Local Historians seek state recognition for infamous 1947 flying disc story
Local historic group the Maury Island Incident Historical Society (“MIIHS”) has submitted a Resolution to Washington State Senators Karen Keiser (33rd District) and Sharon Nelson (34th District) that calls for the Washington State Senate to:
“…pause and acknowledge the seventieth anniversary of the June 21, 1947, Maury Island Incident, the 1947 ‘Summer of the Saucers’ popular culture phenomenon launched worldwide by these controversial events, the first reference to the characters now popularly known as “men in black,” and further, to recognize and honor the heroism and service of Army Air Corps Intelligence Officers Capt. William L. Davidson and Lt. Frank M. Brown, who lost their lives during their investigation of the Maury Island Incident when their airplane crashed outside of Kelso, Washington, on August 1, 1947.”
Read the full draft Resolution here (PDF file).
“We need to show there is community support for this Resolution,” said Steve Edmiston, MIIHS co-founder. “We definitely need constituents from Des Moines, Normandy Park, Burien, and Vashon-Maury Island, all in the 33rd and 34th Districts, to e-mail or call and let Senator Keiser or Senator Nelson know that they’d like to see this Resolution adopted.”
When contacting your Senator, Edmiston suggested you provide (1) your name, address, and phone, (2) a statement that you support the Resolution acknowledging the 70th Anniversary of the Maury Island Incident, and (3) that the story has become an important part of the cultural legacy of your community.
- Senator Karen Keiser’s e-mail is [email protected]; phone is (360) 786-7664
- Senator Sharon Nelson’s e-mail is [email protected]; phone is (360) 786-7667
The Maury Island Incident Historical Society is a Des Moines, Washington based organization dedicated to preserving the memory of The Maury Island Incident through community education and “Burning Saucer,” an annual celebration on the Harold Dahl’s alleged June 21, 1947, flying disc sighting. More info at www.facebook.com/MauryIslandIncidentHistoricalSociety/.
Here’s the proposed Resolution:
WHEREAS, on June 21, 1947, Tacoma resident Harold Dahl and his son allegedly sighted six flying discs over Puget Sound near Maury Island, an event now commonly known as “The Maury Island Incident;”
WHEREAS, on June 22, 1947, Mr. Dahl alleges he was warned not to talk about what he saw by a man dressed in a black suit;
WHEREAS, on June 24, 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold alleges he saw nine unidentified flying objects (“UFO’s”) near Mt. Rainier;
WHEREAS, these controversial sightings helped launch a pop culture phenomenon of UFO sightings across the United States during the summer of 1947, which became known as “The Summer of the Saucers;”
WHEREAS, two weeks after the Washington sightings, on August 8, 1947, a UFO is alleged to have crashed outside Roswell, New Mexico, and this alleged crash has since become the most well-known alleged UFO incident in history;
WHEREAS, on August 1, 1947, Army Air Corps Intelligence Officers Capt. William L. Davidson and Lt. Frank M. Brown lost their lives when the B-25 Bomber they were piloting crashed outside of Kelso, Washington, immediately after completing their witness interviews relating to the Maury Island sightings at the Winthrop Hotel in Tacoma, Washington. Davidson and Brown were transporting “slag” evidence from the alleged UFO incident.
WHEREAS, immediately after the tragic deaths of Davidson and Brown, Harold Dahl publicly claimed his sighting at Maury Island was a hoax;
WHEREAS, between August 5, 1947, and September 27, 1947, Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an independent investigation of the deaths of Davidson and Brown and ultimately reported to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that Dahl in truth did not recant his story but that his claim of hoax was itself a fabrication to avoid further public attention and ridicule;
WHEREAS, the FBI’s conclusions, and Dahl’s secret, were sealed for fifty years;
WHEREAS, the Maury Island Incident and its surrounding circumstances have made immeasurable contributions to Washington State’s cultural heritage and to popular culture worldwide, including most recently the 2014 award-winning motion picture “The Maury Island Incident,” and the 2015 web-series “The Maury Island Incident,” produced in conjunction with the Washington FilmWorks Innovation Lab and Motion Picture Competitiveness Program; and
WHEREAS, on the seventieth anniversary of these events, the Washington State sightings should be recognized for both their prominence and primacy in the modern era of UFO popular culture;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State Senate pause to acknowledge the seventieth anniversary of the June 21, 1947, Maury Island Incident, the 1947 “Summer of the Saucers” popular culture phenomenon launched worldwide by these controversial events, the first reference to the characters now popularly known as “men in black,” and further, to recognize and honor the heroism and service of Army Air Corps Intelligence Officers Capt. William L. Davidson and Lt. Frank M. Brown, who lost their lives during their investigation of the Maury Island Incident when their airplane crashed outside of Kelso, Washington, on August 1, 1947.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be immediately transmitted by the Secretary of the Senate to the Air Force Historical Research Agency, the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association, the Des Moines Historical Society, the Highline Historical Society, the Longview-Kelso Historical Society, and the Washington State Historical Museum.
I, __________________, Secretary of the Senate, do hereby certify that this is a true and correct copy of Senate Resolution ________ adopted by the Senate _____________ 2017.
___________________ Secretary of the Senate