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The Kenneth Arnold sighting, June 24, 1947:

Kenneth Arnold's 1950 pamphlet:

This part of my file about Kenneth Arnold's observation on June 24, 1947, in the USA, is the booklet Arnold wrote, published at his own expense in 1950, and distributed around. It does not tell about his own sighting, it tells of the early days of the flying saucer reports. Arnold can be considered to have been the first ufologist.


Official U. S. Navy photograph NA13 No 1047 Date 25, July 1947. This is an at the scene photograph of the Marine Corps C-46 disaster on Tahoma glacier at the 9500 foot level on Mt. Rainer in the State of Washington. Thirty two marines were reported to have perished in this crash. The bodies were never recovered from the wreckage and pictorial proof of the bodies has never been released, leaving unsettled the great controversy as to whether bodies actually were found in the wreckage. The $5,000.00 reward offered for the recovery of the bodies was never paid.

Being an experienced mountain pilot, Kenneth Arnold participated in the air search for this wreckage. It was while Arnold was engaged in this air search operation that nine strange raft-like aircraft crossed his pathway at a speed exceeding 1700 miles per hour.

Notes about this page:

Here, we see appearing the term "raft-like aircraft" to describe the saw Arnold saw on June 24.

[Caption:] Kenneth Arnold's own drawings of the strange craft he observed
near Mt. Rainier on June 24, 1947, were of the shape given here. He also observed
the crescent-shape shown [to] him while in Tacoma.

The "raft-like" shape should not be understood as that of a raft made of pieces ow wood, but should be understood as the shape of a lifeboat of this type:

The $ 5,000 reward offered by the parents of the missing Marines, represented at that time the equivalent of the price of a 4-bedroom house, and it did motivate many searchers. The reward was not paid because it was the soldiers themselves who found the debris of the plane, and as a public service he does not have to accept a reward.

Arnold had not really been some kind of "official member" of an aerial search group. He was just coming back from a business trip and flying into the right area to get back home, and figured he would not be a foolish thing to spend some time exploring the area a bit to possibly spot the wreck and get the reward.

Part of the wreck and part of the bodies were found a month later, but for the most part the debris and bodies were in an nearly inaccessible area and were just left there.

Following some scoffing in the Press about his "flying saucers", following sometimes negative comments or attitudes of the Air Force, following the weird meanders of the Maury Island affair, Arnold started to think there was some sort of "secret" surrounding the flying saucers. He became rather suspicious about the entire affair, with suspicions about the wreck of the C-46, suspicions about Lt. Davidson and Brown's plane crash deaths, and many more doubts. Some "skeptical" researchers think that Arnold was a somehow paranoid man. But was this the cause of his observation? One can doubt it, and one may think that it was a consequence of the fuss made about him and his observation.

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