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in the news 1952


Bronx Sketch

Above: Water color submitted to the New York Post by 16-year old Rita Acuna of a July 25, 1952 sighting from Bronx, New York. It is unknown who made the inscription "refractions", or when it was made. Story below.

NINETEEN FIFTY-TWO might be remembered for many things, large and small. The election of Dwight Eisenhower as President of the United States. Fifty thousand American families afflicted by Polio. The British A-bomb. The first issue of Mad magazine. The theory of the Big Bang.

But for those of a certain bent, 1952 will also be remembered for the second great 'flying saucer flap' which climaxed with the reports of radar and visual sightings over the nation's capital in late July.

Part of the story of that event-filled year is now available in declassified government files. But for the public back then -- at a time when only one in three families in America had a television set -- the story was mostly found in the newspapers and magazines.

This then is a look back at those stories, as they first appeared in print...

JULY 26 THROUGH 27, 1952:

Charleston, West Virginia Gazette - 26 Jul 52

Quick to Believe

Now again come reports of "flying saucers" being seen. While most of us scoff at the objects as being optical illusions, science continues to gather all the information possible, not wanting to overlook anything.

Those who want to believe that the objects are real flying devices immediately conclude that they are from some other world because nothing of the sort has been developed in this one. At first there was some suspicion that they were coming from behind the Iron Curtain, but there has been no evidence discovered in support of that theory.

If these are "space ships" why are they prowling around the Earth, and why do not those inside them try to set up communication with us? Are they so far beyond us in intelligence that they know there is nothing they could learn from us that would be of any value to them?

It is a curious fact that human beings are quick to believe anything they want to believe and this without supporting evidence. Many of the superstitions which were ours when we lived in trees and caves remain with us. The evolution of the human race has by no means been even in all phases of mental development. Time is not of much consequence when it comes to development of life in any form. Some of the forms of life today show no progress whatever in millions of years. Scientists tell us that evolution is due to environment. But they do not tell us why man has grown in intelligence so fast as to far outstrip all other forms.

Our greatest scientists have never been able to learn exact conditions as they exist on any of the myriad stars above us or even on the planets we know. There is still disagreement as to whether any form of life as we know it can exist on any of our planets. We are learning more about them every day but as yet we know only a fraction of what is to be learned some day.

Thinking about the world of chance as we express it, it occurs to us that it would be preposterous to suppose that there is nowhere in all the vast heavens any other terrestrial body that would parallel the conditions we have on our Earth. Then why not intelligent beings? That is only speculation, and science recognizes nothing but proven facts. Yet reasoning often has to be based upon probabilities. So most of us smile knowingly when we read about more "flying saucers" being seen by reliable observers. We must have more concrete evidence before we treat the stories seriously. But at the same time we maintain open minds. No matter what might be the outcome, we would be glad if one of the contraptions made contact with the earth.

One recalls the sensation created one peaceful Sunday afternoon several years ago when folks listened in on a radio production of Orson Welles, "War of the Worlds" and thousands prepared to flee from some nameless terror. That incident only goes to prove that a lot of people are willing to believe anything they hear, no matter how preposterous it may be.

San Mateo, California Times - 26 Jul 52

'Saucers' Over Capital

When a radar screen shows clear "blips" or objects, the probing rays have bounced off something solid. The other night the huge air traffic control radar antenna at Washington's National airport picked up a string of eight slow-moving objects flying in the vicinity of Andrews air-force base, which is the main interceptor base at Washington.

Radar operators noted the direction of the flight and told the pilot of a Capitol Airlines plane in the vicinity to keep an eye out for them. He spotted fast-moving lights in the sky near the West Virginia border some time later. The information was passed along to the air force.

The air force didn't send up interceptors, it is explained, because the objects weren't picked up by air-force radar or by the civilian spotting corps. This is like firemen ignoring a house afire next door to the station because there hadn't been an official alarm. The air force merely states that it is "investigating".

It is quite possible that the "slow-moving objects" were weather balloons sailing along before high-altitude winds, but this theory can be punched full of holes. In fact, so can any theory at present.

The air force, two years ago, suspended a special investigating section it had set up to probe all reports of unexplained objects. At the time the conclusion the air force was forced to draw was that there were no such things as "flying saucers. The visions were described as caused by mass hysteria, hoaxes, or mistaken identification of balloons, meteors, or falling stars.

Sightings this year are running at the rate of one hundred a month. Sure, it's hot and people may see things, but this still doesn't close the door to the fact that quite possibly there are objects gallivanting around the sky other than tame balloons or natural phenomena.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa Gazette 26 Jul 52

Fie on Saucer Scoffers!

UNDOUBTEDLY figuring that we are so preoccupied with politics that we won't be looking, those men from Mars are nosing around in their flying saucers again. And, sure enough, most of the amateur sky-watchers miss them.

Only this time they ran afoul of a professional radar man who presumably is a Republican. On the eve of the Democratic convention he had already had his fill of politics and was paying attention to his job.

He saw the mysterious, unaccounted-for aircraft on his radar screen. They also were seen by two airline pilots, who have to carry the mail in all kinds of politics. A man named Joe and his wife saw them, too. And this time the word is that officials in the Pentagon are showing serious interest in the apparitions. As a matter of fact, that word was going around in Washington early last spring.

All we can say is that it's about time. We have taken a serious interest in flying saucers since the first rash of reports broke out three or four years ago. We have read all the explanations subsequently offered by military officials and scientists who poohpooh the idea that the saucers are something military officials and scientists wouldn't know about. And we simply don't believe them.

We string along with the lay observers. Our position is that when scores of ordinary people report seeing things in the sky they never saw before they are not just seeing things. Something is there to see. It may not come from another planet, but that hypothesis is as good as any until the scoffers can offer a better one.

And, frankly, we hope it does come from some other planet. We're sick and tired of the news we've been getting from this one.

Anderson, Indiana Herald - 26 Jul 52

[No Headline]

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO scientists sent aloft a cluster of cosmic ray testing balloons this week and predicted they would cause a new rash of flying saucer reports. The 125 balloons, carrying 70 pounds of recording apparatus, are expected to reach a height of 100,000 feet. Several of them will burst in the thin air and the recording devices will float gently back to earth. One of the points the scientists hope to determine is whether the nuclei of such heavy atoms as iron, carbon and oxygen are more abundant in daytime cosmic radiation than at night.

Darmstadt, Germany European Stars and Stripes - 26 Jul 52

'Objects' Sighted Over New England By Air Spotters

BOSTON, July 25 -- Air Force officials said they had received a number of reports of "silver discs and other unusual objects" sighted over New England and as far south as New Jersey.

At Manchester, N.H., Maj. Harold Hurlburt, commander of New England's "Operation Skywatch," said two trained observers reported disc-like objects over their stations.

The first report, he said, came from an observer at Westfield, Me., who saw three discs of different sizes flying at a high altitude and heading southwest.

Another came from a Coast Guard seaman who said the disk-like objects circled the Coast Guard station at Nahant, Mass., at 2,000 feet and then headed out to sea.

Residents of Boston suburbs reported three "greenish blue" objects making an arc in the southwest sky before disappearing.

Ralph Curio, of Haddon Field, N.J., said he saw a dark circular object floating in a westerly direction, about 120 miles south of Millville. He said the object changed speed several times.

North Adams, Massachusetts Transcript 26 Jul 52

Local Spotters Plan 'Saucer Watch' Over This Week-End

A 15-hour watch, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., will be kept over the week-end by the North Adams Air Ground Observers corps, Emile N. Trottier, director, announced last night.

The extended hours are part of an especially thorough watch ordered by the observer center at Manchester, N.H.

Spotters have been warned to keep a special look-out for planes with a red stripe on the fuselage. Mr. Trottier said he did not know what that special marking means, but he thought it might be a test to see if spotters can pick out distinctive markings on planes. Then, too, he said, perhaps they're Canadian planes.

For the present, Mr. Trottier said, the observers are not reporting all military planes. Only four engined craft are to be reported together with anything at all unusual or suspicious which is seen in the sky.

That, to some, has raised the question of a possible appearance of "flying saucers," since some objects described by observers as "saucers" actually were picked up on Air force radar screens near Washington, D.C. recently.

Phoenix, Arizona Republic - 26 Jul 52

Saucer Reports Bloom; Scientists Stay Skeptical

LOS ANGELES, July 25 -- New reports of flying saucers or some other mysterious objects in the night-time sky came Friday from both ends of the nation.

But as reports of disc-like objects continued to mount, scientists remained skeptical.

Ogdensburg, N.Y., residents reported two or three jet planes circled three silver objects high in the sky about 20 minutes Friday.

HAROLD FRANK, a radio newsman, reported the objects appeared to be round, silvery, and in three sections. He said his office -- WSLB -- had been swamped with telephone calls from inquisitive persons. It was not known immediately where the planes were from.

Members of the U.S. immigration office at Ogdensburg watched the aerial chase through high-powered field glasses. They said it looked like "three balloons being chased by two jets."

CIVIL DEFENSE spotters said the planes in pursuit of the objects were American interceptors, but they had no further information.

Reports of similar objects seen Friday in New York's Herkimer and Hamilton counties came in to the Albany and Syracuse filter centers.

Flying saucer watchers in Southern California have reported seeing something flitting over the Hawthorne and Inglewood areas this week. Mrs. Vern Margolis said that Thursday night she saw an object in the northwestern sky after midnight.

"IT APPEARED elongated at first and then seemed to form into a ball and disappeared real fast," she said.

At Wilmington, N.C, a large number of persons telephoned police last night to say they saw a bright object flashing overhead at "terrific speed."

Scientists at Griffith Park Observatory here took a dim view of the reports coming from Southern California. They said that despite the reports throughout the last week, nothing unusual had been seen through observatory telescopes.

Syracuse, New York Post Standard - 26 Jul 52

Unidentified Aerial Objects Seen in City and N.N.Y.
Syracuse Women Say Flying Saucer 'Dived' Toward Car

Unidentified aerial objects -- flying saucers, moving lights, shining balls -- were reported in the Syracuse area and various points in Northern New York yesterday.

Ogdensburg Agog

What was believed to be a flying saucer hovered high over Ogdensburg yesterday afternoon and aroused the curiosity of thousands of residents.

Civil defense ground observers in Ogdensburg and Madrid, both in St. Lawrence County, and other observers in Jefferson and Lewis Counties reported sighting strange objects in the sky.

Their reports early yesterday morning were of moving lights in the sky. It is believed they detected other objects during the day.

Two Syracuse women told of a flying saucer which "dive bombed" toward them. Two other Syracuse women spoke of a shining silver ball sparkling in the sun.

The flying saucer observed over Ogdensburg was said to be rectangular in shape. What appeared to be two parachutes was attached underneath the object.

Motionless At Times

It first appeared about 2:30 p.m. It was white or silver and seemed at times to hang motionless in the sky. It was plainly visible by residents of Ogdensburg and area.

Unlike flying saucers previously seen traveling across the heavens at high speed, the object yesterday drifted slowly for nearly an hour before it faded from view in the south.

The jet planes were noticed circling the object shortly after it had been sighted. The planes were so high they were barely visible.

The object was believed to be similar to aerial objects sighted over Washington, D.C., Monday. The latter were said to be traveling at 100 to 130 miles an hour and also seemed to hover in one position.

Mrs. David DeLoria, 335 Fobes ave., and her visitor, Mrs. Don Bickley, were having coffee about 11 a.m. yesterday when they saw a shining silver ball sparkling high in the sun. Having seen the ball thru a window, they rushed outdoors to get a better view; but the object was gone.

Re-entering the house, they looked out and saw it again. To go out again would have been like a game of peek-a-boo. Anyway, Mrs. DeLoria said she was sure the object was not a balloon, since it was too high in the air.

Break In Formation

The night before Mrs. Margaret Rebensky, Green Lake rd., Fayetteville, and her mother, Mrs. Julia Lindsey, had stopped for a traffic light as they were driving in Eric blvd., W. Mrs. Lindsey saw six bright lights in the sky. Suddenly one of the lights broke formation and "dived" toward the car. It missed the hood, then shot upward and got into formation again. The object was the size of a honeydew melon.

At Hancock Field pilots reportedly have seen objects in the sky. When jets have been sent to investigate, they have found only conventional aircraft, according to an air official.

He said the numerous reports of aerial objects may be due to three causes: Numerous aircraft and weather bureau observation objects in the air, clear visibility high in the sky during the summer days, and numerous ground observers on 24-hour duty.

It's quite possible that aircraft at 35,000 to 50,000 feet in the air are being mistaken for flying saucers and other strange objects, he said. The same holds for weather observation balloons and such.

Also, reports are more numerous because civil defense ground observers had been put on 24-hour duty thruout the state since July 14.

Syracuse, New York Post Standard - 26 Jul 52

Interceptor Planes Identify Object as Weather Balloon

ROME, July 25. -- A report of a possible flying saucer over Northern New York alerted Griffiss Air Force Base this afternoon.

Two planes from the 27th fighter-interceptor squadron took off after the saucer and identified it as a weather balloon at high altitude.

Capt. Lawrence Browne, public information officer at the base, said the pilots of the planes "definitely identified the object as a weather balloon."

He said the pilots were able to fly in close to the object which was at "high altitude" over the Ogdensburg area.

Cumberland, Maryland Evening Times - 26 Jul 52

Flying Saucer Found On Farm Proves Puzzle

MARTINSBURG, W. Va. -- Here's Martinsburg's contribution to the latest series of "flying saucer" reports:

Mrs. Lewis Prather found an object on her farm at nearby Middleway in Jefferson County.

Although from a distance it looked like a piece of airplane fuselage, it turned out to be a kind of kite. But too fancy and well-built for the kind usually pulled by boys.

It is about five feet square and so designed that, once aloft, it will take wind from any direction. The frame is wood. The coating looks like extra-heavy paper with glossy aluminum paint on one side. The only marking is "ML-307-C-AP."

Civil Aeronautics officials in Martinsburg said they couldn't identify it. The Weather Bureau said it doesn't resemble anything they use.

Mrs. Prather remembered a newspaper story about an airlines pilot who said he saw mysterious bright objects in the sky between Washington and Martinsburg last Sunday, so she showed the kite to Martinsburg newsmen.

Titusville, Pennsylvania Herald 26 Jul 52

30 Workers See Strange Silver Disk

Hovering high in the Titusville sky, mysterious and alone, a strange object glinted yesterday noon for 15 minutes and then suddenly sped away into the thin blue.

At least 25 or 30 men on their lunch period at Struthers Wells Corporation saw the silent disk.

Doubting their eyes at first, the men watched the silvery object until it flashed out of sight.

"I never believed in flying saucers before," said John F. Austen of 407 East Main Street, "but I hope I never see anything like this again."

The first, to see the awe-inspiring device were William Wescoat and Charles Warner. They called it to the attention of a group of workers who were outside the boiler shop on the Washington Street side.

There were about 25 or 30 in the group, enough witnesses to make certain there was something in the sky like they had never seen before.

They agreed it was made of metal, either silver or aluminum. It couldn't have been a balloon, by its appearance. It reflected the sun brilliantly when it turned in the air, but when it went over on its side it exposed a dark edge.

Perhaps 20,000 Feet Up

The "It" was toward the northeast, perhaps near the Grand Valley area, when it was first spotted. Its height from the ground was variously estimated from 10,000 to 20,000 feet and the diameter as seen from Titusville appeared to be about 15 inches.

It first hovered, and then moved on its quiet course to the east and swung back to the west again. The observers watched it go up and down a couple thousand feet at a time. Finally it streaked north until it vanished in the distance.

The Herald interviewed several of the watchers. Mr. Austen, a former Pittsburgh Press photographer, said:

"It was like a bright half dollar.

"It was too far away to photograph. It circled a bit, finally pulled up and went away to the north where it disappeared.

"It went up and down a little and sideways. If that is what a flying saucer looks like, we saw it.

"When the sun hit it, it would shine. Then it turned over and would fade out except for a dark line along the edge. Then it would come in again when the sun hit it.

"If radar hadn't picked up 'saucers' in Washington I would say it was something caused by atomic blasts out west. Now I don't know what to say, from a planet or Russia. I never saw anything like it before."

Top-Secret Weapon?

Others were agreed the object didn't appear to be made on earth. But one man thought the mysterious thing is produced by our government and is a top-secret weapon.

Stanley Crowther of Guys Mills, Route 4, said:

"It was something man-made, and the U.S. government knows all about it. That's why no one is investigating reports of the flights.

"Yes, the group was excited and couldn't get over what it was. It went vertically for quite a space and also horizontally until it diminished in mid-air at about 12:35.

"It seemed to be about 12 or 15 inches in diameter as we saw it out in space. It was like silver or aluminum and was high in the sky. About eight miles away, it was quite small but it was there."

Carson Dement of Centerville said in answer to questions:

"I don't know what it was. It looked like a disk that was very shiny, or a silver dish. It was so high in the air we couldn't hear any sound.

Gained, Lost Altitude

"It first went east as we were facing north. Then it came back to the west, gained altitude and then came down a way. Then it went back up and went due north. Couldn't tell exactly what it was except a silver-colored object in the sky.

"No, I don't think it was a balloon. It was so far away and awful high that it looked ten inches in diameter.

"You could see when it turned that one side would be shining real bright. Then it turned and a darker spot would show, something like a leaf turning in the air.

"I have said anybody was crazy who said he saw a flying saucer, but I saw something I never saw before in the air. It sure wasn't any kid's kite."

A number of Struthers Wells employees saw the object, including Russ Henry, Robert Butcher, Ralph Young, Con Enright, Charles Warner and others.

Oil City, Pennsylvania Blizzard 26 Jul 52

Blizzard Breezes

JOE STANDISH reports seeing a "flying saucer" near here early this week. He said that the saucer was "as big as a big airplane" and that it was flying at a high altitude.

Titusville, Pennsylvania Herald 26 Jul 52

Watch Sky at 12:15, When Things Happen

If you haven't anything to do today at 12:15, you might look up at the sky at that noon time.

No one promises you'll see anything, but for two days in a row strange disks have been spotted at that exact time.

Thursday four "flying saucers" were seen skimming along just below the clouds north of Corry.

Yesterday a mysterious object was sighted near here, 12:15 to 12:35.

Indiana, Pennsylvania Evening Gazette 26 Jul 52

Blve. Skywatch Observers Spot Flying Saucer

"Operation Skywatch" in Blairsville has come up with the report of a "flying saucer."

Three observers -- David Luchsinger, Joe Haydon, and Jack Spicher -- said they sighted a round white ball about 5:45 a.m. Thursday while they were on duty at the Blairsville Civil Defense post.

They described the ball as traveling at an excessive rate of speed from southeast to north. The spectacle lasted about five seconds and is believed to have traveled about five or six miles during that time. There was no tail to the light, the observers stated.

Findlay, Ohio Republican Courier - 26 Jul 52

Van Buren Man Sights Saucer Over Findlay

Carl Baxley, of Van Buren is wondering whether he saw a flying saucer early yesterday morning.

Mr. Baxley. an employe of General Tire company, Bowling Green, had just returned home from work on the second shift.

It was 3:15 a.m. as he drove into his yard. Looking up into the heavens he saw what appeared at first to be an orange ball moving slowly through the sky.

He went into his house and procured a pair of high-powered German binoculars. Looking through them he saw the object which then appeared to be conical in shape, red in color with translucent stripes in orange, yellow and lighter red.

It moved slowly towards Findlay and as it seemed to him to be about over Findlay he said it seemed to stop and jerk up and down several times before going on southward.

He said he watched it for nearly five minutes before it was lost to sight.

Las Vegas, Nevada Daily Optic - 26 Jul 52

Flying Saucer Sighted By Albuquerque Man

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. July 25 -- Another "flying saucer" is reported to have been sighted over New Mexico skies.

The latest report came from Alfred R. Fierro, an Old Town post Office clerk who said he heard the sound of an airplane, looked up and saw a disc which appeared to be about half the size of a full moon at 9:40 a.m. Friday.

Fierro, a paratrooper during World War II, estimated the disc's altitude as about 10,000 feet. He said it stayed in the same position about four minutes, then disappeared.

Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal - 26 Jul 52

'Flying Saucer' Reported Sighted

A 'flying saucer," estimated to be from 100 to 200 feet in diameter, hovered over the city four minutes Friday morning, an Old Town Post Office clerk reported.

Alfred R. Fierro said he left the Post Office building to empty a waste paper basket, heard the sound of an airplane, looked up and saw a disc which appeared to be about half the size of a full moon. He checked the time at 9:40 a.m.

Fierro, a paratrooper during World War II, estimated the altitude at 10,000 feet. It stayed in the same position four minutes, Fierro said, then with a sudden burst of speed disappeared to the north in about 30 seconds.

With, this information, Dr. Lincoln LaPaz, director of the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico, calculated that the size of the object, "definitely not a fireball or a weather balloon," at from 100 to 200 feet in diameter.

The saucer, which appeared in the southwest portion of the sky, was also seen by Mrs. D.Z. Andrews and her daughter, 2429 Rose Dr. NW, patrons in the Post Office at the time. An object of similar description was reported seen by another resident Thursday night.

Marseille, France Le Meridional 26 Jul 52

New Appearances Of "Flying Saucers" Above Cote d'Or and the Netherlands and Havana

Dijon. -- In Aisey-sur-Seine, Misters Roy and Ormancey which were at the sawmill of Vaux, examined a flotilla of seven flying saucers flying in form of a V at a vertiginous speed. The spherical machines had the luminosity of neon, they declared.

The same day, in the afternoon, several residents of Delan-sur-Ource, could examine two luminous discs which, after having hovered on the village during a certain time, seemed to dissociate. At the same time, a violent movement of air was felt in the area, movement which curved the trees. As soon as the machines disappeared, the swirl ceased...

Several craft in the Netherland sky

Amsterdam. -- The Press reports that a Dutchwoman and her four children saw many flying saucers flying over Arnhem, the evening before yesterday.

They would have come from the north in formation of a "V" and would have been visible during several minutes. They were described as having a dark core of the size of a tennis ball, surrounded of a brilliant rim.

... and above Havana

Havana. -- The doctors and nurses of the Marianao hospital observed two flying saucers evolving at about 1.500 meters of altitude.

The "flying saucer" of Clermont-Ferrand said to be a weather balloon

The experts of the Air Force, after examination of the photographs of the "flying saucer" seen close to Clermont-Ferrand declared that it was probably an observation balloon of the national weather services.

Oran, Algeria Echo d 'Oran July 26, 1952

Strange Phenomenon Witnessed From Two Points In Oran

Recently, several inhabitants of Oran reported seeing a flying saucer at approximately the same time.

At 1535 hours, Raoul Le Henaff, foreman of a local company, saw an incandescent white mass in the sky above Oran. It flew southwestward, traveling at an altitude of about 2,000 meters. There was no luminous exhaust and no smoke. After about 30 seconds, the phenomenon grew hazy and disappeared. The personnel of the company office and Palacio, an employee in the Algeronaphte factory, also saw the "saucer."

At 1537 hours, Maurice Dubessay, who works for L'Echo d'Oran, saw what appeared to be a brilliant disk going in a southwest direction at a great speed and at medium altitude. It disappeared after 5 seconds. In a similar time interval, Atias and Karsenty, two grocers, also saw the unknown object before it disappeared behind a cloud.

New York City, New York Post - Jul 52

[Note: The following appears in Project Blue Book files but is not noted as to the date it was published. However, the incident date is July 25, 1952, and the language employed -- i.e., a reference to "late Friday" -- indicates it was published within a week of the incident.]

Post Sketch

This is a sketch of the "flying saucer" formation drawn by Rita Acuna which she and three others saw streaking across the skies. The original has been sent to Air Force officials.

17 'Saucers' Sighted In Sky Over Bronx
By Harry Swirsky

It might appear to be just another "flying saucer" tale. Yet it involves not one "saucer" -- but 17 of the mysterious objects. The "saucers" -- which appeared reddish orange in color -- were sighted in the sky above 1041 Tiffany St., in the East Bronx, late Friday night by two women and two girls.

"It was a hot dull night and we began counting stars for excitement," said Rita Acuna, 16, of 1035 Tiffany St.

"But it proved far more exciting than we might have imagined," she said, "for we wound up counting 'saucers' instead."

"They sped through the sky in a huge reddish orange formation -- which looked like an upside down 'J'," the girl said.

"Although they were visible for only about 10 seconds, we managed to count 17 in all."

Rita's observations were confirmed by her mother, Mrs. Marie Acuna; a neighbor, Mrs. Sylvia Finkelstein, of 1041 Tiffany St. and the girl's little sister Yvonne, 9, all of whom had been engaged in "star counting" when the saucers were sighted.

"I've seen eclipses and things like that," said Mrs. Finkelstein, "but this was different -- and more thrilling -- than anything I've ever seen."

Rather than rely on pure memory, Rita, a commercial art student at the High school of Industrial Art, ran upstairs and made a water color painting of what she had seen.

The drawing was sent to Air Force officials for possible investigation.

The Tiffany St. "saucer" case was second of its kind to be reported in the Bronx within the last few weeks.

Six person reported seeing a similar twirling object speed through the air over a rooftop at 1555 Boston Rd. on June 26...

Abilene, Texas Reporter News - 27 Jul 52

Flying Phenomena or What - Air Force Takes Dim View
by Saul Pett

Animal, vegetable or mineral, optical illusion, light reflection or actual substance, the phenomena known loosely as "flying saucers" were as busy as the Democrats this week.

In the New York area, in Washington, D.C., in New England and Ohio, reports came in of strange aerial objects that defied immediate explanation. The Air Force said the volume of such reports was the heaviest it has been In five years.

Most of the recent sightings were made by. relatively competent observers, by pilots, airport control tower men and civilian air defense spotters. In one case, radar technicians at the airport In Washington reported unidentified, unexplained "blips" on their radar scopes the same night other people saw strange lights in the sky.

All this added significance but no solution to the great celestial mystery which has puzzled, fascinated and sometimes frightened the nation since the first "saucers" were sighted in 1947.

But the Air Force could only say what it has said before: "There is still no concrete evidence to prove or disprove the so-called 'flying saucers.' "

The fact that radar picked up unidentified "blips" does not, the spokesman said, necessarily indicate the presence of actual substance instead of mere light. A radar contact, he said, can he caused, by an electronic disturbances in the sky, malfunctioning of the radar set or an actual substance.

But on the same night, Saturday night -- and in the same general area -- that the radar made its unexplained contacts, two airlines pilots reported strange lights in the sky.

Flying between Washington and Martinsburg, W. Va., Capt. S.C. Pierman said he saw seven objects, moving at tremendous speed at times, hanging almost motionless at other times. He said they were like "falling stars without tails" but he added he had never seen a shooting star move so fast.

Another pilot said he saw a light trail his plane to within four miles of Washington.

In Massachusetts, "silver disks" in the sky were reported by two members of the Ground Observer Corps and a wartime flight engineer. Other sightings, varying in descriptions, were reported from Burlington, Vt., South Portland, Me., and New York City, and in France, a man claimed to have photographed a brilliantly lighted "oval saucer" flying between 9,000 and 24,000 feet.

Darmstadt, Germany European Stars and Stripes - 27 Jul 52

15% of 'Flying Saucer' Reports Unexplained, AF Prober Says

DAYTON, Ohio, July 26 -- Capt E. J. Ruppelt, head of the Air Force investigation of "flying saucer" reports, said about 15 per cent of the approximately 1,000 sightings in the past four years cannot be explained.

He said jet fighters equipped with radar have been sent up into the skies but have yet to make contact with any "saucer." He said ground radar, meanwhile, tracked some unexplainable aerial objects, believed traveling at a speed of from 1,500 to 2,000 mph, but these were not reported seen by any human.

Natural Explanations

Ruppelt said none of the sightings, mostly reported around atomic bomb centers, resulted from atomic bomb blasts or cosmic-ray and guided-missile research.

Ruppelt is project officer for the Air Force's "Operation Bluebook" which is investigating all "flying saucer" reports from its headquarters at nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He spent thousands of hours tracking down reports coming in at an increasing rate the last few weeks and found many of them have natural explanations.

Thirty-eight per cent were meteors or other heavenly bodies, 13 per cent balloons, 22 per cent birds and aircraft, 2 per cent hoaxes, 10 per cent too nebulous to classify or confirm, and 15 per cent unexplained.

He said no physical trace such as a piece of wreckage has ever been found following the receipt of a reported sighting.

The investigation was started in 1948 but was dropped for a short period the following year.

It was revived, however, when more reports came in during late 1949 and kept going as a routine investigation at Wright-Patterson.

Ruppelt said the project would continue until all sightings can be explained satisfactorily.

Long Beach, California Press Telegram - 27 Jul 52

Fake Saucer

How You Can Help Solve The Saucer Mystery
Beware Of Fake "Flying Saucers"

It was taken about 3 o'clock on a recent afternoon by photographer Ben Ross:

He saw it fly low over a beach on Long Island. The sun glinted from its greenish edges. Its course was a long circle over the shore grass.

Hours later, the "saucer" took shape on Ross's film. You see his enlargement here -- a seemingly authentic "flying saucer" photograph.

But the picture doesn't reveal just what kind of saucer -- nor how it was powered.

For the fact is that it was an ordinary clay pigeon painted green. And its engine? Just the right arm of a husky 12-year-old boy.

This picture of a "flying saucer" was purposely set up by Ross to prove that it's easy to photograph a "saucer." You can do it yourself without much trouble. Others already have.

Such pictures have excited great curiosity among everyday people -- and even among Air Force authorities probing the "saucer" mystery.

One result is the loss of time -- and the possible sidetracking of important research into the real nature of unexplained "somethings" in our skies.

Send All Details to Air Force

So Ross's picture is a warning: don't go overboard on dim, out-of-focus saucer photos.

• If you do think any such picture is important, send it at once to the Air Force. But be sure to report details of who took it, where, and-when.

• Actually there is only one kind of photograph which will prove that saucers are real. That is actually three photographs of the same saucer -- all taken from different places at the same instant.

Such simultaneous triple photographs would give researchers a way to judge speed, size, course and shape of a saucer. Short of the actual discovery of a saucer itself, only such pictures could prove they are real. And until they are turned in, Air Force men will continue to stand on Secretary Thomas K. Finletter's recent statement:

• "No concrete evidence has yet reached the Air Force either to prove or disprove the existence of the so-called flying saucers.

• "There remain, however, a number of sightings that the Air Force investigators have been unable to explain. As long as this is true, the Air Force will continue to study 'flying saucer' reports."

Reno, Nevada State Journal - 27 Jul 52

Others See Flying Saucers; Housewife Sights Flying Dish

DARTMOUTH, N.S. [sic], July 26 -- Mrs. Robert Cohoon, a housewife, has reported to naval aviation authorities that she saw a "flying dinner plate" circle the ball park near her home at "terrific speed."

"This was no mere flying saucer," she told the Navy, "this was a flying dinner plate."

Council Bluffs, Iowa Nonpareil - 27 Jul 52

The Week's Mail

Although no final decision was made, it was believed that "flying saucers" reported near Shenandoah one night recently were reflections of spotlights on clouds.

One observer has the theory that the lights, were from a horse show at Burlington Junction, Mo.

Lima, Ohio News - 27 Jul 52

Looking At Lima

TWO ADDITIONAL comments on the report that "flying saucers" were seen over Lima Thursday night were phoned in to The Lima News Friday night.

Ronald Eastom, 239 W. Kibby-st, said that he distinctly saw a "bright, shiny silver disc" high up in the northeastern part of the sky at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

The object hovered about a cloud for about two hours before descending nearer the earth. It then "set in the air" for about 20 seconds before disappearing toward outer space, he stated.

Eastom said the object was apparently made of aluminum, and had a circular dome atop it.

John Tirnmerman, 435 S. Nixon-av, said he saw two bright objects in the sky about 7:30 p.m. Thursday. He added that closer observation showed them to be conventional-type airplanes.

Ada, Oklahoma Evening News 27 Jul 52

'Saucer' Reported Northeast of Ada

Call it a flying saucer or just something, but a report came in to THE NEWS of something being seen early Saturday night.

Louis Long and son Russ were sitting in the back yard of the Long home at 808 South Broadway when they noticed the strange object.

Long described it as being of water drop shape, emitting a greenish white light. It was in the northeastern sky, moving SE-NW and falling at an angle of about 30 degrees. Long adjudged it to be two to five miles away and to be about the size of the fuselage of a large plane. He checked the time at 10.

He said that he had seen meteors and that the Saturday night object was moving slower than meteors, more like a skyrocket in the distance. Long admits that he isn't sure what the occasion qualifies him for but is curious to know if other people in this area saw the same object.

Twin Falls, Idaho Times-News - 27 Jul 52

4 Persons See Saucers Play in Twin Falls Sky

Twin Falls is not without its flying saucers. Four residents claim they saw 15 of them at 10 p.m. Friday. Only instead of being round or cigar shaped or spherical, these were diamond shaped.

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Frasier and Mr. and Mrs. "Buz" Stepp, who live across from the Park hotel, said they saw the 15 diamond shaped "saucers" come from the east and at first they thought they were sparks. Around a half hour later the "sparks" returned, however, this time in a wedge formation.

The observers claim the objects darted about playfully and seemed to bump into one another. They had yellow-orange glows and took only about two seconds to cross the sky. The objects made four trips across the sky, finally disappearing in the east.

Long Beach, California Independent 27 Jul 52

Flying 'It' Seen in Bellflower,  Lakewood Park, Vanishes Swiftly

Of The Independent's Bellflower Staff

BELLFLOWER -- Well, all the staring into space I do has finally paid off. I've seen a flying saucer.

True, it wasn't exactly flying and it didn't resemble a saucer but it was a mysterious object the like of which I have never before beheld in the heavens. So I'm convinced.

Friday night, just for kicks. I decided to join the ULAFDWS (Upper Lemon Ave. Flying Disc Watchers Society of North Long Beach). Taking a stand on the front lawn of our home at 9525 Maple. Ave., at 7:15 p.m., I confess to a slight thrill (and a stiff neck) at about 7:30 when the object hove into sight -- or became visible I should say, for one second it wasn't there and the next it was...

Brilliant as any star, "It" appeared directly overhead and traveled at a slow speed in a northerly direction. Flashes of light came from either side intermittently and I maintain that a vague darker halo surrounded it but no one else agreed on that point. After about 15 minutes, the flashes of light became more frequent as though speed was being accelerated.

Suddenly the thing took off in a cone of light and disappeared. The appearance of two high-flying jets and a larger plane at that moment may or may not have been a coincidence...

Long Beach, California Independent 27 Jul 52

Deputies Confirm Mystery

LAKEWOOOD PARK -- A couple of skeptical deputies from the sheriff's station at Norwalk have joined the ranks of the people who "saw it."

They are Officers Jim Wahlke and R.D. Benedict, whose observances of a flying object in the sky now lend a semi-official credence to the reports of flying discs.

The officers were on routine patrol in Lakewood about 9 p.m. Friday, they notified their headquarters, when a round object appeared in the sky overhead. It was flying at a very slow rate of speed, the deputies said.

As they watched it, it suddenly "took off" at a high speed, finally vanishing into the distant sky.

As Wahlke and Benedict pondered the phenomenon, they decided that it was certainly worth making a report about.

So, at the risk of meeting scoffers in the higher echelons, they notified their office.

Ane then, said Sgt. Albert LeBas, came confirmation.

Another sheriffs radio car, this one operating out of the Lennox Station, also saw the same object at the same time, and gave substantially the same explanation of the aerial "tourist."

However, presumably for want of a title under which to file it, the sheriff's office made no formal report of the incident.

Long Beach, California Press Telegram 27 Jul 52

Plane Talk

Another saucer sighter is Hazel Clark, who flies out of the East Long Beach Airport.

Mrs. Clark and her son were returning from Santa Maria the other day in their Luscombe when they spotted what they figure must have been a flying disc.

Mrs. Clark didn't bother to give chase. From what she has heard about the saucers, she said, they apparently have a little more speed than a Luscombe.

Long Beach, California Press Telegram 27 Jul 52

Hold That Telephone Call! It's No Saucer

The U.S. Air Force's weather detachment at Municipal Airport released a weather balloon at 7:30 last night and for the next half hour police, newspaper and Air Force telephone switchboards lighted up with calls of "flying saucers."

The balloon last night was aloft for about 35 minutes before it burst. During that time, propelled by southerly winds, it drifted northward.

Residents of North Long Beach and adjacent communities thus got the best look at the white balloon, its skin glistening in the setting sun. Most of the reports of "flying discs" came from that area.

The balloons are sent aloft four times daily, one of the times being 7:30 p.m. They are tracked by radar and give weather observers information about upper air conditions. Although comparatively small when released, the balloons expand to a diameter of about 100 feet as they reach the highest point of their flight. The balloons normally rise to heights of 90,000 feet before bursting.

Most people spotted last night's balloon when it was up 35,000 to 40,000 feet. It burst about 50,000 feet.

Similar balloons will, continue to be released daily and switchboard operators expressed a hope that "flying saucer" reports would not result.

Reno, Nevada State Journal - 27 Jul 52

Washington Merry-Go-Round
by Drew Pearson

WASHINGTON -- While the politicians have been watching the none-too-mysterious conventions, some other people, including the Air Force, have been watching a mysterious rash of flying saucers. Furthermore, the Air Force, long skeptical about flying saucers has now made some official and important admissions.

ADMISSION NO. 1 is that they have now detected something that looks like flying saucers on radar at the same time that people have claimed they saw flying saucers. In other words flying saucers are not just cloud freaks or hallucinations. If so they could not be detected on a radar screen.

ADMISSION NO. 2 is that flying saucers could possibly be space ships from another planet. The reason for this admission is that it will soon be possible for us to build a space ship to visit the moon if we are willing to spend the money for research and construction.

Our current research into atomic power and supersonic speeds already has progressed so far that it is definitely known such a ship can be built, but the big expense would come from creating atmosphere inside the ship to support human life while traveling from one planet to the other. Therefore if we are this close to interplanetary travel, Air Force officers admit that a more advanced civilization could be keeping this planet under surveillance through flying saucers.

ADMISSION NO. 3. It has not been announced, but scientific observation posts have been set up in New Mexico, where we are testing guided missiles, to track flying saucers also. A number of flying saucers have been seen in the Southwest, and since trained specialists are already on the job in that area with the latest scientific gadgets, the Air Force has ordered them to watch for flying saucers and track them scientifically.

In addition, the Air Force has instructed its 24-hour air observers to watch not only for enemy planes by flying saucers. Furthermore it has set up special cameras on its radar screens to keep a pictorial record of flying saucers or any other strange objects flitting across the screens.

Finally Wright Field, at Dayton, O., the center of all Air Force research, has been instructed to chart all flying saucer patterns, find out whether their flight behavior is similar, and what characteristics they seem to have in common.

This was started only two months ago and no similar patterns have yet been reported, except for the peculiar fact that more flying saucers have been observed around U.S. atomic centers and around Wright Field than any place else. This could be because observers from another planet were interested in our atomic and air development, though the Air Force thinks it's more likely to be because the population around these bases is more sensitive to something strange in the skies.

However, while Air Force officials are taking every precaution to solve the mystery they also warn that the first flying saucer was seen by the Prophet Ezekiel who reported seeing a flying wheel in the heavens.

The Air Force has tracked down thousands of fantastic reports from that of George Koehler of Denver, who reported blond beardless three-foot men from Venus, to the movies taken by Nick Mariana of Great Falls, Mont. The beardless men turned out to be a hoax, and the movies turned out to be pictures of two high-flying jet fighters. So, while the Air Force is doing everything possible to solve the mystery, it still has its collective fingers crossed.

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1. Many of the foreign-language publications quoted in this series come from translations provided within CIA documents of the time, now released under the Freedom of Information Act, as well as translations found in the declassified files of the Air Force's Project Blue Book. A lesser number come from the (now-defunct) French site

2. The story "17 'Saucers' Sighted In Sky Over Bronx" notes that Rita Acuna's "drawing was sent to Air Force officials for possible investigation", giving the impression that it had been Ms. Acuna who sent it. In fact, it had been sent by the newspaper after receiving it from Ms. Acuna. It is interesting to note that the original drawing and that produced in the newspaper differed in the position of the conjunction of the formation, with the original drawing picturing it at the bottom and the newspaper picturing it at the top. Selected documents from Blue Book files may be seen here.

3. Saul Pett, author of the article "Flying Phenomena or What - Air Force Takes Dim View" had earlier written his own story of his sighting a few days before. Other versions of his article posted above included mention that a New York newsman had had a sighting, but left out Pett's name.


The Arrival

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