M. Deschamps - Director
of Terminology and Abbreviations
Ste. Marie, Ontario, DAILY STAR, 8 July 1947, Page 1
"Flying Discs" By Concentrating
SYDNEY - (Reuters) - Prof. F. S. Cotton, professor of physiology
at Sydney University, yesterday conducted a "flying
After discussing North American reports on "flying
saucers," he led his class of 450 students into the
open and told them to look at the clear sky and to concentrate
their gaze on a fixed point while standing perfectly still.
Within 10 minutes, 22 students reported they had seen bright
oval-shaped objects which moved rapidly sometimes following
each other in a line and sometimes resembling a string of
Professor Cotton then explained that the students saw exactly
what he expected them to see - the red corpuscles of the
blood passing in front of the retina.
Ontario, DAILY STAR, 8 July 1947, page 5
LIGHT EXPLANATION? OF FLYING DISCS
New York, July 6 (AP) - Certain laws of human eyesight will
explain much of what has been described about the flying
saucers reported from many parts of the United States and
some places in Canada.
At any distance which is close to the limit of how far a
person can see, all objects appear round or nearly so. This
law of sight covers both small things seen nearby and large
ones at great distances.
Regardless of shape, the object near the limit of sight
looks round. If the thing is silhouetted against a bright
sky, as some of the flying saucers have been reported, then
it is more likely to reveal its true shape.
If the thing is seen by reflected light, as in most cases
reported, it is almost certain to be round, and if the reflections
are sunlight, then the sizes reported are those which would
be expected from distant light reflections.
The one outstanding fact about virtually all the saucers
is that they had no structure - they seemed merely round
and flat. That description fits exactly with the tricks
that eyes play. This trickiness varies with differences
in weather and lighting.
This writer has seen flying saucers over Long Island Sound,
not only this year but in previous years. They were round,
bright and moving fast. But they were no mystery because
they were light reflected from the bodies of airplanes that
soon identified themselves by changing course and coming
near enough to be seen distinctly.
This writer saw one oval flying form which for a moment
looked exactly like the photograph of the oval object taken
by Yeoman Frank Ryman North, of Seattle, Wash. The Long
Island oval turned into an airplane.
The one strangest fact is that no one has seen a flying
saucer close up. In so many experiences, an occasional closeup
would be almost inevitable.
Ice crystals forming little round clouds have been suggested.
But these fail to fit in most cases because the ice crystals
form at altitudes which are higher than most of the saucers
Nothing published in science or atomic studies gives the
slightest clue to flying saucers unless the objects are
Ste. Marie, Ontario, DAILY STAR, 19 July 1947, Page 2
'Flying Saucers' Are Secret Weapon
SANTIAGO, CHILE - (Reuters) - A British engineer living
in Valparalso said today that "flying saucers,"
reported from many parts of the world, were a secret weapon
and claimed he had promised a similar device to the British
government in 1940, but it was rejected.
The engineer, W. H. Ashlin, asserted that the flying saucers
are made of special metal and revolve at enormous speed.
Centrifugal force enabled them to travel at fantastic speeds
and friction with the air heats them to the point of ignition.
Such weapons, he added, would be capable of piercing any
body and could be projected either from planes or from the
Ontario, DAILY STAR, 7 August 1952, page 9
Claim Saucer Sightings Air, Electricity
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Evening Star said Wednesday that U.S.
army engineers, working with a vacuum bell in a laboratory,
have produced atmospheric phenomena which may explain the
widespread reports of "flying saucers."
In a copyright story by W. H. Shippen, the Star says the
experiments created airborne objects which "can speed
up, hover indefinitely, or disappear and reappear in a flash."
man-made saucers occasionally fly in formation. Moreover,
they are believed to have substance enough to show up on
the screen of a radar designed to track them."
What the experimenters did, the Star said, was use the vacuum
bell as a tiny working-model of the stratosphere and reproduce
"two forces - very low air pressure which is balanced
against static electricity in a way to give off light."
in the research and development laboratory at Fort Belvoir
(Va.) believe these two are the primary factors responsible
for saucer sightings by competent observers."
During a night of rain Tuesday night radar screens, scanning
the skies over Washington, showed a flurry of mystery objects.
In line with the theory that they are atmospheric phenomena,
an air force spokesman noted that the radar sightings -
tiny blips on a fluorescent screen - started about the time
a thunderstorm hit the area.
Ste. Marie, Ontario, DAILY STAR, 15 August 1952, Page ?
(London Free Press)
It seems that the scientists have solved the mystery of
the flying saucers. Instead of being visitors from space
they are no more than fire-balls caused by low air pressure
balanced against static electricity. Physicist Noel Scott
working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, having experimented
with molecules of ionized air in a bell jar with partial
vacuum, has produced colored fireballs, discs, "mushrooms,"
"ice cream cones" and the shapes which have become
familiar to watchers. These masses of illumined air have
sufficient substance to be picked up by radar and moved
at fantastic speed when a magnet was moved into the jar.
The army engineers, however, are not altogether satisfied
that this is the whole answer, though they admit Dr. Scott's
work seems to draw the curtain from most of the mystery.
But there are many theories. Dr. Donald H. Menzel, Harvard
professor of astrophysics, experimenting at the request
of the U.S. Air Force, comes up with a theory based on the
phenomenon of mirage. Mirages are created when a beam of
light bends as it passes through media of a different density
- such as sharply contrasting layers of warm air at the
earth's surface and cool air above. During heat waves such
as occurred over Washington, D.C., when there was such a
tide of flying saucer reports two weeks ago, "temperature
inversion" often occurs. This, says Dr. Menzel, is
responsible for projecting images of lights on earth against
There is a school of thought which declares that these strange
lights are simply forms and variations of lightning - ball
lightning to be specific. There is a long record of this
sort of light moving over the earth's surface, horizontal
or vertical. These balls are said to possess sufficient
density to be "visible" on radar.
Thus, it would appear that the physicists have exploded
the theories of those who, allowing their imagination free
scope, wondered whether the flying saucers were not visitors
from space. The scientists are most likely correct, and
it is a relief to know at least that they are neither Russian
scouts nor optical illusions. The observers really did see
something after all, if it was only a mirage.
Ontario, DAILY STAR, 2 July 1954, page 1
Space Ships Only 'Inversions'
LONDON (CP) - Those flying objects over Labrador were slightly
deflated today. A science writer said they are nothing more
Thursday, an experienced Canadian pilot reported seeing
a formation of seven aircraft-shaped objects - a "mother"
ship and six satellites - near the Quebec-Labrador border
about 170 miles southwest of Goose Bay. The pilot, 33-year-old
Lee Boyd of Fillmore, Sask., said he was sure the things
came from another planet.
Today, science expert Chapman Pincher of the Daily Express
said what Boyd saw was probably just a reflection of the
aircraft from a wavy layer of air. This is Pincher's theory:
various levels in the atmosphere there are regions called
inversions where the air temperature suddenly changes. Boundaries
between layers of warm and cold air are such good mirrors
that they cause mirages in the desert."
of the turbulence of the atmosphere, the boundary is sometimes
rippled and breaks up an image into several parts which,
after reflection, can be seen at eye level."
Pincher supports his argument by noting that the flying
objects accompanied Boyd's aircraft for 80 miles, travelling
at the same speed and at the same distance, could not be
picked up by radar, and repeatedly changed their shape and
size the way reflections do on ripply water.
Ontario, DAILY STAR, 22 September 1954, page 27
Now Balls Of Lightning
HAMBURG (Reuters) - A German astronomer, Hans Haffner, has
put forward the theory that "flying saucers" -
apart from those which can be classed as hallucinations
or reflections in the air - are balls of lightning at great
In a article in a West German weekly newspaper, Haffner
said "the flying saucers are definitely a natural phenomenon
within the layer of air surrounding the earth."
Haffner, professor of astronomy at Hamburg University, said
all flying saucers seen so far could be classified in four
1. Hallucinations, which are more frequent than commonly
2. Illusions. Alleged photographs of flying saucers are
reflections often observed when pictures are taken against
3. Weather balloons.
4. Truly "unknown flying objects."
All the objects in group four could be explained by what
is known about balls of lightning. These, he said, occur
rarely and photographs exist of only two or three. They
are "remarkably similar" to the reports of flying
saucers, Haffner maintains.
Most balls of lightning occur at heights of less than 600
feet and have a diameter of between eight to 40 inches.
But because more energy is released if lightning occurs
at greater heights, balls occurring at high altitudes are
naturally bigger. Balls with a diameter of 750 feet have
been observed at a height of six miles.
Haffner said that because they rotate, balls of lightning
are often flattened out. Reports about flying saucers have
spoken of cigar or disc-shaped objects. These reports also
stated that the flying saucers were rotating.
Balls of lightning are liable to change shape and direction
within a split second - as do flying saucers. The changes
in the direction of balls of lightning are easily explained
by the influence of electrical fields and by the effect
when one side of a ball cools more quickly than the other.
Ontario, DAILY STAR, 23 June 1960, page 2
Saucers Only Imaginary
PENTICTON, B.C. (CP) - Flying saucers are figments of the
imagination of uniformed minds, say many of North America's
leading astronomers and space experts.
sighting of a flying saucer can be explained rationally,"
said Dr. J. V. Oake of California's Mount Palomar Observatory.
He is a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
hardly ever hear of flying saucers any more," said
Dr. J. F. Heard of Toronto, director of the David Dunlap
Observatory. "I guess the fad has worn off for a while."
The scientists are here for a conference following the opening
Monday of the nearby White Lake Observatory which houses
Canada's largest radio-telescope. They made their comments
Ste. Marie, Ontario, DAILY STAR, 24 March 1966, Page 19
YORK, Pa. (UPI) - A Pennsylvania man has offered an explanation
for the unidentified flying objects which stirred residents
of two Michigan communities this week.
Alfred Dickens, a maintenance man for the York County Gas
Co., said Wednesday the "objects" could be gaseous
formations emitted from marshes in Hillsdale and Ann Arbor.
Dickens said he witnessed similar phenomena when he was
a boy on his parents' farm in McAlester, Okla.
used to see these things quite often," he said. "We
called them 'Jack-O-Lanterns' and my brother and I would
chase them through the swamps and thresh them about with
sticks, breaking them into smaller shapes."
Dickens said his father told them the balls of light were
caused by "damp gas" seeping upward from swamps
and marshy areas in the spring.
it was a formation of luminous gas from decaying leaves
which dropped to the ground the previous fall," Dickens
said. "The rising gas would form a big ball of light
and sometimes it would float through the woods on soft air
currents, often changing color as it hovered about three
or four feet above the ground. It would bounce around if
there was a slight breeze and sometimes it would travel
for a mile or more."
Dickens, who lived on the Oklahoma farm until he was 17,
said the "spooky" looking objects appear only
in swampy areas when it is very calm and the weather is
would bet if you would check what the weather conditions
were Sunday and Monday in Michigan where the objects were
sighted, you would find it was warm and still, which is
an ideal condition to cause the gas formations," he
Ontario, STAR, 21 September 1966, page 19
New Theory on Unidentified Objects
'Swarms of Flying Insects That Glow'
DENVER, Colo. (AP) - An amateur scientist thinks it's highly
possible that some of the unidentified flying objects recently
sighted over some sections of the United States are flying
ants or other insects with a "glow" on.
Norton T. Novitt, whose hobby is the study of the electric
properties of insects, says the insects are not necessarily
those with a built-in glow, such as fireflies, but insects
which have somehow attracted an electric charge so great
that they give off lights.
In 20 years of UFO sighting reports, other scientists have
said the shiny-bodied insects might be mistaken during daylight
for flying saucers.
But the glowing insect theory is original with Novitt, a
scientific illustrator with the U.S. Geological Survey in
Denver. He believes it may account for a small part of the
seven per cent of UFOs which the U.S. Air Force admits it
It all started with Novitt three summers ago when he was
a member of a Denver moonwatch team, one of the groups of
volunteers around the country who help the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration keep track of some of the large
Novitt had set up a telescope in a vacant lot to see if
he could spot a satellite during daylight. He picked up
a bright object travelling too fast to be a satellite. It
soon was joined by a second object. Fascinated, he watched
the two objects descend until they nearly reached the ground.
Taking his eye from the telescope he was startled to find
that the apparent landing site was the front of a garage
a short distance away. He hurried to the spot and found
two winged ants.
He surmised the bright light he had observed was sunlight
glinting from their iridescent bodies.
Research produced the fact that at certain times of the
year male and female ants sprout wings to take part in an
airborne mating ritual. The winged ants gradually group
together into giant swarms, some estimated to contain 37,000,000,
to set up new ant colonies.
He wondered what these giant swarms would look like at night
if they could glow. Perhaps ants could pick up enough static
electricity to make them give off light.
To find out he glued 24 ants around the outside of a ping-pong
ball. A static electric generator was connected to the ball
with a thin wire. The ball was suspended from the ceiling
of his home laboratory with threads.
Sure enough, when he cranked the generator the entire ball
seemed to glow with a dim blue light. The bodies of the
ants were discernible as brighter specks of light as the
electricity drained off them into space.
simply an emission of electric corona light," he explained.
The ball hovered, moved erratically as pulses of static
electricity drained off with differing intensities from
the ants. It also gave off a crackling sound. Novitt said
a swarm of several million ants would emit a very loud,
humming or buzzing noise.
He said the same is true of gossamer, the networks of cobwebs
that float in the air during spider migration seasons.
The Denver experimenter believes there are at least four
ways in which ants apparently can pick up a glow:
Individual ants become charged on the ground and then join
a swarm, creating a mass of many different electrical charges.
Ants fly upwards through successively more highly charged
layers of air.
Ants create their own static electricity by rubbing together
in flight, much like a person does when he shuffles across
Ants often swarm right after a thunderstorm which has left
the air saturated with a different kind of charge than there
was just before the storm.
theory," he said, "logically explains many of
the characteristics of the (UFO) phenomena such as materialization
and disappearance, hovering and departure, glowing and pulsating
lights of various colors, apparent high-velocity rotation
of the objects, varieties of shapes and sizes, humming noises,
pitting of ground surfaces, scorching of vegetation, residues
of chemical substances, seasonal appearance in late summer
and Indian summer, and lack of communication with the airborne
Ontario, STAR, 4 October 1966, page 7
WASHINGTON (AP) - Hundreds of unidentified flying objects
sighted in recent years probably were gas clouds called
plasmas, Aviation Week and Space Technology reports. The
magazine's avionics editor, Philip J. Klass, said he reached
this conclusion after analyzing 746 sighting reports listed
by the national investigations committee on aerial phenomena.
Ste. Marie, Ontario, DAILY STAR, 1 March 1967, Page 1
Objects Identified As Reflections off Clouds
The sighting of an unidentified flying object over the Sault
and area Wednesday evening has been solved . . . it's all
done with mirrors.
Well, not exactly. Would you believe reflections off sulphur
clouds from the Algoma Steel Corporation and McFadden Lumber
Company in Blind River?
This is the opinion of a radio operator at the Sault's federal
He told The Star this morning that such clouds form layers
above the city during certain atmospheric conditions.
It's his belief that the red and green lights on aircraft
in the area reflect off these clouds, giving the appearance
of some strange object in the sky.
works on the same principle as when you point a flashlight
into the sky at night and its light reflects off the clouds,"
only have to move your hand a couple of inches to have the
light move 50 or 60 feet."
The radio operator feels that the red and green lights on
the aircraft and the landing lights on an airfield have
caused the optical illusion spotted Wednesday night by people
from Blind River to the Sault.
aircraft itself could be below the horizon so that you couldn't
see it, but it would still cast a reflection," he said.
The operator said he had noticed such sulphur clouds over
the city last night and again this morning.
Local police were swamped with calls Wednesday night from
8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. by people who had spotted a strange
object in the sky.
Blind River police chief James Collins also reported seeing
a light in the sky, but it was moving away from him at the
time, so he was unable to get a good look at it.
He said, however, that his next-door neighbor had watched
an object with red and green lights on either side of it
and a long fluorescent light in the middle for some time.
and his family first spotted it sometime around 8:30 last
night and watched it for awhile before it began moving west
towards Sault Ste. Marie," he said.
City police received eight calls reporting a round object
which, according to police spokesman, had red, green, yellow
or blue lights on it.
Ontario, STAR, 24 November 1981, page 3
Precursor of earthquakes?
By GISELE PAGEAU of Laurentian University
Many people think they see UFOs (unidentified flying objects)
even though they are not suppose to exist. If they exist
are they earth-bound or earth-made?
Dr. M. A. Persinger, professor in the psychology department
at Laurentian University has a data base theory on luminosities
While analysing data from the 20th century, he found a striking
relationship between increases in UFO activities and increases
in seismic activity in the general region. This generated
a series of hypotheses that were checked against contemporary
data. It was found that there is still a systematic increase
in UFO reports, months to weeks before increases in earthquake
activity in many regions.
The basic source of his UFOs is the strain that builds up
in the earth before an actual earthquake occurs. Once the
strain gets to a certain level, the actual fracture takes
However, prior to the earthquake, there is a tremendous
build-up of strain and this strain is the first component
of the basic theory.
With this, one can predict, in general, where UFOs should
occur and what conditions will trigger them.
The second component is the actual event, the UFO itself.
The single event is a transient, highly localized electromagnetic-like
phenomenon. This means it has varied electromagnetic-like
fields associated with it.
If it passes near a car, there is radio interference. If
it passes over a house, the lights may blink on and off
or compasses fluctuate wildly.
The glowing component appears to be something similar to
a plasma ball which is a piece of very hot, ionized gas
very much like a piece of the sun. This hot, glowing gas
is the visible component of the UFO.
When a large UFO becomes very bright it also becomes very
dangerous - it can be very deadly and certainly could kill
if you got too close to it. It would emit a large variety
of radiations and also generate a lower radio frequency
that would jam radios. If the luminosity was sufficiently
dense it would show up on radar because of the microwave
More UFOs would emerge primarily from the earth. Where they
emerge, some radioactive residue would remain because of
the nature of the UFO formation.
As it emerges from the ground the UFO would burn the surrounding
area and potentially melt the component rocks. This is what
some people call a "saucer nest."
The third component of the theory involves the contribution
of the observer's brain. What people do not realize is that
the human brain also works upon electromagnetic principles.
Your experiences and your thoughts are primarily correlated
with electromagnetic patterns. The UFO event itself is very
electromagnetic-like. Consequently, if a human being comes
very close to the intense electromagnetic source, there
is the possibility of direct influence upon the brain.
If the electromagnetic patterns of experience and thought
are directly modified then the person will experience things
that seem very real but do not exist. They will be as real
as any other experience because the effect is directly on
the brain itself.
Many of the experiences will be bizarre and will be influenced
by what has been associated with those electromagnetic patterns
in the person's past. The actual details of the experience
will reflect whether the person believes in religion or
It just so happens that the most unstable part of the brain,
the temporal lobe, is associated with memory and dreams.
When this part of the brain is stimulated, vivid fantasies
can be released into consciousness.
When the person thinks these fantasies are real - he or
she is not really lying. These are real experiences for
the person. The brain is being modified, but there is no
way the person can know this by using personal experiences
only. Memory will also be influenced adversely. In fact,
one of the most typical effect of close encounters is amnesia
of the event. The amnesia lasts for hours and is filled
The confabulation is heavily influenced by what the person
is told after the event. Very often you find that the story
of the close encounter person changes depending upon the
kind of questions asked after the event. These people have
difficulty distinguishing between what has happened in the
past and what is happening now. They confuse the present
with the past and assume the questions you are asking now
actually happened in the past.
Not everyone has a vivid experience near UFOs. Distance
and size of the luminosity appears to be important. As the
observer approaches the luminosity, the experiences change
from tingling sensations to feelings of paralysis (as more
current is induced within the body), and finally to a full
blown convulsion. Some people would be killed, but the effects
would look like a massive electrical assault on the nervous
UFOs are like many multivariate problems that face modern
scientists. A multivariate problem occurs when you have
a bunch of different, unusual things in the environment,
but because of ignorance, they are all called the same thing.
When it comes to UFOs, we may be dealing with dozens of
different classes of phenomena. The data indicate that the
majority of luminosities can be accounted for by the theory.
But, as with any multivariate approach, there is always
the possibility of other sources. In fact, some sources
may occur only once.
Persinger has been collecting data on UFOs for the past
10 years. He says he is interested in the prediction of
unusual events in general and UFOs in particular. When asked
if he believed that alien or extraterrestrial UFOs existed,
he replied: "I don't know. There are no data indicating
that they exist, but you cannot refute the possibility totally.
However the alien explanation is an empty theory; it doesn't
help you predict when and where UFOs will occur next."
Ontario, STAR, 24 June 1997, page B7
sightings linked to test dummies
WASHINGTON (AP) - A UFO skeptic says a new U.S. air force
document will report that space aliens supposedly sighted
in the New Mexico desert in the 1940s were actually dummies
used in high-altitude parachute drops.
The document scheduled to be made public today concerns
reports of alien bodies at a crash site near Roswell, N.M.,
Philip Klass, publisher of a UFO skeptics newsletter, said
the air force document concludes that people actually saw
dummies used in air force drops in the 1950s.
He did not explain the discrepancy in dates.
Klass said he saw the report. The air force refused to discuss
its contents in advance, although word of the conclusions
circulated widely in the network of UFO buffs.
Karl Pflock, a UFO researcher who does not believe alien
bodies or a spaceship were found in Roswell, questioned
the theory that people could have been so confused about
People claimed to have seen crash debris and alien bodies
in 1947. The dummy parachute tests took place as long as
10 years later.
Pflock said Monday he had not read the report.
clippings courtesy of The Sault Star, The Timmins Daily
Press, The Kirkland Lake Northern Daily News, The North
Bay Nugget and The Sudbury Star.