[Ads-l] antedating "UFO"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 13 16:42:13 UTC 2023

OED: 1953 (Nov.)

1952 Project Blue Book memorandum (Wright Patterson AFB, O.) TS. (Nov. 4):
Sightings of UFO's at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee. (Dec. 15):
The purpose of the call was to contact Mr. Gittings in regard to some
previous data that Capt [sic] Ruppelt had obtained about the visual
sightings of UFO [sic] and radiation from unknown sources.


1953 [pub. Oct. 5] Donald E. Keyhoe _Flying Saucers from Outer Space_
(N.Y.: Holt) 6: Whipping into a tight circle, the UFO cut inside the
pursuit curve he had set up.

1953 _Atlanta Journal and Constitution_ (Oct. 4) 7-F: The Air Force says
that flying saucers are very real. (The official term is "unidentified
flying object" or UFO.)

Keyhoe's book and reviews like the AJC's publicized the term. (OED's ex.is
from an excerpt in a pilots' magazine.)

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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