This odd little--UFO?--tale appeared in the "Philadelphia Inquirer," September 27, 1950:
South Philadelphia police officers had a new explanation last night for what happens to those flying saucers people are always seeing:As far as I can tell, the substance was never identified.
That's what happened last night to the airborne object first seen about 10 PM. by Patrolmen John Collins and Joseph Keenan. The two officers said they were patrolling in a red car on Vare blvd. near 26th st. when through the windshield they saw what appeared to be a parachute drifting slowly down from the upper air ahead of them. When first seen, the thing was at treetop level, they said, and appeared to be about six feet in diameter.
It settled in an open field near 26th st. After summoning Street Sgt. Joseph Cook and Patrolman James Casper, his driver, they went into the field to investigate.
The four officers stood a few feet from the object, they said, and turned their flashlights on it, whereupon it gave off a purplish glow, almost a mist, that looked as though it contained crystals.
Collins stepped forward and tried to pick the thing up. The part of the mass on which he laid his hands dissolved, leaving nothing but a slight, odorless, sticky residue.
Within 25 minutes, as they stood and watched, the entire substance had evaporated. It was so light, they said, that it did not even bend the weeds on which it lighted.
Sergeant Cook notified the FBI a little sheepishly, since, he pointed out, he'd have nothing whatever to show them when they arrived, except a magic circle on the ground where something purple, and quite evanescent, once had been.