I have been remiss in my postings because I have been working hard on upcoming books. Oh, you all have so much spookiness in store for 2012! But I felt I should pass along a tidbit that was in Friday’s Writer’s Almanac.
On this day in 1947, the first widely reported UFO sighting occurred. Experienced pilot Kenneth Arnold sighted “a formation of very bright objects” out the window of his plane while flying over the Cascade Mountains of southern Washington state. The Chicago Tribune printed his account on the front page two days later: “The first thing I noticed was a series of flashes in my eyes as if a mirror was reflecting sunlight at me. … I saw the flashes were coming from a series of objects that were traveling incredibly fast. They were silvery and shiny and seemed to be shaped like a pie plate. … What startled me most at this point was .. that I could not find any tails on them.” Arnold said they moved like saucers skipping across the surface of water, which led to the common term “flying saucer.” The Army Air Corps questioned him and later downplayed the sighting; their official position was that Arnold had been hallucinating.
Arnold’s sighting was only the first of about 850 sightings that were reported that summer, including the famous Roswell, New Mexico, incident, in which an alleged alien spacecraft crashed into the desert and was — allegedly — recovered and hidden by the military.
UFOs were sighted earlier than 1947, but as the article stated, it was first widespread sightings, and made quite an impact. You mention the word “Roswell” and most people think “aliens.” If you want to read about the first big Roswell sighting, as well as other fantastic UFO stories from Fate magazine, check out True UFO Accounts, which will be out this August. The bigwigs in the UFOlogy world have contributed stories and first-hand personal experiences. If want to learn more about UFOs, pick up this book!