Captain Smith was walking up the ramp to board his plane, to Seattle when someone mentioned the massive wave of saucers taking place all day over the northwest.
Captain Smith joked: I'll believe in those disks when I see them.
Shortly after takeoff five dish like objects, one larger than the rest, approached Captain Smith's DC-3 head on.
Only about a week after the Kenneth Arnold sightings, a United Air Lines DC-3 crew sighted two separate formations of wingless disks, shortly after takeoff from Boise. Capt. Emil J. Smith, now with United's New York office, confirmed the reliability of previously published accounts. United Flight 105 had left Boise at 9:04 p.m. About eight minutes out, roughly over Emmett, ID, Co-pilot Stevens, who spotted the first of two groups of objects, turned on his landing lights under the initial impression the objects were aircraft. But, studying them against the twilight sky, Smith and Stevens soon realized that neither wings nor tails were visible on the five objects ahead. After calling a stewardess, in order to get a third confirming witness, they watched the formation a bit longer, called Ontario, OR CAA to try to get ground confirmation, and then saw the formation spurt ahead and disappear at high speed off to the west.
Smith emphasized to me that there were no cloud phenomena to confuse them here and that they observed these objects long enough to be quite certain that they were no conventional aircraft. They appeared flat on the bottom, rounded on top, and he added that there seemed to be perceptible roughness of some sort on top, though he could not refine that description. Almost immediately after they lost sight of the first five, a second formation of 4, three in line and a fourth off to the side, moved in ahead of their position, again traveling westward but at a somewhat higher altitude than the DC-3's 8000'. These passed quickly out of sight to the west at speeds which they felt were far beyond then known speeds. Smith emphasized that they were never certain of sizes and distances, but that they had the general impression that these disk like craft were appreciably larger than ordinary aircraft. Smith emphasized that he had not taken seriously the previous week's news accounts that coined the since persistent term, flying saucer. But, after seeing this total of nine unconventional, high speed wingless craft on the evening of July 4, he became much more interested in the matter. Nevertheless, in talking speaking, he stressed that he would not speculate on their real nature or origin.
Smith stated that he knew what they saw were not reflections, smoke, fireworks, nor airplanes.