Spyglasses Search Through the Southwest Sky

But Great What-Was-It Keeps Out of Sight


Source: Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal            January 9, 1948  (page unknown)


One Flier Reports Something Like a Star; Colonel Hix Still Isn’t Sure It Was Venus


                            Original Article Image:       http://nicap.org/images/1948_1_9_CourierJournal.jpg


COL. GUY F. HIX, commander of Godman Field, shows

            Sgt. Quinton A. Blackwell the line along which to focus the Binoculars

to find the spot where a mysterious object was seen in the sky Wednesday afternoon.

NOTE: I have replaced the original image in the article with a much better copy. JW


            That gleaming object seen in the southwest sky from Fort Knox Wednesday did not show up at all yesterday as Godman Field officers kept telescopes and powerful binoculars trained skyward from dawn to dusk.


            Only report bearing on the celestial phenomenon came from 1st Lt. Ray J. West. He said that while flying yesterday afternoon he saw an object that “looked like a star” about where the mysterious object was seen the previous day. Lieutenant West said he was flying at 7,000 feet over Godman Field and spotted the star-like object just above the horizon.

            Captain C. W. Carter, operations officer, said that no planes had been sent up to determine whether the object was still visible yesterday.

            Col. Guy F. Hix, commander of Godman Field, was not convinced yesterday afternoon that it was the planet Venus that he watched for 2 hours through 8-power binoculars. “If it were a celestial body,” he reasoned, “surely it would have moved sometime during the afternoon.”

            “The object we saw, which was very white and resembled an upside-down open parachute, remained in practically the same spot from 2 p.m., when it was first sighted, to sundown at 5:18 p.m.,” Colonel Hix explained.

            Dr. Walter Lee Moore, University of Louisville astronomer, had said that under “very exceptional atmospheric conditions,” the planet (Venus) might now be visible to the naked eye during the day.

Colonel Hix said he received about 35 calls Wednesday afternoon and night from various persons throughout the state who reported seeing the object. The calls came all the way from near Lebanon, in Marion County, to Morganfield, in Union, he said. No calls were received yesterday, he added.

            Some persons reported the object just 150 feet above ground while others estimated the distance as high as four miles, Colonel Hix said. Descriptions varied, but most of those calling said the object was cone-shaped, he added.

            Sgt. Quinton A. Blackwell, on duty in the Godman Field control tower Wednesday afternoon, was the first to see the shiny object. He described it as a silver disk, about the size of a silver dollar. “It gleamed like the reflection from some shiny, metallic surface,” he said.


Reported From Ohio.


            Officers of the Clinton County Army Air base near Wilmington, Ohio, also reported seeing a “flaming red cone trailing a gaseous green mist” there Wednesday night, according to an Associated Press dispatch.

            The phenomenon appeared in the southwest skies at 6:20 p.m., about an hour after the strange object was seen last at Godman Field. It was visible for about 35 minutes and then disappeared over the horizon, the report stated.

            Colonel Hix will make a report on the phenomenon to the air Defense Command headquarters in New York when all the information is collected.