UFO Sighting: Kenneth Arnold (1947)
The modern phenomena of "flying saucers" began with an incident in Washington state on June 24th, 1947. Former World War II pilot Kenneth Arnold (1915-1984) reported seeing nine unidentified objects flying in formation along the crest of the Cascade Range near Mount Rainier.
Arnold had been flying home from a business trip. The weather was fine and the wind was light. At approximately 3:00pm he saw a bright flash of light which he thought could have been a nearby aircraft, but after scanning the skies he could not see anything except a distant DC-4. About 30 seconds later he saw a series of flashes that appeared to come from a distance, to the north of Mt. Rainier. He ruled out reflections in his own windows by rocking his plane and even winding a window down. He considered other explanations, such as a flock of geese, but ruled these out for various reasons including speed.
The objects continued to fly in a diagonal formation, weaving from side to side "like the tail of a Chinese kite". They eventually faded from sight. Arnold calculated their speed at around 1200MPH.
Arnold described the objects as flat saucers or discs, although he later added that some of them appeared crescent-shaped. The term "flying saucer" was born.
Arnold's account made international headlines and was followed by hundreds of similar UFO reports.
The document below is Kenneth Arnold's written report to Army Air Forces (AAF) intelligence, July 12, 1947. It includes illustrations of the objects.
Document scan copyright www.alienufoart.com. Used with permission.