On the 24th June, 1947 (60 years ago) Kenneth Arnold (1915-1984), an American businessman, saw an extra ordinary event, which was to create the phrase/term “flying saucer” or “Flying disk” by the press. (for early newspaper articles on this see link here).
He was flying from Chehalis (Washington) to Yakima (washington), in a Call Air A-2 due to a business trip, when he found out that a $5000 reward was being offered for the sighting of a US marine Corps C-46 transport plane, which had crashed near Mount Rainier, and so went to find it….
Conditions:- Sky….. clear with a mild wind
By 3pm he gave up the search and started to travel to Yakima, when he saw 9 objects (flying in a chain) flying over Rainier to mount adams (he later calculated they must have been travelling 1200 mph- ie time travelled between the 2 points).
The media were soon onto this, as word got around, and Kenneth later said that they “flew like a saucer would if you skipped it across water”…. this soon led to the term by the press of “flying saucer” and also “flying disk”.
A excellent article can be seen written by Arnold himself, about the event at Project 1947 .