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UFOs - The Flying Saucer Wave of 1947

Updated on April 30, 2018
The Roswell Crash - July 8th, 1947
The Roswell Crash - July 8th, 1947

UFO Sightings in 1947

When you have read as much about UFOs over the years as I have, you begin to see patterns start to emerge.

But one of the strangest patterns I have seen occurs in the year 1947.

Of course people have seen odd things in the skies for centuries.

We even had the Mystery Airship waves here in the US in the late 1800's and early 1900s.

But in 1947, flying discs really caught the imagination of the American people.

And they didn't let go.

It begins with the Maury Island incident...

The Maury Island Incident
The Maury Island Incident

The Maury Island Incident - June 21st, 1947

Now this is how the story (that was told) goes....

On June 21st, 1947, Harold A. Dahl, his son, two crewman and a dog were aboard a boat near Maury Island (a peninsula of Vashon Island, in Puget Sound, near Tacoma,Washington)scavenging for drifting logs, when suddenly six large doughnut shaped metallic objects appeared silently overhead.

There were six of these "craft" , five were circling the sixth that appeared to be wounded.

The UFOs (okay they were Unidentified, they were Flying and they were Objects) were roughly 500 feet over them when one of the UFOs moved in and touched the ailing center one causing it to spew out a hot metallic substance out of the center hole.

(Boy Freud would have had a BALL with this!)

After the hot stuff spewed out, the damaged UFO seemed all better and they all six flew off towards the ocean.

Unfortunately, when the hot metallic substance spewed out, a lot of it fell on the boat damaging it, some fell on Dahl's son's arm burning it and some fell on the dog killing it.

The poor dog always gets it.

Well Dahl picked up some of the debris, and headed back to Tacoma.

He took his son to the ER and reported to his boss....Fred Lee Crisman.

Fred Crisman
Fred Crisman

The Mysterious Fred Crisman

If you know anything about the JFK assassination conspiracy theories, you may have heard of Mr. Crisman.

But the first time his name pops up is in the very odd "Shaver Mystery" experiences just before this incident.

He claimed in the letters section of the pulp magazine Amazing Stories, in 1946, to have encountered underground dwelling beings known as the "Deros" while fighting as a commando in Burma during World War II.

According to Crisman's letter:

"My companion and I fought our way out of a cave with submachine guns. I have two 9" scars on my left arm that came from wounds given me in the cave when I was 50 feet from a moving object of any kind and in perfect silence. The muscles were nearly ripped out. How? I don't know. My friend has a hole the size of a dime in his right bicep. It was seared inside."

Sounds remarkably like damage done by a laser doesn't it?

Except the first working laser was demonstrated on May 16th, 1960.

(cue Twilight Zone music)

Anyway, Crisman went back out to check the stop that Dahl said the event happened. Crisman allegedly found a lot of the debris and took some with him.

Meanwhile, Dahl received a visit from a man in a dark suit driving a 1947 Buick (Man in Black).

The man told Dahl that he wasn't supposed to have seen what he did, and that he should drop it and not to discuss it with anyone.

(Over 60 years later I'm writing about it on the internet...I don't think it worked.)

Kenneth Arnold's UFO Sighting - June 24th, 1947

Kenneth Arnold's NICAP report drawing
Kenneth Arnold's NICAP report drawing

Then three days later (June 24th, 1947), while flying near Mt. Rainer, pilot Kenneth Arnold claimed to see nine unusual objects flying in the skies.

(Side note here, Arnold was there in the first place because he was looking for a U.S. Marine Corps C-46 transport airplane that had crashed near Mt. Rainer. They were offering a $5000 reward for anyone that could find it. Hmmmm....)

Now Arnold described one of the objects as crescent shaped, while the other eight objects were more circular, so no doughnuts.

But first the Maury Island incident, then a U.S. Marine Corps C-46 transport airplane crashes, then the famous Kenneth Arnold sighting...all in the same area?

And was Arnold's sighting all alone?


A prospector named Fred M. Johnson on Mt. Adams, said that he saw six objects on June 24 at about the same time as Arnold, which he viewed through a small telescope.

L. G. Bernier of Richland, Washington said he saw three strange objects over Richland flying "almost edgewise" toward Mt. Rainier about one half hour (2:30) before Arnold's sighting (2:58).

Richland is about about 110 miles east of Mt. Adams and 140 miles southeast of Mt. Rainier.

Ethel Wheelhouse of Yakima, Washington (about 60 miles west-northwest of Richland) reported sighting several flying discs moving at high speeds at around the same time (3:00) as Arnold's sighting.

Actually there were numerous sightings of weird flashing lights in the sky and rapidly moving objects around Seattle that morning and night.

The Frank Ryman UFO - July 4th, 1947

Frank Ryman UFO
Frank Ryman UFO

On July 4, an off-duty U.S. Coast Guard Yeoman, Frank Ryman, took a picture of a UFO that he could see from the front yard of his home in Lake City, Washington.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published the photo the next day.

It showed a small glowing disc against a dark background.

Later (of course) it was concluded that the object was a weather balloon.

We obviously had thousands in the air in 1947.

Though to tell the truth, the photo does come under the "light in the air" category to me.

The Rhodes UFO Photo - July 7th, 1947

The Rhodes UFO Photo - July 7th, 1947
The Rhodes UFO Photo - July 7th, 1947

Three days later on July 7th, 1947, photos were taken by William Rhodes of a lone object over Phoenix, Arizona.

The pictures were published in a local Phoenix newspaper and some other newspapers and when Arnold saw the pictures he said," "It was a disk almost identical to the one peculiar flying saucer that had been worrying me since my original observation-the one that looked different from the rest and that I had never mentioned to anyone."

The negatives and prints were later confiscated by the FBI and military.

Muroc Army Airfield - July 7, 1947

Muroc Army Airfield UFO
Muroc Army Airfield UFO

Starting on July 7th, 1947 Muroc Army Airfield in California started jumping with UFO sightings.

To me, these are some of the best sightings because they were all made by AAF (Army Air Forces) pilots, commanding officers and engineers.

People who know a thing or two about aircraft.

There were five separate reports of UFOs in the air.

A yellowish-white sphere, two silver and metallic saucer or disc shaped objects, a round silver or aluminum-white object, a thin metallic aluminum colored object that was the size of a pursuit aircraft, reflecting sunlight and oscillating, and a flat object of a light reflecting nature that a P-51 Mustang pilot tried to pursue, but couldn't get high enough to close on it.

Cincinnati, Ohio - July 7th, 1947

The Cincinnati Enquirer, July 7th, 1947. The day before Roswell.
The Cincinnati Enquirer, July 7th, 1947. The day before Roswell.

The Roswell Crash - July 8th, 1947

The infamous Roswell Crash picture - July 8th, 1947
The infamous Roswell Crash picture - July 8th, 1947

Then of course on July 8th, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field issued a press release stating that they had recovered a crashed "flying disc" from a ranch near Roswell.

So much has been written about that, I'm not even gonna try to go into it here.

But I will point out that after this incident, on September 18th 1947, the United States Air Force was formed under the National Security Act of 1947.

The Tulsa Oklahoma UFO Sighting - July 12th, 1947

The Tulsa Oklahoma UFO Sighting - July 12, 1947
The Tulsa Oklahoma UFO Sighting - July 12, 1947

On July 12, 1947, eight objects were sighted over Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In this case, a photo was taken and published in the Tulsa Daily World the following day.

The Morristown, New Jersey UFO Sightings - July 10th, 1947

Morristown UFOs
Morristown UFOs

While a lot of the UFO sightings happened out west, on July 10th in Morristown, New Jersey, private pilot John H. Janssen saw six spherical lights while he was flying out of Morristown Airport.

And he was able to a picture of four of them together.

Another witness that should be put in the "credible" list, Janssen was the editor of an aviation journal called the "Daily Record".

Also, Janssen had not only one, but two sightings within two weeks.

UFO Sightings Take Off In 1947
UFO Sightings Take Off In 1947

UFO Sightings Take Off In 1947

Then the barn doors opened, and over 850 UFO sightings were made in 1947 alone.

Everyone was seeing saucers and flying flapjacks and of course the military said they were all weather balloons.

That's a lot of weather balloons.

Of course not all of the UFO sightings were in the US.

Flying Saucers went global....

Scottish UFO

Scotland - UFO - 1947
Scotland - UFO - 1947

This picture was taken in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland sometime in 1947.

It's unusual in that it's in color for one, and for two, to this day it has never been determined to be a hoax.

The image was examined by several major film companies, and no evidence of manipulation or fraud was found.

So if it's not faked....then what is it?

The British Ghost Plane

Before the Maury Island Incident and Kenneth Arnold's sighting, the UK was having a bit of fun in the air as well.
It appears that for several nights in a row, "something" was tracked by coastal radar stations.
This "something" flew over the East Anglia coast near Norwich at a great high and caused a blip on their radar screens that moved inland and vanished at an estimated speed of 400 to 425 mph, which was a tad faster than a British Supermarine Spitfire.
Of course that speed was great for then but not impossible.

But it was kind of odd that something was up there moving that fast that the Fighter Command knew nothing about.
And it was also odd that the object always flew inland, and never left.
Also, it was strange that RAF pilots trying to intercept the object in de Havilland Mosquitos couldn't catch it.

A popular theory was that it was smugglers.
Smugglers with a plane faster than anything that the RAF had in the air at the time.

The object was designated in RAF records as "X-362", meaning it was unknown and possibly hostile.

1947's Aftermath

Now the Maury Island incident has been written off as a hoax.

The military says Kenneth Arnold's sighting was a mirage.

And the Roswell UFO Incident was debris from an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon.

I guess it's up to you to decide what you want to believe...or not believe.

Kenneth Arnold
Kenneth Arnold

By the way, Kenneth Arnold actually went to see Harold A. Dahl after the Maury Island incident.

Arnold interviewed him, was convinced his story was real and called two U.S. intelligence officers, Capt. William Davidson and Lt. Frank Brown to come up and take a look.

They got samples of the metal slag Dahl had collected and took off in a B-52 bound for Hamilton Air Force Base in California.

Twenty minutes into the flight, an engine caught fire and ignited the left wing.

The two crewmen with them parachuted out, but Davidson and Brown didn't, apparently riding the plane down.

In 1979, the FBI publicly admitted that Davidson and Brown had been investigating the Maury Island flying discs when they were killed in the plane crash.

The Maury Island UFO Incident 2013

Are They Real?

The Classic UFO Question....Are They Real?

See results

UFO Comments

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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      The first flight of the B-52 was in April 1952. Hard to die in a plane crash before the plane exists.

    • Sabre1000 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      I could tell you what to do but it would get me kicked off HubPages. So just have a nice day.

    • profile image

      A Guy 

      4 years ago

      Take a writing course. Awful

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I spend way to much time looking for UFOs on the ISS space cam. Hey, its been worth it! This is very interesting topic for me. :)

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 

      8 years ago from Missouri

      Don't know what is real here, but it is definitely interesting.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      8 years ago from So Cal

      Can't decide if I believe this or not but have always been fascinated with the stories. We have friends with Roswell stories so someday I will get there to check it out for myself. Very interesting.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image


      8 years ago from New Jersey

      good information.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image


      8 years ago from New Jersey

      good information.

    • wheresthekarma profile image


      8 years ago

      Love this subject!

    • Sabre1000 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @anonymous: Yeah...everything was rocking in 1947.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Interesting lens. Except for Roswell, I didn't know about any of these stories until reading your lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love reading about all the UFO and aliens stuff! Seems like we had a lot of 'hot air' balloons during 1947 huh!? Interesting read!

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 

      8 years ago from Texas

      The UFO stuff has always been so interesting to me. I just wish we could ever know the full truth about somethings.

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 

      8 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      The flying formation of UFO's in the above photo is very similar to the daytime sighting of object in skys over Manhattan in New York City this past summer. Because many witnesses had video capable mobile phones the images, movement, and formations were consistent with sightings from decades past. Excellent background information on Phillp J. Corso.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I grew up with movies about aliens, flying saucers and pans:) Angel Blessed;)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      nice lens

    • profile image

      mrwrkathm lm 

      8 years ago

      Good lens!

      With regard to the MIB after the Maury Island sighting : His appearance plainly confirms that there was a coverup, because he said that Dahl should not have seen the UFO's and tried to warn him off talking about them. That means that the Gov't knew that the UFO's were real, and it could mean that they were actually Gov't saucers, experimental or otherwise, or that the Gov't was, (and is), in contact with aliens and is trying to hide that fact from us.

      They are trying to hoodwink the population in many ways, from the Moon landings to nuclear weapons. They haven't got the brains to realise that we would accept the truth much more easily than their lies!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      interesting stuff

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      interesting stuff


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