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Radar operators track 12 UFOs around DC In 1952:

1952 article from The Alexandria Gazette:

As written by William Daffron, reporter for Alexandria Gazette, July 29, 1952. The Alexandria Gazette is the oldest daily newspaper in the US. All the newspaper of the times reported about the major UFOs incidents over Washington D.C. and North America.

Click the image underneath to get a larger (but not readable) scan of the frontpage:

Newspaper scan

The footnotes are by this website's author and were not part of the original article.


Flying saucers circled the Northern Virginia area again this morning.

The CAA (1) says it's radar picked up the saucers about six straight hours early today as they circled between Herndon, and Andrews Field.

A CAA official estimated the objects were traveling between 100 and 200 hundred miles per hour in this morning's flight.

Simultaneously the Air Force stymied by the failure of its supersonic jets to intercept the flying saucers Saturday night, announced it was equipping it's planes with special cameras to help solve the mystery (2).

Jet pilots from the 142nd Interceptor Squadron at Newcastle, Del., for some time now have been on orders to shoot down any "unidentified" aircraft which ignores "orders" to land. An Air Force spokesman from the Pentagon refused to say whether the saucers fall into the "aircraft" category (3).

He said the planes have been on 24-hour alert to defend the skies ever since the out-break of the Korean War and the pilots have been issued no specific orders to shoot down "saucers."

Saucer experts from Wright Field, Ohio have been called to Washington for a special conference on the phenomenon. The group was scheduled to arrive last night, but was delayed by plane trouble and will instead meet today. (4)

Pentagon officials are expected to issue a statement on the results of the investigation to date.

A high ranking Air Force official reiterated yesterday that the saucers are "not" some special experiment being conducted by "his" branch of the service. He stated, "that if the Army, Navy, Atomic Energy Commission, or any other government agency were conducting such experiments we would know about it."

"One thing I would like to do is dispel the belief by some that we are holding out something," he said. "We are not."

Scientists, military spokesman, and private citizens continue to offer a wide variety of explanations for the radar sightings at National Airport and Andrews Air Force Base.

An Air Force official said the spots on the screen might have been caused by tinfoil "windows" dropped by a B-36 bomber in recent Air Defense exercises up North. The tinfoil strips are used to "cloud" radar screens (5).

Scientists admitted little knowledge of sky phenomenon such as cosmic rays and electro-magnetic forces, but said they could cause radar reactions. (6)

Still a third explanation traced to the "blips" registered on radar screens to the heavy use of television sets in the area during the convention. (7)

In Alexandria, James H. Gillis, chief observer for The Air Defense volunteer observation post on Russell Rd., said his crew has not seen any flying saucers, nor have they received specific orders to watch for flying saucers.

"Our orders are to report any strange objects in the skies," he said. "We pass our reports on to the filter station in Baltimore which in turn alerts the interceptor planes."

Gillis said his crew, supposed to operate on a 24-hour basis, has had so few volunteer workers, he is struggling to maintain a 4 to 10 p.m. sky watch.

The Air Force said in the past few years they have recieved and evaluated more then 1000 sightings of "unidentified flying objects." Of these only a small portion remained unexplicable after investigation.

New reports are coming in to follow-up Saturday night's weird "sky chase" over Mt Vernon.

Sylvanus Jones, 25, a State Department clerk from Washington, said he saw " a small light" floating in space over the capital. He said he was sure it was not a star or an airplane light.

State Police in Indianapolis, Indiana, said they watched three flying saucers cavort in the skies overhead yesterday.

The new-type cameras being installed in the jet interceptors are specially designed to shoot "luminous phenomenon," the Air Force said. They operate on the same principle employed by astronomers in determining the composition of the stars.

Air Force scientists hope to determine the physical make-up of the strange lights and thereby identify there source.


More related Press articles:

Click! The New York Times USA, July 22, 1952 "Strange objects in US sky - observed by radar".
Click! The Washington Post USA, July 28, 1952 ""Saucer" outran jet, pilot reveals Investigation on in secret after chase over capital - Radar spot blips like aircraft for nearly six hours - only 1.700 feet up."
Click! The Bridgeport Post USA, July 28, 1952 "Jet interceptors fail to contact ghostly 'saucers' over capital".
Click! The Alexandria Gazette USA, July 28, 1952 "Jet fighters outdistanced by "Flying Saucers" over Mt. Vernon and Potomac" observations in North America around the famous 1952 Washington flap.
Click! Grand Haven Tribune USA, July 28, 1952 "See odd objects in Michigan skies".
Click! Observer-Dispatch USA, July 28, 1952 "New reports of saucers above state and Washington".
Click! Wilkes Barre Record USA, July 28, 1952 "Air Force jet fighters fail to catch objects flying over Washington".
Click! Ypsilanti Press USA, July 28, 1952 "'Things' in sky here sunday appear like flying saucers".
Click! The Alexandria Gazette USA, July 29, 1952 "Flying saucers circled the Northern Virginia area again this morning:" observations in North America around the famous 1952 Washington flap.
Click! Le Méridional France, July 29, 1952 "Jet fighters have hunted strange "objects" reported for one week in the sky of Washington DC".
Click! The Sheboygan Press USA, August 4, 1952 "This time it's hard to brush off those mystery "saucers""
Click! The Washington Post USA, July 21, 2002 "50 Years Ago, Unidentified Flying Objects From Way Beyond the Beltway Seized the Capital's Imagination:" 50 years later, the Washington Posts remembers the events.
Click! Athens News USA, October 17, 2002 "Strange happenings: Similar UFO sightings occur exactly 50 years apart".

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