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Kenneth Arnold's sighting

Kenneth Arnold sighting reports in the Press:

The article below was published in the newspaper The News-Herald, Franklin, Pennsylvania, USA, on page 4, on July 12, 1947.


Science At Work


NEW YORK -- UP -- A Yale University scientist believes that man some day will be able to make a "satellite observatory" which would circle the world indefinitely, making recordings of what goes out in outer space.

Dr. Lyman Spitzer, Jr., associate professor of astrophysics, said such a man-made earth satellite "obviously could make many more measurements than a rocket that stays up for only a few minutes."

He said a floating space laboratory also would have a big advantage over telescopes on earth, which are handicaped by atmospheric conditions all over the world.

"With a 200-inch telescope, on earth-circling satellite, objects in the sky could be magnified effectively 10,000 times," he said, "while the unsteadiness of our atmosphere usually prevents telescopes on earth from magnifying more than a few hundred times without blurring."

Human observers, he believes, could not go along in such satellites because "would be impossible to bring an observer back from the satellite without bringing the entire satellite down to earth."

Instead, he said, radio waves would be used to control the equipment and bring back the information obtained.

Spitzer disagreed with many other astronomers in saying that Mars probably is the best bet for man to find life other than his own planet. some scientists believe that Venus may be more suitable for life, although Spitzer said Mars may be the first rocket stop.

In fact, he believes that "men from Mars" may already be on this planet, or at least have visited here.

"Unless they had spent more time in a large city of had landed sufficiently recently to be photographed," he said, "we would have no record of their having been here. Any few men who had seen them probably would not be believed by anyone else."


Lyman Spitzer Jr. (1914 - 1997) was an American astrophysicist who wrote about 240 scientific articles, 155 of which he was the main author and 128 published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

He was as shown with this UP dispatch in 1947, the first to have expressed the idea of sending a telescope in Earth orbit. He was an active participant in the Hubble Space Telescope project.

He was also one of the astronomers who first issued ideas such as that extraterrestrials have probably already been on Earth, but that without a large-scale visit, one would not believe the people who would claim to have encountered them.

His name was given to the Spitzer Space Telescope (SIRTF) put in orbit in 2003.

To: Kenneth Arnold or Newspapers 1940-1949.

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