Boise's link to the UFO World


Kenneth Arnold, the man who coined the term flying saucer.
  • Kenneth Arnold coined the term "flying saucer."

It was June 24, 1947. Boise businessman and pilot Kenneth Arnold was circling the skies above Washington. He was looking for the downed wreckage of a military plane and perhaps the government's $5,000 reward for finding the site.

"A bright light lit up the surface before his airplane," his daughter Kim Arnold told Boise Weekly. "It was so bright, it was like a welder's arc."

In an interview with a Pendleton, Ore., reporter, Kenneth Arnold described nine bright-blue flying objects. He would describe them as like saucers skipping across water. When the story went to press the next day, the term "flying saucer" was born—creating skeptics and supporters alike.

"They do exist and they are out there, and so many people have validated their existence," she said. "They’ve been here since mankind has been here. [My father] just happened to be the man to give 'em a name."

Whether you buy the story or not, Arnold launched the "modern UFO movement," according to his daughter, the 57-year-old president of SAUCERS Inc. On Monday, Jan. 16, she will talk about her father's legacy on Coast to Coast with George Noory and at the annual Women's UFO Symposium in Glen Rose, Texas, in May.

There's a short YouTube documentary on Arnold below, complete with Twilight Zone style music.