Out there

June 24, 2008

Happy 60th anniversary to the flying saucer:

1947: Pilot Kenneth Arnold sights a series of unidentified flying objects near Washington’s Mt. Rainier. It’s the first widely reported UFO sighting in the United States, and, thanks to Arnold’s description of what he saw, leads the press to coin the term flying saucer.

[. . .]

Whether Arnold actually saw something or not, the resulting publicity touched off a worldwide spate of UFO sightings. Barely two weeks after Arnold’s flight, the Roswell story broke, and UFO hysteria was on.

Was it the power of suggestion that led to all these sightings, or was 1947 a peak travel year for little green men? You decide.

I vote for the latter. I’m sure they wanted to keep visiting, but events conspired to prevent it. First, their planet was devastated by global warming, then fuel costs became so high that they had to choose between food and medicine or visiting Earth. Finally, a Democrat was elected supreme president of the planet, and conditions improved so dramatically that no one could imagine the point of leaving the planet ever again.

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3 Responses to “Out there”

  1. Steve T. Says:

    “…when I described how they flew, I said that they flew like they take a saucer and throw it across the water. Most of the newspapers misunderstood and misquoted that too. They said that I said that they were saucer-like; I said that they flew in a saucer-like fashion.”

    And if he had said the objects skipped like a stone rather than a saucer across water, we’d have had movies like “Invasion of the Stonemen” and “Earth Vs. the Flying Stones” in the ’50s.

    The original misunderstanding actually makes for a pretty good litmus test of UFO fakery, if we needed one — if somebody claims to have seen a flying “saucer/disk/frisbee” etc. they would be spinning yarns, since the early reported “objects” never did look like saucers at all, only skipped along the air similarly (per the linked Murrow Interview).

  2. Bob G. Says:

    C’mon now…we ALL know WHY we’re being visited…
    FOR THE COMEDY RELIEF!

    😉

    B.G.

  3. Harl Delos Says:

    if somebody claims to have seen a flying “saucer/disk/frisbee” etc. they would be spinning yarns

    Especially in 1947.

    The Pluto Platter flying saucer was introduced in 1955; Wham-O didn’t renamed the product as the Frisbee (initially spelled Frisbie) until 1964.

    conditions improved so dramatically that no one could imagine the point of leaving the planet ever again.

    It wasn’t improving conditions, it was deteriorating imagination.

    If Europe hadn’t exported all the ne’er-do-wells, malcontents, and outright criminals that modern Americans calls their ancestors, the tomato and potato would never have been discovered, making it difficult to have ketchup on your french fries.


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