Hamilton Air Force Base, Hamilton, California   - August 3, 1952

Donald H. Menzel


Extract from the Final Galley Proof of:

The World Of Flying Saucers:

A Scientific Examination Of A Major Myth Of The Space Age

(Doubleday, 1963)

By Donald H. Menzel and Lyle G. Boyd

A similar sighting had occurred near Hamilton Air Force Base, California, on the afternoon of August 3, 1952 – toward the end of the summer’s saucer scare (Chapter vii).  As reported in the annals of saucerdom, “two huge silver disks flying at different altitudes, had raced out of the east.  As jet pilots on the ground watched them, the higher machine dived to the other one's level.  Then the two saucers began to circle the base, maneuvering like fighter planes in a dogfight.”[5.p.120]

No evidence justifies the use of the words “saucer” or “machine,” while ample evidence supports the Air Force conclusion that the UFOs were balloons.  The two objects were first seen at 4:15 p.m. Ground observers at the Air Force base, with the aid of binoculars, described them as silver in color, circular in shape, 60 to 100 feet in diameter, and traveling from east to west at an estimated speed of 400 to 450 miles an hour.  One object was at about 12,000 feet, the other at about 18,000 feet; as they moved to the west a distance of about fifteen miles, passing over the heads of the observers (but not “circling the base”), the higher object dived to about the level of the lower, and they bobbed about each other in a dogfight.  They were in view for about an hour and a quarter.  Toward the end of this period they were visible only intermittently because they were seen against the sun; three additional pairs of objects came into view in the same area, fifteen to twenty miles west of the observers (a total of eight objects) and, buffeted by the winds,



appeared to carry on a dogfight; momentarily they appeared in a diamond formation extending over an area of about four miles.  Since the witnesses were looking into the sun at objects fifteen or twenty miles away, they found it difficult to follow the course of any one for any length of time.

The objects looked like balloons, behaved like balloons, and weather balloons had been released in the area that day.  Conclusion: the “machines” were weather balloons. [2]

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