Project 1947

by Jan L. Aldrich

UFO Research Coalition, 1997, 207 pages

Project 1947 is a compilation of UFO reports from the United States and several other nations from the pivotal year of 1947. Because 1947 was the year the term flying saucers was coined following the June 24, 1947 sighting by Kenneth Arnold. Of course unusual objects had been seen sporadically in the sky before, but in 1947 flying saucers became a recognized phenomenon. UFO researcher Jan Aldrich has received various grants to research newspapers from the year 1947. He is not alone in this effort, fellow researchers in Europe and Australia and Canada have searched through the periodicals in their respective nations for UFO sighting reports. What has been learned is that there were far more UFO sightings in 1947 than has previously been realized, many of them prior to the Kenneth Arnold sighting. Also soon after the UFO wave of the summer of 1947, many newspapers stopped coverage of sighting reports. Early on, the saucer reports were ridiculed and eyewitnesses were accused of drinking too much alcohol. This discouraged lots of eyewitnesses from going to the media. Why face the ridicule? Also significant is the fact that in 1947 the extraterrestrial thesis was virtually unknown. When people referred to flying saucers they believed the solution to the mystery was a terrestrial one, that is saucers were probably a secret weapon of some nation either the U.S. or the Soviet Union.
There are some Ohio cases mentioned in Project 1947. The Sandusky Register Star-News of July 8, 1947 reported sightings in Norwalk, Fremont and Bellvue. On the same day, the two Cincinnati papers reported saucers in southwestern Ohio.
Jan Aldrich's Project 1947 is a preliminary report, thus he is still appreciative of clippings from papers he hasn't seen yet. Thousands of papers have been scanned in Project 1947 but much work has yet to be done. There are many nations with few UFO researchers to search through 1947 newspapers.