The term “Flying Saucer” was coined in June 1947. On the 24th of the month, an American pilot named Kenneth Arnold encountered a squadron of strange-looking aircraft flying near Mt. Rainier, Washington State, USA. It’s a fact, however, that UFOs were seen long before Kenneth Arnold’s historic sighting occurred. In the latter part of the 19th century, numerous people across the United States reported sightings of what were termed “mystery airships” and “phantom airships.” During the Second World War, pilots reported close encounters with small balls of light that appeared to be under intelligent control. They became known as “Foo Fighters” (they had nothing to do with Dave Grohl…). Then, in the summer of 1946, Scandinavia was targeted by numerous UFOs. They were referred to as “Ghost Rockets.” Reports surfaced from Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden and caused brief, but worrying, situations for those countries.
On July 11, the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, prepared a secret memo that, in part, reads as follows: “For some weeks there have been numerous reports of strange rocket-like missiles being seen in Swedish and Finnish skies. During [the] past few days reports of such objects being seen have greatly increased…Military Attaché is investigating through Swedish channels and has been promised results of Swedish observations. Swedes profess ignorance as to origin character or purpose of missiles but state definitely they are not launched by Swedes.”
Newspaper photo of Swedish “ghost rocket”, photographed July 9, 1946, by Erik Reuterswärd, Guldsmedshyttan, Sweden.
Although the most obvious – and likely – explanation was that the Ghost Rockets were Soviet in origin, such a theory was never proved. Equally intriguing, midway through July a number of alleged crashes of Ghost Rockets were reported, even though certain facts were withheld; something which leaves the stories open-ended, but still highly thought-provoking. On July 19, 1947, the Oslo-based Aftenposten newspaper ran an article titled “Did two rocket bombs go down in Mjosa?” The article included the following, notable words: