UFOs light up the Florida sky and stories “Two Sisters Observe Black Saucer at Sky Over City Park” is a sighting listed in the National UFO Reporting Center's Report Database

UFOs light up the Florida sky and stories “Two Sisters Observe Black Saucer at Sky Over City Park” is a sighting listed in the National UFO Reporting Center’s Report Database

Early on a cool autumn evening in 1951, two sisters strolled leisurely through Brentwood Park. Marsha,* a teenage cashier, and Jan,* a 20-something telephone operator, marveled at the starry sky as they headed south toward the lights of Downtown.

Suddenly, Marsha stopped and stared up at the night sky. “Isn’t that peculiar?” she said, pointing toward a circular patch that was completely black and devoid of stars. “Must be a cloud,” Jan shrugged.

The sisters resumed their walk, but after taking several steps, Marsha stopped for a second look, too curious to resist. The black circle appeared much larger than before. Holding her head back to see the expanse of the shadow, Marsha noted how slowly and silently the disk moved. Now, it was directly overhead.

The sisters decided to take advantage of the pleasant evening, so they sat down on a bench near the brick building where they lived. They chatted for what they thought was a few minutes, but realizing it was getting late, they decided it was time to go inside.

As they stood to leave, Marsha noticed an unlit, domed saucer in the shadow of several large magnolia trees about a block south. The saucer, not much larger than a Volkswagon bus, was sitting a couple of feet above the ground on what appeared to be slender rods.

“It doesn’t look tall enough for people to stand in,” Marsha said, as the left edge of the dull, metallic gray craft began to move upward, like the trunk of a car opening—only the motion was more like the opening of a hydraulic awning. Stunned and a little frightened, Jan grabbed Marsha by the arm and the duo crept backward into the building.

Though it reads like a scene from an H.G. Wells novel, the tale of “Sisters Observe Dark Disc in Sky Over City Park” is a sighting catalogued in the National UFO Reporting Center’s (NUFORC) Report Data-base. The report is dated October 1951.

Falling somewhere between myth and unexplained phenomena, UFO sightings have fascinated a large portion of the population for decades. Vishi Garig, an archivist with the Clay County Clerk of Courts, recently discussed the topic in a presentation called “UFOs in Clay County? And Other Clay County Myths.” Among the folklore highlighted in the presentation were purported UFO sightings, the most interesting of which took place at Cecil Field in the 1950s.

“Two guys saw what looked like a bell-shaped UFO, which is a common shape for UFOs,” Garig says. “It looks like an aircraft that hovers and makes a whirring noise. That’s what these guys reported over Cecil Field at that time.”

What Garig is referring to is also known as Project 10073 Record Card from Project Blue Book—Date: 22 August 1957; Location: Cecil NAS, Fla.; Length of Observation; Not Given; Number of Objects: One.

On an official typewritten, 4-by-6-inch card, U.S. Air Force personnel tasked with the scientific analysis of UFO-related data and determining if UFOs were a threat to national security documented civilian testimony about strange sights and sounds in the skies above the Westside Navy base. A helicopter was reported in the area at the time of the sighting, leading investigators to determine the UFO was, in fact, a helicopter. Or was it?

Project Blue Book started in 1952 and was shut down in January 1970. During its nearly 20 years, Air Force personnel collected 12,618 UFO reports and concluded most of them were natural phenomena (clouds, stars, etc.). They reported that none of the sightings were a threat to national security; there was no evidence that incidents categorized as “unidentified” represented technological developments beyond the range of modern science, and there was no evidence indicating the sightings categorized as unidentified were extraterrestrial vehicles. Or were they?

In May 2019, the New York Times reported that several U.S. Navy pilots had witnessed strange objects (even tracking them on radar), one of them like a spinning top moving against the wind, in the skies between Jacksonville and Savannah almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015.

Though the pilots were hesitant to speculate about the origin of what they saw, the reports were compelling enough for the Navy to revisit their guidelines for reporting “unexplained aerial phenomena.” They issued updated classified procedures for reporting UFOs earlier in 2019, according to the Times.

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