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{July 8, 1947:  Army Air Force Says
Flying Saucers are NOT "Space Ships"

Just before Roswell air base issued a press release that they had recovered  a "flying disc," the Army Air Force at the Pentagon issued their own press release that the flying saucers were definitely NOT "space ships," a "coincidence" that sounds like more of a preemptive public relations gambit

Below are three versions of a United Press story that came out on July 8,1947, shortly before Roswell air base issued a press release that they had recovered a "flying disc". Army Air Force (AAF) headquarters issued a press release that said the saucers were under investigation and had determined they were definitely NOT three things:  "1)  Secret bacteriological weapons designed by some foreign power, 2) New-type Army rockets, and 3) Space ships."  What's odd is the timing, the denial of extraterrestrial origins (or ships from space) just before Roswell base said they had one, which many Ufologists now contend WAS a space ship. Also there would be no need to issue such a denial unless there had been a lot of talk that maybe the new flying saucers WERE space ships.  The written press had certainly had considerable speculation about this. (See article The ETH in 1947.)

Just before this press release on the morning of July 8, Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, acting AAF chief of staff, had suddenly called a meeting of the War Department's Joint Research and Development Board (JRDB) headed by Dr. Vannnevar Bush.  Three years later, its successor, the Research and Development Board, would be implicated in genuine Canadian documents as housing a super-secret group headed by Dr. Bush studying the flying saucers.  The sudden JRDB meeting was simultaneous with the general staff meeting at Roswell, where officers were discussing, among other things, with how much the public was to be told about the discovery there. (see affidavit of Roswell public information officer Walter Haut , who said it was indeed a space ship crash.)

Also note in the first article below that the executive secretary of the JRDB, Dr. Lawrence R.
Hafsted, was debunking the saucers as "poppycock!"  This was in a New York newspaper from the evening of July 8, so the "NOT space ships" press release preceded the Roswell press release, which did not make it into any East Coast newspaper on July 8.

Also in these articles is a mention of a relatively famous flying disc sighting by a Naval guided missile expert named C. J. Zohn, and two other missile experts, that had happened at White Sands, N.M. on June 29, 1947.  (see N.M. UFO Reports)