Spring 1948 FATE
|What is FATE?
by Robert Webster
On the cover of this
magazine you will find the title, FATE, which is perhaps the most
most dominant word the world has ever known. It has been the basis for
dogmatic religions, for stultifying superstitions, for lack of progress
despair and hopelessness. At the same time it has brought into the open
highest courage of body and soul, been the foundation of rigid
that has established great nations and conquered others as great, and
man’s eyes toward the inexpressible mystery of an all-powerful Creator.
of its relationship to these things, this magazine has been called FATE.
FATE is a new kind of
magazine. It was conceived several years ago, vaguely and imperfectly
the minds of its editors. Through the intervening years of research,
experience, analysis, debate, planning, and just plain hard work, the
went on, until today it lies in your hands, a modest, but energetic
magazine dedicated to the earnest, thinking people of all races and
of life. It is a magazine devoted to the defense of reason. It is a
out into the open of the real kinship between fate and free will. It is
magazine dedicated to the scientific method, to calm analysis of the
and the unknown. It is a magazine for the logical man, the religious
for the doubtful man, for the observing man, and above all, for the man
wants to know the answers to those greatest of all questions: Why was I
Where am I going? Who, and what, am I?
You might call FATE
a “cosmic reporter.” Its real purpose is reporting the unbiased truth.
is your instrument for gathering news more important than the things
immortal Will Rogers used to “read in the newspapers” and claimed was
I know.” Will Rogers knew a great deal more than what he read in the
He knew, for instance: A man’s what he wants to be - and who can he
for that! His philosophy of life put the superstitious, dogmatic type
fate right where it belonged. He knew, too, that God didn’t put him
to “just sit.” He realized man was a “master of his fate, captain of
soul” and ought to do something constructive about it.
FATE lets you do your
own thinking, confining its efforts solely to supplying the material
which your ability to think can be directed, with the ultimate decision
own. Your own decision is the correct one! That’s what the fates really
to you. The fates never make a move until you decide their course. What
after that is pre-ordained, but not by those silly old ladies who are
to be using you for dice.
Now do you know how
FATE is a new kind of magazine? Can you see how it is intended to be a
to you in your daily life? It isn’t just “another magazine” intended to
although FATE can emphatically state that no other magazine will top
contents for drama, plot, intrigue, characterization and adventure! It
a fiction magazine containing stories, but a factual magazine
articles by experts in all walks of life and by others not so expert,
having something dynamic, significant and truthful to say!
The following story
of what I observed over the Cascade mountains, as impossible as it may
is positively true. I never asked nor wanted any notoriety for just
being in the right spot at the right time to observe what I did. I
something that I know any pilot would have reported. I don’t think that
any way my observation was due to sensitivity of eyesight or judgment
than what is considered normal for any pilot.
On Tuesday, June 24th,
1947, I had finished my work for the Central Air Service at Chehalis,
and at about two o’clock I took off from Chehalis, Washington airport
the intention of going to Yakima, Washington. My trip was delayed for
hour to search for a large Marine transport that supposedly went down
or around the southwest side of Mt. Rainier in the state of Washington.
airplane has been discovered at the time of this writing - July 29,
I flew directly toward
Mt. Rainier after reaching an altitude of about 9,500 feet, which is
approximate elevation of the high plateau from which Mt. Rainier rises.
had made one sweep of this high plateau to the westward, searching all
the various ridges for this Marine ship and flew to the west down and
the ridge side of the canyon where Ashford, Washington, is located.
Unable to see anything
that looked like the lost ship, I made a 360 degree turn to the right
above the little city of Mineral, starting again toward Mt. Rainier. I
back up to an altitude of approximately 9,200 feet.
The air was so smooth
that day that it was a real pleasure flying and, as most pilots do when
air is smooth and they are flying at a higher altitude, I trimmed out
airplane in the direction of Yakima, Washington, which was almost
east of my position, and simply sat in my plane observing the sky and
There was a DC-4 to
the left and to the rear of me approximately fifteen miles distant and,
should judge, at 14,000 feet elevation.
The sky and air were
as clear as crystal. I had not flown more than two or three minutes on
course when a bright flash reflected on my airplane. It startled me as
thought I was too close to some other aircraft. I looked every place in
sky and couldn’t find where the reflection had come from until I looked
the left and the north of Mt. Rainier where I observed a chain of nine
aircraft flying from north to south at approximately 9,500 feet
and going, seemingly, in a definite direction of about 170 degrees
They were approaching
Mt. Rainier very rapidly, and I merely assumed they were jet planes.
I discovered that this was where the reflection had come from, as two
three of them every few seconds would dip or change their course
just enough for the sun to strike them at an angle that reflected
in my eyes.
These objects being
quite far away, I was unable for a few seconds to make out their shape
their formation. Very shortly they approached Mt. Rainier, and I
their outline against the snow quite plainly.
I thought it was very
peculiar that I couldn’t find their tails, but assumed they were some
type of jet. I was determined to clock their speed. I had two definite
- Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams - to clock them by, and the air was so
that it was very easy to see the objects and determine their
shape and size as far as fifty miles.
I remember distinctly
that my sweep-second hand on my eight-day clock, which is located on my
panel, read one minute to 3 P.M. as the first object of this formation
the southern edge of Mt. Rainier. I watched these objects with great
as I had never before observed airplanes flying so close to the
tops, flying directly south to southeast down the hog’s back of a
range. I would estimate their elevation could have varied a thousand
one way or another up or down, but they were pretty much on the horizon
me which would indicate they were near the same elevation as I was.
They flew, as I have
frequently observed geese fly, in a rather diagonal chain-like line as
they were linked together. They seemed to hold a definite direction,
swerved in and out of the high mountain peaks. Their seed at the time
not impress me particularly, because I knew that our army and air
had planes that went very fast.
What kept bothering
me as I watched them flip and flash in the sun right along their path
the fact that I couldn’t make out any tail on them, and I am sure that
pilot would justify more than a second look at such a plane.
I observed them quite
plainly, and I estimate my distance from them, which was almost at
angles, to be between twenty to twenty-five miles. I knew they must be
large to permit me to observe their shape at that distance, even as
a day as it was. In fact, I compared a zeus fastener or cowling tool I
in my pocket with them, holding it up on them and holding it up on the
that I could observe at quite a distance to my left, and they seemed
than the DC-4; but I should judge their span would have been as wide as
farthest engines on each side of the fuselage of the DC-4.
The more I observed
these objects, the more upset I became, as I am accustomed and familiar
most all flying objects whether I am close to the ground or at higher
I observed the chain of these objects passing another high snow-covered
in between Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams, and as the first one was passing
south crest of this ridge the last object was entering the northern
of the ridge.
As I was flying in the
direction of this particular ridge, I measured it and found it to be
five miles, so I could safely assume that the chain of these
objects was at least five miles long. I could quite accurately
their pathway due to the fact that there were several of them as well
higher peaks on the other side of their pathway.
As the last unit of
this formation passed the northernmost high snow-covered crest of Mt.
I looked at my sweep-second hand and it showed that they had traveled
distance in one minute and forty-two seconds. Even at the time this
did not upset me as I felt confident that after I landed there would be
explanation of what I had seen.
A number of news men
and experts suggested that I might have been seeing reflections or even
mirage. This I know to be absolutely false, as I observed these objects
only through the glass of my airplane but turned my airplane sideways
I could open my window and observe them with a completely unobstructed
Even though two minutes
seems like a very short time to one on the ground, in the air in two
time a pilot can observe a great many things and anything within his
of vision probably as many as fifty or sixty times.
I continued my search
for the Marine plane, for another fifteen or twenty minutes, and while
for this Marine plane the things I had just observed kept going through
mind. I became more disturbed, so after taking a last look at Teton
I headed for Yakima.
I might add that my
complete observation of these objects, which I could even follow by
flashes as they passed Mt. Adams, was around two and one-half or three
- although by the time they reached Mt. Adams they were out of my range
vision as far as determining shape or form. Of course, when the sun
from one or two or three of these units, they appeared to be completely
but, I am making a drawing to the best of my ability, which I am
as to the shape I observed these objects to be as they passed the
ridges at Mt. Rainier.
When these objects were
flying approximately straight and level, they were just a thin black
and the only time I could get a judgment as to their size was when they
These objects were holding
an almost constant elevation; they did not seem to be going up or to be
down, such as would be the case of rockets or artillery shells. I am
in my own mind that they were some type of airplane, even though they
not conform with the many aspects of the conventional type of planes
Although these objects
have been reported by many other observers throughout the United
there have been six or seven other accounts written by some of these
that I can truthfully say must have observed the same thing that I did;
the descriptions of the three Western Air Lines employees of Cedar
Utah, the pilot from Oklahoma City, the locomotive engineer in
John Corlett, a United Press correspondent of Boise, Idaho. Dave
news editor at the Boise Daily Statesman, Captain Smith, a co-pilot
and Marty Morrow of United Air Lines, and Captain Charles F. Gebian and
Harvey of United Air Lines both of whom on July 28, 1947, made their
on United Air Lines flight 105 westbound out of Boise.
It is my opinion that
descriptions could not be very accurate taken from the ground unless
saucer-like discs were at quite a great height and there is a
that all of the people who observed peculiar objects could have seen
same thing I did; but, it would have been very difficult from the
to observe these for more than four or five seconds, and there is
the possibility of atmospheric moisture and dust near the ground which
distort one’s vision while air observers I would judge to be much more
I have in my possession
letters from all over the United States and Europe from people who
that these objects have been observed over other portions of the world,
Sweden, Bermuda, and California.
I would have given almost
anything that day to have had a movie camera with a telephoto lens and
now on I will never be without one.
When I landed at Yakima,
Washington airport I described what I had seen to my very good friend,
Baxter, who is the General Manager of Central Aircraft Company. He
patiently and was very courteous but in a joking way didn’t believe me.
I did not accurately
measure the distance between these two mountains until I landed at
Oregon, that same day where I told a number of pilot friends of mine
I had observed and they did not scoff or laugh, but suggested they
be guided missiles or something new. In fact, several former Army
informed me that they had been briefed before going into combat
that they might see objects of similar shape and design that I
and assured me that I wasn’t dreaming or going crazy.
I quote Sonny Robinson,
a former Army Air Force pilot who is now operating dusting operations
Pendleton, Oregon: “What you observed, I am convinced, is some type of
or rocket-propelled ship that is in the process of being tested by our
or it could even be by some foreign government.”
Anyhow, the news that
I had observed these spread very rapidly and before the night was over
was receiving telephone calls from all parts of the world; and to date
have not received one telephone call or one letter of scoffing or
The only disbelief that I know of was what was printed in the papers.
I look at this whole
affair as not something funny as some people have made it out to be. To
it is mighty serious and since I evidently did observe something that
least Mr. John Doe on the street corner or Pete Andrews on the ranch
never heard about, is no reason that it does not exist. Even though I
invited an investigation by the Army and the FBI as to the authenticity
my story or a mental and physical examination as to my capabilities, I
no interest from these two important protective forces of our country
two weeks after my observation. I will go so far as to assume that if
Military Intelligence was not aware of what I observed and reported to
United and Associated Press and over the radio on two different
which apparently set the nation buzzing, they would be the very first
I could expect as visitors.
I have received lots
of requests from people who told me to make a lot of wild guesses. I
based what I have written here in this article on positive facts and as
as guessing what it was I observed, it is just as much a mystery to me
it is to the rest of the world. I saw them and I know they are real.
My pilot’s license is
33489. I fly a Callair airplane, which is a three-place single-engine
ship that is designed and manufactured at Afton, Wyoming, as an
high-performance, high-altitude airplane that was made for mountain
The national certificate of my plane is NC-33355.
All material copyright FATE magazine.