When we think of the first UFO incidents to be widely reported, particularly around 1947, we generally think of pilot Kenneth Arnold and the strange delta shaped “flying saucers” as they would become known. But only three days prior to the now famous Kenneth Arnold sighting there was another, one that some argue is far more interesting – although it fell under the threat of the mysterious Men in Black who attempted to cover it up, and almost succeeded.
It all started in the afternoon of June 21, 1947 on Maury Island when Harold Dahl, his son, and one of his deck hands were sent out on their boat. Harold and company were setting out to find drift wood and bring it back to the shore. The trio had Harry’s dog along with them, but as they continued on soon they spotted a mysterious series of objects in the sky. They appeared like large rings with the centers missing, and through which they could see the blue sky above. The rings were described as being somewhere between four and six in number, but hovered soundlessly.
As they watched, one of the objects approached another, which appeared to be damaged and helped prop it up. Shortly after that, the apparently damaged object started raining a mysterious debris down into the waters nearby them. Some of this material struck Harold’s dog in the neck killing it instantly. The rest of those on the boat attempted to avoid the object, and snap photos simultaneously. Harold’s son was likewise struck by one of the falling pieces of slag, but was not badly injured. The aftermath would see the evidence and the witnesses to the event being under close scrutiny as they attempted to determine just how much of it was real.
After the objects stopped raining on their boat and the surrounding area, a second torrent of mysterious material fell from the damaged UFO that looked and felt like Harold to be similar to metallic newspaper. The mysterious material was gathered up, and Harold took photographs of the strange objects in the sky.
After they returned home, a strange man approached Harold and invited him out to breakfast at one of the diner’s near Dahl’s home. This was to be one of the earliest accounts of the mysterious men in black. No one knows where he came from or how he knew so much about the objects that Dahl encountered, but he related a strange and twisted tale of the mysterious unidentified flying objects that were visiting Earth – and what might happen to Harold if he leaked the story to the public.
Harold hadn’t told anyone about the encounter they had all shared. The mysterious man in black told Harold not to share what he had seen, or something bad might happen to him and his family. The strange event would result in Dahl telling others that the event he witnessed was nothing more than a hoax. Later, however, he would become more courageous with his claim and suggest that the man who threatened him was the real reason he would keep silent for a number of years. After the Kenneth Arnold sighting of a mere three days later, the public had its hands full with UFO sightings and the mysterious men in black would make more appearances.
Who was the mysterious man that warned Harold away from sharing his UFO experience? And what were those objects that he reportedly saw and photographed that morning? Was the whole thing a hoax? Were they perhaps witnessing an early experimental military vehicle? Or was Harold Dahl one of the first in the world to encounter mid-flight repairs from an extraterrestrial vehicle?