By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising trilogy of books, available on amazon.com while supplies last
Gladys Fusaro of Huntington, Long Island, New York, was one of the many correspondents for the premier ufologist Gray Barker and his noteworthy Saucerian Bulletin, which he published out of his office located in the back of a drive-in movie theater in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Fusaro was convinced that the flying saucers were piloted by advanced beings hailing from other planets in our solar system, and possibly from beyond. She constantly scanned newspapers at every opportunity looking for accounts of UFO sightings and occupant reports.
Fusaro began mailing reports to Gray Barker on a regular basis beginning in December 1958. A series of articles on UFOs by John Lester of the Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger, were among the first pieces to catch her eye. Fusaro concluded that Lester’s articles offered objective evidence that the mysterious objects that many believed to be flying saucers were being tracked by highly trained United States government radar personnel stationed throughout the country at both civilian and military installations.
Radar experts were in control of the nation’s air traffic. Many had pointed out that some of the unknown objects were performing maneuvers that no known aircraft of the time could be capable of executing. Also, no human could possibly withstand the tremendous G-forces associated with such maneuvers. The UFOs were traveling at fantastic speeds. Sometimes the objects were moving at speeds calculated in thousands of miles per hour. These enigmatic objects were known to make perfect ninety degree turns, steep vertical climbs, and even abrupt, hovering stops. This was all in defiance of the then extant laws of aerodynamics. When asked if the UFOs were flying saucers from outer space, one of the radar men declared, “If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.” He also added, “Sorry, that’s all I can say about it for now.”
Fusaro contacted Lester at the Star-Ledger newsroom. “What else can you tell me about the flying saucers that didn’t appear in your newspaper articles?” she inquired. “Well, when more than one of the saucers was involved, they flew in a pattern. And when there were a lot of them, they were in a pattern within a pattern, if you catch my drift.”
“You mean they were intelligently controlled.”
“You got it, sister. What the authorities said about the UFOs flying in formation down in Texas, the ones that were photographed, being a flock of birds, well that’s just a cover-up. These things are physical, hard metallic space ships. They’re just like that Polish guy (George Adamski) describes them on the Long John Nebel Party Line radio program.”
In the articles Lester noted that, “The UFOs invariably stay just ahead of the Air Force planes sent up to intercept them. This has led most of these skilled technicians, Civil Aeronautic Authority employees with the official title of Airways Operation Specialist, to conclude that flying saucers do exist. At the very least, they say there is ‘something out there’ that just can’t be explained in any conventional manner.”
About 1,000 such technicians were polled by Lester during the first week of December 1958 concerning the presence of flying saucers in our skies. Of this 1,000, approximately eight out of every ten radar technicians opined that flying saucers were real and coming to Earth from somewhere in outer space. Lester concluded this information is reliable because the 1,000 polled was considered a “fair cross section of the 12,000 currently on duty at airfields in New York, Newark, Boston, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Fort Worth and other major cities throughout the country. Some were from airfields in the Hawaiian Islands.” The remaining 200 or so were undecided or noncommittal, but not outright dismissing the idea of visitors from the stars.
Lester’s articles were certainly groundbreaking in the emerging field of ufology. Each one of the technicians that he polled were expert operators of the super-sensitive electronic “eye” known as radar. Radar is a device employed to ensure the precision-safe take-offs and landings of all aircraft. They are employed in a constant search of the sky for unscheduled or unidentified planes, or “anything else” that might interfere with the normal flight plans or somehow endanger national security.
Slightly over 500 of the 1,000 polled report that they had seen or “tracked” UFOs on their radar screens one or more times. And in many instances, the objects were observed simultaneously by people in the vicinity of the radar station, sometimes by the thousands. All 500 were certain that the UFOs tracked were not meteors, weather balloons, cloud formations, hallucinations, or anything else of a similar nature. About sixty percent of the remaining 500, or three out of every five for 300 more technicians, had never personally tracked a UFO but were of the same considered opinion of those that had tracked the objects largely because of their confidence in radar as well as the high degree of confidence they shared in the knowledge and skills of their co-workers.
Lester informed the Star-Ledger readers that the Air Force has consistently “pooh-poohed” reports of flying saucers ever since that military branch began a study of the UFO situation back in 1948. The reporter also commented that the Air Force’s debunking policy had often been criticized by several civilian groups investigating UFOs. The largest and most vocal of these in 1958 was the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), which was headquartered in Washington, DC. NICAP’s directorate included Major Donald E. Keyhoe, a retired Marine Corps pilot, as director, with other board members General Albert Wedemeyer, Rear Admiral Delmar S. Fahrney, “the father of the Navy guided missile,” and General William E. Kepner, formally of the Air Force. This powerhouse team did much to keep both pressure and a spotlight on the Air Force’s UFO investigative unit, Project BLUEBOOK. NICAP also conducted its own UFO investigations and published the results in a monthly newsletter, the NICAP UFO Investigator.
Concerning official UFO investigations in other nations, Fusaro wrote Barker that Saucerian Bulletin subscribers might want to know that, “Many foreign countries, including England, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Russia have shown interest in exploring UFO reports. These countries have already established or are planning to establish UFO observatories very soon. They have invited the United States to join them in pooling all findings.” Fusaro considered the optimistic attitude of Canada in respect to the UFO phenomenon as being typical of the other nations’ approaches. Wrote Fusaro, “When Canada’s UFO observatory was established at Shirley’s Bay, near Ottawa, several years ago, an official government statement explained that its defense research scientists have never discredited or discounted the existence of flying saucers.”
In returning to Lester’s article, the journalist questioned the Air Force’s “standing pat on its original policy,” but all the while greatly intensifying UFO investigations.
Following her interview with Lester at the Star-Ledger, Fusaro drew some of the UFOs based on descriptions provided to Lester by the actual witnesses to the aerial phenomena. Below is her original artwork along with typed comments.
Stay tuned to this website for Part II of the Fusaro Files, where the Saucerian Bulletin’s correspondent digs into the enforced silencing of Air Force pilots who had encountered UFOs on various missions, as well as the Soviet Union’s plans to develop a “jet-powered flying saucer.”