Famous UFO Sightings: The Kenneth Arnold Case
By Thomas Shea
The Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting is one of the most monumental UFO sightings in history. The sighting was the first report of “flying saucers” as we know them today. What happened that day would forever put Kenneth Arnold in the books of UFO History.
Kenneth Arnold was a private pilot, who was flying near Mount Rainier on a clear and sunny day on June 24th, 1947. He was flying a Call Air A2 to Yakima, Washington, but had changed his flight path after learning of a reward being offered for the recovery of a crashed U.S. Marine Corps plane near Mt. Rainier. Arnold had hoped to cash in on the reward, but instead had an experience that managed to capture the attention of the world.
Arnold had given up his search after a while and decided to head back east towards Yakima. He noticed a bright flash in the sky and assumed that he was too close to another aircraft, but was unable to spot any nearby airplanes.
Around 30 seconds after seeing the first flash of light, Kenneth Arnold saw more flashes and soon realized that the flashes were reflections from something in the skies with him. Because of the formation the objects were flying in, Arnold first thought that they could be geese. However, after noticed the speed of their movement and metallic appearance, Arnold quickly ruled out geese.
He described the objects as flying erratically and compared them to “saucers skipping on water”. He also pointed out that one of the objects (nine total) had a different shape that resembled a v shape or crescent. Reporters would later coin the phrase ‘Flying Saucers” based on Arnold’s description.
The objects were later estimated to be rather large, possibly over 100 feet and stretched out in formation over a span of five miles. The objects demonstrated speeds that were impossible at the time and were about three times the maximum speed of any aircraft in existence at the time of his sighting.
After landing Arnold told of his experience and although some didn’t believe him, other did. Allegedly, Some former Army pilots talked to Arnold and told him that they had been briefed before going into combat and told “they might see objects of similar shape and design as I described” Arnold said that the pilots assured him that what he had seen was real and that he was not insane.
The reports of the Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting had soon made their way around the world, making Arnold rather famous for his experience. Arnold vowed to purchase a camera and take it with him on all future flights.
Another similar sighting was reported ten days later that helped to strengthen Arnold’s story. So what happened on June 24th, 1947? Did Kenneth Arnold become one of the first witnesses in history to flying saucers? Did he stumble upon a military test flight, using new technology? Either way, the Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting will forever be one of the most important UFO Sightings in history.
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