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UFOs in the daily Press:


This article was published in the daily newspaper The Reno Gazette, Reno, Nevada, USA, page 24, on September 13, 1955.

Use Of Ice Missiles In Test War Hinted

ALBUQUERQUE, Sept. 13. (AP) - A well known meteoriticist declared today that a "shrewd opponent" could wage an ice cube test war against this country with intercontinental projectiles made of ice.

The object of the ice missile would be to determine effectiveness of range for a missile of the more deadly variety.

Dr. Lincoln La Paz, director of the University of New Mexico's Institute of Meteoritics, the only one of its kind in the western world, said: "In range-testing intercontinental ballistic missiles in peace time," a shrewd opponent for obvious reasons would seek to employ test objects leaving no tangible trace of their existence or use.

"It is for this reason that since 1948 representatives of the institute of meteoritics have habitually asked observers whether or not piece of ice or drops or water were detected falling from the sky at the time of the observed incident." Some observers have reported drops of water.

But another meteoriticist, John Davis Buddhue of Pasadena, Calif., said ice discovered in California which came from the sky was either from an airplane or may have been an ice-meteorite. The existence of ice meteorites never has been proven.

Buddhue read a paper on his investigation before the International Meteoritical Society, which was to end its two-day meeting today at the institute.

La Paz has said repeatedly he believed the mysterious yellow-green fireballs - spotted especially in the southwest during the past decade - were of earthly origin. The fireballs make no sound as they zoom through the sky and no portion of the fireball ever has been recovered, if they landed.

La Paz said an ice projectile could be shot from a plane at high altitude many miles away from the United States. Moving at sufficiently high speed, it would appear from the ground much like a meteor or shooting star.

The ice projectile, melting rapidly as it shot through the atmosphere, then would be photographed or traced by radar. On a photograph, it would look like any other meteor - a long string of light. The opponent then would have a fair idea of where the real thing would hit.

And the United States would be left with a puddle of water or a small piece of melting ice as the only trace of the projectile.

La Paz said the institute of meteoritics urged Buddhue to "carefully investigate the ice-falls reported in" California. He said of Buddhue's possible explanations:

"The prosaic explanation of the Los Angeles incident favored by Buddhue may, indeed, be the correct one; but whether it is or not, every unusual ice-fall should be investigated with equal care."

Buddhue investigated two ice-falls - one Jan. 16, 1953 in Whittier, Calif., the other in Los Angeles Jan.29, 1955. The Whittier fall consisted of many pieces about two inches thick and totaling 20 pounds scattered over an area of about 300 feet, Buddhue was told.

The Los Angeles fall ended as an angular hump and weighed about 30 pounds. Position of breaks in a tree which the ice hit showed that the fall was vertical, Buddhue said.

A major airline later investigated the Los Angeles incident and said, according to Buddhue, there was a "possibility that one of their airplanes may have been involved." A tube to prevent ice from forming on the plane as water was released through flush drains in the fuselage might have been knocked off accidentally, the airline said. The lumps will not form if the water is ejected into the air and does not hit the plane. The tube prevents the water from landing on the plane and forming ice.

Buddhue said there was a possibility of an ice meteorite and cited two instances in the later 19th century and early 20th century when big lumps of ice fell from the sky. One fell in Kansas and the other in India.

"If ice meteorites exist, the scarcity of references to them is readily understandable is consideration of their perishable nature," Buddhue said.

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