UFO Reports - 1917

From a letter to ATIC (Air Technical Intelligence Centre, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) from the former studio manager for De Frenes & Company Motion Picture Studios in Philadelphia dated 11 April 1952:

    In the summer of 1946, a Mr. Harrison came to the studio and asked for a quotation on the production of an educational motion picture. He was thinking of have [sic] a film made, largely consisting of animation, to explain a phenomenon he had seen in the sky on August 4, 1917 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The story he told me was so fantastic that after he left, I wrote down the main parts of it together with the date, and a copy of his diagram. I have kept it ever since as an instance of the odd type of people one runs into in the motion picture business.

          In talking over the specifications of the film with Mr. Harrison, he was rather evasive in his answers as to the subject matter. Naturally, in order to give a fair quotation, I had to know what the exact content of the film would be in order to give a proper quotation. Rather reluctantly, he told me the following story, and explained that he wanted to make this film to show to interested groups of people to explain what he had seen.

          In mid-afternoon of August 4, 1917, this Mr. Harrison had been standing at the window of one of the upper floors of an office building in Philadelphia. There were a certain amount of clouds in the sky, but the sun was shining. High in the sky he saw a series of bright glittering objects. They were arranged in a pattern as drawn below. [Image not yet available]

          He did not describe any movement of the entire group as a unit. He saw the phenomenon for less than a minute and then it faded from view. He alone saw the phenomenon, and apparently he did not have time to call anybody else's attention to it. He never saw it again.

          Between 1917 and 1946, Mr. Harrison had been trying to interpret what he had seen..

The letter goes on to recount Mr. Harrison's theories which were religious or mystical in nature. He thought he may have seen a "mystic Morse Code" or "a manifestation of the Holy Grail." After receiving his quote Mr. Harrison left.

I have checked the Philadelphia INQUIRER for additional reports of this phenomenon with no luck. Perhaps someone in Pennsylvania could check the other Philadelphia newspapers for additional information. - J.L.A

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