addendum to my above posting:
It should not be inferred that I accept the link I gave above as the ultimate guide to truth regarding ufos. For example they quote the idiotic pelican explanation for the Kenneth Arnold sighting ignoring (or just plain ignorant OF) the fact that there was another witness to that sighting.
permit me to quote Dr Bruce Maccabee:
"Fred Johnson, resident of) First Avenue, Portland (Oregon), reported without consulting any records that on June 24, 1947, while prospecting at a point in the Cascade Mountains approximately five thousand feet from sea level, during the afternoon he noticed a reflection, looked up, and saw a disc proceeding in a southeasterly direction. Immediately upon sighting this object he placed his telescope to his eye and observed the disc for approximately forty-five to sixty seconds. He remarked that it is possible for him to pick up an object at a distance of ten miles with his telescope. At the time the disc was sighted by Johnson it was banking in the sun, and he observed five or six similar objects but only concentrated on one. He related that they did not fly in any particular formation and that he would estimate their height to be about one thousand feet from where he was standing. He said the object was about thirty feet in diameter and appeared to have a tail. It made no noise.
According to Johnson he remained in the vicinity of the Cascades for several days and then returned to Portland and noted an article in the local paper which stated in effect that a man in Boise, Idaho, had sighted a similar object but that authorities had disclaimed any knowledge of such an object. He said he communicated with the Army for the sole purpose of attempting to add credence to the story furnished by the man in Boise.
Johnson also related that on the occasion of his sighting the objects on June 24, 1947 he had in his possession a combination compass and watch. He noted particularly that immediately before he sighted the disc the compass acted very peculiar, the hand waving from one side to the other, but that this condition corrected itself immediately after the discs had passed out of sight.
Informant appeared to be a very reliable individual who advised that he had been a prospector in the states of Montana, Washington and Oregon for the past forty years.
Mr. Johnson's letter to the Air Force indicates that he was in the right area at the right time to see the objects which Arnold reported. Johnson, like Arnold, reported that his attention was attracted to them by a reflection, possibly a flash of light on the rocks he was examining. He reported only five or six, but it is likely that he missed seeing the others as he concentrated on his telescopic view of a single one. (Also, he was recalling the event almost two months after it occurred, so he may well have forgotten some details, such as the exact number of objects.) He thought they were only about 1,000 ft above his altitude of about 5,000 ft. Adding his estimated distance of the objects above him, 1,000 ft, to his estimated altitude, 5,000 ft, yields an altitude for the UFOs, about 6,000 ft, which is consistent with the altitude indicated by Arnold's claim that they were traveling "in and out" of the mountain peaks south of Mt. Rainier. On the other hand, Arnold also said that, from his point of view, the objects seemed to be climbing as they passed Mt. Adams. He thought that they might even have been a bit higher than Mt. Adams which is about 12,000 ft high.
Johnson claimed that he watched one disc for 45 to 60 seconds. Assuming that they were traveling at the speed calculated previously, about 1,700 mph, in 45 seconds they would travel about 20 miles. Although it may have been possible that Johnson could see the objects over a distance of 20 miles from his location, it seems more likely that he saw them for less time. However, even if it were only for 30 seconds with his telescope, we may assume that he was able to discern many details that Arnold couldn't see, such as the point on the front and the "tail" waving side to side "like a big magenet" in the rear. (Here I presume Johnson is comparing it with the magnetic needle in a compass which swings left and right before reaching equilibrium.) He claimed that the objects were "round" and also "oval," thus generally agreeing with Arnold's description of nearly round objects (certainly they they weren't square or triangular or T shaped) and he estimated that they were 30 ft in diameter, a value that is smaller than Arnold's estimate and smaller than the previously calculated value, suggesting that Johnson underestimated the size. (If he underestimated the distance above him he could also be likely to underestimate the size, since the size estimate is based on the angular size - the visually "apparent" size - and the estimated distance.) He also stated that the speed was "greater than anything I ever saw", which is consistent with the speed calculated from Arnold's sighting. He heard no noise. He observed that while the objects were in sight the needle of his compass waved from side to side. The waving stopped after the objects were out of sight.
The last statement in Johnson's letter provides important confirmation of Arnold's claim that he was able to see flashes of sunlight reflected from the objects. In the previous discussion of Arnold's sighting I pointed out that for the objects to reflect sun toward Arnold it would be necessary for some portion of each shiny object to tilt at least to an angle of about 60 degrees. The idea that the objects could tilt that much is supported by Johnson's claim that when he last saw the objects they were "standing on edge" while "banking in a cloud."
Aside from the apparent confirmation of Arnold's sighting, Johnson's sighting is unique as being the first to include a report of a physical effect during sighting (the apparent effect on the needle of his compass). This observation has led to calculations of the assumed magnetic field strength needed to affect a compass in this way from a distance of 1,000 ft or more. The resulting field strengths are immense. (If Fred Johnson's compass was affected by a magnetic field of a "flying saucer" at a distance of thousands of feet, then the magnetic field was positively huge, being equivalent to having an electric current of tens of megamp-turns flowing in a loop 10 or more meters in diameter. Such large fields could be produced in a reasonable way by using superconducting wire)."http://brumac.8k.com/KARNOLD/KARNOLD.html
Whatever Arnold saw...it wasn't pelicans, folks. And none of the other
debunker theories fit either. Hynek (and Blue Book) accepted Johnson's sighting as authentic. Only Menzel claimed to explain that what Johnson saw was "clouds moving" but he doesn't mention that Johnson's sighting is confirmed by Arnold. Why? Because that facts makes his explanation bogus.
But we know Menzel...he was a disinformation agent for the government...it was his job to confuse the facts and lie himself blue in the face. And, mostly, he did it well.
Well enough, anyway.
ON THE OTHER HAND
It is a sad fact that MOST UFO sightings ARE explainable and only someone with a desperate need to believe would ignore the natural explanations.