Sunday, September 20, 2009

UFO FYI: BEFORE ARNOLD- Amazing Stories of the 20th Century

Link(Several reports have been taken from the NICAP UFO chronology website at, and How Stuff Works at

In the summer of 1901, a 10-year-old Bournbrook, ­England, boy encountered something that looked like a box with a turret. Two little men clad in "military" uniforms and wearing caps with wires sticking out of them emerged through a door to wave him away. They then reentered the vehicle and flew away in a flash of light.

In 1904, a report was made by U.S. Navy Lieutenant Frank H. Schofield, who would later serve as the Pacific Fleet's commander-in-chief in the 1930s. Standing on the deck of the USS Supply on February 28, 1904, Schofield and two other sailors watched "three remarkable meteors," bright red in color, as they flew beneath the clouds toward their ship. The objects then "appeared to soar, passing above the broken clouds . . . moving directly away from the Earth. The largest had an apparent area of about six suns. It was egg-shaped, the larger end forward. The second was about twice the size of the sun, and the third, about the size of the sun. . . . The lights were in sight for over two minutes." (Monthly Weather Review, March 1904)

June 30, 1908; Podkamennaia Tunguska, USSR

Unexplained explosion in the taiga, equivalent to a thermonuclear blast, sometimes interpreted as the crash of an interstellar vehicle. (Magonia #35, Anatomy 18; Challenge 99) (Brad Sparks: was equivalent to an approximately 7 megaton hydrogen bomb blast [larger estimates in the 20-35 MT range are due to incorrect scaling of blast and thermal effects] which occurred above ground, about 3 miles height, resulting in the Hiroshima-like effect of trees left standing near the ground zero with all branches stripped off while trees at an angle because farther from ground zero were flattened outwards. Nobelist Willard Libby found that 1909 tree rings worldwide showed an increase in radiocarbon, suggesting to him that the Tunguska blast released neutrons into the atmosphere like a megaton-range H-bomb, converting nitrogen into radiocarbon. Russian and other scientists have conducted 80+ years of investigations of Tunguska. As early as 1946 Alexander Kazantsev suggested Tunguska was the explosion of a spaceship and compared it to Hiroshima. Mainstream scientists generally hold that it was a comet or asteroid (in actuality a comet could not have survived to such low altitude, but a stony asteroid might have, but the radioactivity remains unexplained).

August, 1911 - Strange Sightings Reported
The August 18, 1911 "Reno (NV) Gazette" carried a brief item titled "Meteor From The Sea Does Strange Stunts."

It is said that upon the arrival of the ocean liner "America Maru" in San Francisco from the Orient on August 17th a report was made of a meteor which "climbed out of the sea like a skyrocket, traveled through a great arc and disappeared." The captain, A.C. Stevens, said it had a great fiery head and a long trail and was seen on August 11th.

The item would normally be of minor interest except that meteors do not climb out of the sea. An effort was made to locate more from the San Francisco area from where the report had originated. Confirmation came quickly. On the same day as the Reno item, the "San Francisco Examiner" carried a story, "Meteors And Moon Rainbows Awe Ship -A Night in Hawaiian Seas Made Brilliant for Passengers on America Maru." This report was a bit more expansive, stating that while passengers were on deck the previous Friday evening, a large meteor shot up out of the ocean, made a complete circle of the sky, and sank again into the water. At the time, the ship was two days out of Hawaii.

It was seen to be about the size of a ten-inch cannon ball and displayed a trail many miles in length. The first third of the trail was as round as a rod and glowing red. The remainder "gradually expanded in graceful proportions." Half an hour later, the night watchman called for witnesses to view a large lunar rainbow. Shortly after this observation, another meteor rose out of the sea to a height of 20 degrees and sank again. This object was smaller than the first but the trail seemed to break away and precede the head into the sea.

What can be made of this story? I had thought of the possibility of volcanic eruptions, with the ship being two days from the volcanic Hawaiian Islands. The eruptions would hurl flaming rock high into the air, trailing hot debris and giving the appearance of a meteor shooting from the water. However there seemed to be no reports of noise or vibration from such an eruption, or no glow from the horizon from a distant volcano. We also have the "meteor" making a circuit of the sky, hardly a falling rock. One small detail before closing this account. The Gazette concluded by adding that a copy of the ship's log with a description of the phenomenon "was forwarded to Washington." In all likelihood this was sent to the U.S. Hydrographic Office, which was known to have collected such reports for study.

Another report in the "Reno Gazette" (July 25th) told of the people of Durango, Colorado seeing a large ball about the size of the full moon moving through the sky. It sounds like an especially bright meteor, which can sometimes rival the full moon in brightness. But the report continued, "For several hours the phenomenon lasted. At first it seemed to be traveling toward the earth and gradually grew larger until it developed to a size half again as large as a full moon. Finally, it began to grow smaller and in time disappeared entirely." The only known phenomenon of such long duration might be a display of aurora. It is a fluid phenomenon
though and a single, compact display lasting several hours would be a far-fetched explanation for this report.


June, 1914; Hamburg, Germany
4:00 a.m. Gustav Herwagen opened the door of his house and saw in a field a shining cigar- shaped object with illuminated windows. Near it were four or five dwarfs 1.20 m tall, clad in light clothing. He approached them, but they went aboard the object as soon as they appeared to be aware of his presence. A door closed, and the craft took off silently, climbing vertically. (Magonia #39, Nachrichten April, 62)

Jan. 31, 1916; Rochford, England
Night. A British flight officer flying at 5,000 feet encountered a dark object with a row of illuminated windows. When he tried to close in for a better look his engine began malfunctioning, perhaps the first EM effect case on a human vehicle. When he fired his Webley Scott pistol, the object quickly rose and rapidly disappeared. (Hall, 2000, p. 10)

1917, Fatima, Portugal:

I was researching the Secrets of Fatima and the supposed Marian apparition that appeared in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 when I happened across something that surprised me greatly. A UFO sighting had taken place before a crowd of somewhere between 50,000 - 100,000 people! The story given was that a silver disc appeared just as "the rain stopped and the clouds rolled back, the sun dimmed out and everything took on a gray, opaque appearance". The disc then dove in an erratic, zig-zag pattern at the crowd, stopped just above their heads and then slowly maneuvered back into the sky. As it faded from view, the sun brightened and began to shine again normally. Most importantly, a photo was taken of the disc by a local reporter! After looking at the disc in the photo I could see striking similarities to numerous other UFO images. How likely is it that a UFO sighting involving 50,000+ people (and the photo) were a carefully planned UFO hoax... in 1917 ??? (UFOs at Close Sight)

Our Lady of Fátima (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈfatimɐ]) is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary with respect to reported apparitions of her to three shepherd children at Fátima in Portugal on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on 13 May.

On Sunday, 13 May 1917, ten year old Lúcia Santos and her younger cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto, were tending sheep at a location known as the Cova da Iria near their home village of Fátima in Portugal. Lúcia described seeing a woman "brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun."Further appearances are reported to have taken place on the thirteenth day of the month in June and July. According to Lúcia's account, in the course of her appearances, the woman confided to the children three secrets, now known as the Three Secrets of Fátima.

As early as July 1917 it was claimed that the Virgin Mary had promised a miracle for the last of her apparitions on 13 October, so that all would believe. What transpired became known as "Miracle of the Sun". A crowd believed to be approximately 70,000 in number, including newspaper reporters and photographers, gathered at the Cova da Iria. The incessant rain had finally ceased and a thin layer of clouds cloaked the silver disc of the sun such that it could be looked upon without hurting the eyes.Lúcia called out to the crowd to look at the sun. Sometime while Lucia was pointing towards the sun and claiming to have visions of various religious figures in the sky, it is believed that the sun appeared to change colors and to rotate like a fire wheel. For some the sun appeared to fall from the sky before retreating, for others it zig-zagged. The phenomenon is claimed to have been witnessed by most people in the crowd as well as people many miles away.

Columnist Avelino de Almeida of O Século (Portugal's most influential newspaper, which was pro-government in policy and avowedly anti-clerical), reported the following: "Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws - the sun 'danced' according to the typical expression of the people." Eye specialist Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the newspaper Ordem reported "The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceeding fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat." (Wikipedia)

In 1919, Charles Fort published The Book of the Damned. Born in Albany, New York, Fort was working as a newspaper reporter before age 20. Determined to become a writer, he traveled the world searching for experiences to write about. In South Africa Fort contracted a fever that followed him back to the United States. He married his nurse, Anna Filing, and embarked on a career as a freelance writer. Fort spent hours on end in the library pursuing his interests in nature and behavior. While paging through old newspapers and scientific journals, he began to notice, among other repeatedly chronicled oddities of the physical world, reports of strange aerial phenomena. Taking voluminous notes, he eventually turned out four books. The first three --The Book of the Damned (1919), New Lands (1923), and Lo! (1931) -- dealt in part with UFO reports.
In a letter published in the September 5, 1926, issue of The New York Times, Fort offered some prescient observations. Extraterrestrial beings would not have to hide their activities, he wrote, because if "it is not the conventional or respectable thing upon this earth to believe in visitors from other worlds, most of us could watch them a week and declare that they were something else, and likely enough make things disagreeable for anybody who thought otherwise." (How Stuff Works)

Mount Pleasant, Iowa, 1920

On Oct. 28, 1973, The Hawk Eye included a story from Mount Pleasant resident Clark Linch, 75 at the time but has since died, who related a story that took place in 1920. Linch maintained that at about 10 a.m. on June 3, 1920, he saw what he later came to believe was an extraterrestrial spacecraft land while he was fishing. Linch said he was working his father's farm 6 miles northeast of town when he took the forenoon off to go fishing. "I remember the year because I'd gotten married in January of 1920," he said, adding he was able to remember the exact date because it was his birthday.

While fishing, Linch saw an egg-shaped object the size of a cream can land silently about 15-feet from his river bank perch. The object "sat there" for about 15 minutes, "not bothering him - nor he bothering it," according to the report. "I wasn't in any hurry to jump up and run over to it, and I'm glad I didn't. It might have killed me. Just when I thought about going over to take a closer look at it, it took off without any sound and without turning around. The grass where it hit was pressed down."

Linch said the object left no damage or burn marks on the grass where it had landed. The blue and translucent object "would have been camouflaged in the sky ... I didn't know what to believe about it at the time, and I still don't. I've concluded that it wasn't anything from Earth." Because of the object's small size, Linch had said, "it couldn't have been occupied by intelligent life as we know it." Linch observed that his sighting differed from other UFO reports because the object he saw moved slowly, "probably about four or five miles per hour," and was small and "apparently lightweight." It took 35 years, until 1955, for Linch to tell his story to anybody.

"You didn't talk about flying saucers in (1920)," he said. (UFO Casebook)

In Detroit during the summer of 1922, through windows along the perimeter of a hovering disc-shaped object, 20 bald-headed figures stared intently at a suitably bewildered young couple.

August 1927
Artist, philosopher, and explorer Nicholas Roerich and other members of his expedition saw a huge, shiny, oval-shaped object, one side of it glistening in the sun, high over the Altai-Himalaya. They watched through field glasses as it flew south at a great speed and then changed direction, before disappearing in the intense blue sky. A Buddhist lama said that the object was a sign of the protecting force of Shambhala, a legendary spiritual kingdom referred to in eastern traditions. (

A 1928 UFO
FATE Magazine - Oct 1973

One morning in August 1928 my father and I left our home in Tulsa, Olka., before daybreak to drive to Norman. Our Willys Knight car was performing smoothly until we were about 50 miles west of Tulsa when it started to miss and backfire. I suspected dirt in the fuel line and as the motor coughed and died I coasted to the shoulder of the road and stopped. Dad suggested that the filter might be dirty and that I should clean that first.

In those days we were not prepared for any roadside repairs (primarily because of our lack of mechanical ability). Under the circumstances we just hoped for the best. I lifted the hood, hoping that the cowl light just behind the windshield would provide enough light to see the motor. As I started to look under the hood, suddenly the whole area was illuminated by the brightest light I have ever seen. It flashed by about 150 feet overhead. It was primarily a white light but as it faded it seemed to burst into many colors like a fireworks spectacle. Then darkness closed in again.

Dad and I stood like statues -- speechless. Then we both blurted almost simultaneously. "What was that?"

For the next 15 to 30 minutes we stood there trying to understand what had occurred. No other traffic passed and as the first light of dawn began to break we were able to determine there were no farmhouses nearby -- just open country. There were no clues to explain this puzzling phenomenon.

The filter bowl in the gas line was clean so I didn't tackle it. At Dad's suggestion I tried to restart the motor. It started immediately and we had no further trouble on the rest of our trip.

The county sheriff, the highway patrol, newspaper editors and several astronomers from larger observatories could give us no explanation for the occurrence. I can only conclude it was a 1928 UFO. -- Aaron C. Stern, Pine, Colo.

Courtesy of Project 1947

Ward, Colorado
Ward Sawmill, April

This incident is retold by the photographers daughter: "This photo (left) was taken by my father Edward Pline at the sawmill in Ward where we lived at the time. I think it was 1929. I was about six years old then. My father was there to photograph the sawmill for some reason or another, and as he was taking the photo, he described a 'terrible thunderous bellow,' and a large round thing as big as a very large boulder that moved through the air above them. You can see it in the picture. None of the sawmill workers saw the thing in the photo, but they all heard the sound and felt the ground shudder. Later in my life I tried researching the incident at the County Historical Society, but I did not find any references to it. My father passed on a few years after the incident, and I have not found any surviving sawmill workers from that time."
--Hetty Pline

Jun. 12, 1929; Fermeneuve, Canada
11:00 p.m. Levis Brosseau, 20 was returning home when he saw a dark object with a yellow light and his horse became very nervous. Within 6 m of the object four or five dwarfish figures were running back and forth. He heard their pointed, childlike voices, then saw the dark object take off with a machinelike sound and a rush of air. Estimated size of object: 15 m diameter, 5 m high. (Magonia #46, GEPA Dec., 68)

Ohio 1932 close-up

1932 or 1933: Hawthorne, CT
On the CT shore of Long Island Sound near the Byram River, facing S.E... "[While watching aircraft over the Sound] they noticed a plane flying much [more swiftly] than any they had seen before [progressing] up the Sound... Then, just to their right, it began a sharp turn to the left, into the rays of the setting sun, passing directly above them at great speed... The object was cigar-shaped, emitting a pink glow at its front and a light swirl of grey smoke along its sides. It was huge compared to any other plane, and it had no rudder, [wings,] or elevator. It disappeared into the Northwest, probably on a line between Rye and Port Chester." (Dan Wilson; Temporal Doorway)

Summer, 1933; Chrysville, Pennsylvania
Morning. A man observed a faint violet light in a field between this town and Morrestown. Walking to it, he found an ovoid object 3 m in diameter and 2 m thick with a circular opening similar to a vault door. Pushing it, he found the room full of violet light and observed many instruments, no occupant. Smell of ammonia. (Magonia #48, APRO Jul., 64)

July 25, 1938; Guadalaraja, Spain
Soldiers at the Spanish Civil War battlefront were illuminated by a bright glow, then saw an oval object about 10-12 meters in diameter shaped like "two inverted plates" hovering near the ground. A cylindrical column came down from the center and two beings emerged. (Ref. 3; Phenomenes Spatiaux, No. 28, June 1971; Flying Saucer Review Special Issue No. 4, August 1971.)

Fall, 1938 (or following year); Juminda, Estonian coast
Two persons saw a strange "frog-man" 1 m tall with a round head, no neck, and a hump in front of the body. The mouth was a large, straight slit, the eyes were like smaller slits. The skin was brown-green, compared to pegamoid, hands normal. The creature walked in a peculiar "but elegant" fashion, the head waving up and down while the legs moved "carefully." When pursued, the creature accelerated very fast, with feet "fluttering." About 100 m away it vanished completely'. (Magonia #49, Personal)

Broadwater County Montana, 1940
At an isolated location miner Udo Wartena saw a large disc shaped object about 35 foot high and over 100 feet across hovering above a meadow. The object resembled two soup plates, one inverted over the other and stainless steel in appearance. Wartena then saw a staircase unfold from the bottom of the craft. Out of it came a man who asked him if the ship could take some water. The man then invited Wartena inside the object. Wartena accepted and met another man inside that told him they had come from a distant planet and were 609 years old. They also claimed that they hadn't seen Wartena when they began their descent, since they usually avoided human contact. But they also said they had come "to gather information, leave instructions, or give help where needed." They told Wartena that their ship was powered "by hydrogen extracted from water, that created its own gravitational field." When Wartena left the ship, it rose straight into the air and quickly disappeared.

source and references: HUMCAT addition # 3034.
Source: Warren P Alston, Fate April 1998

1943 Sighting
In May 1952 a Civil Aeronautics Administration Aviation Safety Agent from Seattle wrote to Project Blue Book about a sighting during World War II:

In 1943 I was an Instrument Flying Instructor assigned to the 6th Ferrying Group of the Air Transport Command and based at Long Beach, California. My daily routine consisted of flying four, one hour instructional periods in the morning with a different student for each hour. On one flight while proceeding on the southwest leg of the Long Beach radio range at 5000 feet altitude at the normal cruising airspeed of a BT-13A type trainer, my student and I witnessed an object at this point which to this date defies logical explanation.

This object appeared from the northeast on a level flight path and turned while decelerating from a great speed to fly parallel to us for approximately 30 seconds before it disappeared from view at a slight climbing attitude (5 degrees) bearing to the right across out ship's nose and at speed which I can now estimate to be between 2000 to 5000 miles per hour.

So many years have since passed that it is difficult to reconstruct the appearance of the object but a few prominent facts are still clear and vivid in my mind. They are:

1) This incident occurred above a fog overcast with clear and unlimited sky condition above.

2) The object was an International Orange in color, had an elliptical or rounded forward structure, was proportioned in a manner as a conventional aircraft's fuselage.

3) The rear of the object either had no significance or I am unable to remember its profile.

4) No propellers or jet orifice were visible; nor was any flame, smoke or vapor trailed.

5) It decelerated in an unstable manner. (IE) Wobbling outward from its banked attitude while turning and dipping longtitudinally up to ten degrees from its flight path.

6) It flew exactly abeam at our altitude and while in this position exhibited no other motion than the identical forward speed of our ship.

7) Its departure from the area also appeared unstable at the start of its acceleration. It seemed to lurch forward with the rearward portion wobbling until its direction was established.

8) From its position abeam to ten degrees to the right of our nose and five degrees high until out of sight took approximately one and one half second.

A series of unusual events contributed to the fact that this object made no striking impression on my student and me. There had been a rumor at this time that Lockheed Aircraft Company were building a jet aircraft and we thought we had witnessed the flight of it. I learned much later that the first flight of the Lockheed P-80 did not take place until over a year from this period of time. Furthermore, I had a camera in the aircraft at this time and although it was hanging on the 'oil dilution' control nob and ready to use, I did not use it for fear of photographing a highly secret aircraft. I can (remember) telling the student through the intercom: "Come out from under the hood. Lockheed's jet is flying formation with us."

The student pushed back the hood and both of us witnessed the object flying alongside and its flight out of sight. Then the student went back under the hood and the episode was ended. In retrospect, I believe the fact that neither of us at that time attached anything unusual about it must imply that it resembled something which would have encompassed known aerodynamic outlines. Until I first witnessed an early flight of the P-80, I was under this impression. Immediately upon seeing the relative slowness of the P-80 and its easily identifiable outlines, I realized we had witnessed some inexplicable object...."

Christchurch, New Zealand, August 1944:

A nurse at a train station noticed an "upturned saucer" nearby. She approached it, looked through a rectangular window, and spotted two humanoid figures not quite four feet tall. A third figure stood just outside an open door. When this humanoid saw her, the being "drifted" through an open hatchway, and the "saucer" shot straight upward.

June 1945 - The Curious Case Of The Jack LeMonde UFO Photo
This is one of those UFO cases that leaves you scratching your head. Jack LeMonde was photographed on horseback near the Pickwick Riding stables in Burbank, California on a June morning in 1945. LeMonde was in full military uniform, having served in the South Pacific with the US Marine Corps. But something strange appeared in the photo, once developed. Dismissed at first as a defect, closer examination revealed rather detailed structure. The second thought was that perhaps the peculiar object floating in the sky behind LeMonde was some kind of street lamp, and the bright background had merely obscured the lamp pole, or perhaps it even hung from one of the power lines which are not visible in the photo, but assumedly run right along that same direction. But what kind of light fixture is attached directly to a power-line like that? No one could recall such an ornate street light or one like it, much less one that attached to a power-line. There was definitely something very strange about this object.

One can see that there is some kind of building behind LeMonde to the left with an arched, decorative facade, probably an art deco gateway of some kind or perhaps a sign. But the strange object must be considerably farther away from LeMonde than the building judging by the graininess, suggesting certain distance. That would mean if it were a street lamp of some kind hanging from the powerline, it would be closer to LeMonde than the building, not farther away (or at best, of almost equal distance), and it is large enough that it would not appear grainy, like something considerably distant. Judging by the graininess and black levels of the telephone pole and trees in the far lower right of the photo, it appears to be almost equal in visual intensity with these very distant objects, if not more so.
For more detailed information and analysis of the LeMonde UFO photo, see...


Joseph Capp said...

I have been fascinated with early photos for along time These photos seem to put a dent in the theory that UFOs were just NAZI experiments or USA secret aircraft. It seems rather clear to me that what ever these are they are craft and they are not from our worldly governments. I would bet around the world many families have photos in there albums of UFOs and don't even know it. Sometime I will go to flee markets looking for old photos no luck yet but I will keep trying. I believe they are really out there.
Joe Capp
UFO Media Matters
Non-Commercial Blog

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