The other day I received an email from a woman who had wanted to see the article from the Las Vegas Sun from April 19, 1962 which was headlined, "Brilliant Red Explosion Flares in Las Vegas Sky." She also wanted to see the article that accompanied it.
She wrote to the newspaper and was told they couldn’t help her because their archives had burned on November 22, 1963.
I found the excuse just a little far-fetched and wondered if they had blown her off they way they had me so long ago. I was chasing the same story, but I happened to be in Las Vegas and while the newspaper wouldn’t help, the local library and its microfilm could. I found the article and the accompanying story.
But this reminded me of the conversation I had with one of the reporters at the newspaper. One of the people mentioned in the article was Frank Maggio, described as a staff photographer. And, of course, was Jim Stalnaker who was the reporter on the story.
The reporter I spoke to was friendly, right up to the moment I mentioned UFOs. Then she turned hostile, lecturing me about the subject, claiming that she had never seen one and that proof of their visitation didn’t exist. To her, I was chasing ghosts.
I told her that the initial information had come from her newspaper and she said, "It’s all heresay. You can’t believe anything you read in the newspaper."
Let’s stop for a moment and look at that. A reporter for the newspaper just told me that you couldn’t believe anything you read in the newspaper. I thought that was a strange attitude for a reporter and if I had a subscription I would have cancelled it right then, citing as the reason that one of their reporters had told me I couldn’t believe anything printed in their newspaper.
But, since I knew that one of the witnesses, Frank Maggio worked for the newspaper, I asked about him.
"They’re all dead," she told me.
"No family. They’re dead."
This, I believe could be called the classical "dead end..." if I wanted to make light of it. But since she was hostile, and lying to me, I hung up and then looked in the Las Vegas telephone book. I found no listing for Frank Maggio, but did find one for a Maggio Photo Lab. Thinking it had to be the same guy, I called. It was.
He couldn’t remember anything about the sighting that wasn’t in the newspaper story. He had said that it was a "tremendous flaming sword." There was a series of bright explosions that broke up the trail across the sky and that it had vanished east of Las Vegas.
Over the next few weeks, I talked to twenty or thirty people who had seen something that night, read the Project Blue Book files on it, and although there had been a rumor that nothing about this event was printed in the newspapers, I found many articles about it. The object, whatever it was, had been seen as it crossed the United States from east to west, was tracked by radar, and seemed to make a looping turn over Reno so that it was heading to the south and then east when it appeared in the Las Vegas sky. Those watching it lost sight of it out near Mesquite, which is on the Nevada - Utah border.
The story is quite complex and I have done a long write up about it in A History of UFO Crashes, for those who wish more information.
But the point here is that sometimes those with the information just don’t want to be bothered with supplying it. That’s why I have put the entire newspaper article here, for those who might want to see it and can’t to Las Vegas to look it up for themselves.
The article follows: