in the news 1952
Above: Panel from the daily comic strip "Twin Earths". Launched in mid-1952, the syndicated story was a near-instant success, gathering an estimated 10 million readers by the end of the year. The premise centered around flying saucers being the product of the planet Terra, a duplicate of Earth -- though technologically far advanced -- and matching Earth's orbit but from the other side of the sun. In a true twist for the times, women were the leaders and scientists on Terra, and crewed the flying saucers, which were making an aerial survey of Terra's newly-discovered twin planet -- Earth.
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 17 THROUGH 21, 1952:
Holland, Michigan Evening Sentinel - 17 Jul 52
Inside News On Washington
WASHINGTON -- Now everybody can get in on the act of spotting flying saucers.
The United States Air Force has made it official by asking anyone who thinks he sees a saucer, or any other strange object in the sky, to report it to the nearest Air Force field.
There are several other clearing houses for information on odd celestial objects, and all of them are calling on the public to supply information.
Some of them specialize in the mysterious "green fireballs," thought to be falling meteors, which have the southwest excited.
The Air Force hastens to add that its call for information is not an official "alert," and professes not to be excited over persistent reports of the phenomena.
But the new attitude is a reversal from a little over a year ago, when the whole idea of saucers was pooh-poohed by the higher-ups.
According to the reporting agencies, anyone who sees a mysterious object in the sky should make a set of simple but accurate observations and then get in touch with one or more of the following:
1 -- Any nearby Air Force facility, by telephoning and asking for the intelligence officer or the public information officer. All such reports are compared at the air technical intelligence center at Wright-Patterson Air Force base with similar observations.
2 -- Drop a line to P.O. Box 1971, Main Post Office, Los Angeles, Cal., telling briefly what you saw. This is the address of the Civilian Saucer Investigations, staffed by scientists, including Dr. Walther Riedel, former chief designer of rockets at the German Peenemunde laboratory.
3 -- Send observations of any "green fireballs" to Dr. Lincoln LaPaz, Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
THE AIR FORCE has primed its officers to ask for your name, address, approximate location of the disk, estimated altitude, speed and direction, how long it was in view, and a general description.
No theory is too fantastic for exploration. These include speculations that they are the product of imagination, optical illusions, and the prize of all, they are flown by visitors from outer space.
According to the most qualified government spokesmen, they definitely are not secret aircraft designed by our own experts. Any theory that the Russians are experimenting is discounted, both because it is doubted that the Russians would risk detection of such a prime invention, and because Russian science is not credited with having progressed far enough.
There are common denominators to almost all the creditable reports that have been made so far, although the objects are in many different shapes and not all of them, by any means, are saucers; some resemble conventional aircraft.
However, all have an unearthly luminescence and seem to glow mysteriously with some light of their own; they are capable of tremendous speeds and astonishing maneuverability, often in formations; and they are utterly silent in an eerie sort of way.
A NUMBER OF astronomers have been appropriately baffled by what they saw, and they give hints as to the best way for an amateur to make an observation and keep a record of it.
If you think you see an object, extend a coin, pencil, or any other standard object you have in your hand at arms length between your eye and the saucer. Compare the size of the object with the thing you are holding, as well as note the arc your hand makes in following it, and a professional mathematician can calculate both size and speed quite accurately.
Fix the exact time and duration of the episode; record precisely the weather and cloud conditions. Keep from getting excited, and try to study the object calmly. Look a little to the right or left of it; the eye often is more acute in the margins of its vision.
Even shut your eyes tight for a moment, to see if there are any "floaters" in the fluid of your own eye that might be foolers, However, most all the experts agree that no one should be ashamed any more that he has seen a saucer; he has plenty of good company and can win his spurs scientifically by becoming a volunteer saucer spotter.
Bedford, Pennsylvania Gazette - 17 Jul 52
2 Airline Pilots Make Formal Report On Flying Saucers
Washington, July 16 -- Two airline pilots who said they saw eight flying saucers over Virginia last night have made a preliminary report to the Air Force's technical intelligence center at Dayton, O.
A brief Air Force statement today said that a complete written report is expected to follow and until it is received 'no evaluation of this reported sighting' can be made.
The pilots, First Officers W.B. Nash and W.H. Fortenberry, reported
in Miami last night that the eight saucers passed directly beneath their Pan American Airways DC-4 over Chesapeake Bay.
Tipton, Indiana Tribune - 17 Jul 52
by Leona Kinder
Last Friday, I think it was a little after noon, my next door neighbor, Mrs. Jerry Farley, called to me to come out in the back yard.
When I reached the back door, she yelled, "Come here, quick."
I was too late. She had seen one of the famous flying saucers, but it had disappeared. She said a plane had gone over and just as it passed over the house tops, this white object appeared.
It floated (rather than whirled as others described objects they have seen) back and forth for a few seconds and disappeared just as I came out.
This was a strange coincident, for I had been reading an article on "Visitors From Space" and "Flying Saucers." These articles appeared in the current "Reader's Digest."
And that evening, Bill Crawford on TV said people in the capital city also had seen objects. The report was that they were only visible 55 seconds.
Personally, I have never believed that these objects were anything but an illusion, and to my surprise, one of the articles I was reading gave accounts that people as far back as 1870 saw similar objects in the heavens.
In 1913, on February 9, thousands of watchers were awe stricken by a fiery formation that started somewhere in Saskatchewan, Canada, and crossed part of the United States, then disappeared in Bermuda.
The time of passage over one particular point was about three minutes, traveling at a rate of 10 miles per second. The Encyclopaedia Britannica calculates the altitude at some 35 miles.
This is far the most spectacular saucer performance ever recorded, but I am still regretting the fact I was so slow to see one.
Long Beach, California Press Telegram - 17 Jul 52
Coast To Coast
by Hy Gardner
. . . The French Ministry of Information has organized a unit to collect all information about-flying saucers; calls it The Department of Flying Saucers.
Danville, Virginia Bee - 17 Jul 52
Flying Saucers Sighted Over Tidewater Va.
Tidewater Virginians can be excused from scanning the night skies a little more than usual this week, after a flurry of new flying saucer reports.
Last night, Mr. And Mrs. George Bonine of Hampton reported spotting eight glowing, yellow-orange objects spinning at a high rate of speed about 500 feet above ground near Hampton.
And a Southampton man, who identified himself only as a commercial pilot, told of seeing two pulsating white lights zipping along in excess of 600 miles an hour in the vicinity of Newport News.
Meanwhile, three Norfolkians, including a naval officer, a high school girl and a radio agency manager, said they had seen flying saucers Monday night. That was the night two Pan American pilots flying over Norfolk said they passed several objects in the sky.
But R.D. Tankersly, a railroadman, poured cold water on the flying saucer theory for Monday night's sky show. While picnicking at Willoughby that night, he said he saw what appeared to be rockets in the direction of Thimble Shoal Light, and he pooh-poohed the idea of saucers in the sky.
Langley Air Force Base officers have suggested that the airline pilots might have seen rockets or tracers being fired at the base's bombing and target range.
Sandusky, Ohio Register Star News - 17 Jul 52
Summer Is Here And So Are Flying Saucers Over Dayton
DAYTON, O., July 17 -- Those elusive flying saucers are back in Ohio again.
Roy T. Ellis of Dayton, president of the Rubber Steel Products Co., said he saw what he guessed to be a flying saucer over Dayton at 12:35 a.m. (est) Sunday. He described it as almost like an ice cream cone with an elliptical dark object in the center where the ice cream would rest in the cone.
Ellis said "the object was as wide as a full moon with a white light about as brilliant as the full moon."
Ellis, an amateur astronomer, said he was looking for comets when he saw the "saucer".
Tucson, Arizona Daily Citizen - 17 Jul 52
Local 'Saucer' Unconfirmed
Marana Denies Latest Sighting
Marana air force base officials today denied reports that a "flying saucer" had been sighted over the base. "So far as we know, nothing but airplanes have been flying around here," a spokesman said. The spokesman said no reports had been made to the air technical intelligence center at Wright field and that any information regarding a "flying saucer" over Marana could only be based on rumor.
Kennewick, Washington Tri-City Herald - 17 Jul 52
Three Report Sighting Discs Wednesday Eve
THREE MORE reports of mysterious objects in the sky -- one by day and two by night -- were received from Tri-City residents today.
Herb Henne, operator of Twin City Airport in Kennewick, said he saw a bluish-green object streaking across the heavens above the Horse Heaven hills at about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday. He said it traveled at terrific speed. His description tallied closely with that given of an object seen Monday night over Hanford and later over the Horse Heavens.
Henne estimated the object was 40 to 50 feet in diameter and had a visible exhaust. He said it gave no sound and estimated its altitude at 4,000 feet. Henne is a veteran pilot. His assistant, Dorothy Benson, also saw the object.
ANOTHER REPORT of a flying saucer came from Wendell O. Moore, 606 Smith, a Hanford guard. He said while driving to Walla Walla he saw a metallic-appearing object in the sky in broad daylight. He was several miles this side of Touchet at the time.
Moore said he pulled the car off the road and watched the object for two or three minutes. It was traveling roughly northeast at a high rate of speed and glinted brightly in the sun. He said the object was very small and estimated its diameter at two or three feet and thickness at three or four inches.
"I looked very closely but could see no exhaust or hint of how it was powered," Moore said. "There was no markings on it."
HE SAID ITS definite course and high speed ruled out the possibility of its being a piece of paper or brush blown aloft by the wind.
The object sighted by Henne apparently was the same one seen by Chuck Lambertson, 1809 Third Avenue West, Kennewick.
He said it was traveling in a generally East-West direction. It was the "brightest thing I ever saw in the skies" and he was convinced it wasn't a shooting star.
Lambertson said the object appeared to be somewhat oblong in shape -- not perfectly round -- and it had a trail such as a jet engine might leave. He said it disappeared from sight in 3-1/2 to 4 seconds.
Lambertson said he saw the strange object shortly after 9 p.m. He was headed home, traveling south.
Oran, Algeria Echo d 'Oran - 17 Jul 52
Strange Objects In Sky Over Algeria
At 2300 hours on 15 July 1952, in the town of Boukanefis, two bakers clearly saw a plate-shaped flying object in the sky. It moved with unusual agility, giving off a greenish smoke and lighting up the sky. It seemingly did not alter its course as it increased its speed and disappeared toward the south.
Similarly, in Lamoriciere on 11 July 1952, one Thomas Martinez saw a sudden illumination above and at first took it to be a falling star. Actually, it seemed more like a meteor followed by two other bodies, all trailing a yellow cloud of smoke. Then, these disappeared and out of nowhere appeared an oval-shaped, longish ball of fire. Flying at a low altitude and clearly visible it rapidly followed a rectilinear course.
Rabat, Morocco L'Echo du Maroc - 17 Jul 52
Disks Appear Over Marrakech
Marrakech (special correspondent) -- At 2100 hours presumably on 16 July 1952, many people saw a large, luminous disk flying horizontally, with a leaping and bounding motion. Then, there was a burst of light. A second disk of smaller dimensions appeared, going off horizontally toward the southwest. The whole appearance lasted about one minute.
From several points of the Marrakech region, luminous disks were seen traveling at a dizzy speed.
On 14 July, flying saucers had been seen over the Ifrane region, flying toward Meknes.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa Gazette - 17 Jul 52
Santa To Bring Flying Saucers
NEW YORK -- Space guns and rocket ships have replaced cowboy pistols as the top trend in children's toys, and you'll be wise to put flying saucers instead of six-shooters under this year's Christmas tree.
The toy guidance council Thursday staged its annual preview of Christmas toys to come. Newsmen, photographers, educators and one little boy model agreed unanimously that junior will be armed to fend off Martian monsters, not Indians, this winter.
The little boy supplied a boys-eye view of coming popular toys. He got into a space cadet outfit, complete with radio antenna on his hat, armed himself with a jet plane rocket gun that shoots six streams of water at once, hung a couple of space phones on his belt, and crawled into a seven-foot space ship made out of an erector set. For extra ammunition he clutched a three-way light-ray gun and a pistol that shot out flying saucers.
Toys of long-standing popularity also showed a few new ideas. Electric train enthusiasts now can get a station with platform with commuters moving into one door of the train and out the other.
Tokyo, Japan Pacific Stars and Stripes - 17 Jul 52
GOING UP! -- Artillery-meteorological men prepare to take a reading on Korean weather. They are (left, to right) Cpl.
Tom G. Schreiber, Arden, N.C., PFC Ralph E. DeVito, Long
Branch, N.J., and PFC Eugene J. Casey, Brooklyn. The
weathermen obtain information to help Indianhead gunners
zero in on their targets. (U.S. Army Photo)
Meteorology Aids Artillery
WITH U.S. 2D DIV -- An old adage observes that nothing can be done about the weather.
Nevertheless, artillery units can take "the elements" into consideration before firing a mission.
Studies have shown that wind direction, wind speed, air density, and air temperature can throw a projectile as much as 350 yards off target if they are not taken into consideration before hand.
BATTLING INCLEMENT weather and over zealous antiaircraft personnel the members of the artillery's meteorological section make several such daily readings.
The results of their report made every two hours during the day and every four hours at night are sent down to the division's artillery battalions.
During the cold Korean winter, the "metro men" often were forced to blow up 15 meteorological observation balloons during the night. The moisture of the hydrogen in the balloons often froze before they could take to the air.
The balloons have often been taken for flying saucers when observed at a distance by green replacements. And antiaircraft gunners have spattered shells at the "unidentified objects" on more than one occasion.
Tokyo, Japan Pacific Stars and Stripes - 18 Jul 52
Canadian Sailors Swear To Saucer -- Navigator Jeers
ABOARD HMCS CRUSADER -- The Canadian destroyer escort HMCS Crusader reported about 40 of the crew saw an object that looked as if it might be a flying saucer earlier this week.
The night was dark and a murky overcast obscured the stars. "Light on the starboard bow," an alert lookout reported. "Elevation about 30 degrees."
A luminous object seemed to close on the ship and then, in a capricious or threatening mood, remained stationary just beyond the range of the ship's guns. A series of bearings and other cogent observations were compiled and when the apparition disappeared at dawn a score of men were ready to certify its genuineness.
In the end, however, the dissenting opinion of the navigator prevailed. "The planet Jupiter," he said after consulting a half dozen nautical references, "and just where she is supposed to be -- roughly, 400 million miles away."
Brownsville, Texas Herald - 18 Jul 52
Saucers Reported Seen In McAllen
McALLEN -- McAllen is finally catching up with the rest of the country. Now we're having flying saucers, or missiles, or whatever they are.
Tuesday night about 10 o'clock, Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Landry happened to glance skyward. They saw some strange objects sneaking over the city at a great altitude. The objects were casting a reddish glow. There were eight of them.
At the time, they thought little of the occurrence, but after reading in a newspaper that others had seen the same thing, they began to be interested. Two veteran airline pilots over Miami, Fla. reported they watched eight missiles "glowing like red coals" speeding along at more than 1,000 miles per hour.
The Landrys said the description of the objects matched the description given by the pilots. The objects were flying in a southerly direction and were easy to count because of the formation. Five were grouped together, with three others traveling a short distance away.
Great Bend, Kansas Daily Tribune - 18 Jul 52
Pilot Spots Four Mystery Objects In Air
Chicago -- A veteran airline pilot reported seeing four flying objects moving at terrific speed over Denver, Colo., last night. Capt. Paul L. Carpenter of American airlines said that he and his crew spotted the objects after a flight ahead of them radioed them to be on the lookout.
Carpenter said the objects looked like planets and had a yellowish tinge. He said he saw one by itself, then two others and finally a fourth.
He estimated their altitude at about 25,000 to 30,000 feet and said he thought they were traveling at about 3,000 miles an hour.
He said they trailed no light as meteors might and that one changed its direction.
The objects were too far away, Carpenter said, to tell if they had the round shape of the reputed "flying saucers."
An air force officer assigned to investigate the "flying saucer" reports said in Dayton, O., that about 15 percent of the approximately 1,000 reports can not be explained.
Carpenter, who lives in Los Angeles, was piloting a non-stop Los Angeles to Chicago flight when he spotted the objects.
Kennewick, Washington Tri-City Herald - 18 Jul 52
'Flying Saucers' Over Tri-Cities May Forewarn Of New Pearl Harbor
FLYING SAUCERS recently sighted over the Tri-City area may be forerunners of "another Pearl Harbor," Fred Miller, civil defense coordinator for Paso, warned Thursday noon.
Speaking to Pasco Kiwanis Club, Miller said "The saucers may be a joke and they may not. They may be another Pearl Harbor. I don't know and neither do you."
"We are complacent about the police action in Korea," he said, "to the fact that Russia has faster planes, more modern equipment and reportedly the largest submarine fleet in the world. They may have the atomic equipment for a worse Pearl Harbor."
Miller pointed out that Pasco does not have a single block warden to serve in case of attack. He said he is looking for some organization to volunteer for the job of directing organization of a block warden group.
Pointing out that Pasco is one of the most important targets in the Pacific Northwest, Miller said more railway cars pass through the Pasco yards daily than through the Minnesota transfer -- one of the nation's busiest.
"If Hanford Works is attacked with atomic bombs," Miller warned, "I can assure you the enemy will not stop there. They'll try to hit the railroad center in Pasco. Pasco is a focal point for railroads for the Northwest."
Sandusky, Ohio Register Star News - 18 Jul 52
Air Force Lacks Explanations Of Flying Saucers
DAYTON, July 18 -- A spokesman at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base says the Air Force still has no explanation for 15 percent of the approximate 1,000 flying Saucer reports it has received.
The Dayton Journal-Herald quoted the officer as saying jet
fighters equipped with radar have been scrambling into the sky
seeking the unidentified objects, but have been unable to make contact with any "saucer."
The newspaper said the officer, connected with Air Force headquarters for investigation of unidentified aerial objects, asked to remain unidentified.
The officer said ground radar has tracked some unexplainable objects traveling at speeds between 1,500 and 2,000 miles an hour, but added there never have been both visual and radar sightings of the same objects.
Capt. E.J. Ruppelt, "saucer" project officer of the Air Technical Intelligence Center, said "we are firmly convinced that persons making these reports actually see something in the skies."
Ruppelt said the Air Force will continue its investigation until all such sightings can be satisfactorily explained.
Naugatuck, Connecticut Daily News - 18 Jul 52
Air Force Chasing Flying Saucers With Jet Planes
The Air Force has finally admit ted there is something to the flying saucer stories.
Captain E.J. Ruppelt, head of the Air Force group that is studying so-called flying saucer reports, says ground radar has already has tracked some unexplainable objects at speeds up to 2,000 miles an hour.
Ruppelt says jet fighters equipped with the very latest radar have been sent aloft to make contact with the phantom objects but that all attempts to catch up with them have failed.
He says of 1,000 reports of heavenly bodies that have been investigated, 25 per cent cannot be explained.
And he added, "We are convinced that persons making these reports actually see something in the sky -- but what they are is another question."
Washington, D.C. Daily News - 18 Jul 52
Saucers Soar Over Argentina
LA PLATA, Argentina, July 18 -- Residents of nearby Veronica reported seeing six disc-shaped lighted objects which resembled "flying saucers" last night.
Eye-witnesses said the objects maneuvered in the sky and that their shape and movements were entirely different from those of regular planes.
The objects were said to have been bluish-yellow in color, and remained within sight of Veronica for more than hour [sic].
Casablanca, Morocco Maroc-Presse - 18 Jul 52
Ovoid Object Seen Taking Off In Daiet Aoua Region
Inhabitants of the Daiet Aoua region, French Morocco, have reported seeing recently a "blue, phosphorescent, ovoid, object" on the ground rise rapidly in the air, followed by a bluish trail. The observers estimated the object to be 20 meters long.
Salisbury, Maryland Times - 19 Jul 52
Radio Man Sees 'Flying Saucers'
WASHINGTON -- At 2 a.m. yesterday, Radio Engineer Elmer Chambers looked up at the sky. Here's what he says he saw:
Six or seven bright orange discs were streaking through the sky, in single file. The saucers sped along for about five seconds and then each, in turn, veered sharply upward and disappeared.
Chambers, 41, is chief engineer at the WRC radio station transmitter in the Washington suburbs.
Middlesboro, Kentucky Daily News - 19 Jul 52
Flying Saucers Get to Kentucky
MADISONVILLE, KY July 18 -- Flying saucers are on the loose in Kentucky skies, according to J. Falcon Durham, superintendent of mails here.
Durham said today that he and his wife saw five of the saucers pass over his home Wednesday night. He described the saucers as reddish orange in color and traveling 30 seconds apart at a very high speed.
The flying disks dipped over his house and turned north, Durham said.
Dunkirk, New York Evening Observer - 19 Jul 52
BUFFALO -- Authorities today were investigating reports of "flying saucers" in this area.
The reports came yesterday from Bernard Thomann, of suburban town of Tonawanda, who told police he saw eight objects flying about 5,000 feet off the ground and then a single "round silver object which looked very much like a flying saucer."
Capt. George Emmett of the local filter center, eastern air defense command, said the observation post in the Tonawanda area had not reported seeing the objects.
Lowell, Massachusetts Sun - 19 Jul 52
'V'-Formation of Five Flying Saucers" Seen Over New York Area
Similar Reports Come From Washington, Denver and Vermont
NEW YORK, July 19 -- A "V" formation of five "flying saucers" over the New York city area was described by witnesses today as similar reports, came from Washington, Denver and Vermont.
The Army Air Force now takes seriously all such reports, which are investigated by a special project at Wright Field, Dayton, 0.
Staten Island civil defense authorities were notified immediately when the sky objects were sighted last night.
The witnesses were Mrs. Josephine Hetzel, housewife, of 17 West street, West Brighton, S.I., and Frank Gondar, toy operator, next door at 15 West street. His small son saw them, too.
Mrs. Hetzel reported:
"I almost fainted when I looked up at the sky and saw what looked to me like five large dinner plates flying through the sky.
"They came from the direction if Perth Amboy, N.J., and appeared to be headed for Manhattan.
"They were up high and had a silvery glow and were silent. They were in formation. The red glow from the rims was outstanding. They were flying as fast as jet planes.
"I was so excited I almost fainted. I yelled to the only one I could see -- my neighbor, Mr. Gondar."
Gondar was sitting in a lawn chair with his son, Allan, 3. Gondar
"I looked up. My son did, too. was too startled to talk! My son said: 'Look at that, daddy, what's that?'
"They were high in the sky flying from south to north or from Tottenville to St. George. They were flying like geese. They were bright in color and had a reddish rim. They gave off a glow and didn't make a sound.
"They didn't take long to disappear in the clouds. Be assured they were not airplanes and this was not an illusion. Now I believe such things."
Syracuse, New York Herald Journal - 19 Jul 52
Strange Sky Objects Reported Over Area
WHATEVER THEY are, those mysteries of the skies are cavorting over Syracuse and Central and Northern New York. One was seen by Dan Kelly of 310 Hixson av. at 12:30 A.M. yesterday. Five boys reported a similar sight at Oneida, and Samuel Jacobs of Massena saw either a flying saucer or a meteor. He thinks it was a meteor.
No explanation is given of these bright objects that have been reported by Air Force pilots in the West and elsewhere. Radar units have also been reported as picking up mysterious flying things.
Kelly was seated on his porch when he saw the object.
"It was round," he said, "and looked to be on fire. It seemed to whirl around and then disappeared after five or 10 seconds. It was a horrible, frightening thing to see and I nearly passed out after watching it. I sat on the porch for two hours after that waiting for it to return but it never came back.
HE IS SURE it was something like the flying saucers that have been reported elsewhere. He never before had seen anything like it.
The five boys at Oneida say they saw three flying saucers. Four of them would not permit use of their names because, they said, "no one would believe us." But Joseph Medbury, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph P. Medbury of 303 N. Lake st. spoke out about that mystifying thing which shot across the heavens.
"We are all sure they were not airplanes," Joseph said, "because there was no sound of motors and their lights were not blinking." Medbury and the other boys, ranging in age from eight to 15 years, were at Harmon Field between 9 and 9:30 o'clock Wednesday night. They were standing by a fence when they saw a white light streaking across the sky traveling from west to east.
They said they also saw jet planes pursuing the three things that looked like flying saucers. Joseph said he knew they were jets because of the sound and the streaks of colored vapor in their wake.
IT WAS about 11 P.M. Thursday when Jacobs saw the object. It whizzed across the sky from south to north, he reported. he doesn't believe it was a flying saucer.
"It was the brightest meteor I've ever seen," said Jacobs, who said for certain it was not a flying saucer. "If what I saw is termed a flying saucer by some observers, then I'm sure half of these so-called flying saucers are really meteors," said Jacobs.
The missile left a streak of light behind which last for three or four seconds, said Jacobs.
The state police, CAA communications station and the observation post which is not on 24-hour duty did not make any report of the meteor.
ACROSS THE border in nearby Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, two boys who were sleeping outdoors in their back yard and a man on the way to work in a mill reported seeing the object. The boys termed it a "shooting star" while the man believed it was a flying saucer.
He said it hovered in the sky about 15 seconds and then flew away at a tremendous speed. He said it was about 60 or 70 feet long and gave off a bluish light.
At Buffalo it was reported Bernard Thoman, of suburban Tonawanda, saw eight objects flying about 5,000 feet up and then a single "round silver object" which looked much like a flying saucer. The Buffalo filter center observation post saw nothing.
A dispatch from New York says witnesses saw a V formation of five "flying saucers" over that area. The dispatch says the Army Air Force takes seriously now all such reports, and they are being investigated at Wright Field, Dayton, O.
STATEN ISLAND civil defense authorities were notified immediately when the sky objects were sighted last night. The witnesses were Mrs. Josephine Hetzel of West Brighton, S.I. and Frank Gondar, toy operator, next door. His small son saw them too.
Mrs. Hetzel reported:
"I almost fainted when I looked up at the sky and saw what looked to me like five large dinner plates flying through the sky.
"They came from the direction of Perth Amboy, N.J. and appeared to be heading for Manhattan.
"THEY WERE up high and had a silvery glow and were silent. They were in formation. The red glow from the rims was outstanding. They were flying as fast as jet planes.
"I was so excited I almost fainted. I yelled to the only one I could see -- my neighbor, Mr. Gondar.
Gondar was sitting in a lawn chair with his son, Allan, 3. Gondar said:
"I looked up. My son did, too. I was too startled to talk. My son said: 'Look at that daddy, what's that?'
"THEY WERE high in the sky flying from south to north or from Tottenville to St. George. They were flying like geese. They were bright in color and had a reddish rim. They gave off a glow and didn't make a sound.
"They didn't take long to disappear in the clouds. Be assured they were not airplanes and this was not an illusion. Now I believe in such things."
East Liverpool, Ohio Review - 19 Jul 52
Salem Sees 'Saucers'
SALEM -- Unexplained objects resembling descriptions of flying saucers were seen to the north of Salem Thursday night. Walter Bak of Benton Rd. was the first to notice the whitish flying objects between 10 and midnight. Neighbors and a Salem News reporter, Joseph Kupka, also saw them.
Phoenix, Arizona Republic - 19 Jul 52
SKY SCANNER William A. Rhodes works on his own 16-inch telescope in his back yard at 4333 N. 14th St. An amateur astronomer and professional electronics engineer, Rhodes and Harry E. Lang, Sunnyslope, say they have turned up a theory which might account for the rash of flying saucer reports recently. -- (Republic Photo)
On Schedule From Mars?
Hobby Astronomers Key Saucer Rash To Timing
By Weld Coxe
DO FLYING SAUCERS come from Mars?
This possibility was advanced Friday by two amateur Phoenix astronomers who refuse to draw conclusions but who say their calculations two months ago could account for the present rash of saucer sightings.
William A. Rhodes, 4333 N. 14th St. and Harry E. Lang, 1147 E. Olmstead Lane, Sunnyslope, say they worked out the theory entirely from known scientific facts early in May.
They insist their theory proves nothing. They only point out that there is but one time this year when it would be most practical for space ships from Mars to reach Earth. That period includes the past two weeks.
And an air force spokesman in Ohio who keeps record of such things reported Thursday that the rate of flying saucer reports in the past two weeks has been "almost double" last year's.
Rhodes and Lang point to three facts:
1. Mars and Earth come closest to each other only once in about every two years. Astronomers call this opposition.
2. The distance between Earth and Mars at times of opposition is known to scientists.
3. There is a minimum speed at which a space ship would have to be traveling between Mars and Earth.
Knowing these facts, Rhodes and Lang several months ago noted that Mars and Earth would be in opposition May 8 and the distance between them would be about 52 million miles. By considering the distance and the minimum speed a space ship from Mars would be traveling, they calculate that such a ship would arrive on Earth between the fourth week in June and the third week in July.
AT THE TIME they made their calculations, Rhodes said, they didn't put too much stock in it and salted their notes away for future reference.
But when newspapers printed the air force report of an unprecedented number of flying saucer sightings Rhodes said "I almost fell off my chair."
As to drawing conclusions, both men are hesitant to go too far into the field of science-fiction enthusiasts or launch another Orson Welles-type "Mars invasion" scare.
They do, however, have some explanations of certain flying saucer reports which might tend to discount their idea.
THE FACT THAT saucers are reported at other times of the year, they say, could be simply a case of mistaken identities, with meteorites, aircraft, and other explainable objects being responsible for the reports.
When questioned as to why the Martians, if such they be, have not attempted landings on Earth, Rhodes points out that Mars's atmosphere is so thin that residents of that planet could not live in the dense air of Earth's lower altitudes, and this would deter landings.
But all the fantastic repercussions of the theory are beyond any range of factual scientific knowledge, the pair insist, and add that so far as their calculations are concerned only a possibility is involved.
For the scientific-minded, Rhodes explains their calculation in this manner:
SCIENTISTS KNOW that the gravitational attraction of Earth or any other planet is dependent on the size of the planet. Therefore, when discussing space travel they use the term "escape velocity" to apply to the speed an object would have to be traveling to break away from the gravitational attraction of a planet and travel into space.
The escape velocity of Mars is about 3 miles per second.
A second speed enters into their space-travel calculations also. This is the speed at which the planet Mars is traveling in its orbit around the sun -- "orbital velocity."
The orbital velocity would act as a catapult on any object leaving the atmosphere of a planet and entering space.
THE ORBITAL velocity of Mars is 15 miles per second.
From these facts, Rhodes and Lang concluded that the minimum speed of a space ship leaving Mars would be about 18 miles per second -- the sum of the escape velocity and the orbital velocity.
By coincidence, they point out, this velocity is exactly equal to the orbital velocity of the Earth in its path around the sun.
This fact is important, Rhodes says, for it would make it practical for a space ship to catch up with the earth at a reasonable speed and not plow into our atmosphere so fast it would burn up, like a meteorite, from friction.
THIS 18 MILES per second speed is fast -- more than half a million miles an hour, Rhodes points out, but it is not fast enough to allow a Mars object to cover the 52 million miles between its planet and Earth overnight. A ship leaving Mars, he says, would have to travel a long tangent route to meet Earth.
It was the calculation of this tangent distance in rough millions of miles which led Rhodes and Lang to the prediction of the probable arrival time of such objects on Earth.
In an effort to add validity to the theory, an attempt was made to check previous opposition dates of Mars with the frequency of flying saucer reports in those years, but the air force at Wright-Patterson Field, Ohio, declined to disclose the saucer report data of past years Friday without clearance from Washington.
IN DISCLOSING this hypothesis, Rhodes called attention to his last meeting with flying saucers on July 9, 1947, when he photographed an object over his house which was variously identified with the first rash of saucer reports. The pictures were given national distribution in the press and his negatives were later borrowed by the FBI and never returned, Rhodes said.
But any comparison of the object he photographed five years ago and his current theory was beyond Rhodes Friday. He said he could not even guess that the object might have come from Mars.
Both Rhodes and Lang are members of the amateur Phoenix Observatory Association, and both are employed in the engineering sections at Air Research.
Lowell, Massachusetts Sun - 19 Jul 52
A Bit of Everything
Excited Americans have been reporting flying saucers and other aerial mysteries in great numbers since the end of World War II. The Soviets have been suggested as the launchers of these strange objects, while those of greater imagination think that possibly these unknown things may be inter-planetary curiosities of some kind.
The Army and the Air Force have done their best to disabuse some of the emotional observers who claim to have seen monstrous objects skimming through the skies at phenomenal speeds. In fact, they have tracked down some of the reports and have discovered that most of the objects are meteors or heavenly bodies, others may be meteorological balloons, some are birds or aircraft flying too high for positive discernment and a few just are not explained satisfactorily.
The Air Force admits that most people who report strange objects actually see something. It added, however, that the new Navy Skyrocket plane is reported to have traveled at the rate of 1238 miles an hour. Now if the average person without binoculars chanced to see one of these modern machines streaking through the sky, he would believe that he had seen something not humanly operated, since this is the fastest flight that anyone has ever made.
Flying saucers and other hard-to-describe things that zing through the skies must be reported. Many people might, be a little foolish in reporting such startling observations, but, regardless of how they may feel, it is better to report such incidents. Possibly, and in most instances, they can be explained by some authoritative branch of the armed forces, but there may be a few that would be especially interesting to the Air Force because they defy explanations. It is best not to take chances with our security -- all unusual happenings are worth reporting.
Syracuse, New York Post Standard - 20 Jul 52
'Saucers' Reported By Utica Spotter
The elusive Flying Saucers were hovering over the Utica area shortly before midnight yesterday according to a report filed at the Syracuse Filter Center by three ground observers at an observation post outside the city limits of Utica.
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond LaBounty of 722 Sherrod st. and Mrs. Minnie Crowil, Civil Defense observers, reported that the flying disks appeared from the southwest about 9.30 p.m. and hovered over the area for two hours before vanishing towards the northeast. They said the disks darted about trailing varied colored flames as from an exhaust system.
Appropriate investigation was instituted by the Air Force it was indicated but exact procedure was not revealed.
No other reports of the phantom disks were reported to the filter center, officials indicated. Utica observers declined to relate their experience and observation when contacted by The Post-Standard.
Zanesville, Ohio Signal - 20 Jul 52
[NOTE: The original article included many images which were not reproducible here. Images and accompanying captions included here are for informational purposes and not part of the original article.]
Editor Sees 1288 MPH Plane But No Saucers
Uncle Sam Building Air Strength For Today, Planning for Future
Supersonic Craft Shown at Test Bases in Desert
By Clair C. Stebbins
A SENSE of urgency in the expansion of Uncle Sam's air power was the most compelling impression to come out of a West Coast trip a week ago which included visits to three aircraft factories and two great air research bases on the California, desert.
At Edwards Air Force base, better known as Muroc because of a nearby town which formerly bore that name, experiments are being carried out daily with newly-developed supersonic planes and many types of missiles.
And at nearby Inyokern navy plane-testing center, the same kind of work is being conducted on a slightly smaller scale.
But behind this feverish development of new and faster planes, which led a Lockheed spokesman to predict that supersonic fighters will be in production within a year, is the sudden realization that America can no longer wait for the ultimate in air weapons. Consequently, it is apparent that mass production has started on certain tried and tested planes which have been in service for several years.
U.S. Air Force B-47 bombers. The B-47 was a long-range, six-engined, jet-powered medium bomber built to fly at high subsonic speeds and at high altitudes. It was primarily designed to drop nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union. The B-47 entered service with the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command (SAC) in 1951. It never saw combat as a bomber, but was a mainstay of SAC's bomber strength during the 1950s and early 1960s. It was also adapted to a number of other missions, including photo reconnaissance, electronic intelligence and weather reconnaissance, remaining in service as a reconnaissance platform until 1969.
Among these is the six-jet Boeing B-47 bomber, which is similar in size, and bomb capacity to the B-29 of World War II. At the Boeing factory in Wichita, where newsmen slopped for three hours on the way to the coast, they saw almost a hundred finished B-47's at the airport and many more in advanced stages of completion within the factory itself, where more than 20.000 workers are employed.
Where the B-47's are bring based is not revealed, but it is assumed that they will be held in readiness wherever it is felt that the imminence of attack might call for reprisal by fast delivery of atomic bombs.
Since there is no record that they have appeared in the skies over Korea, it would seem the Stratojets, as the B-47's are called, are primarily for European use if war breaks out.
Top: North American F-86 Sabre. Middle: Republic F-84 Thunderjets. Bottom: Lockheed F-94C Starfire prototype.
In the fighter class, it is apparent that the government is concentrating on the production of such successful planes as the North American F-86 Sabre and the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. The new Lockheed F-94C Starfire, which had its first public fight demonstration at Burbank, Calif. during the visit by newsmen, is also expected to go into big-scale production. The Starfire, which carries no guns, relies on the automatic firing of rockets. It is an all-weather interceptor, designed principally for defense against invading bombers.
Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket with support planes and personnel, Edwards AFB, 1952. Built as a rocket-powered supersonic research aircraft, this Skyrocket was the phase-two version of what had originally been conceived as a three-phase program. The phase-one aircraft, the D-558-1, was jet powered and had straight wings. The third phase was cancelled before completion. The Skyrocket required launch from a "mothership", seen to the rear. It was accompanied and monitored in flight by two North American F-86 Sabrejets, seen on either side of the Skyrocket. The D-558-2 model was a single-seater, 35-degree swept-wing aircraft measuring 42 feet in length. It was 12 feet, 8 inches in height and had a wingspan of 25 feet.
MOST BREATHTAKING news to come out of the visit to Edwards was the admission that the navy's Douglas Skyrocket has flown at twice the speed of sound – 1,238 miles an hour, to be exact -- and has reached an altitude of 79,494 feet.
This was not exactly a surprise to the assembled aviation writers, who had understood the plane was capable of such speeds, but it marked the first time the navy had gone so far as to confirm that these marks had actually been attained.
Bill Bridgeman, the test pilot who flew the Skyrocket, has since been quoted as saying the sensation was no different from that of flying at 750 miles an hour, which incidentally is just 200 miles faster than this writer once flew in a jet.
The Skyrocket, like other experimental planes I saw at Edwards, is painted white. Its needle nose and short, swept-back wings give it the sleek, swift appearance you would expect from the world's fastest man-carrying flying machine.
Viewing this modern miracle of the air, one found it difficult to realize that less than a half-century has elapsed since Kitty Hawk, where mankind's first feeble venture into the skies took place under the auspices of two Ohio boys who combined vision with a tactical understanding of the then-obscure science of aerodynamics.
Even the Wright brothers with their remarkable foresight would probably blink their eyes upon seeing today's Skyrocket.
The Extended High-Speed Rocket Sled Track at Muroc, later Edwards AFB, was constructed in 1948 as a 10,000-foot-long high-speed test track for supersonic aircraft and rocket-propelled missile systems. The nation's first high-speed test track had also been built at Edwards AFB (then Muroc Army Air Field) in 1944. This track, located at the present North Base, was 2,000 feet long. It was originally built to test a secret World War II weapon known as "Project 16", which was the JB-10, a tail-less flying wing pulse jet engine bomb. The project was abandoned at the end of World War II following use of the test track for several successful launches. After the war, military and industry officials met to discuss the need for different aircraft safety standards to accompany the development of jet engine technology.
THE NAVY'S test center at Inyokern and the Air Force's better known establishment at Edwards are similar in many respects. Both are located at dry lakes on the desert of south-central California.
Inyokern is adjacent to China Lake while Edwards is on Rogers dry lake, where the perfectly smooth, hard-packed desert sands provide a runway eight miles long for the landing of supersonic aircraft, many of which have to glide in by the so-called "dead stick" method after exhausting their rocket power at high altitudes.
Edwards air base is best known to aviation followers as Muroc, the former name of a nearby settlement which has since been changed to Edwards, Calif. Muroc is the backward spelling for an early settler by the name of Corum.
Ever since World War II, when the United States embarked on an ambitious testing program to keep ahead of all possible enemies in the development of military aircraft, the word Muroc has symbolized the ultimate in airplane and guided missile
Not the least interesting feature of this base is the two-mile long track over which projectiles are rocketed at a speed of 800 miles an hour for tests which make it possible to use them again and thus save great expense. The sight of such a missile streaking down the track at this speed is impressive indeed. At the end of the line, so to speak, the object is stopped by a cleverly contrived "water brake" which consists of a water-filled trough which brings it to a stop in a churning white spray.
Boeing B-47 Stratojet bombers undergoing production at Boeing's Wichita, Kansas plant, 1952.
ON MY TRIP to the west coast, I was in the company of aviation writers from many of the leading newspapers and magazines of the United States and Canada.
In addition to the test centers in California and the Boeing plant at Wichita, we visited the Lockheed establishment at Burbank and the Douglas El Segundo plant where Everyday Heinemann, the celebrated jet aircraft designer, explained various new types of aircraft. Heinemann was the subject of a recent feature in Collier's magazine.
We also spent part of a day at the El Toro Marine base...
Above: Pages from a Life Magazine spread on Inyokern from 1948. Located in the center of military reservation of 1,000 square miles in the California desert, the Inyokern Naval Ordnance Test Station encompassed a population of over 12,000. It had been established in 1944 -- at a cost of $100 million -- as a community of scientists and their families with housing, shopping, a bank, a church and a post office. The focus was on rocket and missile development and testing and incorporated the work of physicists, chemists and engineers who were also given encouragement to conduct pure research. Though the feeling was that of a small town, the community was fenced and well-guarded, and admittance was only to those who had a pass.
NOW TO my impressions after viewing practically everything that Uncle Sam is willing to show from his air arsenal of today and tomorrow .
The demonstrations at Inyokern and Edwards were so impressive that no one would have been very much surprised to see a formation of Flying Saucers streak across the sky at any moment.
As a matter of fact, some of the planes we saw did not seem far removed from the Saucer class. Take the Douglas Skyray, for instance, a delta wing fighter said to be capable of supersonic speed.
The Douglas XF4D Skyray in flight at Edwards AFB in 1952.
It was the one plane of which photographs were forbidden, even in flight. Once it flew past at high speed; then it was throttled down and came by at a speed which seemed only a little better than that of a Piper Cub. The sleek jet is designed to fly from aircraft carriers.
The Skyray was the plane which was not included in the static display for close-up inspection on the ground.
Here, however, was an interesting contrast between navy and industrial ideas of what should be kept secret. We had viewed the Skyray at close hand two days before at the Douglas El Segundo factory.
The Bell X-5 was the first aircraft capable of changing the sweep of its wings in flight (bottom picture is a composite showing the changing wing sweep). The X-5 was based on a German design that never flew. Although only two X-5s were built, the concept would be used successfully in the F-111, F-14 and B-1.
Another of the more interesting experimental planes which flew for us at Edwards was the Bell X-5, which has the ability to change the sweep of its wings in flight . At high speed, the short wings are swept back at a sharp angle, while for takeoff and landing they are nearly at right angles with the fuselage.
The point with reference to the whole program of experimental plane development is this:
Americans can be assured that efforts are being made to strike a fine balance between the future and present needs of the air force and navy.
With faster and more powerful airplanes being built all the time, it becomes difficult to decide at what point to stop and concentrate on the construction of a few basic models to meet the country's urgent needs for a sizeable, well-balanced striking force.
The medium bombers (B-47's) are being built in large numbers and the heavy jet bombers (B-52 and B-50) are soon to be rolling off the assembly line. Even though it is conceded that many of them may be obsolete almost as soon as they are finished. Fighters are finally being turned out in quantity to meet a long-recognized deficiency.
But in the meantime, the supersonic field is being explored, new experimental planes are being built and tested, and as soon as they are proved to be militarily useful, they will go into production.
One has the positive impression that if there's any merit to the Flying Saucer idea, the first ones will be launched from the eight-mile dry runway at Edwards.
Of course, if you are one who already seen a Saucer skimming overhead, likely as not it came from there. If so, the Air Force had it in hiding during our visit.
Greenville, Mississippi Delta Democrat Times - 20 Jul 52
Flying Saucer Conspiracy
WE HAVE HAD evidence now for five years that America is faced with the gravest danger in its entire history and the administration has done exactly nothing about it. In fact there is a conspiracy of silence to deceive the nation.
Why has nothing been done about the Flying Saucers?
It is hard to conceive of the extraordinary skill with which men in high offices of government have concealed the truth from the American people.
Not only has the administration lost the cold war in Asia because of its preoccupation with Europe. It has now lost the cold war in Mars.
While the attention of patriotic Americans has been cleverly directed to the relatively unimportant threat from Russian-led subversives on the ground, the real threat comes from the atmosphere, where for five years the men from Mars in their space ships have roamed with impunity to spy on this country.
Can there be any real doubt? Indeed, for years Mars has been quite openly called the "red star."
In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, men in high places have hammered the theme that these Flying Saucers don't even exist objectively -- just as they once told us there were no Alger Hisses in the government.
Very cleverly, these men have lulled the American people into a false sense of security by giving these enemy craft, a comical name. No one fears the object of a joke.
Others in the government try to play down the extent of the danger by telling us that these "unknown objects," if they exist, are nothing worse than Russian secret weapons.
How incredibly successful they have been is plain when you realize that, not even Sen. McCarthy seems aware of the danger.
As proof of the conspiracy against the American way of life, we have it from an unimpeachable source that the administration's favorite allies, the British are now ready to recognize the Martian regime just as they have already recognized Red China. The British will stop at nothing to gain a new trade area.
We have further unimpeachable evidence that the administration has long planned secretly to spend more of the American tax-payers' money on Marshall Aid to the Martians. If anyone doubts the determination of our government to sell out the nation or its fiendish subtlety in accomplishing it, let him study the significance in the name of the man who conceived the giveaway programs. It is spelled Mars-hall!
Even the Air Force, now controlled by the men who have undermined our nation for the last twenty years, consistently refused to investigate reports on the Flying Saucers until the pressure of public opinion forced them. Nothing of course will ever come of these investigations.
What, for instance, happened to the report of the crewmen on the two B-29 bombers last February in Korea!
No, there is only one group of men in this country fearless enough to undertake effective action. It is a job for the Un-American Activities Committee. They aren't afraid to subpoena a Martian or anyone else!
They would have the courage, for instance, to ban the books of H.G. Wells. Like all subversive literature, these books seem harmless to the unsuspecting citizen, but actually serve the darkest purposes of propaganda. It ought to be dramatically clear now why the British Labour Party picked Wells, a historian, to write second-class fiction about, an "imaginary" invasion by men from Mars. It was not fiction, it was a subtle and ruthless handbook for the Martian invaders.
The administration will characteristically deny all this, but unless you and I and every good American take matters into our own hands and drive the Flying Saucers from the American atmosphere, the Martian invader will put an end to our American way of life.
Statesville, North Carolina Daily Record - 21 Jul 52
Flying Saucers Disrupt Radio While Passing
ELIZABETH CITY, July 19. -- An Elizabeth City barge watchman-- H.G. Lane -- has reported that he has seen flying saucers on three different occasions.
Lane says he saw four objects, resembling saucers at 1:20 a.m. yesterday. The watchman said the objects were about 100 feet in diameter and were flying two abreast at high speed.
Lane added that his radio had gone dead and that he saw the disc shaped objects when he went to investigate his aerial. The watchman added that his radio worked perfectly after the objects had disappeared.
Lane said he also saw two flying saucers on May 12th and three
on June 10th.
Orrville, Ohio Courier Crescent - 21 Jul 52
Flying Saucers Finally Find Promised Land
The flying saucers have finally found Orrville.
Mrs. Amelia Stevenson, who resides with her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. And Mrs. William Schmid, South Vine street, reports that she saw two "saucers in the sky " -- resembling gigantic inverted ice cream cones -- flying leisurely above Sassafras street in the direction of Dunlap Memorial Hospital Friday evening.
This bears out the evidence of Mr. And Mrs. Bob Jameson of Wooster, who reported to The Record Friday that they saw three saucers floating east of Wooster and followed them in their car as they moved toward Orrville.
"I thought is was some kind of natural phenomena," Mrs. Stevenson said: "perhaps spotlights playing on the clouds, but when I noticed a report that a similar 'saucer' was seen in New York Saturday it sharpened my interest.
"It's rather a coincidence, don't you think, that I should see inverted ice cream cones floating in the sky?" Mrs. Stevenson said with a chuckle, referring to the fact that her son-in-law is an authority on ice cream cones.
Phoenix, Arizona Republic - 21 Jul 52
Space Ships From Mars?
Flying saucers from Mars? Well, almost any juvenile reader of some of the ultra-modern comic books could have told the two Phoenix amateur astronomers -- without the use of high-powered telescopes -- that these things exist. It is an interesting theory that Messrs. Rhodes and Lang have worked out, that the "saucers," seen most frequently when Mars is nearest Earth, are space ships from our neighbor planet. Maybe they have something.
Any reader of H.G. Wells, of course, knows that the Martians have a civilization far in advance of ours. Traversing the 52 million miles between Mars and Earth would be nothing for them -- nothing at all. But, couldn't they be experimental missiles or aircraft of our own that we are being very hush-hush about? Who knows?
Abilene, Texas Reporter News - 21 Jul 52
'Fireballs' Worry Officialdom
by Robert S. Allen
CHICAGO, July 21 -- There is another important matter besides presidential politics on the minds of top officials attending the Democratic convention.
It is a gravely alarming and baffling spectre.
Scientists and military authorities have established beyond any question of doubt that Russian planes and missiles of some kind are secretly invading U.S. skies. Soviet planes have been positively traced as far south as the Alaska Peninsula extending off the southwest coast of Alaska.
These mysterious flights at tremendous heights have been going on for at least three months. They are obvious reconnaissance or training missions, or both. Other suspected Russian planes have been reported far to the north in Alaska, but these identifications are less certain than the others.
But most sinister of all are the fantastic missiles.
These things have no connection with the flying "saucers" and "discs" that pop up in the press from time to time. The disquieting missiles are entirely different. They are what are usually described as "fireballs" of various hues, mostly green.
One reason why authorities are privately so disturbed about these mysterious devices is that they are comparable to certain highly secret and extraordinary U.S. developments in this field.
A LOT OF THEM
On the theory that if we can devise certain weapons then others can make them, too, the increasingly frequent reports of strange "fireballs" are viewed by officials as profoundly disquieting evidence that there is a lot of them. Particularly in the light of the location of the most authoritative of
For security reasons, only a few of these areas can be citied. One of them is the Baltic Sea where two Swedish reconnaissance planes were shot down by the Russians last month. The Reds have been conducting missile-type projects in this region since 1946, and Sweden and others have extensive data on Soviet "fireballs."
Devices that are apparently very similar to those that have been seen in the Baltic have been authoritatively accounted for in three different places in the United States.
In each of these locations is a vital defense installation -- one of
A leading American authority on "fireballs" is Dr. Lincoln La Paz. meteoriticist of the University of New Mexico.
He stresses that there is a big difference between "fireballs" and "shooting stars." The former are man-made, and the latter are not. Late July and August is the period when "shooting stars" usually bombard the earth. That is a natural phenomenon.
"But there is a clear distinction between shooting stars and the so-called green fireballs," explains Dr. La Paz. "Shooting stars are ordinarily whitish, yellowish or orange colored. The fireball, on the other hand, is bright yellow-green or copper-green. They are definitely not shooting stars."
Note: The government will pay a large sum of money to anyone who finds a piece of green "fireball," no matter how small. Contact Dr. La Paz or the Air Force immediately if you locate a particle.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Daily Oklahoman - 21 Jul 52
Saucer Answer Still 'Up in Air'
ALBUQUERQUE, -- Call them saucers if you like, but Southwestern skies are being flooded with luminous objects, Dr. Lincoln La Paz reported late Saturday.
"By whatever name you call them-- flying saucers, guided missiles, space ships -- they all act strangely," La Paz, University of New Mexico fireball expert explained.
What are they? La Paz said he would like to know. But from their behavior, he thinks they are not:
1. Shooting stars, whose falling lights are due to be seen more and more frequently the latter part of July and August.
2. Meteorites, since meteorites shine for only short times, and invariably make loud sounds.
Here are a few of the antics of the objects:
They can reverse directions and cruise back and fourth.
They travel at high speeds in wide sweeping circles.
They are spherical or disc shaped, and for the most part, give off a steady yellow light.
They travel at extremely high altitudes, and can be followed for as long as 3-1/2 minutes.
Statesville, North Carolina Daily Record - 21 Jul 52
Flying Saucers Can't Possibly Be Mass Hysteria
WASHINGTON, July 18 -- On June 25th, 1947, a Boise, Idaho, businessman reported seeing nine huge discs speeding over the western part of Washington state.
That started it. A minor news item, it was like the first pebble in a landslide. Or, to paraphrase a well-known comedian -- "Everyone tried to get into the act."
Oregon state police said they'd spotted round whirling discs. An airliner crew counted nine in Idaho. Canadian farmers saw 'em; so did some people in North Carolina, in Manchuria, in Mukden, in France, Toronto, Mexico, Japan and Kentucky. Army personnel at the White Sands proving ground -- ordinarily not subject to hallucinations -- turned in a serious report on mysterious whirling objects. Psychologists got into the act, too. They attributed the phenomenon to Mass Hysteria.
Military and administration officials kept denying there was any basis at all for belief that the spinning discs existed. With every denial came ten new reports.
"Flying Saucer" got to be a kind of joke -- in fact, one publicity-conscious milliner evolved a series of ladies' hats featuring flying saucers that spun in the breeze.
Sometimes it wasn't so funny. In January, 1948, a 25-year-old national guard flier in Kentucky died while chasing a flying saucer near Franklin. The victim, Captain Thomas Mantell, had been seen climbing higher and higher in his. pursuit. His mother said she had been informed that Captain Mantell lost consciousness at the high attitude and crashed.
Even the Russians got into it. With a faint smile on his poker face. Andrei Gromyko in July, 1947, denied that they were discs thrown by mighty Russian discus throwers. A few weeks later, Soviet publications unsmilingly described the flying saucers as an American attempt to call forth the spirit of war.
The saucers kept showing up -- if not in the air, in people's minds. One pilot got into a half-hour dogfight at 400 miles per hour over Fargo, North Dakota, with a lighted disc. The disc finally outmaneuvered him, and the pilot had nothing to prove it by but his word.
At intervals, of course, the thing kept getting silly. Such as the time in 1950 when someone claimed to have found a flying saucer wrecked in Mexico -- with the body of a 38-inch pilot in the wreckage.
But amid the nonsense came straight-faced reports -- sometimes from indisputably reliable sources. Wright Field, in Ohio, reported a mystery object in the sky in March, 1950. Discs, sometimes lighted, were described over the San Fernando Valley and other parts of the U.S. A Swiss engineer in Peru told of seeing a saucer suspended in the air for five minutes; a veteran airline pilot saw one over Arkansas; a navy officer saw one over White Sands; a T-W-A pilot saw one over Chicago; three airmen spotted one at Hamilton Field, California. And so it went. This year, in February, U.S. airmen in Korea said they saw orange globes in the sky.
The latest such report came Miami, Florida, from two airline pilots. They said eight of the saucers, 100 feet in diameter and glowing like hot coals, passed underneath their Pan-American airways DC-4, wheeled sharply, then zoomed out of sight.
These two pilots are first officer W.B. Nash, a veteran of ten years with Pan American, and first officer W.H. Fortenberry. Nash said he wasn't kidding. "There is no doubt in our minds that we saw missiles of some kind operating under intelligent control." Nash's view was that they might have come from some source outside the earth.
Researchers have found strange reports made long ago. A British astronomer in 1882 described what he called "A great circular disk of greenish light" moving over the horizon. A sea captain in 1870 saw a circular grayish object maneuvering in space over the Atlantic. There were others, too, in the 1800's. Some persons would theorize that human beings were seeing things then and are seeing things now. Another suggestion is that other worlds have been sending observers here for years.
At any rate, the Boise, Idaho, businessman who touched off the flood of reports In 1947, Kenneth Arnold, feels somewhat vindicated over the whole thing. Arnold put it this way -- and there may be something to what he says:
"Everybody can't be seeing things."
Syracuse, New York Herald Journal 21 Jul 52
It was bound to come. The surprising thing is that the flying saucers (or whatever they are) avoided the skies of Syracuse and Central New York so long.
Seeing is believing. There's the rub. It's only those who see strange things for themselves who are impressed. We note, however, that one observer is sure what he saw was a meteor. These are not uncommon and shooting stars are more common still.
One result of all the hubbub may be a stimulus to the study of astronomy. Dwellers among city lights forget what the stars look like. If the whole public constitutes itself a committee to inspect the heavens it will see its petty problems of the day in a new perspective.
Lima, Ohio News - 21 Jul 52
Skywatch Successful During First Week
WASHINGTON -- The Air Force says the first week of round-the-clock Skywatch operations by volunteers was successful -- but more persons are needed if the gaps in the nation's radar net are to be plugged successfully.
An estimated 70,000 to 80,000 volunteers last week reportedly spotted hundreds of planes flying too low for radar to detect.
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. Although the reported sightings related in the July 17, 1952 Danville Bee article "Flying Saucers Sighted Over Tidewater Va." don't appear in Project Blue Book files, a report from that same night by a "NACA Assistant Division Chief, Pilotless Aircraft Division" in Hampton Roads, Virginia, can be seen here. Hampton Roads lies approximately 120 miles north of the locations reported in the Danville Bee article.
3. The reported sighting in Dayton, Ohio related in the July 17, 1952 Sandusky, Ohio Register Star News article "Summer Is Here And So Are Flying Saucers Over Dayton" occurred on July 13, 1952. Selected Air Force Documents can be read here.
4. The original July 9, 1947 Arizona Republic article on William Rhodes, as included at this site in In The News 1947, is as follows...
This flying object was twice snapped at dusk Monday as it circled north of Phoenix. William A. Rhodes, 4333 North 14th street, first shot the picture at the left as the slow-flying object was approaching him. As it banked to make a tight turn, he obtained the picture above, showing clearly the shape of the object. In seconds, Rhodes said, the "disc" shot away to the west at high speed. It had made three whirling turns north of the city, after approaching from the west. Aircraft identification experts yesterday would not hazard opinions on the object's nature.
Speedy 'Saucer' Zips Through Local Sky
By ROBERT C. HANIKA
THE FIRST clearly recorded photographs of what is believed to be a mysterious "flying disc" which has 33 states in America and even a few foreign countries on edge with its peculiar activities, was taken by an amateur Phoenix photographer.
Reproduced in the Arizona Republic today, the photographs were made by William A. Rhodes, 4333 North 14th street, who was on his way to his workshop in the rear of his home when he heard the distinctive "whoosh" of what he believed to be a P-80 or Shooting Star jet-propelled plane.
Rhodes snatched a camera from his workshop bench and by the time he reached a small mound at the rear of his home, the object had circled once and was banking in tight circles to the south at an altitude of approximately 1,000 feet, he said.
IN THE overcast sky, the object continued its speedy flight from north to south and directly east of his stance. Rhodes snapped the hurtling missile by sighting alongside his box camera.
Quickly rolling up his last piece of film, Rhodes awaited the return of the craft which continued in a clockwise movement over his home and as it disappeared into the west, the second shot was taken.
Rhodes described the object's disappearance as phenomenal since it apparently winged over and shot up into the ether.
"I don't think it was a P-80 since I have observed many of them over here. Also, the fact it made no other sound after the first pass over the house," Rhodes said, "makes me believe it was some other type of aircraft. In its three flights over the house there was not a sound, even when it zoomed into the southwest," he said.
Men long experienced in aircraft recognition studied the prints and the negatives from which they were made and declined to make guesses on what the flying object might be.
Rhodes' first shot was made as the object approached and showed it to be somewhat cigar-shaped, but with motion-lines on the film which indicated it was turning at high speed either edgewise or in a flat spin.
The second, as the object "banked" in a tight turn, showed an object much in the shape of a heel of a shoe, with a small hole in the center. The white mark also showed in the first picture.
Rhodes said there were twin trails of vapor trailing from the points or edges of the rear of the "heel."
Rhodes' photographs from The Arizona Republic were found at The UFO Chronicles. The photos are cropped, however, and the following is the full front page of that day's issue as reproduced in Fate magazine...
5. Rhodes did give the negatives of his photos to the local FBI office, as stated in "Hobby Astronomers Key Saucer Rash To Timing", but according to the FBI report it was "with the full understanding that they were being given to the Army and that he would not get them back" (at the time the air corps was a part of the army).
6. Contrary to the implication in the statement that "the pictures were given national distribution in the press" made in "Hobby Astronomers Key Saucer Rash To Timing", the pictures appeared only in that one newspaper as far as is known. However, an enlargement of one of Rhodes' photos did appear in the spring, 1948 issue of Raymond Palmer's Fate magazine (along with the full-page reproduction of the front page), and enlargements were included of both photos in Kenneth Arnold's 1950 booklet "The Flying Saucer As I Saw It" and in Kenneth Arnold's 1952 book The Coming of the Saucers, co-authored by Raymond Palmer. In his 1950 booklet Arnold claimed he had been given the photos by Col. Donald Springer of A-2 intelligence when Arnold went to Hamilton Field as part of the investigation of what is now called "The Maury Island Incident", but no such meeting with Col. Springer or of Arnold ever being interviewed by A-2 intelligence is found in Air Force files relating to the incident (he was however interviewed by the FBI). Nor does the spring, 1948 issue of Fate magazine make any mention of the source for its enlargement of the one Rhodes' photo. Based on all of the above, it seems likely that the reference "the pictures were given national distribution in the press" in the Arizona Republic article refers to the spring, 1948 issue of Fate magazine. Whether the photos were obtained by Fate from the Arizona Republic at that time and then claimed by Arnold to have been given to him by Col. Springer, or whether Arnold actually received the photos from Col. Springer as a result of Col. Springer's extremely unusual decision to provide documents from a current military investigation to a civilian, is unknown.
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