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
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 time."
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 "pie pans."
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 Massachusets 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 flying missiles.
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 seeds.
Maj. Gen. Leslie R. Grobes, 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."