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Kenneth Arnold's sighting

Kenneth Arnold sighting report in the Press:

The article below was published in the newspaper The Miami Daily News-Record, Miami, Oklahoma, USA, on page 1, on July 6, 1947.



Objects in Sky First Thought To Be Fireworks -- Nation Baffled by Mystery

KANSAS CITY, Kas., July 5 -- (AP) -- he Rosedale district of Kansas City, Kas., today joined the rapidly-growing list of communities whose residents have seen the mysterious "flying saucers."

Mrs. Arthur Gustafson of 3004 W. 44th Place reported seeing the objects "moving at a good rate of speed from the southwest." Neighbors, including Mrs Adolph Eklund and Mrs. Joseph Kaminsky. also saw the discs, Mrs. Gustafson said.

"At first we thought it was fireworks, but after reading accounts of the saucers today we know that was what we saw," she declared.

The nation was baffled today by "flying saucers" reported seen in 28 states by hundreds of persons, and conjectures came from scores of named and unnamed sources throughout the country.

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

But the Los Angeles evening Herald and Express quoted an unnamed California Institute of Technology scientist in nuclear physics, as suggesting that the saucers might be the result of experiments in "transmutation of atomic energy." Dr. Harold Urey, atom scientist at the University of Chicago, called that "gibberish."

At Columbus, Ohio, Louis E. Starr, national commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, asserted at a VFW convention that he was expecting information from Washington about "the fleets of flying saucers." "Too little is being told to the people in this country," Starr declared.

Two Chicago astronomers said the discs 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."

The unnamed scientist quoted by the Los Angeles Herald and Express said, according to the paper, that "these saucers so-called are capable of high speeds but can be controlled from the ground. They are 20 feet in width in the center and are partially rocket propelled on the takeoff."

The scientist's report of "transmutation of atomic energy," however, was scoffed at by Dr. Harold Urey, atom scientist. "You can transmute metals, not energy," he said.

Col. F. J. Clark, commanding officer of the Hanford engineering works in the Pacific Northwest where the largest saucer influx has been reported, 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.

A crowd of 200 observed a disc at Hauser Lake, Idaho, on the Fourth of July. A group of 60 picknickers saw them at Twin Falls, Idaho. And in Portland, Ore., so many residents witnessed them thet the police department sent out an all-cars broadcast.

A United Air Lines pilot of 14 years experience, Capt. E. J. Smith, walked up the ramp to his plane at Boise, Idaho, joking that "I'll believe in these discs when I see them." Ten minutes later, he radioed, shaken, from his plane that he had spotted five of them.

Witnesses in two points of California and in Spokane - one of them an Army airforce sergeant - reported seeing the discs Saturday.

An Army airforces spokesman in Washington on July 3 said there was not enough fact to "warrant further investigation" but the air material command at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, said it was making a study. Saturday at Washington an Army researcher admitted "we're mystified" and the Navy said it had no theories.

The first published report of "flying saucers" came from Kenneth Arnold, Boise, Idaho, business man pilot, who reported at Pendleton, Ore., on June 25 that he had seen nine flying at 1200 miles an hour in formation, shifting positions "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," an Oklahoma City private flier, Byron Savage, said he had seen a similarly shaped objects some weeks earlier but fear of ridicule kept him quiet.

Then the reports began to filter in, mostly from individuals. The discs were seen in Texas, in New Mexico, in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Missouri, Colorado, California, Arizona, Nebraska. The number varied from one to a dozen, seen by one or two people mostly.

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.

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.

Meanwhile Kenneth Arnold, the man who first reported them, could recall his insistence when his report was widely questioned, that "I don't believe it either - but I saw it."

To: Kenneth Arnold or Newspapers 1940-1949.

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