A lot has been documented and written about UFOs, especially the dish-looking aircraft called the flying saucer. The idea that there are unidentified flying vehicles on Earth sky refuses to go away, and the craze for UFOs started because a man in 1947 reported having seen them flying swiftly and brightly in the sky.
Kenneth Arnold’s UFO Sighting
The man’s name is Kenneth Arnold, an American pilot who was flying his light aircraft (CallAir A-2) over the state of Washington on the afternoon of June 24, 1947. He was supposed to fly from Chehalis, Washington to Yakima, Washington on a straight route, but the made a detour midway after he learned that that is a reward for finding the U.S Marine Corps C-46 plane that crashed on an area near Mt. Rainier. It is important to note that there was a clear sky on that day, so Arnold could see almost all things that are in front of his aircraft. The pilot eventually gave up on the search for the C-46 and flew to the east to reach Yakima.
At 3 pm, Arnold reported seeing nine “saucer-like things” that were flying in formation at speeds that we estimated to be at around 1,900 kilometers per hour. Furthermore, he noted that the flying objects are equipped with flashing lights that made their presence even more prevalent in the sky. When he was interviewed for his account of the strange phenomenon the next day, he described the object to be like discs or saucers that are flying at high speeds.
His sensational story, which was never fully explained at that time, gave birth to the term “flying saucer,” and the UFO soon becomes a staple or an iconic aircraft found in many science fiction novels. Interestingly, Arnold’s sighting of the flying objects gave birth to the intensive and top-secret research launched by the United States government to investigate multiple UFO/Unidentified Flying Object phenomena. Today, the project remains an ongoing assignment for NASA and other space agencies, despite ongoing disputes on whether or not flying saucers are real or fictional.
According to non-believers, what Arnold saw was probably a group of jet fighters that are reflecting the Sun’s rays in a manner that made Arnold unable to see them properly, and the ray would make the planes look like discs.
Other UFO Sightings
Strangely, after the 1947 sighting, hundreds of people all over the world have begun reporting sightings of strange flying objects in the sky, although some of the accounts would describe the objects to have a different shape and size to Arnold’s flying saucer. Most of these sightings are debunked right away, with some experts even saying that what these witnesses saw was an airplane, a glider, a helicopter, a bird, or even a balloon.
For the rest of the cases, the witnesses may have probably misinterpreted natural phenomena like sprites and ball lighting to be flying saucers. Sprites are usually formed by natural causes in the upper atmosphere. None of these sprites lasts for more than a second, but when a dozen of them appear and disappear in the sky, they can look like a fast-moving flying object. Ball lightning is an atmospheric electrical phenomenon that can appear just above the ground, and it creates an eerie glowing ball that may look like a UFO from afar. Ball lightning can hover for a few seconds before disappearing or discharging itself into a nearby object.
A report by the CIA in 1997 confirmed that more than half of all the claims of UFOs sightings from the 1950s up to the 1960s were actually spy planes owned by the US government like the U-2, which they would often take for secret missions or test flight. Despite no evidence that a real flying saucer or UFO exists, space and science fiction enthusiasts are still going strong in their claim that these flying objects do exist. With how big the known universe is, it can be false to say that humans are the only intelligent beings alive, as there may be many Earth-like planets far from us that may either be more primitive or more advanced than our civilization. However, the claim that intelligent beings outside Earth exist is still a theory until we can find concrete evidence that they are visiting us by piloting UFOs.
- Kenneth Arnold (Wikipedia)
- Unidentified flying object (Wikipedia)