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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

Beginning of july, 1947, Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas, USA, Jim Johnson:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

This is a "negative" case (a case that got a trivial explanation immediately at the time of its publication), it occurred in the United States a few days after the famous Kenneth Arnold sighting report, the first to gain a wide press coverage throughout the country.

The Reporter-News newspaper, of Abilene, Texas, reported on page 1 for July 7, 1947, that their newsroom took a phone call the night before from a man posing as Jim Johnson, a pilot, who told them that he had spotted three "flying saucers" in the vicinity of Eagle Mountain Lake near Fort Worth. He said that on the "leading edge" of one of the silver objects, there was a man with "a floating beard and a cooked pipe."

The newspaper was immediately skeptical, sensing a prank, and soon during the call, the man burst out in laughter: it was a joke. He explained that because of the bad relations with Russia, he thought to describe a "saucer pilot" who would look like a Russian, hence de beard and the pipe.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001831
Date of event: July 7, 1947
Earliest report of event: July 7, 1947
Delay of report: N/A
Witness reported via: Phoned newspaper.
First alleged record by: Newspaper.
First certain record by: Newspaper.
First alleged record type: Newspaper.
First certain record type: Ufology book.
This file created on: November 9, 2018
This file last updated on: November 9, 2018
Country of event: USA
State/Department: Texas
Type of location: Near Eagle Mountain Lake.
Lighting conditions: Not reported.
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: Not reported.
UFO/Entity Relation: Certain
Witnesses numbers: 1
Witnesses ages: Not reported. Teen or adult.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Man posing as pilot.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: Human
Entities height: Not reported.
Entities outfit type: Not reported.
Entities outfit color: Not reported.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Not reported.
Entities head: Not reported.
Entities eyes: Not reported.
Entities mouth: Not reported.
Entities nose: Not reported.
Entities feet: Not reported.
Entities arms: Not reported.
Entities fingers: Not reported.
Entities fingers number: Not reported.
Entities hair: Beard.
Entities voice: None heard.
Entities actions: Sat on flying UFO, smoking pipe.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed.
Witness(es) feelings: Not reported.
Witness(es) interpretation: Russians.
Explanation category: Negative case, joke.
Explanation certainty: Certain.

Narratives:

[Ref. rn1:] "ABILENE REPORTER-NEWS" NEWSPAPER:

DISC, DISC -- TSK, TSK!

Abilene Flier Reports to City News Desk He Saw A Man on a Flying Disc

By Clyde B. RAGSDALE
Reporter-News Staff

A man who styled himself as Jim Johnson telephoned the Reporter-News late Sunday with the startling information that he had spotted three "flying saucers" in the vicinity of Eagle Mountain Lake, near Fort Worth. On the "leading edge" of one of the silvery objects, he reported, was a man with "a flowing beard and a cooked pipe."

The city news was wary.

"A man?" he was asked.

"Yeah," the other end of the wire replied.

"Smoking a pipe?"

"Yeah."

"H-m-mm," said the City Desk, sensing a phony.

"I was flying southwest," the voice on the wire explained, "when - swish - three of the flying saucers zoomed past. I saw a man on the leading edge of one of them."

The city news desk was still skeptical. Here was an entirely new development. A man had never before been reported seen on or near a "flying saucer."

There were more insistent questions. Who is calling? What is the address? An instructor at the airport here? Oh, a student...

Finally, with a burst of laughter, the man on the wire broke down.

"Oh, well," the voice said, "It would have been a good joke."

The City Desk laughed, too. In fact, more in relief that from any other cause.

"I thought," said the voice, still chuckling, "that with conditions with Russia as they are today, I would make the man look like a Russian. It would have been a good hoax."

Well, and so it would. But old newsmen have a way of "smelling out" the authentic and that which is not.

But, admittedly, it was a good gag.

Happy landings, Jim Johnson, whoever you are. And may no "flying saucers" get caught in your prop.

Points to consider:

I found no mention of this story in the ufology literature; either it went unnoticed by all ufologists, or those who read it estimated it was of no interest.

Of course, this was just one of the silly pranks that followed the Arnold sighting report coverage. But what can be learned from it is that at least this very early post-Arnold CE3 prank was totally naive. The "Russian pilot" sitting on the saucer while smoking a pipe show no care for any "realism". Most of the early pranks were like that; more "sophisticated" stories of course emerged later on.

Contrarily to beliefs of some people, the extraterrestrial, "Martians" explanation for flying saucers was in the public minds immediately after Arnold's sighting. However, many people rather thought the saucers same from Russia. This is an example of that interpretation.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
-

Evaluation:

Negative case, joke.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:

Authoring

Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross November 9, 2018 Creation, [rn1].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 9, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on November 9, 2018.