Digging through the FBI’s declassified, multi-volumed, UFO files at its Vault site can be a rewarding task. Even though the files in question were declassified decades ago, there are a few stand-out nuggets of data that, perhaps years later, still shed more light on the early days of Ufology than many have realized or recognized.
For the most part, when the Flying Saucer era began in the summer of 1947 with the famous sighting of Kenneth Arnold – of a veritable squadron of craft near Mount Rainier, Washington State, USA – people were reporting encounters with strange objects in the sky, a few landings, and even the occasional, alleged UFO crash. But, interaction with the intelligences behind the craft wasn’t that commonplace. There is, however, one early report in the FBI’s files that is suggestive (to me, anyway!) of some sort of immediate post-Arnold interaction of the human/non-human variety.
The story began on July 9, 1949, when columnist Walter Winchell brought to the attention of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover a story he had received from a “Mr. Jones of Los Angeles” who maintained he had seen a Flying Saucer in August 1947, only two months after the Arnold affair. Winchell advised Hoover that Jones had mailed him a letter that was “very well written, obviously by a man of intelligence.”
In view of this, the FBI took time out to pursue the strange matter, as the following memorandum, written by FBI Assistant Director D.M. Ladd makes clear: “In this letter, Jones stated that in August of 1947 he left Los Angeles for the mountains and started hiking through the mountains. About 10:00 a.m. he was laying on the ground when he observed about one-half block away from him a large, silver, metal object, greenish in color, shaped like a child’s top and about the size of the balloons used at Country Fairs.
“He stated that there appeared to be two windows in the object and portions of metal appeared transparent and that he gained the impression that there was some life within this object although he saw no persons. The object appeared as though sealed as a pressure chamber. He stood up and waved toward this object and this so-called flying saucer was off the ground in a second, knocking Jones to the ground.”
The documentation continues: “In its flight he stated that its power was silent and he raised the question as to whether this was an inter-global landing on our planet. He thought that it might be a device to land on our planet because the occupants of another planet had become curious as to the reaction caused by the atomic bomb causing trouble in an expanding universe. He asked the question as to whether it was possible that the occupants of another planet might have solved the theory of negative energy.”
A source whose name has been carefully deleted from the FBI files – but who was described as having a “scientific background” – advised the Bureau that Jones’ communication suggested he possessed “a very good knowledge of physics,” and added it might be to the FBI’s advantage to “check into” Jones’ background and interview him at the earliest opportunity. All attempts to do so were unsuccessful, however: Jones could not be located, or had seemingly vanished. There are, however, a couple of issues that are worthy of note.
First: Jones reportedly lived in California – just like many of the original Contactees that surfaced in the early 1950s and who claimed alien-human interaction. Second: as was the case with many who followed in his path, Jones’ encounter occurred in a remote location. Then, there is the matter of the concern exhibited by the aliens in relation to the power of the atom. Was this merely a case of Jones speculating? If so, it was an astonishing coincidence, as only a few years later countless other people were making very similar – if not identical – observations of an atomic kind in relation to Flying Saucers.
Furthermore, that Jones’ encounter occurred in the mountains while he was “laying [sic] on the ground,” raises an important question: was Jones in some form of altered-state of mind throughout his encounter, and perhaps one brought on by “the occupants” of the strange, aerial device? If that was the case, then Jones’ story might possibly represent one of the earliest, officially-recorded examples of alien/human interaction in the immediate period after the Kenneth Arnold affair.