in the news 1952
Above: From the July 14, 1952 edition of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Berkshire Evening Eagle. The caption read: " VOLUNTEER VIGILANCE: Lyle H. Bailey, 11 Tower Drive, scans the skies over Pittsfield from his lookout post on Victory Hill as part of the nation-wide Operation Skywatch which went into action this morning. Bailey, a General Electric employe, devoted the first day of his vacation to taking over the 9 AM to noon watch. He is a member of the Pittsfield Ground Observer Corps." More Skywatch 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...
JULY 13 THROUGH 16, 1952:
Phoenix, Arizona Republic - 13 Jul 52
Local Author In Literary Who's Who
Raymond F. Jones, local author of 3036 W. Yuma, has been nominated for honorary membership in the International Mark Twain Society.
Basis for the nomination was publication of his latest science fiction book, "Son of the Stars," by Winston Publishing Co.
It's a story of flying saucers written for teen-agers and centers around a young visitor from outer space who meets his earthly counterpart. Worried authorities turn the pair's friendship into treachery and bring the earth to the brink of disaster.
Helena, Montana Independent Record - 13 Jul 52
Air Frontiers Have 150,000 Sky Watchers
First Shift of 6,000 On Duty Monday; More People Needed
Washington, July 12. -- About 150,000 civilian volunteers are ready to mount guard 14 hours a day on the nation's air frontiers.
They will search the skies for any enemy warplanes which might slip through the continental radar screen for a sneak attack which could set off World war III.
The first shifts of the skywatchers will take their places at 6,000 observation posts in 27 states early Monday morning. In announcing the delayed inauguration of "Operation Skywatch," the air defense command emphasized the need for at least 350,000 additional ground observers.
The air force wanted to start the watch in May, because the experts said weather conditions are most favorable for a long distance air assault from May through September.
The federal air defense organization was forced to postpone start of the operation because not enough civilians had volunteered to make possible a round-the-clock operation.
The air force has pressed for the start of the continuous ground observation because Russia now has the atomic bomb and long distance bombers capable of attacking the United States.
The start of "Operation Skywatch" follows by a few weeks an army announcement that antiaircraft men and their guns are now on continuous duty around key target areas across the nation.
Despite great advances in electronics development, defense experts stress the essential need for human eyes and brains to spot and report aircraft in areas where natural obstacles, such as mountains, and the earth's curvature, create blind spots for the radar screen that already is operating along the country's coasts, northern borders and around vital areas such as atomic plants.
Coasts Well Guarded
All the New England states and all those in the northern third of the country are taking part in the skywatching. Along the east coast, civilian observers will take their posts in the states extending southward through Virginia. The three Pacific coast states are also tied into the observer network.
The civilian watchers, armed with binoculars, will report suspicious or unidentified aircraft to 32 filter stations in the 27 states. The filter stations will check the field reports against flight information supplied by the air force and in turn pass along their reports to the air defense command, whose jet interceptors are on a 24-hour alert.
Walla Walla, Washington Union-Bulletin - 13 Jul 52
President Makes Bid for More Volunteers to Stand Watch Against Air Blows
WASHINGTON-- President Truman made a bid Saturday for more volunteers to man lookout stations which will go on a round-the-clock watch Monday against air invaders.
Without saying directly that his aim was recruitment for "Operation Skywatch" around America's air frontiers, the President still put over the point in a statement laying the project as "a common sense precaution in which Americans can serve proudly." He added that the watchers will be helping to prevent war.
The first shifts of some 150,000 volunteers will take their posts early Monday at about 6,000 stations in 27 states to scan the skies for any raiders who might slip through the radar screen for a sneak attack that could set off World War III.
The Air Defense Command, in announcing the delayed start of the defense measure emphasized the need for at least 350,000 more observers.
"The total policy and efforts of the United States and its allies are to prevent war," Truman said, adding:
"We shall never diminish our hopes and labors in this cause as long as no aggressors attack us.
Can't Take Risk
"However, in this new age in which hostile forces are known to possess long-range bombers and atomic weapons, we cannot risk being caught unprepared to defend ourselves. We must have a trained force of skywatchers."
The President pointed out the need for every possible second of warning in the event of attack both to speed counter-action and to save lives and vital facilities.
"Our greatest hopes for peace lie in being so strong and well prepared that our enemies will not dare attack," Truman said. "Every citizen who co-operates in 'Operation Skywatch,' as well as in other defense activities, is helping to prevent the war none of us wants to happen."
The start of "Operation Skywatch" follows by a few weeks an Army announcement that anti-aircraft men and their guns are now on continuous duty around key target areas across the nation.
All the New England states and all those in the northern third of the country are taking part in the skywatching. The three Pacific Coast states are also tied into the observer network.
The civilian watchers, armed with binoculars, will report suspicious or unidentified aircraft to 32 filter stations in the 27 states. The filter stations will check the field reports against flight information supplied by the Air Force and in turn pass along their reports to the Air Defense Command, whose jet interceptors are on a 24-hour alert.
Titusville, Pennsylvania Herald - 13 Jul 52
Air Observers Begin Watch Of Skies Today
Dearth of Spotters Limits Operations Of Titusville Post
Titusville air observers today begin in earnest a vigil for supposed enemy aerial attack as a part of "Operation Skywatch." a nationwide program set up by the Air Force.
The vigil is intended to be on a 24-hour basis every day at least into fall, but because of a dearth of volunteer watchers, the local observation post on Sunset Heights will be manned only on certain days, Chief Observer P.E. Brink said last night.
The watch will start at 8 this morning when Mrs. Margaret Birtciel and Raymond Arnold, supervisor of the observers, will be on duty for two hours.
From 10 a.m. to noon, the post will be manned by Richard Kingsley and Mrs. Isabel Kelly. No one is available for a watch from noon to 4 p.m., Mr. Brink said.
Sky scanners from 4 to 6 will be Alan Eddy and Charles Volkstadt, and the 6 to 8 watch will be taken by Mr. Brink and his wife. The final trick, from 8 to 10, will be taken by Robert Kerr and Harold Bond.
Mr. Brink said air observation officials would like to have the post manned continuously day in and day out. But because the group is so far under strength -- there are 25 volunteer spotters -- it will probably be necessary to set up watches only on selected days when enough volunteers are available.
The watchers will report aircraft in this area to the filter station in Buffalo, which will calculate directions and speeds of planes from information supplied by posts throughout the area. There are 627 observation posts in Pennsylvania, about 80 percent of which will be manned today, at least.
Starting Wednesday, Canada will join the United States in an operation to test the continent's radar screen and ground observer system.
The ground observing job is a vital task in civil defense because low flying planes are difficult to pick up on radar screens. "Operation Skywatch" was set up by the Air Force after an announcement that Russia has the atomic bomb and planes capable of attacking the U.S. from bases on Soviet soil.
Mr. Brink said the Air Force has recommended that each observer post have at least 100 watchers so that a constant vigil may be obtained without creating hardships. Mr. Brink added however, that if a force of 60 could be assembled, the post could be manned continuously by making the watches four hours long rather than two. Each observer would have one watch a week.
Persons wishing to volunteer may contact Mr. Brink, Mr. Arnold or the local American Legion, which is heading the air observation branch of civil defense here.
Butte, Montana Standard - 13 Jul 52
HELENA, July 12. -- Montana's civil defense director says that if the state fails in its "Operation Skywatch" responsibility, "the result would be a 500-mile gap in our defense."
The 24-hour operation begins in Montana and 26 other states Monday, Lt. Col. Howard A. McKinney of Helena said Saturday.
This skywatch establishes an around-the-clock perimeter defense of the nation about 300 miles in depth, he said, adding:
"In order to fulfill our obligations in this essential program, we must have a minimum of 10,000 volunteers. These are needed to man our 300 observation posts and our two filter centers, which make up the ground observer corps in Montana.
"At present we have 4,500 volunteers that have received some training. As these volunteers must take regular shifts for an indefinite period, it is recommended that school children and women volunteer to the fullest extent so that industry will be disrupted as little as possible."
McKinney said communities that have only 12-hour telephone service will operate on a 12-hour basis and other communities with limited personnel also will be on a restricted basis.
"Limited surveillance is better than none," he said. Air Force training teams will continue to circulate throughout the state to train volunteers, McKinney said. He urged communities to have all available volunteers present for training sessions.
The Farm Bureau In Massachusetts - Date Unknown
[Note: The following is from a clipping found in Project Blue Book files, telling of a sighting on July 13, 1952 but there is no publication date provided.]
By Mrs. Charles Thompson
I saw a flying saucer on Sunday evening, July 13, at about 10:35 P.M. As far as I was concerned it was an ordinary evening, only perhaps an extra warm one. Most of the family were away over the week end, and those at home were abed. There was a good radio program with questions and answers by prominent political figures on the bedside radio in our room. As I remember it, the program was coming in very clearly. Because of the heat the two south windows were open, but it seemed a good idea to open the east bedroom window also and put in a screen. I did this, then looked out the window toward the barn. Right over the barn a red flame seemed to float in the sky. To be sure I was not seeing a light reflected in an imperfection in the window glass, I bent down to watch through the screen and the flame was still there. It was a vertical light, nearly as long as the moon would have been if it were in the same position and about one-quarter as wide as it was long. It had not rough edges and seemed a perfect rectangle. The intensity of the light remained the same. It seemed to be over our barn roof. I watched -- expecting it to come nearer, but instead it moved quietly sideways toward the north and disappeared behind a tree. It is hard to judge time but I watched it maybe for a minute or two. After it disappeared, I came down stairs and went out doors hoping to see it again but couldn't. I thought it was "fire balloon" and if there had been an unexplained fire in the next town that night, I would have laid it to that.
The next morning I told all the family and my sister next door. Tuesday morning my sister telephoned saying she had heard over the WBZ news that many people had seen the strange light from points as far away as Virginia. Then I felt I should tell someone. But whom? I decided to call the State Police and did. They made note of what I said and asked for my telephone number if they needed to get in touch with me again.
Early in the afternoon I was visited by a strange young man. He showed his credentials and later I referred to him as an FBI man. He corrected me with "Special Officer Army Air Force." He asked for the story of the "Flying Saucer". I told him everything I could remember and answered all his questions to the best of my ability. It was hard to state just how long I watched the light. Even a minute can be a very long time. When a flame seems poised over your barn roof and ready to drop on it.
He said that there actually is something in the sky that people are seeing from time to time. It is not anyone's imagination. The Air Force investigates every report it hears and wishes more people would report to the nearest air base or to the State Police.
How does this affect Farm Bureau people? This special officer (he asked me not to mention his name) is from Texas, a Farm Bureau family. He was reading our Farm Bureau magazine while waiting for me to come downstairs. He said Farm Bureau had a weekly in Texas. He also gave us a few of his childhood memories of Texas parties and church picnics. But back to the "flying saucers", he said Farm people with their outdoor life and wide view of the sky can be of great help in reporting anything unusual they see. The saucers have also been seen in the daytime when the outlines of an object can be seen around the light. his own mother and sister saw a group in the day time about a year ago back in Texas.
He was convinced that I really had seen a "flying saucer". After he had left, I realized how little he actually told me. A direct question he answered in a maybe yes, maybe no way. Thus:
"If this was something the army was trying out, would they tell us about it?"
And the reply "Not unless they had to."
His parting admonition was, "Do tell all the farm people to report any strange light in the sky to the nearest air base, or to the State Police who are instructed to pass the information on to the air base themselves."
I know how shooting starts appear and am familiar with airplanes that fly over head at night. This was something different -- that I never saw before. I believe it was a Flying Saucer.
Anderson, Indiana Herald - 13 Jul 52
Family In Automobile Reports Spotting 'Saucer' East Of City
A ground observer for the Civil Air Defense organization reported last night he and his family saw what they believed to be a flying saucer.
Wayne Higgins, 1218 East Tenth street, said he and his wife and son were driving on Ind. 32 between Yorktown and Daleville when they spotted a greenish-white glow in the sky.
Higgins stated the object stayed in sight about 20 seconds and appeared to be traveling at a high rate of speed. He said it appeared to be about a mile high and five to 10 miles away, and following a horizontal course.
He said when first sighted the light was heading across in front of the automobile, then changed its course and headed parallel with the road until fading from sight
Salina, Kansas Journal - 13 Jul 52
Flying Saucers Are Back Again
CONCORDIA -- They're back. Those will-of-the-wisp saucers which bob up every now and then around the country have been sighted again in this neck of the woods.
A report of a flying saucer was received in this area recently, preceded several days earlier by descriptions of bluish white glows in skies elsewhere.
Skip Kenyon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Kenyon, Concordia, said he saw what he believes was a saucer while plowing land owned by Mrs. Ella Paisley, north of Concordia.
"It looked like a huge silver disc. It was traveling fast as a bullet," Kenyon said. "I had stopped the tractor for a few minutes and the thing was traveling so fast I got only a glance at it before it was gone. It approached from the south and just as I saw it, it swerved sharply and disappeared in a second or two as it took off to the northeast."
Earlier, Kenneth Bacon, McPherson, reported an object which he described as a shooting star.
Bacon and three other boys were sleeping outdoors. They said the object resembled a shooting star but didn't burn out like one would.
It appeared in the north they said and carried on to the southern horizon, bluish white in color, and going rapidly. It left no trail. The boys said it definitely was not an airplane.
Logansport, Indiana Press - 13 Jul 52
Flying Saucers Are Seen Again
Flying saucers were once again sighted throughout the area last night, according to reports received by state police, Carroll county authorities, and The Press.
Lieut. Jack A. Green of Los Angeles, Cal. and the Air Force reserve sighted the object near Delphi and gave a complete report to Sheriff Sparkey Carey there.
Green was traveling on road 25 two miles west of Delphi with his mother and sister, when he saw the fiery green object coming from the east toward the west.
It was at an altitude of 3,000 to 4,000 feet, Green said, and was moving at a speed of 500 to 700 miles an hour.
Green said he has flown every type of plane, including jets, and it most definitely was not a plane as planes don't have that kind of light. It was the size of an automobile headlight, he said.
The strange object was seen by the Green family for four or five seconds, and they followed it until it disappeared from sight.
The saucer was also seen east of Logansport at 9:25 by Jere Goodman and Gary Hipsher, who were at the Hipsher home on route 4. They also said that it was traveling toward the west.
Others who called thought it was a burning airplane.
The state police post at West Lafayette received about twelve separate reports of the phenomenon from over the area, from such spots as Boswell, Lafayette, and Delphi. Reports have been coming in from all over the state, police said.
Galveston, Texas Daily News - 13 Jul 52
Those Disks Here Again
RICHLAND, Wash., July 12 -- Flying saucers were reported Saturday to have been seen not far from the area of the atomic energy plant near Hanford, Wash., Friday night.
George W. Walton, Kennewick, Wash. told police here he saw two fiery yellow balls play "follow the leader" high in the sky Friday night at about 9:45 p.m. (pdt).
Walton, a wartime weather observer, told officers he and a friend saw the two objects moving from west to east one behind the other.
"They looked like flying saucers," Walton told officers. "They disappeared in about 20 seconds and looked to be about 15,000 feet up."
Long Beach, California Press Telegram - 14 Jul 52
LOST THEIR PERCH -- Operation Skywatch started here today, but was called off when it was found that construction work under way in the Villa Riviera Tower, perch for plane spotters, interfered. Rita Stedman (left) of 340½ Western Ave., making practice telephone call, and Mrs. Ruth Paul, 400-A E. 21st St., were among those who started spotting planes before the program was postponed.
Palm Beach, Miami Post - 14 Jul 52
Women Now Returning To Plane Spotting Chores
Washington, July 14 -- If soup is late a couple of nights a week don't blame it on mom's canasta club. The lady of the house is out spotting planes.
According to Air Force officials here once "Operation Skywatch," the tag put on 24-hour air observation which will go into effect in 27 states on Jul 7 [sic], more than 300,000 civilians will man (or woman) observation spots when the program becomes nation-wide.
At the moment there are only about 150,000 volunteers, but state civil defense directors and their offices and the Air Force are joining ranks to recruit the additional 150,000, the majority of whom will probably be housewives.
In times past, about 75 percent of the spotters were women, and in some areas as many as 90 per cent were women. It is hoped that women's organizations who have evinced interest in helping the civil defense set-up will respond to the present call.
As it stands now "Operation Skywatch" will maintain 19,400 observation points and 50 to 80 volunteers will be needed to man each point. The average spotter will serve only three to six hours weekly, and can break the watch into as many as 12 thirty minute periods if he desires.
Observers are unpaid, and the work is simple. Although we have a radar "fence" to detect aircraft, a plane can sneak under the fence by flying at less than 5,000 feet. It is the duty of the observer to spot planes, their type, etc. And report it by telephone to one of the "filter" stations which analyzes the information and then works directly with the defensive air force.
"Operation Skywatch" was scheduled to go into effect last month but the shortage of volunteers delayed the action. Air Force officials, convinced of the possibility of a sneak Soviet air attack, feel that it is a necessity. So get set, mom, the lady from your garden club will come a 'knockin' for you to sign up for spotter service.
Long Beach, California Independent - 14 Jul 52
Vast Army of Plane Spotters Scan Skies in Nationwide Test Today
A vast army of voluntary Americans from monks to forest rangers go on the nation's first 24-hour peacetime air raid alert Monday to guard the country's coasts and borders against a bombing attack. More than 150,000 20th century "Paul Reveres" start looking and listening for enemy planes in 27 states at 8 a.m.
They will take turns at 32 centers and 9000 observation posts ranging from lonely farms to metropolitan skyscrapers. Fewer than 200,000 were available for Operation Skywatch, although the Air Defense Command says that 500,000 are needed.
As a result, the volunteers will have to work overtime. The volunteers came from every walk of life to man the posts deemed necessary under the stepped-up alert.
At the picturesque Maryknoll Fathers' Catholic foreign service mission, 12 miles from White Plains, N.Y., 70 monks will keep a lookout for enemy planes from atop a 100-foot bell tower. Civil defense officials have taught them spotting rules, designs of planes and what to do if they see an unidentified craft.
One Man Station
One of the loneliest spotters is Elmer Morissey, a forest ranger at Sabbatis, NY. His ranger station is his home. It is eight miles from the nearest neighbor and 18 miles from the nearest community of any size.
Morissey lives with his wife and 13-year old son, Don.
"It's going to be hard trying to man the spotting station because there's only three of us. But we'll just do our best," he said.
"And when the boy goes to school this fall, if there's still no help, we'll get along as well as we can."
Some 18 of the total population of 60 at Wing, Ill., will participate in the round-the-clock spotting.
Two Hour Shifts
Thomas G. White, 31, a World War II Air Force veteran and agent at the Quaker Oats grain elevator at Wing will supervise the watchers.
"We'll work two hour shifts," he said. "If we have any trouble keeping going, I'll call my wife, my 12-year-old daughter and my one-year-old son."
Women dominate the spotters at one of the nation's best observation posts, one that has been commended many times by the Army. It is at Riverhead, Long Island, N.Y., and of its 77 observers, 50 are women, many over 60.
The oldest is 78.
Col. Paul F. Armstrong, Illinois state coordinator for ground observation for Civilian Defense said remote and lonely spots generally have been ruled out by the Air Force.
"The reason is that observers must be close to established and reliable phone service," he said.
Atop General Store
The remotest Midwestern observation post he knows of is in a small Illinois community where the station is located atop the general store.
The observation posts ring the northern edge of the nation and extend down the west coast to San Diego and down the Atlantic coast to North Carolina.
Defense officials have said radar does not offer complete protection against a surprise attack.
Eventually 36 states are expected to be included in the air spotting defense system.
Those beginning the spotting Monday are: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California.
Sandusky, Ohio Register Star News - 14 Jul 52
Skywatch Begins For 12,000 Ohioans
COLUMBUS, July 14. -- About 12,000 Ohioans today joined observers in 26 other states in "operation skywatch". The crews will keep a 24-hour a day watch on Ohio skies, seven days a week, reporting and charting all unidentified aircraft.
There are two Ohio filter centers, one at Columbus and another at Canton, that will co-ordinate information from observers.
Mount Pleasant, Iowa Daily News - 14 Jul 52
Iowans Join In "Operation Skywatch" Start
Des Moines. -- Civilian volunteers in 11 eastern Iowa counties today joined an estimated 150,000 other workers in 27 states in the start of "operation skywatch," a 24-hour surveillance of border skies for enemy aircraft.
Meantime, air force and civil defense officials issued a call for hundreds more volunteers to staff the "spotter" posts in the 27-state area to sound an alert should any unidentified aircraft penetrate the radar screen along the northern border of the nation.
"Operation Skywatch" is an unprecedented precaution during peacetime and emphasized the anxiety military officers have developed over the possibility of a "sneak" attack by air, possibly over the polar cap.
The beginning of "Operation Skywatch" followed on the heels of a 27-county test of the civil air defense for north central Iowa in which 25 planes of the Iowa civil air patrol wing staged a mock air invasion of the area yesterday. About 300 civilians took part in the test in the 27-county area north of a line through Carroll, Jefferson, Ames, Marshalltown, and Cedar Rapids.
Plotting teams at the Des Moines filter center received reports of the "enemy aircraft" from "spotters" in the test area and charted the course of the planes.
C.E. Fowler, deputy state civil defense director, said the exercise was planned to train the civilian ground observers and personnel at the Des Moines filter center and to "iron out any wrinkles in the communications system for reporting aircraft movement in the state."
The exercise did not involve volunteers in 11 eastern Iowa counties who began "Operation Skywatch" today.
Lowell, Massachusetts Sun - 14 Jul 52
Not Enough Skywatchers
Only 3500 Available for 12,000 Posts in N.E.
BOSTON, July 14 -- The air defense command's "operation skywatch" began today with New England seriously undermanned and a number of aircraft
spotting stations closed.
"I don't expect all posts or even a large number will be operated," said Massachusetts Adjutant General William U. Harrison in reporting that attempts to sign up volunteer spotters was "not very encouraging."
He estimated that 3,500 spotters would be available to stand two-to-six-hour tricks at this state's 140 stations while 12,000 were needed.
In Rhode Island, the civilian aircraft warning service reported at least seven of the state's 24 spotting stations would not be operating.
Gen. Spaulding Bisbee, head of the Maine civil defense program, said 5,000 volunteers had signed up and that the slate was "absolutely ready to proceed as scheduled."
A spokesman for the eastern air defense force said the thinly spaced air spotters in Massachusetts and Rhode Island would mean "just that much of a reduction in the defense."
He said radar was "limited and spotters were needed to prevent an enemy from making a "sneak attack" through gaps in the radar screen.
Harrison said he didn't expect full operation "until something happens and then it will be too late."
"You can't wait until the bombs start dropping," he said.
Helena, Montana Independent Record - 14 Jul 52
Skywatch Started With Tenth of Needed Workers
Approximately one-tenth of the needed volunteers today started a 24-hour vigil at the Helena filter center in "Operation Skywatch," although officials issued an urgent plea for additional workers.
Mrs. Ed Decker, civilian administrator at the center, said "Skywatch" got under way at 8 o'clock this morning and before noon a number of calls had been received from observers in various areas of the state.
One hundred and six persons are taking the six daily shifts at the center. One thousand are needed to handle the job properly, Mrs. Decker said. With such limited personnel air force men at the center will be working 12 and 18 hours a day, she explained.
Volunteers are particularly needed from midnight to 6 o'clock in the morning and from 6 to 10 o'clock in the morning, Mrs. Decker announced. Shifts are being manned on a rotation basis, so no hardships are inflicted. The 100 volunteers also are on duty from 10 to 2 o'clock, 2 to 6 o'clock, 6 to 9 o'clock and 9 o'clock to midnight.
Two instructors of the air force will be on hand at all times. Volunteers may report for on-the-job training and will be "welcomed," the civilian administrator stressed.
"Skywatch" has been deemed absolutely essential in this nation's defense by national directors, who have explained that it must supplement radar for low-flying air craft in the warning system.
"One Russian bomb in Montana would end complacency over the ground observer corps need-in the Treasure State," Lt. Col. William Schuster, assistant director of communications electronics for the air defense command at Great Falls, said here last week.
"If a Russian bomb were dropped on us tomorrow we would have more volunteers than we could handle," he stressed. "People should realize that the better prepared we are with a ground observer corps, the less chance there is for a successful attack on this area."
"The United States is the only major power between Russia and its world conquest. It is possible for the attack to come at any time."
Colonel Schuster and other air force officials have emphasized that the Rocky Mountain area would be the advantageous point for attack and that it is this type of civilian participation in defense that is credited with English survival during World war II.
Elyria, Ohio Chronicle Telegram - 14 Jul 52
No Volunteers For Observers
LAGRANGE — Glen Buswell supervisor of the Ground Observation Corps announced today that LaGrange will be unable to participate in the 24 hour "Operation Skywatch" being inaugurated in 27 states due to lack of volunteers.
A meeting was called at the close of last week in an endeavor to get volunteers, youths, men and women, who would observe the skies for a few hours each week No adults appeared at the meeting and only six Boy Scouts were present along with 10 of the regular members
Buswell stated that Capt. Tucker, commissioner of this area, whose headquarters are in Detroit, told a group of people at Wellington that this area is one of the "juiciest in the nation" for air attack.
The Corps at LaGrange is awaiting further orders before further plans can be made. Edwin Moulder is chief observer for LaGrange.
Ruston, Louisiana Daily Leader - 14 Jul 52
Objects Similar to flying Saucers' Seen By Ruston People Late Friday
Perhaps the Martians really are coming. Or maybe the "flying saucers" sighted over Ruston Friday afternoon were nothing more than a patrol of Joe Stalin's secret scouts come to get a look at Uncle Sam's ideal city.
Still another possibility is that a group of pioneering stratospherists were out looking for prospective sites for the future artificial planet they're going to build somewhere between here and the moon.
As a matter of uncertain fact, no one knows what they were, but at least seven Ruston people know what they looked like. They bore a striking resemblance, say observers, to what have been called "flying saucers," there were eight of them in all, moving slowly and soundless in the direction of Shreveport at altitudes of 12,000 to 15,000 feet.
They traveled in two groups of four, with the first quartet moving one behind the other and the second squad flying in formation. The first disk was sighted at 5:10 o'clock, the last ones at about 5:40 p.m.
John R. Scalf, who with his wife and three daughters was first to notice the strangely silent aircraft, says he won't state flatly that what he saw was flying saucers, but they were like nothing he's ever seen before. "They could have been jet planes," he said "but I think you could make out the shape of a plane even at that height, and these objects were absolutely round."
They were silver in color, he said, very bright, and each of them trailed a thin, wavering line of vapor several feet behind them. He pointed out that he has seen the vapor trails left by cruising jets, and that those left behind Friday's disks bore little resemblance, in that they were thinner, shorter, and did not hang in the air but dissolved and disappeared very quickly.
Mrs. Scalf, their daughters and a visitor, Miss Judy Copeland, all confirmed these reports. Miss Copeland, who is the nine year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Copeland of Chautauqua street, said she thought at first they were jet planes, but wondered why they didn't have the shape of airplanes. She said she saw four of the silver craft while she was visiting the Scalfs and another after she got home.
Mrs. Breard Carpenter is also reported to have seen the "saucers," but could not be contacted for comment. Mrs. G.D. Fearing, Minden street, did not see the disks themselves, but said she saw the vapor trails.
Scalf said the saucers did not appear to be spinning, but of course such an attribute would not have been noticeable at that height. However, he stated, the edges of the objects appeared dim in contrast to the very bright center surface, which might be indicative of some sort of whirling device around the edge.
With the mysterious nature attributed to all the strange and unidentifiable disks which have been reported during the past few years, the sighting of one of them always reopens an old field of speculation. Are they extraterrestrial, and if so, by whom or what are they controlled? Will man eventually conquer the universe and find out there in space a whole galaxy of living people or animals or monstrosities.
Is earth even today being visited by living creatures from other planets who are, perhaps invisible to our eyes, making us a defenseless and vulnerable enemy?
Be sure to save your nickel and buy another thrilling issue tomorrow of The Ruston Daily Leader to see if there are other important and exciting developments to this hair-raising story of adventure into the world of tomorrow. And if you want to grow up to be big and strong like Captain Marvel, don't forget to take your reducing tablets three times a day.
Tokyo, Japan Pacific Stars and Stripes - 14 Jul 52
'Flying Saucer' Observed By Many At Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Residents, pilots and airport, officials all reported Saturday night they saw a "flying saucer" object shooting across the sky over Indianapolis.
Officials at Wier Cook airport said all reports of the "saucer" tallied with airport information proving "most conclusively it was not a figment of anyone's imagination."
THEY SAID it was an "unidentifiable object" heading northwest out of Indianapolis. "It had a bright glow and was on a straight line, a very definite flight line and its altitude was about 10,000 feet," they said.
The state police, however, reported it as a "shooting star."
MEANWHILE, reports poured in from the entire city. E.I. Arnold said he was in his front yard when he saw a flat, round object burst across the sky from the southeast. He said he believed it was about 5000 to 10,000 feet in the air.
William Tresslar, 20, who "dabbled" in astronomy at Vincennes university, said it traveled "from horizon to horizon in ten seconds." He said, "to the best of my knowledge it was not a meteor." He described it as reddish in color changing to green.
Chester Webb and Bob Webb reported seeing a round object with a whitish tail, three times as long as the diameter of a "saucer." They said it traveled on a straight line and disappeared behind the wooded section of a park.
Kokomo, Indiana Tribune - 14 Jul 52
'Saucers' Sighted Elsewhere, But None Seen Here
Lake Central Airlines officials were alerted Saturday night to "flying saucers" reported over various sections of Indiana but none was spotted locally.
Fred Robinson, an airlines employe, said Indianapolis alerted the station here after reports of a "flying saucer" had come from Marion, Logansport and Anderson.
The local airlines employe said the airport here was asked to quiz pilots on two flights scheduled to land here Saturday concerning the reports. Both pilots said they had seen nothing out of the way.
However, Robinson said a pilot from the Ozark Airlines, which flies out of Lafayette, reported he had seen a fiery object flying on a level through the air. The pilot said it "definitely was not a meteor," Robinson said.
One of the saucers was reported to have been seen near Delphi and another near Logansport. It was described as a "fiery green object, traveling from the east toward the west."
At Marion, several persons were reported to have seen "a strange light flying swiftly in a northerly direction."
One observer there said "the light grew in intensity, turning a brilliant white, then suddenly exploded with a bright flash."
Robinson reported that a woman came into Lake Central Airlines here Sunday and said that she had seen the "flying saucer" at Marion. She did not give her name, however, Robinson said.
Kokomo police said they had not received reports of any local citizens seeing the "fiery light," as has been the case elsewhere in the state.
The reports were made between 8 and 9 p.m. Saturday night at the various points in central Indiana.
Kennewick, Washington Tri-City Herald - 14 Jul 52
Flying Disc Fraternity Gains More Members
AT LEAST FIVE residents of Kennewick Sunday became eligible members of the Flying Disc Fraternity -- whose motto is: "seein' is believin'."
Members of three families on Tacoma Avenue qualified for the "club" by visually observing an airborne object that oscillated over the city for four or five minutes, then disappeared rapidly to the southwest between 12 and 1 p.m.
Mrs. Virginia Keisport, 760 Tacoma, who viewed the strange form through high-powered binoculars, declared it was "round and flat, and aluminum colored. It wavered in mid-air, then shot eastward, reversed its direction, and finally disappeared traveling at a terrific speed."
"Gee, it was sure some sensation," Mrs. Keisport commented. "I was barefooted and got so excited I ran through some high weeds and stickers trying to keep up with the thing with my glasses."
Her daughter, Pamelia Keisport, discovered the "disc" while relaxing in the back yard.
"I thought at first it was a piece of paper floating on high," she said. Pamelia told her mother of her find, and soon the entire neighborhood was alerted over the flying body.
MRS. CHET DURDLE, who lives across the street, also saw the "saucer." She described it as "kind of three-cornered." It wavered, then shot this way and that." She concurred with Mrs. Keisport's observation that it was aluminum colored and capable of phenomenal speed.
Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Shield, the Durdles' daughter and son-in-law, also "lamped" the strange object, Mr. Durdle saw something in the air, but is color blind and could not discern it clearly.
Sighting the "saucer" Sunday marked the third such instance in the Tri-Cities this weekend.
About 9:35 p.m. Friday, George W. Walton, 723 North Garfield, Kennewick, spotted a mysterious duo of "huge fiery balls," darting over the city. His companion, Lucille England, also of Kennewick, saw the same objects and verified Walton's statement.
WALTON, WHO was a World War II weather observer, said the bodies resembled neither meteorites nor weather balloons. "They were flying faster than any jet plane I have ever seen," he added.
Another "disc" discovery was made about 8:20 p.m. Friday by D.D. Stack, 1010 Willard, Richland. He told Richland police he saw a large misty form revolving slowly directly over the Van Geisen Street bridge.
K.E. Shrap, 1415 Fair Drive, Richland, asserted that a government observation balloon was aloft in the Tri-Cities Sunday. He could not be contacted Monday morning for verification.
Connellsville, Pennsylvania Daily Courier - 15 Jul 52
SHADED STATES are those in which a 24-hour sky watch is underway by the Civil Defense organization against a possible Communist air attack. More than 150,000 volunteers are operating the round-the-clock watch from 9,000 observation posts keyed to 32 filter stations. Civil Defense needs call for personnel of 500,000. Currently the volunteers must work many hours "overtime," say Civil Defense officials.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Journal - 15 Jul 52
Volunteers Begin Big Sky Watch to Guard U.S. Against Sneak Through Radar Gaps
WASHINGTON, July 14 -- A volunteer army turned a 24-hour watch on the skies today along the nation's north, west and eastern rim against any sneak air strike from Siberia or across the Polar Cap.
The Air Force mobilized this Web of human senses to snare raiders trying to carry a knockout atomic punch past radar's blind side – low along the horizon and in the shelter of hills and mountains.
An Air Force spokesman said figures were not yet available but it looked like most of the 150,000 men, women and youths who had signed up for training reported for the first day of "Operation Skywatch." The watch is supposed to continue, night and day, indefinitely.
But Air Defense Command cached deep inside the country at Colorado Springs, Colo., and watch leaders in 27 states emphasized the need for more volunteers if the operation is not to break down. They pleaded for another 350,000 people to fill the gaps where radar's beams fall.
Some of the volunteers were bitter at what they considered a "let George do it" attitude. Arnold T. Sigler, chief observer at one of Philadelphia's four spotter stations said he has 80 volunteers, and needs 80 more.
"The public needs a bomb to wake them up," Sigler told a reporter.
Maine and Maryland reported a lack of air spotter stations. Leonard Renshaw, Civilian Defense director of Queen Anne County in Maryland, said there was not one building available as a 24-hour observation post this morning. Private homes have been used for training purposes, but Renshaw said he is calling on state civil defense to build observation towers in his county for around-the-clock use.
Maj. John S. Craig said at Bangor, Me., the operation was "not going according to plan." He said "people are just not interested and some communities don't even have lookout stations."
Filter stations check the spotters' reports with the Air Force. If the flight still remains in the suspicious category, jet interceptors, on 24-hour alert, can be unleashed for a look, armed to kill if they find an enemy.
The operation is under the command of Gen. Benjamin. W Childlaw with headquarters at Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs. Just before Operation Skywatch began, Chidlaw explained why humans were needed to augment the long eye of radar, He said:
"Radar, like television, operates on a line-of-sight principle and creates areas where there are no detection capabilities because of the curvature of the earth. Its electronic beams do not have the power of piercing terrain obstacles and resultant blind spots are established . . . Unless there is an adequate corps of civilian watchers on the ground, air craft can fly undetected through these areas."
Hamilton, Ohio Daily News Journal - 15 Jul 52
ALTON M. HYMER, 2321 Grand Blvd., first member of the Hamilton Ground Observer Corps on duty Monday morning in the observation post at Hamilton Airport, is shown at the telephone which connects the post with the Columbus Filter Center of the United States Air Force. All unidentified aircraft passing over Hamilton will be reported to Columbus by members of the GOC unit which started round-the-clock, seven-day-week operations at 8 a.m., Monday, as a part of "Operation Skywatch."
"Operation Skywatch" Starts; Observers On Round-Clock Duty
Fifty members of the Hamilton Ground Observer Corps swung into action on a 24-hour, seven day a week schedule, as "Operation Skywatch," started at 8 a.m., Monday along with 150,000 other civilian volunteers bolstering America's air defense.
The Hamilton GOC unit is part of the nationwide network of civilians who are serving as the "eyes and ears" of the nation in spotting and reporting unidentified aircraft within this country's borders.
The Hamilton post went into operation shortly before 8 a.m., today when Elmer W. Drake, assistant chief observer, picked up a telephone in the Hamilton observation post atop the hangar at Hamilton Airport and reported to the Columbus Filter Center, that "Fox King, 22, Red is calling. This post is now manned."
Give Post Code Name
"Fox King, 22, Red," is the post code name, number and color designation of the Hamilton Ground Observer Corps as carried on the records of the Continental Air Command and the Eastern Air Defense Force, of which the Hamilton GOC unit is a part.
The observers will notify the Columbus Filter Center of the following types of aircraft, when they are observed over Hamilton: All four-motor aircraft, all unidentified aircraft, such as any aircraft heard but not seen to determine the number of motors; hostile aircraft, blimps, helicopters, planes in combat and distress.
The reasons given by the Continental Air Command for reporting the above types are as follows: It is a known fact that Russia has a fleet of 400 B-29 type bombers capable of reaching and bombing every important target in the United States, and that observers along the east and west coasts might be the first to witness planes in combat and distress.
The Command has stated that "Operation Skywatch" is not a training mission, but a regular mission of high operational value in all respects. The Command has pointed out that "the international situation of today warrants the operation for the protection of our country against an enemy air attack."
After notice is given the filter center of an unidentified aircraft in the Hamilton perimeter, a jet fighter-interceptor will be dispatched from a neighboring Air Force base to check on the unidentified plane.
Working with the observers, filter centers and fighter-interceptors, are units of anti-aircraft artillery, stationed around vital target areas to prohibit enemy planes from reaching their targets.
Work schedules, as arranged for members of the Hamilton GOC unit are such that no member will be required to be on duty more than one four-hour period each week, although several have volunteered for additional duty, according to Jack Goldrick, supervisor of the unit.
Alton M. Hymer, 2321 Grand Blvd., was the first observer on duty after Mr. Drake officially opened the post for "Operation Skywatch." Mr. Hymer was scheduled to work from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, Monday, being relieved by Don Davis, 812 Ridgelawn Ave., who will man the post until 3:30 p.m., Monday.
Other volunteers as scheduled to work through Tuesday and Wednesday, by Vince Jolivette, chief observer, are: Charles George, Homer Bailey, George Strieker, Ralph Blackburn, Frank Smith, J.L. Weil, Paul Farmer, Forest Scott, Ruth Braun, Bill Thieman, Dick Weinman, Lillian Weinman, Fred Dodds, and Elbert Cook.
Persons wishing to volunteer for duty with the Hamilton GOC unit are requested to contact Mr. Goldrick, Mr. Jolivette or Mr. Drake.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire Herald - 15 Jul 52
Vacationist Mans Local Lookout Post For 21-Hour Shift
Portsmouth staggered through its first 24 hours of "Operation Skywatch" at the Pulpit Rock lookout with a strong assist from a Bay State vacationist.
Eighteen-year-old Richard Hastings of Athol, who is staying at a nearby cottage, volunteered to help on the 3 p.m. shift and stayed throughout the night and this morning until noon, Dr. Frederick G. Procter Jr., said today.
The doctor, who is chief observer for the Portsmouth post, said that they have a blank in the schedule this afternoon from 4 to 6. Tomorrow afternoon is also open for volunteer observers he added. Dr. Procter said that more than a dozen of his 65 volunteers (a minimum of 175 is needed) can't be reached as they are apparently on vacation.
Many persons, he said, have indicated their willingness to spend the two-hour shifts on the tower, but have no transportation. Anyone unable to climb the steps to the observation post, but wishing to help, could assist by driving the spotters to the tower near Wallis Sands in Rye.
Dr. Procter said that in the last war, the Red Cross drove many spotters to the post.
"Operation Skywatch" was set up by the Air Defense Command to supplement its radar warning system.
San Mateo, California Times - 15 Jul 52
All 6 Skywatch Stations Here Out of Action
Only 1 Manned and That Has No Phone; Apathy Elsewhere
(Times Redwood City Bureau)
REDWOOD CITY, July 15. -- San Mateo county's six aircraft warning posts were idle today as volunteers failed to appear at them and no phone was provided for the other.
Civil defense officials reported no change in the situation which left the county unable to answer the alert order from defense headquarters in Washington, D.C., which was scheduled to begin operation last night.
Stallings -- "No Change"
When asked today for a statement on the problem which for months has plagued defense officials here. County Civil Defense Director E. Robert Stallings said:
"The situation was adequately reported in last night's Times. There is no change!"
He said his office had received two calls this morning from persons wishing to volunteer as observers but added that these are no prospects for an early solution to the problem. Stallings declared that persons wishing to volunteer for this duty may do so by contacting him at the courthouse.
Same Situation Elsewhere
Failures similar to San Mateo county was reported throughout the eastern, northern and western rim of the United States where 150,000 volunteer watchers set up around-the-clock vigil for enemy aircraft.
Air force officials said that at least 350,000 additional volunteers are needed to sustain the operation which is necessary to augment the radar net protecting this country from enemy attack.
At the only post in San Mateo county with an adequate volunteer staff, San Carlos, actual operation is being held up pending action by the air force in providing a telephone.
At South San Francisco, where a post has been established, the post supervisor resigned last week with the explanation that he had been able to recruit only 50 persons and that 24-hour operation would be too great a demand on a staff of that size.
No San Mateo Operation
At San Mateo there were no new developments in the situation which finds that city without a post, a post supervisor, or personnel.
At Half Moon Bay and Pescadero there are no post supervisors and the stations are lacking personnel.
At La Honda a post supervisor has been unable to set up a station and recruiting efforts have failed.
Officials have attributed the failure of the county's "operation skywatch" to a general apathy and failure by the citizenry to realize the importance of the aircraft warning stations.
Meanwhile, they are attempting to work out an alternate plan which would substitute voluntary personnel with employes of some of the 24-hour institutions already existing in the county.
- - - - - - - - - -
SAN FRANCISCO, July 15. -- Civil defense officials complained today that inauguration of Northern California's "operation skywatch" was severely hampered by a "disappointing response" of volunteers and a "general apathy" toward the whole program.
Spotters throughout the northern half of the state manned stations yesterday for the opening of the round-the-clock coastal defense project.
Officials said a lack of personnel rendered the alert practically ineffective. Operation skywatch, organized under the direction of Air Force Secretary Thomas Finletter, was begun around the nation's borders simultaneously.
Defense organizers in the bay area reported many stations were not manned at all, due to lack of volunteers and insufficient facilities. Col. Carl Englehart, chief of Maria county's defense setup, said there was a "disappointing response of civilian workers to the emergency call." Only two of the seven stations in Marin county were manned.
Good in San Francisco
It was about the same in Alameda county where only three of seven posts were in operation the
San Francisco defense officials claimed the best record. They said some 150 skywatchers reported for duty on the Twin Peaks lookout station.
- - - - - - - - - -
SACRAMENTO, July 15. -- Skywatching for enemy planes began yesterday in California and 26 other states and state civil defense director Walter M. Robertson said it was off to an "excellent start."
Only 23,000 Californians were on the job. however, for, the day and night vigil, whereas a total of 65,000 is needed.
Gen. Robertson said 217 of the state's ground observer posts were activated and reporting on plane movements to filter centers in Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Ana and Pasadena.
"We should all be indebted to these patriotic volunteers who are, through their unselfish service, giving added protection to all of us," said Gen. Robertson. "But to give that day and night coverage, we need volunteers -- thousands of them."
Casablanca, Morocco Maroc-Presse - 15 Jul 52
Luminous Object Seen Near Casablanca
Forty persons have reported that at 2200 hours on 13 July 1952, they observed a "luminous flying object" in the vicinity of Casablanca.
Logansport, Indiana Pharos Tribune - 16 Jul 52
Navy Plane Touches Off New Speed Speculation
WASHINGTON -- The speed of an "obsolete" Navy airplane called the Skyrocket kicked up a supersonic tempest in a teapot on the West Coast Tuesday.
Seems an Air Force officer, announcing an Air Force-Navy show at Muroc, Calif., "disclosed" last Saturday that the Navy rocket plane had flown at a speed of 1,300 miles an hour, about twice the speed of sound.
By the time the government's National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics got its biennial meeting going at Moffett Field, Calif., Tuesday, the experts had crawled back behind their security curtain. NACA men, who helped design the Skyrocket, Douglas Aircraft Co., which built it, and the Navy refused comment on the Air Force announcer's not-so-new revelation that the Skyrocket was the fastest plane yet built.
Soon the Skyrocket must give up its top spot, for some "really fast" airplanes now are being readied. These are the Air Force X-2, Bell-built like the X-l which was the first supersonic airplane, and the jointly financed Air Force-Navy X-3, Douglas built.
Statistics are that the: Skyrocket has flown at about twice the speed of sound, which is 760 miles an hour at sea level but falls off to 600 mph at altitudes where the rocket ship operates, and has climbed to 79,000 feet.
Truly designed for high supersonic speeds are the X-2 and X-3. The X-2-is made of stainless steel, the better to withstand temperatures generated by air friction at two and three times sonic speed -- temperatures which would cause alarming losses of strength in aluminum alloys.
The X-3 is a deep dark secret, but it has. an elaborate refrigeration system of the kind needed to keep both pilot and plane from roasting -- or worse -- as they hurtle along at speeds fantastic even by the Skyrocket's standard.
Palm Beach, Florida Post - 16 Jul 52
Another Sighted Over West Palm
With the corroboration of three other witnesses, a veteran licensed pilot, who admitted "I was never so frustrated in my life," Tuesday told of seeing a "flying saucer" swoop down toward a high-flying plane over the city at 1:10 a.m. and then proceed southward at a terrific speed."
The source, who asked that his name be withheld, said he had a doctor trading at his place of business check his eyes after the "yellowish-greyish discus-shaped object appeared in the northern skies somewhat west of the city and continued its path directly southward as if heading to Miami."
The observer, who said he has been flying since 1929, let it be known that he not alone saw the flying object, but that his brother and an out-of-state neighbor saw it.
He went on to tell this story of the incident:
"I was standing outside on Olive Ave. in the near south side and a plane I later learned was a Navy trainer flying at about 6,000 feet attracted my attention.
"Suddenly, out of the blue, cloudless sky I saw the disc I estimated as at least 20,000 feet up. It soon began an oblique approach down toward the plane from the rear and seemed to slow down to the speed of the plane.
"Then, it tilted up and sped skyward in a southerly direction until it disappeared over the distant horizon.
"The object traversed the horizon from north to south, being in view for about two minutes. It left no smoke trails and I could hear no noise other than the faint noise from the plane.
"It moved swiftly in a horizontal position."
The caller said at 11 am he still hadn't been able to do any work since seeing the "saucer." He said he called the control tower at Palm Beach International Airport, which had no knowledge of the "saucer."
Kennewick, Washington Tri-City Herald - 16 Jul 52
Sight New Disc Over Hanford
A FLYING object emitting a bright yellowish-blue light, which circled Hanford Works twice Monday night, was reported Wednesday by five Hanford construction workers.
Their description of the object fitted in closely with that of a Bellingham man who reported a similar flying disc earlier in the evening Monday.
Herbert Veason, 1023 F Avenue, North Richland, a welder, said Tuesday, "I always laughed about flying saucers before. But, brother, I'm a believer now."
He said four of his friends first noticed the object at midnight as they were finishing the swing shift in one of Hanford's construction areas. The object circled the project twice at tremendous speed and then disappeared. It was in sight perhaps 15 or 20 seconds, they said.
AFTER WORK, Veason got off the bus at North Richland where his wife met him. They were driving down the street in front of the North Richland drug store at 1:23 a.m. (Veason checked his watch) when he saw the object to the southwest.
His wife also saw it as it seemed to fly above the ridge of the Horse Heaven hills on a steady course toward Pasco. Veason said, "If it was going one mile an hour, it was going one thousand."
When it seemed to be about over Pasco, it began to zig zag rapidly and then seemed to turn southwest toward Pendleton and faded out. Veason said he was unable to estimate its height or distance or size because there was nothing to judge it by.
HE SAID HIS wife estimated they watched it about 15 seconds. Veason said it was much brighter than any star in the sky and couldn't have been a meteor. He pointed out it held a steady course all the way across the sky, until it zig zagged over Pasco and then took off again toward Pendleton.
Veason pointed at a Manila envelope and said "Mix a little green and blue into that and you'd have about the color." He said it had no tail but appeared to be round but "misty in shape."
At 8:57 p.m. Monday a Bellingham man said he and two other persons saw an object traveling north at tremendous speed which he described as a "bluish half moon with the brightness of a welder's torch."
Kennewick, Washington Tri-City Herald - 16 Jul 52
The Way I See It
By GLENN LEE
FLYING SAUCERS or flying discs are real, as far as I am concerned. They are not the result of mirages or one's imagination. I saw three of them flying in formation over Kennewick three years ago.
It was on a Sunday morning in June about 10 o'clock. The day was clear and bright with only a few fleecy clouds in the sky. I was out in the backyard doing some lawn sprinkling. I looked up in the sky and I saw three aluminum bright balls whirling counter clockwise.
I took a second look and immediately decided they were flying saucers. Jim Magnuson was mowing his lawn across the street and I shouted to him to look. I also called my wife. But in the few seconds that it took him to get across his boulevard into the street to take a look the discs were out of sight.
Neither Jim nor my wife got a glimpse of what I had seen. The speed with which the discs disappeared into the distance was terrific. White tails of exhaust was visible immediately behind them, but that was all.
Their formation was never broken as they zoomed away into thin air. They seemed to move in perfect co-ordination.
I WAS EXCITED about it and it took me an hour or so to tell all of my neighbors. Some of them believed me and some of them looked out of the corner of their eyes or down their nose at my story.
Later that day I began to quit telling the story because it was making slow progress against some of the doubt in people's minds.
But in talking to Charlie Powell that afternoon I told him what I had seen that morning and he said he had seen the same thing and at the same time. Our versions checked with each other.
This past week a strange craft was seen in Eastern Washington by experienced pilots aboard a plane enroute from Seattle to the Middle West. It could have been a flying saucer. It could have been over the Hanford plant.
From the description given of it I think it was the same type of saucer I had seen three years ago flying three in formation.
I believe that these saucers, or discs, or whatever you want to call them are secret air craft of our own. I think that the U.S.A. is way out in front with atomic development and these flying saucers are atomic weapons of our own.
HANFORD IS WELL GUARDED with anti-aircraft, jet planes, and radar, and certainly there would be some hustling somewhere officially if we thought these discs were from Moscow.
If the original secret of Hanford, and what was made there, could be kept from the public for years before the first bomb hit Japan I think this secret of the flying discs could also be kept from the average citizen.
In this atomic age anything that can be conceived of in the imagination of man can be brought into physical being. So is it impossible to believe that these flying discs are actually in existence and are not just a mirage?
No, I think not. I believe that the discs do exist. And again I say I think they belong to us and are a part of our advance in scientific aircraft.
Get your head up and watch the skies over the Tri-Cities. I think you have a good chance between now and the end of the summer to see some discs yourself.
Lowell, Massachusetts Sun - 16 Jul 52
Two Veteran Pilots See Flying Saucers Over Virginia
Claim Objects Maneuver Too Sharply For Endurance by Human Beings
MIAMI, Fla. July 16-- Two veteran airline pilots added to the flying saucer lore Wednesday accounts of seeing eight huge discs zipping in formation at supersonic speed near Norfolk, Va.
Pilots W.B. Nash, 35, and W.H. Fortenberry, 30, of Pan American Airways, said the "glowing orange-red" saucers maneuvered too sharply for human endurance at a speed of "far above 1,000 miles per hour."
"Whoever was in those things," the pilots declared, "had capacities far beyond our own. Those things absolutely did not contain any human beings as we know them."
While Nash and Fortenberry were referring to the "centrifugal force" of turns at such speeds, reports of the Navy's tests with its refrigerated "skyrocket" disclosed another major problem is heat generated by friction with the air.
The tiny plane being used for research on the problems of high speed flight at Edwards Air Force base, Calif., carries enough refrigeration for a good-sized auditorium. In an alleged unintentional "leak" an Air Force officer mentioned a skyrocket speed of 1300 miles an hour.
Nash and Fortenberry said they were flying their DC-4 with 10 company officials aboard southward between Newport News, Va., and Norfolk night before last when six of the saucers appeared 6000 feet below them.
First they flew in an echelon formation -- a diagonal straight line -- at about 2,000 feet altitude Nash said. As the DC-4 passed over them, he said, they turned sharply westward and were joined by two other discs. He said the eight "saucers" zoomed upward to an estimated 10,000 feet altitude.
Nash estimated they "watched the whole maneuver" for between 10 and 12 seconds" before the glowing light "pulsated off" and the "things" disappeared into the sky.
"Giving consideration to the difference in our altitude and theirs we judged they were approximately 100 feet in diameter and between 10 and 15 feet thick," Nash said. "As they neared us they appeared to be solid bodies of light, but they had definite outlines."
Nash and Fortenberry, who immediately reported to airlines and military officials on landing here, said others aboard were seated in the wrong part of the plane "to see them at the angle we did."
"If either of us had seen the things alone," Nash said, "we would have hesitated to tell anyone about it, but we watched the whole thing together." He said visibility was "excellent."
Santos Ceyanes, acting operations manager for Pan American here, said the discs "obviously were not figments of their imagination."
Nash, a Navy transport pilot during World War II, and veteran of 20,000 flying hours, and Fortenberry, a former Navy fighter pilot, said they had never seen saucers before.
Miami, Florida News - 16 Jul 52
'Saucers' From The World Beyond Two Pilots Tell Military Authorities
By Bill Baggs
Miami Daily News Columnist
Two Miami airline pilots who reported seeing eight "flying saucers" in formation last Sunday night were quizzed at length by special military officers and civilian authorities.
And the two pilots were pledged to secrecy insofar as the military's interest in the matter was concerned.
The two fliers, William B. Nash and William H. Fortenberry, would not comment except to confirm they had been interrogated by the military.
But, it was learned, the interrogation was not at all casual. It was a serious, lengthy period of questioning in which the two pilots were prodded to remember all particulars, no matter how slight.
Nash and Fortenberry, who fly for Pan American World Airways, are the latest airline pilots to report seeing a glimpse of the teasing mystery. Their testimony details in some respects with the testimony of several others questioned by The Daily news during the past two years.
For instance, other pilots and a Pennsylvania doctor told this newspaper the "saucers" were brilliant in color, and traveled at a great speed, slowing suddenly and abruptly turning in a motion which known aircraft cannot imitate.
Questions and answers put to Fortenberry, a pilot for 10 years, were as follows:
Q. "When did you see the "saucer?"
A. It was last Sunday night, at 8:10 p.m., Eastern Standard time. We were on a routine flight south, and just north of Norfolk, Va., we, Pilot Nash and I, saw several brilliant moving lights. The lights were too brilliant to be those of a city or a ground light. We were flying at 8,000 feet.
Q. What was the behavior of these lights?
A. The lights came at us very rapidly. They were in formation. They were coming directly at us, from in front and slightly to the right of us. We jumped from our seats. The plane was on automatic pilot. And as the lights neared us, they slowed, and the lights faded, and they turned 90 degrees, abruptly, and moved out and away from us to the right.
It was at this point that Fortenberry offered the idea that he thought these "saucers" were something from another body in the universe. he based this notion on the knowledge that the human body could not have endured the sharp turn the "sauces" made just before reaching the airliner. The human blacks out when traveling at high speeds and making a sharp turn.
Q. How fast were these "saucers" going?
A. Pilot Nash and I estimated they were traveling in excess of 1,000 miles an hour. The rate of closure was very great and we were only going about 200 miles an hour.
Q. What color were the lights?
A. We both thought they were yellowish-red, from red to amber.
Q. You saw eight in all?
A. Yes. There were about six which came toward us, slowed and then turned away, and as they turned, two more shot out past our right wing, and ran away to join the other six. These two were very brilliant and were also going at a great rate of speed.
Q. Could you describe the shape?
A. They were disc-shaped. And I thought flat. They had a definite shape. There were no blurred edges.
Q. You said the turn made just before they reached you was severe?
A. Yes, very severe. They came at a great rate of speed, and slowed slightly, and then just turned. It was like a bullet hitting a piece of steel and then taking a sharp reflection off it.
From what the pilots saw, they figured the brilliant light must be connected with the propulsion of the "saucers." When traveling at the fastest rate, the light was very bright. It faded as the saucer went into the turn, and became brilliant as the saucer picked up great speed again and ran away.
Casablanca, Morocco La Vigie Marocaine - 16 Jul 52
Flying Objects Seen In Morocco
It is reported from Mechra bel Ksiri that on 12 July 1952, two flying saucers were seen by two policemen on night duty at Had Kourst. The saucers were elongated in shape, followed by a trail of white light, and traveled at a high rate of speed from north to south.
On 13 July 1952, two inhabitants of Fedala reported having seen, at 2345 hours, a blue-green, ball-shaped object, followed by a short trail of light, and moving at a rather high rate of speed. According to the eyewitnesses, the object disappeared after about 3 or 4 seconds as though it had literally melted in the sky.
On 14 July 1952, a man and his wife reported having observed for about 30 seconds, at about 0900 hours, a mysterious flying object traveling from Ifrane in the direction of Meknes.
Casablanca, Morocco Maroc-Presse - 16 Jul 52
Two inhabitants of Chichaoua report having seen three "white fires" in the sky at 2130 hours on 13 July 1952.
Meanwhile, it is reported from Louis Gentil that at 2130 hours on 12 July 1952, several persons saw a yellow flying disk, about 30 centimeters in diameter, moving very rapidly from east to west.
Unusual flying objects were also reported seen at Bouznikaou and Baulhaut between 2100 and 2200 hours on 13 July 1952.
Hope, Arkansas Star - 16 Jul 52
New Outburst of Reports on Air 'Saucers'
DAYTON, O. -- An Air Force spokesman said today some 60 reports of flying saucers have been received during the past two weeks. He could give no reason for the sudden increase.
Capt. E.J. Ruppelt, of the air technical intelligence center at huge Wright-Patterson air base said reports of phantom activity in the sky were pouring into his office at an unprecedented rate.
"People are seeing unidentified objects in the sky at a rate almost double over last year," Ruppelt said. "We've had about 60 reports in the last two weeks alone."
Ruppelt, project officer for "Operation Bluebook," the Air Force group that investigates unidentified aerial objects, said there was no connection between the saucer sighting splurge and the recent inauguration of "Operation Skywatch" by the ground observer corps.
"In the reports we're getting in here," Ruppelt said, "I see no connection whatsoever."
Meanwhile, Ruppelt said his office was requesting more information from two pilots who reported seeing "eight glowing red-orange discs" flying near Norfolk, Va. last Sunday night.
The pilots, W.B. Nash and W.H. Fortenberry, veterans of many years service with Pan American Airways, said the objects were travelling at a speed of some 1,000 miles per hour.
"We are assuming the pilots are describing accurately what they saw and we have no reason to doubt them," Ruppelt said. "However, objects like they saw have been previously reported and we need more information."
He said the air force would not release any additional theories or explanations until it has something "it can prove."
The intelligence center said it was making a thorough check of a report of amateur astronomers who saw an object shaped like an "ice cream cone" whirl through the skies last Sunday.
"I thought first it was a meteor or a comet but it wasn't going as fast as any celestial body," Ellis said. "It was shaped like an ice cream cone with an elliptical dark object In the center surrounded by brilliant glowing white lights." Ellis, the president of the Rubber Seal Products Co. here, said the object moved about the same speed as a jet aircraft.
While air force technicians scanned the reports, Lt. Col. Richard H. McGee, civil defense director of the vital Dayton, area, said he was alarmed by the increase in saucer sighting.
"There is something flying around our skies," McGee said, "and I wish we knew what it is."
Long Beach, California Press Telegram - 16 Jul 52
'Discs' Reported in 1500 Letters
LOS ANGELES, July 16. -- President Ed J. Sullivan of the Civilian Saucer Investigation says his organization had received 1500 letters attesting to unexplained phenomena in the sky.
Sullivan, of Lynwood, Calif., said, however, that there is as yet no definite proof of the existence of flying saucers.
The volunteer civilian skywatcher group heard a report by Gerald Heard, British science writer and lecturer, who said it has been fairly well established that World War II pilots saw the objects in the air which since have been termed flying saucers.
Two Air Force officers were present as observers at the meeting. They preferred to remain unidentified, however.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire Herald - 16 Jul 52
Good Place to Cool Off
Skywatchers Need Everyone's Help
'Tis said that everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.
Here in Portsmouth, however, about 65 persons are doing something about it -- with a double-barreled motive.
These people are both beating the heat and helping to keep our country's air defenses impregnable.
They're spending from two to four hours a week as aircraft spotters atop the Portsmouth Ground Observer Corps' 100-foot-high lookout tower at Pulpit Rock, right up where the cool breezes blow.
"That's a heck of a way to beat the heat." say critics of "Operation Skywatch" and their cohorts, those who cry, "It can't happen here."
They sometimes go even further and, hooting with glee, ask if they've seen any flying saucers or Russian MIGs.
This criticism and derision, however, is both unwarranted and unreasonable.
The 65 GOC members, including both men and women and boys and girls of high school age, are performing a task very much vital to America's air defenses.
Sixty-five observers, however, are not enough to offset the demands of an' around-the-clock operation.
GOC membership is not high enough to enable Dr. Frederick G. Procter, chief observer, to assure volunteer spotters they will not be needed more than four hours a week.
In fact, several members in the first three days of "Operation Skywatch" have spent more than four hours in the tower scanning the skies for multi-motored and unknown aircraft.
"Operation Skywatch" is simply undermanned.
This condition holds true in every one of the 27 states under orders from the Air Force to man aircraft spotting posts.
Despite reactions ranging from pooh-poohs to an outright blast as "asinine," the Air Force fitter center at Grenier Air Force Base, Manchester, has reported that 35 of its 105 posts in North Central New England are being manned. This filter station report clearly indicates that the response by volunteers is still half-hearted.
This "let-George-do-it" attitude is not domineering the scene at Pulpit Rock.
Nor is it the prevailing situation in Hampton.
A tower at the Hampton police station has been manned continually since 24-hour air watch commenced Monday morning. Behind Hampton's GOC work is its American Legion post and its Auxiliary.
The Legion is running the post and getting assistance from 75 volunteers.
Other Portsmouth area lookout posts, however, are either not being manned at all or have only a handful of volunteers available for duty.
Exeter's plight is two-fold. Chief Observer Lyman E. Collishaw has neither an observation post nor enough personnel to man it. The post at Phillips Exeter Academy stadium, used during World War II, is available for use -- but its door is still padlocked.
To stimulate interest in "Operation Skywatch," a meeting has been slated for next Monday at 8 p.m. in Exeter Town hall. A state civilian defense official will speak and Air Force movies will be shown.
Meanwhile, Exeter residents wishing to volunteer for duty may do so by telephoning Collishaw at either 2107 or 3312.
In Wells, the situation Is worse. Chief Observer Philip Hatch reported only a handful of volunteers to man the post at the Highpine Fire Station on Sanford Road. He said that the lookout post is manned only when he and his few aides are available, leaving a gap of many hours each day.
Volunteers, either to observe or to drive observers to the post, should contact Hatch at his home on Sanford Road or by calling Wells 30-W2 [sic].
Portsmouth's transportation problem was given a boost yesterday when the American Red Cross notified Dr. Procter it plans to have its motor corps personnel available to assist observers without cars.
By far the benefits to be reaped from duty at the Pulpit Rock tower outweigh its disadvantages.
To beat the heat and to beat off any possible air attack on America, the best place to do it is at Pulpit Rock, where the cool breezes blow continually, high above the oppressive summer ground heat.
1. Many of the foreign publications quoted in this series come from translations provided within CIA documents of the time, now released under the Freedom of Information Act. A lesser number come from the (now-defunct) French site Ufologie.net.
2. Selected Air Force documents on the July 13 New Braintree, Massachusetts sighting reported in the publication The Farm Bureau In Massachusetts can be read here. The sighting was eventually classified as "balloon".
3. Selected Air Force documents on the July 15 West Palm sighting reported in "Another Sighted Over West Palm" can be read here. The sighting was eventually classified as "unknown".
4. The first paragraph of the July 16, 1952 article "Two Veteran Pilots See Flying Saucers Over Virginia" is reproduced verbatim. The story as printed was from a national newswire account and the same awkward phrasing was reproduced in papers nationwide.
5. The Project Blue Book documents on the sighting by Nash and Fortenberry related in "Two Veteran Pilots See Flying Saucers Over Virginia" will be included in The Pilots' Tale, to be posted Saturday, August 18.
6. Approximately 5 minutes before the reported July 13, 1952 sighting in Chichaoua, Morocco related in the unheadlined article in the July 16, 1952 Casablanca, Morocco Maroc-Presse two witnesses at Nouasseur Air Force Base -- approximately 180 miles northeast -- reported sighting a extremely bright and very fast object, for which selected documents from the Project Blue Book file can be read here.
7. "Operation Skywatch" found its roots in the Army Air Force's Ground Observer Corps program of World War II, when a million and a half civilian volunteers staffed 14,000 observation posts along coasts vulnerable to enemy air attack. In 1950 the program was revived on a limited scale in response to the succesful Soviet atomic bomb test, and then expanded in 1952 into "Operation Skywatch". The program provided a vital defense stopgap for the next five years. In July 1957 the radar-based Distant Early Warning system was in place and two months later the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was established, significantly diminishing the need for civilian ground observers. The corps was finally placed on "reserve" status at the end of 1957. From the January 1, 1958 edition of the St. Petersburg, Florida Times...
Operation Skywatch Concludes
WASHINGTON -- The nation closes down the active phase of Operation Skywatch -- the ground lookout for unidentified airplanes -- today.
Headquarters of the North American Air Defense Command, (NORAD), Colorado Springs, Colo., transferred the 29 remaining Skywatch filter centers and attached observation posts from 24-hour operational duty to "ready reserve" status at midnight last night.
This change puts the entire Ground Observer Corps (GOC) on a reserve basis. All but the filter center areas on the perimeter of the United States were dropped from Skywatch to ready reserve status late in 1956.
The Air Force said the change is the result of increased air defense early warning capabilities but is not to be considered an indication that the GOC has been outmoded.
The command said that the change in status is rather a means of giving the GOC a rest which it has earned "by buying the country time for establishment of a better, more improved detection capability."
But during the time it was in effect, "Operation Skywatch" volunteers were the source for a fair number of unidentified aerial activity reports. More on "Operation Skywatch" can be read in the September, 1952 Popular Science article "You, Too, Can Shoot A Plane" in the general interest articles for 1952 section of the Saturday Night Uforia library.
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