Guided Missiles and UFOs:

A Tangle of Fear - 1937-53 - Part Three

By Joel Carpenter

1 Oct 46 - USAAF Intel memo suspects British are concealing significant GR information from US. []

6 Oct 46 - Swedish PM Per Albin Hansson dies of heart attack on tram home from office []

7 Oct 46 - US Correspondent Marquis Childs column "Washington Calling":

STOCKHOLM  -- The most extraordinary phenomenon of post-war Europe is the report of flying bombs or rockets that are now beginning to come from widely separated areas.  If they are real, then we have a small taste of what the next conflict will be like.  If they are a mere illusion, then we have an example of the uneasy state of mind of the people who live on this troubled continent.

The rockets were first reported in numbers from Sweden, where you would assume that the cautious and even-tampered population, untouched by the direct tragedy of war would not be subject to random nightmares.  Next were vague reports of fire-bombs over Athens at the time of the visit of the aircraft carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt.  More recently, rockets have been reported over Italian cities and the Italian government has ordered an investigation.

I have talked to many people about the flying bombs.  Some put the whole thing down to postwar hysteria.  Others take a serious view of what they call, half in jest, "Russian hail."

One thoroughly reliable American observer with whom I talked saw flying bombs in broad daylight over this city. It was a cigar-shaped object which streaked across the sky with great speed and seemed on the point of shooting eastward.  Careful Swedish observers have seen what they believed to be rockets.

Official opinion is that nothing is really known about the phenomenon, which has now more or less subsided.  Recently, at any rate, very few reports of the bombs have been received. If the government has found any fragments, that fact is being kept a careful secret. The soundest opinion seems to me to be this: The Russians on the island of Peenemünde, off the German Coast in the Baltic, are probably experimenting with televised rockets. They must send them over a fairly long distance in order to make an adequate test. The United States strategic bombing survey determined that very little damage was done at Peenemünde.

From other sources I have learned that the Russians took Peenemünde almost intact.  They also captured a number of German scientists who were active in promoting guided missile and rocket research.

The U. S. got its share of these scientists, many of whom are now in America.  But the Soviets also shared in this strange spoil of war and their captured scientists are now said to be working for them.  These experts may be teaching the Russians what they know and that may be the explanation for the mysterious fireworks.

Psychologists do not, of course, discount the remarkable suggestibility of the human mind in periods of great stress.  Before the rise of Nazism with its sinister accompaniment of mass hypnosis, we like to think we were living in an age of reason and could not be touched by spells and hysteria that formerly swept whole populations.  In the year 1000, large numbers of Europeans became convinced that the world was ending and strange forms of mass hysteria occurred throughout the continent.

Perhaps the "Russian hail" was only a stray meteor or two magnified by tragic fears that feed on the mysteries of science.  How many years must pass before we can hope to see the peoples of the world back to anything like normal?

7 Oct 46 - Walter Winchell rumor that Russian plane has been shot down in Aleutians. When War Dept Chief of Public Information calls FBI to confirm, Hoover throws fit.

Walter Winchell, far left, FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover


Handwritten Hoover note:

"He certainly has his nerve. We are not W. W.'s keeper & we should in no unmistakable manner get this over to such upstarts. H."


FBI Winchell FOIA Document File

8 Oct 46 - London Telegram: British rocket expert W. H. Wheeler writes that rockets made of plastic and metals of light weight were under construction. The range of such new missiles could be double those of steel construction and could fly 50 percent faster. Moreover, when fuel is consumed, rocket burns up.

8 Oct 46 - Right Hon Ellis Smith (Labour MP, Stoke) in Commons speech:

"The Manchester Guardian of the 9th of September said that General Eisenhower was to have conferences with the Imperial General Staff when he visited England. It was understood that close Anglo-American cooperation in the development of guided missiles was being sought. We heard a great deal last week about General Eisenhower's visit, but nothing about the report to which I have referred. I would ask the minister whether that report was correct." (Gross)

11 Oct 46 - British embassy Warsaw to Dantzig From Ambassador Cavendish Bentinck [Victor Frederick William Cavendish Bentinck, 9th Duke of Portland (1897-1990), wartime chairman of MI6's Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)] "TOP SECRET I am informed that the Soviet army have an experimental station in the area between Derlow (Rugenwalde) and Ustka (Stolpmunde) and that only Soviet Military personnel with special permits are allowed in this area. It has been suggested to me that rockets or flying bombs seen over Sweden were launched from this station. (I seem to remember that during the war the Germans had an experimental station for the V1 and/or V2 at Stolpmunde). Please find out as soon as possible whether the above mentioned area is in fact forbidden to all except the Soviet personnel and try to obtain discreetly any further information that you can. When in Stettin on October 13th I will request Mr. Vice Consul Walters to take similar action. Please show this telegram to Captain Petrie and Captain Denham (Naval Attache Stockholm) on their arrival. Foreign Office please pass to M.I. 10 War Office. [Repeated to Stockholm under Foreign Office No. 729]. [Copies sent to M.I. 10 War Office]."

- click image to enlarge

Did Western nosiness concerning Peenemünde because of the Ghost Rockets raise Soviet worries to the point that retaining the Groettrup team in Germany was no longer considered safe?

"By the summer of 1946, MI6 established that there were 12,000 skilled scientists and technicians available in the western zones of which 2,900 were regarded as 'eminent'. With reliable reports that newly opened Soviet research institutes were recruiting Germans, MI6 warned that 'the result of this intake in Germans will be very greatly to speed up Russia's industrialisation plans, and to contribute substantially to Russian war potential.' MI6's proposed solution was drastic. One thousand scientists in the British Zone should be 'quarantined' for up to two years and 'rehabilitated' by compulsory training for other occupations. Turning this down as unworkable, intelligence officers in the Control Commission suggested that four hundred should be 'removed as soon as possible from Germany, whether they are willing to go or not.' Alarmed by the MI6 reports, the deputy chiefs of staff were also concerned that Britain was suffering 'an acute shortage of scientists and technicians in all fields.' They recommended that more German scientists be brought into Britain in a more efficient manner. In an effort to deny their talents to the Soviets, a list of targeted scientists employed in aviation and missile design - most of whom had already been working for more than a year for the British in Germany - was compiled by British Intelligence. The chiefs were also worried by reports from Sweden of Soviet rocket tests in the Baltic. In response, MI6 teams of exile agents were sent into the Soviet orbit tasked to look for evidence of Russian atomic energy and rocket developments. The rocket reports, however, turned out to be false, and Dr. R. V. Jones was able to show that the alleged tests were, in fact, meteorites. MI6 officers in Germany were also tasked with recruiting scientists from the Russian Zone. They were convinced that 'there is an opportunity now to obtain high-grade intelligence from these men which will enable us to build up an almost complete picture of Russian scientific and technical activities in Germany and make it possible to forecast more accurately than we can at present the progress of Russian developments of weapons during future years.' It was a naive conviction, but during December 1946, as part of the effort to deny the Russians certain scientists who were listed 'on account of their scientific or technical eminence in certain warlike subjects,' British Intelligence launched the highly secret Operation MATCHBOX, which planned the escape of German scientists from the Soviet Zone. The Enemy Personnel Exploitation Section of FIAT was responsible for targeting men who had worked on engines for submarines - a subject that particularly interested the British - and research chemists for I G Farben."

- Stephen Dorril, "MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service"

Oct 46 - First of four events in which rocketlike object streaks from Soviet Zone of Germany and impacts with explosion near town of Gaedheim, in US Zone. Debris is chemically analyzed by US counterintelligence forces (See May, July 47, 31 Jan 49]

15 Oct 46 - Belgian Defense Minister issues statement insisting that official inquiry showed that nothing of unknown nature had overflown country. (Gross)

23 Oct 46 - Groettrup German rocket team rounded up at Bleicherode and evacuated from Soviet Zone of Germany to USSR in overnight urgent mission. 20,000 technical experts and workers go soon, along with factories and equipment. Nordhausen V-2 production line, rocket engine production and test facilities, guidance, etc. are all moved to USSR

20 Nov 46 - Lethbridge Herald (Lethbridge, Alberta) Peculiar Meteor LONDON. Nov. 20.-- The Moscow radio reported today that a meteor which resembled "a white-hot flying cannon ball" was sighted Nov. 12 by the Leningrad Arctic Institute's polar station at Providence Bay, at the northeast tip of Siberia across Bering Strait from Alaska. The radio description, particularly as to velocity, coincided to some degree with that of meteor-like objects sighted above Scandinivian countries in recent months.  (Chris Aubeck)

3 Dec 46 - Swedish Ghost Rocket committee member Norlin draft memo states "nearly one hundred impacts have been reported and thirty pieces of debris have been received and examined by FOA." Of 973 reports that had been received by Defense Staff to 29 Nov, 225 were considered observations of "real physical objects" and every one had been seen in broad daylight (Liljegren and Svahn)

16 Dec 46 - La Vanguardia, p.8 Tuesday December 17th 1946 ROCKET PROJECTILE OVER LISBON Lisbon 15. - A rocket projectile crossed the airspace of the Portuguese capital at around half past six in the afternoon. The artefact was seen in el Barrio de Campo on May 29th and observed by many people who at first thought it was a comet. EFE translation (c) Chris Aubeck, March 2003


14 Jan 47 - JHUAPL report concludes that nuclear rocket feasible (see June 46) (NASA Historical Databook, Vol II)

16 Jan 47 - long RAF Mosquito chase of radar unknown over England at 22,000 ft. (see 8 Aug 47)

20 Jan 47 - ("Secret Tot") US MA London Msg repts Sir Ben Lockspeiser, Chief Scientist, Ministry of Supply, in informal discussions with US Naval Attache London reports that during recent trip to Sweden Lockspieser had discussed GRs and says that "Swedes doubt that GRs were of Russian origin but prefer to have British and American authorities believe so. No fragments have been recovered, but Swedes advance theory of consumable case like magnesium or plastics. When queried by Sir Ben as to how such materials could be designed to withstand firing conditions and stresses, Swedes had no further explanations or comments. It is highly improbable that these phenomena which continue to be reported from time to time are due to other than natural causes plus popular imagination. This opinion is strengthened by fact that no official observer or person of recognized authority in Sweden has observed any of these later phenomena. However, British will continue to keep Peenemünde area under surveillance."

23 Jan 47 - US War Department WDGS Intelligence Division "Intelligence Review" (S) article "Ghost Rockets Over Scandinavia" - "Flying missiles were first reported over southern Sweden in late May 1946 by the press, which gave the missiles the name of 'Ghost Rockets.' In June, these missiles also had been reported over Finland and Denmark. By July, the number of sightings over Sweden had greatly increased, and several also had been reported over Norway. The great majority of these reports were made by untrained observers and, as would be expected, vary widely in the description of the actual missiles as well as, of their course, altitude and speed. Descriptions of the Missile. The two most common descriptions of the missiles were 'a ball of fire with a tail' and a 'shiny cigar-shaped object.' The reported direction of flight covered all points of the compass, with a northerly direction being slightly predominant. Variations in altitude ranged from treetop height to 160,000 feet, the higher altitudes almost exclusively being reported from Finland. Speeds reported were from 65 m.p.h. to 'lightning fast,' with the majority described as having great or very great speed. The missiles generally have been reported as diving into the ground or into lakes, or exploding in the air. In no case have fragments been found other than bits of material described as 'nonmetallic slag.'...Conclusions. The Soviets are known to be working on various guided missiles. They have the ability to produce, and probably have tested, missiles of the V-1 type. Without warheads and with slightly improved motors, these missiles could have a range of 500 miles, and are the only available German missiles believed capable of horizontal flight at low altitudes. There is some evidence that such work has been carried out at Stolp (in Polish-administered Germany) or on the Baltic islands of Oesel or Dago. Three of the people reporting sightings have mentioned the sound of an outboard motor, a characteristic of the impulse duct motor used on the V-1 by the Germans; and one of them stated that what he saw looked like the V-1 he had seen over London during the war. Others have reported little or no sound, a condition which may indicate the use of a turbo-jet instead of a pulse-jet. The best evidence, at present, is that there have been only 2 or 3 real incidents, perhaps as many as 5 or 10, of low-flying missiles of the V-1 type. The high-altitude missiles reported seem definitely to have been meteors or fireworks. The Swedish Defense Staff probably has taken advantage of the situation for political purposes and allowed newspapers to make a big story out of the missiles, without admitting that the Staff had any evidence to indicate that there actually were any such missiles. This was done at a time when the Swedish public was demanding reductions in defense expenditures."

7 Feb 47 - USAF report "Feasibility of Nuclear Powered Rockets and Ramjets" for MX-770 cruise missile project. (NASA Historical Databook, Vol II) (Dr. Robert M. Salter worked on this at NAA, later went to FEEDBACK)

10 Feb 47 - Finnish territory including Petsamo and Porkkala (Baltic coastal base 20 km W Helsinki) ceded to USSR for 50 years by Paris treaty conference. Gives USSR control of strategic sea access to Leningrad (see 26 June 46, 12 Nov 47, 26 Nov 47)

10 Feb 47 - (S) Intel rpt, US NA Helsinki - Subj: Army/Navy, Guided Missile - "Strange light phenomenon, or rocket, observed by amateur astronomer over Helsinki at 1821 30 Jan 47; parachute appears to drop; no reliable information obtained to date other than the press story." Parachute viewed through telescope

12 Feb 47 - (TS) USAAF Report from Berlin on Soviet AF Lt Gen Belyakov radio statement about training navigators for flight "all over world and perhaps even to other planets."

12 Feb 47 - about 10:38 AM - "monster bolide" impacts in the USSR near the town of Sikhote-Alin, in the Soviet Far East north of Vladivostok. First noticed as a brilliant light in the daylight sky, bright enough to make the eyes burn as it hurtled downward at a steep angle. Trailed by a huge smoky train, the meteor streaked to earth, filling the sky with deep, reverberating thunderclaps and shaking the ground.The meteorite, estimated to weigh as much as 100 tons, exploded into fragments which impacted over a wide area, blasting out more than 120 pits, the largest of which was twenty feet deep and ninety feet in diameter. According to his notes, New Mexico meteoriticist Lincoln LaPaz suspects the object is a missile coming from western USSR.

17 Feb 47 - USN CNO Intel Rept on visit of US NA and associates to members of Swedish air staff and SAAB guided missile division. Describes Swedish work on "pilotless aircraft" and missiles - SAAB 301, 302. "During the conversation on guided missiles Colonel Westergard who heads up the Airplane Design Section of the Air Ministry made the following statements relative to the missiles which have been reported over Sweden from an unknown source...there have been about 1,000 observations of which about 10% [? illegible] are was stated that the best observation was from an officer of an artillery group who sighted a missile in his optical range finder and was able to follow it for about 1 1/2 minutes. It was in approximately level flight at about 8,000 metres distance and was reported as being about 12 meters long, shaped something like a torpedo. Due to the angle the officer was unable to determine whether or not there were wings....It was stated that every time a Swedish airplane flies over the Baltic anywhere near Peenemünde a Russian airplane promptly appears and shadows it. From this the Swedes assume that the Russians must have good radar coverage of this area. It was also stated that they understood that all civilians had been evacuated from Peenemünde or Ursale [sic?]"

24 Feb 47 - ("TS Amug") War Dept Msg fm US Mil Rep for ACC Bulgaria - "Turkish MA repts that Soviets have built catapult for launching some form of aircraft near Sofia, and have brought into Bulgaria a number of V-2 type missiles. Comment: Catapult report may be connected with reports from Military Attache in Athens and Ankara Turkey that underground hangar had been built East of Sofia, possibly near [?illeg]...Turks have sent men to area in question to search for evidence of underground construction work, catapults and other evidence possibly connected to launching aircraft or self propelled missiles."

28 Feb 47 - Hq AAF memo for AC/AS-2 and ONI - Daily Activity Rept. Members of Defensive Air Branch interviewed Mr. Flickinger, VP of exports for Republic Aviation, who has recently returned from Sweden. "Mr Flickinger reported that to his knowledge there was no biological warfare research under way or contemplated in Sweden, but that atomic energy research is being carried on to the extent of pursuing the basic principles for the release of atomic energy. Mr. Flickinger stated that he had seen one of the Swedish "Spook Rockets" in flight, which resembled the V-1 buzz bomb but was somewhat smaller. The noise from this missile was more like that of a rocket than like a V-1" [Republic had been responsible for reverse-engineering the V-1 and producing them in the US as the JB-2/ Loon]

7 Mar 47 - Loon launched from and guided by submarine USS Cusk at Pt Mugu

14 Mar 47 - (S) Hq AAF memo for AC/AS-2 and ONI: Daily Activity Report - "Unconfirmed information obtained by the Assistant Naval Attache in Peiping from Chinese intelligence sources indicates the possibilities of recent V-weapon activity in the vicinity of Talaya (in the eastern end of the Transbaikal-Amur Military District) SOURCES CM-IN-2111, Assistant Naval Attache, Peiping, 10/19/47, no evaluation, and CM-IN-2117, 11 Mar 47 - SECRET Eval: C-3...COMMENT: This is the first indication that has been received that the Russians may be experimenting with V-weapons in the Soviet Far East as well as other parts of the Soviet Union."

22 Mar 47 - NYTimes report - "'Phantom Bomb' returns to Skies over Sweden... another of the phantom bombs...was observed over the southern part of the country by several persons...cigar-shaped metallic body, approximately sixty feet long, traveling at slow speed and making no noise...judging from the smoke, the missile turned at a certain point and flew back eastward."

15 April 47 - (S) USN Intelligence Report, US NA, Stockholm, Subject, Alleged rockets over Sweden - "Alusna [American Legation US Naval Attache] Stockholm's final opinion regarding the alleged rockets over Sweden in 1946 is that the widespread press reports last summer were not based on available factual evidence, that it is very doubtful if any of the reported missiles landed in Sweden, and that while a few stray guided missiles may have passed over Sweden, the Swedes have as yet brought forth no tangible evidence, and still insist officially that there is none."

23 April 47 - Eastern Evening News (England): "V1 Reported Dropped on French Soil - British Statement - Reports that a flying bomb dived into the ground and exploded yesterday afternoon, shaking the countryside of several miles around, reached Paris to-day from Troyes, about 60 miles south-east of Paris. Reports said that the bomb was "of the V-1 family" and it was thought it might have been an experimental one from England. A British Embassy spokesman, however, said to-day that this was unlikely since British experimental projectiles were being directed exclusively over the North Sea. Police officials in Troyes said they were investigating the matter and refused to confirm or deny the reports reaching Paris - Reuter."

29 April 47 - London Evening Standard - "RADAR 'GHOST' MAY BE A V-1, RADIO-CONTROLLED - Evening Standard Air Reporter: A "ghost" airplane, plotted on Fighter Command's radar screens flying at night over the North Sea may have been a radio-controlled machine of the flying-bomb type. If it was, it was not British. Twice the "ghost" airplane, which has still not been identified, showed on the radar screens. That was several weeks ago. Since then Fighter Command radar watchers have been on the look out but, I understand, the "ghost" airplane has not reappeared. Suggestions that smugglers were bringing contraband into Britain over the Norfolk coast at night can be discounted. The "ghost" did not cross the coastline. It stayed on the radar screens only a short time, but long enough for Fighter Command's experts to work out that the "ghost" was a peculiarly behaved machine. There were sudden erratic speed changes, I was told at the Air Ministry. The "ghost" would travel at 425 mph, suddenly drop back to 120 mph. Big variations in its height, too, were noticed, and it also had a rapid rate of climb. A pilotless aircraft, controlled by radio from the ground or from a ship, could suddenly change speed and height without the life of any pilot being risked. 'Telemetering' devices would record to the controller the machine's performance."

May 47 - Second event at Gaedheim, Germany, of apparent rocket streaking from Soviet Zone and exploding on impact near town. Debris is chemically analyzed by US counterintelligence forces (see Oct 46, July 47, 31 Jan 49)

29 May 47 - von Braun Peenemünde group-designed Hermes II V-2-based cruise missile test flight launched at White Sands NM goes out of control and crashes in Mexico (see 12 Oct 47)

24 June 47 - Arnold sighting. Eight Mach 1.5+, shovel-shaped objects plus one "Horten flying wing"

Kenneth Arnold sketch of his objects - sent to AMAZING STORIES editor Ray Palmer on July 29, 1947. On right edge, cut off in this FBI copy, is the tail edge of "object number eight," the second-last object of the formation, which was bat-winged and "a little smaller" than the main "saucers," according to Arnold

FBI UFO FOIA document file

1-10 Jul 47 - tests of 10 new Chelomei 14X dual-engine cruise missiles conducted, presumably at Uzbekistan test range (The V-1 and its Soviet Successors)

Soviet Petlyakov Pe-8 bomber prepares to air-launch Chelomei 10X V-1 copy

1 Jul 47 - "GCA radar at Hokkaido, Japan picked up an unidentified target at 16 miles, with a speed in excess of 500 mph. This target split into two targets, each estimated to be larger than a P-51." (TS USAF Air Intel Div Study 100-203)

6 Jul 47 - LA Examiner report of "Red Atomic Disc" - kidney-shaped, pilot cooled due to speed, lift by entirely new principle

7 Jul 47 - Louisville Courier-Journal photographer Al Hixenbaugh takes shot of two mysterious contrails said to have been moving too fast for aircraft

7 July 47 - William Presley, 218 Illinois Ave, Oak Ridge, TN, takes two photos of family outside home. They show apparent fireball with trail. Photo is published in Knoxville paper. In late 1948 Col C. D. Gasser of ORNL ANP nuclear aircraft engine project becomes interested. (see 16 Dec 48)

7 July 47 - William Rhodes saucer photos, Phoenix - considered among "best evidence" by T-2/TID. Appeared confirmatory of Arnold's description.

7 July 47 - West Ridge, NH - circle of burning patches appears in grass - seems to have been caused by object exploding in air and scattering hot debris into circle hundreds of feet in diameter. Slag-like debris provided to MIT scientist Reintjes and is analyzed at MIT. FBI document dated 29 Jul notes that incident and analysis widely known at MIT since few instructors remained on campus during summer session. Debris seemed to be portion of thin-wall cylinder 8 inches in diameter. Reintjes says it resembles V-2 engine linings he had seen at White Sands.

9 Jul 47 - News reports from eastern Iran, near Afghan border - sightings of loudly-exploding starlike objects dubbed "V-20." (see 1-10 July 47)

9 Jul 47 - object disintegrates in flames near Dow Chemical plant in Midland, Michigan. Analysis shows remains of combustion of "sizeable amount" of magnesium

10 Jul 47 - "Mr. Woodruff, a Pan-American Airways mechanic reported a circular object flying at high velocity, paralleling the earth's surface and leaving a trail which appeared as a 'burning up' of the cloud formation. The sighting occurred near Harmon Field, Newfoundland. Two other persons also saw the trail which remained in the sky for about an hour and was photographed by another PAA employee. The resulting photographs support Mr. Woodruff's observation as far as the sky cleavage is concerned." (TS Air Intelligence Study 100-203-79)

10 Jul 47 - Lincoln LaPaz and family UFO sighting near White Sands (Life Magazine article)

13 Jul 47 - top journalists Joseph and Stewart Alsop report in Washington Post column that it has been "established beyond doubt" that the 1946 Ghost Rockets were German/Soviet A9 winged V-2s launched from Peenemünde and designed to disintegrate in the air before impact

18 Jul 47 - FBI memo:


To: Director, FBI Date: July 18, 1947

From: SAC, New Haven

[--approx 19 let deleted--]
Stamford, Connecticut, Informant
Atomic Energy Act

For the information of the Bureau this is to advise that on July 7, 1947, [--approx 33 let deleted--] Stamford, Connecticut, appeared at the Stamford Resident Agent's office and furnished the following information:-

Mr. [--8 or 9--] prefaced his remarks by stating that he is a scientist by occupation and is currently employed at the American Cyanamid Research Laboratories on West Main Street in Stamford, Connecticut, in the Physics Division. Mr. [deleted] further indicated that during the war he was employed at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the Radiation Laboratory which Laboratory is connected with the Manhattan Project. [deleted] advised that he is thirty years of age and is a graduate of the University of Arizona.

Mr. [deleted] stated that the topic of "flying saucers" had caused considerable comment and concern to the present day scientists and indicated that he himself had a personal theory concerning the "flying saucers". Prior to advancing his own theory, [deleted] remarked that immediately after the conclusion of World War II, a friend of his, [--approx 15--], allegedly observed the "flying saucers" from an observatory in Milan and Bologna, Italy. He stated that apparently at that time the "flying saucers" had caused a little comment in Italy but that after some little publicity they immediately died out as public interest. Mr. [deleted] stated that it is quite possible that actually the "flying saucers" could be radio controlled germ bombs or atom bombs which are circling the orbit of the earth and which could be controlled by radio and directed to land on any designated target at the specific desire of the agency or country operating the bombs. He stated that one of the items of interest which he had personally observed is the fact that the saucers have been observed in Mexico City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Halifax, Newfoundland, Paris, Milan, Bologna and Yugoslavia as well as Albania. By placing a string around the globe of the earth it would be noticed that all of the above-mentioned cities form a direct orbit or circle around the earth and would be more or less in line of any path which the saucers could be circling.

[deleted] further stated that he recently talked with [ --5?-- line break --6?--], one of the owners of [--12?--] Company in Glenbrook, Connecticut, and has been informed by Mr. [--6--] that his company is making a large powerful telescope to be used in searching the stratosphere for atom bombs.


Click to view FBI Memos.

JC Note - the Glenbrook, CT telescope company was Perkin-Elmer, which was making lenses for Fred Whipple's Harvard Meteor Project Baker Super-Schmidt meteor camera (which ultimately made the first western photos of Sputnik 1 in 1957)


23 Jul 47 - ("TS TOT") War Dept incoming msg fm COMGENUSAFE Wiesbaden to COMGENAIR - "Book now in Russian hands 'Distant Control of Rockets' possibly written by Gerhard Riesig now in Zone of Interior. Request interrogation of Riesig concerning contents of this book and possibly location of other documents pertaining to project ABSTRACT." Action: Gen SPAATZ, Gen McDONALD, Gen LeMAY

27 Jul 47 - Third event at Gaedheim, Germany, of apparent rocket streaking from Soviet Zone and exploding. Debris is analyzed by USAFE CIU (see Oct 46, May 47, 31 Jan 49) []

31 Jul 47 - (S) Naval Intelligence memo re recent USN ferret flights to Peenemünde where radar and guidance signals were detected.

PB4Y Privateers of USN Ferret squadron VP-26 Det 214. Note direction finder antenna above fuselage

"Swedish officers report having received, via long-wave radio,
guided missile control signals. US Navy radar search plane plots similar
signals as emanating from the RUGEN area of Russian-occupied Germany, as
long as 14 minutes duration, about 41.5 megacycles, indicating
experimentation with radio-controlled aircraft or V-1 types rather than true
rockets of the V-2 type."

Ferret Squadron VP-26 Det 214 PB4Y Privateers - in Operation PASSIONATE

(See 5 Apr 50)

7 Aug 47 (TS) War Dept outgoing msg to COMGENUSAFE Wiesbaden "From AFACC signed Spaatz reurad UA 5756. Desire attendance 1 officer your command to attend RCN Mockup Conference at Wright Field 3 September 1947. Officer should have operational experience in ferret and offensive countermeasures and should be familiar with results of recent ferret flights your theatre. Officer should report this headquarters approximately 18 August. End. ORIGINATOR: Gen Spaatz"

8 Aug 47 - Air Force msg to FBI:  "FROM: A. M. LONDON TO: FAFDEL AIX 6328 Aug. 8th 1947 Your AIX 14 July 29th During normal night flying practice at 2230 on 16th January 1947, one of our Mosquitoes was vectored on to an unidentified aircraft at 22,000 feet. A long chase ensued commencing over the North Sea about 50 miles from the Dutch coast and ending at 2300 hours over Norfolk. Two brief AI contacts were made but faded quickly. The unidentified aircraft appeared to take efficient controlled evasive action. No explanation of this incident has been forthcoming nor has it been repeated." (cited in Clear Intent)

11 Aug 47 - (TS) War Dept outgoing msg to CG, Wright Field, "For Intelligence T-2 from AFACB signed Spaatz. It is requested you send officer interrogator to Fort Bliss to interrogate German scientist Gerhard Riesig concerning book now in Russian hands "distant control of rockets", possibly written by him. Request he be interrogated regarding contents of book and possible location other documents pertaining to Project ABSTRACT. Please inform this headquarters name of officer being sent to Fort Biss so that Office Chief of Ordnance may be notified prior to his visit. End."

19 Aug 47 - (TS) War Dept outgoing msg to Alaskan Air Command Fort Richardson Alaska, "From AFACC signed Spaatz A 16856. Sufficient priority should be given to primary mission FERRET flights by 46 reconnaissance Squadron to insure minimum of 1 flight south of Bering Strait and 1 north each month. No geographical restrictions except aircraft must remain a least 15 miles from non-United States territory. Your theatre will effect normal coordination with FEAF on any flights into that area. Consistent cover story should be arranged in case of forced landing on foreign soil and every precaution taken to maintain security of operations. Intelligence requirements as forwarded for operations PASSIONATE and FLOODLIGHT still in effect. End."

21 Aug 47 - (TS) War Dept outgoing msg to COMGENAMC Wright Fld Dayton Ohio for T-2 from AFACB signed Spaatz. "Cable as follows received from EUCOM quoted for your information: 'Project ABSTRACT' is subject. Re [S]eashores special report of Project ABSTRACT dated 23 July 1947 Para 13 interrogation is now being conducted for information on present location of documents and instruments sent from Teucheler Heide via Auftwaffe [sic] Berlin to SD Potsdam and thence to Italy. Research and Development of Guided Missiles apparently combined with Atomic Research in 1943 and 44 under code name AKTION HUETTEN under Professors Huetten, Hofmann and Wiels [?illeg] with help of Ingenieur Krueger and Borou (?Brce) [sic]. Hoffman now possibly at Alexandrowk near Baku, Kruegers address unknown, Lt Col Schulz, Lt Col Boergerman and Bauschlinger, Boergermann and Bauschinger were not mentioned by our informant Gefreiter Paul Schulz who transported four boxes to Italy and buried them near Verona. Request more information on Lt Cols Schulz and Boergerman and on Bauschinger and their present whereabouts. Reference Paragraph 14 this headquarters concurs providing all documents listed by Von Braun in Paragraph 26 of report on Braun, Dornberger etc of 8th July ace subject [A]bstract project report, first August 1947 exist in the United States. Reference Paragraphs 9 and 15 no evidence produced by Von Braun that two further boxes exist at Oberjoch, See our TWX to your headquarters dated 11 August...."

22 Aug 47 - Memo fm AC/AS-2, Air Intelligence Requirements Division Collection Branch (Col Robert Taylor) To Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development:"Flying Saucer Phenomena": "From a detailed study of certain reported observations on the flying saucers, selected for their veracity and reliability, it is apparently that several aspects of their appearance have a common pattern...Before pursuing its investigation of these objects any further, this Office requests assurance that no research project of the Army Air Forces, at present being test-flown, has the following characteristics and that it may therefore assume that recent flying saucer 'mystery' is not of United States origin:..Surface is metallic-- indicating a metallic skin, at least...When a trail is observed, it is a lightly colored blue-brown haze, similar to a rocket engine's exhaust. Contrary to a rocket of the solid type, one observation indicates that the fuel may be throttled, which would indicate a liquid type rocket to shape, all observations state that the object is circular, or at least elliptical, flat on the bottom and slightly domed on the top...Size estimates place it somewhere near the size of a C-54 or Constellation as they would appear while flying at 10,000'...Some reports describe two tabs located at the rear and symmetrical about the axis of flight motion...Flights have been reported containing from three to nine objects, flying good formation on each other, with speeds always above 300 knots...The discs oscillate laterally while flying along, which could be snaking."

27 Aug 47 - SECRET HEADQUARTERS FOURTH AIR FORCE Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, A-2 Intelligence Hamilton Field, California 4AFDA 333.5/1208-I 27 August 1947 SUBJECT: Re Flying Disc TO: Headquarters, Sixth Army, San Francisco, California. ATTENTION: G-2 1. Following is extract from the Weekly Intelligence Summary, Air Transport Command, Washington 25, D.C., dated 20 August 1947, Copy No. 120, Article I, pg 1: "FLYING OBJECTS IN GUAM": Unidentified flying objects have been observed by three American enlisted men of the 147th Airways and Air Communications Service Squadron at Harmon Field, Guam. The men report that at 1040 hours on 14 August 1947 the two objects, which they describe as small, crescent shaped and traveling at a speed twice that of a fighter plane, passed over them on a zig-zag course in a westerly direction at an approximate altitude of twelve hundred feet. The objects disappeared into clouds and a few seconds later a similar object possible one of those previously observed, emerged from the clouds and proceeded west. No further details have been reported." 2. For your information. DONALD L. SPRINGER Lt. Colonel, GSC AS of S, A-2

3 Sept 47 - (TS) Memorandum for the Secretary of War, Subject: "Long-Range Detection of Atomic Explosions" fm Maj Gen Lauris Norstad, Dir of Plans and Operations: "The recent letter from CIG submitting comments received from the JRDB is not of any particular interest to the solution of the problem which is under discussion in this case. One point does seem clear in the original correspondence from CIG and this later letter which forwarded JRDB's comments. That point is that it is of the utmost importance that the program begin without delay."

11 Sept 47 - (S) Chief Naval Intelligence msg to Dist List, Subj: Guided Missile Intelligence - "The Chief of Naval Intelligence is exploiting all available sources to obtain information on foreign developments in the field of guided missiles...Addressees are directed to make every effort to obtain as much intelligence as possible on this subject covering both developments in the country to which they are accredited and any information pertaining to developments in the U.S.S.R. or satellite countries. Dist list: Bulgaria, Rumania, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Paris, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Belgium...

12 Sept 47 - "the pilot and co-pilot of a Pan-American aircraft, en route from Midway to Honolulu, saw a blue-white light approaching, changing to twin reddish glows upon withdrawal. The pilot estimated the speed of the light at about 1,000 knots." (AIDS 100-203)

~ Sept 47 - intelligence rept fm unk intel agency [CIA?], subj "[deleted] second interrogation" - "During the period from May to September 1947 three light phenomena happening at intervals of about 15 minutes were seen almost every night between 9 and 10 p.m. local time. These phenomena were watched from the PW camp in Pakhta Aral, about 50 km southwest of Tashkent (41 18 N/69 15 E), Uzbek SSR, in an east-southeasterly direction...A darkened ball of fire was seen first; after about six seconds it reached the apex of a long-drawn out trajectory. During this time the ball had developed a trail of fire. Its color, which was bright red at the apex point, changed in color from pale green to white. Smoke trails, noises or detonations were not noticed... At the apex the ball of fire seemed about one-fifth the diameter of the full moon... " [Interrogation report possibly from Korean source, as Kazakh website refers to Korean "collective farm" as being located at Pakhta Aral]

16 Sept 47 - "MEW radar at Fukuoka, Japan, picked up a target at 89 miles and trailed it to 19 miles, where it faded. Speed was 840-900 mph. This observation indicates use of a homing receiver; fading at short range further indicates the possibility of good radar evasion techniques. The speed measurement, made by a good crew through a 70-mile track, is believed accurate." (TS AIDS 100-203)

25 Sept 47 - USAF Air Staff asks AMC to evaluate RAND satellite studies

1 Oct 47 - "Intelligence Digest," a privately produced political journal published by British conservative figure Kenneth DeCourcy, reveals information that saucers are "spent cartridges" of Soviet rockets being tested in Baltic. Flight of rockets is "maintained by the firing of a series of successive timed charges. The explosion of each propels the missile forward at an increasing speed."

12 Oct 47 - El Paso newspaper report of "unusual flaming object" sighted impacting Samalayuca mountains in Chihuahua State, Mexico, just across border from US. "The approximate impact area was estimated to be less than 10 miles from the point where a V-2 rocket, off its track, crashed south of Juarez May 29." Ft Bliss cdr Maj Gen John Homer personally investigates incident.

14 Oct 47 - USAF Capt Charles Yeager flies Bell X-1 rocket plane past Mach 1 at Muroc Field, CA

18 Oct 47 - First Soviet V-2 launch, Kapustin Yar

30 Oct 47 - Four Corners fireball (see 25 Mar 48). LaPaz states, in February 1949 Los Alamos GFB meeting minutes, that "for the first time we detected a bit of the interest on the part of the military, there too we recovered nothing. October 30, 1947, about 4:48 in the afternoon there was, what appeared to be, a tremendous meteorite fall over the reservation area - the Four Corners Area. We got there within a very few hours, had excellent observations, went back time and again, exhaust[ive] ground search, CAP people in airplanes, we had a radio center, we had radio controlled jeeps and a lot of people out walking around - not a trace."

12 Nov 47 - SIGN report - Two flying discs trailing jet-like streams of fire were sighted from bridge of tanker Ticonderoga 20 miles off Oregon coast -- discs moved at tremendous speed out of north horizon and curved in westerly direction in long low arc. Thought they were moving bet 700 and 900 mph. Witness did not think they were meteors because did not fall and traveled in pair. (TS AIDS 100-203)

12 Nov 47 - Frm AFOIR-DD to CG, USAF ATTN: Asst Chief of Staff A-1 SUBJ: Russian Experiments near the Arctic Circle - "With regard to your request in basic communication, the following comments are submitted: The Russian experiments on Nowaja Zemalaja are believed to be experiments in nuclear physics, especially concerned with cosmic rays...The earth's 'electronic atmosphere' (ionosphere) does absorb Actinic Rays (extreme ultra violet light) from the suns radiation. 'Roentgen Rays' (X-Rays) are not believed to be present to any appreciable extent in the sun's output. Focusing these actinic rays by any 'means of instruments and glasses' is not considered likely, as they are absorbed by practically all materials...The 'electronic atmosphere' is conventionally called the 'ionosphere'. Any energy which men might apply to de-ionize a 'gap' in this 'ionosphere' would have to equal or exceed the energy the sun applies to the same area. This energy would be exceedingly high, more than that consumed by a large electrified city...While this report may indicate a serious research project that is worthy of watching, the specific information and its purported explanation of 'saucers' are not considered worthy of any action at this time. FILED UNDER: 373.2 Winter Operations"

12 Nov 47 - (TS) AF Intel Report, subject “Report on Reconnaissance of the Border Grense-Jakobselv-Krokjellet, Period 25 August - 28 September 1947” Describes ground reconnaissance by Norwegians on Finnish-Russian border looking for a launch site. Attached diagram shows Soviet installation across border from Lake Inari, Finland, called “Salmijarvi,” shows “rocket paths” - trajectories away from town. On modern maps town is called “Nikel," NW of Murmansk

26 Nov 47 - AFOIR memo - Subj, Mysterious Missiles Reported in Sweden - desc conf at AFOIR Hq on 7 Oct 47 where Capt Therien, Royal Swedish Navy, stated that GRs were fired from Peenemünde. Sighted making 180 deg turn, 33 were believed to be factual, missiles were flying again, new launchings believed made from Petsamo area (WNW of Murmansk, see 12 Nov) (Petsamo transferred from Finland to USSR at Paris Conference in 1947). Bernt Balchen, fmr col, USAF, interviewed by personnel this Hq on 14 Oct 47. [see 13 June 44] Gave info concerning two radar locations in Petsamo area and rocket firing incident observed in same area. Gen Kessler, USMA Stockholm, did not agree with Therien

26 Nov 47 - Army G-2 Paperclip memo, subj "Paperclip Project, Ft Bliss, Texas and Adjacent Areas" fm Maj Lyman G. White, MID: "Former Nazi agents, interned during the late War in Mexico, are now given unlimited freedom within that country. The possibility of northern Mexico being used by Russian agents as an operating base against the guided missile project [is] felt to be obvious." (quoted in Secret Agenda, Linda Hunt)

9 Dec 47 - Memo fm Lt Gen Ennis Whitehead, CG, FEAF to Gen Spaatz. Whitehead referred to "strange incidents and excursions" over Japan, correlated with bellicose Soviet actions in Berlin and elsewhere. Whitehead told Spaatz of his grave concern over "war with the USSR within a few months" (cited in The Emerging Shield: The Air Force and the Evolution of Continental Air Defense, 1945-1960, Kenneth Schaffel, USAF

- Lt Gen Ennis Whitehead

15 Dec 47 - 20 July 48 - 73 Chelomei 10X launched from Pe-8 aircraft at Dzisak range near Tashkent (Gordon, Gunston: Soviet X-Planes)

18 Dec 47 - (S) Gen George McDonald, Dir USAF Intelligence rept, "Analysis of 'Flying Disc' Reports": "In addition to analyzing the reports concerning flying discs and other phenomena observed both in the United States and elsewhere in the world, the Directorate of Intelligence, USAF, has taken the following action:...Analyzed the possibility that the flying objects were operated or controlled by representatives of a foreign nation - perhaps for photo reconnaissance purposes, or to ferret out our defensive capabilities, or to test the American psychological reaction. Principal sightings were near the borders of the United States, which lends credence to a foreign source of origin. Sightings were not reported, however, at or near the principle strategic target areas of the United States. Moreover, it is difficult to conceive why any foreign nation, if it possessed such an unconventional aircraft or missile, would risk sending it near or over the United States for anything short of an attack. Even if the disc contained a self-destructing device, any crash landing would disclose a certain amount of information which the nation possessing such an aircraft or missile would desire to keep secret. This would be particularly true if the form of propulsion was outside American knowledge. The final answer still has not been obtained from this line of inquiry...Flying discs, as reported by widely scattered observers, probably represent something real and tangible, even though physical evidence, such as crash-recovered exhibits, is not available. While a portion of the observations may be the result of natural phenomena, such as meteors, or may have other conventional explanation, the likelihood that some observers actually saw disc-shaped objects sufficiently large to be compared in size with known aircraft cannot be dismissed...Considering the described conduct of these disc-like objects when sighted, it must be considered a possibility that they may have been humanly controlled, either manually or remotely, or by pre-set automatic controls....On the bases of presently available information, if these discs actually exist they are foreign in origin, so investigation of the possible country of development and the place of origin should continue."

23 Dec 47 - Vought receives contract from USN for Regulus sub-launched cruise missile.

Dec 47 - AMC reports to Air Staff that RAND satellite is feasible

30 Dec 47 - Maj Gen L. C. Craigie signs paperwork initiating Project SIGN