Sunday, July 16, 2017

Reward: $1000 for Proof that Flying Saucers Are Real!

Flying saucers may not have become a big news item if not for cash rewards. Kenneth Arnold's sighting in June 24, 1947 was an unexpected by-product of him searching for a crashed Curtis Commando R5C military transport plane that carried a reward of $5,000 for the finder. Arnold struck out, but in the aftermath of his UFO sighting, several parties put forth rewards for evidence that the flying saucers were real.

(The text in the clipping below is tiny, but it's it's the headline that's important, and the detail from it shown below.)
Berkeley Daily Gazette, July 8, 1947

Three Rewards of $1,000 each for flying saucer proof from:
  • E.J. Culligan, Illinois businessman.
  • Spokane Athletic Round Table (a group of gangsters?)
  • World Inventors Congress (catch: offer expires in five days.)

"For a thousand dollars almost anyone will describe a flying saucer, and that is just what is happening today. E. J. Culligan — a Chicago industrialist — offered a reward for a flying saucer or a correct explanation of the celestial discs. Now he is being swamped by hundreds of letters and telegrams — all claiming to have the inside information on the saucers."
The Neosho Daily News from Neosho, Missouri on July 11, 1947

The Spokane Athletic Round Table wanted a saucer itself, delivered in person.

WallaWalla Union Bulletin, July 8, 1947

The World Inventors Congress also provided reward for a saucer, and the word was getting around. People started to come forward with claims.

On July 9, The Ceylon Observer reported: 
"Meanwhile, the World Inventors Congress has offered a thousand dollars reward for the delivery of a 'flying saucer' to their exhibition at Los Angeles this week.
      Concrete evidence too has not been wanting, so far three reports of 'discs' or parts of discs being reported.  While one discovery reports a "flimsy construction" with material "some sort of tin foil," another speaks of diecast metal an eighth of an inch thick melting only at a heat of 6,300 degrees, and third speaks of 'rock-like metal' which rained down from a huge flying disc."

The Concrete Evidence

"Flimsy construction" and "tin foil" was from the balloon crash at Roswell found by Mac Brazel.

Warrant Officer Irving Newton identifying the Roswell tin foil.
"Diecast metal" was Lloyd Bennett's (disappointing) lawn discovery.
Fayette County Leader
July 10, 1947
"Rock like metal" was just common terrestrial slag from the Maury Island hoax by Fred Crisman, Harold Dahl and Ray Palmer.
August 1947 Tacoma Times

Stay Tuned

The cash rewards helped feed the 1947 public's saucer fever, and in the days and weeks to come, many more people would come forward with stories and claims of the recovery of crashed flying saucers. This serves as a teaser to a recurring series here at The Saucers That Time Forgot, tentatively titled, "Captured Flying Saucers," coming soon to this very screen.

Coming Soon!

© 2017, Curt Collins 


  1. I tried posting on an Android tablet but that didn't seem to work so back to my Windows laptop.

    The Coyne UFO encounter has remained a real mystery. The National Enquirer awarded Coyne and his crew a $5000 prize for the Best UFO Case of 1973. Critics used the money angle to question the veracity of the sighting. And being associated with a sensationalizing tabloid also didn't help.

  2. Good post. Has anyone found a story of the reward that pre-dates July 8, 1947? If not, the coincidence of the Roswell Incident and the quick debunking of the saucer story to a) empty the story of any otherworldy bite or b) to support the cover up of the Project Mogul as the USAF proposed in 1994, seems too well coordinated. Was it a plant to help in the diverting and debunking? It shows up in newspapers on July 8 many times before news of Roswell had even tricked to local outlets. Yet, the Military will be quoted as inferring that the report, like others, was an attempt to garner $3000 in prize money. Marilyn A. Hudson,


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