Kenneth Arnold, an experienced pilot, was flying home in 1947 over Cascade Mountains in Washington State, USA when he decided he would try to spot a Marine Corps C-46 transport plane which had crashed not so long ago.
Suddenly, he was blinded by a blue-white flash. He saw nine silvery, crescent-shaped discs flying in a line. They seemed to be traveling around 1900 kilometres per hour! These strange vehicles had no tail. From then o, there were more and more sightings, over 1947 sightings had been reported by the end of 1947.
These might not have been flying saucers though. It might have been a secret test of the then-new Republic XP-84 Thunderjet. Earthlights released from the mountains might be another explanation.
Kenneth Arnold © Fortean Picture Library
The Washington Waves
In 1952, there were numerous reports of UFOs from the U.S.A., Europe and Australia. Then at the end of July, the aliens decided to visit Washington on 2 days.
On the 19th, radar identified eight unidentified craft flying at extremely high speeds. There were many sightings of lights, but when planes went to investigate, they were gone, retuning when the planes had left. A huge orange ball of light was hovering over Andrews Air Force Base.
On the 26th, about half-a-dozen to a dozen UFOs were roaming the capital city but lights and radar traces disappeared when military jets arrived.
The U.S. Air Force's explanation was that strange weather conditions affected navigational instruments and gave false readings.
On 7th January 1948, State police in Maysville, Kentucky, U.S.A., noticed a 'silver teardrop' shape - a UFO. The UFO soared over the airfield and three Army F-51 fighters gave chase. Two of the planes stopped and returned to base after 7000 metres but Mantell continued the chase.
Later in the afternoon, the wreckage of his plane was found.
At first, the explanation given was he was following the planet Venus by mistake but Venus is not an ordinary sight in a clear afternoon. Five years later there was a better explanation. Declassified documents showed that secret Navy Skyhook spy balloons were launched without the Army knowing. The Skyhook balloon were 130 metres tall and 30 metres wide, which tallied with witness reports. But why experienced Captain Mantell carried on flying until he ran out of oxygen has not been found out.
Captain Mantall © Fortean Picture Library
In the evening of 29 December 1980, Betty Cash, Vicky Landrum and Vicky's grandson Colby were driving in Huffman, Texas, U.S.A. Then a diamond-shaped object appeared and hovered 50 metres in front of them. The three stepped out of the car and watched the craft hang in midair.
Colby was scared and started crying, so he and Vicky Landrum got out of the car. When Betty went back as well, she found the door handle was extremely hot. The UFO started moving and they followed it. As they did so, they saw many helicopters around the craft.
When they reached home, they were in a terrible state. Betty had blinding headaches, neck pains, skin irritation and sickness. Colby seemed to have a badly sunburnt face. Vicky and Betty lost hair in the next few days. Betty's eyes became swollen and she could not see. They all spent a great deal of time in Houston hospital. They could not be definitely diagnosed but it was clear that they had been exposed to a lot of radiation.
This was never explained.
On 21st January 1988 in Western Australia, Fay Knowles, her 3 grown-up sons and her her 2 dogs, were driving from Perth towards Mundrabilla. At 1.30a.m., the car radio was suddenly filled with interface. At 1.45a.m., they saw blazing lights not far away. There was a car stationary and above was a ball of light.
Sean Knowles, who was driving, decided to turn around and investigate. But the UFO was chasing their car! Then an object landing on the roof and the car seemed to rise up. Everyone felt strange and there was a foul smell. Then, the car was falling, bursting a tyre upon landing.
After that, everyone's voice was squeaky and high pitched for 15 minutes and there was a huge dent on the car. Although there have been suggestions that it was a hoax, hallucination or the family fell asleep, it didn't explain why a boat was buzzed with a white light and the crew was speaking like they had swallowed a whole tub of helium the same night.
Betty And Barney Hill
On 16th September 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were driving on Highway 3 through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, U.S.A., when they saw a strange light. At first they assumed it was an air plane, or an off-course satellite. But, it then changed its course and started following them. It was only when Betty Hill took out her binoculars did she a massive, pancake-shaped air craft with two rows of lighted windows descending towards them!
Scared, they went back to their car and sped back home, with an unusual beeping noise following them. At home, they found their car had blotched all over it. Barney's neck was aching and his shoes scuffed. It was 2 hours than it should have been as well.
Betty and Barney London © Fortean Picture Library
Barney's ulcer started flaring up. Betty had dreams of being abducted by aliens, being dragged into a UFO and being examined. They both started seeing a psychiatrist. After 4 months of hypnosis, the truth came out - or was it?
They had been abducted by aliens - small ones with grey skin, large heads, big eyes, missing a nose and slitted mouths. They were taken to the aliens craft and examined. Barney remembered being dragged, which coincided with his scuffed shoes. Betty was also shown a map of the aliens home.
But there is some trouble with hypnosis. In a study done in 1977, Professor Alvin Lawson found that the accounts between people who were asked to imagine encountering UFOs, gave similar accounts to those who actually saw them.
Many believed that since Betty's stories had matched her dreams, the memory of the abduction could have been imagination while Barney had matched her descriptions of the dreams. But on that night, a radar had detected an unknown object in that area.
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