On this date in 1947, not far from here in the skies surrounding Mt. Rainer, pilot Kenneth Arnold spots unidentified flying objects while on a search mission for a downed military transport plane. Here’s a synopsis of events from Wired:
As Arnold recalled, the afternoon was crystal clear, and he was cruising at an altitude of 9,200 feet. A minute or two after noting a DC-4 about 15 miles behind and to the left of him, he was startled by something bright reflecting off his plane. At first he thought he had nearly hit another aircraft but as he looked off in the direction the light had come from, he saw nine "peculiar-looking" aircraft flying rapidly in formation toward Mt. Rainier.
As these strange, tailless craft flew between his plane and Mt. Rainier and then off toward distant Mt. Adams, Arnold noted their remarkable speed -- he later calculated that they were moving at around 1,700 mph -- and said he got a pretty good look at their black silhouettes outlined against Rainier's snowy peak.
During a report to the media about his close encounter, he coined the term flying saucer.
The zaniness soon began! Here’s to over 60 years of hoaxes, grainy photographs, cover-ups, X-Files, Steven Spielberg, wing-nuts, and alien autopsies. Not sure if the truth is out there, but at least it’s entertaining and maybe even a little creepy at times.
Spermatozoa, dust on the lens, swamp gas, aluminum foil Frisbees