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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.




JOHN E. OSTROM, Nyssa, Orego~ (left) pointing to spot on the roof of the cab of a heavy steel army truck which was struck by a mysterious incandescent object that plummeted from the sky as he was traveling from Council; Idaho, to McCall, Idaho, at 4 p.m. on July 30, 1947. The silver ball-like object struck ·the truck and glanced to the road. The contact of the object with the cab, which was only a fraction of a second, was of such terrific heat that it melted through the heavy steel plate of the truck. It is estimated that the heat of the object must have been well over 6000 degrees F. to melt this heavy steel plate in such a brief instant of contact. A previous incident that happened on July 24, 1947, is recalled where an entire government suspension bridge that spanned the Salmon River near Riggins, Idaho, was ignited by something of such intense heat that the steel cables, as viewed from an on the scene photograph taken by Dewey Bowman, were burning with the same intensity as the wooden timbers. The entire bridge was consumed in a matter of minutes. The weather on this date in this vicinity was clear, visibility more than 50 miles.

Notes about this page:

While Kenneth Arnold is certainly well-known as the man who "first saw the flying saucers", his activity as field ufologist is long-forgotten. When he learned of strange occurrence, through the Press or by witnesses contacting him, he sued to fly on location and investigate.

This occurrence of course has nothing to do with the flying saucers per se, as one can understand that the object that hit the truck and melted a hole in its roof was likely an ordinary meteorite.

But one should remember the infamous "Maury Island" affair, the first case Arnold investigated, in which some slag was claimed to have actually fallen from a hovering flying saucer. So it is not that silly that Arnold investigated such occurrence as possibly related to flying saucers.

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This page was last updated on March 1, 2018.