Saturday, March 6, 2010

The man who started it all – Kenneth Arnold

Kenneth Arnold was just like any average man. Born in March of 1915 in Sebeka, Minnesota, cleared school and in 1940 he started a job that one day would make him famous. His job included flying around the Pacific Northwest and selling fire suppression systems. Arnold was regarded as a skilled and experienced pilot, with over 9,000 total flying hours.

On June 24, 1947, Kenneth was on a business trip from Chehalis, Washington to Yakima, Washington. Before getting into the plane, he learned about a $5,000 reward for the discovery of a U.S. Marine Corps C-46 transport airplane that had crashed near Mount Rainer. In the air, he scanned the mountainsides below, but wasn’t able to see any traces of the downed airplane.

Suddenly something begun to flash through the windshield of his airplane. Soon, he was able to see were the flashes originated from. Some distance in front of him, nine silvery and shiny crescent shaped objects flew close to Mount Rainer. Kenneth was stunned by what he and he had never seen anything like this during his flight career. He estimated that the objects altitude was somewhere between 9,500 and 10,000 feet. By using his clock, he was able to estimate the speed to around 1,200 mph, an unbelievable high at that time.

After having landed in Washington, he told his story to a reporter that the objects moved "like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water." Although this wasn’t the actual shape of the objects, more how they moved, Bill Bequette's report on the AP news wire used the term "flying saucer" to describe the objects' shape, and the phrase “flying saucer was coined”. The military begun to show interest for his sigthing, after have tried to avoid it. He was interviewed about his sighting and the results would earn a place in Project Blue Book.

After Arnold’s sighting, USA went through a UFO frenzy and over 800 reports of UFO were to be made by the of July, 1947. Although there had already been several cases before Arnold’s, this was the one that started the modern UFO era, and will always earn its place in the history books.

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