The Circleville Event  


"How come the people in Circleville, Ohio could figure out what a radar target and a balloon were, but the military officers from Roswell couldn't", is a question that Randle and Schmitt love to ask rhetorically.

"It is possible that the weather balloon cover story was suggested by an event that had attracted national press coverage days earlier. Sherman Campbell of Circleville, Ohio, had gone to the local sheriff with what he thought was the solution to the mystery of the flying disks. The picture of Campbell's daughter Jean holding part of it had been published throughout the country on July 6, 1947. That photograph might have suggested the cover story to the military. In this case, however, everyone involved in Ohio knew it was a weather balloon when they saw it."
(Page 45 The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell)

"On July 5 Sherman Campbell found a strange object on his farm in Circleville, Ohio. Both Campbell and the local sheriff identified it immediately. On July 6 newspapers around the country printed a picture of Jean Campbell holding a kite-like structure from the balloon. The military did not involve itself in the episode, and, in fact, the Campbells kept the balloon for years afterward.

According to the Roswell Daily Record of July 9, Brazel accompanied by Marcel and Cavitt, took the material to the ranch headquarters and tried, without success, to make a kite out of it. There was no reason for Brazel or the military officers to try to make a kite out of it, unless they were attempting to duplicate the explanation and the pictures from the Circleville report.  No one thought to ask why both Campbell and the sheriff in Circleville could identify the balloon, but the officers at Roswell, some of them highly trained observers, were so surprised that they announced they had found a flying saucer. The story spread until a low-ranking officer at Fort Worth, Irving Newton, identified the wreckage as a balloon."
(Page 127- 129 ibid)

Randle lists his references for this as, among others, The Circleville Daily Herald. But what Randle and Schmitt don't mention from that exact same newspaper is the reason that Campbell and the Sheriff were able to identify the remains that were brought in as a flying disc.

According to the Circleville Daily Herald, the markings on the radar target were: "ML-387B-AP (sic), Mfg By Case" Now, unless we want to assume that the Grays use equipment manufactured by Case, it does seem that the identification tag on the object would hint at a Earthly origin. But, even with markings, this was still brought in as an explanation for flying discs!

Whether the mistake on the ML-307 was a typo in the newspaper or a poor printing job at Case Mfg is not known. This is the only known instance of an ML-307 bearing a printed label prior to the year 1951. The Roswell ML-307s were pre-production prototypes using the flowered tape which was not used in the production targets and carried no tag or identification.

There is at least one other instance of a radar target being mistaken for a flying saucer. On 12 Dec. 1950, after another misidentification of an ML-307 as a flying saucer, Lt. Col. Gillette, Office of Special Investigations at Bolling AFB, wrote a letter to his director attempting to solve this problem:

"It has been determined that the Air Weather Service, USAF has, in connection with their studies of winds aloft launched Corner Reflectors (ML-307s). These targets do not bear any stamps, tags, or other data which would serve to identify it for what it is."
(Letter found by Karl Pflock)