Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Was that a flying saucer or what?

Editor's note:

While I work on another writing project, I'm going to recycle some of my favorite posts of old Argus-Observer stories for the enjoyment of anyone who stumbles on this blog, as folks do from time to time.

Here's an early one:

The Sept. 8, 1952 issue of The Argus-Observer reported the area’s “first close-up eye witness report of a ‘flying saucer’ incident" occurred the previous Saturday.

Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Drinkwine said that about 9:50 a.m. they saw what could be a weather balloon but seemed to be under some kind of control when it moved away quickly.

The flying object sat down on the Drinkwine property a half mile south of Payette and a quarter of a mile east of U.S. Highway 30.

The Drinkwines said the object was about five feet in diameter and looked like it was made of rubber rather than metal. At first, they assumed it was a weather balloon but “decided it was something other than a weather balloon when it appeared to be controlled as it came to rest and especially as it moved rapidly away.”

The Drinkwines decided the object was remote controlled. Cliff Drinkwine said he believes so-called “saucers” are a secret military device controlled by the United States.

DRAT. Here's the answer published three days later.

L. L. Sevlha, manager of what was identified as the CAA weather station, apparently the federal weather bureau, said he was certain the object seen by Cliff Drinkwine and his wife on the previous Friday was a weather balloon.

Sevlha told The Argus-Observer for its Sept. 11 edition that his station released a weather balloon that was two feet by two and a half feet at about 8:50 a.m. on that Friday, and that it drifted in the direction of Payette, near where the Drinkwines spotted their flying object at about 9:30.

Sevlha said the balloon responds to air currents in much the way the Drinkwines reported that the object had moved.

Sevlha added that his organization is authorized to receive reports of flying saucer type objects and pass those reports along to the military.