In 1945 the world
emerged battered, bruised and suspicious of itself and its enemies after a
war that had threatened its very existence. Each power had faced its own
vulnerability and knew that such vulnerabilities could never again be
allowed to threaten its way of life.
But by 1946 the Cold War was
setting in, communications were down and suspicions between east and west
were running high. Another world war appeared increasingly inevitable, and
military arsenals began to be built up for possible deployment.
Within months mysterious objects began to be seen above
the sky of Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea. These objects were called ‘ghost
rockets’ or ‘spook bombs’; some flashed across the sky (right) whilst
others hardly moved. The West assumed that the Soviets were testing some new
secret weapon, although the Kremlin flatly denied this was the case.
Then on 22nd August 1946, the British Daily
Telegraph stated "The discussion of the flight of rockets over Scandinavia has
been dropped in the Norwegian newspapers since Wednesday. On that day the
Norwegian General Staff issued a memorandum to the press asking it not to make
any mention of the appearance of rockets over Norwegian territory but to pass on
all reports to the Intelligence Department of the High Command … In Sweden the
ban is limited to any mention of where the rockets have been seen to land or
Swedish military forces were placed on alert (2) and the US sent
retired US Air Force General James H. Doolittle (left) to assist the Swedes in
their investigation. Doolittle had entered WWII as a Major in the US Air Force.
Following a flight over Tokyo, he was promoted to a one-star general, awarded
the Congressional Medal of Honour and sent to North Africa to take command.
Later in the war, Doolittle commanded the Eighth Air Force, which played a large
role in the defeat of Germany. He went on to undertake a major role in shaping
the armed services and national aviation policy. On arrival in Stockholm, the General met with Colonel C. R. Kempf, the Chief of Swedish Defence and General David Sarnoff, an intelligence
expert in aerial warfare. Sarnoff was later quoted as stating that the objects
reported were neither mythological nor meteorological but "real missiles."
In October 1946 the
Swedish Government announced the results of its inquiry: "Swedish military
authorities said today that they had been unable to discover after four months
of investigation the origin or nature of the ghost rockets that have been flying
over Sweden since May.
A special communiqué
declared that 80 per cent of 1,000 reports on the rockets could be attributed to
‘celestial phenomena’ but that radar had detected some  objects "which
cannot be the phenomena of nature or products of the imagination, nor can be
referred to as Swedish airplanes."
the following summer an event occurred that was to become known all over the
world and trigger the modern day UFO phenomena. On this occasion, businessman
and experienced pilot, Kenneth Arnold (right) flew his private plane across the
Cascade Mountains from Chehalis to Yakima in Washington.
particularly vigilant during this flight as he was aware of the offer of $5000
to anyone who could locate a missing C-46 transport aircraft belonging to the US
Marine Corps that was believed to have crashed near Mount Rainier with thirty
two men on board. Arnold was 9200ft above the town of Mineral, 25 miles
south-west of Mount Rainier, and making a 180q turn when he reported that a
"tremendously bright flash lit up the surfaces of my aircraft."
initially startled, Arnold quickly concluded that the light was simply a
reflection from some other nearby plane. Then he saw another flash. "I observed
far to my left and to the north, a formation of very bright objects coming from
the vicinity of Mount Baker, flying very close to the mountain tops and
travelling at tremendous speed."
Arnold calculated that the craft were travelling at over
1700mph. "They didn’t fly like any aircraft I had seen before … they flew in a
definite formation, but erratically … their flight was like speed boats on rough
water or similar to the tail of a Chinese kite." (4)
Arnold’s episode was confirmed by a little known letter sent on
20th August of that year to the Air Force and found latterly in the
files of Project Blue Book, the last official US investigation of the UFO
"Sir. Saw in the Portland paper a short time ago
in regards to an article in regards to the so called flying disc having any
basis in fact. I can say am a prospector and was in the Mt Adams district on
June 24th the day Kenneth Arnold of Boise Idaho claims he saw a
formation of flying disc. And I saw the same flying objects at about the same
time. Having a telescope with me at the time I can assure you they are real and
nothing like them I ever saw before they did not pass very high over where I was
standing at the the time. Probably 1000ft.
They were Round about 30 foot in
diameter tapering sharply to a point in the head and in an oval shape. With a
bright top surface. I did not hear any noise as you would from a plane. But
there was an object in the tail end looked like a big hand of a clock shifting
from side to side like a big magnet. There speed as far as ii know seemed to
be greater than anything I ever saw.