It takes a certain openness of mind to consider the possibility of intelligent life on other planets. Many people cannot even consider the possibility that intelligent life from other planets is present in our world. But let’s suppose for the sake of argument that you can. I believe it would not be unreasonable for you to ask “How long have they been here?” I very recently learned of Kenneth Arnold (1915-1984), an American businessman and pilot. Arnold has been called “The Man Who Introduced the World to Flying Saucers.” I mention this because it has now been 75 years since Kenneth Arnold’s sighting.
The first man to see a new world
Kenneth Arnold grew up in Scobey, Montana. He was an Eagle Scout and an all-state football player in high school. I offer this as evidence of his integrity and capability. As of June 24, 1947, he had started his own company, the Great Western Fire Control Supply, which sold and installed fire suppression systems. I believe these are the ancestors of sprinkler systems in modern buildings. The company was based in Boise, Idaho, and Arnold traveled around the Pacific Northwest as part of his work. He had been married since 1941.
On June 24, 1947, Arnold was flying from Chehalis, Washington to Yakima, Washington on a business trip. His flight path crossed a line between Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.
He made a brief detour after learning of a $5,000 reward (equivalent to $61,000 today) for the discovery of a U.S. Marine Corps C-46 transport airplane that had crashed near Mount Rainier. He didn’t find it. He was near Mineral, Washington on a clear day when he decided to give up the search.
It was at 3 p.m., he remembered, “when a very bright flash lit up the plane and the sky around me.” A member of the Washington State forest service, who had been on fire watch at a tower in Diamond Gap, about 20 miles (32 km) south of Yakima, also saw these flashes.
At first, Arnold thought it was the sun reflecting off another plane. There was a DC-4 to his left and behind him, about 15 miles away. Arnold used this to estimate the size of the craft he observed.
“But the flash happened again, and that’s when I saw where it was coming from. It came spasmodically from a chain of nine circular-type aircraft way up from the vicinity of Mount Rainier,” said Arnold.
“… I could not find any tails on these things. They didn’t leave a jet trail behind them. I judged their size to be at least 100 feet in widespan. I thought it was a new type of missile.”
His plane had a big sweep 24-hour clock on the instrument panel. Arnold measured that the craft covered the distance between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams in 1 minute 42 seconds.
“That figured out to something like 1,760 miles an hour, which I could hardly believe. I knew that figure couldn’t be entirely accurate, but I’d say it was within a couple of hundred miles accurate,” he said.
This is roughly 2.3 times the speed of sound, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier later that year. This speed was humanly impossible at the time. It might have been just another day in 1947, but Kenneth Arnold was the first man to see a new world.
What happened next?
Arnold completed his flight to Yakima, and eventually started telling his story. The East Oregonian newspaper reported the story on June 25. Arnold had a reputation as a successful businessman and experienced pilot, and thus appeared to be a credible witness. Many US and Canadian newspapers carried the story shortly thereafter. The Associated Press wrote a story on the subject in July.
On the one hand, the US military publicly dismissed Arnold’s sighting as a “silly season episode” and a “mirage.” On the other hand, they started to collect information on sightings, in a study which would be called Project Sign, which would later become Project Grudge, which would even later become Project Blue Book.
Arnold wrote a book on the subject, “The Coming of the Saucers,” written with Raymond Palmer, editor of Fate magazine. Kenneth Arnold is much more famous for his UFO sighting than anything he did as a businessman. He was accused of starting a flying saucer fad by certain intellectuals. Many skeptics offered alternate explanations for his account. But he would hold to his original account for the next 37 years until he died in 1984.
All I know is that Kenneth Arnold never displayed any evidence of criminality or mental illness in the course of his life. The fact that his account was corroborated by others helps me to feel confident that what he saw actually took place, and was not some form of hallucination. This raises the same questions that have been recently raised about UFO (or UAP as they are now called). All I know is that Kenneth Arnold was the first man to see a new world. A world where we are not alone.
The New Message from God teaches what is currently a minority viewpoint on the subject of extraterrestrials.
I realize these ideas are considered improbable at this time. But at this point, I’m recalling the words of Sherlock Holmes: “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”
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