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Pensacola News Journal from Pensacola, Florida • 130

Pensacola, Florida
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46F Pensacola News Journal Sunday, March 5, 1989 UFO fever strikes West Florida By Cindy West News Journal Residents of galaxies far, far away may have visited West Florida long before Unidentified Flying Objects were spotted over Gulf Breeze in 1987. UFO fever hit the Gulf Coast at various times, showing itself through numerous reported sightings and suppositions as to whether the sightings were le- 1 This time, some DeFuniak residents as well as News-Journal staffer John Gunter, saw the object. A report said the deep orange object appeared 45 degrees above the horizon in the west and gave the impression of traveling slowly clockwise around DeFuniak before disappearing in the east. And there have been more sightings in West Florida: A rash of sightings were reported in 1973. Among them: Oct.

14, a man reported he saw four faint, white objects flying silently northeast across the sky about 15 miles east of Destin; Oct. 15, two men said they saw a UFO hover silently above Interstate 10 for five minutes; Oct. 17, just after dark, Eglin radar personnel reported tracking a UFO in the area north of Eglin and about the same time, more than a half-dozen motorists stop their cars to watch four lighted UFOs hover above Interstate 10 between Crestview and Milton. During the night on Oct. 17, 1973, there were more than 50 scattered UFO sightings reported along the Gulf of Mexico.

April 21, 1975, a dozen Holmes County residents and two sheriffs deputies said they saw a large glowing egg-shaped UFO fly at sharp angles just above the tree tops near Bonifay. July 6, 1975, the Journal reported eyewitness accounts of safcawy 3. Photo courtesy of Pensacola Historical Museum If there were UFOs in the 1950s, their occupants miff ht have seen this sight in downtown Pensacola: construction of Municipal Auditorium 1 n(n Sightings go back at least to the 1950s, when, UFOS on March 31, 1953, a man saw one of the objects in the Pensacola area. "I'll swear I saw a flying saucer" at 10:40 a.m. Tuesday, said George M.

Lee of 13 Simon Court, Pensacola. Lee, a postal employee, said he was driving north on Street just south of Pottery Plant Road when he glanced up and saw a round, shiny object to the northwest. He said a few seconds after spotting the motionless object, it began moving straight upward and then disappeared. Shortly afterward a plane flew over the same position. The UFO sight ing got small play inside the Pensacola Journal on Page 2.

But it was followed on Sept. 17, 1953, with a front page blurb about an object seen above DeFuniak Springs. Photographs of the Gulf Breeze UFO were first published in the Gulf Breeze Sentinel. They were taken with a Polaroid camera by a man identified only as Jim or Ed. Numerous photographs were taken and examined to prove authenticity.

Oct. 5, 1988, the Gulf Breeze sightings were featured on a segment of NBC's "Unsolved Mysteries," a weekly series featuring true stories of strange events. Aug. 16, 1950 Rose-mond Johnson Jr. becomes first Pensacolian killed in Korean war.

Aug. 31, 1950 Hurricane with winds estimated at 115 mph hits Santa Rosa Island; damage is slight on the largely undeveloped island. June 11, 1951 Chem- strand announces plans for a nylon plant 12 miles north of Pensacola. Feb. 3, 1952 Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy entertain patients at Naval Hospital.

June 13, 1953 Miss America Neva Jan Langley visits Fiesta of Five Flags. July 19, 1953 "Flying Boxcar" crashes near Whiting, killing 41. August 1953 Construction begins on Pensacola Municipal Auditorium (dedication: in 1955). April 22-June 17, 1954 Sen. Joseph McCarthy conducts hearings in Washington charging Communists have infiltrated many areas of American life.

1954 WEAR goes on the air, Pensacola's first TV station: war in Indochina begins. Aug. 6, 1954 Navy plane drops three photo flash bombs over Fort Walton Beach, causing confusion when a home in the area catches fire at the same time in an unrelated incident. June 7, 1955 USS Saipan relieves USS Monterey as Pensacola-based training carrier. June 16, 1955 Renovation begins to convert old Pensacola City Jail into Pensacola Museum of Art.

June 23, 1955 For the third time in a month, the canal bridge at Gulf Beach is out of commission after being hit by a barge Jan. 12, 1956 National Guardsmen disperse 300 pickets at Chemstrand. Pickets contend Chemstrand doesn't hire enough local people. June 15, 1956 American Cyanamid announces plans to construct a $27 million plant near Pace. Aug.

18, 1956 Baars family donates 1 1 acres to be used as part of the new Pensacola Junior College site. 1957 Pensacola Public Library building at Gregory and Spring streets is completed. June 20, 1957 Under a new plan, beginning salary for Escambia County teachers will be $3400. 1958 Fire destroys the heart of Pensacola's shipping facilities, crippling the port, and leaving damages estimated in the millions. The city dock, the wharf and their warehouses are HISTORIC HEADLINES i PfiMciWiirfa JiiM UFO sightings over the Grand Lagoon Yacht Club.

At least a dozen people said they saw two UFOs between midnight and 3 a.m. flying in a zig-zag pattern high in the sky "at incredible speed." Beginning Nov. 11, 1987, many sightings of unidentified flying objects were reported in Gulf Breeze by 135 witnesses, causing such a stir that national television crews came to the area. W0 SHUT SALI HlCtSCCNTi Hun rZ I inn! uL I J. ,1 fonsacria Journal PfNlACOLA.

UO I OA. TUISDAT MOINING. JUN 0. IWf A like Greets Aide 41 To Soviet' Chief ihhh Tiny Soce'onfeey Honored To President by It All At Exposition IS No. 80,000 wins a prize The News-Journal continued to enjoy prosperity in the 1950s, with increased circulation for both the morning and afternoon papers.

The News-Journal ran a contest to award $100 to the subscriber who received a specially marked edition of the afternoon News, which represented the copy distributed that day. July 21, 1956, Mr. and Mrs. Harold E. Pritchett received that paper, with a message from publisher Braden Ball asking the recipient to return it to News-Journal offices and receive $100.

The 80,000 figure represented an increase of 70,731 since the newspapers merged in 1924. Six years after moving into the new plant at Jefferson and Ro-mana streets, the News Journal expanded again, adding a new pressroom along with a new press. This was the first major move under John H. Perry who had succeeded his father as president of the Florida publications. The decade also hailed the arrival, in 1957, of Associated Press photofax equipment, which allowed the newspapers to receive electronically "live" photos of news events around the world.

1 ttiitt Um Fftrct Ta Clflf II Aw Of 1 At Shaw kKVI rORH (APi.Fimi Qfat SiirrrouiTN tu til First in Nation Citv Ouadri Anniversary, a I Matt loday't Ouadri Paper 1 1 until 'Bribt' JUNE 30, 1 959 1 1 1 b.wvM tfc. Ikm. iv t-- ii kinm.o If iri Oaf a rj ZWr VTl 7S ii, Off A Coo Pup Probtd Pensacola's 400th birthday.

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