|Vanguard 1 satellite image courtesy NASA|
The crowd of onlookers soon learned that only a short while before, Dana Carte, a trusty at the Fayette County Jail, had discovered the strange object on front lawn of the Fayette County Courthouse. Carte had immediately revealed his fantastic discovery to Jack Robertson, manager of the Fayette County sheriff's office.
|Fayette County Courthouse|
Perhaps due to overcrowding in the sheriff's office, officials decided to move outside with the object, to the spot where it had been first discovered. As an even larger crowd begin to gather at this spot, a few spectators in the crowd remarked that the "satellite" in question looked like it might be a toy. But others insisted that it would have a manufacturer's trademark on it if this were the case. One man, apparently convinced of the object's authenticity, proclaimed, "This will sure put Fayetteville on the map!"
|Ben Franklin store in Fayetteville|
And so, to this date, it seems that many believe the "satellite" found on Fayette County Courthouse lawn was simply an inexpensive child's toy, that looked like a "professional instrument" according an account published in Beckley's afternoon newspaper, the Raleigh Register. But perhaps that version of the satellite landing story is simply what "they want you to believe."
The Raleigh Register, April 10, 1958, "Excitement Mounts On Toy Discovery", by Dorothy Hesse.