in the news 1952
Above: From the August 4, 1952 issue of Life Magazine. The caption read: "SAUCER SPOTTER Harry Barnes, the chief of radar at Washington's CAA control center, works over the radar scope which just picked up strange blips." Life Magazine article 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...
AUGUST 4, 1952:
Life Magazine - 4 Aug 52
'Somethings' over the capital are traced on radar
The most startling "flying saucer" incidents recently reported have taken place during the past two weeks over Washington, D.C., and threaten to make politics take a back seat in the most political of American cities. There, for the first time, mysterious objects in the sky were recorded by ground observers, by pilots in airplanes and on radar screens all at the same time. And, for the first known time, the U.S. Air force sent its jet planes up in an attempt to intercept the objects.
The incidents began on Sunday, July 20.
At 12:40 a.m. the radar operator at the CAA traffic control center in Washington was going quietly about his task of directing the traffic of commercial planes in his area, which appeared on his radar screen as little moving "blips" of light. Suddenly, several strange "blips" appeared denoting the presence of something in the sky 15 miles southwest of the city. As he looked at them they disappeared, then popped up over northeast Washington. Startled, he called Harry Barnes, senior controller of the radar room.
In a few minutes everyone in the radar room was gathered around the scope. The unidentified blips were bounding all over and performing most remarkably. Some seemed to hover idly, some reversed themselves back and forth, others sped along making right and left 90° turns. When they appeared to zoom over such targets as the Pentagon and the White House, Barnes became seriously alarmed. He sent two expert technicians to see if the intricate electronic gear was out of order. It wasn't. Next he called the control towers of the National Airport and Andrews Field, an Air Force base just outside Washington. He was hoping that their observers might actually see objects which he, in his windowless room deep inside the building, could detect only on radar.
An observer at Andrews Field went outside to look at the sky and saw a bright orange light. At the same time, a mechanic on an airstrip, who knew nothing of what was going on, called in to report that he had seen the same strange object. During the night the National Airport tower radar and the Andrews Field radar had recorded an object at this same place. There it was, a something fixed on three different radar scopes and confirmed by two eyewitnesses.
Barnes immediately called the Air Defense Command. Hoping for the arrival of jet fighters at any minute, Barnes went back to his radar. The blips were still there, so he radioed a commercial plane which was just taking off from the National Airport, and asked its pilot, C.S. Pierman, if he would change his course to intercept a target that Barnes could see on the radar. Pierman agreed. In the confusion which followed it is not clear whether Pierman saw exactly the same objects that Barnes was tracking on his radar, but the pilots did see six strange lights, white and star-like, speeding across the heavens. Conceivably, three could have been shooting stars or meteors for they fell at a slight angle, but the next three which were observed shot horizontally across the skies. These were tailless and seemed slower than meteors.
Although Barnes had estimated that some of the objects dawdled along as slowly as 130 mph, others went so fast that his radar could not track them. However, the radars at the airport towers, apparently capable of tracking faster-moving bodies, were able to fix on one object long enough to show that it had traveled eight miles in four seconds, which meant that it's speed was 7,200 mph.
It was not until 3:00 a.m., two hours after Barnes's call, that radar-equipped jet fighters roared in from their Delaware base and called Barnes by radio. They reported that they saw nothing. Barnes agreed that there were no unidentified targets on his scope at the moment. The planes, low on fuel, returned to base. Shortly afterwards the blips were erupting all over the radar scope again.
One appeared next to the regular blip of Capital Airlines Flight 610, coming in from the south. Barnes called Pilot Howard Dermott and told him to look out of his window. Dermott did so and saw a large white light above the horizon in the same position that both radar sets at the airport had it. Barnes tracked plane and light toward the airfield until, four miles out, the light vanished.
On into the night the ghostly demonstration proceeded. Usually the unknown objects darted over the scope at random, but when an airliner appeared in the area the blips turned up around it. Just before daybreak Barnes wearily observed 10 of the objects at one time, then as commercial air traffic grew heavy, the shaken chief and his cohorts were forced to give up the eerie vigil.
THEN, the following Saturday night, the blips began all over again. At 9:08 they appeared on the CAA radar screens where the others had been noticed almost a week before. There were five or six of them moving in a southerly direction. Harry Barnes again called both airport traffic tower and Andrews Field to see if their radar showed the blips. They did.
After tracking the blips for a half hour. Barnes began radioing airliners. United Airlines Flight 640 radioed: "I see a very dim light." Barnes radioed back: "You are now where three blips are." "Ones here," radioed 640. "We got him in sight. He's real pretty." At that instant, Andrews reported to Barnes that they had seen three strange lights streaking across the sky.
More planes reported lights. Some others did not. At 10:44 a CAA patrol plane, the NC-12, radioed that he saw a cluster of them over Beltsville, Md., just where Barnes's radar reported them -- "lights that are white and sometimes yellowish. They seem to change in intensity. Now there goes one, falling fast." A few minutes later, the NC-12 reported a group of five lights at 2,200 altitude. Suddenly all blips disappeared from the screen.
Soon they were back. Barnes had already notified the Pentagon Command Post, the high brass in Washington and the Air Defense Command. From their Delaware base, F-94 jet interceptors again barreled down toward Washington. They arrived at 11:25 and howled over the city. What happened then is in dispute. Officials in the radar room firmly state that a pilot reported contact at 11:25 with four lights 10 miles away and 500 feet above him. He closed at full throttle for two minutes, but the lights disappeared at tremendous speed. Another contact was made a few minutes later and was similarly broken off. Other planes made no contacts although there were blips on the radar screen while the planes were in the area. But when questioned by LIFE the pilots themselves denied any certain visual contacts with aerial lights or objects.
The attitude of the Air Force during the July incidents was puzzling. When the first appearance of the blips was reported in Washington newspapers, no mention was made of jet interceptors. In fact the Air Force stated that it had sent none up. But when confronted with the facts by TIME-LIFE Washington Correspondent Clay Blair Jr. who gathered the material for this article the Air Force finally admitted that it had indeed sent fighters up. No reason has been given for this contradiction. The Air Force might have been embarrassed by the delay in supplying planes. Or it might possibly have known more about the blips than it had admitted. There is another puzzle: experienced airline pilots could see lights where the radar reported blips. Air Force planes said they could not.
Alberta, Canada Calgary Herald - 4 Aug 52
Radar And The Saucers
An Editorial In The Washington Post
Well, just when we believed that our astrophysical friend at Harvard, Dr. Menzel, had disposed of the problem of the flying saucers by proving to his own satisfaction and ours that they are the collaborative products of atmospheric phenomena and the ever-industrious human imagination, a disconcerting story comes out of the National Airport right here in Washington. The story is that in the early hours of Sunday morning nearly a dozen of these mysterious and troublesome pieces of celestial crockery were detected by the radar screens in the traffic control centre. Now radar is, beyond doubt, a most ingenious piece of mechanism, but hardly clever enough to imagine and report what isn't there. To have made the outlines of the flying saucers appear on a screen, the waves sent out by radar transmission must have been bounced back into the receiving apparatus, by something more substantial than pure mirage, or illusion. Obviously then, Dr. Menzel's theory of atmospherics and imagination is no longer applicable to all cases.
The electronic evidence of the radar screens has been supported by the visual evidence of at least two commercial pilots. One of them told of observing a bright moving light in the sky near Herndon, Va., which followed his plane almost into Washington. Another reported that he saw seven of the luminous saucer-like things moving at tremendous speed early Sunday Morning soon after he took off from the airport on a flight to Detroit. They looked to him "like comets or shooting stars without their tails"; and near Martinsburg, W. Va. they shot down toward earth in tremendous dives and he lost sight of them. This suggests a possibility that they may have been meteors and this possibility would, of course, be much strengthened if meteorites were to be found in the vicinity.
It is not just a half dozen years since the flying saucer legend began to spread over a world sick with atomic jitters. In this country saucers were first reported in the Northwest, but by the summer of 1947 they were being observed in almost all parts of the land and indeed in almost all parts of the world. Many of the reports were of course pure hoaxes; in other instances the fearsome apparitions could be easily identified as weather balloons or other such commonplace objects; but a large proportion of the reports came from experienced airplane pilots whose testimony could not always be laughed or explained away. Psychiatrists discoursed learnedly on the nature of mass hysteria, astronomers on the nature of astral phenomena, meteorologists on the existence of ice crystals at high altitudes. On the whole, credulity proved much stronger than skepticism, and gradually the legend of interplanetary spaceships began to take hold of the popular imagination.
Until now, the strongest argument against the objective reality of the flying saucers has been absence of any support by radar observation. At last, however, that argument has been removed, and we are accordingly confronted by the possibility that the mystery of the flying saucers may include many highly dissimilar and perhaps altogether unrelated phenomena, objective and subjective. In other words the difference between one saucer and another may be even greater than the difference between the persons who report having seen them. So the best advice at this point would be to keep your mind open -- and your fingers crossed.
Kokomo, Indiana Tribune - 4 Aug 52
NONBELIEVER -- Dr. I.M. Levitt, director of Philadelphia's Fels Planetarium, has joined the "flying saucer" controversy. He maintains that the discs do not exist and are simply "mirages," the same that cause radar and television mirages. (UP Photo)
Lubbock, Texas Morning Avalanche - 4 Aug 52
Recalls World War II 'Battle of Pips'
Admiral Supports Air Force Theory Of 'Flying Saucers'
By Darrell Garwood
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 -- Vice Adm. Robert C. Giffen, who fought the "Battle of the Pips" in World War II, thinks the Air Force's theory of atmosphere reflections offers a likely explanation for "flying saucers."
"I know they can look like anything, including ships on the water," Giffen said Saturday of the radar phantoms his fleet encountered off Attu Island in the Aleutians on July 26, 1943.
Meanwhile, the latest appearance of the elusive "saucers" -- or something that looked like them -- was reported from Southern California where observers said they saw a fantastic display of lights Friday night and early today.
The California reports came from two deputy sheriffs, two experienced Civil Aeronautics observers, a game warden and a number of responsible citizens.
In the "Battle of the Pips" Giffen's fleet fired 518 fourteen-inch shells and 487 eight-inch shells before it was established that the enemy showing on the radar screens was not there in reality.
That was a case, the admiral recalled, in which the mistake was compounded by several radar sets, since the battleships Mississippi and Idaho and the cruisers Wichita and Portland all reported getting the same positions for the supposed "enemy."
In addition, visual lookouts report [sic] seeing lights, flares and star shells sent up by the phantom enemy, and radar operators gave salvo corrections for what they thought were near misses scored among the non-existent Japanese ships.
Still Seek Answer
Eventually, however, the absence of any return fire and other evidence established that the radar had gone haywire. Navy electronics experts have been trying ever since to determine what went wrong.
The navy's belief is that, since radar beams can be deflected by either a magnetic or an electrical field, atmosphere conditions in this case had established a "radar ceiling."
Instead of escaping from the earth as they usually do, the radar beams apparently were being deflected repeatedly back to earth -- like long-wave radio -- and were striking objects far out of their usual range.
When that happens, according to the experts the radar "echo" will bounce back along the same zig-zag path, to be recorded as a "pip" on the screen. Or the late-returning echo may intercept an out-going beam to cause a "pip" that seems much closer.
The Air Force's theory is that light rays may also be deflected by a temporary "ceiling" and that many of the "saucers" may be merely the reflections of ground lights or objects.
Adm. Giffen, who now lives on a farm near Annapolis, Md., said he did not know anything about light rays, but that he will be skeptical concerning "saucers" at least until one is found.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal - 4 Aug 52
AF 'Saucers Man' Feels Pretty Sure They Just Aren't
Ramey Edges Around Question on Contrails Reported Over Alaska
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 -- Maj. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, the Air Force "saucer man," said today six years of flying saucer reports had "reasonably well" convinced him there is no such thing.
But he edged cautiously around a suggestion that something more orthodox crossed the nation's Alaskan borders -- nearest Soviet Russia -- last April.
Ramey is director of U.S. Air Force operations. He is handling the investigation into the current rash of reports on unexplained things in the sky. He said the Air Force had kept track of such reports from the first one in 1947. Ramey was interviewed on a TV Program "Man of the Week."
Earlier, a University of Maryland psychology professor, Dr. Jessie Sprowls, said saucer reports are products of imagination.
Strange Light Reported
Imagination or not, three hours after General Ramey had made his talk, Washington newspapers and television stations received calls from a number of persons who reported seeing a light shoot through the sky over the city.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration radar operators at the Washington National Airport said they had picked up no unknown objects around the time of the visual sightseeing, about 8 p.m. Mr. and Mrs. George Pickeral of Wheaton, Md., a Washington suburb, said they saw a white ball sail over the roof of their house as they were working in the yard. Mrs. Pickeral said it was like a streak of light and soundless.
Mrs. Giles Dawson of Washington, who also reported seeing the object, said it was orange and traveling south very fast.
No Solid Evidence
Not one of some 1500 saucer reports since 1947, General Ramey said, had offered solid evidence that anything material was involved. And all the reports taken together, he added, did not establish any pattern that could be construed as menacing.
An interviewer said there was a report that last April 17 contrails -- feathery, vapor trails left by high-flying aircraft -- appeared over Alaska and "caused quite an alert."
Ramey shied from any direct answer, even when the statement was repeated and the question added, "What was found?" But he said:
"There have been instances of unexplained contrails that we carry as unexplained, possibly caused by a reconnaissance plane, or at least by an unidentified craft."
He did not say whether he was referring to Alaska, and he did not elaborate. He added that saucer reports did not involve evidence such as contrails, indicating something material, and that that was part of the case against them.
Comments on Russia
About what he called "unidentified objects" Ramey said:
"I don't believe they enter into the defense of the country particularly."
"Soviet Russia has no power to produce an object that can't be tracked as material or that uses such fantastic power as we hear about in these reports."
"Some people see things that aren't there. Some people describe things they haven't seen. It is noticeable the reports come in waves. There are some reports of incredible things from credible people."
"There has never been any instance of anything that could be tracked, that is, traced by radar or otherwise, entering, passing over and leaving the country. The radar sightings have been sporadic. There has been no suggestive pattern established."
"The suggestion the reports arise from some long-range guided missile developed by Russia might be conceivable except that such a missile could be tracked."
Sure They Aren't Material
"We know of nothing that could behave as we hear these things do."
"Even if they were moving at speeds beyond radar's ability to track, they could be photographed if they were material."
"We are reasonably well convinced they are not material, solid objects."
"About 20 per cent of the reports in Air Force hands remain to be explained."
"The Air Force is attempting now to make fast explanations." This was in answer to a query whether the Air Force was trying to dispel "hysteria."
"I can say definitely they (saucers) are not our own."
"I still believe they are some phenomena that is not easily explained." This was in reply to a query whether, if the flying saucer reports do not originate from anything made in Russia or the U.S., they could be from some other world.
Aiken, South Carolina Standard And Review - 4 Aug 52
Air Force Feels Duty-Bound to Investigate Saucers
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 -- Maj. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, Air Force director of operations, said today the Air Force "feels a responsibility" to investigate flying saucer reports even though they "don't enter into the defense problems of this country."
Ramey discussed the recent renewal of saucer sightings on the Columbia Broadcasting System's "Man of the Week" television program. He gave a detailed explanation of why the Air Force is "reasonably well convinced" that saucers are "non-solid objects."
However, he said the Air Force will continue its research and handle all such reports as best it is able. He emphasized it is "not investigating with frantic fear."
Ramey said Air Force officials "know of nothing in modern aviation" that would fit the descriptions given of saucers or behave as they are reported. Asked if they might be guided missiles, he said they have shown no pattern or track "that establishes guidance."
He pointed out that they have been reported to appear and disappear almost instantly, something any known aircraft could not do.
He discounted the possibility that strange objects are being sent here from another country or planet and said they "very definitely" are not a product of the U.S. Air Force.
Ramey went into the theory that atmospheric conditions cause radar rays to bend and pick up objects on the ground which would appear as unidentified "blimps" [sic] of light on radar screens.
He predicted that by using special cameras, the Air Force will be able to determine the source of any lights appearing in the sky and thus dispel much of the mystery.
Syracuse, New York Post-Standard - 4 Aug 52
Saucers 'Just Ain't There,' Says Psychology Expert
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3-- The flying saucers "just ain't there," says Dr. Jessie Sprowls, professor of abnormal psychology at the University of Maryland.
With a word of apology for his emphasis-aimed lapse in grammar, the professor Sunday attributed the nation-wide deluge of reports of strange things in the upper atmosphere "primarily to hallucination."
Advises Forget Them
Then he reverted to homely language again.
Anybody looking for a real flying saucer has about as much chance as "a blind man in the dark room looking for a black cat."
He had a solution to offer -- "Just sort of forget about it."
The professor was interviewed over WGAY radio station in suburban Silver Springs, Md., where he had expressed much the same views when flying whatzits first came in for general public interest some four years agent.
In the earlier interview, Dr. Sprowls related, he mentioned a possible connection between flying saucer tales and psychoanalysis. He said a young man who had just broadcast an account of seeing such things told him, "You'll have to eat your words." But Sprowls commented nothing has happened since in cause of any such change of his diet.
The psychologist said there are several factors that would contribute to a person's honest belief that he had seen an out-of-this-world flying contraption. They rather tie in together.
First off, he said, the human animal is gregarious -- "that's the reason we chatter so much."
And "the mind of man is suggestible." Thus, Dr. Sprowls said, if people hear there may be such things as flying saucers the tendency is to accept the idea. If somebody important talks about it, that multiplies the tendency to believe, he said. On that basis he saw strong effects from the Air Force's acknowledgment that it is checking flying saucer stories.
"We live in a world of conflict," Dr. Sprowls went on and have acquired the mental habit of reaching for ideas that would solve the resulting problems. He suggested that imaginary flying saucers are a representation of some such process.
He said, too, that the human mind has a process of "segregation" that will not permit different sorts of ideas to mix. In that situation, he said, a man can "tend to believe he saw a flying saucer when he knows he didn't see one."
There have been widespread hallucinations of various sorts after nearly every great war or disaster, Dr. Sprowls said, explaining that they represent an effort to find a solution for troubles.
This was his clincher:
"I am sorry to say this, but I actually believe not more than one in a thousand of the general population of America or any other country is capable of independent thought."
Clearfield, Pennsylvania Progress - 4 Aug 52
Air Force Says 'Saucers Not Solid Material'
WASHINGTON -- An Air Force general and a psychology professor both discounted flying saucer reports but the nation's capital still buzzed with them over the week end.
The Rev. Edward B. Lewis of Washington's Union Methodist Church drew a moral from it all.
"It is a good thing," he said Sunday from his pulpit, "to have something happening like flying saucers that demands that people look up and study some of the wonders of nature."
"If we can get excited about the eternal truths of the grace of God, then we can learn how to live eternally and still be interested in such things as flying saucers."
St. Petersburg, Florida Times - 4 Aug 52
Flying Saucers God's Warning, Pastor Avers
Flying saucers, said Dr. Charles M. Leaming last night, are God's own warning to the sinful, rebellious, and hard-headed children of Adam.
Opening yesterday's evening service at Faith Temple Dr. Leaming said he would speak on "the mystery of the so-called flying saucers." The first half of the talk was a series of quotations from the Bible, The St. Petersburg Times, and Life Magazine.
Dr. Leaming spoke of the second coming of the Lord and read chapters in St. Mark, St. Luke and Revelations which mentioned strange phenomenon in the heavens would precede the second coming.
He brought out that the first report of a flying saucer was the prophet Ezekiel's sighting of a "flying wheel coming from the North." Dr. Leaming further stated that the month of the year was July (which in 1952 has seen a rash of saucer sightings). According to Ezekiel the saucers of "flying wheels" hovered slightly below a group of heavenly creatures much in the manner of satellites.
Dr. Leaming reasons that we, being unable to see the heavenly creatures, are seeing the wheel-like satellites which attend them. To substantiate his reasoning, he brought out the fact that the two colors described by Ezekiel, Amber and myrrh (green) have both been used in describing the modern sightings.
Dr. Leaming said this was God's last warning and all who would not repent could prepare themselves for the worst.
St. Petersburg, Florida Times - 4 Aug 52
Flying Saucer Explanation
Editor, The Times:
This is my guess about those much publicized flying saucers -- they are accumulated metallic dust particles, product of the vaporizing of steel towers, copper connections and metal casings of the atom bombs following each explosion.
This vaporized metallic dust, radio active and probably magnetic, forms in miniature clouds, either singly or groups and, being susceptible to activity by the electrical impulse, when in contact with radio or radar beams may account for the speed and glow; and stationary when out of contact and, as last reported, could be split and travel in different directions if caught at intersection of different beams -- which also may account for violent change of direction at high speed.
As first reported since creation of the atom bomb and, as they appear only in this country, it seems a logical conclusion that they are the harmless after-effects of atomic explosions. Being nebulous they cannot be shot down, as ordered, neither will any parts ever be found.
THOS. F. COONEY
Blytheville, Arkansas Courier News - 4 Aug 52
Japanese Say Saucers Are Only 'Meteors'
TOKYO -- The newspaper Yomiuri said Monday it had received more than 150 letters from persons reporting they saw flying saucers over Japan Friday night.
Japanese astrologers, however unanimously agreed the objects were meteors.
In Taipeh, Formosa, newspapers quoted a Chinese man and wife as saying they saw two shiny circles Saturday morning streak eastward across the city at 10 minute intervals. The couple described them as going faster than a jet but slower than a meteor.
Monessen, Pennsylvania Daily Independent - 4 Aug 52
Europeans Are Talking But Not Worrying About Flying Saucers
Europeans became talkative about flying saucers again today, but spoke of the mysterious "objects" with less concern than skygazers in the United States and Canada.
France reported the greatest number of discs seen over the weekend, more than 20, to lead the European standings. There were several reports from Italy and Iran, also.
European newspapers generally took the "sightings" lightly. Some used the tongue-in-cheek technique in reporting the presence of discs spinning across the skies at incredible speeds. Other journals covered the incidents with an editorial shrug of the shoulders.
But on this side of the Atlantic, authorities listened seriously to every report...
[Ramey comments reported earlier omitted.]
The Royal Canadian Air Force, using the strategy of its U.S. counterpart, assigned an intelligence officer to keep score on all reports of "saucers" or other objects.
The Canadian Transport Department, which controls civil aviation, also put one of its men to work compiling statistics on saucer sightings.
Canadian officials said no Air Force planes had been alerted to take off after saucers, but the government said fighter units would be expected to investigate any unidentifiable objects.
"Everything in the air that we can't immediately identify is a naturally suspect [sic]," an RCAF official said.
New London, Connecticut Day - 4 Aug 52
Sky 'Whatzits' Seen Here; Woman Gives Vivid Account
Flying saucers were seen Friday night by persons in Waterford and Groton.
The first local report of the phenomenon which has stirred nationwide interest results from careful observation by the wife of a master mariner, checked and affirmed by two members of the family.
They are the more certain they saw what they saw because Saturday, the very next afternoon, The Day printed a coast guard photograph taken July 16 at Salem, Mass. The cloud-like objects shown in formation in the photograph were identical to those in the sky over Waterford.
Mrs. Daniel O.M. Hanscom of Butlertown road, Waterford, today at request of The Day, related the experience which she had so carefully noted and timed. She was greatly interested but not alarmed by the spectacle.
In her conversation today she appeared to have been without preconception of the nature of strange objects previously reported by others and to have brought an open but eager mind to bear on what she so unexpectedly witnessed.
Since science as yet has given no final explanation, she was willing to weigh all possibilities unemotionally. This includes the suggestion of inter-planetary communication several times made elsewhere. Mrs. Hanscom did not call hers spaceships; she did say they moved on a regular course at a seeming governed speed rather than drifting and changing aspect as do natural cloud formations.
Mrs. Hanscom's Story
Here is her account:
Her son, Edward Melville Mahoney of 12 Wild Rose place, Waterford, left his work at the First National store in Niantic at its closing at 9 p.m. Friday. He drove to his mother's home, about five miles from his own, to bring her a television set which had been repaired.
Mrs. Hanscom gave him supper and both went to the porch as he was leaving.
Mahoney exclaimed: "Mother, look at that funny cloud!"
It was a very clear night, Mrs. Hanscom said today. The moon and stars were bright. Through this clear sky rode a cloud-like object, standing out plainly in every detail. They brought a large but old German telescope from the house. They had no trouble in focusing it on the moon and stars but were unable to catch the saucer-cloud in it.
They were still on the porch when the telephone rang. It was Mrs. Mahoney. "My sister's husband (Sidney Perkins, also of 12 Wild Rose place) just telephoned that men at the Electric Boat wet dock said flying saucers were going over; I wish Melville would come right home."
Mahoney suggested to his wife that she step out and look at the sky, but she was fearful. Feeling that her daughter-in-law was upset, Mrs. Hanscom urged her son to hurry home.
Mrs. Hanscom then helped her nine year old daughter prepare for bed and tended to a few other household duties.
Her husband, Captain Hanscom, was aboard the motor vessel Orient of the New London Freight Lines and would not complete the ferry runs to Orient Point until early morning.
Gets Second Look
Finally at about 11 p.m. Mrs. Hanscom was free to step out on the porch again. She was rewarded at once with a still more impressive sight.
Out of the western sky came riding an unusual formation. It passed directly over the Hanscom house and disappeared in the east, she said. It was visible for nearly 20 minutes, Mrs. Hanscom estimated, she had time to observe closely and to fix her impression. She even had time to call her daughter down from her bedroom, and the child saw the same thing.
Both regarded it as a possibly important occasion with its value, apart from the personal thrill of seeing something for the first time, depending on the care with which they watched and later described what they saw. From such individual records, Mrs. Hanscom feels, scientists may be able to piece out a final sound explanation.
In the lead was the largest object. It was round, with scalloped edges. It gave an impression of thickness, which Mrs. Hanscom could only describe by comparison with the effect of a common doodle when a pencil draws with a circular concentric motion until it comes to a center point. From that point, of apparent maximum thickness, there protruded a tail. It was thick at the stub and tapered to nothing. It was not long, shorter than the diameter of the saucer.
"How large was this object, Mrs. Hanscom?"
"You know how hard it is to tell the size of something in the sky when you do not know the distance. My kitchen is about 30 feet by 15 feet. It appeared that the object could just about fit in my kitchen."
Behind this lead saucer came six or seven somewhat smaller ones. These seemed to be tailless.
On Orderly Course
Mrs. Hanscom noted particularly that they seemed to follow on a precise course. They did not, she said, spread or waiver in outline as do the clouds making a mackerel sky as they approach an observer.
When her husband arrived home that night, Mrs. Hanscom in describing her experience stressed to him her impression that this group moving on an ordered course with regulated speed greater than normal for clouds. And there were no other clouds in sight.
"I said to him: 'If it is habitants of another planet, this is their means of transportation."
Captain Hanscom had not used the Orients radar that night, for it was so clear navigation was easy. Intent on the management of the vessel and watch of the Long Island sound waters, he had made no sky observations.
Syracuse, New York Post-Standard - 4 Aug 52
Bold Saucers 'Survey' City in Daylight Flight
Flying saucers are getting braver. Three were sighted in daylight "sorties" across Syracuse skies yesterday afternoon.
Altho most saucer reports here were made by night observers George Gravatt, of the Onondage Chimney Co, Barker Hill rd., Jamesville, reported seeing three disc-like objects scooting around the skies over the Pioneer Housing Project about 4:20 p.m.
Watching thru eight-power binoculars, Mr. Gravatt said the fast flying object suddenly materialized out of the center of the sky, then veered west and south.
It appeared to be spinning: there was no motor noise and no exhaust or "glow." They were about the size of a full moon, he said.
The second disc appeared a minute or so after the first flying in a northerly direction. Two or three minutes later the third appeared, this time moving from west to east, Mr. Gravatt said.
They were flying "quite fast" and high, he commented.
Mr. Gravatt happened to spot the objects while examining chimneys at the housing project prepatory to entering bids on chimney construction tomorrow.
Standing in the shadow he spotted the saucers while scanning up and down one of the 50-foot chimneys.
While the first two objects flew out of range, the third seemed to disappear in a wisp of cloud, he reported.
Annapolis, Maryland Evening Capital - 4 Aug 52
This Flying Saucer Is An Orange One With Spot Of Red
Mrs. Rudolph Quade isn't sure just what it was that flashed across the sky at 9:15 last night, but as far as she's concerned she'd be just as happy if she'd never seen it in the first place.
And one thing she is sure of is that she doesn't want to see it again. Somehow, it "didn't make her feel good."
It all began when she and her husband were returning from a late-afternoon fishing trip and were motor-boating up Lake Elevation at Bay Ridge, and Mrs. Quade suddenly saw an "orange thing, the size of a beachball" crossing overhead.
"Sure a lot of people have been talking about 'flying saucers,' but I didn't particularly believe it and I don't go around looking for them. I was running our outboard motor last night when I happened to look up at the stars and saw a bright orange light that came from the right, streaked across the sky and then vanished beyond a wooded area on the left hand side," Mrs. Quade said.
"I hollered to my husband to look at it, but he couldn't hear me for the noise of the motor and by the time he looked up, it was gone," she continued.
Mrs. Quade estimated that the orange light crossed the sky and disappeared in "about four seconds."
"It didn't go up or down, but went across the creek in a perfectly straight line, about four feet higher than the trees. It was bright orange, much brighter than a star, and had one spot of red in the back. You could see the spot as the rear end of the thing came into view and crossed the sky," Mrs. Quade related.
Mrs. Quade, who lives at 1122 Munroe street, Eastport, said she's seen falling stars before, but that she'd never seen anything like this before in her life and "didn't feel too good."
"I could see it plainly enough all right because it was dark and all of a sudden it was there. I'll tell you one thing, though, I don't want to see any more of them," she declared firmly.
Hagerstown, Maryland Daily Mail - 4 Aug 52
Objects Seen Here
The flying saucers finally reached Hagerstown yesterday afternoon.
Joe Ocker, a Devonshire youth, claims he saw one shaped like an umbrella and at that time it was over the Fountain Head Country Club.
Charles Ake, manager of the Airport, reported be saw a kite in the air and added that he talked with two pilots who reported seeing an object, not a kite, that disappeared toward South Mountain. One said the object was round and light in color.
It could well have been a weather balloon.
Greensburg, Pennsylvania Daily Tribune - 4 Aug 52
Hunkers Man Claims Saw "Flying Saucer"
The flying saucers have been in the Greensburg district lately, and we have the testimony of James W. Storey, of Hunkers, who works in a Latrobe factory to back that up.
This is the way Mr. Storey told his flying saucer tale this morning:
"At 6:15 o'clock Friday evening, August 1, I sighted a flying saucer proceeding south over Hunkers. The sun was bright and the sky was clear.
"The disc appeared to be travelling at about twice the speed of a passenger airplane, which had just passed going west. The saucer was going straight and seemed to have a destination. It appeared to be round and didn't seem very high, although it could have been because it looked so small. The disc continued on until it was out of sight.
"I feel certain this disc was a tangible object and not an optical illusion, or a light ray caused by the elements.
"Whether or not it was a body from another planet, I feel that some of us are selfish to think we are the only fish in the sea and that our planet is the only one inhabited among the millions of stars and planets in the universe.
"History books tell us that most people would not believe Columbus, when he insisted the earth was round. But why some of the members of our own government and Air Force refuse to believe that flying saucers exist, when so many people have seen them, is to me a greater mystery than the saucer itself. Will someone please tell me who must see one of these discs to make it official? I think it is high time we accept the fact, and begin to find out what they are."
Lebanon, Pennsylvania Daily News - 4 Aug 52
Report flying Saucers Over Merion, Penna.
PHILADELPHIA -- Two persons here and two in nearby Merion reported today they saw two "flying saucers" at about the same time last night.
Richard Wang said he spoiled the first one as he sat on the balcony of his apartment house here. It was an "orange ball" crossing the sky at terrific speed. he said.
A second noiseless ball came by five minutes later, leaving an s-shaped vapor trail, Wang said. His sister, Mrs. Dorothy Jourdan, also said she saw the "saucers."
Alan J. Smith, a Merion Attorney, said he and his wife were, sitting on the terrace of their home when they saw a "golden ball" traveling west at apparently a low altitude. They said they spotted another a few moments later.
Lock Haven, Pennsylvania Express - 4 Aug 52
Bloomsburg Men See Odd Discs Whirling in Sky
BLOOMSBURG -- Mysterious objects in the sky were reported today by two employes of the Bloomsburg Mills In Bloomsburg, Pa.
Winton Emery and Morris Moser both of Bloomsburg, working on the early morning shift at the plant claim they saw two red balls in the skies nearby. They say that as the objects slowly moved in toward Bloomsburg they took on the appearance of large discs then whirled on toward Berwick and disappeared.
Emery said he had gone to the window of the plant and looked in the direction of Rupert Mountain. He said he noticed the glaring red spots in the sky and called to Moser.
The two men, according to Emery, went to a roof over a one-story portion of the plant where they were able to have a good view of the approaching balls.
Emery said that as the objects moved slowly over Bloomsburg, they took on the appearance of pinkish discs. He estimated their height at 2,000 to 3,000 feet. When asked about their size, Emery said "they appeared to be about the size of a volley ball at a distance of 50 feet." He added, "They made no smoke and were trailed by no flame."
Lebanon, Pennsylvania Daily News - 4 Aug 52
What's Right -- What's Wrong
One of our scouts assigned to tracking down flying saucers says he has learned that a couple of Palmyrans are said to have witnessed such phenomena the other night, but they aren't talking. The story is that they viewed some mysterious sky objects from the vantage point of a quiet hilltop near Palmyra.
The reason they won't go on record: The young fellow goes steady -- and not with the young lady who was with him.
Statesville, North Carolina Daily Record - 4 Aug 52
Local People Asked To Report Flying Saucers
The local office of Civil Defense has received a letter from E.Z. Jones, director of the North Carolina Council of Defense, requesting local people who see "flying saucers" to write in a report to the Raleigh office.
"Army intelligence," says the bulletin from the Raleigh office which is being sent to civil defense offices throughout the state, "is not discrediting any reports, while at the same time they do not give too much credence that these objects are man-controlled. At the same time they would like to have information regarding the sighting of these objects by reliable persons."
Therefore, if you see what you believe is a "flying saucer," write Mr. Jones and give him the following information: Name, address and phone number of person sighting the object. Time and place the object was seen and direction in which it was traveling. Give as full a description of the object as possible, whether it was light or solid, whether a trail of light followed it or whether the object was surrounded by a halo effect, whether it was traveling slow or fast, whether it stopped and started again. How long was the object in view? What was the weather like? Was the weather hot, extremely hot, or cool?
Send this information to E.Z. Jones, Director, North Carolina Council of civil Defense, Mansfield Park Building, Raleigh.
Anniston, Alabama Star - 4 Aug 52
Capital Reports Saucer
MONTGOMERY -- W.B. Stewart said he watched a flying saucer flash over Montgomery early this morning.
He said he was sitting on his porch when a whirling disc, light blue in color, whizzing overhead. The object was 10 or 12 feet In diameter, Stewart said.
Logansport, Indiana Pharos Tribune - 4 Aug 52
Flying Saucers Fail To Show Up During Mass Air Force Watch
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A mass-flying saucer watch conducted by the Air Force was a success, officers said today, except for the fact that no one saw any saucers.
South Bend residents were asked to scan the skies Saturday night and report any unusual objects to the Air Force filter center here which has been screening saucer reports.
Officers said about 24 reports of identifiable objects were received. Most of them were airplanes.
Seventy-five calls in all, not counting themselves, were received.
For a time the filter center thought it might have an honest-to- goodness saucer on its hands. A bright, zig-zagging light was reported east of here and the filter center went on the alert.
It turned out to be flashes of heat lightning.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa Gazette - 4 Aug 52
Fishing Trio Saw "Flying Saucer"
A Cedar Rapids man was fishing Saturday night, but it was no fish story he brought home with him.
It was a "flying saucer" story, and Dean Stull, 1516 E. avenue NE, has his step-father, Charles Ryan of Clinton, and his brother-in-law, Clarence Thorn of New Hampton to verify it.
The three were fishing on the Mississippi river on a dam and lock near Fulton, Ill., when they saw a "luminous white object" sweeping through the sky over Clinton.
Stull said the object appeared a few minutes before midnight. It whirled clockwise seven times, he said, started to make a right turn and came to a dead stop. It traveled in a straight line, making the circles parallel to the ground.
It hovered there for about five minutes, Stull said, then made another circle and disappeared into the distance.
He described it as being "platter shaped, flat on the bottom with a rounded-off top, something like a cockpit extending the full length of the object."
"It was a very bright white," Stull said, "something like the glow of phosphorous in water."
Chillicothe, Missouri Constitution-Tribune - 4 Aug 52
Describes Flight Of Six? '?Flying Saucers?'
Laverne Glasbrook, Indianola, Ia., an employee of the A.T.&T., has reported sighting six flying saucers last Friday south of Des Moines, Ia.
Glasbrook told his story to John Baker, Chillicothe, also of the A.T.&T. Glasbrook told Baker that the six saucers were flying north, suddenly stopped, and "hung low enough so that we got a good look at them." He described them as in a "saucer" shape.
Glasbrook described the objects as "definitely of metal."
"They just seemed to hang there," he said and then they darted to the east and were gone in "a split second." Glasbrook was working in Trenton
with Baker last week.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Tribune - 4 Aug 52
Two men stationed at White Sands Proving Grounds reported seeing a "flying saucer" while traveling through Albuquerque yesterday.
Stanley W. Smith and Charles E. Poling told Deputy Sheriff W.L. Brown they were traveling south on Second-st. SE when they noticed an object above the "horizon to the south.
It was yellow in color and moved back and forth for about 15 minutes, then, disappeared below the horizon in front of them.
Idaho Falls, Idaho Post-Register - 4 Aug 52
'Flying Saucer' Watched In Utah
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, Aug. 4. -- Two air traffic control tower operators at this northern Utah air force base reported Monday they had watched a "flying saucer" hover over the Wasatch mountains.
S. Sgt. Ralph E. Gillespie, senior air traffic control tower operator, said the object was shaped like "a lop sided baseball."
Gillespie said he and Pfc. John D. Roth, junior operator, watched the sky object for more than 30 minutes.
"When I turned the glasses -- binoculars -- on it," Gillespie said, "I saw four green lights on it, three on the bottom and one on the top."
He said the object appeared as if it were in Weber canyon, flying close to the canyon wall, about 10 to 15 miles east of Hill air force base. He said he discussed the phenomenon with operators of the Salt Lake airport control tower who dispatched a search plane. But the disc was gone before the plane arrived.
Salt Lake City, Utah Tribune - 4 Aug 52
Disks, Blasts, Crackups -- All in 'Mysterious S.L.'
Mysterious flying saucers, unexplained explosions, disappearing "plane crashes" and vaporous odors in the Salt Lake City area are winning the city the title of a western "land of mystery."
What by now are "old friends" to Salt Lakers -- the flying saucer mysteries -- appeared again Saturday night. Several calls were received at The Salt Lake Tribune and Salt Lake Telegram of "saucer sightings" in and near the city.
Up Over Horizon
One unidentified caller said he saw one over the Wasatch Mountains -- in fact "it" went down over the eastern horizon and then came back up.
Francis E. Ashby, 145 N. 5th West, called to report that not only he saw a flying saucer, but his entire family did. He was at a drive-in theater on Redwood Road when one "that looked like a spinning ball of fire" flew south. At first he thought it was a reflection of light, but a few moments later he, his family and the occupants of the next car saw two flying north.
"They suddenly vanished into thin air," he reported.
Still a Mystery
And in spite of so many sightings, the flying saucers over Utah -- as elsewhere -- are still a mystery.
The second repeater [sic] was Sunday morning when a resident in the area of 13th East and 20th South reported a "blast that shook the house."
This report is the same as several received last spring, when residents -- and many of them -- reported strong blasts and flashes of light, some so strong that residents were awakened and then rushed out into the streets.
Police and other governmental agencies investigated. In each case, there we're no recorded blastings, no damage could be found, no seismographic records of earthquakes -- and absolutely no explanation.
Another mystery -- still unsolved Sunday but of no doubt "natural" causes -- is the strong and unpleasant odor that was wafted over the city Friday night. Its memory -- and smell -- lingered on Saturday. Other similar odors -- some explained and some still unexplained -- have "appeared" in the city occasionally.
Then there was the report last winter of a "plane crash" north of Salt Lake City. Witnesses said they saw it, saw it crash and heard an explosion. Yet a thorough search failed to disclose a wreck and no plane was reported missing.
Police department officials regularly have "mysteries" which usually prove unfounded. Such as the report several months ago of a "man digging a grave in his back yard."
Eugene, Oregon Register-Guard - 4 Aug 52
Flying Disc Stunts Over Cedar Flats
T.J. Williams, who lives at Cedar Flats up the McKenzie, saw a flying saucer Saturday night. Saw it 46 times, as a matter of fact.
The thing came flying over his place at about 10:45 p.m., round like a canvas ball and white with a glow as though light were shining through cloth. Then, just as the object started to clear a hill nearby, it broke into two sections, Williams said. The other turned left and started circling.
It made 46 complete circles, covering about 5 miles each time, in the next 8 minutes. Williams counted the object every time it went around. That would put its speed at around 1700 miles per hour, although it just seemed to float, "light and easy."
Although it looked round at first, Williams said it occasionally dipped and turned on edge, and then its shape was more like buzzard wings. He estimated it was 15 or 20 feet long.
"I've heard a lot about flying saucers but I never believed they existed," Williams said Monday. "Now I don't know what to think."
Spokesman-Review - 4 Aug 52
Flying Saucers Taken Seriously
Some Scientists Considering Out-of-Word Basis
RICHLAND, Wash., Aug. 3 -- Quoting from several sources and reviewing much of what has been learned from research, Capt. Maynard M. Missal Jr. in a broadcast tonight indicated that these records show a distinct possibility of flying saucers, and that they might have an out-of-world basis.
Captain Missall spoke on the science forum program which has General Electric's Hanford works scientists as panel members.
Working from the angle of what flying saucers are not, the Camp Hanford inspector general discussed such possibilities as light refraction, psychological phenomena, and atmospheric distortion from atomic activity as responsible for the sights seen by observers.
Not in All Cases
He indicated that in some cases these may have been the answers, but certainly not in all. The other two possibilities he discussed were that saucers were being built by the United States or Russia.
Captain Missall indicated that he didn't agree with either of these theories. he said that several magazines have made exhaustive studies to determine the "whereabouts and present business" of every scientist who might have anything to do with the development of a superaircraft.
"Added to this," Captain Missall continued, "is the one conclusive fact, that the United States has at its command no source of power that could put a flying machine through such paces as the saucers perform."
Russian Origin Discounted
He dismissed the idea that they were a Russian development by saying he thought it inconceivable that the Russians would risk the loss of such a precious military weapon by flying a saucer over enemy territory, thus taking a chance of one crashing, which would let out the secret.
Captain Missall said scientists were taking saucers far more seriously than the file of laymen, and several of them now have formed definite conclusions.
One of these mentioned by the speaker was Dr. Walther Riedel, now engaged in secret work for this country, who believes the saucers are real and is "completely convinced that they have an out-of-world basis."
Pilot Could Not Live
Captain Missal said Riedel's four reasons for this conclusion are the lack of any metal or non-metal now known that could withstand such speeds, the terrific centrifugal force that is created, maneuvers performed which no pilot could perform and live, and the lack of a visible trail which any known jet, rocket, piston engine or chain-reaction motor operating at high altitudes would leave.
As to his personal opinion, Captain Missall said if one ever lands and asks him for directions to Hanford, "I'll make like a flying saucer!"
Reno, Nevada Evening Gazette - 4 Aug 52
West Coast Donates To Latest Saucer Scare
HAMILTON AIR FORCE BASE -- Two fast Sabrejet fighter planes went aloft but found nothing yesterday in a hunt for "flying saucer" type objects reported over the California coast.
Maj. John C. O'Hara, public information officer, said the F-86s were dispatched about 6 p.m. PDT, in response to ground observer filter center reports of unidentified objects. They returned shortly afterward.
Lieut. B.A. Swinley, a pilot at Hamilton, said he was off duty at his nearby home about 4:30 p.m., when he spotted eight round, silver "definitely physical" objects west of the coast.
Swinley estimated their altitude at between 15,000 and 20,000 feet and their speed at more than 400 miles an hour. They flew first in an irregular diamond formation, then shifted until they were strung out one behind the other, he said.
The San Francisco Chronicle said coastal radar installations had detected unidentified objects in the same area.
The weather bureau at San Francisco said meteorological conditions were particularly favorable for "flying saucer" illusions yesterday.
Air force meteorologists suggested weather balloons might be the explanation for a mysterious round object reported at 4:27 p.m. by Observers at Willits and Fort Bragg, 100 miles north of here.
Two other unexplained reports were turned in by ground observers in northern California yesterday:
At 1:30 p.m., a "large, red-colored object that looked like a flare" was spotted at an estimated 3500 feet over Sacramento.
Twenty minutes later a "large round object that emitted a white glow but no noise" was reported over Chico, 80 miles to the north.
Lebanon, Pennsylvania Daily News - 4 Aug 52
Technicolored 'Saucers' Spotted Over Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, Today -- If the accounts of witnesses are to be believed, colored flying saucers are now skimming through the skies over Los Angeles.
Three reports of discs of various hues were in the records today.
Grant C. Hinton, sheriff, told deputies he and his family neighbors [sic] saw two discs that changed color.
He said they changed from red to white and green to blue during a 15-minute period before they finally disappeared.
Some miles to the North, in Burbank, a man who said he was a World War II bomber pilot informed police he observed two large blue discs with lights that blinked off and on. He said the saucers were travelling too fast for airplanes.
James Bunn, who lives in the southwest part of Los Angeles, said he saw a reddish-orange saucer-like object which trailed reddish exhaust vapor behind it. It disappeared in a westerly direction, toward the ocean.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal - 4 Aug 52
Flying Saucers Sighted in 1621
MELROSE, Mass., Aug. 3 -- A Melrose couple today disclosed that people in England were seeing and talking about "flying saucers" 331 years ago.
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond G. Mason found the information about the saucers in an old volume entitled "The One Hundred Wonders of the World and the Three Kingdoms of Nature," published in 1821.
The saucers are mentioned under the section "atmospherical refraction." It states:
"On Oct. 22, 1621, two mock suns and a halo were seen in Lyndon, England, about 11 a.m. They were bright and distant. These silver discs had tails of a white color. They were evidently red toward the true sun but pale whitish at the opposite sides."
Four days later the phenomena were seen again. The book goes on to tell of three suns, resembling silver discs, seen in Sudbury, England, on Aug. 28, 1695 at 8 a.m.
Dunkirk-Fredonia, New York Evening Observer - 4 Aug 52
by Peter Edison
Saucer Eyed Pilots
Civil airline officials believe that from now on, reports of flying saucer sightings by their commercial pilots will be much more numerous. Up until the recent sightings were confirmed by radar, pilots were reluctant to report that they had seen any saucers.
Every such report they made in the past subjected them to much kidding from other pilots who hadn't seen any, and from ground officials. But now that the saucer scare is being taken more seriously, it is believed that pilots will be eager to report every phenomenon.
Kokomo, Indiana Tribune - 4 Aug 52
TESTING THE WIND -- A member holds aloft a model of a new arrowhead glider under construction at Aachen, Germany, University Aeroclub. Pilot will sit up front at controls.
Lima, Ohio News - 4 Aug 52
Looking At Lima
FLYING SAUCERS have created confusion here in Lima and all over the nation. Now the darned things are creating poetry -- of a sort. E.0. Truesdale, 710 S. Woodlawn-av, was moved to write the following jingle:
Flying saucers in the sky?
You can look up long and high
And see anything you wish --
Saucers, cigars, flying fish --
Tilt your head, stretch your neck
You'll see stars -- by the peck --
And other objects, too, by heck
In a week, you'll be a wreck!
Albuquerque, New Mexico Tribune - 4 Aug 52
What Other Newspapers Say
Why Snub Santa Fe?
This "flying saucer" mass invasion is getting out of hand. Let's all sit back and relax.
The latest is a "saucer" that divides into two parts, both of which continue merrily on their mysterious ways. That the ability to divide is characteristic of the amoeba is pointed out by one office scientist, and that gives rise to all sorts of possibilities including algae in the eyes.
And with one other observation we'll leave the "saucer" matter in the hands of the harassed Air Force. If these things are tourists from another planet, we're plenty sore. Santa Fe is far below par in the number of sightings, and everyone knows that Santa Fe is the tourist capital of the nation. Why should these celestial tourists snub us?
Abilene, Texas Reporter News - 4 Aug 52
Those Flying Things
The flying saucers have got everybody talking again and a great many people seeing them, or at least seeing something out of the ordinary.
The only people who don't seem particularly excited are the astronomers and other scientists, such as Albert Einstein, who conceded that people had been "seeing something" but what? And, he went on, so what? He couldn't be bothered.
People who believe these manifestations are visitors from another planet inhabited by creatures more intelligent than earthlings are in the minority, and mostly of the science-fiction school.
Whatever is causing these phenomena is definitely not new, for they were witnessed in Chicago and other parts of the world in the 1890s, and extensively publicized as newspaper files show.
Currently the Chicago Daily News is presenting an interesting series of saucer speculation -- and as of now the whole thing is largely speculation, and no material proof of their existence has been brought out.
The News brings out that the overwhelming bulk of science opinion is that Mars is the only planet that might sustain life, and that if these things are coming from Mars it proves that vegetables are smarter than men, for the only life that Mars can sustain is a form of lichen, or moss.
As for their coming from remoter regions of our universe -- well, there so many stars that no one has been able to estimate them accurately, and many of these stars have satellites.
But the News quotes Astronomer Wagner Schlesinger of the Adler Planetarium as saying:
If a rocket started out from the nearest star toward our earth and traveled at a speed of a million miles an hour, it would take 3,000 years to reach here.
You might read that sentence again, Just for exercise. Astronomy is one of the oldest of sciences, and one of the most exact. Practitioners of that great art are not easily excited.
Brainerd, Minnesota Daily Dispatch - 4 Aug 52
Maybe Saucer Rash Is Cured; It's Silly, Of Course, Or Is It?
Now the Air Force says that flying saucers are as nonexistent as those 14-carat gold ones on your kitchen shelf. All right, Air Force, but did you have to keep things up in the air so long?
The latest saucer rash soared to some sort of a dizzy record over Washington a few days ago. First the Air Force wouldn't even send up interceptor planes to investigate "unidentified objects" flying over the capital.
A week later the Air Defense Command ordered planes to take off instantly to chase saucers, spoons, teacups, or any other unidentified eating utensils sighted flying over the country, anywhere, any time.
So the Civil Aeronautics Administration got on its horse -- the flying Pegasus, of course -- and right away saw some things in the sky that needed chasing.
But it took more than two hours for the Air Force to get interceptor planes up. The flyboys said this reflected no lack of alertness on their part, only confusion. O.K.
A couple of days later, Civil Aeronautics Administration radar observers, which had busily been sighting everything but pie in the Washington sky, cooled off suddenly and completely.
The CAA traffic control center spotted things in the air for six hours but didn't even tell the Air Force. "We were too busy with other things," was the surprising explanation. "And besides those objects aren't hurting anybody."
And the Air Force didn't seem to mind, despite the fact that only a couple of days before jet pilots had been ordered to take to the sky immediately to chase everything that couldn't be identified.
By this time, the public, already a little unhinged by the heat and two political conventions, was about ready for the trembly ward.
Various official and unofficial explanations were forthcoming in bewildering variety. The things were everything from trucks to the product of war-jumpy nerves.
So the Air Force held a press conference to allay things. It said it was getting some scientists in to investigate the matter and meantime there wasn't anything to worry about.
The consensus on the latest saucer business was that the hot, humid weather had produced some reflections in the sky which looked like solid objects.
So let's hope the saucer silliness is finished and done with. If, of course, it really is silliness.
New Castle, Pennsylvania News - 4 Aug 52
Mars Lights Up The Sky
What's cooking on Mars? Scientists do not phrase the question thus inelegantly, but they are doing a bit of wondering. A Japanese astronomer has reported a brilliant explosive flash of several minutes' duration, and an observer in this country has noted mysterious new blue clouds on that planet.
Scientific opinion has veered pro and con on the question of whether human life exists on Mars. If earthly calculations are correct, that planet has no water, no oxygen, no protection against ultra violet rays which kill all forms of life unless screened out.
Meteors, a volcanic blast, even a possible atomic rocket from the earth have been considered as explanations for the big Martian blast. We might also include yet another possibility -- that our calculations as to that planet may be wrong and that Mars is not only habitable, but pleasant, and only looks bad from here.
Maybe the Martians are smart guys. Maybe they have an advanced civilization. Scarcely a week passes without new reports on flying saucers, and they are close by, yet we can't explain them. Could it be that they are run by Martians spying on our atomic developments and that they made that big flash -- by setting off their own A-bomb?
Until we get a rocket that will travel 50,000,000 miles to check up, plus another 50,000,000 to bring back the news, perhaps there's an even simpler explanation of that great explosion -- that Mars, too, is having its political conventions. Who knows what the Earth will be looking like, from Mars, during this week! -- Philadelphia Inquirer.
Long Beach, California Independent - 4 Aug 52
Ice Cream or Guns
This flying disc business has me all confused. There are reports of "discs" from all over the country. The government on one hand discounts the stories, and then the Coast Guard releases a picture that is supposed to show flying discs in the sky.
What are we to believe? I know many reports must be false, but what about the responsible reports? If the government knows more than it's telling, I think it is unfair. The people should know what is going on. Of course, the government may not know any more than I do.
There must be something to this thing, and I for one, would like to know what it is. I guess I'll just have to wait until one lands in the street in front of my house before I'll get the answer.
The question is, will I greet the pilot with a gun or an ice cream cone.
MRS. MAY LAWN
Syracuse, New York Post-Standard - 4 Aug 52
Flying Saucers Publicity Tipoff?
To the Editor of The Post-Standard:
Perhaps the so-called flying saucers are space ships from some other planet, and maybe they are controlled missiles from some enemy country. If so, they are receiving entirely too much publicity.
I recall that Japan in the last war was sending over fire balloons and relied entirely upon the U.S. newspapers to tell them where they were landing.
Fitchburg, Massachusetts Sentinel - 4 Aug 52
WALTHAM Aug. 4 -- The development of a two million dollar electronic robot that "will help develop deadly guided missiles at a rate faster than any other nation in the world" has been disclosed at the Raytheon Manufacturing company.
Cmdr. Grayson Merrill of the Navy's bureau of aeronautics said yesterday the huge digital computing machine, planned by the navy's Bureau of Aeronautics and the Special Devises [sic] Center, will soon be used by the armed forces.
Raytheon engineers said:
"The solution of thousands of complicated mathematical problems involved in analyzing a single missile flight requires the services of a team of workers performing a mass of calculations over a period of 20 to 30 days.
"The new digital computer will be able to effect a tremendous savings in costs and time by completing the same process in a matter of minutes."
The machine even "worries" about the results of its own calculations through a built-in "check and double check" system which halts the equipment's operation the instant an error creeps into its computations, the engineers said.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin Daily Telegram - 4 Aug 52
Reds Force Thousands Into Hunt for Uranium
By PHIL NEWSOM
(UP Foreign Analyst)
What with stories of flying saucers and rumors that men from outer space may be poking their interplanetary noses into our affairs, it's getting almost old-fashioned to talk about the atom bomb.
Nevertheless, a lot of earth bound humans, including those in government, still are doing a lot of thinking about it.
A presumably sophisticated female got so upset a couple of years ago about what she figured soon was to happen to New York that she decided to flee to Tahiti and live on the beach. She's still there.
A film actor on the West Coast bought himself a cave. He stocked it with edibles and potables and an easy chair and now knows just where he is going to sit it out when the atoms start exploding.
Those are only flimsy sidelights on a grim world story.
Some arresting figures on Russia's vast atomic effort recently came from Allied sources in Berlin and from Yugoslav sources in Belgrade.
These sources estimate that in three of her satellite states -- East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria --Russia may be using up to 500,000 men and women to mine uranium. Most of it low grade uranium, at that.
Those areas, in addition to the Altai Mountain uranium mines south of the Siberian city of Tomsk, apparently are Russia's chief source of nuclear fuel.
No estimate has been made on the number of persons working the Altai mines, but in all areas, the great proportion is slave labor. Up to 30 per cent of the workers are said to be women, handling even the heaviest jobs.
The Yugoslav Review of International Affairs, a publication of the Yugoslav union of journalists, says 15,000 prisoners are working the mountains of the Erzgebirge, in the East German province of Saxony, about 70,000 in the Czech mines of Joahlmovo and more than 4,000 at Goten, near Sofia, capital of Bulgaria.
Allied Intelligence sources in Berlin place the number of recruits and forced workers in the East German uranium operation at more than 300,000.
So frantic is the Soviet search for atom-producing ore that whole towns are being blasted out of the way for low-grade uranium seams. Miners are now digging under the town hall in Bad Oberschlema of East Germany.
Portsmouth, Ohio Times - 4 Aug 52
By Truman Twill
Information from Washington that the air force has taken its head out of the sand and is going to find out what's flying through the air besides airplanes must be taken with a grain of salt.
The air force is in the grease on the flying saucer situation. If it fails to come up with an explanation, it will have millions of critics on its back. They will be panicky critics, moreover.
That is only half the grease the air force is in -- potentially. Suppose it finds out what is making those significant blips on radar screens and is faced with the gritty necessity of reporting they are what a great many cautiously speculative people are guessing they are -- evidence of space ships which cannot be explained by anyone on the earth.
If the air force announced that, the consequences would be incalculable. They would make the presidential announcement that the Soviet Union had exploded an atomic bomb sound like a minister announcing the Last Mile class would have its regular bake sale in the church basement. Interplanetary travel would be an unprecedented experience.
A new dimension would have been added to the human outlook.
Here is the significant thing about the flying saucer reports. The only way they can be heard with equanimity is to laugh them off, which is what nearly everybody has been doing. The instant the reports cease to be a subject for mirth and become a subject for speculation, fun flies out the fenestra.
A fellow begins to ask himself why he should think the human race, which has been talking about space ships, should be so much smarter than anyone else who might exist in the universe that the other creatures couldn't already have space ships.
The whole thing becomes a proposition in comparative vanity and humility, with the certainty that earthly vanity would become humility in a hurry if it turned out that creatures from, say, Venus, had learned how to reach the earth while earthlings still were muddling around with fuddy-duddy jet planes capable of swooshing a few thousand miles.
Do not bet the mass of the people would be capable of comprehending what the air force might learn about this phenomenon which has been bobbing up for five years at an accelerated rate.
That's another thing the air force, the Pentagon, the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court and Joe Doakes in person might have to think about -- the possibility the truth might be incredible. As far as you are concerned, everything so far has been incredible, hasn't it? You have kept your feet on the ground. You have not let anyone spoof you. Right this minute you can think of a dozen valid reasons why there cannot be any such a thing In the sky as a mysterious object which would make a blip on a radar screen.
Well, keep thinking.
Charleston, West Virginia Daily Mail - 4 Aug 52
Come, Albert, Have A Try At It
ASKED WHAT he thought about "flying saucers," the eminent Dr. Einstein replied tartly: "These people have seen something. What it is I do not know and I am not curious to know."
It is talk like this which puts science and all the official skeptics in a poor light. What if Isaac Newton, on seeing the apple fall, had said he didn't know what fell and was not at all curious to find out what or why? At this late date we might be doing without the law of gravity.
Or what, for that matter, if Dr. Einstein, turning his roving mind on the subtle affinity of matter and motion had thrown up his hands and declared the whole thing was nonsense which need not concern a thinking man? We would lack a fourth dimension, for one thing, and all the comforts and conveniences which it affords the scientific spirit.
"Flying saucers," for all we know, may be only a mass hallucination which proves our predilection to complete mental breakdown, but there is still a big question: Why, in mid-summer of 1952, do all kinds of people begin to see things which, for lack of a better term, they call "flying saucers?" We earnestly wish Dr. Einstein would give it at least a moment's thought.
1. Although the reported sighting of Stanley W. Smith and Charles E. Poling told in the unheadlined article in the Albuquerque Tribune does not appear in Blue Book files, it was not Poling's first reported sighting. In October, 1951, Poling, along with four other witnesses at White Sands Proving Grounds, reported sighting three objects in formation trailed by a fourth. The sighting was evaluated by Blue Book as a meteor.
2. The article "West Coast Donates To Latest Saucer Scare" gets the name wrong of Lieut. D.A. Swimley (calling him "B.A. Swinley") as well as several details of his report. Selected Blue Book documents on the report may be read here.
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