Shell R. Alpert

U.S. Coast Guardsmen

Member of the U.S. Coast Guard who captured one of the most famous flying "saucer" photos of all time in 1952.

In 1952, Shell R. Alpert, a U.S. Coast Guard photographer inside a lab in Salem, Massachusetts, noticed glowing objects in the sky. Explaining the event, he said, "I observed the sky and saw what appeared to be several bright, almost brilliant lights slightly on the starboard side of the power plant smokestacks."

This picture showed four luminous objects in a "V" formation and became one of the most famous UFO photographs ever taken. Alpert shifted shifted his description of his experience in a news release from the Coast Guard. He stated that the object was "a quick flash...I actually could not say it was anything - it could have been reflections from passing cars or from the ocean."


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