The Project Blue Book Research Center presents
Perspectives On The Environment In Which Blue Book Operated During 1952
series
Newsclippings
By Michael Hall

All during the summer wave of 1952, Blue Book received huge numbers of news accounts dealing with the flying saucer phenomenon. Detailed via the Romeike clippings service subscription Ruppelt initiated—literally thousands of sightings became available that otherwise would have never been reported to ATIC. Unfortunately, due to staff shortages, these accounts could not even be cataloged. In fact, it is doubtful the clippings were ever reviewed. Eventually they were microfilmed, but in the 1960s a later Blue Book director effectively disposed of them by giving the microfilm to a civilian researcher. From that point on, they have remained in private hands. Thus the Romeike clippings are not now part of the National Archives’ Blue Book collection. But thanks to UFO researcher Jan Aldrich, this author has been allowed to view and make personal copies of all of the thousands and thousands of clippings.  Working in close connection with Aldrich, this author has begun an
analysis.

A remarkable series of clippings, for example, come from Friday, August 15, 1952. They all speak of a bright green oval-shaped UFO traversing over the central United States. The sightings began in Dallas, Texas, at 7:59 P.M. describing a "round light" heading  north-
east. Far to the northeast of Dallas at 9:00 P.M., East St. Louis news accounts talk of a "bright green oval object," but no trajectory is given. By 9:15 P.M., however, many news accounts have Taylorville, Illinois, residents seeing a “bright green disk,” placing it on a due north heading. Just a few miles north of there, at 9:30 P.M., the object appeared over
Springfield, Illinois.

The Springfield paper reported hundreds seeing an “oval green ball” high over the fair grounds. Approximately 200 calls flooded into the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office from all over the area reporting the same phenomenon. By then the UFO was confirmed as heading east. The Galesburg, Illinois, newspaper also had a “blue-green rocket of some
sort" heading east. Then, fifty-one miles due east of Springfield, a UFO appeared over Urbana, Illinois, at 9:32 P.M. (This was the only Illinois sighting that made it into the Blue Book files.) That case contained a report from a Lieutenant Colonel from Chanute AFB. He and his wife told of their observation which took place that night from a drive-in theater. Each described the UFO they saw as a green oval-shaped object very high in the sky that came from the west and made an abrupt right angle turn to the north. Thirty-four miles west of there a Danville, Illinois, paper had five people seeing that same strange “green round
object.” Two motorists on the road between those two cities saw it too. Then, due north of both Urbana and Danville, news accounts place a strange green oval object over Chicago by midnight or later and jets were scrambled in relation to that UFO.

These August 15th sightings may have just been due to a lighted weather balloon. But the important point is that without the Romeike news clippings, all we would have is one Blue Book sighting in Texas and the one much later in Urbana, Illinois. It is a shame that Blue Book did not have greater staff resources to follow-up on this important source of sightings provided by the clipping service. Thankfully, at least Ruppelt’s trusted assistant, Max Futch, conscientiously placed these clippings into file folders although few made it into the official index.

 

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