Kenneth Arnold probably wishes he’d never mentioned seeing these aircraft crossing the Cascades from Mount Baker, past Mount Rainier to Mount Adams. When he landed in Yakima, about an hour later, he made a report of the sighting, describing the aircraft motion as skipping like a saucer. That’s how the term “Flying Saucer” came to describe UFO’s after that date.
I decided to create this chart for the precise moment that the discs flew behind Mount Rainier. I wanted to see if there was anything ‘otherworldly’ about it. There isn’t.
This undated (perhaps faked) telegram explains how Arnold actually viewed this ‘event’.
And why would he think these nine planes were the property of the government?
There were a lot of ‘delta-wing’ aircraft being developed around that time. However, most hadn’t clocked the speeds of these nine.
Anyway, the whole country got into a ‘flap’ and the world has never been the same since.