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E. H. Sprinkle was one of a half-dozen Eugene residents who said that they had spotted a formation of round objects "racing overhead" on a course to the northeast from a hilltop outside Eugene at an unspecified time during the day. Sprinkle had with him a $3.50 camera and took a snapshot of the objects as they raced over. The story was reported following the publication of Arnold's sighting. Enlargements of the photograph taken by Sprinkle showed "seven dots" in a formation "shaped like an X or a Y, lined up across the sky." Newspaper photographers, examining the snapshot, said the dots "might be a fault in the developing process." They said that such dots sometimes appear on a negative which has not been agitated while in the developer.
The dots were too small to show up on ordinary newsprint paper, but were visible on a glossy 8 x 10 print. Under a microscope, reported the Portland Oregonian, "they showed a similar shape." Associated Press, which briefly carried the report on June 27 in a roundup of sightings, erroneously stated that Sprinkle's photograph showed "nothing but empty sky." As far as can be determined, the photograph has never been published in any UFO literature. Attempts to obtain copies were fruitless.
Alerted about 5:30 p.m. PST by a group of neighbors who had spotted a disc-like object approaching the northern Seattle suburb from the south, Yeoman Frank Ryman, of the Coast Guard Press Information office in Seattle, dashed into his house at 12321 22nd Street N.E. and grabbed his Speed Graphic camera. He waited until the disc was directly overhead before taking a photograph, using Super XX film, shutter speed set at 1/50 and an F 22 lens opening.
Using binoculars, he observed the object closely. "The disc came over at about 9000 or 10 000 feet. It was flashing silver in the sun, (and was) about one-tenth the apparent size of a full moon," he reported later. He said the gleaming disc appeared to change course slightly in its northern flight. "As the object hurtled through the sky," he said, "it seemed brighter at certain times than at others. I believe it was the way the sun hit it." Ryman heard no noise, no sound of engines. "I am positive there were no wings or fins in sight. It definitely was not a plane," he asserted. "I looked for wings and other possible projections as I watched it through the binoculars. I thought it conceivably could have been a weather balloon being blown along by a high wind. The Navy told me there was very little wind --about 10 to 12 knots at most. The object I photographed appeared to be traveling over 500 miles an hour."
Ryman said that the object was in sight for four or five minutes and was observed by at least 20 others in the neighborhood. He contacted the Post-Intelligencer immediately, and the film was developed in the newspaper's darkroom. It showed a small, blurred white oval against the background of the sky. Enlarged, it is quite distinct (see reproduction), and the enlargement was reprinted widely by the wire services. The importance of this photograph is not so much what is shown on film, but in the circumstances under which it was taken -- one of the rare cases in which a photograph is made with numerous eye-witnesses who not only saw the object in the sky, but saw the photograph being taken as well.
In the Air Force files the Ryman sighting is explained as a "weather balloon," although the speed of the object, as well as information on the wind at the time, appear to make such an explanation doubtful. The Air Force report on this sighting gives the duration of observation as ten minutes. In the newspaper accounts -- both local and wire service versions -- Ryman specifically says the object was in view for "4 à 5 mn." Whether or not Ryman changed his estimate of the duration in his official report is unknown, but it is perfectly clear that a ten-minute duration would be more acceptable to the Air Force in proposing a balloon explanation.
Reports by at least three people were made in other parts of Seattle about a half an hour before the Coast Guardsman's sighting. J. H. Oakley reported seeing a group of six objects at Bow Lake (Case 252) and, at about the same time, Charles Kamp, a Seattle Transit System driver, with his wife, saw several discs "over the University district" going west at high speed (Case 253).
Widespread reports of objects seen over Birmingham for more than an hour from about 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. CST (see III-3,4) alerted Robert Crossland, Birmingham Age-Herald copy reader. When he saw objects passing over his residence on 29th Street and Highland Avenue, he rushed to get his camera. His developed film revealed two round, white spots close together, against a black background, according to newspaper reports. One of the spots was larger than the other. Crossland said he took a 15-second time exposure. He said that 5 other persons were with him when he took the photograph. Efforts to obtain copies have not been successful.
As in Birmingham on the previous night, numerous reports of aerial objects were made at Louisville and in other Kentucky areas during the evening and night hours. Al Hixenbaugh, a Louisville Times photographer, said that when 3 bright objects flew over about 10:15 p.m. CST, he took a five-second exposure of them, capturing two on the exposed plate. Described in his report as "fiery balls," the objects on film appear as long streaks, due to the five-second exposure (see reproduction).
Hixenbaugh took the photograph at Preston Street Road and Bickel's Lane. He said that while it was impossible to tell their shapes, the "fiery balls" did have tails like meteors. However, the objects traveled parallel to the horizon and did not fall in arcs, as meteors most often do. He estimated that the objects were from two to five miles away and about 1000 à 2000 feet high. (If his estimate was even fairly accurate, the objects were flying too low to be meteors.) Their speed, estimated at approximately 200 miles an hour, was too slow for meteors.
One of the many reports from Louisville and other parts of Kentucky, at about the same time, came from Robert Delara, of 2745 West Market, who also described seeing three fiery objects shooting northward. Delara said they were "too big for falling stars," but he said he didn't know what else they could be (Case 682).
Albert Weaver, 37-year-old tool and die maker of Pontiac, reported that he and two unidentified friends had seen three objects come "sailing over Orchard Lake Country Club" in the evening around sundown. According to Weaver, who said he had previously scoffed at reports of discs, he and his companions were "amazed" when three objects came into view over a hill, "about 150 feet high," and traveling at about 100 miles an hour.
The discs, Weaver said, were about two feet in diameter, about two inches thick at the edges, and four to six inches thick in the middle. They appeared to have holes in them, he said. His 2 companions disagreed with his size estimates: they thought that the diameter of the discs had been 5 feet. One man said "they appeared to have a control tower on top."
The photograph taken by Weaver shows only two objects, dark against the bright background of the sky, and with no reference points showing - at least in the available reproductions. One of the objects looks suspiciously like a phonograph record; the other is difficult to visualize as a disc, unless a large protuberance on one of its lateral surfaces is the "control tower" referred to. Nothing could be learned from the local papers about the photographer and local accounts were not available. (See reproduction)
William Rhodes, of 4333 North 14th Street, who described himself as a "free lance scientist and inventor," was on his way to his laboratory behind his home at dusk when he heard a "whoosh" overhead. Looking up, he expected to see a P-80 jet; instead, he saw a dark, heel-shaped object coming in from the west. It circled and banked at about 1,000 feet over his home. Rhodes grabbed his camera from the laboratory workbench and as the object banked in a tight circle for the 2nde fois, he took his first photograph. As it circled once again at moderate speed, he took another shot. Other than the initial "whoosh," which had caught his attention, there was no sound. Following its final maneuver the object took off at high speed to the southwest.
The photographs were reproduced in the July 9 edition of the Phoenix Arizona Republic, with accompanying details of the sighting. (The claim by a Chicago publisher that all July 9 issues had been confiscated in a door-to-door search is completely without any basis in fact.) A few weeks after the incident, an Army Air Corps Intelligence Officer and an FBI agent visited Rhodes and asked for copies of the photographs, as well as the negatives, which Rhodes turned over to them willingly. He later reported that efforts to get them back were unsuccessful.
In the Air Force files, the Rhodes sighting is termed a "possible hoax." Kenneth Arnold reported, however, that when he met Intelligence Officer Lt. Frank Brown in Tacoma on July 31, Brown said that Rhodes' photographs were among several "we consider to be authentic," explaining that copies had just been received at Hamilton Field (The Coming of the Saucers, pp. 52-53). It is also interesting to note that while Rhodes himself had no luck in getting his photographs back, officers at Hamilton Field willingly gave copies to Arnold on a subsequent trip he made to that base. Those same photos, given to Dr. McDonald by Arnold, were lent for the purpose of reproduction in this report by Dr. McDonald. The drawings below are included to give a clearer impression of the shapes in the photographs.
At 1:00 p.m. PST, several hundred people on Santa Catalina Island, off Long Beach, saw a flight of six disc-shaped objects pass over the Island. Among the witnesses were Army Air Corps veterans Bob Jung, Kenneth Johnson and Alvio Russo. Jung, a former aerial photographer in the service, was able to photograph one of the discs. Russo, a pilot who had flown 35 missions over Europe with the Eighth Air Force, estimated the speed of the objects at 850 miles an hour; Jung compared their speed with that of the Navy 's "Tiny Tim" rocket.
"They were in two elements. of three each," Jung said. "The formation came in from the northeast and disappeared over the hills to the south of Avalon Bay." Jung, who was a professional photographer in Avalon, had his camera with him and took two shots before the objects vanished. The film was flown to the shore for processing, and as far as can be determined, only one had been printed; it shows a single oval-shaped, light-colored object of considerable size, with the superstructure of a ship at the bottom in the foreground. The printed copy is highly retouched. Efforts to obtain a copy of the print, or the original report, have not been successful.
In an account published in the Morristown Daily Record (7/10) there is a description of a sighting that presumably took place on the preceding morning. The witness was John H. Janssen, of Morristown, identified as "Airport Columnist" on the Record. He reported that he was on his way to the airport at mid-morning when he "caught a glint in the sky and, looking up, saw what he first took to be a group of airplanes. Closer examination revealed a formation of four disc-like objects floating in the air at about 10,000 feet. Janssen said he "quickly fitted a filter to his camera lens" and took the photograph printed with his story. "I had only time for this one picture. While I was turning the film for the next exposure the lead disc suddenly shot upward and toward New York City in a dazzling burst of speed. The other three followed and all were out of sight in a twinkling of the eye. In my brief glimpse of the discs I did notice that the lead one was of a dull metallic color and the others appeared to be of a silvery hue.
"From where I stood on the top of my car watching the strange craft," he said, "I guessed them to be anywhere from 100 to 300 feet in diameter. The circumference was the thinnest part of the ships and widened toward the middle where possibly they could be ten to twenty feet high-enough to provide living and operating quarters."
The photograph shows 4 bright objects, three of which are distinct ovals against the clear sky in a slightly curved line, while the fourth, at the top of the line, is less distinct. In the lower part of the picture is part of a cloud formation.
Janssen was the second of 2 UFO witnesses in the 1947 wave to publicly express belief that the objects were space ships. "I really believe these craft to be operated by an intelligence far beyond that developed by we earth-bound mortals and (I) am inclined to agree with the theory that they are space craft from another planet." He went on to theorize on possible magnetic and antigravity methods of propulsion to explain the acceleration of the objects. "In all probability these are reconnaissance craft and as they have been seen all over the world and not only in this country, are probably In the light of subsequent claims by Mr. Janssen, including a story purportedly taking place several weeks later and describing how his plane was stopped in mid-air for a number of minutes while being scrutinized by a pair of discs hovering nearby, the original sighting report and photograph must be viewed with a certain amount of suspicion. As the original photograph is no longer available, a drawing of the reproduction in the Daily Record is included.
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