Classic UFO Pictures: 1952 Salem Massachusetts Coast Guard

1952 Salem, Massachusetts July 16, 1952 1952 was a busy year for UFO sightings, and about that time Shel Alpert, a USCG seaman on duty in the Coast Guard Weather Office at the Salem Coast Guard Station, witnessed four unexplained brilliant lights in the sky. After dimming and brightening again Alpert was able to get a single photograph through the window of this office. This photo has been published in many places, including books, newspapers, magazines, and now websites. (source:UfoCasebook)



  1. Anthony says:

    How come this image was not investigated in "Project Blue Book?"

  2. That one and many others…

  3. Anthony says:

    I just came back from Salem. I spent the memorial day weekend there. I visisted the site in the image. NO ONE including the trolley driver would detail discuss this image.

  4. Given that it has been 57 years it was good that you could still find the location by photo. But it is REALLY cool that you did so. You would think that everyone in the area would promote it, great way to get some tourism bucks. But the fact that it is hush hush is rather interesting.

    Granted, anyone alive and of age at that time (16 years old +) would be 73 now, but still it seems like missed opportunity – unless there is a reason why they do not talk about it…

  5. Anthony says:

    I plan to visit the site again mid October with my brother. We will be conducting some research regarding why this sighting never had an official investigation.. Wish me luck everyone and I’ll keep you posted.

  6. Nikita63 says:

    I actually saw this event as my father was a Coast Guradsman at what was then Salem Coastguard airbase.The sight was as depicted in the pictures and though it made headlines locally, I cannot ever recall as others have pointed out, any mention of investigation by Project Blue Book, which if i remember, was terminated in 1966. I was a Science fiction reading precocious second grade 7 year old at the time and this brings back memories,; long tern ones as I will be 68 on February 14th! I can remember being a huge fan of Robert Helnlein at the time as he had a separate genre aimed at the young and adolescents and his stories were thought provoking and believable; especially to inquisitive kids with no electronic toys to distract them from books! Even TV was in its relative infancy! God, I am getting old!

    • Greg Chaffins says:

      Amazing to hear that you were there. The most bothersome point, for me, was the lack of mention outside of local media.

      But from one long time science fiction to another, I have respect for Robert Heinlein’s body of work. I remember reading his stuff at an early age. I think perhaps him, Keith Laurmer (time travel), Asimov, and Bradbury, along with Clarke, were some of my best book memories of that time.

  7. Bonaiuto says:

    Ez to find the spot there is only one power plant in Salem ma down by the Salem willows my grandfather remembers this I guess everyone wrote it of as a hoax don’t know how they would have pulled that off back then been lots of sightings over the years right in the. Same area must be some link between ufos and coastal city.

    • Greg Chaffins says:

      I do like the pictures that predate today’s easy photoshop capability – makes you wonder how they could have faked it, if they even they had a reason to do so. Salem has been a pretty active area for sightings over the years, and by some well respected citizens. Interesting situation.

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