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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.


Copy of letter forwarded lo Kenneth Arnold from Robert Heilman, newsstaff of the Seattle Times.

Hamilton Field, California

Mr. Henry McLeod
The Seattle Times
Seattle, Washington

Dear Mr. McLeod:

Your letter of August 21, 1947 to Lt. Col. Donald Springer of this headquarters, has been brought to my attention.

You are advised that I have no knowledge of the origination of the flying saucers stories. My intelligence personnel have had several pertinent incident brought to their attention by civilian and government agencies. For your information, this headquarter, in the interest of economy, does not intend to pursue each and every reported flying disc. However, in the interest of national defense, reliable reports of such a nature will be investigated.

I have no knowledge at this time of any statement to be made by a government agency regarding the flying discs.

As you know, there is no censorship on individual within the United States, therefore you may feel free to interrogate Mr. Arnold, Capt. Smith or whoever you desire. I have no authoritic information which would indicate that these individuals, or any other persons, should maintain secrecy regarding their alleged observations.

Sincerely yours,

Major General, U. S. Army

2 June 1949

There was recently published in the Saturday Evening Post avery good article about the discs released by the Air Force.

The Colonel - and I - send best regards to you.

Sincerely [Signed]

Alathea Redfern
Secretary of the director of Intelligence
Route 4, Box 509
Sebastopol, California

This is an excerpt of a letter received from the Secretary to the Director of Intelligence of the Fourth Air Force, Hamilton Field, California. This should leave no doubt in the minds of the public as to who produced and released the Debunking Sidney Shalett articles in the Saturday Evening Post issues of April and May 1949.

Notes about this page:

Sidney Shalett published in the Saturday Evening Post on April 30 and May 7, 1949, articles about the flying discs, titled "What You Can Believe About Flying Saucers", that defended the point of view that they were only misinterpretations of natural phenomena, such as planet Venus in the Mantell case.

The Air Force reaction to Sidney Shalett's articles is told by Capt. Edward Ruppelt in his 1956 book.

Shalett's first article introduction paragraph was:

Is there "something funny" about the silence that still envelops the mysterious disks that alarmed us all and lured three military pilots to crash deaths? Were they missiles from Russia? From Mars? Air Intelligence probed 250 reports and here, for the first time, are its findings.

Though not entirely "negative" about saucers, the conclusions had paragraphs such as:

Mass hysteria is a phenomenon that has fascinated philosophers and psychologists for ages; there is no limitation on what impressionable people will think they've seen if someone starts a sufficiently convincing rumor. Even an honest rumor will do the trick.

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