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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Apr > Apr 3

Re: Kenneth Arnold's Saucer-like Description

From: James Easton <pulsar@compuserve.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 22:24:56 -0500
Fwd Date: Sat, 03 Apr 1999 01:25:12 -0500
Subject: Re: Kenneth Arnold's Saucer-like Description

Regarding recent comments on this topic, with Bruce's reference
to the enigmatic Trent photographs appreciated and duly noted,
the following observations and questions are essentially cross-
posted from related discussions elsewhere.

Taking care of one issue first of all.

>From: David Rudiak <DRudiak@aol.com>
>Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 00:49:26 EST
>To: updates@globalserve.net
>Subject: Re: Kenneth Arnold's Saucer-like Description

>As to motion, what did make it into the 1947 press was Arnold's
>repeated descriptions of how they weaved and dipped together in
>single file, "like the tail of a kite." He also described them
>flipping and flashing in the sun like fish. But nothing about
>skimming or skipping motion. Maybe he said it, but you don't see

For easy reference, as confirmed on the 'Project 1947' web site:

"Norman, Oklahoma Transcript - June 26, 1947


PENDLETON, Ore., June 26 -- (U.P.)-

He [Arnold] landed here, slightly bug-eyed, Wednesday and told
how he spotted the "extremely shiny nickle-plated aircraft"
skimming along at 10,000 feet on Tuesday".

>How many times do we have to go over this until you British
>skeptics get it?

Maybe if you check your facts and learn some manners, any other
points you make will be of interest. Having reached your first, 
expected and ill-informed derogatory remark, what makes you think
anyone would waste their time reading further?


In the 'Pendleton, Oregon East Oregonian', on June 26, 1947, Bill
Bequette reported, "The Boise man, who owns the Great Western
fire control supply which handled automatic fire fighting
systems, described the objects as 'flat like a pie pan and
somewhat bat-shaped'"

The 'Oregon Journal', June 27, 1947, reported that Arnold, "clung
stoutly to his story that he saw nine shiny crescent-shaped
planes or pilotless missiles flying in formation", adding that
Arnold claimed, "They were half-moon shaped, oval in front and
convex in the rear".

Were the unidentified objects which gave birth to 'flying
saucers' therefore actually 'bat-shaped', 'crescent-shaped' or
'half-moon shaped'?

Only the latter description appears to conceivably resemble the
sketch which Arnold sent to Wright Field in July 1947.

Did Arnold actually mean quarter-moon, i.e. crescent, shaped?

A copy of Arnold's sketches are included in the web presentation
of Martin Kottmeyer's article, 'Resolving Arnold - Part 2: Guess
Again', at URL:


How can Arnold originally have described 'bat-like' objects, then
produced a sketch which doesn't resemble one, yet subsequently
featured in his book the photograph of a 'model' which shows that
crescent or definitely 'bat-shaped' object?

A copy of this photograph can be seen on my web site under
'Flying Saucers - the Genesis'.

There's a new location for my web site and it's now at URL:


We're aware that Arnold later claimed one of the nine objects was
different from the others and explained he had never got around
to clarifying that at the time.

I haven't seen it confirmed, presuming it's known, whether the
'bat-shaped' object featured in his book supposedly represent the
eight similar ones or was the 'ugly duckling'.

Is it known?

If the bat-shaped, not even close to a 'saucer', photograph is
intended to be a more accurate representation of the eight
similar objects Arnold claims to have seen, then presumably his
Wright Field sketch was a 'rough' drawing?

Conversely, if this precisely bat-shaped and crescent-shaped
model is representative of the one object Arnold later said was
different from the others, a point he had never revealed, then
how can this be equated with the fact he reportedly described all
the objects as bat-shaped and crescent-shaped?

An aspect which must surely be of equal, if not greater
significant, is Arnold's subsequent reported observation, which
he described in 'The Coming of the Saucers':

"It was on the morning of July 29, 1947 that I took off from a
private cow pasture near my home.


It was a perfect day to fly. The air was sharp, moist, clear as
crystal and smooth as silk. There is something of a real thrill
in flying on a day like that.


Within an hour I was over Baker, Oregon.


I began to let down over North Powder, Oregon in preparation to
land at La Grande when I noticed above me and about ten miles to
the right the Empire Airline's old Boeing, also coming in to land
at La Grande. There is something about having company in the air
that always seems pleasant and friendly. I rocked my wings at him
in a gesture of hello and continued my let down until I was
directly over Union, Oregon at 5,000 feet.

I recall looking at my instrument clock which read about five
minutes to seven. As I looked up from my instrument panel and
straight ahead over the La Grande valley, I saw a cluster of
about twenty to twenty- five brass coloured objects that looked
like ducks.

They were coming at me head on and at what seemed a terrific rate
of speed. I grabbed my camera and started rolling out film. Even
though I thought they were ducks when I first saw them, I wasn't
taking any chances.

The sun was at my back and to my right. These objects were coming
into the sun. I wasn't sighting through the viewfinder on my
camera but was sighting along the side of it. As the group of
objects came within 400 yards of me they veered sharply away from
me and to their right, gaining altitude as they did so and
fluttering and flashing a dull amber color.

I was a little shocked and excited when I realized they had the
same flight characteristics of the large objects that I had
observed on June 24. These appeared to be round, rather rough on
top, and to have a dark or a light spot on top of each one. I
couldn't be absolutely positive of this because it all happened
so suddenly. I attempted to make a turn and follow them but they
disappeared to the east at a speed far in excess of my airplane.
I knew they were not ducks because ducks don't fly that fast.

After a few minutes I gave up the chase and continued to let down
at La Grande. I phoned Dave Johnson from there and related my
experience but told him not to print it. I knew he had more than
a newsworthy interest now in flying disks. I questioned the whole
crew of the Empire Airlines ship to see if they had seen this
cluster of objects, too. If they had seen them, they would not
admit it, but there is a good possibility they did not see them.
They were on almost their final approach to the La Grande
airfield, their plane being much faster than mine, and this
cluster of objects at the time would have been seven to nine
hundred feet above them.

I heard later that several farmers in the vicinity of Union had
observed what they thought a peculiar cluster of birds that same
morning. I did not know of this until much later. Actually, they
flew in a cluster more like blackbirds than ducks but each one
was larger than a duck. I should judge some twenty-four to thirty
inches in diameter. They rather wheeled on edge, flipping as they
went as efficiently as when they were flat in reference to the
surface of the ground. That morning I was pretty disappointed
that no one around the airfield had seen them, to my knowledge.

I am fully familiar with the La Grande Valley, the reservoirs,
streams and lakes that are all over this area in the summer and
you can be sure, on the conservative side, that I felt positive
these things were not birds. I was curious as to what my movie
film had recorded. Later, after it was developed, I found that my
movie try was not very successful. Only one or two of these
objects could be found on my film and you could see them only
under a jeweller's glass".

This must be one of the largest 'multiple UFO' reports on record,
especially from a pilot.

Of momentous importance is that Arnold notes, "I was a little
shocked and excited when I realized they had the same flight
characteristics of the large objects that I had observed on June

Logically, it seems likely these objects had the same origins as
those spotted previously.

In his book, Arnold describes how the June 24th objects
"fluttered and sailed, tipping their wings alternatively and
emitting those very bright blue-white flashes from their

These new unidentified objects were "fluttering and flashing a
dull amber color".

Further, Arnold initially thought the earlier sighting was of
geese, then dismissed this possibility because the objects were
apparently travelling too fast. A similar situation arose in the
second sighting, Arnold again deducing the 20-25 objects could
not be birds, specifically ducks, as they wouldn't have flown so
fast as he perceived.

If the latter was merely a flight of birds, probably ducks as
Oregon is prime duck country, then Arnold believed they displayed
the same distinctive flight characteristics as the former and
similarly flew too fast for him to catch up with them.

In which case, who could have any confidence that his landmark
sighting wasn't also simply of birds. Would it not in fact have
to be concluded they were, as he attributed the same
distinguishing features to both.

Both reported sightings therefore seem to stand or fall together.

Conversely, if the original 9 objects were advanced aerial craft
of unknown origin, then that cluster, or formation, of 20-25
brass-coloured objects may truly have been 'UFOs'.

Wasn't this therefore a fundamental occurrence in the history of
'flying saucers'?

Wondering whether Arnold meant the actual size of the 20-25
objects was only 2 or 3 three feet in diameter, it looks like he
did, as he compares them to the 'large objects', observed on June

In short, there are only two logical conclusions.

Firstly, that Arnold's sighting of 20-25 small, brass/amber
coloured objects were almost certainly of birds and added to the
documented errors he made in calculating the altitude of the
original 9 objects, it's testimony that his celebrated account of
those 9 objects, with the same flight characteristics, is not
trustworthy as evidence of 'alien spacecraft'.

Alternatively, he witnessed 9 'alien spaceships' and only a few
weeks later saw another 20-25 small alien craft, either piloted
by tiny extraterrestrials or remote controlled and the original
objects were either 'bat-like', 'crescent-shaped' or, as per the
Wright Field sketch,'heel-shaped', yet somehow 'saucers'.

Even if the latter is accepted, as a foundation for the perfect
disc-shaped, then 'upturned saucer-shaped' and 'double saucer-
shaped' (a la 'Billy Meier') 'UFOs' which followed, it seems to
have a somewhat less than comfortable foundation.

Unless answers to the above questions may indicate otherwise,
evidently, there appears to be no foundation at all.

E-mail: pulsar@compuserve.com

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