November 13, 2016

1953: Prescott is a Hotspot for Flying Saucers

Prescott Evening Courier, May 22, 1953.

It was a time when the study of UFO's was in such infancy, that the very term "UFO" hadn't been coined yet. There were no national databases of sightings and those who did see something unexplainable most often kept their experiences to themselves.

However, in the first half of 1953, there was such a rash of sightings in the skies of Prescott, that it would turn ardent skeptics into true, vocal believers.

In fact, so numerous were the accounts by respected citizens, that even the newspaper was compelled to cover the story.

For the increasing number of eyewitnesses, the saucers brought astonishment, awe, wonder and worry.

Indeed, over several months, there were enough reported sightings that The Courier sought out the closest thing they could find to an expert. That was George Williamson, "a (then) 26 year-old Prescott resident with a fine educational background; trained in observation through his hobby in anthropology," the paper wrote. (*1)

In studying the anthropology and legends of Native Americans, Williamson noticed "how many of these legends refer to strange objects in the sky, regardless of from what tribes the legends originated." (*2)

Williamson detailed that on February 3, 1953 he and his wife witnessed three flying saucers when they were about to enter their home near White Spar and Copper Basin roads. (*2)

Prescott Evening Courier, March 9, 1953.
Williamson showed The Courier affidavits he had compiled. Among these was one from a Northern Arizona ham radio operator who, as recently as "two nights ago," made contact with "occupants of the space ship," causing The Courier to run a headline story. (*2)

Affidavits or not, the basic question of why it couldn't have been an earthling imposter pulling a prank was addressed by insisting that the "international morse code" replies came back far too quickly--a fact which would not impress many skeptics. (*3)

The replies stated that the rest of the "planets fear (the Earth's) atomic activity and experiments with the hydrogen bomb;" and that their spacecraft travelled by "electro-magnetic" means "using magnetic lines of force much like (a) planet in (its) own magnetic field." (*3)

Picture taken by one of Prof. Adamski's
friends purportedly showing a flying
saucer taking off from the Earth. 
Williamson also met Professor George Adamski of California and was able to obtain evidence of a close encounter the professor experienced.

Adamski was picnicking with several friends when they noticed an object hovering in the sky. The professor left the group to make a closer observation. As the group met back up with Adamski, they saw a flying saucer taking off into the sky, (when one of them snapped a picture,) and a visibly shaken professor. He related that he just had a "conversation" with the occupant of the craft and was told "that there was alarm in the universe because of atom bomb activity on earth." (*2)

Williamson was able to make plaster casts of the imprints the ship occupant's sandals made and they revealed a hieroglyphic-type writing on the soles. (*2)

Then another significant sighting on May 21st was reported to the paper the following day:

"Three reliable Prescott residents, one of whom previously had scoffed at the stories of Flying Saucers and spaceships, were not a bit tell of their witnessing the acrobatics of a 'herd' of these air mysteries," the paper reported. (*4)

The three included Bill Beers, the President of the Prescott Sportsmen Club, who also happened to be a 20-year veteran pilot, himself. Before the sighting, Beers said that he "poo-poohed" reports of Flying Saucers, but was now "no longer a skeptic." He insisted that what the men saw could not be planes, birds, or balloons. (*4)

The three were at Del Rio Springs Creek, around 10 am, checking the status of trout that were stocked there. When they happened to look up, they couldn't believe what they saw: eight flying saucers appearing simultaneously.

"The two stationary objects swooped around in formation, broke formation, 'peeled-off' and shot directly up and down in a manner that could not be duplicated by a plane. When the (8 crafts) moved, they varied from very slow to speeds faster than a jet plane, the observers reported." (*4)

After performing these aerial acrobatics for an hour, all eight of the craft then sped-off together toward Prescott.

The day previous, March 20th, a woman and her granddaughter saw a "glowing object" drifting over Copper Basin Road.

Photo of "Lady in White" taken by a guest.
The descriptive story of how the Jerome Grand Hotel is haunted and exactly what kinds of ghosts and spirits exist there. Includes a brief history of the building.

These sightings in May actually coincide with a report from the basement vault of UFO lore. This describes a single, sworn affidavit by a government engineer named Arthur G. Stancil (previously known by the pseudonym “Fritz Werner”) who swears that an unknown spacecraft crashed somewhere around Kingman on May 20th. (*5)

It was purported that four aliens were found at the site. Two were injured and "taken to an unspecified medical facility." While the uninjured two were allowed to go back into the disabled craft for a time. (*5)

"A recovery crew that entered the craft to inspect it, came down with a mysterious sickness. The craft was then loaded aboard a trailer and hauled off to the Nevada Test Site north of Las Vegas," according to the lore. (*5)

Could the woman and her granddaughter have witnessed a space craft on May 20th that later crashed near Kingman? Could Bill Beers' "day after the crash" sighting have been some sort of search and rescue operation by the aliens?

Some believe so.


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(*1) Prescott Evening Courier; March 9, 1953, Pg. 1 Col. 8
(*2) Prescott Evening Courier; March 10, 1953, Pg. 1 Col. 8
(*3) Prescott Evening Courier; March 11, 1953, Pg. 1 Col. 2
(*4) Prescott Evening Courier; May 22, 1953, Pg. 1 Col. 8


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