My reasons for writing this article:
First to clarify and prove once and for all that “Flying Saucers” are real and of tangible substance. Secondly, and above all, to help free persons seeing unidentified aerial objects from being ridiculed by press and radio. Instead, after reading this article, they should be encouraged to make such reports.
I think it is high time for the Air Force to acknowledge that saucers exist, and by making this acknowledgement they will receive the full cooperation of every citizen in reporting sightings. Only with the cooperation of the entire nation can we find out if these things are hostile or friendly.—Ralph Mayher.
|Ralph Mayher, Richard Boswell and Mrs Mayher re-enact the scene when saucer was sighted and photographed.|
THE article you are about to read has been kept from you, the American public, for twenty-two months. Now at long last, in my own words and photographs, I will explain what happened on the night of July 29, 1952.
I am able to give you this true story now because I have removed the uniform as a United States Marine and I can speak freely as an American civilian.
Since the end of the second world war there have been numerous reports of disks and balls of fire floating through the sky. I (like most everyone else) gave these reports very little thought or attention. Reports increased and somewhere along the line the objects acquired the name of “Flying Saucers.” Therefore throughout this article I will refer to these strange objects as ‘‘Flying Saucers.” (Officially there is no such thing.)
Throughout the years of 1948 and 1949 I read much about Flying Saucers. Our Atomic tests increased in number and more saucer stories appeared. In early 1950 I no longer thought there was any need for Flying Saucer jokes. The matter had become important to us, our government, and the world.
Then came the Korean War. On February 8, 1952, I was inducted into the United States Marine Corps and I was very proud to serve with the finest. With my photographic background I was sent directly from boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, to a new Air Station at Opa-Locka, Florida. This base is on the outskirts of Miami.
During the months of May and June of 1952 saucer reports in the state of Florida were incredibly high. A good example of this occurred at a Key West outdoor theater. Over one hundred sailors saw a saucer hover and then disappear into space. The interest became so intense that Miami television station WTVJ posted a one hundred dollar reward to any cameraman furnishing the station with a picture of a saucer in the Miami area.
On July 28, 1952, an amazing sighting was reported in the Miami Daily News and by WTVJ. The late Mr. Goldstein of Tatem Waterway, Miami Beach, had seen a saucer at such a low altitude it appeared to be as large as a full moon. I interviewed Mr. Goldstein. He was obviously sincere.
Movie film of flying saucer in motion, enlarged five times. Starting at the top, object becomes closer and brighter in each frame, proving speed of 7550 m.p.h.
During the day of July 29 I had a hunch. I decided that if these strange objects had appeared over our nation’s capital two nights consecutively, chances of them reappearing over Miami two nights in a row were good too.
That evening, at six-thirty P.M., my wife and I were watching television as Ralph Renick reported the Florida news. More sightings of saucers were reported.
By seven P.M. I was convinced that if Mr. Goldstein had seen a saucer the night before I had nothing to lose taking a chance on a return visit. Having an address from the local paper, it was not too difficult to find Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein. We went to their apartment and were told by the neighbors they were visiting the Sterns.
To my great surprise there were no reporters or photographers in the area.
The couples were very cooperative and Mr. Goldstein took me out to the street and gave me his story. He also showed me exactly where the saucer appeared the night before at nine P.M. The time was now again nine.
He told me he had been on his way to lock his car when a bright light caught his eye. At first he thought it was the moon, then realized the moon was to his right and of different color. He was startled to say the least. It looked like a tremendous saucer hovering. The color was a bright reddish orange. There was no sound.
These facts disturbed me very much. When Mr. Goldstein explained the tremendous size of the Saucer, I began to doubt his word. Little did I know what was in store for me that same evening. Mr. Goldstein also explained that the object hovered for about two minutes and he was able to call his wife to the scene. Then without warning the Saucer shot into space without a sound, and within seconds. No jet plane will hover or move that fast.
I will bar no holds or try to distort any facts in the explanation of the greatest mystery of our time. I am of the opinion that the people of this nation want the truth that either saucers are a hoax or really exist. The following paragraphs are devoted to telling you exactly what happened to me, my film and the electrifying results. You may then come to your own conclusions as I did.
The time was nine-thirty P.M. With permission granted I was now sitting in the Sterns' patio with my wife and Richard Boswell. We were facing the west looking over Indian Creek. The night was clear and a one-quarter moon was shining. There was no wind. An ideal night for romance.
I turned to my wife and said jokingly, “no saucer yet.” She gave me a warm smile, which was broken by a shriek from across the creek. A startled woman said, “there it is again.” She was Mrs. Hunt who lives at Miami Beach, I learned later.
Immediately I jumped to my feet, checked the camera and shouted, “Where is it?”
It seemed like hours for the reply and a thousand thoughts went through my mind—could this be the same Saucer from the night before? Do I really have my chance I’ve waited for? Will the lens be powerful enough? Will this be a false alarm?
Actually the reply was instant. Mrs. Hunt said, “to your left above the apartments.”
I moved quickly but still didn’t see it. My wife excitedly said, “there it is!” I was as well prepared to meet the situation as anyone could be. but still I wasted about thirty seconds in amazement! Without any reason or doubt this was it!
Believe me there is nothing in this world that this saucer could be compared with. I held my breath and pressed the camera tightly against my cheek and followed the disk the best I could.
Words cannot explain the weirdness of this thing but my pictures may.
I did not get results with all 50 feet of film. The disk was so high it could be seen clearly with the naked eye, yet when I tried to view it through the viewer of the camera it could barely be made out. I think this is self explanatory to anyone who has ever held any type camera in their hands.
Knowing this may be a chance in a lifetime I followed the image with my naked eye instead of through the viewer. This is very difficult to do with a telephoto lens, but the results were sufficient.
In my opinion here is one of the most exclusive facts ever released on the Flying Saucer! My film being the first series of pictures ever released for publication is important, because the series proves beyond all doubt that people who have been reporting Saucers throughout the world are actually seeing the same thing that the film recorded on 29 July 1952. The reason they give the different descriptions of the saucer shapes is because they are seeing it in one particular flight. If I had only taken a single frame or picture this explanation would not have been possible.
Immediately after shooting the movies I was confused and a little frightened. The people in the immediate area began calling the newspapers, press syndicates, and the TV station.
I decided to call the Marine base. Maybe we could shoot this thing down. I talked to the Duty Officer. Lieutenant Aldridge. He gave me orders to remain inside the apartment and wait until he arrived. It was about two hours before the O.D. arrived armed. In the meantime I was offered money by certain newsmen if I would give them the film. I thought the film would be more valuable in the right hands than for just a news story.
The film was taken by Lieutenant Aldridge, and my wife and I went home. We must have gotten about an hour of sleep.
The next morning I was ordered to report to the Public Information Office. I was interviewed by three Marine officers, two captains and a major. Even though the morning paper carried a front page story, the officers were very skeptical. After a long and complete hearing I was released to my routine job. About an hour later I was notified that the decision was made to develop the film the quickest possible way. I was asked to go along to WTVJ where the film was to be developed, the studio having a handy darkroom and facilities.
I was very perturbed over the skepticism with which most people viewed me. There was one person who gave me a great deal of confidence. He was Norman Bean, a technician for WTVJ who had made a study of Flying Saucers reports and had given lectures pertaining to them.
The first thing I was told when we entered the developing room was that the image could not have been bright enough to be photographed. Secondly, they wanted to soup the entire 50 feet of film without making a test run for exposure. I finally talked them into souping 10 feet of film for a test. But when it was developed the normal time and began rolling out off the developing machine it was blank!
My heart was in my mouth. I couldn’t have been wrong. I kept telling myself. I strained my eyes and combed every square millimeter of film. I thought I saw a faint underexposed image, but everyone said, “No, it is nothing”. At that moment a door slammed. Two of the officers were leaving the developing room in outright embarrassment. I felt very small.
I asked the lab technician to soup all 40 feet of film at triple normal development time. First he told me how useless it would be, then finally decided to go ahead.
It was a long time before the film went through those chemicals. Finally it began coming out for the second time. We could hardly believe our eyes! The film had the weird image on it.
I have never seen one room come to life as fast as that darkroom. Ralph Renick began writing a story. The film was projected and viewed by staff personnel, myself and two remaining Marine captains. The movement of the disk on film can be explained in one word: incredible! We stopped the movie on one frame and compared a still photograph which Norman Bean had in his collection of a saucer taken in Puerto Rico by a farmer. They were identical.
There was one thing wrong with the entire episode: It involved military personnel and could not be released to the public. But the press, radio and TV had put on so much pressure that by 2 P.M. 30 July 1952 the story was officially released by the Marine Corps Air Station Public Information Office.
Some of the facts were distorted badly in some of the newspapers. One said it must have been a light on a plane.
There was a great factor in my favor. Navy pilots had also seen what appeared to be the same object.
Quoting from the Miami Herald of July 31, 1952: “Three Navy fliers said Wednesday they saw a similar object in about the same location (over Miami Beach), at about the same time, as they were returning to Miami from cross-country flights.
“Their impression, however, was that the object resembled a meteor. Comdr. Joe Gardner and his co-pilot, Lt. Comdr. Joe Mills, said the thing they saw was a ‘greenish and reddish variation.’ Lt. I. M. Blum said what he saw was a very deep blue. Mayher said the disk he photographed was yellowish.” (Lt. I. M. Blum and his crew of nine were killed flying their Neptune Bomber over Iceland, December 1953.)
I give my thanks to Jim Ward, formerly with WIOD and now with WITV, for the tape recording he made which carried all facts and was beamed over the state of Florida.
Jokingly I asked Mr. Ward, “I wonder what they will use for cloud reflection stories when there were no clouds on the beach?”
That evening I appeared on the Ralph Renick news show. The TV cameras flashed one frame of my movie film. The next day people began calling the newspaper and radio station demanding an explanation.
Over 22 months have passed and still no official comment on the movies.
The three photos shown here were taken from three consecutive frames of the 16 mm film. These pictures are released for publication to PIC magazine for the first time and have copyright applied for. (Note change in shape.) Time was one/forty-fifth of a second between each view.
The accompanying formula (shown in photostat letters) was worked out by Dr. Rainwater, assistant professor of physics, University of Miami.
The 2000-foot altitude computed is quite accurate because the two officers, Commander Gardner and Lt. Commander Mills, agree that whatever they saw was parallel to their own altitude of approximately 2000 feet. (I am assuming this was the same object I photographed.) The weather report from the U.S. weather bureau at Miami had reported widely scattered clouds at approximately 3000 feet. Many observers in Hialeah said they saw the object pass through one of those low-hanging clouds. I assume the disk stayed at this same altitude as it crossed from Miami Beach to Hialeah.
I finally wrote a letter to the Air Force which has been studying my film for over a year. Here is the unanswered copy of that letter:
Oct. 16, 1953
Operation Blue Book
After reading the book “Flying Saucers from Outer Space” by (retired) Maj. Donald E. Keyhoe, I was surprised to find that no statements were made to Maj. Keyhoe regarding the movies I took on 29 July 1952. These movies were submitted to your representative at the Marine Corps Air Station, Miami, Fla., for further study by your unit.
During the past year I have often questioned the value of this film. With fifteen months of doubt and now the overwhelming curiosity that Keyhoe’s book has aroused in me, I would like to have a statement pertaining to my 16 mm movie film.
Ralph C. Mayher
The fact that dozens of people, both military and civilian, have asked me many questions about the movies and the fact that the Air Force has made no comment has inspired me to write these comments on the Flying Saucer.
In closing I thank God for my opportunity of seeing a Flying Saucer and photographing one. It is time the American public faces the reality that there is a missile or ship combing the earth and it is not man made!