I saw a space ship for the first time on the night of October 9, 1946, during a meteoric shower created by the Giacobini-Zinner Comet. As those who were interested in the display will recall, its brilliance was diminished because of the light of the moon. A dozen or so persons had come up to Palomar Gardens to spend the evening in the mountains where they could watch the shower without interference of city lights.
All of these people, as well as those of us who make our home at the Gardens, were outside watching this heavenly display when suddenly a gigantic, dark dirigible-type object appeared low over the mountains to the south of us, where it seemed to hover for several minutes. The contrast between the dark body and the light of the night enabled us to observe it carefully. One notable difference between this ship and a modern dirigible was its streamlined form. There was no exterior cabin of any kind. It appeared as a huge cigar-shaped object hovering in the sky without visible lights of any kind.
I had seen the Graf Zeppelin in its day and many other such craft, similar in shape but smaller in size, but this one we were now watching was much the largest I had ever seen and I wondered where it had come from since I had not heard of our government having any such airships in use at this time.
After a few minutes its nose raised to what appeared to be about a 45 degree angle from the position in which it had been hovering and it shot up and away at a speed that seemed impossible for such a huge craft to move, leaving an orange trail that remained in the air for several minutes.
The people who had come up to watch the meteoric shower asked me what that object was.
I told them I didn’t know.
When finally we went indoors, I turned on the radio and tuned in Station KFSD, San Diego, for a news report. We were all amazed to hear the announcer telling of an immense space ship which hundreds of people in San Diego and for many miles up the coast had seen while they were watching the shower. So great was the interest of some of the people there that they had prevailed upon a well known spiritualist medium to attempt to project her mind out into outer space, follow the ship and find out who they were and why they had not landed on earth when they had been so close.
Articles about this ship also appeared the next day in the San Diego papers and the Los Angeles Daily News.
Later the medium’s report was given over the radio. She was reported to have said that this ship had come from one of the other planets in our system; that its occupants had not landed on earth because they were not sure how they would be received by earth-men. The name of the planet was not given.
Almost a year later, in August 1947, about 9:30 p.m., I was sitting in the yard swing watching the heavens. As I watched, a bright ball of light appeared from behind a mountain peak to the east and sped across the sky toward the west as if shot from some gigantic cannon far off in the distance. I heard no sound. Then a second followed the path of the first. Then another and another and I wondered what they were.
I strolled across the gardens to see how far I could watch them in their course. They had kept coming but I had not thought to count them, so busy was I wondering what these strange things were. Since some of our Government experimental grounds are many miles to the east of Palomar, I though these might be some new experimental devices being shot through the air in tests. But when one of these big balls of light stopped in its path and actually backed up
I knew I was viewing something from out of this world.
I called my wife and the three women who operate the café to come out to see what was happening. They brought with them two pairs of binoculars and I went to my telescope in order to observe these objects more clearly.