July 13, 1947, Asbury Park (N.J.) Sunday Press, Front Page
'DISCS' MYSTERY TO EVEN OFFICIALS BUT COULD BE WEATHER GADGETS
The much mooted flying discs, whose antics have brought forth nearly as many explanations for the phenomena as the number of discs reported, may turn out to be something quite simple.
Professional and amateur scientists have given explanations which ran the gamut from "transmutation of atomic energy" to "snow blindness."
Like most reputable men of science, officials at the army's Evans signal laboratory, Wall township, origin of the Radar to the Moon experiments, evince professional interest in the reports but are frank to say they don't know what the discs may be and are reserving their opinion until they see one, or at least talk to some reputable person who has.
Delbert Deisinger, West Long Branch, a scientist on the staff of the director of engineers, suggested that the luminous saucer-like projectiles possibly might be gadgets falling from weather balloons which are in use in all parts of the country.
Emphasizing that it was not an opinion but merely something on which to ponder, Mr. Deisinger pointed out that light-colored falling bodies have a tendency to spin and appear round or oval and that reflected light from the moon might make them resemble a "flying disc."
TWO TYPES USED
The army signal corps uses two types of weather balloons, both of which were developed before the war at Fort Monmouth. The hydrogen-filled, five foot balloons used to gather weather information in all parts of the country carry a radar target reflector or radiosonde.
Radiosonde is used to obtain upper air atmospheric soundings during its ascent when attached to a free balloon. It transmits by radio to a ground receiver measurements of pressure, temperature, and relative humidity from the ground to 80,000 feet. It furnishes data aloft on wind direction and speed and is enclosed in a white cardboard container which hangs from a small parachute under the balloon. As the balloon reaches the rarefied atmosphere in its ascent, the expanding hydrogen burst the balloon and the parachute brings the box to earth.
The radar target reflector has no parachute attached and is an irregular-shaped object with many angles. It is used to determine wind velocity up to 50,000 feet. Many are in constant use in the areas where flying discs have been reported. Most of those released near the east coast go out to sea.
Conceivably, Mr. Deisinger suggested, such an irregular shaped, light-colored object might assume an oval or even round shape as it hurtled earthward at a terrific speed and would have all the characteristics of flying discs.
But no matter what the undulating missiles are, many of those claimed to have seen them are believed to be victims of mass suggestion and of seeing what they want to see.
Last week, a navy officer told the Sunday Press that a navy airman after a flight from the West Indies, told fellow officers at the Third Naval district of the flying disc which trailed him over the Atlantic. The story developed as it passed from mouth to mouth until eventually the disc had a plexiglass top although the pilot admitted he couldn't see who was aboard.
Word reached the "brass hats" and when the officer was summoned to give an official report, he confessed that it was a joke.