in the news 1952
Top: From the October 13, 1952 edition of Life Magazine, a television advertisement with an emphasis on space toys. Bottom: From the September 1, 1952 edition of Life Magazine, toys associated with the hit TV program "Space Patrol". The caption read: "Show's Sidelines, all bearing Space Patrol label, will bring $40 million this year in sales. Most of the 80 items are shown here, including rocket and ray guns (back row) which are most popular with kids. Other big sellers include monorails, cosmic generators, "paralyzers," oxygen activators, T-shirts." Related stories 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...
SEPTEMBER 6, 1952:
Abilene, Texas Reporter News - 6 Sep 52
Illusions, Not Saucers
Two hundred scientists from twelve countries gathered for the Third International Astronautical Congress in Stuttgart, Germany, this week and announced the all-but-unanimous conclusion that flying saucers may be nothing but optical illusions, and not space ships from another planet.
These hard-headed men of science threw out the suggestion that the discs might be a new weapon, but they did not close their minds entirely to that possibility. The layman may conclude that if the scientists can't make up their minds for certain-sure on that point, what's wrong with his belief in it? The answer to that is that the scientist keeps an open mind until all his doubts are resolved -- which is why there are very few scientists.
If flying saucers from another planet are too much for the 200 assembled at Stuttgart to swallow whole, their faith in another project is firmly anchored. They confidently expect man some day to ride a rocket to Mars or some other planet.
This doesn't seem fantastic to them, in view of facts already developed in extraterrestrial flight. Again, the layman might ask, if you believe that man can build a rocket that will fly to Mars, why do you say saucers are mere optical illusions? Can you be sure some other planet than earth is not inhabited by sentient beings who might conceivably be even wiser than you?
While the scientists at Stuttgart rule out the discs as objects from another world, they do not rule out entirely the possibility that they may be some new form of flight created here on earth.
But from the multitude of saucer incidents, and the fact that saucers have been identified in dozens of different forms and behaving in dozens of different ways, cold logic would put them down as natural phenomena creating illusions in the optic nerve.
Until somebody captures an actual disc, we shall have to accept the theory that they are indeed mere illusions.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire Herald, 6 Sep 52
Local Salesman Sees Flying Disc at York
YORK BEACH -- A 21-year old Portsmouth newspaper salesman today reported seeing a flying saucer near the shore at Long Sands.
John A. Mullikin, 21, of 51 Islington St. said he was making his rounds with the Winebaum News Service delivery truck at 6:30 a.m. when he looked out over the ocean and saw a "bright red object on the horizon."
As told in his own words, this is what Mullikin saw:
"I had just delivered papers at the Decatur Cabins and was heading north on Route 1-A towards the Anchorage Hotel when I noticed a fiery glow on the horizon. As the object emerged from the clouds it began to take shape, resembling a cake tin. It was flat at its base and round on top. On the top of the object was a halo-like disc which completely covered the upper surface, and the whole thing was as large as a truck.
"As I drove down the road to the Anchorage Hotel, the object followed me. By the time I reached the hotel, the 'saucer' was directly over the low tide mark. The halo-like disc on top had disappeared, but the now solid bright red object was encircled by an orange glow.
"I looked down to Nubble Light to see if possibly the object could be the sun rising, but the sun was just coming up near the light.
"I was very scared and wanted someone else to witness the thing with me, but I couldn't find anyone up at the hotel, so I proceeded on my route.
"I made two more stops on the road, and the 'saucer' continued
to follow me. When I reached Harry Winebaum's cottage, a car traveling north came around the corner, and the saucer headed towards Nubble Light."
Mullikin said the strange object wasn't transparent and the glow was what impressed him. He said he was "scared stiff" and "it will take two more times for me to see that and I'll go to the nut house or the Anchorage Hotel won't have a front porch", he said.
Edwardsville, Illinois Intelligencer 6 Sep 52
Baldwin Airport Workers Sight 'Flying Saucer'
QUINCY, Ill. -- Baldwin Airport personnel stuck to their story today of a "flying saucer" that flew against the wind and "bobbed up and down" as it passed high over the field.
Edward Schmidt, Civil Aeronautics Authority employee who spotted the object at 4:20 p.m.(CST) Friday, said it didn't resemble any known plane and was not a weather balloon.
"It looked like a saucer," Schmidt said.
Other airport employes, including Manager Frank Phillips, said they saw the object. The watchers said it was "brilliantly polished like a mirror" and "bobbed up and down" for 10 minutes before moving away into the wind.
Schmidt said he knew the object went against the wind because he had just launched a weather balloon at the same altitude.
SEPTEMBER 7, 1952:
Syracuse, New York Herald American - 5 Sep 52
Looking And Listening
JOSEPH COTTEN will star in "The Tenth Planet" on Hollywood Star Playhouse on WSYR at 5 tonight. It's a futuristic drama about space ships, flying saucers and the like...
Oakland, California Tribune - 7 Sep 52
Small Fry Fad
Junior Deserts Cowboys For Men From Mars
By Walter Breede Jr.
Move over, Hopalong old boy, the little men from Mars are coming.
That's what many of the Nation's toy manufacturers are saying today as they take note of an unprecedented and furious upsurge of demand for rocket ships, space helmets, flying saucers and other playthings of an interplanetary nature.
The small fry of America have ceased roaming the western wilds and have turned to the wide open spaces between the stars, toy industry spokesmen say. And the toy makers, ever alert to changing trends and fads, have been quick to capitalize on this latest shift in juvenile fancy.
The preoccupation with space toys is of fairly recent origin. It started with the mid-summer revival of news stories about flying saucers. Now it has taken on such terrific proportions that it threatens to upset the industry's carefully laid plans for the Christmas shopping rush.
"Space toys are selling as fast as they can be produced," says Melvin Freund, president of the Toy Guidance Council which serves as a market and exhibition center for the toy-making industry here.
"Everybody's trying to get into the act," observes another industry spokesman. "It's the hottest thing I've seen in years."
No one will venture a guess as to how big a share of this year's anticipated 800 million dollars in toy sales will be captured by Flash Gordon, Captain Video, Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, and their innumerable imitators.
Freund predicts, however, that by 1953 the space toy craze "will be as hot or hotter than Hopalong Cassidy was two years ago."
A survey just completed by the chain store age [sic] directory of manufacturers turned up the revealing fact that more than 112 toy and game manufacturers are making space toys now. Many of them have just started making them in recent weeks. Together they represent, about 25 per cent of the toy manufacturers whose products are sold through variety chain stores.
Even foreign manufacturers are jumping aboard the space bandwagon. A British concern is touting its new line of space soldiers, made of lead, for the U.S. Christmas market. The celestial influence has touched everything from baby balloons (they look like rocket ships when you blow them up) and coloring books to electric trains and playsuits. The space theme is apparent in a wide variety of other toys. There are space guns, space telephones, space belts, hats, goggles, sunglasses, helmets, badges, holsters, compasses and what-have-you. A juvenile space patrolman outfit includes a book of traffic summonses to be handed out to rocketship operators who exceed the cosmic speed limit.
A Los Angeles company, Toys of Tomorrow Ltd., makes an electrically-powered monorail space train of advanced futuristic design. The severely streamlined cars hang from a single overhead rail. The space train retails for $12.95, complete with transformer.
J.V. Zimmerman Co., of St. Louis has a space cadet two-way walkie-talkie telephone with 50 feet of wire for $2.98. Saalfield Publishing Co., of Akron, Ohio, has adapted the space cadet theme of coloring books, "pushout" games and jigsaw puzzles.
In the upper-price bracket you can pick up a nice space helmet of clear transparent plastic to cheer junior's heart for $4.95, or a "space watch" for $7.95. Some of the space helmets come with breathing tubes and make-believe oxygen tanks. Or you can buy a complete Flash Gordon outfit.
One toy manufacturer offers a cosmic smoke gun with powder for 10,000 shots (you count 'em) for 98 cents; another an "atomic" gun that shoots smoke rings.
Other cosmic offerings for the small fry include: A space ship express with friction motor that shoots sparks; a comet water gun that looks like a rocket ship (beware of this one: It shoots six streams of water simultaneously when junior pulls the trigger), a slide projector (it looks like a gun) that "shoots" interplanetary pictures onto the wall, an atomic rocket launcher, a spacedrome for parking interplanetary ships, and -- for a mere $1.98 -- a mechanical man called a "cosmic robot."
There's at least one company that makes "space money" which is said to be valid in celestial banking circles.
Apparel manufacturers are getting space-conscious, too. There are space socks for the younger set, space ties, space boots and so on. Instead of saying "wear your rubbers, junior," mother now says, "hop into your space boots, chum!" and junior hops to it.
Kingsport, Tennessee Times News - 7 Sep 52
Backlashes and Misfires
By Bob Harrell
Big news this week is about the two flying saucers that got away on Cherokee Lake.
Yep, two saucers were reported in the vicinity of David Green Bridge. That's right around the bend and one mile below Hamblen Dock.
Two fighter planes from Knoxville came up to try their luck and didn't do any good. Folks 'round Hamblen Dock aren't too worried about the saucers, though. Say the little green men were going too fast for trolling.
Seriously, there was such a report and an investigation was made. That's about as far as the saucer affair went.
This department feels slighted that the Army didn't inquire up this away about the saucers. Not saying for sure, but might be able to put some light on the subject.
Rumor goes that it was Phil (The Old Master) Weaver backlashing with a silver spoon.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal - 7 Sep 52
Couple Sights 'Flying Saucer'
An Albuquerque woman, who consulted her husband and decided not to give her name for publication, reported she and the mister saw a "flying saucer" Friday night.
She said it was red; he said it was orange; she said it was coming from the west and he said it was coming from the south. Both agreed it went east and disappeared.
They also agreed that the glowing object was flying straight across the sky near the horizon for a few minutes about 8:45 p.m.
The husband said it looked like the light of an airplane; the woman, by way of having the last word, said it traveled too fast to be an airplane, thus, "it must have been a flying saucer."
Charleston, West Virginia Gazette - 7 Sep 52
A group of scientists is meeting to seriously discuss the possibility of space travel. They lean to the idea that if we could get closer to the planets we might gain information of value to the inhabitants of this world.
The theory that flight at tremendous speeds beyond the direct attraction of the gravitation of the Earth can be gained is not questioned. But what is questioned is whether we can learn anything new of value to us. It is generally conceded that none of the planets can sustain life in any form. That there may be another star in the limitless expanse of the heavens having conditions resembling ours is, the scientists say, a mere guess with nothing beyond chance to support it.
Mars has some season changes that may be due to a lichen form of life, but there is not enough water to support animal life. Venus is enveloped with carbon dioxide with no free oxygen or water. The temperature of Mercury is too high for any form of life to exist. The other planets have atmospheres no living thing could breathe. Nothing is known about conditions on the far away stars that would indicate that life as we know it could exist on any of them.
Then how did it ever happen that there is just one world capable of sustaining life as we know it? About all we can do is conclude that a Supreme Intelligence saw fit to create it, and quit trying to figure out why. It is as if, as Voltaire said, "If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent Him."
Yet the scientists who are forever searching for the causes of things form theories and try to see if they can prove them. And the ordinary man, proceeding in his uninformed way, trys [sic] to do the same thing, thinking he sees flying saucers and concluding without evidence that they are from other worlds. It is easy for us to be convinced of things we want to believe.
Dr. Otto Struve of the University of California, learned astronomer, says that of all the planets in the solar system only the Earth can support intelligent life. Going on from one course of reasoning to another, the scientists stumble into the yet unanswerable question of what life is. The closest Sir James Jeans could get to it was the thought that life might be "a disease of matter in its old age" which does not convey much food for thought to the ordinary seeker after truth. Dr. Struve goes a little further and says that life is "evanescent" and may not hold out longer than another 100,000 years when it will have disappeared into nothingness.
None of us is really much concerned with conditions on other worlds beyond our limited natural curiosity, as long as they leave us alone. Yet curiosity has carried the human species on to ever increasing heights. The force behind it is a universal urge that is a part of life itself to ever struggle upward and onward. We feel that this thing called life is intelligent within itself and that our personalities and individualities are life in an imprisoned form that accounts for all growth.
So we go ahead with our ambitious efforts to escape from this probably best of all worlds and to fly away into limitless space on voyages of discovery. Perhaps we are trying to discover and identify the Intelligent Force that controls everything. But at last we inevitably get around to Bliss Carmen's discovery:
"I took a day to search for God,
"And found Him not. But as I trod
"By rocky ledge, through woods untamed,
"Just where one scarlet lily flamed,
"I saw His footprint in the sod."
SEPTEMBER 8, 1952:
Big Spring , Texas Daily Herald 8 Sep 52
Russian Says Saucer Reports An Illusion
ROME -- A leading Soviet astronomer says flying saucers are an "optical illusion growing out of sheer war psychosis."
The statement was made by Prof. Boris Kukarkin -- Russian delegate attending the eighth World Astronomical Congress here -- in an interview published in the Red newspaper L'Unita.
Kukarkin declared the psychosis "is encouraged by those interested in war." No flying saucers have ever been seen over Russia, he added.
Time Magazine - 8 Sep 52
The Press: The Wind Is Up in Kansas
It was very dark, and the wind howled horribly around her, but Dorothy found she was riding quite easily . . .
-- The Wizard of Oz
In Kansas, where the big wind began that carried Dorothy to the Land of Oz, the Wichita Beacon last week had an Oz-like notice on its bulletin board:
"The frequency of flying-saucer reports in this area is increasing. The latest . . . if true . . . gives us the best report of a flying saucer published anywhere in the country. For that reason, if you have a camera, you are urged to keep it with you at all times ready to shoot." The Beacon also alerted its 30 stringers (part-time correspondents) around the state and asked its readers to organize themselves into "volunteer watching" groups.
The story that set off the Beacon's hunt had appeared on its front page the day before. In nearby Pittsburg, Kans., a radio performer named Bill Squire [sic throughout, should be Squyres] reported that on his way to work he saw a machine about 75 feet long, hovering 10 feet above the ground, which looked as if it consisted of two large platters cupped together and ringed with small propellers. Squire said he got out of his car, walked to within 100 feet of the saucer, saw bluish lights through portholes, and observed several figures moving inside the ship which looked like "human beings." As he walked toward it, he said, the machine rose straight up at great speed and disappeared.
When Squire went on to the radio station and told his story, several colleagues went to the scene, found grass and weeds flattened in a rough oval area as if a heavy wind or weight had crushed them. The Beacon, after assuring itself that Squire had a good reputation for veracity and reliability, decided to issue its state-wide call for a saucer-watch. To spread the alarm further, the Beacon wanted the Associated Press state wire to carry it. The A.P. stuffily refused, giving the off-the-cuff explanation that flying saucers, like a golfer's hole in one, should be verified by at least two people.
Greenville, Pennsylvania Record Argus - 8 Sep 52
Report "Saucers" in The Kittanning Area
KITTANNING, Pa. -- State Police received reports from several persons who said they saw flying saucers in nearby Rayburn Township over the weekend.
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Wyant described the two objects as "large wagon wheel-like objects with a flaming center." They appeared in the northeast and disappeared in a southwestern direction. Other witnesses said the objects were so low they could be lit up with a spot light.
Oran, Algeria L'Echo d'Oran 8 Sep 52
Two Meteorologists See Saucers In Union Of South Africa
On the morning of 6 September 1952, a meteorologist was taking weather observations in Durban, Union of South Africa, when he saw a white object moving smoothly across his field of vision. After two more had appeared and passed in the same manner, he called a co-worker, with whom he observed three more saucers. He was able to follow one of them with a theodolite, which indicated that the object was at a high altitude. It had about the same shape as a weather balloon which was then at an altitude of only 3,500 meters. The spherical objects appeared to be at an altitude above 6,500 meters.
Both men have been meteorologists for some time (the second man is the director of the weather bureau at Natal). Their information was written into the records of the local meteorological office.
SEPTEMBER 9, 1952:
Hayward, California Daily Review - 9 Sep 52
Captain Fortune will show a special film at 5:30 p.m. over KPIX entitled "The Flying Saucer Mystery," which is reported to be a compilation of all the latest data concerning flying saucers...
San Mateo, California Times - 9 Sep 52
'Space Patrol' Head at Show
Cmdr. Buzz Corry of television's "Space Patrol" will make a personal appearance next Sunday at the nine-day Peninsula Home show which starts Saturday afternoon at the county fair building in San Mateo.
A hero to thousands of young TV viewers, Corry will arrive at Mills field on Sunday noon to be escorted to the home show where he will shake hands with hundreds of his youthful admirers. He is scheduled for both an afternoon and evening appearance.
Corry, who has had many a narrow escape in his TV adventures, was recently featured in Life magazine with the other members of the "Space Patrol" cast.
During his visit to the home show, the interplanetary rocket ship commander will inspect a specially constructed "flying saucer" which will be on display in the main fiesta building. Built at a cost of more than $5000, the plastic space ship is complete with a bubble canopied cockpit and a control panel which supposedly directs it to the nearest star or astroid [sic]. The sky ship will be shown every day during the home show.
Findlay, Ohio Republican Courier - 9 Sep 52
Ohio Northern Reports Flying Saucers Viewed
ADA, Sept 5 -- Project A report on findings to date on the phenomena, Flying Saucers, as conducted by Ohio Northern university, Ada. Several weeks ago the university announced its intention of investigating reports of "Fly [sic] Saucers."
Reports of sightings have been reported from several European countries including Denmark, of which water color sketches were sent. Another water color sketch was received from the Cleveland area.
A wooden model of a "Flying Saucer" has been furnished by a central Ohio witness, who was one of seven at the sighting on July 24. This model is identical in shape with the sighting recently reported by E.S. DesVerges [sic, should be D.S. DesVergers], scoutmaster at West Palm Beach, Fla. Most reports of sightings are from Texas and the southwest, and are sent in by persons from all walks of life, including airline presidents, engineers, housewives, etc.
The saucers reported seem to take several different shapes. The most common reported is an object several times larger than our largest transport planes. Another group of sightings take the shape of the recent smaller aircraft design. All seem to disappear at tremendous speed after intricate maneuvers.
Officials in charge of the investigation feel that several hundred more reports are needed before an effort can be made to catagorize [sic] the data into a definite pattern.
Requests have been numerous for the results of the investigations, which will be gladly furnished when completed, meanwhile more reports are needed.
Kingsport, Tennessee Times 9 Sep 52
By W.J. McAULIFFE
Saucer tales are getting more numerous;
Some are serious, some are humorous.
Between the cynics and the gullible
There is quite an awful hullabel
Look about for the possible reason;
Or is this just the silly season?
Of course it's "possible" the saucers are
Super-earthly from afar.
They may be wicked Martians furious,
Or peaceful Moonians, scientifically curious.
It's "possible" each flying disc
Is a Russian spy from Plnsk or Pidsk!
It might be just that Santa Clause is
Preparing to modernize his Christmas biz!
What's "possible" starts where philosophies end,
As Hamlet once remarked to his friend.
So reserve your final judgment when
Something is beyond your ken.
Yet, to normal human beings
A lot of bunk this seems to we-uns.
And these tales of a flying saucer
Are getting to be quite a bore, sir!
SEPTEMBER 10, 1952:
People Today Magazine - 10 Sep 52
Flying Saucers Are Real -- Remember the A-Bomb
They're Ultrasonic Guided Missiles . . . Made in the U.S. And U.S.S.R. too
Oval shape gives missile (above) a "saucer" appearance. Warhead (l.) carries electronic observation devices, controls, destructor charge. A-bomb can easily replace these.
This remarkable analysis, which sheds the first real light on the true nature of the so-called "flying saucers," is the joint work of three PEOPLE TODAY editors who interviewed America's top physicists and military and civilian experts on ultrasonic flight. Their conclusions came independently.
- - - - -
The flying saucers are real. They are guided missiles -- both American and Soviet. The inescapable conclusion from world-wide reports is that the Red saucers are launched from Atomgrad #3, a heavily-guarded missile center in a barren waste near the Finnish border. Swedish authorities have detected their passage as they hurtled across Scandinavia in a direct line for this hemisphere. Other Red launching sites are in Siberia.
The Soviet missiles are crewless, between 50 and 75 ft. in length, about 14 ft. deep. Rockets provide their main power source but they also carry auxiliary motors, possibly jets. Ovoid in shape, they reach altitudes of 80-100,000 ft., attain speeds in excess of 2,500 mph.
Loaded with cameras and electronic observation devices, the missiles seem to have but one mission at present -- to reconnoiter U.S. atomic and military installations. They could as easily carry atomic warheads.
Saucers Launched From Atomgrad #3 Are Guided To Target. Areas By Red Subs Posted North Of Regular Shipping Lanes.
Specially Designed Russian Submarines ... Can Carry and Launch Own Rockets.
The Soviet missiles are remote-controlled. Red submarines, posted strategically in a chain across the Atlantic (see map) are equipped with electronic monitor boards to guide the missiles through each sub's "control area." Thus, a missile originally launched on a course that would place it over Washington, D.C., may be diverted by a sub off Nova Scotia (where unidentified subs have been reported) to a course aimed at the Brookhaven Laboratories on Long Island, close to Manhattan.
The Red saucers need not return to base to deliver their reconnaissance data. Their findings, including aerial photos, automatically beamed to a sub or other secret station, are reproduced and delivered to intelligence headquarters in Moscow. To prevent its falling into non-Red hands, each missile carries a high-explosive destructor charge which can blow it to bits the instant a button on the sub is pressed.
The Soviet long-range snorkel submarine program for guided missile work was reported by Allied intelligence as far back as '48. These subs, developments of the German type XXVI, which had a 1,160 ton displacement, can cruise underwater at the phenomenal speed of 24 knots and remain submerged indefinitely.
For 36 months the U.S. has been working frantically to keep ahead of Russia in the guided missile field. Dr. Karl Compton, one of the nation's great scientists, has envisioned huge crewless missiles screaming through the ionosphere at 6,000 mph. Said Dr. Compton in 1949:
"...the picture of smashing a vital electronic development on the outskirts of Moscow from a launching pad somewhere in the United States is not pure fantasy."
Today, U.S. Rockets are being launched from the Joint-Services proving grounds on Cape Canaveral in Florida. These rockets carry electronic devices, can carry atomic warheads. Should one go out of control, a scientist at the base hits the "destructor button" on his control board and an explosive charge in the rocket blows it up.
Russian work on huge rockets began long before German. In 1903, Dr. K.E. Ziolkovsky completed 10-year study of rocket possibilities -- even space travel. Later, Soviet sponsored him in secret work; Stalin honored him in 1932. Grasping future importance of rockets, Reds set up 2 research centers in 1920, by 1936 were building rocket to ascend 70 miles. Today, Reds are planning artificial satellite.
Military authorities will admit that flights of as long as 500 miles have been made by these guided missiles over the Caribbean. Reports of saucers and other mysterious "objects" sighted in this area frequently refer to these missiles. Our officials aren't worried about these reports. They are jolted, however, by the 400-odd "unexplained" saucers and fireballs which have criss-crossed our skies, appearing in their biggest concentrations over vital atomic and defense centers.
"Of course flying saucers are real," declared a regular U.S. Air Force officer stationed in New Mexico. "They are not mass delusions. Don't be sucked in by denials in publicity used to cover up AF investigations. Flying saucers are regularly seen over Los Alamos . . ."
Many "saucer" facts can be pieced together by careful reading of press which often tries to spoof phenomena. Left: An admission that some "saucers" are actually U.S. guided missiles. Center: Dispatch locating site of Atomgrad #3. Right: British develop missile that can do own "thinking."
During WW II, U.S. pilots in Europe and in the Pacific reported glowing globes, mostly green, which followed their planes at fixed distances, made no hostile moves. They just "seemed to watch," pilots reported. Intelligence took the matter seriously.
In 1945, following detailed reports by B-29 crews flying missions over Honshu, the 21st Bomber command's intelligence officers decided that the fireballs were remote-controlled guided missiles.
Recently, fireballs have been seen over Korea, Alaska and the southwest U.S. The Pentagon is particularly disturbed because they resemble American developments which were considered exclusive and top secret.
Man-made meteors, attaining speeds of some 17,000 mph, are produced by Dr. John Rinehart (l.) and associates at the Navy Guided Missiles Center in the Mojave Desert. The artificial meteors are small pellets of various metals, propelled by a top secret "gun," probably a specially shaped explosive charge. High-speed cameras study them in flight. Purpose: To determine best shapes and materials for rockets, guided missiles.
Attempts to pass the fireballs off as meteors were spiked by Dr. Lincoln LaPaz, head of the Institute of Meteorics [sic, should be meteoritics] at the Univ. of New Mexico. "I have never seen a natural meteor with the characteristics of the yellow-green fireballs," he told PEOPLE TODAY. "Meteors blow up with a loud explosion. These disintegrate with complete absence of sound. sightings here and in Scandinavia lead me to believe that fireballs and the so-called saucers may be guided missiles -- some possibly ours, some possibly Russian. In any case, they are Earth-born.
"It is possible that the yellow-green fireball is not the missile itself but the remaining part of a missile in the final phase of self-destruction. It does not explode -- it simply evaporates in a flash of light."
Said Dr. LaPaz: "Compare the saucers with the atomic bomb. If someone had asked a Manhattan Project official for an explanation of the brilliant mushroom of light at Alamogordo, he would have received a blank stare and been told that no such thing had ever happened."
1. The Hollywood Star Playhouse radio program "The Tenth Planet" featured in the article "Looking And Listening" can be heard via YouTube here, or read in script form here.
2. The incident referred to in "Backlashes and Misfires" is found in Project Blue Book declassified files under the heading of "Morristown, Tn", the relevant portion of which consists of a telex...
The incident was evaluated as "insufficient information".
3. Approximately 53 minutes following the Albuquerque, New Mexico sighting reported in "Couple Sights 'Flying Saucer'" another sighting was made 56 miles north at Los Alamos, New Mexico, as found in an investigative report from Project Blue Book files...
Blue Book summary files carry an incident on September 5, 1952 at Los Alamos, but there is no separate file to be found in declassified files, meaning the above investigative report may or may not be the same incident referred to. The incident in the summary files was evaluated as "insufficient information".
4. The original news reports on the disk sighting by Bill Squyres told in "The Press: The Wind Is Up in Kansas", along with a link to selected Air Force documents on the investigation of the report, may be found in In The News 1952 - Part Thirty-Three, available through the Past Weeks portal.
5. English translations of foreign reports in this post come from declassified CIA files.
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