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Originally posted by torsion
The first proper "saucer" reports came after Kenneth Arnold's sighting in 1947. This was due to an error by a reporter who described Arnold's "craft" as like flying saucers. Arnold's initial drawings showed them as heel-shaped or crescent-shaped but he described their movement as like saucers being skipped on water.
It was only after the erroneous press report that people started seeing saucers. Even the cave paintings and historical references had been around for thousands of years but no one likened them to saucers until after the incorrect Arnold press report.
Cultural influence has a lot to answer for!
On January 25, 1878, The Denison Daily News wrote that local farmer John Martin had reported seeing a large, dark, circular flying object resembling a balloon flying "at wonderful speed." Martin also said it appeared to be about the size of a saucer, the first known use of the word "saucer" in association with a UFO.
On February 28, 1904, there was a sighting by three crew members on the USS Supply 300 miles west of San Francisco, reported by Lt. Frank Schofield, later to become Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Battle Fleet. Schofield wrote of three bright red egg-shaped and circular objects flying in echelon formation that approached beneath the cloud layer, then changed course and "soared" above the clouds, departing directly away from the earth after two to three minutes.
The largest had an apparent size of about six suns.
1916 and 1926: The three oldest known pilot UFO sightings, of 1305 cataloged by NARCAP. On January 31, 1916, a UK pilot near Rochford reported a row of lights, like lighted windows on a railway carriage, that rose and disappeared. In January 1926, a pilot reported six "flying manhole covers" between Wichita, Kansas and Colorado Springs, Colorado. In late September 1926, an airmail pilot over Nevada was forced to land by a huge, wingless cylindrical object.
On August 5, 1926, while traveling in the Humboldt Mountains of Tibet's Kokonor region, Nicholas Roerich reported that members of his expedition saw "something big and shiny reflecting the sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp the thing changed in its direction from south to southwest. And we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly an oval form with shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun.”
Another description by Roerich was, "...A shiny body flying from north to south. Field glasses are at hand. It is a huge body. One side glows in the sun. It is oval in shape. Then it somehow turns in another direction and disappears in the southwest."
In the Pacific and European theatres during World War II, "Foo-fighters" (metallic spheres, balls of light and other shapes that followed aircraft) were reported and on occasion photographed by Allied and Axis pilots. Some proposed Allied explanations at the time included St. Elmo's Fire, the planet Venus, hallucinations from oxygen deprivation, or German secret weapon.
On February 25, 1942, U.S. Army observers reported unidentified aircraft both visually and on radar over the Los Angeles, California region. Antiaircraft artillery was fired at what was presumed to be Japanese planes. No readily apparent explanation was offered, though some officials dismissed the reports of aircraft as being triggered by anxieties over expected Japanese air attacks on California. However, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall and Secretary of War Henry Stimson insisted real aircraft were involved. The incident later became known as the Battle of Los Angeles, or the West coast air raid.
In 1946, there were over 2000 reports, collected primarily by the Swedish military, of unidentified aerial objects in the Scandinavian nations, along with isolated reports from France, Portugal, Italy and Greece, then referred to as "Russian hail", and later as "ghost rockets", because it was thought that these mysterious objects were possibly Russian tests of captured German V1 or V2 rockets. Although most were thought to be natural phenomena like meteors, over 200 were tracked on radar and deemed to be "real physical objects" by the Swedish military. In a 1948 top secret document, the Swedish military told the USAF Europe in 1948 that some of their investigators believed them to be extraterrestrial in origin.
Originally posted by torsion
reply to post by SaturnFX
Your references describe the objects as "resembling a balloon", "egg-shaped" and like "manhole covers". No saucer shapes.
As I said, saucers became vogue post Arnold.
It was only after the erroneous press report that people started seeing saucers.