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Kenneth Arnold's sighting

Kenneth Arnold sighting reports in the Press:

The article below was published in the newspaper The Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California, USA, on page 13, on July 7, 1947.


Switchboards Loaded As 'Saucer' Reports Pour In

[Photo caption:] Flying saucer? A memorandum accompanying this photograph was found on The Tribune city editor's desk this morning. It said: "Funniest thing happened Sunday night. We're all gabbling in the editorial room, laughing, and cajoling the people who've reported seeing flying discs and saucers, etc. "They're all crazy' and 'No such thing as a flying saucers' were remarks heard about the office. Then an unaccounted thing happened. Unaccounted in this way - someone had opened one of the windows to let in the cool air - counting on the cool air to get rid of the hot air. The thing that's unaccounted for is shown in this picture, taken as it came through the opened window. Someone ventured the opinion that it was a moth. What do you think it is? I don't know, myself. Gosh, but the funniest thing happen here on Sunday nights." Or maybe seeing is NOT believing.

Descriptions of Strange Objects Are at Variance

Police and newspaper switchboards continued to buzz today with reports from residents throughout the Bay area who say they have seen one or more of the flying discs "with their own eyes" and now are positive there are such things.

Dominic Chekalovich, of 440 Breed Avenue, San Leandro, said he saw a flying saucer at 7 p.m. yesterday and described it as giving off "a trail of vapor as it went up and got smaller until it disappeared." He said the spectacle also was witnessed by his brother, Louis, his father, mother, sister and a group of friends.

Chekalovich added that the disc had an orange color, which was mentioned by another of the persons who reported it at the same time.


Mrs. Harry Reisz, of 42 Dorchester Avenue, San Leandro, said she saw "a great big white round thing going toward Oakland" at 6:58 p.m. yesterday. She said it was very high. Her attention was called to her object by her son, Robert, 11, and a playmate, Mona Worley, 12.

A neighbor, Mrs. Lillian J. Stong, of 45 Dorchester Avenue, reported that she was doing dishes when she saw a group of persons looking at the sky. She ran to the door and saw "two or three objects bouncing around."

"Everytime they turned I saw a flash of light," Mrs. Stong declared.

She added that she had seen several of the objects about three weeks ago but said nothing of it at the time because she "didn't believe my eyes."


Still another local report came from Mrs. R. M. Wagner of Alameda, and a friend, Mrs. Russell Fraser, who said they saw one of the flying discs at 6:35 p.m. yesterday. It was traveling north, Mrs. Wagner stated, and seemed to be over Oakland.

"It was going slowly and appeared to be suspended in midair," Mrs. Wagner said.

In Berkeley, John Shirley, 29, of 1656 Kains Avenue, was waiting in his yard last night for a glimpse of one of the discs, and was prepared with binoculars to follow the object, should he sight one. His brother, George Shirley, joined him at 9:25 p.m. and started to "kid" him when both men spotted what appeared to be four of the saucers coming out the west.

Shirley and his brother described the four saucers as oval in shape, rather than round, and wobbly in their movement. They seemed to follow the curvature of the earth at great altitude, the men related. Asked if they might have been stars, Shirley declared:

"No. I know what stars look like. These definitely were saucers. Stars don't go traveling across the sky in formation, and a shooting star or a comet can be identified easily."


Another report here came from Mrs. Myrtle Risi, of 2839 Steinmetz Way, who was driving with her husband, Rinaldo, on Mountain boulevard near Redwood Road at 6 p.m. yesterday when they saw four objects that appeared to be discs. The Rinaldos said the saucers were crossing the sky at about 2000 feet altitude, headed for the ocean, and disappeared in an instant.

Other supposed discs were seen near Mount Tamalpaix in Marin County, and over the Golden gate Bridge.

Charles W. Butler, 46 of Mill Valley, and his son William, 18, told authorities they saw a circular-shaped object hurtle over the top of the mountain at 1:30 p.m. yesterday.

An hour later, Peggy Sarasohn, 26, of 1842 Jefferson street, San Francisco, said she saw a white oval flash over the Golden Gate Bridge, headed in a northwesterly direction.

Albert Schlegel, 46, and his wife, Alice, of San Francisco, told police they saw a flying saucer in the same place at the same time.

Still another disc was reported flying over Berkeley Saturday night and another one was seen over Piedmont Friday night. The Berkeley report came from Mrs. Marilyn Nelson, 23, of 9942 Birch street, wife of Police Officer Donald Nelson.


Mrs. Nelson said one of the five neighbors who also saw the objects watches it through field glasses and said it looked like a balloon with something dandling from it. [A weather balloon with a Rawin radar target maybe?] The Piedmont "visit" of the flying saucer was reported by Willie D. Davis, 84, of King Avenue.

At Lodi, an argument raged over the cause of a spectacular glow on the sky and a roar shortly before electrical power went off early yesterday. Mrs. W. C. Smith said she heard a noise "like a four-motored bomber" just before the light went out at dawn. Erving Newcomb, of the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, offered the explanation that a low-flying crop dusting plane probably struck a power line and burned out a transformer. However, no planes were reported damaged and no one could explain what a crop dusting plane would be doing in the air at dawn on Sunday. This was the first case in which noise has been attributed to the flying saucers locally.

The first Richmond report of seeing a flying disc came from Robert Ellis, deputy city tax collector, who lives at 350 28th Street, and his wife, Mary. Ellis said that he looked out a back window at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and saw a shiny object passing over the Berkeley hills at tarrific speed. He said the objects flew in an erratic manner, unlike an airplane.


Chicago Daily News Foreign Service

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 7. -- The Navy and Air Forces have their brightest young man looking for flying saucers, or a reasonable facsimile of them. No grounded saucers have been found, however, and no explanation has been discovered.

Maybe they're from the stars, moon or the sun.

Loyal B. Aldrich, director of the astrophysical laboratory of the Smithsonian Institution, was asked about that.

"A very strange thing," he commented, "unless they are optical illusions of some sort. We have not given them any serious thought. We have no information about them except what we have read in the newspapers."

"No, there is no astronomical explanation that we know of."


The Navy, it developed today, was following the same general hunch. Observatory here was asked to look into the possibility of physical explanations, but at the observatory it was said that there was not much likelihood of clarification.

Unless some of the astronomers actually saw some of the flying discs, it was said there, they would be unlikely to have any ideas on the subject.

One explanation offered out West, where the discs seems to be seen or imagined frequently, was Navy flying wing airplanes. The Navy Aeronautical Bureau here checked ip. It only has one of those tailless planes. It is in Hartford, Conne. No flying discs have been reported from that sector.


Some of the boys, sitting around down at the Army Air Forces fighting the war over again and speculating on flying saucers without cups, offered this as one explanation:

"You're standing on the ground at dusk. The sun has gone down for you. But way up in the clouds the sun is still shining on anything that the sun can shine on.

"So an airplane, or a flight of planes, is going along under the clouds and the sun shines on them through a hole in the clouds. You see flying saucers, not whole planes."

Well, it was offered anyhow as an idea.


Some flying military skeptics believe it's all practical jokes. Sassy young military pilots have not been above playing jokes, on the ground or aloft. Maybe somebody started it by sailing shiners from a plane. And then others took it up as a good idea at the time.

The trouble with that theory is that discs sailed out of a plane can't be recovered by the joker and, therefore, would be found somewhere on the ground - if they have not dissolved in the air.

Copyright, 1947, Chicago Daily News, Inc.

Saucers Linked to Economic Trend

PORT COSTA, July 7. -- (AP) -- The phenomenon of the flying saucers may be linked in some mysterious manner with the economic trend, Ralph Dinsmore reported today.

Soberly, he noted that he had observed a formation of flying saucers in the vicinity of Mt. Diablo:

"The middle saucer seemed to have an object on it that looked like a cup of coffee. Traveling in the saucer behind the one with the coffee was another with a sign that said 5 cents. As I watched the -cent sign seemed to give way to a 10-cent figure and at the same time the amount of coffee in the saucer cup grew considerably less. The sugar shrank noticeably and the cream disappeared entirely."

Take Your Choice - Now It's a Wagon Wheel That Floats

POCATELLO, Idaho, July 7. -- (AP) -- A touring Seattle resident reported to the Pocatello Tribune today that he saw a flying disc float to the ground in front of him, stop a few seconds, then take off again.

He said the disc was about the size of a farm wagon wheel and was surmounted "by a tube that had an enlarged opening at one end, like a funnel, and ending in a tapered point at the other."

H. C. McLean reported the incident by letter, saying he saw the disc yesterday just after dawn.

"In the middle of the disc," McLean's letter said, "I could make out a bulge as if a plate had been welded onto the disc and there were two narrow strips of metal running almost parallel to each other above and below the midsection.

"Something held it upright, and then the disc was subjected to a number of short jerks, moving forward each time a foot or two. The funnel part of the tube was set into the disc rim so that the latter could roll freely, and after moving a distance of about 20 yards," it rose easily and began at once to climb.

"I examined the place where the disc had landed but it touched the ground so lightly that it left no mark.

"I am convinced that the disc's flight was controlled, that it gave out signals indicating its position and that it is harmless."

Six persons reported seeing the disc in flight over Pocatello this morning.


If you have been worried about the flying discs, particularly in the fear they might be something from out of space [sic], you may rest assured they are not.

That is the opinion of Dr. Raymond T. Birge, professor of physics at the University of California and chairman of the Department of Physics at the Berkeley campus, who declared today it would be physically impossible for inter-stellar object to fly about as the discs are described.

"If they were from out of space [sic] they would come in and land with a bang," he explained. "They would not fly about parallel to the earth.


"Anything coming from out of space would arrive so fast you wouldn't see it. The attraction of the earth would bring it in at a speed of seven miles a second."

Dr. Birge also denied that the discs - if they are anything at all but an optical illusion - are say product of the atom bomb explosions. The only think that might be flying yet from the atom bomb, he said, would be radioactivity in the extreme upper air.

To the suggestion that "electrons" were thrown off by the bomb and might now be reassembling to form the discs, he replied:

"That is silly. In the first place, electrons were not thrown off, and in the second place, electrons don't get together. They repel each other."


University scientists "are waiting with interest" to see what explanation finally is found for the so-called discs, Dr. Birge admitted, but his opinion is that "there is nothing to it."

"You can always see things," Dr. Birge added. "A little drop of water in your eyeball, like on your glasses, will cause you to see things. Specks of dust in the air also make you think you are seeing some object or objects."

But as for something flying out of space - that, he said, is silly.

Saucers Radio controlled Missiles, Scientist's Theory

STAMFORD, Conn., July 7. -- (UP) -- Lester Barlow, internationally known explosives inventor and holder of numerous patents, many dealing with military affairs, advanced the theory the flying saucers were probably radio controlled flying missiles.

Barlow suggested that the reason the great majority of disc reports come from the West was that military authorities preferred to utilize vast and relatively unpopulated open spaces for experiments.

The inventor said he felt certain that "quite a number" of such flying missiles had been produced and "were in early stages of perfection" and were capable of flying in squadrons and being controlled "from remote points."

Laws of Eyesight May Explain Discs

Associated Press Science Editor

NEW YORK, July 7. -- Much of what has been described about the flying saucers reported from nearly all parts of the country may be explained by certain laws of eyesight.

All the objects appear round or nearly so at any distance which is close to the limit of how far a person can see.

If the objects are seen by reflected light, as in most cases reported, it is almost certain to be round, and if the reflections are sunlight, then the sizes are those which would be expected from distant light reflection.

Descriptions of virtually all the saucers as round and flat fit exactly with the tricks that eyes play.

This writer has seen flying saucers over Long island Sound near his home, not only this year but in previous years.

They were round, bright and moving fast. But they were no mystery because they were light reflected from the bodies of airplanes that soon identified themselves by changing course and coming near enough to be seen distinctly.

Many descriptions of movements of the flying saucers fit with the common maneuvers or airplanes, singly or in groups. Some of the maneuvering reported, which took saucers out of sight and back into sight again, resembles what can be seen while watching distant airplanes.

Whether planes are guided, pilotless or jets, they all would look the same a great distances.

Disc Described as 'Big Barrel Hoop'

One of the most colorful descriptions of the flying saucers seen here was given today by Mrs. J. C. Stump, of 180 Via Llariposa, San Lorenzo Village, who, with her husband and a party of friends, reported seeing one of the discs from the Oakland - San Leandro hills yesterday.

Mrs. Stump described the disc as being like "a big barrel hoop, transparent in the middle and lighted by a golden film."

She and her party, who were picnicking near Skyline Boulevard, above the San Leandro Naval Hospital, saw the object in the sky at 12:40 p.m. A child in the group, Valerie Gilmore, 8, first noticed it and cried out to the others.

They looked up to see the golden object approaching at about 9000 feet altitude. "It hung for about two minutes, Mrs. Stump said, then turned slowly, showing its transparent center, and disappeared in about one more minute.

"It didn't fly like the others they describe," Mrs. Stump said. "It just slowly disappeared. It gave us a peculiar feeling."

To: Kenneth Arnold or Newspapers 1940-1949.

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