On Monday, July 7, 1947,William Rhodes, age 30, of Phoenix, Arizona, was in his backyard on his way to his workshop when he heard what he thought was an F-80 jet overhead. But what flew over his house that day was a grey-colored UFO, which he estimated to be 40- to 50-feet in length and traveling at 400-600 miles per hour. Rhodes grabbed his camera and took photos. Though it isn’t evident in the photographs, Rhodes claimed there was a dome atop the aircraft.
The shape of the craft is somewhat like what Kenneth Arnold spotted over Washington state three weeks earlier on June 24, 1947. Also, on July 4, three days previous, the date is not exact, a UFO was either shot down or crashed in the desert outside Roswell, New Mexico, near where Walker Air Force Base was located.
Prior to Rhodes’ sighting, there had been a thunderstorm in the area, which may have adversely affected the ship because as Rhodes watched, he noted the UFO spiraled from what he estimated to be 5,000 feet to approximately 2,000 feet before it flew off.
After the local paper printed Rhodes’ photos and story, government authorities showed up at his door and requested the negatives, which they claimed would be studied at a military or other government facility. Some have surmised these officials were the notorious Men in Black. The agents promised Rhodes they would return the negatives, but this never happened.