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Kenneth Arnold's sighting

Kenneth Arnold sighting reports in the Press:

The article below was published in the newspaper The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach, California, USA, on pages 1 and 2, on July 7, 1947.


'Flying Discs' Get Attention Of Air Forces

Official, Scientific Comments Marked By Cautious Attitude; Fighter Patrols Fail To Sight Mystery Saucers

SAN FRANCISCO, (AP) -- Mysterious "flying saucers" were reported seen again Sunday in various parts of the country and, at Spokane, Wash., a woman declared that 10 persons saw eight of the disk-shaped objects land bear St. Maries, Idaho, on July 3.

The phenomenon has been reported by hundreds of persons in at least 33 States since June 25. Descriptions vary, but generally the informants agree that the objects skimming through the skies are saucer-like discs.

As yet there has been no explanation tending to give the objects a touch of earthly reality.

Mrs. Walter Johnson said at Spokane that the objects seen near St. Maries came into view at an extreme speed, going in a northerly direction, suddenly slowed and then fluttered like leaves to the ground.

She said she and her companions could not find them afterward not any sign that they did anything to the timber into which they apparently fell. She said they were "about the size of a five-room house" and resembled washtubs more than disks. The saucers appeared to be self-luminous because of their extreme brightness, she said.

An Oregon National Guard officer said aerial patrols Sunday were unsuccessful in sighting any of the objects, but that any plausible reports would be checked quickly by planes henceforth.

The discs were reported Sunday to have been seen at Chicago over Lake Michigan, in southern Ontario, in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and in Maryland.

A Hagerston, Md., woman said she saw five traveling eastward in formation at "terrific speed." she said they "roared with a sound like a faraway train." They were flat, like saucers, with something on the back end. They were about the size of airplanes but definitely were not planes. [They probably were jet planes.]

Five P-51's of the Oregon National Guard cruised over the Cascade mountains of Washington - the area where the strange objects first were reported sighted. A sixth circled over Portland, in constant radio contact with the other five. All carried photographic equipment.

Col. G. R. Dodson, commanding, described their flight as a "routine patrol" but said they had been instructed to watch for the flying discs.

At Manhattan Beach, Calif. A. W. McLelvey took a Mustang fighter plane up above Van Nuys. For two hours he cruised at 35.000 feet.

"I didn't see a thing," he said when he landed.

Gen. Carl Spaatz, commandant of the Army Air Forces, was in the Pacific Northwest. He denied knowing anything about the flying discs - or of plans to use the AAF planes to look for them.

"I've been out of touch with things for four of five days," he said.

Then he went to Medford, Ore., on a fishing trip.

Louis E. Starr, national commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, told newsmen in

(Continued on page 2. Col 5)


(Continued from Page One)

Flying Saucers Hunted by AAF

Columbus, O., Saturday he understood Gen. Spaatz had a "group out right now" looking for discs.

At Muroc Army Air Field in California, a P-80 jet fighter stood ready to take off at a moment's notice should any flying saucer be sighted in that area.

A cautious attitude marked both official and scientific comments, but Capt. Tom Brown of the Air Forces public relations staff in Washington acknowledged that the Air Force had decided "there's something to this" and had been checking up on it for ten days.

"And we still haven't the slightest idea what they (the discs) could be," he added.

First sighted on June 25 and greeted generally with scornful laughs, the objects have been reported every day since by observers in 33 States. Most of the objects were reported seen July 4. Very few were reported Saturday.

Competent observers as such airline pilots said they had seen the totally unexplained discs or saucers, larger than aircraft and flying in "loose formation" at high speed.

David Lilienthal, chairman of the Atomic Energy commission, said they had nothing to do with atomic experiments, and Army and Navy officials also entered positive disclaimers.

Captain Brown said the Air Forces were not making a formal investigation. Official interest, however, was no longer casual.

"We don't believe anyone in this country, or outside this country, had developed a guided missile that will go 1,200 miles and about, as some reports have indicated," said the Air Forces public relation man.

A Los Angeles newspaper story quoting an unidentified California Institute of Technology scientist as saying the phenomena might have something to do with the experiments in "transmutation of atomic energy" caused a brief sensation late Saturday. The institute quickly denied the report. Dr. Harold Urey, atom scientist at the University of Chicago, called it "gibberish." He said elements could be "transmuted" but not energy.

Reports generally agreed that the flying objects were round or oval. Estimates of their speed ranged from about 300 miles to 1,200 miles an hour. They were described as flying with an undulating motion at heights of 10 000 feet and less. Some described them as glowing or luminous.

[Photo caption:] -- Coast Guards man Frank Ryman reported he photographed a mysterious "flying disc," similar to those reported seen by hundreds of persons in 28 States in the past few days. Ryman says he thinks the object is the white dot indicated by the arrow. This picture is enlarged 20 times from its original size. (AP Wirephoto).

Writer Believes 'Flying Saucers' Are Just Planes


Associated Press Science Editor

NEW YORK, (AP) -- Certain laws of human eyesight will explain much of what has been described about the "flying saucers" reported from nearly all parts of the United States

At any distance which is close to the limit of how far a person can see, all the objects appear round or nearly so. This law of sight covers all small things seen nearby, and large ones at great distances.

Regardless of shape, the objects near the limit of sight looks round. If the thing is silhouetted against a bright sky, as some of the flying saucers have been reported, then it is more likely to reveal its true shape.

If the thing is seen by reflected light, as in most cases reported, it is almost certain to be round, and if the reflections are sunlight, then the sizes are those which would be expected from distant light reflection.

The one outstanding fact about virtually all the saucers is that they had no structure - they seemed merely round and flat. That description fits exactly with the tricks that eyes play. This trickiness varies with differences in weather and lighting.

This writer has seen flying saucers over Long island Sound near his home, not only this year but in previous years. They were round, bright and moving fast. But they were no mystery because they were light reflected from the bodies of airplanes that soon identified themselves by changing course and coming near enough to be seen distinctly. Last week this writer also saw one oval flying form which for a moment looked exactly like the photograph of the object taken by Yeoman Frank Rymer north of Seattle, Wash. The Long Island oval came closer and turned into an airplane.

Planes at great distances tend to look round when light is reflected from their sides. Many descriptions of movements of the flying saucers fit the common maneuvers of airplanes, singly or in groups. They fit also with what birds look like flying at a considerable distance. However, the bird illusion is not very common. some of the maneuvring reported, which took saucers out of sight and back into sight again resembles what can be seen while watching distant airplanes.

It makes no difference whether planes are guided pilotless or are jets. At great distances they all look the same.

The one strangest fact is that no one has seen a flying saucer close up. In many experiences an occasional closeup would be almost inevitable.

There is no explanation for reported speeds of 1,000 or more miles an hour. Meteors although they go much faster than that, do not explain it because the saucers mostly appeared in daytime and there are not enough daylight meteors.

Ice crystals forming little round clouds have been suggested. But they fail to fit in most cases, because the ice crystals form at altitudes which are much higher than most of the saucers reported [But, more important, ice crystals clouds do to "fly", and certainly not at hundreds of mph, they look much more motionless!]

Nothing published in science or atomic studies gives the slightest clues to flying saucers unless the objects are aircraft.

One scientists Saturday said that at least a lot of saucers are explained by the force of suggestion which causes a person to say to himself: "Oh gee, I see it too."

To: Kenneth Arnold or Newspapers 1940-1949.

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