BERLIN (dpa) – It started with a misunderstanding: If things are referred to as flying saucers in science fiction films today, it has something to do with an accident 75 years ago.
On June 24, 1947, American businessman and amateur pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying in the sky of the US state of Washington. He later reported light phenomena over Mount Rainier. This supposed view of flying objects (unidentified flying objects) should help this phenomenon capture the world’s attention.
Arnold later said that nine bodies glistening in the sun raced ahead of him in a sequence like “saucers jumping over water.” However, in his vision reports, this description was taken to mean that the objects were shaped like dishes. The term “flying saucer” was born as a synonym for UFOs.
Arnold later insisted that the things being seen were always described as a “disk”. In a radio interview on April 7, 1950, he repeated a dilemma: “Most newspapers have misunderstood and misquoted. They wrote that I said they looked like saucers. But I said they fly like saucers.”
“The modern UFO phenomenon as we know it today began with the vision of Kenneth Arnold,” said Danny Amon, a medical IT specialist from GINA and in his spare time a case researcher at the Society for the Research on UFO Phenomenon (GEP). This has also given rise to the ideas that “today we have to declare that they are wrong.” The expert explains that UFOs do not always appear as dishes. According to Ammon, the UFO observations are “multi-faceted.”
But what did Arnold see that day? Or what does he think he saw? Author Ted Blocher provides information in his 1967 report on the 1947 UFO wave. In it, Arnold describes his UFOs as “nine flat, disc-shaped objects that fly in a diagonal and graduated formation.” The group in front of him sped up about 32 to 40 kilometers away.
Case investigator Amon classifies Arnold’s vision as a typical observation of class DD. This refers to the “daytime disk,” which, according to the GEP expert, means “observed objects in the sky from a greater distance during the day, but not necessarily disk-shaped objects.” Since there was no investigation into the condition of the UFO at the time, the vision remained unknown.
Kenneth Arnold first looked for logical explanations for things he said were moving steadily. When the amateur pilot realized that these were not planes or geese flying in formation as he had initially thought, his next thought was that he was witnessing tests of modern military aircraft.
At the time, these should have been very advanced aircraft. Because Arnold tried to measure the speed of objects. Calculated the time it took for UFOs to travel between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. He estimated that they traveled about 80 kilometers between the mountains in 1 minute 42 seconds. This means that the objects reached a speed of about 2,800 kilometers per hour.
If this halfway approximation was correct, the nine objects would have moved at more than twice the speed of sound and therefore much faster than any other aircraft known at the time. To evaluate: A short time later, in October 1947, American test pilot Charles “Chuck” Yeager succeeded in a hypersonic flight, considered the first in aviation history.
Kenneth Arnold’s remark so excited the world public that thousands of similar reports followed. “This noise is proportional to a time, shortly after the end of the war, humanity was on the rise again and reaching for the stars later,” Ammon later explains. Media hype confirmed that the myth of “UFOs in UFOs” stuck in people’s minds, as the expert says: “Today it enriches our culture in the form of films, series and science fiction books.”
It was the beginning of the UFO search. “Without a reason like seeing Arnold and his first major media response, there would be no such thing today,” says GEP expert Amon. However, the fact that such phenomena could be of extraterrestrial origin remains only speculation. In most cases, natural or artificial phenomena such as stars, satellites, balloons, or burning space debris can be identified as the cause.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220623-99-765525 / 2