degrees to 25 degrees, then it zoomed upward and in a few seconds it was out of sight. The crew heard no sound and the New Mexico desert was so calm that day that they could have heard "a
whisper a mile away."
When they reduced the data they had collected, McLaughlin and crew found out that the UFO had been traveling 4 degrees per second. At one time during the observed
portion of its flight, the UFO had passed in front of a range of mountains that were visible to the observers. Using this as a check point, they estimated the size of
the UFO to be 40 feet wide and 100 feet long, and they computed that the UFO had been at an altitude of 296,000 feet, or 56 miles, when they had first seen it, and
that it was traveling 7 miles per second.
This wasn't the only UFO sighting made by White Sands scientists. On April 5, 1948, another team watched a UFO for several minutes as it streaked across the afternoon
sky in a series of violent maneuvers. The disk-shaped object was about a fifth the size of a full moon.
On another occasion the crew of a C-47 that was tracking a skyhook balloon saw two similar UFO's come loping in from just above the horizon, circle the balloon, which
was flying at just under 90,000 feet, and rapidly leave. When the balloon was recovered it was ripped.
I knew the two pilots of the C-47; both of them now believe in flying saucers. And they aren't alone; so do the people of the Aeronautical Division of General Mills
who launch and track the big skyhook balloons. These scientists and engineers all have seen UFO's and they aren't their own balloons. I was almost tossed out of the
General Mills offices into a cold January Minneapolis snowstorm for suggesting such a thing--but that comes later in our history of the UFO.
I don't know what these people saw. There has been a lot of interest generated by these sightings because of the extremely high qualifications and caliber of the
observers. There is some legitimate doubt as to the accuracy of the speed and altitude figures that McLaughlin's crew arrived at from the data they measured with their
theodolite. This doesn't mean much, however. Even if they were off by a factor of 100 per cent, the speeds and altitudes would be fantastic, and besides they looked at
the UFO through a 25-power telescope and swore that it was a flat, oval-shaped object. Balloons, birds, and airplanes aren't flat and oval-shaped.
Astrophysicist Dr. Donald Menzel, in a book entitled Flying Saucers, says they saw a refracted image of their own balloon caused by an atmospheric phenomenon.
Maybe he is right, but the General Mills people don't believe it. And their disagreement is backed up by years of practical experience with the