The Washington Post
July 16, 1952
MIAMI, Fla., July 15 (UP), - Two veteran Pan American Airways pilots reported today they saw eight huge "flying saucers" flying at a 1000-mile-and-hour clip near Norfolk, Va. last night.
W.B. Nash said he and W.H. Fortenberry saw six of the strange craft, estimated to be 100 feet in diameter and "glowing orange-red like hot coals," fly in formation some 6000 feet beneath their DC-4.
The six "things" turned westward sharply when the PAA plane passed overhead and were joined by two other similar flying discs, Nash said. The eight "saucers" zoomed upward to an estimated 10,000 feet altitude before the glowing light emanating from them "pulsated off" and they disappeared into the sky, Nash said.
Nash, 35, estimated that he and Fortenberry, 30, "watched the whole maneuver" for between 10 and 12 seconds.
"Both Fortenberry and I have read other reports on so-called 'flying saucers' and have respect for the judgment of some of the astronomers and observers who have reported them," Nash said. "Our experience last night is in line with those reports."
Nash, a first officer for PAA and a flying employe for 10 years, said he and Fortenberry "would judge that the eight objects were definitely intelligently controlled - whether from within or without, we couldn't say."
"Also," said Nash, "we can be reasonably positive that none of us - as we know pilots - could physically endure the centrifugal force that would be imposed on the occupants when making turns of such violence as these objects made.
"We feel, because of the way the missiles acted and because of all the other reports that have been heard, that they must be from some extra-terrestrial source."
In Echelon Formation
Nash said their DC-4, carrying 10 company personnel, was flying southward between Newport News, and Norfolk when the first six saucers appeared to the southwest. Nash said they were flying in an echelon formation - a diagonal straight line - at about 2000 feet altitude.
He said the other passengers were sitting where they could not have seen the eight missiles.
"Giving consideration to the difference in our altitude and theirs, we judged that they were approximately 100 feet in diameter and between 10 and 15 feet thick," Nash said.
"As they neared us, they appeared to be solid bodies of light, glowing orange-red like red-hot irons," Nash said. "But they had definite outlines."
Nash, a Navy transport pilot in World War II, is a veteran of 10,000 air hours. Fortenberry, formerly a Navy fighter pilot, has been an employe of PAA since the war.