Kenneth Arnold (Seminal UFO Sighting; June 1947)

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Anonymous

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This seems to be a somewhat overlooked area in the field of UFO's, but I believe a strong case could be made that at least some of the UFO cases reported in the late 40's and possibly even later, were actually sightings of either recovered German prototypes, or all new aircraft built from German designs.
There is a very striking resemblance between Kenneth Arnold's famous UFO encounter over Mt. Rainer, and the Hortean series of "flying wing" jets developed in German towards the close of the war.
For more information on the Ho IX and Kenneth Arnold, check out the below links.
http://www.nurflugel.com/Nurflugel/Horten_Nurflugels/horten_nurflugels.html
http://www.project1947.com/fig/1947ka.htm
I'd be interested to know if anyone else has investigated the possible link between the two. I did manage to find a few websites that proposed the same theory, but I don't recall it ever being given the same level of support as the "little green men/little grey men/evil gov't men" theory.
 
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Anonymous

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Some believe that what Arnold saw was a test flight of a plane called B-5 or so. A crescent shaped plane, that was a bit Stealth-like. But I don´t think there were any of the flying saucers the germans build that ever really came off the ground. I have seen old videos where they hover some meters above the ground, but I think that was as far as it went.
 

Hospitaller

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Wasn't Kenneth Arnold's final take on 'flying saucers' that they are chameleon type amoeba-like creatures that inhabit our atmosphere?
 
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Anonymous

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Kenneth Arnold believed what he saw to have been living creatures. And people have seen UFO's doing something like spawning and doing mating dances in mid air.
 

Hospitaller

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Haven't alien abduction experiences been very much linked with and to a certain extent explained by night terrors, the night hag etc? What was the inucbus to past generations is the grey to us?
Whether they're all products of the mind or actual intelligences is very difficult to discern beyond our own limited experience of actual reality, but either way, it's fascinating how such experiences are shaped to fit the culture of the experiencer (scareships etc.)
And on another note, didn't Kenneth Arnold eventually conclude that UFOs are actually amoeba-like shape-shifting organisms which live in our atmosphere? Interesting opinion!
 

scotmedia

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... The genesis of 'flying saucers' originates from private
pilot Kenneth Arnold's pivotal 24 June, 1947, observation
of nine unfamiliar aerial objects.

In the ensuing media hysteria these were reported as
'flying saucers'.

Yet, in that formative period, Arnold never described the
objects as remotely circular.

The full story of how and why this extraordinary media
delusion developed is fascinating and insightful.

Meantime, bottom line; as Brad Sparks, a foremost devotee
of 'alien contact', laments:

"I am nevertheless bothered by the fact that no one else
in the 1947 flap ever saw objects shaped like Arnold's,
with only one possible exception (a suspected hoax
apparently)." ...

James Easton.
 
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scotmedia

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... The explosion of 'flying saucer' sightings post-Arnold
was a veritable landmark.

Although that alone should be alarming and question the
influence of Arnold's report, it's much worse. As we now
realise, Arnold didn't actually describe 'saucers' at
all.

Suddenly, the media's awash with 'flying disc' hysteria,
amidst concerns of a new Russian secret weapon.

Meantime, absolutely nobody [perhaps a single exception
- I have studied copies of the mainstream American
newspapers post-Arnold] is seeing even one of the
enigmatic, "looked something like a pie plate that was
cut in half with a sort of a convex triangle in the rear"
aerial objects which perplexed Arnold, let alone several
in formation.

Arnold's utterly misconstrued report and resultant
'flying saucers' are the genesis of popularised ufology.

It could hardly be a more specious foundation. ...

James Easton.
 
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Anonymous

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... What we all need to ask ourselves is what was it about Kenneth Arnold's sighting that caused so much interest? Why was THAT the case that broke into mainstream media? He certainly wasn't any MORE qualified than others who have seen the same and even gone on to report it. I don't think the fact that people saw discs after his report is surprising. What IS surprising is why his is considered the first credible sighting and description of what later became 'flying saucers'. :confused: ...
 
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scotmedia

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... As I noted: "there are relatively few reports of 'disc-
shaped', aerial, objects pre-Arnold and those which do
exist are debatably comparative". ...

Where though, pre-Arnold, are the *profusion* of *daily*
'flying disc' reports, such as newspaper front pages
filled with stories of mass-sightings from all over
America [and then consequently outwith] in the weeks
after Arnold's story was misreported?

They simply don't exist beforehand.


>What we all need to ask ourselves is what was it about
>Kenneth Arnold's sighting that caused so much interest?

It's a question we know the answer to; it was feared the
Russians had developed a new 'secret weapon'.


>What IS surprising is why his is considered the first
>credible sighting and description of what later became
>'flying saucers'.

No surprise whatsoever. It *WAS* the first credible
sighting and description of what later became 'flying
saucers'.

Problem being, Arnold hadn't seen any.


This is Arnold's 'flying saucer' [Arnold pictured with an
artist's rendition]:

voyager.ukonline.co.uk/ftp/sketch_4.jpg
Link is dead. No archived version found.


This is a rare and profound sketch, almost certainly
drawn by Arnold [similar to others he made], which I
discovered:

voyager.ukonline.co.uk/ftp/sketch_0.jpg
Link is dead. No archived version found.

For further background about the latter drawing and my
recent announcement about a new, related, research
development see:

groups.yahoo.com/group/UFORL/message/2477
Link is dead. No archived version found.

James Easton.
 
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scotmedia

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Rather than simply provide a URL link, this is a copy of
research developments I have today published on the 'UFO
Research List' [UFORL], which I moderate.

As the contents are even more applicable here, a separate
posting is hopefully justified.

[BEGIN]
Thanks to an exceptionally helpful U.S. library service,
after much searching I now have a copy of Kenneth
Arnold's rare, self-published, 1950 booklet, 'The Flying
Saucer as I Saw it' [the correct punctuation].

This is a summary of inherent contents and Arnold is
directly quoted wherever possible.

Unless anyone knows otherwise, it's presumed all of the
booklet was written by Arnold.

My own remarks and further explanations are prefaced by
'Comment:'.


Cover: [Bottom insert] Well-known photograph of Arnold
with camera looking to the sky. Main image above this is
a large copy of the equally well-known artwork depicting
a 'bat-shaped' object.

There are copies at:

http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=2067
Link is dead. The MIA webpage can be accessed via the Wayback Machine at:


https://web.archive.org/web/20050118224556/https://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=2067


Page 1: "Copy of letter forwarded to Kenneth Arnold from
Robert Heilman, newstaff (sic) of the Seattle Times".

"This is an excerpt of a letter received from the
Secretary to the Director of Intelligence of the Fourth
Air Force, Hamilton Field, California. This should leave
no doubts in the minds of the public as to who produced
and released the Debunking Sidney Shalett articles in the
Saturday Evening Post issues of April and May 1949".


Page 2: "Official U.S. Navy photograph NA13 No. 1047 Date
25, July 1947. This is an at the scene photograph pf the
Marine Corps C-46 disaster on Tahoma glacier at the 9500
foot level on Mt, Rainier in the State of Washington".

Comment: Arnold goes on to question whether bodies were
actually ever found in the wreckage.


Page 3: "VIEWING the first photograph ever taken of a
flying disc in Seattle on July 5, 1947 are Captain E. J.
Smith (left) United Airlines Pilot, Kenneth Arnold and
United Airlines co-pilot, Ralph Stevens".

Comment: This photograph can be see at:


http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=2067
Link is dead. The MIA webpage can be accessed via the Wayback Machine at:

https://web.archive.org/web/20050118224556/https://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=2067


The photograph they are looking at isn't reproduced by
Arnold.


Page 4: Arnold's copies of the two William Rhodes
photographs - they are enlargements of the object and
missing background details shown in newspaper
reproductions.

Comment: Arnold explains how he was invited to see the
original negatives at Hamilton field and "was given the
above prints as a courtesy for the assistance he had
given Military Intelligence in the investigation in the
Tacoma affair". Arnold occasionally writes in the 'third
person'.


Pages 5: Newspaper clippings relating to Brown and
Davidson's death in the B-25 crash at Kelso. For
background, see:

http://www.parascope.com/nb/cautionarytales/mauryIsland.h
tm

[This URL will 'wrap around']

Comment: We now begin to appreciate that Arnold was
interested in the writings of Charles Fort. Following the
clippings, he quotes extracts from 'Records of Charles
Fort' and states:

"I have many Records of Black rain of so-called furnace
slag. Lava Rock fell from the sky. Slains, Scotland".

Quoting Fort's description of an 1894 sighting - "an
object seen in the sky was like an elongated flatfish" -
Arnold adds, "I have many accounts prior to 1900".

He then ends with the following:

"I think we are finished for - Charles Fort".


Page 6. A brief synopsis of the Maury Island story with
the large drawing of a 'flying saucer' dropping metal
fragments.

Comment: Arnold highlights a newspaper clipping which
reports that a new metal, Titanium, offers widespread
application if it's manufacturing cost could be reduced.

Arnold also cites another source, noting how the U.S.
government took great interest in Titanium after the
"Tacoma affair".


Pages 7 and 8: A montage of newspaper clippings and often
merely just headlines.

There's some fascinating material here, including:

_'Tiny 'Man' Reported in Mexico Not News to Original
Flying Saucer Man'_

A report from Mexico that the body of a tiny 'man' has
been found in the vicinity of a crashed 'flying saucer'
is not news to Kenneth Arnold...

He has heard other stories of little 'men' in connection
with inquiries he has had under way since the summer of
1947.

"Believe those stories of the little men?" mused Mr.
Arnold in Missoula, Friday. "Well I didn't see the little
men, yet I've heard many stories. When you hear such a
story you naturally discredit it until you're shown. I've
heard that in California someone has wreckage of several
of these ships with the bodies inside. A rancher told me
he had seen a little man on the desert: told me, 'First I
thought it was a rock chuck (a small animal). Then it ran
away'."

[...]

He said he was hesitant about reporting the first flying
disc.

"I realise it's the 'data of the damned' to make a report
on these things...".
[END OF EXTRACT]


Comment: Arnold's "data of the damned" remark is a quote
from Fort's 'The Book of the Damned'. See:

http://www.resologist.net/damn01.htm


As for his collection of clippings, many could have come
straight from 'Fortean Times' magazine:

'Einstein's New Theory Hints Spiritual Values'

'3-Tailed Twister Kills Oklahoma Man, Hurts Wife'

'NIGHT PLAYING JUKE BOX STIRS MYSTERY'

'Oregon's Sea Monster Said Giant Squid--Maybe'

'Philadelphia Sniffs and Doesn't Like it; Mystery Odor
Terrible'

'DEATH RAY SLAUGHTERS 300 BIRDS OVER AIR BASE'

'Rare Tornado Rips English Valleys'

'Ticking Ears Mystify Doctors, But Sankey Enjoys
Listening'

'Mystery Birdman Reported at Chehalis'
[END]

Arnold's evident Fortean predilection is a remarkable
realisation, certainly for myself.


Page 9: A letter to Arnold from Brown's widow; she
confesses, "I have never thought that Frank's death was
an accident".


Page 10: A letter to Arnold from Lieutenant George F.
Gorman, regarding the 1 October, 1948 incident when
Gorman reportedly encountered a 'UFO'.

Gorman explains why he can't discuss events with Arnold,
why he would be Court Martialed if he did and how both
his commanding officer and himself should already have
been, except that "General Edwards or some high officer"
refused to comply.

Comment: Arnold is clearly an active researcher.

One online summary of the Gorman case is:

http://ufocasebook.com/ltgorman.html

Is Gorman confirming the object, "was about six to eight
inches in diameter"?


Page 11: This will be addressed separately.


Page 12: A photograph of Arnold with John E. Ostrom,
Arnold examining Ostrom's truck which had, on 30 July,
1947, reportedly been struck by "a mysterious
incandescent object" near Council, Idaho, which was "of
such terrific heat that it melted through the steel plate
of the truck".

Comment: Arnold suggests this might be related to an
incident on 24 July, 1947, when a suspension bridge over
the Salmon River, Idaho, was burnt down - steel cables
inclusive - in "a matter of minutes".


Pages 13 and 14: Photographs of radar screens, showing
RADAR 'ANGELS', unidentified "target returns" which
frequently occurred.


Page 15: Another print of the Rhodes photograph, this
time with some foreground detail.



Page 11: The contents here are an astonishing and
unexpected discovery.

Arnold writes:

"YOU'VE heard stories of 'Little Men' associated with
FLYING SAUCERS. The many descriptions by responsible
people who have seen little men describe them differently
than these photographs but...

This tiny, monkey-like man once lived and breathed... and
walked on the earth as one of God's creatures. Scientists
and curators are unable to positively determine his
origin, but have tentatively concluded that he came to
earth during the post-glacial period. It is thought the
specimen might have existed previous to the little tree
men, who existed about the same time as the dinosaur".

[...]

"The anthropological department of Harvard University
says there is no doubt about the creature's rarity. The
Curator of the Egyptian Department of the Boston Museum
says the mummy has the appearance of Egyptian specimens.
Dr. Henry Fairfield, noted scientist, calls the creature
Hesperopithecus after a form of anthropoid, which roamed
the North American continent in the middle of the
Pliocene period. All of them say it is the most perfect,
prehistoric mummy ever discovered.

Height in position it sits six and a half inches. Weight
three quarters of one pound".

Comment: Arnold is clearly comfortable with an
association between 'Little Men' - even if they're only
inches tall - and flying saucers.

This would be coherent with his second 1947 sighting of
enigmatic aerial objects [Arnold claimed to have had some
eight separate encounters with 'UFOs' during his flying
days] as he first recalled in 'FATE' magazine, Spring
1948:

"It was July 30 at dawn I took off in my own plane,
intending to reach Tacoma before dark and contact Mr
Dahl.

It was at 7:00 o'clock that morning I sighted a formation
of small disks going south at 4,000 feet as I was letting
down at La Grande, Oregon.

I attempted to turn and catch up with them, but they were
out of sight before I could complete my turn".

[...]

"I would judge them about thirty inches across, very
thin, and light brown in color".

Arnold expresses no reservations about how irrational
this might seem.


What is the source of Arnold's "tiny, monkey-like man"...

Incredibly, it's nothing less than little Pedro.

The background story can readily be found online, for
example:

http://www.anomalies-unlimited.com/Pedro.html

Arnold publishes three photographs; two are X-rays. In
addition to the X-ray photograph at the above web site,
there's a "Frontal X-Ray".

The other photograph shows a young boy holding up a ruler
in front of 'Pedro', confirming the artefact's size.

Alas, poor Pedro is by this time seemingly mounted
upright on a display plinth.

Perhaps a shocking end for such a curiosity, although it
would make a unique conversational paperweight.


Arnold may be mistaken that "Dr. Henry Fairfield, noted
scientist, calls the creature Hesperopithecus".

It seems this relates to another controversial artefact,
'Nebraska Man', dubbed 'Hesperopithecus haroldcookii' by
Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn.


Arnold's booklet is a rich miscellany of snapshots from
those formative 'flying saucer' years.

Despite the somewhat critical fact that Arnold's founding
encounter was misreported in the media and he had never
described a saucer-shaped object, that had become
irrelevant. People all over were seeing them now.

As Arnold elaborates in the 'FATE' article, it was the
Rhodes photographs - featuring an object at least looking
something like he had witnessed - which validated his
experience.


In the 'Tiny 'Man' Reported in Mexico...' article, Arnold
poignantly remarks of the time:

"I realise it's the 'data of the damned' to make a report
on these things... If you saw a chair suddenly rise up in
the air would you tell people? Yet there are the reports.
Seeing those things made me get down and dig mentally as
I never did before. Since then I've investigated every
way I could, I've spent money, I've travelled and I've
even sent specimens to laboratories.

Who's to determine what is and what isn't a fact?".



Unfortunately, as my copy was obtained under exceptional
circumstances and more than one librarian went out of
their way to help, I can't presently reveal my library
source.

They couldn't possibly be so obliging for everyone and
that leaves them open to complaints about preferential
treatment.


My extracts are considered to come under the copyright
category of 'fair use'.

However, due to copyright concerns, I can't make any
images available. The booklet cautions:

Copyright, 1950, by Kenneth Arnold
All rights reserved. Use of any material herein is
forbidden without express permission of author.

Does anyone know if surviving family members can be
contacted?


James Easton.
 
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A

Anonymous

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Does anyone here know what became of the missing marine ship that kenneth Arnold was searching for back in June 47?
 

Jerry_B

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JUK said:
Does anyone here know what became of the missing marine ship that kenneth Arnold was searching for back in June 47?

If you mean the infamous occasion where he first saw 'saucers' - he was looking for a downed aircraft. Looking for a lost ship in the mountains would be alot more Fortean ;)
 
A

Anonymous

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JerryB said:
JUK said:
Does anyone here know what became of the missing marine ship that kenneth Arnold was searching for back in June 47?

If you mean the infamous occasion where he first saw 'saucers' - he was looking for a downed aircraft. Looking for a lost ship in the mountains would be alot more Fortean ;)

I was using the terminology that Arnold used in his own words a 'marine ship'.
Please allow me to quote from Project Blue Book pages 27 and 28;

(These are Arnold's own words) 'On June 24th, Tuesday, I had finished my work for the Central Air Service at Chehalis,Washington, and at about two o'clock I took off from Chehalis Washington airport with the intention of going to Yakima,Wash. My trip was delayed for an hour to search for a large marine transport that had supposedly went down near or around the southwest side of Mt.Rainier in the State of Washington and to date has never been found.
I flew directly toward Mt Rainier after reaching an altitude of about 9,500
feet, which is the approximate elevation of the high plateau from which Mt Rrainier rises. I had made one sweep of this high plateau to the westward, searching all the various ridges for this marine ship............

 

INT21

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Maybe there is a more appropriate thread for this. If so someone please move it.

This goes right back to the beginning.

Kenneth Arnold.

We all know the story. But I often wondered about it.

We are told he was out searching when he saw the objects he described as crescent shaped flying past the Cascades.

And one report I read said the Cascades were about 80 miles from him.

Now, I just carried out a little test.

I live ten miles from Leeds/Bradford airport. And from my comfortable garden chair I can see the planes as they come into view from behind an intervening hill. The planes are either climbing out or descending from the main runway; depends upon the wind direction.

Today I used a Vernier caliper to measure the apparent length of a plane as it came into view. It was 2 Millimeter long (fuselage) as seen from a distance of ten mile.

A Boeing 757 has a fuselage length of 47.3 metre.

I believe you can see the obvious question.

INT21

By the way, it is equivalent to be being able to see a 757 sized ufo above the East coast which is also 80 miles away.
 

EnolaGaia

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'Cascades' refers to a range of mountains, of which Mount Rainier is the tallest. Arnold's stated flight path from Chehalis eastward to Yakima crossed the Cascade range. At the time he noticed the first visible anomaly (a flash) he was circa 20 - 25 statute miles west / southwest of Mount Rainier - quite probably over the Cascades, or at least over the range's foothills.

He was probably 80 or more statute miles away from the (North) Cascades National Park, but he wasn't any 80 miles distant from the Cascades mountain range.
 

oldrover

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I've often wondered about this. And I don't quite understand. I always thought he said they were about twenty miles from him. Surely even that is too far.
 

INT21

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Even at twenty miles the objects, if they were the size of a 757, would only appear about 1 millimeter. More or less just visible to someone with very good eyesight.

Much too small to get a good impression of what shape they were.

INT21
 

oldrover

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Yeah, I always though that too. I live under the flight path from London to the US and Ireland. The airliners are, I assume, about 35,000 ft, and you can't make anything out other than a little silver glint and a contrail.

I always wondered why I never heard anyone question this before.
 

rynner2

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I always wondered why I never heard anyone question this before.
It has been argued (sorry no reference to hand) that what he actually saw was a flock of migrating geese. Like most migrating birds, they tend to travel in a crescent formation, and also rise and fall, giving rise to the 'saucer skipping over the water' impression that Arnold described.

I leave it to those interested (I lost interest years ago) to use their preferred search engine to find the details! :twisted:
 

oldrover

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It has been argued (sorry no reference to hand) that what he actually saw was a flock of migrating geese. Like most migrating birds, they tend to travel in a crescent formation, and also rise and fall, giving rise to the 'saucer skipping over the water' impression that Arnold described.

I leave it to those interested (I lost interest years ago) to use their preferred search engine to find the details! :twisted:

I read once that it was pelicans, but it comes to the same thing I suppose. I don't think there's much to Kenneth Arnold's sighting either. But the detail of why nobody seems to have questioned the distances still puzzles me a bit.
 

eburacum

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Here's someone who has looked into the distance question very closely
http://martinshough.com/aerialphenomena/Arnold analysis2.pdf
Hough reckons that the closest Arnold got to the 'objects' could have been 16-17 miles, at which distance he could have seen a vague shape if the objects were 100 feet long (sorry about the Imperial measurements).

I think this is a little dubious, but only because the shape would not have been clear enough in objective terms. But the eye-brain system does some funny things; at 3 mins arc resolution (a tenth of the width of the Moon) the visual cortex in his brain would probably have generated a consistent shape, so that he had something to fix upon; if he had to observe the raw data his eyes were actually perceiving, it would have been a series of out-of focus, diffusion-limited blobs.

What were these objects? I have to say I don't know. If they went behind Pyramid Peak but in front of Mount Rainier, then they weren't pelicans or meteors; but he probably couldn't see their shape well unless they were a lot bigger than he thought. But to come to this conclusion we have to accept that Arnold recorded every aspect of his sighting accurately - this seems very unlikely, since he was also flying his plane at the time, an activity which must have caused at least some distraction. Most analysts (including Hough) take Arnold's recollections at face value- but there could be several areas where he has misremembered or reconstructed events, piecing together discontinuous observations to make a consistent whole.

When observers who see UFOs while driving a car give consistent estimates of size, speed and height, I tend to view this with some suspicion, since the car is moving, they were looking through glass from a viewpoint that is subject to vibration, and most importantly they are busy doing something else at the same time. When they recall the observation later all these effects are forgotten or reduced in importance; the same applies to observations make while flying aircraft, although maybe a pilot has more leisure to make detailed observations than a car-driver.
 

INT21

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...
although maybe a pilot has more leisure to make detailed observations than a car-driver...

Indeed he/she does.

A light plane, in fact any plane, will virtually fly itself straight and level if properly trimmed out. I speak from experience on this point. The pilot is more concerned with looking out forother aircraft than actually flying the plane.

So Arnold would have had plenty of time to observe. It does seem that we agree the distance would have been a factor.

INT21
 

kamalktk

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Here's someone who has looked into the distance question very closely
http://martinshough.com/aerialphenomena/Arnold analysis2.pdf
Hough reckons that the closest Arnold got to the 'objects' could have been 16-17 miles, at which distance he could have seen a vague shape if the objects were 100 feet long (sorry about the Imperial measurements).
That would make it a good sighting. Even if the exact particulars of the shape were wrong, it would still be a formation of 100 foot long objects.
 

eburacum

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Certainly a curious flight formation even if they were Earthly craft. Or even if they were alien craft.
 

eburacum

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Well, in order for that to be true, we'd have to discount the observation that they went behind a mountain ridge. Actually, looking at the various candidates for the ridge that they went behind, none are very high and do not seem very plausible- unless these objects were flying a few hundred feet off the ground- in which case this is a very odd case indeed.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Of elementary 'flying saucer' fame, although he never described a 'saucer shaped enigma', did you know he became a profound follower...
 

Yithian

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Of elementary 'flying saucer' fame, although he never described a 'saucer shaped enigma', did you know he became a profound follower...

Sorry, which Arnold are you writing about? If this is UFO material, I shall move it.
 
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