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Kenneth Arnold's sighting

Kenneth Arnold sighting report in the Press:

The article below was published in the newspaper The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, USA, on page 1, on July 5, 1947.

View of 'Flying Saucers' Over Ontario Dumbfounds Veteran Pilot, Other Crew Members of Airliner

Dumbfounded crewmen of a United Airlines plane flying from Boise to Portland Friday evening joined a horde of Portland-Vancouver area residents in describing "flying discs" seen Friday.

Discs also were reported in many other regions of the West, but the carefully qualified statements of Capt. E.J. Smith, First Officer Ralph Stevens and Stewardess Marty Morrow remained a new high in observations.

In an interview at Portland before taking off for Seattle, Captain Smith, a veteran of 14 years with United Air Lines said an object at first believed to be an approaching aircraft was sighted by Stevens, who was at the controls eight minutes after take-off from Boise at 9:04 P.M.

Landing Lights Flashed

Stevens flashed his landing lights as a signal there was another aircraft in the area. There was no response.

"What the devil is that?" Stevens demanded. Captain Smith said he looked and made out not only the "disc" Stevens had mistaken for a plane, but four others, about evenly spaced in a line to the south of it.

Smith estimated their distance at "about 30 miles," but said they were clearly visible against the afterglow of the setting sun.

They radioed a report to the Boise CAA tower, then called Stewardess Morrow to the flight deck to verify what they saw.

Shortly afterward, the five discs disappeared, then three more appeared in front of them, with a fourth flying "by itself, way off to the right," Smith said.

He radioed the Ontario, Ore., CAA communications tower and told the operator:

"Step outside and look to the southwest about 15 miles and see what you can find".

Ground View Lacking

The operator reported he could see nothing, which Smith said meant the discs were farther away than he had previously estimated since they were not visible to the tower operator.

He was some 30 miles from Ontario at the time, he said.

The airliner was at 10,500 feet when he saw the first disc, Stevens reported. The discs seemed to be flying in about the same direction and to be climbing about at the same rate as the airliner. However, when the plane reached a height of 8000 feet, the discs still were in sight and somewhat higher.

The first group veered to the left of the airliner before disappearing, then the second group in "loose formation," appeared. The objects finally "merged, then disappeared, then came back in sight and finally vanished, again in the northwest," Smith said. "When they did finally disappear, they went fast."

"You can see a big plane at a great distance for a long time before it disappears. But no object I know of could disappear so quickly as these things."

Both Smith and Stevens, who had been joking about sighting "flying discs" before taking off from Boise, were obviously embarrassed but earnest when telling of the strange objects. Stevens has been flying for United three years.

To: Kenneth Arnold or Newspapers 1940-1949.

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