Fwd: [UASR]> The Dawn of an Era - Kenneth Arnold's historic sighting
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Subject: [UASR]> The Dawn of an Era - Kenneth Arnold's historic sighting
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 14:33:54 -0700
[U A S R]> UFOs-, ALIENs-, SPACE- RESEARCH MAILING LIST <[U A S R]
_UFO: The Complete Sightings_
by Peter Brookesmith
Barnes & Noble, Inc.
120 Fifth Avenue
New York City, NY 10011
The Dawn of an Era
Kenneth Arnold's historic sighting
TYPE: Daylight Disks
PLACE: Cascade Mountains, Washington State, USA
DATE: 24 June 1947
Idaho businessman Kenneth Arnold was an experienced pilot. He was flying
across the Cascade Mountains from Chehalis to Yakima, Washington, enticed
the offer of $5000 reward to spend an hour or so searching for a Marine
C-46 transport aircraft that had recently come down near Mount Rainier with
32 men on board. Arnold's aircraft was specially designed for working in
mountainous terrain. He took off from Chehalis airport at 2:00pm.
Kenneth Arnold was in the midst of his search at an altitude of about
(2750m) above the town of Mineral (about 25 miles [40 km] south-west of the
peak of Mount Rainier), and was making a 180° turn when 'a tremendously
bright flash lit up the surfaces of my aircraft.' Arnold looked for the
source of the flash, but the only other plane in the vicinity was a Douglas
DC-4 airliner. Arnold then figured he had seen a flash of sunlight off his
wings of a close-flying fighter; he speculated that he had been buzzed by a
P-51 Mustang, the most powerful fighter then in common service with the
Before he had time to look for a fast-moving Mustang, however, Arnold saw
another flash -- and where it came from. 'I observed,' he reported, 'far
to my left and to the north, a formation of very bright objects coming from
the vicinity of Mount Baker, flying very close to the mountain tops and
traveling at a tremendous speed.' They were moving almost directly across
Arnold's own flightpath, which made it easy to calculate their speed.
Arnold was amazed to discover that the nine craft were traveling at over
1700 mph (2750km/h), well beyond the capability of any conventional
at the time. What made this phenomenal speed all the more extraordinary
the way the craft were flying.
Arnold said later: 'They didn't fly like any aircraft I had seen before...
they flew in a definite formation, but erratically... like speed boats on
rough water or similar to the tail of a Chinese kite that I once saw
in the wind... they fluttered and sailed, tipping their wings alternately
emitting very bright blue-white flashes from their surfaces.'
Arnold decided to abandon his search for the missing C-46 and make for
to report what he had seen. Landing there at about 4:00pm, he told his
to an airline manager and discussed it with other professional fliers,
taking off once more for Pendleton, Oregon. The news flew ahead of him:
among the crowd to greet him there was reporter Bill Becquette, from the
Oregonian_ newspaper. Arnold described the craft he had seen as flying
a saucer would if you skipped it across the water.' From these words came
term 'flying saucers'. By now Arnold was sure that he had seen a flight of
guided missiles, 'robotly controled'. He concluded that the government had
chosen this way to announce the discovery of 'a new principle of flight'.
Becquette put the story on the Associated Press wire. For three days at
Pendleton, Arnold was besieged with enquiries. Finally, exhausted and
to work, Arnold flew the 200 miles (320km) across the state line to his
in Boise, Idaho. Shortly after arriving there, Arnold had a telephone call
from Dave Johnson, aviation editor of the _Idaho Stateman_ newspaper. The
conversation changed everything for Arnold: 'I am sure he was in a position
to know... that it was not a new military guided missile and... if what I
seen was true, it did not belong to the good old USA. It was then that I
really began to wonder.'
Though the immediate assumption was that Arnold had seen extra-terrestrial
craft, Paul Devereux believes that Arnold saw a spectacular electromagnetic
display created by faults and pressures in the Earth's crust, while Arnold
himself came to believe that he had seen a hitherto unknown species of
animal that inhabits the stratosphere. Hans van Kempen suggested that the
UFOs were a flight of secret Republic XP-84 Thunderjets, which had a top
speed of 605mph (975km/h) and had first flown in early 1946; but there is
no evidence to support this.