UFOs and the Media
Farmington Daily Times
March 18, 1950
'Saucer' Armada Jolts Farmington
Crafts Seen By Hundreds [sic] - Speed Estimated at 1000
MPH, Altitude 20,000 feet - For the third consecutive day
flying saucers have been reported over Farmington. And on
each of the three days their arrival here was reported
between 11 and noon. - Three persons called the Daily Times
office to report seeing strange objects in the air just
before noon. - Persons along Main Street once again could be
seen looking skyward and pointing. - High winds and a dust
storm prevented clear vision.
Fully half of this town's population still is certain today
that it saw space ships or some strange aircraft -- hundreds
of them zooming through the skies yesterday. Estimates of
the number ranged from "several"to more that 500.
Whatever they were, they caused a major sensation in this
community, which lies only 110 air miles northwest of the
huge Los Alamos Atomic installation.
The objects appeared to play tag high in the air. At times
they streaked away at almost unbelievable speeds. One
witness did a triangulation sighting on one of the objects
and estimated its speed at about 1,000 miles an hour, and
estimated its size as approximately twice that of a B-29.
Farmington citizens stood in the streets yesterday watching
the first reported mass "flying saucer" flight ever sighted.
Traffic was slowed to avoid hitting sky gazers. The office
of the Farmington Daily Times was deluged with calls from
persons who saw the objects.
A Red Leader
Scores described the objects as silvery discs. A number
agreed they saw one that was red in color -- bigger and
faster, and apparently the leader.
Clayton J. Boddy, 32, business manager of Farmington Times
and a former Army Engineers captain in Italy, was one of
those who saw the startling objects.
Boddy was on roadway when all of a sudden I noticed a few
moving objects high in the sky.
"Moments later there appeared what seemed to be about 500 of
them," Boddy continued. He could not estimate their size or
speed, but said they appeared to be about 15,000 feet high.
Boddy's account was confirmed by Joseph C. and Francis C.
Kelloff, retail grocers from Antonito, Colo., who were in
Farmington to inspect the site of a proposed new store, and
by Bob Foutz and John Burrell of Farmington. The Kelloffs
said the objects appeared to be flying in formation.
One of the most impressive accounts came from Harold F.
Thatcher, head of the Farmington unit of the Soil
Conservation service. Thatcher made a triangulation on one
of a number of flying craft, He said if it had been a B-29
it would have been 2,000 feet high and travelling more than
1000 miles per hour.
"I'm not a professional engineer," Thatcher said, "but I
have engineers working under me and I know how to work out
rough triangulation on an object."
Thatcher emphatically denied an earlier report that the
objects could have been small pieces of cotton fuzz floating
in the atmosphere.
"It was not cotton," he said, "I saw several pieces of
cotton fuzz floating around in the air at the time, but I
was not sighting on any cotton."
The "cotton" report was started by State Patrolman Andy
Andrews, who quoted several Farmington Residents as
asserting it was cotton they saw. The residents denied
The first reports of flying saucers were noted a few minutes
before 11 a.m. yesterday. For a full hour thereafter people
deluged the Times with reports of the objects.
A second large scale sighting occurred at 3 p.m. At that
time, Mrs. Wilson Jones, 27, and Mr. Roy Hicks, 33,
housewives reported seeing objects to the north of
Farmington, flying in perfect formation. Others reported the
Johnny Eaton, 29, a real estate and insurance salesman, and
Edward Brooks, 24, an employe of the Perry Smoak garage,
were the first to report the red-colored sky object.
Brooks, a B-29 tail gunner during the war, said he was
positive the objects sighted were not airplanes. "The very
maneuvering of the things couldn't be that of modern
aircraft," he said.
John Bloomfield, another employe of Smoak's garage, said the
objects he saw travelled at a speed that appeared to him to
be about 10 times faster than that of jet planes. In
addition, he said the objects frequently made right-angle
"They appeared to be coming at each other head-on," he
related. "At the last second, one would veer at right angles
upward, the other at right angles downward. One saucer would
pass another and immediately the one to the rear would zoom
into the lead."
Marlow Webb, another garage employe, said the objects to the
naked eye appeared to be about eight inches in diameter as
seen from the ground. He described them as about the size of
a dinner plate." "They flew sideways, on edge and at every
conceivable angle," he said. "This is what made it easy to
determine that they were saucer-shaped." None of the scores
of reports told of any vapor trail or engine noise. Nor did
anyone report any windows or other markings on the craft.
In general Farmington accepted the phenomenon calmly,
although it was reported some women employes of a laundry
became somewhat panicky.
Opinion was somewhat divided among those who saw the objects
as to whether they were from another planet or were some new
craft of our own nation's devising. Some expressed the
opinion the entire incident was a fulfillment of a Bible
From sifting all reports, the Farmington Times compiled this
"timetable" of sightings:
10:15 a.m., five to nine "saucers" zoomed over the town's
business area for 10 minutes before moving out of sight to
10:00 a.m., report of hundreds seen west of town.
10:30 a.m., red "saucer" seen over town.
10:35 a.m., three objects staged "dogfight" over town.
11:15 a.m., closest view of a large number of "saucers."
11:30 a.m., all disappeared.
3 p.m., fleet of "hundreds" seen flying in formation to the
southwest from the northeast.
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