In the course of reading the newspaper clippings from July 1947, I have made a couple of interesting discoveries. None of them really affect the Roswell research as we’re carrying it out.
From the Roswell Daily Record of July 8, 1947, “Lt. Col. Harry W. Schaefer of the Wisconsin civil air patrol announced in Milwaukee his group planned to conduct a series of mass flights in hopes of learning something about the flying objects.”
This was in addition to the patrol mounted by the Army National Guard in Oregon with five P-51's over the Cascade Mountains, which is the area where Arnold made his sighting, but they found nothing. According to the AP story, a sixth fighter circled over Portland in contact with the others and all carried photographic equipment.
At Manhattan Beach, California, another fighter searched for two hours but found nothing. It’s not clear if this was a military aircraft, or one of the many surplus planes that had been sold to the public. The pilot, A. W. McKelvey said that he had cruised at 35,000 feet without results. He told reporters that he hadn’t seen a thing.
At Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base), a P-80 jet fighter was on stand-by in case any of the flying disks appeared. Apparently it never left the ground.
It was also on that weekend that Captain E. J. Smith of United Airlines said that he spotted one of the saucers coming straight at him. The co-pilot, Ralph Stevens, reached down to blink the landing lights. Smith asked what he was doing and Stevens said that another aircraft was coming at them.
The craft, which looked to be flat on the bottom and irregularly shaped on the top, followed them for ten or fifteen minutes. When it disappeared, four more objects approached them on the left side of the aircraft, and they seemed to be larger than a DC-4.
I mention this only because, in the Roswell Daily Record of July 30, 1947, I saw that Captain Charles F. Gibian, of United Airlines, reported that he had seen a flying saucer that he said was “going like hell.”
This wouldn’t be much different than a hundred other UFO reports made during that July, except that Gibian had taken over flying the route that Smith had been flying some weeks earlier... and you thought there was no connection.
Gibian said that he believed the object to be a military experiment and that they should keep them away from the commercial airways. He said that his co-pilot had seen the disk, or whatever it was, too.
He said that it was round and that they thought it might be another airplane until they saw how fast it disappeared. It might have been 40 miles away when they saw it which would suggest that it was huge but there seemed to be no other reports, and it doesn’t seem that Gibian told the military about his sighting.
As I say, as looking for something else, as I was researching a specific aspect of the Roswell case, I came across these two items which were interesting only in the way they related to other UFO sightings. The CAP out in an aerial search for the flying saucers, and the pilot who took over the route once flown by Smith seeing something in the sky.
I will note here, so that no one needs to get all bent out of shape about it, that neither of these stories suggest that UFOs are extraterrestrial in nature, they add nothing, really, to our knowledge of the subject, but they are interesting because they relate to other cases that were more widely reported.