The Search For UFOs

Could four Dublin women, who saw five strange objects flying over the western skies over the city, really believe that what they had actually seen were unidentified flying objects? To them, they were real.  They had to be.  After all, they saw them with their own eight eyes.

The year 1952, it has been said by those people who study such things, was the year of the UFO.  It was no wonder that with movies such as The Day the Earth Stood Still,  The Man From Planet X, The Thing, It Came from Outer Space, and The War of the Worlds that a wave of sightings of flying saucers flowed into law enforcement offices and air force bases across the land.  Many believed that the mysterious things out there were flying saucers with little green men inside.

In 1952, the U.S. government established Project Blue Book.  This top secret project had two goals.  First and primarily, the agency set out to determine if these objects were threats to national security. And secondly, the Air Force wanted to gather as much data as possible relating to the sightings to explain their true identity.  Of the 12,618 sightings over an eighteen-year period, 701 still remain as a mystery, even to the most highly trained investigators.

It was about 5:30 on a warm Wednesday afternoon, the third day of September 1952.  Four young ladies were visiting with each other in their front yards, somewhere in the northwestern section of Dublin, probably around or near the Moore Street neighborhood.  The sky was clear except for a few small cumulus clouds.   Visibility was measured at 15 miles.

Government officials would later black out the names of the witnesses of what was about to unfold.  So, I will call them Mrs. X, Mrs. Y, Mrs. Z and Lady M.    Mrs. X, a 23-year-old woman, had just taken her kids for a stroll around the block, she sat down to rest a minute before preparing supper.  She stood up for a moment when her neighbor Mrs. Y asked her to look at a large open space with no trees.  She noticed five peculiar objects approaching from the southeast and moving in a straight line at an angle of 45 degrees above the southern horizon.  Mrs. X assuredly described the quintet as five distinct objects, flat and round, with a bright aluminum color,  further noting that they were as brilliant as diamonds and appeared to be two to three miles away.  Investigators noted that she was not intoxicated and did not wear eyeglasses.  Mrs. X told air force officials that she had no particular interest in “flying saucers,” but only knew what she had read about them in newspapers.  When asked to illustrate what she saw, Mrs. X drew five elliptical shapes with one flying in front and two rows of two following close behind and appeared to be as large as bicycle tires.

Mrs. Y, who had been out in her yard for forty-five minutes,  saw the objects first and quite by accident.  “I looked twice before I brought it to the attention of Mrs. X,” said Mrs. Y, who asked Mrs. X  to take a look at the object which appeared to flying in the direction of the V.A. Hospital.  Mrs. Y reported that the objects first appeared to be a dull color and seemed to look as if they were the size of an ashtray at the limit of her arms.  When they simultaneously tilted, they all became a brilliant color for a few seconds and then turned back to their initial dull appearance.  After five minutes, she said the objects, with two in front followed by three in the rear of the formation, disappeared into the southwestern skyline. Mrs. Y concluded her written questionnaire by stating, “I have never seen anything in the air that looked like these things.  I have no idea what they were,” the assured witness wrote.

Mrs. Z was talking with her neighbor, Lady M, when she shouted, “Look at those funny things!”  In confirming Mrs. X’s description of bright, shiny, round, and flat  objects with one object flying in the front of the formation, a true depiction of what the ladies saw began to take shape.

Twenty-eight-year-old Lady M confirmed the depictions of Mrs. X and Mrs. Z and added that they appeared to be two-feet wide as compared to something at the limit of her reach.

After the initial excitement, one of the ladies ran into her house and called radio station W.M.L.T.  She reported what she saw to Sara Orr Williams, the station’s secretary, who promptly alerted the station engineer, the most scientific minded person in the station that day, and they set out to the scene of the sighting.  Mrs. Williams, a former secretary to three United States senators and who also worked as a newspaper journalist, listened to their stories, paying attention to details, as she had been trained to do.  Nearly three weeks later, she reported to Major Robert E. Kennedy at the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.  Mrs. Williams told the major that although she didn’t see the objects, she earnestly believed their stories.  “So earnest were they in their stories, and so apparently convinced what they had seen was not jet planes, etc.,” said Mrs. Williams. “I deemed it proper to telephone the Air Force base at Warner Robins,” Mrs. Williams wrote.  Williams was met by two officers from the base the next day and took them to interrogate the ladies who saw the mysterious objects.

Reports of the sighting were broadcast during the evening news at 6:00  and  7:45.  After the last broadcast, a caller, who refused to divulge his identity, called into the station and reported that he saw five jet air planes flying toward Dublin around 5:00.

Air Force officials immediately contacted the control tower at Warner Robins to inquire as to the presence of both military and civilian aircraft in the area at the time of the sighting of the objects by the four women in Dublin.  Weather balloons were immediately ruled out.  It was reported that a bulldog flight of five B-29 bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana were flying in the vicinity of Warner Robins on a circuitous route from Albany to Macon to Athens to Atlanta and back through Tuscaloosa.  Lt. Col. Ben Crain contacted Cochran Field in Macon and found that the first plane was over Macon at 4:21 p.m. and the last came over at 5:33.    With this flight record in hand, the Air Force concluded that what the ladies saw in Dublin were the five bombers.

But how could it have been?  Each of the four ladies reported that the planes were flying in a tight formation.  It seems certain that the first plane was not seventy-two minutes ahead of the last one.  If the planes were flying from Albany over Macon to Athens, they would have been flying on a northeasterly course and not a westerly one.  The one doubter in Dublin reported that the planes were 12 miles from town at 5:00.  Even flying as slow as the fastest car, the planes could have traveled sixty air miles in the next thirty minutes.

And what about the massive sightings for more than one hour  in Marietta just two days before by 37 people, including an artillery officer and B-25 gunner? And what about  eight people, including a pilot and bombardier, in Warner Robins two weeks later who saw a bright yellow-white light moving over the skies for twenty minutes?

No one knows what these ladies saw.  It may have been extraterrestrial and it just may have been a formation of military aircraft.  No one will ever know.  But perhaps, if you are one of the four ladies that were out in your yard on the afternoon of September 3, 1952 and saw these objects, call me immediately!

After this article was originally published, the government disclosed that the witnesses to this remarkable event were Bruce Bazemore, his wife Alice Bazemore, Ida (Mrs. Charles) Powell, Mary Jean (Mrs. Bill) Alford, and Grace (Mrs. John) Bray, who lived in the 800 block of Central Avenue) in northern Dublin.