Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Flying Saucer Mystery and the 1952 UFO Flap

The Flying Saucer Mystery, 1952
In part one, we examined The First UFO Documentary: The Flying Saucer MysteryDuring the big UFO flap of 1952, the documentary got a new life with the help of Sterling Films. Billboard magazine, Aug 23, 1952, announced the film had been revised for a new release.

The new version was longer at 12½ minutes and featured many changes. Since their first release, the Air Force had officially announced it was back in the UFO investigation business with Project Blue Book, so there was a lot to cover. 

The narration was new, and several scenes were replaced with new sequences, such as the report by witness Oskar Linke and author Frank Scully. It also featured footage from the July 29, 1952, press conference given by Air Force Major General John A. Samford, the one given to address the Washington, D.C. UFO radar incidents. There was also some new evidence, a UFO picture taken by Shell Alpert, a U.S. Coast Guard, photographer, and another captured by August C. Roberts (an early member of Al Bender’s International Flying Saucer Bureau).

Shell Alpert and his UFO photo
Oskar Linke’s story was carried newspapers across the US in July, a sensation because up until that time, there had been no credible reports of contact with saucer occupants. Linke said that he and his daughter “saw two figures who appeared to be wearing metallic overalls” get in the saucer and take flight. US headlines stated, “Now Saucers Carry Pilots” and “Flying Disc, Crew, Seen By Red Refugees.” Interestingly, it was later made clear that Linke’s sighting had occurred way back on June 17, 1950, but he was afraid to talk about it until away from the Soviets. 

Gabriele and Oskar Linke, and The Argus, Melbourne, Australia June 30, 1952
Perhaps the most peculiar addition to the 1952 version was the inclusion of author Frank Scully, but besides Donald Keyhoe, he was the most prominent UFO personality at the time. Scully talked about the Air Force’s orders that UFOs be intercepted, then went into his position that saucers were flown by aliens, probably an ancient civilization advanced far beyond earth. 

The film’s character was markedly different than the 1950 version. They did have Dr. Scott for skeptical balance, but it seemed that the producers read the April 7, 1952, Life magazine article that asked,”Have We Visitors From Space?” Their answer was yes.

As we did with the 1950 release, we've prepared a transcript of the 1952 revision. Below is a list of the people in the 1952 version and the time they appear in the film:

0:55 Gen. John A. Samford, USAF (news clip)
1:06 Donald E. Keyhoe (news clip)
1:12 Admiral Calvin Bolster, USN (1950 clip)
1:35, 4:04 Arthur Weisberger, witness (1950 clip)
5:05 August C. Roberts, witness
5:22 Oskar Linke and his daughter, Gabriele, witnesses
6:40 Frank Scully, author,”Behind the Flying Saucers”
7:47 Noel W. Scott, U.S. Army Engineers physicist
9:48 Gen. John A. Samford, USAF (news clip)
10:38 Donald E. Keyhoe, “The Flying Saucers are Real” (1950 clip)

Transcript: The Flying Saucer Mystery, 1952

From out of nowhere flying saucer mystery is with us. What is the flying saucer? What do people see, and sometimes photograph? What's behind the daily reports of aerial  phenomena in the nation's press? After more than five years of study, there is still no
agreement even among the experts. 

General James A. Samford:
“We can say that the recent sightings are in no way connected with any secret 
development by any agency of the United States.

Donald E. Keyhoe:
“With all due respect to the Air Force, I believe that some of them will prove to be of interplanetary origin.”

Admiral Calvin Bolster, USN:
“In my position in the research and development organization of the Bureau of  Aeronautics and of the Navy Department I am thoroughly familiar with both our aircraft and our guided missile programs, and can state without reservation that the Navy has no saucer-shaped aircraft or missile in any of these programs.”

Arthur Weisberger:
“I glanced up and there were three flying saucers in a V, approximately a half a mile away from me at an altitude of 350 feet. They appeared to be hovering in midair with that I believe to be a spinning action.”

What are these shadowy voyagers of the atmosphere? While our forefathers were 
still dreaming of flight decades ago, they sketched these aerial vehicles of the future. Strangely, some of them resemble the saucers of today. When we went to work to make reality out of these dreams, we fashioned crude rocket-propelled devices such as these. While unsuccessful in themselves, they proved to be our first humbling efforts to master the techniques in jet and rocket propulsion. If the flying saucers are of this earth, this may be how they were born, with their later growth and maturity cloaked in official secrecy.

When the smoke of the war blew away in 1945, we found ourselves suddenly arrived in 
the age of rocket propulsion. However, since then, the lid has been on. Other than announcements of ever-increasing altitudes reached by the rockets, we have had no reports. Though we know millions are being spent on them. To our knowledge, the engines in the B-47 are the most powerful in use today. Yet the announced speed of this aeroplane is only 600 miles per hour, a mere fraction of the velocity of the discs. Only if radically new area of dynamics are in use, could the discs be powered by jet engines of today.

This is a thunder-jet executing a loop, hazardous on a jet plane because of the centrifugal force, the pilot must withstand during the pull-out, yet characteristic of the saucers is their fantastic maneuverability. Discs moving at many times the speed of sound suddenly reverse direction. Flight surgeons say any human pilot attempting this would perish instantly. Likewise, saucer reporters agree that the new jet helicopter was not what they saw. If not conventional aircraft then, what did they see? 

Arthur Weisberger:
“They appeared to be 50 feet in diameter, with what appeared to be a dome on the top with, I can't be sure but, I believe I saw the sun glinting off of, well, windows or observation portholes of a sort.”

(Trent photos)
is this what Weisberger saw? This disc was photographed by an Oregon farmer as it hovered low over his field. Experts say these are actual photographs of a flying saucer. The farmer sighted the same spinning action and estimated the diameter of the disc at 20 to 30 feet. 

(Al Hixenbaugh film)
In Kentucky, a motion picture photographer attracted by a strange noise overhead trained his camera on this disc. Here, the wobbling motion mentioned in so many reports is clearly seen.
(Shell Alpert photo)
A Coast Guard photographer snapped this phenomena when it appeared briefly over Salem, Massachusetts. The incandescence seen here was bright enough to stand out in broad daylight.

(August C. Roberts photo)
What may have been the same phenomena was photographed at night by August Roberts who has this to say about it.

Interviewer (off camera):
“What do you think it was?
August C. Roberts:
“I think it was from outer space, but friendly.”

(Gabriele & Oskar Linke)
“Like many of the saucer reports, the latest and most credible have received comes not from America but from behind the Iron Curtain. Seen on the ground by the refugee mayor of a small East German town, its crew was startled by the screams of the mayor's daughter. The first eyewitnessed report of the supposed Soviet guided missile, tells of a saucer-shaped object.

Translator for Oskar Linke:
“The moment the crew disappeared in the cylinder, the disc rose with a humming noise, until the thing was standing on the cylinder like a big mushroom. Then, he said, the disc began rotating, red, blue and green flames bursted out from the holes in it. He thinks they were for its propulsion (?). He saw the thing rise straight up from the ground, and move off parallel with the ground. Once it had gained height, it moved faster, he said, than any fighter plane he has seen, and it made a terrible roaring noise.”

From such reports as these arise many theories to explain the discs. Undismayed by the attacks of True magazine, Frank Scully, author of a book Behind the Flying Saucers, offers his views.

Frank Scully: 
“Now of course, if you assume that there’s no intelligence equal to ours anywhere else, everywhere else, in the universe, is to belittle the universe, because we don't show much intelligence, obviously. But, the likelihood of other planets elsewhere in other planetary systems and other universes of having not only what we got, but lots more, since the planets might be older, their intelligences could be much more mature, more advanced - they could have even passed through an atomic age long ago. Or, they could have been souls that never were fogged up like our Adam and Eve, and never went through all this. And if they are perfect souls elsewhere, the thing is, they're not killable they’re immortal already, so the idea of the Air Force telling them to shoot them down is idiotic.”

Next, a more conventional theory is advanced by physicist Noel Scott.

Noel W. Scott:
“The expression flying saucers is a catch-all term for unusual lights appearing in the sky. It is possible that some of these lights are caused by masses of electrically-charged particles of air. Electrified air can assume many different colors, such as yellow, red, pink, orange, green, and blue. This experiment demonstrates that charged masses of air can be made to move in formation, change course, change brightness, appear, disappear and reappear. These electrified masses of air produce no sound, but can be detected by radar. The atmospheric conditions necessary for producing this phenomena are certainly not prevailing conditions that exist in the upper atmosphere. However, it is not altogether improbable that there may be occasional local conditions responsible for this glow which might be interpreted as flying saucers.”

In the Engineer Research and Development Laboratories, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Dr. Scott shows how to make your own flying saucers. Some say the apparitions are the result of light refracting from what is called an inversion layer, such as an oasis will appear in the desert. In a glass bell, Dr. Scott reproduces weather conditions which prevail during many of the recent sightings. 

Dr. Scott's theories are correct. What you are looking at now is an actual flying saucer. It's possible that even the headlights of your car can create them. With the Air Force hard-pressed for an accounting of the mysterious invaders, this explanation is popular, but General James Samford points out even this theory does not explain all the reports.

General James A. Samford:
“However there have been a certain percentage of this volume of reports that have been made by credible observers of relatively incredible things. It is this group of observations that we now are attempting to resolve. We have as a date, come to only one firm conclusion with respect to this remaining percentage, and that is that it does not contain any pattern of purpose all of consistency that we can relate within it to any conceivable threat to the United States.”

According to the general, these weather balloons are the flying saucers that many people see. Still, he cautions that a few reports cannot be so easily explained. It is these reports that interest Donald Keyhoe, sponsor of a theory that is growing in popularity.

Donald E. Keyhoe:
“After a one year’s investigation, I believe that the flying saucers seen by veteran airline and Air Force pilots are objects from another planet. The Air Force itself has officially admitted that flying saucers exist. This statement appears in Project Saucer case number 75. Not only that, the Air Force has officially analyzed the motives of possible visitors from space. Here is a direct quotation from the official report: 
‘Such a civilization might observe that on earth we now have atomic bombs and are fast developing rockets. In the past history of mankind, they should be alarmed. We should therefore expect at this time, above all, to behold such visitations.’”

(Atom bomb footage)
Is there another civilization somewhere in space, apprehensively watching our rapid progress with the atom? Are we under surveillance by an intelligence that has revealed itself to us only in the form of ghostly apparitions? Does this power foresee our ability to travel through space in rockets propelled by the atomic power we are learning to control? An incredible theory, and it is doubted by many, but it is not likely to be disproved in the public mind while our scientists are predicting interplanetary travel within the lifetime of those living today. 

As the debate continues, so do reports of new saucers, some following in the pattern already established, others entirely new, creating more speculation and endless discussion. Project Saucer, the official Air Force investigation of the phenomena, has been reopened. Now, installations are alerted to attempt to intercept any of the strange visitors that may be sighted. 

While millions listen and watch, the great flying saucer mystery remains unsolved.

. . .

For Further Information on the UFO Cases Featured in the 1952 Film

General James A. Samford UFO Press Conference, July 29, 1952:
Saturday Night Uforia has the text from Project Blue Book's files transcript.

Shell R. Alpbert UFO photo, Salem, Massachusetts, July 16, 1952 
The Photographer's Tale

August C. Roberts UFO photo:
Project Blue Book File, No. 1710. July 28, 1952, Jersey City, New Jersey

Oskar Linke UFO sighting:
CE III By Two Witnesses / Oskar Linke Case, June 17, 1950, Hasselbach, Germany

A special thanks to Issac Koi for his help in obtaining the transcripts of the two versions of this documentary. Isaac has been working to preserve and share UFO literature and history for many years, and has several projects underway with the AFU in Sweden.
 Check the AFU site for a wealth of rare UFO documents and literature.

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