Arundel History

January 29, 2006

1968: Getting Sirius

In January 1968, strange things were happening in the skies above Anne Arundel County.

A brilliant, gyrating light was reported near the horizon by a variety of witnesses, including state police and radiomen at the U.S. Naval Academy. One state police trooper described the sighting as resembling "a bright light bulb bouncing up and down in the sky."

The light, dubbed the "Great Arundel County Flying Saucer" by the Evening Sun, drew investigators from a committee studying unidentified flying objects over the United States.

Emilie B . Sinkler of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena said they were investigating reports of unidentified flying objects in the Arundel heavens.

Thomas M. Olsen, a physicist from the U.F.O. Information Retrieval Center in Riderwood joined Cpl. T.T. Griffith and several other witnesses Saturday night to gaze at the light.

"We held up a star map in front of us" and saw the light occupied a portion of the southeastern sky where Sirius should be, Olsen said.

Sirius, known as the dog star, is the brightest star in the sky and sometimes appears to earthlings as revolving colored lights.

And so the solution on the horizon appeared to be Sirius.

[Source: Evening Sun archives, Paul McCardell, Sun library researcher]

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