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The UFO Phenomenon

Kenneth Arnold 'flying saucer' sighting turns 75

By T.K. Randall
June 28, 2022 · Comment icon 50 comments

Arnold stated that the objects moved like a saucer being skipped across water. Image Credit: PD - Mmxx
75 years ago, pilot Kenneth Arnold sighted several strange objects in the sky near Washington's Mount Rainier.
Just a couple of weeks before the Roswell incident, a pilot from Minnesota reported an encounter that would go on to be cited as the first widely reported modern UFO sighting in the United States.

Arnold had been flying his plane (a CallAir A-2) from Chehalis, Washington to Yakima, Washington on June 24, 1947 when he decided to make a quick detour in an attempt to track down the wreckage of a missing military plane which had crashed somewhere near Mount Rainier.

Failing to locate it, he had resumed his flight eastward when he witnessed what appeared to be a formation of nine highly reflective objects flying in the sky.

The mysterious aircraft were stretched out across an area of around five miles in what he described as "a diagonally stepped-down, echelon formation".
He quickly realized that he was not looking at any conventional aircraft. Assuming them to be some type of prototypes being tested by the military, Arnold estimated that they were traveling at speeds of up to 1,700mph, far faster than any known aircraft of the time.

Upon landing, he told some of his pilot friends about what he had seen and by the next day he was being interviewed by reporters.

His description of the objects would lead to the coining of the term "flying saucer".

Even 75 years later, no definitive explanation for what he witnessed that day has ever been found.

Source: Idaho Statesman | Comments (50)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #41 Posted by stereologist 1 year ago
Okay, but realize that no one thought of Ezekiel being a UFO until Sitchin. His first book is 1976. Welles' story comes out in 1897, almost 80 years earlier. All of this looking for UFOs in older documents and events is a modern phenomenon and not part of the history of Welles' time.
Comment icon #42 Posted by stereologist 1 year ago
Probably one of the earliest books on the subject of ancient astronauts is the Morning of the Magicians. It came out in 1960. It is basically the story plagiarized by EVD in hi chariots of the gods. The Morning of the Magicians - Wikipedia As we can see this 1960 book has ties to fiction in 1928 and 1931. That gets it closer to the time period of Welles.
Comment icon #43 Posted by astrobeing 1 year ago
Yes, this is near the end of the novel and if I remember correctly the aliens die off before we ever get to read a deion of these machines. Of course a "flying-machine" doesn't necessarily mean a flying saucer. At the time the novel was released it could mean anything in the imagination of the reader because we hadn't invented flying machines yet. It's also amusing that the Martians had mastered interplanetary rockets but were still working on airplanes. Fans of the book have explained by retro-logic this was because the thin atmosphere of Mars can't support winged aircraft.
Comment icon #44 Posted by taniwha 1 year ago
On second thoughts were not the cylinders fired from Mars in a cannon rather than being self propelled rockets?  Details of how the flying  machines the martians concoct on earth look and behave is largely left to the readers imagination (though they were vaguely described above as flying lights). That being the case, humanity is thankfully spared, as the impending doom of aerial attacks are never fully realized once the martians meet a very timely end. Remembering airplanes werent even invented at the time of writing, HG Wells impressive list of visions foretell among other things, a time whe... [More]
Comment icon #45 Posted by stereologist 1 year ago
In the Time Machine the traveler goes to the end of time for the Earth, only 30 million years into the future. The book came out about the time radiation was discovered. The power of fission and fusion would not be known about till decades later. The 30 million year time for the survival of the Sun was based on estimates of chemical reactions. Flying machines were in stories before Welles such as Verne's story the City in the Sahara. IIRC, they even had missiles in that story that used compressed air as the propulsion.  Verne dies in 1905. The book comes out a decade later due to his son's eff... [More]
Comment icon #46 Posted by taniwha 1 year ago
Reaching further back in time I managed to resurrect this ancient relic of note by American author Gustavus W Pope in 1894 A short overview ~ "On Pope's Mars there are three human-like races: red, yellow, and blue Martians. They have attained a sophisticated technology while preserving a feudal society (which allows for duels and swordplay)..... The Martians travel in "ethervolt cars" and anti-gravity aircraft; they enjoy communications devices that are equivalent to television and video telephone. Pope also provides a Martian magician who is telepathic, invokes spirits, and reads the hero's f... [More]
Comment icon #47 Posted by astrobeing 1 year ago
I don't think it was clear. The main character and other people see flashes on Mars through telescopes which could be rockets but speculates that it was a large gun, because it was 1894 and big rockets didn't exist yet. The funny thing is that they arrive on Earth just a day or two later meaning they were traveling at hundreds of thousand of miles an hour. Wells did state the minimum distance between Earth and Mars accurately. OK, I have to check my copy now... oh I see. A character says, "It was just a matter of lights, but it was something in the air. I believe they've built a flying machine... [More]
Comment icon #48 Posted by the13bats 1 year ago
The idea of craft of many shapes and beings from other planets sure does predate both arnold and roswell, Arnold called what he saw "living organisms". And all the bs about alien bodies at roswell didnt pop up until the 80s when Friedman stirred up all the profiteers into just then deciding to tell their tales. People like adamski did make big $$$ off their BS until it was well proven there isnt anything like that on Venus etc.
Comment icon #49 Posted by taniwha 1 year ago
Lesser known is the serialisation preceding the novel WotW by Pearson's Magazine in 1897. The original storyboard was impressively illustrated by artist Warwick Goble. A sinister flying machine is vaguely described by Wells in this, though not as vaguely as in the novel itself. The following I believe is the extract which inspired this depiction of the flying machine as imagined by Goble. "It has often been asked why the Martians did not fly immediately after their arrival. They certainly did use a flying apparatus for several days, but only for brief flights of a score or so of miles, in orde... [More]
Comment icon #50 Posted by bmk1245 1 year ago
I want one of those "ethervolt cars"... Thanks for sharing! With two books to read, adventurous evenings await (be it on Mars or Venus)! PS pesky Martians... I wonder, what cars Venusians have...

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