Section II - Patterns of Appearance and Behavior
The following selected sightings incorporate more details than could be included in the chronology (Section V); for example, conditions under which an observation was made, information about the witnesses, etc. A number of these cases have been checked by Dr. McDonald, and additional data are included in these reports. (This information was received after the Chronology had been prepared and is not included in the chronological listing.) The sightings have been classified into various groups illustrating certain similarities in the descriptions of the objects' appearance and behavior, such as those of shape, size and external features; of formations and maneuvers, etc.
Some of the sightings included in this section, as well as in Sections III and IV, are fragmentary, but they contain details pertinent to the particular category in question. All available data have been included from the sources that were examined; it is possible the other important details may still be obtained from the local news sources in cases where primary references were not available for examination.
The selection of sightings in Sections II, III, and IV does not necessarily imply endorsement as verified observations of UFOs. A number of cases, unfortunately, contain too few details, even in some primary sources, to be able to draw any final conclusions. Others, as discovered by Dr. McDonald in his personal cross-checking, contain certain inaccuracies; these are corrected in the additional information.
Case 34 -- June 24, near Lonejack, Missouri: On the same afternoon that Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine discs in Washington, seven or eight "platter-shaped" objects were seen flying in loose formation about 30 miles southeast of Kansas City.
Lester Swingleson and his wife, Wilma, whose home was two miles north of Lonejack on U.S. Highway 50, saw the group of objects come into view from the southeast at high speed and pass overhead in a matter of seconds, proceeding in a steady course to the northwest that would have taken them over Kansas City. The Swinglesons described seeing white vapor trails streaming from each object. With them at the time were two young girls, the daughters of neighbor Harold Coy. At the time of the sighting, Swingleson was an electrician with the Sheffield Steel Corporation.
Case 52 -- June 25, Kansas City, Missouri: Had this sighting been made less than 24 hours earlier it would have been an independent verification of the Swingleson report. If the newspaper accounts can be considered accurate, however, the sightings occurred on two consecutive days.
W.I. Davenport, of 4518 Madison Avenue, a carpenter, was working on the roof of a house at 82nd and Holmes Streets when, shortly after noon, he heard "the faint sound of motors." Looking up he saw a loose formation of nine objects approach from the east. "They were flying in a group, with one a little to one side," he reported. "They were flying so fast that I barely had time to count them before they were gone." Davenport described them as "aluminum-colored" and as leaving vapor trails. In their flight westward, he said, they gave the appearance of being "radio-controlled,"
Case 85 -- June 27, Woodland, Washington: Two groups of loosely-bunched objects rocking back and forth as they flew over noiselessly, were reported seen over this small southwest Washington town during the afternoon. The report was phoned in to the Portland Oregon Journal late the same afternoon by the witness, Clyde Homan, manager of Tulips, Inc., a bulb-growing farm two miles south of Woodland, near the Columbia River.
Homan was sitting at his desk in the office when his eye was caught, by a bright flash through the window. He looked out at the sky "and saw these things in two groups, pretty close together. I didn't get the exact count -- there were four or five in the first bunch, and the same number in the second, which was behind the first some 400 or 500 yards," he reported in his call.
Homan said it was difficult to distinguish the shapes because the objects were "very bright, reflecting the sun like from metal -- not glass mirrors." He said the objects were "very flat, very very thin, particularly when you saw them on edge as they were banking." He estimated that they were going about two times as fast as an ordinary airliner, "maybe 600 miles an hour. There was no particular formation, except that they were bunched. The peculiar thing was the way they moved along -- tilting back and forth, tipping up and down, undulating --and every time they reached the right reflection angle the flashes came," he said. Homan was reminded by the Journal reporter that the day had been mostly cloudy, and he replied, "It was partly cloudy here, with sunshine occasionally through the clouds. And, anyway, the clouds were high and these things weren't over 1,000 to 2,000 feet up and were flying under the clouds." By this estimate, the distance between the two groups was about the same distance above the ground.
Mr. Homan added, "There wasn't a sound, not a trace of a vapor trail -- just these things sailing along. As soon as I saw them, I ran to the warehouse and called the foreman, and he got to the door just in time to see them. They came over the hill back of us here from the north, and were following straight along the Pacific Highway. Just south of here they veered sharply to the southeast." Then they disappeared from view.
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Homan was puzzled by their silence. He supposed that they might be some novel type of jet aircraft, but he said he could not figure out why, if they were, there were no jet trails. "I am not too excitable and I have good eyesight, and I know what I saw this afternoon," he told the Journal. "I'm surprised," he added, "you don't have reports from others seeing them today,"
Case 442 -- July 6, Greendale, Virginia: Walter Broadwell, Jr., of Fordham Road, in the West End section of Richmond, was driving with his wife at 6:00 p.m. EST to visit relatives in Greendale, a town a few miles northwest of Richmond. They were discussing news reports of flying saucers when, according to Broadwell's account in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (7/7), Mrs. Broadwell suddenly exclaimed, "There they are now!"
"I looked up," Broadwell reported, "and there they were, ten or fifteen, and not more than a quarter of a mile away. They definitely could not have been airplanes, because I have taken flying lessons and I know what a plane looks like." Grouped in a loose formation, "they were just below the clouds, flying north, and shining like aluminum. They looked like saucers, although much larger, and seemed to be undulating and flying on edge most of the time." The Broadwells reported that they heard of no other reports of the objects from that area.
Checked by Dr. McDonald, the newspaper report is essentially accurate, except that it failed to mention that with the Broadwells was their daughter Ann, then seven years old. She was the one who first spotted the objects, according to Broadwell's account to Dr. McDonald. Broadwell reported that he pulled the car off to the side of the road to watch the objects -- about a dozen in all. He was unable to make a firm estimate of height, but put it at about 500 to 600 feet. They heard no sound, saw no lights, no exhaust. The objects moved lazily along, strung out loosely in more or less of a line. They twisted and flipped in an undulatory manner, but very slowly, reflecting the sun from their aluminum surfaces at times.
Broadwell estimated their speed to be about that of a small aircraft. Their diameters were about 25 feet, and they moved along most of the time on edge, in the attitude of a wheel. He saw no markings of any kind. When first seen, they appeared to be several blocks away, which confirms the newspaper's reference to a quarter-mile distant. They moved in a northerly direction, towards Washington. They, disappeared by getting smaller and smaller as they moved off into the distance in no particular hurry, like "a happy little group," as Broadwell put it. McDonald had a favorable impression of the witness.
Case 732 -- July 8, Spokane, Washington: A group of more than ten people in Spokane reported watching a loose formation of discs flying over the city about noon. The witnesses, including the J. P. Tracy family, of E. 365 Third, and Mrs. A. L. Blanc and her son Jerry, as well as other neighbors, watched one of the discs break loose from the formation and appear to be "rolling through the air" like a wheel. This object seemed to be black on one side and silver on the other, according to the witnesses, and at times appeared to be shaped like a football. The observation turned the Tracy family from skeptics to believers of flying saucers, they said.
For other reports of loose formations, see Case 831 (III-13), Case 841 (III-13), and Case 850 (III-14).
Straight Line Formations
Kenneth Arnold's sighting (Case 39) would fall into this category, even though the line of nine discs he saw "swerved in and out of the peaks” between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams (I-2,3).
Case 33 -- June 24, near Joliet, Illinois: At 1:50 p.m. CDT, railroad engineer Charles Kastl, of 267 Webster Street, Joliet, was walking along a highway about ten miles east of Joliet when he saw a peculiar formation of nine flat, circular objects "going faster than any planes I ever saw.” These nine discs, like Arnold's, were stretched out in a straight line at an estimated height of 4,000 feet and were flying in a direction from north to south.
"I could see no connecting link between them," Kastl reported, "but they acted as though the leading disc had a motor in it to power the others, because when it flipped, the others would, too. When it would right itself, the others would right themselves."
Kastl, who had 14 years of experience with the E. J. and E. Railway as an engineer, said the objects were "not very large." When asked by newsmen if he had been drinking, he answered sternly, "I was on my way to work, and you know a railroad man never touches the stuff on or before duty hours." His friends and neighbors all agreed that Kastl was not the sort of man given to telling tall stories.
Case 240 -- July 4, near Craig, Montana: Curt Dennis, Great Falls artist and sculptor, and his wife, were fishing on the Missouri River a few miles north of Craig at Hardy Bridge, about 38 miles southwest of Great Falls. During the midafternoon their attention was drawn to the sky by a brilliant flashing. Dennis looked up and saw a group of silver-colored objects to the south. Because they had to look into the sun, the configuration of the objects was difficult for the witnesses to make out clearly.
"They were flying in a single-file formation," Mr. Dennis said. "There were about 12 of the objects and they 'shined-up' like silver and looked like a string of plates going over." He and Mrs. Dennis watched the formation travel at high speed in a northwesterly direction until they had disappeared beyond the high and rugged horizon to the northwest in a matter of seconds.”
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In his follow-up of this sighting, Dr. McDonald learned that Dennis was no longer alive, but he was able to get in touch with Mrs. Dennis, who verified the details of the original news report.
She had been the first one to notice them and called them to her husband's attention. She described them as round and disc-like, silvery and flashing in the sun. Their first impression had been that they were ducks, but the objects were too bright and too big. She added that it had been her impression that the objects -- at least ten of them, she recalled -- had been tumbling over and over, although at the time she said her husband was not so certain of this detail. However, Mrs. Dennis had put on a pair of sunglasses to view them, as they were first seen in the direction of the sun, and she suggested that this motion may have been an oscillation, rather than tumbling. She was certain that they were not moving smoothly, like aircraft. They were high up and, to her, looked huge. No sound was heard. Mrs. Dennis told McDonald that the experience came back to her vividly as she spoke of it over the phone. He was favorably impressed with the results of his conversation with her.
Case 315 -- July 5, Augusta, Maine: Newsman and program director Dan Kelly, of Station WRDO in Augusta, reported to the Civil Aeronautics Administration that he and a friend had seen a dozen disc-like objects flying northward over the city at 1:15 p.m. EDT. He said they were moving "very fast" and that they were in "a very straight line like a string of beads."
Kelly described the objects as being greyish in color and "about as big as a dime," traveling faster than any aircraft he had ever seen. Bangor officials, alerted by Kelly's telephone call at the time of the sighting, were on the lookout for the objects, said to have been traveling in their direction. However, no sightings were made from Bangor.
Case 481 -- July 6, Kankakee, Illinois: A formation of five disc-like objects in a row, which appeared to the witnesses to be "strung together" by invisible wires, was reported seen by Jesse L. Hendrickson, of Kankakee, as he sat on his front porch with a friend, Frank Abrogast, at 9:30 p.m. CDT.
The witnesses described the objects as "rolling along leisurely" on their edges, in the attitude of a wheel. Their height was estimated to be about 300 or 400 feet. The discs were luminous, casting a "light blue glow," and they appeared to the two men to be "about the size of ordinary dinner plates"-- an uncertain estimate, probably based on a relative comparison. The witnesses heard no sound, and they were both quite certain that the objects were not balloons.
Case 563 -- July 7, Redlands, California: A Redlands bread-truck driver, H. J. Stell, reported that he had seen eight disc-shaped objects at 6:12 a.m. PST, as he was making his deliveries. The objects were "swishing" overhead in a southwesterly direction, headed toward March Field. Stell described the formation of discs as appearing "like silvery eggs in a straight line."
Case 580 -- July 7, Dorchester, Massachusetts: John Stewart, of 197 Talbot Avenue, reported that he had seen four silvery-white objects sometime during the day. He described the objects as "flying in a row," and traveling faster than a plane at an estimated altitude of 5,000 feet. Stewart added that a friend, with him at the time of the sighting, had also observed the objects but disagreed about their color.
Case 573 -- July 7, Willow Springs, Illinois: A “buzzing noise" coming from overhead caught the attention of Robert Meegan and his son John, 14, as the two worked in the fields near their home in Willow Springs, on the Des Plaines River a few miles east of the Argonne National Laboratories. Looking up, the Meegans saw "13 round objects all going east, single file in a straight line." None of these objects "weaved or wobbled," and the witnesses described them as being "bluish-grey" in color. The objects, reported as round and flat on bottom, were estimated to be "probably the size of a house" by the viewers.
V and Triangular Formations
Cases 25 - 26 -- June 23, Bakersfield, California: Richard Rankin, veteran flier and stunt pilot, was lying on a lawn at Bakersfield sunbathing at about noon, when he saw a formation of ten flat, circular objects flying overhead in a northerly direction. Nine of these disc-like objects were arranged in a V-formation, with a tenth object trailing along in the rear. He called their appearance to the attention of a boy working in the yard, and said that they were probably the Navy's experimental plane, the XF5U-l, or "Flying Flapjack," although he admitted that he looked in vain for "the number or location of their propellers, and I couldn't distinguish any wings or tail."
At 2:15 p.m., a second flight of the same, or similar, objects was seen flying in the opposite direction by the two witnesses, this time going from north to south. Rankin counted only seven discs in the second flight; they were still in V-formation, but this time without the straggler. He assumed that three of the "planes" had landed at their base, somewhere to the north.
Rankin said he hesitated to report what he had seen until he began to read of similar observations in the northwest and elsewhere. On July 1, a week after the sightings, he made the report public in Portland, Oregon. An official report was made to Hamilton Field Intelligence Officers Lt. Frank Brown and Captain William Davidson, and the Air Force explanation for what the pilot saw is "birds." For some background material, see The Coming of the Saucers, pp. 69-71.
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Case 825 -- About June 29, Jacksonville, Oregon: In a sighting report received following the preparation of the Chronology, NICAP obtained information about a V-formation of UFOs seen by a group of people on a Sunday either at the end of June or early in July. The date, believed to be June 29, had not been definitely established at the time of writing. The report was sent to NICAP by Paul Cerny, of NICAP's Bay Area Subcommittee.
Early on that Sunday afternoon, a group of people had gathered at Jacksonville, Oregon, a few miles west of Medford, just above the California border. The group included Peter Vogel, M.D., and his wife (now Mrs. Kay G. Kuehnel, of Santa Clara, California, who recently reported the sighting to Mr. Cerny), eight other members of the Vogel family, and about ten others. About 1:00 p.m. PST, a V-formation of oval objects was noticed in the sky above Ashland, 15 to 20 miles southeast of Jacksonville. The formation was traveling northwest toward Medford, east of the observers. There were nine objects.
According to Mrs. Kuehnel, when first seen the objects were "as white as snow geese"; as they came closer they became blue-white, "like a fluorescent-bulb light." They were sharply outlined and seemed to be solid; "also translucent, like a light, pebbled, frosted bulb." The size of the individual objects was estimated as more than twice the diameter of the full moon -- presumably when the objects were nearest to the witnesses, although this is not stated definitely. There was no sound, and no vapor trails were emitted as the formation approached Medford. But when the objects seemed to be over the tower of Medford airport, they each made a spiral ascent, one after the other, and each went behind a cloud that had not been there before and which the objects themselves "seemed to produce."
After the objects had first been noticed in the direction of Ashland, Dr. Vogel went indoors and telephoned the Medford airport tower; Mr. Milligan, Airport Manager, said that he could not see anything. Vogel then ran to his car for his binoculars and camera, but by the time he returned the objects were already out of sight in the cloud, which seemed to be directly over the airport tower.
Both Ashland and Medford were visible from the hillside where the witnesses stood. As the towns are 20 miles apart and the formation had taken about 10 minutes to travel that distance, Mrs. Kuehnel calculated their speed at about 120 miles an hour. Asked to compare one of the objects to a common object that would have appeared similar in the sky, Mrs. Kuehnel answered, "No known object that large and featureless." The objects did not reappear, but the cloud "stayed an oval and stationary shape for over an hour."
Case 120 -- June 30, near Hailey, Idaho: Several observers reported seeing a flight of objects pass over between Hailey toward Galena Summit, in Idaho, during the afternoon. Walter Nicholson, of Twin Falls, said he saw "eight to ten" of the objects fly over in a V-formation, going in a northwest direction over Galena Summit. He said the left wing, or leg, of the formation contained five disc-shaped objects in perfect line, but the ones in the right leg "seemed to waver," and he was uncertain as to exactly how many there were. The objects were "extremely bright and moved very fast."
Hunter Nelson, a forest ranger at the Russian John Forest Ranger Station, said he saw seven to nine of the discs. He was marking timber about three miles from Galena Summit, according to the news account, when he saw the V-formation of objects flying directly overhead, at an estimated altitude of 10,000 feet above the 8,000 foot summit he was on. The newspaper report said he heard a "buzz" and observed vapor trails "not unlike those left by conventional aircraft." He said "it took the objects but a few seconds" to pass out of view.
In checking this report, Dr. McDonald found a number of inaccuracies in the newspaper accounts. In these, the sighting was reported to have taken place in Major Valley -- there is no Major Valley in Idaho. The sighting took place near Cherry Creek, in the Wood River Basin southeast of Galena Summit. Hunter Nelson, a State Forest Ranger, was assisting Nicholson select timber for cutting, for use in the latter's business as a builder. Their proper identification is not clear in the accounts. One Glen Brado, referred to in one of the news reports, had nothing to do with the sighting. The time, given as 4:30 p.m., was felt to be closer to 2:30 by Nicholson. Nelson specified that the objects were seen flying northwest, over Galena Summit - not north, as reported in one account. Although Nicholson's impression now was that the formation was flying northeast, the original account quotes him as saying the objects were seen flying northwest, over Galena Summit, which would agree with Nelson's description. No sound was heard nor any vapor trails seen, in spite of references in the news accounts.
Both Nelson and Nicholson agreed that the objects were in a V-formation, point foremost. Both recalled a momentary change of formation when the right wing began to swing forward but then fell back into line. The spacing between each of the objects was estimated as four to five diameters by Nicholson. He told McDonald that they maintained approximately uniform spacing at all times in a rather rigid manner. No flutter or swerving was seen. Both emphasized the high speed of the objects, "much faster than any aircraft of that day."
Neither could discern any shape of the objects because they were so high and small, like specks of bright light glinting in the sunlight. Occasionally they would disappear, as though not reflecting the sun at those moments -- indicating a possible fluttering motion. As they watched the men had to back up a small hill to keep the formation in sight as they receded into the distance. Duration was estimated by Nelson to be about 30 seconds.
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Both Nelson and Nicholson agreed that the formation passed more or less over Galena Summit. This would tend to confirm Nelson's impression that the objects were flying towards the northwest. Both witnesses were emphatic in saying these could not have been aircraft. Both emphasized the vividness of their recollecting the incident, and Nicholson said he could take Dr. McDonald to within a few feet of the spot from which the sighting had been made, even now. Nelson said "I can still see that formation," adding that "I have never seen anything like it before or since."
Case 237 -- July 4, near Twin Falls, Idaho: A. E. Mitchell, of Goose Creek, Texas, was visiting relatives in Twin Falls when, during a July 4th outing at Twin Falls Park, seven miles east of the city, he was one of seven persons who reported seeing a group of disc-like objects in a rough V-formation flying overhead to the west, at about 2:50 p.m. MST. They were flying high and at great speed, Mitchell reported.
About ten minutes later, Mitchell and a group of others, now totaling more than twenty, saw a second flight of nine or ten objects circling overhead in a loose formation. The objects gained altitude rapidly and, when almost out of sight, were seen proceeding westward, All the witnesses agreed that the objects were not in any well-defined formation while climbing (Case 238).
At 3:10 p.m., with a sizeable crowd of now nearly sixty persons peering skywards, a third group was seen circling and climbing. Mitchell reported that "I distinctly counted 18 before they climbed so high only two or three could be seen." He said that these objects, too, were last, seen moving westward, putting on a burst of speed as they departed (Case 243).
Case 290 -- July 4, Denver, Colorado: Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Walgren, of 1574 Eliot Street, were sitting on their lawn watching the fireworks at the stadium at Denver University during the late evening when they were startled to see a group of objects fly overhead in an extended V-formation. The formation disappeared quickly in a northerly direction at a high rate of speed. The objects were out of sight before the Walgrens could even get to their feet.
The witnesses described the formation of discs as giving the appearance of a "rippling, V-shaped cloud." The undersides of the objects appeared to reflect the city lights. As they passed over, the Walgren's described hearing "a hollow, rustling sound, like an air blast in an empty barrel."
Case 332 -- July 5, near Auburn, California: Kjell Qvale, an automobile salesman in Alameda and a former Navy pilot for five years, reported that he and a group of 50 other witnesses had watched a triangular formation of disc-like objects near Auburn at 2:30 p.m. PST, flying south.
Qvale said that the discs, seen first directly overhead, "appeared to be made of metal and looked like bright silver." He added that their round outline was clearly distinguishable. The objects were in view "for three or four minutes," he said.
"I have seen a lot of airplanes, and these were not airplanes. The only clue I could get as to their height, size and speed was the fact that they disappeared one at a time, high in the sky, and not over the horizon. This effect would be caused if they were very, very large and very high, and flying at a terrific speed -- l,000 miles an hour," he said.
Qvale was one of the very few UFO witnesses in the 1947 wave -- one of two, to be exact -- who openly expressed the opinion that the objects seen could have been "space ships."
Case 372 -- July 5, Dallas, Texas: Dexter McEwen, of 4016 McKinney, reported that he had seen three disc-like objects flying near Dallas at 11:00 p.m.
"They were moving horizontally," he said, "but very high in the sky, like falling stars, only they left no streaks. They seemed to be moving in a V-formation," he added.
Case 518 -- July 6, Denver, Colorado: Harold Wallace, of 11009 East Colfax, reported he saw a group of disc-like objects "shooting" westward across the sky at 9:05 p.m. MST. He said they were in a V-formation and "made a dim light."
Two minutes later, Stephen Witkin, of 1325 Fairfax Street, said he saw two discs, of "a shiny, silver color," traveling to the southwest.
Case 387 -- July 6, New Orleans, Louisiana: Pvt. Robert G. Hellman, a Fort Bliss soldier visiting New Orleans, reported that he was on his way to his hotel early in the morning when he saw a formation of four discs that "flashed way up in the sky right above me on Canal Street." He said he wasn't "exactly surprised, for I had been expecting to see something of the sort. There were four of them, flying in a V-formation, one side of the V longer than the other; but the fact which struck me was this: the discs were colored, like colored saucers, pink and silver, whirling through the sky."
Case 451 -- July 6, New Orleans, Louisiana: At 5:10 p.m. on the same day, while boating on Lake Pontchartrain, Mr. and Mrs. H. Lee Brady, of 4125 St. Charles Avenue, in company with a party of four others, reported seeing a V-formation of three disc-like objects "at great altitude headed north at great speed." The witnesses described the objects as "round and shiny," and said that after being in view for three or four seconds, they "disappeared into a cloud." Among the others present were Allison T. Chenault, of 3231 Asheville Avenue, and Miss Lucille Coons, of 2014 Marengo Street. The other two witnesses were not identified.
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Case 558 -- July 7, near Greensboro, North Carolina: While driving near the Greensboro-High Point Airport, towards Greensboro, at 6:30 a.m. EST, Albert Riggs, of Charlotte, reported having seen a triangular formation of three discs passing rapidly overhead. The discs, grayish-black in color, had a slight side-to-side motion as they traveled approximately 200 to 300 feet above the ground. Riggs said that as they passed overhead, he heard "a zipping noise." He estimated their speed at 500 miles an hour, and they quickly "lost themselves in the distance."
Riggs, a cadet at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, said he had a companion with him at the time -- a hitch-hiking soldier he had picked up near Winston-Salem.
Case 662 -- July 7, Milton, Wisconsin: Three Milton, Wisconsin, college students reported seeing a V-formation of three objects late in the evening. The formation came out of the northwest and was described as moving in "a westerly direction." Paul Schroeder, John Potts, and Harris Buros watched the objects for two minutes before they disappeared behind some tall buildings. The young men described the objects as being circular in shape, aluminum-colored, rotating slowly and leaving vapor trails. Seen at a distance they estimated was about ten miles to the west, the three witnesses said the objects appeared to be at an altitude of about 4,000 feet.
Case 641 -- July 7, Des Moines, Iowa: Merle Steffenson, a 15-year-old high school student of 2327 Maple Street, reported that he saw three disc-like objects flying north in formation at about 6:00 p.m. CST, while he was riding his motor bike northeast on Avenue Frederick M. Hubbell. "They looked to me like they were awfully high," he said. "They must have been big because they were so high and still I could see them." Young Steffenson said they were silvery in color and that they traveled northward in a straight course "very fast." At one point "they turned at an angle and were so thin I couldn't see them," he asserted.
Case 650 -- July 7, Columbus, Ohio: Five summer students at Ohio State University were batting baseballs around on the varsity practice diamond at 7:45 p.m. EST when one of them noticed three oval objects flying in triangular formation overhead. The objects, noiseless, appeared to be of a dull, metallic color, were estimated to be about ten feet in diameter, and were moving at a high speed. The students were Charles Williams, 19 of Steubenville; Robert Fish, 19, of Akron; George Whitacre, 23, of Springfield; Wendell Rice, 20, of North Canton; and William Santschi, 22 of Alliance.
Whitacre, an Army veteran, saw the objects first. They were flying east, over the Glentangy River. He called them to the attention of the others, and none of the students were able to make out any apparent means of propulsion. They estimated the formation was at an altitude of 1,000 feet. The speed of the objects was so great that they were out of sight within 15 seconds. All five witnesses were in agreement on the details of the observation, but none of them had any idea what the objects might be.
Case 652 -- July 7, Manchester, New Hampshire: Two men made almost identical reports of seeing three yellow disc-like objects in V-formation moving northwest over the city at high speed about 9:00 p.m. EDT. Roger Plaisant, of 842 Clay Street, and Henry Ray, of 834 Somerville Street, agreed that the objects seemed to be high in the sky, and Ray added that they appeared "egg-shaped," and were quite bright.
Case 689 -- July 7, Tacoma, Washington: M. C. Streans, of 913 South L, reported that he had seen three discs from his bedroom window about 10:45 p.m. PST. They were in V-formation and flying at terrific speed, and were brightly illuminated.
At about the same time, Sgt. John Samuelson, of McChord Field, called the Tacoma News Tribune to report that he and Corporal Peter Walker had seen two discs flying at high speed and at great height over the Field, emitting vapor trails.
Case 123 -- June 30, Boise, Idaho: At about 5:45 p.m. MST, Mr. and Mrs. Angelo Donofrio, of 917 East Bannock Street, were driving westward just outside Boise to play golf when they saw a bright, silver object ahead of them, stationary in the sky. It appeared to the witnesses to be a "half-circle" in shape and was "just as bright and silvery-looking as a mirror caught in the rays of the sun." The witnesses added that it seemed to be "clinging to the edge of a huge cloud." They watched it for several minutes until they lost sight of it when driving under some trees. In the Air Force files this sighting is explained as a "sun dog."
Case 215 -- July 4, Alexandria, Virginia: Mrs. Martin Kole, of Valley Drive, Alexandria, was awakened some time after four in the morning by "something shining in her face" through the bedroom window. Looking out, Mrs. Kole saw a large, round object floating stationary in the southwest sky. She watched the "blazing object, about as big as the sun," for a few minutes, and then went back to sleep. The object did not move during her observation; it was still there when she went back to bed. No other reports of unusual objects in that area during the early morning hours were received.
Case 271 – July 4, Hauser Lake, Idaho: George Aster, of E. 3607 Fourth, reported that he and “at least 200 others” watched a disc-like object for a half an hour at about 7:00 p.m. PST at Hauser Lake, a few miles northeast of Spokane, just across the state line. Aster, the first one to see it, said “I pointed it out to the others and they all stood around and followed it for about 30 minutes while it circled overhead.”
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He estimated its height at 20,000 feet. "It was going very fast," he said, in an account found in the Spokane Daily Chronicle (7/5), "and looked like a silver dollar as it circled overhead. Then suddenly it shot straight up into the air and vanished from sight." Others in Aster's party who said they had watched the object were his wife; Mr. and Mrs. O. N. Daerwold, of S. 665 Helena; and Mr. and Mrs. Noble Hunvlade, of S. 408 Freza, all in Spokane.
Dr. McDonald was able to contact George Aster and he learned the following: Aster and his party had been celebrating the holiday at Hauser Lake and were setting off fireworks when they first saw the object, which he described as plainly disc-shaped. When first seen, it was hovering, not circling, as reported in the press account. The sun was still up and they saw it clearly at an altitude they estimated was from three to four miles. It was shiny, like aluminum, and Aster thought it must have been at least 30 feet across.
It was not, as described in the paper, directly overhead, but at an elevation of about 30 degrees above the horizon. The "circling" motion described in the paper was clarified by Aster: while it hovered, the witnesses noticed a lateral motion from side to side by a distance estimated to be about its own diameter. There was no mistaking this motion, Aster told McDonald. It was not circling. After some time, the observers noticed a small aircraft heading toward the disc. When the plane came somewhat near the object, the latter shot up at tremendous speed and was quickly lost to view in "a fraction of a second."
Aster informed Dr. McDonald that Orville Daerwold, one of the original party, was now dead. His wife is alive and has remarried. The Hunvlades, who ran a grocery store in 1947, subsequently moved to Montana. Aster's recollection was that there were 40 or 50 other witnesses in their immediate area at the time who were also watching the object. He was emphatic that this could not have been an aircraft because of its peculiar lateral oscillations. After his conversation with the witness, Dr. McDonald was confident that Aster had described as best he could something that had actually happened.
Case 397 -- July 6, Tucson, Arizona: Wallace B. Magness, of 1132 East Blacklidge, employed at the office of the Air Materiel Command at Davis Monthan Field, and Miss Fay Edwards, of the same address, reported seeing a bright object at about 10:00 a.m. When Magness first observed the object, it was hovering in the eastern sky, stationary except for a wobbling motion, "like a kite." Magness said that "it did not glitter, as if made of metal, but looked like snow," and was exceedingly bright. After a few minutes, the object began moving in a northerly direction at great speed, "until it disappeared." Magness would not estimate its height or speed because he did not know the size of the object.
Dr. McDonald was able to locate Mr. Magness and learned that the details of the news account were essentially correct. Magness had been out in his yard working the morning of the sighting when he happened to look up and saw a very bright, round light in the eastern sky. He recalled it as being brighter than the sun. He told McDonald "I never saw such a bright light."
The object was stationary, as reported. It remained in one spot long enough for Magness to summon a neighbor, Mr. Weirson, who is now dead. He also called Miss Edwards, a roomer in the Magness home at the time; Miss Edwards has since married and is no longer in Tucson. Also present was Weirson's grandson, who was seven at the time.
After several minutes, the object suddenly moved off to the northeast, through Redding Pass. Magness described in some detail the amount of kidding he received at the Air Base where he was in charge of cost accounting in the Air Materiel Command office. Base personnel went to a good deal of trouble to rig up a mounted saucer which was presented to Magness by a Base official. With all the fun and games going on, there apparently was no time left to make out an official report of the sighting, for the case is not included among those in the Air Force files.
A possible confirmation of this report may have occurred with the sighting by the head football coach of the University of Arizona, made at about the same time. Niles Casteel saw a disc while driving east along East Speedway; however, Casteel described the object he saw as moving south at a rapid speed. (Case 396)
Case 385 -- July 6, Newark, New Jersey: A bright, blue-white object was reported by Mrs. Helene Berard, of 179 North 12th Street. She said the strange, round object hovered at tree-top level over her back yard during the early morning hours. This close-up observation unfortunately got no more coverage than this in the account from the Newark Evening News (7/7).
Case 550 -- July 7, Rutland, Vermont: Early in the morning Mrs. Albert Steele, of 13 Forest Street, was awakened by a heavy rainstorm. She noticed that the sky outside was bright and, believing it was time to get up, checked her watch. It was 2:05 a.m. EDT. Looking out her bedroom window, she was startled by the appearance of a brilliant object hovering directly over the Central Vermont Public Service Corporation gas plant.
The object, casting a bright light all over the immediate neighborhood, was oval in shape, and Mrs. Steele could see "jagged edges sticking out in all directions. The edges were of different colors, but the center was like a brilliant white light," she said. Because it was so bright, it was difficult for her to watch it continuously for any length of time. Although she was unable to estimate its altitude, Mrs. Steele said that it was "not too high." It appeared to her to be "about the size of a bathtub." She woke up her husband, who glanced out the window, saw the light, and went back to sleep. The bright object hung motionless over the gas plant for 15 minutes. When the rain began to let up, it just "disappeared." Mrs. Steele described it "like nothing I have ever seen before."
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Case 542 -- July 7, Pittsburg, California: Mrs. Edward Puckhaber, of Pittsburg, reported watching a disc-like object hover over her yard for a short time before it moved off rapidly toward the east. With her were Mrs. William Deaver and Harold Brown, who verified her report. Local accounts, which were not available, undoubtedly contain further details.
Case 642 -- July 7, East Peoria, Illinois: In another report containing few details, Forrest L. Higgenbotham, a Caterpillar Tractor Company employee, is said to have seen 25 to 30 disc-like objects in a straight line, hanging stationary in the sky about 7:00 p.m.
Case 687 -- July 7, near Wessington Springs, South Dakota: Emmitt Barta, a farmer living 32 miles northwest of Mitchell, South Dakota, reported that about 11:00 p.m. CST he had been awakened by an aerial explosion outside his home. Through the window he could see that the barnyard area was momentarily lighted, and then two more explosions occurred, in a matter of seconds. Through the window, Barta said, he saw a bright red object, "about the size of a bushel basket," hovering over his farmyard. After a moment, the object disappeared.
Case 704 -- July 8, Chicago, Illinois: Miss Mabel Winterum, 4036 Western, reported seeing a round object "about the size of an apple" at 9:05 a.m. CDT. She described the object as spinning while "standing still" in one spot, before it suddenly took off at a rapid speed "right over the Martha Washington Hospital" at 2318 West Irving Park.
Abrupt Changes in Elevation
Case 8 -- June 12, Weiser, Idaho: Mrs. Herbert Erickson, of Route #2, Weiser, and a neighbor, reported that they had seen two small, round objects brightly glistening in the sun, flying over Weiser on a southeasterly course at 6:15 p.m. MST. One object followed the other, both at high speed, after an interval of several seconds. The sky was clear and the witnesses said the objects emitted vapor trails that held their shapes and drifted slowly across the sky for the next hour.
As the objects passed over, each made two rapid descents toward the ground, "shooting up and down," as Mrs. Erickson explained, before circling back up and resuming their southeasterly flight. Each of the objects had been in view for several seconds, according to the witnesses. Included among the sightings in the Air Force files, the official explanation for this report is "contrails." Nothing is said about what is was that left them there.
Case 400 -- July 6, Logansport, Indiana: Fifteen-year-old Robert Miller, of Rural Route 5, had been harrowing a field six miles northeast of Logansport during the day when he heard a "whining roar" overhead. Looking up, he saw a disc-shaped object plummet down through an overcast sky. It hovered there momentarily, whirling on its lateral axis at high speed, and then suddenly rose up and disappeared into the clouds. Miller described the object as "plate-like" and grey in color, and said it moved at "a terrific speed." It "whirled like a top" at an estimated altitude of 15,000 feet before disappearing again into the sky. He said the size of the object appeared to be the same as that of a two-motored plane at about the same altitude.
Case 632 -- July 7, Phoenix, Arizona: Scores of Phoenicians watched two silver, ball-like objects race across the sky over the Salt River Valley north of Phoenix at 3:30 p.m. MST. A score of persons in the upper floors of the Heard Building had an unobstructed view of the objects as they crossed the sky from west to east.
Witnesses were all agreed on two main points: first one object was seen, moving in a straight, level course eastward; this was immediately followed by a second object moving in the same direction, but at a lower altitude. Both objects were identical in size and were traveling at very high speed. Toward the eastern side of the valley passage the lower ball climbed sharply in a sudden ascent to the level of the upper object and continued its straight, easterly course.
Estimates of the objects put them at "about 5,000 feet high," and they appeared to most people to be "about twice as large as an airplane." They were in view for about 25 to 30 seconds, and the estimated distance they traveled while under observation indicated a speed well in excess of 1,000 miles an hour. A number of the witnesses commented on the stillness of the air at the time of the sighting, noting that columns of smoke were seen rising straight up and flags were hanging limply on poles. This would rule out a possibility of the objects having been balloons carried rapidly eastward by high winds.
Case 674 -- July 7, Salt Lake City, Utah: "It was big enough so that when someone said, ‘What's that in the sky?’ no one had to ask where," said Mrs. Jack Coffey, of 464 Third Avenue, as she described a maneuvering "ball of fire" she and 14 others saw between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. MST. Mrs. Coffey had been horseback riding with a group of friends when they spotted the object from 13th South and 4th West. "We didn't have to look twice," Mrs. Coffey reported. The object was round, orange or amber in color, and appeared to be "on fire." Mrs. Coffey said it was quite bright and seemed to be "twice the size of the spot that appears on the sky from a searchlight." The object was below the clouds and seen to the west, moving in a straight line toward the north against the twilight sky.
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"We noticed it first when it seemed to make a vertical drop of several hundred feet," explained another member of the party, a former anti-aircraft gunner in World War II. "Then it leveled out and moved rapidly northward. It seemed to be dropping just north of the Fairgrounds, as best we could orient it by the searchlight at the Centennial Exposition." The object was too far off to estimate its size. The group watched it for three or four minutes before it finally disappeared from view in the northwest sky.
Case 17 -- June 20, Hot Springs, New Mexico: On June 30, Mrs. Annabel Mobley traveled from Hot springs (now Truth or Consequences) to Albuquerque with her daughter, Luanne, to report to the Albuquerque Journal their sighting of ten days earlier.
She reported that she and her daughter had seen nine objects crossing the sky toward the northeast. These objects were in groups of threes and each group was revolving about in a "wheel-like circle." She said that the discs in each group "seemed to be fastened together by invisible cords." The three groups were all revolving at the same rate of speed. The witnesses thought at first that the objects may have been balloons, but they changed their minds after watching their weird behavior. Mrs. Mobley then thought that they may have been some kind of "gas bubble" set off by the earlier atomic explosions in New Mexico, until she read of similar reports elsewhere.
Case 36 -- June 24, Emmett, Idaho: In a letter she wrote to the Idaho Daily Statesman, a woman in Emmett said she had seen a group of objects maneuvering in the sky on the same afternoon that Kenneth Arnold had made his observation.
Asking that her name not be quoted, the woman reported that she had seen a group of round, shiny objects in the sky due east of Emmett "at what appeared to be quite a distance and height." She said the "shiny objects" were "weaving and circling very rapidly in formation. . .and after awhile they dispersed in all directions."
Case 228 -- July 4, Portland, Oregon: During the afternoon, while others were reporting seeing discs all over the city (see III-15), Frank Cooley, formerly a Marine Corps observer, and employed by radio station KOIN in Portland, confirmed the numerous reports of disc-shaped objects.
Cooley reported seeing twelve of the objects flying overhead at an estimated altitude of 20,000 feet. He flatly declared they were "operated and maneuverable devices," and believed that they were larger than generally supposed,
"They plainly exercised maneuvers in the sky," Cooley said. "At one time a number of the discs would get into formation and fly circles around another disc. It was hard to follow their behavior exactly because of the great height, their gleaming surface and their nature." He said that they could only be seen clearly when "tilted to catch the sun's rays." He was convinced, he added, that the discs were operated either "by some human or remote control." He quickly dismissed suggestions that they might be ordinary, lightweight objects "tossed around by air currents."
At approximately the same time that Cooley made his observation, a number of similar objects were seen from the windows of the International News Service office in the Journal Building (Case 229). INS employees said that "at first they appeared to he high-flying birds, as their motion undulated, and it appeared (as if) some kind of wings propelled them," INS reported.
"They banked sharply and without apparent system of direction. Two objects were so high that reports of their disc-like appearance could not be verified, but they seemed to move with high speed. They were last seen heading south after circling sharply over the west-side area,"
Case 277 -- July 4, Madison, Wisconsin: Mr. and Mrs. William Ecker, of 2071 Winnebago Street, reported that they had watched a strangely maneuvering object over Madison at 9:30 p.m. CST. The object was first seen by Mrs. Ecker, who called her husband out to see it. According to the witnesses, the object appeared to be flying in circles over Madison's downtown section, a mile south of their home. "It would fly in a circle for about five minutes," reported the Ecker's, "then shoot off a mile to the south, tear back again, stand still for a half a minute, and then start circling again." The Ecker's said the object, described as "round and bright," repeated this maneuver three times before it finally disappeared to the south in a straight course, "going very fast."
Case 373 -- July 5, Janesville, Wisconsin: A disc-like object performing similar maneuvers to those observed the previous night in Madison was reported by four people in Janesville. Mr. and Mrs. Al Sievert and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Roth told radio station WCLO that at 11:35 p.m. CST they had seen a disc-shaped object flying northwest "just like a plate on edge." The object was then said to have circled counter-clockwise in a wide, oval flight pattern "at terrific speed," stopping abruptly, and then flying out of sight at great speed. The object then came back into view, hovered momentarily for two minutes and then resumed the same counter-clockwise circling as before.
The witnesses described the color of the object, as varying from yellow to silver. Just before it disappeared, they noticed it had "three short tails," and when it vanished, they said it "just popped out." It had been in view for about ten minutes.
Case 742 -- July 9, Sacramento, California: For a period of 20 minutes, beginning at 1:45 p.m. PST, Mrs. Savina Rosetta, with her son, Dempsey, and several neighborhood children, watched a shiny, disc-shaped object maneuver overhead.
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"When I first saw it over Southside Place, it was moving north at about 1,000 feet up," Mrs. Rosetta reported. "Then it started to spiral up until I could hardly see it." After making its circular ascent, the disc leveled off and resumed its northerly flight. Mrs. Rosetta and the children finally lost sight of it at 2:05 p.m., high in the northern sky.
Sudden Stops and Reversals of Flight
Case 338 -- July 5, Albany, Oregon: At 3:20 p.m. PST, two Albany men, Ted Tannich and William Lemon, said they saw a silvery, disc-shaped object flying in a straight course to the south. The disc made a sudden stop, reversing its course almost instantaneously and moved back north. The entire maneuver took place in less than 15 seconds, according to the witnesses.
Case 441 -- July 6, near Greenwood, Missouri: Miss Helen Chiddix, of 711 Admiral Blvd., Kansas City, had been visiting her mother at her family's farm home, about one mile east of Greenwood. At 5:00 p.m. CST, as she was preparing to leave for her return trip to Kansas City by bus, Miss Chiddix said "I saw this object moving from south to north in the sky. At first I thought it was a shining airplane, for it appeared about that size and seemed to be moving at about that speed.
“My mother and I got out into the yard so we could see better, when it turned out not to be a plane. It was real large and silvery, and sailing along like a plate -- thick in the middle. It was as large as a big plane, and it sailed along flat, not too high and not too fast."
As it moved along steadily to the north, Miss Chiddix reported, it suddenly "turned on edge, returned south and vanished in the sky." She added that she wouldn't have believed her own eyes if her mother hadn't been there to confirm what she had seen.
Case 653 -- July 7, near Rome, Maine: Four members of a fishing party on Great Pond reported watching the maneuvers of three "weird objects" at 9:00 p.m. EDT. Mr. and Mrs. Orrin Williams, of 14 Toward Street, Waterville, and their neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Grant, of 12 Toward Street, saw something resembling a "spinning rocket" come out of the southern sky at tremendous speed and abruptly stop overhead, where it remained hovering "like a ball of fire."
Shortly after that, a second object, similar in appearance, came hurtling out of the east, passing close by to the first object as it flew westward, disappearing into the clouds. Then a third object appeared, again coming from the east. This one stopped near the first object, hovered there motionless for a moment, and then continued its westerly course. Following the disappearance of this object, the first one began to move again and it retraced its path to the south at high speed. The display had lasted several minutes.
Various and General Maneuvers
Case 291 -- July 4, Salt Lake City, Utah: Former State Treasurer Oliver G. Ellis, his son Richard, and a neighbor boy, Kyle Sessions, reported that they had seen a group of disc-like objects going through strange maneuvers in the sky west of the city on the night of the Fourth.
Mr. Ellis said the luminous objects behaved like radio-controlled devices as they maneuvered in a horizontal, circular pattern. Then two of the discs suddenly broke loose from the group, as if they had been "snapped from the end of a giant pop-the-whip," and went careening southward at a terrific speed on a gradual slant toward the earth,
Following the disappearance of these two objects, the rest of the group reassembled and resumed their horizontal, circular movement, slowly working into a chain-like line, and then forming a V-shape, similar to a flock of geese. The formation of luminous objects then moved off to the southwest at a "terrific speed" until they disappeared from sight in the distance.
Case 671 -- July 7, Detroit, Michigan: Early on the night of the 7th, Mrs. Elizabeth Mason, of 1179 Wellington, reported that she saw two luminous, disc-shaped objects "sweep out of the horizon," and "bounce together a few times," before they faded from view, each in opposite directions. She described the objects as "round, red saucers, which were definitely not searchlights." According to Mrs. Mason, the discs made a "sort of splash" as they came together, although they did not appear to be "harmed by the collisions."
Cases 707-709 -- July 8, Denver, Colorado: From mid-morning until noon, several groups of UFOs made repeated appearances in the sky over Denver, in reports similar to those made in Portland, Oregon, on July 4, but without the same kind of widespread publicity and, typically, lacking adequate news coverage.
Reporting to the Rocky Mountain News, Fred Cullins, of 233 Inca Street, said he saw two groups, one of three and one of ten, dart through the sky from the west, scatter over the downtown area of Denver, and hover there for minutes before resuming formation and sweeping back to the west. He added that sightings of discs were "thick" all morning in his neighborhood.
Mrs. D. E. Marvin, 3432 West Gill Place, also saw several formations of discs; hers "swooped" out of the area of the sun at "terrific speed and altitude" and then flew back toward the vicinity of the sun. One of these objects, she reported, turned flat and "looked like a half-moon." Her aunt had phoned her from another part of town to let her know the objects were being seen.
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Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Ebert, of 3375 West Custer Avenue, and three neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Orlando Groom, and Mrs. Ted Dilley, said they, and at least a half-dozen other persons on the block, had seen the discs from their backyards in the Westwood section of Denver. Ebert was the first to notice the phenomenon, and called his wife and others. He reportedly saw only one of the objects, which he described as "white and very high" and, as Mrs. Marvin had reported, appearing to "come out of the sun." He described it as "round and flat" and said there was no noise; it "appeared to leave vapor trails like a high-flying plane."
Others in the group reported seeing as many as five objects. Mrs. Ebert told of seeing several, which appeared to "dance in the sky, moving backward and forward and at times rising and falling." The witnesses in the Westwood area said the objects were visible for a period of an hour and a half during the morning, before they finally veered off to the west and disappeared.
Donald Wentee, eight years old, of 2321 Champa Street, reported that he had seen a disc from the roof of his apartment building (Case 728). He described its color as orange, said it was "the size of a quarter," and looked to him to be about 3,000 to 4,000 feet high. Its speed was much faster than a plane.
Private First Class Richard McNulty, and other patients lying on the lawn of Fitzsimmons General Hospital, saw a number of the objects at noon (Case 723). The discs were coming out of the southwest at high speed at estimated heights of 10,000 to 12,000 feet, and were visible only briefly before they disappeared.
Low-swooping and Car-buzzing Reports
Case 53 -- June 25, near Pueblo, Colorado: Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd M. Lowry, of 3405 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, were returning home by car from a six-week vacation tour. On the afternoon of the 25th, as they drove east near Pueblo, Lowry and his wife "suddenly observed a strange missile approaching at a high rate of speed." The object was oval-shaped, seen first at an estimated altitude of 2,000 feet, and descending rapidly toward the observers' car. It swooped down to 500 feet above the car. Following this object was another similar one, approaching on the same course.
"We were alarmed," Mr. Lowry reported. "As the first one approached, we could see it revolving at tremendous speed on its axis, even faster than its forward flight." As it reached a point just above and ahead of the car, "it suddenly veered off sharply to the right, and at the same time its companion did likewise." The objects then disappeared to the south in a matter of seconds. Mr. Lowry hesitated to make known their experience at first because he was afraid it would not be believed.
Case 93 -- June 28, Appleton, Colorado: H. E. Soule, of the western Colorado farming community of Appleton, told Grand Junction authorities that sometime during the day of June 28 he saw a two-foot disc of "non-shiny aluminum" color sail out of the northwest sky at an altitude of about 200 feet. The object "swooped" over his home, narrowly missing the roof, veered eastward and gained altitude quickly as it followed Highway 6 for about a mile, then turned southeast and disappeared from sight. Soule described its speed as "amazing," and said he heard no motor sounds nor saw any vapor trail.
Case 163 -- July 2, near DeKalb, Texas: City and county officials in the Texarkana area began an investigation of reports that numerous residents had seen UFOs in the vicinity of the Texas-Arkansas state line. One of the first sightings was made by Wendell L. Carson, a farmer near DeKalb, at sunset on the evening of July 2. Carson reported that he and his small son watched "dumbfounded" as a disc swooped noiselessly across his tomato patch at an altitude of 100 feet.
In his report, made the next day, Carson described the disc as "roundish," and said it shone like "a mirror reflecting the sun." He said that it had been flying "very fast," and added that he would have reported it sooner but was convinced he and his son must have been seeing things, until he heard of other reports in the area.
Another DeKalb witness, Mrs. S. G. Nichols, reported independently that she had seen a disc glide over her home at about the same time as Carson's observation.
In another report (Case 350) very similar to Carson's, a farmer in Fayetteville, Arkansas described a low-flying disc that frightened his cattle as it made a brief touch-down landing near his barn, three days later. (See IV-1)
Case 304 -- July 5, Waterloo, Iowa: J. E. Johnston, of Waterloo, reported that at 1:30 a.m. CST a high-speed object had flown over his home. He described it as a "bright, flat object about 12 feet, in diameter." (AP reported Johnston's description of its size as that of "a dinner plate.") The disc was flying about 25 feet above the ground and made a "rocket-like, swishing noise" as it flew directly over his house at a "terrific speed," Johnston said "It was too close to the ground to be an airplane. It was a terrible experience," he added. "It numbed me from head to foot."
Case 853 -- July 30, Tamarack, Idaho: John E. Ostrom, of Nyssa, Oregon, was driving an Army truck from Council to McCall, Idaho, on Route 95. At 4:00 p.m. MST, in the vicinity of Tamarack, he suddenly saw a small, silver, ball-like object approaching his truck head-on at a downward angle of about 30 degrees. As he instinctively covered his face with his hands, the baseball-sized object glanced off the roof of the cab, just above the windshield.
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He brought the truck to a halt several hundred yards down the highway and got out to see what damage had been done. The point of contact was perfectly clear, and the metal of the roof of the cab, just above the windshield, appeared to have been "melted" as if "by some terrific heat." Experts examining the damaged spot later, about the size of a silver dollar, said that it had the appearance of having been "welded," but Ostrom denied there had been any welding and insisted that the damage had been done by a small flying object.
Landings and Take-offs
Case 105 -- June 29, near Cliff, New Mexico: A rancher near Cliff, named Arthur Howard, reported that he had seen a round, shining object fall to earth in broken country near his ranch some time during the day. Later, two pilots, Bud Hagen of Hurley and Ed Nelson of Cliff, made an aerial search of the location. They found nothing, but they reported that at one point while flying over the reported landing site their plane flew through a layer of "stinking air" -- something for which they could find no explanation.
Case 115 -- June 30, near Grand Canyon, Arizona: Lt. William G, McGinty, U.S. Navy flight student, was flying out of Williams Air Base in the vicinity of Grand Canyon at 9:10 a.m. MST when he saw two circular, light grey objects descending straight down from an altitude of 25,000 feet, one after the other. They were moving at “inconceivable speeds," and he estimated that each was about eight feet in diameter. The two objects appeared to have come to earth some 25 miles south of the southern rim of the canyon. This sighting is among those in the Air Force files, and it is explained as "probable meteors."
Case 200 -- July 3, near St. Maries, Idaho: Mrs. Walter Johnson, of Dishman, Washington, a Spokane suburb, reported that she and her family had been visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Beeman, of Butler's Bay, on the St. Joe River in northern Idaho, after having spent a few days camping in the area. About 6:30 p.m. PST, on the 3rd, Ben Beeman, who had been working in his garden, suddenly "shouted for us to come outside of. the house," Mrs. Johnson reported. When they had come out, at least nine members of the family, including Mrs. Johnson's sister and a niece, saw nine large objects (some counted only eight) flying out of the southern sky in a loose formation.
"With that mountainside as a background, we saw the saucers come in very fast, slow down jerkily, then flutter to the ground like leaves," she told the press, several days later. "The objects made no sound, Mrs. Johnson said. "Suddenly they stopped in mid-air, then started again. When they reached a point over a clearing in the timber, they stopped again and settled down a few at a time until they were out of sight. The mysterious part was that we could see them flutter down into the timber, and yet we couldn't see that they did anything to the trees."
The objects, thicker than discs and looking more like washtubs, were described by Mrs. Johnson as being "about the size of a five-room house." They glittered with the brilliance of a mirror in the sunlight, but "they must have given off the light themselves, because the sun itself was not visible." (Since it was too early for sunset, this must mean the sky was overcast, and the objects seen below the clouds.) "The area where they went down was several miles away," Mrs. Johnson explained, and darkness prevented any search for the objects that evening.
Besides having been seen by Mrs. Johnson's family, the flight and landing was witnessed by at least a half-dozen neighbors. After an aerial search, three days later, two missions of the National Guard's 116th fighter group reported no trace of the objects. Renewah County sheriff's deputies made a land search as well, but results of this are unknown, although if any traces had been discovered, it is likely that the findings would have been made known in the papers, since the sighting had been given such prominent news coverage. Mrs. Johnson reported the sighting to officials at the Spokane Army Air Base, but no record of it is found in the Air Force files.
Case 382 -- July 6, near Miami Springs, Florida: While vacationing in Florida, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Walsh of Boston saw three objects "rise up out of the Everglades like some rare species of bird" from what may have been a landing site in the sparsely settled area. The couple were fishing at 6:00 a.m. EST in the canal, several miles north of the Hialeah Bridge, when they saw two round, silvery objects, followed by a third, ascend from the trees in the Everglades to a height of about 6,000 feet. Mr. Walsh estimated the size of the objects at ten to fifteen feet in diameter. He said they flew due south and quickly disappeared from sight.
Case 383 -- July 6, near Pocatello, Idaho: H. C. McLean, a touring Seattle resident driving through Pocatello, reported by letter to the local paper that he had seen a small disc float slowly to the ground in front of his car just after dawn. He described the disc as about two or three feet in diameter, "about the size of a wagon wheel." It came down on edge, like a wheel in the road. "Something held it upright," he reported, and then moved it forward in "a series of short jerks," each move carrying it a foot or two further. "In the middle of the disc," McLean wrote, "I could made out a bulge, as if a plate had been welded onto the disc, and there were two narrow strips of metal running almost parallel to each other above and below this mid-section." The edge of the disc was surrounded by a tube that had a funnel-like opening at one end, "set into the disc's rim so that the latter could roll freely."
After having moved ahead about 20 yards, the object "rose easily and at once began to climb. I examined the place where the disc had landed but it touched the ground so lightly that it left no mark. I am convinced that the disc's flight was controlled, that it gave out signals indicating its position, and that it is harmless."
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Case 431 -- July 6, Tempe, Arizona: During the afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Howell were in their yard at 317 Ash Street, with a neighbor couple. Suddenly they all noticed a circular object northeast of the house, floating down to the ground with a "kite-like motion." The object appeared to be about two feet in diameter, was flat and thin, made of some sort of aluminum, and looked "transparent."
The Howells and their neighbors watched the disc disappear behind a row of trees some distance away, and they quickly approached the area to get a better look at it. As they came to within 600 yards of the landing site they saw the disc ascend slowly into the air at a 45 degree angle, and then take off at a "high rate of speed" to the northwest, towards Phoenix, nine miles away. The Howells agreed that the disc was too small to contain a pilot. The Air Force conclusion about this observation was that there was "insufficient information" to find an explanation.
Case 803 -- July 9, Spokane, Washington: Cliff Markham, of North 1019 Crestline, Spokane, and members of his crew at the Layrite Concrete Producing Plant on Trent and Erie Streets, reported seeing a group of three disc-shaped objects spinning in the sky over the Sperry flour mill at 6:15 p.m. PST. Markham said they estimated the speed of the objects to be 50 or 60 miles an hour. One of the discs left the group and appeared to land on the bank of the Spokane River. Some of the men made a search of the area, but could find no evidence of the disc's having landed there.
Protuberances: Domes, Fins or Knobs
The report by Richmond meteorologist Minczewski in mid-April, describing a domed disc, would come under this catagory (see I-1), as well as prospector Fred Johnson's report on June 24 (Case 30), near Ukiah, Oregon, who described seeing five or six discs with fins, or tails (see IV- 3).
Case 94 -- June 23, La Grande, Oregon: On or about this date, Leland Jones, La Grande high school student, and two Catholic nuns, saw nine disc-like objects "weaving in and out of formation." Jones said "They looked bright and round and seemed to have fins."
Case 294 -- July 4, Denver, Colorado: While driving home at 11:00 p.m. MST from a holiday party, Mrs. John Perrin, of 1852 Wazee Street, saw "an aluminum-colored saucer do a flip-flop over the Union Depot." She said the object had "a big dome," and "a tail of flame." She was certain she hadn't mistaken it for a roman candle, or other fireworks.
Case 313 -- July 5, Denver, Colorado: Less than twelve hours after Mrs. Perrin's report of a domed disc seen over Denver, Ed Zimmerman, a veteran and rocket-motor experimenter, of 1354 Elati Street, spotted a disc from his back yard. The object was directly over the dome of the capitol building, moving in a northeast direction. Zimmerman was able to observe the disc with binoculars and described it as being shaped "flat, like a pie-pan," with "a bulge, or knob on top, like a pilot's cockpit." It was dull-aluminum in color and from it trailed a cloud of vapor, suggesting to Zimmerman some kind of jet propulsion or rocket power. He estimated the height of the object at between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, its diameter at about 20 feet, and its speed between 1,100 and 1,200 miles an hour.
Case 413 -- July 6, Hagerstown, Maryland: At 4:30 p.m. EDT, Mrs. Madelyn Ganoe, of 349 South Cannon Avenue, saw a group of five "saucer-shaped" objects flying eastward at "terrific speed'' through cloudy skies. She described the flat objects as having "something on the back end" like a fin. Mrs. Ganoe said the objects emitted a sound "the likes of which I have never heard before." She described it as "like the roar of a far away train," but was otherwise unable to compare it with anything familiar. She said the objects were quickly lost to view when they disappeared behind trees.
Another report was made at about the same time, which may provide an explanation for Mrs. Ganoe's sighting: Park W. T. Loy, of 55 East Irvin Avenue, said he saw five P-80s flying over the local airfield and verified their peculiar noise. However, the only report of jets flying over the city was made by the Hansen Flying Service at the local airfield: two P-30 jets had flown over the field a half an hour earlier, at 4:00 p.m. No other reports of either jets or UFOs was made. There was an air show at Martinsburg, West Virginia, some twenty miles to the southwest, during the afternoon, in which a number of P-80 jets participated.
Case 752 -- July 8, Seattle, Washington: At 3:30 p.m. PST Earl Klenpke, of 9004 17th Avenue S.W., in company with his mother, saw a "very shiny, ovalshaped" disc with "a glass dome on top of it" flying over the city in a northwesterly direction. It was flying at a moderately slow speed, 75 or 80 miles an hour, and "moving in a straight line with an up-and-down motion." Klenpke estimated its size at about eight feet high and ten feet long. He and his mother watched it for seven minutes before it disappeared from view.
Case 786 -- July 9, Chicago, Illinois: At about 1:00 a.m. CDT, after returning home from a movie, William Valetta, of 4328 South Emerald, saw five or six objects streaking eastward as he stood on the sidewalk in front of his home. He described them as resembling saucers, with the cups sitting on top (domes). "They made a swishing noise," he said, and there was a "blue flame" coming from under each object, as well as what appeared to be smoke coming from the tops.
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Just 15 minutes before, another report of four or five objects that made "a swishing noise" and emitted gaseous trails, like a "blue streak," was made by Thomas O'Brian, of 553 West 42nd Place and Timothy Donegon, of 4141 Wallace Street, as they stood outside O'Brian's house, just a few blocks from Valetta's home (Case 785). However, they described nothing that might have been domes, and the objects they saw were going southwest at a moderate speed of 180 miles an hour.
Appendages: Antennas, Legs, Propellers & Tails
Case 1 -- June, near Aloha, Oregon: While driving between Portland and Aloha at sundown, sometime in June, Mrs. August Krause saw an object making loops in the air. She described it as saucer-shaped, with the top more rounded than the bottom. She said the object would execute a loop with a slight hover at the top of each loop.
Attached to this object was a flexible appendage that bore a resemblance to the tail of a kite, in length longer than the width of the object, and with "small cross pieces at regular intervals" along its length. At the top of each loop, as the object remained momentarily suspended, the tail "did not droop," but remained fixed in position behind the object; then, as the disc continued its maneuver, the tail would follow in a flexible arc.
Mrs. Krause had stopped the car and rolled down the window to be sure she wasn't looking at some kind of reflection. She watched this strange performance for almost five minutes, during which time the object came closer and closer. Then it suddenly moved off in a straight line at high speed and was lost to view. Mrs. Krause had no idea as to the size or distance of the object, but there were clouds in the sky, and the object was below these clouds. She had it in view long enough to be certain of the peculiar behavior of the flexible tail.
Case 242 - July 4, near Pattonville, Missouri: About 5:00 p.m. CDT, while on a picnic on Old St. Charles Road, four miles west of Pattonville, Nova Hart, a St. Louis mechanic living at 2969A St. Ferdinand Avenue, his wife Marveline, and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Jackson, of 3906 Kennerly Avenue, St. Louis, saw what appeared to be an inverted, saucer-shaped object, "ribbed like a parachute canopy," gliding slowly in a westerly direction no more than 300 feet above the ground.
Hart, a former infantryman trained as an aircraft spotter, said "I've never seen anything like it. It looked more like a parachute than anything, though it appeared to have a propeller in the middle." The propeller, attached to the center of the underside, appeared to Hart to act "more as a stabilizer than a source of power." The object made no noise as it floated over the observers. It was silver-grey in color; one news account describes it as appearing "transparent."
As it moved in the direction of St. Charles, the observers said it "kept turning in a slow roll." The object was circular, between 20 and 25 feet in diameter, and had what looked to Mrs. Hart like "a ragged tail" on it (the propeller). They watched it for three or four minutes before it disappeared from view.
Dr. McDonald was able to locate Mr. And Mrs. Hart and interview them by phone. Neither could recall who first saw the object but Hart said they became aware of it when a shadow was cast on their party. They saw the curious object drifting slowly toward them at a speed of about 50 or 60 miles an hour, no more than several hundred feet off the ground. It was moving from south to north (not east to west, as reported in the press accounts). The upper surface was hemispherical, with ribbing, like a parachute canopy. Mrs. Hart compared it to the top of an umbrella. The object was silver-grey (not "transparent," as one press account had it), rather like some dull metallic surface covering --"like the dull side of aluminum foil," as Mrs. Hart put it.
Hart explained the newspaper references to the "slow roll" the object performed: as it approached the viewers from the south, its near edge was tipped upward, exposing the underside. When it passed over them, it leveled off, and in moving northward, curiously, it tipped in the opposite direction -- that is, the edge nearest them was again tipped upward. This puzzled Hart. Aside from the slow tipping action, there was no irregular motion -- no spinning or undulating.
The underside appeared to consist of a red conical substructure, point down, and near the bottom of the cone (which Hart compared to "red plastic") was something like a propeller -- an appendage likened by Hart to "a rope ladder." Mrs. Hart said it had the appearance to her of a "tattered edge." It was about five or six feet in diameter, and was moving too slowly and was too small to be a source of motive power, in their opinion. The propeller puzzled them a great deal. It made no noise, they said.
The Harts mentioned a number of other people in the picnic area who were all watching the object. Several people came up and asked them what they thought it was. One man, in a truck, tried to follow it; he was last seen hanging out the door as his truck went down the road in pursuit of the object. Hart called the paper primarily to try to identify the object. He received a great deal of kidding about it and could understand why others were not reporting them. He was never interrogated by the Air Force.
Case 249 -- July 4, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Just about sundown, Dr. M. K. Leisy, junior intern at the Pennsylvania Hospital for Mental Diseases in the western section of Philadelphia (at Market and 44th Streets), was reading on the west porch of the hospital when his attention was drawn to the sky by a loud roar. He saw a big transport plane going over, which may have accounted for the noise, but he also saw something far more surprising: coming out of the north northwest sky was a dark, spherical object with a luminous halo around it. The object was flying below the clouds at a moderate speed, "about the same speed as the wind," and appeared to be propelled "by a set of whirling wings, or jets." After several moments, the object disappeared into the clouds overhead.
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A check with various agencies disclosed that no balloons had been released over that area at the time, nor was it possible to confuse the object with anything connected with the fireworks display scheduled to begin after dark. Independent reports of the same, or other objects, were made elsewhere in the western part of town at about the same time.
Case 287 -- July 4, Los Angeles, California: Herman V. Friede, an aircraft inspector living at 226 West 11th Street, described seeing an object "shaped like a lima bean" fly over Elysian park at 8:30 p.m. PST, at an estimated altitude of 5,000 feet. Friede said he could see what appeared to be two jet pipes sticking out from the rear edge of the object, with vapor trails coming from them. The leading edge of the object appeared transparent, Friede reported, and "could have been a cockpit." Friede's work as an aircraft inspector should certainly insure his being able to tell a conventional craft from a non-conventional one.
Case 306 -- July 5, Bethesda, Maryland: Jack LaBous, a Washington artist living in the 3500 block of East Capital Street, was riding on a Benning bus near Bethesda sometime during the morning when he saw a flat, disc-shaped object with a small dome-like shape on the underside, spinning high in the air at an altitude he estimated to be above 15,000 feet. He also noticed a stick-like appendage, like a radio antenna, protruding downward from the center under the object (see drawing).
Mr. LaBous worked for eight years as a visual artist for the Civil Aeronautics Administration; when he saw the object, he quickly made a sketch of it on the back of an envelope he had in his pocket. The detail of the "antenna-like" appendage is remarkably similar to the device described by Gregory Zimmer in Sioux Falls the following day (Case 452).
Case 330 -- July 5, Tacoma, Washington: In many sightings witnesses reported that a group of objects appeared to be "connected" by unseen wires or string, or by some other invisible means, because they moved in unison, or in a manner that suggested some kind of connection between them. In the following report, an actual physical appendage was reported seen joining two objects together.
Mrs. Lillian Emblem, of 1115 6th Avenue, reported seeing two objects at fairly close range. She said that the objects "really looked like two spools, joined together by a connecting rod." For about 30 seconds she and a friend, Mrs. Marie Reed, watched the objects move silently through the air at about the speed of a plane.
Case 322 -- July 5, Covington, Kentucky: Mrs. Dorothy Kreve and Mrs. May Lawrence, both of 434 Johnson Street, Covington, reported that they had seen a circular object "with legs" flying overhead during the afternoon. This altogether too brief account becomes more interesting when compared with the following report, almost equally as brief.
Case 401 -- July 6, Chicago, Illinois: This report is reprinted in its entirety, as it appeared in numerous papers on July 7. The original account could not be found in the Chicago papers.
Chicago, July 6 (UP)-- An excited woman telephoned a Chicago newspaper Sunday to report that she had seen a "flying saucer" and that "it had legs."
"I was standing on the porch," she said, "and I thought for sure it was coming down and slap me in the face."
Case 452 -- July 6, Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Gregory Zimmer, County Treasurer's assistant, reported that at 5:15 p.m. CST he saw a "round object resembling a balloon" fly over his house at 1328 West Sioux Street, as he lay in his back yard. The object flew over at high speed, "traveling faster than the fastest planes," according to Zimmer. It was described as generally silver colored, "like a Christmas decoration," while a part of the top appeared darker in color. The object was flying at an estimated height of nearly 10,000 feet in a southwesterly direction.
Zimmer said that the object had a "little tail sticking straight down," similar to the appendage described by Jack LaBous (Case 306), on the previous day. This "thread-like tail," instead of trailing behind the object, appeared more like a rigid projection underneath it.
Marine Ace Joe Foss, head of the Sioux Falls National Guard unit, sent a pilot aloft to look for the object, but the pilot reportedly saw nothing unusual. Kenneth Clark, a local meteorologist, said there had been a garden party for children at the Veterans Hospital during the afternoon, at which time helium-filled balloons had been used as decorations.
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He proposed that one of the balloons got loose and was the culprit responsible for the reported sighting. The hospital is southwest of Zimmer's home, according to the newspaper accounts. Apparently meteorologist Clark never considered the fact that for a balloon to be seen carried southwest by the prevailing winds, it would have to be released at a point somewhere other than southwest of the reporting witness.
Case 516 -- July 6, near Burlington, Wisconsin: Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Nielson, of Waukesha, were returning home on Sunday night from Lake Geneva, and as they drove between Lake Geneva and Burlington, they saw a saucer-shaped object "with a propeller on front, larger than the saucer itself." Following this object, as if in pursuit, was a small cub plane. Describing the object as "slightly larger than a regular-sized saucer" (probably a relative comparison, as a "regular-sized saucer" would scarcely be visible at the height of a plane), Mrs. Nielson said "a light flashed at least twice from it." The plane pursuing the object was easily outdistanced by it, according to the witnesses.
Case 526 -- July 6, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Toward midnight, Mrs. Clarence Lasseson, of 606 West 31st Street, saw a mysterious object "at close range" outside her home. The disc-shaped object, which appeared to be about the size "of a ten-inch plate," had a propeller on its rear edge, and flew over her house at tree-top level, she reported. (The headline of this brief report says, "Click, Phht"-- whether this is a reference to some reported but unpublished sound heard by the witness, or just a headline writer's "sense of humor," is not known.)
The preceding case (Case 526) may also fall into this category, if it can be assumed that the news account is correct, and the witness did actually see the object at "close range."
Case 50 -- About June 25, near Connellsville, Pennsylvania: A Poplar Grove housewife, Mrs. G. Edward Hart, watched a formation of 13 small disc-like objects, "about the size of breakfast plates," float overhead and hover above an orchard near her home at about 3:00 a.m. EDT. The objects, seen at fairly close range, remained over the orchard for about ten seconds and then slowly moved on, Mrs. Hart said.
Case 255 -- July 4, Elliott, North Dakota: Virgil Been, a farmer near Elliot, reported having seen a small object "about the size and shape of a dinner plate, but green in color," early in the evening over his mother's farm, a mile and a half northeast of Elliott. His mother, Mrs. Glen Been, and his brother, Willard, also saw it as it passed close to the three witnesses, no more than 30 or 40 feet above the ground. It was traveling at a "high rate of speed." Been, a Navy veteran, said he had never seen anything in the service that resembled such an object, and added that there was no chance of their having mistaken it for some sort of fireworks.
Case 358 -- July 5, Pond Lake, Michigan: Mr. and Mrs. Willard Fisk, of 42 Delaware Street, Grand Rapids, were camping on Pond Lake when, sometime after dark, they saw "a brilliant, dark-red object, approximately eight inches in diameter, proceeding at an altitude of about 200 feet across the lake." They both described the object as "zigzagging through the air, dropping once as low as 20 feet above the surface of the lake." It made no noise and both witnesses saw some sort of light on it that flashed on and off several times before the object sailed upward and disappeared from view.
Case 399 -- July 6, Kansas City, Kansas: Miss Barbara Mehner, of 2309 South Glenwood Avenue, in the Intercity District, said she was playing baseball on a field near U.S. Highway 24 when a small, grey disc flew around her.
"I was facing west when something flew in from the side," she said. "It was dark grayish, about five inches across and flying two feet from the ground. It flew around me several times, then flew off south a short distance, came back and circled me three or four more times. Then it disappeared."
Case 501 -- July 6, Towanda, Pennsylvania: A close-up observation of two small "objects" was described by Mrs. A. C. Smith, who saw them hovering 20 feet above the ground. For a period of two minutes, they "bobbed about, merged together, and separated," she said, before they finally soared into the sky. According to Mrs. Smith, the discs were about six to eight inches in diameter and appeared to be "saucers of intense light." She did not believe they were solid objects.
Case 603 -- July 7, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Eight Gettysburg College couples reported seeing two flights of small objects at low altitude while they were on a Sigma Chi fraternity picnic near the Pennsylvania Monument on the historic battleground. About 3:30 p.m. EDT, five or six small, grey, shiny discs drifted eastward overhead at moderate speed, appearing to roll on edge as they flew. A few minutes later another group of six similar objects flew over in the same direction.
"Each time they were traveling in two distinct groups," said Frank Toms, a senior at the College. He estimated the size of the discs at six inches in diameter. They appeared to be at an altitude of "about 150 to 200 feet above the ground," he added. Among the witnesses present was Peter John, a sophomore from Camden, New Jersey.
Torpedo or Cylindrical Shapes
Case 6 -- June 2, near Lewes, Delaware: Pilot Forrest Wenyon's report of a "mayonnaise jar shaped object" falls into this category. For details see Pilots' Reports (III- 9).
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Case 104 -- about June 29, near Ottawa, Ontario: R. S. Gauthier, of Ottawa, and two companions, were in a boat on Lake Deschenes, eight miles west of the Canadian capital on the Ottawa River, when they saw a high-speed object crossing the lake from the north. There was no sound heard as it passed over at an altitude estimated by the witnesses to be about 1,200 feet. Mr. Gauthier reported that rather than looking like a "saucer," the object appeared more like a "flying stove-pipe" -- that is, cylindrical in shape.
"It was glowing such a white-hot color, you could almost feel the heat," Gauthier reported. "The light was blinding, almost like the sun." The object crossed overhead and passed out of view in 30 seconds, the trio reported.
Case 125 -- June 30, Knoxville, Tennessee: C.E. Brehm, University of Tennessee professor, sighted a "long cylinder" at night -- for details see reports by Educators (III-2).
Case 189 -- July 3, near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: Ewen McNeill, a farmer in Village Green, reported that at 5:45 p.m. ADT he had seen an object cross overhead as he worked in his fields. His attention was attracted to the sky by "a very bright light," which McNeill described as "even brighter than the sun."
The light appeared to come from the rear of a black projectile whose shape resembled that of a rocket, or a wingless plane. The flame behind this black object was blindingly white. Behind this white flame there trailed a long plume of smoke, in which could be seen occasional "puffs, which looked like smoke rings." The smoke trail appeared to be two miles long. The object was estimated to be at an altitude of 10,000 feet, and was traveling in an easterly direction at "tremendous speed." It was in view for 15 seconds.
Two other reports were made from other parts of Prince Edward Island at exactly the same time (Cases 190, 191). Neither report agreed with McNeill's in direction, or description of the cylindrical object he had seen.
Case 598 -- July 7, Glasgow, Illinois: A brightly shining object "about a mile up" caught the attention of J. C. Star, restaurant owner in Scott County, at an unspecified time during the day. With the aid of a portable telescope he carried in the car, Star said he saw a "conically-shaped, highly polished object with a round base;" he estimated the base was 25 or 30 feet in diameter. He said that the object was oscillating slowly from side to side, and then suddenly "began to move swiftly toward the west" at about 300 miles an hour.
Case 758 -- July 8, suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: According to the Philadelphia Inquirer (7/9), "scores" of Philadelphians had reported UFOs during the preceding evening. The number of objects reported ranged from one to a dozen. 'Virtually all sections of the city and many in the suburbs contained at least one resident or visitor who reported he viewed the phenomenon," Only four specific sightings were printed; the descriptions in each case were exceedingly brief, as shown by the following report, quoted in its entirety:
Thomas Miller, 17, of 6448 Palmetto street, said he and a group of friends spotted one while playing baseball in Tookenay Park, Cheltenham Township. But when he and his playmates started to chase it, the "saucer" disappeared. Miller said the object resembled a huge lamp-shade, being cone-shaped and colored grey.
Case 340 -- July 5, Neapolis, Ohio: While ferrying an empty airliner from the east coast to Chicago, TWA pilot Captain John L. Dobberteen and copilot Frank Corwin, both of Washington, reported that they saw a strange-looking flying object below them when they were 20 miles east of Archbold, Ohio (approximately over Neapolis) at about 7:00 p.m. EST. The pilots were flying west at 4,000 feet. They said the object they saw had "the appearance of a whirling fan blade and was about the size of a cub plane, with no sign of a body, fuselage, or motor apparatus. Just a propeller-like whatsit -- wings without a bird," as they put it. The object was slowly revolving as it moved forward at an estimated speed of 200 miles an hour.
The pilots flew slightly off course in an effort to see where the object was going. They watched it make two complete revolutions below them before it disappeared from view. Captain Dobberteen said he was certain the object could not have been an auto gyro, or similar aircraft. He added that it might have had the appearance of a disc-like object from the ground. "We thought it was a souped-up Fourth of July spin wheel (sic) when we first saw it," the pilot said. "But we know it couldn't have been fireworks." The TWA men continued on to Chicago and reported the whirling object to the air traffic control authorities because it had been flying in a commercial air lane and was thus a potential hazard to other planes.
Case 391 -- July 6, Spokane, Washington: Mrs. C. C. Jenkins, of N. 2201 Columbus, was watering her lawn at 7:10 a.m. PST when she saw two objects moving out of the northern sky. She described their speed as "oh, so fast." Mrs. Jenkins said the objects "didn't appear to be discs, but were more like the toy propellers children run with. They were aluminum colored, and one was above the other." The objects began to go straight up, she said, and quickly disappeared from view.
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V and Wing-shaped Objects
Case 227 -- July 14, Troutdale, Oregon: Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Berry, of 915 N.E. Killingsworth Street, Portland, reported that they and an unidentified friend had seen an object that bore a resemblance to "a star" to the naked eye, as it traveled in a northeasterly direction over Troutdale at an unspecified time during the day. They examined the object through binoculars and said that through the glasses the object appeared to be V-shaped. It was flying in a straight, level course, but seemed to be "dipping a bit" as it flew along, and flashing in the sun, according to the witnesses.
Case 444 -- July 6, Darlington, South Carolina: While swimming in the Black Creek late in the afternoon, J. V. Watts, Jr., an attorney with the law firm of State Senator James F. Mozingo III, said that he had seen ten or twelve wing-shaped objects flying in a V-formation, and weaving up and down as they moved at a comparatively slow rate of speed. The objects appeared metallic and bore no resemblance to reported "discs" or "saucers," according to Watts; they were clearly wing-shaped. He saw no propellers or fuselage on them, and he estimated their speed at between 150 and 200 miles an hour, and their height at about 3,000 feet. He added that shortly after their passage overhead he saw an Army plane following in the same direction. He was of the opinion that the pilot of the plane could not have failed to see the objects ahead off him. However, no report of such an encounter appears in the official Air Force files.
Satellite Object Reports
Case 20 -- June 21, Spokane, Washington: While watching a plane fly over at 11:55 a.m. PST, Guy R. Overman, of Spokane, said his attention was attracted to several flashing objects in the southern sky, ahead of and below the plane. The flashes came from one silvery object which appeared as "a more or less distinct line, or slim body," moving on a course to the south, or a little west of south. This object appeared quite large, and did not seem to be traveling as fast as the plane. Above this object and apparently at the same, or possibly higher, altitude as the plane, were two more smaller, less distinct objects, also moving in the same direction. These smaller objects, like the larger one, were silver in color and were also ''flashing." The plane soon outdistanced all three objects, which disappeared after several minutes to the south. The sighting is among those in the Air Force files and is explained as "balloons."
Case 45 -- June 24, Portland, Oregon: William Kamp, of 5115 N.E. 22nd Avenue, a retired gas company employee, reported having seen a strange sight in the sky across the street from his home as he stepped out of the house at 9:00 p.m. PST. He saw "a large object which looked big enough to be a plane" flying in a northwesterly direction.
Just as he noticed the object, he saw a reddishwhite flare-like object being discharged; this bright object dropped straight down. Another similar object was discharged before the larger object disappeared from view in the distance. Kamp said "the object was flying too high and was too large for a Fourth of July rocket."
Case 126 -- June 30, Norwood, Ohio: Mrs. H. W. Stockwell, of 4000 Floral Avenue, reported that on the night of the 30th she saw a group of seven disc-like objects in the sky over Norwood. One of the discs, she said, was much larger than the rest and she estimated its size to be at least "a mile in diameter." She did not mention the sighting until a week later because she said she felt "a little silly about it. Now I think that if they are dangerous, everybody should know about them."
Case 454 -- July 6, Tucson, Arizona: The first in a series of satellite object sightings that occurred in a little more than 24 hours, and moved progressively around the perimeter of the continental United States in a clockwise pattern, took place at Tucson at 5:00 p.m. MST. Three disc-shaped objects -- one larger than the other two -- were seen by a retired lawyer, Joseph Hendron, and his wife as they sat outside their home at 521 North Warren Avenue.
"At about five p.m., my wife and I were sitting on the patio watching the cloud formations. I suddenly saw what first appeared to be a kite," the lawyer reported. "We then saw two more. They were coming from the east, in the direction of Davis Monthan Field, and went north. They appeared very high, and two appeared smaller than the other. In fact the two small ones seemed to gravitate back and forth from the larger one."
Mr. Hendron said the larger of the three objects seemed to be flying in a straight course, while the small ones "moved up and down and in and out from the larger one." He described their color as "silver, much the same effect as the sun would reflect from aluminum." Hendron asserted that after the objects had disappeared he speculated as to whether or not they might have been sent up by the weather bureau for "testing the atmosphere." He said "they did not appear to be going, very fast, but that might be because of the height. They might have been flying high or low, I couldn't estimate, not knowing their size."
Dr. McDonald was unable to locate the Hendrons, but he did interview another witness to a sighting describing several objects shortly before the Hendrons reported seeing theirs.
Walter Laos (Case 453) had been sitting in his backyard at 723 East 1st Street at 4:30 p.m. when he saw a group of from four to six round objects to the northeast, over the Catalina Mountains. (The news account in the Tucson Arizona Daily Citizen reports the number of objects as two.) Laos told McDonald that the objects seemed to be flying near what looked like an ordinary cloud. They were moving northeast at a very high speed and at one point made a sudden descent toward the ground and swooped back up, disappearing aloft.
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They were dark in color, he told McDonald, but must have been shiny because they occasionally glinted. He called his family out, but by the time they got there the objects had disappeared. They had been in view for no more than 15 seconds. The news account quoted Laos as having estimated the objects' height at 5,000 to 6,000 feet, their speed at 200 miles an hour, and their size at about five to six feet. In that account he described their color as white aluminum. The account confirms their northeasterly heading, as described to McDonald. Although the direction is the same as that described by the Hendrons, the number of objects and exact time differ, so it cannot be said with certainty that the two reports were of the same phenomenon.
Case 528 -- July 6, near Palmdale, California: Mrs. Amy Herdliska, housewife living at Four Points in the Palmdale area, reported that she had seen a group of objects twice during the late evening behaving in a most peculiar manner. She reported to Sgt. W. K. Campbell, of the Lancaster County sheriff's substation that at 10:36 p.m., "over the mountains south of Palmdale, I saw what looked like a mama disc, with three to five little baby discs flying around her.
"The little ones would cavort around for awhile, then they'd fly back and seem to fly into the mama disc's pouch. Anyway, the mama disc absorbed the baby discs," she explained. Mrs. Herdliska said that the objects "were luminescent and clearly visible," and before they had disappeared to the south over the mountains, they were seen "separating" again. She reported that a second flight of the same puzzling objects was made again at 11:17 p.m. (Case 530).
Sgt. Campbell and other deputies made a routine check and said they saw "fleets of mackerel-like clouds 15,000 to 20,000 feet in the air." They did not see any of the discs reported by Mrs. Herdliska, and they wrote off the report by explaining that she may have seen "reflections of Hollywood arc lights" on the clouds.
The Los Angeles Herald-Express and the Examiner (both on 7/8) briefly refer to a sighting in North Hollywood at approximately the same time between ten and eleven p.m. Mrs. William A. Becker, of 6240 Sunset Avenue, reported that she had watched "six or eight" discs for an hour from her home. "They were darting back and forth, crisscrossing the sky very high," she said. "They looked all of ten or twelve feet in width - I finally got tired of looking at them and went to bed." There is no indication that Mrs. Becker had seen the same kind of phenomenon as Mrs. Herdliska reported, but if Mrs. Herdliska's "mama disc and baby discs" disappeared to the south in the interval between her two sightings, North Hollywood is where they would be seen.
Case 556 -- July 7, Tacoma, Washington: A little more than three hours after Mrs. Herdliska had seen the second flight of mama and baby discs, a similar sighting was made by two Tacoma policemen. At 2:30 a,m. PST, prowl car officers Evan Davies and Stan Johnson were parked at North 33rd and Adams Streets with their headlights and motor turned off. Davies' attention was caught by a "streak" in the sky; looking more closely, he saw a strange spectacle. "I didn't say anything," he reported later. "Then I noticed Stan was watching it too."
"Do you see anything?" Johnson asked.
"Yeah, do you?" Davies answered cautiously.
"I thought I was crazy," Johnson remarked with relief. "I've been watching it for five minutes."
"So have I," his partner admitted.
The cause for this guarded exchange was the sight of a group of six or seven disc-like objects seen just below a bright moon in the southern sky. One central object, larger than the others, seemed to act as a sort of "flagship." The smaller objects would make repeated movements toward the large disc and then glide away to the south. The officers said the larger disc appeared to be "spinning like a top, and throwing off sparks like a bursting sky rocket," and then attracting the tiny objects back "like a mother hen with her chicks."
The officers estimated that the objects were at an altitude of about 10,000 feet. The smaller "and more distinct objects" began to move westward in a loose group, and vanished from view, while the large disc remained for a brief time in one spot, and then it too began to move westward. The men decided to give chase, and Davies radioed the police dispatcher, D. F. Erickson, "Car No. 5, Johnson and Davies to KGZN. We're chasing a flying saucer towards the Narrows Bridge site."
As they sped westward, the officers radioed their course and a running description of the phenomenon. Johnson said that although it was impossible to judge altitude, size, speed or distance accurately, the large disc appeared to move at tremendous speed and was the apparent "size of a softball." One of the smaller discs was seen flying over South Tacoma; later, another was seen to the west, over Hood Canal; a third, which flew out of sight in less than a minute, appeared over Commencement Bay. At one point, the large object made a rapid ascent of an estimated 5,000 feet above its former altitude at extremely high speed, "quicker than you could snap your fingers," according to Davies. He said that the parent disc "seemed a shade of red part of the time, particularly when it zoomed upward, but most of the time it was a sort of luminous silver." (AP quoted him as saying its color turned from "brilliant red to purple to blue-white and back to red.'")
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The officers finally lost sight of the object over the western horizon. In all, they had observed the phenomenon for a half an hour. At the police station, officers said an unnamed caller from South Tacoma had phoned in exactly at the same time to report seeing the same spectacle, and M. C. Streans, of 913 South L, reported he had watched the same phenomenon sometime after 2:00 a.m.
Dr. McDonald interviewed Evan Davies, who is still with the Tacoma police force, on two consecutive days by phone. Davies recalled that the night of the sighting was very clear. He and Stan Johnson were parked in Car D-3 near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, facing west, when they first saw the objects. Davies compared the motion of the smaller ones to "sparks that shot out away from the main object but then would come back to it" like a "sparkler, except for their reentry." He put their altitude roughly at 10,000 feet.
Davies told McDonald that the most striking feature of the entire sighting was the way the objects would suddenly jump from one location to another spot "miles away." At one point they had shot up suddenly through a substantial vertical distance. About mid-point during the sighting the objects began moving south, then west, and they eventually disappeared in the direction of the ocean. Both Davies and Johnson agreed that these objects could not have been any conventional aircraft.
Davies added that there was another patrol car which had been alerted and he said that the officers in that car had also seen the objects. The name of one of the men he recalled as George Hager, no longer with the Tacoma police force but still living in Tacoma. Between Dr. McDonald's first and second interviews with Davies, the latter had talked with Stan Johnson about the sighting, and Johnson vividly recalled the way the objects jumped over considerable distances.
Case 597 -- July 7, Cicero, Illinois: At some unspecified time during the day, Richard Allen, 19, of 2935 South 29th, saw a formation consisting of one large disc, about the size of a blimp and silver in color, with three or four smaller discs following it in a straight line. The objects were seen flying over 29th and Laramie.
Case 660 -- July 7, Manchester, Maine: A report of an "illuminated galaxy of flying discs" seen by three members of a family during the evening was made. The objects were seen first by Charles Crockett, 15, as he was walking toward his home on the highway between Manchester Four Corners and the Augusta Country Club, at 9:30 p.m. EDT. The cluster of luminous objects was seen to the west, over the north end of Lake Cobbosseecontee. They were still there when he arrived home a few minutes later, so he summoned his mother, Mrs. Doris Crockett, and his grandmother, Mrs. Abbie Hallowell, who confirmed his observation.
Mrs. Crockett said that the lighted objects appeared to be just above the treetops at the north end of the lake. She described one circular, stationary light "that looked something the way the moon does breaking through a cloud." Bright flashing lights that appeared and disappeared were seen revolving around the stationary object. Mrs. Crockett said these lights resembled the "quickly cast beams of a flashlight." The central spot of light gradually faded, she reported, and then the whirling spots of light also disappeared.
Charles described what he saw as "about eight or ten smaller discs revolving around a big disc-shaped spot of light." The objects remained in view for fifteen minutes before they faded out of sight.
Spectators at an out-of-door boxing match in Winthrop, a few miles to the west, saw lights of a similar description at about the same time, but they were said to have been reflections of searchlights on clouds (Case 659). There may also be some connection with the sighting made near Rome, Maine, a short time before the Manchester appearance (II-10).
One other report that qualifies as a satellite object case is the sighting made earlier in the spring of 1947 by Mrs. H. G. Olavick and Mrs. William Down, at Tucson, Arizona, and reported directly to Dr. McDonald by one of the witnesses. Details of this report are included in the Introduction.
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