Saturday, June 08, 2019

The Phoenix Lights, 1945

From John Keeling, by way of the May 2019 Fortean Times (p. 28):
In 1945 a jittery American public was mistaking Venus for Japan’s FU-GO balloon bombs on an alarmingly regular basis. 9,000 of the 30 ft balloons with incendiary bomb payloads had been launched against the US in the hope of causing large-scale forest fires and spreading terror....On June 6th, Phoenix and several other Arizona communities had their first ‘Jap balloon’ panic. Telephone lines to the press, police department, sheriff’s office and weather bureau were reportedly jammed....Luke Field and Williams Field fliers, checking the object from planes, were able to report back definitely that there was no balloon where reported. And Phoenix Junior college’s 5 inch refractor telescope clearly identified the object as Venus. According to the Associated Press, Tucson had the same experience, with Davis-Monthan fliers being ‘sent to cut down the invader.’