The Washington Post Front Page – July 28, 1952
I’m visiting this historical event because it created a state of panic in the US government at the time. However, Life magazine may have precipitated the flap with a report in its April 7, 1952 edition.
Shirley MacLaine remembers it well:
“It was a Saturday night, July 19, 1952 (I know because I recorded it in my diary). A pilot reported seeing UFOs, two local Air Force bases picked up UFOs, and two Air Force F-94 jets streaked over Washington in hot pursuit. The next morning [it was actually the Monday after the following weekend] the banner headline in The Washington Post was SAUCER OUTRAN JET, PILOT REVEALS. The New York Daily News: JETS CHASE D.C. SKY GHOSTS. The Washington Daily News: AERIAL WHATZITS BUZZ WASHINGTON D.C. AGAIN.
“Indeed, a week later, more UFOs buzzed the White House and the Capitol, knocking the Korean War and the presidential campaign off the front pages. Life magazine did a cover story called ‘There is a Case for interplanetary Saucers. Have We Visitors from Outer Space?’ It reviewed ten recent UFO sightings and concluded they could not be written off as hallucinations, hoaxes, or earthly aircraft. An unnamed Air Force intelligence officer was quoted saying, ‘The higher you go in the Air Force, the more seriously they take the flying saucers.’ ‘Who or what is aboard?’ ‘Where do they come from?’ ‘Why are they here?’ ‘What are the intentions of the beings who control them?’
“There had been lots of publicity since several other sightings had occurred, but the Life article was the first time a mainstream magazine had given credence to the theory that UFOs might really be alien spacecraft. The Life story was big news and covered in more than 350 newspapers across the country. President Truman watched what was happening. The number of UFO sighting reports to the Air Force went from 23 a month to 82, to 148. The air controllers watched the UFOs flit across their screens, then disappear.”
(Pages 127-8, Sage-ing While Age-ing)
Quote from an unnamed Air Force intelligence officer? Disinformation!!!
Here’s the chart for the event:
There are three inconjuncts:
Venus Inconjunct Midheaven
You are very likely to feel that there is a conflict between what you ought to do in a particular situation and what would be acceptable to the people around you. … Later in life, you may see your job, career or profession as a part of your life that is quite separate from your personal relationships with loved ones.
Mars Inconjunct Ascendant
One of the more difficult sides of this aspect is that you must learn to understand whether or not someone has violated your rights. You may think that this is the case even when it isn’t. Learn to discriminate.
Jupiter Inconjunct Naptune
Your idealism can be the source of much creative imagination, leading to profound insights and realizations, but only if you remain connected with the actual day-to-day universe in which the rest of the human race lives.
When I put these three descriptions together, I get the feeling that the pilot was ‘mistaken’ in his sighting of a UFO. What he may have seen was an experimental plane.
One of the purported ‘proofs’ for the Washington flap was shown to be refracted light, again. (I’ve seen other photos like this one, demonstrating the ‘lens flare’ effect.)
Why people can get so easily fooled by lights in the sky, I know not. But once a thought gets into a person’s mind, it can be rather difficult to think of anything else. That’s Life.