In our January-February 1961 issue there appeared an article by Gordon W. Creighton together with a tracking photograph released by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation of Bethpage, Long Island, New York. This photograph showed the direction of a mysterious object together with the relative positions and movements of the stars in its neighborhood. The significance of the photograph lay in the fact that the object was in a course the opposite of those followed by earth - launched satellites. One of our readers, Mr. John D. Llewellyn of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, has received a letter from the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation dated December 13, 1960, reading as follows:
The satellite - like object photographed by one of our tracking stations on the evening of August 25th remains unidentified.
The information gleaned from the sighting has been released to the press and is as follows:
1. The color of the object varies from carrot to straw.
2. It travels at a rate which appears to be comparable to previous satellites.
3. The course followed by the object is an easterly to westerly direction.
4. The object usually appears at about the time of the first visible evening pass of Echo I.
Any statements beyond these, at this time, would be pure conjecture.
Your reported observation of the object is being carefully evaluated by our physicists in an attempt to increase our knowledge of its behavior to a point where we can predict future transits.
Please accept the enclosed copy of our photograph in appreciation of your interest in Grumman's tracking efforts.
GRUMMAN AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING CORPORATION,
J. B. Rettaliata,
Asst. to the President.