Sheffield Lake Incident (Ohio; September 1958)

Saucerian

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#1
I did a search for the UFO reported at Sheffield Lake, Ohio in 1958, and came up with nothing, although I don't rule out the possibility that it could have been discussed on this forum, and I just didn't word my search right.

But, in case i has not been discussed here, and no one else remembers it, this sighting is worth remembering, because it stirred up much controversy at the time it happened.

Here's a link to a very long and detailed report on the sighting:

http://ufohistoryfiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/73C.pdf
 

feinman

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#2
I did a search for the UFO reported at Sheffield Lake, Ohio in 1958, and came up with nothing, although I don't rule out the possibility that it could have been discussed on this forum, and I just didn't word my search right.

But, in case i has not been discussed here, and no one else remembers it, this sighting is worth remembering, because it stirred up much controversy at the time it happened.

Here's a link to a very long and detailed report on the sighting:

http://ufohistoryfiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/73C.pdf
Interesting! Something to look at a bit later today. Thanks.. <edit> I recognize that saucer.. Thanks for the PDF! I have posted it at Historum too, credit to "Saucerian".
 
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Saucerian

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#3
It is definitely one collection of documents for a person with time on their hands to read.

I am trying now to do a brief summary of the sighting, which would give enough details but not be too long.

In the 1963 book, The World of Flying Saucers, by Dr. Donald Menzel and Lyle G. Boyd, it is the final case discussed before their closing remarks, and it goes into 10 pages, which is long and detailed, but very brief compared to the report that links takes a person to.

I'm going to carefully read those 10 pages from the book, and try to give the most important points without overdoing it.

And, of course, if anyone can do this before I do it myself, please do so.
 

Saucerian

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#4
For those who don't want to read the entire report, but would like a brief summary of the Sheffield Lake UFO sighting, here it is, from The World of Flying Saucers by Dr. Donald Menzel and Lyle G. Boyd, pp 279-280.

The sighting took place on the morning of September 21, 1958.

"Mrs. Fitzgerald "had been sitting up alone watching television and had gone to bed at the end of the late movie. The bedroom window was shut and the window curtains were closed. Outside, the night was dark; the moon had set, there were no street lights, and none of the neighboring houses was lighted.

"Lying with her arm over her eyes, trying to get to sleep, she suddenly realized that the room was illuminated and stood up on the bed to look out of the window.

"According to her account, a disk-shaped object with a hump in the middle, a dull aluminum in color, was moving across the yard at a height of about five feet. The object did not glow and did not have lights on it; she could not determine he source of the light that made it visible to her.

"About twenty to twenty-two feet in diameter and about six feet high, the UFO moved north across the driveway into a neighbor's yard, losing altitude on the way until it was only one foot above the ground. At a distance of fifty feet, it stopped and floated motionless for several seconds while pink-gray smoke billowed out from two openings in the rim and illuminated the UFO.

"Each opening contained seven pipes. The smoke did not come from the pipes but from the openings from which the pipes projected. The object then moved back into the witness's yard, rising to a height of five feet. No longer emitting smoke, it made two clockwise turns with a radius of about three feet, and rose straight up.

"The roof of the house, jutting out over the window, cut it from further view. During the entire time of the sighting, about thirty-six seconds, she had heard a muffled noise like that of a jet engine warming up. She had tried several times to waken her husband, by kicking him, but without success. When the object had gone, she went back to bed and slept."
 

Saucerian

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#5
This brief summary raises some good questions:

One thing that seems odd to me is that the witness claims she saw the saucer for thirty-six seconds.

Did she time it with a stop watch?

And, those precise and exacting descriptions of the size by exact feet, of the saucer and how close to the ground it was at different times during those thirty-six seconds, as well as other specific and exact details of the saucer.

How could she have given such descriptions of an object she had seen for only 36 seconds?
 

EnolaGaia

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#6
Maybe I'm wrong, but ... I ended up with the impression that somewhere in the report it mentioned Ms. Fitzgerald stepped through a re-creation of her position(s), etc., to arrive at the estimate of 36 seconds' total observation time.

In other words, the estimated overall time was based on later simulation, not something she claimed from the beginning.
 

Saucerian

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#7
Good point, EnolaGaia. Probably something I didn't catch, in my brief looking over the supporting documents, and not having yet read the entire report or even much of the report, itself.

It is all so complicated and mixed up, that anyone would need a Scorecard to keep straight what is going on.

And, I did find out that Raymond Zymanski will be appearing to lecuture at a local library. Don't know if he's familiar with the Sheffield Lake incident or not, but I might email him about it.
 

Ringo

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#8
I like the detail she gave - that the smoke came from the openings around the pipes and not the pipes themselves. I suppose a god hoaxer would add details but there is something about that statement which excites me. A hoaxer may have stopped at 7 pipes per opening - giving a specific number is quite detailed.

I haven't read the entire report, just Saucerian's highlights. Alas, it does sound like a dream.
 

PeteS

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#9
A strange tale indeed. Another thing that strikes me is the size of the thing at 22 feet being able to enter her yard and that of her neighbour and also hover between one and five feet off the ground. Both yards must have been wide open spaces with no obstacles in the way.
 

PeteS

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#10
Google satellite shows that Sheffield Lake is fairly densely populated today. The population has increased from about 6000 in the late 50's to about 9000 today so it's conceivable that there would have been room for something that big to move around back then, albeit surprising that no one else seems to have seen whatever it was.
 

EnolaGaia

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#11
I think one reason the Sheffield Lake incident hasn't been cited all that much over the decades is because Ms. Fitzgerald's alleged craft was seen hovering / drifting just above the ground rather than flying at altitude above.

Except for the sudden departure straight up, her story doesn't really involve much "flying", much less extraordinary flight characteristics.

Another thing that occurred to me decades ago (when I first read about it) and again upon reading the report was that the drifty just-off-the-ground movement sounds a lot like a hovercar / hovercraft / ground-effect vehicle. These were popular subjects of fiction, industrial / military R & D, and even DIY tinkerer projects during the late 1950s.

I recall stories from that period of UFOs landing, parked and / or taking off. I can't remember any story based on low hovering alone other than the Sheffield Lake case.
 

EnolaGaia

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#12
Here's some additional background data about the weather conditions ...

The Weather Underground data for 21 September 1958 (at the nearest reporting station to Sheffield Lake) can be seen at:

https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/us/oh/cleveland/KCLE/date/1958-9-21

The report document dismisses the presence of rain and / or conditions amenable to mist or fog - things that might make the official insinuation of reflected railroad or Coast Guard lights possible explanations.

This doesn't correlate with the meteorological data for that night.

As of 0300 (the time of the sighting) there was rain in the area, and (at least at the reporting station) rain was increasing after a lull during continuously reported rain lasting from 0000 through 0600.

Additionally, the air temperature was recorded as 61F, with a dew point between 60F and 61F.

These two factoids give plenty of basis for suspecting there was cloud cover, misty / hazy atmospheric conditions, or traces of fog.
 
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PeteS

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#13
The hovercraft/ ground effect thing occurred to me as well. There is a Ford (?) plant very close although I don't know whether it was there in the late 50's - possibly experimenting with hovercraft or producing a motor for them? I seem to recall though that films of 50's experimentation with personal hover vehicles showed the pilot exposed on the top of the body, which would have been obvious to an observer.
Presumably, the existence of fog may have been the reason why others did not see the vehicle, whatever it was.
A strange tale indeed.
 
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