On This Day…

First Official UFO Report

June 24, 1947

Pilot Kenneth Arnold sights several unidentified flying objects flying in a “V” formation while flying near Mt. Rainier in Washington state. Arnold claimed he saw a string of nine, shiny unidentified flying objects flying past Mount Rainier. He said they moved from Mt. Rainer to Mount Adams, a distance of about 50 miles (80 km), in one minute and forty-two seconds, which would equate to a speed of over 1,700 miles per hour (2,700 km/h). This sighting is credited with being the first of the modern era UFO sightings. Arnold’s description of the objects as being shaped like saucers and their movement as being like saucers skipping on water led to the popular usage of the term “flying saucer”. A prospector on Mt. Adams claims to also have seen the objects that day, along with several other witnesses who claim to have seen objects around the same time. This sighting was followed by numerous sightings of UFOs by others in the following weeks.