"Straith Letter," 1957
This innocuous looking letter, written on apparently genuine U.S. State Department stationary, is one of the great hoaxes of flying saucer lore. Dated December 6, 1957, and sent to Flying Saucers Have Landed author George Adamski, the letter implied that high-ranking authorities in the U.S. government endorsed Adamski’s claims of extraterrestrial contact. Problem was, no one was able to prove that the person who signed the letter, R.E. Straith, even existed. Many years later, flying saucerdom’s preeminent gadfly, James Moseley, admitted that he and publisher Gray Barker wrote and mailed the “naughty” letter during an “evening emboldened by the evil of alcohol and fully enjoying the hilarity of this chance to thrown long-term confusion into the UFO field.”
Image via Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
Drawing of New Mexico “Green Fireball” (Life Magazine, April 7, 1952)
On the evening of December 5, 1948, the pilot and co-pilot of a U.S. Air Force C-47 reported two sightings of a bright green flash—the first just west of Las Vegas, New Mexico, and the second about 20 miles northeast of Albuquerque. They were the first reports of a phenomenon that soon became known as the “green fireballs” of the southwestern United States. The Air Force took the reports seriously and brought in one of the world’s foremost meteor experts, Lincoln La Paz, to study the phenomenon. When Captain Edward Ruppelt, head of the Air Force’s Project Blue Book, asked La Paz a few years later what he thought of the “green fireballs,” La Paz said only “that he didn’t think they were a natural phenomenon.”
Image via Sign Historical Group
San Pedro, California, UFO, 1957
Z.T. Fogl, a radio officer aboard the British naval ship S.S. Ramsay, claimed he took this photograph of a disk with landing gear off California’s Pacific coast near the town of San Pedro, on December 3, 1957. The respected NICAP investigator, Francis Ridge, labeled the photo a hoax.
Photo via UFO Casebook
Riverside, California Hoax, 1951
Guy B. Marquand, Jr., of Riverside, California, originally claimed this was a photo of an real flying saucer, taken on November 23, 1951. He later admitted the object was actually the tire cover from a 1937 Ford.
Photo via UFO Evidence
Flying Saucer-themed Nancy Cartoon, 1966 (by Ernie Bushmiller)
This one appeared in newspapers across the country on November 21, 1966.
Image via UFOPOP