Between the dates of August 19 of 1949 and March 10 of 1950, an almost unbelievable wave of UFO sightings were logged in the Norwood, Ohio area. These visual sightings were of an odd, often stationary object which was witnessed by many ground observers. The Norwood searchlight incident was logged in detail by searchlight operator Donald R. Berger, and is a mainstay of Ufology.

It is often said that a sighting’s credibility is based upon the reputation of its witnesses. This case was reported by members of the clergy, scientists, police and military officials, as well as civilians. On October 23, 1949 Norwood Police sergeant Leo Davidson took photographs of the unknown objects, and Reverend Gregory Miller took 2 reels of 25 foot motion picture film.

The very first reports of a UFO were made during the Jitney Carnival in 1949. There were literally hundreds of witnesses to strange lighted objects in the sky. The next day press reports were made of the sightings. The Cincinnati Post, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and the Cincinnati Times Star all carried a description of what occurred.

Some press reports minimized the sighting reports as nothing more than searchlight reflections from the cloud cover. Several churches and at least one theatre were operating searchlights on the first night of the reports. However, sightings were made all night long until daybreak, and it is very unlikely that the searchlights were operating the entire time. One official from the weather bureau made a report of an early morning sighting of “two objects” that appeared to be weather ceiling balloons, but they were motionless, despite winds up to 32 mph.

Refuting the searchlight explanations, Berger explained that even when he removed the searchlight from the sky, the brightly lit object was still visible. Berger would intrust his logs to Reverend Miller for five years. At that time, he gave them to UFO researcher Leo Stringfield. The photographs of the Norwood UFO have a very similar look to the ones taken during the Colares Island Incident

Robert Linn, who was managing editor of the Cincinnati Post, along with Reverend Miller, both stated that Berger’s searchlight had accidently found a “definite object, and the light only enhanced its view from the ground. They reported this to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. Although many reports were made of the unusual objects, Project Grudge would not investigate the case, either from lack of funds or lack of interest.

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