The beginning of the modern UFO era is often traced back to June 24, 1947, when businessman Kenneth Arnold sighted "a formation of very bright objects" while flying over the Cascade mountains of Washington State.

The June 25, 1947 issue of the Pendleton (Oregon) East Oregonian carried the very first report of Arnold's sighting at the bottom of page 1:

Impossible!   Maybe, But Seein'
Is Believin', Says Flier

      Kenneth Arnold, with the fire control at Boise and who was flying in southern Washington yesterday afternoon in search of a missing marine plane, stopped here en route to Boise today with an unusual story -- which he doesn't expect people to believe but which he declared was true.

      He said he sighted nine saucer-like aircraft flying in formation at 3. p.m. yesterday, extremely bright -- as if they were nickel plated -- and flying at an immense rate of speed.   He estimated they were at an altitude between 9,500 and 10,000 feet and clocked them from Mt. Rainier to Mt. Adams, arriving at the amazing speed of about 1200 miles an hour.   "It seemed impossible," he said, "but there it is -- I must believe my eyes."

      He landed at Yakima somewhat later and inquired there, but learned nothing.   Talking about it to a man from Ukiah in Pendleton this morning whose name he did not get, he was amazed to learn that the man had sighted the same aerial objects yesterday afternoon from the mountains in the Ukiah section!

      He said that in flight they appeared to weave in an (sic) out in formation.

The June 25 issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune quoted Arnold in a page one story:

"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.

I counted nine of them as they disappeared behind the peak of Mount Rainier. Their speed was apparently so great I decided to clock them. I took out my watch and checked off one minutes and 42 seconds from the time they passed Mount Rainier until they reached the peak of Mount Adams . . . All told the objects remained in view slightly less than two minutes from the time I first noticed them."

Arnold described the objects as moving "like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water.".  Bill Bequette, a reporter with the East Oregonian newspaper, recalled Arnold's description when he later placed his story on the AP wire. His use of the phrase "saucer-like" gave the phenomenon a name: "flying saucers"

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