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Kenneth Arnold's sighting

Kenneth Arnold sighting report in the Press:

The article below was published in the newspaper The Mexico Ledger, Mexico, Missouri, USA, on pages 1 and 7, on July 22, 1947.

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There Is Such A Thing --

Flying Disc Is No Myth To Trained Ex-Navy Observer

By ROBERT M. WHITE II

I believe there are flying discs. I believe it because I have recently interviewed two competent observers who saw them over Portland, Ore., where I was visiting.

A week ago the flying disc excitement in the country was reaching its peak. The excitement started slowly following a report by Kenneth Arnold, a Boise, Idaho, business man and private pilot who claimed he saw flying discs near Mt. Rainier, Wash.

The Army and the Navy, in so many words, pooh-poohed the story.

Then, several other people saw the discs and the fun was on. In fact, for about a week nearly every other persons in the country saw discs.

Naturally, many of these reports were pure hysteria. People thought they saw flying discs but actually didn't. There isn't anything unusual about these sort of hysteria. During the war, soldiers and sailors knew it well.

This was true particularly of PT boat personnel. A PT boat is particularly vulnerable, an ordinary army rifle can shoot clear through it. So, naturally, PT boat personnel were acutely conscious of what an aerial bombing or strafing would mean when they were in ennemy water.

I mention this PT angle because this writer knows it first hand, having been on several PT missions and having a first-hand respect for the grand job PT personnel did in combat.

Trained Observer

And I mention it because one of the persons I interviewed in Portland, who saw flying discs, is a former PT boat commander with two years of combat service in the famed "slot" in the Solomons.

He is now a business man. He is in his mid-thirties. He is a calm, methodical, thorough individual not given to excitement. And he is a trained aerial observer. Here is what he told me:

"I was in my garden here in Portland on the afternoon of July 4. It was 2:23 p.m. I looked at my watch as a matter of habit, when I saw them. My wife was with me so I asked her what she saw.

"She said, I see four discs. They're in diamond formation...'

"That is exactly what I saw, too. I'm sure it wasn't hysteria.

"The discs looked about the size and shape of a 25 cent coin. I couldn't guess their altitude so I don't know their actual size. They were shining in the sun and flying rapidly - at great speed. While I'm not sure of their color I believe it was silver from the way they reflected the sun. At first they main-

(Continued on page 7)


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There Is Such A Thing --

Flying Disc Is No Myth To Trained Ex-Navy Observer

(Continued from Page 1)

tained a perfect diamond formation, then one veered off and then veered back into formation. I don't tell everybody I saw them because it sounds unreal, but I actually did."

I talked to his wife. She is no trained observer but she echoed his story.

The next person I talked to, who had seen a disc, gave a similar description. This person was a scientist, a private pilot and a man with considerable experience as an aerial observer both military and as a civilian.

"I saw only one disc, or at least that's what I thought it was," he said. It was traveling at great speed and was silvery in color. I wasn't at all sure I was actually seeing it until another man nearby pointed up at it and said 'Look, a flying disc.'"

Since I respect both of these observers and the double-checked story of one of their wives, I am convinced there are such things as flying discs. I admit I was inclined to believe there were such things even before these interviews.

The reason I believed there were discs was because of the way in which the military handled the public relations about them. It was typical well-meaning but all-thumbs press maneuvering. And since I had almost three years in Army public relations, I humbly admit that the procedure is "well-meaning but all-thumbs."

To leave the field of fact and to enter the field of speculation, any unverified guess is that the discs are a Navy scientific experiment of some kind. I don't know what kind but I am convinced that (1) the discs are real, (2) that our military services know about them and do not consider them Russian in source, and (3) that in due time the military will tell all.

The reason I say I believe they are Navy in source is because the Army's reaction to the news story about them had been indicative that it, the Army, did not know all. However, the Navy public relations has been a little more consistent. If this reason sounds thin, it's because it is. Its because a newsman sometimes hears off-the-record background information that he can't write and therefore must prop up is on conclusions on straws.

To: Kenneth Arnold or Newspapers 1940-1949.

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