On the 24th of June 1947 there was a sighting later named the ‘Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting’ after the private pilot that reported the incident. He claimed that what he observed were nine objects in the sky that flew past at a speed of at least 1,200 mph which was the first sighting after the War to get such huge coverage by the media.
Over the next three weeks more people came forward with follow on sighting reports. Because of the way Arnold had described the objects as being shiny and flying at such a speed the media reported the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting as a UFO.
The objects were said to have came from Mount Baker direction then passing through the front of Mount Adams and Rainier in less than 2 minutes! This was a distance of around 47 miles. The reason for the pilots detour from his journey from Washington to Yakima was to try to find a crashed transport airline with the promise of a $5000 reward. The sky was clear on that day and everything went to plan until just before 3pm.
It was at this time the pilot decided he would cease the fruitless search and go back towards his Yakima destination. It was then that he saw a flashing light that was similar to a sunlight reflection. He was worried that he may have been too close to oncoming aircraft so quickly scanned the area. All he was able to detect was a DC-4 to the left rear of him by 15 miles. After observing the first flash he then saw blue flashes about 25 miles from the plane. He initially put it down to reflections from his windows but after rocking the plane to disrupt the possible reflections this was ruled out. The reflections definitely came from objects he couldn’t detect.
The objects got close to Rainer passing his plain. They were dark but gave the occasional light flash as they moved. He said they were so thin they were almost invisible. All were convex in shape except one which was crescent. They were in a group and in a diagonal formation which was stretched out over a few miles. They were weaving like a kite tail and darting with the occasional flip which gave off bright flashes.
On passing the objects the plane followed parallel which was when he decided to open his plane window to ensure it was not reflection from the glass. The fact the objects were still in view discounted for this possibility.
On arriving at Yakima Arnold told a friend what he had seen as well as the general manager at the landing airport. It didn’t take long for word to spread. Flying later to Oregon he was surprised to know that others had already been called and notified of what he had reported. He even wrote what he had seen to AAF intelligence where they quickly replied to say that he might have seen a few guided missiles or new type.
Arnold was in agreement with their explanation. He was also aware that other pilots had been warned previously that they may witness the exact shape and speed of objects and told not to worry. This helped him to feel that others actually took the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting seriously.