This Day in the History of Hoaxes: June 24

June 24, 1947: The Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting
On this day in 1947, civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine unidentified objects flying at supersonic speed past Mount Rainier. Newspaper accounts referred to what he saw as "flying saucers," which popularized this term. There's no indication that Arnold was lying about what he saw. Skeptics suggest that he might actually have been seeing birds or some kind of mirage. So his report itself isn't a hoax. But his report is widely credited with ushering in the modern era of UFO sightings, which has been a rich source of hoaxes. [wikipedia]

This Day in History

Posted on Tue Jun 24, 2014


I always think the salient point of the Kenneth Arnold sighting is that his description of them as 'flying saucers' applied to the movement of the observed objects, but in subsequent UFO reports the term 'saucer' describes the objects' shape. This suggests to me many UFO reports have been influenced by a misunderstanding of the language of this early report, which lends little weight to their veracity.

However, it should also be noted luminous disk and cigar shaped objects in the sky have been reported since long before Arnold's sighting. Charles Fort records several from the 19th century.
Posted by Pete Byrdie  on  Tue Jun 24, 2014  at  09:24 AM
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