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Kenneth Arnold's sighting

Kenneth Arnold sighting reports in the Press:

The article below was published in the newspaper The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, USA, on page 1, on June 26, 1947.


Sees Mystery Aerial 'Train' 5 Miles Long

PENDLETON, Ore., June 25 (Special) -- A pilot of a private plane who arrived here today from Yakima, Wash., said he saw something strange in the air yesterday while flying near Mount Rainer and insisted whatever he saw consisted of at least nine units strung out over five miles and traveling at a speed he calculated to be 1,200 miles an hour.

He is Kenneth Arnold, 32, of Boise, Idaho, who uses a plane in his work as a salesman. He said he encountered the mystery objects while he was north of Mount Rainier headed southeast from Tacoma and bound for Yakima. He said he was flying at 9,200 feet altitude and that the objects, an estimated 25 miles from him when he first saw them, were traveling almost dues south at about 10,000 feet altitude.

Flashes in Eyes

A canvass of flying circles in Washington and Oregon today indicated no other pilots have reported seeing such a sight as Arnold reported and army sources in Washington said the army is not conducting high speed tests in the area.

"The first thing I noticed was a series of flashes in my eyes as if a mirror was reflecting sunlight at me," he said. "I saw the flashes were coming from a series of objects that were traveling incredibly fast. They were silvery and shiny and seemed to be shaped like a pie plate.

"I counted nine of them as they disappeared behind the peak of Mount Rainier. Their speed was apparently so great I decided to clock them. I took out my watch and checked off one minute and 42 seconds from the time they passed Mount Rainier until they reached the peak of Mount Adams, 50 miles to the south. All told the objects remained in my view slightly less than two minutes from the time I first noticed them."

Going like "Rifle Bullet"

Arnold said his observations were made while he was flying at about 115 miles an hour on an almost parallel course, and they "went by me like a rifle bullet."

"I realize my observations indicate those things were traveling close to two miles in a second," he said, "which would amount to 1,800 miles an hour, but taking into consideration my angle of observation and the speed of my plane, and with allowance for error, they must have been going at least 1,200 miles per hour."

He said he calculated the length of the air train at five miles by flying over to a mountain ridge behind which he had seen the lead object emerge about the time the tail object disappeared. This ridge proved to be five miles long, he said.

"I am sure they were separate units," he said, "because they weaved in flight like the tail of a kite."

Arnold related his story when he landed at Yakima last night.

"About half the fellows at the airport asked me what brand I had been drinking," he said, "but I don't drink and I know what I saw."

After Arnold told his story here today Glen E. Stewart of Pendleton said he and his wife saw a strange shiny object in the air about 7 p.m. yesterday.

To: Kenneth Arnold or Newspapers 1940-1949.

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