Chehalis Flying Saucer Party organizers shoot commercial ahead of announcement of speakers

Thirteen Northwest Flying Saucer Film Fest submissions received so far


The theme for the fourth annual Chehalis Flying Saucer Party has already been announced as “disclosure.”

Event organizers were out on  Saturday, May 11, in downtown Chehalis recording a speaker announcement commercial as they prepare to disclose the speakers for this year’s Flying Saucer Party, scheduled for Sept. 13 and 14.

The speakers will be announced June 24, the 77th anniversary of Chehalis resident Kenneth Arnold’s historic 1947 UFO sighting, which the Flying Saucer Party commemorates.

The Flying Saucer Party is being organized by the Lewis County Historical Museum along with Vince Ynzunza, director of the Pacific Northweird YouTube channel and a local paranormal investigator.

Along with the traditional Flying Saucer Party events — the saucer drop, speaker panel, vendors, a procession and afterparty — this year’s Flying Saucer Party will also feature the second annual Northwest Flying Saucer Film Fest, which began accepting submissions earlier this year.

So far, 13 films have been submitted for the film festival, Ynzunza said.

“We have more than two hours of footage already,” Ynzunza said.

Custom trophies, bragging rights and a $300 cash prize are up for grabs. The deadline for submission is Aug. 18.

Submitted films must be 30 minutes or shorter and must be related to the UFO genre, meaning they can be about UFOs, extraterrestrials, men in black, alien invasions or alien technology.

Last year’s inaugural Northwest Flying Saucer Film Fest audience favorite along with winner of best documentary was Stuck In Orbit.

The film features John Henricksen, under the moniker “Burt Burtson,” who claims to have been abducted as he attempts to get people to believe his story. Henrickson made the film with the help of his family, including his grandson, Enoch Lui, who directed the film. Stuck In Orbit can be viewed at

To submit an entry, visit

All filmmakers must be based in the Pacific Northwest in Washington, Oregon, Idaho or British Columbia.


Kenneth Arnold’s fateful flight

When Arnold took to the skies over Southwest Washington on June 24, 1947, he had no idea his flight would still be discussed well beyond his own lifetime.

What was supposed to be a routine flight from Chehalis to Yakima and then to Pendleton, Oregon, in his single-engine CalAir A-2 airplane turned into anything but routine.

After departing from Chehalis about 20 miles west of Mount Rainier, somewhere near Mineral, he saw a bright flash in the northeast.

Initially, Arnold thought it was light reflecting off the metallic wings of another aircraft, but after more flashes appeared, he got a better look and quickly realized he wasn’t witnessing any known conventional craft.

Arnold saw nine metallic objects flying in an echelon formation stretching nearly 5 miles.

From his observations, each object appeared to be circular, roughly 100 feet in diameter, with no discernable flight control surfaces. The objects would periodically perform various aerial maneuvers including flips, banks and weaves.

Though it was only an estimate, Arnold knew the distance between Mount Rainier to Mount Adams and timed the objects as they traveled between the peaks. He calculated their airspeed to be at least 1,500 mph, more than twice as fast as any aircraft of the time.

In fact, the sound barrier had yet to be broken. That happened later that same year in October when the famous U.S. Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager exceeded it for the first time flying his Bell X-1 at 767 mph.

Arnold co-authored a book titled “The Coming Of The Saucers” in which he detailed his sighting, but despite the book and a lifetime of investigation, he never discovered what those objects were. He passed away in 1984.

To this day, nobody knows what Arnold saw in the skies above Mount Rainier, which eventually came to be known as “flying saucers” after an East Oregonian article used the words “saucer-like aircraft” to describe them the day after Arnold’s sighting.

Chehalis residents began celebrating Arnold’s sighting with a “saucer drop” during the Krazy Days festival in the 1960s and 70s, but the tradition was eventually forgotten until the Chehalis Flying Saucer Party revived it in 2019.

Aside from the Northwest Flying Saucer Film Fest and saucer drop event, the Chehalis Flying Saucer Party features speakers from throughout the paranormal investigative world along with special UFO-themed displays at the Lewis County Historical Museum.

For more information, visit or follow the Chehalis Flying Saucer Party on Facebook here