A US American private aviator spots mysterious "disks" while flying over the Cascade Mountains in the west of the USA. This is one of the first supposed UFO sightings of the 20th century, and marks the beginning of an onslaught of debunked and unexplained events.
The Witness Edit
Kenneth Arnold (March 29, 1915 - January 16, 1984) was an American pilot and Businessman. Up until his death of colon cancer at the age of 68, he had accumulated over 9000 hours in the air, so Kenneth was considered a skilled and experienced pilot by most of his peers. He wrote a book and gave many interviews to the press about the incident, making him a small celebrity for a while.
The Incident EditOn June 24, 1947 Arnold was flying his CallAir A-2 Airplane near Mt. Rainer in the State of Washington, when he spotted 9 lights in formation, described by him as flying at the speed of aproximately 2000 km/h. Upon closer inspection, he described the Lights as "something like a pie plate that was cut in half with a sort of a convex triangle in the rear". He commented that their maneuvering was "like a fish flipping in the sun" or, in probably one of the most defining sentences in the history of UFO studies, "like a saucer skipped across water". The media quickly jumped on this description. The term "Flying Saucer" was born.
Because he initially suspected the UFOs being a secret military test, Kenneth sent a letter to the USAAF describing the incident, including a sketch of the objects made by him.
The Air Force responded to Kenneth's letter and press inquiry by denying the existence of such a secret project, and dismissed the case as an optical illusion. As this explaination was obviously lackluster, both the Media and civilians started to create theories, the most prominent one being the extraterrestrial crafts theory, followed by Kenneth's initial, secret military project rationalization. As the government denied and still denies it's involvement and many stand by the optical illusion theory, this case is still unexplained.