Friday, January 26, 2018

Saucer Scares: 1952

President Truman, besieged by Saucers.
Reno Evening Gazette, Aug. 5, 1952 .

1952 was perhaps the most important year in the history of the flying saucer phenomenon for the coverage in the press and the impact it had on the public. The public was beginning to take the matter seriously. That year, there was an unbelievable number of authentic sightings reported by witnesses, along with an unbelievable number of unbelievable sightings.

Here are three newspaper clippings of flying saucer incidents that show the importance of investigation.

Indiana July 29, 1952.

July 30, 1952.

Newspapers, television and radio spurred the public's interest and appetite for saucer news, and almost anything UFO-related was used, even if they had to bend over backwards to make the connection. Other times, they reported on saucers sightings that went flat, like this one from Pennsylvania.
Yuma Sun, Aug. 26, 1952

Friday, January 19, 2018

James J. Allen's Alien Encounter Embarrassment: Aug. 6, 1952

West Lumberton, North Carolina, Aug. 6, 1952: A relatively incredible close encounter. James J. Allen sees a UFO and speaks to its occupant. A few historians summarize the case in passing, such as this mention in the August 2005 MUFON Journal by Ted Phillips, in "Physical Traces: Occupants and physical traces."
08/06/52 NC, Lumberton: James Allen, 51 , saw a round object 8 ft long, 6 ft high land within 10 feet of him. A small occupant was seen, and small footprints were found.
INTCAT, (the International Catalog of close encounters and entity reports, compiled by Peter Rogerson, lists the Allen case and cites Phillips among the other Ufologists who have covered the case:
August 6 1952. 2100hrs WEST LUMBERTON (NORTH CAROLINA:  USA) American Houses employee. James J Allen saw an object 2m high, 2.5m long, lit by an interior orange light, descend from the north-west, hit his chimney, damaging it, and land in his backyard. As he approached to within 3m. of the object he saw a small being, 75cm high, standing beside it. When Allen asked the being if it was injured, “it went away in a whiff”, then the object moved away with a whistling sound.
  • Ted Bloecher citing Lumberton Robesonian, 7 August 1952.
  • Phillips 1975, p.8 (case 676) says footprints were found at the site but this detail is not given in the above source he quotes.
  • George Fawcett in Flying Saucers 77.
  • Fawcett 1975 p.26.
  • Santesson 1968, p.183
  • Vallee Case 99 citing Wilkins 1954b, p.268 citing Buffalo Evening News 27 Aug 1952.
  • Data Net V, 11 citing Robesonian 18 Aug 1952.
Loren Gross in UFOs: A History, 1952: August, however, found the events to be fantastic:
A forerunner of many to come was the tale told by 51-year-old James Allen of West Lumberton, North Carolina, on August 6th. So incredible it, was dismissed outright by serious people, the story and others like it were to be favorites with the press. We can only wonder if Mr. Allen was reading too many science fiction books? 
Here's the way the Allen's story was reported at the time in the local paper.
(A line of copy seems to be missing from the printed version.)

The Lumberton Robesonian (NC) Aug. 7, 1952

The next day's news provided further information. There were several people investigating the report, and the Pentagon was expected to launch their own inquiry. Further questioning of Allen produced further details on the encounter, including a better description of the saucer occupant. The little man had a long white beard.

The Lumberton Robesian (NC) Aug. 8, 1952 

UFO historian Loren Gross concluded:
Actually, there is not much difference between Allen's story and that of the Socorro, New Mexico, incident of April 24, 1964, so if people like Allen were making up such stories, they were at least consistent. In 1952 Allen's tale seemed too whimsical which people believing it was just the result of a capricious notion by its originator. There is a very good possibility the Allen story is a hoax for the simple reason there was publicity at the time about a similar incident which was supposed to have occurred months before at the city of Red Springs, an incident that could have inspired Allen. 

James J Allen's 1947 Case Surfaces

UFO historians that discuss the Allen case seem to be unaware of what happened after the initial report. Shortly after the story of the encounter, there were troubling disclosures about James Allen's past, instances of him writing "obscene letters," arranging a rendezvous with a married neighbor, and threatening to hex her husband with witchcraft if she didn't comply.

The Lumberton Robesian (NC) Aug. 11, 1952 

As with so many of the most interesting UFO cases featured here at The Saucers That Time Forgot, Project Blue Book has no files on this incident


History doesn't tell us if Allen's house was insured, but an ad for the Ray Hatch Insurance Agency in the November 11, 1953, Indiana Kokomo Tribune indicates he could have filed a claim for the saucer's damage to his chimney.

Unfortunately, the typical home insurance policy does not cover alien acts of aggression, only instances of alien accidents.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Avoiding a War of the Worlds: Don't Shoot Them Down!

"Cutting loose your guns might be suicide." 
Major Lewis Norman, as quoted by Donald Keyhoe 
in Flying Saucers from Outer Space, 1953.

Art by Norm Saunders from the 1962 Topps trading card series Mars Attacks
card #4: "Saucers Blast Our Jets."

In 1952, there were rumors and speculation that the Air Force had ordered pilots to fire on flying saucers. Some people were afraid of the consequences, and thought we might anger a technologically advanced civilization and provoke a war we could not win.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 29, 1952
Jet pilots are operating under a 24-hour nation-wide "alert” to chase the mysterious objects and to ‘shoot them down” if they ignore orders to land.

Long Beach Independent, July 30, 1952

 Lebanon Daily News, July 31, 1952.

Perfect Souls from Outer Space

Mangan may have been right. In the 1952 documentary short, The Flying Saucer Mystery, the author of one of the best-selling UFO books of all time was interviewed. Frank Scully of Behind the Flying Saucers said we shouldn't shoot at saucers since the aliens might be "perfect souls" never sullied by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. They would therefore be immortal (and presumably invincible), so to attack them would be "idiotic."

For more information on the "1952 Flying Saucer 'Shoot Down' Stories," see David Rudiak's page,

Friday, January 5, 2018

Dr. O. K. Brown, The Flying Saucer Dentist

Thanks to the dilligent research of Claude Falkstrom, STTF takes another moment to recognize another of The Ufologists That Time Forgot...

Long before Stanton Friedman, "The Flying Saucer Physicist," there was another prolific UFO lecturer: Dr. O. K. Brown, The Flying Saucer Dentist.

In the early 1950s, Dover, Ohio had a population of about 10,000 people (closer to 13,000 today), but it had one that thing most towns its size do not, a resident flying saucer expert. But before we get to UFOs, lets take a look at the man himself.

Dr. O. K. Brown, his wife, Virginia, their daughter and son lived on his farm called Cricket Hill, where as a hobby he raised purebred Suffolk sheep. 

The Daily Reporter ,May 16, 1956

Born Orlo Kenneth Brown, the doctor was a well-educated, highly respected citizen of the Dover community and an influential member of the Rotary Club there, where his activities frequently made news. Dover’s The Daily Reporter, ran a story on him in  Oct. 10, 1970, titled, “It’s been a good life!”, noting that he’d been an educator, a professional baseball player and an amateur archeologist:
Love of Americana, family and orthodontics have blended well in the life of Dr. O.K. Brown of Dover, whose interests range from the dental ills of the ancient American Indian through the merits of Sharp’s Buffalo rifle of 1850 to the viruses and faults of modern day baseball and barn architecture... This man, of many interests taught school in Pennsylvania before deciding on a career in dentistry... He also took an interest in UFO's and made numerous speaking appearances throughout the state on the subject.”

Dr. Brown was also open-minded, and forward thinking, a proponent of space travel and had a strong interest in flying saucers, an early adopter of the term UFO for unidentified flying objects.  He frequently lectured on the topic, explaining that witnesses had produced testimony demonstrating that saucers were interplanetary space craft, and carried the occupants of a peaceful, technologically advanced civilization- from whom we had much to learn.

Dover Daily Reporter, July 23. 1955 featured a profile of his wife, Virginia, 
“Portrait of… Mrs. O. K. Brown” 
Dr. Brown is interested and data concerning "flying saucers” and his wife also has developed a profound interest. He has given 40 or 50 talks on the subject and Virginia accompanies him because it gives her an opportunity to meet many people. She leaves the same impression with her new and old acquaintances – friendly, gay and congenial.

Dr. Brown spoke of the subject of flying saucers and extraterrestrial visitation to such diverse Ohio groups as :
- the southeastern Ohio section of the Society of Plastics Engineers. - the Junior's Woman's Club (at the home of Mrs. Russell Stewart).- the New Philadelphia Rotary Club.- the Sertone Club Of Zanesville.- the Tuscarawa County Highway Patrol Auxiliary.- the Denison Methodist Men's Club. - the Gnadenhutten (pop. 900) Chamber of Commerce. - a Valentine Dinner Party organized by the women of the Gahowee Chapter of CCL.- the Tuscarawa County Pharmaceutical Association. - the Uhrichsville Buckeye Club. - the St.Joseph school's P.T.A. - Ohio State Nurses' Association District 20. - the Christian Service Guild of the First Evangelical United Brethren church. - the Dandelions, auxiliary to the Lions Club.
Coshocton Tribune, Feb. 23, 1955

Plastic Engineers, Guests Attend Dinner Meeting at Zanesville
The Southern Ohio section of the Society of Plastics Engineers met Tuesday evening at Zanesville with 115 members and guests in attendance...The chief speaker of the program was Dr. O. K. Brown, Dover dentist, who gave an interesting and informative talk on the subject of "Flying Saucers.” Although not a scientist, Dr. Brown has carried on a study of the "Flying saucer” phenomenon, and gave his opinions on the topic, bolstered with allied information he had picked up from books and articles.

The public was besieged by conflicting information on flying saucers from the government, the news media, and the authors publishing best-selling books on the topic. Dr. Brown served almost as an editor of that information, assimilating it and bringing the saucer story in a narrative to a local Ohio audience.  Dr. Brown lectured for a wide variety of audiences, chiefly business clubs and professional associations. On a few occasions, the local press turned to Dr. Brown's expertise about UFO mysteries. There were some he was able to solve.

Dover Daily Reporter, Nov. 19, 1954

Dr. O. K. Brown, circa 1967

Two Talks from 1954

There are news stories covering the contents of two of Dr. Brown's lectures from 1954, and they provide a fascinating look at how information on flying saucers was being digested by the public and being assimilated into the culture. 

From The Daily Reporter, June 29, 1954, page 3

A-Blasts Irk Other Planets? 
Dr. Brown Cites 'Saucer' Evidence In Club Talk

Did God create inhabited planets other than the Earth? Are inhabitants of other planets hundreds of years ahead of the Earth in progress, especially space travel? Would too many atomic explosions arouse "other planets to the extent its citizens would take retaliatory measures as a matter of preservation? Is it possible that Venus is occupied by people so proficient in mental telepathy that it has no crime?

Those were just some of the questions posed by Dr. O. K. Brown, Dover dentist, last night when he addressed nearly 90 Kiwanians, including 22 from Canton Edgefield's club, following the Dover club's weekly dinner meeting at Helmkamp's. 

POINTING out that the Air Force and government officials have bothered to 'give answers to only about 14 per cent of the 3,000 flying saucers, the dentist, who has made a study of the subject, asked: 
"Are officials afraid of mass panic if they admit landings by flying saucers containing people? "Are they afraid they may upset some religious beliefs by admitting other planets are inhabited. "Are they afraid to admit someone else is 500 years ahead of us in the system of propulsion?" 

Quoting various sources, Dr. Brown pointed out that one scientist said he talked with a man who was 5 feet tall, weighed 135 pounds, had "baby" skin and indicated he came from Venus in a saucer the scientist saw. 
"That scientist gave the man, who gave evidence of being adept at mental telepathy and who didn't speak our language, an exposed photographic film on which the scientist had taken a picture of the space ship," Dr. Brown said. 
"Twenty-three days later, a 'saucer' hovered over the scientist's house and dropped a package. Inside was the photographic film with a message inscribed on it in a strange language which, as yet, hasn't been figured out. 

“THE SCIENTIST reported that during his contact with the stranger the man indicated the earth was making big explosions which were shaking the world. Using signs, he made the scientist understand that a few of the explosions would not cause too much harm but that a great many would result in action by his people.”
Dr. Brown went on to point out that another recognized scientist, who was in charge of a vitally important project in World War II, described a "flying saucer" he inspected after it crashed in Colorado. 
"The scientist said the ship had a damaged porthole and that after making an outside inspection for two days the porthole was enlarged to permit an interior inspection," Dr. Brown related. 
"Inside they found bodies of 16 men, ranging from 34 to 42 inches in height. All were burned but an examination showed they had no dental defects, had metal buttons on their clothing which were fastened with thread having a breaking strength of 420 pounds. 

“THE SCIENTISTS found food similar to our K-rations and two containers filled with water twice as heavy as our water. The ship was 99.99 feet long, 27 inches high above the wings which were 45 inches thick. It was constructed of an aluminum material unlike any we know. 
"The Air Force finally learned how to dissemble the ship. Its parts, including instruments which indicated the machine was a push-button operation, and the bodies were taken away by the Air Force and neither the scientists nor anyone else has heard about them since." 
Dr. Brown said two similar saucers, one 72 feet long, and another 36 feet long, also have landed on the U.S. arid have been inspected. "It is noteworthy," he said, "that all the measurements reported to date are divisble by 9." 
Dr. Brown explained that magnetic fault zones exist in flie air, particularly over the northwest and southwest United States, and pointed out that scientists say that is the reason meteors sometimes land on the U.S. "Things just go haywire when the meteors hit the fault zones and they crash," Dr. Brown said. "Some scientists believe the same fault zones caused flying saucers to crash." 

DESCRIBING the possibility of speeds which Earthman can't fathom, Dr. Brown reminded that military radar equipment in a number of instances has picked up objects in the sky, including one over the Capitol and another over the White House at the same time. "Five minutes before our fighter jets appeared, the objects disappeared," he said. "Five minutes after our jets returned to their bases the objects re-appeared and continued to hover over Washington and 'remained on the radar screens until dawn." "We have heard of a pilot and his jet completely disappearing while chasing a saucer," Dr. Brown recalled. "We have heard of a 15-year-old boy 'ham,' or amateur radio operator, accidentally hitting, with his signals, a magnetic frequency and causing shorts in auto motors in the area of his home and even in several planes. 
 . . .

Most readers here will recognize the origin of stories above.

The four faces on the Mt. Rushmore of Ufology, circa 1954:

Kenneth Arnold, Major Donald Keyhoe, Frank Scully, and George Adamski were the best-known figures in the early days of the UFO scene. Arnold had fathered the saucer fever, and the other three had reached the public in best-selling non-fiction books. Their influence on the saucer subject, then and now, is monumental. Nevertheless, the topic was perplexing and the books presented material in conflict with what was being said by military sources and authorities in the news. In his lectures, Dr. Brown served as a guide through the perplexing contradictions.

In the only other Dr. Brown lecture summarized by the press, we learn more about his views on the UFO cover-up and the technology and enlightenment the space visitors could share with mankind.

Zanesville Times Recorder, Sept.  22, 1954, p. 10

While Dr. Brown continued to speak on the topic for many years, unfortunately we have been unable to locate the content of his later lectures. It would be interesting to know if his views evolved over the years based on the new information that surfaced about he credibility of the Adamski and Scully tales, and what he thought about later, better-documented UFO cases.

The UFO lectures seem to have come to end sometime in the 1960s, perhaps connected in some way to the dark days of the Condon Study and the closing of Project Blue Book. Or perhaps, other obligations of a more Earthly nature occupied more of Dr. Brown's time.

Dentist Dover Times Reporter May 15 1970

A sampling of Dr. Brown's recognition and press in his later years.

Dr. Brown passed away in 1997. His obituary from the Dover New Philadelphia Times-Reporter, June 12, 1997:

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