Twin Falls, Idaho - 1947
Army, FBI, Police in Circles
Lewiston, Idaho Daily Tribune
July 12, 1947

Twin Falls, Idaho, July 11, --AP-- Four teen age boys skimmed a "flying saucer" into this town today and before the turmoil died down tonight with their admission it was "all a joke," the FBI, army intelligence and local police spent a dizzy day trying to figure out their gadget.

The home-made disc, replete with a plexi-glass dome, radio tubes, burned wires and glistening sides of silver and gold was discovered in the yard of the T.H. Thompson residence this morning by Mrs. Fred Easterbrook.

Assistant Police Chief L. D. McCracken withheld the names of pranksters because they were juveniles and no court action will be taken against them.   He said they admitted the hoax after he was "tipped" that one of the boys knew something about the case.

Made In Two Days

The boys aged from 15 to 16 years were quoted by Mr McCracken as saying that they spent two days making the disc which measures 30 1/2 inches across.

It resembled two band cymbals put together.   However, the disc looked "real" enough that an FBI agent took one look, notified his district office in Butte, Mont., and three army officers came post haste from Fort Douglas, Utah, in a military plane furnished by the state national guard.

Hoax With Galloping Disc Admitted By Idaho Youths

The practical joke started the biggest wave of speculation over flying discs this town has witnessed since about 30 residents reported 10 days ago they saw the galloping discs swishing overhead.

Two narrow strips of turf on the Thompson lawn were torn up as if the disc had ploughed into earth.

Officers Puzzled

Officers were puzzled at first -- until the hoax was discovered -- how the metal object could have sailed to the ground through a maze of overhead telephone and power wires.

Mrs. Easterbrook, the Thompson family and neighbors in reviewing events last night, speculated today that they  heard a "thud" during the night -- probably about 2:30 a.m.   But the boys told police they planted the disc about 10 p.m.

A plane load of army officers -- two lieutenant colonels, two first lieutenants and a civilian -- arrived in a Utah national guard plane shortly after noon to inspire a new round of speculation.   The army men refused to divulge their names to newsmen and kept distant from any persistent interviewers.

While speculation was highest, the army group slipped away from police headquarters with the saucer about the size of a bicycle wheel -- and whisked back to Salt Lake City.  Shortly after their departure, McCracken announced the whole thing was a hoax.

The boys told officers they used parts of an old phonograph, burned out radio tubes and various discarded electrical parts to manufacture their device.

FBI Releases "Story"

Following the army's departure an FBI agent came into McCracken's office in the presence of reporters and asked "have you released the news?"

"What news?" countered McCracken.

"Well," the federal agent said, "the army intelligence man said you could tell the press that four teen age boys confessed making the object and throwing it into the yard."

McCracken then related the whole story of the hoax. 


FBI Describes Idaho 'Saucer' in Detail

BUTTE, Mont., July 11 - (AP) FBI Agent W. G. Banister said an object which appeared to be a 'flying disc' was found early today at Twin Falls, Idaho and turned over to federal authorities there.

Banister, special agent in charge of the FBI in Montana and Idaho, said the bureau had reported the discovery to the army at Fourt Douglas, Utah.

An FBI agent in Twin Falls inspected the "saucer" and described it as similar to the "cymbals used by a drummer in a band placed face to face."

The object measured 30.5 inches in diameter with a metal dome on one side and a plastic dome about 14 inches high on the opposite side, anchored in place by what appeared to be stove bolts. The gadget is gold painted on one side and silver (either stainless steel, aluminum or tin) on the other. It appeared to have been turned out by machine, reports from Twin Falls said.

The FBI agent declined to elaborate further.

At Fort Douglas, a high-ranking officer, who declined to permit use of his name, would not comment. He refused either to confirm or deny that army authorities had heard of the reported discovery, or were investigating it.

End of article

'Disc' Laid to Juveniles
Admit Making Object Found in Idaho

Twin Falls, Ida., July 11 (AP) - Assistant Police Chief L.D. McCracken said tonight four juveniles had admitted making a metallic disc found this morning in the yard of Mrs. T. H. Thompson of Twin Falls.

McCracken said that he was tipped that one of the boys knew about the case. The boys explained it took them two days to make the "saucer," which resembled band cymbals placed together and with frosted plexia glass dome. McCracken said that army officers who came to Twin Falls from Fort Douglas, Utah, had taken the disc to Salt Lake City.

The object measured 30.5 inches in diameter with a metal dome on one side and a plastic dome about 14 inches high on the opposite side, anchored in place by what appeared to be stove bolts. The gadget was gold painted on one side and silver on the other.

The object was found by Mrs. F.W. Easterbrooks, who said she heard a thudding noise about 2:30 a.m. She ran outside, saw the "disc" in an adjoining yard and called police.

End of article

From "A History of UFO Crashes" by Kevin D. Randle:

A 30-inch saucer with a metal dome on top, anchored in place by what appeared to be stove bolts and described as the cymbal on a set of drums, was surrendered to the FBI on July 11, 1947. The object was gold on one side and silver on the other, and was sent to Fort Douglas, Utah, for examination. A 'high-ranking officer' at Fort Douglas [who reportedly did not want to give his name] would neither 'confirm nor deny' that army authorities had heard of the reported discovery. 

"Plastic Disks Found in Two States"
The Chicago Daily News, July 11, 1947, pg. 7
See also: A History of UFO Crashes by Kevin D. Randle