A nude bather, September, 1943
In 1947, UFOs were in the news, and Woodworth, North Dakota was not spared a visit. A flying saucer was reported to have landed in the yard of Mrs. Bert Miller.
By noon, hundreds had arrived at Mrs. Miller’s house, including Capt. G.W. McCoy of the Civil Air Patrol in Fargo, who was commanded to guard the craft.
Sometime during all this commotion, five pranksters couldn’t keep their secret.
The five men (Oscar Cellmer, William Clark, John Wingire, Palmer Hanson and Leslie Thompson) knew exactly where the flying saucer had come from, and it wasn’t outer space.
They had worked all night to make the fake UFO out of a washtub, a lamp shade, radio parts and a car fan, welding the pieces together, coating them in silver paint, and then leaving the craft in Mrs. Miller’s yard.
Their hoax gained national attention.
The naked woman in the washtub is burlesque dancer Sally Rand, who was also adept at fooling people. Her illusion was seeming to appear nude onstage while dancing with a translucent bubble, behind a screen, or with large ostrich feather fans:
Sally Rand and her fans
Her secret was makeup, flesh-colored body stockings and clever choreography, which stimulated an audience’s lurid imagination.
– 1947 Woodworth UFO hoax caused national concern, The Jamestown Sun>>
– Stampede 100 Day Countdown: 1943, Calgary Herald>>