“It is my impression that everyone, no matter what part they play in this existence that seems to go on into infinity, has a special purpose or a special task or a special reason for being what they are and for doing things they do.”
– The Coming of the Saucers by Kenneth Arnold / Raymond Palmer
We all know that June 24th, 1947 was an important date in the history of this discipline we now call Ufology, the study of UFOs. It is obvious from Kenneth Arnold’s own words and those of his third youngest of four daughters, Kim Arnold, that Arnold had a sense of destiny about his sighting of nine disks traveling at over one thousand miles an hour in an echelon formation between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams in Washington State. Being a pilot and a credible witness, Arnold is however most famous for coining the term “flying Saucer,” a word that has inserted itself in our working vocabulary of the study of unidentified flying objects in general. His description of the objects to newsmen in Pendleton, Oregon in 1947 was that “they flew like a saucer would if you skipped it across water.” Somehow, he believed in this destiny, that he was in the right place at the right time.
This event wreaked havoc on his life and that of his entire family while it peaked his personal interest in UFOs in general. He was requested to send in a full report of his experience to the commanding officer of Wright-Patterson Field, which he happily did. He also offered publicly to submit himself freely to a physical and mental examination by the military. He had a health certificate which qualified him to fly as a commercial pilot. Initially, Kenneth Arnold cooperated fully with the press, the intelligence community and investigators because he was a sincere and honest man, a man who was personally curious about what this all represented. From this interview with his daughter, we can see that sadly he was disillusioned as well as harassed for the remainder of his life.
It is interesting to note that during his second sighting on the way to Tacoma, Washington on July 29th, 1947, he was able to film a cluster of twenty to twenty five brass colored objects that looked like ducks, coming at his plane at terrific speeds. His filming attempt was less than successful as only one or two objects appeared on the film. Like so many witnesses, he sought validation for the anomaly he had seen, at times thinking that it may have been exotic foreign technology from another country or “guided missiles”, robotically controlled. He watched the news wires very closely from June 28th to July 3rd as there appeared to be a flying saucer flap over the entire country. Ironically in that time period, we all know that there was the newspaper release of a crashed saucer recovered by the military in Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947.
In his book, The Coming of the Saucers, Arnold talks about another sighting near Boise, Idaho by United Airlines, Captain E.J. Smith, highly respected, veteran pilot who had this sighting verified by the entire crew of his DV-3 on July 4,1947. The Smith sighting was of five disks flying in loose formation, taking off in tremendous speeds. Ironically, both Kenneth Arnold and Captain Smith became investigators of the mysterious, illusive Maury Island incident that included the disappearance of the chief witnesses and the deaths of two intelligence officers. This would be enough to scare anyone away from investigating flying saucers. In the end, Arnold would say, “Flying saucers are not a joke.”
Arnold’s grounded, no nonsense, investigative nature caught the interest of the Intelligence community with whom he cooperated initially, especially with the tragic Maury Island, Washington State incident. The report included a malfunctioning disk, which spewed forth what appeared to be two different substances a material described as thick white newspaper-like metal that floated down to the bay; and a black metal like substance. My colleague, astronomer J. Allen Hynek would later describe this type of encounter as that of the second kind; a physical traces case. Because of the bizarre circumstances, no such materials were recovered successfully although Arnold and Smith saw them. There is strong evidence that in those days, these witness were discredited or eliminated, but the secret had to be kept secret. As Kenneth Arnold says in the introduction to his and Palmer’s book, “This thing is big. It is something to which we most certainly ought to have an answer.” It was his conviction that the facts already at hand must not be buried beneath a mass of official stupidity and a smokescreen of idiocies. He believed it was “time for truth” because it was the most important fact of our time, and he stressed the word fact.
The historical perspective is what now interests me most as a UFO investigator, especially when I realized that Disclosure with a capital “D” may not be eminent in our lifetime. It was from a Coast to Coast AM Radio interview I did that Kenneth Arnold’s granddaughter, Shanelle Marie Schanz, called in to speak to me. She consequently introduced me to her mother, Kim Arnold. Kim, a grandmother of two granddaughters, is the third daughter of Kenneth and Doris Arnold’s four children. It is obvious from this interview that she had a special relationship with her dad. She was at first hesitant to come forth due to the conflict and stress that this subject matter caused in the Arnold household. I was happy that she finally consented to do this debut interview.
In essence, it reflects her own individual feelings about her father and the subject of UFOs. She will be keynote speaker at the 2012 Women’s Symposium on UFOs in Glen Rose Texas, May 18-20th 2012. She has much to say and her perspective is so important to the historical archive of serious researchers today.
Interview With Kim Arnold by Paola Harris on Nov 7, 2011
“Well, I’d like to bring closure to my father’s sighting on June 24, 1947 and I just feel in my heart that I was the child born to do this. I just had to go through everything. And I had to read everything. I was on a spiritual mission. I had to try to figure out for myself why all this had happened to our family. Why was it my father that was chosen to bring this awareness of “Other Worlds” into human consciousness?” -Kim Arnold, Nov 7, 2011
K: Kim Arnold
P: Your name is Kim Arnold. You are the third daughter of Kenneth Arnold.
K: Yes, I am 57 years old now.
P: Are you the youngest child or are you the second youngest child?
P: Oh, you’re the third. So are there two younger than you?
K: I have one younger sister and I have two older sisters.
P: Have you thought about speaking to the public for a while and sharing your thoughts?
K: You know, to be honest with you I’ve always felt it was my human destiny to talk with people, you know, about how my mother and father felt about their experience. About his experience, my father becoming famous and known as “The Man Who Started It All,” about his flying saucer – UFO experiences, and maybe sharing with everybody my parent’s views…their views about their conclusions as to what they believed the UFO’s were – their theory at the end of their human lives.
P: Was it important to you when you were in your 20s or 30s? In your early years, did you think about it then?
K: Did I think about it then?
P: Did you read UFO magazines?
K: No I did not. I was overwhelmed with being married, trying to get through the struggles of everyday life, marriage and raising two little children. I have two adult children, now, a son and a daughter and with the everyday struggles of life…I did not have time to even think about it.
P: Well, that’s perfect. Because you’re very honest and your motives are pure. Because there is a timing in one’s life when one wants to speak about these things. So in 2012, do you think it’s time to talk about it?
K: Well, I’d like to bring some kind of closure to it and I just feel in my heart that maybe I was the child chosen to do this. Because it has really been perplexing to me…the mystery of it all…so I began a spiritual journey seeking the answers…you know, it must have been in 1994, seriously. I think it was clear back then that I decided to get out all the files and my father’s old tapes and just start going through them. And my mother, you know, was going to throw all the UFO stuff away. If I hadn’t lived close to her, she would have really just tossed it all away.
P: Was your mother alive in 1994?
K: No, no. My mother died…actually my mother died on the 45th anniversary date of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. She died on August 9, 1990.
P: So in 1994 all at once you…
K: Just a minute. I’m trying to figure it out. It was four years after my mother died. Yes, it was the year 1994, that is correct.
P: Okay. So what did you think about doing? Did you think about writing a book, about talking?
K: No, at that time I just had to go through everything. And I had to read everything. I was driven to find something – anything that would help me understand why this had happened. Why my father had been chosen to bring this awareness into human consciousness, the reality of “Other Worlds.” Because it was so difficult, you know. It made both my mother’s and my father’s lives extremely difficult, it really did. It affected their daughter’s lives in a very powerful way.
P: Well, when you were in your childhood and growing up in that family with your other sisters, when do you remember the UFO – flying saucer’s being an issue? Was it when you were a little girl or when you were a teenager? When do you remember your dad talking about it?
K: It was always an issue. It seemed like my dad was always upset about it. It was like, we lived in the shadow of the “Saucers.” Really, it was like a shadow had been cast over our entire family. It would be another journalist calling my father out of the middle of the blue. It would be somebody calling him from London, England, wanting him to do something. It would be an article on UFO’s he would read in the newspaper. And I guess the biggest problem was that it seemed like everyone that my dad got involved with regarding his sighting of the flying saucers…that he never had the money to hire a professional attorney to protect him. That was his biggest problem that he got involved with people where nothing ever seemed to turn out the way that he wanted it to. So he felt very discouraged and very, very sad. It just seemed like everyone he got involved with made him very angry or sad. I guess it would be fair to say my father was a very sensitive man and carried his heart on his sleeve. Yet, he also was a man of great strength and integrity. A man’s man, you would say. A man that other men admired and looked up to.
P: Do you think he thought people were taking advantage of him?
K: Oh, yes, of course. In fact, he kind of called it being “exploited”. He felt that he had been exploited in many ways, due to the fact that he was a famous man. Yes, he did. Absolutely. And the sad part of it was that most people didn’t even really listen to what he had to say. They just got, you know, into his life, got most of the information they thought was important and ran off and just did whatever they wanted to do with it. He wasn’t represented as truthfully and as honestly in a way that he felt proud of.
P: Okay, Kim, this is our chance to represent him. What did your dad think about his first sighting?
K: Well, his first sighting on June 24, 1947. Okay. What did he think about it? Well, it is a fact. He saw nine unusual objects travelling at tremendous speed, and he was in a perfect position to clock their speed, and you know, he was very much a realist about this because he was a pilot. And you know; pilots have to be very aware of what is in the air at all times, because their life depends on their ability to make sound decisions. And the light that lit up the cockpit of his airplane was bright, so bright that he compared it to the brightness of a welder’s arc light. This brightness startled and frightened him. He looked around to see where this light had come from. He thought, at first, perhaps it was the sun’s reflection off another airplane close by. When the second flash happened he could see in the distance where the flash had come from. He saw these very bright objects travelling very close to the mountaintops in the Cascade mountain range near Mount Rainier, and he thought they might be a formation of jets…he rolled down his window of his airplane to make sure he could see clearly what he was seeing…he was very confused about what he was seeing. He just could not see any tails on them like ordinary aircraft.
P: What kind of airplane was he flying that he rolled his window down in?
K: He had a CallAir A-2 plane. They were made in Afton, Wyoming.
P: Can you spell that?
K: Yes. CallAir. They were especially designed small airplanes designed to fly at higher altitudes.
P: Okay. But you had told me once that he was looking for something else that day. He was on his way somewhere.
K: On December 10, 1946, there had been a plane crash. A C-46 Marine transport plane carrying 32 marines was believed to have crashed into Mount Rainier. There was a $5000 reward for anybody who found it’s location. So that crash happened on December 10, 1946, in the dead of winter…this was June 24, 1947 so he was up there hoping to find the crash site and collect the reward.
P: Well, that’s really interesting. And the thing is that he instead had this famous sighting. What’s the first thing he did? Did he come down and report it? Did he talk to the family about it?
K: Well…yes…He came down and he started talking. He flew directly to Yakima, landed and went into see Al Baxter, the general manager of Central Aircraft. Mr. Baxter called in some other pilots into the room to listen to my father’s story. Then my father took off for Pendleton, Oregon and when he got there a group of people were there to greet him. News of his strange sighting had travelled – FAST!
P: Basically, then what happened? People became interested in his sighting? Or how did the word flying saucers happen?
K: Well, because he described to a newspaper reporter how erratically they flew and they flew like a saucer would if you skipped it across water. And then the newspaper reporter just kind of came up with this term “flying saucers.” But actually the UFO’s weren’t completely round like a saucer at all. They weren’t round like that. No, they weren’t. But that’s how they got the name flying saucers from the way my father described them to the newspaper reporter as to how they flew.
P: Okay. But you know…so your dad then…did anyone try to talk him out of it? Did somebody come and try to talk him out of his sighting?
K: No. Nobody tried to talk him out of what he saw. Everyone just wondered what he had really seen.
P: But I mean…did they say; “What you saw wasn’t real, or did they ask him if he thought they “the saucers” were from another planet?”
K: Well, no. No one really knew what they were at first. Everyone was still in a state of paranoia, because of the atomic bombs that had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the war. It had only been something like 23 months since the bombs had been dropped on Japan. My father was riding the fear and paranoia like everyone else….he was in fear that these strange craft might be guided missiles, roboticaly controlled…..maybe from Russia, that they might be carrying nuclear weapons. That was his biggest fear; nuclear weapons, because they were traveling so fast. Their speed frightened him. He figured the combination with the speed of this craft combined with nuclear weapons could destroy our nation. So he actually stood up and said what he saw because he was in fear for the safety of our nation.
I do not believe anyone, at first, even considered these strange craft were from another planet. My father believed what he had seen were very real and physical. Remember…he rolled down the window of his airplane just to prove to himself what he was seeing.
P: So he was a patriot, really. He looked at it as a matter of national defense, so that’s what he did.
K: He viewed his sighting of this strange craft as a very serious subject. He believed it was a matter of importance for our national security.
P: Okay, later in his life did he become obsessed by it? Did he read books about it? Did he talk to people about it?
K: Oh, not at all. He was so perplexed and so overwhelmed with so much publicity over the UFO or flying saucer subject for so many years that he became a recluse, and he stepped away from the whole UFO circus, you might say. He talked about it as a ridiculous circus. He didn’t want to be part of it because he really believed that what had happened to him was important and it was a spiritual experience…and that it had happened to him for some type of divine purpose. He truly believed that this was a very serious subject that should be studied in a scientific manner. He was very perplexed and confused about everybody’s concept of aliens visiting from other planets – that type of thing. He didn’t really feel like that is what they were at all…not the ones he had seen. After many years of reflecting about what he had truly seen…he believed they were alive, rather than anything made out of nuts and bolts.
P: So let’s just describe what your dad felt they were. What did your dad feel they were and where did he think they came from?
K: Well, you need to know what both my parents believed…their personal theories…
P: Both your parents, yes. We haven’t talked about your mom yet. What did your dad think?
K: Well, actually my dad believed that they were possibly from the world where we go when we die. That’s what he believed. He was only brave enough to tell this to a newspaper reporter two years before he died in 1982. He felt that the flying saucers were the link between the living and the dead. It took him his entire lifetime to let “the cat out of the bag” you might say…and be brave enough to state it the way he really believed.
P: He believed that they were really inter-dimensional, or hyper-dimensional?
K: No. He believed in the concept that possibly the flying saucers or UFO’s were just one of the ways we traveled when we weren’t in a physical body. Possibly there were many ways to travel in “Other Worlds or Other Dimensions” just like we have many different ways of traveling here on the physical plane where we now exist.
P: So did he think there were human beings inside then?
K: Well, you know when you die, Paola, no one takes their physical bodies with them when they die. All of us leave our physical bodies here. And your remains just naturally become part of the earth. So what you take with you, I think, is your body of light, or your soul body, which, I believe is really who we are; indestructible beings of light energy. My father explained to me his philosophy of what we were in a very simple interesting way. I remember that I was 17 years old when he told me this concept. I was at my parents home and we were out in the kitchen…he began, “You know, Kimmie Buttons (I know it is funny, but he called me Kimmie Buttons, it was my nickname as a little girl), opening up the refrigerator…taking out an ice cube tray…here’s an ice cube tray. You see all these ice cubes?” And I said, “Yes.” I didn’t know what he was going to tell me, and he continued, “See this one ice cube…I believe that when you are alive in human form you are in a solid form, like this ice cube. When we die, or leave our human body we just change form (like the ice cube when it melts) but retain our true identity.” What he said to me I will never forget. I knew that this theory of his was due to his sighting of the flying saucers…I just understood this.
P: Well, that’s really interesting. Now there’s a book written about him and I think it’s with Ray Palmer. What was that all about?
K: Oh, ‘The Coming of the Saucers.’
K: Well, to be honest with you, it is a very poorly written book published in 1952. As a little girl I couldn’t even finish reading it…it was so boring. The first half of the book my father wrote and that was interesting…but the second half that Ray Palmer wrote was boring…boring…. My father turned down an offer from Doubleday Book Publishing of $50,000 in the late 40’s. I believe it must have been because their contract was simply too complex and overwhelming….and I do not know for sure, but I think that Doubleday had a clause in their contract where they had the right to fictionalize his story…to make it more marketable. My father felt compelled to keep his story accurate for history. My father had this thing believing in science and history. He felt they were important subjects. He also felt that this experience had happened to him for a divine purpose. $50,000 was a lot of money to turn down clear back in the late 40’s. If he had accepted their offer it would have made a great impact on his life and the lives of his family members. He was getting a lot of mail, it is said – 10,000 letters from people all over the world. Somehow in all this confusion, he read a letter from a man named Ray Palmer. In 1947, Mr. Palmer was the Editor of Ziff-Davis Publishing Company in Chicago, Illinois. My father was taken by the sincerity of Ray Palmer’s letters and they became long distant friends. My best guess is that my father felt comfortable with Ray Palmer, he simply liked Mr. Palmer’s personality on paper. So, as it went, Ray Palmer and my father decided to do a book together. So that’s kind of how the book came about.
P: Yes, well, were you around when he was writing this book?
K: No, I wasn’t even born. I was born in 1954, seven years after my father’s historical sighting.
P: So he wrote the book before you were born. So you knew there was a book your father was involved in.
K: Well, you know, my father had a secret stash of his books floating around the house…you know. Dad autographed and gave most of them away. It upset my mother – she had to hide books from him so his own daughters would each have one…he autographed one to me and he autographed one to my other sisters, thanks to our mother…hiding them from dad.
P: Did he like the book? Was he satisfied with it?
K: I don’t think that he thought it was the best…but what mattered to him was that his own words were printed exactly, and he was proud of that. Obviously, it never was a best seller…and it was never financially successful. It was just kind of…it just wasn’t written very well, written in a very interesting manner like Doubleday would have written it…but that is the only book in existence at this point that has been done about his sighting.
P: Your father, he had conclusions about what the UFO phenomenon was, but was he interested in sightings, or in cases, or in alien landings? Do you remember him in his later years ever being just totally…
K: Yes, in the beginning, he went through a phase of interviewing other people who had interesting experiences. He bought a reel to reel tape recorder and flew off in his airplane and interviewed people and recorded their experiences. These people just came into his life because they knew they could talk to Kenneth Arnold, he was a safe person…they believed that he would understand them…so they contacted him. You know, he and my mother had interesting people just knocking on their front door. I saw this happening even many years…after he had become famous…people would seek him out. He believed people really did have some very interesting stories…and for the most part, they seemed to be very sane and truthful about their experiences…actually historically he was the first “Ufologist.”
P: Well, see, this is really interesting. I didn’t know this about him. So he started recording and researching. It was also a spiritual journey.
K: Yes. He was actually the first Ufologist. At least he was out there doing it on his own. Because they were interesting stories and he started kind of thinking, some of these stories might be true. In other words, what had happened to him…strange things happen to other people too. So why would he give other people the benefit of the doubt that they didn’t have real experiences too.
P: Did your father ever meet Dr. J. Allen Hynek?
K: I believe my father met Dr. Hynek at the First International UFO Congress held at Chicago’s Pick-Congress Hotel from June 24 through June 26 in 1977. It was at this UFO Congress in 1977, I believe this is correct. Mr. Hynek was a speaker at this conference along with my father.
K: Yes, that was the last major conference that my dad was a keynote speaker at. It was in 1977.
P: Do you have any materials or tapes from that conference?
K: Yes, I do.
P: Well, it would be perfect to hear what he has to say because he’s no longer with us, and you’re kind of a spokesperson for him. It’d be interesting…
K: I have the book, record and all the tapes in my father’s files.
P: Well, that might be interesting for you just to go over that, to hear what he has to say himself, because I’m curious, too. But anyway…so your dad had certain ideas and you said he was very disillusioned and he became a recluse. Do you mean like he didn’t really want to speak to the general public during the last part of his life?
K: Yes, he was just tired and worn out from all of it. He had repeated the same story over and over again. So many times he simply got tired of doing it. It always seemed to interrupt his life and his ability to focus on making a living for his family…so he just got to the point where he didn’t want to do it anymore.
P: Okay. Well, let’s talk about what all this did to your family. I mean, this is a family. Do you remember your mother and her thoughts on it? You said your mom was a medium, she was very sensitive.
K: Well, I wouldn’t say that she was a medium. I mean, she had abilities of mental telepathy and that kind of perplexed the family, too, that she had this ability of mental telepathy. And I did personal research on my mother’s side of the family…I tried to research everything and I found out that when my mother was a little girl, my grandmother would have all her little girls practice mental telepathy when they were baking in their kitchen in Weiser, Idaho. I never met my grandmother on my mother’s side…she died when my oldest sister was just a baby, years before I was born…anyway…I heard through the grapevine that my grandmother used to encourage her children, her daughters, to practice mental telepathy in the kitchen when they were cooking. She would have one of them try to think of a song and she’d have the other girls try and guess the song, and they could do it. So apparently my grandmother knew this unique ability ran in her family line…to be psychic and sensitive – being telepathic was a natural ability.
P: Well, that’s very interesting. Do you think you have some of those abilities, too?
K: You know, I’ll be honest with you. At first I didn’t believe in it, sincerely. And I remember my mom telling me about one particular incident when I was going with my first boyfriend, Daniel, when I was just 16 years old. I was in the car with her one day when we were backing out of his driveway and she said to me…“You know, Kimmie, the reason you’re going with Daniel is because you were married to him in a previous lifetime and he drowned.” And I looked at her and I thought, “Well, that’s interesting, mom (but I really did not understand the importance of what she was telling me at this time in my life).” I just thought what she had said to me was interesting and I did believe that my mother had some unique abilities…but I did not really understand them. But I was pretty young then….and I loved my mother dearly….and I really did not understand her unique abilities or ideas and where they came from…or if they were really real….I did not understand that this was really possible to remember past lifetimes…for her to know these strange things…But as I got older I went through a stage where I had some interesting experiences remembering past lifetimes. You know, many people do have these recalls during their lifetimes. Now, because I have had these types of experiences, myself now. I understand that my mother’s experiences about remembering past lifetimes and having this ability were very real and valid experiences. Now I truly believe my mother was a very advanced soul and passed this special telepathic ability to me…obviously it was passed down from generation to generation. From my personal viewpoint, reincarnation is the truth and we do come back in human form for experience. I believe it is simply called “the travels of the soul”.
P: Well, that’s really interesting because your mom is a multidimensional person. She’s interested in so many things. Tell me, how did she react to the UFO experience and the fact that everybody wanted to talk to your dad? How did she react to the whole field?
K: Well, the whole house was just chaotic. It was simply nuts. I mean, they received 10,000 letters from people all over the world…my dad became world famous overnight. My mother got tired of packing the 10,000 letters from home to home when they moved. I do not know when she threw out all the old letters….but she did at one point, trashed them. She just couldn’t handle it. A lot of the letters were people talking about the “End of the World” because of the reality of atomic bombs. A preacher publicly stated that my father was “A prophet and messenger for the end of the world”…you know, people were saying all kinds of strange things about my father. So actually the hubbub, journalists calling them night and day – their telephone ringing off the hook…it just went on for days, weeks like that. So, no, to be honest with you, it deeply upset their normal family life, very much so. My dad was only 32 years old at this time and my mother was only 29 when this happened to them. They had two small children, two daughters ages 4 and 2 1/2 years old. They were very young parents trying to deal with a crazy and strange situation at a young age.
P: Oh, I see. And did they wish it would go away?
K: I am sure they did…but it was simply impossible…my father took a stance that he was honest and stood strong for what he believed was the truth. He saw what he saw and stood by the truth of his story until his human death.
P: But you know, when you’re describing this it almost seems like destiny. Like it couldn’t go away because your parents were part of a divine plan. Does that sound realistic to you?
K: Well, if you really look back on it now, as part of history…the fact that my dad reported the flying saucers you can clearly look at it…First of all, I do not believe that what he saw, that they were evil or negative. I just do not believe that because really what it did…my dad’s sighting…you understand now that it opened up the windows of our human minds to believing in the real possibilities of other dimensions or “Other Worlds.” So it was a brand-new concept for our world to digest. Because my father had the courage to stand up and tell the truth he literally changed human thinking in a very positive way. And I believe wholeheartedly, that his sighting was part of a plan by our Divine Creator to introduce this new concept…I mean, there’s no doubt in my mind that it was. Everyone should be able to see that now…so many years later. It now has been sixty four years since his sighting of the flying saucers.
P: Well, that’s what it seems like, that it was a divine plan…but it did turn your family life upside down. Your sisters, your family, your father and mother. Do you remember any particular discussions any of you had over this turmoil? After you were born and you were part of this family, that it was part of your everyday life?
K: You know, earlier you asked if my father had met Dr. Allen Hynek. I remember, Paola, you said you once worked for him many years ago. The fact remains that the government was dead set on debunking UFOs sightings, as we all well know. The fact remains that the government was even trying to discredit pilots who reported seeing such things…it was simply ridiculous. Because my father knew as a professional pilot that these things were real and a lot of reputable pilots really saw these things, and it wasn’t right that these (my dad would say) the powers to be were saying negative things about pilots reporting flying saucers. My father would rant and rave around the house expounding how could these idiots say these things about respectable pilots? Pilots were responsible and respectable men…people’s lives depend on their ability to do their job. And, he simply lost it when Dr. Hynek said flying saucers or UFOs were some kind of swamp gas. I listened to my father’s angry ranting and raving about Dr. Hynek’s ridiculous theory of swamp gas for hours. I was pretty young then…but as we all know, Dr. Hynek quit working for the government and became a realist and sensible investigator on the subject.
P: Well, you know, you’re absolutely right. He wasn’t the only one. There were a lot of people who were angry with Hynek because Hynek was hired to debunk but then he changed his mind, and he did work in his own group in the Center for UFO Studies in Evanston, Illinois. And he was also responsible for consulting on the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind with Spielberg so I think he kind of saved himself there at the end. So I understand where your dad was coming from and he was absolutely right because he knew what he saw.
K: Well, now you’ve brought up Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And that’s okay because I’ve read all your books, and I thought, you always brought up Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and that was another big discussion at our house. Close Encounters of the Third Kind. My father just absolutely could not believe how they just created that movie and they didn’t even contact him, ask what had happened to him or anything. My mother and father talked about it quite openly that neither one of them could believe no one really cared about the real story of what really happened and how it really did begin. It really began on June 24, 1947 with my father’s sighting.
P: Well, that’s interesting to hear. So he thought he should have been asked to be a consultant on the movie? Because he saw what he saw?
K: Yes. Of course he saw what he saw. He never made any major money on his experience of seeing flying saucers. He actually referred to himself as the unfortunate goat that happened to report the things. He never in his wildest imagination could have ever believed that they would be something that could not be explained in a physical sense. He had no idea of what he had really gotten himself into.
P: I mean because he saw something, he thought he should have been asked about his personal experience to help with the details in the movie?
K: He was confused about not being consulted. After all, the movie depicted in a way, the actor, Richard Dreyfus having the same type of experience as my father did. In some respects the movie mirrored a little bit of the hysteria in our house. I mean, it did. You know it wasn’t our real family story. It did not reflect all the things that really happened to my father or our family. But my dad did make…he did have an airbrush drawing done of the flying saucer to document what he had seen. He did go out and buy a movie camera and was certain if he ever saw anything again, he was going to get it documented on camera – to prove to everyone that these things did exist…and he had someone create a hanging mobile made with hand carved wooden flying saucers that hung in his office in the basement of our home at 7717 Ustick Road in the 1960’s.
P: A mobile.
K: A mobile, yes. I don’t know who carved the wooden flying saucers, but they were cool looking, painted in silver and blue. I don’t know who he had make this mobile, but now that I remember it, it was kind of cool looking. The flying saucer mobile. I had forgotten about it.
P: It was part of your life. I mean, it was part of your everyday life. So, in other words, if you had to say something to vindicate your dad in a way, if you wanted to make a statement about Kenneth Arnold, what would you tell the general public?
K: What would I tell the general public? He was a common man who struggled with basic everyday problems of making a living, providing food, shelter and clothing for his family. He was born, lived, and died like any other human being. He was a survivor, a man of integrity, of great courage and conviction. A strong-willed man who had principles and morals. A man’s man, people looked up to him and admired him. He died a natural death like any one else – struggling with the fear and fact that he was going to die from cancer.
P: Very logical. And something extraordinary happened to him that changed his world view.
K: Well, completely. My parents were very intellectual and fascinating people. They were advanced thinkers because of my father’s sighting of flying saucers. They were unique people, you know. They talked about interesting things and it was a privilege to have had them as my parents. I hold the memories of them in the center of my sacred heart. I will always love them dearly and miss them for the rest of my life. I miss the most their interesting conversations.
P: Okay. So they passed some of this down to you. It’s not an accident that we connected and it’s not an accident that it’s coming time to talk about this. So just a general idea that; “we are not alone.” How does that affect you in your life? Is it something you think about, that you wish a proper documentary could be made?
K: Okay. This is how I feel about it. My dad got involved with a television company from London, England years ago and they did some kind of a documentary film, a Nova series or something, and he was extremely discouraged about how he was represented, how they edited and finalized the product. I guess my hope would be that I would find a professional where we could collaborate on a good product so that it would be something my father would be proud of. Something that would represent him in the proper light and be historically accurate…it would be the proper way to preserve his memory. Yes, but I don’t feel like just selling his legacy for money, just money just letting it go without a higher purpose. Because my father dedicated his entire life to preserving this story, making sure it was correct and accurate, and I feel out of dedication and honor to his memory that it needs to be done properly. I want to be a part of that, I want to be in the editing room, knowing that what is being finalized is done to honor his role in human history.
P: That’s perfect. I agree and maybe…do you think it’s a matter of timing? Do you think that maybe the time is right for this?
K: I don’t know for sure that the timing is right. I do know that basically I am 57 years old and really something very positive and productive needs to be done with my father’s legacy to mankind using all his historical materials.
P: Okay. Now we’re talking…you have home movies and you have clippings. Do you have writings that your father did…you know, where he scribbled down ideas and so forth? For instance there were nine UFOs, weren’t there?
K: Yes, there were nine. I have what is left of my father’s files and archives. I was the executor of my parents estate.
P: Because he would have had to count them.
K: Yes, there were nine. And actually as they flew in flight, they didn’t all look the same at all. Sometimes they looked like circles, sometimes they looked like lines. They were very intriguing in their flight patterns…it was the second to the last one that came up to him and that’s the one that’s so famous, that particular flying saucer or UFO is the one he had an airbrush drawing made of. It was the second from the last in the formation of nine. He saw the first four and then the next five followed.
P: The second to the last came up to him and did he have a reaction or any kind of message or any kind of psychic connection with it?
K: No, not that I am aware of. But I do believe that it is possible that the brilliant white light pulsating from the center of their surfaces…that’s another very interesting thing. They pulsated with blue/white light from the center of their surfaces similar to the rhythm and beating of our own human hearts. So there you have it. That is why my father believed they were alive, absolutely. It was this reality that the pulsating light from the center of their surfaces was similar to the beating of our human hearts.
P: That is so interesting. I’ve never heard that before.
K: No, that’s one of the hidden secrets I’ve got over here in all the files. Yes.
P: That’s interesting…
K: Similar to the beating of our own human hearts.
P: So he thought they were alive.
K: Of course he did. Absolutely. 110%. Yes. They were not mechanical in any sense at all. And the other thing that was intriguing about him is that he saw flying saucers, he told a journalist at least eight times in his life…I do not think all his sightings were documented…but it is interesting that he said that he saw them eight times. Some of them they’ve tracked down here and there. But the most important sighting was his first sighting and then his eighth sighting, and in his eighth sighting, two of the flying saucers went under his airplane and one was as solid as a Chevrolet car and the other one he could see through the center of it. This convinced him that they had the ability to change their density…he described it once trying to justify this unique ability like jelly fish in the oceans. How they can look so solid then turn so invisible. So if you really want to know how I feel about this or how I think about this, is that the flying saucers he saw on June 24, 1947, it was a staged performance. Because they were acting like they were traversing close to the tops of the Cascade Mountains, they gave my father the impression that they were solid and physical…but I think the reality was that they could have changed their density and gone right through the mountains. I believe the flying saucers were on some type of mission, to introduce this new concept into humanity by putting on this spectacular show for my father.
P: That’s really interesting. I didn’t realize he had eight sightings. What’s the date of that, do you know?
K: In an interview he did in 1981, he said this sighting was in 1952 near Susanville, California.
P: Did he report the eighth sighting, too?
K: No, I do not believe so…I think that he just told it to journalists.
P: So, it was his eighth sighting that gave him this concept about density?
K: He started thinking about it. It was kind of like it was just a big performance. It is definitely food for thought.
P: And that they were performing?
K: They could have changed their density. It is my own theory…I believe they were putting on a show just for Kenneth Arnold…so he could tell everybody, that oh, yes, they’re real and physical…but they had a secret…they could really change their density and become completely invisible, they were from another dimension.
P: Well, I hope that you can find some of the other sightings your father had…I hope he documented these…too.
K: There’s one more sighting I know of right now….it is in his book, “The Coming of the Saucers”. That particular sighting was on July 29, 1947 when my father was flying over the La Grande Valley. He saw about twenty to twenty-five brass colored objects that flew in a cluster like blackbirds, that wheeled on edge, flipping as they flew. I do not believe this was a very long sighting in the number of minutes…but very short. He still was amazed that he saw these, too.
P: Did he ever take any pictures…ever?
K: Oh, you know what. I think in all the stuff there was one time he believed that he got some on film…he sent it off to Military Intelligence and they cut it out, sent it back to him and said there was nothing there. He was really upset about this.
P: Well, let’s end with the fact that…was he ever threatened? Was he afraid? Was he nervous? Was he told not to talk?
K: Yes, that’s why I haven’t talked before now because my mother told me the “secret scary story” when I was just a young girl. She said that my dad thought after he had his sighting of the flying saucers that he felt he should be a public speaker on the subject – educating people about the truth…he believed he had had this experience for a reason. He was scheduled to speak for the Knife and Fork Club on its lecture circuit at $100 a day. He even printed up his own booklet, “The Flying Saucer As I Saw It,” which he planned to use as a program guide for his speech. Anyway…a letter arrived from the Knife and Fork Club withdrawing their offer to him. The family secret begins here. I do not know who it was…I have forgotten…but my mother said this man came out to their house shortly after this letter. He drove my father out into the Boise desert to visit with him privately and secretly. He told my father that his brother worked for the government and that he had seen the government eliminate their own men. He told my father that these government men were serious and dangerous people and he should not go against their demand that he not talk about the flying saucers. He was not to continue to do speeches on this subject and he had better take this seriously. My parents both considered this a threat on their both their lives. And of course my mother and my dad, truly I think, felt threatened for the rest of their lives. So I guess that would be one of the reasons he became kind of a recluse and refused to go anywhere and talk about it or anything. I even have a letter in my files written in my mother’s own handwriting stating her fear that if they went to a UFO Convention in Mexico their plane might be shot down and both of them killed. Now, looking back on this letter, my mother never did get over being threatened by the government. I really never got over her telling me this scary story. If it wasn’t for you, Paola, and making me realize that it was a number of years ago…I have finally been able to put this into the proper perspective. All the government men who threatened our family years ago…are simply gone…buried and dead. This kind of fear has a way of never going away.
P: Okay, well you know, you’ve told us quite a bit that I didn’t even know about your dad’s other sightings and of your life. But, okay, to finish up this interview…if you had to say something to the general public…if you, Kim Arnold, after all these years have an opportunity to talk, to represent your dad and your mom and your family, what would it be? What would you say to the young people of the world? How do you really feel about this?
K: Well, I really do believe that we are living in a very dangerous world. I believe that it is highly possible that hydrogen bombs could possibly be used in the future of humanity. And actually what I would like to say to everybody is the fact that I believe that at the time of human death that what we do is simply change form and retain our true identity. I believe, like my parents, that human death is not really the end, but that it is a fact that we actually live on into “Other Worlds.” And, like my parents believed, I think that these worlds are multidimensional, and much more spectacular than anything we’ve ever believed humanly possible. It really isn’t that boring and there are all kinds of activities going on, similar to the world where we now live.
P: So you think that we live in a multi-inhabited universe?
K: Oh, of course, absolutely. But it’s not just about being in physical form for the short time that we inhabit these temporary bodies…because it is a fact…we discard these bodies like old coats. Whether we die from cancer, plane crashes or old age…or die in time of wars…we actually move on and live in dimensions of other worlds, and yes, it’s simply a new beginning and a never ending story.
P: So the UFO phenomenon for you is part of this normal mystery or this paranormal mystery?
K: Yes, and I think that my father is linked in human destiny in a very powerful way to Robert Oppenheimer, because Robert Oppenheimer was known as the father of the atomic bomb and my dad is known as the father of the modern era of UFOs, and I believe that they are linked in a time frame of destiny to offset each other. That it will not be the end if these weapons are ever used…but part of a spiritual plan by our Creator to spiral us into higher dimensions of etheric worlds created by our Divine Creator.
P: Well, thank you, Kim, because what you’ve done is give a message of hope and that’s something that I think the world needs right now.
K: Well, Paola, I don’t mean to sound like the bearer of bad news…but the truth of the matter is we are living in a very physical world and it is a fact that these weapons exist. Albert Einstein said in a newspaper article I found in all my father’s clippings (he glued onto big scraps of yellow construction paper)…it was dated April 24, 1950 – Mr. Einstein said that an atomic war was inevitable unless a world government was established immediately and that this kind of war could wipe out two thirds of the people on earth.” I read this and thought…really what? I was shocked, and the truth of the matter is, all of us common people just do not have a clue as to what our governments have been doing. We are all just too busy trying to make a living to pay our bills and support our families. Governments just look at us common people like we are numbers and vital statistics they store in some computer file.