Ted Bloecher:
July 4, Lake City, Washington: Alerted about 5:30 p.m. PST by a group of neighbors who had spotted a disc-like object approaching the northern Seattle suburb from the south, Yeoman Frank Ryman, of the Coast Guard Press Information office in Seattle, dashed into his house at 12321 22nd Street N.E. and grabbed his Speed Graphic camera. He waited until the disc was directly overhead before taking a photograph, using Super XX film, shutter speed set at 1/50 and an F 22 lens opening.

Using binoculars, he observed the object closely. "The disc came over at about 9,000 or 10,000 feet. It was flashing silver in the sun, (and was) about one-tenth the apparent size of a full moon," he reported later. He said the gleaming disc appeared to change course slightly in its northern flight. "As the object hurtled through the sky," he said, "it seemed brighter at certain times than at others. I believe it was the way the sun hit it." Ryman heard no noise, no sound of engines. "I am positive there were no wings or fins in sight. It definitely was not a plane," he asserted. "I looked for wings and other possible projections as I watched it through the binoculars. I thought it conceivably could have been a weather balloon being blown along by a high wind. The Navy told me there was very little wind --about 10 to 12 knots at most. The object I photographed appeared to be traveling over 500 miles an hour."

Ryman said that the object was in sight for four or five minutes and was observed by at least 20 others in the neighborhood. He contacted the Post-Intelligencer immediately, and the film was developed in the newspaper's darkroom. It showed a small, blurred white oval against the background of the sky. Enlarged, it is quite distinct (see reproduction), and the enlargement was reprinted widely by the wire services. The importance of this photograph is not so much what is shown on film, but in the circumstances under which it was taken -- one of the rare cases in which a photograph is made with numerous eye-witnesses who not only saw the object in the sky, but saw the photograph being taken as well.

Case 257 - July 4, Lake City, Washington (Ryman)

In the Air Force files the Ryman sighting is explained as a "weather balloon," although the speed of the object, as well as information on the wind at the time, appear to make such an explanation doubtful. The Air Force report on this sighting gives the duration of observation as ten minutes. In the newspaper accounts -- both local and wire service versions -- Ryman specifically says the object was in view for "four to five minutes." Whether or not Ryman changed his estimate of the duration in his official report is unknown, but it is perfectly clear that a ten-minute duration would be more acceptable to the Air Force in proposing a balloon explanation.

Source: Case 257 - Report on the UFO Wave of 1947