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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Sep > Sep 10

Re: Newspaper Misses On Flying Saucer Term Origin

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2011 14:10:55 +0100
Archived: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 07:16:36 -0400
Subject: Re: Newspaper Misses On Flying Saucer Term Origin

>From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Thu, 08 Sep 2011 11:36:42 -0700
>Subject: Re: Newspaper Misses On Flying Saucer Term Origin

>>From: Gregory Boone<evolbaby.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2011 15:57:47 -0400 (EDT)
>>Subject: Newspaper Misses On Flying Saucer Term Origin

>>Please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the term Flying
>>Saucer originate with Kenneth Arnold's sighting and that was
>>after people had been reporting daylight discs? It gets foggy
>>sometimes as some people contradict one another and new data


>As for the motion, he was repeatedly quoted saying they weaved
>like the tail of a Chinese kite or flipped and flashed in the
>sun like fish or weaved in and out of the valleys and mountain
>peaks. But nothing about skipping saucers across water. Is that
>what people really did back then? I've skipped flat rocks many a
>time, but never my mother's china. I don't think she would have
>appreciated it.

The following is taken from my article 'Return of the Flying
Saucers' in Darklore 5:

When questioned by sociologist Pierre Lagrange in 1988 Bequette
evidently did not remember the "skipping saucer" motion simile;
neither did he believe that he had coined the phrase "saucer-
like" as a shape simile himself. His original story had placed
this phrase in quotes and attributed it to Arnold. But he told
Lagrange that it was possible and that he was prepared to give
Arnold the benefit of the doubt as to what he had meant
(Lagrange, P., 'A Moment in History: An Interview with Bill
Bequette', IUR Vol. 23, No. 4, Winter 1998.)

According to Loren Gross (UFOs: A History, privately produced,
Fremont, Ca., 1988, Vol. 1. p.7), Arnold told Nolan Skiff that
the "the 'missiles' travelled like a flat rock bounced across
the surface of water, a rising and falling motion." This would
be the natural form of such a simile intended only to illustrate
motion. It is a commonplace. Everyone has skipped stones,
whereas "skipping saucers" is on the face of it an unlikely
activity, so Gross's account appears plausible. It is called in
question because Gross adds that Bequette used this simile to
invent the term "flying saucers" for his AP wire story. He did

On the other hand, a similar expression was attributed to Arnold
by Lagrange after having interviewed Bequette: "they look like
pebbles [flat stones] or plates: flat, rounded at the front,
triangular at the rear" ("On dirait des galets ou des assiettes:
plats, arrondis a l'avant. l'arrere triangulaire") (See:
Lagrange, P., 'How it All Began', Anomalies #3 1997 p.27)



(but to get all the footnotes you need the print copy)

>Arnold's quote about saying they were like saucers skipping
>across the water didn't appear for another three years in his
>book. Did he really use that description back in 1947? Maybe,
>but he also clearly described the shape as saucer-like as well.

No, I'm confident he didn't use that motion simile in 1947. Or
at least he was not recorded as using it in any source I know
of. As you say, it doesn't appear until he used it in 1950.
However this was not in his book. The book (with Ray Palmer) was
published two years later. In 1950 he had used the simile twice,
first in a 'phone interview with Ed Murrow broadcast on April 07
and then again in an April 10 interview carried by United Press.

See also: http://www.martinshough.com/aerialphenomena/index.htm

Martin Shough

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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