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This section contains descriptions of unexplained facts provided by eyewitnesses or published in the media, as well as the results of their analysis by the group.

UFO. United States

ID #1715874002
Added Thu, 16/05/2024
Author July N.
Sources
Phenomena
Status
Hypothesis

Initial data

Initial information from sources or from an eyewitness
Source date: 
25.01.1878
Location: 
Денисон, TX
United States

John Martin, a farmer who lived near Denison (Texas), in an interview with the Denison Daily News on January 25, 1878, describes an orange UFO he saw and compares it to a plate or balloon;

__________

According to the message on the front page Denison Daily News on January 25, 1878, which was attributed to the Dallas Herald and headlined "A Strange Phenomenon", a farmer named John Martin was hunting "six miles north of this town" when he noticed something in the distance. The article stated that "Martin's attention was focused on a dark object high in the southern sky." "The shape and speed with which the object seemed to be approaching caught his attention, and he strained his eyes to discover its character."

At first, the object appeared to be "the size of an orange," but as it approached, it became larger and brighter. Martin stared at it for so long that he was temporarily blinded, and by the time his vision was restored, the object was almost directly overhead. By that time, he was "the size of a large plate" and soared through the sky at high altitude and with incredible speed. Martin said it resembled a balloon, and a Herald reporter noted that if it wasn't a balloon, "it deserves the attention of our scientists."

This story appeared in The Dallas Weekly Herald on January 26 and shortly thereafter in the Daily Oklahoman. There is no evidence that this incident was ever actually considered by local, state, or national scientists at the time, but decades later it still attracted the attention of researchers.

This was discussed in an influential book Donald Cayho's "Flying Saucers Are Real" (Fawcett Publications, 1950), was re-discussed in the Dallas Morning News on August 6, 1965, and reviewed in "Lone Star Close Encounters" in Texas Monthly in 1969.

Although mysterious objects in the sky have been recorded throughout human history, the Denison observation led to the first mention of a flying saucer, and since then flying saucers have become the basis of knowledge about UFOs.

It is not clear exactly where Martin saw the plate. According to the 1880 U.S. Census, there was a tenant farmer named John E. Martin in Grayson County (where Denison is located), but five John Martins worked as farmers in Collin County (north of Dallas and Dallas County): Three John's (two of whom were listed in the 1870 census), one John P. and one John W. There was no John Martin in Dallas County in the 1880 census.

Regardless of which John Martin saw a flying saucer in North Texas in 1878, at least three local newspapers reported it—at a time when no one had even heard of UFOs, much less space aliens, "close encounters" or R2-D2. This observation happened before there was a real context or convincing rhetoric for such events. It also happened before the observations themselves became cliches, which confirmed the original version and firmly cemented the idea of visitors from galaxies "far, far away" right here in our backyard.

Original news

According to a January 25, 1878, front-page report in the Denison Daily News—which was attributed to the Dallas Herald and headlined A Strange Phenomenon—a farmer named John Martin was hunting “six miles north of this city” when he spotted something in the distance. Martin’s “attention was directed to a dark object high up in the southern sky,” the story said. The “shape and velocity with which the object seemed to approach riveted his attention, and he strained his eyes to discover its character.”

At first the object appeared to be the “size of an orange,” but it got bigger and brighter as it approached. Martin stared at it so long he was temporarily blinded, and by the time his vision was restored, the object was almost directly overhead. By then it was “about the size of a large saucer” and was soaring across the sky at high altitude and with incredible speed. Martin said it resembled a balloon, and the Herald reporter noted that if it was not a balloon, “it deserved the attention of our scientists.”

The story appeared in The Dallas Weekly Herald on January 26 and the Daily Oklahoman soon after. There is no evidence that the incident ever actually received examination from local, state or national scientists at the time, but it did grab the attention of stargazers and researchers decades later. It was discussed in the influential book The Flying Saucers Are Real (Fawcett Publications, 1950) by Donald Keyhoe, revisited in The Dallas Morning News on August 6, 1965, and examined in Close Encounters of the Lone Star Kind in Texas Monthly in 1969.

Although mysterious objects in the sky have been recorded throughout human history, the sighting in Denison led to the first­-ever mention of a flying saucer, and flying saucers have been a staple of UFO lore ever since.

Where Martin saw the saucer is not exactly clear. According to the 1880 U.S. census, there was a tenant farmer named John E. Martin living in Grayson County (where Denison is located), but there were five John Martins working as farmers in Collin County (just north of Dallas and Dallas County): three Johns (two of whom were listed in the 1870 census), one John P. and one John W. The 1880 census listed no John Martin in Dallas County.

Regardless of which John Martin saw a flying saucer in North Texas in 1878, at least three local newspapers reported it—at a time when no one had even heard of a UFO, much less space aliens, “close encounters” or R2-D2. This sighting occurred before there was a genuine context or compelling rhetoric for such events. It also took place before the sightings themselves became cliché—lending credence to the original account and firmly cementing the notion of visitors from galaxies “far, far away” right here in our own backyard.

Hypotheses

List of versions containing features matching the eyewitness descriptions or material evidence

Balloon/Weather Balloon

The balloon (simplified is a balloon) — an aircraft lighter than air, where the lift force is used enclosed in a sheath gas (or heated air) with a density less than the density of the surrounding air.

Distinguish between tethered, Svobodnaya and balloons — powered airships.

Balloons and balls

Balloon — aircraft (balloon), which is used for the flight gas, which is lighter than air.

Balloons - different sizes and shapes size toy, often made of latex. Is inflated with air or other gas. If the gas is lighter than air, the ball gains the ability to fly. The photo looks like a small dot. The colors and the opacity depends on the texture and color of the ball.

Investigation

Versions testing, their confirmation or refutation. Additional information, notes during the study of materials
Not enough information

Resume

The most likely explanation. The version, confirmed by the investigation
Not enough information

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