Rushville, Indiana,   Republican - April 28, 1949

‘Flying Saucers’ Are Back Again

Michigan City, Ind., April 28 (AP) — A Michigan City radio “ham” said today an aviator flying over this city had reported sighting a “flying saucer” while in flight.

The radio “ham,” Floyd Zerber, told a newsman that the aviator identified himself as Leon A. Faber, a Sandwich, Ill., business man and had said he was flying from Peoria, Ill., to Lansing, Mich.

Zerber said it was a one-way conversation as he was unable to talk back with the flier.  Two other “hams” were also in on the conversation, Zerber said, but he was unable to identify them.

He quoted the flier as saying he sighted the “saucer” at an altitude of 3,000 feet.  Zerber said Faber described the object as “a big aluminum disc,” and remarked that “it couldn't be a weather balloon as it is traveling against the wind.”

Terre Haute, Indiana,   The Tribune - April 29, 1949


SANDWICH, Ill April 29—Businessman-Pilot Leon Faber is “just amazed” by the mysterious object he said he saw yesterday.

Faber said he spotted “a bright, shining object moving east” while flying over the Gary-Michigan City, Ind. area.

“It looked like one of those flying saucers." he said. “Certainly it was something I've never seen before.”

Faber said he was flying at 6,000 feet and the object, 10,000 feet away, looked about the size of a basketball.

“It was on its flat side and just disappeared suddenly,” he said.  “It didn't get any smaller, like something moving away from you at a distance.  It just suddenly disappeared.  Goodness, it’s the most stunning and amazing thing that ever happened to me.  I didn't think it was possible.”

Faber, 49, is president of the James Knights Company, manufacturers of radio crystals.  He said he was talking by radio to some radio hams when he spotted the object and described it to them for the five minutes the object remained in his view.

DeKalb, Illinois   Daily Chronicle - April 29, 1949

Pilot From Sandwich Sees Flying Saucer

Sandwich, Ill April 29,— Leon A Faber, president of the James Knights Company of Sandwich, said yesterday that he had seen a flying “saucer.”

Hardly believing that it happened he reported.  “I was flying over the Gary (Ind.)-Michigan City area when I saw this object in the sky far above me.  It was amazing.  What it was, goodness knows, but I've never seen anything like it.”

His description of the object was that it was “very bright, like sun shining on steel or aluminum.”  It was moving parallel to the ground, that is flat instead of on end, and was travelling east.

“At my altitude, 600 feet, the wind was from the east.  I’d say the object was at about 16,000 feet, and up there the wind probably was from tha west, so it doeen’t necessarily mean it was travelling against the wind.”

He said the object appeared to be “about the size of a basketball” from that distance.  It was a bright clear day and he was able to watch it for at least five minutes.

“It didn’t become smaller and smaller as it went out of sight.  It just seemed that very suddenly it wasn't there any longer.  I can’t explain it, but it's the most amazing thing that ever happened to me.  When it disappeared there was no flash or smoke or trail that it left.”

He sighted the object, he said, at about 8 o'clock in the morning, CST.

Faber has been flying for more than two and one half years and has 800 hours to his credit.

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Hobart, Tasmania   Mercury - April 29, 1949


The Mercury Special Service

NEW YORK, Thurs. — “Flying saucers,” which scared thousands last year, are taken seriously by the U.S. Air Force, which has had them under continuous investigation by a large staff of experts.

THE “Journal Herald,” Dayton , (Ohio), which was given access to the reports, says the U.S. Air Force considers the repeated performance of the discs is so superior to anything America has yet approached that it is considered only an accidental discovery can explain such devices.

The Air Force is receiving an average of 12 reports a month on flying saucers and also has received 30 from foreign countries.

A “Saturday Evening Post” contributor, who inspected the Air Force reports, besides making his own independent investigations, considers that most of the discs are radar wind target balloons.

He also believes that Capt. Mantell, who lost his life last year chasing a disc with a squadron of fighters, mistook either the planet Venus or a giant plastic balloon for a flying saucer.

Capt. Mantell, however, reported by radio to the control tower, “I have got close to an object which looks metallic and of tremendous size, and is going as fast as I am — 360 miles an hour.”

German scientists during the war developed small discs with explosive edges, and the possibility that they have continued their work in Russia cannot be excluded.

Some investigators remain obstinately convinced that the discs are aircraft from another planet.

The Army sent two officers to investigate a “wounded saucer” which was reported to have crashed while escorted by five similar craft, but they were killed when the plane crashed after the investigation, results of which are not known.

Adelaide, South Australia   The Mail - April 30, 1949

To Those Who Laughed at “Flying Saucers”

'Mail' New York Office

When the American flying saucers scare was at its height last year, hardheads in the big cities laughed them off as optical illusions.

They decided the farmers and cowboys who reported the weird saucer-shaped objects whirling through the western and southern sides had been looking at the heavens through the bottom of whisky bottles.

The Dayton (Ohio) 'Journal-Herald' wiped the smile off a lot of these faces this week by digging up official US Air Force intelligence files.

The Air Force took the “saucers” so seriously, it sent four fighters up on January 1, 1948, to intercept a “saucer” seen above Fort Knox (Kentucky), where a gold reserve was stored.

One pilot, Captain Thomas Mantell, outdistanced the others, reported by radio, “I am near it.  I am closing in to take a good look.  It seems like a metallic object of tremendous size.  It is going up as fast as I am — that's 360 miles an hour.  I am chasing it.”

Listeners on the ground strained their ears to catch the next words of the only man who had ever got close to a “saucer.”

Mantell never spoke again.  His plane crashed to earth five minutes later.  Mantell was killed.  Air Force intelligence officers to date have sifted 240 American and 30 foreign reports on “flying saucers.”  An average of 12 reports is still coming in a month from all parts of the world.

The 'Journal-Herald' said the Air Force had seriously considered whether the discs were a breath-takingly new sort of foreign aircraft, “but it is believed no other nation on earth could have knowledge so far above the level of ours.”

“The Air Force,” the paper said, “even consulted scientists to see whether the 'saucers' might be space ships from a planet such as Mars, which may have human life on it. The scientists said, 'No.'”

The Air Force has traced 30 per cent, of the “saucer” reports to people who saw weather or cosmic ray research balloons, 30 per cent, to people who had either imaginary or physically-caused spots before the eyes.  The other 40 per cent, are to this day officially listed as mysteries.

In the middle of the night, when streaming moonlight makes the heavens seem more huge and mysterious than ever, sleepless Americans sometimes wonder what was it Captain Mantell saw? — and why did he crash?

Boise, Idaho   Daily Statesman - May 13, 1949


World War II Pilot Sees Mystery Objects in Tight Formation

By Dave Johnson

A World War II bomber pilot said today he saw six flying discs, five of them in “V”-shaped formation circling about 10 miles west of Shafer Butte and, he said, he wasn't “kidding”.

Bob Smith, 1109 North Fifteenth Street, Boise, a former B-24 pilot, said he saw the six objects at approximately 11:05 a.m. at an altitude he would estimate to be 13,000 feet.

He said he was driving from Caldwell to Boise when he saw the objects.

The objects, he said, were black on the bottom and silver on top, and their size at the distance from which he saw them indicated that they would be approximately the size of a four-engined airplane.

He said he saw a single object first, then five more flying in tight formation.  He said they spiraled down three or four thousand feet, then climbed abruptly at great speed and disappeared.

“They acted as if they were intelligently controlled,” he said.  “When they turned toward me they were silver, because they were in a turn and I could see the sun flash from their tops.  When they banked away it appeared the bottom side was colored black.

He said he had no way of judging their speed in spiral flight, but he said it would compare to that of an F-51 fighter.

The CAA radio communications station here said there were no Air Force planes in the area, and the 190th fighter squadron of the Idaho National Guard said it had a single F-51 up during the morning.

“I know what I saw,” said Smith.  “I'm not trying to make jokes.”

UFO Historian Loren E. Gross notes the mixed feelings other branches of the military had about the way the U.S. Air Force was handling its role as chief investigator of the “flying saucers.” 

Reproduced from: Gross, Loren E., “June, 1949, The Infantry Journal comments.”  In THE FIFTH HORSEMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE UFOS: A HISTORY January 1, 1947 - December 31, 1959 - Supplement. Copyright © 2003  Reproduced with permission.

June 1949. The Infantry Journal comments.

The editors of the Infantry Journal, a semi-official publication of the U.S. Army, read the newspapers and they had some questions.  Their first question is most interesting and we would like to know the answer: “First we question the Air Force’s assumption of the mission of investigating the saucers. Did they get the mission cleared with the JCS [Joint Chiefs of Staff] before starting out?” (See the editorial “The Implication of Flying Saucers,” below)

The Implication of Flying Saucers

Editorials.  Infantry Journal.  June 1949. pp.43-44.

For the top mystery of the spring we suggest the reemergence of speculation about flying saucers.  None have been seen recently so far as we are aware, but one national magazine came out with a story purporting to tell what the Air Force knows and doesn't know about the flying discs.  And a Dayton, Ohio, newspaper carried a lengthy story on them which, it said, was based on unpublished reports assembled at Wright Air Force Base

The best conclusion seems to be that the Air Force doesn't regard the flying saucers as a joke but doesn't think they are a cause for alarm either

The statement isn’t very satisfying and seems to suggest that the Air Force has some theories that it isn't talking about.  Up to now we had considered flying saucers in the same category as the Loch Ness monster, Kilroy and Elmer of American Legion parade fame.

But now we see that we have been facetious about a phenomenon that must be taken seriously.

Therefore, we have a few observations to make on flying discs and the Air Force's investigation of them.

First we question the Air Force's assumption of the mission of investigating the saucers.  Did they get the the mission cleared with the JCS before starting out?

Should the Air Force be permitted to continue its investigations?

After all it has lost one pilot and airplane in chasing the mystery disc, a rather costly sum to be paid for the meager information it has accumulated.  Why shouldn't the investigation be a function of the artillery's guided missile battalions?  Equipped as they are with sound ranging devices and missiles that fly much faster than sound, it would seem logical for the guided missile people to look into the mystery.  We would feel much safer with the artillery in charge.  They have a tradition for unimaginative, feet-on-the-ground thinking and wouldn't be inclined to pursue a flying fantasy merely for the sake of publicity.  Not that we think the Air Force would either, but there are those who think it would, which has the same result.

These cynics see a mystery as great as the saucers in the fact that the Air Force chose this time to reveal its continuing interest in a phenomenon that hadn't been in the newspapers for months.  They belong to that school of cynics who believe that a great deal of news is “planted” by those who want publicity or by devious schemers who shift emphasis elsewhere to avoid publicity.  What's the Air Force up to, they ask.  Does it want a hundred million dollars or so to set up a FSIC (Flying Saucer Investigative Committee) or is it trying to take the heat off of criticism of the B-36?

We heard it theorized that the flying saucers may be flying fish equipped with a reverse of the schnorkel which permits them to stay out of water for long periods of time.  The man who suggested the theory held that the Navy has a perfect right to enter the investigation.

There is at also the suggestion that the Atomic Energy Commission be asked to explode one of its bombs at say 40,000 feet.  It has tried 'em on the level and under water and from other unspecified positions so why not explode one from seven and one half miles up?  It might blow all the flying saucers right out of existence.  But before the AEC does it, both the Air Force and the Navy ought to be informed so they can get all their around the world and across the continent, and endurance flyers out of the air.

The upper reaches of the sky have been filled with so many GI airplanes in recent months that it is hard to understand how the guided missile people had room to pop off even a WAC corporal.

It is quite apparent, of course, that we don't know what we are talking about.  But to paraphrase the Air Force, we are inclined to suggest that while we don't consider all the recent publicity hullabaloo over flying saucers is a joke, we don't know what else to make of it

White Sands Proving Ground, Las Cruces, N.M. - 23 June, 1949

The groundbreaking article in LIFE Magazine's April 7, 1952, issue, "Have We Visitors From Space?" relates the following UFO sighting made by Clyde Tombaugh, the famous astronomer credited with the discovery of the planet Pluto:

        One night in the summer of [August 20, 1949] Clyde W. Tombaugh, the discoverer of the planet Pluto, was sitting in the back yard of his home at Las Cruces, N. Mex.  With him were his wife and his mother-in-law.  It was about 11 p.m. and they were all sitting quietly, admiring the clarity of the southwestern sky, like any proper astronomical family.  All at once they all saw something rush silently overhead, south to north, too fast for a plane, too slow for a meteor.  It seemed to be quite low.  All three of the witnesses agreed that the object was definitely a solid "ship" of a kind they had never seen before.  It was of an oval shape and "seemed to trail off at the rear into a shapeless luminescence."  There was a blue-green glow about the whole thing.  About half a dozen "windows" were clearly visible at the front of the ship and along the side.  They glowed with the same blue-green color as the rest of the ship, only the glare was brighter, and had a touch of yellow in it.

Two months prior to Tombaugh's sighting, a colleague of his working at White Sands Proving Ground, Alfred Perkins, experienced his own UFO sighting.  Tombaugh requested a written report of this incident which is reproduced below.

Bowen-Knapp Camera As Used by Alfred Perkins, White Sands, 1949

A White Sands Bowen-Knapp camera as used by Alfred Perkins

Note: the following sighting does not appear in the official listing of UFOs and green fireball reports maintained by the 17th OSI District for 1946 until 1950.

Bowen-Knapp Camera Station V  
White Sands Proving Ground  
Las Cruces, N.M.  

23 June 1949    

Special report of object seen in sky, as requested by Mr. C. W. Tombaugh.

At about 9:30 a.m. 23 June, 1949, during operation of aircraft tracking practice of Askania and Telescope camera of this post, and toward the end of the first southward run of the aircraft, I stepped to the door of Station V and glanced in a generally east southeast direction, whence the sound of the plane seemed to be reached me.

I did not see the plane at this nor at any other time, but almost immediately on looking in the stated direction I saw what appeared to be a shiny metal object moving toward my left with and increasing downward movement.  The object was in view for 2-4 seconds, then it disappeared while still well above the horizon.  I could not distinguish any defined shape of the object but it seemed as though a sheet of aluminum or other shiny metal might have similar appearance and move in a similar manner.  It appeared to the "fluttering" and repeatedly caught and collected the sun's rays.

I gave little though to the matter until when some days later, Mr. K.J. Humphries (who had stepped out of the building before I did and was using binoculars in an attempt to see the aircraft) mentioned having seen several objects apparently of the same sort.

A sketch herewith indicated approximate location of flight of this object.

Chief, Station V

Sketch of UFO Sighting Made by Alfred Perkins, 23 June, 1949 at White Sands Proving Ground

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Boise, Idaho   Evening Statesman - July 21, 1949

Authorities Check Story
of Flaming “Phantom Airplane”

SALT LAKE CITY (UP) – A “phantom” plane that reportedly was flying into the Wasatch mountain range this morning with flame spouting from one of its two engines stumped authorities today.

The Civil Aeronautics administration and air force officials reported no planes were listed as missing.

But 30-year-old Ray Johnson of Salt Lake City told police he positively saw fire burst from a twin-engine airplane over his southeast Salt Lake City residential district.  Johnson reported the plane lost altitude fast as it neared the rugged Wasatch mountains, which line the eastern fringe of the city.

“I'll stake anything that plane crashed,” said Johnson.  He told police the "phantom" plane was spotted shortly after midnight. Authorities were convinced, and four highway patrol cars were dispatched to search the area.

Boise, Idaho   Daily Statesman - July 25, 1949

Strange Flying Objects Leave Boise...

Investigation By Air Force To Be Started

Mysterious Craft Pass
Frightened Flyer
At Very Close Range

A Boise valley pilot told Sunday of seeing seven V-shaped flying objects at at close range over the Mountain Home desert, and said the experience left him “frightened and shaken.”

The strange craft, he said, were not United States aircraft, as far as he could determine, and they had no visible means of propulsion, yet traveled at what he said was a “tremendous rate of speed.”

It has been learned that the Air Force's intelligence division is sending an operative to investigate the incident.  The Boise valley pilot released the information only on the condition that his name not be used.  He is the manager of one of the valley's major airports.

The pilot said the seven objects, or aircraft, came within 1000 or 2000 feet of his plane as he was flying toward Boise, about 10 miles west of Mountain Home.

No Pilot Discernible

They looked like a V, he said, with a circular body within the V and a belly-like object sitting under the nose of the V.  He said that that he could see no sign of a pilot or “anything like a human being” in the aircraft.

The color, he said, was not the metallic color one usually associates with military aircraft.  He said it was “neither white nor gray” but a shade that he had never seen before.

A circular portion of the body just behind the nose of the V appeared to change in color from time to time, he said, and the outer edges of the V seemed to [oscillate] once or twice during the two minutes he had the craft under observation.

The pilot saw the objects at 12:05 p.m. yesterday while he was at an altitude of 10,000 feet on the right hand side of the highway from Mountain Home to Boise.

No Markings on Craft

He said the objects came up from his left side at about 9000 feet and crossed in front of his plane to the right, and disappeared on an easterly heading at “tremendous speed.”

There were no visible markings on the craft, he said.  Their formation was unlike any ordinary military formation flying.  He said they were in two “tight lines of three each, with the seventh object either in the middle of the lines or slightly above.”

He said he could not see a propeller or any smoke trail indicating jet or rocket power in the objects.

The pilot said the objects departed between the mountains and the town of Mountain Home. The Mountain Home air base, informed of the occurrence, said it had “no experimental aircraft on the field.”

And, the Air Force's flight center at McChord Field, Wash., said no formation of aircraft had been cleared through this area.  The pilot said the experience left him with a “funny, ghostly feeling.”

Mountain Home, Idaho   News - July 28, 1949

Pilot Sees Unidentified V-Shaped Craft
Near Mountain Home Sunday Afternoon

Objects Flying at “Tremendous Rate of Speed”
Come Within 1500 or 2000 feet of Civilian Plane
And Disappear on Course North of Town.

Flying discs have changed to Flying V-shaped objects and are flying around the Mountain Home desert, according to observation of a reliable pilot, who reportedly saw seven of the objects Sunday.

He notified the Civil Aeronautics Administration radio station in Boise of his experience.  In turn the Air Force's flight center at Fort McChord, Wash., was notified, but the objects have not been reported after that time.

The pilot released the information about seeing the strange aircraft only after being assured that his name would not be used in stories of them.  He said that he was “frightened and shaken” by the experience.  He also said that the objects flew in tight formation, but not in the formation used by military planes in the United States.  He stated that they disappeared from view flying at a tremendous rate of speed.

According to the pilot, the aircraft, or objects, were in the shape of a V, with a solid circular body, and a belly-like protuberance under the nose of the V.  There was no evidence of any means of propulsion.  He said, “no propeller,” and no smoke trails indicating jet power of propulsion.  He got a good look at the objects as he was within 1000 or 2000 feet of them.

He said also, that the aircraft did not act in a conventional manner, in that they did not bank or tilt when turning. No markings of any kind were visible on the craft.

No Indication of Pilot

Nothing in the appearance of the aircraft would indicate that there was “a pilot or any human being in them.”  The pilot observed the objects at 12:05 p.m. and had them under observation for about two minutes.  He was flying at about 10,000 feet and he judged that the other aircraft were at about 9000 or 9500 feet.  He was flying north of the highway about ten miles west of Mountain Home when the objects appeared on his left and crossed in front of him before disappearing in the east.

He said that the aircraft did not seem to go over the mountains, but appeared to go between Mountain Home and the mountains.

Los Angeles, California   LA Times - August 30, 1949

U.S. Officers Report
Seeing Flying Disks

Times Staff Representative

WHITE SANDS PROVING GROUND, N.M., Aug. 29 — Flying saucers — or at least mysterious flying “objects” — have been sighted by service personnel at this vital center of America's upper air research.

I talked with three men, two senior officers and an enlisted technician, who reported seeing strange objects in the sky, one as recently as last Friday during preparation for a high-altitude missile flight.

In all fairness, it must be pointed out that other officers and engineers at White Sands scoff at the reports and put them down to imagination, weather balloons, dual images in high-powered optical equipment, or possibly distant planes reflecting sunlight.

Experienced Observers

Yet the men who gave these reports presumably are familiar with such possibilities and well acquainted with the appearance of balloons and planes and the quixotic results of staring at a fixed point in the sky for long moments.

One officer believes, sincerely, that the objects seen are space ships and declared that a ballistic formula applied to one observation through a photo theodolite showed the “ship” was 35 to 40 miles high — an “egg-shaped” craft of fantastic size and traveling at incredible speeds of three to four miles a second!

The observer in this case, he said, was tracking a balloon into the upper air when the object swept across the balloon’s path and cavorted for some 10 seconds — taking turns up to 22 times the force of gravity—before it disappeared.  It had no visible means of propulsion.

Technician’s Report

The enlisted technician reported seeing an object at 3:35 p.m., last June 14, as he was tracking the course of a V-2 test rocket in a 20-power elevation telescope, an instrument that can follow a missile to altitudes of 100 miles or more.

“I don’t know what it was, but I had never seen anything like it before,” he told me.  It seemed to be metallic, but I couldn’t tell its size, its speed or its altitude. “It would be impossible unless you knew one of the three factors.”

He added he had informed his superiors of the incident and was told the next morning he had seen a “disk.”

Weather Balloon?

A check of one officer elicited the response: “It was probably a weather balloon,” but he declared the enlisted technician is considered “a reliable man.”

Last Friday’s object was seen by a senior officer shortly after 11 a.m. and reported to the unit commander.  The observer was preparing for a missile firing and scanning the skies through binoculars.

“I don’t know what it was, but it came out of the north in a shallow dive and turned west.  No, I wouldn't guess at speed or size.”

He hastened to explain he is a “skeptic.”

These reports tend to take the “flying saucer” question out of the realm of housewives’ stories and the tales of air transport pilots. Still they have actually proved nothing — merely added to the mystery.

Newcastle, New South Wales   Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate - September 6, 1949


"Herald" New York Service

“Flying saucers” are again whirling in the skies above the United States, this time in the form of space ships flying 35 to 40 miles up.

This fantastic claim comes front officers at White Sands Upper Air Research Centre, in New Mexico, who report having seen strange objects in the sky during preparations for a high-altitude missile flight.

One officer firmly maintained they were space ships.  He said that ballistic formula applied to one ohservation through a photo-theodolite showed that the object was an egg-shaped craft of fantastic size travelling at three to four miles a second at an altitude of 30 to 40 miles.

Another officer said that astronomical experts using a powerful elevation telescope carefully traced the flight of two “flying discs” which followed the trial of a V-2 rocket soaring 100 miles above the earth.

Another senior officer said that on several occasions “flying discs” were observed and carefully tracked and photographed.  Other officers described these “observations” as mere illusions due to dual images in high-powered optical equipment, or possibly to distant planes reflecting the sun light.

Letter to U.S. Air Force Intelligence

Baja, California, Mexico - November 3rd, 1949

2590 Glendale Blvd (State Hway 2)
Los Angeles 26, Calif

May 31, 1950   

U.S. Air Force Intelligence
Pentagon Building
Washington, D.C.

Subject: Perception of   
"flying discs"   


On November 3rd, 1949 at 11:00 A.M. P.S.T., near Rosarita Beach in Baja, California, Mexico, I perceived a flight of four extraordinary objects.

I was enjoying a motor trip of a few days from Los Angeles to Ensenada, Mexico, accompanied by a friend.

While driving South on the highway from Tia Juana and about two miles short of Rosarita, I perceived thru the open left hand car window, four objects at a high angle in a clear sky.  All the objects were identical, of a somewhat indistinct oval shape and a uniform bright metallic white color, transmitting considerable light.  While my attention was frequently diverted to the highway, I soon noted that the flight formation was constantly changing and was unlike any normal flight formation of planes, birds, or unguided missile.  At this time I turned to my friend who was closely observing the flight thru the windshield.  I said, "What are you looking at - - flying discs?  How many do you see?"  The answer was "Yes, four."

I decided to get a picture of the flight, but by the time I had stopped and gotten out I remembered the camera was locked in the luggage compartment.  The objects continued to fly South very rapidly and during a few seconds while I was reaching back into the car for my keys the objects came into a horizontal line, turned dull metallic in color, instead of bright, then turned quite dark or black and thin, like a disc on edge, and almost immediately disappeared from sight while still at a high angle from the horizon, in a clear sky.

To recap:  While driving straight South into the sun we first observed the flight at a bearing of 90° and an elevation of 45° and within about 20 to 40 seconds it has disappeared at about 170° bearing and 30° elevation.

The outstanding characteristic of the flight was the irregularly changing loose pattern of flight with individuals moving up and down, back and forth, with no leader, yet with the flight as a whole keeping an even elevation and course.  I heard no sound.  I perceived no exhaust effect or vapor trails and no fins or appendages to the indistinct oval shape.


U.S. Air Force Intelligence
May 31, 1950
Page #2

I have observed a great many airplane flights during 16 years residence in Los Angeles and during a thousand days active duty on A.A.F. airfields in the Yuma Desert, Spokane and in the Sixth Air Force.  I have seen mirages, aviator's "glories" and planets in the clear daytime sky of the desert.

I desire no publicity, obviously, but feel impelled by the strangeness of the incident to add to my report to all the others.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ Wm. H. Donnelly
              Captain A.F.R. 0915214

Copy to: Fourth Air Force Intelligence
             Hamilton Field


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Townsville, Queensland   Daily Bulletin - December 28, 1949


NEW YORK, December 27. — A sensational claim that the so-called “flying saucers” are space vehicles from another planet was made to-day by the magazine “True,” in an article signed by Donald Keyhoe, former information chief for the aeronautics branch of the United States Commerce Department.

The magazine said its conclusions were based on eight months investigation.

The article said: “For the past 175 years, the planet earth had been under systematic close range examination by living intelligent observers from another planet.  The intensity of this observation, and the frequency of visits to the earth's atmosphere by which it is being conducted have increased markedly in the past two years.”

The article added that flying discs vary “in no important particular from well-developed American plans for the exploration of space, expected to come to fruition within the next 50 years.

“There are reasons to believe, however, that some other race of thinking beings are a matter of 2 ¼ centuries ahead of us.”

The article said that “project saucer,” operated by United States Army Air Force investigators, and charged with solving the mystery, “are receiving and evaluating” reports of sighted flying discs at the rate of 12 a month.  Cases of reliably reported sightings are closely checked by teams of air intelligence officers and technicians, who work on a “hush hush basis.”

The article said that these inter-planetary vehicles had been identified and classified as three main types — small, non-pilot-carrying disc-shaped aircraft, equipped with some form of television or impulse transmitter: a metallic disc-shaped aircraft operating on the helicopter principle, and a dirigible-shaped, wingless aircraft.

The Air Force promptly discounted the magazine's claim, and said: “Air Force studies of flying saucers lend no support to the view that they come from another planet.”

The TRUE article referenced in this article can be read here: The Flying Saucers Are Real by Donald E. Keyhoe.

Broken Hill, New South Wales   Daily Truth - December 31, 1949

Professors Believe “Flying Saucers” Optical Illusions

Sydney, December 30. — Until somebody captured a flying saucer or one fell to the ground any hypothesis that they were space ships from another planet was worth little, Professor O. U. Von Wilier, Emeritus Professor of Physics of Sydney University, said on Wednesday.  He was commenting on a claim by the former information chief for the Aeronautics branch of the U.S. Commerce Department (Donald Keyhoe).  Keyhoe had said that “flying saucers” seen over America during the past two years were space vehicles subjecting the earth to observation by living intelligent beings on another planet.

Von Wilier said that until somebody captured one or at least a photograph was taken he was inclined to believe that it was only an optical illusion.  He added: “I would not say it is impossible for living beings on another planet in the solar system to send space ships to earth, but there could be a thousand hypotheses to explain the appearance of saucers.  The space ship hypothesis is only one of them.

“Another important fact is that no really trained observer has claimed to have seen a flying saucer.  Professor Sir Kerr Grant said in Adelaide that the general idea of scientists about the existence of living intelligent observers on another planet was one of extreme scepticism.  The most probable explanation of flying saucers was an optical illusion.

Washington. December 30. — After two years of investigation the United States Air Force is convinced that flying saucers are just jokes, mass hysteria or misunderstanding of a natural phenomena.  It has ended a special flying saucer project established to investigate a multitude of reports about alleged sightings of flying saucers.

Donald Keyhoe, former information chief for the aeronautics branch of the United States Department of Commerce in an article in the magazine “True” wrote that so-called flying saucers were space vehicles from another planet.

New York.- December 29. — The sensational claim that the so-called “flying saucers” are space vehicles from another plane (sic) was made on Tuesday by the magazine “True” in an article signed by Donald Keyhoe, former Information Chief for the Aeronautics Branch of the U.S. Commerce Department.

“For the past 175 years,” declares the article, “the planet Earth has been under systematic close-range examination by living, Intelligent observers from another planet.

“The Intensity of this observation and the frequency of the visits to the earth's atmosphere have increased markedly in the past two years.

“The flying discs vary in no important particular from well-developed U.S. plans for the exploratian of space which are expected to come to fruition within the next 50 years.

“There is reason to believe, however, that some other race of thinking beings is a matter of two and a quarter centuries ahead of us.”

The article adds that the “Interplanetary vehicles” which have been reliably sighted at a rate of 12 discs a month, have been identified and classified as three main types — small, non-pilot carrying, disc-shaped aircraft equipped with some form of television or impulse transmitter; metallic, disc-shaped aircraft operating on the helicopter principle: and dirigible-shaped, wingless aircraft.

The U.S. Air Force has promptly discounted the magazine's claim. It says: “Air Force studies of flying saucers lend no support to the view that they come from another planet.”

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