible explanation hereabouts was by the weather officials who reported weather balloons were seen on many occasions and reported for the saucers. A check of persons in the suburban locality failed to substantiate the claim of the caller so we attributed the reported phenomenon to one of those occasions which usually occur in the winter. The fires and equipment used by the railroad gives off a lucid glow in the night sky as switches are being thawed out, and numerous reports of fires and other scares reach the police and fire departments and the office here. ...
Edwardsville, Illinois Intelligencer - 29 Jan 49
Those people who saw the flying saucers last year were a little behind the times. An astronomer in Italy saw a flock of flying saucers on November 30, 1880.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal - 31 Jan 49
Meteor Blazes Across Skies Of Albuquerque
A large meteor blazed across the skies east of Albuquerque at 5:54 p.m. Sunday and was seen by numerous residents of the city and several airplane pilots.
Dr. Lincoln LaPaz, head of the Institute of Meteoritics at the University, immediately began plans to attempt to locate any fragments which might have reached the earth. His first step was to begin plotting its path from the observations of numerous persons who saw it and immediately telephoned him.
Falls to East
Dr. LaPaz said his first, tentative calculations indicated that if any part of the meteor reached the earth, it fell in the southern part of the Estancia Valley.
William Nesbett, 522 El Paso Drive, was the first to report to LaPaz he had seen the meteor. Nesbet [sic] said he was at the dinner table looking out of the window to the east, when he saw a reddish "fireball," which quickly changed to a bluish-green in color. He said it moved in a horizontal path
from north to south over the Sandias, and remained visible about three seconds. Capt. M.E. Heflinger, pilot, and Capt. B.B. Cole, co-pilot, on a United Airlines cargo plane headed into Albuquerque saw the meteor from a point about 60 miles east. They described it as bright and green in color, and traveling slower than any other meteor they had ever seen. They said it traveled in a 20-degree arc in a horizontal plane about 5 degrees above the horizon.
The two said that at the end of its visible path the meteor appeared to break into three pieces, but did not explode. Other observers thought it exploded.
Capt. John Dorrett, who was flying near Zuni pueblo, reported seeing a bright green "fireball" traveling in a horizontal path, which he believed fell to the ground near Albuquerque. J.A. Albertson, conductor on a Santa Fe train near Laguna, reported to State Police the meteor resembled an airplane going down in flames. The same description was given by City Commissioner Clyde Tingley, who placed its location much nearer the city than other observers.
Elmer Higgins of Santa Fe, who was north of Bernalillo driving toward Santa Fe, told Dr. LaPaz the meteor appeared to him to be headed toward Tijeras pass.
Dr. LaPaz invited all other observers to report their observations to the Institute of Meteoritics, either by telephone or letter. The Institute can be reached by telephone through the University switchboard, and by letter in care of the University.
St. Cloud, Minnesota Times - 31 Jan 49
Hot Scoop: Discs Flying In Area
It takes more than cold weather to keep a good man down -- likewise flying saucers.
Mrs. Marge Voghtman, 732-31 avenue north, reported seeing a shiny object high in the sky in the vicinity of the Veterans Administration hospital this morning. She said that it was round, white and appeared to be moving. A check with the weather bureau at the St. Cloud airport revealed that a balloon had be released earlier in the morning but a spokesman there asserted that it had moved off toward the twin Cities [sic].
However, a balloon also was released at Camp Ripley this morning by General mills which may have been the object Mrs. Voghtman saw.
Mrs. Voghtman also reported seeing a robin earlier this month.
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