A pilot named Rankin saw a triangular formation composed of ten “saucers”…
(UFOs 1947-1987: The 40-Year Search for an Explanation, Evans and Spencer)
Rankin Report Adds Credence to ‘Disks’
The report of a long-time West Coast man was added today to the growing account of “flying saucers” over the west.
Richard Rankin, veteran of more than 7000 hours in the air, said he saw the much-debated mystery disks high over Bakersfield, Cal., and going “maybe 300 or 400 miles an hour.”
There were 10 in formation flying north, he told the reporter, but when “they returned on the reverse course, headed south, there were only seven.
“I couldn’t make out the number or location of their propellers and couldn’t distinguish any wings or tail. They appeared almost round,” he said.
Rankin said he saw them June 23, but hesitated to describe what he saw until he noted others were reporting the same thing.
At first, he continued, he assumed he had seen the XF5U-1, the experimental navy “Flying Flapjack.” The navy since has announced it has only one XF5U-1, and it has not left Connecticut.
Rankin, ex-Portlander who now lives in Palm Springs, Cal., and is brother of late John G. “Tex” Rankin, pioneer stunt flyer, said he observed the “planes” from the ground.
New reports meanwhile came in from 3 Oregon cities, Astoria, Madras, and Portland.
At least 10 or 12 of the mystery craft tipped noiselessly from side to side as they moved along the course of the Columbia river Tuesday noon to convince two Portland skeptics that Kenneth “Saucer” Arnold of Boise was telling the truth when he first reported the disks a week ago.
“We didn’t believe the story when we saw it in the papers but we definitely saw the flying objects at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday,” reported Mrs. Herbert Baillet, who with her husband is building a house near NE 74th Ave. and Prescott St.
“I first saw three of them as we sat down to lunch and called my husband’s attention to them. Later there were 10 or 12 of them, flying low below the foothills and apparently over the Columbia river or just on the Washington side. There was no noise and they did not appear to be flying fast.”