The Flying Saucer As I Saw It, Kenneth Arnold

These are eight images of pages from Kenneth Arnold’s self-published pamphlet, The Flying Saucer As I Saw It, published in 1950. I’ve enhanced the contrast to increase clarity.

Set 1

The first image refers to Sid Shallet’s saucer article in the Saturday Evening Post, 1949. The second is from the search for the C-46 and the 32 Marines aboard it. Arnold did not accept the official story and believed the bodies were never found, although the plane was. Climbers will note what appears to be nylon rope and 10-point crampons. I may write an article about it.

Set 2

The first image is a well-known photograph of Emil Smith, Kenneth Arnold, and Ralph Stevens. The second are prints given to Arnold by Hamilton AFB of William A. Rhodes July 7, 1947 photographs.

Set 3

First image: Arnold argued that “little men” were part of ours and related primates evolutionary history. His evidence here is dire. He confuses the discovery of Dr. Henry Fairfield (actually, Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn) of a creature he named Hesperopithecus with a rather mysterious mummy, which was found as Arnold reports. It was reported “lost” in the 1970s, so these photos may be rare. I don’t know if it was ever analyzed. Some think it was a deformed foetus. A few years after Osborn’s discovery of Hesperopithecus, it was determined to not be a primate. Despite this, Arnold was correct. Later on, it was discovered our ancestors were gracile rather than thick boned and lumbering, and rather small (Lucy). And in 2003, the one meter tall Homo Floresiensis was discovered. This species is believed to have been our contemporary as late as 12,000 years ago.

Be careful who and what you mock. Although Arnold’s information about the Osborn fossils was a quarter century out of date, that is not the case with the little mummy…

Second image: I am not familiar with these stories. The Salmon River fire is well known. I don’t have the page with Dewey Bowman’s photograph.

Oxnard Press Courier, March 4, 1950

Set 4

The first image is of a stunning letter from Velma Brown, the widow of Lt. Frank Brown, the CIC Special Agent who kept tabs on Arnold, Dave Johnson, and Emil Smith, and who was investigating related sightings, including Dick Rankin’s. Brown was killed in the B-25 crash along with another agent, his partner, Captain Davidson, after they left Tacoma, having interviewed Arnold, Smith, Dahl, and Crisman regarding Maury Island. To quote Arnold, “This letter in itself is self-explanatory”. Arnold did not believe the crash was an accident, nor did he receive information he had been promised about the Air Force investigation into the crash or the Maury Island incident. I’ve included an entry in the 1959 Long Beach, California city directory, listings under “Brown”, which offers evidence supporting the autobiographical detail and address in Mrs Brown’s letter, in case someone might question its provenance. She died in 1991 and was buried as Velma Brown. The evidence is strong she never remarried, nor reverted to her maiden name. The second image is a letter to Arnold from George Gorman, as evidence of the secrecy the Air Force imposed on its officers and men regarding the saucers.

Long Beach City Directory, 1959

Set 5

Rhodes photograph from the Air Force. The Air Force reference numbers, I think, created confusion as to which of the two photographs was the first taken. I’ll address this matter in another article. This crop of the photo was published in the Top Secret Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the US by a combined Air Force and Navy Intelligence group dated December 10, 1948. For the April, 1949 printing, the crop of the photo was shifted to eliminate the telephone pole.

Set 6

A collage of headlines.

Set 7

Maury Island and the crash that killed Brown and Davidson. Arnold’s comments are interesting. I don’t know why or how Arnold got this information. Both he and Ray Palmer in 1950 referred to Brown as being with “Central Intelligence”; I have not found a reference, though, to ‘CIA’. There may have been a misunderstanding or misinformation. It is surprising that Brown’s rank was known to Arnold and others since at the time CIC agent ranks were classified. You may have noticed in the Rhodes case, the FBI refers to the CIC Special Agent as Mr. Fugate, and that the CIC Special Agent Lynn C. Aldrich’s rank doesn’t appear on his report. CIC agents rarely wore uniforms (in Lt Colonel Springer’s report on this incident, he noted that Brown and Davidson changed into civilian clothes on the plane after landing in Tacoma). The five-star general comment is perplexing, but it may be referring to what the AFOSI agent Richard Weaver was discussing with the former CIC agent Sheridan Cavitt in The Roswell Report interview, the issue of investigating those with ranks much higher than the CIC investigator’s. Weaver called it “The way we do business”, and Cavitt responds, “True”. I think it may have been a blow to Arnold to discover that Brown had not been straightforward with him, that Brown had a hidden agenda; that Arnold was not a co-investigator, but the subject of an operation. The letter about Shallet, Mrs Brown’s letter, and Gorman’s letter, and Brown’s ‘double-life’ are the evidentiary landscape for Arnold’s distrust of the Air Force about the saucers. Note, his interest in Titanium.

Set 8

Apparently, Arnold investigated the Arcata radar angels in some depth, but I am not familiar with it.