The memo reads:

“They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only three feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots.”

Despite the dramatic account, the memo abruptly states that its writer, Washington-based agent Guy L. Hottel, declined to investigate. “No further evaluation was attempted,” Hottel wrote.

There’s little mystery to the memo. It’s connected to a 60-year-old hoax. And it bears the traces of at least seven generations of whisper-down-the-lane.