|Born||29 March 1915|
|Died||16 January 1984 (68) |
|Occupation(s)||Salesman, Great Western Fire Control Supply|
|Alma mater||University of Minnesota|
|Spouse(s)||Doris L. Arnold|
Kenneth Albert Arnold (March 29, 1915 - January 16, 1984) was an American aviator and businessman, widely regarded as the herald of the age of Ufology and mass sightings following his reporting of unidentified flying objects that he witnessed on 24 June 1947 while flying near Mount Rainier, Washington.
Kenneth Arnold was born in 1915 at Sebeka, Minnesota to parents Edward Erb and Bertha E. (Barden) Arnold, the first son of four children. The family would relocate six years later to a homestead in Scobey, Montana, before finally settling in Minot, North Dakota, where Arnold completed primary and secondary schooling. Engaging himself in athletics as a footballer and diver, Arnold eventually attended the University of Minnesota, intending to pursue college football, but a knee injury saw his sporting career ended prematurely.
In 1938, Arnold took employment with Red Comet, Inc. of Colorado, a manufacturer of automatic fire fighting apparatus, a year later becoming the western district sales manager; within another year, Arnold had left the company and was operating his own business selling and installing fire fighting equipment in rural areas as Great Western Fire Control Supply.
Arnold's career path led him to take up piloting his own planes, as air transport proved the most efficient means of reaching his remote customers, and by 1947 he had flown over a thousand hours above the mountains and rural stretches of the Pacific Northwest in his Callair light aircraft, serving clients and volunteering in remote search and rescue operations.
Mt. Rainier and the Saucers
June 24, 1947.
- "When I came within a half mile of two of them in 1952, I felt they were aware of me and I certainly was aware of them. Yet while I had the feeling objects were alive and not machines, it seemed to me they had the ability to change density." [...] "These things are with us, whether we like it or not, and they've been with us for at least 600 years." (Kenneth Arnold, quoted in newspaper interview with Idaho State Journal, 29 March 1966)
Political Career and Later Life
- Republican candidate for Governor - 1962 - withdrew
- Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Idaho - 1962 - lost (107,821) to incumbent William E. Drevlow (128,697)
- Republican primary candidate - First Congressional District, Idaho - 1966 - lost primaries with two delegate votes
- Campaigned on behalf of Barry Goldwater, 1970
Arnold had retired to Meridian, Idaho by the late 1970s, where he resided until his passing in 1984.
- "The Flying Saucer As I Saw It" (1950)
- "The Coming of the Saucers: A Documentary Report on Sky Objects That Have Mystified the World" (1952), with Ray Palmer
- PROJECT 1947: The Kenneth Arnold Page (project1947.com)
- "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JL5S-SM9 : accessed 26 Aug 2014), Kenneth Arnold, Jan 1984; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).