Crête de la vague, 6-7 juillet

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While the Sunday papers of July 6th were giving front-page coverage to the reports of the previous two days, the number of sightings for that day soared to more than double those of July 5th. A total of 157 sighting references were found for observations made in 37 states, 3 provinces and the District of Columbia. California again led with the highest number, a total of 21 sightings; Alabama was next with 19 an increase due to a concentration of multiple-object reports by hundreds of residents during the evening hours. Another concentration of sightings occurred in Missouri, where a total of 11 observations were made. Over half of the reports for July 6th describe single objects, and witnesses numbered at least 500. Once again about 2/3 of the sightings were made during the daylight hours, or dusk. One photograph was taken, in Birmingham, Alabama, but little is known of it other than the brief mention in the local press accounts (IV-4).

 Of the 4 reports found in the Air Force files for July 6th, three involved military personnel. One report, from Birmingham, was made by an Army sergeant and several of his neighbors (III-3).  Nothing in the official report indicates the widespread nature of UFO activity over Birmingham that night, but local newspapers provide what may be independent corroboration of the sergeant’s report. This case is officially explained as "fireworks."

The second official report was made by a Fairfield-Suisan Air Base Captain who, with his wife, saw an oscillating disc fly over their home at an unspecified time during the day; while no time has been mentioned, there were a number of reports of single objects during the afternoon of July 6th in the northern Bay region of California; without reference to a specific time, however, it is impossible to correlate any of these sightings with the Captain's report. It is officially listed as Unidentified (III-3).

The third military case is an air-to-air observation made by a B-25 pilot and his crew over Clay Center, Kansas, while flying from Ogden, Utah, to Kansas City. The object -- a bright disc -- reportedly paced his plane off the left wing until the pilot tried to close in for a better look, when it flew off at high speed. This object, seen at 1:45 p.m. (CST) in the afternoon, was listed by Dr. Hynek as "astronomical" (III-11).

The 4ème official case, which was non-military, described the landing and ascent of a small disc near Tempe, Arizona, during the afternoon. For reasons unknown, the folder containing this report at Project Blue Book was empty, when examined for purposes of this report. It is listed as "insufficient information" in the official files (II-13). Another landing report, not among those in the Air Force files, describes a brief landing and ascent of another small disc seen near Pocatello, Idaho, at dawn. This object remained in an upright attitude, like a wheel, as it touched down and then took off (II-12).

Among other unusual reports for July 6th is one that describes a power outage at dawn in Acampo, California (near Lodi), which was associated with a "red glow" in the sky (IV-3). It is unfortunate that local newspaper accounts could not be consulted for more precise details.

On July 7th, the peak of the wave, the number of UFO reports reached a new high, with references found for 162 sightings from 37 states, a geographical distribution similar to the previous day. Washington led with 22 sightings; California, still an area of concentrated UFO activity, followed with 20. Further east, Illinois became an area of heavy activity, producing 17 reports.  Daylight sightings once again outnumbered night reports by about 2-to-1. As in the previous four days, single-object sightings exceeded the multiple-object reports, by about 20 on July 7th. Once again the total number of witnesses for that day was about five hundred. 3 photographs have been referred to: the widely publicized Hixenbaugh photograph taken in Louisville, Kentucky; a photo taken near Pontiac, Michigan, of 2 objects, by tool-maker Albert Weaver; and 2 photos taken of a single object by William Rhodes, in Phoenix, Arizona. (See Section IV, on photographs.) The Phoenix case is in the Air Force files and is termed "possible hoax," although Kenneth Arnold describes, in The Coming of the Saucers (p. 52), how Intelligence Officers Frank Brown and William Davidson regarded the Rhodes photographs as among the several "we consider to be authentic."

Among the more interesting reports for July 7th was a sighting by five Ohio State University students in Columbus of three objects in triangular formation (II-6); a sighting by a Reno newspaper editor and his wife of a single disc seen flying over that city (III-7); a report of 3 oddly maneuvering objects seen at Rome, Maine (II-10); a report from the Air Force files describing the analysis of the fragments of a small object that landed in an Omaha street - probably the only UFO report on record explained as "tobacco ashes" (IV-2), and the report of electromagnetic effects in the form of radio interference as six discs hovered over a power line in the Hollywood, California area (IV-3). 

Most interesting of all, however, is a series of reports of a large disc accompanied by a group of smaller objects, which were described in several cases as having merged with, and seen emerging from, the parent object. The series began on the evening of July 6th in Tucson, Arizona, and then moving progressively clockwise around the circumference of the United States, with reports a few hours later at Palmdale, California; several hours after that in Tacoma, Washington; and then, during the next day, over Cicero, Illinois; and finally appearing over Manchester, Maine, on the night of July 7th (II-20). 

With reports of sightings coming from all parts of the country, Air National Guard planes were being ordered aloft to search for the objects in many areas, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. Others stood by on the ground, ready to take off at a moments notice. The results of the air search were negative, which seemed to confirm the growing suspicion among many that there had been nothing in the air to begin with. Incredulity by both press and public was growing hourly and with each new report there was a disclaimer by some skeptic convinced that all of the reports were completely unfounded.

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