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Kenneth Arnold's sighting

Kenneth Arnold sighting reports in the Press:

The article below was published in the newspaper The Daily Clintonian, Clinton, Indiana, USA, on pages 1 and 2, on July 8, 1947.


Discs Spotted In 40 States; Hysteria Seen

Mass hysteria, 'Spots Before Eyes' Given Aa Reason for Seeing Discs; Hoax Stories Uncovered

The humorists were muddling up the picture in the nationwide "flying saucer" hunt today, but scores of more sober citizens added their reports of seeing the weird aerial manifestations in virtually every state of the nation.

One "lead" after another proved valueless and skeptical authorities had still to find anyone who actually has touched a flying disc, or gotten a description that would stand up under scientific investigation.

Deny Army Weapons

That story from Houston, Tex., identifying the discs as secret weapons from the Spokane, Wash., Air Force Depot was vigorously scotched by Col. Franck D. Hackett, depot commander. Colonel Hackett exploded:

"I've never heard of anything of that kind. Even if the army had things like that, it wouldn't put them in a little bit of a department like this."

Norman Hargrave, a Houston jeweler, had told reporters that he found a disc on the beach. He said that it was labelled as a military secret from the Spokane Air Force Depot. Later, he said it was all a joke.

Investigators of a report that eight discs made a landing in the northern Idaho wilds met another blank wall. Two missions of the National Guard's 116the Fighter Group made a thorough search of the area and reported no trace of the saucers.

Big as a House

The Spokane housewife who said she saw them, described the aerial visitors as being "as big as a five-room house." Col. Franck Frost of the National Guard commented that is pilots certainly would have sighted anything that big.

No Luck Second Time

The man who started it all had no luck in trying to get a second peek. Kenneth Arnold, a Boise businessman who first reported

(Continued on Page 2)


AIRLINES Capt. E. J. Smith hold a dinner plate as illustration for Stewardess Toni Carter in Chicago while describing one of the mysterious flying discs which Smith and his crew reported seeing on a flight from Boise, Id., to Portland, Ore. (International Soundphoto)

Joe in Jeep Spots Junior-Sized Disc Whirling Over Wabash

(Editor's note: First "I-witness" interview with a disc-spotter in the Clinton area is chronicled below. The opinions and descriptions expressed herein are not by a long shot those of the Daily Clintonian, its staff, and any other disk-erring person.)

Did you ever see a flying disc? Well, he did. At least he said he did. 'He' is a man whose name we cannot mention because he said people would laugh at him if he said he saw a disc.

Keeping a perfectly straight face, we sprang the four journalistic "w's" at him-who, what, when and where?

"Me", he said " disc, Monday

(Continued on Page 2)


Discs Spotted In 40 States; Hysteria Seen

(Continued from Page 1)

sighting the discs on June 24 while flying his own plane over southwestern Washington, made a second try. He went up with a movie camera and flew over western Idaho, northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington without finding a disc.

Pilot Vernon Baird admitted that his report of being chased by a disc which disintegrated in his plane backwash over Montana was strictly a wild tale. He said he wouldn't do it again.

Today's batch of opinions from scientists all over the world indicated that they were thinking of the whole story in terms of tricks played upon the eye and mass hypnosis.

But witnesses from forty states and Canada stoutly maintained that they saw what they saw. Exactly what they saw still is in doubt. The discs have been likened to saucers, balloon, frying pans, globes, coffee can tops and mayonnaise jars.

Their color has been reported variously as gray, silver, black, red, white, rainbow-hued and colorless.

Explanations of it all were a dime a dozen. The sky-is-faster-than-the-eye theory is upheld by William Dodds, New York scientist, and an Australian professor of psychology, F. S. Cotton.

They said that if you stare at the sky long enough, the red corpuscles moving across the retina will cause images not unlike discs or saucers. Professor Cotton said he proved it by having 22 students stare at a fixed point in the sky. They saw saucers.

Mars [sic!] Hysteria

Dr. Henry E. Garell of Columbia University thinks it's mass hypnosis. His colleague. Dr. J. Zubin, says it is a mass hysteria caused by the anxiety over the atom bomb and other deadly present-day miracles.

A view closer to that of the eyewitnesses was advanced by Gen. H. H. "Hap" Arnold, wartime head of the Army Air Forces and now a Sonoma County, Cal., rancher. Gen Arnold said:

"They might be a development of American scientists that is not yet perfected. Thy might be a development by foreign scientists that got out of control. They might be just plain jet fighting planes."


Joe in Jeep Spots Junior-Sized Disc Whirling Over Wabash

(Continued from Page 1)

afternoon, flying down the Wabash."

"Are you sure it wasn't a flying fish?" we said with skeptical eyebrows.

"H--, no!. I saw it with my own eyes. There it was about 200 feet up, cruising along the course of the river!"

"How big was it?"

"Three feet in diameter - or circumference. Which is which, anyhow it was pretty big".

Still eyebrowing we said "How could you see anything three feet in diameter or circumference 200 feet up? Besides what color was it?"

"Well, I did too see it. It was sort of aluminum color."

"UIh huh, where were you when you saw it?"

"I was driving in a jeep across the bridge", said he.

"Jeeper's! Maybe that was a brother jeep waving to you little jeep. After all, all jeeps can go anyplace!"

Insulted, the disc-seer stalked off, muttering "I did, too, see a disc. I did, yes, I did."

To: Kenneth Arnold or Newspapers 1940-1949.

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