ARMED FORCES: Belated Explanation

In the 3½ years since flying saucers first came flipping and flashing across Page One, the wilder stories about tiny men from Mars and interplanetary craft that dissolved in the earth's atmosphere had been pretty well exposed as hoaxes or hallucinations. But most people were still sure that some kind of unidentified flying object did exist, and they wanted some sense-making explanation. Last week they got the best one yet. It came from Dr. Urner Liddel, chief nuclear physicist for the Office of Naval Research.

The flying saucers, said Physicist Liddel, were actually giant plastic balloons called Skyhooks, which the...