in the news 1952
Above: From the Reno, Nevada, State Journal, August 3, 1952. The caption for the photo read: "ENDING DISPUTES as to whether flying saucers is or isn't is this picture snapped recently in Reno which shows a small man guiding a bit of his mother's best chinaware about Virginia St. Young Bobby Holt, son of Photographer Bob Holt, is the mighty midget doing the nocturnal flitting. Like the recently released Coast Guard photograph, the negative from which this picture is made is unretouched. Photographer Holt, however, will not say just how much darkroom magic went into making the negative."
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...
AUGUST 3, 1952:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Press - 3 Aug 52
Is Theme Song 'Martian Through Georgia?'
First Flying Saucer Was an Erie Experience
Pennsylvania Man Started It All
By Guy Wright
If flying saucers exist, a Pennsylvania millworker may well claim he saw the first one.
Donald Bunce was returning to his home near Erie on the night of June 21, 1947, when he saw a glowing object streak through the sky and land in a cow pasture.
He found the thing, oval shaped, about five inches long and still warm. He put it in his car and forgot it.
Three days later Kenneth Arnold, a Boise, Idaho, salesman, set the world on its ear with his report of nine shiny objects "shaped like pie plates" that whizzed past his private plane over Mt. Ranier, Wash.
Soon the nation was a-buzz with tales of flying saucers, all sizes and colors.
Relic from Volcano
Mr. Bunce remembered the object he'd found and took it to scientists at Gannon College in Erie.
As best they could tell, it was a scoria, solidified metallic rock froth from a volcano.
A perfectly good explanation, except there isn't a volcano within 3000 miles of that cow pasture.
Hardly a month has gone by since Salesman Arnold's discovery that someone hasn't reported seeing a flying saucer.
Even a congressman got into the act.
Representative Albert J. Engel, Michigan Republican, said he saw one at Elsie, Mich., while campaigning for governor of his state in 1950.
He didn't get elected.
Showman Billy Rose, never a man to be out-spectacled, said in all seriousness he saw one, too -- with a neon border.
Scoffed at Billy
Politely but firmly, the Government told Billy and the rest of the public they were nuts.
President Truman labeled the saucers a "hoax." That was about the same time he called the Communist investigation a red herring.
Practically everyone in the Pentagon has flatly denied there is such a contraption. But the Air Force set up a full-fledged saucer investigating center at Wright-Patterson Air Base just in case.
A district Air Force veteran probably came as close as anyone to capturing one of the gadgets -- that is, if they exist.
He said he saw one sitting in a field near Saltsburg on March 5, 1950, and started walking toward it.
When he came within 150 yards, he said, it began backing away like a turtle. He took a few more steps and it hopped over some tree-tops into a neighboring field, then zoomed away at terrific speed and disappeared in the sky.
Only trouble was he wouldn't give him [sic] name for fear of being ridiculed.
Furnace Glow Ruled Out
There was a rash of reports of saucer-like lights streaking over Pittsburgh on the night of April 7, 1950. Local scientists said the glow of blast furnaces reflecting on clouds could have caused an illusion, except reflections wouldn't dart about in the sky.
All kinds of conjecture have been offered about the saucers -- they're weather balloons, meteors, imagination, Russian secret weapons, sinister inventions of Nazi sorcerers who fled to Spain or Argentina.
And on a dull day you can always find someone who'll argue they carry men from Mars.
Two years ago the Mexican government spent weeks denying a rumor that a Martian 23 inches tall -- no more, no less -- jumped out of a saucer that reportedly crashed near Mexico City.
Denver's saucer set promptly upped the ante to three Martians loose on Pike's Peak.
Neither of these stories ever came close to confirmation.
Many saucer incidents are obviously high-octane imagination. But others can't be brushed off so easily.
Sighted by Pilots
Airline pilots repeatedly have reported observing the strange objects in flight. And while they differ on size and other details, depending on how close they approached them, the pilots have been almost unanimous in saying they are bright metal disc-shaped affairs with a motive force of their own.
A close-up view of a flying saucer was reported by Dr. Craig Hunter of Berkeley Springs, W. Va. in March 1950.
Dr. Hunter, technical director for a medical instrument supply firm, said he saw the disc hovering less than 500 feet over St. Mary's, Pa. It was so close, he said, that he could see slits in a weird circular rotor which seemed to be its driving mechanism.
While the Air Force was scoffing at these and other reports, it found itself in the awkward position of almost announcing it had found two flying saucers.
In an abandoned tobacco shed near Glen Burnie, Md., of all places.
Neighbors hastily explained that the crude flying contraptions were left there 10 years ago by an eccentric 70-year old inventor who took off -- but not in a flying saucer -- during an investigation of his stock selling activities.
Brass Beats Retreat
After that the Pentagon bras retreated even more firmly to its stand that there ain't no such animal.
Even these reports failed to soften its skepticism.
On Nov. 21, 1950, a Pasco, Wash., newspaper editor said he and hundreds of other downtown observers saw a "flying cigar" hover over the nearby Hanford Atomic works for eight minutes.
On Dec. 1, 1950, a Baptist minister said he and four other people watched for 10 minutes while a saucer soared over the hydrogen bomb plant near Ellenton, S.C.
On Jan. 29, 1952, two B-29 crews flying in widely separated areas of Korea said strange discs flew parallel to their planes for considerable distances.
But the Air Force tempered its stand this month when unidentified objects began appearing on Washington, D.C. radar screens and strange flitting lights eluded the nation's best jet pursuit planes.
Maybe strange weather conditions are responsible, said the Air Force -- it still doesn't concede that flying saucers exist.
But figments of the imagination don't register on radar, and the Pentagon insists it isn't experimenting with flying saucers.
So it has promised to give America's sky puzzle its "adequate but not frantic attention."
One flying saucer the Air Force can't ignore. It landed almost in the middle of a runway at Selfridge Air Force Base, Mich. Henry Struck, a model plane enthusiast, explained he built the four-foot disc "just to prove it could be done."
Probably the most heartening saucer scoop was a story in Pravda two years ago that indicates the Russians don't know what they are either.
Written David Zaslavsky [sic], Pravda's big gun on ticklish propaganda, it warns all loyal comrades that the pesky machines are "American pirate planes" for snooping over peace-loving countries.
You can find reputable scientists to support almost any saucer explanation you choose.
Just this spring two of the most respected researchers in France came out with directly opposite theories.
Paul Becquerel of the French Academy of Sciences said the saucers could very well be from Mars.
"The entire idea of the flying saucer is puerile," rejoined Ernest Esclangon, honorary director of the Paris Observatory.
One Frenchman must be wrong.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Sentinel - 3 Aug 52
Alaska Vapor Trails Had Defense Jittery
And Maine Report Didn't Help Matters
Forget about flying saucers for awhile. Here is a story as yet untold in full to the public about a "Pearl Harbor" kind of scare the Air Defense Command of the United States had last April.
Maybe "scare" isn't the word, but for a few tense hours on the night of April 16-17 ADC and the Army Anti-Aircraft Command were in a state of readiness all across the nation.
It was not a "canned exercise," a dress rehearsal called for practice. ADC's top officers didn't know that night but what it might be the real thing.
As it turned out, of course, no attack came from over Alaska or the northeastern United States: a real possibility contained within the sequence of events anxiously watched at ADC's base at Colorado Springs, Colo.
But it was "next to the real thing," said Gen. Benjamin W. Chidlaw, ADC commander.
A month later Gen. Chidlaw was in Milwaukee to tell the grim truth that with 10,000 miles of border and coastline to watch from the ground up for 6 to 10 miles, the United States cannot achieve an absolutely impregnable defense against air attack.
He didn't say anything then about "Next to the Real Thing."
Col. W.M. Burgess, Gen. Chidlaw's deputy chief of staff for Intelligence at the Colorado base recently told what "triggered" ADC into going on full Air Defense Readiness that night.
"At 25 minutes past midnight on the morning of 17 April local time, our Combat Operations Center received word that four vapor trails at high altitude and heading toward our West flank had been sighted over Nunivak Island off the coast of Alaska 1 hour and 27 minutes previously or 10:58 p.m. Mountain Time 16 April.
"Two hours and 45 minutes later, at 3:10 a.m. local time, Eastern Air Defense Force reported simultaneously to our Intelligence and Combat Operations five 'Unknowns' coming in, north of Presque Isle, Maine."
Vapor trails are streaks formed by the condensation of an airplane's exhaust at low temperatures. The aircraft may be at such a height it is invisible, but the vapor trail cannot be wiped out. The morning of Oct. 5, 1950, an Army jet sped over Milwaukee at 35,000 feet, unheard and unseen -- except for the sky streak which got many Milwaukeeans in a fret about flying saucers.
"Unknowns" are aircraft unidentified and unaccounted for -- at least at the moment some Civilian Defense spotters sees them at some particular point.
MUST BE ALERT
Col. Burgess explained that ADC must be constantly on the alert in view of the "known capabilities" of the Soviet Union.
"We cannot depend on long term warning of a Soviet attack on the United States," he said.
On April 16, Col. Burgess' "intelligence shop" was analyzing an accumulation of intelligence material he has labeled "X."
"It concerned the Soviet Air Forces and it looked important," said Col. Burgess. "It had a possible direct bearing on the mission of the Air Defense Command, but it just wouldn't fit into the picture. 'X' could neither be confirmed nor denied as an indicator."
The intelligence officer and "a few selected people" continued "to pore over the meaning of 'X' -- even after supper. They had teletype conversations with Directors of Intelligence at Eastern, Central and Western Air Defense forces. At 10:30 p.m., they decided to quit and "put 'X' to bed for the night."
WORD FROM NUNIVAK
Two hours later they learned of the vapor trails over Nunivak Island.
The trails were headed east-southeast.
On duty at the center was Capt. Robert Heessen, who had done a "tour" up in Alaska and "consequently has a well-developed feeling for the sensitivity of that area."
Capt. Heessen called the intelligence duty officer, who saw it "assumed much greater significance" against the background of "X." He called Col. Burgess and notified the Canadian ADC at St. Hubert, Que., Gen. Bergquist, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, rushed to headquarters.
Swiftly checking, the ADC officers tried to get more information on the Nunivak sighting.
"Then -- just to add to our peace of mind -- all the lines to Alaska went out," said Col. Burgess.
Things were really beginning to hum, he said. The center was in communication with Eastern, Western and Central Air Defense forces and with the U.S. Air Force Command Post in Washington. At 2:20 a.m. the vice commander, Gen. Fred Smith, was alerted.
CALL FOR HELP
"We have something hot. I think you'd better come over," Gen. Bergquist told him.
Speed of the Nunivak aircraft was estimated at 300 knots (about 345 miles per hour). They would hit the Seattle radar net about 4:30 a.m. It was then 3 a.m.
Gen. Smith weighed possible courses of action -- notify Western to alert its aircraft control and warning sites or call a full Air Defense Readiness in Western alone. Aircraft moving ESE could be headed for Chicago just as well as Seattle.
REPORT FROM MAINE
At 3:10 Eastern called and reported the five "Unknowns" coming in over Presque Isle, Me. After a few unprintable expressions from some of the staff, Gen. Smith said calmly:
"This triggers it -- the Air Defense Command goes on full Air Defense Readiness immediately."
It was then 3:11 a.m. Thursday, April 17.
"Hot line calls" were placed to the Air Defense Forces in each section, to the Strategic Air Command, to USAF in Washington.
Orders sped down to the subordinate elements: 1. Get the crews to the airdromes. 2. Accomplish the maximum availability of aircraft. 3. Get the logistics functions into operation.
At headquarters, alert teams were operating in 10 to 15 minutes.
"Communications with Alaska were still out, and the West Coast stood by for action," said Col. Burgess. Commanders of the Sea Frontiers also had been notified. They were ready "to take the necessary action under existing arrangements."
Meanwhile, Gen. Chidlaw had been called to Headquarters and "briefed" by a wire recording while his staff worked like mad.
At 3:41 a.m. the Army Anti-Aircraft Command was called. Orders immediately alerted all units "on site" to man their guns. Other units were told to prepare to move.
At 4 a.m., headquarters had done its work and settled down to "watching and waiting." Still no contact with Alaska.
At 5:42 a.m. the Air Defense Readiness was canceled. The Presque Isle radar had narrowed the "Unknowns" to three -- later identified as a French Constellation, a BOAC Transport and a Pan-American Stratocruiser, whose deviations from flight plan did not get to Presque Isle because of ground communications failures in two Canadian stations.
The vapor trails over Nunivak Island, sighted a few hours earlier, never reappeared. Had they continued in the direction reported, they would have "blipped" the radarscope in Alaska shortly before midnight. "But the scope picked up nothing."
Just because it might have been "the real thing," said Col. Burgess, the lessons learned were doubly worthwhile. It showed, he said, "the slim indications under which your ADC will take action and the split-second nature of that action." He added somberly:
"We may not have the grace of such advanced warning when the real one comes."
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Press - 3 Aug 52
Saucers Spur Interest In 'Skywatch'
Volunteers Looking For Mystery Objects
By Max B. Cook
Scripps-Howard Staff Writer
WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 -- Operation Skywatch -- with thousands of volunteer eyes scanning the skies daily -- has a new job. And it is proving even more exciting than just watching for invading enemy bombers.
Along with the Regional Air Defense radar which sweeps the skies over 36 states, and the Air Defense Command's fast interceptor groups, the Skywatchers now are looking for the so-called "flying saucers." Reports of saucers -- single and in groups -- have been on the increase for several days.
One Good Effect
Whether or not the saucers will prove a myth, their appearance is doing something that fear of enemy bombers failed to do. Defense areas which could not begin to reach their quotas of volunteer skywatchers now are reporting renewed interest.
The latest stimulus resulted from the Washington reports of sighting a group of saucers, dispatching 600-mile-an-hour fighters and then losing contact as the "invaders" mysteriously put on terrific speed and disappeared.
The fact that radar picked them up indicated that they were composed of something solid. This strengthened some official belief that they might be some sort of missile or aircraft.
Nothing That Fast.
On the basis of reports thus far compiled, the U.S. Air Force has no aircraft nor missile capable of attaining the speed credited to some of the elusive saucers. Great Britain has announced successful tests on a 2000-mile-an-hour guided missile which, it claims, can track and make contact with anything up to that speed. Thus far it is not in operation.
To the thousands of skywatchers, however, the reported saucers have added a new thrill to the tiresome job of scanning the skies.
"It's just like watching a fishing line," said one Ohio woman. "You expect that, at any moment, you'll feel a tug and pull in a big fish."
Florence, South Carolina Morning News - 3 Aug 52
Sky's Full of Junk, Says Scientist; As 'Things' Reported From Korea to U.S.
Reports of the unexplained things that fly in the sky spread Friday and Saturday all the way from Korea to Mid-Western U.S.A. And the descriptions ranged from mere spots to a whole river.
Mostly, the objects reportedly sighted were the familiar saucer shape and luminous. They hovered or zoomed at incredible speed, swung, dipped, circled -- and vanished on pursuit. The Air Force, skeptical but taking no chances, was doing the pursuing.
And Dr, Horace Byers, chairman of the University of Chicago's Department of Meteorology indicated the sky is not the void it seems. It's more like the flotsam and jetsam strewn ocean he indicated, "always full of junk" -- high level weather balloons, meteorites, sandwiches of hot and cold air that reflect lights, cloud formations and condensed vapor from high-flying planes.
But the Air Force, concerned with the nation's protection from anything that might come out of the skies rather than with scientific reputation, was taking an intelligently ignorant attitude.
"We've really been scrambling," said a spokesman for Air Defense Command headquarters, at Ent Field near Colorado Spring, Colo. The spokesman said there has been a flurry of reports on unknown things in the sky for the past two weeks.
Fast-climbing jets, he said, are in the air within seconds of a report that seems definite enough.
ADC wasn't saying what, if anything, had been found, beyond some reflection. It turns its reports into technical experts at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, at Dayton, Ohio.
Harlingen, Texas Valley Morning Star - 3 Aug 52
Sam Slippery (With Press Card) Visits A.F.B. In Quest of Theories on Radar 'Strangers'
By SAM SLIPPERY
Science and Stuff Editor
With the air force chasing flying saucers all over the skies around Washington and some of the elusive things reported scouting McAllen, Rangerville and Brownsville, the city editor sent me out to see if the Naval Reserve Electronics company at the airbase had picked up any little strangers from Mars on its radar.
Chief Radioman Bill Tatroe, the radar operator, said no. He said it rather regretfully so I asked him if maybe he hadn't seem them down here because down here we don't have temperature inversion situations.
Up north, some of the theorists have been surmising that the radars there have not been picking up anything solid, just laying sight on a cold layer of air between two warm layers.
"Technically it's feasible," said Tatroe, "but I'm glad I don't have to explain them away."
I gathered that what he didn't want to explain away was flying saucers. The inside of the mobile radar unit where Tatroe works looks enough like the works of an interstellar rocket to make flying saucers seem commonplace.
"It has been my experience," the chief radioman continued, "that temperature inversions usually help in getting contacts over a greater distance -- like say, getting television reception from San Antonio."
But a temperature inversion had never showed up as a "blip" on his radar screen.
In case a "blip" doesn't mean any more to you than it does to me, I asked Tatroe to explain. He did the best he could, with demonstrations, but I'm still confused. maybe you can get something out of it.
It seems that the radar device sends out a radio signal that bounces back whenever it strikes something solid -- like an airplane or a flying saucer -- and the echo signal is recorded as a "blip" on the radar scope.
There are two kinds of radar scopes. One is called an oscilloscope. This tells the direction of the solid object. The small picture with this story shows what the operator sees on the oscilloscope. The wavy lines at the left indicate where the device has swung past the buildings in Harlingen. Then along about the center of the of the picture the light bounced up in a "blip".
I wanted to imagine that it was enemy aircraft coming in, but Tatroe said no, it was just the tower of XELD TV.
The oscilloscope tells the direction of the object. Then another device, the radar scope, tells the distance and the size. An arm swings around in a circle over a dark screen and blobs of light appear. The larger picture shows that one.
Don't ask me why, the ragged mess of light at the center represents the airbase buildings and Harlingen. The next light streaks are objects over 20 and 30 miles away. One of them might even be a thundershower. The distance of the object can be figured down to a few yards and by using both instruments, the speed can be calculated.
Recently during a demonstration the Navy radar set indicated a number of objects due west of Harlingen in northern Mexico. It is unusual for a large number of aircraft to be reported in that area at once, said the radio man.
Tatroe would neither confirm or deny it, but I got the impression that he wouldn't be at all surprised if what he picked up was a rendezvous of a squadron from outer space. However, he was not worried.
He says it doesn't take much to make a person believe the saucers are real and being a science fiction fan helps a lot.
His confidence in the lack of danger from the visitors from outer space may stem from the current Air Force rumor that the friend or enemy identification system picked up a saucer recently. This device in some mysterious way tells whether approaching aircraft are our own or those of the enemy.
The saucer signal is reported to have come back "neutral."
Galveston, Texas Daily News - 3 Aug 52
Pilot Sights Flying Saucer Like 'Big Star'
AUBURN, N.Y., Aug. 2 -- A pilot and former airport operator said he watched a "flying saucer" through powerful binoculars Saturday and it looked like "a great big star."
"I think the Army has something it isn't telling us about," concluded Carl L. Smith now an engineer for General Electric Co.
Smith, who holds a private pilot license and formerly owned an airport at Waterloo, N.Y., said that from his personal knowledge of flying, the object "did not maneuver like a plane."
His 12-power binoculars, through which he can see craters on the moon, did not bring the object any closer, he said.
"It was round and of a bluish white color and hovered in the sky for about 10 minutes," he said, before it "took off for the east, stayed there for another 10 or 15 minutes and then came back."
"It looked like a great big star. When it went to the east it changed from a bluish white to an amberlike color or greyish white," he added.
Syracuse, New York Post-Standard - 3 Aug 52
Disturbances in Heavens Reported Over Syracuse
Be it celestial phenomena, or domestic or enemy aerial weapon experimentation, there were heavenly disturbances over Syracuse last night.
Between 8:30 and 9 p.m. one or three fiery objects were reported. They were of varying sizes, both near and far away, and their viewers gave different descriptions of them.
Mr. And Mrs. Albert Adkins, 208 Green st., viewing the skies from the back porch of their home, sighted a large, brightly colored disc. They described it as appearing to be half as large as the moon.
They said the brilliant mass of light appeared to come out of the northeast and was very high in the sky. Its hue was a little brighter than orange.
It appeared to circle rapidly and then climb toward the moon. They lost sight of it behind a tree, after viewing its course for only a few seconds. The time of the sighting was set at approximately 9 p.m.
At the Syracuse Filter Center, it was reported an unidentified civilian called there and reported seeing a lighted object in the sky about 8:45 p.m. This viewer's vantage point was a street corner. This object appeared to be moving from east to west and there was no report it appeared to be climbing toward the moon.
Another report of a moving lighted object in the sky was telephoned to the filter center last night, but it was later established to be of local derivation, probably fireworks.
The third report came from the Woodchuck Hill section. The object sighted there differed sharply from the others.
Four persons sighted what they referred to as a "tear-shaped" flying saucer. They sighted the object about 8:30 p.m., when it was not quite dark.
The fiery object was low in the sky, and its small body streamed a short tail of fire. It was coursing southward across the sky, swooped down once and then rose again and disappeared from view.
The combined observations of the four who sighted it was that this object was only a few hundred yards above ground.
St. Petersburg, Florida Times - 3 Aug 52
Now It's Wash Pans and Birdmen, Reports Have It
An orange colored object "about as big as a good-size wash pan" whisked out of the western clouds yesterday morning, hovered over the northwest section of the city and shyly retreated back into the clouds.
That's how Mrs. Hannth M. Detwiler, 4226 24th Street North, told of "what might have been one of those flying saucers."
Mrs. Detwiler called police seeking to find if anyone had reported a similar object. She checked with the neighbors, but the object had pierced the clouds at an inopportune time for the busy housewives in the area. None of them were looking skyward at the time.
Mrs. Detwiler said the object had no clear outline, just looked like a ball of light. It wasn't in the direction of the sun, she averred, although it might have been a reflection made in some manner.
The "thing" shot through the clouds, and that wasn't very high, Mrs. Detwiler said. Overcast was about 1,500 feet, local observers reported, at the time.
Coast Guard and airport officials said no sighting of the object had been reported to them. No other calls came into Police Headquarters.
Said Mrs. Detwiler: "If anyone else saw this thing I wish they'd let me know. I know I saw something."
MRS. DETWILER's report followed on the heels of a fantastic tale told Friday night at Police Headquarters. Name of the tale-bearers were not recorded.
This was the story:
A string of 10 or 15 "flying saucers" in formation flew out of the western sky over Indian Rocks and headed toward Tampa. The group of "bluish balls" of light turned back and came toward Indian Rocks.
A strange creature fell from one of the objects. The creature was described as looking like a bird, but with hair instead of feathers, and a light atop the little head.
The wild rumor had it that newspaper photographers had gotten pictures of the creature. A check of area papers revealed no such picture was taken.
The Times also received two telephone calls the same night. An unidentified woman, the caller both times, reported seeing the formation of "saucers." Unfortunately Times personnel were unable to see the objects.
Mansfield, Ohio News Journal - 3 Aug 52
Mansfield Personalities During Past Week
WILLIAM V. ISHAM
As reports of flying saucers continued to pour in from all sections of the nation, as well as from Japan and Korea last week, William V. "Val" Isham continued to hold the distinction of being the only Mansfielder to report seeing the flying discs. . . He made his report several months ago after he observed one while using his astronomy equipment near the city. . . A chemist at Tappan Stove Co. for the past eight years, he came to Mansfield from Cleveland in 1923 and was in the service prior to that attack at Pearl Harbor. . . Lives at 466 Davey Ave.
Long Beach, California Press Telegram - 3 Aug 52
Indianans Put Out 'Welcome' Signs
MONTICELLO, Ind. Aug. 2. -- The rest of the country can go around chasing flying saucers if it wants to, but Monticello is ready to sue for a separate peace.
A group of residents said they plan to invite saucer "pilots" to land on near-by Lake Shafer and talk things over.
Businessman Tom Spackman said Monticello felt it was an ideal location for "these representatives from another planet" to land and "tell us their mission." Community leaders said they plan to erect geometric designs on the ground which will be intended to mean "Come in peace." They hope for an interplanetary conference Aug. 31.
"We have been chasing every saucer that has been sighted," Spackman said. "This naturally makes the pilots and masterminds who sent them to investigate our earth feel that we are enemies."
Hutchinson, Kansas News Herald - 3 Aug 52
No Blips Sighted At Yoder Yet
They're watching for saucers in Kansas, too.
The air force, its grim-lipped silence on such matters a bit ruffled by recent radar sightings over Washington, hasn't unbent quite to the point by advertising a saucer search in so many words.
But the Air Defense command at Ent air force base, Colorado Springs, admitted Saturday that its three regional air defense commands are on the alert for mysterious sightings, and that there has been "a flurry of reports of saucers and other unidentified objects for the past two weeks."
The air force also isn't permitting its individual radar stations to talk over radar-screen behavior with newspapers.
But men from the radar station at HNAS couldn't argue with the presumption that if ADC told newspapers about the saucers, it has told its bases to watch for them, too.
So they're keeping an eye open for saucers down at Yoder. Maj. Oran R. Key, the unit commander is a sensible man who doesn't violate regulations, and the regulations say he can't tell anyone what has or hasn't showed up on the radar machine.
But a thing like a flying saucer is hard to keep quiet. And Hutchinson hasn't had even the breath of a rumor about any flying saucer being logged here. Logical assumption: The Yoder radar hasn't seen any.
Major Key couldn't say, but he could reassure the neighborhood that there are orders to take care of such things.
"If any unexplainable or unidentified objects are recorded on the radar," the major said, "immediate action is taken. We don't wait to do any paper work -- that Is high priority stuff."
Elaborating further on that idea, the Colorado Springs headquarters told newsmen that the saucer reports are taken seriously enough that fast interceptor planes are kept on the ready to jet aloft and find out what goes on -- if possible.
The setup wasn't organized for flying saucers, though. It is the same system worked out to meet any enemy attack.
The ADC had nothing to say about what it found when it sent planes up to chase the whatzits. Findings go to experts at Wright- Patterson air force base, Dayton O., for standard checking, evaluating, analyzing, organizing and filing.
It just admitted its radar has been picking up a lot of unexplained blips.
But blips down at Yoder? Apparently there weren't any. Not yet, anyway.
Hutchinson, Kansas News Herald - 3 Aug 52
Like A Christmas Tree
Washington can't lay claim to seeing all the flying saucers.
Four Hutchinson men, Leo M. Schell, his father, Leo Schell, John Swanson and Vern Martens, saw what they "think is the same thing the air force has been seeing" around 9 p.m. Friday. The men were standing near the YMCA-church softball diamond on the Fairgrounds.
"It looked like a Christmas tree," young Schell declared Saturday. "The lights were bright green with a larger one on the tip of the V. It was straight north and fell in an arc to the east. It was five seconds."
Santa Fe, New Mexico New Mexican - 3 Aug 52
Oklahomans See Lights 3rd Week
ADA, Okla. -- A group of strange, saucer-shaped objects, glowing with white and amber lights, streaked through the night sky over this East-Central Oklahoma City Saturday night, giving hundreds of residents an aerial display.
Charley Rhoads, veteran reporter with the Ada Evening News, said it was the third consecutive Saturday night that the "flying saucers" have been seen over Ada.
"The first one came over at about 9:20 p.m.," Rhoads said. "I got a good look at it for several seconds as it passed north of town in a northwesterly direction."
"The center was a sort of amber, with a bright white ring around it and an amber ring on the outside but even the darkest parts were lighter than the night sky.
"It was traveling tilted up on one side and some persons saw it for as much as a minute before it disappeared," Rhoads said.
He said he could not estimate its size or speed because he had no way of judging its altitude.
"About 10 minutes after the first one disappeared, a group of 10 came over. They were of exactly the same description and traveling in the same direction and at the same speed."
Lubbock, Texas Avalanche-Journal - 3 Aug 52
Two Different Groups Report Sightings Of Strange Objects In Lubbock Area Saturday
Two groups of Lubbock residents have seen some of "those things," they said Saturday.
A saucer-shaped flying metal object was seen over Lubbock County Club golf course by at least six Lubbock men about 9 a.m. Saturday, they said.
Another group saw something that challenged their credulity about 11 p.m. Friday at Buffalo Lakes.
Jim Gibbs, 2013 36th St., and David Hobbs, 110 Ave. W, reported sighting a "flying saucer" when they were on Country Club's No. 8 tee, about 400 yards off the Plainview highway.
They said it seemed to be about 10 miles east of them and was traveling east.
"It was bigger than a man's hat, disc shape and real bright," Hobbs explained.
Gibbs said it looked about 24 or 36 inches in diameter, and was about 2,000 feet high. "We watched it about six minutes and it didn't seem to be moving at all," he said. "Then we started walking toward it -- over to the highway to stop somebody else to look at it so people wouldn't say we were crazy -- and it started off. In less than 20 seconds that thing was completely out of sight," he explained.
"It didn't change altitudes in any way," Hobbs said.
"I never believed any of this stuff," Gibbs admitted, "but I'd take an oath that it wasn't an airplane or light reflecting off the ground."
"The edge would drop down and you could see the surface, and then it would shift so that you saw only a thin edge. It didn't seem to be thick at all," Gibbs said.
After the two men got back to the club house, three other golfers said they had seen the object too, from No. 4 tee.
Dewey Heath, 4002 45th St., reporting on the Buffalo Lakes phenomena, put it this way:
"I never believed much in the reports -- but seeing is believing."
Lights Behaved Strangely
He and a group at Buffalo Lakes said they saw two fantastic lights -- fantastic from the standpoint of how the lights behaved.
Mrs. Heath and Miss Louise Johnson, also of Lubbock, saw what Heath described.
"I judge whatever they were flew as close as 30 feet apart," he said. "They would move slowly, then flash half-way across the sky. It seemed they would come directly over the lake, then sharply curve and flash away into the west so far the lights appeared dimmed, then come back.
"The lights seemed more like a reflection than an emanation and would flare blue-like occasionally. They were more red than stars. They seemed like solid lights moving, and we could not detect any form to them. They were very high. We saw a plane at one time and it did not seem more than half as high as the other objects."
Heath said the lights did not change altitude much except once, when they seemed to dip down 1,000 feet or so.
Lubbock, Texas Avalanche-Journal - 3 Aug 52
On The Air
FLYING saucers? Everybody is talking about them. Those who haven't seen one knows someone who has, or fancies he has. Lubbock and the South Plains rank with Washington, D.C., as focal points of observation of the there-they-are-now-they-are-gone objects.
So the Saturday program of Willy Ley over KFYO should interest all who are concerned with the mystery. Ley, one of the worlds foremost experts on rockets and space travel, will discuss pros and cons of the fascinating subject that has even the armed forces in the dark.
Ley will point out that there is much credence in pilot reports of strange objects seen during flights, but at the same time he will say these usually are seen during hot spells. Scientists indicate that most information is from persons near or at either deserts or large bodies of water which reflect the sun's rays. Ley also will observe that if the objects are missiles of a foreign power they would hardly use this country as a testing ground. Because of the secretiveness of modern weapons foreign nations would fly them in their own back yards -- and most big powers have enough space for such tests. The scientist will discount the power of radar in "picking up" flying saucers -- and explain why.
Right now Ley is on vacation on Long Island. When he isn't watching seagulls, what do you suppose he's doing?
That's right -- looking for flying saucers.
Galveston, Texas Daily News - 3 Aug 52
Flying Saucer Reported Seen Saturday South of Hitchcock
A strange, gleaming object moving across the night-time sky early Saturday brought in the latest flying saucer report to the News.
Harry O. Stanley, who lives three miles south of Hitchcock on highway 6, said he saw what appeared to be a flying saucer between 1:30 and 1:45 a.m.
He said he first noticed something unusual when dogs began baking and chickens were cackling and crowing like it was dawn. He went outside and found it bright enough "to read a newspaper."
Looking up, he said he saw a round, gold-yellow object with a tail streaming behind it at an altitude of about 12,000 feet.
The object was moving faster than an airplane. It was traveling northeast and disappeared after about 30 seconds.
He estimated the diameter of the object from 12 to 15 feet and the tail strung out for about 6 to 8 feet. The tail, he said, sparked like a fuse. The whole object was shaped somewhat like a stingaree.
Stanley said he didn't see any clouds in the sky. The moon was pretty far down in the west. It was the first time, he said, that he had ever seen such an object.
Santa Fe, New Mexico New Mexican - 3 Aug 52
Air Forcers Confirm Hill Saucer Story
WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 -- The Air Force said today an "unidentified object" has been reported flying over Los Alamos, N.M., site of major atomic energy installations.
An Air Force spokesman said the sightings were reported last Tuesday, about noon.
Observers on the ground reported watching, through binoculars, something shiny and apparently metallic in the sky for 30 minutes. They said the object was traveling at high but erratic speed.
Three jet fighters were asked to investigate. While the planes were in the air, the same object or a similar one was observed from the ground for about two minutes, but was not seen by the fighter pilots.
A ground observer said the object made a 360 degree turn to get in the rear of the fighters.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal - 3 Aug 52
Los Alamos Woman Reports Seeing Flying Pie Plates
LOS ALAMOS, Aug. 2 -- A Los Alamos housewife says she saw two objects over Los Alamos "just as round and shiny as brand new pie plates" shortly before noon last Tuesday.
The Air Force said in Washington today an "unidentified object" was observed from the ground at Los Alamos at about noon that day but that three jet fighters sent to investigate could not find them.
"People would say I am crazy or looking for publicity if I let you use my name," the housewife said.
She said she saw three jets and saw the objects ahead of one of the planes.
"There were two of them, just as round and shiny as brand new pie plates," she said. "I guess they were six to eight miles ahead of the jets, moving along together with a little space between them. There was no smoke nor vapor behind them, so they seemed to hover or float compared with the jet, which I could see was moving rapidly because of the vapor trail behind it.
"The only way I can describe them is to say they were perfectly round disks. They looked just as a pie plate would look if you held it in front of you above your eye level and moved it across.
"They were edge-on but so high I could see the round shape as well as the side edge. The disks were thicker in the middle than around the outside and were much bigger than the jet plane.
"The saucers moved clear across the sky towards the southeast with the jet after them in about three minutes. Then in the bat of an eye they seemed to get smaller and all of a sudden went up and disappeared. The jet went up, too, when it got to the same place and looked around for quite a while before it gave up and went toward Albuquerque."
Santa Fe, New Mexico New Mexican - 3 Aug 52
They're 12 Feet High, Seven Across
ALBUQUERQUE -- Now it's a saucer 12 feet across that goes faster than any jet plane, turns sharply without slowing down and is made of frosted stainless steel.
This report was received Saturday by Dr. Lincoln La Paz, director of the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico. It came from T.L. Fox, Carlsbad contractor.
Fox related this story:
"One morning last week, about 6:30 a.m., I was standing in my back yard when I noticed an object gliding from the north. I thought it was a balloon and I figured it would land in the cemetery, so I started for my car to go after it."
Before he could get to his car, the thing had grown many times in size and had leveled off.
"It then, to my astonishment, maneuvered and shot forward with a burst of speed toward the Carlsbad airport."
Fox, who has worked on air bases as a contractor and observed maneuvering jet planes, declared:
"This burst of speed has never been equaled by any jet I know of and no plane with wings attached could have made that sharp a turn." He estimated its speed at more than 1,000 miles per hour.
"When it got to the airport it made another sharp turn without diminishing speed and headed south.
"It was the color of stainless steel that that seemed to be slightly frosted over, giving it a bluish tint. When it caught the sun on the flat bottom side it gave off an orange glow for a second."
La Paz' comment: "It's another unknown object. However, the report is one of the most detailed we've had."
Salt Lake City, Utah Deseret News - 3 Aug 52
Amateur Astronomer Sees Bingham Saucers
A Salt Lake amateur astronomer said Saturday that he saw "flying saucers" over Bingham Canyon.
Rex L. Christensen, 239 East South Temple St., former professor at Carbon College Price, told how he and his mother witnessed the phenomena at 12:13 a.m. Saturday while they sat on the porch of her apartment.
"We were mutual witnesses to the most extraordinary display of aerial phenomena we have ever seen. It lasted about a minute," Mr. Christensen.
Mr. Christensen, who reported he and his mother had been discussing "flying saucers" at the time, said 20 or 30 objects "like white auto lights only much dimmer," appeared about 20 degrees above the horizon and flew westward at intense velocity.
"They disappeared for a moment and then reappeared, traveling in the direction of the city," he said. "As they approached, eight of them assumed a 'V' formation, turning so that we could see the transverse side. As they approached, they seemed to grow larger."
According to Mr. Christensen, the objects were very similar to four saucers shown in a Coast Guard photo published Friday in the News. He said the edges were rough and there was a streak of amber light blended with the white. He said the altitude must have been around 20,000 feet, and the speed in excess of any known human machine.
U.S. Weather Bureau officials said storm clouds (cumulus and cirrus) were in the sky at the time and under such conditions reflecting temperature inversions or skyline mirages are almost impossible.
Bingham police said no one in the Bingham area reported seeing objects in the sky at that time.
Meanwhile Hill Air Force Base reported an unidentified aerial object was reported sighted at noon Saturday. According to the control tower, the object was reported about 20 miles south of Burley, Ida., and a plane was sent to investigate.
The pilot reported to the base that the object was sighted at about 40,000 feet, but when he tried to get a closer look, the object disappeared.
Salt Lake City, Utah Tribune - 3 Aug 52
Squadrons of Saucers Sighted Over Utah, Southern Idaho
A rash of flying saucer reports broke out Saturday in Salt Lake City and southern Idaho.
Three persons in Salt Lake City described strange lights in the sky early Saturday morning.
Police officers in American Falls, Burley and Pocatello said they saw a flying saucer dipping and weaving over southeastern Idaho.
Rex L. Christensen and his mother, Mrs. June Erickson, reported they were sitting on a third floor veranda at 239 E South Temple Saturday at 12:13 a.m. and observed a cluster of about 30 white lights moving like a flock of birds about 20 degrees above the horizon over Bingham.
Mr. Christensen, a veteran of Korea whose hobby is astronomy, said the objects disappeared to the southwest and in about two seconds, nine of them reappeared in V-formation, heading toward the city before they veered off and disappeared to the west less than a minute later.
He described them as being soft white lights with amber tints, elliptical in shape and moving at tremendous speed at about 20,000 feet. Mrs. Edna Saunders, 755 E. 1910 South, said she saw two flying saucers about 2:30 p.m. and watched them for 15 minutes as they moved at high speeds or hovered over the city before they disappeared into the north over City Creek Canyon.
At American Falls, Ida., Power County Sheriff Bill Hoehnen radioed the Cassia County Sheriff's office at Burley to ask if personnel there could see a flying saucer west of Rockland.
The Burley officers stepped outside and saw the saucer.
The Pocatello, Idaho State Journal - 3 Aug 52
Weatherman Quiets 'Saucer' Reports
Law enforcement officers from Pocatello to Twin Falls spotted what they believed was a flying saucer Saturday between 6 and 10 a.m.
James L. Johnson, Bannock county deputy sheriff said the short-wave radio system kept up a staccato of reports from people who could spot a moving, bouncing object in the clear, blue sky.
It was reported west of Pocatello, American Falls, Burley and heading toward Twin Falls later in the morning.
Then the U.S. weather bureau in Pocatello shushed the excitement with a soothing statement that the "flying saucer" was only balloon sent up to test atmospheric conditions.
The CAA in Burley said it, too, believed the object was a balloon. But that didn't ease the excitement in Burley.
The object was in the sky from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hill Air Force Base at Ogden, Utah, sent a B-26 and a jet fighter plane to investigate.
Neither could get above the object. This jet pilot estimated the balloon to be up about 70,000 feet.
A United Air Lines plane flew over at 2 p.m. but said the balloon was not spotted.
Twin Falls, Idaho Times News - 3 Aug 52
Flying saucers make a swishing sound. 'Sfact. But only when they fly real low. Naturally, you can expect some sort of sound when they swoop down out of the sky because air will make a noise against a rock if you can throw it hard enough.
But Mrs. E.F. Wodtke, route 2 Jerome, isn't claiming what her family heard a flying saucer. She merely says they heard a swishing sound about 4:30 or 5 p.m. Tuesday. When the family dashed outside to see what was going on, they spotted a silverish object going south toward Twin Falls.
Mrs. Wodtke says the sound wasn't a motor sound such as would be made by a jet plane. Just a swishing and quite brief. Mrs. Wodtke and two daughters heard it. They couldn't describe the object other than to say it was a silverish object.
So Pot Shots turned the information over to the Pot Shots Flying Saucer Research department. The PSFSRD came up with the information that there must be some sort of noise attached to flying saucers and the best one to expect, because of speed, is SWISSSHHH!
Walla Walla, Washington Union-Bulletin - 3 Aug 52
Saucers To Be Topic of Talk
HIGHLAND -- A discussion of flying saucers -- what they might be, and what they might not be -- will be the subject of a Science Forum talk Sunday night, August 3, to be heard over KWIE at 9:30.
The talk will be given by the Post Inspector General at Camp Hanford, Capt. Maynard M. Missall Jr.
Capt. Missall's interest in flying saucers is non-official, but he has been designated as one of the few "truly enlightened authorities" on the subject.
Included in his talk will be a short history of observations of flying objects, and resume of recent magazine articles dealing with the subject.
Capt. Missall will discuss some of the various theories and explanations which have been presented, such as the latest concerning light refraction, and will also discuss the possibility of the objects being U.S. or Russian built.
The officer came to Camp Hanford early this year, and prior to that was in the Inspector General's branch in Japan for over two years. A regular Army man, Capt. Missall transfered to the Air Corps in 1943 where he received pilot training. He now lives in Kenewick. with his wife and two children.
Reno, Nevada State Journal - 3 Aug 52
Jet Planes Chase Mysterious Objects Over Mojave
The Air Force sent up three of its fastest jet planes early today to chase weird red objects which moved pendulum-fashion over the Mojave desert.
Orders for the use of the Air Force planes were issued following reports of the mysterious objects from such official sources as the Civil Aeronautic [sic] Authority and the Sheriff's department.
What luck, if any, the jets had in taking pictures of the "saucers" or observing them at close range was not disclosed by military authorities who kept mum concerning the incident.
The bright objects were reported in the sky by two deputy sheriffs, two experienced C.A.A. observers at Palmdale, Calif., near here, a game warden and other responsible persons.
Don Benson and Ray Hollingsworth, two CAA Airways specialists on duty at the Palmdale airport, said they spotted a "brilliant red light" overhead near midnight. It remained in one spot for more than 30 minutes -- then disappeared, they said.
Warden Jack Roff of the State Fish and Game Commission, notified the Lancaster Sheriffs station about the same hour that he saw two reddish objects moving about 15 degrees above the horizon.
Roff described the objects as "cooperative saucers," saying one descended slowly before disappearing "like a big mechanical bird" while the other remained stationary about 15 minutes, then "swung like a pendulum across the sky," traveling east to west.
Cumberland, Maryland Times - 3 Aug 52
Seen Over Desert
LANCASTER, Calif., Aug. 2 -- Now it's "flying saucers" over the Mojave Desert.
The sheriff's office here says more than half a dozen persons reported sighting two round reddish-white lights moving in the sky shortly before midnight last night.
Sgt. I.L. McCaleb said Deputies T.M. Morrisey and W.D. Malette spotted them first.
"They appeared above the horizon to the west," McCaleb said the deputies told him. "At first they settled toward the earth, then hovered. Finally, while one stayed motionless, the other took off in a southerly direction, passing behind a hill.
"It reappeared on the other side and finally disappeared. The other then began swinging like a pendulum. It finally dropped below the horizon."
McCaleb said CAA men in an airport tower at Palmdale, a game warden, and several residents of the area also reported the lights and agreed on their description. The lights were visible about 15 minutes, he said.
McCaleb said jet planes wore sent up from George Air Force base at nearby Victorville to investigate, but found nothing. A spokesman at the Air Base declined to comment.
Tokyo, Japan Pacific Stars And Stripes - 3 Aug 52
Sniper, 'Discs' Put California Couple In News Headlines
PASADENA, Calif. -- A Pasadena couple suddenly found themselves involved in two big news stories Saturday after reporting they spotted a formation of flying saucers and narrowly escaped a phantom sniper's bullet.
Jordan M. Reifel and his wife Antoinette told police they were entertaining neighborhood friends at a backyard patio party Friday night when they experienced what they considered the wrath of saucers and snipers.
THEY SAID during the party a bullet whizzed over their heads.
"It sounded like a .22-cal. rifle shot and then the whine of the bullet," Mrs. Reifel said. "After all that excitement about the phantom sniper we naturally were worried."
A few minutes later, the Reifels said, the jittery patio crowd saw a "formation of white things" zooming overhead in the sky.
"At first we thought they might be birds," Mrs. Reifel explained, "but they were going very fast and suddenly disappeared."
POLICE MIGHT have been inclined to discount the report made by the Reifels, except for one coincidence. There were several reports of stray bullets in the area and other Pasadena residents reported "saucers."
Pasadena police threw up their arms in despair.
Long Beach, California Press Telegram - 3 Aug 52
MODEL 'SAUCER' -- Virgil Woods, San Diego, displays flying discs powered by gasoline engines which he flew yesterday at the National Model Airplane Championships at Los Alamitos Naval Air Station. The "saucers," two feet in diameter, perform stunts. -- (U.S. Navy photo.)
Walla Walla, Washington Union-Bulletin - 3 Aug 52
In U.S. Coin?
BOISE, Idaho -- The Boise city council met Saturday and -- with a straight face -- approved the following schedule of airport landing fees for flying saucers:
$50 per non-scheduled landing.
$10 for the first three minutes of "hovering rights;" $10 for each additional minute at less than 1,000 feet; $1 tiedown fees for saucers less than 1,000 feet in diameter; $1 for each additional
Lubbock, Texas Avalanche-Journal - 3 Aug 52
'Spook' World Takes Interest In Flying Saucer Arguments
Flying saucers have captured the interest of the "spook" world. Henry Roberts, author and self-styled psychic, excitedly reported today that Houdini's spirit appeared before him Friday night and gave him the real dope on the "saucers."
Joseph Dunninger, mentalist, magician and one-time close friend of Houdini, told International News Service that he received a phone call this morning from Roberts who said that Dunninger must tell the world of the ghost's warning.
Warning To Mankind
Roberts said, Houdini told him that the flying saucers were a warning to mankind to cut out wars, atom bombs, and "general dissension that exists on the earth plane," Dunninger related.
"If I didn't warn the people that this message was a warning of the coming destruction of the world, I would be committing a sin against mankind, Roberts told me," Dunninger added.
Dunninger professed to be puzzled why the spirit had not appeared before him instead of Roberts as it was Dunninger who had known Houdini so well.
When Houdini died he left a 30 word coded message in the possession of Dunninger with the purpose of debunking mediums.
For years Dunninger has offered a $10,000 reward for anyone that could tell him the words in the message. So far, the best "spook" contacts have scored zero, according to Dunninger.
Dunninger said Roberts had suggested he hand over the 10 "grand" as Houdini's latest message was more significant than the coded message. Roberts said to show that it was nothing personal he would hand it over to charity if Dunninger gave it to him. Dunninger remained unconvinced.
Later Roberts explained the details of the "message" to INS.
He said that they have been accurately forecast by Nostradamus and that there was no doubt they came from Mars. The flashes of the atomic tests had attracted the attention of the Martians and they had come down to investigate, he asserted.
"They are unable to land," he said, "because they belong to a different dimension."
Bring Own Atmosphere
He added that they bring their own atmosphere with them and live in dimensions four, five and six. Somehow Roberts got sidetracked and didn't explain how this was to be construed as a warning to mankind.
According to Dunninger the subject of flying saucers and Houdini first came up two years ago at a Hallowe'en party held annually at Houdini's old house in commemoration of his death.
The present owner received a phone call in the midst of the party. When she returned to the living room after answering it, she was almost in a faint. She told the gathering that it was Houdini and he said open a book called "Paper Magic" at page 113.
Dunninger said the page was full of little circles, ergo, flying saucers. He said it was the first time he had heard that "spooks" used phones.
"I didn't know they had them up there, or down there, whichever the case may be," he said.
Pocatello, Idaho State Journal - 3 Aug 52
Man Who First Spotted 'Saucers' Thinks They're From Other World
BOISE -- Kenneth Arnold, the Boise flying salesman who first spotted the flying saucers five years ago, insists with every breath of sincerity within him that those mysterious objects are real -- as substantial as the good earth beneath our feet.
But they are something from beyond this world of ours, he said Saturday -- something that has conquered time and space.
Arnold has seen the saucers 11 times. He sighted the first in 1947. The latest he saw was near McDermitt, Nev., over the Santa Rosa mountains, in August, 1951.
Never, he said, did they appear to be menacing, and never did he have the fear that they would collide with a plane in flight. He firmly believes they are the product of an intellect superior to anything on earth.
But if they were of hostile nature, said Arnold, we wouldn't stand a chance against them. The fastest most deadly interceptor in existence would be useless.
Yes, the saucers are real to Arnold. In describing them he said they seem to be a living substance capable of becoming more dense or less dense at will. This, he thinks, gives them their power to move through time and space.
Some of the saucers he has seen appear to be alive and able to think and move for themselves.
Others, he said, look as though their outer shells were made of metal and their flight was controlled from within.
Arnold is convinced that radar actually tracked flying saucers in the recent mysterious formation that appeared over Washington D.C. What good would our multi-million radar network be to defense, he asked, if it has not been perfected to distinguish actual objects in flight?
It was on June 24, 1947, that Arnold became the first person to report the phenomena that were to be dubbed flying saucers. He was flying over Mineral, Wash., near Mount Rainier when a bright flash, followed by another, lighted the surfaces of his plane.
Then he saw the formation of nine bright objects racing at tremendous speed. Arnold said they flew in a diagonal line and gave off bright, blue-white flashes from their surfaces.
He made his report at the Yakima, Wash., airport. By the time he resumed his flight and landed at Pendleton, Ore., the word had spread and a curious crowd was waiting for him. A newsman asked him what these things looked like in flight. Said Arnold: "They flew like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water."
From that came the flying saucer tab.
As Arnold put it, "I'm just an average guy who believes what he sees. Why shouldn't I believe that anything in creation is possible?"
Anderson, Indiana Herald Bulletin - 3 Aug 52
People Want To See 'Saucers', Professor Says
People see "flying saucers" simply because they want to see them, a Northwestern University professor claims.
Basing his observations on a continuing study of public opinion conducted at the university over the past several years, Dr. Curtis MacDougall, professor of journalism, said that people become convinced there are such things as flying saucers or flying disks, look for them in the sky, and consequently think they see them.
But he sees a ray of hope in our current attitude toward the phenomenon. "Today we at least accept a scientific explanation of the saucers, even though that explanation may be space ships from Mars. It wasn't too many years ago when we would have labeled the thing as supernatural, rather than 'super scientific'."
Even five years ago, MacDougall notes, the scientists couldn't get a word in edgewise because of the apparent hysteria. Today we at least listen to their premise that unusual light refractions may be caused by varying temperatures of air layers.
We've had scares like this for years, MacDougall said, ranging from Edgar Allan Poe's trans-Atlantic balloon hoax to Orson Welles' famed Martian invasion broadcast.
"Maybe visitors from other planets would be a good thing," MacDougall conjectures. "It might serve to unify us for 'peace on earth'."
Tokyo, Japan Pacific Stars And Stripes - 3 Aug 52
Pilotless Planes May Guard U.S. Against Bombers
WASHINGTON -- The Air Force may next turn to pilotless planes to guard the nation's shores against enemy bombers.
The Air Force, it was learned, is considering production of two supersonic pilotless interceptor planes and a supersonic jet bomber.
A spokesman said the Air Force could not "confirm or deny" this information, although he conceded there were development contracts for the interceptor models.
The proposed use of pilotless interceptors reflects the view of aeronautical scientists that pilots are becoming unnecessary features for air defense flying. In the modern interceptor, the pilots go along as monitors of the electronic equipment that automatically seeks out the invading plane, "locks onto" it by means of radar and fires the guns and rockets.
The pilotless planes would be guided by radar and radio, similarly to the guided missiles now under development by the armed forces.
Wilmington, Delaware Sunday Star - 3 Aug 52
Our Readers Write
Those Flying Saucers
Editor, The Sunday Star: Since 1947 the Air Force has been receiving "flying saucer" reports. During all that time it dismissed them as wild rumors, mistaking conventional objects in the sky, mass hysteria, or a desire on the part of some people to get publicity.
Then last weekend it began to pick up mysterious readings on its radar scopes. On Tuesday it announced jet pilots would take off instantly in pursuit of "flying saucers." A day later it announced it was taking all such reports seriously until proved otherwise and was calling in top scientists to investigate.
Then, the next day, presumably after keeping platoons of top scientists up all night calculating like mad, the Air Force announced it had found still another reason to pooh-pooh the reports -- the strange lights in the sky were due simply to the heat wave and layers of cold air. The radar readings? Why, everyone said, the Air Force knows how jittery and unreliable radar is. Everyone knows that cold air layers will cause "blips" to appear on the screen.
Frankly, we didn't know this at all until now and wonder, since radar is so sensitive to any and every disturbance in the sky, how we dare depend on it as the mainstay of air defense.
And, incidentally, we've had heat waves before without bringing on a rash of flying saucer reports. Mention that to the Air Force and it falls back on its former excuses -- mass hysteria, etc.
The fact remains that the Air Force knows no more about flying saucers than anyone else. It admits it has 400 reports that it can't explain. You can call that mass hysteria, if you like, but that's also unverified opinion.
R.H.V., Wilmington Manor
Anniston, Alabama Star - 3 Aug 52
Interplanetary Travel Is Exciting
Flying saucer enthusiasts are in their glory just now, pointing with pride to the mysterious objects which are flitting like ghosts across radar screens in our nation's capital. Here, they feel, is concrete proof of the existence of these elusive apparitions which have been haunting our skies since 1947.
Unimaginative Air Force officers insist that the "blips" are caused by perfectly natural atmospheric conditions or some easily explainable phenomenon. In a press conference this week, radar experts scoffed at any suggestion of visitors from outer space.
But all the categorical denials in the world won't dim the ardor of the astronautical-minded who thrill to the very thought of extra-terrestrial manifestations. They are firmly convinced that contact eventually will be made with other worlds, and hope fervently that they will be on hand to witness this momentous meeting.
At the same time that scientists are explaining away flying saucers so rudely, many of their brethren are feeding the active imagination of the layman with a steady diet of books and articles dealing with space travel. We refer, not to the familiar science-fiction of screen, TV and comic hooks, but to serious and authentic studies of ways and means of reaching the moon and planets.
One such volume, The Exploration of Space, by Arthur C. Clarke, chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, is the current selection of one of our large book clubs. In calm and reasonable prose, the scientist-author maps out the foreseeable future of man's conquest of space -- a conception so dramatic that even this factual treatise lifts the reader centuries ahead into the future.
Early this Fall, the public will be treated to another similar book, Across Space Frontiers, a symposium in space navigation compiled by six well-known experts in the field. This volume, presented and illustrated in a more spectacular manner than The Exploration of Space, appeared in part in Collier's this Spring, and undoubtedly will find a ready market when released in its entirety.
It is small wonder that many people feel we are on the verge of a new age, and see in the "flying saucers" an indication that it may come sooner than we expect.
While it seems only sensible to agree with the Air Force authorities who write off the recent saucer tales as just more hysteria, we cannot deride the imagination which would give these rumors credence. Human progress rests on imagination. As long as man is eager to believe the unbelievable, he still can make some of it come true. Who knows -- among those living today there may be the man who will first set foot on the soil of another world.
Hutchinson, Kansas News-Herald - 3 Aug 52
PROGRESS REPORT -- A Dallas astronomer, commenting on flying saucer reports, says they may be space ships from another planet and adds: "If there is life on some other planet, and if it is that far advanced scientifically, then, surely they're far enough advanced to have learned to live peaceably." Thus goes the great, and foolish, dream of man -- the theory that by inventing more gadgets we are also learning how to live together. Science has brought us more scientific weapons for killing, but a test tube and a space ship aren't the guideposts toward community living. The sooner man learns the future is a fraud, and he must live in the present, the sooner he will quit his slaughtering. The farthest advanced individuals we ever heard of don't come from another planet, but live in happy peace among the isolated island of the South Pacific, or the wastelands of the Eskimo.
1. General Benjamin Chidlaw, the subject of "Alaska Vapor Trails Had Defense Jittery" had been briefed by Capt. Ruppelt at Project Blue Book the month before the Alaska reports, as noted in the official Status Report 31 March 1952:
On 19 March 1952, General Chidlaw and his staff, of the Air Defense Command, and General Gardner and his staff., of the Joint Air Defense Board, were briefed by an ATIC briefing team. The groups were briefed on the history and operations of Project Blue Book and a member of the Aircraft Performance and Characteristics Branch of ATIC presented data on missiles and types of unconventional aircraft that are known to exist or have existed.
2. The Collier's magazine article mentioned in "Interplanetary Travel Is Exciting" is available through the Saturday Night Uforia Library portal under General Interest Articles 1952, and is entitled "Man Will Conquer Space Soon".
3. The use of the term stingaree in "Flying Saucer Reported Seen Saturday South of Hitchcock" was an acceptable alternate spelling and appellation for stingray.
4. The section of the article "Two Different Groups Report Sightings Of Strange Objects In Lubbock Area Saturday" dealing with the experience of Jim Gibbs appears in Blue Book files. Although the Air Force Officer who interviewed Gibbs states "Mr. Gibbs is very familiar with weather ballons [sic] and he is positive that subject object was not a ballon [sic] of any type", and although records show that the only known weather balloon launch was released from Reese AFB outside of Lubbock approximately five hours earlier, Mr. Gibbs' sighting was first classified as "possibly balloon", and finally simply as "balloon". The previous night's sightings of two lights flying 30 feet apart at Buffalo Lakes golf club were not dealt with in the investigation. The Blue Book documents may be read here.
5. The Los Alamos report related in "Air Forcers Confirm Hill Saucer Story" attributes the date of the incident to July 29 ("last Tuesday") but may in fact be describing an event which occurred the Tuesday before that, on July 22, the Blue Book file for which contains many similarities. However, there is a Blue Book listing for a report from Los Alamos on Tuesday, July 29, for which no file was able to be located in time for this post. The July 22 report is evaluated as "unidentified" while the July 29 report is evaluated as "paper in wind". Meanwhile, this also clouds the news article "Los Alamos Woman Reports Seeing Flying Pie Plates" which the article conflates with the earlier story as having occurred on the same date and time, and in fact it may be the woman's report which was evaluated as "paper in wind". It will take many hours or even days of careful research to fully unthread the Los Alamos sightings in July and August, and then to intertwine them with the news reports -- a task which will have to wait for sometime in the future.
6. Selected Air Force documents on the reports from Lancaster, California told in the articles "Jet Planes Chase Mysterious Objects Over Mojave" and "Seen Over Desert" may be read here. Unfortunately only two of the several witnesses reported were interviewed. However, the case is classified as one of the Blue Book "unknowns".
7. The specifics of Edgar Allan Poe's "balloon hoax" mentioned in "People Want To See 'Saucers', Professor Says" may be read here.
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