THE LIMA NEWS (OHIO) - March 29, 1952    

ONU's 'Project A' Issues First Report  

Flying Saucers:  One in Five Can't Be Explained  

ADA, Mar. 28—One out of every five "flying saucer" sightings reported to Ohio Northern university's Project A, Investigation of Phenomena—Flying Saucers, cannot be explained by natural means, according to the first progress report issued by the university.

The report emphasizes that the 54 sightings described to date are not enough on which to base conclusions as to what flying saucers are — or even if they really exist.  But 20 per cent of the sightings described do not fit explanation by light reflection, cloud formation, ionization or other natural phenomena.

University officials now are waiting for more reports and plan to have at least 200 on hand before attempting any intensive analysis.  The initial report on the first attempt to bring the full knowledge and facilities of a university to bear on the investigation of flying saucers is a summary of what people report they have seen.

*     *     *

THESE ARE the major points from the sightings reported to date

1.  Most sightings are made in the Southwest and during July, August and September.

2.  People report seeing disc-shaped objects, with spheres sighted next most often.

3.  Most of the objects sighted are reported as traveling at extremely high speed and in a definite flight pattern.

*     *     *

OHIO LED in number of sightings, due largely to greater publicity given the project in the state.  By states, Ohio had 17 sightings, Texas 11, Kentucky 4, Virginia, Michigan, Connecticut and New Mexico 3 each, Illinois 2, and one each from Washington D. C, Missouri, South Dakota, California, Arkansas and Indiana.  Two sightings also have been reported from Canada.

Of the 54 sightings reported, 12 appeared in July, 13 in August and 10 in September.  Thirty were reported as appearing at night, but the large number of daylight sightings discounts somewhat the theory of the objects being stars or aircraft navigation lights.  Forty-eight sightings appeared in clear weather.

Discounting the large number of Ohioans reporting to the project, the most sightings in the U. S. have occurred in the Southwest.  The combination of geographical location, time of the year and weather conditions seems to indicate there might be similar phenomena thruout the year, with more ideal conditions for observation accounting for the higher number of sightings during the summer months.

*     *     *

DISCS ARE the more frequent shape reported by the sighters, 39 being described.  Spheres numbered nine, cylinders three and others three.

Five evidently were seen close enough for detailed descriptions, while 49 viewed them from a distance.  Four pilots reported audible sound apparent, with 50 other observers unable to detect any accompanying noise.

Most of the sighting descriptions indicate a very high speed whenever the object was in motion.  Consensus on the pattern of flight was a slow vertical climb, horizontal movement for a short distance, and a repeating of the pattern until desired altitude was reached, followed by acceleration to a high speed.

Reports of objects only a few feet above the earth's surface could not be explained by natural atmospheric phenomena.  Project A has been concerned over these sightings but needs numerous similar reports to make a detailed scientific analysis.

All close sightings reported saucers with domes that gave off an amber light, with night sightings describing the color as more red than amber.  The body of the discs were described as silver colored, save for a pale blue light observed, almost as a haze, around the outer edge.  At night the color became more pronounced, according to the observers, some of whom describe the brilliance as similar to the blue-white color of an arc light.

*     *     *

ALTHO FREQUENT statements claim that any unnatural phenomena must be a new form of aircraft or weapon.  Project A finds two reasons to doubt that this explains all objects reported.

Sightings have been forwarded which were recorded, with sketches, as early as 1938, well before the high speed of jet aircraft was obtained.  This explanation also fails to account for sightings in Australia, Switzerland, Germany, South America and Japan, unless it is assumed that a secret "test weapon" is being employed in all these countries.

A wooden model was received from one group of witnesses, a drawing from Canada and another from Texas.  Sketches were sent in by persons from other areas, and included a few hoaxes, but these were soon separated from reports by sincere persons.

TRIBUNE (Bismark, ND) - September 4, 1952   

Astronomers Meet;        
Saucer Talk Taboo  

ROME AP--The world's greatest experts on the secrets of the skies met here Thursday — but flying saucers were a forbidden topic.

Leading astronomers of 35 nations are among the 430 delegates gathered for the eighth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union.

Flying saucers are not the only subject of public speculation which the stargazers are giving the go-by.  Discussion of possible life on other planets will also be avoided.

"The congress will discuss only positive facts concerning astronomy," said Prof. Lucio Gialanella, the union's secretary-general.

THE NEWS (Lima, OHIO) - September 5, 1952   

Northern Gets World-Wide Reports
On Flying Saucers

ADA--Response to Ohio Northern university's world-wide plea for reports on flying saucer sightings has been gratifying, it was learned Friday from officials of the institution.

ONU recently announced plans for Project A under which it will analyze reports from any individuals or groups that have sighted objects believed to be flying saucers.  Purpose of the study is to arrive at a logical explanation for the saucer appearances if possible and to publicize the true findings.

Officials have received word from several European countries, and a series of water color sketches from an eye witness in Denmark.  Another water color sketch was received from a witness in Cleveland area and a wooden model has been furnished by a central Ohio witness.

This wooden model represents the object witnessed by seven witnesses in that particular sighting.  This model is unique in that it represents a sighting made about July 24, yet the model is almost identical in shape to the sighting recently reported by Scoutmaster E.S. DesVerges at West Palm Beach, Fla.

*     *     *

MOST SIGHTINGS are from Texas area, and the university data forms have been filled in by persons in all walks of life including housewives, airline presidents, and engineers.

The objects reported to the university seem to break down into two or three types, the most numerous of which at present indicate an object several times larger than the largest transport plane seen by eye witnesses.

Usually it performs complicated maneuvers and finally disappears at tremendous speed.

Another group of sightings are in some ways similar to conventional aircraft in more recent design.  No pattern can be determined yet because of the limited number of reports received, but apparently more saucers are sighted in the southwest part of the U. S. although some have come from as far north as the state of Washington.

The university is in need of at least 200 more sightings reports before they are able to effectively categorize the data.  They are asking the public to support this project and send in the report of their sightings of these flying saucers.

There have been several persons who have written to Project A about their intensive interest in the program, and though they have not personally sighted any phenomena, they have requested the university to send them the findings.  Ohio Northern will be very happy to send this information to any group or persons desiring it after they have completed the study on the basis of the reports received from eye-witnesses, officials explained.

Constitution (Chillicothe, Mo.) - September 13, 1952   

Science Group Feels        
Flying Saucers Still 
Are for Comic Books  

LONDON, Sept 13. (AP)--The British Interplanetary Society said today you are more likely to see a flying saucer if you keep up with your comic book reading.

The society went into the whole subject in its September Journal.  It said it could not buy any of the current flying saucer reports but conceded it would "rather like to believe that space ships were already flying in the neighborhood of the earth, even if they were not our own."

The society said it prepared to "retain an open mind, tinged with skepticism" until one of its members spotted a saucer.  A few members have written in, however, saying the society would do well to avoid being too flippant on the subject.

According to the society, there is a possibility that some observers are "enjoying a large practical joke at the expense of their fellow men."

THE NEWS (Lima, OHIO) - September 16, 1952   

Churchman Says    
Saucers May Be Real

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Dr. Gerald Heard, Santa Monica, Calif., scientist and religious leader, believes "flying saucers" may not be imaginary objects but visitors from Mars or some other planet.  Writing in the October issue of Motive, official magazine of the Methodist Student movement, Dr. Heard says the reported objects may be robot instruments or inhabited space ships gathering data about this planet.  Dr. Heard hopes contact can be made with these weird visitors before they go away — or seek to conquer us.

Tracing the sightings back prior to 1947, Dr. Heard says: "Our present predicament is unique because we seem to be confronting an intelligence which is not only our superior in mechanical skill but also in detachment and restraint."

*     *     *

THE ARTICLE also includes a discussion of the social and religious implications of "flying saucers," assuming they are interplanetary visitors.

Dr. Heard is asking all college students to report "saucer" sightings to the "Civilian Saucer Investigation" in Los Angeles, promising not to publish names if the students fear publicity.

(Officials at Ohio Northern university at Ada said there is no connection between Dr. Heard's investigation and ONU's Project A, which is also gathering and studying "saucer's" (sic) reports.)

THE NEWS (Lima, OHIO) - September 21, 1952   

Some Even Saw Take-Offs. . . .  

Flying Saucer Reports Continue To Pour  
Into Ohio Northern from Widespread Areas

ADA, Sept. 20—Letters regarding the sighting of flying saucers have been received in recent days at Ohio Northern University from persons in Canada, Virginia, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  The university is conducting a Project A experiment in an effort to determine the facts behind such sightings thruout the world.

Texas and Chicago still lead In number of sightings reported.

ONU has received requests from two societies that are investigating saucers to send them information as ONU gets it and they will send data to ONU in exchange.  The university wishes to investigate the authenticity of these societies before releasing their findings to them.

The standard description so far seems to be an object which is disc-shaped, usually flat on the under side but rises toward a round dome in the center on the upper side.

It seems to be one-fourth or one-fifth as thick on the outer edges as at the center where the dome is located.  These descriptions have come largely from persons who were close enough to observe the details mentioned.

Sightings have been received from persons seeing the saucer at low altitude and described take-off methods.

*     *     *

THE STORIES have all coincided in that the objects seem to move upward, not gradually, but in steps or levels to a certain altitude and then they go upward with tremendous speed.

The university is still in need of more sightings and data before they can do any extensive research.  Data forms are being sent to Australia and Germany to persons who have made sightings in those areas.  One newspaper has been very cooperative arranging to send ONU sightings reported to them and to arrange for interviews if desired.

THE NEWS (Lima, OHIO) - September 25, 1952   

No Conclusions, But.... . . .  

'Project A' Chief Can't      
Explain Flying Saucers'

By Henry Arlin

About 20 per cent of the sightings being reported to Ohio Northern university's "flying saucer" Project A "cannot be explained away by ordinary procedure."

There is a general consistency in these sightings--"a saucer-shaped object, flat on the bottom with rounded edges and rising to a slight dome on top."

The color is the same — "bright blue or green."

Takeoff is the same — slow at first and then, after reaching a certain point above the earth's surface, a terrific burst of speed.

*     *     *

THESE ARE the facts garnered thus far by the project.  Dr. Warren Hickman, university dean and co-chairman of Project A, told the Lima Lions club's weekly luncheon meeting in the Barr hotel Wednesday noon.

"There has not been enough sightings for proper analysis and we will not start until at least 200 of them are available," Dr. Hickman said.

*     *     *

HOWEVER, he pointed out these developments to date:

Flying saucers with the same general consistency of shape and the bright blue or green color have been reported thruout the United States and Canada and as far away as Denmark.

Dr. Hickman said one such saucer, sighted in Canada, was reported by two motorists.  It was in a field not far from the highway.  Noticing the bright lights, one of the motorists jumped from his car and ran to within 30 feet of it before the object began its whirling motion and took off.

Most of the sightings, including the one in Canada, were by persons not considered "crackpots" by those who know them and who had no apparent reasons to report anything other than the truth, Dr. Hickman said.

He pointed out that most of the sightings have come from the Southwest and from the Chicago area.  Many of the latter have been explained away as natural phenomena.

*     *     *

CLEAR WEATHER and the "earth's relation to the sun" at that point, may account for the large number of sightings reported in the Southwest.  Dr. Hickman said most sightings are during the summer and early autumn.

Consideration of these theories will be given when university begins its analysis of reports.

The dean said that, contrary to popular belief, flying saucer sightings are not new. Historians record the appearance of unexplained objects in the sky as far back as 1762.

First of them reported in this country was an object which upset the calm or Bonham, Tex., in 1873, sending the townspeople running for cover.  Later the same day a mysterious object roared over Ft. Scott, Kans. as the garrison was preparing for a retreat ceremony.  Horses reared and strained in their harness and soldiers raced for poection. (sic)

*     *     *

THIS INCIDENT, Dr. Hickman said, in listed in official reports to the War Department.  The term "flying saucer" first came into use to describe an object which hurtled thru the skies over Dennison. Tex., in 1878.  A Dutch ship captain reported seeing such an object in the Atlantic in 1887, and in 1888 one was sighted New Zealand.

All of these sightings were "isolated," Dr. Hickman said.  They were made before the newspapers became a mass communications media and before the advent of radio.

He attributes at least part of the sightings of recent years to a generally more "sky-mindedness" of people everywhere.  Persons, he said, are looking at the sky more now than ever before.  Consequently there is a greater chance that they will see these objects when they appear.

*     *     *

ALTHO SIGHTINGS were made by the Armed Forces during World War II, the start of the current flying saucer flurry came when a Boise, Ida. flyer sighted an object in the sky over that city in 1947.

In its project, Ohio Northern "is not going out to prove the flying saucer is something," Dr. Hickman said.  "We are going to examine the facts and let people know what we find."

He emphasized that persons reporting sightings will not be ridiculed and names will not be made public without the observer's consent.

NORTHERN REVIEW (OHIO) - February 24, 1953   

Hickman To Talk On ONU      
Saucer Research Project

Dean Warren L. Hickman will address the semiannual convention of the Northwest Ohio Druggist association Thursday evening in Lima.  He will talk on the university's "Project A" the investigation of Phenomenon, more popularly known as flying saucers.

Project A, which was set up at ONU last summer as a continual investigation of the unidentified aerial phenomenon which in the past five years have been classified as flying saucers or discs.  The various professional and departmental units of the university have been brought into use in the investigation of the saucer sightings which have been directed to the ONU examination group.  Some 25 members of the faculty were part of the project.

Dean Hickman serves as head of the project with Admissions Director Eric C. Turner as assistant.  In the past half year in which the project has been in operation, numerous reports have come to Ada from all parts the country and from some foreign observers.  Some have sent models and sketches of what they observed.

Last September the project received national prominence when Frank Edwards, news commentator over Mutual reported on it during his broadcast and urged that sightings be reported to the university.  Ohio Northern was the first university or institution of higher learning to tackle the problem in a scientific plan of intensive investigation.

Virgil A. Wiechart, ONU pharmacy graduate of 1950, chairman of the druggist convention banquet, which will be held in the Argonne hotel in Lima.

NORTHERN REVIEW (OHIO) - April 14, 1953   

VOLUME XXXII   Number 12

Project A Releases First Report    


Dean Warren Hickman and Eric C. Turner, co-chairmen of "Project A," investigation of Phenomenon, study one of the models and two of the water color sketches submitted by saucer observers to the Ohio Northern project.  Last week the first report of Project A was completed, which still left the celestial mystery unsolved from the scientific viewpoint.  Inadequate number of factual reports will delay the final conclusion of the group, according to Dean Hickman. (See story on bottom of page.)

ONU Disc Jockeys Hold Off Scientific Scoop    

54 Saucer Sightings Reported    

After almost nine months of research ONU's "Project A" the investigation of Phenomenon, has issued its first report, and the context of it is; that flying saucer seekers will have to send in more data if the project is to make any kind of a scientific scoop on saucers.

The "disc jockeys" of Project A, which includes some fifty members of the Ohio Northern; faculty, have issued a 7-page closely typed report with an appendix of reported sightings in sketch form.

Only 54 sightings were reported to. the university during the period from last July when the project was set up, to March. Of these sightings 12 turned up in July. 13 in August and 10 in September. Forty-eight of these were made in clear weather, and, more important by. 24 of them were made during the daylight discounting the theory that the elusive visitors are nothing more than stars or navigation (sic) lights viewed at night

Because of the widespread publicity given to Project A in the state Ohio led with 17 sightings. Texas followed with 11; Kentucky 4; Virginia, Michigan, Connecticut and New Mexico had three each; Illinois, two and Washington, D.C., Missouri, South Dakota. California, Arkansas and Indiana one each. Canada reported two sightings.

The observers who made the reports in 39 eases said they were the conventional disc shape, while nine reported them as being spherical shaped. Three others were said to be cylinders and three others miscellaneous shape. Five of the viewers got close enough to describe them. Four pilots said they heard some sort of noise emitting from the saucer, the remainder reported no audible noise.

Most observers said the objects zoomed along whenever in motion. The pattern of flight seemed to be a slow vertical climb, horizontal movement for a while and repeating of the design until a desired altitude was reached. Then they reportedly moved into high gear.

In conclusion Project A's first report makes these observations upon what data it has so far 1) Boom season for saucer sightings is in summer, during July, August and September. (2) Georgraphically(sic) our continental southwest is where most sightings occur. (3) The members of Project A doubt that the disks are a new form of aircraft or weapon. What, then, are the mysterious objects?

University officials on the project say that no scientific analysis can be made yet upon the 54 sighting so far reported.  At least 150 more reports will have to be cleared through the university and eliminated to accurate before any kind of definite analysis can be made.  However, what can be gleaned from the 54 sightings is this, which is in concurrence with the supposedly defunct Air Force "Project Saucer" findings: one out of five cannot be explained by natural means that is by light reflection, cloud reflection,or other known freaks.

Along with the numerous reports which were sent in, a wooden model was received from one group of witnesses, a drawing from Canada and another from Texas.  Sketches were sent in by persons from other areas and included a few hoaxes but these were soon separated from reports by sincere persons.

Project A will continue to receive and sift information, and when the proper time comes, make a full scientific report according to university dean Warren Hickman, co-chairman of the study.

Herald (Ada, OH) - April 17, 1953   

Flying Saucer Reports Indicate    
Shape, Flight Pattern, Speed  

In Ohio Northern's first report on investigation of the Flying Saucer boom season is expected during July, August and September, when additional information will be available to attain objectives in the university's Project A.

With only 54 sightings available, it was impossible for the staff to make a scientific study, at least 200 being necessary for sampling of material received.  Very few sightings were reported in the period from December through May, majority coming through the months of July, August and September.

Ohio with 17 led the list in number of sightings due partly to greater publicity given the project.  By geographical location, Texas had 11. Kentucky 4, Virginia, Michigan, Connecticut, and New Mexico 3, Illinois and Canada 2, and one each from Washington D.C, Missouri, South Dakota, California, Arkansas and Indiana.  From the 54 sightings reported, 12 appeared in July, 13 in August and 10 in September, none being, reported during the month of March.  The majority appeared at night, 30 reporting after dark sightings probably due to the fact that persons are more attracted to a moving light at night.  The large number of daylight sightings, 20, discounts somewhat the theory of stars, and navigation lights on aircraft.

Discs seemed the popular form or shape reported by the sighters, 39 reports being received in this category. Spheres numbered 9, cylinders 3 and other 3.  Five evidently were close enough for detailed descriptions, while 49 viewed them from a safe distance.  Four pilots reported audible sound apparent with 50 unable to detect any, accompanying noise.

Five persons were close enough for detailed descriptions but most of the sightings indicate a very high speed whenever the object was in motion.  Consensus on the pattern of flight was a slow ascension vertically from the earth, movement in, a horizontal line for a short distance, another vertical rise, and following this pattern until desired altitude was reached before accelerating to a high rate of speed.

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