WHITE SAND PROVING GROUND, N.Y. -- An army rocket expert ventured the opinion today that Kenneth Arnold's flying saucers were merely jet planes but almost dozen persons sprang up about the country to say they had seen the mysterious shiny discs also.
Arnold, a flying fire extinguisher salesman from Boise, Ida., said he saw nine of the weird ships breezing along at a speed of 1200 miles an hour. Arnold was positive of the speed. He clocked them across a known distance between two mountains.
Lt. Col. Harold R. Turner, commanding officer of the array's rocket proving grounds here said today that the discs must have been jet airplanes.
But Mrs. E. G. Peterson of Seattle lie said no--she had seen, the things too. Not only that, her son also saw them. In fact, he called her attention to them.
"My son saw three of them," Mrs. Peterson said. "But by the time I got there I could only see two. They didn't look like jet ships or anything else I ever saw before.
"They were shiny, and seemed to be fluttering in the wind. We must have watched them for five minutes before they disappeared, going east."
Several other residents reported seeing them in the area.
The eyewitness statements were music to the ears of Arnold, who has been the butt of no little ribbing ever since he told of seeing the circular gadgets whipping along at 10,000 feet near Mt. Rainier in southern Washington.
If he and others actually saw the saucers, they must really have been covering ground.
Arnold said he saw them "about 3 p.m,, Pacific standard time" on Tuesday.
Charles Kastl, 60-year-old railroad engineer of Joliet, Ill., said he spotted "about nine" of the things as he walked along the highway at 1:30p.m. central standard time, on Tuesday.
That means they must have covered the distance from Seattle to Chicago -- about 2000 miles -- in three hours and 10 minutes.
Kastl said he saw a string of flat circular objects going "faster than any plane I ever saw" about 10 to 12 miles east of Joliet. They were flying about 1000 feet high, going from north to south.
"I could see no connecting link between them. but they acted as though the leading disk had a motor in it to power the others because when it flipped the others would too. When it would right itself the others would right themselves."
Kastl said he "didn't think about" the incident, except to tell his wife, until Arnold reported seeing the planes.
By Thursday, the saucers had made their way to Southern Utah.
Three aeronautical experts at the Cedar City, Utah airport said they saw the discs "flying eastbound at terrific speed" Thursday night.
The Utah witnesses--Airplane Mechanic Roy Walters, Airport Manager Royce K. Knight and Wester Airlines Local Manager Charles Moore--insisted they were not together when they noticed the "silver streaks" high in the Utah sky.