The Greensboro, North Carolina News of August 6th, 1952, carried the following:
If any of the mysterious craft are seen in the Greensboro area, Army intelligence is interested. In fact, the Army's Sherlock Holmes staff is so interested, it has named Col. Ralph L. Lewis as collector of information on the aerial discs.
Lewis, who is a top officer of the civil defense organization in Greensboro, said he will be glad to receive and investigate any and all reports on airborne crockery at any time day or night...
The following day, the August 7, 1952, edition of The Lumberton, North Carolina newspaper, The Robesonian carried a story on a recent “flying saucer“ sighting in which it revealed that Mr. E. Z. Jones, the North Carolina State Civil Defense Director had gone to Red Springs to interview another “flying saucer” witness:
The small man (30 inches high) who alighted from a flying saucer last night in the backyard of the home of James J. Allen, House 51, West Lumberton, went off in “a whiff” when Mr. Allen asked if he were hurt — his orange saucer having hit Mr. Allen's chimney.
The event, said Mr. Allen, occurred about nine o’clock last night.
Hurried research into the very [ text missing ]
“It looked perfectly round in the occasional phenomenon of St. Elmo’s Fire as a possible explanation, led to immediate speculation as to whether the little visitor could have been St. Elmo.
Mr. Allen, American Houses employee, said he was out of doors when he saw the saucer coming from the northeast, but from his description it was more of a ball;
[ text missing] air.”
He said it hit his chimney and knocked part of it in. Then it fell in the back yard and he saw it on the ground.
“It was six feet high and eight feet long and was lighted on the inside. It was orange in color like it was in the air. The lights went out when I walked toward it and got within about ten feet of it.”
Allen continued: “There appeared to be a small man about 30 inches high standing beside the object. When I asked if it was hurt, it went away in a whiff; then it made a loud noise, like air whistling, and was gone.”
Mr. Allen said he sat in his back door for about two hours waiting to see if it would come back.
He didn’t specify whether he hoped it would or hoped it wouldn’t.
Scientists all over the land have offered hundreds of explanations for flying saucers and local reference works being limited to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, reference is made to that volume. It classified lightning as chain (or forked) lightning, sheet (or heat) lightning, and ball lightning.
The dictionary says that St. Elmo’s Fire is “a flame-like appearance sometimes seen in stormy weather at prominent points on a ship ... and also on land ... at the tops of trees or steeples ... It is of the nature of a brush discharge of electricity, reddish when positive, bluish when negative.”
Added to this, the local weather station observed ideal conditions for electrical discharges last night; humidity was as high as it can go (100 per cent at both 8:30 and 9:30) and scattered storms occurred.
The report by Mr. Allen coincides with the investigation of a similar appearance in Red Springs in December. State Defense Director E. Z. Jones went to Red Springs yesterday to interview Sam Coley, 49, a mechanic and jack of all trades, who revealed his vision of a “flying saucer” some months ago.
Jones said this is what Coley told him before other witnesses in a tape-recorded interview:
At dusk one day last December, Coley’s 12-year old son came running into the Coley house and called his father and 17-year-old sister to observe a strange object coming out of the sky.
The object stopped about six feet above the ground about 300 yards from the house. It was shaped like two saucers put together with a cabin like bulge in the center. It gave off no light except from windows in the cabin. Coley said he saw a man inside.
It was almost silent, giving off a slight purr. The only part of the object, which was about the size of an airplane, which seemed to be moving was a disk on the outer shell.
After hovering over the spot for about 10 minutes, it took off “like a bolt of lightning and faster than the naked eye could follow.” It left almost silently.
Jones said Coley did not report the object because he was afraid he would have been ridiculed. He told Jones his daughter convinced him he should report what they had seen.
Jones said that he and the Red Springs police chief helped him question Coley, the daughter, and the son closely and their stories did not vary.
He said that the police chief apparently lost his skepticism after the interview. Jones declined to comment on the interview.
The chimney on his house, which James J. Allen said was struck by a flying saucer last night is pictured at top here. In the lower picture is Mr. Allen standing near his West Lumberton home. The arrow points to a spot in the grass near the house where the thing landed and “it” got out; he says he saw what appeared to be a 30-inch man near the glowing object after its light went out. The grass was depressed at the spot Mr. Allen pointed to this morning as if some heavy object had lain on it. (norment photos)
PROJECT 1947 Comment: Civil Defense records in the North Carolina State Archives were checked for UFO reports. Eldred Zed (E. Z.) Jones was indeed the State Civil Defense Director. There is no mention of any request from Third Army Intelligence for UFO reports, nor any information on UFOs in any of the files located.