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Amazing Stories

Above: October, 1957 issue of Amazing Stories.

The year 1957 would light ten candles on the anniversary cake for the modern flying saucer phenomenon. Much had changed from the early tentative months of Summer, 1947 -- although, conversely, much had remained the same. Illustrating this dynamic would be the many ways in which the saucers -- and the people who "believed" in them -- were presented to the public.


Representing one side of the controversy -- those who scoffed at the saucers -- would be an article penned for the April 7, 1957, edition of the Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch...


Above: Graphic, headline and byline of article.

Scanning the Skies

Flying Saucers Still Being Seen


This year marks the 10th anniversary of flying saucers. The significance of that fact is that those who said back in 1947, when the term flying saucer was born, that it was a matter of mass postwar hysteria and would pass as quickly as a crooner craze, were over-optimistic.

Today, flying saucers are called UFO's (unidentified flying objects) but other than that they are st1ll with us. Not only does the Air Force continue to get several UFO reports almost daily, but several dozen civilian UFO societies have sprung up. It seems that these good people, aided by a number of popular writers on the subject, feel that the Air Force is doing a poor job, particularly in keeping the public informed.

The latest group is called the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena and is headed by a retired admiral and a retired Army general. We wish them luck -- the great backlog of hazy and indefinite reports that have accumulated over the past 10 years should keep these gentlemen busy.

ALL OF THIS may be a surprise to the reader, since UFO reports are now generally disregarded by the press -- after 10 years UFO's have ceased to be news, and small wonder, since the reports continue to be the same hazy, indefinite, unscientific reports as they always were.

Astronomers are very often asked about flying saucers. What are they? The answer: "Flying saucers are any aerial phenomenon or sighting that remains unexplained long enough for someone to write a report about it."

They are reports - something on paper. There are no "flesh and blood" flying saucers in captivity and no photographs exist in Air Force files that show anything of scientific proof value.

WHAT IS the stimulus that gives rise to the report? Mostly it is either an aircraft, a research balloon, a meteor or other astronomical item, that has been misinterpreted by the viewer.

Ah, but what of those reports that can't be explained in that way, is the immediate question of many people.

They are still only reports, often too flimsy to do any thing with, and reports which do not tell a definite story or paint a self-consistent picture.

BUT SUCH considerations do not bother the ardent civilian investigators and writers on the subject, who believe saucers come from another planet. Neither does it bother them that astronomers can find no evidence for intelligent life on the other planets of our solar system. Visitors from another world require that another habitable planet exists.

Of course, there probably are other solar systems, even though no telescope is powerful enough to see whether even the nearest star to us has a system of planets of its own. But even if it does, these men forget that a planet there would be 800,000 times farther away from us than Mars is -- a mighty, mighty long journey for someone who wants to pay us a visit.

YET FRANK EDWARDS, the news commentator, another who has recently taken the Air Force to task on the UFO matter, thinks we have really been visited by visitors from beyond this earth. And for pure fancy, he says it rather well: "Sometime soon we expect to launch our first man-made satellite. This will be but a humble beginning, a flimsy aerial canoe crawling along the rim of space."

Hynek was correct about at least one thing -- "civilian UFO societies" had indeed burst forth not only in the United States but across the world. In the United States such "societies" fell into one of two categories -- first, those devoted to serious investigation and research, and next, those of the contactees and spiritualists (with contactees meeting with aliens physically, and spiritualists channeling or contacting aliens telepathically and sometimes interdimensionally -- with a fair number of "contactees" claiming to have made both physical and psychic contact).

Of the serious research groups, the oldest and most prominent were CSI (variously known as Civilian Saucer Investigators, Civilian Saucer Investigations and Civilian Saucer Intelligence), APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research Organization), and CRIFO (Civilian Research, Interplanetary Flying Objects).

Unfortunately, by 1957 those interested in serious investigation were being overwhelmed by the spiritualist and contactee faction not only in popularity but - distressingly -- in the public eye as representative of all UFO "believers".


Preeminent amongst the "contactees" was George Adamski, author of two bestselling books telling of his encounters with a race from Venus, including trips aboard their spaceships. To bolster his claims, Adamski offered photographs of the Venusian ships in flight, which were then widely reprinted, as in Max Miller's 1957 book "Flying Saucers - Fact or Fiction"...


Miller's 1957 book also gave details on some of the other publicly prominent "contactees" on the scene...


Above: Front and back covers of Flying Saucers - Fact or Fiction?, from which the following is excerpted...

In early 1954, Daniel W. Fry of El Monte, Calif., announced that he had established a contact with a non-terrestial [sic] entity four years prior -- in 1950 -- at the White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico, during his employment with the Aerojet General Corporation, of Azusa, California. By vocation, Fry was an explosives technician and blaster. Currently, he is part owner in an electronics firm and editor of the periodical, Understanding. He has recently written and published a textbook on space travel titled Steps to the Stars.

Dan Fry's entire claimed experience is related in his book, "The White Sands Incident [sic, no end quote}, (New Age Publishing Co., Los Angeles, 1954) from which he summarized the following account:


"The incident occurred at the White Sands Proving Ground, an Army and Navy missile testing area near the town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. The time was the evening of July 4, 1950. I was, at that time, temporarily employed at the base for the purpose of setting up instrumentation for the static testing of a series of very large rocket motors. The day being a holiday, I had intended to spend the evening in the nearby town of Las Cruces. Instead, I found myself stranded in the almost deserted army base by the untimely departure of the last camp bus for town.

I retired to my quarters, Room 6 in the H building directly across from the Officers Club, with the intent to do a little studying on the subject of heat transfer, a subject in which I was considerably interested at the time. It also proved to be a timely subject, because no sooner had I commenced to study than the air conditioning system of the building apparently ceased to function, and my room became unbearably hot. Forced out of doors by the heat and the stuffiness of the building, I decided to go for a hike among the 'boondocks,' as the sandy, hummocky area surrounding the base is colloquially known.

Daniel Fry

Daniel W. Fry, who alleges he contacted a so-called "flying saucer" on July 4, 1950, at the White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico. Fry claims he entered the craft, which whisked him by remote control to New York and back in 30 minutes. This, he adds, would indicate a speed of at least 8000 miles per hour. Fry is a part owner of an engineering plant in California.

The sun had been down for some time and the moon was not yet up, but it was far from dark. The White Sands Proving Grounds is situated upon a rather high desert plateau. The air is very clear and the stars very bright. Unless they are obscured by a heavy overcast they will always furnish ample light for comfortable hiking.

When about three quarters of a mile away from the edge of the base, I observed an object in the air coming toward me from the direction of the peaks of the Organ Mountains, which rise almost vertically above the base area. It was moving slowly, descending at an angle of about 45 degrees and constantly diminishing in speed as it approached the ground. Its operation was completely silent. There were no propeller blades, jet streams, or any other visible means of the application of the force which controlled it. Being in a position which made me, at least slightly familiar with practically all of the missiles and other aeroforms which were being developed in this country at the time, I felt certain that this was nothing which had been produced in the United States. It also seemed unlikely that the technology of any other country on earth had progressed to a point which would permit the construction of such a vehicle. With this realization, I felt a strong desire to be somewhere else, and was restrained from flight only by the knowledge that this would be the surest way to call attention to myself.

The object settled to earth some seventy feet from where I stood. It was an oblate spheroid about thirty feet in diameter at the widest part, and about sixteen feet in height, silvery in color with what appeared to be a slight violet iridescence, which might or might not have been caused by the light in which I was viewing it. After settling to earth, it remained completely silent and motionless, and eventually I managed to overcome most of the fear which its appearance had caused me.

I approached the craft cautiously and circled about it, seeing no means of entrance or signs of life. When I touched the metal of the hull in an attempt to determine its temperature, I was warned against doing so, by a voice which I at first assumed was coming from a loudspeaker somewhere in that portion of the hull which was to my left. The voice spoke the English language, and employed the American idiom. A conversation ensued, during which I expressed skepticism concerning some of the statements made by the 'voice'. As a result, I was offered the opportunity of making a test hop in the craft for the purpose of resolving any doubts which I might have. After some hesitation, I accepted the offer and was taken for a flight which demonstrated beyond question, the remarkable abilities of the craft and the advanced nature of the intelligence which had created it.

The limited space available here does not permit the inclusion of the minute details of the trip or the craft in which it was made, but those details are available in the original book.

Daniel Fry

Daniel W. Fry claims he took this photo of a mystery craft between Baldwin Park and Azusa, California, at approximately 3:30 p.m. on September 18, 1954, with Brownie Holiday camera.

The flight path was from the White Sands Proving Grounds to, and over, the City of New York and return. The distance involved in the round trip was approximately 4000 miles, and the trip was completed in a little more than thirty minutes, involving a cruising velocity of about 8000 miles per hour. The flight was made at an elevation of about 35 miles except for the circular pass about the City of New York which was made at an elevation of about twenty miles. I was informed that the vehicle in which I rode was unmanned except for myself, being essentially a cargo carrier controlled from a much larger ship which was at an elevation of some 900 miles above our surface.

When the round trip had been completed, the vehicle was again brought to earth and I was requested to leave it and walk to a safe distance. When I had put a dozen paces between myself and the object, I turned just in time to see a horizontal band of orange colored light, which was apparently due to the extreme ionization of the air, appear about the central portion of the hull, and it shot upward as if released from a catapult. As it continued upward, the color of the light scanned the spectrum from orange to violet and finally passed completely from sight, ending what has come to be known as "The White Sands Incident."


One of the first to claim contact with another planet's inhabitants was Truman Bethurum. His experiences are explored in his later published book, Aboard a Flying Saucer. (DeVorss & Co., L.A., 1954).

The author first heard of Bethurum's alleged encounter in mid-1953. A letter of inquiry to this former construction mechanic and welder brought an immediate response.

He prefaced his reply, dated July 24, 1953, by relating that he had "never been interested in astrology or any kindred subjects, and up until my own personal contact with these space people, my personal belief was the stories were just that someone had seen large searchlight beams hitting an occasional cloud."

This missive by Mr. Bethurum, it should be emphasized, was written quite some time prior to his subsequent publicity -- and was therefore an interesting record by a person who later attained a certain amount of fame. Apparently he had not even thought of compiling his "contacts" in book form at the time.

Nearly a month later -- on August 16, 1953 -- "Tru," as he is known to his friends, spoke before a flying saucer convention in Los Angeles.

"This was the first intimation I had," he wrote in Aboard a Flying Saucer, "that there were such things as saucer clubs."

His talk at the gathering and the publication of a brief condensation of these related "contacts" evoked almost unbelievable response. This ultimately resulted in the Redondo Beach Daily Breeze publishing a reasonably detailed story of the account some three times. Eventually he wrote his volume, and later made a lecture circuit of the United States recounting his "experiences."

The following is Bethurum's letter to the author dated July 24, 1953 -- long before he was besieged by a truth-thirsty public and news-seeking media.

(The narrative to follow is reportorially accurate. It has, however, been edited to enhance its coherency. Being first in letterform, its essence was separated by several interjections and placed varyingly throughout. This is certainly not meant as an adverse reflection upon the writer; communications are not written for publication, and several addenda were placed at the end of the missive.)

Truman Bethurum:

In July, 1952, I was employed in Nevada on Highway 91, about 70 or so miles out of Las Vegas toward Salt Lake City. I had been transferred from day to night shift. We worked from 4 p.m. until sometimes 8 a.m., the following morning. My job was to keep four water trucks operating, hauling water from the Muddy river to two reservoirs out in the desert for daytime sprinkling on the highway construction.

Soon after going on the job, some fellow workers told me that the entire mesa area had been covered by the ocean at some time and there were sea shells to prove it. So one night late in July, after I was sure everything was functioning properly, I asked and received permission to visit the mesa area to get some shell souvenirs. I had a flash light along and used it some, but didn't find what I was after. It was about 3:30 a.m. when I left my job site, driving and walking possibly an hour or so. I headed my four wheel drive Army carryall truck into the northeast and decided to take a short nap, realizing the first gleam of daylight would awake me.

I had been asleep possibly a half hour or slightly more when I was rudely awakened by what would best be described as mumbling-low talking in an unintelligible tongue. My first thought was that my boss and someone were playing a trick because of finding me asleep. But as I raised my head I quickly discovered this was not the case. About eight small sized men were in a semicircle in front and to the right side of my truck, approximately eight to ten feet away, and apparently as curious as I was.

My thought was to get away fast, although I would have had to back around. As I raised up to see better, one of the men took a couple of steps forward toward me and said something rather low and still unintelligible to me. I shook my head to indicate that I did not understand. He came quickly back with, "You name it."

"My God," I said. "You can speak English too?"

"We have no difficulty with any language," he returned.

These fellows seemed to be of Latin extraction from their appearance. My heart was thumping -- I guess from fear and excitement. At that instant I decided to get out of my truck and shake hands for a friendly gesture. As I turned to get out I saw about 75 yards away a monstrous disc shaped flying saucer. About 300 feet in diameter and roughly 18 feet "deep." Then I wondered for a split second if it could be a movie prop, but as I had been above looking down only a short time before I realized this could not be the case.

As I reached out my hand to shake hands, it seemed like a military maneuver the way they lined up as each seemed anxious to grasp my hand. Only one made any attempt to talk to me or answer my questions. They never asked me a single question and it appeared to me to be a military type outfit they were wearing, and also the way they fell into line to shake my hand.

"Do you have a captain?" I asked.


"Could I speak to him please?"

"Surest thing you know," he replied. And he took hold of my right arm above the elbow with his left hand with a terribly hard squeeze. (That did not ease my mind any.)

Then I asked if they were from some European country.

"No," he said. "Our homes are in a far away land."

As I had asked about speaking to their captain, I noticed a smile on some faces that made me think, "Well, this is it. And no one will ever know what happened to me!"

He said, "You may speak to our captain in our scow."

"What a name, for a thing like that," I thought.

This man almost spun me around and started for the saucer, which seemed to be floating about four feet off the ground. As we neared it, it settled to just a few inches off the ground and tilted down on the near side at the same time. There was just one step and a single hand rail on the right side of the opening. He almost bounced me to the rim of the saucer. He had released the extreme pressure on my arm, but still had a firm grip. I was at least a foot taller than he, and I weighed approximately 180.

We went downhill inside about 50 feet and he again swung me around to the left, through a door-like opening to a room about 10 by 12 feet and fitted like a combined office and lounge. I think my eyes fairly popped when I saw that their captain was a gorgeous woman, shorter than any of the men, neatly attired and also having a Latin appearance: coal black hair and olive complexion. She appeared to be about 42 years old.

Truman Bethurum

Truman Bethurum, author of "Aboard a Flying Saucer," claims be met a crew from a flying saucer, including its lady captain, in Nevada in '52.

Truman Bethurum

Artist's conception of the craft that Truman Bethurum said he boarded in Nevada during 1952. The drawing is reproduced from "Aboard a Flying Saucer" courtesy DeVorss & Co.

She stood up and smiled. The man released my arm immediately. I turned to say something to him, but he had disappeared instantly. As I again faced this lady, I could not for the life of me think of a single thing to say. After a couple of seconds, she again smiled and said. "Speak up, friend. You're not hexed."

After talking and asking questions for about a half hour, I realized they were definitely not Europeans. She did not tell me her name or the name of their planet at that time, just leaving me with a knowledge that they traveled interplanetary and were wise to everything going on all over our world, and other planets also. She seemed friendly, anxious to talk, etc. About the only questions asked of me was what I called the area which was Mormon Mesa, Nevada. (She later told me her name was Aura Rhanes and their home planet was Clarion. She said Clarion was definitely not a planet known by some other name, and gave me her reasons.)

I had decided not to tell anyone regarding this episode as I knew I would be called a liar. But upon returning to my job shortly after sunrise my boss said, "Did Joe's plane come down out there where you were, out of gas?"

"No," I told him.

"Did a commercial airliner land our there near you?" he asked.

Another "no" answer.

Finally, in desperation, he said: "I could see something come down out there and there was no noise. Now if it wasn't Joe's plane, what was it?"

When I finally broke down and told him, I just got the wicked eye treatment, and as the news spread around, I was walked around, etc.

Before they left she escorted me to the outside and told me they would come again. She said you just think of the place and day. I have seen them eleven times altogether, the last on November 2, 1952. At that time she said we will see you again, possibly next month. I was in the general area until March of 1953 and have not seen anything of them or any signs that might indicate even a falling star in the skies.

- - - - - - - - - -

Claimed flying saucer contacts are not necessarily few or far between.

Orfeo Angelucci, like Bethurum, asserts to have "contacted" outer-spatial [sic] intelligence in 1952. He compiled his experiences into The Secret of the Saucers. He alleges to have spoken to two saucer people one night on his way home from work at a Burbank, California aircraft plant and to have taken a trip in a saucer at a later date. ...

Surprisingly, Orfeo Angelucci's account was given only brief mention in Miller's book -- surprising, first, because the two men were personal friends. But the absence of detail on Angelucci may be because of the nature of Angelucci's stories. Where other "contactees" had described conventional flying saucers, Angelucci's space vehicles and extraterrestrials were far more ethereal, for instance as summarized in an article in the April 5, 1954, edition of the Hayward, California, Daily Review...

Orfeo Angelucci

Above: Orfeo Angelucci.

A typical story was related by Orfeo Angelucci, 42, of Glendale, Calif., who claimed a "thing" which looked like "a transparent soap bubble hemisphere" landed near him on a bridge on July 23, 1952, and obliged him with a ride "1000 miles over Los Angeles."

Universally described as soft-spoken and gentle, Angelucci was by all reports well-liked by all who met him. Angelucci even passed personal muster with acerbic and skeptical researcher Jim Moseley, who -- although he also passed along a rumor that Angelucci "seems to have been confined to a mental institution more than once" -- had this to say...

Orfeo Angelucci was back that year, too. One of the earliest and, for a time, most popular contactees, he was a genuinely likable fellow. He claimed to have seen his first saucer in 1946 and to have had remarkably beautiful "dreams" and psychic contacts with the Space People, who told him of an impending world war that would be followed by an idyllic "New Age of Earth." He told of this in two books, The Secret of the Saucers (1955) and Son of the Sun (1959), and uncounted lectures. When I read The Secret, I took Angelucci for a nervous, sensitive sort, possibly prone to hallucinations. When I finally met him, it turned out he was a hard-core Italian wino, a wild and crazy guy who was a lot of fun to be with.

Angelucci also attracted the special interest of pioneering psychotherapist Carl Jung, who added an epilogue about Angelucci to his already-completed manuscript for his 1959 book, "Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies"...

Orfeo Angelucci
Orfeo Angelucci

Above, top: Book jacket for 1959 American edition of Jung's book. Below, left; Book jacket for Angelucci's 1955 book. Below, right: Advertisement for Angelucci's book by Amherst Press. The copy for the ad reads: "THE COMPLETELY TRUE, COMPLETELY HONEST STORY OF ORFEO ANGELUCCI -- It's no fairy tale. Psychic experience yes! But backed by fact. Authenticated by eyewitness confirmation. Dozens of people saw the physical reality, while Orfeo experienced the psychic adventure. Simultaneous evidence that would astound you. There actually is an unknown world around us, usually invisible, but at last the veil is being tom away. You owe it to yourself to read this incredible, yet totally credible. book! A remarkable message of the space men given by Orfeo Angelucci in his strange adventure into higher realms. The world is astir today with new thoughts -- and our eyes are fixed on outer space. Read the amazing history of the saucers, of the people who fly in them, of their mission on earth. Read the prophecy of the future, the message to our troubled earth. Live Orfeo's tremendous adventure with him, as he tells it in his own words, simply and honestly.".

I had already completed my manuscript when a little book fell into my hands which I ought not to leave unmentioned: The Secret of the Saucers, by Orfeo M. Angelucci (1955). The author is self-taught and describes himself as a nervous individual suffering from "constitutional inadequacy." After working at various jobs he was employed as a mechanic in 1952 at the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation at Burbank, California. He seems to lack any kind of humanistic culture, but appears to have a knowledge of science that exceeds what would be expected of a person in his circumstances. He is an Americanized Italian, naive and -- if appearances do not deceive us -- serious and idealistic. He makes his living now by preaching the gospel revealed to him by the Saucers. That is the reason why I mention his book.

His career as a prophet began with the sighting of a supposedly authentic Ufo on August 4, 1946. At the time he had no further interest in the problem. He was working in his free hours on a book entitled "The Nature of Infinite Entities," which he subsequently published at his own expense. He describes its content as "Atomic Evolution, Suspension, and Involution, Origin of the Cosmic Rays," etc. On May 23, 1952, he underwent the experience that gave him his calling. Towards 11 o'clock in the evening, he says, he felt unwell and had a "prickling" sensation in the upper half of his body, as before an electrical storm. He was working the nightshift, and as he was driving home in his car he saw a faintly red-glowing, oval-shaped object hovering over the horizon, which nobody else seemed to see. On a lonely stretch of the road, where it rose above the level of the surrounding terrain, he saw below him the glowing red disk "pulsating" near the ground only a short distance away. Suddenly it shot upwards with great speed at an angle of 30 to 40 degrees and disappeared towards the west. But before it vanished, it released two balls of green fire from which a man's voice issued, speaking "perfect English". He could remember the words: "Don't be afraid, Orfeo, we are friends!" The voice bade him get out of the car. This he did, and, leaning against the car, he watched the two "pulsating" disks hovering a short distance in front of him. The voice explained to him that the lights were "instruments of transmission and reception" (i.e., a species of sense organs) and that he was in direct communication with "friends from another world". It also asked him if he remembered his experience on August 4th, 1946. All at once he felt very thirsty, and the voice told him: "Drink from the crystal cup you will find on the fender of your car". He drank, and it was the "most delicious beverage I had ever tasted". He felt refreshed and strengthened. The twin disks were about three feet apart. "Suddenly the area between them began to glow with a soft green light which gradually formed into a luminous three-dimensional screen." In it there appeared the heads and shoulders of two persons, a man and a woman, "being the ultimate of perfection". They had large shining eyes, and despite their supernatural perfection they seemed strangely familiar to him. They observed him and the whole scene. It seemed to him that he was in telepathic communication with them. As suddenly as it had come the vision vanished, and the fireballs reassumed their former brilliance. He heard the words: "The road will open, Orfeo", and the voice continued:

We see the individuals of Earth as each one really is, Orfeo, and not as perceived by the limited senses of man. The people of your planet have been under observation for centuries, but have only recently been re-surveyed. Every point of progress in your society is registered with us. We know you as you do not know yourselves. Every man, woman and child is recorded in vital statistics by means of our recording crystal disks. Each of you is infinitely more important to us than to your fellow Earthlings because you are not aware of the true mystery of your being ... We feel a deep sense of brotherhood toward Earth's inhabitants because of an ancient kinship of our planet with Earth. In you we can look far back in time and recreate certain aspects of our former world. With deep compassion and understanding we have watched your world going through its "growing pains". We ask that you look upon us simply as older brothers.

The author was also informed that the UFOs were remote-controlled by a mothership. The occupants of UFOs needed in reality no such vessels. As "etheric" entities they needed them only in order to manifest themselves materially to man. The UFOs could travel approximately with the speed of light. "The Speed of Light is the Speed of Truth" (i.e., quick as thought). The heavenly visitors were harmless and filled with the best intentions. "Cosmic law" forbade spectacular landings on earth. The earth was at present threatened by greater dangers than was realized.

After these revelations Angelucci felt exalted and strengthened. It was "as though momentarily I had transcended mortality and was somehow related to these superior beings". When the lights disappeared, it seemed to him that the everyday world had lost its reality and become an abode of shadows.

On July 23, 1952, he felt unwell and stayed away from work. In the evening he took a walk, and on the way back, in a lonely place, similar sensations came over him as he had felt on May 23. Combined with them was "the dulling of consciousness I had noted on that other occasion," i.e., the awareness of an abaissement du niveau mental, a state which is a very important precondition for the occurrence of spontaneous psychic phenomena. Suddenly he saw a luminous object on the ground before him, like an "igloo" or a "huge, misty soap bubble." This object visibly increased in solidity, and he saw something like a doorway leading into a brightly lit interior. He stepped inside, and found himself in a vaulted room, about eighteen feet in diameter. The walls were made of some "ethereal mother-of-pearl stuff."

Facing him was a comfortable reclining chair consisting of the same translucent, shimmering substance. Otherwise the room was empty and silent. He sat down and had the feeling that he was suspended in air. It was as if the chair moulded itself to the shape of his body of its own accord. The door shut as if there had never been a door there at all. Then he heard a kind of humming, a rhythmical sound like a vibration, which put him into a kind of semi-dream state. The room grew dark, and music came from the walls. Then it grew light again. He found on the floor a piece of metal like a coin. When he took it in his hand, it seemed to diminish in size. He had the feeling that the UFO was carrying him away. Suddenly something like a round window opened, about nine feet in diameter. Outside he saw a planet, the earth, from a distance of over a thousand miles, as a voice he recognized explained to him. He wept with emotion and the voice said: "Weep, Orfeo ... we weep with you for earth and her children. For all its apparent beauty earth is a purgatorial world among the planets evolving intelligent life. Hate, selfishness and cruelty rise from many parts of it like a dark mist." Then, he says, the craft evidently moved out into cosmic space. Through the window he saw a UFO about 1000 feet long and 90 feet thick, consisting of a transparent, crystalline substance. Music poured from it, bringing visions of harmoniously revolving planets and galaxies. The voice informed him that every being on earth was divinely created, and "upon your world the mortal shadows of those entities are working out their salvation from the plane of darkness." All these entities were either on the good side or on the bad. "We know where you stand, Orfeo." Owing to his physical weakness he had spiritual gifts, and that was why the heavenly beings could enter into communication with him. He was given to understand that the music as well as the voice emanated from this huge spaceship. It moved off slowly, and he noticed at either end of it "vortices of flame" that served as propellers, but they were also instruments for seeing and hearing, "through some method of telepathic contact".

On the way back they met two ordinary UFOs travelling earthwards. The voice entertained him with more explanations concerning the attitude of the higher beings to mankind...

Raymond PalmerInterestingly, both Moseley and Jung had made the same fundamental error in assessing Angelucci by his book "The Secret of the Saucers" -- which had been published by Ray Palmer's Amherst Press and which featured the prominent notation "edited by Ray Palmer". As was common in works published and "edited" by Palmer -- the carnival barker of the flying saucer midway -- the book bore the imprints of Palmer's heavy editorial and authorial hand throughout, both in its extravagant prose style and in its themes (probably accounting for Jung's puzzlement that Angelucci had a "knowledge of science that exceeds what would be expected of a person in his circumstances").

Palmer, former editor of Amazing Stories magazine and co-founder of the paranormal "Fate" magazine, had a long history of rewriting others' works -- including the brazen fabrication of fantastical details, framed with overwrought rhetorical flourish to exhilarate any story which came into his grasp.

All of which made the tale told in the book quite different from the story told by Angelucci in person, as for instance reported in the June 24, 1961, edition of the Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard...

A California man told a Eugene audience Thursday night that he took a 35-minute flying saucer ride...

Orfeo Angelucci of Glendale, Calif., said the saucer was powered by "magnetic propulsion" and controlled by a race of higher beings. The leader of these beings, Angelucci reported, was named Neptune and looked like a refined Ronald Coleman.

Angelucci, who runs a floor covering business in California, spoke at a meeting sponsored by Eugene Unit No. 26 of Understanding, an organization interested in trips such as his. The audience of 50 persons listened quietly as Angelucci described his trip and several other encounters with the flying saucer people.

It all started, Angelucci said, back in New Jersey in 1946 when he sent up two experimental balloons. At that time he spotted a space ship watching the balloons ascend.

"Then, one night in 1948, I couldn't sleep," Angelucci said. "I got up and made myself a sandwich and poured a large glass of ginger ale. I felt very close to the secret of nature.

"I sat down to the table, munched my sandwich, and looked deep into the glass. The little bubbles became galaxies, earths, stars ... I put the glass down. Suddenly I felt different -- a queer feeling.

"Once more I put the glass up, I saw bubbles in the ether ... I put the glass down, but I still saw the bubbles. They became little bursts of light, each with a little face."

The next encounter, Angelucci said, didn't come until four years later, in 1952, in Burbank, Calif., where he was working for Lockheed.

"I was on my way home after working the swing shift, and stopped at a traffic light at Alameda and Victory Boulevard. A red light seemed to come into the intersection."

As traffic started up again, the red light began following him, Angelucci said. It guided him off on a side road.

"The object asked me to come out of the car and I did ... I felt a warm-glow within me ... A voice said 'Greeting Orfeo, beloved friend ... Remember your thirst -- I brought a drink for you.'"

Angelucci said he was given a small bottle. "It had an elixir or nectar in it. Just one swallow and I felt nothing."

After more conversation with the voice's owner, who said his name was Neptune, and after watching a three-dimensional color television picture, Angelucci went home and told his wife what had happened.

"I thought it was very sane, but to her it sounded different ... The next day she started telling the neighbors. For two months I had no believers at all -- my only believer was a 4-1/2-year-old boy."

It was two months later, Angelucci said, when he got the free flying saucer trip. He said he spotted the saucer -- which appeared transparent -- waiting for him as he came out of a drive-in theater he and his wife helped run.

"I walked in and sat down. There was a coin on the floor. I picked it up, and the door slid closed. I felt a little push on my back."

"Then a song played. I didn't recognize it then, but I heard it a few days later. It was 'Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread' by the Voices of Walter Schumann."

During his ride, Angelucci said, he was given a view of the Earth and of the stars. He also saw the saucer's "mother ship," which he described as cigar-shaped, 900 feet long, and pearl in color.

Once again, Angelucci said, he heard music. "They played the Lord's Prayer. It was by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. At first I thought it was Fred Waring..."

"Then they brought me back to Earth. I wanted to see what the ship looked like, so I got to the door, jumped out and looked, but it wasn't there."

Such was the music which -- as portrayed in the book -- brought "visions of harmoniously revolving planets and galaxies". And such was the real story of the non-existent "vortices of flame that served as propellers, but they were also instruments for seeing and hearing, through some method of telepathic contact" which the book says Angelucci saw as the spacecraft departed.

As to the profound and universal spiritual insights told in the book, it seems that Angelucci at least managed to retain one foot in his Earthly existence, as related by Jim Moseley, telling of a 1961 encounter...

Oddly enough, one of Angelucci's good friends was serious saucerer Max Miller, of Saucers and World's First Flying Saucer Convention fame. On one occasion, the three of us went out drinking -- or rather, Orfeo and I drank, while Max sipped soft drinks. Angelucci got quite drunk and I, moderately so. Max kept after his friend to tell "the sheep story," but Orfeo repeatedly begged off, though I had the definite feeling he would give in eventually. And he did. It seemed that, quite a few years before, he and a group of drinking buddies (presumably Earthmen) lived near a sheep farm. When they got really crocked, they would sneak down to the farm and "fool around" with the sheep. After rather circumspectly telling of these bestial adventures, Orfeo suddenly laughed and burst out, "Me, I always made sure I got hold of a female sheep, but some of those other guys would fuck anything."

StanfordThe last contactee of prominence covered in Miller's 1957 book was the startlingly-young Ray Stanford -- still in high school at the time of his "contact" three years earlier and just 19-years old at the time of Miller's 1957 book (Miller himself was barely out of his teens at the time, but had made a name for himself as the wunderkind of saucer research, having formed a flying-saucer society called "Flying Saucers International", publishing the quarterly newsletter "Saucers", and having sponsored "the world's first" flying saucer convention over three days at the Hollywood Hotel in 1953, drawing overflow crowds jamming in to listen to major speakers including Frank Scully and George Adamski).

Stanford's contactee experience had purportedly taken place in 1954, but didn't receive major attention until 1956, when Fate magazine featured it as its cover story. The account given in Miller's 1957 book was virtually a word-for-word reprint, with a little light editing...

Fate magazine

Top: May, 1956, issue of Fate magazine. Middle: Affidavit reprinted in Fate, dated June 30, 1956, which carried the caption "Deputy Sheriff Ray Hoyd kept his promise to sign an affidavit stating he was one of three law officers present at the flying saucer sighting reported in this article". Bottom: Affidavit reprinted in Fate, dated June 1, 1956, which carried the caption "Affidavit signed by Deputy Sheriff Steve Woods states he was one of three law officers who witnessed flying saucer as described in article".

Two and one-half months later, a group of American saucer enthusiasts said they had "contacted" a flying saucer. And some police officers back them up.

Young Ray Stanford, of Corpus Christi, Texas, left on the morning of November 6, 1954, with companion John McCoy. Their destination was Brownsville, Texas. They planned to join a group there to form the Texas Flying Saucer Research Group.

Ray Stanford:

"Shortly after our arrival at Charre Courts in Brownsville we met John Brand, who was in charge of the meeting, and had an interesting discussion.

"We began the meeting a little later that afternoon. During the meeting the possibilities of seeing a saucer over nearby Padre Island came into my mind. This, I suppose, is what made me suggest that we go to the island that night and try for a saucer contact. Everyone agreed that it was a pretty good idea.

"After about two hours, the Texas Flying Saucer Research Society was organized, and the meeting was adjourned.

"We then went outside and discussed what might happen that night. I do not really know what the Brownsville fellows thought of the possibilities, as none of them had ever seen a saucer.

"At 6:30 P.M., when we -- all eight -- had arrived once again at the courts, we put on some long overcoats that someone had furnished and finally managed to pack ourselves into one automobile. It gets quite cool on November nights on the Padre beach when the breeze blows off the Gulf of Mexico.

"We arrived at Padre Island about 7:30 P.M. and proceeded in a northerly direction up the beach for about five miles. We were afraid to risk going any further up this beach at night for it is not very easy to get out of that kind of sand if one should get stuck.

"The island was a beautiful sight, with the light of the moon reflecting off the miles and miles of rolling, white sand dunes.

"We decided that since eight was a rather large group, it would aid in mental concentration if we divided into two groups. One group would go about a mile north of the car and the other about the same distance south. My group of four went north.

"The group stood around for a few minutes, talking. Then acting on the theory that any race who is advanced enough to construct ships capable of interplanetary travel would also be advanced in mental powers, the two groups entered into deep concentration. This concentration would have aided in any transmission of thought that would have occurred between the two groups and the beings piloting the flying saucers.

"Suddenly a strange feeling engulfed our whole group. This feeling was unlike anything I have ever felt. The whole group had the feeling at the same time.

"A picture, as if a color movie had been turned on, passed through my mind. It was of a white globe of light moving rapidly across the sky.

"I described this to my group. They did not know what to think.

"Then it happened!

"Exactly as l had described, a white globe with great brilliance appeared parallel with the horizon. It followed a zig-zag path for quite a distance and than [sic] began to slow down and disappear.

"At last we had done it! This was the signal of a space ship from another world. We had established contact!

"Had the other group made contact? We wondered. Did they see the signal too?

"As we approached the car, we heard the group calling us. They, too, had made contact. They knew it was a signal.

"The most amazing thing, however, was that a member of the other group also had received a telepathic message that a signal would come and where it would appear.

"When both groups were together, a thought seemed to prevail unanimously -- a space ship would approach at around eleven o'clock.

"Our groups went back to their places again. We waited to see if a space ship would come that night.

"The time was 10:55 P.M. Shortly a glowing object appeared out over the gulf. It came closer and performed some unique maneuvers. It had appeared at exactly the same place where the signal was last seen.

"On and on it came. We finally were able to steady our binoculars on it. It had a dome and flat bottom. We no longer felt the cold wind nor heard the roar of the gulf.

"It was a space ship from another world!

"It was not coming toward us, however, but was approaching the car. We would have to start for the car so that we could meet the ship there.

"As we moved rapidly for the car, something happened. The space ship was now moving away! Gradually it disappeared from sight. Our hopes fell. But then we turned. Down the beach a car was approaching.

"Several times during the craft's approach, automobiles came into sight down the beach, and each time the object would mysteriously lose its luminosity.

"Then the object again came nearer -- and then it hovered. This time it did not lose its luminosity. A car was coming down the beach. We couldn't understand why the object did not again disappear.

"The car drove up to us and kept its lights on. It was the State Highway Patrol! Our first thought was to keep them from seeing the object, so John McCoy and David Piller walked over to the left side of the car hoping to block their view of the object. At the same time I ran over to the driver's side. A highway patrolman was driving. Inside with him were two deputy sheriffs.

"The officer asked me what we were doing. (And I shall have to admit that we were a bit suspicious looking with the long overcoats and no fishing tackle or the like.)

"'We are conducting experiments,' I replied.

"'What kind of experiments?'

"'Scientific experiments,' I told him.

"All three officers got out. They marched to the front of the car, keeping their eyes constantly upon us. I hope I will be forgiven at this point if I do not go into a description of the words and thoughts that transpired during the next few minutes. I did get one definite impression, however -- and it was that it would not be very long before they had us in the car if we did not tell them what we were doing.

"So I told them: 'If you really want to know what we are doing, we came out here to contact flying saucers, and we have already made contact. In fact,' and here I pointed to the space ship, which was hovering behind and to the right of them, 'you can see it hovering there right now.'

"They did not laugh. They did not even crack a smile. They were too startled at such an amazing sight.

"One of our group handed the highway patrolman John's pair of 8x binoculars. The officer walked over to the side of the car and leaned on it. He stared at the saucer for fifteen or twenty minutes. I have never seen anyone so amazed. Then patrolman, Don Hoyd, cut off the lights of the patrol car. The window next to him was open, but he did not even move his eyes or binoculars off the craft for one second -- he just reached through the window and cut the lights off.

"Several times while he was viewing it through the binoculars, some of us would go and talk to him, but he would not answer us.

"As some of us were talking to Deputy Ray Hoyd, Don his son [sic], exclaimed that the object had a dome on top and was flat on the bottom. Hoyd assured him that he knew it all the time for he could see this with the unaided eye.

"One member of our group told another that he wished that the object would maneuver about so that the officers would really get excited as it would be interesting to watch their reactions. Just as he said this, as if the saucer was in definite contact, it began to maneuver.

"This, needless to say, impressed the officers.

"Then Ray Hoyd asked if we would mind if he brought a radar set into the area under G2 Security. We told him that we believed it would be better if they did not bring one in, as Army Security would prevent us from telling our story to the public, which, we felt, was most important.

"Then he said, 'I sure would like to be around when that thing lands.' Ray Hoyd's opinion must have varied greatly, however, for he later said that he wanted to be as far away as possible should the saucer land.

"We told them that had [sic] nothing to worry about as we were sure the ship would not land with them around for two reasons: (1) The patrolman was carrying a gun -- a .38 revolver. (2) The space people had come to contact us, not to land for them.

"Don Hoyd told us that he had once seen a saucer before this. He said that it traveled at a rapid rate of speed. About this time our attention was attracted by a blinking light. Steve Woods, another deputy sheriff, was trying to signal the saucer with a powerful flash light. Ray Hoyd decided to try it, too. He took a large, powerful spotlight out of the back of the car and tried to signal it but without success.

"Then Hoyd turned to us, saying, 'You know, although I told you I would like to be here when it lands, I am not so sure that you would be so anxious for it to land if you had seen some of the...' (Army or Air Force, he told us) 'photographs of these things that I have seen.'

"We looked at each other, then up at the ship. It made no difference to us how many pictures he had seen. We knew the people in that space ship were surely friendly. The officers had been there for about an hour. Don Hoyd and Steve Woods had gotten into the police car. (And believe me, they were ready to get out of there fast if that thing came any closer.)

"We asked Ray Hoyd if he would be willing to sign an affidavit, if we needed one, swearing that they saw the object and that it was intelligently controlled and of extra-terrestrial origin. He answered, 'Yes, I would swear an affidavit if you ever need one.'

"Then they left. The officers had been there from about 12:35 to about 1:30 A.M. Going to our car, we discovered that we had a flat tire. When it was fixed, we found that people were watching from a distance. We knew by this that the object could not afford to land now, so we left the island between two and three A.M.

"But we left joyously, for we had now made contact with people from another world.

"The eleven witnesses to the contact were Ray Stanford (myself) and John McCoy of Corpus Christi, Texas; John Brand, David Piller, Jerry Lee Steele, Uvaldo Champion, Jr., Robert Colberge and Jimmy Rutledge of Brownsville, Texas; Deputy Sheriff Steve Woods, State Highway Patrolman Don Hoyd and his father, Deputy Sheriff Ray Hoyd, Port Isabel and Brownsville, Texas.

"Two of the officers have sworn affidavits attesting that they had witnessed the contact.

"After leaving Padre Island, we immediately returned to Brownsville. Shortly before we reached our first stop we were astonished to see directly above us and traveling in the same direction, the gigantic space ship. It was glowing brilliant green as it passed over the city at three A.M. It streaked over us and sped into the distance, as if to say -- We came, are gone, but shall return again!"

This concludes the so-called "contact stories." They are admittedly fantastic. But they are also apparently an integral part of the overall picture and history of the UFO's. Either they are true or they are hoaxes. Perhaps a line can't be drawn as to where one extreme ends and the other begins.

Not included in Miller's 1957 recounting were the stories of several other of the more-prominent "contactees". One such omission was George Van Tassel, who by way of his 1952 book "I Rode A Flying Saucer" had first bragging rights on being the earliest of the prominent self-proclaimed flying saucer contactees in print (although there were a myriad of such claims in occult bulletins and pamphlets going back many years). Still, despite its title, the overwhelming bulk of the book related to its subtitle, "The Mystery of the Flying Saucers Revealed through George Van Tassel -- Radioed to you by Other-World Intelligences in Reaction to Man's Destructive Action". As explained in the book's forward...

George Van Tassel
George Van Tassel
George Van Tassel

Above and middle: Cover and title page for Van Tassel's book. Below: Picture of the seven-story Giant Rock in the Mojave Desert in California. Van Tassel had acquired the property -- which already had a home, outbuildings and an airstrip on it -- in the early 1950s, and ran it as a small private airport and "resort". It was there that Van Tassel held channeling sessions under the rock which led to his first book.

As in most light induction communications and automatic writing the messages impressed by the communicating intelligence are often colored by the speech and language characteristics of the recipient.

In the case of Mr. Van Tassel the messages are received while he is in attunement with the vibratory frequency of the communicating intelligence and usually in a state of involuntary physical sensing, therefore being unaware of his audience. In some cases a partial perception of those around him is common. The mechanism of these receptions will be discussed more fully in a forthcoming book by Mr. Van Tassel entitled "The Council of the Seven Lights."

The first three "communications" received by Van Tassel were indicative of the prose style of the entire book...

January 6, 1952.

"I am Lutbunn, senior in command first wave, planet patrol, realms of Schare. We have your contact aboard 80,000 feet above this place. Your press will have more to report on your so-called flying saucers. We return your contact. Discontinue."

February 8, 1952.

"Greetings. I am senior in command, first wave planet patrol from the realms of Schare. We have been instructed to contact this point at any time you are in session. We bring you our greetings and our power from the Center. Lutbunn."

February 22, 1952.

"I am Elcar, 6th projection, 42nd wave, 4th sector patrol, realms of Schare. I forward to you our congratulations from our central control. You shall be seeing much more of us. Elcar. Discontinue."

From there the messages became more complex, but no less turgid...

April 27, 1952.

"Greetings. I am Molca, 22nd projection, 3rd wave, 4th sector patrol, realms of Schare. We have been directed to advance you certain information from our Center. We are stationary 72 miles above your location. Your contact is aboard. Do not be confused between what you call fireballs, flying saucers and cigar shaped objects all seen by your people. Those cigar shaped ships are space ships from a neighboring planet and as you know, the fireballs are ships from Blaau. Our so-called saucers are from Schare. There are three separate checks being made upon this globe at present. Some of the cigar-shaped ships are not investigating with peaceful intent and our investigation concerns them as much as this globe. We shall keep a close watch upon them and they know it. Now that your curious one has bounced around here a while we shall inform you that our ships travel by polarized light direction. Your so-called magnetism is one form of light direction. Now he has discovered our cross-grain construction through which we maintain direction. We return your contact before he discovers how to create our ships. Discontinue."

And so it went for the overwhelming majority of the book. Curiously, although Van Tassel's book was titled "I Rode a Flying Saucer", Van Tassel had only this to say about the experience...

I rode a flying saucer! What person would be stupid enough to make such a statement to the public? I believe I am the first person whose stupidity would expect anyone to believe such a statement.

My moronic attempt to convince anyone is only exceeded by the saucer beings themselves. You see, I don't claim to have been aboard a flying saucer; the intelligences that operate the saucers, claim I was aboard.

I am not claiming anything...

Seemingly, Van Tassel had "astrally" traveled aboard a saucer (as per his first "message" telling him "we have your contact aboard"). Then in 1953, "contactee" George Adamski made headlines nationwide with his claim to have physically met with an extraterrestrial. Coincidence or not, Van Tassel's encounters also became physical that year as well, a tale spread by word of mouth but then finally in print in 1958 (an intervening work published in 1956, entitled "Into This World And Out Again -- A modern proof of the origin of humanity and its retrogression from the original creation of man -- Verified by the Holy Bible", concentrated on other matters). In "The Age of Flying Saucers", researcher and author Paris Flammonde summed up Van Tassel's later tale...

George Van Tassel

Above: Life magazine image of George Van Tassel at the 1957 "Interplanetary Spacecraft Convention" held annually at the Giant Rock site. The first "convention" was held in 1954, and annually attracted thousands for many years to come.

Solganda first appeared to George Van Tassel at about two in the morning on August 24, 1953. The saucerite and his wife were sleeping on the desert that evening, as was their wont during the hot months of the year, when George suddenly awakened to see a strange man a half dozen feet away. The shadowy figure said, "My name is Solganda. I would be pleased to show you our craft."

Attempts by Van Tassel to rouse his wife were unsuccessful, and he deduced that the alien had placed her "under some kind of control." Van Tassel got up, garbed only in a pair of shorts, and followed along to view the ship from outer space. It was a brief trek, and soon the contactee was able to discern a pearly, opalescent disc about thirty-six feet across and nineteen high. Moments later he found the interior, which featured a 360-degree series of portholes, arranged over a nearly continuous shelf, about halfway up the rounded sides. The principal element of the circular cabin was a column thrust from ceiling to floor, presumably extending beyond to aid in the craft's operation. The Earthian was then treated to a look at various instruments of celestial navigation, "the power generating room," and other interesting physical aspects of the Flying Saucer. Solganda and three companions Van Tassel encountered within stood about five foot seven inches and were of medium frame.

The four appeared to constitute the entire interplanetary crew. The tour consumed about twenty minutes, and then Van Tassel was escorted back, Solganda vanished across the desert, and the alien ship shafted upward into the oblivion of outer space.

The Council of the Seven Lights an exposition of some of Van Tassel's philosophy, wisdom and adventures, was published in 1958. Although recounting his meeting with Solganda in condensed terms, the book was essentially a presentation of various of the author's contentions regarding the origin of man, his purpose in the universe, and a scattering of cosmogony, cosmology, and cosmography...

Also not included in Miller's 1957 recounting was the story of Howard Menger, a relatively-new (as far as the public knew) addition to the contactee scene. Menger had first come to widespread notice in 1956 as a guest on the Long John Nebel late-night radio show -- a precursor to the later Art Bell program, likewise focused on all things paranormal. Within days of that appearance, Menger was invited as a guest on the televised Steve Allen show -- the forerunner to Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show. A personal lecture tour followed, and Menger was soon in the top-tier of the contactee pantheon. Menger's story would be the most complex of all the contactees, as related in part in the May 18, 1957, edition of the Elyria, Ohio, Chronicle-Telegram...

Howard Menger
Howard Menger
Howard Menger
Howard Menger
Howard Menger
Howard Menger

Above, top: Howard Menger and his second wife, Connie Menger (nee Weber). Second: Ad for a lecture by Menger, as found in the May 4, 1957, edition of the Hayward, California, Daily Record. Third: Cover art for Menger's book, "From Outer Space to You". Fourth: Cover art for "My Saturnian Lover", by Connie Menger (writing as Marla Baxter). Fifth: Back-cover notes for Menger's 33-rpm vinyl record, "Authentic Music from Another Planet". Sixth: Picture from Menger's book "From Outer Space to You", under which ran the caption "Venusian man allows the author to photograph him in silhouette against background of lighted spacecraft. Space people are reluctant to permit clear photographs of their features, because they might be recognized while mingling with Earth people. An aura or force field can be seen around spacecraft in original photograph. but much detail is lost in printing process." In sum, the Mengers claimed that Connie was a reincarnated Venusian, while Howard was a reincarnated Saturnian. Howard's book had been conceived and shepherded by Gray Barker and his Saucerian Press. The vinyl record album was part of the same arrangement, advertised in Menger's book. The album featured Menger at the piano playing compositions he had been given by the visitors from outer space.

More On Those Flying Saucers
By Fulton Lewis, Jr.

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The trouble with this reporter is that he can't see the woods for the trees. It's this way: I have a built-in curiosity but no convictions about flying saucers. If they exist, I'd like to know that they do. If they don't, I'd like positively to know that they don't It's the in-between, amorphous, hazy, vague and doodly stage that is infuriating. In pursuit of this curiosity I have bad some astonishing letters from people living in California (a very high SS state -- SS means Saucer Sighting), Australia and even Tierra del Fuego. But nothing from anyone near at hand. No next-door neighbor. Or anyone even practically near at hand. Like Howard Menger, of High Bridge, N.J.

High Bridge is no great jaunt from Manhattan and if Howard had only dropped me a note, I'd have been over to see him before his mouth lost the taste of the postage stamp he licked. But in spite of frequent enough mentions by me in The Newark News of a high-tension curiosity, Howard never wrote.

INSTEAD, he was willing to travel all the way to 29 Palms, Calif., to tell 7,000 rain-soaked citizens that he, Howard Menger, personally had fed ham and eggs, American style, to authentic visitors from outer space. I've been so busy corresponding with people, never less than 3,000 miles away, that I haven't detected Howard, so close at hand I could almost touch him.

Howard, it turns out, is an Old Saucer Hand. There's no 1947 nonsense with him, no truck with Johnny-come-latelys. He is a 1931 pioneer. He told the 29 Palms people that he had been talking to, and breakfasting with, flying saucer crews since that year and implied that all these fellows in the last 10 years were grass green, just off the boat downtown boys. He is an uptown boy.

He reports that the visitors from space are not Bems [sic]. They are not bug-eyed monsters with 44 tentacles and scaly heads. They are "warm and wonderful creatures."

Howard says they are "warm and wonderful creatures, " Fine. Exactly what kind of warm and wonderful creatures? Dimensions, configurations, colors, shapes and types? They are here, he says, to promote peace. Good. What language did they use to impart this information to Menger? English? French? Poseidon? Andromedan? Space Pidgin? What exactly, did they say about promoting peace? Had they a defined program, a ways and means? Or did they just wistfully hope to promote it? Did they speak at all or were these thoughts communicated by telepathic means? If he saw and talked with them as far back as 1931,what did they have to say about the forthcoming World War II, if anything?

HAS HOWARD, from the beginning, communicated his experiences to a responsible official of state or federal government? Has he asked his ham-and-eggers, as they wolfed down good country ham and eggs, if he could be of help to them in putting them into communication with responsible officials? Has he, ever since 1931, told anyone in authority about these wonderful creatures and their aim of peace? Has he ever ridden in a saucer, been asked, declined to or touched one?

And, lastly, has one of these happy creatures ever, as a token of appreciation for hot, hearty breakfasts, given to Howard a bit of cloth, a scrap of metal, anything at all, as proof that the object or objects are of extra-terrestrial origin? A kind of metal unknown on this planet, a piece of material unknown here, a button unlike any known here?

But the most notable of omissions from Miller's 1957 look at "contactees" -- outside of three purported photos of spaceships -- was that of the most famous contactee of all... "Professor" George Adamski.


George Adamski

Above: George Adamski in the 1930s.

Adamski himself had a colorful personal history long before his involvement with saucers. Accounting for variations in his life story according to the circumstance and the source, the most common account is that Adamski was born in eastern Europe and of Polish descent. His family came to the United States when he was two-years old. After a stint as a soldier in the U.S. army in World War I, Adamski held a variety of jobs, as from a December 16, 1953, FBI investigative report...

George Adamski, age 62, born April 17, 1891 in Poland... He entered the United States in 1893 through the port of New York; served from 1913-16 in the United States Army; worked as a painter in Yellowstone National Park in 1916, in the flour mills in Portland, Oregon, in 1918, in the concrete business in California in 1921, and in 1926 began lecturing on philosophy...

The philosophy lectures apparently proved lucrative for Adamski, who by 1933 had established himself in Laguna Beach, California -- a small beachfront community whose population of 2,000 was comprised of a mix of artists, spiritual seekers, and the very wealthy, supplemented by an ever-increasing influx of tourists.

Previously accessible only by way of a long drive through an inland canyon, the area was opened up in 1926 (at the time, population 300) when the newly completed Pacific Coast Highway brought with it not only a surge in population but in the next few years its first piped water, a firehouse, an air strip, hotels and an annual Festival of the Arts. Then the year 1933 brought news of its first Tibetan monastery, as found in the November 17, 1933, edition of the South Coast News newspaper...

Laguna Beach

Above: Laguna Beach in the 1930s.

Royal Order Of Tibet May Build Monastery In Hills That Overlook This City

Probability that the Royal Order of Tibet will build a monastery in the hills back of Laguna is seen in the purchase of the Claude D. Bronner home on Manzanita drive, through Prof. George Adamski, who has been lecturing In Laguna at the Little White church, representing the Order of Loving Service. Mrs. M. Lolita Johnson, who has been carrying on the work of the order in the former art gallery of the late Joseph Kleitsch, announces that International headquarters of the order will be opened and maintained at the Bronner home. The final lecture in Prof. Adamski's series at the Little White church will be given Friday night of this week. As soon as the new headquarters are furnished and ready for occupancy, Prof. Adamski will give two more lectures there and then will conduct closed classes. This work may be started around the first of the year.

The professor considers the hills back of Laguna an ideal place for the location of a monastery and is said to have indicated that one will be built there at some time in the future...

The price paid for the home has not been made public. The original price of building and grounds is said to have been in excess of $50,000.

The property was a hilltop estate which Claude Bronner had built some time around 1926. The $50,000 associated with the building and acreage would equal well over one-half million dollars today. Considering that the 1933 purchase was at the height of the Great Depression -- unemployment that year was at 25% -- Adamski was doing very well for himself, at least in terms of keeping company with the well-to-do (the identity of the actual purchaser is a matter of conjecture).

Notable as well is that Adamski -- who had no college degree -- had somewhere along the way managed to acquire the title of "professor".

Two months following the announcement of the acquisition, the newly-christened "Royal Order of Tibet" opened its doors. From the January 26, 1934, edition of the South Coast News newspaper...

There was music early in the evening and at 8 the services began. Professor Adamski annointed [sic] the room with water from a sacred bowl and then gave a much appreciated talk on the subject, "Universal Brotherhood." Many people from Laguna were also present.

A little over two months later, Adamski and the "Royal Order of Tibet" would be the subject of a feature in the April 8, 1934, edition of the Los Angeles Times newspaper...

Lamaistic Order To Be Established Here

Purple-Clad Women and Golden-Robed Men Will Study "Ancient Truths" at New International Headquarters

The ten-foot trumpets of far away Lhasa, perched among perpetual snows in the Himalayan Mountains in Tibet, will shortly have their echo on the sedate hills of Southern California's Laguna Beach. Already the Royal Order of Tibet has acquired acreage on the placid hills that bathe their sunkist feet in the purling Pacific and before long, the walls, temples, turrets and dungeons of a Lama monastery will serrate the skyline. It will be the first Tibetan monastery in America and in course of time, the trained disciples of the cult will filter through its glittering gates to spread "the ancient truths" among all who care to listen.

Inside the front gates, securely sheltered from the madding throng, feminine neophytes in flowing purple will wander through Elysian gardens, seeking to attune the inner being to the practical purposes and demands of a motorized world; men in golden garments with purple collars will endeavor to achieve through logic and science the blissful "mastery of self" which is at least one of the multi-featured goals of the Order of Tibet.

Those familiar with Laguna will instantly recognize the monastery site, for it is the Claude D. Bronner estate on Manzanita Drive. The beautiful dwelling, familiarly known as El Castillo Mio will be occupied by the parent group of the Tibetan Order, while the amphitheater, stage, temple, lecture halls, cell or chamber units and other buildings take form. The estimated cost of the project is $1,500,000 and when completed it will become the international headquarters of the order. Headquarters are now in London.

Prof. George Adamski

Central figure in the new movement is Prof. George Adamski, sturdy, middle-aged. He is as strange as the cult he sponsors. Now he is an American citizen and served in the Word War, but as a child he lived in the ancient monasteries in Tibet and learned the law of the lamas.

His father was Polish, his mother an Egyptian. George Adamski, as first son, was destined to walk in religious lines. He studied them all and very nearly landed in a Catholic monastery, but his youthful ideas leaned so strongly to reincarnation that the move was not made.

"I learned great truths up there on the roof of the world," says Adamski, "or rather the trick of applying age-old knowledge to daily life, to cure the body and the mind and to win mastery over self and soul. I do not bring to Laguna the weird rites and bestial superstition in which the old Lamaism is steeped, but the scientific portions of the religion.

"The Order of Tibet acknowledges God and Christ. We hold to the basic thought of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, to which are added the ancient law of Tibet. But our main object is the application of knowledge, just as Christian Science, Mental Science and other crystallizations of thought are primarily intended to put Christianity into everyday use."

Robes and Ritual

Robes and ritual, Adamski admits, help the novice to set his feet firmly in the path he elects to follow. All churches have found this to be so. A uniform makes the sailor or soldier a different man, and so in the Laguna monastery the robes will be provided.

The symbol of the order is the twenty-four-point star. To ancient Tibet it represents the mystics or counselors grouped around God. The women at Laguna will wear a twenty-four-point yellow star and the men a similar pendant of pure white crystal. The decoration will be awarded after a successful three months' novitiate.

Inmates of the monastery will not be cut off from the world forever. In this respect, the institution will function more like a school. Students can come and go as they choose, though some will undoubtedly make their permanent homes there during the two-year course of instruction that will fit them to go forth as teachers and lecturers. By that time they will have come to understand self-evolvement and the Infinite Will.

Explorers returned from Tibet tell of isolated monasteries in which priests seeking utter purity and Nirvana in this life, to ensure perfect reincarnation, or, better still, direct mingling with the Ultimate without the necessity of more earth-lives, go into cells which are then walled up.

There will be no self-imposed tombs at Laguna, but in addition to the amphitheater, stage and lecture halls, there will be isolated cells or "dark chambers" to which the student can retire to meditate or materialize a dream or ambition. In other words, the dark chamber will help carry out the Bible principle, "As ye think, so shall it be." When the monastery is fully completed, it will accommodate over 200 permanent residents and many hundreds of "at home" students.

During that time Adamski also became a writer -- or at least published material crediting him as the author, although the materials credited to Adamski would reflect a diverse range of writing styles over the years. One such was "Questions and Answers by the Royal Order of Tibet", published in 1936...


Above: Facsimile of preface for the pamphlet Questions and Answers published by Adamski's Royal Order of Tibet.

For reasons unknown, in 1940 Adamski abandoned the monastery and moved on from Laguna Beach with a small retinue of followers -- including his wife, Mary (rarely mentioned, and twelve years his senior) and one Alice K. Wells, a 40-year old matron who had come under Adamski's spell (and who also acted as his secretary). Wells also owned the Valley Center property (about 48 miles southeast of Laguna Beach) to which they moved.

Four years later the group moved to another property acquired by Wells, eight miles northeast of Valley Center and just off State Route 76 at the base of Mt. Palomar -- a name synonymous at the time with the construction of a world-class observatory, of which fact Adamski would later take decided advantage. The Wells' property was dubbed "Palomar Gardens", and consisted of several cabins and a small cafe. Joining them there would be 40-year old Lucy McGinnis, a follower who took over the role of Adamski's secretary.

With the change in circumstance came a change in Adamski's focus, and by 1946 writing credited to Adamski took on a more "scientific" slant -- as in his opinions on "The Possibility of Life on Other Planets" -- from which the following is excerpted...

Palomar Gardens
Palomar Gardens

Above: Postcard images of the Palomar Gardens cafe.

... On any planet, the forms would have to be as much heavier than that planet's atmosphere, and as much lighter than its earth density as our own bodies are in relation to our earth and atmosphere, because there has to be a certain strength of affinity or gravitational exertion to hold any two objects together, and this depends upon a chemical's vibratory rate which determines their state of density. All form would have to be constructed to meet the requirements of the existing pressures of atmosphere. For instance, on planets having lighter atmospheric conditions the forms would be of a more delicate nature. Bone structure and flesh would be very different than our own. The atoms composing them would not be so intensely concentrated and therefore would be able to move about in a more active state. In consequence, the brain cells would also become more active and the race as a whole would turn more to the solving of intellectual problems than to the field of mechanics or heavy structural work. The bodies would not be great muscular forms in that case but probably more slender and lithe. ...

In 1949 Adamski further broadened his scope as the credited author of a science-fiction book -- entitled "Pioneers of Space, A Journey to the Moon, Mars and Venus" -- an adventure as uninspiring in its prose as in its characters. From the beginning of chapter one...


Above: Cover for Adamski's book.

From Earth to the Moon

Ever since man has been upon the Earth he has observed the stars in the heavens and wondered about them. As he watched their movement across the heavens night after night, his curiosity has been awakened and he has wondered just what these diamonds in the sky were made of and what they were like.

As his curiosity has grown, man has worked constantly seeking an answer to these questions of his mind. Thus he has developed the telescope from its first crude beginning to the present large two hundred inch in the Hale Observatory on Mount Palomar.

Hand in hand with the developing of the telescope for the past quarter of a century has gone the development of the airplane, and with it the ever mounting hope in man's heart that soon he will be able to make a trip to his nearest neighbor in the sky, the Moon.

This in spite of the fact that for centuries man on Earth has been taught that there is no atmosphere on the Moon. Yet as the telescopes had been developed to greater and greater size and perfection, storms had been observed around the Moon. Also from time to time a state of what scientists called atmospheric movements had been noted. Thus even when our plans for making this trip were first being worked out, we were of the firm conviction that the Moon did have atmosphere of some kind. What we did not know was: what is the consistency of the Moon's atmosphere?

We were sure that it contains a certain amount of oxygen, for as Dr. Johnston said, "even if the Moon is all rock, rock in itself contains and gives off oxygen."

Also we knew that there couldn't be any kind of atmosphere anywhere without it containing oxygen. Therefore, since the Moon had rock in it and since we had seen storms around it, there was no question in our minds as to whether oxygen was there. The question was concerning its quantity; was there a sufficient amount to supply the needs of Earth men like us?

Now after twenty-odd years of work and constant improvements, the ship which we hope and believe will take us to the Moon on the first leg of an inter-planetary space journey is ready. Included in her equipment are the latest improvements in radio, radar, television, photography and all types of instruments that the best minds of science, using the finest laboratories on Earth, have been able to develop for our safety in making such a trip. The ship herself has pressure equalizers built in her. These are so constructed that they automatically balance the pressure within the ship to conform with the various stratas of atmospheric pressure in space through which we will have to pass on this trip. Because of these equalizers, we have no fear of our ship exploding in air due to pressure differences within and without. Also there is an instrument with which we can measure the oxygen content of the Moon's atmosphere before even opening the doors of the ship to venture out upon the Moon.

For ourselves we have specially made suits that will support and protect our bodies through any type of pressure. By using our oxygen masks we expect to be able to keep alert during the entire trip and at the same time, by controlling our oxygen intake while carefully watching our pressure gauge, to acclimate our bodies so they can quickly become accustomed to activity in the lighter pressure we expect to find on the Moon. As a precaution, we are taking along an extra supply of oxygen, several large tanks full, to enable us to stay at least a short time upon the surface of the Moon after making this long and hazardous trip, should we find upon arrival there that our calculations have been wrong and the atmosphere is such that we are unable to breathe or move about without it.

An announcement has been made of our proposed trip and the interest of the people throughout the world is very high. The date for our takeoff has been set and all arrangements have been made for a round-the-world hookup for radio and television, thus enabling all who wish to listen in and view our trip with us.

The big day has arrived and the atmosphere is filled with excitement as thousands have gathered at the airport to see us off. It seems as though Mother Nature herself is doing her very best to help us, for man could not desire more perfect weather conditions than we have.

Our ship stands waiting on the runway, glistening and beautiful in the morning sun as if she too is eager to be off on this new adventure. The last details have been completed: and we bid our dear ones a fond farewell before going down the ramp and across the airstrip to the ship.

We check with the ground crew who are standing by. Everything is set. We climb in, take our places, close the doors, then start the motors. Their whining is music to our ears.

The four of us making this trip are: Bob, the pilot; Johnny, the copilot and radio man; George, the navigator; and Dr. Johnston, the scientist. ...

For obvious reasons, there was little interest in the book amongst the reading public, and with his career in science fiction going nowhere, Adamski next began presenting himself as an "authority" on flying saucers, lecturing locally on the subject, with his first lecture on the saucers occurring in October, 1949, at the Rotary club of Fallbrook, California (this according to Adamski). Enhancing his budding reputation, Adamski was presented as both a "professor" and as a dedicated (amateur) "astronomer" in an article in the September, 1950 issue of Fate magazine, entitled "Flying Saucers As Astronomers See Them"...


Above, top: Image Cover for September, 1950, issue of Fate magazine in which the following article appeared. Second: Opening pages of Adamski's article. Third: Photo in article with the caption, "Professor Adamski beside his 15-inch telescope in his Palomar Gardens observatory". Fourth: Enlargement of photo at question in the article. The caption underneath read, "Space ship or electrical discharge? This is the image that showed up on Professor Adamski's film after he caught sight of a strange object in space. Adamski himself makes no claims."

Flying Saucers
As Astronomers See Them

By Maurice Weekley & Prof. George Adamski

Scanning the heavens with his 15-inch telescope on Mount Palomar recently, Professor George Adamski sighted a strange, fast-moving object in space. He hastily set and triggered his camera and photographed the thing.

THERE have been repeated statements that astronomers in large numbers have stated that never have they seen anything in their observations of the heavens that resembles a "flying saucer" and that in their opinion, no one else has seen them. These statements have been the basis of a categorical denial that flying saucers exist. Let's have the truth about these astronomers, and let's have it right here!

Number 1. Seymour L. Hess, astronomer at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, says he has seen "a bright object in the sky ... a disk visible to the naked eye." He said the object was powered by some means and was moving against the wind.

Number 2. Photographic plates of a strange celestial object sighted "just by chance" February 16, 1950, have been sent to the Berkeley campus of the University of California for study. The object was seen by Dr. C.D. Shane of the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton in Santa Clara County. He said the object has shown up on a series of eight photographic plates. Dr. Shane believes the object is an asteroid, but he declared it was moving "unusually fast for an asteroid." He called the celestial phenomenon "one of the most unusual objects sighted in the sky in a long time."

Number 3. Accompanying this article you will see a photograph taken through a fifteen inch telescope by amateur astronomer Professor George Adamski, who lives at Palomar in the shadow of the great Observatory there, with its "world's mightiest telescope." The story behind this photograph is startling. It is also revealing of the errors that creep into newspaper stories and make legitimate observations well-nigh useless by reason of misquotations and consequent impairment of the veracity of the observer.

I first learned of Professor Adamski's observations via these garbled newspaper reports. Intrigued, I called upon the Professor himself. The following is the truthful story of his observation and its unusual aftermath.

It's a cold, clear night. You are at your telescope -- a 15-inch reflector adapted for photography. The night is still except for the occasional howl of a coyote, and your mind is out among the stars. As you gaze through the eyepiece, you suddenly glimpse something where nothing should be.

Hastily you set and trigger your camera. You can't be sure you've got it; it was traveling plenty fast, even at a distance from the earth which you estimate is about 200,000 miles.

As an astronomer, you are naturally curious of anything unusual in the heavens, and you have received no word of new comets or other phenomena, which introduces the possibility of your having discovered a new" celestial body. It is difficult to await the processing of the film.

Finally, you have the print in your hands. You are astounded. This is no comet; to your knowledge, no previous phenomenon photographed has been quite like this.

What will you do with the picture?

Many months passed before Professor Adamski found what seemed to be the right agency to analyze his picture. J.P. Maxfield, superintending scientist at the U.S. Navy Electronics Laboratory on Point Loma, near San Diego, in conversing with the astronomer, mentioned that he would like to receive copies of any picture Adamski might get during his observations which might be classed as unusual -- especially if it might have any bearing on the flying saucer mystery.

Some time later an official Navy car pulled into the driveway at Palomar Gardens, the friendly inn owned and operated by the astronomer. The driver, a young officer who was just returning from the top of Palomar on Navy business, entered the inn and was greeted by Adamski, who recognized him as Maxfield's chauffeur on previous visits.

During their conversation, Adamski remembered his photograph. When the visitor was ready to leave he was given a print to take to the laboratory, where it was to be given to Maxfield. In the course of one of his numerous lectures, which the professor gives before all sorts of luncheon groups and clubs, Adamski chanced to mention the print in connection with statements he had made concerning the flying saucer mystery. Either a newsman was present, or the statement was otherwise conveyed to the press, for Adamski was (mis) quoted in a San Diego paper, as having stated that the object he had photographed was a spaceship of another planet. Actually, he had only mentioned this as a possibility, since he couldn't possibly be sure of what it was, and for that reason had been cooperative in submitting it to the Navy Electronics Lab. However, when the article was printed the Laboratory, through one of its spokesmen, stated that such a print had never been received.

This was soon disproved by a letter that Professor Adamski received a few days later which bore the heading of the Navy Electronics Lab at Point Lorna.

We read it pretty thoroughly -- two or three times -- and though we remember it expressed gratitude for having received the prints (Adamski said he must have sent two instead of the one he intended) and apologized for the delay in acknowledgement, there is one paragraph that remains firmly fixed in our minds:

"These pictures look very much like a type of electric discharge which frequently occurs in cameras during film pulling in dry or cold climates. We sincerely doubt whether they have any connection with visitors."

Just how incongruous is that word "visitors" as applied to a thing as great and earth-shaking as a possibility of OTHER WORLDS sending ships within our range of detection?

Professor Adamski's photograph, in sum, may mean much or little. The casual manner with which the Navy dismisses it is intriguing, however, and follows the official "line" consistently taken by the Government toward unidentified sky phenomena.

* * * * *

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Weekley's purpose in writing this article is to prove to the readers of FATE that astronomers have seen strange objects, and have actually photographed them. FATE is now preparing a new summary of flying saucer sightings which will include other astronomical sightings, and many authoritative sightings by other reputable persons for a future issue.

The amazing thing, to us, is the photograph itself. We have investigated Professor Adamski quite thoroughly, and in our opinion, have found not the slightest evidence that he is perpetrating a hoax. We do not suggest that our readers accept the photograph (as Adamski himself states) as evidence of the existence of spaceships. We only suggest that the film cannot be explained as "electrical" sparks due to friction of pulling the film (either based on technical evidence or on theoretical possibility even if that were the only evidence in this case) since Professor Adamski took the picture only because he first saw the strange object visually, and the presence of any marking on the film at all is confirmation that something, whatever it may have been, was actually there. Its distance is an estimation by the professor, and depends wholly on the factors he used in computing it, which are unknown to us. If it is 200,000 miles out, it is beyond the orbit of the moon, and the objects, even viewed through a telescope, are tremendous in size. If closer, it is even more difficult to ascribe to any normal celestial phenomenon.

More lectures near Adamski's Southern California location followed. One such was an April, 1951, appearance at the luncheon meeting of the Corona, California, Lions club, as reported in the April 27, 1951, Corona Daily Independent newspaper...

...Guest speaker was Prof. George Adamski, former scientist with the Palomar Observatory who now has his own observatory 15 miles from the Palomar site...

The scientist's startling remarks have been the source of much speculative comment up and down the street today.

Life on Other Planets

"The pioneering scientist knows of a surety there is life on other planets than our own," Prof. Adamski declared. He titled his talk, "Happenings in Outer Space," and described the findings of science with constantly improving telescopes and space cameras.

"Much as we are observing other planets, we must concede to other planets the same privilege, thus in spite of denials there already exists too much proof to discount the flying saucer or the space ships observed from time to time with the lay eye."

He told of a ship reportedly landed some time ago in Scotland over 4000 feet long, that is being scientifically analyzed.

He said that this space ship had 11 living men-from-another-world aboard it, that they looked like human beings, except that they were extremely handsome and all over six feet tall; and that a group of scientists are studying them and that public announcement of the Scottish landing will not be made for some time.

A space ship is now on the drawing board, according to the speaker, details of which are secret, that is planned of unbelievable length, and generating its own power may attain, in the outer spaces, a speed of 80 to 300 thousand miles a second. Many of the details of design of this ship, the speaker said, are his own.

Planetary Future

"We are at the crossroads of science of earth and space," were his concluding remarks, "and though the progress of science is slow to change if not of an open mind, life on other planets, and an expectancy of visits to and from them and our planet, is in the not too distant future." ...

Two months following that lecture -- and 10 months following his first Fate magazine article -- a second article credited to Adamski appeared in Fate's July, 1951 issue. Entitled "I Photographed Space Ships", the 10-page feature told of Adamski's long history of watching for and sighting the saucers (numbering, in one remarkable night, 184), and included information on the story behind his newly-revealed and astonishing photographs, the subject of the following excerpts...


Above, top: Cover of July, 1951, Fate magazine. Second: Opening pages of article. Third: Adamski's photos of spaceships near the moon. The caption reads: "Upper left shows chain of objects between 10,000 and 35,000 miles from the earth. Upper right, estimated distance is 50,000 to 210,000 miles from earth. Lower left, objects are near moon. Lower right, objects in space. All observations on May 27, 1950.". Fourth: Another Adamski photo. The caption reads: "Sequence of moon 3:30 to 4 a.m. May 6, 1950, shows strange object suddenly appearing over its face. Note small shadow cast by object appearing in photograph on the right."

... Almost a year later, in August 1947, about 9:30p.m., I was sitting in the yard swing watching the heavens. As I watched, a bright ball of light appeared from behind a mountain peak to the east and sped across the sky toward the west as if shot from some gigantic cannon far off in the distance. I heard no sound. Then a second followed the path of the first. Then another and another and I wondered what they were.

I strolled across the gardens to see how far I could watch them in their course. They had kept coming but I had not thought to count them, so busy was I wondering what these strange things were. Since some of our Government experimental grounds are many miles to the east of Palomar, I thought these might be some new experimental devices being shot through the air in tests. But when one of these big balls of light stopped in its path and actually backed up I knew I was viewing something from out of this world.

I called my wife and the three women who operate the cafe to come out to see what was happening. They brought with them two pairs of binoculars and I went to my telescope in order to observe these objects more clearly.

We counted 184 after then and it seemed that every 32nd one would cross above the mountain chain until, just before it left our line of vision, it would reverse its path, sometimes only about half way back over the mountain chain, and sometimes almost all the way back toward the east to the point of its first appearance. There it would stop completely, hover a full second or more, and then move forward again to disappear behind the mountains in the southwest. Then would follow another 31 bright balls of light, one at a time but all travelling the same invisible path through the sky.

If we had been watching them from a higher vantage point they probably would have appeared as a very long chain, much as Kenneth Arnold described the nine he had seen in June of the same year "flying along past Mt. Rainier." At that time none of us had heard of Arnold and his experience.

One feature we were all able to observe distinctly was that each of these objects had the appearance of the planet Saturn -- that is, each looked like a large ball encircled by a ring which appeared to be separate from the ball itself. This was discernible both as the objects passed directly before us and also as many of them banked before shooting off toward the ocean and out of sight. Nor was it necessary to use either the binoculars or the telescope to note these particular features.

While these instruments did bring the objects into closer and sharper view, their speed of movement was so fast that some of the women preferred watching with their naked eyes. I believe this parade was of space ships which we now choose to call "saucers" and it lasted for about an hour and a half. They shot before us in single file and seldom were there two in view at the same time. The last one passed across the sky, banked as if to go toward the ocean, stopped completely, reversed halfway back the path it had just covered, stopped directly over one of the highest peaks to the south, and from there shot out four intensely bright beams of light, two toward Palomar and two in the opposite direction toward San Diego. These were left on for perhaps 15 seconds when they were turned off and the ship sped out of sight in the west.

The next morning a soil conservation man, Tony Delmonte, with whom I had often discussed space ships and the probability of life on other planets but who still remained a skeptic, came in and asked me if I had seen any space ships the night before.

I asked him if he was kidding or what he had reference to.

He replied that this time he was frankly serious and was ready to admit space ships were real for he had seen them himself. He said that the evening before, with a group of ranchers from Pauma Valley, he was at Demsey's Ranch in the valley. Since the evening was warm these men were all sitting outdoors when they saw the first of these objects shoot across the sky, then another and another. They, too, wondered what in the world they were for they were too large for meteors and their movement through space was not in accordance with any object dropping from out of space toward the earth. They wondered if this were some new type of light beam being projected into the sky for tests. But the shape wasn't right for that and there was no connecting beam between the moving portion and the sending instrument, as is normal; nor were any clouds visible in the sky upon which to reflect such a light if an invisible light beam had been developed. Then they saw the first object stop in air, remain motionless for a second, and then move in reverse. This must have been the one I first noticed for they had started counting with the first ship they had noticed and counted 204 while I had started counting with this ship and had counted 184.

The same morning a group of scientists stopped in and asked me if I had seen anything unusual in the sky the night before.

I told them what I had seen and what Mr. Delmonte had told me.

I gave them the two different totals and they indicated the larger number was more nearly correct. This was before the big mirror had been brought up to Mount Palomar.

So firm was my conviction of the reality of space ships and visitors from other planets that I stated this fact to those guests of the Gardens who questioned me on the subject. We had many long and interesting discussions along the lines of their reality, their purpose, the motivating power used, and the probable types of people who could develop such spacecraft.

I found people for the most part were interested but few had seen them, many feared them and a large proportion were frankly skeptical. So I decided to prove my point, if possible, with photographs. I could have taken some very good pictures of this parade of 'saucers' if I had had any film; but I had none at that time. Not until a year and a half later, in February, 1949, was I successful in getting my first picture of space ships. This is the one which was published in the September, 1950, issue of FATE.

In October, 1949, I was guest speaker for the Fallbrook, California, Rotary Club where I talked about the reality of space ships. This was the first of many similar lectures before service clubs in Southern California, which continued through the year of 1950. I did this in spite of official denials and ridicule from some of my acquaintances in the fields of science.

As time has passed I have found more and more people who have observed strange objects moving through the sky -- people who I have good reason to believe are not subject to hallucinations.

From time to time, with the aid of my 6-inch telescope, a Newtonian with a 54-inch focal length, made by the Tinsley's Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., I have attempted to photograph what I saw moving at such a terrific speed and so far from our earth...

The percentage of success in this field is very low, depending more on luck than accuracy -- but I have succeeded in getting some very good snapshots, a few of which accompany this article.

Of course during the extended length of time I have been observing the heavens in search of ships from outer space, I have seen both large space ships and those objects which we term 'saucers' during the daytime as well as during the night. However, due to the brightness of the daytime sun, such objects are very difficult to photograph during the day and I have made no effort to do so.

I have taken all my pictures at night by the light of the moon because often I had noticed that a good number of the ships I saw moving through space appeared headed for the moon. Some of them seemed to land on the moon, close to the rim; while others passed over the rim and disappeared behind it...

In view of what I have observed through my telescopes, I figure it is logical to believe that space ships might be using our moon for a base in their interplanetary travels; just as we are planning to use it for our first stop when we venture out toward Mars or Venus or any other planet in space...

Reproduced on page 69 is a series of three pictures. Notice in the first and second that there is only the picture of the moon, while in the third there is also a picture of a monstrous ship. Watching through my telescope during the early morning hours of May 6, 1950, I observed this bright object moving at terrific speed through space and it seemed to me it was heading straight for the moon. I had my camera set, so I quickly took three shots in the hope of catching it in one. I marked the plates in order as I removed each from the camera and this is the result. Not being able to estimate its speed accurately, it was impossible to set the camera and be sure of anything. It was more lucky guessing than accurate figuring. On the other hand, I had been watching constantly for well over an hour before this ship suddenly flashed across my vision. From there on it was fast action and good luck.

Note the progression in the pictures. You can observe a certain amount of reflection from the moon in the first picture. The second one shows more light reflected; while the third picture is brightest of all, indicating the rising of the sun at that early hour even though the sun was yet below the horizon from my point of observation.

But the most outstanding thing about this picture is the shadow which the big ship is casting on the moon. To those trained in aerial photography the shadow is instantly discernible. Yet I had had these pictures for several months, had shown them to many people and did not realize the shadow was showing in this picture until it was shown to me, for I have not had such training.

Early in November, 1950, having heard much of me and my pictures, a group of high ranking military men whose names and branch of service I cannot give since they are all still in active service, came to my place to see my pictures and to question me concerning them; also to look through my telescopes. All of these men have been well trained in aerial photography and in reading aerial photographs. When I handed them an enlargement of this picture, one of them remarked, "Why that object is casting its shadow upon the moon."

All the others verified this statement and between themselves, using the shadow as one factor, they began estimating the size of the ship and its possible distance from the moon.

They did not give me their figures but reminded me that any object moving through space must be relatively close to the earth to cast its shadow upon the earth and this would also be true of an object casting its shadow upon the moon. Figuring the size of the shadow and considering the fact that it was made by an object moving at very high speed, they said that if the ship could be photographed without reflection it actually would be only a small fraction of the size shown in this picture, due to the reflected brilliance.

All the men were intensely interested in this picture especially, and after looking through my telescope, both at the moon and at Jupiter, which at that time was also visible in the evening sky, they said they understood how I could have taken the pictures I have. Apparently they had come up to make sure for themselves that I really have what I claim to have. They had come as skeptics. They left fully convinced, not by my words but by what they had seen for themselves.

The reason for the luminosity of this ship and all those in the other pictures is that being made of metal or some metallic substance, they reflect the sunlight with more intensity than does the moon...

The other pictures were taken during the early portion of the nights of May 27 and May 29, 1950. The reflections of the bodies in these pictures are round instead of long. This naturally gives them the appearance of being those objects which we have named 'saucers.' Note the contrast of their reflections to that of the moon.

In one of these pictures can be seen seven saucers in what appears to be a formation. I had been observing the moon closely for more than an hour and had noted a number of small bright spots on the moon, almost like lights flashing or water reflecting, but it was not until they started moving that I was sure in my own mind what I had been watching. As the first of these objects moved across the rim of the moon I snapped the shutter of the camera attached to my telescope and this picture is the result...

Another picture shows four saucers in almost square formation, not too far away from the crater edge of the moon's photograph. In this case the moon was much more exposed than in the previous pictures. These saucers appeared to come from behind the moon since they had not been visible on the face of the moon nor had I observed them in space moving toward the moon before they came into view in my telescope finder. I snapped this picture and then continued watching the saucers as they moved through space away from the moon.

The third of these pictures was half exposed to light and I caught only a portion of the moon in this one, but there are definitely two saucers in this photograph -- one at the edge of the moon while another is following the first toward the moon...

[Illegible, discussing the fourth picture] in the background because they were not in line with the moon when they flashed through space and I succeeded in getting a shot of them. The two larger ones were within the earth's atmosphere -- I would say probably out about 75 to 100 miles from earth. All four of these I saw with my naked eyes before catching them in the finder of the telescope and succeeding in photographing them. But notice this same picture with the illumination of the two larger objects cut down, thereby completely blacking out the two smaller ones which obviously are much farther out in space. They definitely show the outlines of the saucers...

Taking such pictures as these requires much time and patience. They are not easy to catch, nor are there ships or saucers always moving through space to be caught in photographs. There have been times when I observed regularly through my telescopes for a month and didn't see any such objects moving through space. Then again I have seen several of them during a single night. That is the way I have worked in getting the pictures I have. Of over 200 shots, I have 11 good pictures. But I shall continue in my efforts to get better ones for I feel sure this can be done...

Between Adamski's two articles for Fate -- September, 1950 and July, 1951 -- there had been a remarkable evolution. In the September, 1950, article Adamski "had only mentioned" the thing he captured on film might be a space ship "as a possibility, since he couldn't possibly be sure of what it was". But 10 months later he had not a single doubt, having personally witnessed literally hundreds of the flying saucers over the course of many years, while simultaneously acquiring nearly a dozen "good" pictures of the spacecraft in flight (of which only five were included in the latter article).

The fact that all the photos included in the later Fate article were purportedly photographed a full three months prior to the publishing of "Flying Saucers As Astronomers See Them" in the September, 1950, issue, and yet were not only not included but were left completely unmentioned, went conspicuously unnoticed and unremarked both by Fate's editors and its readership.

What Adamski had hoped to gain by going national with this new and awe-inspiring story -- no one else had ever come close to claiming to have personally seen so many saucers, nor of taking so many pictures of separate incidents -- can only be surmised. But the reaction was mostly one of thudding silence -- and so Adamski's photographs hit the road in July, 1952, by way of one Joe Halloran. From the July 29, 1952, edition of the Farmington, New Mexico, Daily Times newspaper...

Says Saucer Sailors Will Conquer Earth

As flying saucers zoomed across the face of the nation, appeared on radar screens, and outran jet powered airplanes a man called Joe Halloran dropped into the Daily Times office to look at old stories on the discs which were reported here a few years ago.

Halloran, who is from Los Angeles, pulled out a sheaf of photographs taken by a Prof. George Adamski through a telescope, according to the notations on the backs of the pictures. Some of the pictures show long, cigar-shaped things hovering in a field of black with little lights around the cigars.

The long things, Halloran says, are space cruisers or saucer carriers. They serve the same purpose, he says, as do our aircraft carriers.

In some of the other pictures are disc shaped things with humps on their tops like the discs described by some observers. Halloran says he and Adamski believe the discs are about 100 feet in diameter and that the cruisers are between one mile and a mile and a half long.

All the pictures have notations on the back telling when they were taken from the Mt. Palomar, Calif. home of Adamski.

Halloran even goes so far as to claim that one of the largest cruiser-type spaceships are a laboratory ship. And he says that the operators of the machines are human in type...

Who exactly "Joe Halloran" was remains a matter of conjecture to this day, as he appears nowhere else in the history of Adamski's followers (or in any other saucer literature). But here was an entirely new wrinkle in the story -- somewhere along the line the operators of the spacecraft had been discovered to be "human in type". Whether this represented Halloran's own belief or represented that of Adamski (or both), it cannily presaged later developments in the Adamski saga.

Meanwhile, it would take two weeks more for the Farmington Daily Times to actually publish the photos in question, in its August 14, 1952, edition -- having apparently insisted that Adamski contact the paper personally before they would publish...

Strange Objects

SAUCER SAILING SERENELY through space was taken by Professor George Adamski. Adamski says the sun is in the background making this silhouette of a saucer. The professor claims none of his pictures are retouched. (Copyrighted by George Adamski)

Oh! You're the Spoon In Our Saucer for Two

At the turn of the century Daisy and her beau looked sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two. Within the next few years a happy couple bowled along in their merry Oldsmobile. Not so very long after that it was "come Josephine in my flying machine."

And if Prof. George Adamski of Palomar, Calif., is right the next tune for the spooners to croon will be, "You're the spoon in my saucer, my saucer built for two".

Adamski says flying saucers are real -- and he means it. He even has photographs to prove his point. The photographs first showed up in Farmington July 29 carried by a man named Joe Halloran. Halloran, to say the least, was a flying saucer aficionado -- that's Spanish for "fan" as in "fan mail".

Halloran was very generous with his time. He showed us 14 pictures which he said were saucers in various attitudes and at various distances from earth. He also told us that the photographs were taken by Professor Adamski. So we went right to the horse's -- or astronomer's -- mouth and wrote to the professor. Post haste he sent a letter giving permission to print his pictures and including three pages of explanations of the mysterious objects.

Watches the Skies

Adamski says that for the past three years he has "watched the skies almost constantly, day and night, and taken over 700 shots through my six-inch telescope in an effort to photograph and thereby prove the reality of spacecraft visitors from another world."

In reference to his pictures Adamski claims he has all his developing and printing done by a commercial photographer and that he has an affidavit from the photographer that no re-touch work has been done.

But the professor doesn't stop with the pictures -- he even interprets them for those of us who are either unbelievers or slightly skeptical. He explains at length that the saucers sailing about the earth come from "mother ships" or cruisers far out in space. He is sure they come from some other planet and that in the absence of hostile action on the part of saucer pilots we must assume they are friendly.

The professor said in his letter:

"They (the saucers) have been coming a long time, but now they are coming in ever greater numbers and it is my opinion that they are coming for a very definite purpose . . . They will continue to come until their mission is completed and we of earth would do well to show friendliness toward them that we may learn their purpose . . .

But no matter what anyone may think about the saucers it must be admitted that the couple who may someday spoon and zoom as they croon in a saucer have come a long way from Daisy, her beau, and the two-seater.

All that remains to be seen is if the moon is as romantic from a saucer as from a haystack.

(See other pictures on Page 5).

[The following are the pictures and captions found on Page 5...]

Strange Objects

PROFESSOR GEORGE ADAMSKI claims this photograph proves space craft travel in large numbers and in formation. The professor says this picture was taken May 18, 1951 and that he had his telescope focused on Venus. "Venus was almost obliterated from view," Adamski says, "by the large numbers of space craft moving between here and our earth. I did not see these ships in my telescope or in my finder at the time I took the picture." (Copyrighted by George Adamski)

Strange Objects

THE CIGAR SHAPED dark thing in the center of this picture, Professor George Adamski says, (and the Daily Times has no way of checking) is a "mother ship". Hovering around it, according to Adamski, are six flying saucers either leaving or approaching the "cruiser". Adamski says he watched the cruiser for four minutes and took four pictures of it. (Copyrighted by George Adamski)


THE WHITE TEAR DROP against "the face of the moon" is, according to George Adamski, a flying saucer or space ship. He says the whole white object is not the photo of the ship -- "It contains the radiation around the ship and the trail behind the ship". Adamski also claims the ship is so close to the moon that a shadow is thrown on the moon's surface. The shadow is the dark square beneath the wide part of the white thing and was caused by the sun's light and the reflection of light from the earth, says the professor. (Copyrighted by George Adamski)

The story of Adamski's amazing claims made its way into but a handful of newspapers, then quickly faded. Three months later, report of an astonishing development -- the story of which, with a few further modifications and additions, would finally bring Adamski his place in the national spotlight -- appeared in the November 24, 1952, edition of the Phoenix, Arizona, Gazette...

Phoenix Gazette
Phoenix Gazette

Above, top: Opening of article in the November 24, 1952, edition of the Phoenix, Arizona, Gazette. Bottom: Photo included in article with caption reading "Two negatives reported to show a flying saucer that appeared on the California desert intrigue (from left) Alfred C. Bailey, Mrs. Bailey, both of Winslow; George Williamson and Mrs. Williamson, both of Prescott. They claim they saw the mother ship of the flying saucer while on picnic".

Flying Saucer 'Passenger' Declares A-Bomb Blasts Reason For Visits


Fasten your safety belt, Buster, and take a firm grip on your chair, for we are about to take off on a story to end all stories about flying saucers.

Woven into this incredible tale is what was reported to be probably the first person-to-person conversation with a man in a flying saucer, an explanation why flying saucers are flitting about out skies, a beautiful woman from another planet, and mysterious footprints in the desert sands.

Few questions about flying saucers are left unanswered by this story that has its beginning on a lonely spot on the California desert between Parker, Ariz., and Desert Center, Calif.

ITS PRINCIPALS are four Arizonians out to get a look at a flying saucer, a Valley Center, Calif., "professor," his secretary, and another woman, both from Valley Center.

The Arizonians figuring in the story are George Williamson, 25, Prescott, an employe of the supply division procurement section at the United States Veterans Administration Hospital at Fort Whipple; Mrs. Williamson, a medical technician employed in the laboratory at the hospital; Alfred C. Bailey, 38, of Winslow, for 12 years an employe of the Santa Fe Railway and now "braking" on passenger trains, and Mrs. Bailey.

Williamson's interest in flying saucers was intensified by stories of saucers he uncovered among Indian legends while doing independent research among the Chippewas.

"I had corresponded with Prof. George Adamski, formerly of Palomar Observatory near San Diego, and learned that he had made pictures of flying saucers," Williamson said. We (my wife and the Baileys) decided to go on a picnic lunch with Professor Adamski in the hope that we would see a flying saucer."

Phoenix Gazette

Is this a flying saucer or a freak cloud formation? Prof. George Adamski of Valley Center, Calif., gave the negative to Arizona friends, claiming he took the picture about 10 miles east of Desert Center, Calif., on the Desert Center-Parker Highway and later engaged in conversation with a man from space.

THE GROUP in addition to the Williamsons, the Baileys and Professor Adamski included Alice K. Wells and Lucy R. McGinnis, the latter the professor's secretary, both of Valley Center.

We will now proceed chronologically with the fantastic story of events that occurred as pieced together from stories of the Baileys and Williamsons. This is their version:

The party drove to a spot on the Desert Center-Parker Highway about 10 miles east of Desert Center. They parked their vehicles on the side of the road and proceeded to unpack a picnic lunch which they ate a few yards from the car.

It was Thursday, Nov. 20, about 1:30 p.m. Suddenly one of the group looked up and spotted what at first appeared to be an airplane. At second glance it was obvious, because of its shape, that it was not an airplane.

THE OBJECT was shaped like a cigar -- fat in the center and tapering at both ends -- and was moving in an easterly direction. At times it appeared to be standing still and then it would spurt forward at tremendous speed. It moved without sound.

The object was orange or reddish on top and silver on the bottom. There was a black oval-like marking on the side of the ship. (These details they were able to determine by using a small pair of opera glasses although the object was believed from 7,000 feet to 2 miles in the air.)

The object finally disappeared but returned traveling in the opposite direction about 5 or 6 minutes later.

AT THIS POINT Professor Adamski decided to go about 1-1/2 miles up the road to set up a small telescope at a point where he could have a better view of the surrounding countryside. He promised to wave his hat at the rest of the party if anything unusual occurred.

When the party arrived, the professor said that he believed he obtained some good pics of a flying saucer and claimed that he had talked to the man who disappeared in it.

PROFESSOR Adamski described the saucer as much similar to the picture of one carried in the average person's mind except that this saucer had a dome on it. It was, the professor told his friends, about 20 feet in diameter, translucent but not transparent, with a shining silver finish on the exterior, portholes on the side, and three ball bearing devices underneath.

The saucer hung several feet off the ground and apparently had such perfect balance that it did not tilt when the man in charge stepped into it.

Adamski said he took 4 or 5 exposures of the saucer from about one-fourth of a mile away. He then saw someone motioning to him from the point of a hill above a wash into which the flying saucer had moved.

THE PROFESSOR told the Williamsons and Baileys that he walked up to the man. A peculiar conversation between the man from earth and the man from space then reportedly took place. The man from space spoke some English and a gibberish that sounded, Adamski said, like Chinese.

According to the Williamsons and Baileys the following conversation took place, and it no doubt will be of great satisfaction to many to learn that the intentions of the visitors is peaceful.

Adamski: "Is this your ship?" indicating nearby parked saucer.

Visitor: "Yes" by nodding head.

Adamski: "Is it interplanetary?"

Visitor: Nod of head gives affirmative answer.

THE VISITOR then makes a point of stressing the importance of footprints he has left in sands of the wash indicating that they are of importance.

Phoenix Gazette

George Williams [sic, should be Williamson] of Prescott is convinced that a man from space left a message in his footprints on the sand near the spot where he landed a flying saucer. Williams took plaster paris [sic] casts of footprints and from the casts copied designs on soles of slippers the man wore. At left is design made from cast of right foot and at right is design from cast of left foot.

Adamski: "What is the purpose of your visits to earth?"

Visitor: Uses arms to indicate mushroom-shaped clouds associated with atomic experiments convincing Adamski that such experiments are responsible for visits.

Adamski: "Why are you concerned about these atomic experiments?"

VISITOR: Indicates that radiation from explosions is causing his people some concern and fear that blasts will destroy everything. Adamski indicated he would like to prowl around in ship but visitor shook head indicating top secret stuff inside.

Adamski: Did we see you a while ago? referring to cigar-shaped object seen in sky.

Visitor: "No, that is mother ship."

Adamski: "Did you come from the bigger ship?"

Visitor: "Yes."

Adamski: "Are you from another planet?"

VISITOR: Indicates yes but that he couldn't tell from where.

Adamski: "Where do you meet the mother ship?"

Visitor: "About 500 miles up."

Adamski: "How long does it take?"

Visitor: Indicates with swish of hand that matter of reaching mother ship matter of seconds.

ADAMSKI then asked the visitor if he wouldn't permit his friends who were on their way to the spot to take some pictures but the visitor indicated "no pictures of personalities right now."

At this point some steps came out of the bottom saucer, the professor and the visitor shook hands and the visitor climbed into his machine and took off without a sound and vanished.

Adamski told the Williamsons and the Baileys that he noticed a young boy or a "very beautiful woman with shoulder-length hair peering out of the portholes."

THE MAN from space was described as about 23-years-old, round face, tan and ruddy complexion, greyish green eyes, long sandy hair that reached down his back and was blown about by the breezes.

He was dressed in reddish brown slipper-like shoes, pants with cuffs that were tied around the ankles like ski pants and ballooned out at the knees. He wore a milk chocolate brown Eisenhower jacket. He had no ornaments of anything resembling weapons.

The visitor was friendly throughout the conversation and seemed to understand English better than he could speak it, Adamski said.

He repeatedly indicated his footprints had some significance, so when Williamson and his friends arrived on the scene, Williamson took plaster of paris casts of the prints.

(As an amateur anthropologist Williamson said he carries plaster of paris to use when he finds a skull that may need a bit of filling in to make it complete.)

MRS. BAILEY insists that she definitely saw signs of something leaving the ground as the saucer took off after the conversation with Adamski, and all admitted seeing flashes of light near the scene.

(Efforts were made by The Phoenix Gazette to reach Professor Adamski by telephone to get a first-hand account of the story. However, he does not have a phone. The Baileys and Williamsons are convinced that Adamski was giving them an honest account of his amazing experience. The fact that he has a restaurant and curio shop where he sells pictures of flying saucers did not lessen their belief in the tale).

Like Adamski's earlier stories, this one reached only a handful of newspapers at the time. And Adamski's next claimed encounter on December 13, 1952 -- wherein the saucer made a return visit and dropped off a photographic plate for Adamski's enlightenment -- garnered little or no news coverage at all.

But the limited coverage would prove to have a reverberating effect, attracting attention amongst the like-minded in the United States, who in turn brought Adamski to the attention of the like-minded in Britain -- and in particular to two men who would change Adamski's fortunes forever... Desmond Leslie and Waveney Girvan.

The first, Desmond Leslie -- born in 1921 as a member of the aristocratic class -- was raised in privilege at the family castle, and educated at Ampleforth College and Trinity College, Dublin. In 1942 he became a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force, but -- diagnosed with a heart condition -- he was invalided out in 1943, spending the remainder of the war working for the Office of War Information and writing a bestselling novel, "Careless Lives".

With the war's end Leslie pursued his career as a writer (Leslie's father, Sir John Randolph Shane Leslie, was himself a well-know author). A 1954 Associated Press story gives Leslie's version of how he came to be interested in the saucers. From the July 2, 1954, edition of the Sarasota, Florida, Herald-Tribune newspaper...

Desmond Leslie
Desmond Leslie

Above, top: Desmond Leslie. Bottom: Leslie Castle, the family estate of the Leslies, where Desmond had been raised.

Up until three or four years ago, Desmond thought of a saucer merely as something to put his teacup in. He was making a living as a writer, and his publisher inadvertently changed his entire outlook.

"One day he asked me, 'Why don't you knock off a space fiction story?'

"Well, I had to read up on this first, to see what it was all about I read and read, and then finally had to tell the publisher, 'Look, I'm not going to give you a fiction. This is real.' "

But in fact Leslie's interest in the esoteric had developed early on, seemingly inherited from his father, as for instance as told in the March 10, 2001, edition of the London, England, Daily Telegraph newspaper...

Desmond's father was the colourful man of letters Sir Shane Leslie, 3rd Bt, who supported the Nationalist cause and habitually wore a saffron kilt. Shane's father, Sir John, had married Leone, one of the three beautiful daughters of Leonard Jerome, of New York. Her sister had married Lord Randolph Churchill, and their son Winston paid regular visits to Castle Leslie until banned by his uncle (a staunch Ulster Unionist) on account of his espousal of Home Rule.

Sir Shane's interests extended from politics to the paranormal -- his works include Shane Leslie's Ghost Book (1955) -- and his fascination with the latter rubbed off on his younger son. Desmond later recalled that one night at prep school, his dormitory was "suddenly lit by a brilliant green glare" as "an immense green fireball moved slowly across the sky and disappeared behind the Sussex Downs".

Sometime in late 1952 or early 1953 Leslie became aware of Adamski, as remembered in Waveney Girvan's "Flying Saucers and Common Sense"...

Girvan book

Above: Jacket cover for Waveney Girvan's Flying Saucers and Common Sense, published in the UK in 1955 and in the U.S. in 1956.

The first publication of Adamski's story did not take place in England. His account and some of the photographs and drawings appeared in the following American newspapers several months before the book was published in England: The Phoenix Gazette, 24th November, 1952, The Lake Shore Visitor Register, 6th March, 1953, Cameron County Press Emporium Independent, 26th March, 1953, and the Oceanside Blade-Tribune which ran the story as a three-installment serial on 4th, 5th and 6th February, 1953.

Between these dates Desmond Leslie had been in correspondence with George Adamski, as the result of these newspaper reports, and Adamski had offered him, without any stipulation, the material and the photographs for inclusion in Leslie's study of flying saucers.

Waveney GirvanGirvan himself was a book editor in England. Four years earlier -- in 1949 --he had concluded that the time was ripe for a book on flying saucers. Deciding that he needed a name trusted in Britain to tackle such a controversial subject, he contacted British author Gerald Heard, then living in California. Heard turned down the offer due to prior commitments. But in 1950 he accepted Girvan's commission, submitting his manuscript in September, 1950. The book -- called "The Riddle of the Flying Saucers" in England and "Is Another World Watching" in the U.S. -- became the third book ever published on the subject (the first being Keyhoe's "The Flying Saucers Are Real", published in summer, 1950, and Frank Scully's "Behind the Flying Saucers", published that autumn).

In his own book, "Flying Saucers and Common Sense", Girvan tells how he came to publish Adamski's story...


Above, top: According to Adamski on December 13, 1952 -- three weeks following his first encounter on November 20, 1952 -- he spotted the saucer approaching his Palomar Gardens headquarters, upon which he took several pictures of the craft. Middle: Cryptic message on photographic plate dropped from Adamski's flying saucer visitor, as reprinted in Adamski's books. Adamski claimed that he had seen a hand reach out to drop it, then seeming to wave as the craft departed. Bottom: Image of cryptic message rotated 180-degrees, which gives it more of a look of having been written across rows by a human hand.

In January 1953 I joined Werner Laurie as editor-in-chief, having left Carroll and Nicholson the year before. At the time of leaving my old firm, the interest in flying saucers was gradually reviving and the sales of Gerald Heard's book had, to a limited extent, recovered from the damage done to it by Dr. Urner Liddel; this was particularly true of sales in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, three countries which have been much more prepared to accept the phenomena. But it was still true that interest in the subject was dormant and had gone underground. It is rather important to bear this in mind in the light of what follows.

One of the first manuscripts that came to my new office was brought to me by Desmond Leslie who was quite unaware of my interest in flying saucers. With him he brought George Adamski's photographs and his account of a meeting in the desert with a Venusian. The manuscript, very naturally, made an immediate appeal to me: I felt that I was handling dynamite. I could not, however, make my mind up immediately as to what would be the results of the explosion if my firm published the book. The book might have been received with such ridicule that I could have damaged our imprint and this danger was constantly in my mind right up to the moment of publication. The risk in 1953 seemed much greater than it would now, for saucers were then quite out of the news and Flying Saucers Have Landed, as the book was finally called, could not fail to make a violent assault upon the credulity of the public.

Its assault upon my credulity was less violent. After all, I had accepted the saucers as realities for some years and, for want of any alternative, had accepted the interplanetary theory. The objects, too, seemed to be intelligently controlled and flown. Therefore, I assumed that some form of sentient being was inside them, or most of them, though it seemed that some of the smaller objects were remotely controlled. Sooner or later, therefore, if my theories were soundly based, one had to be prepared for an account of a landing and contact with a pilot, whatever form he, or it, might take. For that matter, there had already been an account of a landing when Herr Linke, a mayor of a German city, had with his stepdaughter sworn to an experience of a landing in April 1952 and to seeing human figures clambering up the sides of the object which he described in the following words: "A 50 foot saucer, like a large oval warming-pan ... round its sides were two rows of ports ... and a conning-tower one to ten feet high." I was not prepared to dismiss Adamski's story out of hand and I felt that he had presented a case to answer and that to dismiss the whole matter as a fraud was to raise more difficulties than it would solve. And then there were the photographs and the six witnesses. It was, however, the photographs that interested me most and finally helped me towards the decision to publish.

The Leslie-Adamski book would not be released until Autumn, 1953. Meanwhile, nearly two years following his first lecture to the Corona, California, Lions club, Adamski made a return appearance, as reported in the March 12, 1953, Corona Daily Independent newspaper...

Lions Speaker Has Talked to Man From Venus

A man who met and talked to a visitor from outer space told members of the Corona Lions club about it today.

Dr. George Adamski, formerly an astronomer with Mount Palomar, described what it's like to talk to a man from another world. The contact, as he called it, was made Nov. 20 of last year somewhere in the wasteland between Blythe and Phoenix and Dr. Adamski had six witnesses with him who viewed the meeting from a distant hill.

Following a hunch, the doctor drove with his companions to this spot where he took pictures of the space craft as it landed. Then he saw a man on a hill waving to him. He walked toward him and when they met they shook hands, not in the ordinary fashion of mortals, but by placing the palms of their hands flat against each others. "His skin," the doctor said, "was soft as that of a five-year-old child."

In describing him, he said, "The space-man was about 5-feet 6 inches tall and I would judge him to weigh about 135 pounds. He looked just like we do except that he was unusually handsome and that his eyes were somewhat slanted. He had long black hair, very beautiful and wavy. His costume was like a ski suit, loose but gathered tightly at the wrists, ankles, and neck. Around his waist he wore a white belt, about eight inches wide."

The first question that the Lions asked the doctor was, "Could he speak English?"

"No," the doctor replied, "or at least he didn't choose to. However, he repeated words I said and repeated them in English.

"I asked him where he was from. Of course he could not answer. Then I pointed to the skies and when I indicated the position of Venus, he nodded. Then I said 'Venus' several times and finally he repeated after me, just as plainly as any of you might, 'Venus'.

"Mainly we conversed by mental pictures and I was with him about 45 minutes. He warned me not to get too close to his space ship and, in my excitement, I forgot and my shoulder was within two inches from the tip of the saucer. Suddenly my arm was caught up by a magnetic force and whipped up against the ship and down again. For three days my arm was paralyzed and even now I still suffer from a peculiar pain and weakness in it. This magnetic force, different from the magnetic force we know which attracts only metal, is the source of their power and the fuel by which space ships are propelled."

Today's press-time forbids further reporting on Dr. Adamski's sensational talk but a more complete report of it will appear in "Ring Around" tomorrow. Orrin Chance was today's program chairman.

As promised, the March 13, 1953, edition published the next day carried the follow-up...

I was sitting close to the astronomer, Dr. George Adamski, at Lions club yesterday when he told about meeting face-to-face with a man from Outer Space -- the planet Venus, to be specific.

Every now and then Dr. Adamski would seem to look directly at me and his quick black eyes would pierce sharply into mine. Hastily I'd try to erase any look of skepticism from my face. I'd look bland and receptive, and then he'd smile, graciously, and continue on. Later, when he said he was a student and teacher of mental telepathy, I realized that whenever he snapped a look in my direction he actually was reading the mental pictures in my mind . . . and I don't think he liked what he saw there.

It was chiefly through an exchange of mental pictures, so he said, that the doctor talked to the man from Venus when he met him somewhere in the wilderness between Blythe and Phoenix last November 20. But the doctor intimated that the handsome spaceman might have spoken English if he'd cared to. Space-men have been visiting this earth for some time, Dr. Adamski says, and they have made recordings of our language and probably have learned it, too.

The visitor from Venus arrived, of course, by flying saucer. But he didn't make the entire trip through the stratosphere that way. The saucer was released from a mother ship, hovering about 10,000 feet overhead, a cigar-shaped space ship with room for about six 36-foot saucers. The good doctor showed us three photos he took of the flying saucer which looked to me -- but I'm undoubtedly wrong -- like an out-of-doors picture of a three-bulb electric light fixture. The man from Venus was camera shy and, although he was friendly and shook hands with the doctor in an odd, flat palm-to-palm fashion, he refused to be photographed. But the doctor's description was so sharp, so vivid, that a picture is hardly necessary.

The Venus spaceman was an extraordinarily handsome creature, although much like us mortals. A splendid physical speciman [sic], he was a trifle shorter than most men like us, being about 5 feet 6 inches tall. The doctor thought he would weigh about 135 pounds. He appeared to be about 28 years old though his skin was as soft as a baby's and his voice that of a teen-age boy. He had flowing black hair, soft and wavy, and his eyes tilted slightly upwards. "You could tell in an instant," the doctor said, "that he was not a man of this world. But he was not a spirit, either, for I saw him scratch himself and he bled."

The doctor didn't explain how this gentle, unarmed creature scratched himself and that sort of bothered me. I'd hate to have a man like that hurt himself while he was visiting here on earth. Not only did he seem from the doctor's description like an unusually handsome, friendly, and intelligent character, but I'd hate to have the man from Venus get an unfavorable impression of us here on earth and take a lot of bad talk back up to Venus with him.

(To Be Continued)

That's all for now,

The final entry in the series appeared in the March 16, 1953, edition...

Friday I promised to tell you a little more about what Dr. George Adamski told the Lions club about meeting a man from the planet Venus. Over the weekend a number of people have mentioned the story to me. After getting their reactions, all I can say is, this certainly is an age of skepticism!

Since I already have described the spaceman as Dr. Adamski described him, perhaps I should now describe Dr. Adamski to you. He is a man of medium height, with curly grey hair, an intelligent, kindly face, and piercing black eyes. He was dressed in an immaculately tailored suit of grey flannel and he speaks with a slight accent that gives a professorial flavor to his words.

He was completely serious in the fantastic things he told us . . . or, at least, he appeared to be. He also exhibited an earthy sense of humor. When he was telling about what a good looking fellow the man from Venus was, he said, "If the women are equally good looking on Venus, I certainly would like to meet one of them."

Dr. Adamski expects raised eyebrows whenever he begins talking about his experience. But he continues on, regardless. After he made public his meeting with the spaceman, he said he received letters from other persons who had had similar experiences. He said that he received word from UCLA asking him to describe the visitor's belt "for purposes of comparison". With that he paused a moment and then he said, "They must have had something they wanted to compare it WITH."

He also said that there was a report that 32 spacemen landed somewhere in Nevada and all went to a cafe to eat. He didn't say what they ate or what kind of money they used to pay for their food.

He said that the visitor from Venus indicated that he would return again. Dr. Adamski has no idea when or where that will be but he said that he had a hunch he would see him again. He even indicated that if the spaceman asks him to return to Venus with him that he certainly would do it with no hesitation.

Dr. Adamski spent five hours with the Air Force intelligence officers and the FBI after his bizarre experience, he said, giving them all the information and he said they were intensely interested in what he had to say.

He had plaster casts made, he said, of the footprints the man from Venus left on the desert sand. The spacemen's boots left the sign of the swastika on the sand. Most of us think of the swastika as the Nazi emblem but Dr. Adamski says it is one of the most ancient of symbols and that it is the "clock of the universe." Somehow -- and I didn't quite understand this -- the swastika tells spacemen how to find their way around among the planets.

Dr. Adamski says that spacemen have been visiting Earth for many years. He also said that there may be thousands of them walking the streets of the Earth today. Never can tell. NOTHING, the doctor says, is impossible.

Those new people who live in your block -- do you suppose they really came here from Iowa, the way they said? You don't have any proof of it, except what they said. Gee whiz, the housing shortage is bad enough as it is without people from other planets moving in on us, too!

And when I say, that's all for now, today, I really mean --

That's all for now,

That autumn, the book was released. Coming in at a total of 232 pages, it was divided into two volumes -- the first by Leslie, and the second credited to Adamski, whose portion ran less than 40 pages. The book was the subject of a widely-syndicated feature, as found for instance in the October 23, 1953, edition of the Odessa, Texas, American...


Above, top: Jacket cover for Flying Saucers Have Landed. Middle: Table of contents. Bottom: Article in October 23, 1953, edition of the Odessa, Texas, American.

Cheer Up; Men From Space Fear Us

That's Word From Man Who Says He Talked With Visitors From Venus


NEW YORK -- (NEA) -- George Adamski is either an ace spinner of science fiction tales -- or else he's the first earthman to talk to a visitor from out of space. He claims that he's the latter.

Adamski says that on Nov. 20, 1952, he talked to a man from Venus for about an hour. Then he watched him take off in his flying saucer, and, 23 days later, the Venusian came back and gave Adamski a message. The message has not yet been deciphered.

If it's science fiction, this is a humdinger, because Adamski has photographs, a plaster cast of the visitor's odd footprint, affidavits from six people who watched the rendezvous, and that strange message.

If it's science fact, it's a whooper, because none of the six witnesses was close enough to hear the "conversation," the photographs do not show the visitor, and nobody has been able to make head or tail out of the scrawly heiroglyphics [sic] on the message.

But Adamski's story, whether fact or fiction, makes highly entertaining reading. He tells it in book called "Flying Saucers Have Landed" (British Book Centre), written in collaboration with Desmond Leslie. Leslie's half of the book is a lengthy attempt to prove that flying saucers date back to 1290, and possibly even before. But it is Adamski who steals the show.

He tells how he grew interested in the subject of flying saucers, and spent many hours looking for them -- and seeing them. Then, on that fateful Nov. 20, he was in the California desert, about 10 miles northeast of Desert Center. With him were Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Bailey. Dr. and Mrs. George H. Williamson, Mrs. Alice K. Wells and Mrs. Lucy McGinnis, his secretary.

Suddenly, they all spotted "a gigantic cigar-shaped silvery ship," riding high and silently in the clear sky. (The Venusian later said this was the saucer's "mother" ship.) They followed this until it suddenly zoomed off, frightened away by Air Force planes. Five minutes later Adamski, who had wandered away from his companions, saw a flying saucer, drifting in between two mountain peaks.

This craft, too, was spotted by Air Force planes, and disappeared in a hurry. But a few minutes later, Adamski says, he saw a man about a quarter of a mile away. The man motioned to him, and he came.

This was the Venusian. He was about five feet, six inches tall, weighed about 135, and Adamski estimates his age at 28. He was quite good-looking, with long, wavy, shoulder-length sandy hair, sun-tanned complexion, gray-green eyes slightly aslant at the corners and beautiful white teeth. He was wearing a chocoalte [sic] brown outfit, which Adamski describes as like a ski suit, and oxblood colored shoes with a side opening.

There was a friendly greeting -- Venusians shake hands by simply placing palms together -- and then they talked. Adamski doesn't speak Venusian and the visitor knew no English, so they talked by making gestures and "forming pictures in their minds."

Adamski learned, first, that the visitor was from Venus. (He made gestures of circles around the sun, and the visitor pointed to Venus' orbit.) Then the Venusian said he had come to warn Earth that atomic explosions were dangerous. ("To express the explosions, he said 'Boom! Boom!'")

The man from Venus explained how saucers were powered -- magnetism. And he said that many saucers had landed before. He even admitted that some Earth people had been taken away in them. He said that other planets besides Venus -- and planets in solar systems other than ours -- send out craft that come to Earth. Many use the Moon as a stopping-off point.

Saucers, he continued, do not appear or land often in populated places, as the men from outer space fear Earth people. But he said there were men from other worlds living on Earth today, among us, and for that reason he wouldn't permit his picture to be taken. Adamski sympathizes, saying there are certain facial characteristics which would be easily spotted.

The visitor said almost every planet is inhabited, and the people look almost the same as we do. Then he made a point of impressing his footprints in the ground and, after a few more pleasantries, led the way to his saucer.

He took a photographic plate from Adamski before leaving. The footprints, which had a different set of hieroglyphics on each shoe, were quickly preserved in plaster of Paris.

It was on Dec. 13 that the saucer flew back, over Adamski's home at Palomar Gardens, and one of the portholes opened. A hand appeared, dropped the photographic plate, waved slightly, and then the saucer zoomed away.

On the plate was the message. Adamski was very pleased with the encounter, with one exception. The Venusian wouldn't take him for a ride in the saucer. But, he says, maybe next time.

Adamski's tale had now emerged from the protective cocoon of followers and the like-minded, to be judged on its own merits by the reading public. And although it lacked the success of another book published at the same time -- Major Donald Keyhoe's "Flying Saucers From Outer Space", which spent weeks on the New York Times' bestseller list -- it still managed respectable sales figures, particularly in England.

That "Flying Saucers Have Landed" achieved the success it did may be difficult to comprehend six decades on with the benefit of hindsight. But one contemporaneous account in particular throws a revealing light on the matter. In 1957, Ray Palmer's Amherst Press published "Flying Saucer Pilgrimage" by Bryant and Helen Reeve, which included two chapters telling of a personal lecture appearance by Adamski in Detroit, Michigan, soon after Adamski's book was published...

Flying Saucer Pilgrimage

Above, top: 1957 hardcover edition of Flying Saucer Pilgrimage. The book was reissued in paperback in 1965, the edition from which the following is taken. Second: Image of Adamski in Detroit from the 1965 paperback edition. Third: 1950s' image of the Detroit Institute of the Arts.Bottom: Postcard image of Detroit's Masonic Temple in the 1950s.



Henry was talking. "Here's a man who claims he saw a 'flying saucer' and talked to the pilot. He says the pilot was from Venus!"

Henry is a fabulous person. He had, as usual, without the slightest warning burst into our home in Detroit, Michigan. Anything new, exciting, beautiful, imaginative -- physical or metaphysical -- in this world or out of it would excite Henry to a fever pitch.

It was November, 1953 and we were entertaining guests. Although the hour was late, it did not deter dear Henry.

"How insane can these fellows get?" said I, not a little annoyed.

"How gullible do they think we are?" exclaimed one of our guests.

"Not Honestly!" cried Henry. "This is serious! This man has written a book on it. I sat up all night reading an advance copy. It is called Flying Saucers Have Landed and was written by Desmond Leslie and George Adamski. Here it is!"

"Let's see it," came an excited chorus. Everybody tried to grab it at once. Being an engineer, a college graduate, and employed by a staid and respectable manufacturing firm, I really felt it was up to someone to exhibit shall we say a little dignity and common sense. Besides I had never heard of flying saucers, except through a few obscure references in newspapers which always ridiculed them, as of course any sane editor would -- and should!

So I sat back. utterly disgusted while the guests and, may I add, my wife Helen pawed at the book, like three-year olds going after candy.

"Look, it has photographs -- real photographs of flying saucers!" shouted a guest.

"Photographs my eye," I yelled over the hubbub.

"The man's a fake. How does he think he can get away with this! He ought to be -----".

"No, I feel the fellow is really sincere," put in Henry.

"And besides an Irishman in the first part of the book says there are lots of historical records about these things."

That respectful reference to the Irish slipped by unchallenged as the controversy in our home became hotter and hotter. The evening grew later and later.

"If there is even a slight chance of this thing being true, it is the biggest thing in the world," exclaimed my wife.

"There's only one thing to do," said Henry dramatically: "Call the man up and get him to Detroit. Where's the phone?"

That was Henry for you. Direct action always at any cost! It was our telephone, but we were all used to Henry.

Before I could open my mouth he had placed a long distance telephone call to one Mr. George Adamski in Valley Center, California, a man we never knew existed until a few hours previously.

A tense silence settled over the room as we all waited for the operator to call us back -- a hush of excited expectancy. My wife Helen was on an extension telephone with pencil poised to take notes. What a contrast to the previous bedlam.

The bell rang. Henry made a bee-line for the phone and got there first. The rest all crowded around.

Henry said, "Hello, operator, hello! Is this Mr. George Adamski? No? Operator! You say he has no phone. No phone!"

"Well," thought I secretly, "that ought to end this crazy business. Good riddance."

But this turned out to be wishful thinking. I had momentarily forgotten Henry who was still burning with that unquenchable fire for things unusual and mysterious.

"Look," he suddenly burst out, "Is it worth ten dollars apiece to you to get George Adamski to Detroit to find out the truth about this thing?"

The way he said it made you feel like a groveling piker -- a downright worm -- if you did not immediately jump to your feet with check book in hand to support so glorious and worthy a project.

Grudgingly I said, "Sure, but -----"

Henry interrupted, "Oh, I know what you're thinking -- ten dollars isn't enough -----"

Confidentially at that time my thoughts were along a rather opposite line, but before I could say a word Henry settled the matter by exclaiming inspirationally, "Then I'll write Adamski tomorrow and invite him to Detroit to talk to us, and we will all work to get forty people to put up a like amount to cover expenses."

Well folks, that's the story! That is the breathless way we got started on a "flying saucer pilgrimage". Funny thing is, we didn't realize until later the amazing path we had embarked upon.

But it has been pretty breathless all the way. Little did we realize the interesting "saucer" people we were to meet, the places we were to go, the fascinating experiences that lay ahead of us and above all the earth-shaking revisions in our basic life concepts that would occur in our quest for -- what?

What was this pilgrimage all about? What were we after? What was driving us? What was the goal?

Maybe we should blame Henry! Maybe some of his burning white-hot enthusiasm for the unknown, the mysterious, the fantastic, the mystical, the impossible, rubbed off on us.

But the goal really became just one thing -- to know the truth about flying saucers! The plain unvarnished truth -- shorn of all propaganda, all pros and cons, all "hooey". We did not want opinions. We wanted facts. Facts that we could "put our teeth into" and hang onto and know that we had something solid. We wanted to convince ourselves, one way or the other!

Now if some of you readers feel this same way, we invite you to relive with us our "flying saucer pilgrimage" -- our search for the truth. We are not interested in convincing anyone else of anything. Far from it. That is not our purpose. But so many sincere people have asked us to tell them what we found out about flying saucers, that we decided we would try not only to tell about our experiences, but try to give our readers the "feel" of them so that all may judge for themselves.

We will try to be good and forthright reporters at all times -- telling you factually, to the best of our ability, of our experiences. Above all we will try to label our impressions as such, our conclusions as such, and any philosophizing we do as such - as our own, which you may accept or repudiate at will.

This will leave you free to make up your own minds. If you come to different conclusions than we did -- fine! No harm done at all. Each to his own. We are all individuals, with different viewpoints -- all in different states of evolvement. Surely we are mature enough to respect each other's views without quarrelling or giving way to undue emotionalism. It would be a dull world if we all thought alike -- wouldn't it?

So here we go! Take it easy because we are about to take you on a journey of flying saucer research which covers over two years of time and more than 23,000 miles of travel. And let's argue all we wish -- but let's enjoy the ride -- the meetings -- the sights -- the experiences -- our "flying saucer pilgrimage"!


"What is the right name for a person who contacts a flying saucer or a space-man, or has some outstanding saucer experience?" Helen asked this question one bright March morning in Detroit in 1954.

"Well I know some names the public calls 'em -- likewise the newspapers!" I replied.

"No, that's not funny," she persisted. "After all people are contacting these things -- having saucer experiences, and we need a name for them! Let's see -- oh, I've got it -- 'saucerer'! How's that, 'saucerer'?"

"Wonderful," I replied. But the word 'saucerer' is not new you know -- we have, I believe our British friends to thank for it. Of course the skeptics will just love it! They will think you are saying 'sorcerer' and be dee-lighted. 'Saucerer' or 'sorcerer' -- one and the same thing to them!"

"And such levity I suppose suggests just why saucers levitate," snapped Helen. "Let's cut this out and agree on the term 'saucerer'."

And so "we" decided to use the word "saucerer". Incidentally who ever got the idea that women needed the vote? About half of the time I try to use the chosen word, it still comes out "sorcerer" -- but maybe down the dusty roads of eternity the two words may merge a bit -- who knows?


Our friend Henry was as good as his word. He wrote to Mr. Adamski and received a really sincere and beautiful reply. Mr. Adamski stated that he would gladly come to Detroit to tell of his "contact", but that since he was not a man of great means he would need his expenses paid.

That was a great day for the Detroit group. It buzzed around and soon had forty "sponsors" to help finance Mr. Adamski's trip and two small lectures. The small auditorium of the Detroit Institute of Arts was engaged for this purpose. Our friends Henry and Laura and a young enthusiast named Ronny, and my wife formed the group who worked like beavers on the project.

What's more enthusiastic and joyful than a group infested with the saucer virus? Who in blazes wants to stay on just one planet anyway! Ah, that spirit of adventure! The mystery of the unknown! Here was something new, exciting and unprecedented in Detroit, the city of automobiles. After all, what is an automobile in comparison to a flying saucer?

Our home came to resemble New York's Grand Central Station. The phone rang incessantly. Committee meetings lasted until late at night.

Helen became so inspired she vowed that if the saucers turned out to be "real", she would be a regular "Joan of Arc" for the "cause". After that assertion, everytime [sic] she ran into a group of hardboiled skeptics, I would start wondering just who was going to burn who "at the stake"!

Train time soon was approaching. We were about to meet a man who had met a man from outer-space! Kind of a cosmic cousin once removed from outer-space! Henry waxed poetic as he proclaimed he alone should have the signal honor of meeting this exceptional man at the railroad station. Was it not he, Henry, who first read the book and told us all about it? Nevertheless the committee soundly voted him down and went in a body to meet Mr. George Adamski.

There he was at the railroad station: tall, distinguished looking, grey-haired, wearing a beret that rivalled Field Marshal Montgomery's. He was about 63 years of age. His parents had brought him from Poland when he was very young. He had to go to work at an early age and was forced to leave school. However his self-education proved to be astonishing. He was an amateur astronomer, philosopher and metaphysician. He was certainly an interesting individual. He spoke with a slight accent, but he had a grand smile and we immediately experienced a feeling of friendship and liking for him.

We hustled him to his hotel; he was our first "live" saucerer in Detroit!


One of the first events scheduled was a press conference. Representatives and photographers of the Detroit metropolitan newspapers showed up along with those of a Windsor (Canada) newspaper.

Some of these news-hounds -- but not all -- were pretty hard-boiled skeptics. We had cocktails and luncheon, but the inquisition started almost at once. Frankly I experienced forebodings.

The scene was unforgettable. George Adamski sat at the head of the table. Back of him were "blown-up" pictures of his telescope and his saucers. The news-hounds deserted their chairs, crowded around him, and literally rained questions on their unpretentious victim. Questions were fired so fast that they overlapped each other. From our viewpoint every approach, every ruse was being used to trip him up.

We sat back in wonderment. With every passing moment our respect and admiration mounted for this sincere and unruffled man. The questioning and photographing lasted several hours. Mr. Adamski was standing up under the barrage. He was doing more than that; he was gradually creating a miracle, a lessening of skepticism and an increase of respect!

If anyone was "hot and bothered", it was some of the news-hounds. They were trying to move a rock, but the rock would not move.

Smiling, courteous, friendly and unruffled despite some near insults, we felt that George Adamski did himself proud that day in Detroit.

Next morning we all rushed for the news stands. To our great relief our guest had landed on some of the front pages in all his glory, and courteously though somewhat skeptically on others.

I hope some of the news-hounds read this book because we thought they did a marvelous job. Maybe they did not realize it, but at that time we did not know George Adamski any better than they did although we were in the role of "sponsors". Just remember that flying saucers were even more incredible and fantastic then than now. Some of us even mentally put ourselves in the reporters' "boots" and wondered what we would write for the papers if we had such a fantastic subject for our assignment. They handled it beautifully. They gave full vent to his story but took no responsibility for it, and they ended up with a polite, artistic and friendly question mark. After all, what else could they do?


However, the press publicity did not impress the radio stations. Laura approached them and was met with cold refusal. "Too incredible, apt to make us a laughing stock, can't risk it," were the general reactions.

Finally as a special personal favor to Laura, one of the Large [sic] radio stations, WWJ, reluctantly consented to a five minute radio interview at one P.M. on a certain afternoon. Ross Mulholland was the redoubtable gentleman who dared take on this interview.

Mr. Adamski went on the air with all the excitement behind the scenes of a premier performance. The interview started with magnificent questions by Mr. Mulholland. Was it to go over, or was it to be a flop? We held our breath.

The replies of Mr. Adamski were calm, convincing, and sensible. An unusual feeling of sincerity was sensed. A thrill stole over the broadcast room. Technicians and helpers paused in their work to listen -- almost in awe -- to this simple man who told of his contact on the California desert with a man from another world.

Mr. Mulholland encouraged those present in the audience and the radio technicians on duty at the station to ask questions. The five minute dead line came, went and died -- almost unnoticed. The interest mounted to a thrilled tension. Other scheduled programs were cancelled. Only station announcements and short commercials cut into the interview.

That five minute flying saucer radio interview in Detroit finally ended in a burst of applause one hour and twenty-five minutes after it started. Saucer history was in the making that day in Detroit.


The Adamski small lectures were held in an auditorium in the Detroit Institute of Arts with a seating capacity of about 400 persons. They were limited to "sponsors" and their friends who wished to purchase tickets. The seats were "sold out" in no time, and the lectures were packed.

The first lecture was entitled "What Is The World Headed For?" There was no lack of interest or curiosity. Few lecturers faced a more open-minded audience. Yet after the first lecture we sensed a slight feeling of disappointment. There were not enough "experiences" in it and too much philosophy and preaching -- so said some of our friends.

The second lecture was entitled "My Experiences". It was much better than the first, and the audience as a whole was fascinated by Mr. Adamski's stirring account of his contact on the California desert with a man from outer-space. He told how with a background of amateur astronomy he first became interested in sky phenomena, and of the many days and nights he spent out in the open with a telescope and camera. After many many attempts he finally obtained a few good photographs of large cigar-shaped space-ships with their small saucers or scout-ships. Finally a series of events led to his contact with a space-man in a desolate region near Desert Center, California, on November 20, 1952. There were six other persons present at meeting. He also told of unusual foot-prints left by the man from outer-space and of how he gave to the spaceman a photographic plate-holder from his camera. This article was returned to Mr. Adamski twenty-three days later when the space-men returned and flew over Palomar Gardens, the place where Mr. Adamski was residing at that time.

Most of the audience was delighted at this forthright account of his experiences. A few skeptics and scientists, however, voiced their disapproval, but their protests were drowned out in the general enthusiasm.

After each lecture there was a question and answer period. In a lull in one of these periods a deep booming voice from the last row inquired, "Mr. Adamski, what about sex on Venus?"

It was none other than "Singapore Joe" Fischer, the world traveller and lecturer and intrepid Britisher who knows more about South Africa and the Orient than our own State Department!

A tense hush fell on the audience. One could have heard a pin drop. I did not know whether to head for the door or wait to see what would happen.

Mr. Adamski considered a moment, and then with undisturbed equanimity replied, "Well, sir, if you went to Venus, I do not believe you would have to learn any new tricks!"

I caught a swift glimpse of a few very dignified ladies desperately trying to keep a straight face -- but failing. The rest of the audience broke into such an unrestrained spasm of merriment that soon everybody joined in. This lecture we felt was really a worth while affair.

After it was over, Mr. Adamski was given no rest but was hustled to a reception arranged by his Detroit "Sponsors" in a nearby hotel. They all wanted a chance to meet this pioneer saucerer personally. He was finally prevailed upon to speak, but he spoke not of saucers but of -- will you please guess what? The answer is religion! We mention this because in this book we are trying to give you a true picture of the personalities of these interesting people -- these pioneer saucerers who have labored to bring the truth about flying saucers to the public at large. We will do our best to take you along with us on our saucer pilgrimage and give you a first hand report of what the saucerers are like and give you a chance to judge for yourselves.


Calm did not settle on our home after these small lectures. Far from it. Our telephone and the sponsors' telephones rang day and night with demands to see and hear Mr. Adamski. The callers implied that we were attempting to keep Mr. Adamski from the general public. The publicity had alerted hundreds of saucer fans now clamoring for Mr. Adamski. What to do was a question. We were not professional promoters but simple students and truth seekers. We had little knowledge as to how to go about conducting large public lectures. However, I must have underestimated our little group!

I came home tired from work one evening and was greeted brightly by my wife Helen with the remark, "Congratulations! You've just rented the Masonic Temple!"

"I've just rented what?" I yelled.

"The Detroit Masonic Temple - -for the public to hear Mr. Adamski -- only $1,200.00 -- I signed you up!"

To say that I was ready to "give the saucers back to the Venusians" was putting it mildly! By the time the atmosphere had cleared a bit, I tried to realize through a sort of blue-haze just what had happened. "I" had practically purchased an interest in flying saucers and had become sole entrepreneur in a sort of cosmic philanthropic enterprise using the biggest auditorium in the state of Michigan to educate the dear public on space-ships! -- Wow!

"Say", I yelled, "just don't rent Carnegie Hall in New York City until I catch my breath -----!"

"Now don't worry" was my wife's reply. "It's going to be all right -- you just relax and wait and see -----"

And, confound it, she was right. These women -- and their vote!


The marquee of the 5,000 seat Detroit Masonic Temple was blazing with Mr. Adamski's name and the subject of his lecture, "Flying Saucers". I had not yet become accustomed to the difference in feeling of having a mere casual interest in saucers as compared to that of having a financial interest in same. The pre-sale of tickets had not been too encouraging, and as we entered the stage door it started to rain. That does it, I thought, but wait -----.

Things were happening out in front. The ticket office was not yet open, but a large crowd had begun to line up to purchase tickets. Soon the immense auditorium began to fill with people.

I was busy setting up a slide projector to use to throw original Adamski saucer photographs on a screen. Incidentally this proved to be a flop because the light was too weak. Please remember we were rank amateurs at this business. The screen on the stage needed adjusting, and while engaged in this adjustment I saw someone tampering with the projector which I had so carefully adjusted. I rushed back and told the intruder off in no uncertain terms. While this was going on, Henry came up and introduced us, and the young man turned out to be John Otto, lecturer and researcher on Flying Saucers. What an embarrassing way to become acquainted with someone I had looked forward to meeting for a long time!

Shortly thereafter my wife joined me and told me it would soon be necessary to open up the balcony for practically all of the 3,000 seats on the lower floor were already filled. I could hardly believe she was serious. It seemed amazing that there were so many people interested in saucers in the city of Detroit who would brave the rain on a Sunday night to hear about them. It just couldn't be. As I would not take Helen's estimate seriously, she suggested that I take a trip to the lobby and see for myself. I did so, and to my amazement the lobby was overflowing with people. Going outside, I saw a queue of people on the sidewalk to the end of the block -- and the weather was still wet and nasty. I saw all this but still could hardly believe it.

The balcony was opened, and 4,700 people attended that Saucer Lecture, the biggest of its kind to date.

Unfortunately, as we viewed it, the lecture did not go off too well. As stated, the projector proved inadequate because the people in the balcony could not see the Adamski photographs of saucers. In addition, Mr. Adamski seemed under great nervous tension. He had to leave Detroit for New York that night, and no doubt he was concerned about making his train connection. The interesting details of his saucer contact so well presented at the second lecture were not forthcoming. Mr. Adamski mentioned to the audience that a woman in England had written him her interpretation of the markings on the footprints left by the Venusian in the sand on the desert, and he added that he felt the interpretation was about ninety percent correct. The audience clamored for the letter of interpretation to be read, and precious lecture time was spent in the reading of this lengthy letter which we feel few people understood.

The lecture ended with a question and answer period which ran into difficulties because of the size of the audience.

The ending came within minutes of train time, so we had to make a mad rush for the railway station. We said good-bye to Mr. Adamski with regret. Since then we have been with him on a good many occasions -- even in old Mexico. He is truly an extraordinary individual -- a man of many contrasts, many moods, many ideas, and many experiences -- different, so different!

Perhaps the most remarkable achievement by Adamski was his continual success at reinvention -- from itinerant laborer to "professor", to Tibetan Lama, to science-fiction author, to dedicated and accomplished (amateur) astronomer, to the most successful sighter and photographer of flying saucers in the history of man, and thence to contactee chosen as earthly emissary from an advanced race from Venus. But even then there was still at least one more height to scale -- an actual trip in a flying saucer -- and in a 1955 sequel, "Inside the Space Ships", it was revealed that Adamski had scaled this height -- both figuratively and literally -- as well.

Popular Mechanics ad
News Feature

Above, top: Full-page ad in the October, 1955, issue of Popular Mechanics. Bottom: Nationally-syndicated feature in the November 20, 1955, issue of The American Weekly, a popular Sunday supplement magazine for the Hearst newspaper chain, with readership estimated to be in the millions.

An amateur astronomer insists he's met Martians, Venusians and Saturnians

He says he went to outer space

It all started during a shower of meteors on October 9, 1946. An amateur astronomer named George Adamski, attempting to count the number of meteors falling per minute, saw a large cigar-shaped object hovering above a mountain ridge between Mount Palomar and San Diego, California. When it tilted its nose upward and streaked off, leaving a fiery trail behind, he went in and turned on the radio. A news broadcast reported that "hundreds of people" had seen the same thing.

The rest of the world went on spotting unidentifiable objects in the sky in many places and in great profusion but George did much more than that. Anyone who cares to believe two books he has written will discover that he not only established contact with visitors from other worlds but went riding in "scout ship" flying saucers up to a mother ship, which launches saucers like a fish giving birth to its young.

Furthermore, he has pictures which he says provide definite proof of his claims. If it is any comfort, Adamski's believers can be assured that the callers from outer space are people just like ourselves, only considerably smarter and better looking. They come from the other planets or our solar system, which have a sort of interplanetary United Nations to direct solar affairs. We have been excluded so far because we are quite backward and have such a stupid way of wanting to fight one another all the time.

These people have been looking us over for centuries, on and on, and they are back again for a specific reason, Adamski says. Seems the Earth has been tilting on its axis rather badly and may, at any moment, do a complete flop. If so, large areas now under water will emerge, and vice versa. The other worlds are concerned about this for our sake, of course, but even more so because the shift might affect magnetic lines between the planets.

When Adamski first observed the sky visitors, he was the leader of a colony occupying a niche on the side of Mount Palomar, atop which the famous 200-inch telescope is located. Born in Poland in 1891, he had been brought to this country by his parents when he was two and received only a brief formal education. For many years he was a migratory worker, but gradually he accumulated a following to whom he lectured on what he called the universal laws.

He had always thought that the other planets were peopled by superior beings of the earth type, so it was no particular surprise when, about 12:30 p.m. on November 20, 1952, on the California desert "10.2 miles from Desert Center toward Parker, Arizona," he "made personal contact with a man from another world."

Neither did it surprise him that the ship from outer space seemed to trail his party on a picnic trip and waited for him to leave the rest of the group before landing one of the crewmen to confer with him. This interview, which was conducted in the sign language but appeared quite productive for both parties, was described in Flying Saucers Have Landed, a book written by Adamski and a collaborator. It was published simultaneously in England and the United States in 1953 by the British Book Center, has sold more than 80,000 copies in this country alone, has been translated into Dutch, Spanish and French and is soon to be translated into most of the other European languages.

Adamski told how his new friend led him to a waiting "scout ship." It was "a beautiful small craft, shaped more like a heavy glass bell than a saucer . . . translucent and of exquisite color." Despite a warning, Adamski got too close as it was taking off and some of the power swept over him. It numbed him only, but as luck would have it, the negatives of the pictures he had taken were fogged and all he had to substantiate his tale was a rather hazy shot of the saucer and plaster casts of his visitor's footprints.

The second book, Inside the Space Ships, was published a few weeks ago by Abelard-Schuman, Inc., a New York firm which expects it to do as well if not better than its predecessor. It takes up where the first one left off and goes a lot further -- out to the moon, in fact.

Adamski's spare pals, grateful for all he has done to straighten out world thinking about them, come back time after time to take him on joy rides. In most of these trips he is escorted to some lonely spot where a flying saucer is waiting, and is lofted to a rendezvous with the mother ship, where Martians, Venusians and Saturnians, both male and female, are eager to wine and dine him.

Ordinarily they take him up in the mother ship some 50,000 miles or so and just float around while, through mental telepathy, they tell him about the universe and the deficiencies of his fellow terrans. On the next to the last trip, however, he is flown around the moon so he can observe the busy cities, the wooded mountains, the lakes and rivers that we poor earthbound creatures have been unable to see.

Not only that, but he is given a sort of super-TV travelogue of Venus. "There was no screen. Before my astonished gaze, as the lights dimmed, the scenes hung suspended in the space of the room," and he was assured they were being "beamed directly from Venus to this ship."

He saw cities and closeups of people "going about their business in much the same manner as Earth folk," animals and birds and flowers "little different from ours on Earth." The life span of the people, he was told, was about 1,000 years, due to the fact that the cloudy atmosphere filtered out destructive rays. For this book, Adamski was able to take some more pictures but the "magnetic power" in the space ships continued to blur them badly. Maybe his friends in the flying saucers will bring him a magnetic-proof camera soon. Some of that 3-D color TV would be nice, too.

But if Adamski was unable to bring 3-D color TV to the masses, he was at least willing to bring them movies, as from the July 1, 1957, edition of the Holland, Michigan, Evening Sentinel newspaper...

Saucer Believers 'Cloak' Meeting

DETROIT (UP) -- Nearly 350 believers in flying saucers and visitors from other plants met here this weekend, deliberately aloof from publicity because of public scorn.

"We didn't invite outside interest because we've usually been slapped in the face when we did," Mrs. Donald Brown, Royal Oak, a co-chairman of the Michigan Flying Saucers Federation of clubs, said.

The two main speeches were by Rev. John H Brinson, Kalamazoo, who spoke on "unidentified flying objects mentioned in the Bible" to show pre-modern interplanetary visits, and by George Adamski, Valley Center, Calif., who claims to have been taken inside a space ship.

Adamski showed the movies he said he took of flying saucers in California and in Mexico. He was on vacation in Mexico, which makes it seem the space ship visitors have a special interest in following him about.

Adamski didn't have any movies of his visit inside the space ship, since the little beings on the ship took him aboard under conditions of a night surprise visit and top security. ...

The movies would be Adamski's final hat trick. By 1957, even with a European speaking tour and one more book ahead, Adamski now found himself just one of many featured players strutting about on -- ironically -- a stage he had constructed carefully and specifically for spotlighting only himself.


Adamski's 1953 claims had been a national sensation, opening the floodgates for a surge of new "contactees" -- the most enduring being Howard Menger, Daniel Fry, George Van Tassel, Orfeo Angelucci, Truman Bethurum, and "Doctor" George Hunt Williamson (who had branched off from Adamski to claim contactee experiences of his own). Nor was the field limited, and lower-tier contactees surfaced seemingly by the dozen to varying degrees of success.

Long John NebelBut the ultimate success of the contactees cannot be attributed to the print medium, no matter how popular their books, or to the newspaper features, no matter how widely syndicated. Instead it can be laid to one man in particular -- "Long John" Nebel, of WOR radio, New York -- a leading warrior in radio's battle against the encroachment of television. Nebel's late-night broadcast program gave the contactees direct access to people's homes in the dead of night when such tales are most potent -- while the contactees repaid Nebel by garnering soaring ratings.

Researcher Paris Flammonde was for a long while producer of Nebel's program. In his 1971 book, "The Age of Flying Saucers", Flammonde gave this background...

It must be conceded that notwithstanding the wide success of the Adamski and Keyhoe books, the era was yet to reach its height. To a very great extent the more fervent acolytes were concentrated on the West Coast, and elsewhere the subject was still somewhat peripheral. Then the phenomenon burst from the confines of California and flooded along the eastern seaboard and onward to the Mississippi. An infidel appeared and virtually invented Flying Saucers for millions of Americans. His name was Nebel.

Long John Nebel arrived upon the madness scene in 1956, and if the Flying Saucers had become a circus, there could be no question that, in the ex-pitchman turned all-night radio personality, they had found their Barnum. Of course, John had been broadcasting, in a smaller way, for several years, and certainly UFOs were widely talked about; however, the melding of the two forces seemed to create something new -- something different. It may have been that John Nebel was the coagulating factor, the coalescing element, that turned a thousand tales of unlikely possibilities into a cohesive psychosocial consciousness. This is not to say that Long John single-handedly, or even very intentionally, took up the endless threads and wove them into the vast mythic tapestry that would eventually appear as one of the fascinating mysteries of our time, but merely that he drew together the dozen major figures into an unbalanced central group about which lesser personalities could be gathered, and beyond which the interminable background could be sketched.

John Nebel came out of Chicago something more than fifty years ago. His father was an advertising executive for a major candy firm and his mother a successful dermatologist. During his early life he collected occupations in the manner he was later to collect characters, and before he moved into broadcasting, he had peddled merchandise door to door, managed piano stores, ushered at the New York Paramount, been assistant manager at the Winter Garden, operated a string of department-store concessions, played tenor banjo, toured the outlands with an eighteen-piece band (the height of which tour was following Rudy Vallee into a split-week ballroom booking), Svengalied the career of a set of Siamese twins, done a modest magic turn, and worked night clubs with a mindreading act, until he finally found the natural outlet for his extraordinary verbal talents: He became a pitchman. It was the times, not the inclination, that sent him merchandizing in the streets, and before long he had scored with high pitches and low, rolled with carnivals dispensing Old World Herb Tea, and distributed Chinese Corn Punk along the sidewalks of the city. Finally, he ended up establishing the first of the vast New Jersey highway drive-in emporia, a twenty-five-thousand-square-foot installation that sported across its roof a 41-by-32-foot sign that read: LONG JOHN. This enormous banner caught the eye of a New York radio executive, and he stopped to hear the pitch of the auctioneer whom Argosy identified as "the man who can sell anything," and discovered they were right. What he could do with hundreds, he could do with millions, it was ventured, which reasoning began the radio career of the "man who invented saucers."

In 1956, Long John Nebel inaugurated what was to become the most successful radio talk show in America. It emanated from the small chief engineer's office at the Carteret, New Jersey, transmitter of New York radio station WOR. These somewhat makeshift arrangements were necessitated by the fact that there were no formal broadcast studios in the rather remote location which had been selected for Nebel's all-night-every-night conversation piece, rather than the regular facilities at 1440 Broadway, in the city, because it reduced production costs to something fractionally higher than zero.

In the beginning, Long John conducted his taped interviews from his Tudor City apartment, and a number of the initial guests helped lay the groundwork for the later superstructure of his program, at least the more outre aspects thereof. During one of these parlor recording sessions, a minor messianic figure of a quasi-philosophic self-help cult made reference to "flying saucers." It was not a subject about which he seemed to know a great deal, but what he had picked up he was able to integrate into his thesis. As Long John had yet to develop any expertise of his own in the area, he was happy to decorate his shows with whatever tales his guest could tell. After a few stories, the broadcaster decided he would like to hear some of the amazing adventures from the mouths of the persons who had experienced them, and he asked his guest if any of the California contactees ever visited New York. He was assured they did. As a matter of fact, remarked the modified mystic, one was due in the city for a lecture within two weeks. His name was George Van Tassel.

The contactee did arrive shortly thereafter and happily appeared on the program, contributing a fascinating interview to Long John's series. Van Tassel told of his Flying Saucer center at Giant Rock Airport, in California, of the convocations of saucerologists held there, of seances and ethereal communications with aliens through interplanetary telepathy, and of his encounter with an extraterrestrial. ...

But Nebel's treatment of the contactees wasn't one of fawning acceptance, as later recalled by James Moseley -- himself a guest many times on Long John's program...

This sort of stuff was gobbled up by most saucer fiends, and those who could profit from it took full advantage. A major figure on the ufological-paranormal scene in those days was John "Long John" Nebel, a pioneer of talk radio and a somewhat skeptical version of today's Art Bell. His all-night show, Long john Party Line, began on New York City's WOR and, after many years there, moved to WNBC. Long John featured all the leading and many minor figures in saucerdom and other Fortean realms, whom he subjected to varying degrees of badgering and deference, depending on his mood and what he thought he could get away with (Long John wasn't a very nice guy).

But probably the most insightful and interesting conjecture on Nebel's program concerned an intriguing possibility regarding the contactee experience. From the April 4, 1957, edition of the New York, New York, Daily News...

Are Soviet Spies Back of 'Saucer Contacts'?


Could Soviet Russian spies -- intelligence or psychological warfare agents -- be behind some of the American excitement over flying saucers? Two broadcasting personalities who have devoted many hours on the air to discussing UFOs (unidentified flying objects), believe this to be a possibility.

One of them is Long John Nebel, who conducts the off-beat program, "The Party Line" (WOR-Radio, Mon-Sat., 12 Mid-5:30 A.M.) The other, Ivan Sanderson, noted zoologist, botanist and geologist who served with distinction in British Naval Intelligence during World War II. Both expressed their views on the air recently.

"A number of people lately have announced contacts with persons alleged to have come to earth from other planets via spacecraft," said John. "George Adamsky [sic, should be Adamski], among others, has written a book about it. And Howard Menger, a sign painter of Highbridge, N.J., has reported on my program that he has had conversations with beings from Venus who landed in his apple orchard.

"Some of these who tell such stories can't be dismissed as liars, psychotics or conscious charlatans. Menger, for instance, appears to be utterly sincere.

"All of their stories have certain similarities: The alleged spacemen appear only at night; their craft land only in out-of-the-way places; and they warn their contacts never to approach them while carrying any weapons or even flashlights."

"Furthermore, these 'space visitors,' preaching a doctrine of brotherly love, are reported to harp constantly on the suggestion that we should abandon our experimentation with atom and hydrogen bombs. Also, they are said to be giving secret instructions of some kind to their earth people contacts.

"But most auspicious of all is this: Persons who say they have had such contacts insist that occasionally they recognize 'people from other planets' working in our factories and riding along our highways in cars. How do they identify these individuals as being from outer apace?

Swear Secrecy

"Well, they tell you that this is a secret. But some have gone so far as to say there are hidden means of identification, including 'code words', involved."

Therefore, Long John posed these queries: "Would true spacemen intent on benefiting humanity behave in this fashion? On the other hand, how would Russian psychological warfare agents behave?"

"Just in the manner you have described," said Sanderson.


Landing Places

First of all, to establish secret landing places for their craft in out-of-the way places in this country. Secondly, to gain the services of well meaning and highly credulous dupes. And, thirdly, to undermine subtly our will to protect ourselves with nuclear weapons.

Sanderson, who has made a name for himself on radio and TV, and is now appearing weekly on the Garry Moore program, argues that it would be silly to dismiss all reports of such contacts with "spacemen." "There is now quite a considerable mass of such reports," he said. "Some of these alleged contacts have been witnessed by as many as six persons at a time, in one case even by a Princeton University physicist. So there is a definite possibility that some form of craft have landed here, unknown to the authorities.

"It must be remembered that our radar screen has two wide loopholes: at the rooftop level and straight up. If any other country developed very fast aeroforms than can go up to the limits of the atmosphere and then descend straight down, these craft could hop OVER our radar screen.

"Also there is published evidence, plus personal notes given to me by a former engineer of the Messerschmidt [sic] airplane factories in Germany to the effect that the Russians right now have such a plane or aeroform. This engineer worked on the prototype and actually saw it fly.

Ultrasonic Device

But there's still another puzzle: How do these people recognize persons as being from outer space, considering that the latter are reputed to "look exactly like earthmen"?

Sanderson suggested that foreign agents posing as space visitors might be equipped with some ultrasonic device which signals their contacts. "Many of us know about ultrasonic dog whistles," he pointed out.

Fantastic! Yes. But as Sanderson said: "It's something for those charged with our national defense to ponder and to investigate."

But such national-security concerns were of little interest to the contactees themselves, or to their retinue of followers, so numerous in the aggregate that by 1957 the fourth annual (or fifth annual, depending on the source) "Interplanetary Spacecraft Convention" would garner the ultimate in national attention, featured in the May 27, 1957, issue of Life magazine...


Above: Two-page article in Life magazine.


Braving a broiling sun, flying saucer believers gather near Giant Rock to listen to a purported conversation with Flying Saucer people.


Believers hold meeting in desert to swap interplanetary tall tales

In a gaunt desert setting that, appropriately, looked like a lunar landscape, 1,200 earthlings convened to reaffirm their unshakable belief in the existence of flying saucers . Members of the Interplanetary Spacecraft Convention, they could afford to ignore the dearth of official evidence on flying saucers because many of the group have seen spaceships with their own eyes. At least that is what they kept telling each other. Even more, some of them say they have talked with the passengers on flying saucers and a number of lucky ones have been taken for rides in them.

The site for the convention was Giant Rock Airport near Yucca Valley, Calif. where during past conventions members have made several saucer sightings. Last year a conventioner not only saw a saucer but heard a sighed "O, dear me" coming from the inside. Conventioners spent their days reporting spaceship experiences, some of which are depicted on the next page, and spent their nights hopefully watching the skies for saucers. But the only one they saw (right) was nothing they ever wanted recorded in the annals of the proceedings of the Fifth Interplanetary Spacecraft Convention.


FAKE SAUCER CRASH was staged by Caltech students, with dynamite. It fooled conventioners who rushed to site, found only a charred patch of desert.


THE QUEEN OF SPACE, Mrs. Evelyn Smith of Indianapolis, Ind., buys one of the many books reporting space adventures on sale at the convention.


For those who have never seen a flying saucer or talked with saucer people the reports of those who say they have -- like those told below -- should prove reassuring. Most of the conventioners who reported experiences with spacemen say that the visitors from outer space look much like humans and are very benevolent. Saucerians are polite and often take earth folk for quick sightseeing whirls in their flying machines. On these trips some people have been shown around the earth, others have been taken to Venus and Mars or the back side of the Moon and one man was given a dog (it looks just like an earthbound dog) which he still owns and sells hairs from. Conveniently, spacemen speak English very well -- usually with an American accent. Some are even interested in American politics. George Van Tassel, the convention leader who also operates the Giant Rock Airport, says saucer people have persuaded him to run for President in 1960 and that they are going to help run his campaign.

SHORT SPACEMEN wearing coveralls and caps accosted Truman Bethurum of Prescott. Ariz. (left) while he was snoozing in his truck at midnight on July 28, 1952. They took him to their spaceship where he met their chief, a small, beautiful woman, who engaged him in philosophical discussions until dawn. Back at his camp Bethurum wrote a letter before going to bed: "To whom it may concern. If I am found dead it will be because my heart has stopped from the terrible excitement induced by seeing and going aboard a flying saucer."

SPACEMAN SHOWER was seen by Mrs. Ruth May Weber of Yucca Valley, Calif. in a " psychic" experience about 18 months ago. A voice told her that the space people she had been interested in for some time actually lived on earth and would take over in case of world disaster. Confirming her message, she saw saucer people raining from the skies and losing themselves in the crowd on main street in Yucca Valley. Though Mrs. Weber saw them, ordinary citizens, like the man who is reading his newspaper at left, saw nothing.

SPACE-SHIP INSPECTION was granted to George Van Tassel on Aug. 21, 1953. Wearing only his shorts, Van Tassel was sleeping out in the desert one evening near Giant Rock. Suddenly he was awakened by a spaceman who asked if he would like to inspect his flying saucer which was hovering nearby. Van Tassel said he certainly would and was elevated inside. There he was shown instrument panels and other inventions including a closet that cleans clothing with light. Van Tassel left the ship on a gravity nullifying beam.

VIEW OF VENUS was given Howard Menger of High Bridge, N.J. on a space ride in 1956. While walking in the woods, he was invited aboard a saucer by long-haired people wearing luminous belt buckles. When he moved to a porthole for a look at Venus, the spacemen, anticipating his wish, showed him the planet on a TV-like screen. He saw an idyllic scene of winding streams and domed houses with beautiful people strolling about. Since then spacemen have visited him often, once even stayed for meal of ham and eggs.

The convention was also widely reported in the newspapers, which gave attendance at the event as comprising more than 7,000 people.

As researcher Paris Flammonde would slyly observe, "In the legend of the UFO, the contactee is king."


Meanwhile, the reaction to such publicity by the second category of Hynek's "saucer societies" -- those devoted to serious investigation and research -- was one of frustration, to say the least.


Above, June 15, 1957, issue of the APRG Reporter, in which the following appeared...

One such serious researcher, Robert Gribble -- founder of APRG (Aerial Phenomena Research Group), which later became the National UFO Reporting Center -- would vent his resentment as the lead item in the June 15, 1957, edition of his organization's newsletter, the APRG Reporter...

Editorial -- Unfortunately, the serious investigation and research by official and private organizations concerned with reports of unidentified flying objects was handed ridicule and mockery as a result of "wild-eyed" statements made at a recent convention in California relating aerial phenomena with Religious conjecture. Since the convention was given full coverage by newspapers, radio and television, the opinions of some of the speakers were widely distributed to the general public. Aerial Phenomena Research Group feels that the opinions expressed by these speakers were based entirely on ancient superstition and mythical beliefs. Such opinions expressed publicly in connection with this subject has reflected unfavorably upon Aerial Phenomena Research Group activities and national membership. To clarify this situation, it should be noted that, Aerial Phenomena Research Group is a dedicated scientific investigation and research organization which does not believe that the unidentified flying objects have any religious connotations. Such claims as these are considered nonsense as they have not been supported by anything other than personal beliefs and opinions. It should also be realized by the general public, that evidence supporting the reality of unidentified flying objects is readily available to interested individuals, but does not tend to support, in any manner, the conclusions reached by some of the convention speakers.

But the public prominence of the spiritual and contactee faction had not only emotional but real-world consequences on the well-being of serious researchers. The first casualty of this dynamic would be the CRIFO monthly newsletter, called "Orbit". CRIFO and "Orbit" were the progeny of the efforts of well-respected researcher, Leonard Stringfield.

Stringfield had been interested in the phenomenon based on his own experience during World War II. But up until 1954 his interest had existed on the hobbyist level, as Stringfield would write in his 1957 book, "Inside Saucer Post... 3-0 Blue"...


Above: Leonard Stringfield (seated, right) at the CRIFO office (located in the basement of his home) in 1954 as published in his classic 1957 book "Inside Saucer Post ...3-0 Blue". The book covered the entirety of Stringfield's experience in the field thus far -- including working with the Air Force Project Blue Book, which had assigned him the "3-0 Blue" designation. Also pictured, starting from the left, are Stringfield's mother, Mildred, Herb Clark, of the local Ground Observer Corps, and Stringfield's wife, Dell.

By 1952, the year of the wildest saucer flap, I was pretty well sold on the Interplanetary Theory. On July 25, while the nation was in a tizzy over the Washington blip incident, I saw something. It was a large orange teardrop-shaped object zipping soundlessly across the night sky. Other Cincinnatians who saw it, said it changed direction. Reporting it to the press, I also announced that I was forming Civilian Investigating Group for Aerial Phenomena. But while CIGAP didn't go very far as a fellowship in research, its existence, in name only, did manage to stir up local interest. It put me on television where I first met the Reverend Gregory Miller, the key person to the most fact-rooted case on CRIFO record. It also brought in several good current reports. But, out of the hundreds of reports reaching me during the '52 flap, only a handful were worthy of investigation. Most were just lights in the sky -- and, as the Air Force would say, could be simply explained if more data were obtainable. More than once, I too saw lights in the sky during this big flap, but looking back critically, I cannot say they were saucers.

As my files grew, so did my exasperation with the official policy of silence and contradiction. Like others "all stirred up", I began writing letters. One, published in the Cincinnati Enquirer, won me $5.00 as the best letter of the year. In this missive I slapped at Dr. Harlow Shapely, Director of the Harvard Observatory, for his statement calling "saucers a lot of complete nonsense". In another letter, published in the December, 1952, issue of True, I wrote, "I like your forward, fact-rooted, go-to-hell approach on the subject ... It seems rather curious how the general run of newspapers and certain national magazines neatly avoid the facts and run to the apronstrings [sic] of some expert who will tell them that saucers are cobwebs. ..."

While my letter to True was rather pointless, it did bring me several key letters. One was from Bill Culmer of Robinson, Illinois, an energetic fact-hunter, with lots of leads, a level head and an above-average sighting to his credit. Culmer, who died September 20, 1954, was indeed the spark of inspiration which led me to take the bull by the horns. In the course of our letterwriting [sic] we parlayed the idea and the need for a research organization with a factual bulletin.


During my exchange of letters with Culmer, I was a reasonably normal husband and father. By day, I was the advertising manager of a nationally known manufacturer, and after hours I worked my hobbies. My favorite lair was my greenhouse. I would spend hours there, puttering with exotic philodendron, anthurium and fern. When I tired of this, I turned to my oils and brush -- or dabbled in things scientific, like astronomy or paleontology. Saucers, however, were winning over.

One day, to my sorrow, I found that my avidity for saucers and neglect of my greenhouse had caused the demise of Anthurium veitchii, my rarest and most prized aroid. Perhaps this was my turning point, for it was a week later that I decided to take up the saucer hue and cry. On March 10, 1954, I founded Civilian Research, Interplanetary Flying Objects, and began working on a format for a monthly publication. A bulletin, I thought, would serve to keep all my correspondents informed. I decided to print only 200 copies.

Then in a radio newscast of May 18, 1954, Frank Edwards, who had championed saucers since 1950 over the airwaves, urged his 10,000,000 listeners to write to P.O. Box 1855 for CRIFO's Newsletter. Twenty-four hours later -- with the first impact of mail -- the life of Leonard K Stringfield was changed! What had been a simple pursuit erupted into a brute of big business. I ate my dinner at the telephone and entertained guests while I typed. Bookkeeping nearly replaced romance, and my only rest was in the sanctum of the bathroom.

By the end of the month, nearly 6000 letters of inquiry had been processed in my basement, which had become CRIFO's headquarters. My staff was my wife, Dell, conscripted from the kitchen; my six and four year old daughters, Colette and Denise, who licked postage stamps, my mother and my friend, Herb Clark. Letters from enthusiasts everywhere in the world, ranged from retired generals, pilots, engineers, newspapermen, doctors and lawyers, businessmen, members of a nudist colony, a woman who had seen an "unidentified flying man" -- and one lost soul who, enclosing a dollar, left only one return address, the moon.

But as stated above, by 1957 the rise of the spiritualist-contactee faction finally brought an end to the CRIFO "Orbit", as from this February 1, 1957, announcement...


Above: Cover of February 1, 1957, issue of Orbit.


The scheduled March issue of Orbit, Vol. III, No. 12 will terminate the publication of this monthly bulletin. Decision was reached in January after reviewing all the multifarious factors, and complex problems, involved in the administration and in the production of a monthly publication. Also considered were the overall pressures of the CRIFO project on the writer's private life and business responsibilities. The decision was not easy, nor a happy one.

Among the more specific reasons which behooved the writer's decision is his regrettable inability to acknowledge or answer properly the voluminous influx of mail -- much of it containing valuable information or leads requiring prompt follow-up. This failure invites readership phlegmatism, which in turn hurts subscriptions and the vital flow of information. The writer is indeed in sympathy for he too has often felt the hopelessness or chagrin resulting from a letter to an authority which was ignored or answered with a laconic, evasive brush-off. Reciprocal correspondence is the lifeblood of a saucer research paper. To answer every deserving letter, promptly and intelligently would require a staff, trained and disciplined to CRIFO's policies and principles, or it is dependent on the director's own indefatigability in keeping the midnight oil burning -- seven days a week. To do less is doing an injustice to the spirit of cooperativeness with informants, and to the bulletin, such as Orbit, which informatively commands and monetarily demands a large readership.

Another deciding fact is that Orbit -- its format, policies, theories etc. -- seems to be out of character with the beliefs and principles of saucerdom's growing coterie of demagogues, extremists and sensation-hunters. It seems, too, that to prosper in civilian research one must show sympathy will all the astronauts who frequently slip off to Mars or Pluto and come back with wondrous tales of omniscient races who want to help us poor earthlings. Others who seem to prosper do so by their errant, pixie-like personalities. Such rubs off in their writings or lectures and by this they sell themselves or subscriptions rather than honest-to-goodness work. Then there are those who peddle only the sensational "inside" stuff -- or a vitriolic hate for the Air Force. Following none of these courses, Orbit soon got the cold shoulder in some quarters, and in others became the target of smear and surreptitious sniping. For about a year the writer ignored all the snubs and snipes but when it began to appear that subscriptions were dropping off in the midst of a new era wherein personalities dominated research, it seemed high time for a change. It is now obvious that Orbit is "over the hill" in this new era -- its usefulness and prestige gone!

Saucer research in civilian hands, today, is at the crossroad of do or die. While several regional groups in the U.S.A., such as C.S.I., New York, have made energetic, honest and even successful inroads to the problem of fact-finding, others soon break up in their befuddlement over purpose and platform and some die on paper. A few manage to survive, but are so small they must depend on the guidance of new saucer books and saucerzines to keep up stimulated interest. Often the wrong literature gets in their hands. The most promising blueprint for a civilian group to date is NICAP with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. But while they have earned some nationwide publicity there is no authoritative word about their progress, or, who is who, who is doing what -- if anything. However, on January 16, NICAP announced in a press conference through Rear Admiral Delmar Fahrney, Ret., that "there are objects coming into our atmosphere at very high speeds," etc. This made the newswires, TV and radio -- and it may be the long-awaited auspicious sign indicating that NICAP is stepping in the right direction.

In the meantime, it's still the saucerzines that fans the flame in saucerdom -- myriads of them, small and large, sleazy and sleek and offering everything from straight sighting reports to Christ's activities on the moon to dietary advice. Regardless of the saucerzine's editor's qualifications or modus operandi, the nation's enthusiasts depend on their latest newsbits, scoops, diatribes and rumors. Longest in business is Coral Lorenzen, whose APRO bulletin just recently changed its format to typesetting. The newest is SPACE by Norb Gariety of Coral Gables, Florida -- but in between are scores of other Spartan souls whose editorships, good or bad, have done so much to shape the character of saucers in the eyes of Americans. Hats off to them all -- Max Miller, Gray Barker, Jim Moseley, Robert Gribble, Meade Layne, Mrs. Walton Concord John, Tom Comella, George Williamson, George Van Tassel, Albert Bender, Elliott Rockmore, Henry Maday, etc., etc.

Said Business Week, January 19, "Magazine publishing is a curious business ... When it's viewed as an institution, through the eyes of the public and of its editors, a magazine's readers are its customers, and they have to be pleased ... the money they pay often hardly does more than cover the cost of inducing them to buy the magazine ..." But the institution of Orbit has learned that pleasing all the "customers" all the time is no simple matter. In the main, Orbit has found many warm friends, many taking time out to express a simple word of encouragement, but, like any publication in or out of saucerdom, it has also been raked over the coals. In some instances, the point of criticism was well-founded, thus duly corrected. But, perhaps, the biggest factor which turned away subscribers was Orbit's over-emphasis on sighting reports. No doubt many subscribers brooded over this dullness -- wanting instead more O'Mara incidents or whoopla about interplanetary war -- but "inside" stuff is hard to come by and theories are a dime a dozen. Unless we are willing to believe in the contact stories, which one pundit said was a subject for the "advanced" student, there seems little else to go on other than what can be ascertained from the sighting reports. Of the thousands of reports now in hands of civilian researchers it seems certain some basic truths in them can be correlated and revealed -- just as those truths determined, but held secretly by the Air Force. Agreeably, many reports are rudimentary and repetitious, but their continued review in Orbit became policy as a result of the demands and endorsements of that bulletin's high-level and respected readership. While appealing to this group, Orbit lost out on the other -- and the other represented that necessary monetary backbone. ...

But though the CRIFO Orbit was down, Stringfield was by no means out -- as seen in a feature in the November, 16, 1957, edition of the Cincinnati Times-Star newspaper...


Above: Article in the Cincinnati Times-Star.

Stringfield -- Sane Student of Saucers


The flurry of public interest in strange objects, eerie lights, flying saucers and little green men offers no surprise to Leonard H. Stringfield, a calm, sane advertising executive who has studied and been puzzled by such matters for 12 of his not quite 37 years.

"We are being visited by an intelligence possibly greater than our own from some other planet, perhaps from another solar system," Stringfield says.

WHEN HE first voiced this theory several years ago, the typical reaction was one of amused skepticism; but that was before a sensation-sated world, dulling itself with tranquilizers, was able to take in stride such a phenomenon as Laika, the hitch­hiking Soviet dog who became the most famous traveler since Marco Polo and whose journey dramatized more than anything else the shift of Buck Rogers from the Sunday supplements to page one.

Stringfield is no alarmist. He thinks that many of the reports of visitors from outer space are based on error. He thinks that many of the observers who make such reports are either psychotic or are perpetrating a hoax. But he also thinks that some of the reports can be explained only by interplanetary visits.

When, in the years immediately following World War II tales of flying saucers swept the world, causing near-hysteria in some areas, there were four possible explanations:

1. Some unannounced U.S. weapon.
2. Some unannounced Soviet weapon.
3. Meteorological phenomena.
4. Space visitors.

STRINGFIELD rules out the first three propositions, and that, to his satisfaction at least, makes true the fourth.

Born in Cincinnati, Dec. 17, 1920, Leonard graduated from Withrow High School in the class of 1939, then, after attending UC at night, entered the Air Force. He became an intelligence officer and spent 31 months overseas: in Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan.

He was one of the first Americans to enter Japan, and at Atsugi, an airfield outside of Tokyo, he published the first newspaper produced by U.S. occupation forces. He reached Japan even before the surrender, and it was on that flight that his interest in unidentified flying objects began.

WHILE FLYING from Ie Shima, near Okinawa, to Iwo Jima on Aug. 28, 1945, the C-46 in which he and eight other members of the Fifth Air Force were riding, dipped, sputtered oil and lost altitude. Stringfield looked out one of the portholes and saw three blobs of brilliant white light, each about the size of a dime, traveling through drifts of cloud at about the speed of the plane. As the objects zoomed away, the plane pulled up and landed safely at Iwo. The incident was forgotten in the general excitement that accompanied the end of the war, but Stringfield has always believed that the plane's erratic course was due to a mysterious force generated by the UFOs.

After the war he came back to this part of the country, operated for a year an inn outside Vevay, Ind., entered the advertising business with the S.C. Baer Co. (now Baer, Kemble & Spicer, Inc.), then joined the Wilson Advertising Agency as a copywriter. For the past eight years he has been advertising manager of DuBois Co. Inc., manufacturers of chemical cleaning compounds.

One night at a party Leonard intercepted a flying object named Dell Romero, lovely girl of French extraction from Lake Charles, La. Although she had an executive position here, she was about to go to New York to become a model. Leonard changed her mind and they were married here on June 13, 1947. The Stringfield home at 7017 Britton ave., Madison Place, now includes two daughters: Colette. 9, and Denise, 7.

IN THE EARLY years of his marriage Leonard puttered around his greenhouse, carefully tending his philodendron, anthurium and fern, and dabbled in oil painting, astronomy and paleontology. But with flying saucers being sighted more and more frequently, he began to study the subject intensely. He began to write to persons who had sighted UFOs and tried to analyze their reports. In the past four years alone he has received over 35,000 letters that are now packed in crates in his basement.

In the course of writing to one of his early correspondents, Bill Culmer of Robinson, Ill., he determined to form a research organization and publish a factual bulletin. On March 10, 1954, he thus formed Civilian Research, Interplanetary Flying Objects (CRIFO), and began planning a monthly publication.

SHORTLY AFTERWARD Frank Edwards, then network newscaster who had championed saucers since 1950, advised his audience of Stringfield's activities, and Leonard found himself snowed under by an avalanche of 6,000 letters of inquiry. His wife, two little girls, and a friend, Herb Clark, all pitched in to process the mail, and he felt with immediate keenness the fact that his life had changed overnight.

One summer afternoon in 1954 Stringfield was visited by a polite, dapper man who asked a series of extremely pointed questions, an indication that the Air Force had become interested in his activities. Later Stringfield received a letter from Maj. Geo. John A. Samford, then in charge of intelligence, that stated, in part, "The Air Force greatly appreciates the interest you and your organization have taken in the Unidentified Flying Object program. A continuation of this assistance is indeed welcome."

In September 1955, the Air Defense Command informed Stringfield that his home telephone had been cleared to report UFOs, through coded channels, directly to the Filter Center in Columbus, O.

BUT THE AIR FORCE in its pronouncements has taken a dim view of saucers and even prepared a form letter sent to the growing army of observers who claimed sightings in which it was stated "there is a total lack of evidence that they (flying saucers) are interplanetary vehicles."

This is an attitude that has satisfied some persons, but Stringfield says, "The Air Force is sitting on a Pandora's box of information."

Physicists, astronomers and other scientists are badly split on the subject of saucers. Some view all reports as nonsense and give short shrift to those who make the sightings. Others believe in them as devoutly as does Stringfield. But most merely keep an open mind on the subject, or at least do not disbelieve. And it is noteworthy that the number of those who dismiss the reports seems to be declining.

What's ahead for saucer chasers? Stringfield has ceased publication of ORBIT, the magazine that announced the findings of CRIFO, but he has recently published just about everything he has learned to date in a book that bears the cryptic title "Inside SAUCER POST ... 3-0 BLUE." The "3-0 Blue" part of the title refers to the code name assigned to him when his house became a UFO reporting post for the Air Defense Command.

THE BOOK is not an exploitation of secret military data, but a factual account of sightings that have come to CRIFO's attention.

The most fantastic local sighting covered is the weird story of R.H., a local citizen of substance who wishes to preserve his anonymity. Here is Stringfield's account of R.H.'s experience:

"ABOUT 4 A.M. on a March night in 1955, while driving through Branch Hill on his way to Loveland, R.H. saw in the beams of his headlight what appeared to be three men kneeling at the right side of the road. His first impression was that somebody was hurt or some crazy guys were having fun. Curious, he stopped his car and got out for a better look. To his surprise, he discovered that the figures were non-human and about three feet tall. They were not green, R.H. stressed but rather a 'greyish color' including the garments. These, tight-fitting, stretched over a 'lopsided chest' which bulged at the shoulder to the armpit. Over this bulbousness hung a slender arm noticeably longer than its opposite member. Save for only a fleeting impression of 'something baggy,' the legs and feet were obscured by weeds and brush. 'Their heads were ugly,' said R.H., reminding him of a frog's face mostly because of the mouth which spanned, in a thin line, across a smooth grey face. While R.H. thought the eyes 'without brows' seemed normal and the nose was indistinct, the pate of the head had a painted-on-like-hair effect like a plastic doll. He added, 'It was corrugated or like rolls of fat running horizontally over a bald head.'


THIS IS HOW an artist depicts the creatures seen by "R.H.," a prominent local citizen, early one morning at Branch Hill.

"According to R.H., the middle biped, and the one closest to him, was the first seen, with his arms upraised. 'They were raised a foot or so above the head,' he said, 'and holding a dark chain or stick, which emitted blue-white sparks jumping from one hand to the other.' As R.H. approached, he said this biped then lowered its arms with that chain 'as if to tie it around its ankles." R.H. said he wanted to get closer, but by the time he had reached the front fender of his car the 'little men' made a slight 'unnatural' move toward him, 'as if motioning me not to come any closer.' For about three minutes R.H. said he stood still. just watching -- too amazed to be afraid."

STRINGFIELD assumes that CRIFO will be valuable until such time as the mystery of UFOs is once and for all pierced. So he is continuing the work, keeping an open mind, and laboriously replying to all who advise him of sightings. He is a member of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), a national organization that includes admirals and generals on its staff, and he has recently been elected president of the UFO Society, a local organization that he hopes eventually will have a research director, technical co-ordinator and public relations co-ordinator, in addition to statisticians, evaluators, librarians and editors.

Early in his investigations Stringfield abandoned the idea that UFOs were a weapon of the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. or a meterological [sic] phenomenon.

MANY OF THE objects sighted were metallic and had windows, and a meteorological phenomenon would not account for them.

Saucer reports have come in from all over the world, and it is obvious that if the U.S. were testing a weapon, it would not do so in the air above hostile countries. Neither would the Soviet Union in all probability, because if there were one dud, the whole scheme would be exposed.

Perhaps the most interesting statement yet made about saucers by anyone in authority was that of Adm. Delmar Fahrney. who attracted front-page attention all over the country on Jan. 16, 1957, when he said:

"THERE ARE objects coming into our atmosphere at very high speeds. No agency in this country or in Russia is able to duplicate at this time the speeds and accelerations which radar and visual observers indicate these flying objects are able to achieve. There are signs that an intelligence directs these objects, because of the way they fly; the way they change position in formations would indicate that their motion is navigated and controlled.


Nor was CRIFO the only organization adversely affected by the rise of the contactees. The long-established Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (known as APRO) found itself contending not only with the contactee faction but with financial pressures and the increasing competition from new saucer organizations as well -- as noted for instance in the following from the May, 1957, issue of the bi-monthly newsletter, the "APRO Bulletin"...

APRO Bulletin
APRO Lorenzens

Above, top: First issue of the APRO Bulletin, dated July, 1952. There had actually been earlier issues, but they had been printed using the poor-quality ditto machine method. With the switch to mimeographing the newsletter, as well as a suddenly-increased membership in 1952, the Bulletin numbering was set back to Volume, 1, No. 1. Below: Jim and Coral Lorenzen, founders of APRO.

An Editorial

In the January issue of the Bulletin we delved into the creeping paralysis of the financial position of A.P.R.O., decided to put it up to the members as to whether or not dues should be increased. The percentage of for and against was approximately 75 per cent for an increase, and 25 per cent against increase.

We are aware that most UAO enthusiasts subscribe to many periodicals, depending upon their personal convictions. We are also aware that this can become a tidy sum, if one includes the cost of the books dealing with UAO which are periodically published.

At long length, and after much deliberation, we decided to make a minimum charge per year of $3.50 (the added 50c [sic] will greatly alleviate the mailing costs) beginning with 1 June. Any members who feel the bulletin is worth more, are welcome to pay more, and any money in excess of $3.50 will be receipted as donation. We have taken this stand, as we know that some members simply are not financially able to pay the price if dues are increased to any great extent.

* * *

In the past, we have, via the Bulletin, expressed our intentions to present facts, not fiction, to our members, and to exclude those alleged contacts and attempts at communication which bordered on the ridiculous and were not supported by fact.

From the beginning, this organization has represented the conservative element of UAO researchers and enthusiasts. One of the reasons it has been difficult to make APRO self-sustaining is the fact that we have refused to compromise between ethics and monetary support. UAO enthusiasts are great in number but are split into at least three factions, the ultra-conservatives such as ourselves, the "middle-roaders" who can easily adjust their thinking to almost any line of thought, and thirdly, those who swallow, hook, line and sinker, the party line of the saucer communicants and contacters [sic].

We cannot, ethically, alienate our opinions with either the contacters or the middle-roaders. True, if we could deviate a little, we would benefit by the revenue brought in by hundreds, perhaps thousands, of new members. Not too long ago the Director and APRO were criticized severely in a letter from a Director of a similar organization, for our very apparent pride in those of our members who are qualified experts in various fields. We were accused of not giving proper credit to those lay members who contribute so much time and effort to the "cause". This presumption was just exactly that -- presumption. We value our lay members who, though not extensively educated in technical fields, are willing to cooperate to the extent of their ability. But we also value and cherish those members who are experts in their fields. And there is a definite common denominator in the two member categories -- the ability to think straight. A man with umpteen degrees is no good to us if he isn't able to separate wheat from the chaff where reports are concerned. Neither is the lay member of any use if he takes for granted the pap fed to UAO enthusiasts by self-made saucer contacters, who have not one iota of proof or evidence which is acceptable to a rational mind.

A similarily [sic] inclined organization is Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York -- there has been no compromise between those individuals who edit the CSI news bulletin and the screwballs who literally contaminate the field of UAO research. Although some saucer news magazines print all news, regardless of with whom or what it deals, and although these groups count many subscribers, they count very few loyal contributors.

In the last two years too many small groups have sprung up here and there throughout the United States, gleaning from their local areas the enthusiasts which are readily available, and eventually gaining a fair representation through the country and sometimes a few foreign correspondents. Probably the embryo thought which begins such a group is that the one directly responsible for its conception feels he has something or something more than other researchers to contribute. Then he sets about collecting a back-file. The easiest way to do this is to ask other organizations for back issues of their periodicals.

What most of these people do not understand is that they not only don't have a back-file, but they also lack experience. One of the most highly recommended periodicals in the field printed a report about a year ago which was so obviously an observation of the planet Venus, that it was pathetic. Although it became readily recognizable a short time later, no retraction was printed. The man responsible for representing a conventional object as a UAO was not experienced in the field of astronomy, or did not have the good judgment to check thoroughly as to the identity of the object eliminating one by one the possible explanations.

Our reason for introducing the above example is not to infer that all other groups are no good, but rather to show that where two or three good and capable groups could accomplish a great deal in UAO research, the field is over crowded by many groups, some of which are incapable because of lack of experience or other shortcomings, on the part of their directing bodies. Thus, enthusiasts are split into many factions with each struggling for financial equilibrium [sic].

In conclusion of this editorial, we would like to quote from an editorial statement in the December, 1955 issue of APRO Bulletin: "We feel that the true spirit of research cannot be advanced by one who approaches a problem with foregone conclusions as to its solution. For this reason we have deliberately discouraged prospective members who would like to propagate a "contact cult", declare dogma and make a religious issue of the UAO mystery.

"The prime function of APRO is not to humor visionaries or human ostriches, or feed pap to the populace. Our policy will continue to be a patient ferreting of the truth wherever it may be found, whatever it may be, and to convey this truth to those who are ready to accept it."

This is the reaffirmed creed and policy of APRO -- and we feel it will be heartily endorsed by our members.

Its next issue, dated July, 1957, brought more of the same -- as from the following excerpt from that issue's editorial...

Our announcement that dues would be raised, and that those who felt the Bulletin and the information contained therein were worth more than the new $3.50 rate, could show their appreciation by paying an excess, brought immediate results. Things are looking up money-wise for APRO. However, we would like to urge members to renew on time. If your dues lapse and you renew after your file is pulled, it takes quite a little work to get you and your papers back in "current status."

It is difficult to bring up the next subject on this issue's editorial docket but it must be approached. We have become aware that in cities where there are quite a few members, there is a tendency to band together, exchange bulletins, information, etc. This is good. The thing that bothers us is that when such a local group is formed, one person subscribes to one UAO magazine, another to a different and etc. In at least 30 cities in the United States alone, APRO members have dropped out, keeping in touch with APRO news through companion members, and using this technique, at the price of subscription to one UAO periodical, have available all UAO news from 10 or 12 papers. We can easily sympathize with those who want to save money. This problem was approached in the editorial, May issue. What most of us don't realize is that local members in Alamogordo pay dues although they see the information as soon as it crosses the Director's desk. APRO is not the only organization suffering from financial malnutrition. We feel that if any periodical is worth reading, it is also worth supporting with subscription or membership fees. The upshot of this sort of philosophy will be the eventual bankruptcy of all research groups for lack of support. The "liberal" elements will survive with their irrational claims because there are plenty of the crackpot element to support them. We would suggest that members get behind those papers or organizations which they feel are performing a service, and support them!

That the fault may have lain at APRO's doorstep went seemingly unconsidered -- but the fact was that while by no means moribund as an organization, the APRO Bulletin had certainly become more sedate over time.

Where its more-boisterous early issues had an appealing and visceral typewriter-and-stencil frenetic energy (with screaming headlines such as "IN VENEZUELA -- HAIRY DWARVES!"), by 1957 the professionally-typeset publication exuded conservative respectability, with decorous headlines such as "WSPG Scientist Sees UAO".

The difference in visual style and the tone of the headings is certainly understandable in light of the tenor of the times. But the APRO Newsletter had also drifted in its emphasis. At first dedicated to sighting and encounter reports, by 1957 the newsletters were replete with articles on science, book reviews, political matters, and organizational considerations -- as given above, and as for instance in the following from the May, 1957, issue...


Above: First page of the January 15, 1955, "Special South American Issue" of the APRO Bulletin. Middle: May, 1957, issue in which the following appeared...

APRO Receives Mention In Pasadena Paper

The following are exerpts [sic, throughout] from Russ Leadabrand's Column subtitled "Things" in the 25 April issue of the Pasadena Independent, of Pasadena Calif. We are printing only exerpts as most of the column was quotes from the Bulletin.

"It is only natural when you think of how many odd-ball things happen in the country every day that someone would collect the lot of them for publication. Such a publication is the A.P.R.O. Bulletin, the initials standing for the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization, published from 1712 Van Court, Alamogordo, New Mexico. The current -- March, 1957 -- issue contains the following goodies:" Leadabrand proceeds to quote several items from the Bulletin, and continues with: "There was no solution to the mystery of the strange hole in the ground in Temple City last week. It is not the first such puzzler[sic, no end quote]. Leadabrand then quotes other instances from the Bulletin.

It's nice to know that we and our attempts at correlating this material is appreciated by someone other than ourselves.

Also in the six issues of the APRO Bulletin published in 1957, news about the founders of APRO -- Coral and Jim Lorenzen -- made regular appearances, as for instance from the January, 1957, issue...


Above: From the May, 1957, issue, picture of Coral Lorenzen, director and founder (along with husband Jim Lorenzen) of APRO. The picture accompanied an article headed "Director Lectures On UAO For Charity".

We would like our members to remind any prospective members that A.P.R.O. is unique among UAO research in the following respects: (1) The A.P.R.O. Bulletin is not a saucer "fanzine" available upon subscription, but rather the official organ of a research group; (2) A.P.R.O. is now in its sixth year of work on the UAO problem .  .  .  . no embryo unit, nor are we among the "latter-day" UAO converts. (3) Although our membership is large, in the past five years we have concentrated our efforts toward obtaining technically and scientifically qualified personnel so that the numbers of mis-identified conventional objects would be minimized. (4) We have in our membership top men in all fields of science, many of whom are frequent contributors to the Bulletin. Our one disadvantage in this respect is the fact that many of our scientists must remain anonymous because of the nature of their jobs or their employers. (5) The Aerial Phenomena Research Organization is the oldest existing UAO research group, having been preceded by one month by C.S.I. of Los Angeles which since ceased operations. (6) A.P.R.O. is the only UAO research group in the world which was founded and is headed by a woman.

The latter point brings up a point. The Director as well as the advisers have been aware of the cold shoulder treatment alloted [sic] her by many researchers. Let's forget her sex -- and take a look at her qualifications. She has been an amateur astronomer for over 17 years, was one of the first to smell a rat in the AF meteor explanations for 1947 UAO sightings. A one-time free-lance writer and newspaper feature-writer and reporter, Mrs. Lorenzen was one of the first individuals to recognize the faulty writing and reporting news technique which thwarted research in the early years (1947-1950). This has not yet been recognized by some researchers at this late date. Mrs. Lorenzen was also the first research director to lampoon the crackpots, visionaries and UAO "contacters" -- in the second issue of the A.P.R.O. Bulletin for September, 1952. Other groups since then have been hesitant about blasting the screwballs for fear of a drop in circulation We haven't been particularly worried about this condition for the Bulletin is not, as stated before, a saucer "fan magazine". Our members are level-headed hard workers, all contribute something, whether it be clippings, theories or knowledge.

Mr. Lorenzen has been invaluable in this research work due to his knowledge of military procedure, aircraft and electronics. Although determined to remain in the background, he has been convinced by other members that he should accept his rightful place beside the Director. Now Supervisor of Electronic Maintenance at the data reduction facility at Holloman Air Force Base, he is a valued employee of the Company for which he works. His worth as a member and adviser was proven in November, 1956, when he analyzed that article on "contra-gravitics" in "Interavia" for the A.P.R.O. Bulletin.

...and the following, from the March, 1957, issue...

An Editorial

There is an occasional request received by the Director asking that she comment on Howard Menger of New Jersey and his claims regarding UAO contacts. We had felt that our past policy should take care of all comers in the contact field, but apparently reassurance is occasionally needed. We do not believe Menger's claims, and have been informed that what appears to be brushwork appears on negatives and or prints submitted by him is very much in evidence.

We would like the membership to remember in the future that we print only facts, and that fraudulent claims or obvious hoaxes are worthwhile only because of their absence in these pages.

Because of the apparent flood of UAO books at present, members are reminded of a promise made by the Director in 1953, that she would produce her own public record of UAO incidents at some future time. ln 1953 she hadn't envisioned the growth of A.P.R.O. nor the work connected with the organization. She has not completely discarded the idea, in fact is laying the groundwork for a UAO book with an entirely different slant as compared with other books in the field. When the actual work on the book begins it will be necessary to have some time off from regular organizational duties in order to execute the task. Following close on its heels will be a documentary-type book dealing with the UAO history over the past 10 years. Although the publication of a book with possible remunerative aspects is enticing, the Director feels she has a few more points to clarify. She would like very much to have all the answers, and if not, at least enough pertinent facts to make the book convincing and worthwhile reading to the general public as well as UAO enthusiasts. More about that later.

...and, as promised, from the subsequent July, 1957, issue...

An Editorial

Bowing to the wishes of most of the members. the Director has begun work on her book which is long overdue. We feel that UAO enthusiasts have been deprived of some most vital information because she has been unable, due to pressure of APRO work, to undertake this task. We would like to request that the membership keep all correspondence to an absolute minimum, freeing the local staff to do only Bulletin work and routine inquiry correspondence. The Director, who takes care of more than her share of correspondence, could then devote all of her spare time to the immense task of file research and writing.

Few of the membership at large are aware that Mrs. Lorenzen made her first UAO observation in 1934, and has sighted three unconventional objects since. Her active interest in the subject began on June 10, 1947 when she made her second observation of a UAO. From that time until she organized APRO in January of 1952, she carried out her own private research. Her files from 1934 to 1952 contain many sightings which have been hitherto unpublicized because of the space needed in the Bulletins for current developments and reports.

Mrs. Lorenzen recognized the rather hysterical explanations for the UAO for what they were in 1947, and, as will be enlarged upon in her forthcoming book, came to the conclusion that man was not alone in the Universe before most of the current UAO authors knew that the mystery existed. This book will appeal not only to UAO enthusiasts but to the laymen and scientists in every field. Aid has been solicited and is expected to be forthcoming from well known and qualified scientists who, although they may not care for name credit, will be instrumental in the success of the book.

Many members are wondering why this book has not been written before, and the Director has stated that she didn't want to present merely another tome made up of old and new sightings, but rather she wanted to present some of the answers to many of the puzzling aspects of the UAO. She feels she has some of those answers now.

After the book is finished arrangements will be made with the publishers to offer copies to the membership and other groups at a greatly reduced price. If the sale of the book is satisfactory a part of the proceeds will be alloted [sic] to APRO's treasury.

Coverage of the Lorenzens also could be found outside of the APRO Bulletin, as for instance in the following Associated Press wirestory as printed in the November 15, 1957, edition of the Roswell, New Mexico, Daily Record newspaper...

Alamogordo Organization Keeps Tab On Unidentified Flying Objects Fans


ALBUQUERQUE (AP) -- Jim Lorenzen of Alamogordo has a unique claim to fame.

"I," proclaims the 36-year-old electronics technician, "am the only man in the world who can kiss an international director."

The international director is his wife, Coral, a pretty 32-year-old mother of two.

The title makes her head of what is billed as the oldest organization (five years old) investigating those whizzing thingamabobs, the "flying saucers."

Her looks make Jim Lorenzen obviously enjoy kissing his particular international director.

Mrs. Lorenzen heads the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization with headquarters on the rim of some of the nation's biggest missile bases at Alamogordo, N.M.

Although the title is imposing (except to her husband) Mrs. L.'s main job is editing a six-times-­a-year printed bulletin on sightings of unidentified flying objects -- the UFOs -- and discouraging crack­pots.

The bulletin is put together from reports gathered by 1,500 members of the organization scattered around the world. A healthy minority are in South America.

Many of the members, says the International director, are physicists, astronomers, technicians and even a "shirt tail relative" of the British royal family. Other, considerably higher, members of the British Royal house are on the bulletin's mailing list (she has the correspondence asking for it), but don't belong to the APRO.

Some other members include Professor Charles Maney, head of the physics department at Defiance (Ohio) College, a goodly number of New Mexico astronomers and technicians on military projects who don't want their names mentioned, and -- rated a fine Brazilian correspondent -- Dr. Olavo Fontes, a Rio de Janeiro surgeon.

For some reason -- "because there have been many sightings there" says Mrs. L. -- more than 300 of the organization's members are in and around Caracas, Venezuela.

Horatio Gonzales Ganteaume, a technician working for an American company in Caracas, handles the translation of the APRO's bulletin for the Venezuelan members.

Other members are scattered, with around 50 listed in Canada, one at Britain's Woomera rocket range in Australia ("They have a lot of sightings there") and only four or five in Mexico.

While to many folks anyone who takes the UFO's seriously is a candidate for a nice, comfortable strait jacket, the Lorenzens have their own troubles with "crack­pots". And they work hard to keep them out or the organization.

"We don't want anything to do with the kind of people who go around talking to little green men in High German," Lorenzen says. "How high can a German get?"

Lorenzen himself works at the Air Force Missile Development Center as a civilian technician in charge of electronic mantenance [sic]. His wife worked there for years until handling her son and daughter, Leslie, 1, and Larry, 7, and her APRO work sent her back to the house.

How do you handle a prospective member who says he pals around with the boys from Venus?

"We flatly insult them until we get rid of them," says Mrs. L.

"We simply write back and tell them, 'We don't believe you.'"

No one in the organization draws a salary and any deficits in buying stamps usually comes out of Lorenzen's pocket. They don't waste too much time with the "lunatic fringe" of saucer sighters. But that doesn't mean they aren't convinced there is something to the many reported sightings.

The radio ham who wrote in claiming he was in contact with the saucermen who wanted him to set up a ham network so they could provide guidance for the earth got short shift.

"We don't believe you," can be a pretty shattering answer.

The gentleman who claimed he was receiving telepathic messages from the saucers got a polite invitation to take a test for extra sensory perception and wasn't heard from again.

"You can usually tell the crack pots by the first letter." says Lorenzen.

"They all have a mental quirk that gives them away. He is always a very special person who has been selected for a special reason to play an important role."

What is their organization after?

"We work like lawyers, in a way. We won't accept hearsay evidence. The story has to hold together."

The APRO asks its members for strictly first hand accounts of sightings of any "unusual aerial phenomena." It wants approximate altitude, color, shape, direction of flight position in the sky, time and date.

"What we want are actual observations by qualified people."

Lorenzen himself has never seen a UFO. The missus claims three.

Her first, she says, is what got her interested in what goes on (or what some people firmly believe goes on) in the heavens.

"I was nine years old and playing with a couple of friends on the schoolyard in Barron, Wisc. That was in 1934."

"This thing like a parachute -- only with nothing hanging from it -- came undulating itself across the sky. We all saw it.

"That's when I took up astronomy. I've never been anything but an amateur, but I worked at it."

The second sighting, she says, was June 10, 1947 -- about two weeks before the first "flying saucers" showed up in Idaho. This wasn't a saucer, but a "pinpoint of light which grew ball shaped, shot heavenwards and disappeared."

This, she says, was near Douglas, Ariz.

Her final sighting was while she was working a newspaper beat in Deer County, Wisc., in 1952. She and several hundred others, saw this UFO on May 21, says Mrs. L.

Then comes the jackpot question.

What, after all these years of collecting reports, do you think the blasted things are!

"There's no doubt in our minds that they're from outer space," firmly replies the international director.

"I think they're based in our system, possibly on Mars and possibly on the Moon. They, themselves, probably come from another solar system.

"I don't think they're here to help us and I don't think they're here to harm us. You might say they're just curious.

"For years before man was very far along in technology there were a few reports of strange things in the sky. We don't count those in our sightings because there is no accurate data.

"But after we started firing A-bombs and missiles, the things started showing up in swarms.

"The day after the Russians launched their second Sputnik -- Bang! They were all over the place."

Did she have any ideas why two of the sightings of the most recent UFOs were at While Sands Proving Ground -- one reported by base officials themselves?

"I think they're looking for where Sputnik came from. They are undoubtedly in Russia, too. When we hear from our member in Woomera, I'll bet they've been there."

The usual comeback to most of those who think the strange gizmos come from space is, "Well, if they take the trouble to charge over a few parsecs to visit us, why don't they communicate?"

Another APRO member, Clifford Booth of Albuquerque, answers that with a question of his own.

"Did you ever stir up a red anthill with a stick? Why didn't you talk to them?"

The Lorenzens and many other members of their group feel that way.

Whatever or whoever is in the watchits [sic], they say, doesn't give a ruptured weather balloon for the human race.

But they are (say the UFOers) darned interested in what breed of animal may soon be charging off into space with them.

"There's a feeling among people connected with missile research and development that the -- shall we say -- occupants of the UFOs have captured or closely observed each new missile deveolpment [sic]," Mrs. Lorenzen says.

As to why they don't come down and chat, she displays a letter from a far off member. At the bottom is a copy of a wire service story out of Africa.

The story tells of a tribesman hanged by native justice, after he sternly refused to pay damages to the widower of a woman he had eaten.

"And they ask," crowed the UFOer, "why the saucers don't land."

Certainly the Lorenzens had paid sufficient dues through years of effort to merit whatever accolades came their way. In 1952 they had founded and then nurtured and shepherded APRO into a well-respected and national force.

And with their move from Wisconsin to Alamogordo, New Mexico, in 1954, they had placed themselves at the heart of much of the action concerning the saucers, the state itself being the location of many of the military's most secretive and sensitive installations, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, and Holloman Air Force Base -- where both Coral and Jim Lorenzen would work, and from there make many valuable contacts.

But the downside was that -- despite Lorenzen's claim of the Bulletin being "the official organ of a research group" -- APRO was Coral Lorenzen and vice-versa, and the Bulletin represented that fact quite clearly. If members' attention turned elsewhere for more-exciting fare, it was to be expected.

That said, each issue of the APRO Bulletin did also carry current sightings over the space of a page or two -- in summary form -- as from the September, 1957, issue (the notation "Cr:" indicates a credit to the person who forwarded it)...


Above: "Recent Sightings" pages in the September, 1957, issue of the APRO Bulletin.

Recent Sightings

The object seen in many Venezuelan cities on June 4, 1957 may have been a large bolide meteor. Our latest news on this incident indicates that an area of 90 to 120 feet was found completely charred and the object is believed to have crashed at this spot, near Arapuey. (Cr: J. Bolas)

Roswell, New Mexico, 17 May. At 7:50 a.m. two men observed a glistening white object moving in from the East horizontally, at an approximate speed of 300-400 mph. The object was oval in shape, about the size of a dime at arm's length, and was moving into the wind. When it reached a point directly to the north of the observers' line of sight, it performed a sharp 90 degree turn and headed North. One observer thought it had stopped and was hovering, but realized it was receding. The west wind did not affect the northward course of the object. The observers noticed that when the object became silhouetted against a cloud, its color changed from white to dull gray and also, showed a somewhat different shape, that of two oblong shapes pressed together, traveling on a slanting axis in a horizontal course. (Anon.)

Indianapolis, Indiana, 29 May. Mr. Ray Streib, his fiance and another lady, while driving west out of Indianapolis toward Danville, observed two objects in or behind a wisp of cloud, at approximately 25,000 feet. (A jet was in the sky at the time and altitude was approximated by comparison). The objects shone a brilliant white, their brilliance was constant, they appeared to be four or five times the size of the jet, and a half-dollar would barely cover the objects, if it were held at arm's length. One object disappeared as though a light had been turned off, but appeared an instant later. The second object then moved quickly away while the first one remained behind. The second object then moved quickly to a position immediately above the jet's vapor trail, then began to move toward the jet. When fairly close to the aircraft, it began to move straight up until it was nearly invisible, the [sic] descended once more, hovered for a moment and then rejoined the other object. They both then moved toward the southwest in an angular direction that was nearly vertical and were lost to sight. Observing time: 11 minutes. Conclusions reached by the observers were: Objects appeared to be of some type of shiny metal, no apparent changes of color with acceleration or deceleration, and no details were visible. Objects not reflecting sun's rays, for brilliance was constant, and they appeared to be under specific control. Objects were not weather balloons for they each moved independently of each other and in different directions. Streib called the Airport operations tower the next morning, was told there were some weather balloons in the area and that they were what he saw. He had not asked what was in the sky at a specific time, but merely asked what the flight pattern was for the previous evening from 5:15 to 5:30.

Monticello, Indiana, 21 June. At 9:13 p.m. a UAO was seen to pace an airliner and completely circle it as it moved in a westerly direction. The apparent size of the UFO was about twice the size of the airliner, which was a two-engine plane. After circling the airliner, the UAO shot straight up into the air at tremendous speed. Its color was a dull blue white and seemed to emit a faint vapor trail. When it approached the plane, the plane's exterior was lighted by the luminescence of the UAO. Apparent altitude of the plane was 5,000 feet, length of sighting about one minute. Observed by Ray and Barbara Streib, and Maxine Griesstach.

Greencastle, Indiana, 24 and 26 June. Four teenagers, Jerry Brattain, 17, George Bennett, 17, Bob Coleman, 18 and Jackie Glover 18, traveling from Russellville, Indiana on Highway 234 saw a UAO at about 11 p.m. The object was hovering, and they estimated it was about 50 to 100 feet in diameter. The thing was "huge", "red-lighted" and hung in the sky about 200 feet above their car; it also had white lights resembling spotlights. It was seen at the same hour on both the 24th and 26th. On the latter date, one of the boys flashed the spotlight of the car toward the object. Something similar to a firecracker" was "tossed" into the car, exploded, and particles hit one of the boys on the cheek. Bits of yellow paper were found in the car. After the explosion, the UAO moved quickly out of sight at "high speed." Sheriff Joseph Rollings of Putnam County, said many reports have been received of UAO sightings. He warned teenagers to stay away from the area where the object was seen. (Cr: R. Streib) (Ed. Note: There has been some speculation that this incident could, have been a hoax.)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 22 July. The Toronto Telegram, as well as other papers and wire services, carried the information that the RCAF Ground Observer Corps had been tracking what "may be a flying saucer" over Ontario during the month of July. Herb Harrison, chief observer for the Don Mills area, said, "It's like a little ball of fire", and it keeps shifting from north to east to west to south. We have no idea Yet what it is." GOC members were instructed to keep close watch on the mysterious light. (Cr: G. Conway)

Kitwe, Northern Rhodesia, 2l July. An AP release of this date stated that copper miners in the Kitwe area have reported "flying saucers" with flaming tails, and "going like the wind." Some of the miners said they thought the objects were from outer space and spying on the uranium mining operations in that area. No exact date of sightings or further details were available. (Cr: F. Bauman, M. Calver, J. Morgan, H, Bensen, J. Myers)

Ciudad, Bolivar, Venezuela, 4 July. A large, luminous object crossed the sky over Los Dragos Village in an east-west path. The whole town took to the streets to observe the object, which left a large trail of smoke. No further details. (Cr: J. Rolas)

San Cristobal, Venezuela, 7 July. A large, round, luminous orange-colored object was seen by many in the early evening. It traveled across the sky from east to west, at high speed. (Cr: J. Rolas)

Mapire, Anzoategui, Venezuela, 8 July. An object, much like a ball of fire, fell into the Orinoco River, and sunk immediately. Many observers went to the river to look for it, but found nothing. Pedro Miranda, Carlos Moreiro and Luis Norberto Moreiro, who saw the object strike the water, said the object gave off a small reddish trail. (Cr: J. Rolas)

Great Bend, Kansas, 12 July. Mrs. Loretta Holt and son Kenneth, 16, spotted a round, silver object hurtling through the skies at about 7:45 a.m. (Cr: F. Inderwiesen)

Roswell, New Mexico, 27 July. A farmer and two teenagers reported seeing three UAO in the vicinity of East Grand Plains at 9:20 a.m. The boys, Larry Don Hendricks, 13, and Henry Pacheco, 14, called a neighbor woman outside to observe the objects. By the time she got out of doors, only two were visible, and she couldn't make out details, but did verify their sighting. When first seen, the boys said, the objects, which were white and round, were traveling west. They stopped about over the EGP school house, and then went back east. The boys said the objects didn't make a turn, but "sort of went backward the way they had come." Hendricks, an airplane enthusiast, said the objects definitely were not planes. Walker AFB officials said no UAO bad been spotted or reported to them, also that weather balloons from Holloman and El Paso, released about 5 p.m., could have traveled to the Roswell area by the time the UAO were seen. The officials conceded, however, that weather balloons do not behave in the manner described by the boys. The youths said the objects were traveling "pretty fast", but not as fast as jets. An unidentified farmer in the area also reported seeing the objects, in a telephone report to the weather bureau. (Anon.-Roswell Daily Record)

Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, 2 July. Mr. and Mrs. A. Wolfe and Mrs. M. Duffield observed a yellow-white light which maneuvered in their vicinity for a period of about an hour. When it first appeared, it looked like a "shooting star", but it stopped in midair for a second before continuing its descent, and repeated this maneuver. During the following hour, the object continued to move about the sky without either stopping for any length of time in one spot or changing direction suddenly. All agreed it was moving at great speed, it made no noise, and could not be followed in its flight path as it went off, then appeared at another point in its course. The observers, after watching these maneuvers for about an hour, finally discontinued the observation, as it was about 11 p.m. (Cr: G. Conway)

Caracas, Venezuela, 2 Aug. Residents in the La Florida Urbanization (suburb) including Dr. Gerard A. Villardi, a Catholic University Professor, sighted and watched numerous stationary luminous objects in the sky east of Caracus [sic]. The objects, which were circular in shape, came from the south, hovered for moments in the east, then shot off to the North, at great speed. (Cr: J. Rolas)

Naples, Italy, 4 Aug. Residents of Posillipo and Capodimonte hill told local authorities that they had sighted several "flying discs" in the sky. A second officer of the Military Aeronautical Division on duty at the control tower at Capodichino stated that be saw luminous beams of au unknown nature which cruised the sky very swiftly in a northeast direction. (Cr: J. Rolas, ANSA)

Alton, Illinois, 5 Aug. Mr. and Mrs. Ray Admire and daughters Shirley, 22, and Carole, 8 observed a rocket-like object which sported a long "tail of fire" for about fifteen minutes between 8 and 8:30 p. m. The object appeared to be descending when first seen, later went straight north until it was out of sight. The Admires stated that the object was travelling at high speed, although a fifteen-minutes sighting period does not indicate speed on the part of the object. (Cr: A Vogele)

Siquiesique, Venezuela, 5 August. A number of oval-shaped objects were observed as they passed above this town at high speed. They left a white trail which stayed in the sky for some time after the objects were out of sight. No sound. (Cr: J. Rolas)

Barjuisimeto, Venezuela, 5 Aug. Six oval-shaped, luminous objects passed over Aguada Granda and were sighted by many people in the area The objects made no noise, but left a white trail which took a long period of time to disintegrate. This sighting is the fifth of its kind to appear over the area' The first four sightings were made in the night time. but this observation was in broad daylight. (Cr: J. Rolas)

Winchester, Indiana, 7, 8, 9 August. City Patrolman Gale Rule, a four-year Air Force veteran, has sighted a "2-block-long cucumber-shaped whitish-green" object three different times. Rule says he doesn't think the object is an air[lane, that each sighting was made at about 3 a.m. on succeeding mornings, while he was making his rounds at Winchester Park. He said he has never seen the object for more than 8 seconds at any one time. "It would hover above low-lying clouds for about 5 seconds, then in 3 seconds disappear in a cloud of whitish-green vapor," he said. "For a couple of seconds, its flashes light up the sky," said Rule, "and it's always a pale whitish green." (Cr: H.B. Williams)

Indianapolis, Indiana, 7 August. In this large midwestern city as well as many smaller ones in Central Indiana, one or more unconventional aerial objects were seen and reported during the early morning hours, between 12:48 and 2 a.m. The general public and many law enforcement officers saw the objects which were variously described as brilliantly colored in shades of red, white, green, pale blue and pink The object was described as flashing, flickering, dimming, sparkling and wavering. Noiseless, the object was proceeding in a general northeast direction, toward Detroit, Michigan. State Police attempted to blame the sightings on an aerial refueling operation, but it was later established that there were no planes aloft which could account for the sightings. It is impossible to even attempt any kind of rational correlation here, for the newspapers, as usual, printed little or no detail, but rather played the sighting up for its sensational appeal to the public. (Cr: F. Overton, H.B. Williams, B. Greenway, L.I. Neher.)

Salta, Argentina, 8 August. Residents of this area claim that pictures have been taken of "spinning top" shaped objects of an approximate diameter of 900 feet which flew over this area on this date. The objects appeared to have a small, black protrusion on the top, and made rapid descents over the desolate area of Solar de Ariazaro, behind the Nacion hills. The objects were observed by local people for about six hours before disappearing beyond the horizon. (Cr: J. Rolas)

Salta, Argentina, 8 August. A huge unconventional aerial object, after making a complicated maneuver over the area, exploded in a number of luminous beams like fireworks of great intensity. After the report of the phenomena near Salor de Ariazaro (see above) the people were somewhat edgy about the incident. (Cr: J Rolas)

Calabozo, Venezuela, 8 August. A circular, luminous object, traveling at high speed, was seen by a large crowd at a local movie house, as the crowd left the theater. At about 10 p.m. the object sat off in the southwest, then disappeared seconds later. A short time later the object was seen describing large circles in the sky to the northeast. Travelers from Camaguan reported that several people observed the object at that town a little before 11 p.m. (Cr: J. Rolas)

Anapolis, Brazil, 9 August. Hundreds of persons reported seeing a luminous disc-shaped object which hovered about 2500 feet above Anapolis for 40 minutes. The observers said that the UAO then disappeared toward the Atlantic Coast. (Cr: Paul Magnificent)

Lawrence. Kansas.9, 10, 11 12 and 13 August. Residents of this Kansas town have reported seeing a bright yellow light flash through the sky on five separate nights. Among those reporting were Mrs. C.R. Bitenbender, Stanley Williams, and Dan Hallmark. All agreed the object was traveling at a high rate of speed. The latest observer was Keven [sic] Jones, petroleum engineering instructor at the University of Kansas, and a pilot in the Naval reserve at Olathe. "The object came over my house at 8:41 p.m. while I was in the yard," he said. "It definitely had size to it and was yellow and quite bright, much brighter than anything else in the sky. It also was much brighter than any jet exhaust I have ever seen at night. There is no question in my mind that it was not a jet and it definitely was not a shooting star." The PIO at Richards-Gebaur AFB at Grandview said it had received no reports. (Cr: F. Inderwiesen)

Tampico, Mexico, 30 July. Residents at the Acapulco seaside resort have reported the sighting of an unconventional aerial object in the late evening hours. The object was round, luminous and gave off a whitish light, and after hovering and performing maneuvers in the sky, it went south and disappeared. According to witnesses, the object made no sound, was visible for 20 minutes, and when speeding south, sported a yellowish halo of light. (Cr: J. Rolas)

Yokohama, Japan, 10 June, 5:01 p.m. More than fifteen people at the National Railway Station saw a cigar-shaped object just before the arrival of a Yokosuka Line train arrived at the No. 7 Platform. Mr. Yukio Hasegawa, one of the witnesses, said the object was long, gave off a brilliant silvery glow, was traveling from southwest to northeast. The object made no sound and was in sight for 30 seconds in a clear sky.

Tokyo, Japan, 10 June. At 6:40 p.m. several people near the Nichigeki Theatre spotted two small round silvery objects which made "zig-zag fluttery movements' and hovered. After about 20 seconds the objects ascended and disappeared.

Mt. Fujiama [sic], Japan, 1 July. Six mountain climbers near the summit of Mt. Fuji observed a disc-shaped silvery, glowing object for 3 minutes. Mr. Sadayoshi Ogata, a University student, said the object oscillated in flight, came from the northwest to overhead at low speed.

Manila, Phillipines [sic], 4 June. Reports coming into Japan indicate that a greenish-white colored light was observed to move slowly over the southeastern area of Manila on the evening of this date. The object was in sight for several minutes, watched by six observers, including Miss Caridad Penez. (Cr: Yusuke Matsumura)

* * *

We are proud to print the following excerpt from a letter from Lee Munsick, editor of the "U.F.O. Newsletter": "I assure you that the high regard evidenced by your remark for our newsletter is surpassed by a reciprocal feeling for yours. It will not be merely flattering when I say that your publication had a great deal to do with the formulating of my own opinions, and I can also fully understand the woes that beset you . .  .  . Signed Lee H. Munsick

But even here the dry and droning recitation aroused no sense of the drama or the excitement -- both on the part of the witnesses and the readers -- that usually accompanies the best sighting reports (nor were all the reports included immune from astronomical explanation). But most disheartening, there were no follow-up investigations or interviews, no diagrams, maps or pictures, and a scarcity of meaningful comment. Once again, if members' attention turned elsewhere for more-fulfilling fare, it was to be expected. And if in "at least 30 cities in the United States alone, APRO members have dropped out, keeping in touch with APRO news through companion members, and using this technique, at the price of subscription to one UAO periodical, have available all UAO news from 10 or 12 papers" -- that was understandable, as well.

Nor could the APRO Bulletin claim the high ground on sensationalized implication, as from the following front-page item from the January, 1957, issue...

The Case of The Missing Y33

On December 8 a Y-33 (generally known as a T-33 the "T" designating the jet as a Trainer) left Seattle, Washington for Westover, Massachusetts. It reported over Goshen, Indiana that night and was never heard from again. On the following Monday 18 Air Force planes and scores of civilian craft started searching. For nine disheartening days the search continued, no clues were found, and the plane was presumed to have gone in Lake Erie, according to the Akron, Ohio Beacon Journal. Informants report somewhat "mysterious" or "unusual" circumstances surrounding the loss of this aircraft, and if corroboration is forthcoming these circumstances will be carried in another issue of this bulletin. (Cr. P.A. Hanson}

...and from the May, 1957, issue...

Navy Plane Crashes

Ten airmen were injured on 18 May when a twin engine Navy airplane, a P2V Neptune bomber, crashed into a pond while attempting an instrument landing at Glenview Naval Air Station near Chicago. An observer, John Wilbur, of Northbrook, driving by in his car, said he heard a roar and saw a big ball of fire. (Cr: C. Hess -- AP)

...and also from the May, 1957, issue...

On April 6 the Associated Press carried a news article dealing with the disappearance of the Lockheed U-2 experimental plane used for high altitude research for the NACA. Law enforcement agencies in California, Nevada and Utah were notified of the disappearance and advised to be on the lookout for information leading to its discovery after the assumed crash. The plane took off from the Watertown airstrip near Mercury, Nevada on Thursday 4 April. Apparently Lockheed test pilot Robert Sieker, who was at the controls, didn't bother to "Mayday". Our information indicates that these experimental planes are tracked and constant communication with the pilot is maintained. We wouldn't be surprised about an ordinary test-plane crash, but for the AF to be puzzled as to where it went down is a horse of another color.

To be fair, there were some reports of more depth, as from the front page of the July, 1957, issue...


Above: The July, 1957, edition of the APRO Bulletin.

UAO Hovers Over Holloman AFB

On June 4 at approximately 12:30 a.m. a pale, blue-green globe-shaped light approached Holloman Air Force Base from the direction of Sierra Blanca (referred to as "Old Baldy Mountain") in the northwest. The speed of the object was not great, and the outstanding feature of this incident is what the object did when it reached the air base.

During a period of between 10 and 15 minutes astonished civilian and military observers watched the weird object swing to and fro like a pendulum. There was no discernible shape except the light, which was either large at high altitude or small at low altitude.

The light, as though bent on a specific mission, swung in even arcs over the base, then headed for White Sands Proving Ground, to the Southwest, and when over that area, again began the pendulum-like swing. It was observed by military and civilian personnel at the Proving Grounds also. After 10 or 15 minutes (we couldn't verify the exact time interval) of this maneuvering, the light began a swift ascension and disappeared into the sky over the Proving Ground.

The Director waited several weeks, meanwhile gathering pertinent information, before calling the PIO at Holloman for confirmation. On July 10 at 7:35 a.m. she called and talked to Public Information Officer Major John W McCurdy. She identified herself, then stated that she had called to inquire about the sighting made over Holloman in June. It was apparent the Major was familiar with the Director's name, for he didn't ask for it again. Neither did he ask about what specific sighting, or the details.

Major McCurdy merely said that the PIO had no information or official release on the sighting, and that "technical people would be more concerned" with such a matter, Mrs. Lorenzen then said, "Then you will neither confirm nor deny the sighting?" The Major said that was correct. Mrs. Lorenzen then thanked him for his courtesy and time and hung up the telephone.

The whole situation is somewhat disconcerting, as it only adds to the already sound assumption that the AF is holding back information regarding UAO. Major McCurdy was evidently well aware of the sighting, for he didn't seem curious about it. Usually reliable sources other than the eye witnesses who told us of the sighting, have informed us that radar confirmation was obtained, at least at Holloman if not at White Sands, that a CIA investigator visited Holloman and the Photo Lab, and that films of the object and its maneuvers were obtained.

Holloman Air Research and Development Center is one of, if not the most, important guided missile testing range in the United States. No planes were sent up to investigate the strange, unknown aerial visitor which hovered for at least TEN MINUTES over the Base on June 4. To even theorize that the object was one of our own test vehicles is ridiculous -- test missiles are not ranged over the base proper because such tactics would be too dangerous.

This observation is without a doubt one of the most important sightings ever to be made of an unconventional aerial object.

But even in the above -- clearly based on Lorenzen's Holloman connections -- there was a disconcerting lack of information (who were the "astonished civilian and military observers", how many witnesses were there, what was their individual level of expertise or reliability, were sighting reports independent of one another, etc.)

Nor were there any quotes included, even anonymously, allowing readers to judge the witnesses own descriptions for themselves. It was all neatly bundled and summarized, no inconsistencies noted and no questions allowed. And the delay of weeks before contacting Holloman -- and the frankly inept interchange with the Public Information Officer -- does not inspire confidence.

Added to this is the fact that the alleged incident appeared in none of the local newspapers -- odd in itself considering the spectacular nature and duration of the purported event -- and it all boiled down to the word of one person, distinguished though she may be, and who had not personally witnessed said event. Strange, too, was the fact that there was no elaboration or follow-up on this, "one of the most important sightings ever", in any subsequent issue.

Fortunately for anyone interested in well-sourced and riveting reports -- both then and now -- these deficiencies were more-than-overcome in several excellent articles in the November, 1957, issue of the Bulletin (the sixth and final issue for the year) relating to the now-classic series of incidents usually referred to as the "Levelland, Texas" reports...


Above: The November, 1957, edition of the APRO Bulletin.

The Levelland Case

We have received 150 different clippings pertaining to the incident which took place at Levelland, Texas on the night of 2 November, and also on Sunday morning during the early morning hours. Probably one of the early sighters was Pedro Saucedo, 30, a farm worker and part-time barber who told officials that he was driving out to a farm near Pettit (west of Levelland) Saturday night with a friend, Joe Salaz, when he first saw the thing. He said they saw a flash of light in a field to the right, and didn't think much of it at first. When it got near, the truck lights went out and the motor died.

Saucedo jumped out of the truck and threw himself on the ground, and called to his friend, who stayed in the car. The thing passed directly over the truck with a "great sound and a rush of wind." Saucedo said he felt a lot of heat as it went over. He then got up and watched it go out of sight toward Levelland. He said it was torpedo shaped or like a "rocket" but much larger.

Ronald Martin, 18, a Levelland truck driver, said his truck engine died and the lights went out "when a big ball of fire dropped on the highway" east of Levelland early Sunday morning. Martin said the object changed to a bluish green color when it settled onto the highway, then changed to a "fireball" when it took off, rising straight into the air.

Newell Wright, a Texas Tech student from Levelland, reported a similar occurrence east of Levelland, also. Police Patrolman A.J. Fowler said Saucedo and 14 others called in reports, and many seemed very upset, and in some cases, terrified.

All seemed to agree that this something was about 200 feet long, shaped like an elongated egg, or ellipsoid, and lit up like it was on fire. The glow, however, according to the description, seemed to resemble neon light. All observers agreed that the object seemed to be at about 200 feet altitude, and when it approached the observers, their car engines stopped, and headlights went out.

Sheriff Weir Clem and Highway Patrolmen Lee Hargrove and Floyd Cain reported seeing similar flashes in the sky about the same time in the same area. All were riding in separate cars.

Another who saw what seems to be the same object, was James D. Long, a truck driver from Waco, Texas. He was driving along a road about four miles west of Levelland when he approached a large, egg-shaped glowing mass parked in the road ahead. His motor quit, his truck lights went out and he fainted from fright. After the thing left, he was able to start his car with no difficulty, as was the case with others who encountered the weird object that night.

And as seen in the other stories from the November, 1957, issue, the strange incidents extended far beyond Levelland over a period of several days...

The New Mexico Story

At exactly 8:55 p.m. November 4th, the telephone rang in the Director's home and the caller identified himself as Mr. James W. Stokes, a personal acquaintance of the Lorenzens. What he said started a series of events which kept the whole town of Alamogordo, the news agencies and A.P.R.O. headquarters in an uproar for several days.

The wire services have carried the stories along with others dealing with similar objects, but it is felt by local members that the following account is the most complete and accurate to date.

Stokes, 46, a retired Navy man, and currently working in high altitude research in the capacity of electrical engineer at Holloman Air Force Base, was driving south on U.S. Highway 54 on his way to El Paso. The trip was without incident until he reached a point some 10 miles south of Orogrande, a small desert coffee stop.

The first indication of anything unusual was the fading out of Stokes' car radio. He automatically reached out to turn up the volume, but the radio was dead. Then the engine began to falter, and finally died. Stokes had seen traffic up ahead, but hadn't realized they, too, were stopped, until he spotted people getting out of their cars and pointing toward the sky in the northeast. Stokes turned and saw a large, mother-of-pearl-colored egg-shaped object approaching from the direction of the Sacramento mountains. It was proceeding roughly toward the southwest, but suddenly made a sharp turn and made a pass toward the highway, passing from northwest to southeast above the highway, then another sharp turn back across the highway, ascending swiftly in the northwest and finally vanishing, not over the horizon, but into space.

When the object passed over, Stokes said he felt something like "pressure" and a wave of heat. He was standing outside of his car when this happened. After the thing was gone, he got back into his car, after talking with other motorists, and restarted his car, a late model Mercury, which started without difficulty and operated perfectly. He then proceeded to El Paso.

Sky conditions on November 4th were ideal for such a sighting, and play quite a part in the evaluation of this particular sighting. There were low-hanging scattered clouds at about 1500 feet altitude. The object was seen below the clouds, and among them, and the clouds appeared to dissipate as the object came into contact with them. Stokes says he feels the object got no lower than 1500 feet, and that during its observed flight, it was doing about 1500 miles per hour, judging by the time it took the object to cross the basin from the Sacramento Mountains to the San Andreas.

Other observers, a man named Duncan, and one Allan D. Baker have not been located. Baker took pictures, and local newsmen as well as APRO members feel that Baker and some of the others in the line of cars were employees at White Sands Proving Ground. A White Sands road giving access to Highway 54 from the Proving Ground, intersects not too far from the point where the sighting took place. It is also believed that these people made their report to their superiors first, and were cautioned not to come forth to corroborate the story. The pictures are probably in a file at Wright Air Development Center at Dayton, Ohio, by this time.

At 9:30, after relating his experience to Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzen, Stokes and the Lorenzens went to Station KALG, where APRO member Terry Clarke works as News Director and Commercial Manager. Mrs. Lorenzen had called Clarke relative to the report, and Clarke suggested that in the light of a White Sands report which had just come in, plus the Levelland, Texas, report, Stokes' story would be very newsworthy. A recorded interview was made and a story on the sighting was written up for the press wires and dispatched that night.

Members might be interested to know that Mrs. Lorenzen did a taped interview at KALG Monday afternoon at the request of KALG officials, commenting on the Levelland sighting.

Object Seen Over A-Bomb Bunkers

And then the pieces began to fall into place. The White Sands report came in. A huge, oval object, nearly as bright as the sun was spotted by two different Army Range patrols, on Sunday, November 3rd, 17 hours apart. There had been no opportunity for the men involved to contact each other. One report had been made, and no one got concerned about it until a second report came in from another patrol. In both cases, the object was seen hovering over the cement and earth bunkers used by scientists and technicians for cover while watching the first atomic blast in 1945. The actual explosion site, now levelled and filled in, is several miles from the scene of the sighting.

The first patrol sighted the object at about 3 a.m. Sunday morning, the second sighting was at 8 p.m. the same day. Men of both patrols estimated the object to be oblong or egg-shaped, nearly as bright as the sun, and at least 200 feet long. In the first instance, the object was seen hanging about 50 feet above the old A-bomb bunker, then it took off at a 45-degree angle and went up into the sky and started blinking off and on before it disappeared.

The second two-man jeep patrol observed the object at first in the sky, then it descended until it was about 50 yards above the A-bomb bunkers, when it went out. Lt. Miles F. Penney, C.O. of the Stallion Site Camp, accompanied some of the patrol to the area in an effort to find some physical evidence of the object's visit, but could find no burned or charred areas near the bunkers. None of the patrol had motor trouble with their jeeps as did motorists in Texas and the Stokes incident. Officers at White Sands Proving Ground disclaimed any connection between the objects and the work at the Base.

On Tuesday morning, November 5th, at 6 a.m., KALG Radio was deluged with calls from press wire services, radio and TV stations, and newspapers throughout the United States and Canada. Stokes was called in to talk to General L.I. Davis and Deputy Commander Colonel Judy at Holloman. After the briefing, an official release was sent out, and a copy reposes in APRO files with the Stokes report.

For the sake of space, we will omit the details, which were given above, and include only the comments made by Holloman Officials in their first release for the press wires after the interviews. They said they had no reason to doubt Stokes' story, and that he is a capable observer. It was also announced that Stokes was scheduled for a physical examination, due to the fact that he had a rather pronounced sunburn after the incident. While he was sitting in the Lorenzen living room Monday evening, he continually scratched or rubbed his neck and face, complaining of itching sensations. However, the discoloration and irritation were completely gone Tuesday morning. On Tuesday evening, Stokes was invited to the Lorenzens where local members met to talk over current events. He looked quite normal.

Tag-end stories began to come in Tuesday from reliable sources regarding other sightings in the area. ...

Holloman Employee Sees UAO

On Tuesday morning, November 5th, two Alamogordo people observed unusual things in the sky. At 4:35 a.m., a Land-Air Corporation electronics technician, Don Clarke, observed an orangish-red cigar-shaped object at about 15 degrees elevation in the western sky. Clarke, who lives in East Alamogordo, which has a higher elevation than other parts of town, said he was getting ready to go to work, and when he saw the object, he went inside to get the camera. When he came back outside, the thing was gone.

On that same morning, but at approximately 4:40, Lyman Brown, Jr., on his way to his job at the Dairy, observed a yellowish-orange light which, when he first spotted it, was at a 45 degree elevation in the North. It was proceeding across the sky, arcing toward the East, and "went out" at about 15 or twenty degrees elevation in the southeastern sky, above "Dog Canyon," a canyon in the Sacramento Mountains. After it went out, another phenomena was observed -- what looked like a searchlight beam did a "looping" maneuver just above where the light disappeared. The whole episode took only 6 or 7 Seconds. Mrs. Lorenzen talked to Mr. Brown, found that he was familiar with astronomical objects, said the light was "considerably larger" than the apparent size of Venus, which is setting in the evening sky.

At this writing, the above is the sum and total of sightings in the Alamogordo-Tularosa Basin area. See "Interesting Sidelights," this issue for significant factors which have had a bearing on possible evaluations of these sightings.

Interesting Sidelights on UAO Reports in Tularosa Basin

On Tuesday, November 5th, interesting rumors and events began to color the UAO happenings and their possible meanings. When the UAO "flap" began, Terry Clarke, News Director for Radio Station KALG, called the Director and they worked together in gathering and checking reports. On Monday Mrs. Lorenzen made a taped interview at the Station, commenting on the Levelland, Texas, sighting; that night she interviewed Mr. Stokes and convinced him that what he had seen should be given out as public information, and the now famous taped interview between Mr. Clarke and Mr. Stokes was cut at 10:00 p.m. that night. The next day, Tuesday, Stokes was called in from the range to be interviewed by Holloman AFMDC officials. Meanwhile, Radio Stations, wire services, newspapers and magazines called in for the big "scoop." Some fifty long-distance calls were handled for KALG alone that day, through the crowded lines of the local telephone company and Mr. Clarke had his breakfast at 11:30 a.m. -- coffee brought to him by the Director.

On Tuesday evening, an impromptu meeting of available local A.P.R.O. members was held at the Lorenzen home. A physicist, a chemist and an electronics engineer (all anonymous by request and necessity) attended. Mr. Stokes showed up at their invitation, said he was scheduled for a physical examination on Wednesday morning, and began to show signs of having been coaxed to "water down" his report. He brought up the possibility that what he had seen might have been an atmospheric phenomena, again and again. We mean no disrespect for Mr. Stokes, and are merely stating our observations.

On Tuesday, Mr. Clarke had called the Public Information Officer at White Sands Proving Ground, on the tip of an informant that one of the men in one of the patrols which had sighted the UFO over the A-bomb bunkers, had suffered peculiar burns and had been hospitalized. In answer to the query the Officer said, "Oh no, he's on leave." Then the officer began to tell how the soldier's Commanding Officer had discovered the man had a lot of leave coming, and suggested that he had might as well take it.

When Mr. Clarke called Mrs. Lorenzen about this episode, she recalled the tip she had gotten regarding the supposedly injured soldier. On November 7th, Thursday, White Sands released a statement that Pvt. James Wilbanks, the soldier in question, was back on duty, and had backed up the stories of the other M.P.s regarding the object near the A-bomb bunkers. It also referred to the rumors that the man had been burned during the episode, and said that actually he had been feeling ill since last week, due to a "heavy cold." The tips that were called in to Mr. Clarke and Mrs. Lorenzen came from two entirely different unconnected sources. We have one very interesting observation: It is difficult to understand why a sick man was allowed to go out on night patrol in the cold desert air; also it's odd that he suddenly went on leave; and finally the "cold" excuse was announced. We wonder if some sort of "brain-washing" might be taking place, as well as treatment for burns.

The Director has been alarmed since the first "official explanations" were foisted on the public in the summer of 1947. A very insidious type of censorship has been utilized since.

Dr. Donald Menzel, New Mexico Senator Clinton Anderson, Dr. Hubertus Strughold, (chief of the Department of Space Medicine at Randolph Field, Texas) have all been allowed space by the American Press Wires within the last few days to label as "hallucinations or illusions" the sighting made by honest, sane American citizens. We would like to go on record as stating, in behalf of all Alamogordo APRO members, that only two types of professionals are qualified to judge as to whether these observers were having hallucinations: UAO experts or psychologists. Neither Strughold, Menzel or Anderson qualify, and for that matter, it is doubtful that Air Force spokesmen do, either. Air Force spokesmen are told what to say, and they say it, whether it agrees with their better judgment or not.

It is an established fact that the officers in charge of UAO investigation for the Air Force are not on the job for more than a two-year tenure. How can anyone of them become experts? A college degree in any one given subject does not make one automatically an expert on any subject which is currently newsworthy.

We have many experts in physics, astronomy, electronics, chemistry, photography, etc. within our organization who, although interested in UAO, and actively engaged in UAO research, do not consider themselves experts on the subject of UAO. How can a college professor who spends most of his time running research projects on mundane things, (and incidentally, if UAOs are so easily explained by conventional means, why does he even bother to study them?) find sufficient spare time to do a thorough job of studying such a tremendously complicated subject as UAO?

How can the chief of the School of Space Medicine find time to do research on UAOs to such an extent that he is qualified to make statements as to their reality or unreality? If he's doing a good and thorough job at his space medicine research, his spare time should be consumed with further research.

And last, and probably most ridiculous, is the fact that a politician feels he is qualified to call hundreds of people incapable of describing what they have seen. We think perhaps Mr. Anderson lost quite a number of votes with his unqualified and uncalled-for remarks about hallucinations.

One final word on this subject of "expert statements" is the fact that none of the aforementioned and [Illegible] gentlemen saw the objects in question [Illegible] all of them were at least 200 miles away and yet they feel "qualified" to cast aspersions on the abilities of those people involved.

One final report is unfortunately clipped at the right margin and can't be accurately transcribed. It is readable enough, however, to get the gist...

But -- as far as the year 1957 is concerned -- such detailed reporting in the APRO Bulletin was far more the exception than the rule.


Meanwhile, as mentioned above by Stringfield (and welcomed to the field at first warily and then warmly by Coral Lorenzen and APRO), new to the scene and full of fresh vigor was one of Hynek's "civilian UFO societies" which would rapidly gain national prominence -- the National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena, known as NICAP.

Founded in October, 1956 by inventor Thomas Townsend Brown, by early 1957 it would be headed by Major Donald Keyhoe. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with prominent military members on its Board of Directors, NICAP began to reap considerable publicity, as in the following national newswire story as printed in the July 30, 1957, edition of the Amarillo, Texas, Daily News...


Above: Beginning of article.

Seen Any Saucers Lately?

Confidential Service for
Saucer-Seers Is Available

No need to fear laughter of neighbors!

NEA Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, July 28 (NEA) -- You can now report seeing flying saucers without being tagged as the neighborhood nut.

That's one of the several unique services being offered by a new organization called the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.

Another service is that your membership in NICAP will be kept a secret, just in case the mere act of signing up might start the neighbors talking. Already there are plenty of secret members although there are some pretty impressive names among members who aren't afraid to have their affiliation made public.

The current yearly dues in this non-profit organization are $7.50. In addition to offering the choice of anonymity or publicity, the membership package includes a new monthly publication called "The UFO Investigator." UFO is the official Pentagon designation for "unidentified flying objects," or flying saucers.

The first issue, just off the press, reveals for the first time that a Civil Aeronautics Administration radar operator tracked four UFOs flying over California at speeds up to 3,600 mph last spring. The circumstances were similar to past radar sighting [sic] which could not be identified as conventional aircraft.

The magazine promises to keep members up to date on similar future sightings.

The first issue also reveals that the former head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Adm. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter had become a member of the board of directors of NICAP. Hillenkoetter recently retired from the Navy and is now with a shipping firm in New York. The CIA which he headed is Uncle Sam's top intelligence agency.

Another retired admiral, Delmer S. Fahrney, is a founder of the organization. Fahrney is a pioneer of guided missile development. Still another member is Maj. Dewey Fournet, a former investigator of UFO reports for the Air Force. Others include retired generals, airline pilots, college professors, ministers and businessmen.

Donald Keyhoe, a retired Marine major and author of three best-selling flying saucer books, is the director of NICAP and editor of the new magazine. He has made flying saucers a highly profitable career. In the process he has worked up a feud with the Air Force on the subject.

It has been Keyhoe's contention all along that the Air Force has a big plot cooking to keep the real facts on saucers from the public.

"The real mission of NICAP is to get the Air Force to open up its secret files on saucers so that the public can evaluate for itself just what there is to this whole thing," he insists.

A service which Keyhoe and his NICAP offers to members and the public is an impartial evaluation of all saucer sightings. "We will seek to expose the fake crackpot reports as well as give attention to those which offer new information on the nature of UFO's," Keyhoe says.

He doubts reports of competing writers who claimed to have ridden in flying saucers and interviewed passengers from outer space. He says a special NICAP committee will give such claimants lie-detector tests and analyze the reports if they will submit to this.

In offering to keep names of members secret at their request Kehoe [sic] admits that just an interest in flying saucers could make a person the object of ridicule. He says many airline pilots have been ordered not to report any UFO sightings for this reason.

In a statement of personal policy on saucers, published in the first edition of the magazine, Keyhoe says: "I consider that the evidence that the UFO's are real and are interplanetary machines is conclusive. But I am making every effort to be neutral in my approach to new evidence.

"The opinions of our special advisors and the board of governors will far outweigh my own, personal convictions in final evaluations."

Donald KeyhoeIn terms of meeting Coral Lorenzen's criteria for judging new organizations -- having a "back-file" and experience in investigating -- there was no person better qualified than Major Keyhoe to head the new organization. It had been Keyhoe who had brought "respectability" to the subject through his ground-breaking article "The Flying Saucers Are Real" in the January, 1950, issue of True magazine. The article itself was a thorough and detailed examination of three classic cases, presenting the facts in unbiased fashion (although his own personal conclusions carried a definite interplanetary slant), and in the process -- as phrased by Captain Ed Ruppelt, later head of the Air Force Project Blue Book -- "ripped the official Air Force conclusions to shreds". Following up with another article for True, entitled "Flight 117 and the Flying Saucer" in its August, 1950, issue, Keyhoe personally interviewed the pilots and passengers of a memorable TWA flight, providing lengthy unedited quotes from each describing their experience, ending with a detailed summary of the in-flight encounters of eight other airline crews. Nothing like it had ever been published before, and it built on the standard established earlier by Keyhoe for thorough investigation with Keyhoe's own opinions kept separate from the facts of each incident.

Then, in 1952 -- the penultimate year in flying saucer reports, both then and now -- Keyhoe was given unprecedented access to Air Force files. Out of this experience came his book "Flying Saucers from Outer Space" which quoted Air Force investigative reports while giving an account of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the Air Force investigation. Having already established a formidable network of military contacts before he ever wrote his first words on the subject, by 1957 he was considered the best-connected authority on the subject of the saucers, bar none.

In his 1960 book, "Flying Saucers - Top Secret" Major Keyhoe described the genesis of NICAP, as from the following excerpts...


Above: Book jacket for Flying Saucers -- Top Secret.

The need for a national UFO investigations group, free from any official control, was apparent long before NICAP was created.

In 1953, Mr. A.M. Sonnabend, president of the Hotel Corporation of America, wrote me suggesting just such a group. (Mr. Sonnabend later became a NICAP Board member.) Leaders in other fields agreed, but problems delayed the organization until the fall of 1956.

By then it was clear that no lone-wolf investigator could hope to crack the secrecy wall. In my own case, even with unusual sources, I had made mistakes which a staff would have caught. I knew now it would take a determined group to untangle the facts from the maze of official contradictions. ...

By September 1956, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena had been formally established. This first step was taken by a small group headed by Mr. Townsend Brown. Though I did not then join the staff, I helped to secure Board members.

Thus far in '56, continued UFO operations and censorship had shown the increasing need for an open, national investigation. ...

But NICAP was not yet equipped to investigate. Few people had heard of it, and support was slow in coming. By the end of the year, it seemed to be doomed.

In mid-January of '57, Mr. Brown resigned. When the Board of Governors met to decide NICAP's fate, I was present as an observer. The situation seemed to be hopeless, but the Board members were tougher than I'd expected. Even Reverend Albert Baller, the quietest man in the group, stood up and stubbornly insisted that NICAP had to go on.

"If we end it," he said, "the truth will be buried deeper than ever. The Air Force will say we gave up because we found the saucers didn't exist."

Professor Charles A. Maney, a big, kindly physicist from Defiance University, nodded agreement.

"NICAP is needed. Let's give it another chance."

As a new start, Admiral Fahrney was elected chairman of the Board. It was a good choice; Fahrney was a fighter, as well as a pilot and missile expert. For years, he'd had to battle Navy skeptics before his program for pilotless weapons was accepted. Now widely known as "the father of guided missiles," he had the confidence of many experts on rockets and space-travel planning.

After Fahrney was named chairman, the Board offered me the job of directing NICAP.

The most pressing need was pinpointed by Colonel Robert B. Emerson, a decorated veteran of World War II. Colonel Emerson was director of the Command and General Staff Department, 4157th U.S. Army Reserve School. He was also a physicist, and after a scientific evaluation of UFO evidence, in his testing laboratories at Baton Rouge, he had been convinced the flying saucers were some kind of superior machine, source unknown.

"We'll never get going," said Emerson, "until we let the public know what NICAP's trying to do. We need members in every state, a reporting and investigating network. I'd say our first job is to get out a nationwide news story. Lay the facts on the line."

"Yes," said Fahrney, "but some newspapers ridicule everything connected with flying saucers."

"They won't if you make a statement, as Board chairman. There's one danger, though. We should try to avoid a fight with the Air Force."

"I don't intend to blast the Air Force," replied Fahrney. "I'm sure many of them don't like the policy."

Next morning, he met the wireservice men and local reporters. ...

Fahrney's press conference did indeed attract national coverage by way of an Associated Press newswire story, as found for instance in the January 17, 1957, edition of the Toledo, Ohio, Blade newspaper...

Guiding Intelligence

'Saucers' Flying Into New Study
Admiral Discounts Usual Explanations

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (AP) -- Retired Rear Adm. Delmer S. Fahrney, once head of the navy's guided missiles program, said yesterday that reliable reports indicate that "there are objects coming into our atmosphere at very high speeds."

Suspects Direction

Admiral Fahrney told a news conference that "no agency in this country or Russia is able to duplicate at this time the speeds and accelerations which radar and observers indicate these flying objects are able to achieve."

He said he never has seen a flying saucer but has talked with a number of scientists and engineers who reported seeing strange flying objects.

He added there are signs that "an intelligence" directs such objects "because of the way they fly." He added:

"They are not entirely actuated by automatic equipment. The way they change position in formations and override each other would indicate that their motion is directed."

An air force spokesman said that service is still investigating all reports but has found absolutely no concrete evidence that there are flying saucers. He said that a majority of the reports are found upon checking to have some logical explanation, but that a percentage remains unexplained.

Admiral Fahrney called a news conference following an organizational meeting of a new private group, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, of which he is board chairman. He said the committee was set up largely to tie together a number of UFO -- meaning "unidentified flying objects" -- clubs being formed throughout the world. His committee will collect and investigate flying saucer reports, evaluate them and make public its findings, he explained.

Admiral Fahrney said retired Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, Poolesville, Md., will serve the committee as "evaluations adviser."

Coined 'Guided Missile'

Admiral Fahrney pioneered in the development of radio-controlled drone aircraft targets in World War II. He coined the phrase, "guided missile," to distinguish that from the flying bombs and aerial torpedoes of the time.

He was commander of the navy's missile test center at Point Mugu, Calif., from June, 1949 until his retirement a year later.

Admiral Fahrney told reporters he has no information or preconceived ideas as to whether the unidentified flying objects are from outer space, but believes they involve "a tremendous amount of technology of which we have no knowledge," and their development must have taken a long time.

Major Keyhoe's book picks it up from there, giving some behind-the-scenes impressions which didn't make it into the news reports...

The reporters were plainly impressed; it was the first time a leading American missile expert had backed the UFO reports.

"But why was NICAP set up when the Air Force already is investigating?" asked one wire-service man.

Many observers, Fahrney told him, had stopped reporting UFOs to the Air Force because of frustration over the policy.

"That is," he explained, "all information going in, and none coming out."

"Then your organization will give out whatever you learn?"

"Yes," said Fahrney, "after a careful evaluation, we'll release our findings to the public."

By evening, most American newscasters were featuring the story. By morning, it was on front pages, here and abroad. In many American papers Fahrney's report had unexpected support from a noted astronomer -- Dr. Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of the planet Pluto.

Several years before, Dr. Tombaugh had reported a UFO which moved at terrific speed. But recently he had been silent, perhaps because of an official assignment. For two years he had headed the armed forces' search for unknown natural satellites, and any UFO statement might have been misconstrued. But now, apparently inspired by Fahrney's forthright declaration, he revealed a later sighting, with a strong hint that he thought the UFOs were spaceships. ...

Tombaugh's statements had taken place in an interview with reporter Joe Demic of the El Paso, Texas, Times newspaper as carried, for instance, in a national Associated Press newswire story in the January 19, 1957, edition of the Albuquerque, New Mexico, Tribune newspaper...

Saucers From Far Out?

LAS CRUCES (AP)-- Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of the planet Pluto, said Friday unidentified flying objects seen in recent years may be coming from outside our own solar system.

Tombaugh, now a research professor at New Mexico A&M college here, made his statement in an interview with reporter Joe Demic of the El Paso, Times. He said there may be many worlds besides our own which would sustain life of a higher order of beings.

"We believe, however, that no other of the planets in our own solar system is so favored," Tombaugh said.

Tombaugh said that man is a relative newcomer to the earth, having existed no more than two million years on a planet a thousand times that old. Glacial scratches on rocks pre-dating the paleozoic era, and other evidence point to the conclusion that conditions have not changed vastly on earth, climatically, in all that time.

"Man could have existed for much longer than we have any evidence he really has," Tombaugh stated.

Had Head Start?

"When we consider the extremely rapid tapping of new energies we have seen in the past ten years, we can imagine what a head start a race would have which passed our present point of progress a million years or only a thousand years, before us.

"If they have found how to take advantage of vast sources of energy, very powerful forces of nature, nuclear for example, which we have only begun to explore, they might be able to produce the tremendous power and velocities needed for long journeys into space. Astronomical textbooks say that the nearest solar system to our own is more than four light years away -- and a light year is five trillion, 800 billion miles.

"We have to admit we simply do not know about these things and we have to be careful about the tricks radar can play on us. No one so far has sure fire, absolute proof," he said.

Many Suns

"In our galaxy, we have a spiral of 200 billion suns, each perhaps having its own planets and some possibly with atmospheres and temperature ranges similar to ours." There may be hundreds of thousands of worlds which could support life, Tombaugh said.

Tombaugh said we cannot assume any earth visitors came from any specific system until we have proof.

"They may have a device for suspended animation preventing them from deteriorating -- that is aging -- or even, perhaps, the generation which started the journey may have died and those visiting us now may be a new generation born en route."

Lengthy Trip

He said he personally hadn't seen any unexplainable celestial bodies since 1951 or 1952.

If spatial vehicles have spanned the space between the stars, they will have traveled more than 24 trillion miles — roughly a billion times around our world.

Tombaugh said that he has seen celestial phenomena which he could not explain, but that he takes neither the cynical nor the enthusiastic view with regard to their nature or origin.

"These things, which do appear to be directed, are unlike any other phenomena I ever observed," Tombaugh declared "their apparent lack of obedience to the ordinary laws of celestial motion gives credence."

Keyhoe got wrong Tombaugh's revealing "a later sighting", as the Associated Press story had Tombaugh specifically saying he "personally hadn't seen any unexplainable celestial bodies since 1951 or 1952". Still, the timing of Tombaugh's interview was fortuitous for NICAP, and his overall view of the situation certainly gave extra weight to Admiral Fahrney's statements.

Keyhoe continues the story from there...

Some time after this I learned that the Tombaugh story was partly responsible for the continued Air Force silence. Taking on Fahrney was risky enough, because of his prestige. To belittle the former chief of their satellite search would double the danger. Both men had friends in high scientific circles. Some of this group, as the Air Force was aware, had seen UFOs and knew the truth. If sufficiently provoked, they might reveal their sightings to the press. The censors kept silent, hoping the public interest would soon subside.

But Fahrney had kindled a fire that could not be put out.

Within twenty-four hours, NICAP was swamped with mail, telegrams and long-distance calls, many bringing hidden reports.

One early letter, from professional writer Emile Shurmacker, revealed an attempt by This Week magazine to un­cover the truth. In 1956, Editor-in-Chief William Nichols had assigned Shurmacker to this project and had asked Air Force assistance. But ATIC had bluntly refused. Nichols had fought all the way to the top, only to be told by high Air Force officials that nothing could be released.

As might have been expected, several important hidden sightings came from Navy men, especially officers who had known Admiral Fahrney. One report, withheld for five years, came from John C. Williams, a former Navy pilot, now an oil operator in Texas. After graduating from Annapolis, Williams had flown for ten years in the Navy, going up to the rank of lieutenant commander.

"I believe the wraps should be taken off information regarding UFOs," Williams told us. Then he gave us his sighting, which had happened in June 1952, near Tombstone, Arizona.

"The day was hot and clear, except for scattered clouds," Williams reported. "It was about 6:30 P.M., and the sun was still fairly high. My wife and one of our guests were watching the sunset reflections on Cochise's Hide-Out, north across the valley, when they sighted a strange object flying toward Tombstone from the direction of Tucson.

"My wife called the rest of us and we were amazed to see this huge, circular object in level flight somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 feet." (This estimate is based on the height of the clouds.)

Suddenly, Williams said, the UFO stopped in mid-flight. It hovered, oscillating or tilting from side to side for several moments. Then it reversed its direction and retraced its course.

"Two times, it repeated this performance," Williams told NICAP. "There was no noise whatever. We saw no lights or any evidence of a jet stream or exhaust."

As the object hovered, Williams and his guests could distinctly see the shape of the strange machine.

"It looked like two saucers, one inverted on top of the other," Williams described it. "I estimated the diameter to be at least three hundred feet -- though it could have been greater, depending on the altitude.

"It left at a slight climbing angle," said Williams. "Its speed was unbelievable. It headed northwest toward Tucson, diminishing to a tiny speck and then vanishing, in about four seconds."

The former Navy pilot's opinion, based on this sighting and evidence he had heard, was that the flying saucers are controlled, apparently metallic, machines from outer space:

"I don't know where they come from, but I have the feeling we are being observed and studied by these outer-space beings."

ln the weeks after Admiral Fahrney's press story, our UFO-reporting network grew rapidly. Hundreds of interested citizens, members and nonmembers of NICAP, offered to report and investigate local sightings.

Among these volunteers were seventeen pilots, three astronomers, a former Air Force Intelligence captain, and the head of a private detective agency. One pilot was a woman who had served in the WASPS. Within a short time, we had added radar experts, meteorologists, airport-tower operators, flight surgeons and various other specialists.

Some members, especially those nationally known, asked us not to release their names. But others, then and in months to come, ignored possible ridicule -- members like Dr. Carl Jung, Senator Goldwater, Gloria Swanson and cartoonist Ted Key. Many members released their names with certified sightings, like Jack Foster, editor of the Rocky Mountain Daily News, in Denver:

"I saw three objects after dark, near the foothills south of Denver. Their color was a bright orange. The three spheres moved parallel to the horizon on a southern course. This also was reported to our office by a number of people."

Sometimes, our confidential members gave us more valuable information than they could if their names were public. One of these was a National Airlines captain.

"One night several years ago," he reported, "my crew and I saw a 'saucer' at fairly close range. We were flying north from Miami to Washington. It was late and the cabin lights were dimmed when this UFO angled down on our right. We could see it was round from the faint glow around it.

"It was coming in pretty fast, and instinctively I cut off our lights and nosed down, to pull away. But the thing came right after us, and I realized a collision was more likely with a dark plane. So I snapped all the lights on. The 'saucer' shot up and climbed out of sight. I don't know why it came after us -- or why it raced off when the lights came on."

The captain agreed to serve as a special adviser and to report any new UFO sightings, if we kept his appointment confidential.

Other airline pilots, already on record, openly joined our panel of advisers. The first was Captain William B. Nash, of Pan American Airways. In 1952, near Norfolk, Captain Nash and his co-pilot had seen a formation of thick one-hundred­-foot discs maneuver beneath their airliner, then veer off at high speed. (Later, an Air Force Intelligence officer told me this was one of the most important sightings on record.)

Besides the scores of UFO reports, this first period brought us important tips. One, involving the Army Signal Corps, came early in February, from a New York chemical engineer.

"Here's an official copy of a new Army order," he wrote me. "Ft. Monmouth rushed it through after Admiral Fahrney asked for sighting reports."

The order, Number 30-13, was dated January 31, 1957, and signed by Colonel Charles L. Olin, Chief of Staff. Headed SIGHTINGS OF UNCONVENTIONAL AIRCRAFT, it contained the following provisions:

Persons involved in sightings will not discuss or disseminate such information to persons or agencies other than their superior officer(s) and other personnel authorized by the Acting Chief of Staff, G-2, this headquarters. (G-2 is the designation for Army Intelligence.)

(On May 10, 1957, after two NICAP protests, Ft. Monmouth told the Committee that the January 31st order had been changed, with the censorship provision deleted. A copy of the new order was enclosed to prove this. However, a later Department of the Army order reimposed secrecy restrictions on August 6, 1957.)

The day after the New York letter arrived I saw Henry Brennard at his office and showed him the Ft. Monmouth order.

"I'm not surprised," he said. "Probably the Air Force asked them to put it out. I was going to phone you that they've reminded all commanders about AFR-200. You haven't gotten any Air Force sightings, have you -- I mean, since this Fahrney deal?"

"Well, the Air Defense Command asked if we wanted reports," I said.

"You're kidding!"

"No, it was real -- an ADC letter asking if we wanted recent UFO reports from Ground Observer Corps spotters. Somebody obviously mistook NICAP for a new official agency."

"Why didn't you say sure, come across with the reports?"

"We did, a little more formally. No answer. Did you learn anything else?"

Brennard shook his head. "No, but your Committee is the first big threat to the censorship. You people watch your step -- you could get booby-trapped." ...

As it turns out -- although no connection to the Air Force could be demonstrated -- a "booby trap" came NICAP's way just before it went to press with its first-ever newsletter...

Most of the copy had gone to the printer, and Munsick and I were working on recent sightings when our office manager, Mrs. R.H. Campbell, brought us a special air-mail letter.

"This photostat looks important," she said. "You might want to get it into this issue."

The letter was from a NICAP member on the staff of a West Coast television station. He had worked hard to promote the Committee, and he also had made up an investigating team in his area.

Munsick was scanning the photostat as I glanced at the letter.

"These items are hot!" he said. "But why didn't we ever see them? They're AP wire stories."

"K-- says they came in on his station's radio wire and then were killed."

There were three news items, double-spaced, in capital letters, and condensed in typical Associated Press radio-wire style.

The first two stories were datelined at Miami.



BSl045PES 10

- - - - - - - - - -



BS210PES 10

The third story was datelined at Fort Lauderdale, Florida.



BS430PES 10

The three items appeared to add up to an important story. It seemed plain that a glowing UFO had streaked out of the sky near Miami, its propulsion system interfering with sta­tion broadcasts, and then had exploded in the Everglades, causing the injuries reported.

"It's a miracle this didn't leak out," I said to Munsick.

"Did K-- say who ordered it killed?"

"No, we'll have to get that."

"The AP could have rushed a strong kill order just after the stories went on the wires."

"Maybe they were told to. Okay, let's get onto it. We'll run these AP stories on a full page --"

"You mean this issue?" Munsick said dubiously.

"Yes. Any last-minute details can be squeezed in."

"But there isn't enough time for a real job."

"We'll do a quick follow-up in a special bulletin. Call the AP here and see if they'll admit -- no, tell them we heard they killed these stories. I'll be calling Frank Kratokvil at the FCC."

Kratokvil was assistant chief of monitoring, and I had worked with him before. But this time I drew a blank.

"We don't have those records here," he said. "I can check tomorrow with our Miami office."

"Thanks, but we have an adviser down there who can do it."

I scribbled out a message for Captain Bill Nash, asking him to check the Miami FCC office and WGBS-TV. Knowing he might be on a flight, I duplicated the request in a message to Norman Bean, Director of Engineering Development at WTVJ in Miami. Bean, a NICAP member and later an adviser, had helped us before.

Munsick put down his phone after calling the Associated Press.

"Runaround. They said the Miami office might know."

"All right, send them a copy of these stories, special air­mail. I'll do the same for the Army Hospital in Fort Lauderdale."

Next day, while waiting for the answers, we tried both the CAA and the Air Force Press Desk. As we expected, they denied any knowledge of the incidents.

The printer was waiting, but the day passed with no word. That night K-- called me at my home. The stories, he said, had come through the AP ticker at his station. One of the station staff told him a kill order had followed immediately, and that the local AP office had phoned to be sure it was carried out. By noon next day I was faced with a decision. We still had no word from Miami. Should we go ahead with what we had, or pull the story? Munsick and I were debating the answer when the first message from Miami arrived.

It was from William R. Needs, chief engineer of WGBS­-TV:


"He'd have to deny it," I told Munsick, "if the story was officially hushed up."

The next answer came from the AP chief in Miami, Mr. Noland Norgaard:


"We'll have to add these denials to the story," said Munsick.

"Yes, but now it's doubly important to nail down the facts." The third message was from Norman Bean:


Then came the blockbuster.

There was no Army hospital in Fort Lauderdale. Munsick and I stared at each other.

"Well, that's no cover-up," said Munsick. "You can't hide a hospital."

I looked down at the faked bulletins pasted in the dummy. "Booby trap," I muttered.

"But why would K-- do it? He's worked like a dog to help -- or do you think that was a build-up?"

"No, K-- is on the level. Somebody's tricked him."

When I phoned K--, he was stunned.

"But how could they be faked? They came right out of the AP ticker."

"Just the same, it was a hoax."

"Tm going to get to the bottom of this," K-- said grimly.

That evening he called back. He had gone to the local AP office and shown them the faked wire stories. They looked genuine, the AP told him, and they could have come out of the ticker. An experienced man could have planted the faked dispatches.

Next, K-- had checked on the staff member who told him the story. He found that the man was a former Signal Corps engineer familiar with teletype systems. When K-­ confronted him, he finally admitted faking the bulletins. But he refused to give any motive, and he stubbornly denied anyone else was involved.

"Was the AP sore about this?" I asked.

"They didn't like it. They wanted the man's name, but I didn't tell them."

"If you told your station manager, what would happen?"

"This man probably would lose his job. You want me to?"

"Not yet, anyway. Did he know you'd been sending us UFO reports?"

"Yes, he knew."

"Did he know we were near our deadline?"

"Not from me. I didn't even know it."

"Okay, don't worry about this. We caught it in time."

When I saw Munsick next morning I passed on K--'s report.

"You think the man was put up to it?"

"Looks like it. He wouldn't risk trouble with the AP, maybe losing his job, without a serious reason. Whoever planned it must have known we were near our deadline. If we had plenty of time, we'd certainly find out it was a trick. But this way, we might fall for it, trusting K-- to be right."

Munsick nodded thoughtfully. "It does look as if somebody tried to wreck NICAP. I wonder who?"

"Well, I'm sure it wasn't anything official. But it must've been someone who believes in the silence policy and thinks we should be put out of business."

Munsick looked morosely at the pasted-up dummy.

"It would have worked, too, if we'd gone ahead. We'd be accused of making up the whole thing."

"Or of being so dumb we'd swallow anything. The papers would have laughed us to death."

Munsick started to pull the faked dispatches out of the dummy, but I stopped him.

"I'm going to run them with a headline, This Was a Hoax. Just a reminder not to be stupid."

"Maybe you're right. It's a lesson for members who might --"

"Not members. Me."

Munsick laughed. But it wasn't funny. I'd come too close to falling into the trap.

With that narrow miss behind them, the first issue of NICAP's "UFO Investigator" debuted in July, 1957, at 32 professionally-typeset pages. The scope of this first newsletter was -- understandably -- heavily weighted towards biographies and the personal statements of NICAP's impressive board members and consultants, but also balanced out with current activities (including an eight-point offer of cooperation with the Air Force and the story of the Ft. Monmouth censorship order), reports on military and airline sightings past and present (some given above, some not), and the hoaxed AP wirestories out of Florida. But also of particular interest was a challenge to the "contactees"...

UFO Investigator

Above: First issue of NICAP's UFO Investigator.

Policy On Contact Claims Announced

Committee Will Evaluate Any Supporting Evidence Submitted

In approaching the subject of the so-called contact and communication claims, it should be clearly understood that NICAP has no evidence to substantiate these reports, nor has the committee made any investigation of the various claims stated here and abroad.

The decision announced herewith is not to be construed as indicating any such evidence, but rather an intention to examine any available facts, in line with NICAP's impartial policy.

During the past ten years, scores of persons, here and abroad, have claimed to have witnessed landings by flying saucers, to have communicated by radio or in person with space beings, and in some cases even to have flown in space ships and to have visited other worlds.

These reports, especially claims of personal contact with space beings, have set off many controversial discussions. The claims have been denounced by some and accepted by others. They have been ridiculed frequently in the press -- ridicule which unfortunately has at the same time been extended to cover the entire UFO field.

Among the members of NICAP, as among non-members, there are varying viewpoints. Some feel that NICAP, in line with its stated aims, must make an impartial investigation of the "contact" stories, as well as of other UFO reports. Many, convinced that "contact" stories are obvious frauds, believe NICAP would be wrong even to discuss these. Others, equally positive, believe that at least a few contact claims are true and should be given a favorable reception.

The first policy, that of impartial evaluation, is obviously the only correct ore.

Since NICAP is dedicated to the evaluation of all UFO evidence, we cannot in all honesty evade or ignore these claims. Most NICAP members, from the Board on down, have their own personal opinions, but these will not influence the investigation. As an organization. NICAP will invite claimants to submit their evidence and the Committee will weigh it fairly.

All the available information will be submitted to the Board of Governors, to the Panel of Special Advisers, and to citizens not connected with NICAP but who are well-known for their fair and objective analyses of evidence.

If definite conclusions are possible -- that claims are true or false -- these conclusions will be made public with the basic facts and analyses. If no positive conclusions are possible, then members, the press, and the public can decide for themselves, from the detailed records NICAP will publish.

There is one controlling factor which separates contact and communication claims from ordinary UFO reports:

It is possible to make an honest mistake about a saucer sighting -- an error in identification, for instance.

It is not possible to make an honest mistake about actually meeting and talking with spacemen, riding in spaceships, or visiting other worlds.

(It may be argued that complete delusions, and also certain claims based on extra-sensory perception, can be perfectly honest so far as the claimant is concerned. These factors, too, will have to be thoroughly discussed. However, any claims so identified would have to be clearly separated from claims of actual physical meetings and space voyages.)

In printing the following list of questions to be submitted to contact claimants, NICAP emphasizes that this is only a preliminary step. Other questions may be added, but these are considered basic:

I. If you have any other evidence of your claim, beyond that which has been published, will you please submit it to NICAP for evaluation? Will you also list all published evidence?

2. Please include any photographic negatives for evaluating (This is a routine request in evaluating ordinary UFO sighting reports).

3. Please give us the names and addresses and if possible notarized statements of any witnesses.

4. Will you sign a notarized statement that all your claims are absolutely as stated and/or published by you?

5. Will you take a lie-detector test, arranged by NICAP with the agreement of your lawyer or other adviser, said test to be made privately and by responsible and neutral experts?

6. Will you agree to appear before a NICAP-organized panel for a public hearing? This panel would include non-NICAP citizens of unquestioned integrity, as well as members of NICAP.

7. Will you agree, if the answer to Question 6 is negative, to attend a private NICAP hearing, with permission to record and later make public the transcript of your statements? If neither of these hearings can be arranged because of distance and time, will you make a tape recording, answering a list of NICAP questions, and forward it with a notarized statement that it is a true record?

8. If you have been called a fraud or hoaxter in print, on the air, or in the presence of witnesses, have you instituted a lawsuit for libel or slander? If not, do you plan to do so?

9. Please add any suggestions or comments you feel to be pertinent.

Because of the large number of persons who have reported contacts or communication with space beings, and because of the impossibility of printing a complete list at this time, NICAP will write privately to the persons known to be concerned.

Meantime, we shall appreciate receiving authentic information from any sources regarding these contact reports. If possible, the truth or falsity of such claims must be established. If not, it will greatly hinder all serious investigations of the UFO problem.

NICAP has taken this step only after careful deliberation. It is not pleasant to turn the spotlight on these men and women and demand proof of their statements. But pressure on the Committee for such hearings -- pressure from both sides -- has made this decision inevitable.

We can only say that there will be no "star chamber" proceedings. NICAP will offer a fair hearing, or review of the evidence in each case. We earnestly hope that this offer will be accepted by all concerned.

Also of interest was a small shot across the bow of the contactees, that NICAP would be vigilant against any claims of association between them and the committee -- by way of a short blurb in the UFO Investigator concerning contactee George Van Tassel...

NICAP Corrects Van Tassel

On the "Long John" program broadcast by WOR, New York, on June 20, Mr. George Van Tassel stated he had been invited to serve as a "consultant member" of NICAP. "Long John" Nebel was advised by telegram that Mr. Van Tassel had not been invited to serve NICAP either as a consultant or adviser, and the statement was corrected by Mr. Nebel on the following program.

Later, Mr. Van Tassel phoned NICAP's Director that he was referring to a form letter from the preceding management, listing Founder and Founder Endowment types of membership. He had construed this, Mr. Van Tassel said, to be a request that he serve as a "consultant member."

NICAP is glad to be able to set the record straight.

The second issue of the NICAP "UFO Investigator" carried more announcements of eminent advisors and consultants joining NICAP, and several in-depth reports on recent military and commercial pilot sightings. But one incident in particular would illustrate the potential importance of NICAP in establishing facts and cutting off rumors before they could firmly take hold.

The incident had taken place in late July, 1957, in Galt, Canada. A 15-year old young man reported observing a saucer hovering near the ground for 45 minutes before it zoomed off into the sky. The Toronto Star newspaper -- amongst others -- reported that "three-toed footprints" had been found at the site, and rumors of the "Galt monster" from a flying saucer began to spread. NICAP quickly began an investigation, and reported its results...


Above, top: Cover for Aug-Sep, 1957, issue of NICAP's UFO Investigator. Bottom, right: Story of "three-toed footprint" in the Toronto, Canada, Star. Bottom, left: Investigative report printed in Aug-Sep, 1957, issue of NICAP's UFO Investigator.

"Monster" Theory Discarded in UFO Landing Case Witnessed in Galt, Ontario, Canada

An on-the-spot NICAP investigation of the Galt, Ontario "monster" story, which was publicized on August 3, 1957, has produced no absolute evidence that any three-toed creature was involved, as first hinted. But though this suggestion is generally rejected, evidence indicating that some unknown machine landed or briefly touched down near Galt has not been discredited.

The story first made headlines when 15-year-old Jack Stephens reported having seen a round dome-topped object four miles southwest of Galt on July 30. According to his signed NICAP report, the brightly glowing UFO hovered almost on the ground for about 45 minutes. Then, after ascending vertically, it leveled out and disappeared at a speed exceeding that of a jet.

When the UFO descended it made a throbbing sound, Stephens said. The lower part was aluminum colored; the upper part brighter, like chromium. In an interview with Roy Francis of the Galt EVENING REPORTER, Stephens said the domed top did not rotate, but the main body did revolve at high speed. As the machine hovered near the ground, he said, he could see a reddish flame beneath it. When the rotating section slowed down, its glow resolved into several small lighted areas, which he called portholes, around the lower rim. (It has since been suggested that these could have been jet exhausts.)

After the UFO took off, Stephens said, he was too frightened to tell anyone for two days. When the area was examined by Francis and other investigators, they found some broken branches, several charred spots on the ground, and indentations 18 inches long, shaped roughly like huge, three-toed footprints.

An implication that it was a hoax -- not necessarily by young Stephens -- was made by David Ghent, investigating for the TORONTO TELEGRAM. Ghent said the "giant footsteps" were manmade, that they showed evidence of a metallic object dug into the ground and dragged back. Behind the heel, he said, was earth scooped out to make the prints.

Ghent also explained the charred patches: Someone not seen by Stephens had set several fires and then had broken off branches from a nearby bush to beat out the flames. The identity of the hoaxer or hoaxers was not suggested.

To clarify the picture for NICAP, members Peter Heggs of Hamilton and Roy E. Smith of Burlington, Ontario, personally investigated the evidence with the aid of a third Canadian, Mr. DeWitt Lee. Heggs, an electronics engineer formerly with the Royal Air Force, reports that earth samples tested at McMaster University showed no ususual [sic] radioactivity.

Three of the charred areas, Heggs and Roy Smith report, were at the points of an isosceles [sic] triangle 20 feet on a side. With NICAP member DeWitt Lee, they also examined the so-called footprints and the broken bushes.

If the sighting report is true, the footprints might be explained as indentations made when the UFO touched down. It is possible that rounded landing gear elements could have bounced two or three times, causing the three-toed effect, the rest of the indentations being caused by sliding of the landing gear.

This suggestion, forwarded by NICAP's Special Adviser Wilbert B. Smith, former head of the Canadian Government1s UFO project, came from Mr. Alfred Emerson who made a personal check on the Galt case. Emerson, an Amherstburg, Ontario manufacturer, has been active in UFO investigation for several years.

According to Emerson, there was a third less noticeable indentation, indicating the possibility that the object had touched ground with two sections of its landing gear before the third one settled. Emerson also stated that the grass within a circular area 30 to 35 feet wide was wilted, as was vegetation along the nearest stretch of bushes. A number of branches, he said, apparently had been twisted or blown around as if from a high wind.

NICAP Comment: If this report proves a hoax, then it was planned well enough to deceive five careful investigators, two of whom were highly skeptical at first.

The lack of confirmation by other witnesses is a factor to be considered, though it does not by any means disprove the report. There have been other UFO cases where a report by a lone witness was later fully verified.

However, since a hoax has not been ruled out completely, NICAP has listed this as an open case. If no further evidence is received in a reasonable time, the case will be submitted to our Panel of Special Advisers. Their opinions and conclusions will later be released to members and the press.

Also in the second issue of the NICAP "UFO Investigator" was the story of an airline pilot's conversion from arch-skeptic to avowed believer...

Capital Air
Capital Air

Above, top: A Capital Airlines Viscount in flight. Bottom: Advertisement for Capital Airlines showing interior of plane. Capital was the fifth-biggest carrier in the United States prior to its 1961 merger with United Airlines. The Vickers Viscount was the first turboprop passenger aircraft. The turboprop significantly reduced vibration and noise, making for a more pleasurable trip for passengers. With a top speed of 350 mph, and a range of nearly 1400 miles, it could carry passengers in comfort at a ceiling of 25,000 feet due to its pressurized cabin..

UFO Encounter Convinces Airline Captain, Former Skeptic

A two-minute encounter with a UFO, which quickly changed a skeptic to a believer, was recently revealed by Captain W.J. Hull, veteran pilot for Capitol Airlines. Prior to his experience, which occurred as his airliner neared Mobile, Alabama, Captain Hull was widely known among pilots for his negative views on flying saucers.

In a 1953 article For THE AIRLINE PILOT entitled "The Obituary of the Flying Saucers" Hull accepted Dr. Donald Menzel's natural phenomena explanation for the UFO's. Later he agreed to a re-examination of the evidence, but his dramatic report was the first hint that he had accepted the UFO's as machines of an unknown type.

For over six months Captain Hull withheld the facts from publication, then he released the story to Civilian Saucer Intelligence, New York, of which he is a member. It is printed here by special permission of CSI.

On the night of November 14, 1956, Captain Hull was flying a Viscount four-engine turboprop airliner from New York to Mobile, over a layer of occasionally broken clouds which enabled him to get a look at the ground only occasionally.

"At 10:10 p.m. EST," states Capt. Hull, "we were only about 60 miles from Mobile when my co-pilot, Peter Macintosh and I saw what we thought was a brilliant meteor. We were flying south-southwest and it fell across our path from left to right, first becoming visible at the top of the windshield.

"The Viscount has wonderful visibility upward.

"It decelerated rapidly, just as any meteor does when entering the denser layers of the earth's lower atmosphere. We expected to see it burn out with the customary flash which pilots often see, it abruptly halted directly in front of us!

"It was an intense blue-white light, approximately seven or eight times as bright as Venus when this planet is at its brightest magnitude."

"Pete shouted 'What the hell is it, a jet?'"

The co-pilot's first thought was that the object had been a diving jet fighter, turning away from the airliner, and in departing giving the pilots "a view right up its glowing tailpipe." But Capt. Hull knew this could not be the answer. He had often seen the glow of jet tailpipes at night. This was not the right color, nor did it grow smaller in size. Instead it remained in front of the plane, keeping a regular interval.

"I quickly grabbed my microphone," said the Captain, "and called the Mobile Control Tower.

"Bates Tower, this is Capital 77. Look out toward the north and east and see if you can see a strange white light hovering in the sky."

The answer came quickly: "Capital 77, this is Mobile Bates Tower. We are unable to see much of the sky because of a thick cloud cover. Do you think the object is in our vicinity?"

"Affirmative," replied Hull. "It looks like a brilliant white light bulb about one-tenth the size of the moon. It is directly ahead of us and at about our altitude or slightly higher. We are right over Jackson and have descended to 10,000 feet. Please initiate a call to Brookley Field Tower and ask the controller if he can see it on their big radarscope."

The Brookley AFB, twenty miles southeast of Bates Field, was on a military frequency which the Viscount was not equipped to work on its transmitter.

Immediately after this radio exchange the UFO began to maneuver, darting back and forth, rising and falling, making extremely sharp turns, sharper than any known aircraft, sometimes changing direction 90 degrees in an instant. All during this display the color remained a steady brilliant bluish-white, not growing or diminishing in size at all.

"Macintosh and I sat there completely flabbergasted at this unnerving exhibition," Captain Hull's report continues. "I thought of calling the passengers over the public address system, but the object was dead ahead of us and putting on its performance in an area whose arc was not large enough to enable anybody in the cabin to get a view of it out the side windows."

After a half minute or more of this strange flight, the UFO suddenly stopped and hovered again.

About this time, Bates Tower called back.

"Capital 77, we are trying to raise the Brookley Tower."

At this moment the UFO again began another series of "crazy gyrations, lazy 8's, square chandelles," weaving with a sort of rhythmic [sic] cadence through the air. Then the object shot over the Gulf of Mexico, rising at an extremely steep angle and at such a fantastic speed that it diminished rapidly to a pinpoint, to disappear into the night.

According to Captain Hull, the most puzzling thing about the performance -- lasting two minutes at least -- was that the object had remained at the same distance from the plane throughout the exhibition.

"How do we know this?" says Hull. "It never increased in size, and yet we were bearing down on it at more than five miles a minute in the Viscount. If it was in view two minutes and performing in one area, we should have been at least ten miles closer to it. Now any object that flies certainly looks different when viewed at such a great variance in distance. So this UFO must have managed to remain at the same distance from us throughout the entire display."

Also, as Captain Hull points out, the Viscount was "above the clouds, precluding any reflections of searchlights from below.

"I have seen hundreds of advertising searchlights playing on clouds," Hull says, "and this was nothing remotely related. Likewise I am summarily ruling out aircraft (at least the ones we know), balloons, missiles, or any other earth-launched device within my ken. The one thing which I can't get over is the fact that when it came, it came steeply downward; when it departed after its amazing show, it went steeply upward! Now I ask you, is this machine based on the earth?

"I followed up on this spectacular sighting at Mobile. The control tower operators had reached Brookley after a slight delay, but the controller had seen nothing and since no night flights were in progress the surveillance radar had not been energized at the time."

Captain Hull did not report this sighting to the press. Not a word was printed about it until he revealed the details to John DuBarry, former associate editor of TRUE, which broke the first big flying saucer story in 1949. DuBarry is now president of CSI of New York.


And yet for all its promise, the NICAP newsletter seen in hindsight illustrates a problem which would dog Keyhoe for the rest of his career. His most revelatory work had been accomplished during his time of unprecedented access to Air Force files. Deprived of the internal investigative reports, Keyhoe was forced -- or rather, chose -- to make assumptions about the content of those reports based on tips, newspaper reports, and other such sources. One such illustrative instance appeared as the lead story in the first issue of the NICAP newsletter...


Above: Beginning of lead story in the July, 1957, newsletter, featuring affidavit signed by seven NICAP members attesting that they had seen the relevant "signed reports".


Oxnard AFB Tells NICAP Intelligence Investigated UFO's; AF Silent On Findings

The report cited was signed by one of four control-tower operators in the Civil Aeronautics Administration, all of whom tracked the four saucers at a large California airport. Since this case is directly linked with the strange UFO sighting at Oxnard Air Force Base, near midnight March 23, the operators will not be identified. However, NICAP emphasizes that no violation of security is involved, since there was no CIRVIS message (a report automatically classified under JANAP 146, Joint Chiefs of Staff instructions).

Four flying saucers, clocked over California at 3600 mph, were tracked by Civil Aeronautics control tower operators on the night of March 23, according to a signed report now in NICAP's possession. The radar report casts new light on visual sightings at Oxnard Air Force Base -- at the same hour that night.

At the time, the C.O. at Oxnard, Col. E.F. Corey, Jr., stated that no UFO's had been picked up by his base radar. He also said that a jet pilot ordered to search the area had seen nothing, though airmen, police and other ground observers clearly saw a moving object which flashed a brilliant red light.

At least one of the four UFO's tracked by radar was almost directly over Oxnard Air Force Base at this time, according to the CAA control tower operator's signed report (In the following account this radar expert will be called Operator 1).

The time was 2350 (11:50 p.m.). With several other CAA men, Operator 1 was on duty in the Municipal Airport control tower.

"I was watching the radar scope," his report states, "when I noticed a target (blip of a moving object) about 15 miles northwest and moving northwest. At first I thought it was a jet, then I noticed it was moving much faster than anything I had ever seen on the scope. About 40 miles northwest it came to an abrupt stop and reversed course, all within a period of about three seconds.

"It then traveled back along its course for about 20 miles, reversed course again and disappeared off the scope at 50 miles (Our radar reaches out only 50 miles)."

Approximately five minutes later, Operator 1 reports, two more unknown objects appeared, also traveling at tremendous speed. This time, he quickly called on the other control-tower operators to help him track the UFO's.

30 Miles, 30 Seconds: 3600 M.P.H.

"These two disappeared off the scope in the same direction as the first," Operator 1 states. "We had time to clock their speed -- 30 miles in 30 seconds. This figures out to 3600 miles per hour.

"A minute or so later, a fourth target appeared in the same area," the radar report continues. "It went off the scope at 3600 miles per hour. Our radar does not give the height of aircraft; however, they had to be at 10,000 feet or lower because our radar's maximum height range is about 10,000 ft."

Next day, Operator 1 read a newspaper account of the Oxnard Air Force Base sightings. Included was a statement by Mrs. Robert Beaudoin, wife of an AF captain stationed at the base. Just after midnight, Mrs. Beaudoin had telephoned the base to report what she described as a "brilliant, flashing red object" in the sky over Santa Rosa Valley.

Re-checking the CAA radar observations, Operator I found that the UFO seen by Mrs. Beaudoin and other witnesses was one of the four they had tracked.

"This sighting," he concludes, "Was at exactly the same time as our radar sightings -- 11:50 pm to midnight."

Immediately after NICAP's receipt of this radar report, a letter signed by the Director was sent to Colonel Carey, requesting copies of the Oxnard AFB radar report and the report by the jet pilot. On May 4, NICAP received an answer from the adjutant of the 414th Fighter Group at Oxnard, which stated that "the UFO's in question" were investigated by the 4602 Air Intelligence Service Squadron (this squadron, which has headquarters at the Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, has investigative teams at all Air Defense bases. The team which investigated the Oxnard sightings came from Norton AFB, California).

A NICAP letter to the 4602d, at Ent Field, brought an official answer signed by Major John D. Taylor, Jr., Adjutant.

4602d Denies Release

"Current Air Force policy," Major Taylor stated, "is that the issuance of such information as you request can be made only by Headquarters, United States Air Force. Therefore, your letter to the Commander, 414th Fighter Group was forwarded, through channels, to Headquarters, USAF. Your letter of 8 May 1957 (a direct request to the 4602d for the reports) will also be forwarded to Headquarters, USAF."

After waiting eight days for word from the Pentagon, NICAP telegraphed a new request to Maj. Gen. Joe W. Kelly, Director of Legislative Liaison, USAF, who for several years has been the Secretary's official spokesman on UFO subjects (Copy of telegram and detailed request shown elsewhere in this issue).

In a letter to Representative Lee Metcalf, of Montana, General Kelly had insisted that UFO reports were not withheld from the press, and that information was supplied to the press on any sighting which had drawn na­tional attention.

Since the Oxnard AFB sighting had been covered by press-wire stories, in hundreds of newspapers, this obviously came under General Kelly's policy declaration to Congressman Metcalf. To conform to this Air Force policy, the NICAP request was made by the Director, who is also Editor of the U.F.O. INVESTIGATOR.

To date, NICAP has received no answer to its two letters or the telegram to General Kelly. (A public attack on NICAP was made by an un­named Air Force spokesman, three days after the wire to General Kelly, but this may have been only a coincidence. NICAP does not believe that General Kelly was involved in the attack, which is described in full, in another part of the magazine).

Because of the obvious importance of the March 23 sightings, and the delay in receiving the 4602d Intelligence Squadron's investigation report, NICAP believes that its members should be acquainted with all the facts, including the names of several witnesses who apparently have been silenced.

For details of the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley reports, NICAP is indebted to Russ Leadabrand, columnist of the Pasadena Independent, who personally investigated the incidents, and also to Lee Pitt, aviation writer of the Los Angeles Mirror-News. Mr. Pitt obtained additional information from a Ground Observer Corps identification expert, Les Wagner, who has served as a volunteer with the Pasadena Air Filter Center for six years.

The first sighting on the night of March 23, or at least the first one listed, came from K.E. Jefferson, a Pasadena resident. At 9:55, Mr. Jefferson saw a brilliant, flashing object moving over Downey (about 5 miles southeast of Los Angeles). Between that time and midnight, similar UFO reports were made by many Californians in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Police switchboards in the area were flooded with hundreds of calls, indicating that probably several thousand people saw at least one UFO, perhaps more. During the latter part of this period, both official and civilian reports poured into the Pasadena Air Filter Center.

According to a statement given to Russ Leadabrand by the Filter Center C.O., Capt. Joseph Fry, the first official report came in at 11:10 p.m., at which time Captain Fry notified Air Defense radar.

"Between 2310 (11:10 p.m.) and 2350," said Capt. Fry, "we had many reports. We had reports that indicated the UFO was orange-red, flashing a bright white light. Some of the callers claimed they heard the 'sound of reports' when the light flashed from the object."

But most observers, including two Filter Center personnel, described the object as showing a bright red light. One of the men was Air Force T/Sgt. Dewey Crow, who is permanently attached to the Center. Until he saw the object, he was openly skeptical about UFO's.

The second Filter Center observer was Les Wagner, whose regular job is that of a Mirror-News staff writer in charge of the air-movement identification section [sic, entire sentence]. During his six years of GOC duty, Wagner has become an expert on aircraft identification.

While hundreds of people along Pasadena's Colorado Street were staring up at the flashing UFO, T/Sgt. Crow and Wagner also watched it move about the area. Their combined observations covered a period of more than an hour. The two men admittedly were baffled.

Near midnight, the tempo of UFO reports increased. It was just after twelve when Mrs. Robert Beaudoin, wife of an Oxnard AFB captain, telephoned the base tower from her home in Camarillo Heights. Mrs. Beaudoin, who is familiar with aircraft types, positively described the UFO as a large, silent object, flashing a brilliant red light and maneuvering in the sky over Santa Rosa Valley.

F-89 Fails to Contact UFO

In rapid succession, other telephone calls -- some from airmen attached to the base -- confirmed Mrs. Beaudoin's report. Since the base already had an F -89 jet in the air, the tower radioed the pilot to intercept the UFO, if possible (The F-89 carries, besides the pilot, a radar operator specially trained for this type of interception).

According to the later report given to the press by Col. E.F. Carey, Jr., base commander, the F-89 crew was unable to make any contact, visual or radar. This attempted contact was timed at between midnight and 12:30. But at approximately the same time (12:22 a.m.) several eye witnesses on the ground reported sighting a strange flashing red object hovering near one of the Oxnard base runways.

Three of the witnesses were Ventura County deputy sheriffs from the Camarillo substation -- Dick McKendry, John Murphy, and Robert Corshaw. The three deputies on patrol in the Ventura-Camarillo area not only saw the UFO hover near the field, but also watched it maneuver swiftly about the valley until 1:37 a.m., when it quickly disappeared on a northern course.

Meanwhile, two policemen from Port Hueneme also had sighted the saucer and made a report, which was relayed to the Oxnard tower.

(At an unspecified time, a Navy interceptor also joined in the search for the UFO, according to the United Press. NICAP is attempting to identify the station from which the plane was sent.)

From the times and details given, it is not certain that all visual reports concerned the same UFO. It appears possible that witnesses may have seen two or more of the four UFO's tracked by the CAA control tower operators. If two or more objects were seen separately this could account for the varied reports of hovering, accelerations, and swift maneuvers. However, all these visual reports may possibly concern a single object which maneuvered at varying speeds near Oxnard AFB and the surrounding area.

Balloon Ruled Out

When the UFO was first sighted by T/Sgt. Dewey Crow and Les Wagner, in Pasadena, its slow movement caused Wagner to check on the possibility of a balloon with a new type of light (the combined visua1 and radar reports, covering tremendous speeds and maneuvers, now appear to rule out any such answer completely).

Following a Weather Bureau suggestion, Wagner checked with the Atomic Energy Commission's test site in Nevada. The AEC stated the last balloon launching at the site had been on March 21, and the balloon had been accounted for. In addition, a spokesman pointed out, their balloons do not carry lights of any kind.

A second check, with Edwards Air Force Base, ruled out the weather balloon answer. No weather balloons carry red lights, Wagner was told. Also, the balloons launched in the preceding 48 hours had been tracked to about 100,000 feet, where they automatically were destroyed.

Finally, the CAA also denied any connection with red-lighted balloon operations.

Though the UFO reports bore no resemblance to any known type of aircraft, even those still in the test stage, all aircraft operations in the area -- military, civil and special testing -- were quickly screened by the Air Filter Center, and this answer was ruled out.

Following Air Force Regulation 200-2, on the reporting of UFO's, the Pasadena Filter Center after the first verified UFO report, immediately notified Air Defense Command HQ at Colorado Springs, the Air Technical Intelligence Center, the Directorate of Intelligence at the Pentagon and the nearest Air Defense base -- Norton AFB, in San Bernardino. A team of Intelligence investigators from the 4602d Squadron unit at Norton was at once sent to Oxnard AFB.

Though this is standard procedure, and is well known to the HQ staff at all Air Force bases, no mention of the 4602d was made when Russ Leadabrand called the base at Norton. Major Thomas Bowers, Information Services Officer of the 27th Air Division, admitted they had received a number of civilian reports on the UFO.

"They came from Los Angeles, Pasadena, and eventually the Oxnard area," he told Leadabrand.

"Were you able to identify the object?" the columnist asked Major Bowers.

"Negative," Bowers answered. "We were not able to pick up the object on radar. No Air Force personnel saw the object (This contradicts the report by T/Sgt. Dewey Crow)."

He added that a full report of the sighting was being sent to ATIC. "I believe the Technical Intelligence people are working out of Wright­Patterson," he added.

Major Bowers' failure to mention the swift on-the-spot investigation by a 4602d team from his own base may have no real significance, since the Oxnard AFB adjutant did not hesitate to inform NICAP of this fact.

But except for this official admission to NICAP and the subsequent confirmation sent to NICAP by the 4602d Headquarters adjutant, no official information has been released since the incidents occurred.

Instead, several of the witnesses named have either refused to answer queries or their superiors have kept them from answering.

On April 25, NICAP wrote to Mrs. Beaudoin and asked for detailed information on the sighting. To date, there has been no reply.

AF Silences Sheriff's Men

On the same date, NICAP also wrote to the Sheriff of Ventura County, California, and requested that the three deputies named: McKendry, Murphy and Corshaw, be permitted to forward all possible details and also their personal opinions on their sighting. On May 15, NICAP received a reply from Sheriff William J. Suytar, stating that all the information they had on this sighting was turned over to the officials at Oxnard Air Force Base. It was evident that he had been ordered to neither furnish the reports NICAP had requested, nor permit his men to be interviewed by a NICAP representative in Ventura.

"We would be most happy," Sheriff Suytar told NICAP, "to cooperate in having these officers available for interview by any duly authorized military officer."

Once the Air Force gave him such an order, neither an admiral in the Navy, an Army general, nor even a high-ranking Air Force officer could interview the deputies without approval by AF Intelligence.

From the foregoing evidence, it appears that highly important facts about the March 23 California sightings are being withheld from the public.

This case is still being investigated by NICAP, but a complete analysis by NICAP's Special Advisers is not possible without the report of the 4602 Intelligence Squadron, now at Air Force Headquarters.

Pending AF action on NICAP's request for this report, under the policy stated by General Kelly, anyone in the United States with authentic information or personal knowledge of the facts is requested to send a report to NICAP -- unless this would be an actual violation of military security.

NICAP UFO-report forms will be sent on request, and names will be kept confidential if so requested.

When additional verified information is received, whether on the actual sightings or on the Air Force investigation, this will be given to members, to Congress, and the press, either by special bulletin or through the UFO INVESTIGATOR.

To begin to understand the problems with this particular article, it helps to break it into two separate incidents -- the first being the claimed sighting from Downey at 9:55 p.m. followed by a lapse of more than an hour before a variety of reports began reaching the Pasadena Filter Center at 11:10 p.m.

The "Filter Center" was an arm of the Ground Observer Corps (GOC) program, first organized in 1950 and then significantly expanded in 1952 under the umbrella name of "Operation Skywatch". Designed to meet the threat of a surprise attack by Soviet nuclear bombers, volunteer civilian GOC spotters would report suspicious aircraft sightings to their assigned Filter Center, which would then relay the reports to the appropriate Air Force base.

Filter Center
Filter Center

Above: From the 27th Air Division Yearbook for 1954, showing Ground Observer Corps-Air Filter operations for the Pasadena-Santa Ana area.

Russ Leadabrand -- the reporter identified by Keyhoe as one of his two sources for the story -- wrote of the Saturday night-Sunday morning events for the Tuesday, March 26, 1957, edition of the Pasadena, California, Independent newspaper...

San Gabriel Valley
San Gabriel Valley

Above: Map of the relevant area. Below: The San Gabriel Valley is generally encompassed by an area starting with Pasadena area to the north stretching into the West Covina area to the southeast of Pasadena. Downey, which lies 12 air miles south of Pasadena, is not part of the San Gabriel Valley.

Bright Red Light

Saturday night Pasadena had a visitor.

About midnight a bright red or red-orange object flew over the city at various speeds, and emitted a bright flashing light.

Hundreds of people lined up along Colorado street and stared up into the sky at the object.

The police switchboard here in Pasadena received calls from citizens who thought they should report what they saw.

Many people saw the object.

Yet as far as identifying it as anything -- a saucer, an airplane, a blimp -- I've had no luck at all.

THE EARLIEST REPORT came from K.E. Jefferson of Pasadena, who saw the object at 9:55 p.m. Saturday night over Downey.

At 11:30 the Pasadena Filter Center received their first civilian report.

The Filter Center, according to Commanding Officer Joe Fry, notified their radar contact.

Reports continued to come into the Filter Center.

"Between 2310 (11:10 p.m.) and 2350 we had many reports," Capt. Fry told me. "We had reports that indicated that the UFO was orange-red, flashing a bright white light.

Some of the callers claimed they heard the 'sound of reports' when the light flashed from the object," Fry added.

The Pasadena Filter Center filed a complete report with the Norton Air Force Base, in San Bernardino, their parent organization.

I CHECKED with Norton.

Major Thomas Bowers, Information Services Officer of the 27th Air Division at Norton was the man I talked with.

"We had a number of civilian reports that night," the Major told me.

"They came from Los Angeles, Pasadena and eventually the Oxnard area."

"Were you able to identify the object?" I asked the Major.

"Negative," he answered. "We were not able to pick up the object on radar. No Air Force personnel saw the object."

The Major did volunteer the information that he had heard that a plane from the Oxnard base had been sent to investigate the flying object.

"I rather imagine it was a plane that they (Oxnard) had in the air at the time," Major Bowers said. "I have not received any report of a scramble from Oxnard. I would have received such a report if a plane had been sent up from the ground to investigate."

That took care of the Saturday night intruder as far as the Air Force was concerned. Major Bowers told me that a full report of the Saturday night sighting was being forwarded to the Air Force Technical Intelligence Center -- an organization within the Air Force that is still investigating UFOs.

"I believe the Technical Intelligence people are working out of Wright Patterson," Major Bowers added.

Hundreds of Southlanders saw something in the sky Saturday night.

Possibly we will never know what it was.

In regard to this, the NICAP article had stated...

Following Air Force Regulation 200-2, on the reporting of UFO's, the Pasadena Filter Center after the first verified UFO report, immediately notified Air Defense Command HQ at Colorado Springs, the Air Technical Intelligence Center, the Directorate of Intelligence at the Pentagon and the nearest Air Defense base -- Norton AFB, in San Bernardino.

And indeed there had been a report filed by telex...

AFR-200 Pasadena
AFR-200 Pasadena

Above: From the declassified files of the Air Force Project Blue Book, with names redacted, a telex report concerning Pasadena sightings. The report followed a standard format so that, for instance, "1" referred to shape, "2" referred to apparent size, "3" referred to color, etc.

The events portrayed by Leadabrand and reported by telex were certainly well-witnessed by dozens of people, including Filter Center personnel.

But Leadabrand's newspaper article left much to be desired -- starting with his phrasing that an "object flew over the city at various speeds". Did Leadabrand mean that it had been reported to change speeds in flight, or that various witnesses had completely different descriptions of the speed of whatever they were reporting -- and were the speeds unusual in any way? And why did Leadabrand write that K.E. Jefferson of Pasadena "saw the object at 9:55 p.m." when there were no further reports until 75 minutes later? Was Leadabrand contending that the object had hung around unseen for all that time, or that the same exact object had made a return appearance?

And for that matter, what exactly did Leadabrand mean when he said the earliest report "came from K.E. Jefferson of Pasadena, who saw the object at 9:55 p.m. Saturday night over Downey"? Had Jefferson been looking from Pasadena towards Downey and seen something in the far distance, or had he been in Downey at the time and seen something overhead (Downey is in fact 12 air miles from Pasadena -- not the 5 claimed by Leadabrand)?

These and many other questions raised by Leadabrand's article were and are unanswerable, as the article lacked any witness statements and the details they might have provided -- instead offering only the most cursory description. In fact it seems apparent that rather than NICAP's claim that Leadabrand "personally investigated the incidents", he was instead doing a summary follow-up based on calls received by both the Filter Center and the police, speaking personally to not a single witness -- leaving only the Air Force telex by which to judge any facts. And from the details provided in the telex (duration 14 minutes, gradually faded, etc.), it seems Lt. Martin's suspicion that it was a passing aircraft was not unreasonable.

Nor does it help to clarify matters that the NICAP article seemingly exaggerates Leadabrand's article, with Leadabrand stating the "police switchboard here in Pasadena received calls from citizens" (with the telex listing 50-75 calls) and that "hundreds of Southlanders saw something in the sky Saturday night" -- becoming in the NICAP version "police switchboards in the area were flooded with hundreds of calls, indicating that probably several thousand people saw at least one UFO".

True, the NICAP article provides additional details not found in Leadabrand's article, indicating at least some inside information had been provided...

But most observers, including two Filter Center personnel, described the object as showing a bright red light. One of the men was Air Force T/Sgt. Dewey Crow, who is permanently attached to the Center. Until he saw the object, he was openly skeptical about UFO's.

The second Filter Center observer was Les Wagner, whose regular job is that of a Mirror-News staff writer in charge of the air-movement identification section [sic, entire sentence]. During his six years of GOC duty, Wagner has become an expert on aircraft identification.

While hundreds of people along Pasadena's Colorado Street were staring up at the flashing UFO, T/Sgt. Crow and Wagner also watched it move about the area. Their combined observations covered a period of more than an hour. The two men admittedly were baffled.

But the only source for these statements was apparently the second-hand description of "Lee Pitt, aviation writer of the Los Angeles Mirror-News", who himself had not been a witness but instead "obtained additional information from a Ground Observer Corps identification expert, Les Wagner", whose "regular job is that of a Mirror-News staff writer" -- and whom presumably reported T/Sgt. Crowley's experience, making it possibly third-hand by the time it was passed to Pitt by Wagner and then to NICAP by Pitt.

And like Leadabrand's article, no direct quotes were included from witnesses Crow or Wagner, leaving only the summary to be judged on its own merits -- while important questions of fact were left in dispute (for instance, the 14-minute duration listed in the telex vs. the "more than an hour" duration claimed in the NICAP article, or the "heading on a direct westward course" in the telex vs. watching the object "move about the area" in the NICAP version).

Further, the NICAP article contradicts itself within a single paragraph, offering Wagner's (second-hand) eye-witness description of a slow, balloon-like speed (which would seemingly fit with the telex's duration of 14 minutes) while simultaneously insisting otherwise...

When the UFO was first sighted by T/Sgt. Dewey Crow and Les Wagner, in Pasadena, its slow movement caused Wagner to check on the possibility of a balloon with a new type of light (the combined visual and radar reports, covering tremendous speeds and maneuvers, now appear to rule out any such answer completely).

Still, the most damaging challenge to the accuracy of the NICAP report lay in its moving on to the Oxnard-area sightings...

Near midnight, the tempo of UFO reports increased. It was just after twelve when Mrs. Robert Beaudoin, wife of an Oxnard AFB captain, telephoned the base tower from her home in Camarillo Heights. Mrs. Beaudoin, who is familiar with aircraft types, positively described the UFO as a large, silent object, flashing a brilliant red light and maneuvering in the sky over Santa Rosa Valley.

Unfortunately for the NICAP narrative, the Oxnard report by Mrs. Beaudoin had actually occurred 24 hours before the Pasadena reports, starting on the night of Friday, March 22 and ending in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 23 -- while the Pasadena events had taken place just after 11:00 p.m. on the night of Saturday, March 23.

This is not only verified by the date stamps of the relevant military reports, but easily confirmed by the fact that the Oxnard story was reported in the March 23, 1957, edition of the Oxnard, California, Press-Courier newspaper...

Flying Saucer Reported, But Not Located

Unidentified flying objects were reported hovering over the Camarillo-Santa Rosa Valley area for more than an hour last night, the sheriff's office reported.

The initial report came from Mrs. Robert Beaudoin of Santa Rosa Valley, who notified the Oxnard Air Force Base.

An Air Force plane, seeking another unidentified object which turned out to be an airliner, was ordered to check the area.

"They couldn't see anything," Col. Edwin F. Carey Jr., base commander, said.

There was a report that the Air Force radar station at Santa Rosa Island had picked up the unidentified objects on its screen. "That's not true," Col. Carey said.

Reports Checked

Later the 27th Air Division had reports of unidentified flying objects from its Ground Observer Corps personnel. "The Navy had a plane up, but they didn't see anything either," Col. Carey said.

The 27th Air Division will investigate the reports, Col. Carey said.

Deputy Richard McHenry of the sheriff's office said that he sighted an object at about 12:22 a.m. and saw it until 1:37 a.m. Deputy McHenry was at the west end of the Air Force Base when he first saw the object.

Mrs. Beaudoin said she and Carol Litten, 17, a neighbor saw objects "to the northeast," from about 11:15 until after 1 o'clock.

"It was no optical illusion," Mrs. Beaudoin said. The objects, shaped "like a tear drop tipped sideways," went up and down, from one side to the other and halted sometimes, she said.

They were red and then blue-green depending on the angle, Mrs. Beaudoin said. "They came closer and then went farther away," she said.

The story also appeared the same day as an Associated Press newswire story, as found in Los Angeles, California, Mirror-News newspaper...

What Was In Sky Over Oxnard Base?

CAMARILLO, March 23 (AP) Police, deputy sheriffs and an Air Force captain's wife reported sighting a mysterious red object in the sky near Oxnard Air Force Base early today.

A jet interceptor, in the air at the time, was ordered to check. It spotted nothing.

Mrs. Robert Beaudoin, wife of an officer stationed at the air base, telephoned the field soon after midnight to report what she described as a "brilliant, flashing red object" in the sky over the Santa Rosa Valley.

Col. E.F. Carey Jr., air base commanders, said that a radar check proved negative.

Other reports agreed with that of Mrs. Beaudoin.

Ventura County Deputies Dick McKendry, Bob Corshaw and John Murphy, on patrol in the Ventura-Camarillo area, reported seeing a reddish, glowing object in the sky near the air base runway at 12:22 a.m.

They said they watched it hover near the field and dart about the valley until 1:37 a.m., when it disappeared to the north.

Two police officers at nearby Port Hueneme reported a similar sighting at about the same time.

The story also made it into a United Press newswire story, as found in the Sunday, March 24, 1957, edition of the Long Beach, California, Independent newspaper...

'Saucer' at Oxnard a Mystery

OXNARD AIR FORCE BASE, Calif, (UP) -- A mysterious, fast, moving, flashing object was reported seen in the sky over Oxnard and Port Hueneme for half an hour early Saturday and the Air Force started an investigation.

Two military planes checked the reports which were made shortly after 12 a.m. (PST) but saw no object and nothing was picked up on radar at this base, according to Base Commander Col. E.F. Carey Jr.

The first report of the unidentified object, described as large, silent, red and flashing brilliantly, was made by the wife of Capt. Robert Beaudoin, stationed at this base, from her home in Camarillo Heights, authorities said. Three sheriff's deputies from the Camarillo substation and two policemen at Port Hueneme also reported it.

Air Base spokesmen said Mrs. Beaudoin called the tower here shortly after midnight. Since the base had an F-89 jet in the air at the time, it ordered the craft to investigate but its pilot reported seeing nothing, officers said.

NICAP's conflating of the Oxnard and the Pasadena events in its article was somewhat understandable. Although the Oxnard and the Pasadena reports had taken place a day apart, they had both occurred at the same approximate times of the night and had both occurred over the weekend. In addition, referring casually to something as having taken place on the night of one day which had actually occurred -- technically -- in the early morning of the next is a common practice even today. And it is likely that such confusion was further sewn by Major Bowers of Norton AFB in his telling Leadabrand that reports "came from Los Angeles, Pasadena and eventually the Oxnard area" (on which, more later).

But the fact remains: the Oxnard and the Pasadena reports had occurred 24-hours apart, not as a sequential event (with Oxnard preceding events in Pasadena). Nor do the problems with the NICAP article end there.

The NICAP article's report from "Operator 1" of fantastic speeds picked up on radar had apparently come to Major Keyhoe's attention as the result of a letter sent by the radar operator to Dr. D.A. Waterbury, of Civilian Saucer Intelligence of Southern Illinois...

April 22, 1957

Dear Dr. Waterbury,

I'll try to give you what information I can concerning the U.F.O. As you know, or I assume you do, I work in the Control Tower at the Municipal Airport here. I've forgotten what day it was, but the time was about 2350 (11:50 p.m.). I was watching the radar scope at the time when I noticed a target on it about 15 miles northwest and moving northwest. At first I thought it was a jet, then I noticed it was moving much faster than anything I had ever seen on the scope before. It was traveling at a very rapid rate of speed when at about 40 miles northwest it came to an abrupt stop and reversed course all within a period of about 3 secs. It then traveled back along its course for about 20 miles and reversed course again and disappeared off the scope at 50 miles northwest (our radar only reaches out 50 miles). Approximately 5 mins. later 2 more targets appeared and disappeared off the scope in the same direction as the first; and these we had time to clock their speed. They traveled 30 miles in 30 secs which figures out to 3600 MPH. A minute or so later a fourth target appeared in the same area as the other 3, 10 or 15 miles northwest, and went off the scope to the northwest at 3600 MPH. Our radar does not give height of aircraft so I couldn't give you the height, however they had to be about 10,000 ft. or lower because our radars maximum height range is about 10,000 ft. Also radar does not give the size of aircraft.

A couple of days later I read in the paper about a woman some 40 miles northwest of here sighting some strange flying objects in the sky at exactly the same time of day on the same day of our radar sightings. If she hasn't thrown it away, Mrs. Darter has the clipping on that. That's all the information I can give you. Hope it's of some use. I was convinced before this, but more so now.


/s/ Jimmie Hill
5845 Gardenia Ave.
N. Long Beach, Calif.

The letter carried the notation, "Copy of letter of Jimmie Hill, Central Tower Operator, Long Beach, Calif. Municipal Airport, to Dr. D.A. Waterbury, 413 North Market, Marion, Ill." That duplicate copy also came with a note appended, addressed to Major Keyhoe...


Above: Message to Major Keyhoe appended to Jimmie Hill letter.

Dear Major Keyhoe.

I'm afraid I cannot add anything more to my report to Dr. Waterbury and I'm sure he relayed all the information I gave him. The time of the UFO'S was approximately 2350 (1150 pm) to about 2400 (midnight) As far as using my name on the subject, it's alright with me.

Sorr I can't be of more help.


Jimmie Hill.

Hill's note to Keyhoe raises obvious questions, the first being why, having given permission to use his name, he was given the pseudonym "Operator 1" in the NICAP article. It also raises an issue as to how NICAP came up with the wrong date for the incident -- Hill having written that he had "forgotten what day it was". It may be that Major Keyhoe had further communication with tower controller Jimmie Hill or even another operator -- the NICAP article's "certification by members of the NICAP Board of Governors" referred to "signed reports dated April 22 and May 18, 1957" -- but the only quotes concerning the radar report in the NICAP article are from Operator 1 and are very nearly verbatim from the April 22nd letter to Dr. Waterbury.

But the biggest discrepancy between the letter and the NICAP article lay in the following from NICAP's version...

At least one of the four UFO's tracked by radar was almost directly over Oxnard Air Force Base at this time, according to the CAA control tower operator's signed report...

If true, a stop "almost directly over Oxnard Air Force Base" would have some significance, as Oxnard AFB was one of two bases (the other being George AFB in Victorville, 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles) that were the primary Air Defense Command installations for all of Southern California -- if Soviet nuclear bombers were flying toward Los Angeles, these would be the two bases responsible for meeting the threat. The Oxnard base had just undergone a significant expansion, and newspaper reports at the time raised the serious possibility that nuclear-tipped air-to-air missiles were part of the base arsenal (in October, 1956, all personnel at the base had been provided pocket-sized radiation-detecting dosimeters to be worn at all times).

But the assertion concerning Oxnard Air Force Base -- in direct contradiction to NICAP's claim -- appears nowhere in Jimmie Hill's letter. And even if the course of the object did take it over Oxnard Air Force Base, it would have been just after the point of the radar's 50-mile limit (Oxnard AFB is 52 air miles from Long Beach airport) while moving at 30 miles per second. Or if assuming instead that the "almost directly over Oxnard Air Force Base at this time" language refers to the abrupt stop and reversal of course, then that would have been 12 miles short of Oxnard AFB, at some point near Thousand Oaks, California...


Above: The balloon markers and straight line show the relevant locations involved, beginning with Long Beach Airport at the lower right, followed by the point near Thousand Oaks 40 air miles from the airport, and ending with Oxnard Air Force Base, 12 air miles past the 40-mile point.

Fortunately, to help clear up matters the radar report appears in the declassified files of Project Blue Book -- in the form of a telex from Norton AFB to Air Defense Command at Ent AFB and to the Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB...

Project Card

Above, top: Project Blue Book record card for Oxnard radar sightings. Middle and bottom: First and second pages of telex concerning radar sightings.

The telex gives important information on the date of the occurrence, the object's path, the duration (40 seconds) and such.

But the fact that the telex lists the radar sighting as occurring from both the Long Beach Airport and the Los Angeles Airport towers increases the confusion. This could conceivably refer to the fact that both were connected with the CAA Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in Los Angeles. The ARTCC was responsible for high-altitude flights en route, covering all of Southern California and parts of Nevada as well. When flights were landing, they would then be handed over to the local airport control towers. However, Jimmie Hill's letter states specifically that his radar was for flights below 10,000 feet, and the copy of his letter specifically states that he was a control operator at Long Beach Airport, not ARTCC -- indicating that, indeed, both airports may have independently reported the objects.

Adding to this confusion is the telex's conclusion of radar equipment malfunction as being the cause of the reports, raising a new question in itself: with the Long Beach Airport being 17 miles from the Los Angeles Airport -- if in fact reports had come from both -- how could the two radar sets malfunction identically and simultaneously? In addition, the radar reports were dated and timed as 11:55 p.m. on March 22nd locally (23/0755 Zulu time) while the loss of high voltage had occurred 12 minutes later, at 12:07 a.m. local time on March 23rd (0807 Zulu time).

Yet from amongst all this some sense can be made. Controller Jimmie Hill made the first radar sighting from the tower at Long Beach Airport. The night was Friday, March 22, sometime between 11:50 p.m. (Hill's estimated time in the letter) and 11:55 p.m. (the time listed on the telex). If, as Hill described, the first object was followed five minutes later by two more objects, which disappeared on the same course and fantastic speed, followed one minute later by the fourth and last object, the 11:50-11:55 timeframe of Hill's report and the telex are almost in exact accord.

In addition, according to Hill's letter there were four objects in all, although the telex says only "two then one". This, however, may fit with the situation as described in the NICAP article...

Approximately five minutes later, Operator 1 reports, two more unknown objects appeared, also traveling at tremendous speed. This time, he quickly called on the other control-tower operators to help him track the UFO's.

And so it would seem that Jimmie Hill had been the only one to see the first object, calling the attention of the other operators -- possibly at Los Angeles Airport -- upon arrival of the two objects five minutes later.

But for reasons unknown, the telex only describes the maneuvers of a single object, which matches Hill's description of the first object...


Mapped out according to location and magnetic heading, the movements and positions of the first object would then be as follows...


Above: The balloon markers and diagonal line indicate Long Beach Airport (lower right) and object initially picked up on radar 10 miles northwest of station on a 320-degrees magnetic heading. On March 22, 1957, magnetic declination was approximately 15-degrees east of geodetic (true) north from readings taken from Long Beach.


Above: Object made an abrupt stop at 40 miles from Long Beach Airport.

At this point there is disagreement as to exactly what happened next. The telex says that after the abrupt stop the object "came back toward station to approximately 10 miles" while control operator Jimmie Hill says that the object "traveled back along its course for about 20 miles, reversed course again and disappeared off the scope at 50 miles (Our radar reaches out only 50 miles)".


Above: Object went off radar at 50 miles.

Tracking the actual path of the object as given in the telex makes even more oblique NICAP's claim that...

At least one of the four UFO's tracked by radar was almost directly over Oxnard Air Force Base at this time, according to the CAA control tower operator's signed report...

In truth, the path of the object as given in the telex and mapped out above had the object approximately 30 air-miles distant from Oxnard Air Force Base at the time of its abrupt stop -- and at no time closer than that along its entire route -- which by no stretch of the imagination constitutes being "almost directly over" the air base as claimed by NICAP. Nor does the duration of the stop support any special significance to its nearness to Oxnard AFB, or any other location...

About 40 miles northwest it came to an abrupt stop and reversed course, all within a period of about three seconds.

The only significance, then, would be the object being in the same general area as the sighting by Mrs. Beaudoin, at approximately the same time, and whether the same maneuvers as reported by Operator 1 were seen on radar sets in the Oxnard area as well -- for all of which some answers can be found in the Air Force files on the incident.

The declassified Project Blue Book file on the Oxnard sighting reports are somewhat larger than those for either the Pasadena ground sighting or the Los Angeles-Long Beach radar report. Included in it is the statement of 1st Lt. Leonard E. Ott, who was Officer of the Day at Oxnard AFB, telling of the events of that night, starting with the call from Mrs. Beaudoin...


Above: Two-page report by 1st Lt. Ott.



22/23 March 1957

I received a report from Mrs [Blacked Out] (Captain [Blacked Out] wife) at approximately 2320 hours 23 March 1957 that she had sighted an unidentified object in the sky due Northeast of her home on Barbara Drive in Camarillo.

I had no reason to question her veracity; however, I did joke with her for a few minutes as to what she had been drinking. She became most indignant, stating that a large green iridescent object approximately the size of a plastic cabin on a helicopter was orbiting and yoyoing Northeast of her home. She further stated that it seemed to be hovering over the North American plant at Simi.

If Mrs. Beaudoin was right, an object "hovering over the North American plant at Simi" would have immediate significance to anyone in the area, for it housed not only the Rocketdyne facilities of North American Aviation for testing and building rocket engines, but in 1957 also the world's first commercial nuclear power plant, known as the Sodium Reactor Experimental Plant and operated by the Atomics International Division of North American Aviation.

Lt. Ott's statement continued from there...

I explained to her how temperature inversions can cause reflections and weird optical effects, and the conversation was terminated. Five minutes later, at approximately 2330 hours, I received another call from Mrs. [Blacked Out]. This time she stated that two red lights had joined the green light and were zooming past it horizontally at tremendous velocities.

I then called ART and asked if they were painting anything in that particular area. Lt Martin (Director at ART) reported affirmatively that they had a stationary object in approximately the area designated by Mrs Beaudoin. He stated that it was not a normal stationary object.

I then called Mrs [Blacked Out] and asked if she still saw the object. She stated that the green object was hovering high (she estimated 45 degrees off the horizontal due Northeast). At this time, she became very frightened, stating that the two red objects were on the deck and approaching very slowly. She asked that I call the local authorities and obtain help.

The use of the phrase "on the deck" was interesting as it could simply refer to the red objects being at a relatively low level (while the green object was "hovering high"). But "on the deck" is also slang for something or someone being prepared to act -- akin to a cat ready to pounce, or in this case the two red objects which "were on the deck and approaching very slowly". In any case, whether either or both meanings applied, Mrs. Beaudoin at that point "became very frightened".

Lt. Ott's statement continued from there...

I was unable to contact the Highway patrol due to some operator in the Oxnard exchange, so contacted the Ventura County Sheriff's office instead. They had a car in the area, and contacted it by radio. The Deputy in the car reported that he had also sighted the object and contacted another unit in Camarillo. This unit also reported the same object.

In the meantime, the Sheriff's office contacted the Highway Patrol, who dispatched a vehicle to the area. I arranged a conference call between Mrs [Blacked Out] the Sheriff, the Highway Patrol, and myself. All police units reported the sighting and converged on Mrs [Blacked Out] residence. The Highway Patrol reported a red object or light was sitting in a field on the Lawton Ranch and requested two more cars to help him investigate. This turned out to be a barn with red clearance lights on the roof.

The Sheriff's department, meantime, had a car at Mrs [Blacked Out] Deputy Sheriffs Segura and Rausch (sic) confirmed Mrs [Blacked Out] report in every detail. The objects had by then multiplied to one green and five red objects. All were in motion in an arc of (sic) the horizon of about 20 degrees, and constantly changing altitude. The red objects were extremely low, and the green object extremely high. ART called and stated that they had a scramble underway and would ask the aircraft to check the area upon their return.

ART vectored the aircraft into the area and an attempt was made to orient them from the group of police at Mrs [Blacked Out] on the ground. This was unsuccessful and the aircraft had to return to base due to lack of fuel. ISLAND then called and wanted a complete report, which I furnished them. They evidently had a report from the GOC. Two Navy aircraft were scrambled and ART turned control of them over to BLOODSTONE GROUND here at the alert center. These aircraft were vectored into the area, and then controlled by sight and sound by the group at Mrs [Blacked Out], relayed over the radio at the alert center.

Although on several occassions (sic) the ground observors (sic) reported the aircraft close to the objects, no contact was made by the air crews. It developed at one time, though, that the objects accelerated vertically at tremendous velocities when the aircraft approached them. The entire operation was broken off at approximately 0300 PST with no sightings from the air. Mrs [Blacked Out] then called ART and gave a description of the incident and objects so a formal report might be made.

The following police officers were in the area and reported the objects:

Robert H. Winter       Earl Watson
6232 East Clara        1950 Victoria St.
Ventura, Calif.        Ventura, Calif.

James F. Willson       Robert E. Reed
345 Poplar             528 South Emma
Oxnard, Calif.         Oxnard, Calif.

Don Chalif
1520 Santa Rosa
Santa Barbara

Also included were Deputy Sheriffs Segura and Rausch (sic) of the Ventura County Sheriffs Office.

Officer of the Day

The Project Blue Book file also contains the statement of Mrs. Beaudoin...


At about 11:15 P.M. 22 Mar. '57 Capt Linsley telephoned my home - I had just gone to bed. Answered my phone which is so located in our kitchen that in using it I look out the kitchen window facing East. I told Capt. Linsley "I'm sure I'm seeing my first flying saucer. Really [Blacked Out] here, I'll call her" - We hung up and I called Oxnard Air Base at Capt. Linsley's suggestion. Carol & I watched the original 'green' light and subsequentley (sic) 2 red objects (lights) from 2 East windows until the [Blacked Out] found our house and arrived at 1:30 AM. I talked on the phone much of the 2 hr. interval to the O.D. at the Base - describing all the antics the green light performed and later the arrival of the 2 red "lights". The Sheriffs (sic) arrived, talked on the phone - we all watched & looked until 3:30 AM, Mar 23, 1957.

[Blacked Out]

The statements of Lt. Ott and Mrs. Beaudoin are the only first-person accounts to appear in the Project Blue Book file.

Comparing the two statements, one major inconsistency immediately jumps out -- 1st Lt. Ott's statement says that the "objects had by then multiplied to one green and five red objects", while Mrs. Beaudoin only ever mentions two red objects.

Notable also is the fact that the names given as the law enforcement officers involved (Winter, Watson, Willson, Reed, and Chalif) are different than those given in the newspaper articles (McHenry in the Oxnard Press-Courier, and McKendry, Murphy and Corshaw in the Mirror-News and the NICAP article).

But one thing is clear from these statements -- Mrs. Beaudoin's initial sighting report sometime between 11:15 p.m. (her statement) and 11:20 p.m. (Lt. Ott's statement), followed by the arrival of two more lights at 11:30, occurred well before Jimmie Hill's radar report, which started at 11:50 p.m. In addition, Hill's description had the first object performing its antics in under a minute (the telex report says 40 seconds), and the other objects showing up on radar and rapidly moving off the scope in a straight line five minutes later, while Mrs. Beaudoin's reported sighting occurred continually over the course of hours.

The statements of 1st Lt. Ott and Mrs. Beaudoin were included as part of a larger investigative report dated April 5, 1957, prepared by Major Frank H. Marecki (with the "sic" notations above part of Marecki's report). Starting with Mrs. Beaudoin, and including her age (36), her occupation (housewife), education (high school plus 2-1/2 years of accounting), and qualifications (none), Major Marecki continued...

II. RELIABILITY: SOURCE, wife of a UNITED STATES AIR FORCE captain who was a Staff Judge Advocate, was very cooperative although seemingly concerned about being ridiculed because of reporting the sighting. SOURCE seemed above average in intelligence. SOURCE reached conclusions quickly without a great deal of reasoning or judgement. SOURCE tended to underestimate by a large percentage. SOURCE was positive she had seen something unusual but under cross-questioning many contradictions, especially times at which certain events had taken place during the sighting, were noted. SOURCE had made a sketch of the object during the sighting but had misplaced it so that it was not available during the interview. SOURCE seemed excitable and possibly a little "jumpy." On night of sighting her young daughter had been slightly ill, and SOURCE was possibly a little upset as her husband was away on TDY. SOURCE balked at using colors when sketching the object for the interviewer. SOURCE was alert and had good powers of concentration. In view of the foregoing the information given below may be considered possibly reliable.


1. At approximately 23/0718Z MAR 57 SOURCE arose from bed to answer the telephone. While on the phone SOURCE observed an unusual green object in the northeast sky at about ten (10) degrees above the horizon. The green object glowed fluorescently and was brighter than the surrounding stars.

2. SOURCE described the object as being round, but changing shape occasionally (See Incl #2) to that resembling a helicopter. Object was estimated to be about two and one half (2-1/2) feet in diameter. SOURCE stated that at one time it appeared to be about the size of a quarter held at arm's length and at another time stated it appeared about the size of a silver dollar held at arm's length. Object seemed to throb and pulsate. There was no sound. Object was sharply defined. Object alternately had and did not have a tail. A shiny, aluminum-like pole appeared at times on top of the object. Object was seen to move at great speeds and also to remain static. Sometimes it jumped around. The object gave off no smoke and did not appear to change brightness.

3. SOURCE described the glow from the object as projecting downward only. SOURCE stated that the light definitely did not shine upward and compared the suppression of the glow to that created by blackout paint.

4. At approximately 23/0725Z MAR 57 SOURCE telephoned the Officer of the Day, a personal friend, at OXNARD AFB and reported the sighting.

5. At about 23/0830Z MAR 57 SOURCE observed two smaller red objects to the north of the green object and below the horizon formed by the LOS PASOS hills to the northeast of the observation point. The red objects were aligned horizontally and seemed to be jumping around. One object was continuously behind some trees about five hundred (500) yards away from the observation post and in front of the LOS PASOS hills which were about one and a half miles away. At this time both the green object and the two (2) red objects seemed to jump around. Upon arrival of interceptors from OXNARD AFB the red objects joined the green object and sped away in a direction up and to the east.

6. SOURCE made these observations from the kitchen of her home and also from the back porch. No optical instruments were used during the sighting. See Incl. #1.

As noted in Major Marecki's report, a sketch by Mrs. Beaudoin of the green object was included...

Also included, a sketch of the view from Mrs. Beaudoin's vantage point when reporting the objects...


Above: Sketch labeled "Flights of Objects (Source's Memory Sketch, retouched)". Bottom: Enlargement of portion with notation upper right of "Light Green Insulators" and notation lower left of "Illusion of green insulators in distance".

Major Marecki's report also included a section on "supplementary investigative reports"...


Above: Balloon marker shows location of Mrs. Beaudoin's home on Barbara Drive. The map above was prepared for illustrative purposes and was not part of Major Marecki's report.


1. 1st Lt Leonard E. Ott, Officer of the Day on the night of 22, 23 March 1957 at OXNARD AFB, CALIFORNIA, was contacted and a statement from him received. See Incl #2.

2. The 669th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron located on SANTA ROSA ISLAND, mailing address PORT HUENEME, CALIFORNIA, was contacted and the controller on duty the night of 22, 23 MAR 57 furnished the following information. 1st Lt Edward R. Martin, two (2) years experience at the station, said that the station was operative during the entire time of sighting. Only one paint was noted that night, at 0245Z, or five (5) hours before the sighting was reported. The paint was noted only once, held for five (5) minutes, then dropped. No other paints were recorded during the night although Lt Martin stated that this AC & W site does not normally pay much attention to overland activity being primarily interested in over-water, inbound traffic. Vectored aircraft had reported no contact within the object.

3. A check with Base Operations, OXNARD AFB, disclosed the following: Two (2) F-89 type aircraft, OXNARD based, were returning from a flight in the LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, area at about 23/0930Z MAR 57 when informed by the controller of the 669th AC & W Squadron of the objects in the CAMARILLO area. Aircraft were then vectored to the area of the sighting. A search from one thousand (1000) feet on up was conducted. Aircraft reported neither a visual nor a radar sighting. Aircraft returned to base and no further action was taken.

4. A check with Detachment 9, 4th Weather Squadron at OXNARD AFB revealed the following:

Winds: Surface     variable        5 kts        6000 ft     050 degrees    10 kts        10000 ft    315 degrees    50 kts        16000 ft    335 degrees    50 kts        20000 ft    325 degrees    65 kts        30000 ft    315 degrees    70 kts        50000 ft    275 degrees    60 kts        80000 ft    Unk            Unk

Temperature at 23/0900Z MAR 57 at the weather station was 43 degrees. Moonrise was at 23/0914Z MAR 57. There was no cloud cover and visibility was unlimited. There was a shallow surface base temperature inversion extending to one thousand (1000) feet.

5. Detachment 2, 4771st Ground Observer Corps, Pasadena Filter Center at PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, was contacted and the following information received: The filter center received a telephone call from an Airman Delaney, an Airpoliceman on duty at the main gate at OXNARD AFB, reporting the object in the CAMARILLO area. Airman Delaney did not see the object and was simply making the call at the request of the Officer of the Day, Lt Ott. The filter center received no unusual sighting reports from the CAMARILLO area on the night of the sighting.

6. The observatories at MT WILSON and MT PALOMAR, CALIFORNIA, were contacted and a report of no unusual activity received.

7. Traffic Officer Robert E. Reed of the California Highway Patrol, VENTURA, CALIFORNIA, gave the following information: At approximately 23/0818Z MAR 57 he received a report from OXNARD AFB on the unusual sighting. Traffic Officer Reed along with Traffic Officer Danilo Chalif proceeded to the CAMARILLO area but missed the turn-off on Barbara Drive. They continued into SIMI, CALIFORNIA, and turned west beyond the LOS PASOS hills where they saw what they described as two red lights apparently sitting in a field on the LAWTON Ranch. The traffic officers found no one at home at the LAWTON Ranch and proceeded out to the field where they found a barn with one red light on each of four (4) corners. They reported this by radio to the station at VENTURA and then back-tracked until they found the SOURCE's home on Barbara Drive. Upon arrival of the F-89 interceptors in the area traffic officers Reed and Chalif with other officers (See below) attempted to vector the F-89'S to the immediate area of the observation point by flashing their spot lights into the air. This was unsuccessful. During the entire time that Traffic Officers Reed and Chalif were in the area they saw nothing unusual. The objects in question as pointed out to the traffic officers by the SOURCE were identified by the traffic officers simply as stars with only the normal movement of their rise in the eastern sky. Traffic Officers Reed and Chalif left the area at approximately 23/1000Z MAR 57.

8. Traffic Officer Robert H. Winter and Traffic Officer James F. Willson of the California Highway Patrol, VENTURA, CALIFORNIA, also received orders to investigate the sighting and also found the barn with the red lights on it. They arrived at the LAWTON Ranch at about 23/0820Z MAR 57. They then proceeded to Barbara Drive arriving at 23/0915Z MAR 57.

9. Sgt Earl Watson of the California Highway Patrol, VENTURA, CALIFORNIA, was not available for interview but his superior, Captain Howard Marsh, of the California Highway Patrol, VENTURA, CALIFORNIA, had received the report on the sighting from Sgt Watson. Captain Marsh said that Sgt Watson's report corroborated the contents of the reports submitted by Traffic Officers Reed, Chalif, Willson and Winter.

10. Deputy Sheriff Nickol Rouce of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office was contacted and he submitted the following information: At 23/0757Z MAR 57 he arrived at SOURCE'S residence. Deputy Rouce observed from the same spot as SOURCE but saw nothing unusual. He identified the objects reported by the SOURCE as nothing but stars rising in the eastern sky at their normal rate. He described the weather as extremely clear, chilly, cloudless with the moonrise at about 23/0930Z MAR 57. There was a glow in the eastern sky from the North American Rocketdyne Plant at SIMI, CALIFORNIA, EJBE 1316, but Deputy Rouce said that it was not bright enough to affect the visibility to the northeast.

11. Mr. Beatty, astronomer at San Bernardino Valley College, SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA, supplied the following information: A bright star, ARTURUS [sic, should be Arcturus], was present in the northeastern sky slightly below a forty five (45) degree elevation during the time of the sighting. Two (2) lesser stars, POLLUX and CASTOR, possibly giving a reddish appearance, were also present in the northeastern sky just above the horizon at the time of the sighting. This information was taken from his files and the stars were not actually observed visually from the observatory during the night of the sighting.

12. The North American Rocketdyne Plant at SIMI, CALIFORNIA, reported no unusual activity at the plant during the night of 22, 23 March 1957.

13. Deputy Sheriff Segura of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office was also contacted but he stated that he had not taken an active part during the sighting. He was on duty as the switchboard operator at the Sheriff's Office in VENTURA, CALIFORNIA.

14. No physical evidence was found.

15. See Incl #1 for sketch of area of sighting and location of LAWTON Ranch.

The sketch mentioned in point number 15...


Above: Inclusion for Part Two of Major Marecki's report, with the label "Sketch of Area of Sighting by Investigator - Overlay of Geological Survey Map, California, Camulos Quadrangle, Scale: 1:125000". Point number 7 on the sketch -- representing "Approximate Location of Objects" -- lies between the two points number "6". Point number 7 has an X preceding it.

Part Three of Major Marecki's report gave his final conclusion about the events of that night...


1. The opinion of the Preparing Officer is that this sighting was caused by stars and probably optical phenomena for the following reasons:

1. The presense [sic] of a temperature inversion during the time of sighting could possibly have reflected the red lights of the barn over the LOS PASOS hills to the point of observation during the earlier portion of the sighting, which could explain the location of the objects below the horizon. It is probable that later on stars were confused for the original red light sightings.

b. Although SOURCE observed objects to be in movement, six (6) other people saw nothing to indicate that the objects were anything other than stars.

c. Although Lt Ott said in his statement that the 669th AC & W Squadron was carrying a stationary paint in the CAMARILLO area at the time of the sighting, Lt Martin, the duty controller on the night of 22, 23 March 57, denied carrying a plot at this time.

d. A lack of ground radar contact, plus the fact that neither airborne radar nor the crewmembers of the F-89 interceptors saw anything, would probably rule out any known object being in the area.

e. The presense [sic] of three (3) bright stars in the northeastern sky at the time of the sighting was confirmed by an astronomer.

f. The contradiction of the number of objects originally reported by the SOURCE to the Officer of the Day at OXNARD AFB and the number reported to the investigator during the interview lends credence to the fact that the SOURCE was probably upset and confused during the sighting.

Major       USAF
Officer in Charge


Concur with Reporting Officer that this sighting was caused by stars. It is felt that the radar paint in no way is connected to the visual sighting. Therefore, the evaluation of the Approving Officer is "Was Astronomical."

Colonel, USAF

With the investigation completed, and the report approved by command, the matter -- as far as the Air Force was concerned -- seemed to be settled.

Then in late April, Jimmie Hill wrote to Dr. Waterbury, and the matter was brought to the attention of Major Keyhoe and NICAP. Keyhoe began firing off letters to the Air Force, beginning with his April 27, 1957, letter to Col. Carey at Oxnard AFB. The course of events following that first letter were repeated in the NICAP article, but of particular interest here is the following included in Keyhoe's letter to Carey...

As the Director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, I am writing to you in regard to a UFO sighting near Oxnard Air Force Base on March 23. We have been reliably informed that four UFOs were tracked by radar in this area, shortly after midnight on March 23. The indicated speeds were as high as 3600 mph.

We also have been informed that an Air Force jet fighter pilot under your command was vectored to intercept the UFO and that he later gave the Base operations and intelligence officers a detailed description of at least one of the UFOs.

The National Investigations Committee would appreciate receiving a copy of the pilot's report and also a copy of the radar report. For your information NICAP was established to collect, evaluate and publish authentic information on the subject of unidentified flying objects and we believe the March 23rd report to be in the public domain.

The allegation must have come as a complete surprise to Col. Carey of Oxnard Air Force Base, whose local incident involving 1st Lt. Ott and Mrs. Beaudoin had primarily concerned stationary objects. Nor had any pilot sighted, let alone given a "detailed description of at least one of the UFOs".

Meanwhile, by writing directly to Oxnard AFB, Keyhoe was proceeding as if he were completely unaware of Air Force bureaucratic procedure. But as Keyhoe well knew, AFR (Air Force Regulation) 200-2 laid out exactly what could be told and by whom...

Release of Facts: Headquarters USAF will release summaries of evaluated data which will inform the public on this subject. In response to local inquiries, it is permissible to inform news media representatives on UFOB's when the object is positively identified as a familiar object (see paragraph 2b), except that the following type of data warrants protection and should not be revealed: Names of principles, intercept and investigation procedures, and classified radar data. For those objects which are not explainable, only the fact that ATIC will analyze the data is worthy of release, due to many unknowns involved.

Had Keyhoe followed procedure -- as he had done many times before -- he would have started with the Air Force public information office in Washington (and with NICAP being in Washington, D.C., as well, he might even have done it in person as he had done many times before). Instead he had started at the bottom of the chain of command, only to see his request bounced slowly upwards. Finally, he had sent off a telegram...

After waiting eight days for word from the Pentagon, NICAP telegraphed a new request to Maj. Gen. Joe W. Kelly, Director of Legislative Liaison, USAF, who for several years has been the Secretary's official spokesman on UFO subjects (Copy of telegram and detailed request shown elsewhere in this issue).

But even here Keyhoe was attempting to circumvent procedure, bypassing the public information office and demanding the immediate attention of a Major General. Nor did his telegraphed demand limit itself to the Oxnard reports...

As Editor of the NICAP monthly magazine I am also requesting, under your stated policy, Air Force reports on the following UFO sightings which received national attention recently or in the past:

1. The sighting at Oxnard Air Force Base, California, March 23. The Oxnard adjutant has Informed us that your 4602d Air intelligence Service Squadron investigated the UFO's and the 4602d has referred our request for the report to Air Force headquarters.

2. The sighting of a UFO photographed at Edwards Air Force Base May 3 by two theodolite operators at the test center. Officials at Edwards have admitted the UFO was tracked by special camera equip­ment, and that the films were immediately dispatched to Air Technical Intelligence Center In Dayton, Ohio.

3. The recent report by Capt. Matthew Van Winkle of Pan American World Airways who on March 9 zoomed his airliner to avoid what appeared imminent collision with a UFO. This sighting, confirmed by other PAA pilots, was investigated by the Air Force and the Civil Aeronautics Board.

4. The July 23, 1956, report of an emergency landing by an Air Force G-131-D (Convair cargo plane) after colliding with an unknown object over Pixley, California. UFO's were reported at the time in this area and an Air Force spokesman stated that the plane's shattered tail section appeared to have been struck by something from above.

5. The report on the UFO sighted and pursued at the request of Griffis Air Force Base by Capt. Raymond Ryan, American Airlines, on April 8, 1956. Griffis AFB, in a radio contact with Capt. Ryan, stated they could see the UFO as a round, glowing object preceding the airliner, They also asked Capt. Ryan to leave his assigned course, though he was carrying passengers, and to pursue the UFO, reporting all possible details.

As we are close to our deadline, we shall appreciate a collect telegram stating your answer to the question of armed forces pilots' freedom to speak, and also when we may expect the UFO reports requested under the policy you stated to Congressman Metcalf.

Speaking for the membership of NICAP, which now covers 45 states, I hope this announced Air Force policy will soon lead to a complete end of secrecy on UFO's.

Sincerely yours,

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Major Keyhoe's letters were arousing a definite reaction.

Blue Book file

Above: From the files of Project Blue Book, dated May 13, 1957 and referring to the NICAP investigation of the Oxnard reports.

In fact, even before Keyhoe would become involved, ATIC (the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio) -- home to Project Blue Book -- had anticipated publicity over Mrs. Beaudoin's report, as reflected in a March 27, 1957 message to 4602d headquarters at Ent AFB, with a copy to the 4602d at Oxnard AFB...


The result was the report by Major Marecki, dated April 5, 1957. But for reasons unknown the report didn't reach ATIC, and with Keyhoe ratcheting up the pressure, ATIC fired off another message on May 13, 1957...









Clearly ATIC was feeling pressure from above -- hence the part of the message requesting details "so that they may be forwarded to HQS USAF, together with recommendations for official reply to [Blacked Out] committee". But ATIC was as confused as Col. Carey must have been by Keyhoe's description of events and -- having not received Major Marecki's report -- needed clarification. Little wonder, then, that the immediate response Keyhoe was demanding was not forthcoming.

The chain of communication is not clear, but the answer to ATIC came in a telex from Ent AFB -- headquarters of 4602 AISS (Note: in the following "PD" stands for "period", "CMM" stands for "comma", CLN stands for "colon" and QTE stands for "quote")...




Bit by bit the picture was becoming consistent across the chain of command. What exactly happened afterwards isn't clear from the Blue Book files, but a document dated October 1, 1957, from Captain Wallace W. Elwood, assistant adjutant at ATIC, to Major Byrnes, of the public information office, provides some insight. From the first three points of the memo...

1. Attached for your information and whatever action deemed necessary, is a pre-release of the first report by the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), the outstanding critic and detractor of the Air Force regarding UFOs. Reference is made to a recent briefing given to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, in which the serious nature of NICAP as a cleverly organized instrument of rabble rousing and agitation, was presented in some detail.

2. Attention is invited to first page of the report. The charges leveled against the Air Force regarding the Oxnard incident are deliberately false. The results of the Air Force's investigations and findings were given to [Blacked Out], as result of his persistent queries to General Kelly and the Commander, of Oxnard AFB, and the 1006th AISS. See attached copies.

3. With respect to a radar report allegedly given by a CAA control tower operator to NICAP, is refuted by the radar unit at Oxnard. However, if true, the seriousness of the matter is obvious: the propriety of a member of a government agency voluntarily submitting radar reports to an unofficial, biased organization. Possibly this should be reported to the proper authorities.

From this memo a few points become apparent. First, it was the NICAP article which first clued ATIC to the fact that Keyhoe's requests were referring to what we now know was Jimmie Hill's radar report (clippings of the NICAP article are part of the Blue Book File).

Interestingly -- based on Captain Wood's comment that the NICAP radar report "is refuted by the radar unit at Oxnard" -- Captain Wood was unaware even at this late date that another Blue Book file did indeed contain a report on the incident. This was perhaps because Hill's report had nothing to do with Oxnard Air Force Base -- other than Keyhoe's supposition of a connection -- and because the NICAP article had specifically stated that "there was no CIRVIS message" filed.

But most interesting is Captain Wood's comment that the "results of the Air Force's investigations and findings were given to" Keyhoe. And indeed, a draft two-page letter was part of Captain Wood's report...

(Suggested Reply to Correspondence from National Investigations Committee
on Aerial Phenomena
dated 25 April and 10 May 1957)

National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena
1536 Connecticut, N.W.
Washington 6, D.C.

Dear Mr. [Blacked Out]

Your letters of 25 April 1957 addressed to the Commander of Oxnard Air Force Base, and 8 May 1957 to the 4602d AISS, the Air Defense Command, regarding a UFO recently reported near Oxnard, California has been referred to this Headquarters.

It is the policy of the Air Force to answer all letters on the subject, regardless of the intent, motives or objectives of the writer. We shall attempt to answer your questions and answers categorically, beginning with your letter of 25 April:

a. Radar units were operative during the entire period of the sighting. Any indications of unusual or unknown objects would have been immediately reported. Radar reports for the period in question indicated no unusual unknown phenomena.

b. Notwithstanding this, intercept action was ordered in the area in question. The two Air Force and two Navy aircraft found nothing, by radar or visually.

c. There are no classified reports regarding the pilot's findings.

With respect to your letter of 8 May 1957 please be advised of the following:

a. We are certain that, with your journalistic and military experience and background, you are aware that the names of sources, witnesses and principals cannot be disclosed, nor can their statements be revealed without their permission.

b. Investigations were made not only by the Air Force, but by local police, highway patrol, and sheriff's units. These independently converged on the area reported, and also investigated the source's immediate grounds.

c. Nothing unusual or sinister was found by these units. The following were disclosed, however:

(1) A barn was located in a field under the area of the reported UFOs. Red lights were found installed on each corner of the roof.

(2) Detailed line-of-sight plots from the source's observing point were made. Between the source's observing point and the object, was a shiny pole with three cross-bars. The objects were viewed through these cross-bars on it. The results of interplay of light on the insulators is obvious.

(3) Directly in the line-of-sight, as pointed out by source, and beyond the lights on the barn, was a very bright star, Arcturus, in the sky. This was corroborated by a professional astronomer in a local educational institute.

(4) The sighting was observed through a window. Again, the appearance of the red lights on the barn with a bright-green appearing star in the background, observed through a maze of wires and insulators require no further comment.

(5) It is interesting to note that the objects reported were observed for over two hours, with apparently very little movement. Yet, no report of any unusual phenomena was received by other than the source reporting.

This report is typical of the many received by the Air Force, which upon investigation results in the UFO observed being identified as conventional objects or known phenomena. We, of course, cannot publicly comment on an important factor in any investigation, the source, their reliability, beliefs, emotional state, personality or character.

On the basis of the above, any attempt to attribute sinister overtones or imply menaces from the sky in connection with this incident is, in our opinion, totally unwarranted and not supported by the facts. This case does serve to indicate the thoroughness with which any UFO sighting is investigated, if promptly reported, a fact not often known to the general public.

Your interest in this matter is appreciated.


Whether or not the letter was ever sent -- and if so, when -- is a matter of conjecture. Other than Captain Wood's statement that "results of the Air Force's investigations and findings were given to [Blacked Out]" there is no indication in Blue Book's files to settle matters one way or the other. NICAP's original story had appeared in the July, 1957, issue of the newsletter. The next issue, August-September, 1957, had only a lengthy reiteration of the letters and telegrams Keyhoe had sent, followed by this comment...

To date, General Kelly has not acknowledged this request. No reports of any kind have been received.

And by the time of the next newsletter, in January, 1957, the attentions of both the Air Force and NICAP had shifted to other matters.

In retrospect, particularly with the availability of the declassified Project Blue Book files, it can be seen that having to deal with Keyhoe and NICAP was anathema to the Air Force, and any cooperation they extended to his requests for information would be grudging in spirit, with facts offered kept to the absolute minimum.

But that does not explain or excuse the sheer sloppiness of the NICAP article -- starting with conflating three separate incidents into one, getting times and dates wrong, and misreporting events even to the point of recoloring Mrs. Beaudoin's green object into one that was red.

That doesn't mean, of course, that the Air Force investigation had got it right. There is definitely something discomfiting about the Air Force explanation for Jimmie Hill's radar report. And the same applies to Major Marecki's conclusions regarding Mrs. Beaudoin's sighting, and the difference between 1st Lt. Ott's statement of what law enforcement officers reported, and the version of those same officers' reactions given by Major Marecki -- not to mention the mystery of the reports of Deputy Sheriffs McHenry (or McKendry), Corshaw and Murphy which appeared in the newspapers the next day but are to be found nowhere in Major Marecki's investigative report. And the discomfiture only increases with the two completely different versions of what Lt. Martin was reported to have said he observed on the radar scope, and when.

But ferreting out those problems and resolving the differences calls for there having been a patient, careful, objective and thorough investigation -- starting with going through Air Force channels by first contacting the Air Force public information office, while simultaneously researching and conducting as many first-person witness interviews as possible. Such should have been not only the forte but the raison d'etre of NICAP.

Instead, in an unseemly rush to use the sightings as the basis of its lead article in its first-ever newsletter, NICAP substituted summary information as produced in the newspapers, along with guesswork in place of the necessary legwork. As a result, it not only got much of its story wrong but -- ironically -- left only the Air Force investigation from which to discern actual fact.

In his eagerness or obsession to "break" a major story and prove an Air Force coverup, Keyhoe -- who most likely authored the article -- ignored the basic tenets of good investigative practice, and in the process managed to prove only that sometimes the worst booby-traps are those of one's own making.


But what then to make of this, from Leadabrand's March 26th article on the Saturday night sightings reported from Downey and Pasadena...

Major Thomas Bowers, Information Services Officer of the 27th Air Division at Norton was the man I talked with.

"We had a number of civilian reports that night," the Major told me.

"They came from Los Angeles, Pasadena and eventually the Oxnard area."

Rather than being mixed up himself about the dates and time of the Pasadena and Oxnard reports, Major Bowers may well have been referring to this, as reported in the Monday, March 25, 1957, edition of the Oxnard Press-Courier...

Navy Man Says Chased By Light

A sailor at the Naval Construction Battalion Center, told sheriff's deputies that a light chased him down Hueneme road yesterday. It was 2:47 a.m.

Virgil Atkinson told deputies that he was driving on Hueneme road when a light appeared before him. The light then went out and popped on again behind him.

The Sheriff's Office filed the incident in its drawer of "unidentified objects" reports.

This would indeed have been hours after the Pasadena reports, matching Major Bower's description of reports coming from "Los Angeles, Pasadena and eventually the Oxnard area". Nor did the strange doings stop there. From the Tuesday, March 26, 1957, edition of the Oxnard Press-Courier...

Odd Doings Plague Navy

Some Navy men spotted strange white objects again last night. This time it was in the neighborhood of West Fifth street and Ventura road at about 10:27 p.m.

Virgil Atkinson, a sailor at the Construction Battalion Center, told sheriff's deputies that a white light chased him down Hueneme road early Sunday morning.

Last night's report came from two shore patrol officers who were patrolling Ventura road in a "paddy" wagon. They told Oxnard police that they saw some "strange white objects."

A shore patrol officer said this morning that the lights may have been carried by irrigators working in a nearby field.

But about an hour later, less than a mile away, Mrs. Libby Morrison called police from her home at 1230 Ventura road to say that there was a "strange rumbling."

She said it sounded like blasting and lasted from some 15 minutes.

A check at the Naval Air Missile Test center, Point Mugu, revealed that there was no demolition work on the beach at 11:30 p.m. when Mrs. Morrison reported the noise.

But what may be the most intriguing of all the events of that weekend had actually occurred some 11 hours before Mrs. Beaudoin's sighting. It had taken place on Friday, March 22, 1957 -- to be precise, at 12:10:48 p.m., local time (22/20 1048 Zulu time) -- at the Navy's Air Missile Test Center at Point Mugu (a little over 7 air miles southwest of Oxnard Air Force Base).

Pt. Mugu
Pt. Mugu

Above, top: From the July, 1947, issue of Popular Mechanics, graphic showing a Loon missile test from the U.S. Navy's Air Missile Test Center at Point Mugu. The Loon was a reverse-engineered version of the German V-1 "Buzz Bomb". Bottom: A magazine ad from Chance Vought, manufacturer of the Regulus II missile.

The Navy's Point Mugu facility had originated as an anti-aircraft training center during World War II. With the advent of ballistic missile warfare Point Mugu became the U.S. Navy's primary development and test site for guided missile weaponry. It's latest was the Regulus II missile -- a ship and submarine-launched supersonic cruise missile which in combat was armed with a nuclear warhead. It had been during a test of the Regulus II that the incident occurred.

A telex from Oxnard Air Force Base to Ent AFB, Norton AFB, ATIC, and to the Air Force Director of Intelligence in Washington, D.C. tells the story...


Above, top: Three-page telex from Oxnard Air Force Base.

The reported sighting was incredibly detailed and precise for an object which was in view for only seconds or less -- the telex says one-half second, but lists the sighting as occurring from 12:10 and 48 seconds to 12:10 and 53 seconds. The object was generally circular in shape, but in fact was a 16-sided polygon, whitish in color, its apparent size that of a silver dollar held at arm's length. There was no tail, trail, or exhaust, and no sound or any other pertinent feature.

The observer listed was Chief Warrant Officer Raymond Wilson, but in fact the remarkable aspect of this sighting was that it was caught on film by a 35mm Mitchell high-speed camera, capable of shooting at 120-frames per second, used to track and record missile tests at supersonic speeds -- in this case by the Navy at Point Mugu but elsewhere by the Air Force at its missile-testing sites in New Mexico.

Not caught on film but seen one minute before was an "Unidentified Aircraft (High Performance Type)" -- while the 16-sided object was close enough to the flight of the Regulus missile to be caught in frame, and detailed enough to count the number of sides...

16-sided Polygon

Above: A hexadecagon (16-sided polygon).

Precisely how and when the Navy report came to the attention of the Air Force is unknown, but the telex from Oxnard Air Force Base was sent on April 9 and date-stamped received by ATIC on April 10.

Coincidentally, it had been sent by 1st Lt. Leonard E. Ott -- who 11 hours following the incident at the Navy's Air Missile Test Center would receive his first call from Mrs. Beaudoin, kicking off the rest of that weekend's events.

On April 10 a telex from Ent AFB to Oxnard AFB requesting that the "agency possessing films subject of report to forward them to this organization as soon as possible". The Navy's reply to that request was sent by telex on April 11, 1957...


Whatever the high-speed 35mm cameras had caught on film, the United States Navy was not willing to share... and that -- as far as is publicly known -- was the end of the matter.


But it was not only through the newsletters of organizations such as APRO and NICAP, the books of the "contactees", or even the flying saucer conventions that the like-minded were able to keep abreast and in touch of the saucer scene. For the 1950s would produce a startling number of homegrown publications -- some slick, others hand-typed, some enduring, others with a lifespan lasting no more than weeks -- both in the United States and abroad...


Above: A sampling of newsletters from 1957.

James MoseleyOf these, the most influential -- and controversial -- of the privately-published newsletters was without a doubt that published by James W. Moseley.

Moseley was born in 1931 to a well-to-do family (his father was an army general and his mother heir to a family fortune). His parents separated while he was quite young, and Moseley attended a series of private schools around the country before entering Princeton University at the age of 17. It was while Moseley was attending Princeton that his mother died, and at the age of 19 Moseley became the beneficiary of a large trust fund -- enabling him to leave college and pursue whatever private interests caught his fancy. Amongst those fancies, he would later write, was that "I vaguely wanted to be a writer".

Enterprising in spirit and outgoing in personality, in late 1951 Moseley joined famed Italian explorer and adventurer Attilio Gatti on an expedition to Africa -- with Moseley paying his own way for the privilege. Although the whys and wherefores of Moseley's connection to Gatti are not clear, the appeal of it all is -- as from an article by Gatti in the June, 1941, edition of Popular Mechanics magazine, writing about an upcoming expedition...

Before the dark curtain of Africa drops on us, come join the party in fancy. The Tenth Gatti African Expedition needs one more member. Adventures, thrills, danger will be your lot, along with unique landscapes, pestiferous insects, the scorching equatorial sun and tropical hurricanes. And don't forget, plenty of work. We must shoot educational movies, capture weird animals; investigate ancient secret societies like the Baboon-Men; learn about the Mangbettus who deform their heads like pears; the copper-colored pygmies who barely reach your belt buckle; Giant Watussi princes who look down on you from eight feet of height and with graceful ease jump a couple of feet higher than your head.

Nor did the appeal stop with the promises of adventure. When World War II forced a curtailing of his expeditions, Gatti had turned his hand to writing a book, earning accolades for his expressive style. From a review in the August 22, 1943, edition of the Milwaukee Journal newspaper...

When a man sits down to spin yarns he likes to make 'em good. Commander Attilio Gatti, with 10 expeditions behind him, and with a ringside seat in Africa for 24 years, has had every opportunity for yarn material to come his way. In this book he strings together all his best stories. He warns his readers at the beginning, however, that he is writing of the exceptional incidents that occurred to him "against a background of much more normal existence."

The stories are told dramatically, often luridly. Sometimes thrills fair bounce out of the pages...

The 1951 expedition -- Gatti's 12th -- was well-covered in the press. Scheduled to leave in October and to last eight to ten months, it also included four Jeep-drawn trailers, as noted in the October 13, 1951, edition of the Brazil, Indiana, Daily Times newspaper...

The effect of an exotic international adventure while in the company of a master yarn-spinner on 20-year-old James Moseley can only be imagined, but it undoubtedly whetted his appetite for even more.

In late 1952 Moseley returned to Africa -- although it is not clear if it was as part of an established "expedition" or one of his own -- covering 20 African states, and then on to Italy and France before reaching England in time for the coronation of Elizabeth II.

Arriving back in the United States, Moseley was almost immediately scouting for his next adventure when a friend sent him a clipping about Ken Krippene -- a pulp-magazine adventurer and travel writer, with an emphasis on "men's magazines".


Above: From July, 1951, one of a series of chapters from Ken Krippene's Buried Treasure, as published in American Weekly.

In 1951 Krippene's first book, "Buried Treasure" -- purportedly the true stories behind $260-billion in hidden riches waiting only to be rediscovered -- had been serialized in the Sunday newspaper supplement "American Weekly". Krippene's "true" tales included such fare as the bejeweled "blade of Damascus" with "crusts of diamonds and emeralds and the delicate filigree of gold and silver" -- waiting to be found "in a stretch of river only 16 miles long" in Istanbul. Another was a "fortune of black pearls" somewhere off the Aru Islands of Indonesia, where "pearl-bearing oysters lay by the thousands... one-hundred and sixty-five feet straight down". The only drawback: the pearl bed was jealously guarded by an army of giant man-killing octopi.

Along with his writing, Krippene had also developed a lucrative sideline as a lecturer. Whether it was the result of one such lecture or some other circumstance, Moseley first personally met Krippene in October, 1953, in New York. Krippene agreed to include Moseley in an upcoming trip to Peru, planned for February, 1954 (on the condition -- as in his travels with Gatti -- that Moseley pay his own way). In the meantime, Moseley -- owner of a new blue Hudson automobile -- drove the car-less and seemingly cash-less Krippene to several of his speaking engagements. As a result, a relationship -- of sorts -- developed, and within two-and-a-half weeks of first meeting Krippene, the two developed a plan to write a book on flying saucers.

For Krippene, the proposed book venture most likely represented the possibility of more hidden treasure -- either in the form of book royalties or in the form of keeping Moseley's financial assistance flowing. The deal -- as Moseley understood it -- specified that Krippene would write the flying saucer book if Moseley did the research. This was no problem for Moseley, who had already developed an abiding personal interest in the mystery.

Tail Section

Above: From the declassified files of Project Blue Book, photo of the crumpled tail section of the P-51 Mustang flown by National Guard pilot Captain Thomas Mantell.

Moseley had first become intrigued by the subject with the 1948 death of Captain Thomas Mantell while chasing a saucer in a P-51 Mustang. From that time on he had collected news clippings into a scrapbook. He had also read all the books on the subject, from Major Keyhoe's 1950 book "The Flying Saucers Are Real" to Adamski's just-published "Flying Saucers Have Landed". With his news clippings as a guide, Moseley determined to travel across country interviewing witnesses and "experts" in the field as the raw material for the book -- returning home in time to accompany Krippene to Peru.

The first two interviewees -- August Roberts and Dominic Lucchesi -- were local to Moseley. Both had been members of the inner sanctum of Albert K. Bender's "International Flying Saucer Bureau" and at the time of Moseley's visit were dealing with Bender's announcement that -- having been intimidated by three mysterious men while at the same time being given the secret behind the saucers -- he was abandoning the field and would have no more to say on the subject.

Roberts also had the distinction of having his photograph of a flying saucer included in Adamski's book...

Roberts' Pic

Above: Roberts picture from Adamski's 1953 book.

But as Moseley found out from Roberts, the picture in Adamski's book had in fact been taken by Roberts in 1949. The one taken by Roberts while on duty with the Ground Observer Corps in 1952 was considerably less distinct...

Roberts' Pic

Above: Roberts pictures from the 1967 publication The Flying Saucer Menace, co-authored by Roberts and Brad Steiger. The caption reads: "August C. Roberts' Skywatch photographs were the first saucer pictures ever taken on the Eastern Seaboard. The photos had the backing of Civilian Defense officials. The first photo showed a dancing white light (the motion is exaggerated because someone jarred the platform as Roberts snapped the picture). The second picture -- shown above both as it was photographed and in close-up -- is a clearer image of the ball of light which hovered over new York City on July 27, 1952. A blow-up of the Skywatch saucer is at left."

Moseley's meeting with Roberts and Lucchesi produced not only the beginnings of many saucer friendships to come, but a list of people to contact for Moseley's research -- especially valuable to Moseley for its west coast connections.

Next up on Moseley's list -- and local as well -- was a meeting with Saul Pett, a reporter who had written of his own 1952 sighting in a national newswire story for Associated Press. Another local interviewee was Robert Adickes, a TWA pilot who in 1950 had -- along with pilot Capt. Robert Manning, and the flight's passengers as well -- witnessed a huge round light pacing their airliner in flight.

Soon after those interviews, Moseley began his road trip. Stopping first in Washington, D.C., he talked by phone with Major Keyhoe, who stated he was too busy to meet at that time (when Moseley finally met Keyhoe months later, he found him to be imperious and of little help). Afterwards, Moseley visited the Air Force public information office, which surprised him by saying anyone could come in and review Blue Book files (although he was soon after rebuffed and told the files were classified when he made a return visit). Also on his Washington itinerary was an interview with Harry Barnes and two other airport controllers who had been intimately involved with the Washington National Airport-Andrews Air Force Base radar-visual sightings of late July, 1952.

Moseley then headed south for interviews in South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas. Along the way he managed meetings with Eastern Airlines pilot John Whitted, who (along with Captain Clarence Chiles) featured in a spectacular encounter in 1948 while in flight. In Lubbock, Texas, Moseley met with Dr. W.L. Drucker, a college professor who along with several colleagues first reported the "Lubbock Lights". From there it was on to Arizona and a meeting with astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto and himself a saucer-sighter.

While in Arizona, Moseley also met up with Adamski associates Al Bailey and George Hunt Williamson -- both "sworn witnesses" to Adamski's encounter with a spaceman. Proceeding on to California, Moseley met with D.J. Detwiler -- the man who had developed all of Adamski's photographs. And finally, driving to Palomar Gardens, Moseley met with Adamski himself. Like many others both before and after, Moseley came away from the meeting doubting Adamski's story but impressed with Adamski's seeming sincerity and friendliness.

Continuing on to Los Angeles, Moseley learned much from Manon Darlaine -- the 80-year-old French grand dame of the west coast saucer subculture (which Moseley later described as "closer to a low-budget Saturday matinee science-fantasy serial with bad continuity than it was like anything to do with real science"). Rounding out his Los Angeles adventure were meetings with Max B. Miller (seemingly threatened by the possibility of another wunderkind on the saucer scene), German rocket scientist Dr. Walther Riedel (himself a member of Civilian Saucer Intelligence of Los Angeles, and a firm believer in the extraterrestrial hypothesis), Captain Willis Sperry (another commercial pilot who had sighted a saucer while in flight), Frank Scully (author of "Behind the Flying Saucers", the first crashed-disc-with-dead-aliens tale), Captain Ed Ruppelt (former head of Project Blue Book) and Al Chop (former public information officer for the Air Force and Blue Book, and a key figure in Keyhoe's 1952 access to Air Force files).

Starting the return leg of his trip, Moseley headed to Farmington, New Mexico, interviewing people who had witnessed the "Farmington Armada" of flying saucers in 1950. From there he drove to Denver for a meeting with Silas Newton -- convicted confidence man who had been the primary source for Scully's book. In Kansas he met with another saucer-sighting airline pilot, as well as William Squires (also known as William Squyres) who in 1952 had sighted a 75-foot-long football-shaped object hovering 10 feet off of a field. And in a show of moxie before leaving Kansas, Moseley interviewed Harry S. Truman, former President of the United States (who professed complete ignorance on the subject).

From there it was on to Chicago for more interviews, and then to West Virginia for an ultimately fateful meeting with Gray Barker. Barker -- a member of Albert Bender's "International Flying Saucer Bureau" -- had first appeared on the saucer scene when he personally investigated and then wrote an article for Fate magazine on the West Virginia "Flatwoods Monster" incident of 1952. At the time of Moseley's visit, he had just launched his own saucer publication, called the "Saucerian".


Above: Cover for the second issue of Barker's Saucerian newsletter. The decidedly suggestive artwork is signed by "Bender", who may have been Albert K. Bender of "men in black" fame, who was a friend of Barker.

Gray BarkerBarker would go on to become a major player in the subculture, launching both magazines and books under his "Saucerian" imprint. Somewhat shy and serious at the time he and Moseley first met, Barker soon saw where the money was, and over the coming years embellished or fabricated stories guaranteed to amaze his particularly-inclined audience of readers. The highlights of his myth-making career would be the creation of the legends of the "men in black" and, later, "moth man". He was also to become James Moseley's life-long best friend, although Moseley left Clarksburg for home with both men unaware of their future paths together.

For Moseley, the trip had been revelatory. From Al Bailey, George Hunt Williamson and Manon Darlaine he had learned the behind-the-scenes secrets of Adamski; from Manon Darlaine he had learned the behind-the-scenes secrets of George Hunt Williamson; and from Max B. Miller and Darlaine he had learned the inside scoop on Frank Scully and his claims. From this experience, as Moseley himself admitted, he became far more interested in the ways of the denizens of saucer subculture than saucer sightings themselves.

Saucer News

Above: Miami street scene from 1954.

At the beginning of February, 1954, Moseley arrived in Miami, Florida, for his planned meetup with Ken Krippene. As it turned out, Krippene had already flown on to Peru. Moseley took advantage of his time in Miami to interview Captain William Nash, another saucer-sighting pilot, as well as Sonny Desvergers, the famous scoutmaster who in 1952 had been "attacked" by a saucer. Moseley then flew on to Peru to meet with Krippene.

Moseley's South American adventure with Krippene was a mostly unhappy one, as Krippene had lost interest in both the proposed flying saucer book as well as in Moseley himself. Returning home to New Jersey some months later, Moseley found himself unable to successfully peddle his book idea to publishers -- and as a result turned his attention to publishing his own flying saucer newsletter, called "Nexus".

Created originally as a joint venture with August Roberts and Dominic Lucchesi, and billing itself as the official publication of the "Saucers And Unexplained Celestial Events Research Society" (S.A.U.C.E.R.S), the three men's contacts resulted in a growing list of subscribers. But Moseley soon found himself doing the majority of the work on the newsletter, which thus soon became his personal publication by default.

Saucer News

Above: April, 1955, issue of Nexus featuring a now-classic but disputed photo.

Nexus not only attracted an impressive number of subscribers, but drew a formidable list of contributors -- representing a virtual "who's who" of people in the scene -- offering their own news and views on the subject. Commendably, there was no "party line" enforced on these contributors and all viewpoints were welcome -- although Moseley sometimes vehemently disagreed in reply in the same issue.

But also being a huckster at heart, Moseley also launched a companion "confidential" newsletter promising "information of a nature that is too hot to handle" in Nexus. And to both boost circulation and also indulge their pranksterish impulses, Moseley and best friend Gray Barker carried on a long-running faux feud in their respective publications with full-throated accusations, recriminations and slanders on each other's integrity.

Through Nexus -- rechristened in mid-1955 as "Saucer News" -- Moseley also came to be known for his shifting views on the saucers: at one time or another embracing extraterrestrial vehicles, interdimensional projections, secret military weapons, and CIA psychological warfare operations. It was during his "secret military weapons" period that in the October, 1954, issue of Nexus, that Moseley wrote...

The information I have discussed so far is a matter of public record. However, just before this issue of NEXUS went to press I received irrefutable documented evidence which fully confirms these ideas. This information is due to a long-awaited leak from a high official source. It is now too late to assemble this startling data for this present issue, but it will be presented in full in the November issue.

It was a flat-out lie, which Moseley later attributed to his "innately mischievous nature". But seemingly having painted himself into a corner, in the November issue Moseley -- while offering no retreat from his claim -- delivered an apology, of sorts...

I now owe my readers an apology. I must state that the documents referred to are no longer in my possession, and that I am not at liberty to make any further reference to them; nor am I permitted to elaborate as to why the information I promised you cannot be presented in this or any future issue. Suffice it to say that I simply am unable to publish this information, as much as I would like to.

That same month, Moseley became President of Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York (though it ultimately proved just a titular position). But Moseley's main interest had turned more and more to what he termed "stirring the pot". One example, from 1956, had Moseley announce that one of the secrets he had been forbidden to tell back in 1954 was that the saucers were government vehicles for ridding the atmosphere of excess radiation from atom-bomb tests (the idea having been seriously suggested to him years earlier by Dominic Lucchesi). Another was the notorious hoax letters composed by he and Gray Barker in 1957.

The background for the hoax letters lay in Barker's having received blank official government stationery from the son of a State Department official. Reportedly in a drunken reverie, Moseley and Barker composed and typed seven bogus letters from government employees -- six to UFO personalities and one to Moseley's father. Amongst the recipients of such were APRO and CSI New York (Moseley decided against mailing the one addressed to his father), but the one which brought the attention of the FBI was to George Adamski on State Department letterhead...

Saucer News

Above: Facsimile of hoax letter to Adamski.

As expected, Adamski was quick to let it be known that his tale had been certified as true by the State Department, which soon denounced it as a hoax. The FBI was called in, and one of those questioned in the investigation was Gray Barker (who denied all knowledge, having already smashed the typewriter he had used into pieces, and then -- according to Moseley -- burying them in cement at various construction sites). It would take 30 years and the death of Barker for Moseley to finally come clean about it all.

But Moseley also "stirred it up" in far more serious ways -- a major reason why others in the field ignored him at their own risk. And perhaps the height of an admittedly checkered career came in 1955, with a no-holds-barred expose of what he had learned about Adamski, his claims, and his followers. First published in Nexus in 1955, it was reprinted in Saucer News as a "Special Adamski Expose Issue" in October, 1957...

Saucer News

Above: October, 1957, edition of Saucer News.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following article originally appeared in the January 1955 issue of "Nexus" (former name of SAUCER NEWS). Due to the great amount of public interest stirred up by the article, it was reprinted in February, 1955. This third printing is being made in October, 1957.


- by James W. Moseley -

During the past few years, numerous accounts have been given concerning alleged landings on this Planet by space ships, i.e., flying saucers, from other worlds. It is my intention in the following article to consider in detail the most widely publicized of these stories, namely, the one told by Mr. George Adamski. This story is given in detail in "Flying Saucers Have Landed" (British Book Center, published 1953). It is probable that most "Nexus" readers have read this book, which is co-authored by Mr. Adamski and Desmond Leslie; but for the benefit of those who are not familiar with the book, a brief resume of Adamski's portion of it is given below:

George Adamski's Story

Mr. Adamski begins his section of the book by stating that he is a "philosopher, teacher, student, and saucer researcher." Also, for several years he has been an amateur astronomer, and has in his possession two small telescopes: one a 15-incher, housed under a dome, and the other a 6-incher. Though he lives on the slopes of Mt. Palomar, California, where the giant 200-inch telescope is located, Adamski concedes that he has no connection with Palomar Observatory.

Adamski has long been interested in the possibility of life on other planets, but his first attempts at photographing flying saucers came only when, in late 1949, he was visited by two men -- J.P. Maxfield and G.L. Bloom -- of the Point Loma Navy Electronics Laboratory near San Diego. These men assured Adamski that flying saucers are probably interplanetary, because an Earth government is also making them. They also asked his co-operation in trying to get photographs of these strange craft, on the assumption that Adamski's 6-inch telescope could maneuver more easily than the large telescope at the Observatory. They told Adamski that they planned to make a similar request for photographs from the Observatory itself. Later, on a subsequent visit to Adamski's home at Palomar Gardens, Mr. Bloom confirmed a radio report of a flying saucer said to have landed in Mexico City.

Thus, having been asked by "the military" to co-operate with them in taking saucer photographs, Adamski proceeded to buy more photographic equipment. To quote the book, "Since then, winter and summer, day and night, through heat and cold, winds, rains, and fog, I have spent every moment possible outdoors watching the skies for space craft....Night after night I stayed outdoors watching the heavens....The cold winds wrapped me round and seemed to penetrate the very marrow of my bones. And steaming hot coffee was incapable of warming me. Once I caught such a cold that it took me many weeks to recover, but still I persisted."

Even though Adamski's liason [sic] with the Point Loma technicians soon fell through, he continued his efforts at saucer photography, and gradually his efforts were rewarded by an increasing number of good photos, though most of his pictures did not turn out well enough to prove anything. All through this period, Adamski hoped that some day the time would come when he could. make a personal contact with a man from another world. Many times he wandered out onto the desert in hopes of such a contact, but it was not until November 20th, 1952 that he succeeded in making this wish a reality.

In August of 1952 Adamski became acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. Al Bailey of Winslow, Arizona, and Dr. and Mrs. George Williamson of Prescott, Arizona. (See Footnote #1 below.) The Baileys and Williamsons were as interested in making a contact as was Adamski, and they asked to be invited along the next time he made a trip into the desert. Accordingly, Adamski phoned Williamson on November 18th and arranged to meet the two couples near Desert Center, California, on November 20th. Accompanying Adamski to the rendezvous were Alice Wells, owner of the Palomar Gardens Cafe, and Lucy McGinnis, Adamski's private secretary.

These seven people met on schedule, and proceeded to a point on the highway about 11 miles from Desert Center. The Baileys brought a movie camera, the Williamsons had a still camera, and Adamski brought his 6-inch telescope, binoculars, and a case containing his still camera and gadgets for attaching the camera onto the telescope; also, he had seven film holders and a cheap Brownie camera. Thus, the party was quite well prepared in case they should see a saucer or a space man.

The first unusual occurrence was the sight of a large "mother ship" type of saucer, which appeared at high altitude and was seen by the whole party. As the group was camped right next to the highway when they made this sighting, the "mother ship" could have been seen by any passing motorist, says Adamski.

But Adamski had the feeling that this would not be the spot where he would make contact with a space man. Accordingly, he had Lucy drive him to a place a half mile or so from the highway. He requested that Lucy return and wait with the others for a period of one hour, after which time he would rejoin the group. Thus, for one hour Adamski remained alone on the desert, while the other members of the party watched his activities as best they could from a distance of between a half mile and a mile.

Footnote #1: Bailey and Williamson later co-authored a book of their own called "The Saucers Speak", based on alleged radio and ouija board contacts with space men. Bailey later dropped out of saucer research, but Williamson has remained active. He organized the Telonic Research Center in Arizona, which published a bulletin for about a year. This organization and bulletin are now defunct and Williamson's activities have shifted to Peru, where he currently heads the Brotherhood of the Seven Rays, a mystic philosophical organization. He has also recently published a second book called "Other Tongues, Other Flesh".

Adamski set up his telescope and other equipment, and within five minutes was rewarded by the sight of a small "scout ship" type saucer some distance away from him. He took seven photos of this "scout ship", though as he notes further along in the story, none of these pictures turned out well for some reason. Not long thereafter, Adamski saw a man approaching him. As Adamski walked up to the man and took a good look at him, he realized that he was looking at a human being from another world. The Visitor looked basically similar to an Earth man, though different in many details of his clothing and personal appearance. But the thing that made it obvious to Adamski that this stranger was indeed from Space, was the beautiful feeling that the sight of the man caused him. To quote the book: "The beauty of his form surpassed anything I had ever seen .....I felt like a little child in the presence of one with great wisdom and much love, and I became very humble within myself, for from him was radiating a feeling of infinite understanding and kindness, with supreme humility."

The meeting lasted exactly long enough to use up the remainder of the hour Adamski had allotted himself; During this time Adamski learned, by using mental telepathy and gestures (as the stranger spoke no English), that the man was from Venus, and that his visit here on Earth was due in part to concern over our use of atomic weapons. To express the idea of atomic explosions, the Visitor said "Boom! Boom!". Unfortunately, the man would not allow Adamski to take a photograph of him.

Toward the end of the interview, the Venusian made a point of calling attention to his own footprints. It developed that the soles of the Visitor's shoes were inscribed with significent [sic] markings. After the Venusian returned to his "scout ship" and departed, Adamski rejoined his friends. Dr. Williamson happened to have with him a small package of plaster of paris, as "on this trip we tried to be prepared for any eventuality". Plaster casts were therefore made of the footprints, and over the subsequent months attempts have been made to interpret the strange symbols thereon.

In the course of his talk with Adamski, the Venusian had asked permission to take one of Adamski's film packs, with the promise that it would be returned to him before long. Sure enough, on December l3th (i.e., about three weeks later), the same scout ship flew over the vicinity of Palomar Gardens, and Adamski's space friend dropped the film pack out the window. When the film was developed, more strange symbols were found, and they too are now being interpreted by Adamski and his co-workers. On December 13th Adamski succeeded in getting several good photos of the "scout ship". These are reproduced in the book, and one of them is also shown on the cover of this issue. Adamski's account also states, "It (the 'scout ship') was seen and photographed by others." Though these "others" are not named in the text, one of them, must be Jerrold Baker, for a blurred close-up shot of a "scout ship" is given in the photographic section of the book, with the following caption: "Flying Saucer Passing Low Over Trees: This photo, taken a few minutes later (i.e., a few minutes after Adamski's series of Dec. l3th) was made by Sargeant [sic] Jerrold E. Baker with a Brownie Kodak camera as the saucer flew away and passed rapidly over the low hill on which he was standing. The blurred effect is due to the rapid speed at which the craft was moving."

As if this were not confirmation enough, Adamski's account is further strengthened by the inclusion in the book of sworn statements by each of the six people (other than himself) who were present at the November 20th contact. These affidavits read as follows: "I/we the undersigned, do solemnly state that I/we have read the account herein of the personal contact between George Adamski and a man from another world, brought here in his Flying Saucer "Scout Ship", and that I/we was/were a party to and witness to the event as herein recounted."

Adamski's portion of "Flying Saucers Have Landed" concludes with an appendix, which describes a meeting held on June 1st, 1953, at which flying saucers were discussed by several qualified men. The most noteworthy features of this appendix are some remarks attributed to Al Chop, former Public Information Officer at the Pentagon, and the following statement attributed to Pev Marley, a cameraman for Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood. Mr. Marley is quoted as having said that Adamski's pictures, if faked, were the cleverest he had ever seen, rivaling a Houdini. Marley pointed out that the shadows on the saucers, and also on the ground, correspond to such a remarkable degree that they could not be faked, and to fake such pictures would require costly equipment which Adamski obviously does not possess and which, even then, would not assure such a result.

Some of the Flaws

I have done my best to relate the above account without sarcasm or prejudice of any kind, though in view of the detailed study I have made of this story, I must admit that I find it difficult to present it without editorializing a little here and there. However, if I have made my account too brief to suit those of you who have not yet read "Flying Saucers Have Landed", it is merely because of limitations of space; and if I have seemed to emphasize some phases of the narrative more than others, it is because I now intend to raise an objection to nearly every portion of the story as I have presented it above.

There are others besides myself who have studied the Adamski story, and their conclusions vary according to their own particular "bent" and also according to how thoroughly and open-mindedly they have studied the evidence. To two of these fellow researchers -- namely Mr. Jerrold Baker and Mr. John Pitt, of Surrey, England -- I am deeply indebted for some of the material I am about to present. I am also indebted to other informants whom I am not at liberty to name. But in all due modesty, I must say that to the best of my knowledge, very few researchers have made as complete a survey of the Adamski tale as I have. I have traveled personally through Arizona and California, interviewing all the principals mentioned in the story, with the exception of Mrs. Bailey. Through interviews and lengthy correspondence I have made it my business to obtain all possible details concerning the "inside story" of Adamski's portion of "Flying Saucers Have Landed". Therefore, I now proceed to give you -- not opinions -- but to the best of my knowledge and ability, facts, fully mindful of the libel laws which compel me not to deviate from the truth.

Point One: Taking these points more or less in the order of their occurrence in the narrative, the first objection I raise is that Mr. Bloom, of the Point Loma Navy Laboratory, stated to me on the phone when I was in San Diego that he has been grossly misquoted in "Flying Saucers Have Landed". In particular, he claimed to have no knowledge whatsoever of a saucer landing in Mexico City.

Point Two: In the book (but omitted in my summary) is the following statement by Adamski: "If these (saucers) were secret experimental military devices, I would not be allowed to copyright my photographs and send them so publicly through the mails. And I sent a set of them to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In the interests of national security they would have stopped me, if I was photographing our own secret craft. They never have." This statement is, in all probability, true; but the same arguments would apply if Adamski was photographing extraterrestrial craft, if we are to assume that there are extraterrestrial aircraft in our atmosphere, and that the Air Force does not want details or proof in regard to these objects to be given out to the public. The obvious conclusion is that Adamski is not photographing any sort of craft at all, that the Air Force knows this, and therefore does not bother him. (Note: Adamski has run into really serious difficulty with "officialdom: only once, as far as I know, and that was for circulating among a group of "intimates" a ridiculous letter purporting to show that certain military officials back up the authenticity of his story and photos.)

Point Three: When I first read "Flying Saucers Have Landed", I was impressed by the fact that Adamski's story was backed up by four people (the Baileys and the Williamsons) whom Adamski knew only slightly. Although the text does not explicitly say so, I came to the conclusion (as many other readers did, no doubt), that these four were impartial, reasonably conservative, well educated people, not prone to indulge in hoaxes or be easily swayed by a hoax perpetrated upon themselves. I learned, however, from my own investigations, that all four were already ardent "Believers" before they made the November 20th contact, and that none had any particular educational advantages that would qualify them as expert or impartial observers. In particular, Williamson, though a pleasant enough young man, admits that he has no degree entitling himself to be called a "doctor", even though he allows himself to be called "Dr. Williamson" throughout the book -- just as Adamski, among his friends and admirers (though not in the book), is known affectionately as "professor", without benefit of any degree. Put together, I think these facts add up to an entirely new picture of Adamski and his six witnesses. When we remember that two of Adamski's witnesses were close personal friends (one the owner of the property where he lives and the other his secretary), and when we find that none of the other four can be called either impartial or objective, then, I believe, a new light is thrown on the whole situation.

Point Four: The photographs: This subject has already been partly covered in the paragraph on the cover of this volume. Incidentally, it is the photo on the right that is the "phony", and the one on the left is the "genuine" "scout ship" photographed by Mr. Adamski. Additional remarks will be made further along concerning the photograph bearing Jerrold Baker's name; and indeed, a veritable volume could be written concerning the other photographs, some of which appear as "scout ships", others as "mother ships", and still others as mere spots of light without any definite form. But perhaps it will suffice here to quote a few of the remarks made by Arthur C. Clarke in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, March, 1954:

"Mr. Adamski's hobby is photographing flying saucers, and he undoubtedly is the most successful at this interesting art.... There are (in the book) several close-ups of space ships, leaving no doubt that they are artifacts. The uncanny resemblance (of the 'scout ships') to electric light fittings with table tennis balls fixed underneath them has already been pointed out.....To us, the perspective is all wrong, and though this is a qualitative impression perhaps not susceptible to rigorous proof, the pictures seem to be of small objects photographed from very close up and not of a large object seen through a telescope. Many people, including, we suspect, Mr. Adamski, do not realize that a large object seen through a telescope bringing it to within 20 feet looks quite different from an object itself 20 feet away....

"We have a much more serious comment, however, to make on photograph #3; which purports to show a fleet of saucers taking off from the Moon. Alas, something has gone wrong here. We would like Mr. Adamski to account for the fact that one of his saucers appears to be inside the telescope. This would not be apparent to anyone who was unacquainted with lunar geography, but an inspection of the background shows that the line of saucers is not clear of the Moon's edge, as appears at first sight, but extends off the field of view of the lens altogether. It is odd to say the least that Mr. Adamski's discriminating telescope is able to see a saucer and to ignore the Moon shining around it."

Point Five: Disagreement among witnesses: At least one of Adamski's six sworn witnesses no longer upholds the account as presented in the book. Mr. Al Bailey, who is a railroad worker in Winslow, Arizona, told me in a personal interview that he did not see the space man with whom Adamski allegedly talked, nor did he see the "scout ship" that allegedly landed on the desert. He did see the "mother ship", and some flashes of light in the direction where Adamski was supposed to be during the contact. To the best of his knowledge, no one else present saw any more than he did. Furthermore, a drawing in the book, supposedly made by Alice Wells while watching Adamski and the Visitor through binoculars, could not in Bailey's opinion have been made from that distance (i.e., about a mile away), nor was it made that day as far as he knows. Although Bailey admits that Adamski's account is not true in all details, he feels that Adamski's contact may actually have taken place, though he himself cannot vouch for it. I therefore feel that, if a hoax was involved, Mr. Bailey was duped rather than being in on it, for he further states that he believes that the advance text of the book sent him by Adamski, and on the basis of which he made his sworn statement, was not the same text actually used in "Flying Saucers Have Landed". (See Footnote #2 below.)

Footnote #2: Bailey apparently made his sworn statement based on Adamski's original manuscript, which was later edited, expanded, and "improved" by a mysterious "C.L.J.", whose editing is acknowledged by Adamski in some editions of "Flying Saucers Have Landed", and omitted in others. As we revealed in our February-March 1957 issue of SAUCER NEWS, "C.L.J." is Clara L. John, a Washington D.C. friend and admirer of Adamski, and currently the editor of "The Little Listening Post".

These points are further borne out by a letter from Bailey to Mr. Baker, dated June 1st, 1954, from which I now quote: "I am well aware of the placement and disposition of all members of the party that day (November 20th, 1952.) I also feel sure that no one saw any more than I did. (Italics mine.) There is a possible exception, and it is this: At the time of returning to the spot where Adamski was, he took Williamson off alone to the spot where the alleged footprints were. Just what transpired then, I have no way of knowing, nor did I make any inquiries at the time....There is a remote chance that during this interval he too saw the space man....I will no longer place myself on record to back up or refute anyone in such a controversial escapade again with no better proof than was mine at that time."

Point Six: Mr. Al Chop, who, it has been noted, is quoted at length in the appendix of the book, told me in a personal interview that he is misquoted, and that he has considered suing Mr. Adamski because of this fact. Similarly, in a phone conversation with me, Pev Marley denied having made the statements attributed to him, and also denied the rumor, circulated by Adamski and a few of his admirers, that Marley had blown up one of the Adamski "scout ship" photos and found, in the blow-up, the head of a man looking out of one of the "portholes".

Point Seven: Burning questions left unanswered by the book: How did the Venusian's footprints turn out so well on desert sand, in an area in which, according to a West Coast informant, there had been no rain for several months?

In the book (but omitted from my summary) Adamski says that American aircraft were seen overhead several times during the November 20th contact. These planes were apparently trying to catch the "mother ship" and the "scout ship". Why, therefore, were the saucers not reported by the pilots of these aircraft? If any such confirmatory evidence were available, Mr. Adamski would have it by now. The fact that he does not have it seems to indicate that there were no airplanes overhead that day.

If the space man was indeed from Venus, how was he able to defy every scientific principle by existing so easily and comfortably in the Earth's atmosphere, since it is a well known fact that the atmosphere, etc., on Venus is entirely different from ours? And how was the Venusian able to defy every law of probability by looking so similar to earth men?

Why did no one succeed in taking any movies or decent still pictures of the saucers seen during the November 20th contact?

And last but not least, what was the necessity of Adamski having his companions remain at such a great distance during his contact? Could this have been to make it easier to perpetrate a hoax on some of his friends (those who were not co-conspirators)?

The Evidence Presented by Mr. Jerrold Baker

Jerrold Baker is a young saucer researcher who, after his discharge from the Army a few years ago, became personally acquainted with Frank Scully (author of "Behind the Flying Saucers") and George Adamski. From November 12th 1952 until January 12th, 1953, Baker lived and worked with Mr. Adamski at Palomar Gardens, earning his board and keep by working as a secretary, chauffeur, and general handyman. Thus, Baker was present during the critical period covered in "Flying Saucers Have Landed". The reader will recall that November 20th and December 13th are the two important dates in Adamski's narrative.

I met Jerrold Baker at Scully's home some time ago, but did not know then of Baker's intimate knowledge of the details of the Adamski story. Now, in a letter dated September 11th, 1954, Baker writes me the following startling facts: "1. I did not take the Brownie snapshot accredited to me; 2. This was not the only Brownie picture taken; 3. George Adamski was the photographer, and the other Brownie pictures were destroyed at his request by Lucy McGinnis; 4. The photograph was not taken on the date indicated (i.e., not on December 13th); 5. The desert contact was pre-planned and Adamski related the details to me of what was to take place there previous to the venture....6. Lucy (McGinnis) purchased the plaster of paris in Escondito [sic] (Calif.) with me, and it was Adamski who carried it (on November 20th), not Williamson."

At this point I wish to state that whereas I do not know Mr. Baker well, and therefore cannot be absolutely certain of his motives for coming forward at this time, I nevertheless do know this: (1) That I have offered Baker no money or other inducement; (2) That by admitting that he was duped by the Adamski hoax he is gaining nothing, as far as I can see, except the knowledge that through his efforts and mine, the truth on the Adamski matter is at last coming to light; (3) That much of his evidence corresponds with information I have received from other reliable sources, and which I therefore readily accept as true; (4) That no one, other than Adamski and his six witnesses, has as great a first-hand knowledge of the incidents described in "Flying Saucers Have Landed" as does Mr. Baker.

Baker's information is contained in a number of letters and other documents that he has kindly lent me. Therefore, rather than run the risk of coloring Baker's information by putting it into my own words, I will tell his story mainly by quoting from these various documents.

First, here, in part, is a sworn statement made by Mr. Baker on June 29th, 1954: "To whom it may concern: In a recent book, "Flying Saucers Have Landed", an alleged photograph of a flying saucer was credited to Sargeant [sic] Jerrold E. Baker. I, the undersigned, am the said party....I make this statement in hopes of separating facts from fiction, truth from lies, and the real from the unreal. I did not take the alleged photograph accredited to me. The alleged photograph was taken with the Brownie camera, along with three or four similar photos, by Mr. George Adamski, on the morning of December 12th, 1952, and not on December l3th, 1952, as indicated (in the book)".

In a letter to me dated November 18th, 1954, Baker states: "Shortly after beginning work at Palomar Gardens, I had a long discussion with George Adamski, in which I tried to point out his slipshod manner of publishing what saucer photographs he had taken during the five years previous. In the discussion, I suggested that he not be the only photographer present during a flight of saucers over Mount Palomar.....It was my suggestion that he be located at one spot with his telescope and camera while I or any other individual be located at another spot on the property with a different type of camera.....Much to my amazement, within a week after this suggestion, George Adamski early one morning disclosed the fact that he had taken pictures with the Brownie camera, adjacent to his cabin. The date of the photography was December 12th. I chauffeured Alice Wells to Escondito [sic] to purchase the week's supply of restaurant articles. On our return, there was a fire on the slopes of Mount Palomar, and we stopped at the ranger station to ascertain its location....I insert this to perhaps give you some means of substantiating my whereabouts. Alice Wells liked me very much and if anyone would reveal the truth, she would be the one, but her admiration for George Adamski proves the greater, and I feel she would be likely to protect him.

"However, there are two other people who can provide you with the necessary proof of my claims regarding the photographs. They are: (1) Mr. Detwiler, the professional photographer who processes Adamski's work. (See Footnote #3 below.) He must fully recall the dates on which the photographs were presented to him. Secondly, he also developed the additional negatives to substantiate the erroneous fact of merely one Brownie photo. (2) Mr. Hal Nelson, who was and is presently an investigator for the United States Civil Service....Hal was present the morning Mr. Detwiler and his wife delivered said photographs to Palomar Gardens, and can verify seeing more than one Brownie snapshot."

Footnote #3: Detwiler has died since this account was written in 1954.

Here I must interrupt Baker's account for a moment, to state that although I met Mr. Detwiler while I was in California, I did not yet know of the controversy over the Brownie photo, and therefore did not ask him about it. However, I did ask Detwiler what he thought, in general, of Adamski's photographs, and his answer was as follows: He himself does no "fakery" in the processing of the pictures, and he receives genuine negatives from Adamski. Therefore, if Adamski's pictures are not genuine, then the "fakery" on Adamski's part does not consist of retouched negatives, but rather, it consists of the use of models. Detwiler says that he has no way of knowing whether or not Adamski uses models, or whether the photographs are of genuine saucers.

Now back to Baker's account. This time, I quote from a letter from Baker to Frank Scully, dated January 31st, 1954: "Case 'A' : He (Adamski) has taken hundreds of photographs. Here are the most astounding photographs obtained thus far on the elusive saucers. This man claims he has spent untold hours watching and waiting, both day and night, to obtain the pictures. (See Page 2, next to last paragraph.) This is not true. I know that he knows exactly when a (space) ship is coming, and is there at the precise instant to snap the picture. It is a planned, purposeful action, not the mere chance which he implies. Why the necessity of the deception? Is it as he claims? Perhaps yes; but more likely, NO.

"Case 'B' : Contact with space man on the desert: Here again, misleading, untrue stories are concocted to have the public accept what is supposed to be a fact....It is too purposeful, planned, and with peculiar motives. I was with Lucy when the plaster of paris was bought prior to the trip. I purchased the photographic plates myself. And, I accidentally heard a tape recorded account of what was to transpire on the desert, who was to go, etc., several days before the party left Palomar Gardens. Though this recording was a 'communication through psychic means', the account as presented (in the book) is entirely untrue. Regardless of the reasons presented to you or me, the witnesses, or the reading public, its manner of presentation to the public has been misleading and false."

In another letter, Baker expands on this point: "The tape recording I heard was a metaphysical discourse received through Professor Adamski approximately one week before the desert contact. I had heard about ten minutes of the tape-recorded talk when Lucy came to the office and advised me not to play the tape recorder. From this brief behind-the-scenes listening, I was able to determine that the desert contact was not a mere stab in the dark or a picnic on the desert, but a planned operation."

"Case 'C' (again quoting from Baker's letter to Scully): The Brownie Snapshot: You are presently familiar with this episode so I will not have to go into it again. However, in talking with this man (Adamski) when we met in town last week, he urged me to continue using my name on the picture because, 'You have to enter the back door sometimes to get the truth across.' What kind of a fool does he think we are, Frank? And actually, what kind of imbiciles [sic] are we to pledge our support to such stories? Is not all this a corruption of the truth? I say it is! I know it is! I will not condone it or support it any longer."

The above letter was written on January 31st, 1954. On November 2nd, 1953, Adamski, in an obvious effort to induce Baker to "stay in line", had written Baker as follows: "Now you know that the picture connected with your name is in the book, too -- the one taken by the well with the Brownie. And with people knowing that you are interested in flying saucers as you have been, and buying the book as they could do yourself a lot of good. For you have plenty of knowledge about these things (i. e., saucers), whereby you could give lectures in the evenings. There is a demand for this! You could support yourself by the picture in the book with your name. Remember that you are as much publicized in the book as I am, as far as the picture is concerned. And having the knowledge you have of these things, you have your break right here."

Notice that Adamski does not say "the picture in the book which you took", but rather, "the picture in the book with your name". Has not Baker proved his contention right here? Furthermore, if the blurred effect in the "Baker photo" is due to the saucer being out of focus rather than, as Adamski claims, in motion -- then the "saucer" must be less than ten feet from the camera, as anything beyond ten feet is in focus with a Brownie!

Yes, Adamski attempted to bring Baker "back in line", as noted above, but the present state of the controversy can be summarized by the following letter from Baker to Desmond Leslie dated August 4th, 1954. After reiterating that he did not take the Brownie photograph, Baker states: "I am fully cognizant that words and accusations that prove unfounded are vain. So -- with such an awareness and knowledge -- I am proceeding to take whatever action I deem congruent with the nature of the Adamski fabrications, being confident that sufficient evidence to substantiate my claims is in my possession at this time. I readily admit that I fell victim to a hoax. I sustained the blow, and condoned the erroneous stories. But I have not supported them in any way, shape or form. And presently, under existing conditions, I will no longer continue to condone the erroneous stories or fabrications of any party connected with flying saucers...."

Finally, here is one more extract from a personal letter written by Baker to a friend of his: "Shortly before his disappearance, Karl Hunrath called a number of people. (See Footnote #4 below.) Among these were Frank Scully, Manon Darlaine, and Mrs. Wilkinson.....He denied Adamski's pictures as being real. He even told Mrs. Darlaine he saw the model. This I cannot confirm or deny. However, I can truthfully state that both Karl and I did see something one morning on our way down to the Palomar Gardens Cafe from our cabin, that closely resembled a skeleton for a saucer mock-up. It was a piece of wooden frame in a circular shape with strips of copper, about one inch in width, strung in circles on this wooden frame....We both questioned George Adamski about this paraphernalia behind his cabin, at which he grew somewhat uneasy, (italics mine), and assured us that what we saw was his own television antenna. I cannot say one way or the other, that it was or that it wasn't. But it is interesting and important considering the mathematical analysis made by several astronomers, who claim the photos couldn't be of anything but a small model."

This same information has been conveyed to me by other reliable informants.

Footnote #4 : The mysterious disappearance of Karl Hunrath and Jack Wilkinson is another very interesting story, but outside the scope of the present article.


The parade of evidence in regard to "Flying Saucers Have Landed" could go on almost indefinitely. Naturally, I have used my most sensational material in this article, but were it not for limitations of space, I could give dozens of other examples, from Baker's files as well as my own, which would show other small and large matters of fact on which Mr. Adamski has "slipped up". If there is sufficient reader demand, I will give some of this additional information in a future issue of "Nexus".

In the meanwhile, let us remember that I am not saying -- nor is Mr. Baker, that George Adamski's account is necessarily entirely untrue. In the final analysis, the true story may be known in its entirety only by Adamski himself. All any outsider can do, in regard to what another man claims to have seen and done, is to point out flaws in that man's narrative. However, I do believe most definitely that Adamski's narrative contains enough flaws to place in very serious doubt both his veracity and his sincerity. Furthermore, I am hoping that in the light of all the previously unpublished facts contained in this article, the reader will be moved to make for himself a careful re-evaluation of the worth of the Adamski book.

One final note: On my own part, at least, I am moved by no personal antagonism of any kind toward either George Adamski, Desmond Leslie, or any of the other principals in this narrative. Ever since my meeting with Adamski about a year ago, I have been convinced that he is a kindly man who would do harm to no one. If he has written a fraudulent book, perhaps he did so not so much for personal profit, but to put across, in dramatic form, philosophical principles in which he sincerely believes. In any case, his book has entertained thousands, and injured no one . But I sincerely believe that if the truth concerning the flying saucers is ever to be arrived at, someone must now and then perform the rather thankless task of sifting away the "saucer fiction" from the "saucer facts". It is with this goal in mind, and no other, that I have written the above account.


Above: From Flying Saucers Have Landed, pictures taken by Adamski (top) and purportedly by Jerrold Baker (bottom).

The October, 1957, "Special Adamski Expose Issue" also included the following...

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following article originally appeared in the June-July 1955 issue of SAUCER NEWS. It is written by the woman who was later to become Jerrold Baker's wife. She gives an excellent picture, in our opinion, of the strange behind-the-scenes happenings at Palomar Gardens around the time that the events in "Flying Saucers Have Landed" took place. The article was written in answer to counter-charges made by Desmond Leslie as a result of the article you have just read.

- by Irma Baker -

I met George Williamson and Al Bailey first a day or two after the Desert Contact. I saw Williamson only one other time until he moved bag and baggage to Palomar Gardens. At this time, Lucy McGinnis and George Adamski told me that Williamson was having trouble and had been ever since his arrival, with "low spirits" taking over his body, and that George was trying to help him, as Williamson was now controlled by this "low element".

On January 3rd, 1953, I drove to Palomar Gardens again with friends. We were approached by Lucy very confidentially for funds, as no one there had money (nor ever did, for that matter), and by then work was being done to prepare another half-finished cabin and furnish it for three men -- George Williamson, Karl Hunrath, and Jerrold Baker . These three were to form the "Adamski Foundation". We were told that Karl Hunrath was an inventor par excellence, and was having his equipment shipped from the east for use on George's property. Some of this equipment consisted of magnetic frequency machinery designed with an eye to contacting a saucer and bringing it down on Palomar.

On January 10th I revisited Palomar and viewed the photographic plate -- the one with hieroglyphics, supposedly dropped on George's premises by a saucer. I viewed this on a screen through a projection machine rigged by Karl Hunrath. I will only say at this time that I feel a space man capable of space travel, superior intelligence, and such a superior way of life as described by George, should have figured out an easier way of communicating with our present level of evolution!

Another thing that troubled us all was the manner in which Hunrath, Williamson, and Baker all disappeared from the Cafe after viewing the plate, whereas prior to this they had been most friendly toward us, and Williamson had danced original Indian dances, etc., for our benefit. I was puzzled and of course suspicious.

Two days later, on January 12th, 1953, I received a tearful and pathetically distraught telephone call from Lucy McGinnis, from a tavern just below Adamski's property. (George did not have a phone.)

"Irma", said Lucy, "Please do something fast. Professor Adamski said to call you and that you would know just who to phone. This is an emergency. The 'boys' are threatening to shoot down our own jets with that awful machine!" She continued by saying that the machine she had told me about had arrived, and that Hunrath said he would just as soon bring down our own jets with it as a saucer. She said that the Professor had become righteously indignant and ordered them off the premises, and that they -- the Professor, Lucy, and Alice Wells (owner of Palomar Gardens) -- were frightened to death that "the boys" would return and do them harm.

By this time, I was a bit punchy! I told Lucy to remain by the phone. I took her number and said I would call her back.

First, I called a close friend, a Lieutenant in Navy Meteorology, stationed in San Diego. He advised me not to get involved but suggested that I call the O.S.I. or Army Intelligence.

I called the office of the O.S.I. I reported exactly what Lucy had told me, and gave them her name and telephone number. They assured me they would call her immediately, and that they would also call the F.B.I. The O.S.I. did this as I waited.

I was intrigued. I couldn't resist the urge to learn more about all this, because by then I was well aware that every story told by George and his disciples could be interpreted to have a different meaning. So I gathered three other people in my car, and drove to Palomar Gardens. We arrived shortly after dinner. The F.B.I. and O.S.I. men were already there. Here are some of the highlights of what George said to these men in the presence of myself and three other witnesses:

Adamski's Statements to the F.B.I. and O.S.I. Agents

1. Karl Hunrath (whom George had formerly called an esteemed colleague and close friend) was now a beast, an uncontrolled monster, and a sadist. He had an ego complex and was anti-female to the point of insulting the women. He had stated that it was irrelevent [sic] if he brought down American jets by use of the magnetic machine in his quest of grounding a saucer. He was practicing occultism, but had only progressed to the point of "being taken over by a beast". He had threatened George all of a sudden -- "a weak, feeble old man, afraid for his very life." (George is really quite strong, and much bigger than Hunrath.)

2. Dr. George Williamson wasn't really a doctor at all. He only posed as one, and used an honorary degree to gain recognition. (This is really true, and is common knowledge in select circles, but this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.) Williamson was on Palomar to have Professor Adamski help him. He was constantly being taken over by a "low element" of spirit which would put him out cold for sometimes as long as an hour at a time. Of course, no good "element" would think of doing such a thing. Williamson was posing as a medium, but was a fake, because Adamski had proved many times (to his own satisfaction) that when Williamson went into a trance, he was only putting on; -- and his study of Indian lore, etc., enabled him to pretend as though an Ancient Being was speaking through him as a guide. (By this time the F.B.I. men must have inwardly burst into convulsions of laughter!) Williamson was weak and spineless, and had left his poor pregnant wife. (It is true that he did for a time, but not with intentions of separation.) He had left her to treck [sic] up to Palomar and stay there eating the food from Adamski's poor table. George asserted to the F.B.I. that he knew this as he was a real medium. He related experiences to them of tests put to him by his Teachers. Lucy's head bobbed up and down all the time in silent agreement with every word Adamski said. The F.B.I. and O.S.I. men sat silent and wide-eyed. "I am the only real medium", George repeated to them many times. (The poor F.B.I. What they go through to earn the taxpayers' money! I'll bet this was a new experience for them!)

3. Jerrold Baker was a nice quiet boy -- always writing letters to his mother. He seemed like such a good fellow. He must have been really taken in by the other two. Of course he (George) wasn't always too sure about Baker. He did seem to have a weak character. He always agreed with everybody, and wasn't ever disagreeable. George sometimes wondered if maybe he was a secret investigator, "but then you fellows can find out better than I can about that, ha-ha!" -- Anyhow, Baker did receive regular checks from the American Air Force while he was here at Palomar, but never paid any rent. "I would like to collect that, of course", said George. (No mention was made of the work Jerrold did there and which I witnessed, from typing by the hour, chopping logs, and washing dishes, to waiting on tables in the Cafe, etc. The statement about the checks was another falsehood, but I didn't learn that till later.)

All three men were accused of having attempted to hi-jack the Professor's mail. Lucy was supposed to have called the police to stop them. All this took place in Escondito. (The true story is that Hunrath, on being confronted by Lucy in Escondito, called a policeman to make this fanatical woman let them alone, as she threatened all sorts of things if they left Palomar. Jerry had been delegated to pick up Adamski's mail as a representative of Palomar Gardens. This Adamski had to admit to the F.B.I. when questioned. The fact that they were bringing George's mail back with their own to the Cafe did not come out till later, when it was learned that the fracas in Escondito occured [sic] before they had packed the car with their personal belongings. At the time of the fracas their belongings were still in the cabin on Adamski's property, to which they had every intention of returning.)

It seemed apparent that any and all means to discredit these three must be made that night. But why? Because they wished to leave the Adamski stronghold. Why should that disturb him so? I couldn't help but see just how disturbed he was -- shaken and scared. The F.B.I. agents assured him repeatedly that they didn't believe the men intended to return to Palomar to attempt to harm him. It seemed to me that there was only one answer: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Adamski, although a man, had obviously been scorned. The three new disciples had walked out, and for a reason. What that reason was I was determined to find out, and did. It was also obvious that three disciples don't up and leave the "Master" unless they have discovered that his feet of clay are showing!

Adamski made no mention that night of any money stolen by anyone, although he did later. They had all the mail there. The F.B.I. determined that, and George reluctantly admitted that "they hadn't made off with a thing, of course, but they might have but for Lucy". George added as a further thought, "Hell, there might have been a check in the mail for all I know. People are always sending me donations."

"Was there?" asked the F.B.I.

"I don't think so, but I haven't opened all the mail yet," George answered. But if any chance or opportunity to pin a theft on anyone had arisen, he would have done so then and there! The present answer is pretty damned obvious!


My friend the meteorologist went to the F.B.I. some time later, and checked this whole affair for me. He disbelieved in Adamski, and relished the opportunity to get his own story on him, which of course he did. The F.B.I. was then watching George for more "slips" in his oratory efforts in the Cafe, in which he often elaborated on his confidential knowledge of troop, atomic, and secret military movements, supposedly passed on to him by his military contacts and informants. The F.B.I. had him listed as a complete crackpot, and completely discredited his report on Hunrath, Williamson, and Baker, as the ravings of a jealous madman. (George would often elaborate on stories he heard in the Cafe from servicemen, and because of his exaggerations, a private or corporal in passing his story would be identified as "the military" or a "top notcher". Much of Adamski's pattern today is precisely the same. He continually uses witnesses' testimony, which he perverts to use in furthering his belief's [sic].)

Some Further Points Regarding Adamski's Claims

1. Mayme Maum was not present the day Detwiler returned the Brownie snapshots to Adamski, in spite of Desmond Leslie's claim that she was. I confronted her at the recent saucer convention at Giant Rock, California, and she admitted that she and I went up to Palomar together and arrived at a later time. When invited to walk the length of two automobiles to meet the Nelson brothers who were present when the Brownie photos arrived, she reneged and backed down completely.

2. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Scully, as well as Hal and Wally Nelson, witnessed my efforts the same day as the Giant Rock Convention (March, 1955) to engage George Adamski in an out and out discussion of the Brownie snapshot. I challenged him and he evaded me for three solid hours.

3. Adamski has changed his space man story distinctly from the way it was the first several times I heard it. I took notes at the time, and therefore am sure that the story has changed.

4. The original communication between Adamski and the space man consisted purely of telepathy. His later meetings with these space men (after publication of "Flying Saucers Have Landed") always were in a bar in Los Angeles, where they met him and then supposedly drove him (as he can't see well enough to drive himself) to isolated spots for conferences. If space men are meeting people like George in bars, I feel that I prefer not to meet one myself!

5. I questioned George Williamson in April of 1954, to find out whether or not he ever saw the space man during the November 20th 1952 contact, and he answered me a straight NO! Furthermore, I told him I thought Adamski was lying about the material facts of the meeting, and that I believed if it happened at all it was spiritual in nature -- and he agreed!

This was the point Adamski and I fell out on first. I contended that the law of averages prohibited life on other planets from being exactly as we are, because atomic nuclei respond differently to different atmospheric conditions. He replied that in order to get across to the people his teachings and philosophies, he couldn't be too "mystical", as he put it, and that he must present all the happenings on a very material basis because that is how people want them. I contended that this was as good as lying! He answered, "sometimes to gain admittance, one has to go around by the back door." To gain admittance to what? The cloud of literary achievement? Or public acclaim? The latter I do not agree with!

Of all the personalities on the 1957 saucer scene, James W. Moseley was and is the most difficult to pin down. Sometimes a hoaxter and always a huckster, often a believer yet unceasingly skeptical, he saw before him not so much a phenomena in the skies as an Earthly pageant of fanciful characters on parade. As to how Moseley saw his own role in it all, it probably is best described -- in an entirely different context -- by director Bill Alexander of the Royal Shakespeare Company...

The profession of the jester is ambiguous and abounds in internal contradictions, arising out of the discrepancy between profession and philosophy. The profession of a jester, like that of an intellectual, consists in providing entertainment. His philosophy demands of him that he tell the truth and abolish myths... not simply to amuse but to criticise their master or mistress and their guests...

Decades on from 1957, Moseley would write of his friend Gray Barker...

He thought of UFOs and ufology as he did motion pictures -- make-believe, wonderment, entertainment, fantasy, fun and games.

An equally apt eulogy, as it would turn out, for Jim Moseley himself.


Blue Book 1957
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Above: Project Blue Book listings and evaluations of reports in 1957. Only reports from military channels or attracting significant public attention made it into the Blue Book files, while reports in newspapers or appearing in newsletters such as those of NICAP or APRO were often ignored by the Air Force. During 1957 Blue Book was headed by Captain George T. Gregory.

Max B. Miller, George Adamski, Leonard Stringfield, Coral Lorenzen, Major Keyhoe, James Moseley -- these were some of the major players alluded to in Dr. Hynek's dismissive overview of the 1957 saucer scene. But conspicuously left unmentioned by Hynek was the Air Force -- and his own -- role in it all, other than to say...

Not only does the Air Force continue to get several UFO reports almost daily, but several dozen civilian UFO societies have sprung up. It seems that these good people, aided by a number of popular writers on the subject, feel that the Air Force is doing a poor job, particularly in keeping the public informed.

But as noted in a November 5, 1957, Air Force press release, Hynek's professional role was clear...

In response to queries as to results of previous investigation of Unidentified Flying Object reports, the Air Force said today that after 10 years of investigation and evaluation of UFO's, no evidence has been discovered to confirm the existence of so-called "Flying Saucers."

Reporting, investigation, analysis and evaluation procedures have improved considerably since the first sighting of a "flying saucer" was made on 27 June 1947. The study and analysis of reported sightings of UFO's is conducted by a selected scientific group under the supervision of the Air Force.

Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Professor of Astrophysics and Astronomy at Ohio State University, is the Chief Scientific Consultant to the Air Force on the subject of Unidentified Flying Objects.

The selected, qualified scientists, engineers, and other personnel involved in these analyses are completely objective and open minded on the subject of "flying saucers." They apply scientific methods or examination to all cases in reaching their conclusions. ...

However -- as Hynek himself knew well -- it was a different story behind the scenes. Hynek would lay it all out in his 1972 book, "The UFO Experience - A Scientific Inquiry"...

Blue Book was a 'cover-up' to the extent that the assigned problem was glossed over for one reason or another. In my many years association with Blue Book, I do not recall even one serious discussion of methodology, of improving the process of data gathering or of techniques of comprehensive interrogation of witnesses. ...

All my association with Blue Book showed clearly that the project rarely exhibited any scientific interest in the UFO problem. They certainly did not address themselves to what should have been considered the central problem of the UFO phenomenon: is there an as yet unknown physical or psychological or even paranormal process that gives rise to those UFO reports that survive severe screening and still remain truly puzzling?

Such lack of interest belies any charge of 'cover-up'; they just didn't care. There is another argument for the 'noncoverup' viewpoint: the underlings in the military hierarchy (and all Blue Book officers were such - generally captains or majors, two of which finally made lieutenant colonel but never full colonel) looked mainly toward two things: promotion and early retirement. Therefore, in controversial issues it was always considered far wiser not to 'rock the boat', to please the superior officer rather than to make waves. Thus, when the superior officers, who did not know the facts but were wedded to a rigid framework of military thinking handed down from above, let it be known in any controversial issue (whether UFOs or not) what the 'right way' of thinking is, no underling officer was going to oppose or even question it unless, of course, he was 99 percent certain that he could prove himself correct in the controversy -- and quickly.

Since the Pentagon had spoken in no uncertain terms about UFOs, no Blue Book officer in his right promotion-conscious military mind was going to buck that, even if he had private opinions on the matter.

Another factor added to the noncover-up theory. Turnover in the Blue Book office was rather high. Sooner or later the officer in charge would be out of it, just that much closer to promotion and retirement, if he just sat tight. From 1 952 to 1969 the office was headed in turn by Captain Ruppelt (who did not make his own views known until he was out of the air force), Captain Hardin (who had ambitions to be a stock broker), Captain Gregory (to whom promotion was the be-all and end-all of existence) ...

Writing of the history of Blue Book, historian Michael Hall would echo and amplify on Hynek's observations...

In April 1956 the zealous debunker Captain George T. Gregory assumed leadership of Blue Book after Captain Hardin transferred to other duty. Other ATIC veterans also left in 1956, creating a loss of awareness in the project of its own history. During Gregory's tenure UFO reports were carelessly and thoughtlessly classified. For example, if a child reported a UFO, policy dictated it automatically be attributed to an overactive imagination. Any reports coming out of Canada were put into the insufficient data category and overseas sightings were rarely recorded. Gregory, however, was not a poor officer. In Hynek's words, "promotion was the be-all and end-all of existence" to this career-minded man.

That's what Blue Book had become by 1956 -- a carefully controlled project run by those who could follow orders. No one wanted another Ruppelt who would run off to a comfortable highly paid civilian job and write (what they thought was) a tell-all book. The manner in which Air Force Headquarters required ATIC and thus Blue Book to handle UFO reports was by design, aimed more at public relations than investigation. Blue Book chiefs were made to believe that by dissuading public attention on UFOs, a correlation would result in decreasing numbers of those bothersome sightings. That became a form of results much easier to show to the Pentagon than the more difficult task of conducting expensive investigations into a complex phenomena. It might even mean a promotion and certainly guaranteed every career officer's goal -- a paid retirement.

As the only government entity tasked with investigation and reporting on the saucers -- at least publicly -- the all-but-official Air Force antipathy towards the subject was the single most devastating blow to the goal of discerning the truth of the matter. Its network of trained investigators (with procedures modeled on the FBI) offered an unparalleled opportunity for the gathering and analysis of data -- intimate knowledge of aircraft types and performance (both known and experimental), access to comprehensive weather data, access to both regular and classified balloon programs, access to a huge base of top scientists representing a multitude of disciplines, and worldwide scope through Air Force bases circling the globe, giving the Air Force the ability to have investigators on the scene in most areas within hours. But even beyond that, it had access to military reports -- often kept from public view -- which contained precise details such as speed, size, course and angle of elevation, often obtained through high-quality and even cutting-edge instrumentation.

No civilian organization could hope to ever come close to the assets available to the Air Force -- with one possible exception...


Levelland 1957

Above, top: Front page of the November 4, 1957, edition of the Lubbock, Texas, Morning Avalanche. On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union had launched the Sputnik 1 satellite into Earth orbit, shocking both the American military and the public with its achievement. One month later, on November 3, 1957, the Soviets had launched Sputnik 2, bearing the dog Laika -- the first living being to orbit the Earth. Hours later, reports came from Levelland and other parts of the southwest of a giant egg-shaped object (article at bottom of page). The orbiting flight of Laika would come to be colloquially known as "muttnik", while the Levelland object would be called "whatnik".

In the first five years following the arrival of the saucers -- from 1947 through 1952 -- the nation's press had been a pivotal force in investigating and reporting on the phenomenon, both pro and con. But in the five years since, as noted by Hynek in his article...

...UFO reports are now generally disregarded by the press -- after 10 years UFO's have ceased to be news, and small wonder, since the reports continue to be the same hazy, indefinite, unscientific reports as they always were.

But if the reports remained "hazy" or "indefinite", that was as much the intended effect of Air Force policy as it was the lack of specificity on the part of witnesses. And often the only truly "unscientific" aspect to the reports was the unfortunate and unprofessional tendency of scientists and other "experts" to proffer opinions outside their areas of expertise, often in conjunction with complete ignorance or blatant disregard of the reported facts of an incident.

And even in cases as spectacularly detailed as the Levelland-area reports -- a giant egg-shaped object flying low, brilliantly lit and causing car-engine-and-electrical failures over the course of hours, reported by multiple independent witnesses, including law enforcement -- which did manage to attract serious nationwide press attention, it was ultimately exceedingly short-lived.

Partly this was because the press assumed that if it were anything serious the Air Force would be working behind the scenes. But it also reflected the press tendency to look always forward to the next story -- and although in the particular case of the Levelland reports there would be several days more of spectacular reports -- the "next story" would be the opinions of the debunking scientists and experts, under headlines such as "'Astronomer Says Objects Mirages" (Abilene, Texas, Reporter-News, November 7, 1957 for an Associated Press national newswire story on the views of Harvard's Dr. Donald Menzel on the Levelland reports) and "Houston Profs Say Whatniks 'Impossible'" (Galveston, Texas, Daily News, November 8, 1957) for a United Press national newswire story which included the following...

Psychiatrist Dr. C.W. Dwyer said human beings are proven inept at describing what they see.

"This reminds me of people we used to have in psycho wards when radios were new," he said. "They could hear radio voices when no receiver was near them."

Meanwhile, "humorous" press coverage would include nationwide press wire stories of the pronouncements on the matter by Jim Lee, self-styled head of the "Interplanetary Space Patrol" (United Press, November 6, 1957) and the following Associated Press wire photo (November 7, 1957)...

Levelland 1957
Such was the typical pattern in such matters, capped by the follow-up dousing of any remaining ember of possible press interest by the Air Force, as for instance its statement on Levelland, which would announce that the sightings were caused by "weather phenomenon of electrical nature, generally classified as 'Ball Lightning' or 'St. Elmo's Fire,' caused by stormy conditions in the area" and further that "rain and electrical storms at the time of the reported sightings, affecting wet electrical circuits" were the likely cause of the dying lights and stalled engines reported by witnesses.

So while it is true that "the press" in the aggregate could have brought considerable resources of its own to bear on investigating such incidents, it was collectively content to quickly report, and move on.


Levelland 1957

Above, top: Front page article in the November 4, 1957, edition of the Lubbock, Texas, Morning Avalanche.

These, then, were the forces of 1957 alluded to by Hynek in his article -- the contactees, the civilian investigators, the Air Force, the scientists, and the press.

Meanwhile, pushed to the side and then lost in the shuffle were the true players of 1957 (and every other year) -- those persons who had had been labeled five years earlier by Air Force Major General John Samford as "credible observers of relatively incredible things".

Some of their stories --

From the declassified files of Project Blue Book, a teletype concerning the report of an Air Force pilot in Guam, flying a state-of-the-art F-86, at 2:10 a.m. on the morning of January 1, 1957...


From the declassified files of Project Blue Book, concerning a multi-witness incident at Lincoln Air Force Base on February 13, 1957...

I. SOURCE: S/Sgt Jay B. Core

Address: [Blacked Out] Det, Lincoln AFB, Nebr.

Age: 26

Occupation: USAF Air Traffic Control Specialist

Education: High School graduate

Qualifications: Air Traffic Control Specialist

II. RELIABILITY: Source was a mature, conscientious individual who had an open mind concerning this subject. He was receptive to all suggestions as to the possible identification of objects but was firmly convinced he could not make positive identification.

III. SOURCE'S DESCRIPTION OF SIGHTING: Source was on duty in control tower at Lincoln AFB, Neb. as watch supervisor, when his attention was called to a red flashing light north of the tower by one of the controllers. Object was observed with binoculars and it was ascertained that it was an air liner [sic], which was confirmed by Kansas City, Air Traffic Control Center. Shortly thereafter, source noticed another object in the NE quadrant and in the next thirty to forty seconds four more objects were sighted.

Objects were red, flashing or rotating type, moving erratically at high speeds. Occasionally objects moved behind a hanger northwest of the tower.

Source stated the brightness of the objects was comparable to an automobile headlight at a distance of a mile or more. Size of objects was that of a pea held at arms length. One of the objects appeared to separate and go in opposite directions. Initial flight path was in a northwesterly direction.

Source estimated objects were thirty degrees from true north and ten degrees from the horizon when they appeared and forty degrees from true north, ten degrees from the horizon when they disappeared. Source estimated that he observed objects for about twenty five minutes.

From the March 10, 1957, edition of the Abilene, Texas, News Globe newspaper...

Saucer Is Sighted By Pilots

HOUSTON. March 9 (AP) -- Two Houston pilots said yesterday they tried to follow an unidentified flying object that had "three large lights" and darted away at a high speed.

The pilots were returning from Beaumont to Houston when they spotted the object at 9:45 p.m. over the Pasadena area.

Guy Miller said "I still don't know what it was. When it wanted to, it kept ahead of us easily. It would stop, or seem to stop, just under us. We would bank around, get close to it and it would be gone again." They got within a quarter-mile of the object.

Victor Hancock, 32, pilot of the Tennessee Gas Transmission Co. DC3, said Miller first spotted the object when it darted across the front of their plane.

"It was going from south to north. We were going at least 200 miles per hour, and it went by us easily," said Hancock, a veteran of 12 years flying.

He said the most unusual thing about the object was "three large lights. They were white and brilliant."

Hancock said, "I got the idea that it was at least the size of our plane, I felt that it was just messing around with us. I know that it knew that we were following it."

From the March 26, 1957, edition of the Tacoma, Washington, News Tribune newspaper...

Jim Geise and Lady
WE SAW IT - BUT WHAT? -- Frightened into flight when glowing mystery craft paid touchdown visit to nearby pasture as he milked cow Saturday night, Jim Geise, above, now chides himself for not braving closer look. Jim's pal, Lady, an English collie, sounded frightened alarm as ball-shaped ship, "big enough for two, perhaps," sped in over treetops, barely missed high tension wires, lit a moment 50 feet from barn, then silently disappeared into north. Jim's family, the Rudolph C. Geises, 5515 Waller Road, are prominent Grange and 4-H Club members. Jim attends Puyallup High School. Incident adds credence to report of John Shemorry, 4009 No. 19th St., that he saw sky object same dark evening. Also makes doubtful the suggestion that "it" could have been an expected comet. -- News Tribune photo by Warren Anderson.

From the declassified files of Project Blue Book, concerning a dual-witness report at Worcester, Massachusetts, on April 29, 1957...

Worcester Air Reserve Center
Worcester, Massachusetts

1 May 1957

SUBJECT: Unidentified Objects

First Air Force
ATTENTION: Director of Intelligence
Mitchel Air Force Base
New York

1. This organization received a report of sightings of unidentified objects on 30 April 1957. As Air Force Regulation 200-2 is not available in this unit, the following narrative report will be submitted in lieu thereof.

2. Mr. [Blacked Out] reported to First Lieutenant Robert G. Record, Jr. that he and [Blacked Out], seniors at Holy Cross College, sighted some unidentified objects on 29 April 1957. The following is a synopsis of what Mr. [Blacked Out] reported.

a. The unidentified objects were sighted on three (3) occasions between the hours 2205 and 2240.

b. The first sighting was of a single object directly overhead heading South to North. The color of the object was rust red. Its size was approximately the size of a half dollar held at arm's length. Duration of the sighting was seven (7) seconds.

c. The object appeared in the vicinity of the big dipper, headinr [sic] North where it slowed down and then increased its speed to a high rate over the City of Worcester.

d. The second sighting was of seven (7) unidentified objects in a straight line. These objects were colored silver red and apparently were smaller than the first sighting. The duration of the sighting was approximately two (2) minutes.

e. The third sighting was about twenty (20) minutes after the second sighting. There were twelve (12) objects in a "V" formation and the citing [sic] lasted about four (4) seconds. In the sighting, the objects were higher than the other two (2) sightings.

3. These sightings occured [sic] while looking for new comets that were to be seen at that time. The address of both individuals is presently at the Holy Cross College, Worcester, Massachusetts. The permanent address of Mr. [Blacked Out] is [Blacked Out] Lakewood, New Jersey. Mr. [Blacked Out] is a physics major while Mr. [Blacked Out] is planning to enter Naval Flight training in June.

4. In the event additional information is required, contact Lieutenant Record at the Worcester Air Reserve Center, Worcester, Massachusetts.



From the declassified files of Project Blue Book, concerning a dual-witness in-flight pilot report between Shreveport and Lake Charles, Louisiana, on June 3, 1957. The report of the pilot...

I. SOURCE: Captain [Blacked Out]

Address: [Blacked Out] Dallas 5, Texas

Occupation: Pilot, Trans-Texas Airlines

Education: 2-1/2 years of college, civilian pilot school, Air Force pilot training

Qualifications: Former Air Force Pilot, presently Airline Captain

II. RELIABILITY: Source was reluctant to talk about objects as he was somewhat upset because he was being interviewed on the sighting. He felt that he had nothing to do with originating the preliminary report other than asking the AC&W site if he had company in flight. In a roundabout way he was contacted by Flight Service at Carswell AFB, Texas, who sent in the preliminary report. After an explanation by the investigator he became cooperative and should be considered reliable.

III. SOURCE'S DESCRIPTION OF SIGHTING: One object was sighted on takeoff from Shreveport, La. Airport at approximately 2030 CST, 3 June 1957. Altitude of object was approximately 400 feet when first sighted. Source stated that the control tower called his attention to the object which appeared as a small light. Landing lights of Source's aircraft were flashed on and off and the object responded momentarily with a very brilliant light directed at his aircraft. Object then gained altitude, from a seemingly hovering position, at a high rate of speed. At this time another object was sighted at about the same altitude and having the same appearance of the first object. Source stated he then contacted the tower to ascertain whether they had both objects in sight. Tower had both objects in sight, using binoculars. Objects then paralleled course of Source's aircraft, moving at about the same speed, which was approximately 110 knots, only at a higher altitude than that of his own aircraft. At Converse, La., objects were still with them so Source decided to call GOATEE (653rd AC&W Sq) to see if they had objects on their weapon [sic]. An affirmative answer was received. Source compared the size and appearance of objects to that of a star; however, he said that at one time he thought he could see the silhouette of objects, but would not make a definite statement to that effect. Source's aircraft continued to Lake Charles, La., where he landed. At this point, sight of objects was lost, apparently behind a cloud deck moving in a southeasterly direction. Objects had been observed for approximately one hour.

From the declassified files of Project Blue Book, the report of the co-pilot...


Above: Map of flight route (for information only, not part of Blue Book file). Shreveport Airport is at top middle of map. Middle balloon marker is Converse, La. home of the 653rd AC&W Sq contacted in flight, approximately 41 air miles from Shreveport. End of the flight route was at Lake Charles Airport, La., approximately 144 air miles from Shreveport.

I. SOURCE: First Officer [Blacked Out]

Address: [Blacked Out], Dallas, Texas

Age: 32

Occupation: Co-Pilot, Trans-Texas Airlines

Education: College graduate, civilian pilot school

Qualifications: Airline pilot, engineering student while in college

II. RELIABILITY: Source was an intelligence [sic] individual who was sincere and cooperative. Source was surprised when he was approached by the investigator concerning the sighting, for the subject, as he stated, had been dismissed from his thoughts. It is the opinion of the investigator that Source could be considered reliable.

III. SOURCE'S DESCRIPTION OF SIGHTING: Source sighted an object at about the 2 o'clock position after his aircraft had taken off from the Shreveport, La. Airport at 2115 CST, 3 June 57. He was looking south when object was first noticed and was at an altitude of 500 feet. Object was at approximately 1000 feet and one half mile distant when first observed. At first, only a white light resembling a star was seen. Source stated the landing lights on his aircraft were turned on and that the object responded by brightening its light. Object then moved on a course of 170 degrees to an altitude of approximately 10,000 feet at a considerable speed, after which it appeared to maintain the same relative position to Source's aircraft for the next hour. At this time a second object appeared to the right and slightly above the first object. Source said that after second object was sighted, he and the Aircraft Captain (See Part One) decided to call Shreveport tower to see if they had objects in sight. The tower answered affirmatively, stating they had spotted them with binoculars. Both objects appeared as white lights and at times were hard to distinguish from stars. Source stated that they flew a track of 170 degrees after objects were sighted, for a distance of 62 nautical miles, and then to a MC of 150 degrees. Object seemed to turn with them and at this time the Airplane Captain called GOATEE (653rd AC&W Sq) to inquire if they had objects on their scope. [Blacked Out] replied that they had two targets at 9,700 feet. Sight of objects was lost while landing at Lake Charles, La. When last seen they were moving to the southeast.

From the August 3, 1957, edition of the Portland, Maine, Press Herald newspaper...

Lights In Sky Mystery To 3 Westbrook Youths

Travis Jackson Jr., Robert and Edward Gowen are looking for some people.

Not just any people. But some people who saw what they saw very early yesterday morning.

The three young Westbrook men were visiting on Frye's Island in Sebago Lake. They saw something coming, going, standing, returning, dividing and going again. Travis saw it. So did Bob and Ed. They all saw it at the same time and they all admittedly were a little scared.

Travis, 22, Robert, 21, and Edward, 17, were sitting quietly about 12:45 a.m., surveying the granduer [sic] that was the starry-decked canopy of night. While they're a-sitting and a-surveying, this thing comes a-whompin' up in the sky.

IT WAS a bright kind of thing and it was accompanied by a loud humming. It moved very rapidly at times and at other times didn't move at all. It scampered around the heavens for a time, then took off toward Portland.

About over the city it seemed to find something it liked for there it stayed. And stayed. So did the boys for a time. Then they got into a boat and moved out onto the lake where they could see better. And this big, bright thing was still hanging over Portland.

Jackson said it had a sort of greenish glow about it as it hung motionless there, above the glow from the metropolis. It must have been a half hour or so it hovered there before it took to flight again.

BACK IT came toward Sebago Lake right out straight and cutting a swath through the sky like nothing any of the young men had seen before. It was almost possible to visualize the stardust flying as the thing skidded to a halt somewhere over Sebago Lake Station.

It didn't tarry long this time but all of a sudden the light became two. One zoomed out over the ocean and the other went tearing inland. Neither one of them hummed this time.

All of which makes for a very eerie feeling when you're sitting down under them watching.

The control tower at Municipal Airport here had no record of anything unusual going on in the air at that time. Nothing usual, for that matter. Nobody was talking to the tower.

That's why the three young men are so interested in contacting someone else who might have seen the light.

From the September 17, 1957, edition of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star newspaper...

They Saw a Flying Saucer

To the Editor: We saw a flying saucer west of the Leo Blakesley farm on the Blind Lake road in Aitkin county on Friday evening, Sept. 6, about 8:15 p.m. We were driving south towards Aitkin when we noticed a very bright light, much brighter than any star, about a mile west of us. It followed the car and when we stopped it stopped also, and hovered there four or five minutes. Then it started to move very slowly southwest. The last we saw, it was moving towards Crosby, Minn., with a red glow.

Aitkin, Minn.
- Frances G. Lardy
- Russell E. Scheuneman

From the November 6, 1957, edition of the Goshen, Indiana, News...

Cage Fans See Flying Objects Near New Castle

NEW CASTLE. Ind. (UP) A group en route home from a high school basketball game reported Tuesday night a flying object which "looked like a big meat platter" hovered over their automobiles.

Mrs. Jasper Barlow, New Lisbon, said she and her two children, David and Sylvia, were driving home from a game between Straughin [sic, should be Straughn] and Mount Summit when the object attracted their attention.

She said other cars in the party, including one in which Marvin Wisehart, assistant basketball coach at Straughn, was riding, stopped while the frightened occupants gazed at the object.

Mrs. Barlow said the object had a "big light" on the bottom that flickered on and off. The object hung motionless above the car and made no noise. David said it was "close enough to hit with a BB gun."

Finally the object moved away, trailed by at least two smaller objects, Mrs. Barlow said.

At first the motorists feared the engines on their cars would stop, because they had read that happened elsewhere recently to vehicles near such objects. But Mrs. Barlow said the motor on her car was not affected.

From the November 7, 1957, edition of the Aurora, Illinois, Beacon-News...

Ringwood Residents Scared by 'Thing'

Beacon-News Staff Writer

A man who told this reporter "I was never so scared in my life," and his wife who fainted after seeing something she says she never wants to see again, are living today with the fear that what happened to the them Tuesday night may happen again.

The object from the unknown that struck fear in the hearts of Larry Beaman, 20, and his wife, Marilynn, 18, residents of Ringwood, Ill., a small town near McHenry, was described by them as a burning white ball "that looked like the moon."

Beaman and his wife first saw the object about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday near Antioch, in northern Lake county. It followed their car and later almost landed behind a school building in Ringwood about two blocks from Beaman's home.

"I never saw anything like it before in my life," said Beaman. "I ran back and got witnesses to come see this thing behind the school. I didn't want people to think I was lying."

Affects TV

At the same time Beaman was standing on a deserted Illinois highway surrounded by darkness watching the weird object, television sets in Ringwood began to dim and then lost their picture and sound altogether. This was at approximately 7 p.m.

Beaman and his wife told their story in the living room of their apartment late Wednesday afternoon. "I hope it doesn't come back tonight," she said gazing out the window and up the street at the deserted school beginning to fade in early darkness.

Beaman said he and his wife first noticed the ball of white fire on his wife's side of the car as he drove. "We both looked out her window and saw it following alongside us at about 2,000 feet. It was a perfect ball in shape. It pulsated from white to yellow."

"It went out several times," said Marilynn Beaman. "Just like a light bulb. We estimated it would stay out for several minutes and then come back on. It did this several times."

She said by now they were driving on country highway P, seven miles of highway between Richmond, Ill. and Ringwood. "Then it went out again and I asked my husband to stop," explained Mrs. Beaman. "I wanted to see if it would return because we were so close to home I thought we could get some of our relatives to see it. We pulled to the side of the road and stopped. We had our five month old baby in the car. We couldn't see it anywhere, then suddenly it flashed abruptly on and started coming for us."

Seemed to Grow

"It seemed to grow in size," said Beaman, "as it came for us. My wife screamed and I got the car going as fast as I could." He estimated the ball at its largest size as 30 feet in diameter.

As the Beamans sped into Ringwood they saw the weird ball settle "like it was going to land" behind the school. Beaman said he took his wife home with the child and then drove back up the road to the school. "There were trees and it was in them," he said. "It was moving up and down, like a yo-yo, between the tops and base of the trees. I guess I was about 250 yards from the thing and that was close enough."

"You couldn't watch it for any length of time," added Beaman, a quiet, soft spoken man who used deliberation in trying to clarify his descriptions. "It looked like a diamond the way it glittered. Like a welder's arc would be better. You just couldn't watch it."

Gets Witnesses

Beaman drove back to get witnesses. Back with him for the second time came his wife and neighbors. They stood on the road. "I wanted to find out what it was," said Beaman, then suddenly I didn't after I got there because I was scared.

"A sound like that of water being swished around in a washing machine was constantly around us while it was present," he said. "I couldn't see any entrance to the thing and I couldn't see any wheels.

"It changed in shape as it came near the earth, resembling half of a ball. Just like taking a perfect ball and cutting it in half" both the wife and husband agreed. They said only the top half glowed the same shimmering white.

The sight was too much for Mrs. Beaman. Before they could get her home she fainted. "I was mighty scared to go to bed last night," he added.

Beaman got Charles Tate, 26, of Ringwood and several other men. "We went back up there for the third time," said Beaman. "I was really scared but I wanted these other people to see this thing and they'd know I wasn't making this up."

"When we got there," said Tate, "It was leaving. It looked like a big red light and then it turned burnt orange and finally a purple hue and disappeared towards the southwest."

"When it got up over the trees again," remembered Beaman, "it returned to its original shape. Like a perfect ball. And its movements were darting, jerky like. It reminded me of the way a humming bird can hover for a second or so and then dart to another spot."

By now it was dark outside. "That's all there is to tell." Beaman said in closing, "I saw it. God knows what it was but I don't want to see it again."

"I'm not going out tonight," said Mrs. Beaman from where she sat beside her husband. "It's dark now. I feel better in here where it's light."

From the November 11, 1957, edition of the Sullivan, Indiana, Times newspaper...

Ironworker Burned By 'Shiny Object'

Rene Gilham, Merom R. 1, 33-year-old ironworker who has been under a physician's care since Friday for mysterious burns about the face and eyes, was reported "resting well" today at Mary Sherman Hospital where he was taken Sunday morning after his condition worsened.

Gilham apparently suffered the facial burns, similar to the burns that are inflicted on the face and eyes when working near an arc welder without a face mask, last Wednesday night when he watched strange lighted object near his home between Graysville and Merom on Highway 63.

The injury didn't show up until Thursday evening and he visited Dr. Joe Dukes at Dugger Friday morning.

Gilham, who works in Terre Haute, told a Times reporter the burns began bothering him on Thursday following the lighted object's visit.

Describes Light

He first noticed the light, Gilham said, while he was in a building on the farm. When he got outside, the lighted object which he said was about 40 feet in circumference was about 1000 feet up and stayed for about 10 minutes.

It is believed that the object is the same one that was sighted by several Sullivan people.

While the light hovered over his farm, Gilham said it was joined by a smaller object which left first. The larger object made a whirring noise when it left and the light became more intense.

Gilham said the whirring noise resembled a high speed electric motor gaining revolutions.

Dr. Dukes said the irritation on Gilham's face was apparently not an allergy. He described it as a reddening of the skin, similar to burns from an arc welder. Gilham said that he had not been around a welder for three weeks. He added there was nothing in his work that could cause the burns.

Robert Orr of Sullivan, physics and math instructor, accompanied by a Times reporter, visited the Gilham farm Sunday afternoon with a Geiger counter to test the area for potential radiation. There were reactions in a couple of areas but of minor consequence.

Condition Better

Dr. Dukes said that Gilham rested well during the night and that the swelling about the eyes and reddning [sic] of the skin had lessened today. Gilham is expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday.

Gilham's wife, Agnes, and children, and Ben Gray, father-in-law, who lives next door, saw the object. Each described it as Gilham did. However, he was the only one that watched it during its entire flight.

Lights Entire Area

Gilham said that the object was so bright that it lighted the entire surroundings. Other members of the family verified this.

The family also saw another lighted object about three years ago in the same area but described it as different in light intensity.

Meanwhile, people continue to report lighted objects in the sky over Sullivan. There have been nightly reportings of strange objects Saturday and Sunday evenings.

From the November 12, 1957, edition of the Benkelman, Nebraska, Post newspaper, carrying a story from a sister publication...

Hamlet Youth Sighted Big Flying Object

About 7 o'clock Sunday evening, November 10, 15-year-old Gary Malone sighted an unidentified flying object hovering an estimated 75 feet over the ground.

The sighting was made on the Malone farm located three miles east and 2-1/2 miles north of Hamlet. Gary is the son of Gale Malone.

In telling the story of his unusual experience, Gary said be was going to church about 7 o'clock Sunday evening. He was about 1/2 mile from his farm home, when he first sighted the cigar shaped object hovering over the ground to his immediate right. Gary said he thought the object was about 75 feet above the ground at the time he saw it.

"The whole thing glowed," said Gary. The light seemed to frame the object, showing the cigar. shape. Gary said he thought it was about 80 feet long and 80 feet wide. He compared the object in size to a quonset building on the Malone farm.

Gary became quite frightened when he encountered the UFO. He quickly turned his car around and raced for his farm home. In looking back, he said that the object was rising into the air.

When he got home, the terrified boy immediately told his father and family about his experience. They all went to the back porch to see if anything was still visible. "I saw a light a little west of where Gary saw the object," said the boys father. "It seemed to be about 2 feet wide at the time we saw it. It was hovering over the ground, well up in the sky. The light was 'star-like' but I'm certain it wasn't a star." Gale Malone continued: "Then, the light began to move east and took on a redish [sic] hue as it moved. I would estimate the speed to be about 40 MPH."

When asked as to the distance away from the house the object was seen, Mr. Malone said it I was impossible to tell. "It would be like trying to guess how far away a star is."

The family drove to the scene of the sighting, but could see nothing unusual at that time. About 30 minutes later, the UFO had completely disappeared.

Gary was very frightened by his experience, but was consistent in his telling the story. When asked if be would undergo any type of questioning on the matter (including the use of a lie detector) he readily agreed to submit himself to the test. "I'm not afraid to tell what I saw to anyone under any conditions," said Gary. "I wouldn't try to say what it actually was or even if it could be called a flying saucer, but I am certain in my own mind of what I saw," he continued.

The next day Mr. Malone went to the scene of the sighting to see if there was any evidence of an actual landing, but could find none.

Gary attends Palisade High School and is a member of the Palisade Methodist church. He seemed in every respect to be a healthy and normal 15-year-old boy, and in every sense of the word, told a very convincing story. -- Hayes Center Times-Republican.

From the November 14, 1957, edition of the Humboldt, Tennessee, Courier-Chronicle...

Strange Object Is Sighted Near Here

Terry Blurton, 20, is known to his neighbors in the Mason Grove area as a quiet, serious young man -- not given to reckless statements.

For that reason, when Blurton called Humboldt Police Chief Luther Ellison Saturday to report the sudden appearance of a strange, glittering object above his head in a remote rural area, the police chief listened carefully and gave full credit to what the young man had to say.

Blurton gave a calm, reasoned report to Chief Ellison on the unidentified object, and later, under close questioning by a reporter, repeated his impressions in detail and without alteration.

"I was riding my horse, Tony, to my grandmother's house about 9:30 a.m. and was only about a half mile from there when my attention was attracted by a sudden nervousness in Tony's behavior," Blurton said.

The horse was trembling, and tossing his head. "The silver brads on Tony's bridle were casting a bright reflection, so I looked up. There, only about 175 to 200 feet above my head, was a round, silver object, glittering in the sun. It was whirling round and round, but hovering in one spot."

Blurton's first action was fear. He stayed in that spot "only about a minute," long enough to note that the object was egg-shaped and about the size of two rooms and then spurred Tony off to a fast run toward his grandparents' home.

His grandfather and grandmother, Mr. and Mrs. Gayle C. Blurton, aroused by Terry's excited shouts, came out in time to see the object, still hovering over the spot where it had first been sighted.

Young Blurton's two cousins, Patricia Frank, 16, and Linda Frank, 15, who were visiting their grandparents also saw it.

From the vantage point of his grandparents' home half a mile away, the object still looked round, but more flattened out on top, Blurton said.

It hovered for a few minutes while all five members of the Blurton family watched and then began to rise, he said. At an altitude of several thousand feet, it made "one small circle," and then continued to rise until it was lost from sight.

Blurton noted only two features about the object, other than its glittering, silver appearance. "There was a small black object underneath the sphere, and a low sound, something between a moan and a whistle, could be heard."

He said that when the object started to rise, this sound became slightly louder, but was still not loud.

Blurton refused to hazard a guess as to the explanation of the object. "All I know is what I saw," he said.

From the November 22, 1957, edition of the Monroe, Louisiana, News-Star...


CHEROKEE, Ala. (AP) -- High school principal Homer Blankenship and his wife reported seeing a flying saucer Thursday night, its lights "flashing on and off." Blankenship said the object, about 100 feet wide and tapered at the bottom, hovered over the highway moving up and down. He said, "it definitely was an object with enough speed to scare my wife and me half to death."

There were of course many, many more reports from 1957.

But what these in particular shared in common (aside from refuting Dr. Hynek's description of being "hazy, indefinite, unscientific reports") is that each well represent the unquantifiable essence of the experience at its core...

...the instant sense of wonderment and fear, the sudden arousal of excitement and dread, and most of all the immediacy of unexpectedly being in direct -- and even intimate -- contact with the unknown.

go to comments on this entry


1. The original April 7, 1957, article by Dr. Hynek as printed in the Columbus, Ohio, Daily Dispatch was a confusingly typeset piece in which random paragraphs appeared obviously out of order. The presentation of the article at the beginning of this post corrects that defect, placing the paragraphs in the most likely inended order.

2. Dr. Hynek later became a civilian researcher and leading advocate for scientific investigation of the phenomenon.

3. Max B. Miller -- who was a major name on the scene in the 1950s -- shows up in the declassified files of Project Blue Book by way of some interesting correspondence. The first is from August 11, 1953...

Miller Letter
The letter was obviously in regard to Miller's newsletter, Saucers which had just started publication that year. The next appearance of Miller in Project Blue Book files related to a report from May, 1957 (included in note 33, below). Miller's final appearance in the files was a series of letters from 1958, indicating that Miller intended to produce a documentary on UFOs. For reasons unknown, not all letters are included in Blue Book files and the first chronologically is a reply by Miller to Captain Wallace C. Marley...

Miller Letter
(Note: the image above is clipped and the "Page 2" notation at the bottom refers to a second page saying only "Again, thank you for your cooperation in this matter". The handwritten note on the right says "Major [Blacked Out] says he never wrote a letter giving any such info").

The next is dated April 14, 1958, and is a reply to Miller from Major Tacker...

Miller Letter
The next letter in Blue Book files is dated May 3, 1958. By this time Miller's letterhead had changed to read "MAX B. MILLER" at the top (blacked out in the following) and "PRODUCER OF DOCUMENTARY MOTION PICTURE FILMS" at the bottom...

Miller Letter
The final letter in Blue Book files is dated May 19, 1958...

Miller Letter
As far as is known, the UFO documentary never came to fruition.

Miller Letter
Following the last issue of Saucers in 1959, Max B. Miller apparently drifted away from the field. His course after that is difficult to track, but there is a Max B. Miller (middle name Briant) who became a successful celebrity photographer (examples of his work at Getty Images and also at Google Images, with his earliest work dating 1965). More on Miller's life from Wikipedia...

Max Briant Miller (February 23, 1937 – January 17, 2011) was an American journalist, photographer and film producer. His film Youthquake! won the Golden Globe Award for Best Documentary Film at the 33rd Golden Globe Awards.

His father was producer and inventor Max O. Miller. He attended Los Angeles Valley College, UCLA, and Sherwood Oaks College. Miller wrote about cinema for American Cinematographer and other publications, and he owned and managed Fotos International.

A longtime Hollywood Foreign Press Association member, Miller served on their board from 1974 to 1982, and became chairman of the HFPA board in 1976 as well as a second term.

Miller committed suicide by gun the day after the 68th Golden Globe Awards. According to TV Guide, "Miller was depressed over his divorce and financial problems." Several obituaries noted that Miller's photography company was denied a place on the red carpet at that year's Golden Globes, where he had been a member for 44 years.

The photo licensing service Hollywood Archive gives further insight, stating "Max B. Millers's Fotos International started the worldwide syndication of entertainment articles and photos of Hollywood personalities and events."

4. A December, 1957, letter on the UFO phenomenon from Carl Jung to Gilbert Harrison, editor of the New Republic, was sold at auction in 2013 for $3,840. The text reads...

Jung Letter

Dear Mr. Harrison,
the problem of the Ufos is, as you rightly say, a very fascinating one, but it is as puzzling as it is fascinating; since, in spite of all observations I know of, there is no certainty about their very nature. On the other side there is an overwhelming material pointing to their legendary or mythological aspect. As a matter of fact the psychological aspect is so impressive, that one almost must regret that the Ufos seem to be real after all. I have followed up the literature as much as possible and it looks to me as if something were seen and even confirmed by radar, but nobody knows exactly what is seen. In consideration of the psychological aspect of the phenomenon I have written a booklet about it, which is soon to appear. It is also in the process of being translated into English. Unfortunately being occupied with other tasks I am unable to meet your proposition. Being rather old, I have to economize my energies.

Very sincerely yours

C.J. Jung

5. The July, 1958, APRO Bulletin contained the following on the views of Dr. Jung...

On Unconventional
Aerial Objects

Dr. Jung, world famous Swiss psychologist, APRO member, was asked what he thought of Flying Saucers by the Association Mondial Interplanetaire. Here is his answer, reproduced from the FLYING SAUCER REVIEW, of London, England.

In the course of years, I have gathered together a considerable mass of observations, included in which are reports by two eye witnesses known to me personally (I have never seen anything!). I have also read books on the question. However, I can only say for certain: these things are not a mere rumour: something has been seen.

A purely psychological explanation is ruled out by the fact that a large number of observations indicate a natural phenomenon, even a physical one (explainable in part as reflections or temperature inversions). The American Air Force (despite its contradictory statements), as well as the Canadian, consider the observations to be real and have set up special Bureaux to compile reports. However, the "disks" (that is, the objects themselves) do not behave in accordance with physical laws but as though without weight, and they show signs of intelligent guidance, by quasi-human pilots, for their accelerations are such that no normal human could survive.

What astonishes me most is that the American Air Force, despite all the information in its possession and its so-called fear of creating panic, seems to work systematically to do that very thing (witness the Orson Welles radio play at New Jersey) since it has never yet published an authentic and certain account of the facts, only occasionally allowing information to be dragged out of it by journalists.

This being so, it is impossible for the uninitiated to form an adequate picture of what is happening. Despite my own eight years' compilation of all that has come to hand, I must admit that I am no more advanced than at the beginning: I still do not know what these Flying Saucers are. Observations read so strangely that one might be tempted if one wished to deny the reality of the facts reported -- to compare them to parapsychological phenomena.

Because of the general uncertainty as to foundations, it would be useless to speculate. We must await what the future brings. So-called "scientific" explanations, such as the theory of reflections by Dr. Menzel, are not possible without abstracting, for convenience' sake, any reports which fail to fit in.

If these "bodies" are of extra-terrestrial origin, as is affirmed, perhaps planetary (from Mars or Venus) one must not forget observations which speak of "Saucers" springing from earth or sea. One must also take into consideration numerous reports of thunderbolts, or of rare, stationary fireballs (not to be confused with Saint Elmo's fire). In such isolated cases thunderbolts can attain to considerable dimensions, moving slowly from one cloud to another in the form of a sphere of lightning-like brilliance, and of the apparent thickness of a half-moon, or again making a passage for themselves through a forest about 13 feet wide and 220 yards long, splitting all the trees which lie in their path. They are silent as the Saucers, or may disappear in a clap of thunder. Perhaps these round thunderbolts, being isolated charges of electricity (so-called necklace of pearl lightning) are the origin of those formations of Saucers, photographed several times. Often electrical phenomena have been reported in conjunction with Saucer sightings.

If, despite this not yet explained possibility, the extra-terrestrial origin of the phenomena should be confirmed, this would prove the existence of an intelligent interplanetary relationship. What such a fact might mean for humanity cannot be predicted. But it would put us, without doubt, in the extremely precarious position of primitive communities today in conflict with the superior culture of the whites: the rudder would be removed from our grasp, and we should lose our pleasant dreams.

Naturally, it would be chiefly our science and our technique which would have to be consigned to the dust-heap. What such a catastrophe would mean on the moral plane we can in some sort judge by the ruin of primitive cultures of which we are witnesses. That the construction of these machines proves a scientific technique, and one immensely superior to ours, admits of no two opinions. Just as the Pax Britannica put an end to the disputes between the tribes of Africa, so our world could unroll its Iron Curtain and use it as scrap iron, with all the millions of tons of guns, warships and munitions. This would not be very serious. But we would have been "discovered" and colonised -- sufficient reason for universal panic!

If we wish to avoid such a catastrophe, the authorities in possession of important information should not hesitate to enlighten the public as soon and as completely as possible and should, above all, stop these ridiculous antics of mysteries and vague allusions.

So, after all, there is nothing out-of-the-way in the statements of ancient documents that all sorts of signs and miracles appear in the skies, or that people look to the skies for a marvellous intervention coming to the aid of human incapacity. Our present day observations of Saucers coincide -- mutatis mutandis -- with the many reports going back into antiquity, though not in such astonishing frequency as in these times. But the possibility of the destruction of a whole continent, which is today in the hands of politicians, has never existed previously.

6. More on the Ray Palmer's life and role in flying saucer culture can be read at The Positively True Story of Kenneth Arnold - Part 4.

7. The song heard by Orfeo Angelucci whilst onboard the flying saucer -- Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Tread -- is available in many versions at YouTube.

8. Music from Howard Menger's Authentic Music from Another Planet is available at YouTube.

9. In Adamski's July, 1951, Fate article, Adamski told of "Tony Delmonte", who had been at "Demsey's Ranch" and who had counted 204 flying saucers on the same night that Adamski had counted 184. In Adamski's book, Flying Saucers Have Landed, the names changed to "Tony Belmonte" and "Dempsey's Ranch" (the number 204, however, remained the same).

10. Interestingly, George Adamski does appear in Project Blue Book files concerning an incident at Palomar in November, 1949.

The background to the incident was this: in addition to the observatory at Palomar -- operated by the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) -- there was a cosmic-ray measuring project on the grounds of the observatory being operated under the auspices of the U.S. Naval Electronics Laboratory (NEL), located in San Diego, California (with the NEL being an arm of the Office of Naval Research -- ONR -- located at Pasadena).

In October, 1949, the "counting equipment" registered a series of strange readings. According to a November 7, 1949, NEL letter signed by Dr. Alfred B. Focke, it had measured "estremely [sic] high counting rates" on 22 occasions between October 14 and October 24, 1949...

Although the above and following reports were located in the declassified files of Project Blue Book, they actually were part of an investigation by the Office of Naval Research and the NEL. The report also included a summary of the events...


Abouth [sic] the 16th October 1949, one of the scientists at the California Institute of Technology reported to the Office of Naval Research, Washington, that he had heard a fantastic story of flying discs being observed near the Observatory at Mt. Palomar; the unusual feature of the report being that a recording Geiger counter was so activated at the time of these sightings that it went completely off-scale. If true, of course, this meant possibly that the flying discs were powered by some form of atomic energy. Two different men at the Palomar Observatory had witnessed these incidents. Contact was made with Dr. Alfred B. Focke of the Naval Electronics Laboratory, who was operating the recording Geiger counter on a continuing basis. Dr. Focke went to Palomar to investigate the stories, and brought back the tape showing the unusual oscillations of the pen. Dr. Focke could offer no explanation although he was skeptical of any flying disc theory.

The eminent physicist, Dr. H.V. Neher, of the California Institute of Technology, was consulted and he gave as his opinion:

(a) It was not likely that the reaction of the Geiger counter was the result of an atomically powered plane, inasmuch as the pen went off-scale and returned to scale in a matter of seconds; whereas the polluted air from an atomic engine would tend to linger in the vicinity for some minutes.

(b) It was most likely that the electrical relaying or amplifying mechanism of the Geiger counter had been activated by a plane's radio, altimeter, or radar mechanism. This was particularly true if the Geiger counter and amplifier were not shielded.

Dr. Focke of NEL reported that the Geiger counter and its mechanism was not completely shielded, and he agreed that it was most probable that the plane's altimeter or radar had tipped the mechanism of the Geiger counter.

In the meanwhile, an effort was made to find out if planes from the Naval Air Station at San Diego had been in the vicinity of Palomar on the dates in question, i.e., the 14th and 17th October. A negative reply was recieved [sic] but this was not considered conclusive for any one of a number of reasons, including the fact that the planes may have been operating from some other field.

Arrangements were made for a plane to fly over Palomar and use its altimeter and radar to see if it would acitvate [sic] the Geiger counter. This was on/or about 21 October. Upon receiving a negative reply as to any unusual behavior of the Geiger counter, plans were made with Commander, Air Force, Pacific Fleet, for a series of flights to be made at various times and altitudes in the vicinity of Palomar, using radio, altimeter, and radar. Both conventional and jet planes were used. These tests were run on 9 November 1949. The results were completely negative, i.e., the Geiger counter made no unusual recording during any of these nearby flights.

Another part of the naval investigation were reports on personal statements, which is where George Adamski appears (although his name is misspelled as "Adamsky" throughout)...


(Mr. Marshall is Manager of Public Relations -- a man of about 48 years of age, who has been with the Palomar Observatory since July 1937.)

On 14 October 1949, at about 1515, Mr. Marshall left the Observatory and started to drive down the Mountain to his home. The weather was good, clear overhead, some clouds about 45° from the horizon and below. After going a short distance down the road, he observed some objects proceeding in a north-westerly direction, height about 5,000 feet above him, i.e., about 10,500 feet above sea level. Because of the unusual appearance of these objects, and of the unusual sound, he stopped his car and got out to have a better look. He reported that he observed no wings or tail structure, the objects, numbering about 16 or 18, were flying in a perfect formation -- a V of V's and moving very rapidly. The sound was similar to that of jets, but not quite the same. (Mr. Marshall has had occasion to observe all types of aircraft frequently, and is cognizant of all usual types.) In a matter of seconds the planes disappeared to the northwest. He described them as being of silver-like color; no vapor trails were observed. Due to the high speed of motion, sound appeared to be about 35° to 40° behind the line of sight.

Shortly after this incident Mr. Marshall called Mr. Traxler and advised him of what he had seen. A short time later Mr. Traxler went into the room off the Power-house where the recording Geiger counter, placed there by the Naval Electronics Laboratroy [sic], was located, and noticed that the pen had made an off-scale motion to the right, some time before. The time appeared to be approximately 1315, i.e. the same time at which Mr. Marshall had observed the unusual objects overhead. An effort was made to report the incident to the Naval Electronics Laboratory that week-end, but contact could not be made with interested authorities. Dr. Focke of NEL was advised of the situation on the following Monday, and commenced his own investigation.

It should be noted here that this Geiger counter had never gone off-scale before, except when it was usually operated during calibration tests.


(Mr. Traxler is the Assistant superintendent (Electrical) for the Observatory and has been with it since 1935. He is a man of about 40 years of age.)

Mr. Traxler was first involved in the flying saucer story when he noted the operation of the Geiger counter as mentioned in the above report of Mr. Marshall. Although he is an electrician of considerable ability and responsibility, i.e., he operates and maintains the complicated electrical apparatus of the Observatory including the big telescope, he could offer no explanation as to the action of the Geiger counter.

On Monday morning, 17 October 1949, at about 0720, Mr. Traxler was in the Power-house where the Geiger counter is located. While looking out of the window he saw a small black object without visible projections, going in a southwesterly direction at a high rate of speed. The sky was clear except for clouds which were beginning to form at a level estimated at about 1,500 feet above the Observatory, i.e., about 7,000 feet above sea level. The object was beneath the cloud cover. At first he was very reluctant to state what he thought he had seen.. [sic, two period marks] He said that at first he thought it might have been a bird. After making his observation he turned to the Geiger counter and noted that it had just jumped off-scale. The pen of the recorder returned to normal in a matter of seconds.

Mr. Traxler also reported that he had observed about a week later (possibly about 21 October 1949) a large object going in an esterly [sic] or southeasterly direction at a very high speed. It occurred at about 1430. Although he could see the object clearly, there were no projections whatever in the way of wings or tail surfaces. He observed it for about 8 seconds before it disappeared. No vapor trail was left by the object. He described it as being elongated, but slightly curved like a banana. No aberration of the Geiger counter was noted during this incident.


(Mr. Adamsky is the propriator [sic] of Palomar Gardens Gardens [sic] Cafe, Junction of Henshaw AND Palomar Roads, Valley Center, California.)

While the representatives of ONR, Pasadena, and the Naval Electronics Laboratory were proceeding to Mt. Palomar to investigate the flying saucer story, they stopped at the Cafe at the foot of the mountain, which is operated by Mr. Adamsky. Quite by coincidence Mr. Adamsky told of a number of unusual observations made by him. Outside his cafe are two miniature observatories containing a 15 inch and 6 inch telescope. A number of different stories were told by Mr. Adamsky, among which the following are pertinent.

He stated that recently he had seen, on Friday, 21 October, at about 1430, a cigar-shaped object, pointed at both ends without projections, and was apparently well stabilized. The altitude 7,500, was estimated for the object. The object was dark in color and appeared to be [Illegible -- Illegible] feet or better in length. After standing still for an appreciable length of time, it headed upwards at a terrific rate of speed, leaving no vapor trail. This observation was made with the naked eye. It should be noted that this observation appears to have been made about the same time that Mr. Traxler of the Palomar Observatory sighted a similar object.

About two years ago Mr. Adamsky had observed an object through one of his telescopes. He stated that the object came in, was relatively still for a while, and then disappeared rapidly. The object appeared to be round and had around it a ring of some sort, such as the planet Saturn. When the object was first sighted the outside ring seemed to rotate, and upon the objects [sic] getting away, the conter [sic] part appeared to rotate in a direction opposite to that of the ring surronding [sic] it.

Mr. Adamsky showed the visitors a newspaper clipping, where he had addressed a local Chamber of Commerce a t a [sic] luncheon meeting, narrating one or two stories of his unusual observations of flying saucers. When he asked the gentlemen present if any of them had ever observed similar objects, fully 25 Or [sic, capitalized] 30 of the members present acknowledged immediately that they had seen similar objects, but had been reluctant to report them for fear people would think they were "off the beam".

The above report throws new light on Adamski's claims. In his July, 1951, article for Fate he claimed that one night in August, 1947, he had seen the parade of 184 flying saucers, and that the next morning...

The same morning a group of scientists stopped in and asked me if I had seen anything unusual in the sky the night before.

I told them what I had seen and what Mr. Delmonte had told me.

I gave them the two different totals and they indicated the larger number was more nearly correct. This was before the big mirror had been brought up to Mount Palomar.

In that same article he later stated...

Early in November, 1950, having heard much of me and my pictures, a group of high ranking military men whose names and branch of service I cannot give since they are all still in active service, came to my place to see my pictures and to question me concerning them; also to look through my telescopes. All of these men have been well trained in aerial photography and in reading aerial photographs. When I handed them an enlargement of this picture, one of them remarked, "Why that object is casting its shadow upon the moon."

These two alleged visits -- in August, 1947, and November, 1950 -- occur on either side of the documented interview of Adamski in November, 1949. The closest Adamski comes to referring to the interview is in fact the following from his 1953 book, Flying Saucers Have Landed...

Then late in 1949 four men came into the cafe at Palomar Gardens. Two of them had been in before and we had talked a little about the flying saucers. This day it was around noon, and raining -- really pouring. They ordered some lunch and we began talking about flying saucers again. One of these men was Mr J.P. Maxfield, and another was his partner, Mr G.L. Bloom, both of the Point Loma Navy Electronics Laboratory near San Diego. The other two men were from a similar setup in Pasadena. One was in officer's uniform.

They asked me if I would co-operate with them in trying to get photographs of strange craft moving through space, since I had smaller instruments than those at the big Observatory. I could manoeuvre mine more easily than those on top could be moved, especially my 6-incher, which was without a dome. I could point it much as pointing a gun at ducks.

My 15-incher under a dome would not be of so much help since the ships move fairly fast through space and there usually was not time to move both dome and telescope.

They said that they were going up to the top and ask for the same co-operation from the men at the big Observatory.

I asked them then where I should look to be most likely to see the strange objects which they were asking me to try to photograph. We discussed the pros and cons of the possibility of bases being on the moon for inter-planetary craft. And finally the moon was decided upon as a good spot for careful observation...

Thus, when the military requested my co-operation in trying to photograph strange objects moving through space, with the aid of my 6-inch telescope, I was more than willing.

Certainly the timeframe and general description matches the visit to Adamski described in the report...

While the representatives of ONR, Pasadena, and the Naval Electronics Laboratory were proceeding to Mt. Palomar to investigate the flying saucer story, they stopped at the Cafe at the foot of the mountain, which is operated by Mr. Adamsky. Quite by coincidence Mr. Adamsky told of a number of unusual observations made by him. Outside his cafe are two miniature observatories containing a 15 inch and 6 inch telescope. A number of different stories were told by Mr. Adamsky...

But considering that the visit was during the time of the Geiger counter incidents, the suggestion that Adamski should try to capture photos of saucers flying from bases on the moon is nonsensical, to say the least -- which is amplified by the summary which concluded the Naval Electronics Laboratory's investigative report...


In the opinion of the personnel of ONR, Pasadena, the objects sighted were probably conventional aircraft which appeared to be abnormal in design due to lighting conditions.

The tripping of the Geiger counter mechanism is unexplainable. Ordinary circuit interruptions, mechanical and/or electrical disturbances, in the vicinity of Mt. Palomar are apparently not the cause. It is physically possible for someone to operate the controls on a Geiger counter so as to have the recording pen go off-scale. It is thus possible, but most unlikely that some member of the Observatory staff has been playing a practical joke.

The attached graph (Encl. 3 ) showing frequency of these Geiger counter off-scale motions, is of some interest. It will be noted that there was a definite peak of these occurrences on the 17th October. The graph (Encl. 2) showing the time of occurrences during the day gives a random distribution.

At the time of preparing this report, none of the scientists who have been interrogated (ONR, Pasadena; California Institute of Technology, and the Naval Electronics Laboratory) has been able to offer a satisfactory explanation of these phenomena.

In the appended reports the question arises as to the degree of reliability of the three persons whose stories are reported. This is a difficult thing to do, but the evaluation of ONR, Pasadena, is as follows:

Mr. Harley C. Marshall -- Moderately reliable

Mr. B.B. Traxler -- Highly reliable

Mr. George Adamsky -- A low degree of reliability

The personnel of the Observatory and of the California Institute of Technology who jointly operate the Observatory with the Carnegie Institute, have made urgent requests that no publicity be given. They are afraid that if stories were published, it would give adverse publicity to the Observatory, which they are, most anxious to avoid. Accordingly, it is strongly urged that these stories not be made available to the press.

In view of the "urgent requests" to avoid publicity, it is highly doubtful, then, that the men shared any details of the reason for their visit to the observatory (which would be highly unlikely even without the "urgent requests"), or did anything other than to listen to Adamski's "number of different stories" -- which by all accounts Adamski proactively shared with all and sundry who came into the cafe. Any suggestion of Adamski trying to photograph saucers -- if made at all -- would most likely have come as an unsolicited offer from Adamski. And had such in fact occurred, the idea that Adamski should try to photograph saucers flying from bases on the moon indicates the facetious nature of the proposal.

Finally, as noted above, the investigation was conducted by naval officials, and normally would not be found in the Air Force Project Blue Book files. However, in 1952, it came to the attention of Captain Ruppelt -- at the time the head of Blue Book -- when he was investigating similar reports from scientists at Los Alamos, one of whom had been at Palomar at the time and who had also told others at Los Alamos. As a result, the navy report was obtained and included in Project Blue Book files.

11. Footage from George Adamski's saucer films is available at YouTube.

12. One of the most interesting overviews of George Adamski is the relatively recent A Critical Appraisal Of George Adamski by Marc Hallet, available at

13. Leonard Stringfield's Inside Saucer Post... 3.0 Blue is available through the "UFO Books Online" section of the Library portal of this site.

14. The missing plane referred to in the APRO Bulletin article "The Case of The Missing Y33" was never found. A wide search turned up only an oil slick on Tippecanoe Lake in Kosciusko County, Indiana. A collection of news stories on the search can be found at Kosciusko County's Yesteryear in Print. A more personalized four-part investigation can be read at inkFreeNews -- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

15. By 1957 there were three terms commonly used for the phenomenon: flying saucers, unidentified aerial objects (UAO) and unidentified flying objects (UFO). The first, flying saucers, had been in use since 1947 and had referred to (along with the term "flying discs") the shape of the classic "saucer". The origin of the term "flying saucer" was attributed to Kenneth Arnold, whose sighting had started the era of modern reports. For years Arnold denied that he originated the term, insisting -- as he did, for instance, in a 1952 interview -- that his original statement was that "They flew like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water". However in an article Arnold wrote for the October, 1957, issue of Amazing Stories he seemed to say otherwise...

It gives me a strange feeling, even now, to realize that although the saucers were there before then, I was actually discoverer of the disks, and that I gave them their name. As I look back I regret the comparison that I made: "they were like saucers flying through the air." For ten years I've been the butt of the very unfunny type of joke that brings in a complete set of additional dinnerware to go along with the saucers. Maybe if I called them "unidentified flying objects" nobody would have paid attention to my sighting -- but as it was, the public fancy was gripped by my descriptive words, and flying saucers they are, even today -- and I expect they always will be.

But in fact by 1957 the term "flying saucer" had mostly negative connotations in the public mind, well described by Paris Flammonde in his 1971 book The Age of Flying Saucers...

Before one can tackle the enigma of space, one is confronted by the difficulties of language, specifically of jargon. A word or term readily understood by the long-time investigator or disciple of ufology or saucerology is likely to be completely misinterpreted by the general reader. In some instances such ambiguity has created confusion in the reports of serious analysts. The outstanding, even classic, example of this lies in the failure of many writers to distinguish between Flying Saucers and Unidentified Flying Objects.

Near midnight on July 19, 1952, radar equipment at the Washington National Airport picked up eight objects. They were immediately recognized as not being aircraft, as they varied their speeds from about one hundred miles per hour to a phenomenal seven thousand miles per hour. Simultaneously, visual observations were being made by a number of air crews and tower personnel. Suddenly, the unknowns vanished.

That is a UFO, or Unidentified Flying Object, report.

On sunny, clear November 20 of the same year George Adamski and a small group of friends were driving in the magnificent desert near Parker, Arizona, when an immense silver cigar-shaped vessel appeared and hovered overhead. Moving away from the party, some distance along the road Adamski encountered a scout ship of the type commonly pictured in response to the words "Flying Saucer." Beside it stood a lovely longhaired blond chap whom the wandering Adamski regarded as "unusually beautiful." Since both men were of a superior order, a few clever gestures served as an adequate language, and Adamski established that the visitor was a Venusian. After this brief exchange Orthon (whom he proved to be) spun off.

That is a Flying Saucer report.

Flammonde's 1971 distinction itself proved to have occurred in an interim period, as soon after that time stories of crashed discs and alien contact would come to be associated with the term "UFO" to the near exclusion of its classic definition.

Meanwhile, the term Unidentified Aerial Object (UAO) would be used internally by the Air Force from 1948 up until 1952, and even sometimes thereafter. At that time Captain Ruppelt was head of Project Blue Book and would later claim credit for creation of the term UFO. However variations of the term "unidentified flying object" were used as far back as September, 1947, where a report on a sighting carried the subject line of "Unidentified Object in Flight Observed by Pan American Pilots", and were found in Air Force reports by 1948, as for instance an August, 1948, report with the subject line "Unidentified Flying Objects". It may be that Captain Ruppelt was claiming credit only for the acronym "UFO", but if so it was a shortening of the use of the term "UFOB", which appears in Air Force reports starting in 1949, before Ruppelt's arrival.

In 1957, there was still some competition amongst the terms, with flying saucer being the common term used by the masses, and in magazine articles (which used the term almost exclusively up through the early 1960s). The term "UFO", however, began to make it into the titles of books on the phenomenon by 1955, starting with Morris K. Jessup's The Case for the UFO.

In its January, 1957, issue, Coral Lorenzen would announce the most appropriate term was UAO, with a slight change in its traditional meaning...


From this time henceforth "flying saucers" or unidentified flying objects will be referred to as UAO (unconventional aerial objects) which we feel most nearly approximates a clear description of the whole. A little thought will clarify our reasoning, we believe.

Meanwhile, NICAP would in its acronym refer to "aerial phenomena" while naming its newsletter UFO Investigator. And in its July, 1957, premiere issue was the following...


The following suggestion was made by a member who asked not to be named:

"I hope that NICAP will soon educate the public to use of the term UFO for Unidentified Flying Objects instead of flying saucers. I believe this will help to end ridicule."

NICAP comment: We agree with this reasoning. It is unfortunate that the phrase "flying saucers" ever was coined. However, for a considerable time we shall have to use both terms, since the name "f1ying saucers" has been so firmly established.

In spite of this, NICAP head Donald Keyhoe would title his 1960 book Flying Saucers: Top Secret.

16. In a September, 1957, "Confidential Bulletin to NICAP Members" Keyhoe included among its many items this update to NICAP's offer to contactees...

CONTACTEE LETTERS. In reply to letters to the most prominent "contactees" who claim contact with UFOs or space beings, NICAP has received answers in full from Truman Bethurum and George Van Tassel. Both men answered the eight questions listed in No. 1 issue of our magazine. General letters without answers to all the questions were received from Daniel W. Fry, George Adamski and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Menger. Mr. Van Tassel agreed to a lie detector test, though stating he believed such tests of no value. Those disagreeing with the need for a test: Mr. Bethurum, Mr. Menger and Mr. Fry. Mr. Adamski agreed providing that the NICAP panel, certain armed forces officers and officials up to the President also should take such tests. Mr. Menger did not agree with the need for either public or private hearings by NICAP. To date replies have not been received from Mr. Buck Nelson or Mr. Orfeo Angelucci ... Since this brief summary cannot include personal reasons and opinions, these are covered as fully as possible in the coming issue. We also are again requesting detailed answers where not received and are also querying several persons who claim to have communicated (but not necessarily by physical contact) with UFOs and beings from outer space.

There were also updates in subsequent regular bulletins, but as far as is known it never proceeded as far as lie-detector tests.

17. The following is the original report from Captain Hull as reprinted in the CSI New York Bulletin, found in the declassified files of Project Blue Book, with names redacted...

Hull's original 1953 piece for The Air Line Pilot Magazine, titled "Obituary of the Flying Saucers", can be read in full at Project 1947.

18. The second issue of NICAP's UFO Investigator also carried this interesting breakdown of better-known UFO groups at the time...

But as mentioned in the post, new groups or newsletters were in a seemingly constant state of flux between creation and dissolution.

19. Military "Zulu" time is the same as UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). UTC is explained well at

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is often interchanged or confused with Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). But GMT is a time zone and UTC is a time standard.

Although GMT and UTC share the same current time in practice, there is a basic difference between the two:

GMT is a time zone officially used in some European and African countries. The time can be displayed using both the 24-hour format (0 - 24) or the 12-hour format (1 - 12 am/pm).

UTC is not a time zone, but a time standard that is the basis for civil time and time zones worldwide. This means that no country or territory officially uses UTC as a local time....

Neither UTC nor GMT ever change for Daylight Saving Time (DST). However, some of the countries that use GMT switch to different time zones during their DST period.

For example, the United Kingdom is not on GMT all year, it uses British Summer Time (BST), which is one hour ahead of GMT, during the summer months.

Military Zulu times may or may not include the digits for the date so that, for instance, 252342Z is the 25th day of the month, at the 23rd hour and 42nd minute. For the Zulu times used in the military reports for the March, 1957 events at Oxnard, Ca., Z-time was 8 hours ahead of local Oxnard, California time.

20. Major Marecki's report on the Oxnard sightings included the following...

11. Mr. Beatty, astronomer at San Bernardino Valley College, SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA, supplied the following information: A bright star, ARTURUS [sic, should be Arcturus], was present in the northeastern sky slightly below a forty five (45) degree elevation during the time of the sighting. Two (2) lesser stars, POLLUX and CASTOR, possibly giving a reddish appearance, were also present in the northeastern sky just above the horizon at the time of the sighting.

In the Blue Book file there is an unsigned and undated typewritten document regarding this...

Regarding the Oxnard case, again I raise my perennial question -- didn't any of the many people concerned have binoculars or a camera? This always seems to be the case!

The astronomer you consulted apparently did not have a good starchart because while it is so that Arcturus was in the eastern sky, Castor and Pollux were certainly nowhere around but far in the western skies! It would be my opinion that the primary contender in this case was the star Vega, which at that time was low, very low, on the northeastern horizon and rose to a fair height by 3:30 a.m. Still it is always difficult for me to understand how so obvious an object like a bright star can possibly cause so much confusion on the part of several people. If it were only one observer, then anything can happen, but I am always amazed that people are so easily confused, in this case seven police officers!

The trajectories or trails of the objects sighted certainly matched the diurnal paths of the star Vega and other stars in its vicinity. This makes it all the harder to understand how some of the observers could ascribe fast motion and "speeding up" to this sighting. Your point is well taken, if these things move rapidly and speeded up, why were they in sight so long!

As to the author, the likely candidates would be either Dr. Hynek or Dr. Menzel, who was allowed special access to Blue Book files when researching his debunking books and magazine articles, and whose comments on incidents often were inserted into Blue Book files.

21. The story of Virgil Atkinson, told in "Navy Man Says Chased By Light" in the March 25, 1957, edition of the Oxnard Press-Courier, is supplemented in a rather odd entry, being apparently the personal statement of Atkinson, submitted on July 8, 2009 to the MUFON Case Management System...























And in fact, there is a 1992 registered patent by Virgil E. Atkinson (#5088949) for an "Oscillation-driven vehicle"...

Atkinson Patent
22. News of the letter of "R.E. Straith" to Adamski made an appearance in the March-April 1958 edition of England's Flying Saucer Review...

FSR Adamski
After the State Department labeled the letter a hoax, the next issue of Flying Saucer Review, May-June 1958, suggested the denial was a coverup...

FSR Adamski
Finally, the July-August 1958 issue of Flying Saucer Review carried Adamski's personal rejection of the letter being a hoax...

 FSR Adamski
 FSR Adamski
Issues of Flying Saucer Review, the APRO Bulletin and the NICAP UFO Investigator are available through the "UFO Specialty Publications" section of the Library portal of this site.

23. In the January 10, 1985, issue of Saucer Smear -- Jim Moseley's successor newsletter to Nexus and Saucer News -- Moseley revealed that the "R.E. Straith" letter was indeed a hoax...


Just a few months before Gray Barker's untimely death, your editor told him (again) that we intended to Confess to the "R.E. Straith" hoax if he were to die ahead of us. Barker simply said, "Oh, why do that?"

Why indeed? Hardly anyone remembers or cares very much any more, anyhow. But Kal K. Korff cares, having begun his own investigation of the matter several months ago -- claiming that new techniques could pick up latent fingerprints on the original letter, even after all this time. (We still wonder about that!) We told him, quite honestly, that we have no idea where the original letter is, or who has taken possession of it since Adamski's death. And Richard Ogden must care, since he, as a wild-eyed pro-Adamski raver over the years, was a frequent suspect. And Timothy Good of England should care most of all, having written a 1983 book called "George Adamski: The Untold Story", together with an elderly lady named Lou Zinsstag. In their book, these researchers concluded that (as Good put it in a letter to "Smear"), "much of the evidence is circumstantial, but on balance there is more in favor of the letter being genuine."

What, then, was the Straith Letter? We don't have a carbon, but we remember it as beginning "My Dear Professor", in deference to Adamski's self-appointed title. It went on to say that some people in the State Department, including the undersigned, felt that Adamski's claim to have met a spaceman on the California desert in 1952 was valid. The letter was written on official State Dept. stationery, and was signed "R.E. Straith" of the Cultural Exchange Committee (which does not exist, nor did it ever.)

For many years, your editor used to visit Gray Barker in Clarksburg, West Virginia for a weekend every few months -- i.e., whenever it fitted in with our mutual schedules. On one particular occasion in 1957 (?), a young friend of Barker's with a relative high in the Government, had provided Barker with a packet of genuine official stationery from various Government agencies. To the best of our present recollection, through the mists of Time, Barker and I wrote not one but seven (count them!) naughty letters that evening -- emboldened by the evil of alcohol and fully enjoying the hilarity of this chance to throw long-term Confusion into the UFO field.

Of the seven letters, only the one signed "R.E. Straith" (in deference to "R.E. Palmer") achieved immortality. One of the others went to Coral Lorenzen of APRO; another went to Laura Mundo, a long-time pro-Adamski researcher; still another went to one of the Inner Circle of the old Civilian Saucer Intelligence of New York (CSI) -- either to Isabel Davis, Ted Bloecher, or Lex Mebane. There are two of the seven that we can't remember anything about at this stage, but all were written on a different genuine, official letterhead. The seventh and most frightening of the letters, purported to be an official reprimand to your "Smear" editor's father, written by a Government official objecting to his having indulged in extreme right-wing political activities while on a military pension. Your editor returned to Fort Lee, New Jersey via Washington, D.C. (as he often did), following that weekend. Whereas Barker had written the letters on his own typewriter and signed them in your Editor's presence, it was your Editor himself who pursued the matter by actually mailing them from Washington. Not all seven, mind you, but only six. Wisely, he decided that the letter threatening to revoke his father's military pension was "too hot to handle", and threw it out. (General Moseley subsequently died in 1960, at the age of 86.)

There ensued an FBI investigation, not so much out of fear that Adamski's claims would prosper, but because of an understandable Governmental concern about misuse of official stationery. (After all, had we been Evil, we might have used the State Dept. stationery to try to start World War III!) Barker was eventually questioned by the FBI, although your Editor never was. Barker ended up mangling his offending typewriter and "burying" it in various walls. He was so paranoid about the matter that he never quite told us what he did with it exactly, but needless to say, the typewriter was never found.

Eventually the FBI investigation was dropped, either (a) because no proof could be obtained as to who wrote the letter; or (b) because it was so obviously a harmless hoax; or (c) because the father of the man who provided the stationery put pressure on the Government to lay off. We really don't know which factor was most important, and quite possibly all three factors were involved.

Those researchers who chose not to believe Adamski anyhow, merely assumed the letter was a hoax and let it go at that. Some suspected that Barker/Moseley were behind it, and this may indeed be the Top Secret reason why Walt Andrus has never allowed your humble editor to join MUFON. A 1950's era researcher named Lonzo Dove wrote an accurate, detailed expose of the letter as having been written on Barker's typewriter. He made the mistake of submitting it to SAUCER NEWS for publication. Not surprisingly we turned it down, and Dove never forgave us!

Other researchers who chose to believe Adamski assumed the letter was genuine. Their belief was bolstered by the fact that, when Richard Ogden and others sent certified mail to R.E. Straith at the State Dept., Straith always signed for his letters! Thus, by "saucer logic", Straith had to exist!

Adamski reveled in the letter, and kept showing it around to bolster his claims, in spite of Government warnings not to do so. Did even he believe it was genuine? We'll never know for sure.

And finally -- is your editor sorry for what he and Gray Barker did? Your editor never saw any great harm in it, but we can easily understand why Completely Serious Researchers were offended. Was Gray Barker sorry? Only sorry that the Feds turned out to have no sense of humor! So -- with one less mystery to solve than yesterday, let us all Press On now, to a reasonable and hopefully accurate solution to the flying saucer enigma.

24. James Moseley's father was General George Van Horn Moseley.

25. In 1966 Jim Moseley and Gray Barker perpetuated a hoax film, known as the "Lost Creek Saucer". From Wikipedia...

The Lost Creek Saucer sighting was a hoax brainstormed by Gray Barker and James Moseley in early 1966. The idea was to produce footage of a flying saucer. On July 26, 1966, in Lost Creek, West Virginia they had John Sheets -- one of Barker's researchers -- hold a ceramic "boogie" saucer on a fishing pole in front of a car, while Moseley drove and Barker filmed.

Afterwards, Moseley played the film during his UFO lectures, and Barker sold copies of the footage via his mail-order film business. Both men continued to claim that Sheets had innocently recorded the saucer landing... Moseley later wrote in his book "In addition to showing the film on New York–area television and at one of the Saucer News monthly lectures, I incorporated it and the story behind it into my American Program Bureau talk. I had decided I needed a 'prop' for my lectures"...

The Lost Creek footage, introduced during a lecture by Gray Barker, via YouTube...

Of equal historical interest is a video of Moseley himself promoting the Lost Creek footage.

26. In the December 15, 1984, issue of Saucer Smear, Moseley wrote of the passing of best friend Gray Barker...


Famed flying saucer author & publisher Gray Barker is dead after many sad days in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Charleston, West Virginia. He had returned home from another hospital after a severe illness in October (reported in our last issue of "Smear"), but he was stricken again a few days thereafter, and this time he did not recover.

Your editor knew Gray Barker in greater depth than any other ufologist knew him. We have been close friends since 1953. Barker was one of the key figures of the whole ufological movement, having been brought into our Scene by the Flatwoods, W. Va. monster case (circa 1951), in the investigation of which he shared the glory with the late Ivan T. Sanderson.

Then came (circa 1952) the old "Saucerian" magazine, which, far more than your "Smear" editor's SAUCER NEWS, set a standard for ufological reporting that has never been equaled in the intervening years.

By "ufological reporting" we mean the spinning of a yarn into good English that would excite and titilate [sic] the reader. Probably by the mid-1950's Barker realized that he was functioning only as an entertainer and folklorist rather than a factual reporter, but he enjoyed the role and played it exceedingly well. Perhaps his high point in ufology came circa 1957 with the publication of his only "real" book, "They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers" -- a somewhat factual account of the classic Albert K. Bender case. Bender had claimed to have been "hushed up" by a sinister & mysterious group of "Three Men in Black", and thereafter this phrase became a permanent part of saucer lore, having been engrained forever in our consciousness by Barker.

Over the years, Barker was an English teacher; a motion picture theatre owner; a salesman for audio-visual equipment; and several other things in addition to his extensive ufological activities. At one time he was West Virginia's largest "booker " of movie films for indoor and drive-in theatres.

By the 1970's Barker was starting to "wind down". His near-genius mind became immeshed [sic] in mere financial survival, through terribly mediocre literary activities. There were rumors -- then and also much earlier -- of homosexuality and alcoholism. There was, most certainly, a basis of truth in these rumors. However, we will not descend below our usual level of bad taste by going into details about any of this, at this time.

With Barker's passing, we must surely close the door on the "classic " era of saucer research - an era which really ended in the 1950's, with mere echos in more recent years. Gray Barker should have lived forever, but he didn't.

27. Gray Barker's article on the Flatwoods, W.Va. incident -- "The Monster And The Saucer" in the January, 1953, issue of Fate magazine -- is included in the post Here There Be Monsters, available through the Past Weeks portal of this site. This was Barker's first foray into the subject.

28. Gray Barker was one of 3,478 AIDS-related deaths in the United States in 1984.

The first public notice of a new and terrible threat to public health -- long before anyone knew what AIDS was -- had appeared three years before Barker's death in a July 3, 1981, article in the New York Times headlined "Rare Cancer Seen In 41 Homosexuals", which included the following...

Dr. Curran said there was no apparent danger to nonhomosexuals from contagion. "The best evidence against contagion, " he said, "is that no cases have been reported to date outside the homosexual community or in women."

Dr. Friedman-Kien said he had tested nine of the victims and found severe defects in their immunological systems. The patients had serious malfunctions of two types of cells called T and B cell lymphocytes, which have important roles in fighting infections and cancer.

Soon the syndrome acquired the name GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency), called "gay cancer" in the mainstream media and a "gay plague" sent as punishment by a wrothful god as pronounced by figures of the religious right such as Jerry Falwell. As a "homosexual disease" it was largely ignored by the Reagan Administration.

In 1982 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) renamed GRID as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). By the end of 1982 there had been 771 cases of AIDS reported to date, of which 618 people had died. In 1983, the HIV virus (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) was isolated and identified by the Pasteur Institute in France. By the end of 1983 there had been 2,807 cases of AIDS reported to date in the U.S., of which 2,118 people had died. In 1984 -- the year of Barker's death -- there had been 7,209 cases of AIDS reported to date in the U.S., of which 5,596 people had died.

During these years the blood banking and hemophilia pharmaceutical interests strongly opposed measures to protect the blood supply due to cost considerations. As a result the HIV virus began to pass through blood transfusions and hemophiliac clotting factors. The National Hemophilia Foundation estimates that by the mid-1980s "about half of all people with hemophilia became infected with HIV".

AIDS patients in these early years were subject to a bizarre array of opportunistic infections, such as diseases normally found in birds, cats, and other animals. Many spent their last days suffering from severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as distorted vision or even blindness along with experiencing extreme states of dementia. In 1984, the year of Barker's death, presidential spokesman Larry Speakes told a press a conference "I haven't heard him [President Reagan] express concern" about AIDS.

In September, 1985, four years and eight months into his first term, President Reagan said the word "AIDS" in public for the first time.

To date, approximately 1,200,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with AIDS, of which approximately 650,000 people have died. Worldwide, approximately 78 million people have been infected to date, of which approximately 39 million people have died.

29. Much more on James Moseley can be read at In Honor of Jim Moseley.

30. The fighter pilot involved in the January 1, 1957, encounter over Guam was 1st Lt. Ted Brunson. An article in the February 21, 2016, Pacific Daily News about Brunson includes the recollections of Brunson's son, who provides fascinating details including that his father "said it would do circles around him and then go over and above and below and circle him the opposite way, just kind of toying with him".

First Lt. Brunson's encounter would be classified "unidentified", becoming one of the 701 Blue Book "unknowns".

General Watson31. The debunking approach of Project Blue Book in 1957 undoubtedly reflected the fact that Brigadier General Harold Watson was at the time Commander of the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where Blue Book was located. Eight years earlier then-Lt. Col. Watson had been chief of ATIC, under which Project Sign -- the first official Air Force investigation into the saucers -- was transformed into the fervently anti-saucer Project Grudge. In late 1951 Watson was transferred to the staff of General Lauris Norstaadt, Commander of Allied Air Forces in Central Europe. It was during the period of Watson's absence that Blue Book became serious about its investigations. In September, 1954, General Watson resumed command of ATIC, molding Blue Book back into line with his anti-saucer approach. Also reflecting this attitude was General Watson's assistant adjutant at the time, Captain Wallace W. Elwood, who was consistently vituperative in his written memos about civilian UFO organizations.

32. The story behind the involvement of the 4602nd Air Intelligence Squadron in Blue Book investigations was told by Captain Ruppelt in his 1956 book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects...

Project Blue Book got a badly needed shot in the arm when an unpublicized but highly important change took place: another intelligence agency began to take over all field investigations.

Ever since I'd returned to the project, the orders had been to build it up -- get more people -- do what the panel recommended. But when I'd asked for more people, all I got was a polite "So sorry." So, I did the next best thing and tried to find some organization already in being which could and would help us. I happened to be expounding my troubles one day at Air Defense Command Headquarters while I was briefing General Burgess, ADC's Director of Intelligence, and he told me about his 4602nd Air Intelligence Squadron, a specialized intelligence unit that had recently become operational. Maybe it could help -- he'd see what he could work out, he told me.

Now in the military all commitments to do something carry an almost standard time factor. "I'll expedite it," means nothing will happen for at least two weeks. "I'll do it right away," means from a month to six weeks. An answer like, "I'll see what I can work out," requires writing a memo that explains what the person was going to see if he could work out and sealing it in a time capsule for preservation so that when the answer finally does come through the future generation that receives it will know how it all started. But I underestimated the efficiency of the Air Defense Command. Inside of two weeks General Burgess had called General Garland, they'd discussed the problem, and I was back in Colorado Springs setting up a program with Colonel White's 4602nd.

The 4602nd's primary function is to interrogate captured enemy airmen during wartime; in peacetime all that they can do is participate in simulated problems. Investigating UFO reports would supplement these problems and add a factor of realism that would be invaluable in their training. The 4602nd had field teams spread out all over the United States, and these teams could travel anywhere by airplane, helicopter, canoe, jeep, or skis on a minute's notice. The field teams had already established a working contact with the highway patrols, sheriffs' offices, police, and the other military in their respective areas, so they were in an excellent position to collect facts about a UFO report. Each member of the field teams had been especially chosen and trained in the art of interrogation, and each team had a technical specialist. We couldn't have asked for a better ally.

Project Blue Book was once more back in business. Until the formal paper work went through, our plan was that whenever a UFO report worth investigating came in we would call the 4602nd and they would get a team out right away. The team would make a thorough investigation and wire us their report. If the answer came back "Unknown," we would study the details of the sighting and, with the help of Project Bear, try to find the answer.

A few weeks after the final plans had been made with the 4602nd, I again bade farewell to Project Blue Book. ...

Historian Michael Hall picks up the story from there...

Back in July of 1957 ATIC was told that if it deemed further investigation warranted on a particular case, it could assign personnel of the 1006th Air Intelligence Service Squadron or AISS who were to take over the job from the 4602nd -- disbanded by the Air Defense Command. By 1958, however, the Air Force cut the AISS's budget, making it impossible to implement effective investigative procedures. By July of 1959 even that system ended when responsibility for follow up investigations was transferred from the 1006th to the 1127th Field Activities Group stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. But the 1127th completed very little work on UFO cases.

33. Not included in this entry were two incidents for which there have been conflicting versions of details over the years.

The earliest of the two occurred in May, 1957, the first public knowledge of which is generally attributed to an article in the May, 9, 1957, edition of the Los Angeles, California, Times...

Cameras Track Flying Object Over Desert

Camera studies of an unidentified flying object photographed at Edwards Air Force Base last Friday are being analyzed by the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, O., The Times learned yesterday.

Spokesmen at the secret desert test center north of Los Angeles would say only that the object was spotted by two civilian photo theodolite operators.

They tracked the object and took pictures with the specialized camera equipment. Films and information were dispatched immediately to the intelligence center.

Unofficial reports said the object appeared round, that it caught the morning sun and that it moved but not at any great speed. There were no estimates as to its size or altitude.

Edwards officers would not hazard a guess as to what the object was, although one said it could have been a weather balloon.

"This desert air does crazy things," he added.

Although the Times story referred only to "pictures with the specialized camera equipment", the next day an INS (International News Service) nationwide wire story would expand on the claim, as from the May 10, 1957, edition of the New York City, New York, Journal-American...

AF Studying Saucer Photo?

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., May 10 (INS) -- Officers at Edwards Air Force Base today were studying films made of a purported "unidentified flying object'' seen over the base.

The object was photographed by two civilian technicians who used special equipment to track and record it.

Unofficial sources said the object appeared circular and glinted brightly in the morning sun when observed last Friday. However, intelligence officers at Edwards base, a hush-hush air force test center, would say almost nothing of the incident.

First to react among the saucer community was Max Miller, who on May 10, 1957, sent the following to the Air Technical Intelligence Center, home to Project Blue Book...

Miller Letter
Miller Letter
A "suggested reply" to Miller's letter came June 4, 1957, in a memo from Captain Wallace W. Elwood...

Miller Letter
Miller Letter
And following the procedure Wallace had outlined -- wherein replies to requests to Blue Book should be made by the public information office -- a letter from Major Robert H. Spence, dated June 11, 1957, gave Miller his official Air Force reply...

11 June 1957

Dear Mr. [Blacked Out]

We are in receipt of your letter dated 10 May 1957 requesting photographic prints and a copy of the photo-analysis report made on a UFO recently reported over Edwards Air Force Base, California.

We feel certain that you will understand that it would be extremely difficult to make exceptions for one person by granting him access to official files, reports and photographic material on this subject without making them available to all.

Any attempt to meet the individual demands of the hundreds who may desire specific reports and material would be an almost impossible undertaking; the man hours and cost would be exorbitant; and most important, the constant interference with the Air Force's normal missions and operations would be unjustified.

Notwithstanding this, reply to your correspondence was withheld pending a complete study of the photographs and other data from investigations, in order that we may give you some general results of our findings. Briefly, please be informed of the following:

a. The alleged UFO was conclusively identified as a balloon released from a weather unit a few miles west of the observer's location.

b. This was corroborated by an independent report which disclosed that this balloon was being tracked at that time with precision recording devices. The data show that the balloon passed the observer's location at almost the precise time, bearings, elevations and speed reported by them.

c. The radar unit for that area reported that there was nothing unusual or unidentified in the air over Edwards Air Force Base at the times in question.

d. Objects in the photographs, even after magnification, were found to be small white specks, alternately changing from elliptical to round in shape. These are typical of a number of similar reports received by the Air Force, which upon investigation were found to be balloons, the odd appearances being caused by specular reflection of sunlight and other atmospheric conditions peculiar to desert regions.

It is the opinion of the Air Force that any attempt to attribute anything unusual or mysterious to the incident is unwarranted and not supported by the facts.


Major, USAF
Deputy Chief, Operations Branch
Public Information Division
Office of Information Services

This was the end of Miller's involvement as far as the Air Force goes, but it was far from the end of the story...

The story began on the morning of May 2, 1957, when two civilian employees -- John (Jack) Gettys, 32, and James Bittick, 29 -- were on their way to their assigned Askania Theodolite station at Edwards Air Force Base.

Centered on a huge dry lake bed in the desert -- and by 1957 one of America's most secure military facilities -- Edwards AFB had been the site of the development and testing of the Air Force's most advanced aircraft, including the X-15 rocket plane. As such, accurate tracking and measurement of test flights was essential, and the Askania Photo Theodolite stations were an integral part of this process.


Above: Askania Photo Theodolite in use at White Sands Missile Range, circa 1957.

Dr. Bruce Maccabee gives the following overview of the Askania equipment in use at another high-security site, the White Sands Missile Range...

The phototheodolite is a telescope which does two things at once as the operator points it toward the object of interest (usually a rocket). First, the phototheodolite (or cinetheodolite) makes of series of photos (or a movie) of what is being seen through the telescope. Typically the camera takes a picture (or many pictures) every second. The shutter (exposure) times for all active phototheodolites at a test site such as White Sands are controlled electronically by a central "time keeper". Thus all the camera pictures are synchronized. The phototheodolite also accurately measures and records on the film, the azimuth and elevation (horizontal and vertical pointing directions) as time goes on. When two or more of these cameras are pointed at the same object, say a rocket traveling into space, the elevation and azimuth information that is recorded can be used to accurately determine the position (altitude and horizontal position relative to the cameras) every second by triangulation (a well known trigonometric technique). Thus these cameras can provide information on the flight of a rocket, i.e., at any instant how high it is, how far it has traveled downrange, what the exhaust of the rocket looks like (an important "diagnostic" for determining how well the fuel was burning, how accurately the rocket nozzles were directing the exhaust, etc.) and whether or not the rocket was rotating or tumbling as it traveled.

On that particular morning, Jack Gettys was driving and James Bittick was in the passenger seat of a pickup truck on its way to Askania station #4. As they were traveling Bittick looked up and saw something hovering in the air, as related in a report by the Acting Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at Edwards to Air Defense Command in Colorado...

Klein Letter
Klein Letter
Klein Letter
Klein Letter
The publicly-available photos taken that day are generally poor photocopy versions. However, four higher-quality reproductions are available, courtesy of Jan Aldrich, at the NICAP site, of which the following is representative...

Theo Photo
The photocopied pictures in the publicly-available Blue Book files do indeed show the object "alternately changing from elliptical to round in shape" as mentioned in Major Spence's letter to Miller...

Theo Photo
Theo Photo
Theo Photo
Meanwhile, the letter from Colonel Klein to Air Defense Command was not the only report filed. On May 2, 1957 -- the date of the incident -- a standard Air Force questionnaire gave James Bittick's version of events...

Bittick Questionnaire
Bittick Questionnaire
Bittick Questionnaire
Bittick Questionnaire
Bittick Questionnaire
Bittick Questionnaire
Bittick Questionnaire
Bittick Questionnaire
Bittick Questionnaire
One noticeable discrepancy in Bittick's answers was his statement in question number 40 that the object's distance was "5000 feet at first" while in his comment he states that the while viewing it from the pickup it was "1500 feet up in the air". It may be that he meant that it was 1500 feet when first viewed from the truck, and then 5000 feet when they reached Askania station #4 and/or got the equipment ready, but there is nothing in the files to clarify matters.

Also, noticeably, Bittick's questionnaire went unsigned for reasons unstated. However, Jack Gettys' version of events did carry his signature -- as well as an odd scribble resembling two clenched fists on an otherwise blank page, which may have just inadvertently made its way into the file...

Gettys Questionnaire
Gettys Questionnaire
Gettys Questionnaire
Gettys Questionnaire
Gettys Questionnaire
Gettys Questionnaire
Gettys Questionnaire
Gettys Questionnaire
Gettys Questionnaire
Gettys Questionnaire
Noticeable here is that Bittick and Gettys drawings throughout were remarkably similar, and even answers such as "5000 feet at first" precisely matched. This may reflect their agreement on what they saw, or may reflect the same circumstance which caused Bittick to be unavailable for signing -- that is, someone else may have "filled in the blanks" using Gettys' drawings and answers as a guide.

Also of interest is Gettys statement that he had seen something similar in January, 1950 -- but this time over a house west of Rosamond, California, more than 16 miles from Edwards AFB.

But especially relevant was Gettys comment that...

By the time we got the camera uncovered, loaded and ready, ten minutes had elapsed. The object was heading due east from us at about 1500'. It was about 150 feet in diameter and had a translucent glow, very bright. After shooting some film mannualy [sic], we tracked it further away, then shot some more film of it. It was estimated to be 40 to 50 miles away when film was taken, and about 60 miles when it disappeared.

The drawings and statements of the two men definitely imply that for a time the object seemed relatively close and its shape was clearly discernible, and that during that time some film had been taken. But the pictures in the Blue Book files show only an indistinct object at a great height and distance -- all apparently taken in the same relative time period, although Colonel Klein specifically states...

(12) Attention is invited to the attached photographs of the reported sighting. Photo enlargements represent every other frame of the attached negatives (inclosures five and six). Reference photo enlargements in inclosure three. Subject photographs were taken beginning at approximately 0807 Pacific Daylight Time at the rate of two frames per second. Photo enlargements on inclosure four were taken beginning at approximately 0815 Pacific Daylight Time at the rate of four frames per second.

This would come to have significance in later years. But at the time the official Air Force analysis -- apparently drafted by Captain Gregory but signed by Captain Wallace -- would indicate otherwise...

Also referenced in the analysis, a "Time-Track-Bearing Plot" of the balloon's path...

But there are problems with the analysis, starting with the plot of the balloon's path...


Above: Blue dashed line is the balloon path plotted according to "true bearing" (geographic north rather than magnetic north) from station given in the report.

For some reason, the balloon path drawn in the plot accompanying the analysis varies considerably from the points described from 0800 hours on. Meanwhile the problem is exacerbated by the sketch's distortion of the "bearing of the object" at 75 degrees from observers...


Above: Red dashed line indicates 75-degree bearing from observation point.

Whether or not the distortions in the path given in the "Time-Track-Bearing Plot" represented an honest mistake, the fact remains that the true plots show that, as stated by Lt. Colonel Raymond P. Klein in his summary...

Based on the above track made and the location of the observers at the time of sighting, the weather balloon released at Edwards could not have been the unidentified object reported.

The analysis also shows a bias in its treatment of Gettys...

b. Belief in "Flying Saucers"

(1) One observer has given strong indications that he is a believer in the so-called "flying saucers."

(2) Stated that he observed a "disc" almost half the size of a football field hanging over a house for twenty minutes. Time and place was Rosamond, California, 0930 p.m. in January '50. Files disclose no report within that general time and area.

(3) No comment is considered necessary regarding an object that size over a small town for almost one-half hour and not being seen by any other persons or aircraft, or by radar that scans that area 24 hours a day.

Of course, Gettys had said nothing about being a "believer in the so-called 'flying saucers'", but merely answered no to the question "Was this the first time that you had seen an object or objects like this?", and provided the requested details...

West of Rosamond - January 1950 - large disk (150') hung over the house at 300' for 20 minutes at 2130 hours

Likewise, Gettys had said his sighting had taken place west of Rosamond, not "over the town" itself...


Above: Main street, Rosamond, Ca., circa 1950s.

Even today Kern County -- where Rosamond is located -- is primarily agricultural, and many "towns" in California's central valley are little more than geographic strips of buildings lining the road (as Rosamond was in the 1950s). Gettys' description, then, of being west of Rosamond could encompass a distance of many miles from the town itself.

Finally, in in disparaging Gettys the analysis claims he stated that the 1950 object was in view "almost one-half hour" (whereas Gettys stated 20 minutes) while the analysis states that it had not been "seen by any other persons or aircraft, or by radar that scans that area 24 hours a day".

But in fact there was no way of determining if the object had been seen "by any other persons or aircraft" -- it was solely an assumption, apparently based on there being no reports in Air Force files. However, not all sightings by civilians were reported to the Air Force (for instance, Gettys didn't report his). And even if there had been reports submitted to Edwards AFB there is no guarantee that a report would then be forwarded to Project Grudge. And even if it had, as Capt. Ruppelt noted in his Status Report No. 2 after he had taken over Grudge...

B. Missing Reports and Photographs

It is apparent that the details of some of the reports between early 1949 and mid-1951 are missing. An attempt will be made to obtain these reports from other agencies so that the ATIC file will be complete.

And not only were "details" missing, but in a November, 1952, memo about another incident, Ruppelt wrote...

The equipment was kept in operation until December 1950 with no more pick-ups. At that time the equipment was dismantled. (Note: The above was checked in ATIC Blue Book file but there was no record of any incidents on these dates. This does not mean very much, however, since it is known that a lot of the incident files were destroyed about this time.)

As for not being seen by "by radar that scans that area 24 hours a day" the same difficulties mentioned above would also hold true -- there is no guarantee that a radar report at Edwards AFB would have been filed at all, or that it would have been forwarded to Grudge -- after all, just a few weeks or even days earlier, at the tail end of December, 1949, the Air Force aggressively and publicly announced there was no Project Grudge to send any report to, as from the December 28, 1949, edition of the Waterloo, Iowa, Daily Courier...

There Never Were Any Flying Discs

Washington, D.C. -- (AP) After checking up on 375 rumors of weird and wondrous sights in the sky, the air force has concluded that there aren't any "flying saucers."

It took two years, a special team from the USAF's science staff, and help from university consultants to track down the rumors of strange discs whizzing through the air.

Tuesday night the air force said "Project Flying Saucer" -- the investigation started by the air materiel command at Wright base, Dayton, O. on Jan. 22, 1948 -- has been ordered ended because there is nothing to show that the reports were "not the results of natural phenomena."

All evidence, it added, points to three factors -- "misinterpretation of various conventional objects; a mild form of mass hysteria; or hoaxes" -- as the origin of the flying saucer reports.

The Air Force announcement was specifically intended to proactively discourage the submitting of any future reports, and civilian and military alike had gotten the widespread Air Force message -- report a saucer, and you'll be labeled as a hoaxter, a hysteric, or (basically) an excitable and gullible fool.

And, as above, if a report had made it as far as Grudge there was no guarantee that it hadn't been lost or destroyed.

Lastly, in focusing on Gettys the analysis conveniently ignored the statement of Bittick, who had no prior sighting, as well as ignoring both men's statements that the object had hovered (with Bittick stating it was "about 1500 feet in the air, just hanging there" and Gettys stating it was "hanging stationary almost overhead") -- such hovering being definitely atypical behavior for a newly-released balloon.

But as it turned out, the Air Force analysis would be the last word on the sighting, except for some speculation in saucer newsletters, including Max Miller's Saucers, the APRO Bulletin, the NICAP UFO Investigator, and the newsletter of CSI New York, and over the years in various books.

James McDonaldBut interest would be renewed 10 years later as the result of the arrival on the UFO scene of atmospheric physicist Dr. James McDonald. A man of wide interests, McDonald had informally kept tabs on the phenomena during the 1950s. From there his suspicions were aroused by the "explanations" being given by the Air Force and scientist-debunkers such as Dr. Donald Menzel, which he found to be fatuous. In the 1960s McDonald became an aggressive and forceful public advocate for the need for serious scientific investigation of the phenomena. And he personally studied a wide-ranging assortment of the older reports (by his own account by 1968 he had examined "around a thousand UFO reports and directly interviewing several hundred witnesses in selected UFO cases of outstanding interest"). Amongst these, were the events at Edwards AFB in May, 1957, as revealed in a series of letters from 1967.

The story begins in August, 1967, with a letter from McDonald to Frank E. Baker, who McDonald would later identify as "the range director" under whom Bittick and Gettys worked...

August 9, 1967

Mr. Frank E. Baker
44221 Second Street East
Lancaster, California, 93534

Dear Frank:

Subsequent to our phone conversation of last Saturday, I have talked on the phone with both Earl Cooper and Jim Bittick.

On July 8, 1947, at Muroc AFB, there were at least three separate sightings, as you may know. Cooper's observations matched most closely those which are reported in the literature for 10:00 a.m., made in connection with a test flight from the dry lake out there. His recollections do not precisely match all of the details reported by Major Wise, but agree closely enough to indicate that his may be the same sighting as the one in the Air Force files identified with Wise's name. I was glad to get Cooper's account, and thank you for getting us in touch.

I located Bittick in Auburn, California, where he is ranching and working for Douglas Aircraft at its Sacramento test site as a crane operator. He confirmed most of the details about that 1957 incident on the range that you had sketched to me, and added several further points of information that were very relevant. He explained to me in some detail the manner in which the Air Force officers interrogated him and Jack Getty, the other cameraman. He obviously was a bit unhappy with their method of approach, and indicated that they seemed to be making a valiant effort to talk them out of the sighting. But, for his part, there was absolutely no doubt about the reality of the object and the quite unconventional nature of it.

He suggested that I ought to get in touch now with Jack Getty [sic, should be Gettys], not only for further information on that incident, but also because Getty has evidently seen a couple of other UFOs out in the desert area of California. He gave me the name of Jack's brother, Gene, and I attempted to locate the latter by phone in Cantell, California. However, the operator said that Gene Getty's number is unlisted. Since Jim mentioned that you knew Gene quite well, I would like to ask if you might possibly ask Gene where Jack is now located? It would be very helpful to have both his address and telephone number, if you could possibly get them. I'll enclose a stamped and addressed envelope to save you at least a bit of bother should you be able to get Jack's address.

My trip last week to Sandia Corporation netted a number of extremely significant UFO observations made by various staff members over there. I am writing this letter in the midst of telephone interviewing that consists of following up those reports. One of them was from a Sandia man who used to be employed at the Naval Ordnance Test Station at Inyokern. It was a sighting that goes back to about 1947, and is just as interesting as several others that I have obtained from NOTS staff members in the past.

Thanks again for your interest and help.

Sincerely yours,

James E. McDonald
Senior Physicist

The next letter, dated October, 1957, starts simply with "Dear Idabel" -- this would be Idabel Epperson, at the time Chairperson of the Los Angeles Subcommittee of NICAP (she formerly had served as an assistant to Major Keyhoe). Referenced in the letter is Isabel Davis, long-time researcher and one of the co-founders of CSI New York. The letter also references the University of Colorado (or "CU") which was home to a project being billed as a "scientific" study of UFOs, under an Air Force contract. The project was headed by physicist Edward Condon, while Robert J. Low of the university served as Condon's project coordinator...


Dear Idabel:

While looking up some other items in the CSI News Letter, I saw on p. 14 of No. 20, a reference to a May 3, 1957 incident at Edwards AFB in which civilian photo-theodolite operators got photos of an unidentified. CSI credits you for supplying clips on this from the LA Times of 5/9/57.

When I spoke to the CAP at Las Vegas last May, a person involved in what I believe must be this same incident took me aside and told me of it. He only recalled that it took place sometime in 1957, when he was supervisor of the camera crews. I told Colorado about it, waited a couple of months to give them time to get at it, and then phoned the fellow, only to find (as in some other similar instances) that CU had never contacted him. (However, I mentioned it again and Low wrote me a few weeks back to send him the info again -- he'd lost my first letter.)

When I phoned the fellow again, I asked him for names, and did run down one of the two camera operators, named Bittick, now living up in Auburn, Calif. He confirmed that they'd seen a domed disc, took a number of shots, rushed them back to be developed, and had them confiscated by Intelligence people as soon as they came off the dryer.

I had no idea that anything on this ever hit the press, though the CSI item sounds identical. My note is to ask if you might possibly have in your files a copy of the Times piece. If so, K'd [sic] certainly like to get a copy of it. I'll send a Xerox of this to Isabel to see if her CSI clip-files carry the NY Journal American clip on it. My initial informant became a bit chary when I phoned him back about it. Availability of a press clip on it may ease his mind and generate more leads.


/s/ Jim

McDonald's next letter was dated January 8, 1968, addressed once more to Frank E. Baker...

January 8, 1968

Mr. Frank E. Baker
44221 Second Street East
Lancaster, California, 93534

Dear Frank:

I located John Gettys by phone last night in Carson City and spent an hour talking with him, mainly about the 1957 incident but also about a couple of others.

He emphasized that the photos came out rather clearly and showed unmistakably the large golden-colored dome-shaped object which he and Bittick had seen hovering near their photo unit.

He brought up the point that Marvin Miles, Aviation Editor of the Los Angeles Times, was the one who broke the story on that May 3, 1957, incident. He said that the Air Force personnel suspected either him or Bittick of having leaked it, but neither said a word, so they presumed that some officer must have mentioned it to Miles.

He is going to send me copies of a couple of old 1957 flying saucer magazines that gave a fairly full account and that indicated the Air Force explanation of the object was a "weather balloon." Gettys was emphatic in saying there wasn't a ghost of a chance of that thing being a weather balloon, since he and Bittick were both very familiar with tracking of weather balloons. He said that no one from the Air Force has ever bothered him in any way about it since that first week. They interviewed him and Bittick for a number of days and then he heard absolutely no more about it until he read of it in the newspapers and later in the flying saucer magazine.

Gettys also related a very peculiar incident which we think you may recall his having told about. In about January of 1950, he and his wife and small daughter were involved in a very close sighting of a large disc that hovered directly over their house on an alfalfa farm near Rosamond. It shook the house with its vibrations, disturbed the television set, and sent vibrations through their entire bodies, he emphasized. He was very emphatic in all the details of this sighting, and said it was the most vivid experience he had ever had in his life.

I certainly am hoping now to be getting something from you on that bonanza you have discovered.

With best regards,

James E. McDonald

The final letter would be just four days later, again to Frank E. Baker...

January 12, 1968

Mr. Frank E. Baker
44221 Second Street East
Lancaster, California, 93534

Dear Frank:

I reached John R. Gettys in Carson City by phone on January 8 and had a long discussion of the case with him. His description of what happened backs up both your account and Bittick's. He described the object's glow as having a golden appearance and mentioned the same rounded top of the dome that Bittick described to me.

Gettys recalled that he had back issues of a 1957 UFO periodical called Saucers, which mentioned the May 3, 1957, Edwards photos and gave a tentative Air Force evaluation in terms of a "weather balloon." He rejected the balloon explanation categorically, saying that he and Bittick had frequently seen and tracked balloons, that he knew of no balloon stations out in that part of the range, and that the Askania photos gave a quite clear-cut image that could not be confused with any balloon.

He sent me a letter giving more details. I quote from one paragraph:

"May 3, 1957 - Photographed UFO at 8 a.m. at Edwards Air Force Base with Askania camera. Object 100 feet in diameter, moving slowly, glowing golden color. Saw 8x10 blowups of film frames; this was no weather balloon regardless of Air Force evaluation. Pilots there when we were questioned said they have never seen anything like it before. I don't say it was a flying saucer. It was a UFO. In other words, the Air Force, in my opinion, dubbed it a weather balloon because they could not explain it any other way."

For your own files, I enclose copies of the pages from the two issues of the Saucers which remarked on the May 3 incident. It is now entirely clear that Edwards has unequivocally confirmed the existence of this sighting, and the only disputed point is the scientific evaluation. The idea that "other atmospheric conditions peculiar to desert regions" could cause unusual specular reflection of sunlight on weather balloons does not make either meteorological or optical sense to me.

I shall have a better basis for the latter opinion, however, when I have a chance to see a print. I look forward to getting a copy for examination soon.

Sincerely yours,

James E. McDonald
Senior 'Physicist

Throughout the letters the date of the incident was off by one day (May 3 vs. May 2, the actual date of the incident) -- but all four letters taken together, a remarkable picture emerged. Neither Bittick nor Gettys accepted the weather balloon explanation. Both made reference to pictures being developed at the base, with Gettys specifically stating he had seen "8x10 blowups of film frames", while Bittick offered that the film was "confiscated by Intelligence people as soon as they came off the dryer" (which accords with Col. Klein's description in 1957).

In July, 1968, McDonald would synthesize all he had learned about the incident -- unfortunately still including the wrong date -- as part of prepared remarks to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics...

3. Case 41. Edwards AFB, May 3, 1957:

Occasionally, one could argue, UFOs ought to come into areas where there were persons engaged in photographic work, who were trained to react a bit faster, and who would secure some photos. One such instance evidently occurred at Edwards AFB on the morning of 5/3/57. I have managed to locate and interview three persons who saw the resultant photos. The two who observed the UFO and obtained a number of photos of it were James D. Bittick and John R. Gettys, Jr., both of whom I have interviewed. They were at the time Askania cameramen on the test range, and spotted the domed-disc UFO just as they reached Askania #4 site at Edwards, a bit before 8:00 a.m. that day. They immediately got into communication with the range director, Frank E. Baker, whom I have also interviewed, and they asked if anyone else was manning an Askania that could be used to get triangulation shots. Since no other camera operators were on duty at other sites, Baker told them to fire manually, and they got a number of shots before the object moved off into the distance. Bittick estimated that the object lay about a mile away when they got the first shot, though when first seen he put it at no more than 500 yards off. He and Gettys both said it had a golden color, looked somewhat like an inverted plate with a dome on top, and had square holes or panels around the dome. Gettys thought that the holes were circular not square. It was moving away from them, seemed to glow with its own luminosity, and had a hazy, indistinct halo around its rim, both mentioned. The number of shots taken is uncertain; Gettys thought perhaps 30. The object was lost from sight by the time it moved out to about five miles or so, and they did not see it again. They drove into the base and processed the film immediately. All three of the men I interviewed emphasized that the shots taken at the closer range were very sharp, except for the hazy rim. They said the dome and the markings or openings showed in the photos. The photos were shortly taken by Base military authorities and were never seen again by the men. In a session later that day, Bittick and Carson [sic] were informed that they had seen a weather balloon distorted by the desert atmospheric effects, an interpretation that neither of them accepted since, as they stated to me, they saw weather balloons being released frequently there and knew what balloons looked like. Accounts got into local newspapers, as well as on wire services (Ref. 44). An Edwards spokesman was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying, "This desert air does crazy things." An INS wirestory said, "intelligence officers at Edwards...would say almost nothing of the incident."


I have not seen the photos alleged to have been taken in this incident, I have only interviewed the two who say they took them and a third person who states that he inspected the prints in company with the two Askania operators and darkroom personnel. I sent all of the relevant information on this case to the University of Colorado UFO project, but no checks were made as a result of that, unless done very recently. It would be rather interesting to see the prints.

Here was a new wrinkle to the story -- for the first time the object was said to have had "markings or openings".

Nor was this the only evolution to the story. Professor Michael Swords reviewed the incident in an article entitled As Great An Enigma As The UFOs Themselves for the October, 2005, issue of the International UFO Reporter. Swords had had access to McDonald's files, as well as two interviews conducted by the SIGN Oral History Project -- a 90-minute interview with Bittick, and a 2-hour interview with Baker, both conducted in October, 2002 (although Swords gets the date of the incident wrong in his article, giving it as May 3 rather than May 2). Swords would write...

Veterans James Bittick and Jack Gettys were in their pickup expecting a normal day. As they approached their station, they saw an object in the sky, shining brightly. It was, initially, at about 45° elevation and seemed to be hovering. Gettys, who was very interested in UFOs, immediately stated that they had a UFO on their hands.

The crew had to get permission from Baker before trying to photograph the object. So they called in, began readying the scope, loaded the film (as they would have done regardless to begin the day), and waited for the OK.

This interlude lasted for a few minutes while they worked at the scope and snuck peeks at the hovering object. Gettys, who looked through the side-mounted spotting scope, said that the base of object had a circular appearance when high in the sky. Bittick apparently didn't look at it through the spotting scope until it was lower in the sky, as he remembered only the side view.

The go-ahead from Baker came in time, and they began filming, each viewing the object through the spotting scopes while the film rolled at a rapid pace (probably eight frames per second, as Bittixk [sic] recounted to McDonald 10 years later). They shot about 100 feet and stopped. When they started filming, the object began to move away from its estimated distance of one mile. When they quit filming, it was about five miles distant, and its motion had been fast and steady with no wobbling.

What they saw was a disk-shaped object (a "cigar" from the side) with a low dome on top. Gettys felt the edges were more rounded, while Bittick thought them more pointed. The dome had little ports around it, perhaps five or six, and the device was spinning. It was shiny metallic in appearance, but whether it was gold in color or silver with the golden morning sunlight glinting off it was not obvious. Gettys thought it was definitely gold-colored. Guessing at its size, he thought it was "parking lot sized," about 100 feet in diameter. At no time did the men hear any engine sound from the UFO.

Gettys's account differs from Bittick's in only a few details. First, he said he could see the underside of the object, which was circular (planiform) when at it highest elevation angle. Also, he didn't see any ports on the dome.

They contacted the base and ultimately two jets were scrambled. By the time these came overhead, the UFO had disappeared in an easterly direction. The jets never caught up to it or even saw it.

After Gettys and Bittick turned in the film, it apparently stayed at Edwards to be developed, the normal procedure. Following the incident, possibly even the next work day, three officers showed up at Frank Baker's station: a major, a captain, and a lieutenant. Bittick and Gettys were interrogated separately, but their stories matched and neither would back off what they had seen. The officers were insulting, suggesting that the desert sun does things to one's eyes (despite the fact that they had film), and wondering how late they'd been out the previous night or how long they'd been in the sun (despite the incident occurring at about 8 a.m.). Bittick got angry enough to turn to Frank Baker and ask: "Do I have to put up with this crap?" Reflecting back on this 49-odd years later, he told Tom Tulien, "It's a funny thing how they try to cover up what they know, and use a stupid answer for it."

The stupid answer was a balloon. Both men knew that it wasn't a balloon. Not only did they have the evidence of their eyes checked against the years of experience with the tracking telescope, but also there was the film itself. A friend of theirs who worked at Edwards knew the fellow who developed the Askania films. He got the guy to clip off a strip that he ultimately gave to Bittick (who kept it for several years then burned it because he shouldn't have had it in the first place). Other clips from the film apparently got to Baker as well. The film showed a cigar shape with a bump on top. (A few prints from the film are in the Blue Book files, but they seem to be more distant examples and are little more than light blobs. See them in Brad Steiger's 1976 paperback, Project Blue Book.) Baker later said that he saw closer photos that definitely showed what Bittick and Gettys claimed.

Swords' article also had the following graphic...

The problem with these later evolutions of the story illustrates the difficulty of judging accounts which are dependent on the foibles of human memory. Memory isn't static. Recollections change over time. Details can vary, or be lost, or even enhanced with new details added. Certainly there was no mention of any jet pursuit in the original files, or even 10 years later in the interviews conducted by Dr. McDonald. Nor was there any mention of the disc being seen to be spinning. And the story of "a friend who knew a fellow who developed the film", surreptitiously snipping off bits for Bittick who in turn later burned them, stretches credulity, at best.

Also perplexing were the "three officers" who "showed up at Frank Baker's station: a major, a captain, and a lieutenant" to interrogate Gettys and Bittick. These would presumably be from the 4602 Air Intelligence Service Squadron, yet the only report filed to Air Defense Command and ATIC -- following standard 4602 procedure -- was signed by Lt. Colonel Raymond Klein and Major John D. Taylor, and that report completely discounted the weather balloon explanation (and again, makes no mention of a jet pursuit).

Nor does it help clarify matters that Swords' recounting of Bittick's version of events would evolve with his 2012 book, UFOs and Government. Whereas in the 2005 account, above, the interrogators were all identifiable as officers, including their rank, in the 2012 version...

The next morning, the intelligence boys were at Edwards to grill Gettys and Bittick. In an interview much later in time, Bittick remembers their interrogators as FBI, but that it unlikely. The agents were probably plainclothes but part of Air Force Intelligence, or even as occasionally happened in the continental U.S., CIA.

That would be the last word (so far) on the incident at Edwards, but there is one more wrinkle to consider.

In his autobiography Leap of Faith, published in 2000, Gordon Cooper -- veteran astronaut of both the Mercury and Gemini programs -- would claim...

After Germany, I attended the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for two years, determined to finally earn my degree. I had trouble at first getting my study habits down, but midway through the course work I became interested in rocket propulsion and aircraft design. An interested student makes for a good student, and in 1956 I graduated on the honors list with a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering.

Following my graduation I was selected for the Air Force Experimental Flight Test School at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert. Test pilot school was for the best of the best among air force pilots, and after graduation I was assigned to the Fighter Section of the Experimental Flight Test Engineering Division at Edwards as test pilot and project manager.

On May 3, 1957, I was a captain and had a crew out filming an Askania-camera precision landing system we had installed on the dry lake bed. The Askania automatic system took pictures -- one frame per second -- as a plane landed to measure its landing characteristics. The two cameramen, James Bittick and Jack Gettys, arrived at Askania number four site a little before 8 A.M., armed with still and motion picture cameras.

Later that morning they came running in to tell me that a "strange-looking saucer" had come right over them.

"It didn't make any noise at all, sir," one of them said.

"Not a sound," the other one agreed.

I knew these enlisted men to be old pros, but they were really worked up -- excited and frightened in the same breath. They were accustomed to seeing America's top-performance experimental aircraft taking off, screaming low overhead, and landing in front of them on a daily basis. Obviously what they had seen out on the dry lake bed was something quite different, and it had unnerved them both.

They told me they had just about finished their work when the saucer flew over them, hovered above the ground, extended three landing gear, then set down about fifty yards away. They described the saucer as metallic silver in color and shaped somewhat like an inverted plate. ...

After my own UFO experiences in Europe, I was not about to discount any of these stories, especially coming from people I had served with and trusted.

These two cameramen were trained photographers and had cameras and film with them. I quickly asked the obvious question: "Did you get any pictures?"

"Oh yes, sir. We were shooting the entire time."

They said they had shot images with 35-mm and 4-by-5 still cameras, as well as motion picture film. When they had tried to approach the saucer to get a closer shot, they said it lifted up, retracted its gear, and climbed straight out of sight at a rapid rate of speed -- again with no sound. They estimated the craft to be about thirty feet across. It had a silver color to it and seemed to glow with its own luminosity.

I told them to get the film to the lab right away.

I had to look up the regulations to see how I should report the incident. There was a special Pentagon number to call in the event of unusual sightings. I called it and started with a captain, telling him we'd just had a sighting and landing of a "strange vehicle that didn't have wings on it." The captain quickly passed me to a colonel. Eventually I was talking to a general, repeating for the third time what had happened that morning. He ordered me to have the film developed right away but "don't run any prints" and to place the negatives in a locked courier pouch to be sent to Washington immediately on the base commanding general's plane.

I wasn't about to defy the Pentagon general's order about no prints -- a surefire way to end my career or, at the very least, lose my top-secret clearance and my test pilot job. But since nothing was said about not looking at the negatives before sending them east, that's what I did when they came back from the lab.

I was amazed at what I saw. The quality was excellent, everything in focus as one would expect from trained photographers. The object, shown close up, was a classic saucer, shiny silver and smooth -- just as the cameramen had reported.

I never saw the motion picture film. Before the day ended, all the negatives and movie film had left on the priority flight for Washington.

Considering what the men had seen, and particularly the photographic evidence they had brought back with them of a UFO touching down on Earth, I expected to get an urgent follow-up call from Washington, or the imminent arrival of high-level investigators. After all, a craft of unknown origin had just overflown and landed at a highly classified military installation.

Strangely, there was no word from Washington, and no inquiry was launched. Everything was kept under wraps, as if the incident never happened. Through the years, it would have been easy for me to forget the entire matter -- if I hadn't seen those photographs.

The incident report was supposed to wind up at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, home of the air force's official UFO investigation, Project Blue Book. I don't know who saw the photographic evidence or what happened to the photos once they were printed. All I know for sure is that the evidence I'd seen with my own eyes vanished. After putting the negatives and film on the plane to Washington, that was the last I heard or saw of them.

Except that two years ago I was contacted by an independent researcher who said he'd tried to uncover information about the pictures of the Edwards sightings through the Freedom of Information Act. He said he'd found a reference in an old Blue Book report of pictures having been taken of "something unusual" at Edwards, but that was it.

In 2004, James Oberg would post the article In Search of Gordon Cooper's UFOs at his site, basically discounting any and all UFO stories told by Cooper. Of particular interest...

What has been portrayed as "an alleged case of suppression of photographic evidence of a UFO that landed near Edwards AFB" has become part of the Cooper UFO legend. His own words on the case, told in 1977 to interviewer Lee Spiegel for the "The Credibility Factor" (the UFO record), are as follows: he recalled "...the case of one that landed out on the dry lake bed right out from a number of camera crews we had who filmed it. And the film was there and was sent forward to the safekeeping somewhere in Washington, never to be seen again." ...

When I called John ("Jack") Gettys, one of the witnesses, he sent me a file of material on the sighting, which had occurred on May 3, 1957. He had never even realized that future astronaut Gordon Cooper had keen [sic] at the base at that time (he had no connection with the incident). ...

In 1978, in his second interview with Spiegel (this time for OMNI), he evaded any discussion of the Edwards case by saying, "I'd just as soon not get into the Edwards incident. I didn't get to see anything personally, it was all second hand evidence really." That it was, and Cooper's caution was commendable -- if perhaps a bit tardy. His name had already been interwoven with the incident, and probably permanently.

A careful reading of his previous testimony indicates that he had ascribed no ominous motives to what he honestly thought had been a "disappearance" of the film. Instead, he had testified, the UFO-related material had probably been gathered together in a storage room and just forgotten. As for deliberate cover-ups, he has always disputed such a notion. "If any UFO information is being suppressed," he told OMNI, "it's certainly not by the U.S.. Air Force, because I was at a high enough level to know about it." That's just the opposite of how many "UFO promoters" portray his feelings.

As to the accuracy of the rest of Cooper's recollection of the "Edwards UFO", eyewitness Gettys had this to say in 1982: "I am amazed that Gordon Cooper said the object landed -- as far as I know, he never even saw it.... His story sounds kind of funny to me." And Gettys -- who still does not believe the '"weather balloon" explanation -- was there; Cooper, contrary to legend, played no role at all.

And with that final wrinkle -- except for subsequent follow-ups at Oberg's site concerning Cooper -- the story stands as ever it has, still opaque after all the interviews, clarifications, explanations, evolutions, and rebuttals, 60 years on.

34. The second incident not included in this entry due to conflicting versions of details over the years took place November 6, 1957, in Ohio. Public knowledge of it began with newspaper reports, as from the November 7, 1957, edition of the Sandusky, Ohio, Register...

Couple Reports UFO Lands In Geauga-co Field

By United Press

The first report of an unidentified flying object landing in Ohio was reported today by a Geauga-co woman. She said her husband saw an "egg-shaped" object land in a field off U.S. 68 near Chardon.

Mrs. Olden Moore Jr., told Chief Deputy Sheriff Richard Ford her husband saw a windowless object with a "bluish-green glow [sic, no end quote] land as he was returning home from a business trip to Painesville at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Mrs. Moore said her husband told her that his car stopped when he saw the object. She said shortly afterward he was able to start the car.

When the couple returned to the spot a half hour later the object was gone. ...

Associated Press also had a newswire story on the incident, with the description being that Moore saw "an egg-shaped object flying over, emitting a bluish-green flame".

The next day, a news report would reveal that Moore himself had spoken with the sheriff. From the November 8, 1957, edition of the Van Wert, Ohio, Times Bulletin...

Radioactivity Tied to UFO
Geauga Countian Sticks To His 'Saucer' Story

CHARDON (AP) -- A Geauga County resident is sticking to his story of seeing an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) shooting flames to earth in the county although the object has not been found.

In a statement to Sheriff Louis Robusky Thursday night, Olden Moore of near Hutsburg [sic] said he saw the object, emitting bluish-green flames, land in a field near Montville about 11 p.m. Wednesday as he was driving home from Painesville.

He said he watched the object a few minutes, then hurried to his home six miles away to get his wife to show it to her, but that when they returned about 30 minutes later the object was gone.

Moore described the object as being as "big as a house" and resting on a cone. He said it made a whirring noise similar to the sound of an electric motor. He made a sketch of the object to accompany his statement.

The object was first reported to the sheriff by Moore's wife on Thursday.

SEVERAL OTHER reports of UFOs being sighted over the Chardon area were received by the sheriff Thursday night.

Kenneth Locke of Eastlake, a Civil Defense official, spent Thursday going over the field, along Ohio 86 where the object was reported to have landed.

He said he picked up radioactivity of 150 roentgen strength in an area 150 feet long and 20 feet wide.

Humans can stand 240 roentgens, Locke said.

He said that obviously the radioactivity, which he described as "pretty strong," did not come from a permanent deposit of radioactive material such as uranium as the reading was much smaller when he checked the area a second time.

Locke, the sheriff and Deputy Sheriff Robert Ford found no trace of the object in an all-day search of the area.

That same day, there were more interesting developments, as from the November 8, 1957, edition of the Cambridge, Ohio, Daily Jeffersonian...

Flies Over Highway
Say They Saw Eggnik

CHARDON, O. (UP) -- Geauga County in Northeastern Ohio was abuzz today with talk of the mysterious "Eggnik" which Olden Moore, of Montville, said he saw land in a field on Ohio 86 near here.

Sheriff Louis Robusky said a search of the field yielded strange heel-like footprints and radioactivity of 150 roentgens strength.

Moore claimed he watched the "blue-green, flame-shooting" object fly over the highway Thursday night when he was enroute home from Painesville. He said his car stopped running as it passed near.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Mildred Wenzel, a resident on nearby Ohio 528, told deputies she found strange pock-marks on her auto. A radioactivity check showed a roentgen reading of 35 to 40.

At the same time Moore spotted "Eggnik," a woman a half mile away said her whole house was lighted up from a glow outside.

Radioactivity in the field was checked by Kenneth Locke, civil defense director of adjacent Lake County, and an Army major in the Fifth Civil Defense Corps.

"I'm going to find out what that thing was if it's humanly and scientifically possible," he said.

Locke said six footprints were found at the scene. Each print was made up of spiked holes, like marks left by a golf shoe. Two perfect holes, round and three feet deep, were in the ground near the eeri [sic] footprints.

The farmer who owns the property told investigators that he had done nothing to the field.

Further details appear in a newspaper account found in Project Blue Book files, which do not give the newspaper from which it came but which carry the notation "11-9-57 N.H." However, the reporter, Paul Colebrook, in another file refers to himself as a News Herald reporter, which likely refers to the Lake County News-Herald, published in Willoughby, Ohio, adjacent to Montville, where the incident took place (although inexpicably, as in the Colebrook article earlier, the article thrice places Moore in Huntsville, 140 air miles southwest of Huntsburg, where Moore lived)...

'Thingnik' Sighter Finally Tells Tale Of Mysterious Landing to Sheriff


Olden Moore of Huntsville [sic, throughout], whose wife reported his sighting the landing of an unidentified flying object in the Hart rd. - Route 86 area Wednesday night, appeared at Geauga County Sheriff's office yesterday at 8 p.m. to make his personal report official for the first time.

Moore was located at his home yesterday afternoon by Geauga Sheriff Deputy Alton Brockway, ending a two-day search for him.

Met at the Sheriff's office by Lake and Geauga county civil defense officials and Col. Leroy Johns, civil defense director of the 5th area, Moore volunteered his information and answered all questions put to him by the various investigators.

According to Kenneth Locke, Lake county civil defense director, Moore described what he had seen as follows:

Car Did Not Stall

He was driving to his Huntsville home from Painesville at about 11 p.m.

As he approached the intersection of Route 86 and Hart rd., he noticed a large bright shining object passing across the sky, coming downward across his path.

His car did not stall as was originally reported.

He pulled the car to the side of the road and turned off the engine when the object stopped, hovering close to the ground in the field at the intersection of the two roads.

Getting out of his car, he walked within 200 feet of the round object that measured about 50 feet across and had a small cone-like top on it. Moore, according to Locke, estimated the overall height of the object to be between 20 and 30 feet.

The only sound made by the UFO was comparable to the sound of a meter's ticking.

Thingnik Had Legs

Moore said that the object appeared to be standing on legs of some kind, as he could see underneath and all around it. It was very bright and phosphorescent in color. There were no windows that he could notice.

Returning to his car, he drove the remaining six miles to his home, explained what he had seen to his wife and returned with her to the scene. By that time the object was gone.

Locke said that Moore's comment was, "If anyone had told me 24 hours before that there was anything but imagination to these flying saucer reports, I would never have believed it. Now, I'm convinced."

Unhesitatingly, according to Locke, Moore drew a picture of the object for the investigating officials.

Explaining his disappearance during the past two days, Moore said that he had been driving around thinking over what he had seen, uncertain about whether his reporting the incident would seem credible to anyone else.

A plasterer, Moore lives in Huntsville on Route 528 about one and one-half miles north of Route 322 with his wife Zelma and their four children, Gary 7; Larry, 5; Ronald 3; and Lanny, 1 year old.

The article was intriguingly vague about one aspect -- what was meant by Moore's "disappearance during the past two days"? Had Moore merely been avoiding the sheriffs, or had he disappeared in the classic sense of not being seen for a time by his family and workmates with no word of his whereabouts? Moore's explanation that "he had been driving around thinking over what he had seen" would seem to indicate the latter -- although the two-day time period would also indicate that he had to also have slept elsewhere. It might also explain why it was his wife and not Moore who phoned the sheriff the next day -- perhaps not so much to report her husband's sighting but that he had disappeared since. That is only speculation, but in light of what was to come, it might be telling to know for sure.

Several other follow-up accounts are found in Blue Book files, but are unfortunately cropped off or otherwise illegible in parts. But from those much intriguing information can still be gleaned. For instance, from an undated article by Paul Colebrook...

Olden Moore

Spacecraft Split in 2, Grew, Spotter Says


Calm and quiet-voiced Olden Moore, a [Illegible]-year old father of four children, a plasterer by trade, sat in the kitchen of his Huntsville [sic, should be Huntsburg] home last night answering the questions of your New-Herald [sic] reporter about the landing of an unidentified object last Wednesday night.

Moore is the first person in the northern Ohio area to report seeing such an object land.

About 11 p.m. last Wednesday Moore was driving south on Route 86 from Painesville to his home in Huntsville [sic].

He had been in Painesville that evening making arrangements to get another automobile.

As he approached the intersection of Hart rd. he noticed what he first took to be a bright shooting star or meteor of some kind moving rapidly across the sky from right to left in front of him.

"It seemed high in the sky and quite some distance away, and it was exceptionally bright. I've seen shooting stars before and I thought that's what it was.

"It stopped when it got to the center of my side of the windshield, and then it split in two pieces.

"One part of it went upwards. The part that remained then seemed brighter than ever. No, I don't remember seeing the part that remained then seemed brighter than ever. No, I don't remember seeing the part that went straight up again. I didn't follow it." [sic, entire paragraph]

Deputies Saw Ball

In a matter-of-fact manner Moore continued his story. "As I kept watching the "star" it kept getting brighter and bigger.

"When it got to be about the size of that calendar there (about the size of sheet of paper, 8-1/2 by 11), I pulled the car off the road into the side road (Hart rd.) and got out of the car.

"I had no idea of what it was that I was watching. As it got bigger and bigger, it seemed to be headed straight at the car.

"The color of the thing changed, as it approached, from a bright white to a green haze, and then to a blue-green as it stopped about 200 feet in the air above the field.

A Whirring Sound

"I didn't hear any sound from it at all until it started to settle slowly to the ground. Then I noticed a whirring sound, something like an electric meter on the side of the house, only a little deeper."

As we talked, the whir of an electric refrigerator started up. Moore mentioned that the sound of the object was similar, but deeper and a little louder.

"I stood by the car watching the thing for some 15 minutes before I decided to walk toward it. It was about 500 feet away."

Radioactivity registered on a Geiger counter was observed by your News-Herald reporter in the field the following evening about an estimated 200 yards from where Moore said he had parked his car.

Felt No Fear

"No, I wasn't afraid at the time. Even after standing at the car watching whatever it was for 15 or 20 minutes.

Moore described the object as being about 30 feet in diameter, disc-like about 15 feet thick with a cone on the top making the overall height between 20 and 30 feet.

"It was surrounded by a blue-green haze, like a fog, mostly green. And the color pulsated slowly, alternating between bright and dim.

"If you recall, the moon was especially bright that night, and it was the moonlight that made it possible to distinguish the object itself from the haze.

"When the haze was dim, whatever the thing was made of looked the same as those mirrored sun glasses -- the kind where the outside of the glasses look like mirrors, and you cannot see the wearer's eyes. I didn't see any windows.

"Up until last Wednesday night I figured, as most people do, that flying saucer sighters belonged in the booby hatch. Now, I do not doubt them at all.

"It was there. I saw it. I know I saw it."

Within that article refinements in Moore's story began to appear -- with Moore saying that "it stopped about 200 feet in the air above the field" before it "started to settle slowly to the ground", as well as describing its color as "from a bright white to a green haze, and then to a blue-green" -- both of which fit with his story as told so far. But there was also a completely new facet, as well, in Moore's description that it "stopped when it got to the center of my side of the windshield, and then it split in two pieces", and further that one part of it "went upwards" as (presumably) the other part came down into the field.

Equally noticeable is the fact that the article carries the sub-heading "Deputies Saw Ball" -- an explanation of which occurs nowhere in the body of the text. In this case it is likely that the relevant text was edited for space considerations, which often happened in newspapers, while the subheading was left unedited, which was an oversight. In any case, it may have referred the following, from the November 12, 1957, edition of the Elyria, Ohio, Chronicle Telegram...

Deputy Sees 'Object' In Sky

CHARDON, O (UP) -- Geauga County Deputy Sheriff Al Brockway reported today he saw a "brilliant blue" unidentified flying object in the sky Monday night.

Brockway said he sighted the ball-shaped light from a position on North Hambden St. here. It was traveling on a horizontal line in the direction of Willoughby, he said.

The report was the second of its kind in this area during the past week. Olden Moore, of Montville, claimed he saw an egg-shaped object land in a farmer's field last Thursday.

Another Blue Book clipping with the masthead Fort Lauderdale Daily News and Sentinel, presumably located in Florida, had a column by Orville Revelle, dated November 21, 1957, reviewing the Olden Moore story, which also included a vague reference to deputies having sighted something...

...there were others who helped substantiate his observations to his wife. A quartet of sheriff's deputies reported they saw a strange looking light in the sky, in the vicinity of where Mr. Moore had claimed the craft landed. James Morris said he had seen a bluish-ball-like object travelling west about 11:00 that same night. Ira Canfield, superintendent of schools, reported he had witnessed a falling blue object about the same time. A. Simons, Mrs. Julius Kovats and Mrs. James Laumby also verified the Moore story by claiming to have seen a high flying object just prior to the time Mr. Moore reported it had landed.

Still another partly-illegible clipping adds a new element of mystery, as from the Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer. The date is cut off but it indicates it was a Tuesday, which would likely have been November 12 of that year. Excerpts from the legible portion...

Olden Moore

...Kenneth Locke, the dispatch asked all departments and sheriff's offices in Northern Ohio to help him locate the man, who signed the letter "Joe Tillman."

Locke said the picture did not appear to be doctored. But his main concern was for the health of the letter writer. "Tillman" wrote that he had in his car a basket of radioactive dirt from where the object landed. He said the dirt "still has very active rays." ...

If "Tillman's" statements are correct, he will be the only person besides Moore to have seen the object.

"Tillman" is not listed in any Lake County directories. The letter was postmarked in Painesville.

Saving Photos

Locke said the pictures showed a circular white object against a dark background. A hill in the photograph, he said, led him to believe that the pictures had not been doctored.

The letter said that "Tillman" was saving 17 photographs of the object for a reporter from a flying saucer magazine who "is coming to see me any day now."

Describing the shots he and his wife took, "Tillman" said: "We have very good views of the acorn, as we call it, while on the ground and while it was taking off."

The pictures sent to Locke were taken, the letter said, from a distance of 600 feet. One showed the object on the ground, the other in the air.

"Other close-up photos, descriptions of it, and what went on while on the ground and while taking off, will be given to the reporter," the letter concluded.

But the most intriguing -- and ultimately controversial -- aspect to Moore's sighting was first noted in a largely illegible article giving an overview of sightings in the area. A hand notation gives "11-22-57" as the date, but not the name of the newspaper. However, the article is bylined David Vormelker, who was a photographer-reporter for the Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer. Of general interest is a graphic of sightings in the area...

Olden Moore
However, it was the thankfully legible first paragraphs which are of particular interest...

Olden Moore

Above: Largely illegible news clipping from Project Blue Book files. The partially-readable caption underneath the drawing at the lower right says it is a drawing based on "his [Illegible] and description".

Montville UFO Tops Bumper Crop of Rural Saucers
Geauga County Man Reportedly Talked to Washington Officials


Olden Moore, the Geauga County man who reported seeing a space ship in a field near Montville the night of Nov. 6, has just revealed a mission as mysterious as his Unidentified Flying Object.

He was out of town several days until last Saturday afternoon. He won't say where. But his wife, Zelma, told friends he was in Washington in regard to the UFO.

"She talks too much," Moore said yesterday.

"I talked to high officials.

"I was sworn to secrecy. I won't say where I was." ...

But not included in Blue Book files was a somewhat more detailed account of the claim, as from the November 21, 1957, edition of the Chadron, Ohio, Geauga Record...

Says Geauga' s UFO Spotter Was Taken to Washington
'Sworn to Secrecy' Moore Says of Trip

The wife of Olden Moore, the Huntsburg man who saw an unidentified flying object land in a Montville field two weeks ago, said today her husband was taken to Washington for questioning.

Moore himself would not comment, claiming he is sworn to secrecy. He reported he was authorized to say only that he had talked to "high officials."

When asked where he talked to the officials, Moore said. "Some of them here in my home and others someplace else."

However, Moore did admit he was out of town. He said he left Thursday evening and returned Saturday morning at about 11 a.m.

After disclosing the times he left and returned, he said, "I guess they can't do any more than throw me in jail for telling you that."

"I was so mad the night he left," Mrs. Moore said. "He came in and said he was going away. When I asked him where he said he couldn't tell me. I asked him what I was supposed to do if one of the children died or something."

Mrs. Moore's statement that her husband had been to Washington was made when he was not present. When later confronted with his wife's comment, he said "Sometimes she talks too much." It was then he explained he was sworn to secrecy, but did list the days he had been out of town.

"I will say this," he commented. "Most of the people I talked to seemed to think these objects are not made by man."

Mrs. Moore said in the earlier conversation that her husband was sworn to secrecy because the government was afraid of the alarm which might be created.

Moore claims he saw the object around 11 p.m. Nov. 6 near the corner of Hart Rd. and Rt. 86 in Montville [Illegible]. It was his wife who first reported his findings. She called the Geauga sheriff's department the next day, almost 12 hours after he asserts he saw the object.

"It was small, like a star but very bright," he said.

He continued, "It kept getting brighter and brighter. That was when I pulled off the road and turned off the key."

Moore said, "It was only a matter of seconds from the time I first saw it until it was looming, big like a house, in front of me.

"It seemed to split apart then one section hovered in the air over a field next to the road. Then it slowly descended to the ground," he said.

Moore described the object as "round with a dome in the middle." It had, he added, "A bluish-green haze around it and seemed to glow like the dial of a luminous watch."

Getting out of the car, he said he started to cross the field to examine the object. Halfway there, he said, he stopped and thought about getting witnesses and returned to the car.

"No one would believe me if I told them what I saw," he said. "So I wanted to get someone else there."

He could find no one else on the highway at the time and went home to get his wife and returned with her.

"It was gone when we got back," he said.

When officials were notified the following day, the Geauga Sheriff's department and Lake County CD director Kenneth Locke rushed to the scene.

"There were prints in the field one and one-half inches deep and holes in the ground, like those made from spiked shoes," Locke said, emphasizing he did not declare they were footprints.

He said there were six prints in all, "coming from no where and going no where." He and Lt. Reineck, assistant to the head of Ohio 5th area Civil Defense, returned to headquarters to get a geiger counter.

"When we returned," Mr. Locke commented, "we got a reading of approximately 150 roentgens in the center of the area, tapering to about 20 or 30 roentgens at the perimeter."

Waiting a few hours, Mr. Locke and Lt. Reineck then took another reading of the area. "This time the meter showed only 20 to 25 roentgens in the center and we had no reading at all at the perimeter," Locke said. "We concluded something must have been here, since this indicated the reaction was not caused by minerals in the ground."

If Moore indeed had been in Washington to talk to "high officials", it wasn't the result of any report to Blue Book, whose file on Moore doesn't start until February, 1958, with urgent requests for information resulting from a letter inquiring about the case. A memo to Major Tacker of the public information office at ATIC sums up Air Force knowledge at the time...

Olden Moore
In March, pressure was ratcheted up by the letter-writer, who -- although the name is blacked out in the following -- was 58-year old Dan B. Haber of Mansfield, Ohio (whose name was not redacted on the precipitating letter).

Dan HaberHaber was a social sciences teacher (specifically, economics) at Mansfield High School, professionally, and member of NICAP, personally. In his role as a teacher he was a local delegate to the Ohio Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. He was also an active member of the veterans organization Ohio Amvets, particularly noted for his work on scholarships for children of veterans, for which he received the John L. Smith award for "outstanding achievements in Amvets and the community". Also in his Amvets role he was chair of its "Americanism Committee", which sponsored "roundtable discussions on Americanism" in the community. His wife, Olive, was a junior high school teacher, a talented amateur painter, and active in the Mansfield Arts Guild. Their son, also named Dan Haber, attended Ontario High School, where he was a top science student. But it was in his role as an (original) member of NICAP that Dan B. Haber (most likely) wrote the following...

Olden Moore
Olden Moore
The letter in the Blue Book file ends there, without signature. However it also apparently included the Civil Defense report...

Olden Moore
Olden Moore
Interesting in the Civil Defense report is the statement that Moore had been "absent for a whole day and night after this happened" -- which in the November 9th news article is framed as "his disappearance during the past two days". This time the report specifically noted that Moore was avoiding ridicule from "friends and fellow workers" but still leaves unanswered whether his wife was equally in the dark about his whereabouts.

Also in the Blue Book file was the following sketch...

Olden Moore
In any case, what evolved -- if anything -- from that March, 1958, interaction between the letter writer and Blue Book is not clear. However, in early 1959 Dan B. Haber paid a personal visit to Olden Moore, and tape-recorded an interview which included Moore's claim that he had been interrogated in Washington. Word of the tape (or even a copy) reached Project Blue Book, and as a result in March, 1959, Major Robert J. Friend -- who the year before had succeeded Captain Gregory as head of Blue Book -- conducted his own interviews of both Haber and Moore. The interview with Haber was also in response to a separate sighting report made by Haber in February, 1959...

Haber letter
As stated above, as a result of this letter and Haber's taping of Moore's account, Major Friend personally interviewed both men, and the next day filed the following preliminary report...

Friend report
Two weeks later, Major Friend would file a much more detailed report...

Friend report
Friend report
Friend report
Friend report
Friend report
Friend report
Major Friend's assertion that Moore's account of being interrogated in Washington had appeared as part of the civil defense report is not borne out by any of the Blue Book files, and the claim itself appears nowhere in the files except in the November 22, 1957, Plain Dealer article, as given earlier.

But there matters would rest for awhile -- at least as far as the Air Force was concerned. But Moore, it seems, continued to make his claim that he had been whisked away for an interrogation. According to researcher Richard Hall, as published in The UFO Evidence in 1964, Moore "told his story to newspaper reporter Don Berliner, then of the Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph, on Jan. 21, 1961", but the "material was not published by Mr. Berliner at the time because of its sensitive nature". Researcher Loren Gross, in The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, and referencing "Interview of Olden Moore by NICAP member Don Berliner - 21 January 61 - Copy in author's files" says...

Little had been said during the trip east but Moore did receive the impression his escorts believed the UFO mystery was a serious subject.

Moore was told he would receive financial compensation for lost wages while being away from his job and that any expense incurred during the three days in the Capital would be taken care of by his officer-escorts. Things may have been free but they were not fancy. Besides the spartan accommodations at the Court House, everyone ate their meals in the Court House cafeteria.

Directly across the street where Moore spent the night was something he described as a "block-long gas station." Those who knew Washington were aware of only one such place in town, the big Esso Station between 3rd and 4th Streets that fronts Constitution Avenue. This was further proof Moore stayed at the U.S. Court House building.

The reason for keeping Moore at the Court House was not apparent but the military did do their questioning there. Moore was taken to the basement, passing through three locked doors to get to the interrogation room.

The interrogation was not what Moore expected:

"Most of the questions were answered by the person asking them before he had a chance to comment. He [Moore] said he would have corrected them, had they been wrong. Obviously, they knew more about what he had seen then [sic] he did. He felt they were most interested in finding out how much he knew."

As noted, Berliner's account went unpublished, and Moore's story was mostly forgotten. Then, in the September, 1962, edition of Jim Moseley's Saucer News, Moseley penned a lengthy article on a trip made in late March, 1962, to talk with (at the time) Lt. Col. Robert Friend at Wright-Patterson. Entitled My Interview at Wright-Patterson Field, it had the following concerning Olden Moore...

The conversation came around, at one point, to "hush ups," and I was told the story of a gentleman (name known to me) who made an important and apparently truthful sighting during the 1957 flap. Later he began claiming that, as a result of his sighting, he was taken to Washington and detained involuntarily for three days of questioning. He made these statements to friends and eventually on tape; and this tape was sent to a larger circle of saucer enthusiasts. According to Col. Friend, the Air Force went to interview this man and ask him politely about these wild claims. The fellow admitted in private that they were not true. Apparently he had merely strayed from home for a few days and needed a good story to tell his wife. Then, the story had "snowballed" from there.

Nine months later, Moseley would publish a contradictory follow-up in the June, 1963, edition of Saucer News...

Saucer News

-- by C.W. Fitch --

In the September 1962 issue of SAUCER NEWS, Mr. Moseley gave a long account of his interview with Lt. Col. Robert J. Friend, chief of the Air Force's UFO investigation center at Wright-Patterson Field, Dayton, Ohio.

In this article, on Page 13, Mr. Moseley stated; "The conversation came around, at one point, to 'hush ups,' and I was told the story of a gentleman (name known to me) who made an important and apparently truthful sighting during the 1957 'flap.' Later he began claiming that, as a result of his sighting, he was taken to Washington and detained involuntarily for three days of questioning. He made these statements to friends and eventually on tape; and this tape was sent to a larger circle of saucer enthusiasts. According to Col. Friend, the Air Force went to interview this man and ask him politely about these wild claims. The fellow admitted in private that they were not true. Apparently he had merely strayed from home for a few days and needed a good story to tell his wife. Then, the story had 'snowballed' from there...."

It is my purpose in this article to set the record straight. As Mr. Moseley and I both know, the name of the gentleman in question is Olden Moore. As recounted in many newspapers at the time (and in the February-March 1958 issue of SAUCER NEWS, now out of print), Moore made a very close sighting of a flying saucer. The date was November 6th, 1957 -- right at the height of the well-remembered 1957 "flap." Moore, then living in Lake County, Ohio, was driving his car along Route 86, near Montville, when he noticed what he at first took to be a bright shooting star or meteor moving rapidly across the sky from right to left in front of him.

Said Moore (as quoted in one of the local newspapers): "The object stopped when it got to the center of my side of the windshield, and then it split into two pieces. One part of it went upward. The part that remained then seemed brighter than ever. As I kept watching this 'star,' it kept getting brighter and bigger. I decided to pull my car off the road onto a side road, and I got out to take a look. The thing seemed to be headed straight at the car. As it approached, its color changed from a bright white to a green haze, and then to a blue-green color, as it stopped about 200 feet in the air above a nearby field. I didn't hear any sound from it at all until it started to settle slowly to the ground. Then I noticed a whirring sound, something like the electric meter on the side of my house, only a little deeper in tone. I stood by the car watching the thing for some fifteen minutes before I decided to walk toward it. The object was about 500 feet away from me."

Moore had walked about half the distance between the road and the landed UFO when he stopped and decided that he would go back to his car and return to the spot with witnesses, as no one would believe him otherwise. He could find no one else on the highway at the time, however. He went home to get his wife, and returned to the spot with her; but by that time the object was gone.

Moore said that the UFO was about 50 feet in diameter, disc-shaped, and about 15 feet thick, with a cone on the top, making its over-all height between 20 and 30 feet. It was surrounded by a blue-green haze, like a fog, and the color pulsated slowly, alternating between bright and dim. The moon was unusually bright that night, and it was the moonlight that made it possible for him to distinguish the object itself from the haze. The UFO had a surface like mirrored sunglasses, but no windows or portholes of any kind.

County officials were notified of the sighting the following day, and Lake County Civil Defense Director Kenneth Locke rushed to the scene. Said he, as quoted in a local newspaper at the time: "There were prints in the field one and a half inches deep and holes in the ground like those made by spiked shoes." He said that there were six prints in all, "coming from nowhere and going nowhere." He and Lt. Reineck, assistant to the head of the Ohio 5th Area Civil Defense, returned to headquarters to get a geiger counter. "When we came back," said Mr. Locke, "we got a reading of approximately 150 roentgens in the center of the area, tapering off to about 20 or 30 roentgens at the perimeter." Waiting a few hours, Locke and Reineck took another reading in the same area. This time the meter showed only 20 or 25 roentgens in the center and no reading at all at the perimeter. Locke concluded: "Something must have been here, since this indicated that the reaction on the geiger counter was not caused by minerals in the ground."

Drawings of the UFO were made from Moore's description, and were widely published at the time. The sketch below, however, is Moore's own original drawing, which he gave to me, and is published here for the first time.

Moore Sketch

The saucer is the darkened area within the geometric construction lines Moore used to draw it. Moore's signature is at the bottom.

Moore moved from Ohio to New York in the Fall of 1962, and has resumed his trade as a plasterer. I have lost contact with him since then, but I was among the first to interview him after his sighting in November 1957, and after the initial excitement died down, I visited him many times during the period from 1957 to mid-1962. He had never believed in nor been interested in matters pertaining to UFO's before his sighting; but from that time on, he was very much interested. On numerous occasions I sat with him in his kitchen and discussed the details of his sighting, and I acquainted him with sightings made by others. I used to bring him articles and magazines on the saucer subject, and we became good friends. I can definitely state that I got to know Olden well enough to form a respect for him as a religious and truthful man. He just wasn't the kind to make up or fabricate stories of any sort. He was very active in church work and spent many of his evenings in that manner.

A few months after his sighting, Moore confided in me about having been flown to Washington and interviewed there for two days and returned home on the third. He said then that I was the first person he had told about it. Three men in particular figured in the picture. He recalled their last names and gave them to me. Naturally, these could have been assumed names. In any case, I later passed this information on to NICAP to see if they could identify or locate any of the three. NICAP was not successful, so I had to abandon this particular approach in my efforts to authenticate Moore's story.

However, Moore did identify certain buildings in Washington -- one in particular, which he said was a block-long Esso station, where several stops for gas were made by the Air Force car in which he was being driven around the city. About two years ago, while in Washington myself, I had a friend of mine take pictures of this particular gas station and other adjoining buildings. When I showed the pictures to Olden later, he quickly identified the Esso station and the building opposite it as two of those he had been in while there. Moore had never been to Washington before in his life, but he remembered stopping in this exceptionally large gas station. I learned that it was the only one of its kind in the city, so he wasn't mistaken in that. The building opposite the Esso station turns out to be the United States Court House, which faces on Constitution Ave., and extends between 3rd and 4th Streets. It is shown in the picture below. The Esso Station in question is right across the street.

CourthouseMoore said that one of the military officers stayed with him every minute he was in Washington -- even sleeping in the same room with him at night. They never let him out of their sight. They dined with him in a private restaurant in the same building where he was housed. He was well treated and afforded every courtesy, and he had no complaint on that score.

The military officers, after questioning him about his sighting at considerable length on several occasions, showed him some slides, projected on a screen. These slides were of various UFO still photographs. They even ran off a UFO movie film, which had apparently been taken from inside a military plane. Moore said he was told that about 30% of the UFO's on which they had information, were of the type with a pointed dome, such as the one he had seen.

After being shown these slides and motion pictures, Moore was asked to sign papers (with witnesses' signatures attached to them) to the effect that he would not reveal the fact that he had been shown this evidence of the existence of UFO's. Moore told me that he asked where these objects are from. He was told by the military officials that they are not ours or Russia's, and that they must therefore be from another planet, coming into our atmosphere from outer space. He was also told that the public has not been informed about this because the Military themselves do not yet have all the answers.

At my request, Moore even told me exactly how he was taken to Washington. But in order to give you the whole story correctly in sequence, I must explain the heretofore unpublished fact that he was taken on another trip first. Here is exactly what happened:

On Sunday evening, November 10th, 1957, Geauga County Sheriff Louis Robusky, accompanied by a deputy and an Air Force lieutenant who stated he was from Youngstown (Ohio), called on Moore at his home. Sheriff Robusky told Moore that the Air Force representatives wished to question him about his sighting and wanted to have him accompany them to Youngstown for that purpose. He added that he felt it was Moore's duty as a citizen to do as they requested. Moore agreed to go, and asked how long he would be away. They informed him he would be back home later that same evening. Moore got in the car with them, and they drove him to the very same field where he had seen the UFO land! The whole experience was so unusual that he became frightened. When they arrived at the field there was an Army or Air Force helicopter waiting for them. Moore said that two Air Force men accompanied him to Youngstown. On arrival at the airfield there, he was escorted to a nearby building and questioned at some length about his sighting. Then he was flown in the same helicopter back to the field from which he had been taken, and he arrived home about 11 p.m. that evening, as had been promised.

On the following Sunday, November 17th, at about 6 p.m., an Air Force car with two officers in it came to Moore's home. This time he was informed by one of the officers that they wanted him to go to Washington for two or three days of questioning, and he was asked to pack a grip. They said they would return for him in an hour, and promptly at 7 p.m. they did return. The car drove to a waiting plane in which the pilot was already at the controls. The plane touched down at Wright-Patterson Field in Dayton, and dropped off one of the officers. It picked up another Air Force officer at the same time, and then took off for Washington, arriving there at an unidentified (to Moore) airport later that night. An official car then drove him to the downtown building where he was housed throughout his stay there. Two or three days later, Moore was flown back home via Youngstown.

Olden said that after it was all over, he lay in bed many times before going to sleep at night, and wondered why the Government had selected him to take to Washington for questioning. I told him that I felt sure the same sort of thing had happened to others, and that they too had been sworn to secrecy.

It was not Olden who first "leaked" the information about his having gone to Washington. While he was away, his wife told a friend on the telephone that her husband was in the Capital being questioned about his UFO experience. This friend told others, and the newspapers and other news media picked the story up. Moore later admitted having gone to Washington, but according to what he told me, he always stopped questioning at that point by simply stating that he had been sworn to secrecy as to what had happened there.

In March of 1959, Mrs. Moore sent me a postcard, saying that they had recently had another visit -- this time by two men from Wright-Patterson Field, and that she would tell me more about it if I cared to come over. I went to see the Moores, and on that occasion Olden told me that a saucer researcher named Dan Haber had come to him and had convinced him to make a tape recording about his saucer experience. Moore had made the tape to please Haber, and the latter had apparently proceeded to circulate the tape and even sent a copy of it to the Air Force. It was because of this tape that the two officers from Wright-Patterson visited Moore. This official visit, rather than the earlier ones, is probably the one which entered into the discussion between Mr. Moseley and Col. Friend.

In any case, these officers from Wright Field told Olden that what he had undoubtedly seen, back in November 1957, was a giant fireball. They said that on rare occasions these huge fireballs were seen for periods of very short duration before disappearing or vanishing from sight. Moore's wife was convinced from this conversation that what her husband had seen was indeed a fireball, but Olden told me that while he let the officers think they had convinced him, they didn't change his mind one bit. He told me: "I know I saw a solid object that night, because I was close enough to it to see the reflection of the moonlight on the object's mirror-like surface. It wasn't any fireball. I know what I saw and nothing they said changed my mind on that score."

It is entirely possible that Col. Friend is unaware of the events that took place at the time of Moore's sighting. If this is the case, then, -- smugly thinking he knew all the answers, -- he accurately told Mr. Moseley what little he did know about the matter. Or, perhaps an inaccurate version of the case had been given to him by someone else. From my personal knowledge of Olden Moore, one thing is certain: Either Col. Friend was ignorant of Moore's visit to Washington or else he withheld the real facts from Moseley. There is no doubt in my mind that Olden Moore is telling the truth!

One thing which immediately jumps out (in Fitch's version of Moore's account) is the claim that as part of Moore's first trip to Youngstown (the week before his trip to Washington) he was taken back to the very same field where he had his sighting, leaving and returning by helicopter from that exact spot -- an exceedingly conspicuous coming and going almost sure to garner attention, and running the very likely risk that it would generate eye-witness news stories of Moore being swept away by a military helicopter while being escorted by men in uniform. This risk of publicity could only be exacerbated by the fact that -- although Fitch's account gets no more specific than saying Moore left "Sunday evening" -- sunset on that day was at 5:11 p.m. and night-flying by helicopter was still a rarity. Certainly whatever lights the helicopter would have been carrying would only serve to increase attention to Moore's coming and going, especially on its return some time before 11 p.m. (as would the considerable noise of a helicopter landing and departing twice on a Sunday night).

Youngstown Air Force Base -- presumably Moore's destination -- was at the time part of Air Defense Command's Central Air Defense Force, and certainly would have intelligence officers on base. But conspicuously missing from this account is any detail of what "questioning him at some length" entailed (how many people were involved, what questions were asked, what answers were given, was he warned against talking, etc.).

Similar problems arise from Moore's account of his Washington trip one week later. Surprised at his front door on a Sunday evening with a request that he be ready in one hour to leave for two or three days, he seemed remarkably nonplussed about it all. And his wife's statement given in one of the news stories -- "When I asked him where he said he couldn't tell me" -- shows a remarkable indifference to the welfare both of her and of their four children, aged one, three, five, and seven. But apparently asking the strangers at his door the question of how his wife could get in touch if there were an emergency was not an issue to him.

But then again, if Mrs. Moore wasn't told then how did it happen that, "While he was away, his wife told a friend on the telephone that her husband was in the Capital being questioned about his UFO experience"?

Also obscure in Fitch's account is the meaning of the statement that the "car drove to a waiting plane in which the pilot was already at the controls". Was it a private plane or a military aircraft? The nearest major airport was at Youngstown Air Force Base to the southeast, or Cleveland Airport to the southwest, so presumably to have a pilot "already at the controls" it was a smaller local field. But also presumably it was then a smaller plane.

As for the trip itself, whether it left from a local airport or from Youngstown it would total approximately 520 air miles, and the stop at Wright-Patterson in Dayton was a decidedly indirect route...

Moore map
All told, from the time the two officers picked up Moore at 7 p.m. to the time the plane -- after a stopover at Dayton -- landed in Washington, it would have been well after midnight. Was conversation allowed during all that time amongst the four people aboard (Moore, two officers, and the pilot), and if so was it small talk -- which in itself can be revealing -- or substantive? And even if the landing in Washington was at an "unidentified (to Moore) airport", couldn't he at least determine its size or whether it was civilian or military? Such questions are unaddressed in Fitch's account, to the detriment of its verisimilitude.

And then there is the question of the dates involved. Fitch gives the events of the Washington trip as beginning Sunday, November 17, while the news account in the November 21, 1957, Geauga Record says specifically that Moore "said he left Thursday evening and returned Saturday morning at about 11 a.m." -- meaning the trip to Washington started November 14 and was wrapped up by the morning of November 16. Also notable in this regard is that while Fitch's account says that Moore was "detained involuntarily for three days of questioning", the account in the Geauga Record would have him leaving Thursday night, spending one full day (Friday) in Washington, and home again Saturday morning.

But the legend of Olden Moore would not end with Fitch's 1963 account. Researcher Loren Gross' superb overview of UFO history year-by-year, The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, included the information gleaned by Don Berliner given earlier, and also carries the following on Moore's experience...

Promptly at 7:00 o'clock the two Air Force officers (one named "Sterling") appeared at Moore's front door. The two officers and Moore travelled in an official car to Youngstown AFB, a 40 mile drive. After arriving at the base, the party of three boarded a helicopter and flew to Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. Dayton is about 200 miles southwest of Youngstown. This hop to Dayton came as a surprise to Moore. Nothing was said about a trip to Dayton although he was informed he would be spending as much as three days away from home. In any case, little time was spend [sic] at Dayton (Moore mentions no one joining his party or leaving it, nor did he say any cargo was handled). Moore and the two officers got off the helicopter and boarded a small military transport plane and flew to Washington D.C., touching down at a small airfield just outside the Capital. They did not land at Washington National.

The military men drove Moore downtown to a large government building Donald Keyhoe and others believe was the U.S. Court House. The upper floors of the Court House had rooms for sequestered jury members, rooms which were hotel-like living quarters. The basement of the building had many offices for U.S. Marshals.*

Moore was never left alone during the entire trip. He even had one of the military men as a roomate [sic]. What was this all about? What would happen the next day? Moore didn't have a clue.

*Keyhoe told me personally that Moore remembered observing many U.S. Marshalls walking about in the building's hallways -- L.E. Gross.

The above contradicts some details given by Fitch, while combining aspects of Fitch's story of the preliminary trip to Youngstown followed a week later by the trip to Washington with a stopover in Dayton. Gross' account -- which leaves out entirely the prior trip to Youngstown -- intuitively feels more likely (with the possible exception of the helicopter trip from Youngstown to Dayton, undertaken at night). And it may just be that Fitch, writing five or six years after he had learned the details, either misinterpreted or misremembered what he had been told.

But inexplicably -- except for the footnote about Keyhoe -- Gross' account specifically gives Fitch's The Olden Moore Story as the source for Gross' version (crediting James Moseley's Book of Saucer News which reprinted Fitch's original account from Saucer News verbatim). This is not meant to suggest that there was any kind of chicanery or incompetence by Gross, whose definitive work is perhaps the most important ever accomplished on the subject (or at least in rare company with a select few others). The details provided by Gross were apparently based on Berliner's account, which appears with similar details in researcher Richard Hall's 1964 report, The UFO Evidence...

After more than three years' observance of this, he decided the need for revealing his story superseded the need for secrecy, so he told his story to newspaper reporter Don Berliner, then of the Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph, on Jan. 21, 1961.

Moore stated that, within two weeks of the sighting, he was taken to Youngstown (Ohio) AFB by car, then to Wright-Patterson AFB by helicopter, and from there to an air base within 20-30 minutes drive of Washington, D.C. (probably Andrews AFB) in a small Air Force transport plane. At all times he was accompanied by two government representatives.

During his stay in Washington, he was quartered in a hotel-like room with one of the government men, who, impressed Moore as being there for the purpose of keeping an eye on him. Questioning and interviewing took place in the basement of the building in which he stayed. (The U.S, Court House fits the description. Upstairs are hotel-like jury rooms; in the basement are many offices, including those of U.S, Marshals.) The only time he was permitted to leave the building prior to departure was for a brief guided tour of some historic and scenic areas (which proved highly impressive to one who had never before seen the Nation's Capital.)

The interrogation, according to Moore, was not so much a question-and-answer session, as a corroboration by him of details of his experience, i.e. "was the thing you saw a such-and-such?" His answer, in almost every instance, was affirmative. This led him to conclude that his questioners were less interested in learning what he had seen than in finding out how much he had detected. He said he got the definite impression that those asking the questions were quite familiar with what he had seen.

At the end of the third day of questions, Moore was required to sign a statement promising never to tell of his trip to Washington. Upon returning home, all he would tell the newspapers was that he had talked with some officials at home and others elsewhere. His wife said he was taken to Washington, but Moore did not confirm this at the time.

Don Berliner, who interviewed Moore in 1961, was highly impressed by his sincerity, lack of sensationalism, and his awareness of the seriousness of revealing information he had promised to keep secret. This material was not published by Mr. Berliner at the time because of its sensitive nature. However, Mr. Moore did offer to tell his story to any Committee or Subcommittee of Congress which might be interested.

In sum, the Olden Moore story produced significant contradictions over time -- note, for instance, that the alleged preliminary trip to Youngstown does not show up in Gross' or Halls' versions of Berliner's interview of Moore. Other contradictions include the dates (November 14 vs. November 17), the means by which Moore flew to Washington (helicopter and plane vs. plane only), the amount of time in Washington (a night, a day, and a morning vs. "detained involuntarily for three days of questioning").

Nor does it help clarify matters that Fitch's version of events uses evocative language -- such as "detained involuntarily for three days of questioning" (although Fitch's description of events suggest nothing "involuntary" about it), or the "pilot already at the controls" (which seems at best unlikely and intended only to add a dramatic flourish).

And then there is the dilemma of Major Friend's March, 1959, visit, with Moore telling Fitch that "he let the officers think they had convinced him" -- without giving any reason why. And especially troubling from Major Friend's report...

Friend report
Ironically, final word on the story of Olden Moore was actually written soon after Moore's initial experience. In 1958, the English-language edition of Aime Michel's Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery carried a lengthy appendix by Alexander Mebane (one of the founders of CSI, New York) on the saucer flap of November, 1957. In his coverage of Moore's claim of his trip to Washington, Mebane would conclude...

As with a "contact" claim, we are now confronted with allegations so far-reaching that we can hardly accept them without knowing more than we do about the claimant's reputation for reliability. At present, the story must be adjudged either a very significant case or a well-carried- out hoax; we do not know which it is.

And so it remains, nearly sixty years after Mebane wrote those prescient words.

35. Accounts published much later claim two spectacular incidents occurring in 1957. The first appeared in the September, 1959, edition of the APRO Bulletin, written by Dr. Olavo T. Fontes, a medical doctor and APRO's primary South American researcher. In that issue's featured article, headlined Shadow of the Unknown, the story was told of three incidents, including the following...

Incident 3:

This is a top-secret military sighting. It is printed here for the first time. It was never published before. It is a horror tale. Any one after reading the report will understand the reasons why it has been withheld from the public under a curtain of absolute censorship. I am breaking this official secrecy because I believe it dangerous. I still believe that civilian scientists should be told. One of them may find a defense not yet discovered. Civilian scientists and technicians, working in every country, might help to find new weapons and defenses before it is too late.

On November 4th, 1957, at 2:00 a.m. (just forty minutes after Incident 2 ) something sinister took place at the Brazilian Fortress Itaipu. This fortress belongs to the Brazilian Army and was built along the coast of Sao Paulo state, at Sao Vicente, near Santos.

It was a moonless tropical night. Everything was quiet. The whole garrison was sleeping in peace. Two sentinels were on duty on top of the military fortifications. They were common soldiers, they did not know that saucers existed. They were performing a routine task, relaxed because there was no enemy to be feared -- Then a new star suddenly burst into searing life among the others in the cloudless sky, over the Atlantic Ocean, near the horizon. The sentries watched the phenomenon. Their interest increased when they realized it was not a star. but a luminous flying object. It was coming toward the fortress. They thought at first that it was an airplane but the speed was strange -- too high . . . There was no need to alert the garrison, however. In fact, so tremendous was the object's speed that the two soldiers forgot their patrol just to observe it. It was approaching rapidly.

In just a few seconds the UAO was flying over the fortress. Then it stopped abruptly in mid-air and drifted slowly down, its strong orange glow etching each man's shadow against the illuminated ground between the heavy cannon turrets. It hovered about 120 to 180 feet above the highest cannon turret and then it became motionless. The sentries were frozen on the ground, their eyes wide with surprise, the Tommy guns hung limply from their hands like dead things. The unknown object was a large craft about the size of a big Douglas, but round and shaped like a disk of some sort. It was encircled by an eerie orange glow. It had been silent when approaching, but now, at close range, the two sentries heard a distinct humming sound coming from it. Such a strange object hovered overhead and nothing happened for about one minute. Then came the nightmare . . .

The sentinels were startled, unable to think what to do about the UAO. But they felt no terror, no premonition, no hint of the danger. Then something hot touched their faces (one of them thinks he heard a faint whining sound he could not identify at that same moment). In darkness this would have been horrifying. But the UAO was bright and they could see that nothing had changed. Then came the heat. Suddenly an intolerable wave of heat struck the two soldiers.

One of the sentries said later that, when the heat wave engulfed him, it was like a fire burning all over his clothes. The air seemed to be filled with the UAO's humming sound. Blind panic yammered at him. He staggered, dazed, heat waves filling the air around him. It was too hot . . . He went stumbling and lurching, his whole conscious purpose that of escaping from that invisible fire burning him alive. He fought, and gasped and beat the air before him. He was suffocating. Then he blacked out and collapsed to the ground -- unconscious.

The other sentry got the horrible feeling that his clothes were on fire. A wave of heat suddenly enveloped him. Horror filled him and he lost his mind. He began to scream desperately, running and stumbling and crying from one side to another, as a trapped animal. He did not know what he was doing, but somehow he skidded into shelter, beneath the heavy cannons of the fortress. His cries were so loud that he awoke the whole garrison, starting an alarm all over the place.

Inside the soldiers' living quarters everything was confusion. There was the sound of running footsteps everywhere, soldiers and officers trying to reach their battle stations, their eyes wide with shock. No one knew what could explain those horrible screams outside. Then just a few seconds later, the lights all over the fortress collapsed suddenly as well as the whole electric system that moved the turrets, heavy cannons and elevators. Even the ones supplied by the fortress' own generators. The intercommunications system was dead too. Someone tried to switch on the emergency circuits but these were dead too. The strangest thing, however, was the behavior of the alarms in the electric clocks, which had been set to ring at 5:00 a.m. -- they all started to ring everywhere, at 2:03 a.m.

The fortress was dead, helpless . . . Inside it, confusion had changed to widespread panic, soldiers and officers running blindly from one corner to another along the dark corridors. There was fear on every face -- fear of the unknown -- hands nervously grasping the useless weapons. Then the lights came on again and every man ran outside to fight the unexpected enemy who surely was attacking the fortress. Some officers and soldiers came in time to see an orange light climbing up vertically and then moving away through the sky at high speed. One of the sentinels was on the ground, still unconscious. The other was hiding in a dark corner, mumbling and crying, entirely out of his mind. One of the officers who came first was a military doctor and, after a brief examination, he saw that both sentries were badly burned and ordered the men to take them to the infirmary immediately. They were put under medical care at once. It became clear that one of them was a severe case of heat syncope; he was still unconscious and showing evident signs of peripheral vascular failure. Besides this, both soldiers presented first and deep second-degree burns of more than 10 per cent of body surface -- mostly on areas that had been protected by clothes. The one that could talk was in deep nervous shock and many hours passed before he was able to tell the story.

The nightmare had lasted for three minutes . . .

Next day the commander of the fortress (an army colonel) issued orders forbidding the whole garrison to tell anything about the incident to anyone -- not even to their relatives. Intelligence officers came and took charge, working frantically to question and silence everyone with information pertaining to the matter. Soldiers and officers were instructed not to discuss the case. The fortress was placed in a state of martial law and a top-secret report was sent to the Q.G. (at Rio or Sao Paulo). Days later, American officers from the U. S. Army Military Mission arrived at the fortress together with officers from the Brazilian Air Force, to question the sentries and other witnesses involved. Afterwards a special plane was chartered to bring the two burned sentinels to Rio. It was an Air Force military aircraft At Rio, they were put in the Army's Central Hospital (HCE), completely isolated from the world behind a tight security curtain. Two months later they were still there. I don't know where they are now.

Three weeks after the incident, I was contacted by an officer from the Brazilian Army, a friend who knew about my interest in UAO research. He was at the Fortress of Itaipu the night of the incident. He was one of those who questioned the two sentries. He told me the whole story exactly as it was described above. His name was suppressed from this report in order to protect him. The reasons are obvious; he told me something he should not tell. As a matter of fact, this officer has asked me to forget his name and he wasn't laughing. He was too frightened.

I was aware, however, that the information was not enough despite the fact that it had come directly from one of the witnesses. The case was too important. On the other hand, to get more information through the security ring built by Army Intelligence would be an almost hopeless task. The only way was to attempt to break the secrecy around the two soldiers under treatment in the Army's Central Hospital. As a physician, I might perhaps contact some doctors from the hospital and even examine the two patients if possible. However, all my attempts failed. The only thing I was able to determine was the fact that two soldiers from the Fortress of Itaipu were really there under treatment for bad burns. Only that.

The case remained in my files until two months ago, when the final proof that it was real was finally obtained. Three other officers from the Brazilian Army who had been at the fortress on the night of UAO were fortunately localized and contacted. They told the same story. They confirmed the report transcribed above in every detail.

The second spectacular claim published long after the alleged incident itself was likewise from the reports of Dr. Olavo T. Fontes, who in 1958 wrote Coral Lorenzen telling the story of Antonio Villas Boas -- virtually the first "alien abduction" claim. The story itself is long, but as summarized in Wikipedia ('correcting' the spelling to Vilas-Boas'...

At the time of his alleged abduction, Antonio Vilas-Boas was a 23-year-old Brazilian farmer who was working at night to avoid the hot temperatures of the day. On October 16, 1957, he was ploughing fields near Sao Francisco de Sales when he saw what he described as a "red star" in the night sky. According to his story, this "star" approached his position, growing in size until it became recognizable as a roughly circular or egg-shaped aerial craft, with a red light at its front and a rotating cupola on top. The craft began descending to land in the field, extending three "legs" as it did so. At that point, Boas decided to run from the scene.

According to Boas, he first attempted to leave the scene on his tractor, but when its lights and engine died after traveling only a short distance, he decided to continue on foot. However, he was seized by a 1.5 m (five-foot) tall humanoid, who was wearing grey coveralls and a helmet. Its eyes were small and blue, and instead of speech it made noises like barks or yelps. Three similar beings then joined the first in subduing Boas, and they dragged him inside their craft.

Once inside the craft, Boas said that he was stripped of his clothes and covered from head-to-toe with a strange gel. He was then led into a large semicircular room, through a doorway that had strange red symbols written over it. (Boas claimed that he was able to memorize these symbols and later reproduced them for investigators.) In this room the beings took samples of Boas' blood from his chin. After this he was then taken to a third room and left alone for around half an hour. During this time, some kind of gas was pumped into the room, which made Boas become violently ill.

Shortly after this, Boas claimed that he was joined in the room by another humanoid. This one, however, was female, very attractive, and naked. She was the same height as the other beings he had encountered, with a small, pointed chin and large, blue catlike eyes. The hair on her head was long and white (somewhat like platinum blonde) but her underarm and pubic hair were bright red. Boas said he was strongly attracted to the woman, and the two had sexual intercourse. During this act, Boas noted that the female did not kiss him but instead nipped him on the chin.

When it was all over, the female smiled at Boas, rubbing her belly and gestured upwards. Boas took this to mean that she was going to raise their child in space. The female seemed relieved that their "task" was over, and Boas himself said that he felt angered by the situation, because he felt as though he had been little more than "a good stallion" for the humanoids.

Boas said that he was then given back his clothing and taken on a tour of the ship by the humanoids. During this tour he said that he attempted to take a clock-like device as proof of his encounter, but was caught by the humanoids and prevented from doing so. He was then escorted off the ship and watched as it took off, glowing brightly. When Boas returned home, he discovered that four hours had passed.

Antonio Vilas Boas later became a lawyer, married and had four children. He stuck to the story of his alleged abduction for his entire life. Though some sources say he died in 1992, he died on January 17, 1991.

Fontes had met Boas in early 1958. He sent a detailed account of Boas' story and the physical examination Fontes had given him to Coral Lorenzen -- but the story remained in APRO files unpublished. The first public mention would not come until mid-1962 in the newsletter of the Brazilian UFO society Sociedad Brasileira de Estudios Sobre Discos Voadores. That article would be eventually be the genesis in 1965 for a three-part series in Flying Saucer Review. In 1967 Coral Lorenzen published in its entirety the lengthy 1958 report from Fontes as its own chapter in her book Flying Saucer Occupants.

36. One especially sad note to 1957...

On the morning of November 8, 1957, Pan American Clipper Romance of the Skies departed San Francisco on the first leg of a flight with stops in Honolulu, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Rangoon. Aboard were a crew of eight and 36 passengers, six of them children.

The flight was part of Pan American World Airways famed "Clipper" service, which since 1936 had offered luxury commercial flight service across the Pacific (it was said that the only class in a Clipper flight was first class).

In 1949 the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser had become Pan American's primary carrier on its Clipper flights across the Pacific -- flying faster (340 mph) and higher (25,000 feet) than any other, in the world's largest commercial airliner.

Flights aboard the twin-decked wonder featured sleeper berths, seven-course meals, and nightcaps in the lower-deck lounge. From a July, 1949, article in Popular Mechanics...

A 1950 Pan American promotional film gives a fascinating look back at the plane...

But that November morning's flight of the Clipper Romance of the Skies never reached its first-leg stop in Hawaii. The last message was a standard position check. There had been no distress message received. The subsequent search by boat and plane was the largest since the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. On November 14, 1957, fifteen bodies as well as scattered wreckage were found over an area of 33-square miles.

Amongst the passengers were a general manager of Dow Chemical, a State Department official, a consular official of the U.S. Information Agency, a decorated World War II pilot who had flown with the Free French Lafayette Escadrille, a U.S. Naval Commander, families on vacation (including a veteran Pan American pilot with his wife and four children), and one man on his way to Tokyo to marry a woman he had met while previously serving with the U.S. Forces in Japan.

Amongst the crew were flight engineer Albert Pinataro, flight supervisor Jack King, purser Eugene Crosthwaite, stewardesses Yvonne Alexander and Marie McGrath, pilot Gordon H. Brown, First Officer W.P. Wygant, and... second officer and navigator William H. Fortenberry.

In 1952, Fortenberry had been a primary witness to one of the most spectacular and important pilot sightings of all time. From the July 16, 1952, edition of the Lowell, Massachusetts, Sun...

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."

Major Problem

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.

In Echelon

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.

On November 9, 1957, Pan American released the names of those on board the fatal flight of Clipper Romance of the Skies...

The crew members, all from California:

Captain GORDON H. BROWN, Palo Alto.
First Officer W.P. WYGANT, Sausalito.
Second Officer W.H. FORTENBERRY, Santa Clara.
Engineering Officer A. PINATARA, Belmont.
Purser E. CROSTHWAITE, Felton.
Flight Supervisor JACK E. KING, South San Francisco.
Stewardess YVONNE ALEXANDER, San Francisco.
Stewardess MARIE McGRATH, Burlingame.

The passengers:

Hawaii bound:
ROBERT ALEXANDER and his wife MARGARET, and children JUDY and DAVID, all of Los Altos.
MRS. MARIAN BARBER, Shaker Heights, Ohio.
FRED CHOY, San Mateo.
EDWARD ELLIS, Hillsboro.
WILL HAGAN and NORMA HAGEN (address unknown).
ROBERT HOLLIDAY, New South Wales, Australia.
JOSEPH JONES, Kailua, Oahu.
LOUIS RODRIGUES, 53, San Francisco.
HELEN ROWLAND, 60, Palo Alto.

Tokyo bound:
TOMIKO BOYD, Baltimore, Ohio.
H. LEE CLACK, his wife, ANNA, and their children, SCOTT, NANCY, KIMI, and BRUCE all of Midland, Mich.
Lieutenant Commander GORDON COLE, Alexandria, Va.
WILLIAM DECK, Roanoke, Va.
MELIH DURAL, address unknown.
SOLEDAD MERCADO, address unknown.
RUBY QUONG, San Francisco.
PHILIP SULLIVAN and his wife, BESS, of Alexandria, Va.

Rangoon bound:
THOMAS McGRAIL, West Roxbury, Mass.

To this day, the cause of the crash remains unknown. Much more on the mystery may be read at Air & Space Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle.

37. The story of the July, 1952, in-flight encounter of Pan American pilots William Nash and William Fortenberry is told in The Pilots' Tale, available through the Past Weeks portal of this site.


The Arrival

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

Cowboys and Aliens

Apollo 18


Aliens, 1986

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy




Giger's Alien


The X Files

Transformers 2- Revenge of the Fallen


Critters, 1985

War of the Worlds

Transformers 2 - Bumblebee

Terminator Salvation

Star Trek

Men In Black II

Alien vs Predator

2001: A Space Odyssey

The Quiet Earth, 1986

Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1977


Termination Salvation -X

Independence Day

Men In Black

Alien, Italian Movie Poster, 1979

Blade Runner Japanese Style

Star Wars - Saga Collage

Star Wars- Return Of The Jedi

Star Wars

Forbidden Planet, Robby the Robot

Star Wars- The Empire Strikes Back

Invasion of the Saucer Men, 1957

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, 1956

The Day The Earth Stood Still, 1951

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

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

Teenagers From Outer Space, 1959

Robinson Crusoe on Mars, 1964

2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968

Devil Girl From Mars, 1955

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

This Island Earth, 1954

Robinson Crusoe on Mars, 1964

Invasion of the Saucer Men, 1957

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, 1956

The War of the Worlds, 1953

Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1978

The Day of the Triffids, 1963

The Phantom Planet, 1962

The Day The Earth Stood Still

Invasion of The Body Snatchers, 1956

It Came from Outer Space, 1953

Queen of Outer Space, 1958

2001: A Space Odyssey


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