News Clippings & Transcripts



Form:  Research of newspaper archives

Date:  June 14, 2006
From: Barry Greenwood Archives
Subject: Mantell Reinvestigation Article 

Weather Balloon Observed Here

                         Source: Edwardsville (IL) Intelligencer January 7, 1948  (page 1)


Original Article Image:

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             Several residents of Edwardsville recalled last year’s news accounts of “flying saucers” early this morning when they observed what proved to be a small balloon flying at an exceedingly high altitude southeast of this city.

            It was a tiny balloon released at 4 o’clock this morning at St. Louis-Lambert airfield. The balloon, it was reported this morning, is of a design to remain in the air for about three and a half hours under normal conditions. It was first observed here about 7:20 o’clock, remaining almost stationary, and was still visible at 7:50 o’clock when light clouds passed between it and the earth.

            At the low elevations in Edwardsville the wind was blowing almost directly from the south. The course of the balloon indicated that the wind at the altitude at which it was flying was almost directly from the west. Presumably the wind was at a very low speed at the high altitude.

            It is possible that the balloon was somewhere in the vicinity of Troy when observed here and the distance of travel in nearly four hours was less than 40 miles. The material from which the balloon is made was painted a silver color, probably aluminum and glittered brightly as the early morning rays of the sun were cast upon it.

            Men in the yards of the Illinois Terminal railroad were among the first to observe the balloon. They told B. G. Ebert, relief station agent, and he became interested. Ebert decided in a few minutes that the object was not an astronomical phenomenon and was traveling very slowly.

            He took a position where the balloon could be watched between wires along the railroad. Without the use of glasses he was certain the object was moving. The Intelligencer was advised and a few business men were told to see the balloon.

            According to reports at the airfield the gas bag is about two and a half feet in diameter. The balloon is designed to reach altitudes of 10,000 to 15,000 feet. Wind checks and other information are obtained through use of the balloons and equipment carried.

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