Ufo And Flying Saucer Ufo Encounters

The UFO story started soon after June 24, 1947, when newspapers all over the United States carried the first flying saucer report.

The story told how nine very bright, disk-shaped objects were seen by Kenneth Arnold, a Boise, Idaho, businessman, while he was flying his private plane near Mount Rainier, in the state of Washington. Now supported by a journalistic license, reporters took Arnold's original description of the individual motion of each object, "like a saucer skipping across water," and rephrased it to: "flying saucer," referring to the objects themselves.

Many years have passed since Arnold's memorable sighting, and the phrase has become so common that an entry was made in Webster's Dictionary, and it is recognized today in most languages throughout the world.

For a while after the Arnold sighting, the term "flying saucer" was used to describe all disk-shaped objects that were seen flashing through the sky at fantastic speeds. Before long, reports were made of objects other than disks, and these were also called flying saucers. Today the words are popularly applied to anything seen in the sky that cannot be identified as a common, everyday object.

In other words, a flying saucer can be a formation of bright lights, a single light, a sphere, or some other shape; and it can be any color. The performance of a flying saucer is such that it can hover, fly fast or slow, fly high or low, turn 90-degree corners, and even apparently disappear into thin air.

Obviously the term "flying saucer" is misleading when applied to objects of every conceivable shape and performance. This is why the military preference is the more general, although less colorful, name: unidentified flying objects. UFO (pronounced Yoo-foe) for short.

Officially the military uses the term "flying saucer" on only two occasions. First in an explanatory sense, as when briefing people who are unacquainted with the term "UFO": "UFO, you know, flying saucers." And second in a derogatory sense, for purposes of ridicule, as when it is observed, "He says he saw a flying saucer."

This second form of usage is the exclusive property of those persons who positively know that all UFOs are nonsense. Fortunately, if only as a matter of coutesy, those in this category are reducing in number. One by one these people drop out, starting with the instant they see their first UFO.

Some weeks after the first UFO was seen on June 24, 1947, the Air Force established a project to investigate and analyze all UFO reports. When the project first began, opinions ranged from near panic, to total derision for anyone who dared to even mentioned the words "flying saucer."

This contemptuous attitude toward "flying saucer nuts" prevailed from mid-1949 to mid-1950. During that interval many of the people who were, or had been, associated with the project believed that the public was suffering from "war nerves."

Early in 1950 the project, for all practical purposes, was closed out; at least it rated only minimum effort. Those in power now reasoned that if you didn't mention the words "flying saucers" the people would forget them and the saucers would go away. But this reasoning was false, for instead of vanishing; the quality of the UFO reports improved.

From airline pilots, to military pilots, generals, scientists, and dozens of other people, reports continued of UFO sightings, now in more detail than previously. Radars, which were being built for air defense, began to pick up some very unusual targets, thus lending technical corroboration to the unsubstantiated claims of human observers.

As a result of the continuing accumulation of more impressive UFO reports, official interest stirred. Early in 1951 verbal orders came down from Major General Charles P. Cabell, then Director of Intelligence for Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, to make a study reviewing the UFO situation for Air Force Headquarters.

The study was given the code name Project Blue Book. "EJR", who possessed impeccable credentials, supervised until late in 1953. EJR served as a B-29 bombardier and radar operator, during the Second World War. He restarted college after the war, and before long, gained his aeronautical engineering degree. To keep his reserve status while in school, he flew as a navigator in an Air Force Reserve Troop Carrier Wing.

During the compilation of Project Blue Book, EJR and his team traveled almost half a million miles. They investigated dozens of UFO reports, and read and analyzed several thousand more. These included every report the Air Force had ever received.