The 1952 UFO Wave

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
September 28, 2019
Last Updated
November 14, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
28 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Waves

Although the bulk of the activity of the 1952 UFO wave took place between the months of April to July, sightings began in abundance almost as soon as the new year took over from 1951. And from there they simply increased steadily until the early summer when they simply exploded. In response, it was also around this time that many independent UFO research groups formed, perhaps most notably the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO).

Just to press further how active 1952 was in terms of UFO sightings and reports, according to Edward Ruppelt “during a six-month period in 1952, 148 of the nation’s leading newspapers carried a total of 16,000 items about UFOs”. Furthermore, according to Air Force records, just short of 20% of these sightings remained unexplained.

Perhaps one of the most high-profile incidents of the 1952 wave is one that we have examined before, the so-called Washington DC Invasion that saw several disc-shaped crafts fly and hover directly over the White House in the nation’s capital.

The term “invasion”, while dramatic, is very accurate. And not just in the United States. All around the planet sightings of strange disc-shaped crafts were being reported. And, unlike previous UFO waves, more and more sightings were beginning to speak of closer interactions with the apparent occupants of these strange crafts.

As with previous, and indeed future case study articles concerning such UFO waves, it is only possible to examine a small percent of the incidents that took place here in this article. However, what is clear is 1952 was one of the busiest and active years on record. And arguably truly signaled the start of “UFOmania” that swept around the world.

More Than A Wave, A Plethora Of High-Profile And Detailed Cases!

As well as the incident over the White House we have examined several other sightings previously that were essentially part of the wave of sightings of 1952. For example, several high-profile sightings were reported in California during the year, often with the witnesses being scientists or military personnel.

We have also examined an incident that took place around a month before the sightings over the Washington DC when an experienced officer in the Canadian Navy witnessed “dozens of lights” and a “flying silver disc” near the American military outpost of Pearl Harbor.

Nellis Air Force Base – a military facility with a seemingly long history with UFO sightings – also found itself at the center of a multi-witness sighting in the summer of 1952. And even American involvement as far as Korea during the Korean War of the early-1950s saw several UFO incidents unfold during the conflict.

We have also examined, in detail, the Nash-Fortenberry incident that took place over Newport, Virginia around a month after the Washington Invasion incident – at a time when UFO incidents were being reported at a rate of “20 a day” in the United States – and showed several disc-shaped crafts flying in very purposeful formation. That the witnesses were experienced airline pilots only added to the credibility of the case.

What is perhaps interesting about this last example, in particular, is the apparent attempts made to cover-up, dismiss, and discredit what was becoming increasingly apparent to all aspects of the American population, as well as the world’s populace in general – that whatever people were seeing in the skies around the planet, they were most definitely seeing “something”. As the hundreds of lesser-known sightings would further corroborate.

A Plethora Of Sighting Five Years In The Making?

Before we move on to look at some of these UFO incidents in more detail, we should also remind ourselves of several other activities that, according to some researchers and whistleblowers, also took place in 1952. And while many of these claims and activities are speculative and indeed controversial, it would be irresponsible to dismiss them in their entirety.

For example, we have examined claims previously the claims of Project Serpo, whose origins lie in the Roswell crash of 1947. According to an anonymous former employee of the United States’ government, not only did the Roswell crash happen, but two crafts came to earth on the night in question. And what’s more, the military would retrieve both the crafts and their occupants, one of which was still alive.

This alleged extraterrestrial survivor, according to the anonymous whistleblower, would survive on Earth for five years until it died sometime in 1952. By that time, though, it had assisted in aiding the military with reverse-engineering and recreating the technology of their crippled crafts.

As much as we might need to take a pinch of salt with such claims, is it coincidence that such a wave of UFO sightings took place at the same time that, if we accept the claims to be true, the United States military, or at least a certain branch of them, managed to recreate an apparent alien craft?

Or might the UFO wave of 1952 have more to do with another technological device the apparent extraterrestrial survivor aided in reverse-engineering before it perished? An apparent “communication device” that opened up a dialogue between our world and the home planet of the race of this alien survivor. A race allegedly known as the Ebens.

Bizarre Background Activity

Of further interest, and perhaps essential to the backstory of the 1952 UFO wave, is another alleged secret program that would unfold in 1952 – Project Penguin. And once again, while a pinch or two of salt may be required, the claims behind Project Penguin are intriguing in themselves.

These sessions were essentially “channeling” sessions led by Dr. Henry Puharich. They were also attended by several notable figures in the world of mysticism, industry, and entertainment. Perhaps one of the most interesting was Dr. Vinod who claim to make contact with an entity who referred to itself as “The Nine” during the sessions, “an eternal presence who watched over humanity”.

Interestingly, one of those in attendance at these sessions was Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry. Many question just how many of the advanced ideas in the Star Trek series – and not least the term Deep Space Nine from later films – were a result of these sessions.

What is interesting to us here, though, is whether these apparent channeling sessions resulted in some kind of portal or interdimensional connection that allowed such crafts from elsewhere in the universe to come here in abundance.

Whatever the reasons for the UFO waves of the late-40s and early-50s, the United States government had been extremely busy behind closed doors since at least the Roswell incident of 1947. Whether these background events have a direct or indirect connection on the wave of UFO sightings during 1952 [1] is open to debate. That the United States’ government and military had more of an interest in such sightings than they publicly declared, however, is perfectly obvious to all.

A Discreet Beginning – January to March

As 1952 began to unfold, it became clear to all with an interest in UFO sightings and strange aerial phenomena that activity appeared to be more vibrant than the previous twelve months. And while there were hundreds of reports on record throughout the year, the sudden increase in strange activity would seemingly catch both the world’s authorities and their press off guard.

Although it isn’t clear when the following incident occurred other than it was some time in 1952, an encounter from Dyfed in Wales told in the book Modern Mysteries of Britain by Janet and Colin Bord is most certainly worth including here. Not least as the details are strikingly similar to a Brazilian beach cottage sighting that we will examine in a moment.

During an afternoon walk, Nellie Thomas would spot a “shiny metallic object” ahead in the sandy dunes upon which he was walking. He continued forward several more steps before seeing the object was clearly a disc-shape. And what’s more, “several men” were stood on its surface. He continued forward before one of the “men” told him to stop. He would claim he would be hurt by the “rays” from the craft as he didn’t have on protective clothing.

Thomas claimed that the man informed him they had been coming to the planet for “hundreds of years”. What’s more, they claimed there was concerned with the self-destructive path of humanity. While these kinds of claims often automatically make people distance themselves from such incidents, many similar “messages” were relayed to witnesses in other similar close contact encounters.

The Beach Cottage Humanoid Sighting, Brazil

Perhaps one of the most intriguing sightings of early-1952 would come from Itanhaem in Brazil. The exact date is unknown, other than it took place in late-January, early-February. At around 3 am on the night in question, airline pilot, Mr. Chaskov, was awakened by an “explosive noise” outside the beach cottage he was sleeping in. When he looked toward the window, a “bright blue and white light” was glowing outside.

He would return to sleep shortly after as the glow faded. However, the following morning his grandmother would claim she had gone outside to see what the loud noise was. When she had done so she witnessed several objects that appeared like “inverted soup plates”. Furthermore, they appeared blue with an “orange glow to them”.

She claimed she watched the discs for around 30 minutes as they hovered above the water of the ocean. Even more bizarre, she would claim to have witnessed “two human figures” suddenly emerge from inside the craft and walk on the top of it for several moments, as if looking around their surroundings. They would then disappear back inside the glowing saucer-shaped objects.

His grandmother continued to watch the scene and told how she watched both of the crafts disappear directly upward into the night sky. They would do so one after the other and vanished in a matter of seconds.

Military Pilots Experiencing More And More Encounters

Shortly after midnight on the 22nd January, ground radar outposts at Nenana in Alaska would track a fast-moving target moving near the Fairbanks region. Unbelievably to those watching, the object was moving at around 2,000 miles per hour. Furthermore, three radar systems onboard already airborne F-94 fighter jets also picked up the aerial anomalies.

Later on that day, on the other side of the United States just south of Mitchell Air Force Base in New York came another military encounter. Just before 10 am a TBM3W bomber would give chase to a disc-shaped white craft with a dome on its upper half. After several moments the shiny craft vanished into the distance at unbelievable speed.

Several weeks later on the evening of the 1st February near Terre Haute in Indiana, yet another military pilot would witness bizarre events while airborne. On this occasion, the pilot in question would witness several “moving lights”. What’s more, they would change colors from “blue to green to yellow”.

Just over a week later over the city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, two United States Air Force pilots witnessed a strange yellow-orange object while flying a small Beech AT-11 trainer plane. The following evening in nearby Baltimore in Maryland, a United States Air Force C-47 pilot, along with his co-pilot would witness a “bright white object” moving slowly at first before speeding away into the distance.

Fiery Silver Discs And Flashing Neon Lights!

On the morning of 4th March near Ashiya Air Force Base in Japan, a “bright orange oval-shaped object” was witnessed by several experienced United States Air Force pilots. Three days later, between Claremore and Tulsa in Oklahoma in the American Midwest, another air force pilot witnessed a bright, blinking light passing underneath his C-54 transport plane.

Early on the morning of 13th March in Keflavik in Iceland two different radars – one on the ground with a GCA team and one onboard a United States C-47 airplane – would pick up several unidentified aircraft at just after 7 am. It appeared to be at an altitude of around 8,000 feet and moving at a rate of greater than 250 knots.

The following evening in Hawaii two “disc-shaped crafts” would speed toward a Navy plane transporting Navy Secretary Dan Kimball to the island. Kimball would later describe the speed of these strange objects as “amazing”. Furthermore, according to the estimations of his pilots, the objects were moving between 1,500 and 2,000 miles per hour.

In the early hours of 26th March several military personnel on several different B-50D planes witness “red and green running lights” which moved at “high speed” over Fort Stockton in Texas. Later that same day in Long Beach, California “two yellow discs” passed overhead creating radio interference as they did so.

Three days later over several uranium mines of Belgian Congo on 29th March, “two fiery discs” were witnessed. After moving around in a bizarre zig-zag motion, they would take off into the distance at great speed.

Later that same day, in Glen Burnie in Maryland on the eastern side of the United States, two witnesses would report a “50-foot flat silver disc”.

A Wave Underway In All But Name – April to June

Although there was a slight increase in UFO activity in the opening months of the year, it was so discreet that no one could have predicted what lay ahead in terms of such a dramatic increase in sightings and reports. However, as April progressed and morphed into May and in turn June, it became apparent, at least to UFO investigators (who were beginning themselves to become more organized) that an apparent wave was underway.

The national press, however, and certainly anyone operating in an official capacity for the United States’ government or military would pay little attention to this discreet increase.

The Humanoid Giants And The Bizarre Account Of “Rose C.”

On the evening of 10th going into the 11th April, 24-year-old Rose C had made her way to the stone mazet her family-owned so that she could spend the night there and hopefully get some work done in the peace and quiet. She was recently divorced and now living with her father. With her 4-year-old daughter was spending the evening with her grandparents she had taken her dogs to the mazet to take advantage of the time by herself.

However, later that night, she was awakened by the sound of the dogs growling. [2] Thinking something might be watching this particular building, she took the dogs and set out to another mazet close by, also owned by her father. However, as she did so, she would suddenly be in the presence of four strangers, three of which were positively “giants” standing around 8 feet tall. The normal size man appeared to be an interpreter of sorts and spoke to Rose in perfect French.

He claimed the three giant humanoids were from a “faraway world”. Rose would later the three giant humanoids had an appearance that they might have “passed for Hindus”. Out of the three of them, one looked older and seemingly of higher rank. He had a strange “black half-marble in the middle of his forehead” and also carried a box with buttons on a strap around his neck.

Perhaps sensing her confusion, the normal-sized man explained that 20 years earlier when he was only 25 years old, he too had met these extraterrestrials. As he had no family or responsibilities, he had agreed to go with them, acting as a go-between as he was doing now. He then asked if they might take some of her books.

Some Truly Remarkable Details

Rose would express how young he looked for his mid-40s. However, he would comment that “up there, time passes much less quickly” and that he wasn’t that old.  What he would tell her next, though, if true, rings a lot of bells for some researchers.

According to the mystery gentleman, these giant extraterrestrials had “set up the Earth” in order that humans might inhabit it. What’s more, they had even “put the Moon in place” in order to create the conditions required for life to develop and thrive on Earth. However, through circumstances that were not explained, this particular “human colony” had become a “penal colony for banished individuals”. What’s more, these apparent cosmic but very human prisoners, were essentially the collective ancestors of the human population today.

There are several intriguing details to examine about this apparent encounter. Not least the apparent seeding of the planet by extraterrestrials – that sounds very similar to the basic claims of the Anunnaki – as well as the notion that other humans exist elsewhere in the universe, with Earth essentially being a prison planet, and perhaps even more bizarre, that the Moon was not a natural satellite but had been purposely placed into orbit by this highly advanced extraterrestrial race.

One last thought, given the legends of giants in antiquity, might the giant humanoids have indeed been human, but of a different size as dictated by the conditions of their home planet? Might the initial “wave” of humans, if we accept the account of Rose unreservedly for a moment, have also been significantly taller, only dropping to a more reflective height of modern humans through breeding with other hominids and the evolutionary factors of our own planet?

We have examined all of this idea in previous articles.

The Barra de Tijuca UFO Photographs

An incident in Barra de Tijuca in Brazil in May 1952 is not only one of the most well-known and credible cases of the 1952 wave, but arguably in the history of UFOs. And what’s more, in complete contrast to the attitude and “findings” of the United States military, the Brazilian Air Force’s investigation, despite not being released until several years later in 1959, was drastically more transparent, positive, and ultimately found the photographs taken during the sighting were completely genuine. You can see one of those pictures below.

On the afternoon of the 7th May at around 4:30 pm, reporter, Joao Martins, and press photographer, Ed Keffel, were in the Barra da Tijuca region due to reports of a “flying disc” in the area several days earlier. Suddenly, Martins would spot something strange heading toward their location out of the bright afternoon sky.

At first, he thought the object was simply a plane. However, not only was it moving much faster than a plane, it appeared to be “flying sideways”. It was at this point that Martins yelled “Shoot, Keffel” in an effort to encourage the photographer to capture the bizarre object above. He was already raising his camera and managed to capture five pictures in approximately 60 seconds.

Although many people have stated their belief that the pictures are nothing more than fakes, many other UFO and independent researchers – including the aforementioned Brazilian military investigation – conclude the pictures are likely genuine.

Arguably, Some Of The Most Credible Photographs In UFO History?

Although the photographs did appear in print several weeks after the incident, it was in the publication O Cruzeiro, for which both men worked. Furthermore, neither “tried to derive any financial profit” from the pictures. Martins would state of the pictures and their report on the incident:

We were at the time, exclusively contracted by (O Cruzeiro) and there we handed in our report and the photos without receiving any extra bonus for either. Neither did we receive, nor did we wish to – any payment from anybody, either for the account or for the photos or for the appearances we were practically obliged to make on different occasions on television… I narrated the fact in free talks to the military authorities and university auditoriums!

Martins would continue that he “did not know what the object was” and so, as far as he was concerned, by definition was an “unidentified flying object”. He would further state that because of the sighting, he had since gone on to undertake considerable research of similar cases, both in Brazil and in other countries.

The positioning of the Sun and the reflection of it on the object appears to be the key in determining the pictures are indeed genuine. However, the fourth picture, at least according to skeptics, shows this lighting coming from the right instead of the left as the others show. Detractors from this skeptical anomaly state that this is merely a result of the “complex growth on the hillside” which results in “no clear object-and-shadow pattern”. Furthermore, for the light to shine from the right side would mean the sun would have to be in a position in the sky it simply never is in this part of the world.

More Yellow-Red-Orange Discs In The Summer Skies

Another sighting of strange yellow-cream round object occurred on the evening of 5th May over Tenafly, New Jersey. On the night in question Mrs. Judson witness “6 or 7 translucent cream-yellow objects” in the night sky. They remained visible for around 5 minutes.

A little under a week later on the 10th May in Paphos in Cyprus, a British scientist witnessed a “luminous circular object” seemingly rise out of the sea. It would hover overhead for several moments before “fading” away from sight. On the same day, over the Atlantic in Ellenton, South Carolina, four employees of the DuPont Company would report 8 disc-shaped craft near the Savannah River Plant.

Three days later at around 10:30 pm in Greenville, South Carolina, several amateur astronomers witnessed 4 “reddish-yellow” oval objects through their telescopes. They were only in sight for several seconds, however, and then vanished out of sight. The following evening in Mayaguez in Puerto Rico, a former United States Air Force pilot, Mr. Stipes, witnessed “2 shiny orange spheres”. They remained visible for around half an hour before disappearing.

As the sighting continued, in eastern Europe, a close encounter incident of a more direct kind was about to unfold.

The Ukraine Campfire Incident

Perhaps one of the strangest incidents occurred around May-June 1952 in Ukraine. It comes to us via veteran and respected UFO researcher, Albert Rosales, who has compiled an extensive database of humanoid encounters. What’s more, it not only featured a sighting of a very similar craft to the ones being seen all over America, but it also featured close interaction with the apparent occupants.

A young boy, Ivan Sergeevich, was enjoying time at a camp when a sudden strong wind came out of nowhere and caused the horses to take cover and many of the adults chasing after them in order to get them back under control. When the young boy looked around only he and a lone elderly woman were left around the fire.

Then, a “bright flash of light” announced itself from the nearby woodland. A moment later, the strange light, in the shape of a dome, rose into the air. From out of the brightness of the glow, three strange humanoids made their way toward the pair in the camp. They appeared human-like, aside from their heads which were larger than normal and “featureless”. They also wore some kind of helmet as well as a tight-fitting suit.

Then, the scene took on an even more bizarre twist.

The three alien entities would approach the fire, talking between themselves as they did so. Their language appeared to have a “hissing” quality to it. As they spoke, the young boy noticed the woman pick up a hand of “dust” from her bag. She would throw this substance into the fire causing it to make a strange crackling sound. She would repeat this action causing the entities to keep their distance.

They would remain there, on the other side of the crackling fire for around fifteen minutes. They would then walk back to their glowing domed craft which then rose into the air and vanished at great speed.

“The Wave” – July and August

There is no doubt, however, despite the increase in sightings and activity in the first half of the year, the absolute peak of the 1952 UFO wave occurred in July and into August. For example, according to figures from Project Blue Book, a total of 401 UFO reports were made in July 1952. Even more intriguing, 320 of those – 75 % of them – would occur in the final two weeks of the month. Captain Edward Ruppelt would further remark that UFO sightings in 1952 were “double the rate” compared to the previous year.

What could be an important factor here, at least in terms of public awareness of UFOs, was a thread which ran through many stories in the national media regarding how prepared the United States’ military and indeed the government actually were in the event that one of these UFOs attacked, or even in the face of a full-scale alien invasion.

This rhetoric combined with the already increase in sightings undoubtedly had members of the American public taking a greater interest in the skies above them. Was the sudden increase in sightings – at a time when sightings were already increasing anyway – a result of a panic-stricken public? Or was it a case of the more eyes looking upwards resulting in more anomalies being seen?

Whatever the reason, as we will examine shortly, almost like a flicking of a switch, an already busy period in UFO reports would suddenly explode. First, though, we will examine some of those incidents that built up to this explosion within an explosion of activity. And what’s more, the vast majority of these sightings were saucer or disc-shaped objects. Certainly nothing that would be considered a terrestrial or conventional aircraft, of the contemporary era or indeed the modern one.

Like Flicking On A Switch…

The increase was almost immediate. At around 7:30 am on the 1st July in Lynn and Bedford in Massachusetts, two F-94 military jets were scrambled to intercept an apparent UFO following a report from a member of the volunteer observer corps. Several moments later, local residents, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson witnessed a “bright, silver cigar-shaped object about six times as long as it was wide”. Even more bizarre, an almost identical UFO would pass overhead a short time later.

Two hours later at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, the same objects were spotted along the east coast. Quite bizarrely, whether coincidentally or not, as soon as the Air Force radar became aware of the object it would speed up dramatically in the direction of Washington DC.

A short time later, a physics professor at George Washington University would spot and report a “dull, gray, smoky colored” object hovering in the sky. When the professor would speak to the press regarding the sighting, he would claim based on the number of people on the street there must be “at least 500 witnesses” to the incident.

The following day in Tremonton in Utah, Navy photographer, Delbert Newhouse, and his wife would witness, and film over a dozen “shiny, silver objects” moving through the skies over the highway on which they were driving. Interestingly, as we have examined in a previous article when the Navy returned the frames to Newhouse he would discover several key frames missing. These actions, of course we can see now in retrospect, would seemingly become commonplace in the decades that would follow.

Press And Media Interest (And Awkward Questions)

By the 9th July, several more sightings of strange aerial anomalies were making headlines around the United States. Perhaps one of the first significant sightings of that day came at just before 1 pm in Colorado Springs in Colorado. There, a senior Air Force pilot, Major Claude Griffin would witness a strange white craft moving erratically overhead.

Several hours later at around 3:30 pm in Rapid City in South Dakota, a sergeant and three airmen would witness “three milky white discs” flying at an altitude of between 30,000 and 40,000 feet. All of the witnesses would state the objects were moving “faster than any jet aircraft”. They were in sight for approximately 5 minutes.

At 6:30 pm in Kutztown in Pennsylvania, farmer John Mittl witnessed an “aluminum oval-shaped object” overhead. The strange craft would move in several directions as well as changing altitudes several times. It then disappeared into the distance. Two hours later in over Quantico, Virginia, a National Airlines pilot would witness a stationary amber glow that suddenly disappeared into the distance.

At just after 8 pm on the evening of the 12th July reports of multiple strange crafts were reported in the north of Illinois. Some reports would suggest they were moving at around 3,000 miles per hour. Half an hour later in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, radars would pick up several similar objects moving at a similarly blistering pace.

As busy as the first two weeks of July undoubtedly were, especially across the United States, UFO activity was about go off the scale.

The Second Half Of July – Sightings Go Into Overdrive

On the evening of 15th July in Pendleton, Oregon, multiple witnesses, including an Oregon State Trooper would report a silver-colored spherical object moving with great speed overhead at an approximate altitude of 4,000 feet. It would disappear toward the north. Interestingly, around ten minutes following its disappearance, six B-36 military aircraft were also witnessed heading in the same direction.

On the same evening on the other side of the United States in West Palm Beach in Florida, three witnesses would report a disc-shaped craft hovering over Palm Beach International Airport. The craft, according to the witnesses, was silver when it moved but, bizarrely, appeared “muddy” when motionless.

Less than twelve hours later at a little after 9:30 am on the 16th July in Beverly, Massachusetts, a United States Coast Guard photographer witnessed “several bright lights” from his air station photo lab. Unfortunately, he was cleaning his camera at the time of the sighting, with the object only visible for a matter of seconds.

On the same day a short distance away in Hampton Road, Virginia, two amber-colored objects were witnessed by an aeronautical engineer, Paul Hill, moving with speed through the sky and turning on their own axis as they did so.

The 48 hours over the 17th and 18th July would see multiple other UFO instances. Far too many for us to cover all of them here. As always, however, some stand the test of time a little more than others.

Sightings Of Silver Discs Across America

For example, between 1 am and 4 am on the 17th July near Lockbourne Air Force Base in Ohio two guards would witness a “circular object with an orange and green glow”. They were at an approximate 5,000 feet. They would watch it for several minutes before it eventually disappeared. Incidentally, the same, or very similar objects appeared over the base the following evening.

As the 17th July unfolded multiple sightings would occur. For example, at around 1 pm in Batesville, Mississippi, a State Highway Patrolman would witness several “round blue fluorescent colored objects”, each around 100 feet across. They moved at various altitudes between 3,000 to 11,000 feet and were visible for around half an hour.

Several hours later at a little after 3 pm in White Plains, New York, Mrs. Florence Daily would report two “round bluish-white” objects flying in formation overhead. Perhaps bizarrely, perhaps not, Daily would report hearing “many feminine voices” as the objects moved overhead.

On the morning of 18th July in Miami, Florida, a parent and daughter witnessed an “opaque, silvery bubble fly” moving at great pace across the sky. At around the same time, several United States Air Force officers witnessed several red-orange lights moving across the sky. Later that same day an American Airlines pilot witnessed several strange lights moving “back and forth” near his location in Denver, Colorado.

The same day across the Atlantic Ocean in France, a sighting would unfold that result in one of the best UFO photographs on record.

The Lake Chauvet Photograph

A sighting on the 18th July in Lac Chauvet in France would result in another photograph captured by the witness. And what’s more, interestingly or not, it would look remarkably similar to the many other images captured around the world before and after 1952.

The witness in question, an engineer and photographer, Andre Fregnale, would capture the images while walking around Lake Chauvet. Despite the bizarre nature of the object, he had captured he would remain convinced that he had actually witnessed some “natural phenomena” or another. He was aware of “UFOs” and the craze that was sweeping the world. However, he claimed it was his belief that the distances in space were too great to travel.

Many others who scrutinized the pictures, however, would disagree. They believed the pictures had most definitely captured a nuts-and-bolts craft. The only question was whether or not it or a larger craft upon which it had traveled had indeed managed to solve the difficulties of interstellar travel.

The photographs continue to divide opinion, but they do appear to have stood the test of time. The unanimous decision of photographic experts is that the pictures are indeed a genuine and credible shot of a UFO.

An Over-Reliance On Voluntary Observers

The already mentioned Nash-Fortenberry sighting was also a part of this sudden increase in aerial activity. Five days after that incident, on the 19th July, the Washington DC invasion incident would unfold. This incident alone, perhaps understandably, would send the press coverage, and with it the public speculation, into absolute overdrive.

By this stage, the Ground Observer Corps (GOC – a volunteer service of residents watching the skies) would begin reporting UFOs at a blistering rate. And what was particularly interesting given the GOC was essentially under the control of the United States Air Force, was the apparent lack of restrictions on how GOCs could speak to and where their reports went, including to the press. And, according to some, these GOC reports were coming in on an hourly basis.

Furthermore, these reports were not just coming in from the United States and Europe. Shortly after midnight on the 20th July in Dai-el-Aouagri in Morocco, a local man, Petijean, would report witnessing a disc-shaped object landed on the ground. As it took off it glowed a strange bluish glow. He would also report a strong smell of sulphur immediately following the takeoff. This is something that comes up repeatedly in UFO reports.

At around the same time, and back in the United States, several military witnesses watched several saucer-shaped craft going over Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Despite the visual sightings of an orange-red orb-type craft, the radar system was unable to pick up anything unusual. Unbeknown to those involved at the time, witnesses in two different states were likely viewing the same object at the same time.

From Coast To Coast – UFO Sightings Go Into Overdrive

While military personnel at Andrews Air Force Base were watching the bizarre craft over the military facility in Maryland, three different sets of witnesses in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania also reported seeing “two large orange-yellow lights with some dull red color”. One of them was a university professor on a yacht on the Delaware River.

The following day on the 21st July, the radar system at Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia witnessed an “unidentified blip” moving slowly at an approximate altitude of 52,000. Then, a second object moving much faster than the first appeared on the screen. It remained motionless for several minutes before disappearing from the screen.

Later that afternoon, a military wife based at Randolph Air Force Base in Converse, Texas witnessed a strange elongated objected moving overhead. She would estimate it was moving at more than 300 miles per hour and was in view for around 3 to 5 minutes.

That same evening in Rockville, Indiana at a little after 8 pm, three military pilots witnessed a dark gray triangular-shaped object moving overhead. It appeared to be at an altitude over around 1,000 feet and moved around 60 miles per hour. It would suddenly stop and hover for several moments before disappearing into the distance.

Around the same time as the Rockville sighting, two military pilots would encounter a UFO while airborne over Beluga Lake in Alaska. Despite attempts to intercept the object it ultimately disappeared from their sights and their radar screens. Whether it was the same object or not, three witnesses over San Marcos Air Force Base in Texas would report a “blue circle with a blue trail” moving over their base at over 700 miles per hour. This, of course, would be near-sonic speed.

An Hourly, Daily Thing!

These kinds of sightings and encounters would continue, with multiple reports daily for the rest of July. And while the vast majority of these sightings would most definitely from the United States, bizarre aerial activity was taking place all around the planet during this time.

For example, on the 23rd July, Charles Buck in Westfield, Maine, would report seeing “three silver discs at high altitude”. On the same evening, two almost identical discs were reported in Nahant, Massachusetts.

It is truly an interesting time. What made all of these, for the most part, level-headed world citizens suddenly see or experience these strange objects at roughly the same time other than that there really was something solid and real in the skies above our planets.

And while the wave of such incidents, while still a daily occurrence, were slowing somewhat, public awareness and indeed interest in them most certainly wasn’t.

Incidents At American Bases Around The Planet

Just after midnight on the 7th August over the town of Kerkrade in Holland, an American serviceman, Will Jansen, would witness a disc-shaped craft zig-zagging overhead before “swooping” out of the night skies and eventually shooting out of sight and breathtaking speed.

On the same day, back in the United States in San Antonio in Texas at just after 9 am, Susan Pzuhl witnessed four multicolored objects that appeared “similar to white-hot metal”. There were no “aerodynamic” features noticed by the witness. Nor did she notice any obvious signs of propulsion. Despite the amazing speed of the craft the witness would report they didn’t make a sound.

Several sightings were also reported from American military bases in Japan in early August. On the evening of the 10th August, for example, at just before 10 pm, an American military pilot witnessed a strange object descend out of the night sky at an altitude of around 8,000 feet to around 1,5000 feet in a matter of seconds.

At almost the same time three nights later on the 13th August over the capital of Tokyo, another United States Marine pilot, Major McGough would report a similar orange glowing craft. Once again it was at an altitude of around 8,000 feet and moved at a speed in excess of 200 miles per hour. Furthermore, much like the encounter three nights earlier, it would “spiral” down to an altitude of around 1,500 feet.

It then remained visible, hovering for around 2 to 3 minutes before it disappeared as if it “went out”. This detail is another that shows up more than we might think. As though the object was “switched off” as opposed to moving away into the distance.

A Slower But Still Intense Pace

Although they would continue at a much slower pace than the two-week period at the end of the July and the opening days of August, strange sightings of a greatly similar nature to those would continue throughout the remaining days of the month.

There were, however, some that would stand out, even among the plethora of incidents taking place at the time. One such incident took place at around 6 am on the morning of 24th August in Frontenac, Kansas.

As the witness was walking through the woodland, he would discover a bizarre object on the ground. He would later describe it as being like “two turtle shells glued together” and approximately 25 meters long. Even more bizarre, there was a front cabin to this strange object, in which sat a humanoid creature. Behind the windows of this cabin “an intense blue light” shone outward. Furthermore, there was an uncomfortable buzzing in the immediate vicinity.

As the witness continued to watch the bizarre scene, the strange object would suddenly rise into the air. With little effort, it rose straight upward.

The following day in the same region, a local radio musician, William Squyres would report a “platter-shaped” object of a dull silver color as he drove along the highway in the region. Like the witness the day before, Squyres would also report a strange throbbing feeling in the air as the object passed.

The (Relative) Slowdown – September to December

Following the breakneck pace of UFO sightings over the summer, especially July and August, there was a distinct and clear drop-off in UFO activity. That being said, this was only relatively speaking. Sightings and encounters continued to unfold. And what’s more, witnesses would continue to report their encounters.

Before we examine some of those sightings in the decline of the 1952 UFO wave, an incident from the evening of 1st November from Heligoland in Germany is one of the most controversial. It appears to tell of a downed otherworldly craft. UFO researcher, Kevin Randle writes of the encounter in the book A History of UFO Crashes. According to his report, “atmospheric problems” caused the crash.

While the craft itself appeared largely undamaged, several of the occupants of the craft were witnessed laying on the ground nearby, apparently having been thrown clear of the craft, or after having dragged themselves from it. It isn’t clear if the “men” were dead or not, but witnesses claimed they were most definitely “badly burned”.

Whether the incident is accurate or not is perhaps open to debate. However, despite sightings slowing down, this potential UFO crash occurred at a time when authorities and UFO enthusiasts were almost overwhelmed with the sustained assault of UFO sightings. It is perfectly feasible that such an incident was buried among the mountain of “other” sightings taking place.

The Encounter Of Jean Sibranoseian

Another bizarre humanoid sighting would occur on the evening of 4th September in Saone-et-Loire in France. Jean Sibranoseian was camping in the region when he witnessed what he would describe as a “star falling from the sky”. Upon standing he could see an airship-shaped craft barely over 100 feet away from him, on the ground in a nearby field.

The craft was approximately 20 feet in length and around 6 feet high. On the side were two windows which glowed with what appeared to be an internal light. This light would change colors discreetly. He was staring at the craft so intently that he didn’t notice the “strange man” who was seemingly only several feet away from him.

At first, he believed this mysterious figure was much taller than him. However, after several seconds, the creature proved to be standing on some kind of platform. As the strange creature stood down from this equally strange platform, he could see that it was barely 5 feet tall. And certainly shorter than he.

At first, the strange creature backed away but after several moments, apparently sensing Jean wasn’t a threat, he came forward standing only several feet away from him. Jean would recall how the creature looked almost human aside from a larger than normal head and eyes. After several more moments, the humanoid once more back away into the shadows and disappeared.

A similar encounter took place in France the same year in Chatillon. While taking a late-night walk, a young couple heard a large crashing sound followed by an unusual silence. They couldn’t, however, see anything to indicate any type of craft. When they heard “strange, muffled voices” in a strange language, though, the couple backed away into the shadows until another crash silenced them again.

The Cubatao “Transport” Case

By November, while still very active, by comparison to the surge of sightings throughout the summer, UFO incidents were slowing down somewhat. There were several accounts that stood out, however. Including one, in particular, from Brazil.

In the town of Cubatao, for example, a 9-year-old girl would witness a strange aerial object “the size of a bus” while she played with her brother and their friends near their home. Even more bizarre, the object would come to a stop over where the children were playing. Then, a door similar to an elevator door opened in the side of the object and “an arrow-like metallic object” emerged.

At the sight of this, the children ran to take cover in the parameters of a nearby school. The witness, however, realizing her brother was missing, ran straight home to inform her parents. They, along with several neighbors would search frantically for the young boy but to no avail. They would report him missing to the local police.

Then, a truly bizarre twist would unfold. The police department from a nearby town would contact the police in Cubatao. They would inform them that they had discovered a young boy – the same as the one they had missing – in their town. He was “wandering about in a state of shock”. Furthermore, he couldn’t remember how he had gotten there and several rashes on his skin.

Perhaps interestingly, while it would appear this case is an alien abduction event, there are several cases on record in the 1950s, most predominantly in Argentina, of children going missing outside their homes while playing only to turn up a short while later many miles away, often confused as to what had happened.

Discreet Contact And Abductions Among The Wave?

Although the vast majority of incidents throughout 1952 were mainly sightings only, and often from afar, there were many alleged, if discreet, cases of alien abduction.

For example, in Waltham, Massachusetts, an 11-year-old girl was playing in a field near her home when a strange “short humanoid” with large eyes and wearing a dark, skintight suit suddenly approached her. The next thing she knew, she was inside a strange room where an “X-ray probe machine” examined her. Following that, she was back outside, and the strange creature was gone. Since that day, the witness claims to have had constant problems with her vision.

A similar encounter comes from Mexico City where a young boy, Juan Maturano would report two strange, small figures wearing a tightfitting white tunic suddenly appeared in his bedroom. The only other memory of the incident he has is of their “glowing faces”.

Although it didn’t result in an abduction, a similar encounter took place in Vasterbotten in Sweden involving farmer, Helge Nystrom. As Nystrom was clearing a ditch near one of his fields, he suddenly noticed a cigar-shaped craft descend overhead and land around 150 feet away. As he watched, a “small man” emerged from the craft and began in his direction.

However, when the strange humanoid saw the farmer watching him, he turned and ran back to the strange craft. Taking the opportunity, Nystrom ran also and hid in an outbuilding. As he did so, he could hear a sudden explosion-type sound. By the time he returned his focus to where the craft had been only moments earlier, it was no longer there. Nor was the strange humanoid.

Another (UFO) Quiet Before The (Next UFO) Storm

As we will examine in a future case study article, another equally gripping UFO wave would grip the planet only two years later in 1954. And like past and future UFO waves, those of 1952 had some very distinct similarities.

Aside from the obvious connections between the shape of the crafts – mostly disc-shaped but some cigar or elongated – there is the rather discreet detail of bluish-white lights combined with a soft orange glow appears to show up a lot in reports from 1952 UFO encounters. Is this detail important? Is it something we should look for in other subsequent and future sightings? And if so, what might it mean?

And once again, as we asked of the 1950 UFO Wave, what might the purpose be for such a dramatic and seemingly purposely visible number of sightings? If the 1950 wave revolved around reconnaissance and surveillance, then should we boldly state that the 1952 equivalent was geared more toward direct contact, messages, and information about these strange visitors, and even warnings for all of humanity as a whole?

If contact was the underlying purpose of the 1952 wave, was the mission achieved? Or can we judge from the fact another similar wave would explode in 1954 that it ultimately failed? Or might we find, when we examine that particular wave, that both the purpose and those behind it is completely different yet again?

Perhaps we should also start to ask, why do such waves happen in the first place?

Check out the video below. It looks a little further at the UFO wave of 1952.


1 The 1952 Sighting Wave, Radar-Visual Sightings Establish UFOs As A Serious Mystery, Richard Hall, NICAP
2 Mutual UFO Network, UFO Journal, January 1994, Number 309

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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  • William Granger says:

    What is a mazet? I cannot find it in any dictionary.

    • Marcus Lowth says:

      Apparently it is a small stone one room “house” which are found in parts of the French countryside 🙂

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