The Quiet Before The Storm Of The Modern UFO Era

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
December 14, 2022
Estimated Reading Time
15 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

The eighteen months following the end of the Second World War saw UFO sightings gradually but steadily increase. And while many of these were of glowing cigar-shaped craft – particularly over Sweden and northern Europe that became known as the Ghost Rockets sightings – there were equally as many encounters with glowing spheres and the disc-shaped objects that would be witnessed in abundance from the summer of 1947 and the start of the modern UFO era.

That these sightings were very regular (although certainly not as explosive as they would become the following year) should perhaps alert us to the suggestion that there was an apparent extraterrestrial presence here on Earth in the run-up to such incidents as the Kenneth Arnold sighting and Roswell Crash that threw the idea of UFOs into the world’s mainstream.

As always, we can’t go through each and every sighting, but we will look at some of the more intriguing of these largely little-known encounters with curious crafts seemingly from another world.

An Immediate Restart

Perhaps one of the best places to start, although there is very little information on it, is an apparent crash of a UFO somewhere in Romania. According to local rumor that has surfaced since, the wreckage was recovered by the Soviet military and then transported to a top-secret facility somewhere in Russia, possibly Kapustin Yar.

Around the same time, also in the opening days of 1946 on the other side of the Atlantic in Florida, the crew of a C-47 plane was flying approximately 30 miles off the coast of Tampa when they witnessed a shiny “cigar-shaped object with luminous portholes” head in their direction with great speed. When the object was less than 1000 yards from them, it suddenly swerved so as to avoid a collision. The crew would later state the object was at least twice the size of a B-29 bomber.

Another incident involving a United States military pilot unfolded at around 11 pm on 18th January over Cherbourg in France. On the night in question, the witness reported seeing a bright “shooting star” that descended to the ground before then climbing back into the sky.

The following day in Sweden, at around 10:30 pm, an RAF pilot noticed an unidentified object on his radar, seemingly moving at great speed at an altitude of around 22,000 feet. Furthermore, a ground radar operative had also appeared to track an identical object several hours previously. FBI records would later state that “no explanation has been forthcoming” for the sighting.

A truly bizarre and unsettling encounter unfolded at around midnight on 19th January in Flagstaff, Arizona when, according to the files of David Webb, when a local motorist noticed there were around 10 hours of his journey that he simply couldn’t account for. Through hypnosis, he would later recall that he had brought his vehicle to a stop in front of a hat-shaped object. Shortly after doing so, three beings appeared from out of the object, appearing to glide as they moved and with a “radiant glow” to them. Although he still couldn’t recall the exact details, he was taken onboard their craft, and he remembered these strange entities communicating with him telepathically. Interestingly, around the same time, two young men who walking along the nearby mountains reported seeing a disc-shaped object hovering near where the witness had brought his car to a stop.

At a little after 2:20 pm on 31st January, radar operators in Bridgeton, New Jersey picked up and tracked an unidentified object around 40 miles off the coast of Philadelphia. Although patrol boats were sent to inspect the area the readings were coming from, no visual confirmation was established.

Flying Discs And Saucers

While the Ghost Rocket sightings gripped much of northern Europe during the opening weeks of 1946, by March sightings were beginning to be reported from various different locations around the world. In the opening days of the month, a short time after midnight in Johannesburg, South Africa, for example, two local women witnessed a bizarre “flying disc” that was hovering just above farmland. Even more amazing, inside the object was a humanoid figure. All the while the craft remained hovering, the animals below became increasingly agitated.

Very similar disc-shaped objects – five in total – were witnessed by a resident of Bernardston, Massachusetts several days later, while yet another flying disc was reported hovering over Hinsdale, New Hampshire a short time after that. At around dawn on the 14th of March in Havana, Illinois, two men reported seeing a similar saucer-shaped craft measuring around 20 feet across.

The following month, at around 7:45 pm on 25th April at Anima-Nipissing Lake, five miles west of Latchford, Ontario, Canada, Don Cameron, his wife, and their children were out on the lake when they suddenly noticed an odd scene in the sky above them. All of the family could see “between 12 to 14 small, disc-shaped objects” descend out of the sky, moving in strange jumping motions before settling near the ground. After a moment or two, Don began walking slowly to the bizarre objects. As soon as he had set off, the objects rose into the air and then “shot off through the trees”. Below where they had landed were “black marks on the snow and ice”. The witness further stated that the objects appeared to be “making a rattling noise” as they descended and that the objects appeared metallic with no windows or portholes.

Sightings Continue Around The World

At around noon one day in early May 1946 in Lafayette, New York, two local residents witnessed a “flying disc” moving across the sky. It was visible for around two minutes before disappearing into the distance.

According to an article in the March-April 1972 edition of Flying Saucer Review, at around 6 pm one evening in early May in Skalderviken, Sweden, a domed disc was witnessed with a dome on top which appeared to change color. The witness estimated that the object was approximately 80 feet across and was visible for around 30 minutes over nearby woodland. The witness would continue that a short time after he noticed the object, he witnessed several strange humanoids, each around six feet tall and wearing a white coverall with an attached helmet.

Around the same time on the other side of the Atlantic, off the coast of Florida, a Navy crewman witnessed an “elliptical object” moving slowly over their vessel. The object was also picked up on radar.

Toward the end of the month, at around 3 am on 24th May in Landskrona, Denmark, a cigar-shaped object was observed by three local residents. The following evening, around midnight on 25th May in Huddinge in Sweden an almost identical object was reported. Three days later, this time during the day in Stora Mellosa also in Sweden, yet another cigar-shaped object was witnessed. There were further sightings of cigar-shaped objects were reported in the Sodermanland region of Sweden over the opening weeks of June.

According to the research files of Jacques Vallee, also in early June in the Languedoc region of France, a strange object was seen moving across the sky in a perfectly straight line before disappearing into the distance. Several weeks later, in the United States in Virginia, another strange object was reported. According to the report, it moved through the sky in a way that the witness had not previously seen, and certainly unlike any aircraft that they were familiar with. The object was visible for around two or three minutes.

Strange Lights And Metallic Objects

As the second part of the year unfolded, sightings of strange aerial objects continued at a steady pace. One account in the book Bibliography of Anomalies by George Eberhart, several reports of bizarre “nocturnal lights” was made in early July 1946 over Muscatine, Iowa. Several days later in the Indian River Inlet in Delaware, two high school students claimed they had seen a disc-shaped object emerge from the water, hover in the air for several moments before turning and heading to the ocean, disappearing under the water.

Another account from Bibliography of Anomalies occurred around the same time in San Antonio, Texas. According to the report, an anonymous resident reported seeing a strange object that appeared like nothing they had seen previously. On the other side of the Atlantic, again sometime in early June in Viskinge, Denmark, a local resident witnessed three “metallic discs” move through the sky. They recalled that the curious crafts had “mirror-like reflective tops and dull gray bottoms”. What’s more, despite moving at a considerable pace they all remained completely silent.

At around 8 pm on 2nd July in Gavle, Sweden, another strange object was reported. Like many previous reports of the summer of 1946, the witness recalled that the craft was unlike anything they had seen previously, nor did it move in the manner of any known aircraft. The following evening, at around 9 pm over Scotland, several reports of bizarre lights moving in the sky were made by residents.

Little-Known Ghost Rocket Accounts From Sweden

There are several well-known sightings from the Ghost Rockets wave over Sweden in 1946. There are, however, many others that are not as well known. One of these occurred in the opening days of the month over Lake Kolmjarv, when a strange object was seen descending purposely toward the water in a “falling-leaf motion”.

On the afternoon of 9th July, at around 2:30 pm in Borlange, a local resident reported seeing a cigar-shaped object moving across the sky. On the same day at around the same time in Mockfjard, a similar object was observed by an anonymous male witness, who claimed it moved in a way unlike any aircraft he had previously seen.

Yet another sighting around the same time on the 9th July, this time in Jarna, is also of interest to us here. The witness described the object as being like a “silvery thermos bottle” that moved in a bizarre manner. What’s more, there were at least six more witnesses who reported seeing this object, suggesting that whatever it might have been, something strange was definitely moving across Sweden in the summer of 1946.

Yet another metallic object was reported at around 10:30 am the following morning over Farila. Interestingly or not, around half an hour later off the coast of Denmark, a similarly shaped object was seen to “crash into the water”. Another similar object was witnessed the following day in Enkoping, an object that was described as having a capability, unlike any earthly aircraft. Later that afternoon, at around 2:30 pm in Berg Anne Gu, a metallic sphere was reported to have landed. The three witnesses claimed the object was around 10 feet across and seemingly left behind a crater where it had been rested on the ground.

Two days later, at around 10:30 am on 13th July in Nasviken, a “fireball” that measured around 10 feet across was witnessed by several local male witnesses. They also reported hearing a strange noise that appeared to come from the glowing spherical object as it moved magnificently across the sky. An hour and a half later in Rogaland, a similar object was seen by a local woman.

These are just some of many Ghost Rockets sightings that unfolded during this time, with the details of other incidents mirroring those we have examined above. By and large, they remain unexplained.

Encounters On Both Sides Of The Atlantic

At around 6 pm on 1st August around 40 miles north of Tampa, Florida, a United States Air Force pilot (referred to in the report only as “Puckett”) was piloting a C-47 when he reported seeing a huge “cigar-shaped UFO with portholes” that passed in front of his plane. He further recalled that these portholes appeared to be luminated, possibly from the inside, and that a “stream of exhaust fire” was present.

In the opening days of August just to the north of Chicago, Illinois, Charles Johnson was returning to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center after driving an officer into the city. As he drove along Route 41 along Lake Shore, however, he suddenly noticed three disc-shaped objects – each a bright silver – moving across the sky in a triangular formation.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean around the same time in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, a 19-year-old local resident witnessed a disc-shaped craft land on a nearby roadside. Several seconds later, a short humanoid was seen walking around the edge of the object before returning inside it. At that point, the curious vehicle rose into the air and disappeared. When the land where it had been resting was later checked there were significant burn marks on the ground.

A particularly intriguing incident unfolded late in the month and comes to us from the files of Ted Bloecher. The encounter involves an unnamed woman who claimed she saw an aluminum rotating disc measuring approximately 80 feet across land a short distance from where she was standing. Even stranger, she saw the shapes of 12 humanoid silhouetted beings walking on the ground near where the strange object had landed. These mysterious figures were visible for around 90 seconds before they seemingly retreated into the craft which then rose into the air while rotating and then disappeared into the distance.

Incidentally, the Ghost Rocket sightings continued in Sweden, with one of the most intriguing incidents unfolding at just before 9 pm on 11th August near Stockholm, when two local residents witnessed a cigar-shaped object pass overhead before heading out and “crashing into the sea”. Around two hours later over the Mariestad area of Sweden, several similarly shaped objects were witnessed moving through the sky in formation. Only five minutes after that, a “cylindrical object” was seen over the southern Norrland province.

Around this time, other countries in the region such as Denmark and Finland also reported similar sightings. At around 4 pm on 13th August in Ringkobing, several boy scouts reported seeing a “rocket-like” object moving with great speed across the sky. They recalled that it appeared the object had “small side wings and fins” and a bright blue-white light “streamed” from the underside. Around the same time in Copenhagen, a mill worker witnessed an almost identical object.

Four nights later over Koge, two large cigar-shaped objects were witnessed by several residents, with another apparent sighting of them coming a short time later over Traskanda in Finland. Later that evening at around 8 pm in Oresund back in Denmark, two more cigar-shaped objects – quite possibly the same as that morning – were witnessed by multiple residents of the city.

An Increase In Sightings As War Comes To An End

As summer began to give way to the fall sightings continued. On the 1st September, for example, just off the coast of Ancona, Italy, several fishermen witnessed a strange object, like a “big and mysterious projectile” descend out of the sky and into the sea. They would report their sighting to the newspapers, who claimed that it was likely a V-2 rocket launched from a base in Yugoslavia. What the object was, however, remains uncertain.

Around the same time over O’Neill, Nebraska, multiple residents witnessed a strange object hovering overhead, while in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, a make witness with considerable experience in aviation witnessed a “round shiny disc-shaped object” which moved through the sky in a manner he was not at all familiar with. Several days later in France, two soldiers were alerted to something strange unfolding when they hear an “odd whistle” sound. When they looked in the direction the sound was coming from, they saw a disc-shaped object that appeared to glow a red-orange color.

Back in the United States, at around 2 pm in Engle, New Mexico, a “black cigar-shaped object” was witnessed moving over a residential area, causing several of the trees to sway significantly as it did so. The following day in Oak Lawn, Illinois, according to a report made years later to the National UFO Reporting Center, six silver discs moving across the sky at great speed and in V-formation were witnessed. On the same day, at around 11 pm in Lorraine, France, “two balls of light connected by a bar” was witnessed moving overhead. The object moved extremely quickly, although it remained completely silent.

According to a report in UFOs, A History, 1946, a rocket-like object was witnessed flying over Florence in Italy just after 3 am on 22nd September. What’s more, the object changed direction several times, suggesting that it was not a missile or even a meteor, but something intelligently guided. The following night in Fes, Morocco, a similar object making similar moves was reported.

In early October in Paterson, New Jersey, a horseback rider reported seeing a “slow-moving bluish white light” that appeared to be completely silent moving through the sky. At the same time the object appeared, the rider’s horse suddenly became agitated and reared several times. The object was in sight for several moments before it disappeared into the distance. Several days later at just before 7:30 pm on 9th October in San Diego, California, a “bat-like UFO” was seen hovering in the early evening sky during a meteor shower. It remained in the same spot for just over 90 minutes before it vanished.

At around 2 am on 19th November in Baltimore Maryland, two local residents were walking along the street when they noticed a strange aerial craft above them. What’s more, both would report seeing a humanoid pilot inside the craft.

A little over a month later on the evening of 30th December in Morro Bay, California, another bizarre event took place. At around 5:30 pm on the evening in question, “Ella” and her friend were walking along the high grounds of the area when a “dark object” suddenly appeared in the skies ahead of them. They could tell the object was heading toward them, and interestingly was described as having a bat-like appearance. We might wonder, especially considering a similar description only months earlier, if these vehicles are connected to the single-winged type object witnessed by Kenneth Arnold in the summer of 1947. They watched it for several moments before it changed its direction and disappeared over the horizon.

Heading Toward The Modern UFO Era

As 1947 began, the slow burn toward the recognized start of the Modern UFO Era with the explosion of sightings continued. One of the first UFO incidents of 1947 occurred in the early days of January over East Anglia, England when a Royal Air Force radar picked an anomalous object traveling at an approximate speed of 400 miles per hour at an altitude of 30,000 feet.

Another intriguing report came out of New Mexico on 7th January when a man who had been walking in the desert claimed to have seen the “wreckage of an egg-shaped craft”. What’s more, he claimed to also have seen the dead bodies of three humanoid figures, each with “oversized heads and large black eyes”. Stranger still, as he was looking at these remains, a military unit appeared and ordered him away from the site, telling him that he should not mention to anyone what he had seen.

At around 10:30 pm on the 16th January, over the North Sea approximately 50 miles from the Netherlands, a British Royal Air Force pilot picked up an unidentified object on his radar screen heading toward the English coast at great speed, at least equal to his Mosquito aircraft. The following afternoon, two separate radar stations picked up an unidentified object over the North Sea. It remained visible for some time before disappearing. Several hours later, yet another radar picked up an unknown object over the North Sea that remained visible for almost 30 minutes before disappearing seemingly with great speed.

The following month in Frankfurt, Germany, at around noon on 3rd February, three “female military witnesses” reported seeing three objects that moved through the sky in a bizarre way. Not only that, but the objects’ appearance was unlike anything any of them had ever seen before.

On the 28th February in Lake Mead, Nevada, several “flying discs” were witnessed by multiple people near a military facility. On the same evening just outside of Lima, Peru, a local resident reported seeing a sand-colored shiny disc-shaped object hovering several feet off the ground at the roadside. Even stranger, they witnessed three humanoid figures emerge from the object, although it appeared their legs were “fused together”. Their skin or clothing was also sand-colored and featured a transparent visor where the eyes should have been.

Bizarre Humanoids And Floating Entities

Several disc-shaped objects were reported in the United States in the opening days of March, including a sighting in the middle of the day in Los Angeles, California. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in Lincolnshire, England, again during the day at around 10 am, around 150 people witnessed a strange object hovering over the town for a considerable amount of time.

Several days after that, three residents of Buffalo, New York witnessed two disc-shaped objects move across the sky with great speed, while several weeks later, in San Fernando Valley in California, an anonymous witness reported seeing at least 11 objects visible in the sky for around 60 seconds.

Another sighting of multiple objects occurred at 11 am on 30th March in Lutz, Florida. On the morning in question Mrs. Harp and her 7-year-old daughter, as well as her own mother, Mrs. Brown, were driving when they noticed around half a dozen “flying discs” in the morning sky. The witness recalled that the discs were “silvery colored and seemed to appear and disappear”.

In early April in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada, two witnesses reported seeing several “metallic discs” move over farmland, causing much agitation to the animals there as they did so. A day or so later, at just after 8 am one morning near Falgoux in France, Maxime Orliange was driving when he noticed a “lens-shaped disc with a cupola” appear in the sky almost directly above his vehicle. He noticed the object appeared to be ascending and he could see a blue light that appeared to be coming from the cupola section. Suddenly, it shot off into the distance and disappeared.

Also in early April, at around 11 am one morning in Richmond, Virginia, a meteorologist (named as Minczewski) was tracking a weather balloon when he saw a silver disc moving through the sky at an approximate altitude of around 15,000 feet. Around the same time in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, a field engineer (named as Savage in the report) reported seeing a “frosty white round and flat object” traveling around 2000 miles per hour, accompanied by a strange “swishing sound”.

Back in France, several strange objects were witnessed at around 9:30 pm on 26th April in Picardie, France. They were described as looking completely different from any known aircraft and moved with seemingly advanced capabilities. Three days later in Tucson, Arizona, at a little 1:20 pm, Mrs. Olavick and Mrs. Down claimed to have seen nine white discs, as well as another strangely shaped object behind a single cloud in an otherwise clear sky overhead. They remained in view for around five minutes.

According to a report from Norman Oliver in Volume 11 No. 4 of Quest UFO Magazine, at around noon one day in early May in East Anglia, England, the daughter of an RAF pilot witnessed a bizarre “entity glide through an open window” and hover just above the kitchen table. The being appeared to be female and had “shimmering wings”. It simply looked at the young girl before rising into the air and disappearing back out of the window.

At around 11 pm on 10th May, an apparently advanced vehicle that moved through the air unlike any other known aircraft was reported over Chester, England. Across the Atlantic Ocean several weeks later toward the end of May, at around 11 am one morning in South Carolina, Dr. Battey was fishing when he noticed four disc-like objects flying with great speed in formation overhead. He estimated they were at an altitude of around 20,000 feet and had a silvery, polished appearance. They also appeared to be spinning extremely quickly as they moved. Despite the speed they were moving at, the witness claimed the objects remained completely silent, and in less than 20 seconds they had disappeared from sight.

So Many Questions And Very Few Answers

As is clear, then, much the same way it was for the decades leading up to the forties, the 18 months before the start of the Modern UFO Era in the summer of 1947 was awash with strange aerial activity. What’s more, it is clear that the militaries and governments around the world, on both sides of what would become the ideology that would become the Cold War, were very much aware of this strange activity, as well as the possibilities of what the intelligence was behind it. Indeed, we might ask just how much was known before the Roswell Crash and whether this prior knowledge was the reason that an apparent initial declaration of a downed “flying saucer”.

If there is a connection between these sightings and encounters in the immediate run-up to the pre-Roswell era and the decades that followed, then what is the purpose for these cosmic visitations? Could it be possible that rumors and conspiracies of meetings between representatives of this apparent alien race and the leaders of our world, specifically the United States could be true? If so, what might have been discussed, and why have these meetings been kept secret, especially when sightings have only increased across the decades? And where does the alien abduction phenomenon fit into all of this? Are these the same aliens from the pre-Roswell era also, or did they indeed arrive after these initial potential meetings?

Perhaps above all else, why did steady if continuous sightings suddenly change to the explosion of reports which has, ultimately, not let up since? Had it always been this way and suddenly more people were reporting what they were seeing? Unlikely. The only reasonable conclusion is that there was simply a sudden increase in activity – seemingly intelligently guided objects – at this time. That, for reasons unknown, in June 1947 these visitors from elsewhere made a conscious decision to spend more time here on Earth – perhaps even establish bases.

The longer we drift from these UFO encounters from the first half of the twentieth century, the harder it will become to find any connections between them to the strange activity that is still taking place today. That, if no other reason, is why researchers and enthusiasts must keep reexamining such sightings in the event that further information or details or uncovered.

The short video below looks at some of the most convincing UFO encounters in history.

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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