The Press -> Kenneth Arnold sighting -> Homeclick!
Cette page en franšaisCliquez!

Kenneth Arnold's sighting

Kenneth Arnold sighting report in the Press:

The article below was published in the newspaper The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California, USA, on pages 1 and 10, on July 6, 1947.


Disks Baffle Science as Reports Pour In

Caltech Denies Any Link to Nuclear Work

While authorities unanimously disclaimed knowledge of "flying saucers," scores of southlanders yesterday continued to report disks before their eyes.

Tentative recognition of the hubbub came from the Army Air Forces, which announced it had a P-80 jet fighter standing by at Muroc Army Air Base to give chase if any of the saucers showed up at the desert proving ground. But Maj. Richard Shoop, head technical engineer at Muroc, emphatically denied the "things" were connected to any experiments there.

Navy Has None

The Navy also said no such gadgets are being tested either at its Guided Missile Test Center at Point Mugu or at the Inyokern Ordnance Test Station.

Reports attributed to an unidentified nuclear physicist at the California Institute of Technology yesterday that the disks are the results of experiments in "transmutation of atomic energy," were denied by institute authorities.

Dr. C. C. Lauritzen, head of the nuclear physics department at Caltech, emphatically denied that the source was a member of his staff. He expressed the opinion that the disks "have nothing to do with nuclear physics."

No Connection There

Dr. Thomas Lauritzen and Dr. William fowler, nuclear physicists at the Pasadena institution aid positively that "these phenomena have no connection with any nuclear work being done at Caltech."

The scientist would venture no private interpretation, although conceding that "maybe somebody originally saw something," but that they had no knowledge of any experiment in the nation on an atomic aircraft.

Despite official skepticism, The Times switchboard continued to be jammed with calls from eyewitnesses, some jocular but most of them in dead earnest.

Albert G. Brady of Elsinore ran over a shiny metal disk, slightly concave, as it was resting peacefully on the road. The thing flew up and so frightened Brady he ran his car into a ditch. Unhurt, he approached it with a long pole and gingerly flipped it over. On the other side was painted "No hunting allowed."

Also in Corona, one S. Bas

Turn to page 10, Column 4

Mysterious Visitors of Sweden Recalled

PORTLAND (Or.) July 5. (AP) -- Dr. A. A. Knolton, Reed college physics professor, today said. "There is a great possibility that the flying disks are the results of secret experiments with guided missiles, either by our own or foreign governments. some months ago there were many reports of mysterious rockets over Sweden. Stories about these were never confirmed or officially explained."

The reports from Sweden, however, were of objects trailing flames, like a rocket or jet-propelled missile.

[Photo caption:] AP Wirephoto
EVIDENCE -- Arrow points to object photographed by Coast Guardsman Frank Ryman in Seattle. He says it is one of the mysterious disks.

Saucers Seen by Hundreds in 28 States


The nation was baffled today by "flying saucers" reported seen in 28 states by hundreds of persons.

Official government sources took a "let's see one" stand on the phenomenon and no scientist proffered a detailed explanation.

Louis E. Starr, National Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, asserted at a V.F.W convention in Columbus, O., that he is expecting information from Washington about "the fleets of flying saucers." "Too little is being told to the people in this country," Starr declared.

Meteor Theory Hit

Two Chicago astronomers said the disks are probably "man made."

The undulating, flashing objects "couldn't be meteors," said Dr. Girard Kuiper, director of the University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory at Williams Bay, Wis.

"We realize," said Dr. Oliver Lee, director of Northwestern University Dearborn Observatory, "that the Army and Navy are working on all sorts of things we know nothing about."

Lee said the disks might represent the same sort of thing as sending radar signals to the moon, "one of the greatest technological achievements of the war and accomplished in absolute secrecy."

Photo Shows Spot

Coast Guard Yeoman Frank Ryman in Seattle said he took a picture of what some residents north of there thought was a flying disk. The photo showed a pinhead-size light spot against the dark evening sky.

However, a University of Washington physicist said the unidentifiable object in the photo proves only that some "reflected light affected the photographic plates." He discounted theories of "spectral flashes," but said it is true that visible light is reflected from clouds. He said he had no theory on the disks.

Reported in Southland

"Flying saucers" were reported today from out California points

Sgt. Charles R. Sigala of the Army Air Forces said he and three others saw a silvery flying disk over his home at Mountain View, near San Jose, at 11 a.m. yesterday. He said the object, about the size of an automobile, circled over the mountain at 5000 feet, dipped several times and headed for the sea.

Calvin McEntire and his brother Jack said they saw a white disk speed through the clear blue sky over Santa Rosa at 3 p.m. It was traveling northeast from the sea and, in the words of Jack, was "the fastest thing I ever saw."

Off San Diego

In San Diego, Chief Petty Officer Robert L. Jackson and William Baker said they saw disks traveling about 400 miles an hour 30 miles west of the naval station there. "They came in from the west, circled, and headed out over the sea," Jackson said.

Mrs. Estelle de Vaughn told Oakland police she saw "six or seven luminous disks" through her bedroom window Thursday night. "They appeared to be attached to each other and were revolving at a high rate of speed," she said.

Col. F. P. Clark, commanding officer of the Hanford Engineering Works in the Pacific Northwest where the largest influx has been reported,

Turn to Page 10, Column 1


Scientists and Officials at Loss About Saucers

Connection With Atomic Experiments Denied;
Hundreds Now Report Seeing Strange Objects

Continued from First Page

said the saucers were not coming from the atomic plant there.

"I have been waiting for someone to tie the disks to the Hanford atomic plant," he said.

He declared that as far as he knows no experiments are under way there which would solve the mystery.

Credence in the saucers - widely laughed off at their first reported appearance June 25 - grew as hundreds of observers, many of them trained flyers, reported seeing them.

David Lilienthal, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, told a Denver Post reporter by telephone from Washington, that the flying saucers reported were in no way connected with atomic experiments.

"Is the phenomenon in any way connected with experiments in atomic energy, the transmutation of metals, or similar research?" the reported asked.

"No," said Lilienthal, "until someone has the facts about this phenomenon, I can't see how anyone can say anything definite about it."

Former skeptics joined the ranks of the believers as the flashing objects glittered before their eyes. Reliable observers, such as Capt. E. J. Smith of United Air Lines, his copilot, Ralph Stevens, and his stewardess, Mary Morrow, told of seeing the round flat objects for 12 minutes while flying west from Boise Friday night.

The first published report of "flying saucers" came from Kenneth Arnold, Boise pilot, who reported at Pendleton, Or., that he saw nine flying at 1200 m.p.h. in formation, shifting position "like the tail of a kite," over Washington State's Cascade Mountains.

Before scoffers had more than begun to offer explanations such as "reflections," "persistent vision" and "snow blindness," reports began to filter in that the disks were seen in Texas, New Mexico, in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Missouri, Colorado, California, Arizona, Nevada. The number varied from one to a dozen, seen by one or two people mostly.

July 4 Deluge

Then the July 4 deluge hit. Two hundreds persons in one group and 60 in another saw them in Idaho, hundreds saw them in Oregon. Washington and other states throughout the West.

A crowd of 200 observed a disk at Hauser Lake, Ida., July 4. A group of picknickers saw them at Twin Falls, Ida. And in Portland, so many residents witnessed them that same day that the Police Department sent out an all-ears broadcast.

And, for the first time, the eastern States had their reports. Observers, earlier all from west of the Mississippi river, came in with reports from Michigan, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina and Canada's Atlantic seaboard.

Two persons is different sections of Charleston, S. C. - one of them a newspaper reporter - said a flying saucer passed over Charleston heading east at 6:20 p.m. yesterday at about the same time two men in Albany, Or., saw a single disk flash southward, halt, and retrace its course before vanishing into a cloud.

Static discounted

At New York, Curator Gordon A. Atwater of the Hayden Planetarium discounted a possibility that the disks could be the phenomenon known as "St. Elmo's Fire," a form of static electricity.

He said he had seen "St. Elmo's Fire," and "I wouldn't describe it as a bunch of circular disks or flying saucers. It is usually a series of flashes and light flickering and takes a very irregular shape."

He said Planetarium authorities had also considered and discarded the possibilities that the disks might be large ice nuclei or meteorites.

'Don't Get Worried,' Cautions Army Officer

SACRAMENTO, July 3. (AP) -- Maj. Duncan Annam, public relations officer of near-by McLellan Field, cautioned today against undue concern about the flying disks reported over the United States.

"Lots of people are worried to heck about the things," he said. "But there's nothing to get excited about. If there were anything to them the Army would have notified us."

He suggested the disks might be part of some Army training experiments and added "they might be good propaganda, too."

[Photo caption:] SOME KIN? -- Navy officials at Washington say that the V-173, wingless plane shown above and called the "flying pancake," is only thing they operate shaped like the so-called flying disks, but the only plane of this type never has left Bridgeport, Ct.

Newsman Says He's Convinced

(Editor's note: the following story is by John C. Corlett, Idaho manager for United Press. Corlett has had more than 15 years of experience as a newsman.)


BOISE, Ida., July 3. -- Just before dusk last night, as my wife and I and two friends were relaxing after dinner, a tiny white disk - one of the mysterious "saucers" - scudded across the sky at terrific speed.

We were entertaining friends and were relaxing in the garden when my wife suddenly pointed skyward and cried, "Look!"

All Saw It

Both my wife and I and out guests, Mr. and Mrs. V. H. Selby, caught a glimpse of the tiny object. Selby is a Boise artist.

During the past few days we had discussed the various news stories about the disks, many of them emanated from the Boise area, and, frankly, I had been a bit skeptical of them. But the disk was unmistakable, even in the three of four seconds time during which we had a chance to see it.

There was no noise - absolutely none that we could hear, either before or after the disk shot by.

At one point in its progress across the Boise sky, the disk was almost directly overhead. It was flying fairly high I'd judge at about 10,000 feet.


Continued from First Page

quez, who has no English and swore (in Spanish) he had never heard of the mysterious flying objects which have the nation agog, recalled he saw one for about two minutes last Thursday proceeding northwest near the city. It was very "bright and high," according to Basquez.

Sees Four In Sky

Four of the whatsits, "changing shape as they flew," were seen about 8:10 a.m. yesterday by Donald Dwiggins, salesman of 1312 Verdugo Blvd., Glendale. He estimated that they were flying at 8000 to 999 feet.

Donald Levine of 5118 Dahlia Drive, Eagle Rock, who prefaced his account with the statement "I'm just a young boy (10) and don't know if anybody will believe me," saw two yellow disks going north at a high rate of speed about the same hour. Donald described the disks as looking "like a tire with no hole in the center."

Pursuit Prepared

Speed Pilot Paul Mantz had his Bendix-winning plane gassed up and ready to go in pursuit of one of the elusive saucers at 400 m.p.h.

At Oxnard a 22-year-old truck designer, Wendell White, reported he gave a scientist at the Naval Guided Missile Test Center, Point Mugu, and idea for a flying saucer-type aircraft, three months ago. White said that if a disk 20 to 100 feet in diameter were mounted on top with a ring of vanes spinning fast enough to leave air molecules behind creating a vacuum behind each vane, tremendous air pressure underneath the disk would force it rapidly into the air.

A Bakersfield grocer, Norman Culver, declared he and his two sons wound up their Fourth of July celebration watching a shiny object "exactly like a pie plate" turn flip-flops over the city.

Herman V. Friede, 226 W. 11th St., an aircraft inspector, described an object in the shape of a Lima bean with two jet pipes protruding aft. He said he saw vapors trailing from one such missile 5000 feet over Elysian Park a 8:30 p.m. Friday. The leading edge was a transparent cockpit, he asserted.

From a telephone booth in the Southwest district a called who refused to identify himself said: "You know those flying saucers? I see thousands of them. That's right, thousands of 'em. If you want to send out a photographer I'll interview him."

Government Scientists Scout What-Is-It-Stories

WASHINGTON, July 5. (AP) -- Government scientists and military officials took a "bring one in and let's see it" view tonight of reports of fresh coveys of flying saucers zipping through the air.

"I'd like to see one first before I make a guess," said Ivan R. Tannehill, chief of the Weather Bureau's division of synoptic reports and forecasts.

This was echoed by an official at the Atomic Energy Commission. He told a reporter that commission scientists will be glad to guess what the saucers are "if someone will bring one in."

Tannehill said the reports "sound like those things you see on New Year's Eve, except this was on the Fourth of July."

At the War and Navy departments officials repeated a little wearily that they "don't know what it's all about."

"We're mystified," said an Army Air Force officer. He added that the Army has no experimental planes "of that nature in Idaho - nor anywhere else."

The Navy merely offered a statement from its naval observatory saying that none of the staff has sighted anything resembling flying saucers. The observatory added that from the descriptions so far given the disks would "not seem to be astronomical phenomena."

To: Kenneth Arnold or Newspapers 1940-1949.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict

 Feedback  |  Top  |  Back  |  Forward  |  Map  |  List |  Home
This page was last updated on August 25, 2017.