by Gordon W. Creighton

Source: Flying Saucer Review (Volume 7, No.1 - Jan/Feb 1961 pp 3-6)

For the last seven years-and possibly for longer-mysterious satellites have been discovered in orbit round the earth. For various reasons these objects cannot have been earth-launched and their existence supports the opinion that another world is watching us. The author of this article has made a study of the subject which is becoming a most important branch of ufology. It offers perhaps the most fruitful line of research yet to appear, for these satellites, if truly in orbit, are a repeating phenomenon with evidence of plan and purpose.

It will be fairly safe to assume that many of the techniques evolved by the combatants during the war will have been developed further after the fighting ceased. During the last war we saw the appearance of the Nazi V1 and V2, and so it was entirely logical that, in the years since 1945, governments should direct their scientists to the task of achieving and perfecting the inter-continental ballistic missile - the I.C.B.M. for short.

Even the V2 rose high into the stratosphere and the study of rockets was accordingly bound to involve the study of space. But there are legitimate grounds for doubting whether man would so soon have evolved his present pro­grammes for reaching the moon and neighbour­ing planets if, in the immediate post-war years, something very startling had not occurred in our skies-something which set our governments thinking of more ambitious targets than a mere I.C.B.M. Let us examine the evidence.

So long ago as October, 1944, B. P. Sharpless, an associate-astronomer at the United States Naval Observatory, was pointing out that more than one celestial phenomenon ran counter to Newton's law of gravity. It has already been noted that Eneke's Comet appeared regularly to deviate from the path that it ought to follow according to Newton, and now, so Sharpless dis­covered, there were similarly "illegal antics" on the part of Phobos and Deimos, the celebrated moons of Mars, the inner of which-Phobos, was drawing ever closer to Mars while Deimos was moving away. Owing to the reduction in the orbit of Phobos, Sharpless calculated that in 1944 it was running about 200 miles ahead of the point where it should have been in its relation to Mars, while on the other hand Deimos was lagging about 320 miles behind where it ought to be.

Now Phobos and Deimos have been receiving very careful examination of late from a number of eminent Soviet scientists: Phobos, estimated to be about 16 km. in diameter, orbits Mars at a distance of 6,000 km. from that planet, while Deimos is reckoned to be about 8 km. in diameter and at it distance of a little over 20,000 km. from Mars. What has particularly struck the Soviet astronomers is that no other planets in our solar system appear to possess such small satellites as these, placed at such short distances froth the mother" planet's surface. They have also been much exercised by the strange orbit of Phobos, and it was widely reported in the Soviet and Western newspapers in the summer of 1959 that Professor I. S. Shklovskiy, of the Moscow State University, had come to the firm conclusion that Phobos at least, if not Deimos, must be hollow­ - and consequently artificial. This view, reached on the basis of a careful study of the behaviour of the sputniks launched into our own skies by the Soviets, was reported to be shared by a number of other eminent Soviet astronomers and scien­tists, including Professor Leonid Sedov himself, the head of the whole Soviet space-programme. The Soviet press is reported to have given much publicity to this theory that Phobos is an arti­ficial satellite launched into orbit either by super-intelligent beings now inhabiting Mars, or by Martians who may have died out long ago, leaving their sputnik to orbit the Martian skies - ­approximately three times in twenty-four hours. Let us examine the evidence.

Tombaugh's Investigation

The mass-sightings of Ul'Os front at least 1944 onwards provided, we know, much food for thought. But what about the following item. translated from the West German magazine Lies Mit!, No. 7, of March 3, 1955?:

The Earth has two new moons

Two sensational announcements recently captured peoples attention throughout the world. The first announcement said laconically that the U.S. Army had commissioned the well-known astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, dis­coverer of the planet Pluto, to look for a second moon believed to belong to our Earth. And, only a fortnight later, came the second, almost incredible, statement to the effect that Tombaugh had already located two new Earth satellites. These are allegedly fairly large meteors which have, in some unexplained manner, come into the neighbourhood of the Earth and are now in orbit around it. It is suspected, however, that they will probably lead to the solution of the mystery of the so­-called  Flying Saucers.  In the meantime, these two reports have provoked much discussion in learned circles and have led to the elaboration of various new projects, particularly where experts in rocketry and the exploration of space are concerned."

The article goes on to say that the two new "satellites" are from 430 to 650 miles from the Earth and between 60 feet and 300 feet in diameter.

This was, however, not the first intimation to appear in print, for an A.P. (Associated Press) item in the New York Herald Tribune of May 15, 1954, had already reported that in a radio net­work interview the day before, Major Donald Keyhoe, U.S. Marine Corps (Retd.), had declared that the Earth "was being circled by one or more artificial satellites," and that this very im­portant piece of news was being kept from the public. (Readers of Donald Keyhoe's second book, The Flying Saucer Conspiracy, will re­member that, in Chapter 2, he related in detail how, in September, 1953, a slip of the tongue by an officer of the U.S. Armed Forces then on duty in the Pentagon had put him on to the scent which led eventually to his discovery of the secret and that the American authorities had first detected the presence of the two mystery satel­lites in the early summer of 1953 and had commissioned Clyde Tombaugh to confirm and make further investigations for them, and, incidentally, Keyhoe notes in passing that Clyde Tombaugh was at that time one of the very few prominent astronomers who would admit to having seen a UFO.)

The Governments' silence

Is this, then, the real reason for the feverish attempts made by governments to master the techniques of space flight? And, if so, what other evidence has appeared since then?

For six years or so, the authorities seem to have preserved a strict silence and the general public, as usual, found no difficulty in forgetting about these press reports. During this period, Russians and Americans succeeded in putting earth-­launched satellites into cubit.

Then, on February 11, 1960, [sic] various British papers, including the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express - and also the B.B.C. Home Service - ­carried reports from their New York or Washing­ton representatives about a U.S. Defence Depart­ment announcement that an unidentified object, now orbiting the Earth, had been discovered some time before by a Navy-operated space surveillance unit (i.e. by long-range radar) and was being kept under constant observation. The object was, the report said, roughly orbiting the Poles. It had so far preserved total radio silence and was of monster size - about 15 tons weight.

At that date there were stated to be 12 earth-­launched satellites and/or their carrier rockets in orbit round the earth : all had been accounted for with the exception of this "new" one. In their statement, the U.S. Department of Defence were careful to emphasise that the object "may have been of Soviet origin" and they seem to have sat back to await reactions in Moscow. The only reply they received came from Professor Alla Masevich1, who denied that the object was Russian. At that date, incidentally, only one American-launched object was said to be in orbit over the Poles and that was the burnt-out rocket section of Discoverer VIII, launched on Novem­ber 20, 1959.

The "Intruder's" description

According to Time of February 22, 1960, the "mystery spook satellite" was described by the Navy radar space-scanners as 19 feet by 5 feet in size and ranging in orbit from an apogee of 1,074 miles to a perigee of 134 miles. The next report was dated July 4, 1960, when, under the title "The Strange Intruder," the American Newsweek had this to say:

"At the Air Force's Spacetrack - the National Space Surveillance Control Center in New Bedford, Mass, - the IBM computers punched out calculations for the two new U.S. satellites (now) in orbit ... white and orange fluorescent letters on the black-felt `Satellite Status' board showed 11 U.S. satellites and 1 Russian satel­lite still in earth-circling orbit; one U.S. and one Soviet probe circling the Sun; and the U.S. Pioneer V heading toward the orbit of Venus.

"To Spacetrack's knowledge, that was the grand total of space-traffic at mid-1960. But a growing number of scientists are now con­vinced that Spacetrack, for all its diligence, may have overlooked at least one space vehicle neither Russian nor American, but out of this world - indeed, out of this solar system.

"This satellite, they suspect, is a visitor sent by the superior beingsof a community of other stars within our Milky Way galaxy - a kind of United Stellar Organisation interested, for archaeological and anthropological reasons, in how things are going on in this part of the galactic neighbourhood. . .

"Why," the article continues, "should they want to talk to us?" The Australian radio­astronomer, Dr. Ronald N. Bracewell2, now at Stanford University, Newsweek reported, had made a set of mathematical calculations "ndi­cating that the Milky Way 'civilisations' have a high mortality rate perhaps due to [sic] over­-familiarity with nuclear fision"."  The prospect of catching a technology near its peak," said Dr. Bracewcll, "might be a strong incentive for them to reach us - in other words, before the H-bomb makes Earth purely an archeological point of interest."

What reports have there been since July? On August 31, 1960, the London Evening Standard notes that the Director of the Adler Planetarium (Chicago) states that he has received "reports of new sightings of a mysterious object in orbit around time Earth." On September 3, 1960, the London Daily Telegraph carried the following report on its front page: "A mysterious space object which has appeared in the sky over New York five times since August 23 has been photographed by a tracking camera at the Grumman Aircraft Plant at Bethpage, Long Island. Its speed is thought to be about three times that of the Satellite Echo 1. A spokesman for Grummans said the object was photographed at 8:50 p.m. last Thursday as it passed over the company's plant in a westerly direction. The announcement followed reports that scientists had detected an object of similar description over Chicago3 and various East Coast areas late last week. Observ­ers said the object seemed to glow with an intermittent reddish light. It travels from east to west rather than in the west-to-east path followed by man-made satellites."

As Mr. Kruschev was arriving at New York City aboard the Baltika on September 19, rumours were rife, as usual, about a new Soviet space coup. Thus (see London Evening News, September 19, 1960) it was reported that mem­bers of a "Moonwatch" satellite-tracking station at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, had sighted on the night of Sunday, September 18, "what they believed to be a Russian satellite." The head of the teams said that no U.S. satellites were due to pass over San Antonio when the sighting was made.

On September 24, the Evening Standard and the Evening News carried a report from San Francisco containing further vague references to an unidentified object in space that had been tracked by U.S. scientists. The report went on to quote the opinion of Brig. General Don Flickinger, head of the Department of Bio-Astronautics [sic] for the U.S. Air Research Development Command, who sug­gested that the Russians had in fact already put two men into space in a capsule the week before and had failed to bring them back, so that both men were up there still, dead.

Whatever the truth of this last suggestion may be, it looks as though we may be in for some startling revelations before long. In any case, it must be borne in mind that the first Soviet Sputnik went into orbit only on October 4, 1957, so that there could be no question of any Soviet or American satellites being up there in 1953, 1954 or 1955, the dates mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Finally, it may be worth while to repeat a state­ment alleged to have been made by Wernher von Braun. At any rate, the following appeared over his name in a West German paper, Neues Europa, on January 1, 1959:

Speaking of the deflection from course of the U.S. rocket Juno II, the article stated: "We find ourselves faced by powers which are far stronger than we had hitherto assumed, and whose base is at present unknown to us. More I cannot say at present. We are now engaged in entering into a closer contact with those powers, and in six or nine months' time it may be possible to speak with more precision on the matter."

1.  Professor Alla Masevitch is the Soviet woman astronomer in charge of 70 Sputnik-tracking stations. She gave detailed reasons why the mystery satellite could not be Russian. See FLYING SAUCER REVIEW, March-April issue,  p. 25.

2 . Professor Bracewell's article appeared originally in the May 28, 1960, issue of Nature. See also FLYING SAUCER REVIEW, September-October, 1960, issue.

3 . Over Chicago the object was observed by Richard Johnson, Director of the Adler Planetarium, on August 26 at 9 p.m. See Chicago Daily News, August 27, 1960.