January, 1953

Tuesday, January 27, 1953

Grand Rapids, Mich.- Grand Rapids Press


United States Airbase, North Japan— AP—The United States Air Force Tuesday night reported a small, metallic, disc-shaped object made a controlled, sweeping pass at an American jet fighter-bomber and was observed at very close range by another pilot.

The report, from Air Force intelligence files, said the sighting was made over northern Japan at 11:20 a.m., March 29, 1952, by Lt. David C. Brigham of Rockford, Ill.

It was a bright, cloudless day, Brigham said he got a very good look at the object from about 30 to 50 feet for about 10 seconds.

Says It’s Small

The pilot described it as “about eight inches in diameter, very thin, round and as shiny as polished chromium: had no apparent projections and left no exhaust trails or vapor trails.”  He said it caught up with an F-84 Thunderjet, hovered a few moments and then shot out of sight. The F-84 pilot, whose name was not revealed, did not see it.

It was the second disclosure in a week by Air Force intelligence of mysterious flying objects over northern Japan near the Russian-Siberia area.

Brigham was flying a prop-driven reconnaissance craft at 6,000 feet when an F-84 drew alongside them, he said, he saw the disc to the right of and just behind the Thunderjet.  He said it appeared to be traveling 30 to 40 miles an hour faster than the F-84, which was going 150-160 miles an hour.

F-84 Thunderjet ca. 1952

“It closed rapidly and just before it would have flown into his fuselage, it decelerated to his air-speed almost instantaneously,” Brigham said in his report to intelligence officers.  “In doing so it flipped up its edge at approximately a 90-degree bank. Then it fluttered within 20 feet of his fuselage for perhaps two or three seconds, pulled away and around his starboard (right) wing, appearing to flip once as it hit the slipstream behind his wing tip fuel tank.

“Then it passed him, crossed in front of him and pulled up abruptly, appearing to accelerate, and shot out of sight in a steep, almost vertical climb.

An unusual flight characteristic was a slow fluttering motion.  It rocked back and forth at approximately 40-degree banks at approximately one second intervals throughout its course.”

When it pulled away, “It did so more sharply than a plane could have done.  Its maneuvering throughout was always clear and precise.”

Tuesday, January 27, 1953

New York, NY. - New York Journal-American

[USAF] Reveal Flying Disc Pass at U.S. Jet Near Siberian Border

U. S. AIR BASE, Northern Japan, Jan. 27 (AP).— The U. S. Air Force tonight reported a small, metallic, disc-shaped object made a controlled sweeping pass at an American jet fighter-bomber and was observed at very close range by another pilot.

The report, from Air Force Intelligence files, said the sighting was made over Northern Japan at 11:20 a. m. March 29, 1952, by Lt. David C. Brigham of Rockford, Ill.

It was a bright, cloudless day. Brigham said he got a very good look at the object from about 30 to 50 feet for about 10 seconds.

The pilot described it as “about eight inches in diameter, very thin, round, and as shiny as polished chromium; had no apparent projections and left no exhaust trails or vapor trails.”

He said it caught up with an F-84 Thunderjet, hovered a few moments and then shot out of sight.  The F-84 pilot, whose name was not revealed, did not see it.

It was the second disclosure in a week by Air Force Intelligence of mysterious flying objects over northeast Japan near the Russian-Siberia area.

Brigham was flying a prop-driven reconnaissance craft at 6,000 fet (sic) when an F-84 Thunderjet drew alongside.

Then, he said, he saw the disc to the right of and just behind the Thunderjet.  He said it appeared to be traveling 30 to 40 miles an hour faster than the F-84 which was going 150-160 miles an hour.

“It closed rapidly and just before it would have flown into his fuselage it decelerated to his airspeed almost instantaneously.”

Brigham said in his report to Intelligence officers.  “In doing so, it flipped up on its edge at approximately a 90 degree bank. Then it fluttered within 20 feet of his fuselage for perhaps two or three seconds, pulled away and around his starboard (right) wing, appearing to flip once as it hit the slipstream behind his wing tip fuel tank.

“Then it passed him, crossed in front of him and pulled up abruptly, appearing to accelerate, and shot out of sight in a steep, almost vertical climb.

“An unusual flight characteristic was a slow fluttering motion.  It rocked back and forth at approximately 40 degree banks at approximately one second intervals throughout its course.  When it pulled away, “it did so more sharply than a plane could have done.”

“Its maneuvering throughout was always clear and precise.”

On Jan 21, the Air Force disclosed that “rotating clusters of red, white and green lights” had been sighted over northern Japan by American airmen.

The sighting were reported in frozen, ice-locked territory, already tense from harassment by Russian aircraft based on Soviet islands just north and northeast of Japan's northern island, Hokkaido.

Wednesday, January 28, 1953

Associated Press

Air Force Reveals Pilot’s Story
Flying Disk Buzzed Japan F-84

By the Associated Press

A UNITED STATES AIR BASE IN NORTHERN JAPAN, Wednesday, Jan. 28.—An American pilot saw at close range a mysterious flying disk make a pass at an F-84 Thunderjet over central Japan and then speed away, the Air Force reported Tuesday.

The hitherto secret report from intelligence files said the disk was seen at 6,000 feet on a bright, cloudless day, just before noon March 29, 1952, by Lt. David C. Brigham, of Rockford, Ill.  He said the disk was about eight inches in diameter and that it closed to within twenty feet of the Thunderjet before shooting up out of sight.

It was the second disclosure in recent days of mysterious objects zooming through the skies over Japan, near Russian-held territory.  On Jan. 21, the Air Force made public Intelligence reports of “rotating clusters of red, white and green lights,” sighted Dec. 29 by American airmen.

The Air Force issued the two reports without comment.

Lt. Brigham was flying a reconnaissance plane when a Thunderjet pulled alongside.  The incident occurred soon afterward.  Lt. Brigham estimated that he watched the disk for about ten seconds from a distance of thirty to fifty feet at the closest point.  The Thunderjet pilot, who was not identified, did not see the disk.

Lt. Brigham described the disk as “about eight inches in diameter very thin, round, and as shiny as polished chromium, had no apparent projectors (sic) and left no exhaust trails or vapor trails.”

He said there were no markings on the disk but there was a “ripple in the metal skin.”  He estimated it was flying at about 200 miles an hour

Lt. Brigham’s report to Intelligence said the disk made a pass on the Thunderjet, closing from slightly above him.

“It closed rapidly, and just before flying into his fuselage it decelerated to his air speed almost instantaneously,” he reported.  “In doing so it flipped up on its edge at approximately a 90-degree bank.  Then it fluttered within twenty feet of his fuselage for perhaps two or three seconds, pulled away and around his starboard wing, appearing to flip over as it hit the slipstream behind his wing tip fuel tank

“Then it passed him, crossed in front of him and pulled up abruptly, appearing to accelerate and shot out of sight in a steep, almost vertical climb.”

Sightings of the light clusters were made at several points over northern Japan on Dec. 29.  On Jan. 9 a rotating cluster was tracked by radar from two F-94 jet interceptors.  The radar actually “locked” on the cluster and steered the jets toward it.

[In Washington, a spokesman at Air Force headquarters said the technical intelligence officer of the Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Base, Ohio, which usually gets reports on flying saucers, had received none of this incident.  It was indicated there probably would not be a request sent to the Far East for such a report.]

Thursday, January 29, 1953

Ottawa, Canada, - Ontario Journal

Bill Boss Claims
Flying Saucers
No Longer Joke

VANCOUVER, Jan. 29 —(CP)—Flying saucers no longer are a joke to Bill Boss, Canadian Press war correspondent.

Back from Korea, he said in an interview Wednesday that he is impressed with the reports of fighter-bomber pilots telling of flying saucers—disc clusters “or whatever they are called”.

Boss told of reports from “seven independent” pilots on the same day, January 9.

“There is more to this than we all thought", he said.  “I think the story of the discs was the most significant to come out of Japan.”

Tha evidence of the pilots, two of whom “locked” with the objects, “is too strong to be dismissed”.

One disc kept its distance from the 700-mile-an-hour jet in a straight line and then drew away.

“It must have had a multiple of the speed of sound to do that”, said Boss.

The sky clusters, he said, were always reported out from the Russian-held island of Sakhalin or the Russian-held mainland.

“Possibly it is significant that saucer stories always appear over Western places of strategic interest, like northern Japan or Texas, but never where satellite forces are committed.”

“It looks like a Russian experiment?” a reporter asked.

“It looks like a Russian accomplishment,” Boss replied.

The United States Air Force announced Tuesday from a base in northern Japan that a small, metallic, disc-shaped object made a controlled, sweeping pass at an American Thunderjet last March 28.  It was observed at close range by another pilot.

Earlier, the air force disclosed that “rotating clusters of red, white and green lights” had been sighted over northern Japan.

February, 1953

Naval Aviation News February, 1953

Naval Aviation News

Pilot Sees Flying Saucer

VC-3 Leader is Only Observer

VC-3—Four Corsairs from this squadron were flying down to San Diego for a qualification cruise abroad the Valley Forge when Lt. C. A. Johnson saw something that made him come alert.

Like a dutiful flight leader he called his three squadron mates to say “plane 12 o’clock about 20”.  Shortly after he noticed the “plane” was much nearer and heading straight for the flight on an opposite course and below.

U.S. Navy F4U_5N_VC-3 Livery

F4U 5N Corsair in US Navy VC-3 Livery

He called the flight again, and while thus occupied the object passed directly below them “like a bat out of ----!”

Before he could stutter, “Hey, look at the flying saucer!” it was gone.

Johnson swears it was a saucer, about 30' in diameter, clam-shaped, of a dull aluminum finish and with no visible means of propulsion.

The rest of his flight, consisting of Lts. Crowley and Henke and Lt. (jg) Overton, saw nothing, heard nothing and ain't saying a word.

Monday, April 20, 1953

Washington, DC - Washington Star

Airmen Sight Strange Object

Soaring Over North Korea

By the Associated Press

SEOUL, Korea, Apr. 20–(Monday.)–AP–Four U. S. Army airmen Sunday reported seeing a small "white, rounded, delta-shaped object" flying at 60 to 80 miles an hour over Communist territory on the Korean western front.

An official intelligence report said the sighting was made north of Pork Chop and Old Baldy hills where heavy fighting has raged the past few days.

AN OFFICER with a front line division who asked not to be identified by name told Associated Press that other luminous objects traveling at super-sonic speeds of 800 miles per hour, had been observed in the Baldy-Pork Chop area and tracked on radar--also within the last few days.

However the official G-2 report made no mention of these other incidents.

The release said:

"At approximately 1 p.m. today (Sunday) aerial observers in two separate planes flying routine reconnaissance missions, observed a white round, delta-shaped object.

"It was estimated to be five to seven feet in diameter.  The observers had no idea of its thickness.

"It was traveling between 60 and 80 miles per hour in a vibrating motion.  The course of the flight was northeast to the south-southwest over enemy territory."

Intelligence officer did nor attempt to evaluate the report

The four airmen who reported seeing the strange object were pilots and observers of two light Army planes.

One pilot asked his name be withheld from publication.  The other witnesses were Lt. Julius Morgan of Lythonia, GA, pilot; Lt James O. Rymus, of Kansas City, MO, and Lt Jack E. Myers, Seattle, Wash., both observers.

Flying objects have been reported over Japan in recent months according to official reports of the Japan Air Defense Command.  They too were tracked on radar and described as having a vibrating motion.

An earlier AP story of 19 April had this added line

The altitude of the object was not reported.

Also the officer who released the report was further identified as a spokesmen for an American division [perhaps 7th Infantry Division].

April, 1953

Naval Aviation News  April 1953

Naval Aviation News


MCAS Cherry Point—A favorite ready room conversation for Second Marine Air Wing pilots has been the story of the “flying saucer” which recently outsped an F9F Panther jet flying more than 500 mph.

The jet pilot, 1st Lt. Ed Balocco, was on a local night flight from ALF [Auxiliary Landing Field] EDENTON when alerted by Norfolk Navy tower to watch for a silver object sighted from the ground near the North Carolina-Virginia line.

Over Washington, N. C, the VMF-224 pilot said, “I saw what looked like an airplane with red lights which appeared to be below me ....  It moved from below me 10,000 feet vertically in a matter of seconds.”

Balocco said he poured on the coal and could not close on the object at first, then closed rapidly.  At a distance of 10 miles, it looked about a quarter of an inch wide and three inches long to the lieutenant's vision.  From that he considered it a “big” object, the color of white heat and throwing out a glow.  It had what appeared to be two red lights on the left-hand side, flashing and bouncing off the end, inscribing an arc.

F9F-5 Panther

An F9F Panther Jet

As the object began pulling away again, the pilot radioed other planes in the area to help track it.  Diving toward the spot where the object disappeared, Balocco thought he saw a flash but was unable to see it again.  By then he was joined by Capt Thomas W. Riggs of the same squadron, who sighted an object flying near the coastline but could not identify it.

Similar flashes were reported by a Navy pilot from Norfolk and Gerald Midget of Oriental, N. C.  Midget told of the flash being followed by a ground fire but no explosion. Marine helicopters later searched the area and found a small forest fire but no traces of a crash.

The object was first reported by a helicopter at 1747.  Ground control intercept radar failed to pick it up, but Balocco sighted it about 1800.

Balocco, a veteran of 550 jet hours and 1,000 flying hours, said visibility was so good that from 20,000 feet at Washington he could see the lights at Norfolk and the Cherry Point beacon.  He had the object in sight three or four minutes.

Wednesday, June 24, 1953 - Simiutak, Greenland

UFO Intercepts Weather Balloon

                          Simiutak (BW-3), Greenland
            Unidentified Flying Object
            25 June 1953
        6611th Air Base Group Intelligence
          24 June 1953
             A/2C Richard A. Hill AF 11 173 575
          One (1)


1.  At 1445Z, 24 June 1953, A/2C Richard A. Hill AF 11 173 575, a weather observer with three and one-half years experience, while tracking a weather balloon through a theodolite, sighted an unidentified aerial object approximately three miles distant from the observation point at Simiutak, Greenland (6111N, 4634W).  The object was sighted instantly upon explosion of the 100 gram balloon, causing A/2C Hill to state the object had burst the balloon.  Description of the object at this time was expressed by the observer as being triangular, red and rotating while in a hovering position.  The size was estimated to be two times that of the 100 gram balloon.  The object continued to hover at the altitude of approximately 18,000 feet (according to theodolite readings conducted by A/2C Hill at the time) for fifteen seconds.  The observer continued to watch the object for five minutes while it climbed to the west.  Upon moving it appeared to be a red ball-shaped dot.  It left no trail and seemed to be gaining altitude at a tremendous rate of speed, finally disappearing after five minutes.  Object was seen by subject individual only.

2.  The observer stated that the object disappeared in a northwesterly direction and seemed to be climbing rapidly.  Theodolite reading of 301 degrees were taken for five minutes as the object disappeared from view.  8/13th Weather Detachment, this station, advised that the 241500Z piball at Simiutak showed winds at 10,000 feet 120 degrees at 14 knots, 12,000 feet 120 degrees at 13 knots, 14,000 feet 180 degrees at 4 knots, 16,000 feet 200 degrees at 7 knots.  The piball was terminated at this height.  Between 16,000 and 18,000 feet a marked wind shift occurred.  An analysis of the 1500Z 500 millibar chart stated winds at 18,000 feet at Simiutak were 280 degrees at 12 knots.  Winds from 18,000 to 20,000 feet were northwesterly at 15 knots.  The unidentified object, therefore, disappeared into the wind.  Cloud conditions were 3/10 cirrus clouds at 20,000 feet at time of sighting, with 1/10 altocumulus at 8,000 feet

INCLS:  1. Statement


2 cys Dir/lnt, Hq NEAC

1 cy OSI, Narsarasuak AB

1 cy file


I, A/2C Richard A. Hill AF 11173575, after having been duly sworn do hereby make the following statement. The statement is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

At 241430Z June 1953 as 1 was following the pilot balloon through the theodolite the balloon burst and it its place was a red object.  It seemed to be twice as large as a 100 gram balloon which is about 4 feet in diameter.  The balloon was at an altitude of 18,000 feet when it burst and approximately three miles from the observation point.  It held approximately the same position for 15 seconds by making slow circular movements such as a loop.  The object was not discernable (sic) as to its structure but it did appear to have a definite shape which seemed somewhat triangular.  Then it started moving towards the northwest picking up speed rapidly.  Upon moving it appeared to be a red ball-shaped dot.  It left no trails and seemed to be gaining altitude and a tremendous rate of speed and finally disappearing after five minutes.

/s/ Richard A. Hill
Richard A. Hill
A/2C, AF 11173575


 /s/ Ralph Wallace Jr.
 Major, USAF



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Thursday, August 27, 1953

Rockhampton, Queensland (Australia) - Central Queensland Herald


WASHINGTON   August 25— The magazine “Aviation Week”, published a new report today on what the United States Air Force has found out about the upper atmosphere with “Moby Dick” balloons — whale-like bags which have often been mistaken for flying saucers.

Since the helium filled balloons made their appearance three years ago, the magazine said, many of the “saucer” sightings had coincided with their logged ascents and charted courses.

In an article based on the latest information from the Air Force, “Aviation Week” told why the balloons were taken for flying saucers.

The magazine gave this account of the experiments:  The shiny surface of the plastic balloons is an excellent reflector of light.  Long after the sun has set, they shine brilliantly with light reflected from the sun at altitudes of from 90,000 ft to 100,000 ft, almost 20 miles up.  Vapour, dust or other foreign particles in the atmosphere makes the light appear white, red, purple or green.


Because of the difficulty of judging speed at high altitudes the balloons sometimes seem to be racing at a tremendous speed, whereas they actually are moving at 60 miles an hour or less.

One evening after sunset, many units of the Strategic Air Command in Texas were kept busy trying to catch and shoot down a flying object which was actually a “Moby Dick” drifting along in a glow of dust-refracted sunlight.

B-36 crews, accustomed to flying at high altitudes, gave up the chase when they were left behind.  Jet fighters stalled trying to pursue the object above their ceilings.

The Air Force started the balloon programme in 1950.  Much valuable research has been accomplished and more is expected before the programme is scheduled to end early next year.

The balloon flights have confirmed the fact that air currents travel in opposite directions at different altitude layers.  The prevailing wind moves from west to east across the United States at about 50,000 ft, but about 10,000 ft higher the flow is sometimes the reverse.


41 Ovington Square.
London. S.W.3.

  The Commander,
  Kirtland AFB

28 Dec 1966

Dear Sir,

Whilst reading through a copy of the 1953 Robertson Panels' report on UFOs, I came across a reference to a method of investigating UFOs proposed by the Kirtland AFB in the early 1950s.

I would greatly appreciate if you would inform me whether you have any data on file at your base regarding the above proposal which went under the code name of "Project Pounce."

Yours sincerely


J.J.A. Hennessey




  Unidentified Flying Objects

[Date Illegible 196?]

  Mr. J. J. A. Hennessey
  41 Ovington Square
  London, S.W. 3, England


Dear Mr. Hennessey:

We have researched our records here at Kirtiand and find no information relative to "Project Pounce."

It is my suggestion if you still desire this information, that further inquiries be directed to the Secretary of the Air Force, Attention: SAF-OI, Washington D.C.


Vice Commander




19/1840Z NOV JWFRD

Project 1947 Comment:  The word "Pounce" in the second line, page two of this message may refer to "Project Pounce".  It might also just be Air Defense Command slang, such as "Tally-Ho", which was a standard fighter pilot reference to "target sighted".  We need an expert on 1952 jet fighter slang to determine whether "Pounce" was a word used in conjunction with the interception of aerial targets.

September 1953

The Air Line Pilot Magazine

Men In Motion Header


By Capt. Joe Hull

When historians compile their chronicles of the 20th century they will record an age of scientific progress unparalleled in the annals of mankind. Of the 2000 years since Christ, none will rate so much attention as that 100 years which brought the world the auto, the airplane, radio and television, wonder drugs, and atomic energy, with either its concomitant wars of dreadful devastation or a jittery world at “peace,” poised precariously on the brink of self-destruction.

But if the scribes are faithful, in their chores they will record six of the most utterly fantastic years — an incredible period for such a modern age — that fell during the exact middle of the century, during which a series of events transpired that will appear so unbelievable as to tax the credulity of the men commissioned to write of them.  Little wonder if they hesitate to set down the account of this ludicrous period in world history when men of all nations — but notably America — were agog with excitement over an apparition as nonsensical as the witches of Salem in the 17th century.

The historians will mark 1947 as the year the “flying saucers” came, an event with such exciting implications that the imagination of the whole world was fired to fever pitch and intelligent human beings found themselves reduced almost to the emotional level of their superstitious colonial or aboriginal forefathers, so intense was their devotion to this provoking and popular puzzle.  During the hectic heyday of the saucer’s mystical reign people discussed no other subject more, and on many occasions legitimate news was relegated to the second page of the daily journals.  Nothing took precedence over the mysterious disks, which in spite of countless sightings by authoritative observers, successfully resisted all efforts at capture, either in body or upon photographic film.

The histories which our progeny will study should mark the year of 1953 as the end of the flying saucers.  For it was in this year that the riddle which had plagued the world for seven breathless years was exposed for all to see by a man who steadfastly refused to allow fear, credulity, and superstition to overcome reason.  His revelations restored some semblance of sanity to a society which had retrogressed shamefully backward along the path to the Dark Ages.  America's gullibility has been an especial disgrace.

Dr. Donald H. Menzel is an eminent astronomer and scientist from Harvard University. His thousands of hours of searching the heavens by eye and by telescope, as well as his wealth of experience in the air, on the sea, and under the sea, provide him with ample qualifications to discuss the subject of flying saucers from the professional point as well as through the eyes of the layman.  His new book, Flying Saucers, is an out-and-out masterpiece and it belongs in the library of every airline pilot, whether he has believed in the existence of these awe inspiring phenomena or not. Of all the books written on the subject, this is the first dealing in common sense.

It is right here I wish to confess that from the very first sighting of a saucer by Kenneth Arnold over Mt. Rainier in 1947 (not really the first according to Menzel) I have believed implicitly in the existence of these nebulous will-o-the-wisps, passionately defending my views against all the “heretical” attacks made upon them.  The seemingly authoritative sightings by quite a few colleagues (dozens of airline pilots have reported strange objects in the sky) only added more strength to a preponderance of evidence already present that here indeed the world was seeing something new.  I did tireless research on the subject for six years, interviewing other pilots, control tower operators, hundreds of passengers, as well as laymen from all walks of life.  I devoured voraciously every printed word on the subject, newspaper and magazine artides by the score, and I bought each new book as fast as it hit the market. These ran the gamut from Frank Scully’s Behind the Flying Saucers (which was immediately branded as a hoax by thinking persons, True magazine verifying this last September) to Gerald Heard’s highly speculative Is Another World Watching?  Mr. Heard postulates to the point where he has huge honey bees from Mars building the saucers (like earthly bees build honeycomb) and flying them at the space ship speeds attributed to them.  Donald Keyhoe, aviation editor of True, was the first to speculate on the interplanetary origin of the disks, a postulation that found ever increasing support, until today it is the theory held most plausible by saucer devotees.

Dr. Menzel, once and for all, explodes all the silly notions I have shared with millions of other people.  But paradoxically, he does not deny the existence of the saucers or the sightings. He readily admits the saucers are real but he proves they are not what the sighter thinks they are.  He explains away scientifically each type all the way from the great saucer of 1882 down through Arnold’s 1947 saucers. Captain Mantell's Kentucky saucer, the New Mexico fireballs, the unknown lights of Japan are dealt with in painstaking detail.  He saves until last the enigma of the Washington D. C. radar saucers which bid fair to put the Republican Convention off the front pages last year when the story broke.  This chapter should prove wonderful reading to those who believe implicitly in the infallibility of radar images.

Only in recent weeks the CAA has accepted his refraction explanation for the “Martian” blips which had the radar operators nonplussed and aghast on more than one occasion.  The have proved his theory is the correct answer.

Dr. Menzel’s presentation is dispassionate and methodical, his logic brilliant.  His book reflects enormous research.

He proves by accepted standards that not one genuine, solid, material saucer has ever been photographed or proven by other means.

Most of the photographs of purported saucers have been absurdities.  One of the best examples of this was the photo made by a Coast Guardsman in Massachusetts of three lenticular cumulus clouds, a type seen often by airline pilots.  This photo fooled nobody but the gullible and sensation seeking saucer sectists, who comprise that curious minority who really want to believe in the occult.  The humorous but factual discovery that a whitewashed stone in the parking lot in the foreground of the picture more nearly approximated the dimensions of what a flying saucer is supposed to look like than any of the three clouds did little to quell the foolish enthusiasm of the credulous followers of the disks.  These fantasists really die hard.

Dr. Menzel has rendered a great service to his country and to the world.  He has disproven hundreds of supposedly real flying disks by the simple expedient of thought process, consigning them forever to the limbo they deserve, along with witchcraft and sorcery, I am grateful to him for deliverance.  From now on, my camera, which has been my constant cockpit companion for years, stays in the flight kit.

Project 1947 Comment: Pan American Airways pilot and UFO witness, Capt. William B. Nash, wrote a spirited rebuttal to Capt. Hull's article and submitted it for publication to “The Air Line Pilot”, the magazine of The Air Line Pilots Association.  The editor praised Nash's article but informed him they already had an article from Major Donald E. Keyhoe set in type for publication in the next issue.  Otherwise, the editor said, he would have used Nash's submission.

Nash's unpublished response to Hull's article was sent to Hull for comment.  The correspondence which resulted provided a unique insight into the state of UFOlogy in the early 1950s.  You can read some of the Nash-Hull letters here.

Courtesy of Captain Nash, who provided access to his files to PROJECT 1947 founder, Jan Aldrich, and Thomas Tulien of the Sign Historical Group, we present his unpublished response to Captain Hull's article, entitled “The Flying Saucers Are Still Alive.”

The Flying Saucers Are Still Alive

By this rebuttal, I hope to raise from the dead, (where ever Captain Joe Hull has buried them) the flying saucers.

I refer to his article (“OBITUARY OF THE FLYING SAUCERS”) published in the September, 1953 issue of THE AIRLINE PILOT.

Captain Hull has chided all of us who have believed and do believe in flying saucers by his assumption that historians will look upon these “flying saucer years” as, to quote him, “a ludicrous period in World History when men of all nations — but notably America — were agog with excitement over an apparition as nonsensical as the witches of Salem in the 17th Century.”

This attitude more than vaguely reminds me of an article I once read in a 1910 copy of one of the first aviation magazines; a publication called AIRCRAFT.  The article was entitled “Aerial Warfare” (spelled just that way) and was written by Hudson Maxim.  Mr Maxim's theme was “the aerial bomb, dropping from the high air, will never be widely destructive, reports of imaginative writers notwithstanding.”

We were just as stupid in 1926 when we persecuted Billy Mitchell for opposing this unprogressive doctrine, in spite of the fact that in 1921 he blew the hell out of the battleship “Ostfriesland” with 2000 pound bombs.

Captain Hull claims to have been an implicit believer in flying saucers, and to have done tireless research on the subject for six years.  THEN came Dr. Donald H. Menzel's book called FLYING SAUCERS, where-in for 319 pages and $4.75 you can find out that saucers don't exist except as ice-crystals, mirages, moonlit cloud formations or some other form of visual deception.

Egad!  What a convincing writer this Menzel must be: Either that, or I’m afraid that Captain Hull's “tireless research” was not painstaking enough to cover the many sightings which involved human senses other than the sense of sight, for it is only “sense of sight” observations that are allegedly “explained away” by the good Doctor.  This book is as foggy with evasions as a gambler's tax return, and completely ignores the great mass of undeniable evidence on record that does not agree with its theories.  Unfortunately, it has gotten much more attention than it deserves, because people as a whole do not wish to believe in anything they do not understand.  Psychologists say that this is a result of the pace of modern civilization which is creating feelings of insecurity among us; that we reject things we do not understand because it is more comforting to do so — hence the great appeal of Dr. Menzel's book, which does away with those nasty saucers.

The Air Force orates like a clam on the saucers to the general public, but if Captain Hull had wanted to know how they regard Dr. Menzel's book, he could have read the comment in a recent National magazine by Major General John A. Samford, Chief of Air Force Intelligence.  Major Samford is in charge of “Project Saucer”.  He said, when asked about Dr. Menzel's theories, “the Air Force cannot yet accept it as a satisfactory explanation.  Furthermore, it would not account for all reports, by any means.”

In a recent Air Force briefing given to Reserve Air Officers by an Air Force Major, the Major was asked about Menzel's book.  He replied that it was beautifully written, but the Air Force didn't think anything of it.  He proceeded to quote one instance which ruled out Menzel's theories.

The Major said that even a beginning radar operator can detect the effects of temperature inversion, which must be severe to create the condition to which Menzel refers.  On a night when no temperature inversion existed strange things occurred at the Washington airport in July of 1952.

Early in the evening, and lasting until five A.M., clusters of unidentifiable objects appeared on all of the military and civilian radar screens in the area.  Two interceptor planes were brought in from an airfield 50 miles away in Delaware.  They saw the objects on their own radar screens and also located their lights visually.  But, as they flew into the area all of the objects disappeared instantly.  The interceptors flew about looking for them until their fuel ran low, and had to return to the airfield, whereupon the objects again reappeared, in greater numbers than before.  The interceptors returned and reported by radio that they had sighted the objects.  Ground observers could also locate the objects with the naked eye in the heavens.

One pilot secured a radar fix on an object and began to close in on it.  He suddenly reported that at least a half a dozen of these lighted objects were converging on him.  His plane could be seen on the ground radar screens along with the mysterious objects rushing toward him, just as he had reported.  Suddenly he cried out, “My God, they're gone!,” and as he said this, ground observers saw these objects disappear from the radar screens.

The only theory that the Air Force can advance about this rapid disappearance is that the objects went straight up or reversed directions with such inconceivable speed that neither radar nor the human eye could follow them.

This occurred on July 29th.  I can readily believe that these objects travel that fast, because on July 14, Bill Fortenberry and I watched eight 100 foot discs cover 50 miles in 12 seconds only 2000 feet above sea level near Norfolk, Virginia.  When someone says “reflections” to us, we feel like batting them in the head, but then we remember that they didn't see them with us, so we proceed to explain why they could not have been reflections in spite of the fact that we knew they were not at the moment we saw them.

First of all, their light, which was a 100 foot diameter of bright red-orange, was too brilliant to be a reflection, which is always dimmer than its source.  Two; they passed over part of a brightly lighted city, and were twenty times the brilliance of any lights below them.  Three; there was no inversion or haze layer, and the nearest clouds were at twenty thousand feet.  Visibility was unlimited.  Four; they turned on edge, and when we last saw them they must have been at least twenty thousand feet high.  Five; they blinked off and on when they were only a mile from us straight down.  Six; try to imagine a being in a nearly pitch dark room, then suddenly have someone open a coal stove that had been air blasted to full brilliance inside.  Then let some astronomer tell you that you saw a reflection!

As far as photographs of these objects are concerned, they have been photographed many times.  (Those radar screens were photographed thoroughly, too) Of course, Dr. Menzel has chosen to disregard them.  He is on safe ground here, because the best photographs are in Air Force possession, and they are not about to share them, for a while, at least.  It appears that astronomers only believe other astronomers.  Very few of them have ever seen the planet Pluto, but none of them doubt its existence.

Saucers have been smelled, heard, (even before they were seen by the observer) and in a sense, felt, in that human beings have been physically moved by them and burned by them.  Also their pungent odor has made people sick and their throats burned for several hours after the lnhalation.  There have been many reports like this, and they have been public record.  How could Dr. Henzel ignore these experiences?  The Air Force does not classify them as hoaxes.  They couldn't very well do that after having carried away from one scene samples of grass burned to a white ash around a circular impression in the ground.  They measured this depression and also took samples of grass containing an oily smelly substance, just as the observers had described.  Quite a capable mirage!

The Air Force tells its personnel that they have investigated over 3000 sightings, 25% of which have been ruled as authentic and inexplainable.  They have said, and I quote directly, “The study prepared by noted scientists and Air Force experts expresses the belief that some of the mysterious flying objects are genuine and that they originate from sources outside of this planet”.  How could any statement be plainer?

However, they tell the general public that saucers must be balloons or other “air-junk”, for which, I believe, they have a very good reason.  I know the Air Force is interested.  They flew five investigators from Washington to Miami to interview us after our sighting - and the interrogation lasted two hours - in separate rooms, and they worked from a long printed questionaire.

Near the end of 1952, the Air Force was about to publish part of their findings, but they pulled their gear up again and never did so.  I quote here part of what they did publish in Robert S. Allen's column of Sept 26, 1952; “Chiefly deterring the Air Force from publishing certain portions of their report is fear that the sensational nature of the findings may cause undue public alarm.”  These findings were described as, “fantastic, but true.”

The flying saucers are the biggest thing that has happened to this old globe since B.C became A.D., and it would be a pity to miss any of it.

There are so many arguments and such an avalanche of evidence against Dr. Menzel's theories that it would take many books the size of his to counter the damage he has done.

What I want to get across is this.  Don’t be a sucker and believe him.  He’s one hundred and eighty degrees wrong.

            — William B. Nash


In reply refer to
27 JUL 1953

Mr. William B. Nash
400 Ridgewood Road
Biscayne Key
Miami 49, Florida

Dear Mr. Nash:

Project Blue Book has received your letter dated 9 July 1953 requesting the status of the investigation of the 14 July 1952 report from Norfolk, Virginia area.  This report in which you and Mr. W. H. Fortenberry sighted six disc-shaped objects is still under investigation by Project Blue Book and has definitely not been closed.  At present, this report is being carried as unsolved.  Approximately twenty percent of the 1952 reports are carried as unsolved.

It is hoped that this information will answer your questions and if, in the future, any conclusion is reached you will be notified.

Yours sincerely


    Major, USAF          

October 1953

The Air Line Pilot Magazine

Flying Saucer — Fact or Fancy?

In an exclusive article to THE AIR LINE PILOT a well-known
author reveals new facts on a controversial subject.

About the Article

When Capt. Joe Hull's article, “Obituary of the Flying Saucers,” appeared last month, THE AIR LlNE PILOT had no idea of the furor it would whip up.  From letters received from our readers, the subject is obviously far from dead.  "’Give us another article, one for us 'believers,'" was the composite gist of their requests.  This is it.  The author, a freelance writer, has written numerous articles on Flying Saucers and is authoring a forthcoming book, “Flying Saucers from Outer Space.”  This article is based on research and facts compiled in the writing of that book.  It has been cleared by the Department of Defense and contains some facts released to the public for the first time.  This story may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express permission of the copyright owner, Henry Holt and Co., New York.

By Major Donald E. Keyhoe, USMC, Ret.

IN a recent issue of the Air Line Pilot, Capt Joe Hull predicted that 1953 should mark the end of the “flying saucers.”  After several months behind the scenes at the Pentagon, I believe Captain Hull has been misled like other sincere converts to the theories of Dr. Donald Menzel.

Since 1951, unknown to most Americans, a small group of high Government officials has been secretly briefed on the saucers by Air force Intelligence officers.  During the past year, with Air Force clearance, I have seen a large part of the evidence used in these secret briefings.  This evidence has included over 40 of the most important unsolved sightings in the files of the Air Technical Intelligence Center.  In addition, ATIC has furnished me with official statements flatly refuting Dr. Menzel's explanations.

Like Captain Hull, I have carefully read Dr. Menzel's book, Flying Saucers.  In view of Menzel's reputation and scientific standing, his claims surprised me; none of his answers jibed with official evidence already in my possession.  To make doubly sure, I put several questions to Project Bluebook, the saucer investigating agency at Dayton.  Here is the first part of their official answer, released to me for publication in my new book, “Flying Saucers From Outer Space.”

“These explanations were known to the Project, and carefully considered, long before Menzel published his theories.  They explain only a small per cent of the sightings ... At the request of ATIC, prominent scientists analyzed Menzel's claims.  None of them accepted his answers .... Dr. Menzel was invited by Project Bluebook to apply his theories to any of all of the unexplained sightings, using Project records cleared for this purpose.  He has not availed himself of this offer . . . .”

In view of this, Menzel's easy solution of specific sightings takes on a new light.  One which he explained was the Mantell case.  As most airline pilots know, Capt. Mantell was killed when his F-51 disintegrated during a saucer chase.  The strange object he chased was seen by thousands in Kentucky, including pilots and tower men at Godman Field.

According to Dr. Menzel, the pilot was lured to his death by a “sundog.”  To check on this, I queried Project Bluebook:

Question: “Does the ATIC accept Menzel's sundog explanation of the Mantell case?”  Answer: “No,”

Next, Dr, Menzel “explained” the 1948 sightings by EAL pilots near Montgomery, Alabama.  The strange, wingless ship they reported was also sighted by Air Force observers at Robbins Field, Macon, Georgia.

Dr. Menzel's answer: The witnesses were misled by a mirage — the effect of a temperature inversion.  The Air Force answer to this:  “The ATIC does not accept Dr. Menzel's explanation of the EAL sightings in 1948 near Montgomery, Alabama.”

In a third famous case, that of Lieut. George Gorman, Dr. Menzel said the light which Gorman chased was only a light reflection from a distance, caused by a whirlpool of air over his F-51's wingtip.

Again, I checked with Wright Field.  Here is their answer: “The ATIC does not accept Menzel’s light reflection solution.”

Frankly puzzled, I couldn’t understand how Menzel had reached his conclusions after seeing all the Air Force records — I was positive he would not have tried to explain the sightings without all the evidence.  To make certain, I asked ATIC about this point:

Question: “Did Dr. Menzel obtain all the available records in these three cases?"  Answer from ATIC: “He did not obtain this information.  In answer to a query, he was offered all Project data on these and other cases, through usual channels.  We have heard nothing further from Dr. Menzel in regard to this.”

Considering this, Menzel's complaint about lack of Air Force cooperation seems a bit cockeyed:

“Scientists who might have easily provided the key that would unlock the secrets of the saucers did not receive detailed information necessary for a serious study of the whole problem.”

Nailing down their statements on the temperature-inversion theory, ATIC gave me factual proof in three released sightings.

First, a sighting at Bellefontaine, Ohio, August 1, 1952.  About 11 a.m., a glowing disc was seen from the ground, and also picked up by GCI radar near Wright Field.  Two F-86s were vectored toward the object.  Both pilots maneuvered to make sure it was no reflection, then climbed to above 40,000 feet, attempting camera runs.  During this time, the radar gunsight on one F-86 caught the UFO (Unidentified Flying Object).  The other plane’s radar sight was caged.  On a second run, one pilot clicked off several feet of film, which later showed a bright, round shape.  The edges blurred because of the distance.  (The UFO was estimated to be between 12,000 and 20,000 feet above the jets).  Here is the official ATIC analysis, cleared for me:

“The ground radar squadron established two facts: That the UFO moved at 400 knots, that the F-86’s and UFO appeared simultaneously on the GCI scope.  It is obvious all eyes and antennas put a fix on the same object . . . not a balloon, since speed was too fast . . . the object moved against the wind, its blip size that of a normal Aircraft.  It was not a known A/C because the altitude was too high.  It was not astronomical as the dual radar returns eliminate this.”

Then the ATIC proceeded to kick the Menzel theory squarely in the teeth:

“The electronic or visual mirage of meteorological phenomena is out of the question as the radar set was on high beam and both would not occur simultaneously in the same place.  The sighting occurred above the weather.  Conclusion: Unknown."

In a similar simultaneous radar and visual sighting, near Port Huron, Michigan, the ATIC gave me this official conclusion:

“The temperature inversion theory will not explain simultaneous visual and radar sightings when observers on the ground and in planes see a UFO at the same spot, when a plane's radar has locked on the object, and ground radar stations have both the plane and the UFO on their scopes at the same spot.  Conclusion: Unknown."

Finally. in the famous Washington sightings, in July of 1952, the Air Force absolutely repudiated its earlier temperature inversion suggestion — and gave me an Air Force spokesman to make it official.  But first, I checked for weeks at WNA Control Center and with top radar engineers, and leading scientists at least equal to Menzel in reputation, if not more so.  One was Dr. Hagin, Chief Radio Astronomer of the Naval Research Laboratory.  Here is what Dr. Hagin told me:

“Even with a heavy inversion, conditions would have to be very unusual to cause effects like those reported at Washington.  I’d say it was impossible, with blips pin-pointed by three radar stations and lights seen simultaneously at the same points.”

“How much inversion is needed for ordinary effects?” I asked him.

“At the very least, 10 degrees Fahrenheit — to get really strong effects, it would have to be much larger.  Even then, it couldn’t explain the simultaneous sightings.”

I checked with the Weather Bureau experts at the airport.  The inversion on the first week-end had been just one degree Fahrenheit; barely two degrees, the second time.  Later, I asked for the official Air Force answer.  Major Lewis Norman, a jet pilot and an expert on radar and temperature inversions, was assigned for this purpose.  Confirming what Dr. Hagin had said about the required inversion — Norman set it at “between 9 and 18 degrees, Fahrenheit” — he added:

“The low inversions on both occasions could not possibly explain the Washington sightings.”

I can readily see why Captain Hull and others accepted Menzel's book as gospel.  But Menzel’s answers, according to top scientists working with ATIC, explain only a very small number of saucer sightings.

It may interest the members of ALPA to know that for months the Air Force and Navy secretly analyzed some important saucer movies taken by Navy Warrant Officer Delbert Newhouse, in 1952.

These pictures show a formation of round, glowing objects maneuvering at high speed. Final conclusion of ATIC and Navy Photo-Interpretation:  No known conventional objects.

Certain Air Force officers at the Pentagon planned a public press showing of the film, with a frank admission for the public that the objects were real, and beyond the performance of any known aircraft.  But after a fight by the Pentagon “silence” group, this plan was killed, and the pictures kept secret.

In my opinion, no one who examines the official reports released to me can doubt that the saucers are real.  Repeatedly, Air Force pilots sighting them have insisted they are “some kind of revolutionary machine, with a performance capability beyond that of any known aircraft on earth.”

In an official Air Force document, it is stated that an increasing number of officials linked with the investigation are convinced “that the saucers are interplanetary, if the controlled maneuvers reported by many competent observers are correct.”

After 4 years of investigation, I am also convinced that this is the only logical explanation.

Saturday, November 21, 1953

Charters Towers, Queensland (Australia) - The Northern Miner

“Flying Saucer” Recognized

LONDON,  Friday. — The British War Office has officially recognised the flying saucer.

The War Office report said an anti-aircraft unit in south east London on November 3 picked up a signal on its radar screen unit [and] followed the track of the “object” which appeared “circular or spherical white in colour.”

The object was also seen through a telescope by men of the same unit on the same day.

The Air Ministry said all reports of possible “saucers” were investigated, but in 95 per cent of the cases there was a natural explanation.  They were either meteorites or reflections of sunlight or moonlight on aircraft, it added.

“But in the remaining cases there was no explanation.  There is no conclusive evidence for saying that flying saucers do or don't exist,” the War Office report concluded.

November 22, 1953

The American Weekly


The Official Truth about Flying Saucers

BY Captain Walter Karig

Special Deputy to Chief of Information, U.S. Navy

What are these things we call Flying Saucers, the mysterious objects which have been reported floating, zooming, wobbling and soaring glowingly over our heads these last few years?  Are they optical illusions, guided missiles, maybe Russian, maybe men from Mars?

The Navy and the Air Force reject the popular name, Saucers, as well they might, because it belittles the subject. To those experts, the baffling phenomena are UFOs — Unidentifiable Flying Objects.

It has to be a doggone good unidentifiable flying object to earn the degree of UFO, but the percentage of those that pass the rigid examination runs pretty high. To surmount the test, the UFO has to be seen by persons of proved honesty and objectivity, who are able to report on the Thing's size, apparent shape, luminosity, speed and, if possible, radar return.

Persons like, for example, the then Secretary of the Navy Dan Kimball, and the officers of his plane flying the Pacific. A UFO buzzed his aircraft. It buzzed the accompanying plane some miles in the rear, seconds later. Mr. Kimball forwarded the data to Washington. With it went an order that the Office of Naval Research redouble its probing into the subject.

Former Secretary of the Navy Dan Kimball

Dan Kimball, then Secretary of the Navy, was convinced that "flying saucers" are not figments of the imagination after a UFO buzzed his airplane during a trans-Pacific flight.

For the last six years, or ever since a sudden increase in reported sightings, UFOs have been the subject of a co-ordinated and integrated study. Employing civilian astronomers, military and naval experts in aerodynamics, meteorology and kindred sciences, the investigation is an Air Force project. The laboratory is in the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Field in Ohio. The Office of Naval Research, in Washington, is partner in the enterprise.

What have the experts learned?

An analysis of some 2,000 reports, many supported by photographs, eliminates 50 per cent of the sightings under the heading of "Insufficient Data," a sort of big garbage pail into which the ATIC dumps the accounts volunteered by persons who "saw something" but can't satisfactorily describe it, suspected hoaxes, possible self-delusions, and so on.

There go half the Saucers!

More than 30 per cent have proved, under study, to be accurately identifiable as weather balloons, airplane lights and flares, electronic and meteorological phenomena, including "Shooting Stars" and even newspapers borne aloft in a whirlwind.

But about 20 per cent are labeled identifiable Flying Objects. In short, objects proved beyond doubt to have been where they were seen for which ATIC has no explanation.

It is a high proportion of the total when nearly a fifth of the Things are officially certified to be — apparently — vari-sized illuminated shapes, evidently solids, that travel at speeds never achieved by human beings but giving every indication of being guided by intelligent minds. The descriptions, as furnished by the airplane pilots and aerologists upon whom ATIC places credence and confidence, are generally uniform.

They are reports of disc-shaped objects which emit an orange-hued glow that seems to increase as they accelerate, and travel at speeds which the fastest USAF jet can not approximate; discs which can execute a tight 90-degree turn or suddenly go into a reverse that would disintegrate any known aircraft and strip the flesh from the bones of its occupants; discs which travel as readily on edge, wheel-like, as they do horizontally They have been seen, by credited observers, leaping up and down like a giant yo-yo, hundreds of vertical miles at a bound, and returning to the stratosphere for another jump

A "phenomenon," not yet awarded the degree of UFO because it is still under study from the motion picture film shot by a Navy warrant officer, shows 10 blobs of light traveling across the sky in the most complicated (and, to Earth minds, meaningless) maneuver yet observed. One of the Things moved calmly ahead with an undulating motion like a ship plowing through ground swells. But its companions, while keeping forward pace with it, revolved about the nucleus (or guide ship, or whatever you want to call it) not in the flat orbit of planets around a sun but in a steep, tight, funnel-shaped spiral.

If — IF — the UFOs either carry or are directed by rational living creatures, why and for what purpose should one bounce like a child's rubber ball on an elastic string, others cavort in an intricate, dizzying maneuver?

Such variation from comprehensible motion cause some of the scientific minds to theorize that there is a logical, natural explanation for the UFOs. Something as remote from interplanetary travel as the bouncing of St. Elmo's Fire, or the Northern Lights.

Even the most prosaic descriptions of UFO maneuvers make one think of the actions of half-grown puppies rather than the operation of space ships. A group of the Things will appear on radar, evidently going places like a puppy-pack across a meadow, and then break up.

Some will loaf around, others dart hither and yon. A passenger plane bumbles into the field, and the nearest Flying Beagle will dart over like a brave pup going up to sniff at a cow, and then break away as if its curiosity was satisfied. But let the airplane, or some hastily summoned jets, try to get closer, and the UFO will go into reverse and scram out of there, with the whole pack streaking away — at 7,000 miles an hour.

The longest step toward solving the mystery will come when somebody gets close enough to a UFO to see it in detail. So far there is not even an acceptable photograph that shows more than a blur of light.

The author of this article guarantees that, at this writing, he never has seen anything like the UFOs except the "Brown Mountain Lights," which were eerie enough to satisfy him for all time.

In Avery County, in northwestern North Carolina. there rears on the fringes of the Great Smokies a rounded peak known as Brown Mountain, the source for many years of UFOs of its own. There, one night, I was taken to the top of a facing mountain by a friend, a professor of physics, at whose summer camp I was visiting.

We sat on a ledge on the west face of the opposite mountain crest, and waited a chilly half hour for the reward of observing a startling, spooky but beautiful manifestation of the mystery.

Suddenly, as we gazed across the broad, inky-black valley between, there soared from the crest of Brown Mountain a glowing ball, to my eyes at that distance, about the size of an orange. A second or two later another leaped into view, as if pursuing the first. The two rose vertically, at no superhuman speed, and vanished.

Twenty minutes passed, and then another light soared briefly into view against the faintly star-lit sky. Then, for an hour, they rose thick and fast, some rapidly, some mounting like a lazy rocket; some a dull orange, others greenish-white; some as clear in outline as a baseball held in the hand, but most as fuzzy as a ball of wool.

"Marsh gas!" I guessed bravely.

"There are no marshes anywhere on the slopes of Brown Mountain," said the physicist. I've explored it many times."

Maybe Brown Mountain houses an industrial village of subterranean gnomes who build and launch Flying Saucers just for kicks. Anyhow, the photographs I've seen of UFOs certainly look exactly like the Brown Mountain Lights to me, which proves nothing, of course.

Not all UFOs studied by Air Technical Intelligence are disc-shaped. There was one shaped like an arrow-head, seen almost simultaneously over two widely separated cities in Texas. Another, followed for miles by a military aircraft, would be dubbed "Flying Breeches" if the scientists had a sense of humor. It was accompanied by a streaming wake that, from descriptions, resembled a three-mile long pair of baggy pants.

The sighting, however, that really convinced the authorities that Saucers (as they are not called in official circles) are nothing to jeer at, occurred over Washington, D. C, 40 minutes after midnight on July 20, 1952, and lasted for nearly five hours.

Seven "blips" appeared on a radar screen at the National Airport's Radar Center as if instantly materialized out of nowhere. The lone would be dubbed "Flying Breeches" if the scientists had a sense of humor. It was accompanied by a streaming wake that, from descriptions, resembled a three-mile long pair of baggy pants.

The sighting, however, that really convinced the authorities that Saucers (as they are not called in official circles) are nothing to jeer at, occurred over Washington, D. C., 40 minutes after midnight on July 20, 1952, and lasted for nearly five hours.

Seven "blips" appeared on a radar screen at the National Airport's Radar Center as if instantly materialized out of nowhere. The lone operator fiddled with his machine, but the blips couldn't be dislodged. He leaped across the room to a second radar console. The blips were there, too. Alarmed, he summoned his chief.

Washington, D.C. — radar scopes, like the one shown above — "saw" seven mysterious objects flying over the capital on July 20, 1952. Scientists were unable to explain the phenomenon.

The operators called the Airport tower, a quarter of a mile away. The excited response was that the radar there showed the identical pattern. Andrews Field, the Air Force base across the Potomac in Maryland, was queried. The worried reply was that the radars there showed seven blips. With three "fixes" like that, the operators were able to compute that one of the UFOs was directly over the Capitol, while two hovered over the White House, many thousands of feet in the air, but visible to observers in the tower.

Every licensed pilot in America knows that the sky above the Capitol and the White House is forbidden territory. What did it mean — some sort of aerial Pearl Harbor blitz?

A hurried call was put in to New Castle, Delaware, the nearest point at which available Air Force jets were based. The planes did not appear over Washington until nearly two hours had passed. Meanwhile the air waves were filled with chatter from the observers.

Five minutes before the jets roared into the search area, the UFOs vanished. Five minutes after the jets returned to base, after a fruitless search, the UFOs returned and stayed until dawn.

Pressed that day by newspapermen for comment, the officials put forth their best guess. The lights were reflections from the earth on an "inversion," a dense and mirroring layer of air high above the city. A mirage, in other words.

Reflected lights, mirror images and the like, do not send back a radar return. It takes a fairly dense mass to do that. And radar scopes at three separate places had tracked the UFOs as clearly as if they were Flying Boxcars.

The radar operators checked and rechecked and computed the speed of the Things at 7,200 miles an hour. Nothing made by man, except guided missiles, travels at a tenth that speed. And neither rockets nor guided missiles can loaf around in one spot for hours and hours-not unless their makers had the Law of Gravitation repealed.

What were they?

Not "Saucers." Remember, officially there is no such Thing. Neither were there Saucers when "strange globes of light" maneuvered over Florence, Italy, on December 9, 1731. Or over Switzerland on November 2, 1761. Over London, March 29, 1845, and elsewhere in England in 1855, 1859, 1860 and 1864. They visited Bloomington, Indiana, on September 7, 1877; buzzed ships in the Yellow Sea in 1893, ships in the Atlantic in 1904.

They weren't Saucers then, nor even UFOs. Just something weird to be noted, discussed and exaggerated into "angels with flaming swords" and "dragons" in the sky.

These phenomena are no help to us today except to prove, should you choose to believe that the UFOs are Visitors from Space or Soviet Spies, that the men from Mars and/or the Kremlin were scouting the skies hundreds of years ago.

For the time being, then, let's leave the Saucers in the categories where the official investigators put them — 50 per cent phonies, 30 per cent of explainable origin, and 20 per cent Unidentifiable Flying Objects.

Monday, November 23, 1953

Miami, Florida - Daily News

Robert S. Allen ROBERT  S.  ALLEN

More Flying Saucers

Washington, Nov. 23 — There is a new of batch significant “flying saucer” developments.  While these mysterious objects haven’t been in the headlines of late, they are still frequently and authoritatively reported throughout the world, and facilities and efforts to fathom them are increasing both in the U.S. and abroad.

Following are important developments that can be published:

The Air Force is preparing another special report on flying objects.

The Navy has established a research agency of its own to study these aerial devices.

        Conducting Probes

Six other countries now have official organizations conducting probes of these mysterious objects.  They are Canada, Britain, France, Sweden, Norway and Russia.

So far, in the U.S. alone, more than 200 sightings have been reported this year.

The Air Force will again take a “yes-and-no” position in its forthcoming report.

Claims and rumors about space ships from other planets, and secret foreign aircraft will not be confirmed.  However, neither will they be wholly rejected.  The Air Force's experts will carefully make certain reservations.

They will admit being unable to explain some 15 per cent of the investigated sightings.

More than 3,500 such reports have been received by the Air Force in the past six years.

Most of them, after thorough study, have turned out to be either weather balloons, astronomical and climatic phenomena, birds, light reflections, airplanes, or radar and other electronic disturbances.

        Finest Equipment

But 15 per cent of the sightings do not fall into these categories and the experts have no answers for them as yet.  They could be this, that or something else.

The Air Force's “flying saucer” research staff includes the best scientists and technicians in the country, assisted by the latest and finest equipment.  Newest addition to that is a number of specially-constructed high-speed cameras.

Air Force authorities are still debating whether to publish anything produced by these stations.  They are located in strategic sections of the country particularly in the vicinity of atomic plants where sightings are frequently reported.  That is one of the most significant facts regarding these mysterious objects.

Thursday, November 26 1953

Rockhampton, Queensland (Australia) - Central Queensland Herald

Traced Course Of Flying Saucer

LONDON.  November 19—The British War office today officially recognised the flying saucer.

A War Office report said that an anti-aircraft unit in south-east London, on November 3, picked up a signal on its radar screen unit and followed the track of the “object” which appeared “circular or spherical white in colour.”  The object was also seen through a telescope by men of the same unit the same day.

The Air Ministry said tonight that all reports of possible “saucers” were investigated, but in 95 percent of the cases there was a natural explanation.  They were either meteorites or reflections of sunlight or moonlight on aircraft.

It added: “But in the remaining cases there was no explanation.  There is no conclusive evidence for saying that flying saucers do or don't exist.”

Monday, November 30, 1953

Brisbane, Queensland (Australia) - The Worker

News and Views From Everywhere

What Next?

“Flying Saucers” reported from four Western capitals recently could be reconnaissance patrols from another planet, according to a theory from experts' views.  Major Keyhoe, a leading American investigator of “saucers”, said recently that people on earth wishing to observe another planet would send up a “mother spaceship” from which small patrol craft could be launched.  If attacked by fighter planes from the “other world” they would zoom away out of danger.  This was just as “saucers” picked up on a London anti-aircraft regiment's radar set on November 3 had behaved, said Major Keyhoe yesterday.  That explanation would supply the answer to the saucer mystery.

Earthmen who wanted to observe Mars would set up bases on moons which circle Mars.  Men from Mars may equally well have established a base on the earth's moon.  Flying saucer reports always come just when Mars reaches the closest point to the earth in its orbit.  The Air Ministry has dismissed 95 per cent of saucer reports as explainable by natural phenomena.  But three members of Parliament have given notice of questions in the Commons this week about the remainder.  The Air Ministry says that in the other 5 per cent of cases experts have been unable to reach any conclusions.  Canada, America and South Africa have investigated reports of saucers.  Canada has built an official “saucer spotting station” near Ottawa.  In star systems near the earth there are 22 planets on which astronomers believe life could exist.  They think it reasonable to suppose life does exist on them.
    — London message in “Sydney Sun”, November 23, 1953.

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