|(Arnold) Tho the books of Charles Fort are full of reports of mysterious flying objects, the flying saucers or flying discs sailed into the headlines in June 1947 when Kenneth Arnold reported seeing some over Mt Rainier, Wash. Shortly, they were seen all over the US and in many other countries, as well; public interest grew to such a point that the Air Force made a full-scale investigation, finding no support for the existence of "genuine" saucers. (Saucer fans promptly accused the AF of "covering up".) Numerous fanzine articles and a good deal of writing in proz and mundane publications have assumed the saucers to be interplanetary vehicles, other conclusions being beneath the dignity of our consideration, and of course all fictional treatment of the things, as Sturgeon's "Saucer of Loneliness", assumes that the flying saucers are "real", i.e. interplanetary vehicles. Such quasi-fan organizations as ETRO have been organized to investigate them, and Fantastic Universe ran a "Civilian Saucer Intelligence" column for reports on the things. Not exactly of this sort was the collaboration visualized by the Flying Saucer Master Plan, a scheme to use the existence of fans all over the world in a timed series of sighting reports that would create the biggest saucer scare ever. (Happily for our public relations this didn't pan out.)
Many "saucer" sightings were laid to "skyhooks" -- high-altitude balloons -- airplane lights, bright stars and planets, reflections of all sorts, kites, and odd-looking planes.