WASHINGTON, Aug. 1.?Coast Guard headquarters today released a picture of "four round objects" or lights snapped when they appeared briefly in the sky near the Salem, Mass., Coast Guard air station at 9:35 a.m. July 16. It said the "phenomenal photograph" was the first daylight one ever made "of?what are they?" but emphasized that the Coast Guard was in no way sponsoring the reality of "flying saucers."
Officials who gave the pictures to the press said they vouched only for the fact that the original had been taken by Shell R. Alpert, a twenty-one-year-old Coast Guard photographer, of Denver, in the presence of Thomas Flaherty, of Marblehead, Mass., a hospital-man first class at the air station.
The Coast Guard did say that the negative had not been "tampered with in any way." The officials added that the four "objects" by it ressembled a solvo burst of shells from an anti-air-craft battery but said there was no Army or Navy firing range in the vicinity of Salem.
Only after the pictures had been given out did Coast Guard headquarters discover what appeared to be a far more perfect "saucer" that the aerial lights neatly grounded at the edge of a parking.