Tuesday, January 27, 1953
Rapids, Mich.- Grand Rapids Press
AIR FORCE REPORTS SMALL ‘DISC’ MAKES PASS AT THUNDER-JET.
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Thursday, January 29, 1953
- Ontario Journal
Bill Boss Claims
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”,
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.
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.
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].
Naval Aviation News
JET PILOT CHASES ODD OBJECT
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
28 Dec 1966
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."
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.
JASPER A. WESTBROOK, Colonel, USAF
JEDWP/COMMANDER AIR TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE CENTER WRIGHT-PATTERSON
JEDEN/COMMANDER AIR DEFENSE COMMAND ENT AFB COLORADO SPRINGS
JEDKF/COMMANDER CENTRAL AIR DEFENSE FORCE KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
OIN 6515 PD ADC/ATTN: INTEL OFF PD CADF/ATTEN:
INTEL OFF PD UFOB PD REF AFR 200-2 CMA DTD 26 AUG 53 CMA THE FOLLOWING
INFO IS SUBMITTED PD REF PAR 6B SMCL 1A ROUND PD 1B TEN TO TWENTY FEET
IN DIAM PD 1C WHITE PD 1D ONE PD 1E NEG PD 1F NEG PD 1G NEG PD 1H NEG PD
1I NEG PD 2A NEG PD 2B NEG PD 2C NEG PD 2D DECENDING VERY SLOWLY PD
2E UNABLE TO FOL OBJ DUE TO DARKNESS PD 2F 26 MINUTES PD 3A GROUND VISUA
PD 3B NEG PD 3C NEG PD 4A 2359Z 17 NOV 53 PD 4B DUSK PD PAR 5 GEOREF EJP
4050 PD PAR 6A D.W. EARL CMA 4816 A YUCCA CMA LOS ALAMOS 1659 CMA
ASSIGNED IN LOS ALAMOS AREA CMA CONSIDERED RELIABLE 6B NEG PD 7A SCT
CLOUDS AT 260 DEG CMA 20 MPH PD 7B N/A PD 7C UNKN PD 7D FAIR PD
PAGE TWO JWFED 25A
7E SCATERED PD 7F NEG PD 8 NEG PD PAR 9 NEG PD PAR 10 SCRAMBLED
TWO (2) A/C CMA NO TALLY HO OR POUNCE DUE TO DARKNESS PD PAR 11 NEG
PD PAR 12 PREPARING OFF AND COMMENTS SMCLN CAPT CHARLES L DEWEES
CMA DIRECTOR OF INTELLIGENCE CMA 34TH AIR DIV (DEF) CMA KIRTLAND AFB
NEW MEXICO PD INFO REC INADEQUATE TO MAKE REASONABLE ESTIMATION
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.
The Air Line Pilot Magazine
OBITUARY OF THE FLYING SAUCERS
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
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
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
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
AIR TECHNICAL INTELLIGENCE CENTER
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE
In reply refer to
27 JUL 1953
Mr. William B. Nash
400 Ridgewood Road
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
It is hoped that this information will answer your questions and
if, in the future, any conclusion is reached you will be notified.
ROBERT C. BROWN
The Air Line Pilot Magazine
Flying Saucer — Fact or Fancy?
In an exclusive article to THE AIR LINE PILOT
author reveals new facts on a controversial subject.
By Major Donald E. Keyhoe, USMC, Ret.
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.
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.
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
“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
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
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
“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
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
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.
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
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,
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
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
Monday, November 23, 1953
Miami, Florida - Daily News
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
The Air Force is preparing another special report on flying
The Navy has established a research agency of its own to
study these aerial devices.
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
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
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.
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
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
“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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