The Flying Saucer Era
Source: Bill Hamilton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As the Flying Saucer Era comes to an end in this last year of the decade,
and the last year of the twentieth century, we can at first reflect on
the long road we have traveled to reach our state of knowledge on the
brink of a new millinnium.
In 1947, General Nathan Twining wrote this now famous memo:
23 September 1947
SUBJECT: AMC Opinion Concerning "Flying Discs"
TO: Commanding General
Army Air Forces
Washington 25, D.C.
Brig. General George Schulgen
1. As requested by AC/AS-2 there is presented below the considered
opinion of this command concerning the so-called "Flying Discs."
This opinion is based on interrogation report data furnished by AC/AS-2
and preliminary studied by personnel of T-2 and Aircraft Laboratory, Engineering
Division T-3. This opinion was arrived at in a conference between
personnel from the Air Institute of Technology, Intelligence T-2, Office,
Chief of Engineering Division, and the Aircraft, Power Plant and Propeller
Laboratories of Engineering Division T-3.
2. It is the opinion that:
a. The phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary
b. There are objects probably approximately the shape of a disc,
of such appreciable size as to appear to
be as large as man-made aircraft.
c. There is the possibility that some of the incidents may be
caused by natural phenomena, such as meteors.
d. The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates
of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action which must
be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and
radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled
either manually, automatically or remotely.
e. The apparent common description of the objects is as follows:
(1) Metallic or light reflecting
(2) Absence of trail, except in a
few instances when the object
was operating under high performance conditions.
(3) Circular or elliptical in shape,
flat on bottom and domed on
(4) Several reports of well kept
formation flights varying from
(5) Normally no associated sound,
except in three instances a
rumbling roar was noted.
(6) Level flight speeds normally
about 300 knots are estimated.
The characteristics of flying discs in 1947 now only describe a fraction
of UFOs reported since that date. We might even conjecture that
we have entered the era of the Flying Triangles as many more of those
have been seen in recent years while the phenomena of daylight disc sightings
seems to have diminished.
Observers were startled or caught by surprise when a flying disc came
into view. Few were prepared for such a sighting or encounter.
All of that should have changed by now. It is my opinion that observers
should be trained and deploy to field locations to watch for sightings
and be prepared to record the event with all scientific means at their
disposal. When the evidence gets better, we make it harder for skeptics
to spin their explanantions.
The Air Force took flying discs seriously in the 1940s and realized that
unknown aircraft demonstrating such superior performance constituted a
threat to national security as well as a focus of interest for collecting
intelligence and attempting to ferret out the technology that could give
the holder an edge in future battlefronts.
What does the future hold? Will we ever solve the UFO mystery or
answer be revealed by those already in the know? There is no evidence
the phenomena is abating so what can we expect?
Landings? Messages? Or some big event in the near future that
settle the UFO question once and for all? Does anyone want to hazard