Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 5: November 1978

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











The so-called green fireballs of 1948-1949

Under the recent law making most government records available to the public, B.S. Maccabee obtained the FBI's UFO file. His analyses of this file have been serialized in the APRO Bulletin. One of the most unsettling revelations concerns the FBI data on the notorious "green fireballs" of the 1948-1949 era. According to the verbatim transcript of the FBI record, dated January 31, 1949, File No. 5: November 1978

Briefly, the "fireballs" were a brilliant green, sometimes beginning and ending with red or orange flashes. The objects travelled mainly on an east-west line at an average speed of 27,000 miles per hour. They seemed to pass over in level flight at altitudes of six to ten miles. On two occasions vertical changes of course were noted. Size was about one-fourth the diameter of the full moon. Multiple fireballs appeared in two instances. No sound was ever noted. No debris was ever discovered.

(Maccabee, Bruce S.; "UFO Related Information from the FBI File," APRO Bulletin, 7, March 1978.)

From Science Frontiers #5, November 1978. 1978-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987