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Kenneth Arnold's sighting

Kenneth Arnold sighting report in the Press:

The article below was published in the newspaper The Morning Tribune, Lewiston, Idaho, USA, on July 8, 1947.

First Day Of Find Saucers Assignment Proves 'Dud' For Newspaperman-Pilot

By DAVE JOHNSON
(Idaho Statesman Aviation Editor)

Boise, Ida., July 7 (AP) -- If anyone wishes to report that he hasn't seen a flying disc, I will confirm it for him.

I have just come back from flying seven and one-half hours over a 1,100 mile route in search of some trace of the discs, but I was not among the blessed.

I didn't see any, and neither did Kenneth Arnold of Boise, who rode with me in the Statesman's plane. We both packed cameras with telescope lenses and were ready to open fire with the film if we saw one of the objects which have been keeping the nation in an uproar for more than two weeks.

Companion Unhappy

Arnold, unhappy man, gritted his teeth and moaned most of the way home. He's the one who can be said to have started the disc stuff, with his report of nine of the objects wheeling around Mt. Rainier and disappearing in the vicinity of Mt. Adams in Washington.

The Statesman's "Early Bird" droned to within good sight of the Canadian Rockies, around the atom plant at Hanford and over the rough country between Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.

We followed Capt. E.J. Smith's airline route from Boise to Pendleton hoping to see some of the objects he, his co-pilot and a United Airlines stewardess reported the other night.

On the way up to Pendleton, Arnold broke into a laugh and said, "Just think of all the folks who must be walking along the streets looking up for discs."

I asked him what the hell he thought we were doing.

Heard It Was Hoax

At Yakima, where we ate lunch at the central aircraft hangar, we nearly had convulsions when we heard that a fellow in a P-38 up in Montana reported meeting a disc at 32,000 and sending it spinning. We heard it was supposed to have had a plexiglass blister on top.

Later we heard it was all a hoax.

We told people at Pendleton, Yakima and Kennewick what we were after. I am proud to be an American when I say that nowhere did we get the whirling finger at the temple stuff.

Will Keep Up Search

Now about this assignment. The city editor was very explicit when he said he wanted me to hunt until I found a disc, or had to give up. I am a Swede from a long line of Swedes, and I am convinced a Swede discovered America and that a Swede was the first president of the United States.

I will keep it up. I still have some of that expense dough in my sweat-soaked pocketbook and unless the city editor takes it away from me the search will go on. There is one drawback I can't overcome. Without supercharging, the Early Bird No. 3 is good up to about 14,000 feet. If these things are from another planet, I'm sunk.

The Early Bird ran very well today, the engine sounding like molasses being poured on flapjacks, until Kenneth Arnold began talking about forced landings. He chose for that discussion the time we were covering the ridge between Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams, a most difficult piece of terrain.

City Editor Grumbling

At that moment the engine began to sound as if it were coming apart. That's a peculiarity of airplane engines, or maybe of airplane pilots. The city editor, who doesn't fly, was not along.

I am off into the blue stuff yonder tomorrow. This time I'm going alone, for Arnold, who sells fire fighting apparatus, says this is his best season and he's taking his own plane to Pendleton. He'll also take his camera.

Arnold and I are not alone in this disc hunt. Some very solid citizens, including pilots on the major airlines, are carrying field glasses and cameras with them in the same endeavor.

I hope to be able to report better luck tomorrow. I'm going first up around St. Maries where discs were reported to have hit a mountain.

Then around the mountain, ad infinitum.

To: Kenneth Arnold or Newspapers 1940-1949.

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