June 24, 1947: Kenneth Arnold, an American aviator and businessman, claims to have spotted a string of nine shiny, unidentified flying objects flying past Mount Rainier in Washington at a speed of 1,932 km/hr. The sighting garnered nationwide news coverage and is credited with being the first of the modern era of UFO sightings.
Arnold’s description of the objects also led to the popular moniker “flying saucer”, although the US Air Force formally listed the case as a mirage. After his UFO sighting, Arnold became a minor celebrity and interviewed otherUFO witnesses, as well as writing a book about his sighting and subsequent research. In a 1950 interview he said: “I am inclined to believe it’s of an extraterrestrial origin”, but he added: “I don’t think it’s anything for people to get hysterical about.”
To read the entire Kenneth Arnold UFO Story, plus documents and video.