Flying Saucers: Discovered or Invented?
On June 24, 1947, businessman Kenneth Arnold was flying his private plane over the Cascade Mountains in Washington State when he saw nine shiny objects quickly moving across the sky like "geese in formation." After a few minutes they were gone. Arnold described the objects themselves as "crescent shaped," and that they "moved like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water." The Associated Press misquoted Arnold, describing what he saw as "flying saucers." Later, Arnold complained about being misquoted, saying, "They said that I'd said they were saucer-like. I said they flew in saucer-like fashion" (Clancy 2005, pp. 91-92).
Arnold's misquoted statement about flying saucers was published in 150 newspapers, and soon afterwards hundreds of reports of flying saucers began to surface. What's strange is that hardly anyone seems to have reported seeing crescent-shaped or boomerang-shaped objects as Arnold had reported. It's not hard to see the suggestive power of the media in all these reports of flying saucers. And just a few years later Hollywood made its first contribution to the flying saucer craze with the science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still, firmly embedding the iconic image of the flying saucer in the American psyche. Some UFO sightings have included variations on the saucer theme, with some objects described as cylindrical or spherical, but by and large the most common shape is the saucer. This should certainly give us pause, serious pause.
Quote from: Clancy, Susan A. (2005). Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Abducted by Aliens.