First modern reports
Before the terms “flying saucer” and “UFO” were coined, there were a number of reports of strange, unidentified aerial phenomena. These reports date from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century. They include:
· On November 17, 1882, astronomer E.W.Maunder of the Greenwich Royal Observatory described in the observatory reports “a strange celestial visitor” that was “disc –shaped,” “torpedo–shape,” or “spindle- shaped.” It was said to be very different in characteristic from a meteor firewall.
· On February 28,1904, there was a sighting by Lt. Frank Schofield .Schofield in echelon formation that approached beneath the could layer, then change course and “soared” above the clouds, departing directly away from the earth after 2 to 3 minutes. The largest had an apparent size of about six suns.
· On February 25, 1942, an unidentified craft was detected over the region. The craft stayed aloft despite taking at least 20 minutes.
· In 1946, there were over 2000 reports of unidentified air craft in the Scandinavian nations, along with isolated reports from France, Portage , Italy and Greece, then referred to as “Russian hail” because it was thought that these mysterious objects were Russian tests or captured German V1 or V2 rockets.
· Over 200 were tracked on radar and deemed to be “real physical objects” by the Swedish military. A significant fraction of the remainder was thought to be misperceptions of natural phenomena, such as meteors.