in the news 1952
Above: So-called "flying saucer" effects produced by physicist Noel Scott of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a vacuum bell jar. The pictures and the story received widespread publication, often with variations of a headline stating "army solves flying saucer mystery." One such story below.
NINETEEN FIFTY-TWO might be remembered for many things, large and small. The election of Dwight Eisenhower as President of the United States. Fifty thousand American families afflicted by Polio. The British A-bomb. The first issue of Mad magazine. The theory of the Big Bang.
But for those of a certain bent, 1952 will also be remembered for the second great 'flying saucer flap' which climaxed with the reports of radar and visual sightings over the nation's capital in late July.
Part of the story of that event-filled year is now available in declassified government files. But for the public back then -- at a time when only one in three families in America had a television set -- the story was mostly found in the newspapers and magazines.
This then is a look back at those stories, as they first appeared in print...
AUGUST 8, 1952:
Connellsville, Pennsylvania Daily Courier - 8 Aug 52
THE FLYING SAUCER mystery is shown being solved – maybe -- by U.S. Army Engineers physicist Noel W. Scott at Fort Belvoir, Va., where he creates them with an 18-inch vacuum bell jar and ionized air. He pumps air out of the jar, making the inside as rarefied as the upper atmosphere, then pumps in ionized (electrified) air molecules. This static electricity produces "saucers" in white, violet and orange hues, which leap around the jar at terrific speed when subjected to magnetism. Scott doesn't claim this solves the saucer mystery, just that what happens in the jar also happens in the upper air and is an explanation for various lights seen from the ground. (International)
Corpus Christi, Texas Times - 8 Aug 52
Trick of Nature
Flying Saucers May Be Similar to Mirage
By Arthur J. Snider
Chicago Daily News
CHICAGO -- The flying saucer, in the opinion of a growing body of scientists, is frequently a trick nature does with mirrors.
The mirrors in this case are sandwiched layers of warm and cool air that bend light rays in such a way as to project earthly images onto the sky.
"The images are real and vivid," a physicist explained. "They are illusions, but they are not hallucinations. People who see them are not imagining things. All are traceable to an object somewhere."
Basis for Old Legends
These illusions, or mirages, have been hoodwinking mankind for ages. Legends of sea serpents are legion. Soldiers and fliers have fired at what looked like real objects in the air.
Skilled surveyors have mapped mirage mountains. Expert mountain climbers have set out to climb them.
The American Museum of Natural History once dispatched a major expedition to explore an Arctic area Robert Perry had charted. On arriving at the designated site, there was nothing. Perry had seen a mirage.
The illusion of water on a desert is due to bending of light rays in a way that a portion of the sky appears below the horizon, giving an impression of a blue lake.
Motorists have seen the same thing on a highway.
It has only been in the last 150 years that the phenomenon of mirages has been understood.
Physicists explain it this way:
Light rays are bent as they travel through media of unequal density.
A familiar example is a stick thrust in water. That part of the stick in the water seems bent because water is denser than air.
Mirages paint images in the sky in the same way.
Layers of air can be of unequal density. Warm air is less dense than cool air.
When the warmer air is closest to the surface of the earth, the light rays are thrown upward. The greater the difference in density, the greater the bending.
In the case of automobile headlamps, for example, the lights would be moving even though the auto itself is some distance away and not visible to the sky watcher.
With a more complex stratification of the air masses, there may be several images in a vertical or horizontal series.
Turbulence Makes Weirdness
In a turbulent atmosphere, the objects can take on more weird distortions than the freak mirrors in an amusement park fun house.
What accounts for the ready tendency on the part of the public to label these phenomena flying saucers?
A leading Chicago psychiatrist believes it can be attributed to the temper of the times.
"To begin with," he explains, "this is the age of science.
"In a day when people have seen the discovery of atomic energy and the development of planes flying faster than sound, they are prepared to be credulous about anything that once seemed fantastic.
"With many serious men talking about space ships and travel to the moon, this inclination to believe is strengthened.
"Furthermore, these are times of international tension when people are fearful that attack may come from the air.
"And finally, it is a well-known principle that people react differently as a group than as individuals.
"When persons react as a group there is a contagious lowering of critical judgment and a tendency to react emotionally," he explained.
Bakersfield, California Californian - 8 Aug 52
Boise Council Prepares
BOISE, Idaho -- This is an up and coming community, and the city fathers do not intend to be caught flat-footed if a flying saucer decides to land here to visit Kenneth Arnold, the Boise flier and engineer who spotted the first such phenomena in 1947.
The airport commission and the city council have approved a fee schedule for flying saucers wishing to use the Boise airport. The landing fee has been fixed at $50 per saucer for non-scheduled flights and the fee must be paid in U.S. currency. Interplanetary greenbacks will not be accepted. If the saucer radios in for a scheduled landing, all fees will be waived. If the saucer merely desires to hover over the field at an altitude of less than 100 feet, there will be a standard fee of $10 for the first three minutes of hovering and $10 for each additional minute.
"This is merely the city's usual forward looking action," Mayor R.E. Edlefsen says.
Arnold, who set off the flying saucer uproar five years ago when he reported the first flight of nine, will allow any saucer to land for free in his own private landing field on the outskirts of the city.
But he does not expect any little green men two feet high to scramble out of the saucers, if and when they land. He is convinced after devoting much time and $12,000 of his own money to private investigation, that the saucer is a living, thinking force from the stratosphere or beyond.
The solid citizen still looks like the football player he used to be. He is one of the least hysterical or psychotic persons I have ever interviewed.
He has become an informal clearing house for saucer news and magazine reports from the four corners of the globe. It is a big mistake to believe that flying saucers have been seen only over this continent, Arnold said.
"They have been seen all over the world, including Russia, Africa, Korea and northern Europe."
Although Arnold is convinced that the saucers are not a menacing or attacking force he is not at all certain that aircraft have not collided with them in recent years. No one has lived to tell the tale, but this would explain some otherwise inexplicable air disasters in the past five years.
The Boise man believes the saucers are large, gelatinous masses that vaporize when they hit the ground. This, too, might explain why the phenomenon seems able to change its density in flight, a peculiarity noted by a number of observers.
Arnold has several aviation inventions to his credit and is highly regarded in his home town. He is not only a most successful fire control engineer but is an acting deputy federal U.S. marshal, a member of the Idaho Search and Rescue Mercy Flyers and a flying deputy for the county aerial posse. It was on a search mission in 1947 that he saw the first saucers and accidentally gave them the picturesque name that has stuck ever since.
At that time he said "they flew like a saucer would if you skipped it across water." With Ray Palmer, he is the author of one of the first books about the flying objects, a volume called "The Coming of the Saucers."
To unbelievers and scoffers he simply tells the story of the pigeon that flew head-on into a plate glass window. Limping home with feathers bedraggled, the pigeon told his companions of his terrible experience.
"The air suddenly froze solid in front of me," he declared. The other pigeons looked at him in disbelief and sneered:
"Tell that to the sparrows."
Pittsfield, Massachusetts Berkshire Evening Eagle - 8 Aug 52
'Flying Saucers' Over City Were B-36 Bombers
A flight of U.S. Air Force B-36 bombers made two trips over Pittsfield yesterday. On the second run, they stirred up the city's first flying saucer report of the current saucer season.
The Police Department received several calls reporting flying saucers observed over the city at 4 yesterday afternoon. However, a check with the ground spotters post on Victory Hill brought out the fact that the bombers were the same ones that flew over the city shortly after 1 yesterday afternoon.
The ground spotters officially listed the flight as 18 B-36's with fighter escort flying at 40,000 feet in a southwesterly direction.
Actually, when the bombers first appeared over the city the spotters' post was unmanned. Two members of the corps, living near-by on Victory Hill, spotted the flight and rushed to the post to report it to the Eastern Air Defense Command filter center. Both aid Anderson and Art Hebler managed to open the station in time to file the report.
Charleston, West Virginia Daily Mail - 8 Aug 52
Vigil Of West Side Resident Successful
Another flying saucer has been reported here, this time by a West Side hills woman who says she has been "scanning the heavens" nightly for weeks in the hope of seeing one.
Further, now that she has seen one, the observer declares that this saucer, at least, was something never touched by the hand of man but a "spiritual" thing.
The woman, who asked that her name not be used, reported that she observed "a beautiful blue-green object rolling like a wheel at tremendous speed southwest through the sky."
Its passage, she said, was accompanied by no sound. Further, the object left no trail, she continued, nor did it give off fragments of light as have many of the saucers in previous reports around the country.
She does not believe that whatever she saw was man-made or operated.
"The impression borne upon my mind is this -- whatever it was was never made by human hand but something spiritual, or perhaps, something created in the atmosphere by things we don't understand."
The object, whatever it was, meteor, fireball or flying saucer, appeared to be southwest of her West side home, about in the area occupied by Carbide, she said.
The observer says that she frequently lies in her backyard hammock and "scans the heavens" in the hope of seeing a saucer.
She had about given up last night, she said, and was "gathering my pillows together getting ready to go into the house," when the object flashed across the horizon.
She estimated the time at between 9 and 9:30 o'clock. The saucer was moving much faster than any airplane she had ever seen, she concluded.
Lumberton, North Carolina Robesonian - 8 Aug 52
Flying Saucer Report Draws Queries From Around Nation
Washington wanted more details, Buffalo, N.Y., wanted pictures, Columbia, Wilmington, and Raleigh called long-distance as word of the phenomenal appearance of the little man from out of the murky Wednesday night got around. Man alone could hardly have spread the word so fast.
The little man who charged into James J. Allen's chimney like (and in) a ball of fire probably emanates ethereal thought waves -- or something.
Anyway, three telephone lines into the Robesonian office were jammed late yesterday and people trying to get something constructive done got their hats, locked the door, and let all three of them ring their little bells off.
Just in case anyone east of the Mississippi hasn't heard yet, something hit the chimney of Mr. Allen's house in West Lumberton about 9 p.m. Wednesday, landed in his back yard, put out its light, and exuded a little 30-inch man which went off in a "whiff," and in a most uncivil manner refused to reply to Mr. Allen's query about the state of his health.
OFFICIAL VISIT EXPECTED
Pentagon officials were expected on the noon train but failed to materialize. No fooling, they'll probably be here.
J.H. Barrington, Sr., said this morning that as Civil Defense Director he was instructed last week by State Defense Director E.Z. Jones to investigate any reports of flying saucers and file a report of an interview with the viewers. He said that following instruction he would make such an investigation.
Mr. Barrington is defense director for the city, none has been appointed for the county. Mr. Barrington added that he had heard that Mr. Jones had already been here to see Mr. Allen, but that he doubted this report as he believed Mr. Jones would have contacted him.
In the excitement of preparation for an imminent invasion from outer space yesterday the description of the little man was somewhat sketchily given and a detail or two of the affair were omitted.
Also there was no time to interview prominent persons in whose leadership the community depends. As it turned out, we're not in the best of hands, only one big-wig had an opinion.
"Man," declaimed Clerk of the Court Frank McMillan, "cannot live by bread alone. Where are the little women?"
The Robesonian astrologer (the astronomer is on vacation) was a little vague too. Asked for predictions of re-appearance, he said h-m-m-m and well -- ah, and finally decided that "while the situation is foreign to my experience I believe that conditions are more or less conducive."
A new interview with Mr. Allen last night revealed that he was walking along the road when he saw what might have been a balloon, eight feet long and six feet wide, moving toward his house. It skimmed a telephone wire and struck his chimney and then bounced into his yard. As he approached the light went out and a little man appeared. And when he spoke it disappeared.
A fuller description of the little man said that he had a long white beard and looked old. Like Moses, maybe, Allen added.
Police Chief W.M. Harris said this morning that he'd been up all night. Somebody, he solemnly declared, had gotten an emanation, or an intimation, or something which told them there was another ball of fire coming in with a load of tobacco and they wanted the chief on hand to handle traffic.
One additional bit of information: none of the neighbors saw the gadget, whatever it was.
Both Malcolm Seawell and Ecta Hutchinson report seeing flying saucers last night. "Of course," said Ecta. "my wife threw it."
Lumberton, North Carolina Robesonian - 8 Aug 52
Rumors Down To Earth
Scientists and military experts have been trying for five years to bring "flying saucer" rumors down to earth, but it took a little 30-inch man to do it, right here in the yard of a home on the outskirts of Lumberton.
If it had happened anywhere else, there is some doubt that Robeson County folks would believe it. As it is, they can be gratified that the flying saucer pilot picked Robeson County as the first place to land on earth, in full view of a human spectator.
It is unfortunate that more people were not on hand at the time, but if the saucer pilot was only 30 inches high it is understandable that even one full-grown human being would look like a giant to him, and that he would not want to have many of them around.
Whether the saucer landing here becomes a historic event depends on future developments. Unless the saucer had an unlimited fuel supply, presumably it has had to return by now to its original take-off point and its 30 inch pilot has reported seeing a giant on the earth. This might discourage future visits to this planet and keep the saucers from being seen or heard of from now on. If so, the "flying saucer age" will be put off for awhile, at least until the "atomic energy age" develops a little more, and if no more landings are made on earth the historians may decide not to record this event, for lack of substantiating evidence.
However, if saucer landings here or elsewhere become a common occurrence, this would be a "first" of some significance. The outer banks of North Carolina were the scene of the first airplane flight, and it would be appropriate enough for this state also to be the first place for a flying saucer to land. It would put a clincher on North Carolina's claim to be "the birthplace of aviation."
Really it's a pity that the saucer pilot didn't stay long enough to get acquainted. So far, the 1,500 or more flying saucers reported since 1947 have seemed harmless enough, and nobody is angry with their pilots. Lumberton and Robeson County would be quite proud to welcome the first adventurous saucer pilot to set foot on earth. The only real danger he might face would be that of being overrun by crowds coming to see him. Too bad he "went off. in a whiff" without even saying "Hello."
But if the pilot could understand English, he may by now have overcome his terror of the giant who greeted him. For the first thing that was said to him on earth was a polite question, asking if he were hurt. That's a mighty considerate thing to be asked after your flying saucer knocks bricks out of a man's chimney and lands in his yard.
If history records this flying saucer landing, it may also record the visit of another saucer in the Red Springs area last fall. That one is reported to have hovered six feet above the ground before taking off at a couple of thousand miles an hour. Evidently these saucer pilots are from the same place, and the first one to visit Robeson County liked what he saw, describing this is a good place to land.
Right now, these flying saucer visits seem to offer the best possibility for reactivating the Laurinburg-Maxton airports. The saucers evidently don't need that much space to land and take off, but for a few years at least they would be a curiosity, and a lot of room would be needed to accommodate spectators. It might be possible to strike up a deal with the saucer pilots to sell rides, and make it a paying proposition, so long as the government doesn't officially recognize flying saucers. Once they were officially recognized, taxes and regulations would take most of the profit out of it.
In the meantime, any other Robeson County citizen who sees flying saucers and gets a chance to speak to their pilots might do well to treat them cordially, and encourage them to come again. This has the makings of a super attraction that would keep tourist trade booming no matter what happens to highway 301.
In the case of a crash landing, it would be hard to improve on the first question ever asked a saucer pilot and that is whether he got hurt. But if a saucer lands safely around here any time soon, and a little 30-inch man steps out, it may be hoped that somebody will ask him who's going to win the November election, before he takes off in a whiff.
Charleston, West Virginia Daily Mail - 8 Aug 52
'Fixing' A Flying Saucer
Getting a "fix" on flying saucers is a tricky business, especially when the mysterious aerial objects don't stay in sight very long. Alfred Shepard (left) and Elbert Williams, who spotted a blazing ball of fire slipping through the heavens Sunday night, are going to be ready for the next one. They are shown here practicing with a triangulating instrument. Shepard, a salesman for McRoberts Supply, and Williams, an ambulance driver for Wilson Funeral Home, spied the flying saucer Sunday night while sitting on the porch of the funeral home on Charleston's west side. They both described it as round like a basketball with a Saturn-like ring around it, and white like a light bulb". The men said the object left a trail and quickly disappeared from sight.
Lima, Ohio News - 8 Aug 52
Looking At Lima
THE GROWING list of those who have reported seeing flying saucers was augmented Thursday night by the addition of four Lima women.
The women reported they saw "two red balls of fire" in the northwestern section of the sky at 9 p.m., directly after they had left work at the Ex-Cell-O Corp. plant.
Those reporting: were Mrs. Ruth Reed, 1164 Hughes-av; Mrs. Lucille Brown, 723 E. Elm-st; Miss Marguerite Farish, 105 E. Ninth-st, and Miss Lila Britsch, 1034 Summit-st.
Anderson, Indiana Herald Bulletin - 8 Aug 52
This sounds like the first flying saucer report for Anderson... and it involves a bright blue object flying through the nocturnal heavens... none of the yellow or red saucers that reportedly grace the skies of other parts of the country... The reporter is Dolph Stephenson, a watchman at the Barber Manufacturing Company... and he maintains he saw the object tearing across the sky the other night at quite a clip...
Burlington, Iowa Hawkeye Gazette - 8 Aug 52
Midway Spotlight Creates "Saucer"?
Those spotlights from midway shows at the Burlington Hawkeye fair might be the answer to the "flying saucers" in this area on cloudy nights.
Mr. and Mrs. Leo Rump, 610 S. Central, and two of their children, had quite a time observing a couple of objects in the sky on a trip south on highway 61 from Muscatine to Burlington Tuesday night.
Rump believes they might have been reflections on clouds from the midway's spotlights. Midway officials said the lights were on about the time the Rumps saw the objects in the sky. The play of the spotlights on clouds brought about 60 "flying saucer" calls in Des Moines county, they added.
The Rumps first saw a single object in the sky when they topped a rise about 10 miles south of Muscatine. Then a second one appeared and they watched as they traveled southward from about 9:30 to 10 p.m. They were about 10 miles north of Burlington when the objects disappeared.
The single object at first was round but after 2 of them appeared, they became oval shaped and darted around the sky in no apparent pattern, Rump said.
Chicago, Illinois Daily Herald - 8 Aug 52
Report Flying Saucers Over Arlington Heights
The office of Paddock Publications, Arlington Heights, received its first report of flying saucers over Arlington heights, from Henry Weidner, who lives on Arlington Heights rd., just north of Dundee rd.
Weidner said he was in his yard about 10:50 a.m. Sunday when he noticed 12 or 15 flat looking objects flying overhead, leaving a trail of white flame about 50 feet wide. He said he could see no wings and that they looked entirely different from jets that have flown over the area in the past.
He estimated the objects were approximately 1,000 feet up and were traveling between 150 to 200 miles per hour.
"At first I could hear a low rumbling noise," said Weidner, "but later I couldn't hear a thing."
The objects circled the area for approximately 25 minutes and then headed due south. Weidner's mother also saw them.
Bensenville, Illinois DuPage County Register - 8 Aug 52
Sees Flying Saucer
A Glen Ellyn man, George Peska, reported to police in the village that he spotted what appeared to be a flying saucer last Friday. He said that he was on the back porch of his home when he saw a glowing blue object with an orange tail streak across the sky.
Hearne, Texas Democrat - 8 Aug 52
Youths Report Flying Disks In Robertson County Skies
Sure, Robertson county has them!
Not just the common, ordinary, garden variety of nocturnal visitors that have been reported as visiting the skies throughout the country. Robertson county's flying disks are bold and venturesome -- they appear during the daylight hours!
Two Hearne High School youths, Bob Jones and James Starkey, who are employed by a seismograph crew this summer, reported seeing one of the heavenly disks while they were working in the vicinity of Bremond Wednesday afternoon.
According to Jones who reported the incident, the "saucer" was plainly visible near some cloud formations about 3:30 that afternoon.
As he and Starkey watched, the flat, saucer-shaped object hovered in one position for a considerable length of time. Jones said the object "wobbled about for awhile, then took off at terrific speed in a northeasterly direction."
Because the object was at great height, Jones said he was unable to describe it except that it was saucer-shaped and silver colored, glistening in the sunshine.
(Saucers have been reported in the night sky over Bryan in recent weeks. They were also reported over Franklin this week.)
Lubbock, Texas Morning Avalanche - 8 Aug 52
Five Spur Residents See Strange Object
SPUR, Aug. 7 (Special) -- Five Spur residents today reported sighting an object Monday which made flying saucer believers out of them.
Mrs. Alva Earl Smith told the story for the group, relating that the five were in a cotton field about 12 p.m. when a plane flew overhead. The three women and two men looked up as the plane passed and sighted another shiny object far in the east.
Mrs. Smith said they would have accepted it as another plane, except that it did not move, and appeared to be spinning from one position. They watched the object for more than 10 minutes, she said, then it began to move slowly to the southeast. She said one side of the object appeared dark, the other glittering.
Others in the party were Mr. and Mrs. Granville Walker and Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Faubus.
Covina, California Argus-Citizen - 8 Aug 52
First flying saucer casualty in Covina! Mrs. Edward MacDonald of East Center street was watching television at about 11 o'clock Monday night when the announcer told his audience that flying saucers were being sighted at that moment over Los Angeles. Mrs. MacDonald rushed out the door to scan the skies. In her rush she fell down five or six steps. Today she is in the hospital with multiple fractures.
Hayward, California Daily Review - 8 Aug 52
If Those Weren't Saucers, What Were They?
Harry Carr, of the men's furnishing store by the same name, is known as a level-headed, thoughtful man. So, too, is son Jerry. So when the pair came up with stories of having seen flying saucers, no one scoffed. Seems they were driving over San Mateo bridge early this week when Harry saw what appeared to be a light streaking across the sky. He slowed down. "You see what I saw, son?" he asked. "That's just what I was going to say," Jerry answered. They then parked the car, as did scores of others crossing the bridge at that time, and watched the "saucers" dance about the sky for awhile. "And they weren't searchlight reflections, either," Harry insisted.
Brownwood, Texas Bulletin - 8 Aug 52
Spain Sees 'Saucers'
MADRID, Spain. Aug. 8 -- Three "flying saucers" were reported to have appeared over Madrid Thursday night, travelling at high speed. Several hundred residents telephoned newspapers offices to report the round, shiny objects.
Newswire Story Agence France Press - 8 Aug 52
Madrid, Aug. 7 -- Three flying saucers were reported over Madrid the afternoon of August 7. Several of the city's inhabitants, from different sections said that three round, luminous machines, which left a whitish wake, crossed the sky approximately from NE to SW. However, official observation centers did not record any such phenomenon, and the saucers were not seen by either the astronomical observatory at the Retiro or the one at Barajas Airport.
Newswire Story Hilversum - 8 Aug 52
AMSTERDAM, August 7, 1952 -- Dutch papers this morning are full of flying-saucer reports. Telephones at the editorial offices and at the meteorological Institute of de Bilt are constantly ringing with new reports or with requests for information. Conversations on street-cars and buses deal with little else.
In short, our peaceful Holland, like the United States, is now also under the spell of the flying-saucers. They have been observed from various places in the Netherlands, including Amsterdam, and a student from Delft even managed to snap a picture of one, which appears in this morning's edition of the "Telegraaf."
Dutch papers are beginning to write feature editorials on the subject, much in the same way as they once dealt with the mythological sea snake. "De Telegraaf" blames all manifestations on a general state of worry and fear, which can easily cause hallucinations. The more people are afraid, the more saucers they will see.
Newswire Story Agence France Press - 8 Aug 52
Bonn. Writing in the German magazine "Der Flieger", Dr. Waldemar Beck says that a flying saucer which recently fell at Spitsbergen has been studied by eminent Norwegian and German rocket experts. He writes that Dr. Norsal, a Norwegian expert in rocket construction went to the place where the flying saucer had fallen a few hours after it had been discovered in the mountains of Spitsbergen by Norwegian jet planes.
In the wreck of the apparatus the expert is said to have discovered a radio piloting transmitter with a nucleus of plutonium transmitting on all wavelengths with 934 hertz, a measure that has been unknown so far.
The investigation has also shown that the flying saucer crashed because of a defect in its radio piloting system. The saucer which carried no crew has a diameter of 47 meters. The steel used in the construction is an unknown alloy. It consists of an exterior disc provided at its peripheral with 46 automatic jets. This disc pivots around the central sphere which contains the measurement and remote control equipment. The measurement instructions have an inscription in Russian.
St. Petersburg, Florida Times - 8 Aug 52
Flying Saucers Michels Topic
Saints, Sinners and Flying Saucers will be the sermon subject of Rabbi Albert A. Michels at Temple Beth-El services tonight.
In his sermon Rabbi Michels will emphasize the religious significance of the current phenomenon with special reference to the Hebraic concepts of man and his relation to the universe...
AUGUST 9, 1952:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Press - 9 Aug 52
Catholic View On Saucers Given
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 -- A prominent Catholic theologian says Catholic doctrine is reconcilable "with even the most astounding possibilities regarding life on other planets" -- including the dispatch to earth of flying saucers.
The Very Rev. Francis J. Connell, C.S.S.R., dean of the Catholic University School of Sacred Theology, said a theological question is raised by the theory that "flying saucers" may come from other planets.
A "more prosaic explanation" probably will be forthcoming on the nature of saucers, he said in an article in the Catholic Standard, weekly newspaper of the archdiocese of Washington.
But Fr. Connell said "It is well for Catholics to know that the principles of their faith are entirely reconcilable with even the most astounding possibilities regarding life on other planets."
St. Petersburg, Florida Times - 9 Aug 52
News of the Negro Community
22nd Street Baptist
The thought that is uppermost in the minds of Americans today -- "The Flying Saucer," will be the sermon topic of the Rev. Reece Brown's sermon topic tomorrow at 7:30 at the 22nd Street First Baptist Mission.
Salt Lake City, Utah Deseret News - 9 Aug 52
Public Should Know
It is doubtful that any large segment of the American press will go along with the suggestion of Managing Editor Herbert Hames of the Ottawa, Ill., Republican-times that newspapers place a ban on "flying saucer" stories.
As long as the "sightings" continue, and until the light reflection explanation of scientific and military experts gains unanimous acceptance, newspaper readers, which is to say the American public, are entitled to know of every development in the number one mystery thriller of the decade.
During World War II, Japanese bombs carried by balloons drifted into Utah and the Pacific Northwest States. Papers printed one or two stories, and then the military slapped strict censorship on Japanese bomb stories, despite the protests of the editors. The editors pointed out that the bombs might land anywhere, and that civilians should be told of the danger, and told what to do in case they found a bomb. The military contended that the information that the bombs were reaching the United States would give "aid and comfort to the enemy."
A few weeks later several members of an Oregon family on a picnic were blown to bits when they found a bomb and started to tinker with it. The Army immediately relaxed its censorship -- after the tragedy.
Without admitting to a belief that "flying saucers" and Japanese bombs have anything in common, it is still logical to insist that information concerning them falls into the same classification. Saucer stories -- property qualified as to their source -- should be printed when they are of sufficient importance to merit recognition, and readers should recognize that they are reports only, and the source must be considered in relation to each story.
Mr. Hames points out that the stories have been appearing for five years, yet during all of that time, there has been no panic or undue excitement. Certainly there has been no evidence of any Utahans packing up their belongings and heading for the hinterlands.
And there's one really nice thing about flying saucer stories that Mr. Hames failed to point out. They always seem to blossom during the hot weather -- so they provide a welcome mental and conversational diversion from the heat.
Estherville, Iowa Daily News - 9 Aug 52
Flying Saucer News
An Illinois editor has banned "flying saucer" tales from his newspaper. May he not suffer the misfortune to be struck down by one.
Every newspaper to the editor's taste. But it is difficult for us to perceive how a newspaper can take such a dangerous course as to bar any kind of news item.
Today's myths become tomorrow's realities. Newspapers don't cook up flying saucer yarns; they merely report them.
If those Ottawa, Illinois, inhabitants can't read about flying saucers in their Republican Times they can subscribe for the Daily News. We'll take the stories as they come.
Our problem isn't one of deciding what news to leave out of the paper -- we aim to omit none of it. Our problem is to find all the news. It is the reader's own interest which determines how much importance is attached to it.
There may be no such thing as a flying saucer but there certainly are some genuine flying-saucer stories and the surveys show that the public wants to read about them. To bar flying-saucer stories, or any other kind, is to underestimate the intelligence and the ability of the newspaper reader to evaluate what he reads.
He has come to the realization long ago that no newspaper can vouch for the correctness of everything it reports. At best it can only hope to make the reporting itself honest and accurate.
The reader, in return, expects nothing to be held back and no item suppressed. It seems to us that any infringement whatever of this position of trust is dangerous, even if it involves only flying saucers.
The Illinois editor, moreover, is much more sure than are we that there is no such thing as a flying saucer. We don't know.
We aren't going to fabricate any tale about flying saucers but our reply to the suggestion of the Republican-Times that other newspapers join it in banning news about them is simply: We have not the faintest interest in editing any newspaper anywhere that suppresses any kind of news.
The Daily News will continue to submit the news that its readers expect to read and that the editors believe readers want to read.
The editors of the paper will not select or omit the news that THEY as editors want the readers to read or not to read.
Mattoon, Illinois Daily Journal Gazette - 9 Aug 52
THE CORNERSTONE: A MEMORIAL OF TIME
Looking over the effects taken from the copper box this week which lay hidden in the cornerstone of the old St. Joseph's Parochial School for 59 years, we thought of those lines in John Quincy Adams' poem, "The Hour Glass:"
Alas! How swift the moments fly!
How flash the years along!
Scarce here, yet gone already by.
The burden of a song.
See childhood, youth, and manhood pass,
And age with furrowed brow;
Time was; Time shall be; Drain the glass
But where in Time is now?
In studying the 1893 editions of our four predecessors -- The Mattoon Journal, The Mattoon Gazette, The Mattoon Star, and The Mattoon Commercial -- we had a feeling of humbleness and pride. We saw the progress of both the community and the press and yet realized how little the individual really makes his mark in the annals of time.
The methods and customs of our predecessors have greatly changed, but not their ambitions. We inherited the ambitions, fulfilled part of them, and then hand what is left undone to other generations of the future. It is rather apt that a record of our achievements be preserved in the cornerstone of an institution dedicated to the task of educating those future generations.
Years from now, another age will look into the new cornerstone curious to see what we have deposited there for them. They will also judge our progress and efforts as we judged those of 1893. Many of them will have never heard of us and to a few others the opening of the cornerstone will bring back a flood of long-forgotten memories of their early youth. But, by the very fact that there is a cornerstone, they will know we thought of them.
We of the Atomic Age can't imagine what Mattoon will be like in another 60 years, but the thought creates a sense of excitement in us. We seem to be on the verge of great new explorations in every, field of knowledge, particularly in the sciences. We of 1952 take the advancement of electrical and mechanical achievements for granted. We have seen new forces of warfare come into existence in the last 10 years that would have been beyond the comprehension of the people of 1893. We talk of rockets and space-ships as they must have thought of the possibilities of electricity. We worry about "flying saucers" from other planets as they too must have been concerned with unknown phenomena of their time.
There is a certain feeling of envy in looking at history in this way. Most of the problems of our age will have been solved in the progression of time. But the course of action we take in our present time will greatly determine their way of life and the new problems that will confront them. It is for them to know whether we took the right or wrong course of action -- for us there is nothing but living from day to day trying to do the right by the experiences we've learned from those before us.
We understand a copy of this issue will be placed in the new cornerstone Sunday afternoon, like those of our predecessors were on June 25, 1893. To those who will open the cornerstone of the new St. Joseph's Parochial School in the years to come, we pass on the challenge of community improvements and our hopes for happy, peaceful, and prosperous future.
1. Contrary to the implication in the Inez Robb piece, Kenneth Arnold was not "on a search mission" for any agency but was flying as a private pilot seeking to collect a sizeable reward for the location of a Marine plane which had crashed eight months before.
2. Despite the assertion in "Flying Saucer Report Draws Queries From Around Nation" that "Pentagon officials were expected" to investigate the claims of Mr. Allen this incident does not appear in Project Blue Book files.
3. Translations of foreign newswire reports are from the files of Project Blue Book.
4. The origins of the rumor of the crash of a flying disc at Spitsbergen can be traced back to a German newspaper report as related in a September, 1952 "Air Intelligence Information Report"...
Part-II of this report is the translation of an article appearing in the 9 July 1952 issue of the German newspaper "BERLIN VOLKSBLATT". This article describes the discovery of a "saucer-like" object on Spitsbergen Island by the Norwegian Air Force. The object, according to the newspaper report, was a circular disk 48.88 meters in diameter, remotely controlled, and had instruments with Russian symbols.
The following translation was included...
FLYING DISCS ON SPITZBERGEN .
"Silver Discs, with Plexiglass Cockpit and 46 Rotation Jets"
Narvik. Norwegian jet fighters had just begun this year's summer maneuvers over Spitsbergen. A flight of six aircraft were approaching the North East Land at top speed where units of the approaching enemy had been announced. The pursuing airplanes had scarcely crossed the Hinlopen highway when all the radio equipment became garbled with static. They couldn't even communicate with one another by radio any longer. All the radio systems of the jet fighters seemed to be disturbed. The radar reading which had been on "white" the whole flight since Narvik was suddenly on "red". This means alarm and the approach of some kind of metallic foreign body with a direction finding vibration frequency which does not correspond to the fighter type.
By turning and diving, the experienced jet fighters came to a good enough understanding that each pilot knew from his comrade that they too were searching the horizon with increased interest. The six fighters circled for a while without seeing anything unusual. Quite accidentally Flight Captain Olaf Larsen looked down. Immediately he flew down low and his comrades followed. On the white snow whose icy crust was glittering there lay a still more glaring, metallically gleaming circular disc about 40 to 50 meters in diameter. Between a tangle of wires and struts there arose what was apparently the remainder of a partially destroyed cockpit. The fighters circled for 60 minutes without seeing any signs of life or being able to determine the origin or the type of this flying body. Finally, they set their course for Narvik to report their strange findings.
After a few hours, five large flying boats started out equipped with skis. They flew to the location of the discovery and landed near the bluish steel disc imbedded about a meter in snow and ice.
"Doubtless, one of the ill-famed flying saucers", said the Norwegian rocket specialist Dr. Norsel who insisted on flying with them. He found out why all the communication equipment of the fighters conked out and why the radar alarm had sounded when they approached the area of the landing spot: a directional transmitting device with a plutonium core remained undamaged and was sending out on all waves a tone of 934 cycles per second which is unknown in any country.
A precise investigation of the flying disc which was landed by remote control on the North East Land of Spitsbergen through an error in reception resulted in the following uncontestable information:
1. The flying body which has a diameter of 46.88 m, is round and slopes
obliquely on the sides, and was unmanned.
2. The circular steel body of an unknown metal compound which resembled a silver discus, has 46 automatic rotating jets at equal distances on the outer ring which, after igniting, rotate the disc about a plexiglas sphere which is in the center and which contains measuring and control devices for remote control.
3. The meters and instruments have Russian symbols.
4. The action radius of the disc seems to be over 30,000 km and the altitude about 160 km.
5. The flying body which resembles the mythical "flying saucer" has sufficient room for high explosive or atom bombs.
The Norwegian specialists suppose that the disc was started in the Soviet Union, descended over Spitsbergen by a mistake in transmitting and receiving and broke down because of the hard landing. The unusual remote controlled unmanned jet airplane is to be taken to Narvik by ship for investigation. When he heard the description of the disc, the German V-weapon designer Riedel said, "That is a typical V-7 and I- have personally worked on its serial production".
The Norwegian website UFO-Norges traces the story back a further 12 days to June 28 in the German newspaper "Saarbrucker Zeitung". That same link also documents subsequent articles in the following years in which the tale grew to include the finding of "seven charred bodies" and exotic technology amidst the wreckage .
It is interesting to note that the Spitsbergen story occurred in a general time period when European papers and magazines were occasionally publishing claims of various so-called German "scientists", each asserting that they had designed flying discs as part of super-secret Nazi programs during the war. Like the description of the alleged Spitsbergen disc, the reports all claimed a form of conventional propulsion placed in an unconventional configuration to achieve the reported flight characteristics of the discs, i.e., jet engines spaced around a circular outer rotating ring.
More on the German claims can be read in The Tale of the Nazi Saucer, accessible at the "Past Weeks" portal of this site.
6. Soon after publication of the Spitsbergen report in the United States, the Air Force cabled its Air Attache in Oslo requesting it to "check on validity of this information or on any occurrence which may have formed basis for such a rumor."
The reply from the Air Attache stated the Royal Norwegian Air Force "states this information is definitely false."
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