Kenneth Arnold

Kenneth Albert Arnold (March 29, 1915[3] – January 16, 1984[4]) was an American aviator and businessman. He is best known for making what is generally considered the first widely reported modern unidentified flying object sighting in the United States, after claiming to have seen nine unusual objects flying in tandem near Mount Rainier, Washington on June 24, 1947.

Kenneth Albert Arnold
BornMarch 29, 1915
DiedJanuary 16, 1984 (aged 68)
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota
Occupationbusinessman, aviator
Home townBoise, Idaho
Parent(s)Edward Erb Arnold (1892–1946)
Bertha Edna Barden (1891–1978)[1][2]

Early life

Arnold was born in Sebeka, Minnesota, but grew up in Scobey, Montana. He attended the University of Minnesota,[5] where he was coached in football by Bernie Bierman. He was an avid swimmer and diver being good enough at the latter to try out for the U.S. Diving team.


Arnold began Great Western Fire Control Supply in Boise, Idaho in 1940, a company that sold and installed fire suppression systems, a job that took him around the Pacific Northwest.

Arnold was regarded as a skilled and experienced pilot, with over 9,000 total flying hours, almost half of which were devoted to Search and Rescue Mercy Flyer efforts.[6]

He ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor of Idaho in 1962.

UFO sighting

On June 24, 1947, while flying near Mt. Rainier in Washington State, Arnold claimed to have seen nine unusual objects flying in the skies. Arnold also claimed to have seen UFOs on several subsequent occasions.

Arnold originally described the objects' shape as "flat like a pie pan", "shaped like a pie plate", "half-moon shaped, oval in front and convex in the rear", "something like a pie plate that was cut in half with a sort of a convex triangle in the rear", or simply "saucer-like" or "like a big flat disk" (see quotes), and also described their erratic motion being "like a fish flipping in the sun" or a saucer skipped across water. From these, the press quickly coined the new terms "flying saucer" and "flying disc" to describe such objects, many of which were reported within days after Arnold's sighting. Later Arnold would add that one of the objects actually resembled a crescent or flying wing.

The U.S. Air Force formally listed the Arnold case as a mirage; this is one of many explanations that have been disputed by critics, and researchers Jerome Clark, author of The UFO Book (1998)[7] and Ronald Story, editor of The Encyclopedia of UFOs (1980).[8] Both argue that there has never been an entirely persuasive conventional explanation of the Arnold sighting.

After his UFO sighting, Arnold became a minor celebrity, and for about a decade thereafter, he was somewhat involved in interviewing other UFO witnesses or contactees. Notably, he investigated the claims of Samuel Eaton Thompson, one of the first contactees. Arnold wrote a book and several magazine articles about his UFO sighting and his subsequent research.

By the 1960s, Arnold had tired of his noteriety and UFOs in general, and he eventually declined all interviews. On June 24, 1977, however, he attended the First International UFO Congress in Chicago, curated by Fate to mark the 30th anniversary of the "birth" of the modern UFO age. Some of his comments at the event reflected his displeasure at the general ignorance concerning the matter:

… well, right here we’ve seen something, I’ve seen something, hundreds of pilots have seen something … in the skies. We have dutifully reported these things. And we have to have 15 million witnesses before anybody is going to look into the problem … seriously? Well this is utterly fantastic. This is more fantastic than flying saucers or people from Venus or anything as far as I am concerned.

Personal life

Arnold and his wife Doris had four daughters, Kiska, Karla, Kim (Purvis) and April Katri. He died, aged 68, from colon cancer at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Washington per his bio. Arnold did not practice any organized religion, and he was in the habit of handing out a "philosophy card" which seemed to exalt the virtues of the "unbeliever".[9] His daughter Kim would however explain later that this merely implied his belief in questioning dogma and his support for independent decision making. In her view his belief in a divine creator caused him to defend the authenticity of his sighting of June 24, 1947, until his death.[10]

Kenneth Arnold famous CallAir A-2 Airplane

The actual CallAir A-2 airplane which Kenneth Arnold was piloting when he made his famous UFO sighting back in 1947 still exists. It is currently at the North Cascade Vintage Aircraft Museum in Concrete, Washington and is still in excellent flying condition.



  1. ^ a b c Descendants of Ole Rolfsen (Biellem)
  2. ^ Edward Erb Arnold
  3. ^ Project 1947, "Some life data on Kenneth Arnold"
  4. ^ Find a grave, Cremated, and ashes given to his wife
  5. ^ Arnold, Kenneth. "PROJECT 1947". Kenneth Arnold's Biography. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  6. ^ Diana Palmer Hoyt, "UFOCRITIQUE: UFO's, Social Intelligence and the Condon Committee"; Master's Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 2000; read it online
  7. ^ Jerome Clark, The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial. Visible Ink, 1998. ISBN 1-57859-029-9
  8. ^ Story, Ronald, editor, The Encyclopedia of UFOs, Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1980, ISBN 0-385-13677-3
  9. ^ Collins, Curt (15 March 2017). "UFOs, Kenneth Arnold and the American Bible". Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  10. ^ Arnold, Kim. "Statements by Kim Arnold". Saucers Incorporated, 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  • Arnold, Kenneth; Palmer, Ray (1952), The coming of the saucers: a documentary report on sky objects that have mystified the world, Boise, Wisconsin: Privately published by the authors, p. 192, 3021444
  • Clark, Jerome, The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, Volume 2, A-K, Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1998 (2nd edition, 2005), ISBN 0-7808-0097-4
  • Campbell, Steuart, The UFO Mystery Solved, Explicit Books, 1994, ISBN 0-9521512-0-0
  • Obituary, Idaho Statesman, January 22, 1984

External links

Donald S. Whitehead

Donald Strehle Whitehead (October 10, 1888 – January 2, 1957) was a Republican politician from Idaho. He served a combined six years as the 23rd and 28th Lieutenant Governor of Idaho between 1939 and 1951.

Whitehead was first elected lieutenant governor in 1938 and served in the first administration of Governor C. A. Bottolfsen. He was elected again in 1946 and served a four-year term under Governor C. A. Robins. He previously served as Speaker of the Idaho State House of Representatives.

In June 1947 Whitehead reported seeing a UFO in Boise. The same day pilot Kenneth Arnold said he saw a similar object near Mount Rainier. The reported sightings received national media coverage.

Flying saucer

A flying saucer (also referred to as "a flying disc") is a descriptive term for a supposed type of flying craft having a disc or saucer-shaped body, commonly used generically to refer to an anomalous flying object. The term was coined in 1930 but has generally been supplanted since 1952 by the United States Air Force term unidentified flying objects or UFOs. Early reported sightings of unknown "flying saucers" usually described them as silver or metallic, sometimes reported as covered with navigation lights or surrounded with a glowing light, hovering or moving rapidly, either alone or in tight formations with other similar craft, and exhibiting high maneuverability.

While disc-shaped flying objects have been interpreted as being sporadically recorded since the Middle Ages, the first recorded use of the term "flying saucer" for an unidentified flying object was to describe a probable meteor that fell over Texas and Oklahoma on June 17, 1930. "Some who saw the weird light described it as a huge comet, a flaming flying saucer, a great red glow, a ball of fire." The term "flying saucer" had been in use since 1890 to describe a clay pigeon shooting target, which resembles a classic UFO shape.

The highly publicized sighting by Kenneth Arnold on June 24, 1947, resulted in the popularity of the term "flying saucer" by U.S. newspapers. Although Arnold never specifically used the term "flying saucer", he was quoted at the time saying the shape of the objects he saw was like a "saucer", "disc", or "pie-plate", and several years later added he had also said "the objects moved like saucers skipping across the water." Both the terms flying saucer and flying disc were used commonly and interchangeably in the media until the early 1950s.

Arnold's sighting was followed by thousands of similar sightings across the world. Such sightings were once very common, to such an extent that "flying saucer" was a synonym for UFO through the 1960s before it began to fall out of favor. A lot of sightings of the cigar-shaped UFO were reported following it. More recently, the flying saucer has been largely supplanted by other alleged UFO-related vehicles, such as the black triangle. In fact, the term UFO was invented in 1952, to try to reflect the wider diversity of shapes being seen. However, unknown saucer-like objects are still reported, such as in the widely publicized 2006 sighting over Chicago-O'Hare airport.

Many of the alleged flying saucer photographs of the era are now believed to be hoaxes. The flying saucer is now considered largely an icon of the 1950s and of B movies in particular, and is a popular subject in comic science fiction.Beyond the common usage of the phrase, there have also been man-made saucer-like craft. The first flying disc craft was called the Discopter and was patented by Alexander Weygers in 1944. Other designs have followed, such as the American Vought V-173 / XF5U "Flying Flapjack", the British GFS Projects flying saucer, or the British "S.A.U.C.E.R." ("Saucer Aircraft Utilising Coanda Effect Reactions") flying saucer, by inventor Alf Beharie.

Index of ufology articles

This is a list of topics studied in the field of ufology.

Alien abduction

Ancient astronauts


Close encounter

Crop circle

Extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH)

Identified flying object (IFO)

Interdimensional hypothesis

Circular wing

Missing time

Psychosocial hypothesis

Unidentified flying object (UFO)


Zoo hypothesis

John Arnold (bishop)

John Stanley Kenneth Arnold (born 12 June 1953) is the eleventh Roman Catholic Bishop of Salford. He was formerly an auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster and held the titular see of Lindisfarne.

Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting

The Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting occurred on June 24, 1947, when private pilot Kenneth Arnold claimed that he saw a string of nine, shiny unidentified flying objects flying past Mount Rainier at speeds that Arnold estimated at a minimum of 1,200 miles an hour (1,932 km/hr). This was the first post-War sighting in the United States that garnered nationwide news coverage and is credited with being the first of the modern era of UFO sightings, including numerous reported sightings over the next two to three weeks. Arnold's description of the objects also led to the press quickly coining the terms flying saucer and flying disc as popular descriptive terms for UFOs.

Kenny Chesney

Kenneth Arnold Chesney (born March 26, 1968) is an American country music singer, songwriter, and record producer. He has recorded 20 albums, 14 of which have been certified Gold or higher by the RIAA. He has also produced more than 40 Top 10 singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, 29 of which have reached number one. Many of these have also charted within the Top 40 of the US Billboard Hot 100, making him one of the most successful crossover country artists. He has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.Chesney co-directed and produced a film for ESPN entitled The Boys of Fall. He has received six Academy of Country Music awards (including four consecutive Entertainer of the Year awards from 2005 to 2008), as well as six awards from the Country Music Association. He is one of the most popular touring acts in country music, regularly selling out the venues in which he performs. His 2007 Flip-Flop Summer Tour was the highest-grossing country road trip of the year.The Country Music Association honored Chesney with the Entertainer of the Year award in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Other notable awards he received include the Academy of Country Music's 1997 New Male Vocalist of the Year, 2002 Top Male Vocalist of the Year, and the Triple Crown Award in 2005. He was awarded his fourth consecutive Entertainer of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music on May 18, 2008.

List of UFO organizations

This is a list of UFO organizations located around the world.

Maury Island incident

The Maury Island Incident, June 21 1947, refers to claims made by Fred Crisman and Harold Dahl of falling debris and threats by men in black following sightings of unidentified flying objects in the sky over Maury Island in Puget Sound.

Project Sign

Project Sign was an official U.S. government study of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) undertaken by the United States Air Force and active for most of 1948.

Project Sign's final report, published in early 1949, stated that while some UFOs appeared to represent actual aircraft, there was not enough data to determine their origin.Project Sign was first disclosed to the public in 1956 via the book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects by retired Air Force Captain Edward J. Ruppelt. The full files for Sign were declassified in 1961.

Raymond A. Palmer

Raymond Arthur Palmer (August 1, 1910 – August 15, 1977) was an American editor of Amazing Stories from 1938 through 1949, when he left publisher Ziff-Davis to publish and edit Fate Magazine, and eventually many other magazines and books through his own publishing houses, including Amherst Press and Palmer Publications. In addition to magazines such as Mystic, Search, and Flying Saucers, he published or republished numerous spirtualist books, including Oahspe: A New Bible, as well as several books related to flying saucers, including The Coming of the Saucers, co-written by Palmer with Kenneth Arnold. Palmer was also a prolific author of science fiction and fantasy stories, many of which were published under pseudonyms.

UFO sightings in Belarus

This is a list of alleged sightings of unidentified flying objects or UFOs in Belarus.

UFO sightings in Belgium

This is a list of alleged sightings of unidentified flying objects or UFOs in Belgium.

UFO sightings in India

This is a list of alleged sightings of UFOs in India.

UFO sightings in Norway

This article is a list of UFO sightings that were reported in Norway.

UFO sightings in Sweden

This is a list of alleged sightings of unidentified flying objects or UFOs in Sweden.

UFO sightings in the Canary Islands

This is a list of alleged sightings of unidentified flying objects or UFOs in the Canary Islands.

UFO sightings in the United States

This is a list of alleged UFO sightings in the United States.

World UFO Day

World UFO Day is an awareness day for people to gather together and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. The day is celebrated by some on June 24, and others on July 2. June 24 is the date that aviator Kenneth Arnold reported what is generally considered to be the first widely reported unidentified flying object sighting in the United States, while July 2 commemorates the supposed UFO crash in the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident.The stated goal of the July 2 celebration is to raise awareness of "the undoubted existence of UFOs" and to encourage governments to declassify their files on UFO sightings.

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