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in the news 1952


Smith Arnold Stevens

Above: Captain E.J. Smith, Kenneth Arnold, and Ralph Stevens. Arnold's reported sighting of nine flying discs over Mt. Rainier in June, 1947 had launched flying saucers into public consciousness. Two weeks later Captain Smith and co-pilot Ralph Stevens (along with stewardess Mary Morrow, not pictured) reported sighting nine flying discs over Idaho over a period of 18 minutes during a United Airlines passenger flight to Seattle. On November 17, 1952 a pilot identified as an Eastern Airlines pilot requested anonymity in giving a detailed account of a sighting in North Carolina (story below). The pilot was identified only as "one of the first two men to see Flying Saucers in 1947", making it likely that it was indeed Captain Smith. 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...

NOVEMBER 10, 1952:

Racine, Wisconsin Journal Times - 10 Nov 52

Reading a Columnist's Mail
With Tex Reynolds

Teach Life, Not Death, To Children, Mother Asks

Dear Tex: Having heard over the radio of a recent attempt to ban black-jacks and other playthings from toy counters in some cities, I remembered a clipping I saved a short time ago from a Milwaukee paper. The mother who wrote it believes as all sane people should:

On Aug. 24 appeared an article on a preview of toys held in New York entitled "New Toys Imaginative as Children" from which I quote:

"More than 500 American made playthings, representing the best efforts of over 300 different manufacturers, were on display. Each toy had been evaluated by the toy guidance educational staff, headed by Prof. Emma D. Sheehy of Columbia University Teachers college, for its safety, durability and ability to contribute to a child's growth and development. This year junior will enjoy science-fiction toys which include rocket guns shooting rubber darts, a flying saucer gun, a space suit complete with a radio antenna hat and magic glasses with one way lenses, interplanetary space phones, jet planes firing six streams of water simultaneously out of jet guns, a space water pistol, a space port with rocket launcher and a space rocket ship."

Miniature Weapons

In my opinion, the above named are not toys but miniature weapons of war. Have we criticized the Germans and the Russians in the training of their youth, early instilling in them the military?

My children were brought up not to point toy guns in other children's faces and yell "Bang, bang! You're dead." True, the "Parade of the Wooden Soldier" is a classic and time was when, in our peace and security, a row of wooden soldiers meant little more to us than a row of wooden dominoes. But with that peace and security gone, most mothers, like myself, have known the anguish that comes with a son in battle.

Why not teach these little children the gratitude and response of a pet cared for and loved? And of creative life from a seedling to bloom in beauty? As this Christmas season approaches, with its message of peace to mankind, young mothers must turn away from handing little children such toys, and teach life, not death.

Then the teenagers of tomorrow may not hold life so lightly that in a fit of anger they bring death to a parent, brother, or sister. Perhaps someday the hearts of many mothers united may even be able to save their sons from having to use these weapons of war.

-- Another Mother

NOVEMBER 11, 1952:

Winona, Minnesota Republican Herald - 11 Nov 52

Lecturer Declares:
Flying Saucers Do Exist -- In Public Fancy, at Least

Flying saucers do exist and they can be classified, a science lecturer told more than 500 at Winona Senior High School auditorium Monday night -- then hastened to add that he was talking about "that popular phenomenon recognized in the public fancy as flying saucers."

Dr. D.Q. Posin, humorous lecturer on scientific subjects and the chairman of the department of physics at North Dakota State College, Fargo, told his audience, "We can classify the phenomenon, but there isn't much we can do with the fancies people develop from those phenomenon."

The speaker traced the history of the "saucer craze," starting with an evening in 1947 with an aircraft pilot reported seeing nine glowing objects in the air over the Dakotas and said they looked like "flying saucers." [sic, entire sentence] Interest in the saucers rose as reports on saucers multiplied, Dr. Posin said, and ultimately there came to be "an open season on saucers."

The scientiest [sic] said saucers have been explained from time to time by pointing out the existence of meteors, helium balloons used for wind and weather observations by the government, rockets fired from southern proving grounds, sea gulls in Duluth, geese in Fargo and "perpetrated hoaxes."

"Anything which people can see and cannot identify they've gotten in the habit of calling a flying saucer," the speaker said, "and they like to propagate the notion that little green men or yellow men or blue men have come for a visit from outer space."

Dr. Posin put a firm damper on the saucer enthusiasms of his hearers with the statement: "There is absolutely no evidence so far that any of these devices known as saucers has [sic] come from outer space, with the exception of meteors."

Ranging into the field of space travel, the scientist told his audience there is little likelihood any of the planets in our sun's own orbit can support life. "Can we expect interplanetary visitors from any of these planets? No!"

Improbable as it is, interstellar visitors -- that is, visitors from planets in other orbits outside the orbit of which the earth is a part -- are possible. He said, "The galaxy of which the earth is a part is comprised of billions of stars. Of those billions possibly 100,000 are other good earths, that is, earths which may support life." The speaker detailed the "appalling statistics of light years" in an effort to show how unlikely it is that man could conquer space outside the orbit of the sun in the foreseeable future.

'Age of Space Travel'

But we have virtually arrived at the age of space travel," Dr. Posin said, returning to a discussion of planets within the orbit of our sun. "Within 30 to 50 years I feel confident, we will see a serious expedition launched into space with Mars the destination." He said space platforms will ultimately prove to be the most practical device from which to launch the expedition.

The speaker said atomic fuels will provide the power for space travel. He acknowledged "major problems" still face scientists in their efforts to launch an expedition into outer space, but he expressed confidence those problems will be solved.

Introducing the speaker was Glenn M. Anderson, Winona Senior High School vocational agriculture instructor and president of the Winona Public School Teachers Association. The appearance of the scientist in Winona was sponsored by the association as a part of the local observance of American Education Week.

Fairbanks, Alaska Daily News-Minter - 11 Nov 52

Territorial News Roundup

ANCHORAGE -- An explosion and an early morning earth tremor here provided only minor competition to the news of the national election.

Police and the highway patrol received calls election night reporting two incidents -- a terrific explosion and a flying saucer, both of which have yet to be tracked down and accounted for.

The explosion was believed to have been caused by dynamite left on the Elmendorf AFB dump, but this theory has not been confirmed.

A man claimed that he sighted a "strange light bouncing up and down in the sky," and other observers bore out the flying saucer report. He said it "left at a terrific rate of speed toward Fort Richardson."

NOVEMBER 12, 1952:

Honolulu, Hawaii Star Bulletin - 12 Nov 52

Star Bulletin

Click on image to open larger version in new page.

Air Force Tabs All But One Of 'Flying Saucer' Reports

Eleven reports of flying saucers in the Hawaiian area have been investigated by the Air Force since July 7, 1947, and all but one of them has been attributed to known causes.

Altogether, the Air Force said, mysterious disc-like spheres have been reported 24 times in the Pacific and Far East since an unknown person at Hickam Village first described seeing one more than five years ago.

At the request of The Star-Bulletin, the special section of the Air Force evaluating reports of the saucers compiled the record of sightings in the Pacific and Far East.

Night Discs

Of the 24 reports, 10 of them were of daylight sightings, while 14 observers said they saw the discs at night.

The only Hawaii sighting which the Air Force evaluators could not explain was made last July 16 by crewmen of the submarine Bugara off Lahaina, Maui.

Men who saw the phenomenon through binoculars said in a report that an oval disc that varied in color from white to red as it moved across the sky [sic, entire sentence].

In forwarding its compilation, the Air Force noted that "no photographs of mysterious flying objects are available from your area."

Other Pacific sightings were reported from Wake, Midway, Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, eight airplanes and one merchant ship.

Accompanying is the Air Force's record of the 11 reports made in Hawaii.

NOVEMBER 13, 1952:

Fairbanks, Alaska Daily News Minter - 13 Nov 52

Smoke Ring

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Ardmore, Oklahoma Daily Ardmoreite - 13 Nov 52

Church to Employ Novel Advertising

According to the Rev. Leslie Moore, pastor of the Lighthouse Assembly of God church, there will be flying saucers over Ardmore Saturday at 3 p.m.

This is an advertising stunt for the Sunday school of the church, Moore said.

Chester, Pennsylvania Times - 13 Nov 52

Are There 'Starples' Looking Down?

Dr. Otto Struve, University of California astronomer, pooh-poohs chances of flying saucers coming to the earth from other planets.

He says the planets in this solar system, are not capable of supporting Intelligent forms of life, and if there are planets with such life upon them in other star systems, they are too far away to get close. He claims that if people on other planets could view the life on this planet in detail, the discrepancy of light years would place images on their 'scopes of the earth 50,000 years ago. This was the time of the Neanderthal man.

Clinching his observation, Dr. Struve says he "doesn't think such intelligences would be interested in the earth of the Neanderthal man."

What gives Dr. Struve the idea that if such "starples" could see us as we are today over the 300,000,000,000,000 intervening miles they would be any more interested?

NOVEMBER 14, 1952:

El Paso, Texas Herald Post - 14 Nov 52

Smoke Ring

ROCKET SHIP -- [Remainder of caption illegible]

Toy Department Clerks Work In Fantastic Land of Flying Saucers
Junior Is Space Conscious This Year; Military Toys of Last Season Fade Away

Toy department clerks work in a fantastic land of flying saucers, cosmic ray guns, atomic-powered guided missiles and rocket launchers.

For Toyland has gone space conscious.

For instance, they've got plastic space helmets equipped with space phones and double astral jet pack tanks. This item can be yours for $5.98 -- and it's decorated with the official insignia of the space patrol commander.

Space Men Walk Around

Or you can build an army of red-uniformed space men (for $1.98 apiece) who walk around with their heads enveloped in plastic bubbles, atop of which are mounted radio antennae.

These little red devils -- Men from Mars -- stride around gesturing menacingly with a cosmic ray gun in each hand. A fearsome sight.

Also available at $4.98 is a space port. It's equipped with a flying saucer that takes off, a radar screen, a space raid alarm and a rocket launcher that shoots those atomic-powered guided missiles.

Emphasis on Space Travel

"Last year, all the kids wanted military toys -- toy soldiers, planes, tanks and guns -- but this year the emphasis is on space travel," clerks say...

One thing: Tell your kiddies not to be surprised if Santa parks on your roof in a flying saucer, then tumbles out of the chimney wearing a space helmet equipped with double astral jet pack tanks.

He may even pack cosmic ray guns, too.

Chicago, Illinois Wheeling Herald - 14 November 52

Witness Tells Lions Club
Four Flying Saucers Checkpoint Palatine and Arlington; Jets from O'Hare Fail in Effort to 'Capture' Space Ships

Television addicts of the youngster age may be several generations ahead of their dads and mothers. Space ships are real to them and the men from other worlds who man those ships they see over the TV have become real objects and beings.

The average parent considers such "fairy tales" as only exciting entertainment that glue theirs and the neighboring children to the family TV each night.

Members of Palatine Lions club were told Thursday evening that space ships as represented by the flying saucers are real. The man who did the telling was Gordon A. Vold, 132 N. Forest, Palatine.

Vold brought with him a number of books written on the subject and clippings from two national magazines, Life and Look. He did not ask the Lions to believe a thing that he said if they were not ready to admit that "space ships" may become a reality in the next hundred years,

Many of his hearers may have admitted that what they heard that evening sounded like sense, until they returned home and tried to convince their wives that the flying saucers are really visitors from other planets.

Mr. Vold began making a study of saucers over two years ago. He has become so intensely interested in the subject that he carries in his car at all times a camera with which he hopes to 'snap' one of the darn things that may come into range of his camera.

Six weeks ago while traveling on route 63 he thought he had his chance but by the time he had stopped his car and reached for his camera the "space ship" had nearly disappeared.

The next flying saucer that came into his vision was an afternoon last summer in the vicinity of Harrington. It was only overhead seven to 10,000 feet. It was standing still and appeared to be shooting from the back, a substance that appeared like yarn. As it began to move the "shooting" stopped. The object gave the appearance of a mirror. Again a few weeks later he saw a saucer near Harrington between 5 and 6 p.m. that was a blackish object.

Vold has reported to the station at O'Hare field as soon as possible after the saucers have been sighted.

Chicago newspapers have been asked by the air corps not to report the appearance of the objects, but phone conversations by Vold with air corps officials has convinced him that air force officers admit there is such a thing as flying saucers.

A few weeks ago when four saucers appeared over Arlington Heights and Palatine he was told that the air corps had received 40 telephone messages about the objects.

The army is understood to have taken several successful photographs of these objects but encourages all persons who happen to see them to report such sightings to the intelligence officers at O'Hare field.

The four saucers over Palatine and Arlington, which were traveling at about 140 miles an hour, gave out an orange cast. They traveled in a northwesterly direction and within a short time returned. They were witnessed by Mr. and Mrs. Vold and their neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Blaseck. The objects are noiseless.

Within a few minutes jets from O'Hare air field were searching for them. Actions of the air corps is evidence that branch of the government have decided that saucers are not mere illusions.

"It is the assumption of scientist [sic]," Vold told the Palatine Lions, "that the saucers come from other planet systems, the inhabitants of which are much more advanced than those of this world. They have learned to overcome gravity. Scientific instruments have detected them as high as 85 miles from the earth, with speeds as high as 18,000 miles an hour. {sic, no end quote]

It takes light from one of the nearer stars 4 years to reach the earth. It might take several years for one of those ships to reach earth. Perhaps a year in the life of earthly inhabitants may be like a day to persons of the other planet.

Vold pointed out that in the days of Columbus the average life of a man was 32 years. In 500 years our life span has been doubled. It stands to reason that the life span of that other world may be several times as great and a journey to earth is nothing.

Flying saucers, are not new. As early as 1772, they were reported over England. Again in 1781. There are several accounts of their appearance in the middle of the last century. In the early accounts the objects sent out an odor like sulphur. Today there is no sulphur. "There is evidence that the "space cadets" have learned how to fuse certain metals that our scientists have not accomplished. [sic, no end quote]

The speaker closed his talk with, "scientists can tell you more about what they are not than what they are."

Before the reader dismisses the saucers from his mind, we quote from a recent article in Life magazine: --

"Dr. Biot said: 'The least improbable explanation is that these things are artificial and controlled . . . My opinion for some time has been that they have an extraterrestrial origin."

"Before these awesome questions, science -- and mankind -- can yet only halt in wonder. Answers may come in a generation -- or tomorrow. Somewhere in the dark skies there may be those who know."

Uniontown, Pennsylvania Evening Standard - 14 Nov 52


Watch out for the stars.

Shower of meteors due tonight, tomorrow night as earth mixes up with the stern end of a comet. Open season for flying saucer experts.

Massillon, Ohio Evening Independent - 14 Nov 52

H-Bomb Rumors

H-bomb rumors are thicker than were reports of flying saucers several months ago, but it is a reasonably good guess that these are not in the saucer category. Letters from men who say they saw an H-bomb explosion have been received and printed by several newspapers.

Details as given in the letters leave little doubt that the explosions were greater than any previously produced by A-bombs. The preponderance of evidence is that the H-bomb is here.

Whether the new bomb is 1,000 times as powerful as the A-bomb, as advertised, can not be definitely known until the government officially announces that an H-bomb has been prefected [sic], has been set off, and the results have been such and thus.

It is understandable why the government, following its experience with Russian spies in connection with the A-bomb, is extremely reticent in revealing what gives with the H-bomb. But it should be remembered that the American people knew nothing about the A-bomb, or that such a weapon was projected, until the first one was dropped on Japan.

Not so the Russians. Moscow seems to have known all about it, thanks to infiltration of spies in Washington and in the A-bomb projects. It can be hoped that the authorities have succeeded, this time, in keeping Moscow in the dark as to this new weapon.

But this is a hope that stretches credulity. With evidence daily being unearthed by the McCarran Committee of Reds on the UN payroll in New York, it is hard to believe that Russia, which has an ambassador holding forth in Washington although the U.S. ambassador has been run out of Moscow, has abandoned spying in this country, or that chief efforts in that department are not concerned with the H-bomb.

NOVEMBER 15, 1952:

Medicine Hat, Canada News - 15 Nov 52

Wingless Airplane Makes First Flight

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A wingless airplane that some folks might mistake for a flying saucer had a test flight yesterday. It lasted only about two minutes at a 50-foot altitude and ended in a plowed field.

The plane’s builder and pilot on the first Flight [sic, capitalized], William E. Horton, 36, said: "I didn't like the feel of it."

His odd-looking ship has a wide flat fuselage and no wings. With stubby eight-foot control flaps on either side. [sic, incomplete sentence] It is 26 feet wide and 40 feet long. The fuselage is virtually a wing in itself.

Biloxi, Mississippi Daily Herald - 15 Nov 52

"Saucer" Session

BATON ROUGE -- Hydraulic engineers and water experts will hear a discussion of flying saucers at the second annual water symposium at Louisiana State University next week.

The subject will be treated by Col. Robert B. Emerson, research associate in LSU's radiochemical laboratory at the closing session Nov. 19.

The two-day symposium will consist of panels, addresses and discussions on water disposal, river basins, plant location and conservation of water by industries.

NOVEMBER 16, 1952:

Salina, Kansas Journal - 16 Nov 52

Having Hallucinations, Wish You Were Here

PITTSBURG, Kas. -- A "flying saucer" hung over the town of Pittsburg for hours Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds of citizens telephoned newspapers and radio stations to report the round object hovering in the skies.

As the sun changed its course, the "saucer" changed color, turning from white to orange and finally to red.

Radio Station KSEK appealed to listeners who had telescopes to train them on the object.

Then the mystery was solved.

The "saucer" had a rope lying across its top.

It was a weather observation balloon.

By sundown the balloon was drifting slowly to the east -- and still the calls came in.

Clovis, New Mexico News Journal - 16 Nov 52

It's Only Weather Balloon Over Clovis
Flying Saucer Tales Fill Air Waves

Tales of flying saucers filled the Clovis air waves Friday afternoon as excited onlookers kept the News Journal's switchboard flashing busy signals from 3:30 until closing time.

"What is that bright metal object in the sky?" they asked. "A flying saucer?" While others queried, "What star is that I see shining in mid-afternoon?" . . . and still others excitedly asked, "What's that silvery thing up in the sky? It's been twisting round and round!"

Not only were Clovis people affected by the strange object. The same conditions existed in Muleshoe and Farwell, Tex., according to Mrs. Lester Carter who drove through those cities en route home.

Mrs. Carter said people in both towns gathered in the streets to watch the strange object, which turned red as the sun sank in the sky.

Excitement died when the anxious and curious were informed that it wasn't a star, it wasn't a planet, and it certainly wasn't a flying saucer.

The object turned out to be a weather balloon although no word has yet been received as to where landed or from where it was sent.

It was positively identified as a meteorological balloon by Clovis Air Force Base instruments, which placed the object at a height of some 10,000 to 12,000 feet.

The balloon moved from the southwest to the southeast and was evidently turned red by the rays of the setting sun.

Calls were still coming Into the News-Journal lines Saturday morning.

A call from Hereford wanted to know, "What's this story I hear about flying saucers over there?"

Seems some Portales friends had watched the object move in the sky while driving over to Hereford.

They watched it until the sun went down, when it turned a fiery red, and then disappeared as the dark mantle of night obscured all vision.

Strange phenomena was reported again. But it was some 12 hours later and near Tucumcari.

Four commercial pilots said they had seen what appeared to be a meteor explode in the air near Tucumcari around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

They described the fireball as having a green, fiery tail. "It exploded with an immensely brilliant, flash," they said.

According to reports, the pilots sighting the phenomena were separated by as much as 80 miles.

One estimated the distance of the fireball above the ground as 100 [sic] when it exploded. Another thought it exploded near the ground. The two others placed their estimates in between the two extremes.

Location of the fireball explosion was given only south of Tucumcari.

Darmstadt, Germany European Stars and Stripes - 16 Nov 52

New Saucer Scare Found To Be Work Of Big Windbag

GELNHAUSEN, Nov. 15 -- The first flying saucer scare in West Germany was reported recently when Sgt Peter Gandy of the 12th Inf Regt Heavy Motor Co alarmed an astonished 1st Lt Joseph Martino, regiment OD, with an account of a seven-foot circular object landing in the regiment's alert area.

The strange object was immediately investigated by Pfc Hans Frigo, of the Special Security Plat. It turned out to be a huge balloon, the property of some German children who inflated it for celebrations in the streets of Gelnhausen.

The balloon was recovered by two boys who promised to keep it at home from now on.

NOVEMBER 17, 1952:

Tucson, Arizona Daily Citizen - 17 Nov 52



NOON -- Lester Hearn talks about flying saucers, data on which are a hobby of his, at the American Legion luncheon club meeting in the Legion clubhouse...

Oil City, Pennsylvania Blizzard - 17 Nov 52

Aviators Say Saucer Reports Were False

Reports of "flying saucers" over the community Sunday afternoon were claimed false by local aviators.

Dr. R.R. VanKirk of the Oil City Flying Service, Splane airport, stated at the time that "saucers" were reported seen, two formations of Army planes passed over the area. One plane, much higher than the rest, flashed brilliantly in the sun's rays giving the appearance of a silver object, thus leading people to believe in "flying saucers."

Lumberton, North Carolina Robesonian - 17 Nov 52

Reported Elsewhere
Luminous Object Is Spotted In Sky South Of Lumberton

A luminous object was spotted in the sky south of Lumberton yesterday afternoon at about 5:10 and almost immediately the Civil Aeronautics Administration reported that the CAA station in Florence was observing the same object through binoculars.

Dozens of persons saw the object and reported it without much excitement to both the CAA and The Robesonian. Most called it a "flying saucer" but described it as a tremendous glowing streak.

Jack Coffee compared its proportions to that of a fluorescent light tube. He said he had no estimate of its size or distance, but said that a plane appeared in what he and others thought to be the vicinity of the object as just a speck.

He said the plane came on northward without appearing to pay attention to the glow. Mr. Coffee and other observers watched the object for 10 minutes or more. Consensus is that it was travelling very slowly south and west, and that it disappeared all at once.

More than a dozen persons gathered at Bateman's Esso to watch; it was observed from near Allenton and from St. Pauls, Nichols, S.C., reported it overhead. Florence reported it to the west. A Sumter, S.C. newspaperman travelling toward Florence reported it appearing toward Dillon and Mullins.

John N. Ellis, aircraft communicator for the CAA for 11 years and a licensed pilot, said the object was "unlike anything I have ever seen."

Ellis said that, when he first saw the object, it was in the west at about 10,000 feet and that it slowly moved to the southwest before disappearing. He added that he watched it for six minutes which dispelled an early thought that it was a jet aircraft but lasted too long and moved too slowly, he said.

The CAA official described the object as glowing extremely brightly and likened its shape to a saucer tilted at an angle of about 30 degrees with a thin edge down and a heavier lip up. He said he heard no sound and saw no smoke.

Charleston, South Carolina News and Courier - 17 Nov 52

Unidentified Object Seen Near Nichols

NICHOLS, Nov. 16 -- Nichols Chief of Police H.E. Epps said that he had received between 25 and 30 phone calls late this afternoon and early tonight requesting information about an unidentified object which was seen in the sky west of Nichols between 4:30 and 5 p.m. today.

He said that, according to descriptions that he had been given of the object, it appeared to be silver in color or giving off a silver glow. It seemed to be whirling, and was described as being about twice as big as a house. It also seemed to be rising at an angle.

Florence, South Carolina Morning News - 17 Nov 52

Flying Saucer Seen by Dozens of Florence Residents
Veteran EAL Captain Verifies Weird Sight

By Jack O'Dowd

An Eastern Air Lines flight Captain, one of the first two men to see Flying Saucers in 1947, saw one over Florence yesterday afternoon, as did dozens of other people.

The captain, his name withheld at his request, was with some 25 persons at the Florence Airport at 5:13 p.m. yesterday when "it" was sighted northwest of Florence. The captain said the craft was silver and one side had a hexagonal shape.

In giving his description, he said when the object was first sighted it appeared as a bright light; it passed the airfield tilted at a 30 degree angle and had the shape of a sphere.

The side, he said, that could be seen by the group, looked like a saucer, but had six sides, or edges. Because of the 30-degree tilt, he assumed the visible side to be the top of the craft.

He said the object reflected a silver light and left a "stream" or "trail" that was unlike the "stream" left by jets flying at high altitudes.

The "stream" he described, and the one described by many of the 25 or more in the crowd, was more like a "heavy fantailed blast, some two miles long -- or would be two miles long at the height the object was flying. It was visible until it was 30 degrees above the horizon, which would have been 50 to 60 miles from here."

In answer to a direct question, the pilot said, "Yes, I do think there are flying saucers, and this was similar to the last one I saw. If many of our top pilots told you all they saw when they are flying, you couldn't believe them."

He said, "They call some of these things 'sun-spots' and 'reflections' but what I saw this afternoon was the most improbable 'sun spot' or 'reflection' I have ever seen."

The captain asked that his name be withheld because, "After the deal in 1947 everyone called the captain and the other EAL captain sighting the saucers the same day Buck Rogers, and I am always being called by magazines to give my opinions and some quotes."

Shortly after 5 p.m. the shiny object was reported in the skies just to the west of Florence. It slowly circled to the southwest and then disappeared. Telephones at The Morning News were flooded with calls. So were those at the U.S. Weather Bureau station and the CAA offices at the airport.

John N. Ellis, aircraft communicator for the CAA, a pilot and a veteran of 11 years service with the CAA, said the object was "unlike anything I have ever seen."

Ellis said when he first saw the object it was in the west at about 10,000 feet, then slowly moved to the southwest before disappearing. He added he watched it for six minutes which dispelled his first feeling it was a jet aircraft or even a magnesium flare such as the type used by aircraft in target practice. "It lasted too long and moved too slowly," he said.

The CAA official described the object as glowing extremely brightly. He likened its shape to a saucer tilted at an angle of about 30 degrees. He said he heard no sound and saw no smoke.

Ellis added a check with Shaw Field showed no jet aircraft aloft in the vicinity. He also said the CAA station at Lumberton had reported sighting the object. A Marion motorist reported he saw it and tried to follow it toward Florence but lost it over the Pec Dee River. A Sumter newsman stopped at the CAA office to say that he had seen the object in the sky toward Marion, and Mulling.

W.G. Nelson, an Eastern Air Lines pilot out of New York, was at the Florence Airport yesterday when the object was sighted and described it as a "jet vapor trail." He said it was the "tail-end" of a jet trail -- the jet flying at about 40,000 feet. He said he had seen many "flying saucers" and that each had a plausible explanation.

J. M. Bridgernan of Florence said he was over in Marlboro County yesterday afternoon when he and about eight other adults saw the object. Bridgeman said from where they were standing the object seemed to be from eight to 10 feet long and inches wide. Bridgeman said it was drifting -- slow -- and was as bright as a star.

He said it moved in a straight line in a south-southwest direction and was visible for some 15 minutes.

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1. The following document appears in Project Blue Book files concerning the submarine Bugara report, as mentioned in "Air Force Tabs All But One Of 'Flying Saucer' Reports"...

Smoke Ring
2. The story in "H-Bomb Rumors" of the first H-bomb test proved true. The test, known as "Ivy Mike" took place on November 1, 1952.

3. The story of Bill Horton and pics of his "wingless plane" can be seen at can be seen in Past Pictures of the Week -- May 4, 2013 through May 18, 2013 here.

4. Project Bluebook files list sighting reports in Landrum, South Carolina and Lumerton, North Carolina (presumably an error in the spelling of Lumberton). The sighting in South Carolina is listed in its final evaluation as being a "sundog" -- that is, light reflected from ice crystals in the sky. However, the actual summary document says...

I. Description of Incident

At 1715 EST, several observers in and near Florence, S.C., observed a bright, elliptical-shaped object, thick in the center and tapering at the edges. It appeared to be traveling slowly. Observers included airport manager, Eastern Airlines captain (not airborne at time of sighting), a weather observer, radio operator, and a tower operator.

A jet aircraft was reported due over Florence radio at the time of the sighting.

II. Discussion of Incident

This is another sighting that appears better than average, as far as sources are concerned, but again certain data are lacking. Since a jet aircraft was due over the, area, it could have been the jet. It is interesting to note that so many widely separated sources would all report an aircraft, especially since they can be considered fairly reliable observers.

III. Conclusion

Probably aircraft.

The sighting in North Carolina was evaluated as "insufficient information". No separate file could be readily located in Blue Book files for the North Carolina report, and the reference in the summary above to "many widely separated sources " may be meant to refer to the North Carolina reports as well, since the times coincide with the reports from South Carolina. The two points mentioned are 45 air miles apart, making it theoretically possible that a single jet plane was sighted from both areas, though the number of competent observers makes that explanation extremely unlikely (and note that CAA official John Ellis "added a check with Shaw Field showed no jet aircraft aloft in the vicinity"). Meanwhile, the final evaluation of "sun dog" for the South Carolina sightings is particularly untenable, as observers at widely disparate points would have extremely different impressions of the sun dog's reflected light, nor would a "sun dog" be expected to seem to be moving in a steady path in relation to stationary ground observers over a period of six minutes.

It is interesting to note that the Blue Book month-by-month list of sightings reports and evaluations contains the notation of a photo of the incident, which mention does not occur within the file for the incident itself. A hand-written additional note for the South Carolina report in the month-to-month listing reads, "film role [sic] in audiovisual division".

5. Based on the description of his sighting history, the unnamed pilot in "Flying Saucer Seen by Dozens of Florence Residents" was likely Capt. E.J. Smith. At the time, Smith was a pilot for United Air Lines. The story of Smith's first sighting can be read in It Seemed Impossible -- But There It Is, Parts Four and Five.


The Arrival

Whether you need some serious styling for your walls at home or work or are on the lookout to give someone a special gift they'll treasure forever, you support the work of Saturday Night Uforia whenever you shop for great posters from from any link at this site -- any, each, and every time you start your shopping from here. You still get the same great deal as your friends and family, but a little will be sent back our way as a thank you from And you'll have the extra satisfaction of directly supporting the work of Saturday Night Uforia while treating yourself or friends to something special... like any of these great sci-fi movie posters (you can even have them mounted, laminated, or framed). Just click on the pic for a larger version...

Cowboys and Aliens

Apollo 18


Aliens, 1986

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy




Giger's Alien


The X Files

Transformers 2- Revenge of the Fallen


Critters, 1985

War of the Worlds

Transformers 2 - Bumblebee

Terminator Salvation

Star Trek

Men In Black II

Alien vs Predator

2001: A Space Odyssey

The Quiet Earth, 1986

Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1977


Termination Salvation -X

Independence Day

Men In Black

Alien, Italian Movie Poster, 1979

Blade Runner Japanese Style

Star Wars - Saga Collage

Star Wars- Return Of The Jedi

Star Wars

Forbidden Planet, Robby the Robot

Star Wars- The Empire Strikes Back

Invasion of the Saucer Men, 1957

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, 1956

The Day The Earth Stood Still, 1951

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Swedish Movie Poster, 1956

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, French Movie Poster, 1956

Teenagers From Outer Space, 1959

Robinson Crusoe on Mars, 1964

2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968

Devil Girl From Mars, 1955

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, German Movie Poster, 1956

This Island Earth, 1954

Robinson Crusoe on Mars, 1964

Invasion of the Saucer Men, 1957

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, 1956

The War of the Worlds, 1953

Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1978

The Day of the Triffids, 1963

The Phantom Planet, 1962

The Day The Earth Stood Still

Invasion of The Body Snatchers, 1956

It Came from Outer Space, 1953

Queen of Outer Space, 1958

2001: A Space Odyssey


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