It seems that the words “flying saucer” are equivalent to the term “UFO” in our national parlance.

Ignoring (for the moment) the fact that the “U” in UFO stands for “Unidentified”, I choose to examine this idea that alien spacecraft are shaped like saucers.

This has penetrated popular culture so much that the military industrial complex was inspired to build one, the Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar, albeit an obvious ground-effect vehicle or hovercraft.

I’m always concerned with the origins of things. It usually reveals something remarkable. And this one is no exception.

One of the earliest famous UFO sightings was by a pilot, Kenneth Arnold in June 24, 1947.

He was flying near Mount Ranier in the state of Washington, where he said that he saw nine UFOs:
The Story of the Arnold Sighting

The newspaper The Chicago Sun reported his story on June 26, with the headline: “Supersonic Flying Saucers Sighted by Idaho Pilot”.

However, most of his descriptions seem to have run along this line: “They looked something like a pie plate that was cut in half with a sort of a convex triangle in the rear.” Then: “they wobbled and flipped, like saucers skipping on the water.” To be fair, his descriptions varied depending on the day or perhaps the listener, but the press leaped on the saucer term and soon even Arnold was describing his craft as “saucers”.

In June of that year, another sighting followed in 1947, which soon proved to have been a hoax: the Maury Island incident. So copy-cat behavior was already a standard feature of the UFO phenomenon.

To this day, this is the most common form that UFO sighting commonly take, if there is any visible detail beyond a dancing light in the sky.

Responsible scientists have even published studies on how a saucer shape could potentially make an ideal shape for an aircraft. Oh, but it’s not really air-worthy.

The Air Force Releases Schematics On How To Build A Flying Saucer
Flying Saucer designs made on Earth
How to Build a Flying Saucer


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