UFO Seen Years Before Its Time

On June 24, 1947 Kenneth Arnold saw the first officially documented UFO of the modern era.  It was by all accounts an incredible day for the field of UFOlogy, and many say the first.  But another incredible sighting predated this one by almost exactly 20 years, this one documented by several experienced explorers.

Nicholas Roerich was exploring the kukunor district of the Himalayan mountain range when on August 5, 1927 the group present was called to witness an incredible black eagle soaring high above the camp.  As the camp assembled to witness the rare bird in the area, one of the cavaneers noted that a mysterious object was hovering in the sky above the bird.  As they scanned the sky, soon Roerich and the others were able to make out a mysterious shining brilliant oval shaped blip hovering in the sky.  As they retrieved their field glasses and scanned the sky for the strange craft, they noted it was moving quite fast.  Within moments it changed direction and passed over the camp before passing off into the distance.  As they watched, they discovered that the object was roughly oval in shape and glittered with a brilliant sparkle reflecting the sun’s light high up in the sky.  

What was the mysterious object?  By all accounts if it had been reported today, many would suggest the report reads exactly like a modern UFO report.  So if all UFO reports are media driven hysteria, what media had 1927 Nicholas Roerich and his campmates observed to cause them to see such a specific and iconic anomaly in the sky?  The UFO phenomenon would not hit the world for several years to come.  And it would not be until even later that the UFO phenomenon would be both linked to alien encounters and the Himalayan mountain range would be considered a major UFO hotspot.

The mystery was reportedly solved when UFOlogist Leon Davidson suggested that the event had merely been a weather balloon launched by a nearby expedition, but an interesting analysis by Nicap’s Brad Sparks demonstrates that a launched weather balloon would not have been visible by the team unless they had been within shouting distance of those launching the balloon high in the mountains.  In fact, the visibility from the mountain top was somewhere between 40 and 100 miles, meaning those launching the weather balloon would have had no difficulty not only seeing the actual launching of the balloon anywhere in their vicinity, they would have seen the camp along with the fires and people moving around within it.

So if this was an early UFO incident, what can we learn from it?  First, the incident happened long before the often blamed “UFO hysteria” set in after 1947.  Second, the object, whatever its source, was operating in the Himalayan mountain range.  And finally, it was either incredibly large and fast or was operating relatively close to the exploring party.  What was it doing?  What -other than the explorers- was of interest in the area?