The Maury Island Incident
June 21, 1947 - On this day a man named Harold Dahl was piloting his boat around Puget Sound. He was accompanied by his son and his dog. Suddenly Dahl saw a group of mysterious flying objects against the clear blue sky. 4 or 5 doughnut-shaped crafts were flying in formation directly above his boat when one of them started dropping strange, rocky, slag-like material. As the material rained down it struck and killed Dahl's dog. A windshield was also damaged.
Dahl managed to take pictures of the weird flying machines but the images would come out blurry with odd spots all over the film.
The next morning a man in a black suit knocked on Dahl's door and invited him to breakfast at a local diner. Dahl assumed the man was from the government since he was driving a shiny new black Buick. Over eggs and bacon Dahl told the man about his encounter with the flying objects. The man in black then told Dahl that it was in his best interest to keep his story to himself. This was the first reported case of an encounter with a "Man in Black." Similar meetings with well-dressed strangers would become a common fixture in future UFO stories.
Despite the warning, Dahl couldn't keep the secret. He told the co-owner of his boat, a man named Fred Crisman. Crisman had an uncanny way of popping up whenever weird things were happening. Years before while stationed in Burma, Crisman claimed he was wounded by a robot from an underground civilization. Years later he would be subpoenaed by Jim Garrison during his investigation into the assassination of JFK.
Intrigued with Dahl's story, Crisman decided to take the boat out on Puget Sound for a look around. Sure enough, he spotted one of the doughnut-shaped crafts just before it darted behind a cloud. He also retrieved some samples of the slag-like debris from a nearby beach.
Crisman and Dahl later met with two investigators from the United States Army Air Corps. Crisman gave the men a sample of the mysterious material. Unfortunately the plane that was carrying the investigators and the slag-like debris back to their base crashed. The investigators were killed and the material was lost.
Obviously the so-called Maury Island Incident has more than its share of suspicious characters and many UFO investigators have concluded that the story is a hoax. However, the timing of the encounter just days before Kenneth Arnold's ground-breaking UFO sighting over Mount Ranier makes some wonder if Dahl may have witnessed the same objects. A few weeks later came the infamous UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico.
The summer of 1947 was definitely a landmark season for UFO legends, and the Maury Island Incident gets credit as the first of the bunch.