Friday, February 23, 2018

A Flying Cucumber Comes to Kansas, Sept. 1954

Before the term UFO for Unidentified Flying Object took hold, every flying weird thing was called a Flying Saucer - at least by the newspapers. John Jacob Swaim, though only age twelve, was found to be credible. He reported seeing a "cucumber ship," but also referred to it as a "saucer." What makes the story more remarkable is that Swaim the sighting included a small humanoid, and the fact that physical traces- tiny foot prints- were left behind to be examined by authorities.

First, the story as discussed in The Belleville Telescope from Belleville, Kansas, November 11, 1954.

A story appearing in the September 8 issue of the Wichita Eagle by Don Pinkston, reporter, concerning a 12-year-old Coldwater boy, John Jacob Swaim seeing a "flying saucer and a little man" was sent to The Telescope by Mrs. Clara Blakeloy of Scandia, a great-aunt of the boy. The boy's story seemed to be backed up by odd-looking footsteps found in the farm field of his father, John Swaim, the next morning by the county sheriff and other spectators. The news story indicates that John Jacob's "little man, and the saucer he flew away in. is the biggest topic of conversation in Coldwater and the surrounding community these days." Mrs. John Swaim, the boy's mother, is a niece of Mrs. Blakeley. More people read the Telescope than any other paper in North Central Kansas
Here's the story that had them talking:

Hutchinson News, Herald KS, Sept 15, 1954
On the editorial page of the Arkansas City Traveler, where it was noted that a Government investigation of the incident was unlikely. They close the article by defining their policy on printing saucer stories, "The reader is left to judge for himself..."

The Arkansas City Traveler, Sept. 20, 1954

Often misspelled as "Swain" in the few places that mention the sighting.

Gray Barker later covered the Swaim sighting story in Saucerian #6, Spring 1955, pages 12-13

The Lincoln Star coverage had the most detailed description of the unusual small footprints found at the sighting scene of this early close encounter of the third kind.
The Lincoln Star, Sept. 24, 1954

Another Cucumber

Project Blue Book has no file on this incident, however their files do carry a report on an earlier flying cucumber- one carried on the roll as "unidentified," Incident #252, dated  27 Jan 1949:  

Witness sketch by Capt. Sannes, USAF
A UFO sighting by a military witness AF Captain Eckerman Sannes and his wife Dorothy, between Cortez and Braderton, Florida.

Are these two cucumbers connected or coincidence? "The reader is left to judge for himself..."

1 comment:

  1. That last image is a classic example of what's become known as the 'airship effect'. This is where the mind 'fills in the gaps' between a series of bright lights creating the illusion of a solid spacecraft with a line of portholes down the side.


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