July 8, 1947
Game of Spotting 'Flying Saucers'
Sweeps Country as Mystery Holds
From the Journal Archives
Tuesday Morning, July 8, 1947
By The Associated Press
In the aftermath of Kevin Arnold's reports, the country was gripped by a wave of UFO sightings, inventor claims and other assorted stories. The Albuquerque Journal published this little
AP summary on July 8, 1947, unaware of the events unfolding the same day in nearby Roswell.
The game of spotting "flying saucers" broadened Monday to include
Massachusetts and Vermont as stories about the disks continue to swirl
fully as rapidly as the objects themselves.
Explanations of the phenomena ranged from the theory that they were
radio controlled flying missiles sent aloft by the U.S. military
scientists to the suggestions that they might be merely sun light
reflected on wing tanks of jet-propelled planes.
A.B. Cross of Chattanooga, Tenn., a 34-year-old watchmaker, announced
he invented the "flying sauces" and submitted it to the War Department
in 1943 but his idea was rejected as not practical "at the present
Later, he said, he became convinced that the department elaborated on
his plan. His model was powered with a rubber band, Cross said, but he
believed atomic power now is being used.
A Spokane, Wash. woman insisted the objects she saw would take up
"about the space of a five-room house" if they landed.
But a Clearwater, Fla., woman said the disks she observed resembled
At Rutland, Vt., a woman reported she and her husband witnessed a
brilliant object in the night sky, which she assumed to be a "flying
saucer" although it was stationary.
But at Cambridge, Mass., a housewife said she saw "a group of white,"
flying saucers whirling around and going at a tremendous speed."
The Massachusetts and Vermont reports brought to 40 the number of
states in which the objects have been observed.
With New England getting into the game, the Harvard University
astronomical observatory took note of the reports but said it had had no
luck so far in photographing one of the disks.
Lester Barlow of Stamford, Conn., international known explosives
inventor, advanced the theory that the objects were radio controlled
Reports persisted that the Army was looking into the phenomena but
Gen. Carl Spaatz, Army Air Forces commandant, said he knew of no AAF
plans to search for the saucers.
The Navy and Atomic Energy Commission said they had no connection
with the mystery.
The West, which originated the saucer reports, continued to produce
observers who claimed to have seen the shining discs and also brought
forth one deflationary explanations of them.
Bob Johnson, operator of a flying service at Missoula, Mont.,
reported he had captured one of the disks and found it to be milkweed
Maj. Gen. Leslie R. Groves, who headed the Army's wartime atom bomb
project, tonight denied any knowledge of the "flying discs" which have
been reported throughout the country. He said: "I know nothing about
flying discs and I know of no one who does.
"Before even a real clue to a theory can be developed we will have to
catch one or get movies of one in flight."
Copyright © 1997, 1998 Albuquerque Journal