Visitors From Space?
April 28, 1952: Letters to the Editor
"Have We Visitors from Space?" (LIFE, April 7) is the most
comprehensive report I have read on the subject. I was very closely
associated with Projects "Twinkle" and "Grudge"
at Alamogordo, N. Mex. where I was chief of the technical
photographic facility at Holloman Air Force base. I have seen
several of these objects myself, and they are everything you say
they are as to shape, size and speed.
Daniel A. McGovern
I first learned about the green fireballs from Marine Corps night
fighter pilots while I was an aviation intelligence officer in
Pilots often reported seeing strange bright green
objects in the skies, unlike anything they had ever seen before,
and moving too fast and regularly to be explained or identified or
analyzed by the pilots themselves or the intelligence officers.
Edward A. Kolar
LIFE has again rendered a distinct service to its readers. The
authors' painstaking work in compiling and evaluating known data
has made a case for interplanetary space ships which is entirely
logical and sensible.
Donald J. Falvey
Deep River, Conn.
As observers of the Lubbock lights, we feel the record requires that
we point out that the groups of objects shown in the Hart
photographs are, in these respects, essentially different from any
of the 12 or more groups that we sighted.
- All but three of the groups we sighted had no geometric form;
those three were smooth arcs, not V-shaped.
- Those three could not be conclusively determined to be
composed of individual lights, but certainly they were not made up
of two distinct rows of alternately spaced lights.
- None of our sightings was either bright enough, nor in view
long enough (3 seconds) to offer any possibility of being
- Even if the lights we saw had been particularly rich in nonvisible
ultraviolet light, they could not have been photographed without special
- All of our sightings were close to the same speed of 30 degrees
per second, at which speed it would be impossible to follow them
with a camera accurately enough to obtain an unblurred image.
W. I. Robinson
A. G. Oberg
W. L. Ducker
E. F. George
Air Force experts had considered these objections of Professor Ducker and
Doctors Oberg, Robinson and George. But they are still convinced that Hart
was able to get exposures of the two groups he saw (4 seconds for each
to cross the sky, 1-11/2 minutes apart) and found no reason to repudiate
his pictures. ED.
Your article overstates the strangeness of the fireballs it
You imply that the 1951 fireball display in the Southwest was not a
meteor shower. We obtained and photographed approximate paths for
11 fireballs reported as falling Oct. 30 to Nov. 9 inclusive. The
plot showed that all came from a small area in and near the
constellation Taurus. This indicates a shower, perhaps related to
the well-known shower whose members are seen falling away from
Taurus in October and November.
C. C. Wylie
Professor of Astronomy
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Although there were meteor falls during this period, Dr. LaPaz
says: "Almost all of the green fireballs observed in the Southwest
between December 1948 and December 1951 radiated from the
circumpolar region of the sky. They came from points 35 to as much
as 105 degrees distant from the Taurid fireball radiant, and
therefore obviously were not related to this radiant." ED.
It is rather chilling to see that our plans for hospitality include
interceptions and recovery. It would be tragic indeed if the
harmless and friendly behavior of these crafts from elsewhere were
met with military destruction. Not only would the morals of such a
course be a regrettable indication of man's immaturity, but the
practical consequences might include drastic reprisals....
Los Angeles, Calif
... The only reason the preponderance of this saucer-fireball-cigar
activity is taking place in the American Southwest is that this is the
area which has brought itself to interplanetary (or perhaps I should say,
intergalaxial) attention. It was done so by virtue of the fact that it
was the site used for the original A-bomb experiments....
San Diego, Calif.
- The Air Force, which has attempted to correlate the frequency
and location of saucer reports with the testing of atomic weapons,
has found no significant relationships. ED.