Many people by now are well aware that 1947 was a pivotal year in the history of mankind in as much as proof of extraterrestrial contact was made. As a result of that contact an inflexion in human events occurred as an entire security state emerged with the government being forced to conceal and mitigate a forbidden truth that could have caused conventional institutions in our society to collapse. The preservation of basic human beliefs was at stake as far as authorities were concerned.
Yet, few people are aware that there was a growing presence of aerial sightings being reported prior to the Roswell incident in 1947 or the Kenneth Arnold sighting in Washington State. The number of sightings that were attracting public attention were growing to a fever pitch, and the Roswell incident became the culmination of a growing hysteria among people who sensed that something earth shattering was afoot and about to blow open any time.
UFO sighting predates World War I
In Donald Keyhoe's book, “Aliens in Space” he describes an incident recorded in a maritime journal in 1904 where a formation of three airborne lights descended from the night sky and landed on the water with a US Naval ship in close proximity. The sighting was noted by crew members who were on the deck at the time.
Nocturnal lights at Bass Straits and strange things to come
Beginning in the late 1920's an area that would later gain notoriety for two major UFO incidents in the 1970's, the region of Bass Straits between Borneo and Australia began to be a hot spot for numerous nocturnal reports of bright moving lights in the sky. By 1933 an official report had been recorded from eye witness testimony of these unknown airborne objects. Being that Bass Straits was remote and sparsely populated there was little chance that local aviators were making flights in this wilderness region especially at night. Night flying took special training and accreditation, and up until the outbreak of World War II and Australia's desperate defense against the Japanese Imperial Navy, there was little human aerial activity over Bass Straits. Who or what were people reporting in those very early years of human aviation?
Years later in 1978 a news reporter and camera crew aboard an Australian cargo carrier take film foot age of a nocturnal aerial object near Christ Church near the Bass Straits.. In that same year of 1978 Frederick Valentich in his Sierra Delta Juliet flight heading disappears over Bass Straits in his single engine airplane. His taped conversation with air traffic control documents a frightening encounter that leads to Valentich's disappearance never to be seen again.
Creatures in glass tanks?
Mean while in the United States during the same time frame strange developments were materializing as well. Reverend Turner Hamilton Holt was a close friend of Cordell Hull, Secretary of State under President Franklin Roosevelt. Reverend Holt and Cordell Hull grew up in the same county together and knew each other as cousins and friends. They became good buddies in adult life and often had lunch together whenever the Reverend was in Washington DC. They even wrote letters to one another. A family member of Reverend Holt said that before her father died he made sure that his family knew of the following incident so that this information would not be lost.
Sometime around 1939 Reverend Holt was making one of his occasional visits to Washington DC and was scheduled to have lunch with Cordell Hull, as was their routine whenever they saw one another there. After lunch, Cordell Hull, then Secretary of State, invited Turner Hamilton Holt down below the Capital building to a secret sub basement below floors. There the two men came face to face with a spectacle that the Reverend would never forget. Cordell Hull showed him four bodies sealed in large glass jars presumably in formaldehyde to preserve them along with a circular craft of some kind that had been wrecked. The Reverend referred to these entities or aliens as creatures as he did not know how else to describe them. Cordell Hull explained to him that the creatures and the crashed space ship were being kept from the public in order to prevent a panic!
Crash at Cape Girardeau
In 1941 we have another gripping story that predates Roswell around the beginning of Word War II for America. Cape Girardeau, Missouri seems an unlikely place for the crash of a UFO, much less the time frame of the incident, but news of the strange affair was passed down by family members. Apparently Grandfather Reverend William Huffman had been summoned by the police to a crash site. He recalled being driven 10 or 15 miles out into the woods where a crowd of firefighters, FBI, and law enforcement were clustered around a disk shaped vessel and the bodies of 3 dead creatures.
Reverend William Huffman was to give last rites over the dead bodies which he described as small and child-like only with larger heads. He reportedly said that their eyes were very large with only small openings for mouths and ears with little hair on the bodies. Reverend Huffman was sworn to secrecy by the military officers there after performing his Christian duties. However, the stunned Reverend returned home unable to keep the secret and told his wife and daughter about the incredible event. Years later, the Mann family still remembered the details and former intelligence office Leonard Stringfield documented the testimony of the family's account.
The Battle of LA
Just a year later in 1942 a shocking UFO encounter known as the Battle of LA left residents of southern California in utter astonishment after anti aircraft shore batteries went into action against a slow moving unidentified object or objects firing 1400 rounds and making direct hits that seemed to have no observable effects. In the weeks following the Pearl Harbor attack the entire west coast of the United States was on alert for Japanese attack. Many a night jittery civil patrols and nervous shore batteries watched and waited for Japanese aircraft to fly over in attack formation, but what violated southern California air space that mysterious night was not any kind of conventional war plane. People from Riverside to Los Angeles and elsewhere were startled out of their beds as the skies were filled with bursts of color from artillery fire and strange aerial crafts that hovered over the area and seemed impervious to the vicious gunfire unleashed upon them!
In the aftermath of an attack that made the headlines in the newspapers the following day, Supreme Commander General George C. Marshall made a detailed report to President Franklin Roosevelt that many say was simply a cover-up to hide the true serious nature of the violation of US airspace. Marshall's explanation left room for speculation but omitted any admission that an unknown airborne craft appeared untouched by anti aircraft shells as it slowly hovered over the Los Angeles area and then evaded all attempts at interception after ground fire was in action from shore battery artillery.
A dramatic photo that appeared along with the newspaper headlines when studied closely shows shells detonating before they ever make contact with the elliptical object captured in the powerful beams of spot lights as artillery attempts to shoot it down. Perhaps they were using a force field to protect the space craft as they tested the defensive capabilities of man.
Foo Fighters startle war pilots
It is well known that unknown aerial lights and flying objects made themselves well known during World War II in the skies over Europe and the Pacific Ocean. As the Allied forces battled the Germans to liberate France on the long road back to Berlin, bomber crews were startled when unknown aerial lights paced their formations after dropping their bomb loads and heading back to their bases. More than one B-17 crew panicked after being followed by a Foo Fighter thinking they were a German invention.
General Douglas MacArthur reacts
As the Pacific Fleet battled the Japanese along the long and bloody island hopping campaign to end the war, Foo Fighters made their ubiquitous presence known. As Armadas of US naval ships slugged it out with the Japanese Imperial Fleet, observers watched formations of unknown airborne objects serenely overflying vicious fire fights unscathed. These bizarre incidents necessitated General Douglas MacArthur's orders to form the Interplanetary Phenomenon Unit, probably the first military intelligence organization to ever investigate UFO's. The IPU continued it's work until the end of the war and their findings were hidden under classified status.
In the weeks prior to the end of World War II and just after the atomic test blast at the Trinity site in New, Mexico, the sketchy account of a dull metallic craft leaving a huge debris field out in the desert in 1945 is recalled by two men who were just kids at the time. Guided by smoke in the sky right after a late summer thunder storm, the two young boys spotted a dull metallic object that had left a huge gouge in the soil, but details are scarce as a visit to the site the next day reveals that the entire debris field had been covered up. Vanished!
The William Rhodes controversy
Just a few days before the reported crash of a disk 75 miles north of Roswell, New Mexico came the photo of a sighting made by William Rhodes in Phoenix, Arizona. The photos look much like the classic black triangles we see with some degree of frequency today with the exception of the nose of the strange dark craft which is blunt or rounded instead of being a sharp tip. Remember that many accounts of the flying disk recovered near Roswell are that it was bat winged in shape. William Rhodes was investigated by the CIC along with his photos. The Air Force subjected the Rhodes photos to long hours of testing to substantiate their authenticity. The photos were published in two versions. One showing the relationship of the unknown object to trees and a hilltop and the other shows only the UFO itself in the sky.
On July 9, 1947 the Arizona Republic daily news published 2 cropped versions of the originals taken by Rhodes on July seventh. The photos are said to be controversial since Rhodes was a suspected hoaxer, yet the Air Force took the photos very seriously as did the Counter Intelligence Corps. What tends to corroborate their authenticity is the reported observations by witnesses in New Mexico and later Arizona following the alleged Kingman, AZ crash and the subsequent other reported crashes. Witnesses did not report disks so much as they described crescent shaped objects varying in color from dull metallic to black.
Project Blue Book reviewed the case and the photos submitted by William Rhodes years later. One comment made by an Air Force officer on the quality of the investigations and records kept by Project Grudge, a precursor to Project Blue Book was that files were very incomplete, undated, and unprofessionally kept. William Rhodes claimed that federal agents took his original photos and one negative and never returned them. Rhodes told Project Blue Book officers he could not find the other remaining negative though several prints had been made by the newspapers and the Air Force.
What were they waiting for?
In the weeks before the Roswell Crash, the US Army Air Force made sure that their radar stations were kept on full alert through out the southwest. One radar officer said that he was forced to line up a series of mirrors so that he could still keep an eye on his radar screen even when he had to use the bathroom. This demonstrates the strict suspicion by high command that there were unknown aircraft violating US air space at the time, and quite possibly, an event was expected to happen. Could Rhodes have made the first initial sighting that US armed forces had remained on alert over?
There are other allegations of a crash and other vague allegations of other sightings, but the above events constitute the best known sightings that predate Roswell containing detailed information. At times new details emerge as previously hidden or undisturbed evidence is uncovered, but who can predict when or where.
Once again our trek across the forbidden grounds of the UFO mystery has come to an end until next time.