"It seems impossible, but there it is," Arnold insisted.
Calls Them Aircraft
He said they were bright, saucer like objects-he called them "aircraft"-flying at 10,00 feet altitude. A flash of reflected sunshine brought them to his attention, he asserted, and for a second he was stunned by their "incredible" speed.
He said he rolled down the window of his plane, thinking it might have caused the reflection, but he still saw them with the window down.
They flew with a peculiar dipping motion, "like a fish flipping in the sun," he said, and "they were extremely shiny, and when they caught the sun right it nearly blinded me."
He reported they were about 25 to 30 miles away when first sighted flying north. He glanced at his instrument clock and timed them between Mount Adams and Mount Rainier, a distance of 47 miles.
It took 1:42 minutes, Arnold reported, added that after he landed, he got out a map and by triangulation figured the speed of the "objects" at 1200 miles per hour.
"I might have missed a second or two in my timing, but the speed still would be near 1,200 miles per hour," he asserted.
In Portland, the state senior Civil Aeronautics Administration Inspector, Edward Leach, said he doubted "that anything would be traveling that fast."
Size of Transport Plane
Arnold also said a DC4 was flying in the vicinity and he estimated that the "objects" were about the same size as the four engined passenger ships, although the "objects" did not have wings.
"One thing that struck me," he said, "was that they were flying so low. Ten thousand feet is very low for anything going at that speed."
He reported that they appeared to fly almost as if they were fastened together-if one dipped the others did too.