Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Anniversary Kevin Arnold

Sixty-four years ago, on June 24, 1947, Air Force pilot Kevin Arnold reported that he had seen several silver flying discs from his plane that moved like stones skipping over water.

Arnold's description of the objects as 'disc shaped' led to invention of the term 'flying saucer', and the modern era of ufology was born. Arnold later modified his report to say that some of the discs were shaped more like flying arcs (see photo).

Kenneth Arnold had over 9,000 hour in flight and was widely respected both within and outside of the military. He claimed that he was not worried about the sighting at first because he assumed the discs were classified U.S. military aircraft.

When that assumption turned out not to be the case (so far as we know), Arnold became more involved in the investigation of UFOs, interviewing several witnesses and contactees and eventually writing a book on the topic.

Some UFO researchers and conspiracy theorists (i.e., Bruce Macabbee, Jim Marrs) claim Arnold had seen UFOs over Yakima Washington and even had some contact with military intelligence agents (either knowingly or unknowingly) in early 1947, before his famous sighting.

Whether or not that is true, after a few years Arnold refused to talk about UFOs any further and began to decline all interviews.

Make of it all what you will.

If nothing else, these claims prove that dissembling and controvery are par for the course when it comes to UFOs, and have been from day one.

And that is a fact you can take to the bank.

UFOs have been seen in the skies and reported in detail for millennia of course (see the recent book, Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times, by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck), but Kevin Arnold's sighting is widely regarded as the beginning of the 20th century incarnation of these elusive phenomena.

Whether you believe, just want to believe, or think it's all total rot, why not celebrate?

Have some star jelly on your toast today.

Make cupcakes!

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