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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 24

Re: Kenneth Arnold's testimony

From: James Easton <pulsar@compuserve.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 23:11:25 -0500
Fwd Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 09:29:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Kenneth Arnold's testimony 


>Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 23:27:36 -0500
>From: bruce maccabee <brumac@compuserve.com>
>Subject: UFO UpDate: Re: Kenneth Arnold's testimony

Bruce wrote:

>A strange bird is a pelican...


They certainly seem to do a remarkable impression of alien spacecraft
flying in formation!

Quite a talented bird.

>It flies over 100 miles per hour

>when everitcan....

>especially when trying to race a small airplane while flying
>southward past Mt. Rainier.

100 miles an hour based on what?

In his possible first interview, certainly one of the earliest he
gave, Kenneth Arnold said:

"I got down to Pendleton and I began looking at my map and taking
measurements on it and the best calculation I could figure out,
now even in spite of error, would be around 1200 miles an hour,
because making the distance from Mt. Rainier to Mt. Adams, in,
we'll say approximately two minutes, it's almost, well, it'd be
around 25 miles per minute.

Now allowing for air, we can give them three minutes or four
minutes to make it, and they're still going more than 800 miles
an hour".

In your paper, "The Complete Sighting Report of Kenneth Arnold,
with Comments and Analysis", you state:

"The distance from the flank of Mt. Rainier to the peak of Mt.
Adams is about 45 miles (depending upon where on the flank one
picks as the starting p point). Since the length of the "chain"
of objects was about 5 miles (paragraph H above), the leading
object was about 5 miles south of Mt. Adams when the last object
passed Mt. Adams. Hence the total distance it (and the others)
travelled was about 50 miles in 102 seconds. This corresponds to
a speed of about 1,760 mph".

Pick a number, any number...

What if the "the length of the 'chain' of objects'" wasn't "about
5 miles"?

Your reference to "paragraph H above", relates to a statement
which Arnold made in his letter to the USAF, in which he says:

"I observed the chain of these objects passing another
snow-covered ridge in between Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams, and as
the first one was passing the south crest of this ridge the last
object was entering the northern crest of the ridge. As I was
flying in the direction of this particular ridge, I measured it
and found it to be approximately five miles so I could safely
assume that the chain of these saucer like objects were at least
five miles long".

This is a subjective calculation, Arnold claiming he was watching
"saucer like objects", when he may have been observing pelicans,
something he apparently didn't account for.

Do you think Arnold's mention of "saucer like objects" might have
been influenced by the "flying saucer" hysteria his story was
responsible for?

Arnold of course never having originally claimed to see "saucer
like objects" at all...

>Incidently, you should check with the bird experts to find out how
>high the pelicans typically fly....or maximum height and speed.

I had already asked about this and in view of the uncertainty,
I'm looking for a more definitive answer. A copy of "All You Ever
Wanted to Know About the American White Pelican", would be
useful, but in the absence of that, it's a case of asking various
people who might be able to offer an informed opinion.

I'm quite happy to do so as time permits, although I can't help
wondering why it's apparently taken 50 years for such obvious
enquiries to be made.

Maybe if this scenario had already been examined by "ufologists"
and proven to be impossible, there might be something to laugh

>If mistaken by Arnold for distant aircraft flying (apparently) nearly
>at horizon level to him, then they would have been essentially at his

Not necessarily. This is also subjective and as Arnold comments
in that early interview, "And, they seemed to flip and flash in
the sun, just like a mirror, and, in fact, I happened to be in an
angle from the sun that seemed to hit the tops of these peculiar
looking things in such a way that it almost blinded you when you
looked at them through your plexiglass windshield".

It could therefore be argued that Arnold was looking down on the
"tops of these peculiar looking things".

>And, I suppose Arnold could see the white bodies but not the

Obviously this is possible. So far as I know, he didn't have
binoculars with him, or was blessed with telescopic vision.

If you were observing a formation of birds at a considerable
distance, would you clearly make out every detail?

A million and one experienced birdwatchers might disagree.

Kenneth Arnold was unquestionably a highly experienced pilot and
his _original_ testimony should be given due consideration.

The suggestion that Arnold's unidentified objects are perhaps
consistent with the characteristics of American White Pelicans
was not mine, and the factual correlations I took time to
highlight, were a contribution to the investigation of this

There are clear objections to this conceivable explanation; let's
look at them in perspective and consider the respective merits.

Introducing new evidence doesn't mean I'm on a mission to

E-mail: pulsar@compuserve.com

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