So much for the baloney about the "top
secret" Skyhook project. "This is Project Skyhook" declares this
cover story article in Popular Science magazine for May 1948 (on p.
101b). It was obviously not TOP SECRET in 1948 or in 1952, and
its name was correctly spelled as one word "Skyhook" right from the
start. Again as I said before I recall the front-page NY Times
announced the Skyhook balloon project's first launch of Sept 25, 1947,
and I think it was an official Navy press release to all media.
Here the "secret" is emblazoned on the cover of Popular Science for May
1948 as a bit of publicity hype since obviously it was not "secret" if
it was being published openly. (Keyhoe's book cover two years
later looks a bit like this magazine cover.) The issue must have
hit the newsstands in April possibly as early as March 1948, and
written up in maybe Jan/Feb 1948.
One of the photos was taken at the 1-6-48 launch of Skyhook Flight B
that passed south of Nashville the afternoon of the Mantell crash, Jan.
7, 1948, about 150 miles from Godman Field, and much too far away to be
seen (angular size and brightness limit to visibility no farther than
about 45 miles).
Also notice the balloon is the same standard 70-foot balloon. The
maximum volume reached at 100,000 ft, given as 206,000 cu.ft converts
to a spherical diameter of 73 feet.
Note that (Roswell) is referenced on the first page of the article as a weather balloon (p. 98). It said, "One sure-fire flying saucer that fell to the earth
in New Mexico turned out to be a weather balloon." This referred back to one of these special category of
not-so-secret "secret balloons" just mentioned two paragraphs earlier,
the "Army radiosonde balloons, fitted with radar reflectors."
Calling all Soviet spies!!!! Here is your next assignment:
This popular article reveals that these Skyhook balloons carry "special
telemetering equipment, and other devices, about which the government
maintains secrecy" (pp. 101b-102a). That's if the Soviet spies
didn't already know about the special classified balloon projects run
by Watson Labs in New Jersey for the AAF Air Materiel Command -- as
announced in a publicity blitz at various air bases on July 9-10, 1947,
to debunk Roswell and the wave of flying disc sightings (see David
Thanks to Ole Jonny Brænne for finding and
copying this interesting article.