Jerry Nelson said he doesn’t know what it was he saw cross the Columbia River near Burbank heading toward Kennewick on Tuesday night, but he knows it wasn’t a plane.
The Finley man said he couldn’t distinguish an actual shape. He only could see three lights spaced far apart gliding through the dark sky.
"If I had a word to describe it, it was massive," he said. "It was long."
Nelson’s sighting is the second report of an unidentified flying object in the Tri-Cities this year, both appearing to come from the Burbank area.
The sighting comes at the end of a two-month span of increased reports to a Spokane-based UFO reporting agency and a week-and-a-half after crop circles were discovered near Grand Coulee Dam, about 150 miles north of Kennewick.
However, air traffic officials and a UFO expert said the unusual lights likely have a simple explanation.
"Ninety percent of the time it’s some night (operations) with the military," said John Torres, air traffic manager at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco.
Nelson said his wife was the first to see the object flying west from Burbank when she called him outside to have a look. The object, which had appeared to have red lights at the front and in the middle, and red and white lights at the rear, crossed the Columbia before heading north toward Kennewick.
"There was no sound whatsoever," Nelson said. He said the object moved "as slow or as fast as a blimp."
Nelson said he tried to take photos but couldn’t get his camera to focus. He called a non-emergency dispatcher to report what he saw and was told no one on either side of the river had made a similar report.
Torres said no one was in the air control tower at the time Nelson saw the strange lights. However, Burbank is in the flight path of the airport and "we have a lot of military routes in our air space."
Mike Klug of Burbank reported seeing strange lights over his community in late March. He described it as an orb with a bright light inside of it and captured video of it.
Peter Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center in Spokane, said he couldn’t definitively say what Nelson saw Tuesday night, but said that "the lights on an airliner or craft are not inconsistent" with his description.
Davenport also dismissed Klug’s sighting this spring, saying it likely was an aircraft seen in conjunction with the star Sirius.
Davenport’s agency has received twice to three times as many reports in the past month, describing different colored orbs appearing in the sky throughout the country, including in Spokane and Portland.
Authorities also haven’t yet discovered how a group of crop circles appeared in a wheat field five miles north of Wilbur. There is no sign of anyone having walked into the field.
Even though Davenport said Nelson’s report likely wasn’t unexplainable. He said it’s important people report possible UFOs sightings because people generally hesitate to report them unless they know they’ve been seen by others.
Nelson said he planned on filing a report with Davenport’s agency.
While in the Marine Corp, I saw two UFOs that looked oval and chrome and moved together very quickly.
As a young man, I was up on a hill observing fire missions from artillery units, when I spotted two bright objects over the mountain range in front of me.
As I adjusted, fire missions came closer. That’s when I heard and saw two jets coming from the right hand side.
The two UFOs pulled back as the two jets continue to approach. All of the sudden, the UFOs just shoot up into the sky; they made those jets look like they were standing still.
I called a check fire and they came back with "what’s wrong?" I told them there was UFOs in the impact area.
I was told to report it to my commanding officer. After reporting what I seen to the C.O., I was told that when we are out in the field, we should not concern ourselves with strange things we may see.
Later that month, I was in Camp Pendleton out in the field at night and bedded down in front of my truck. I saw and heard what seemed to be a marine helicopter with its lights shining down on me.
When I pointed my finger at them they took off. Later, I thought to myself that what they were trying to do was make me think that what I saw in the desert was a marine chopper.
I can say with confidence we do not have anything that moves like what I saw in 29 palms.
KENS NOTE: Twenty-nine Palms Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center is the largest, in area, Marine Corp facility in the country. Within the area's 932 square miles, military training and weapons testing is performed in association with other branches of the Armed Forces.
50,000 marines train at the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center every year. The base has over 1,000 structures, most located in the community of Mainside, and employs around 11,000 military and civilian personnel.
Reality TV show spot, recent incident part of busy 2012 for Sanger Paranormal Society
By Jodie Reyna, Sanger Herald
It’s the Central Valley’s version of “Ghostbusters.”
A few weeks ago, Jeffrey Gonzalez received a phone call from someone claiming that Reedley Police Officers and Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputies were involved in a pursuit down Lac Jac Avenue – chasing a UFO (unidentified flying object).
Gonzalez is the founder of the Sanger Paranormal Society (SPS) and received the call on the SPS 24-hour hotline. The call was aired during Gonzalez’s weekly Sunday radio broadcast on SPS Radio, 940 AM.
“The caller said police chased it toward Jack in the Box by Reedley College,” Gonzalez said.
Most people don’t think of the Central Valley as a hotspot for paranormal activity and other conspiracy theories. However, Gonzalez said the Valley lies in the bottom section of an area known as the “Nevada Triangle” similar to the Bermuda Triangle.
He said the Nevada Triangle, bordered by China Lake, Area 51, and the Lemoore Naval Air Base, is a popular area for paranormal sightings.
“Over the past 50 years, hundreds of airplanes have gone missing over the Sierra Nevada mountains and lots of people have gone missing in the mountains near Yosemite National Park, never to be found,” Gonzalez said.
He attributes some of the disappearances to Bigfoot, which is another activity tracked by the Sanger Paranormal Society. SPS recently gained worldwide attention after being featured on National Geographic channel’s “Chasing UFOs” on June 29. The reality segment called “Dirty Secrets” was about secret underground military bases. FOX News also did a write-up about the episode.
“You wouldn’t believe what’s going on in the Fresno area,” Gonzalez said.
During filming, which took place last January, Gonzalez claims that he and the National Geographic film crew were trailed by government officials in white vans. Since the show was aired, Gonzalez said he has received numerous phone calls from around the world from others who have spotted UFOs.
Gonzalez, who has a full-time job as an AT&T technician, became interested in paranormal activity as a child. While in junior high, Gonzalez said he saw something in the sky outside his Sanger home that was unexplainable. He said it wasn’t a helicopter or balloon.
“It scared me so much that I ran inside the house screaming. Ever since then, I’ve tried to figure out what’s going on,” he said.
Gonzalez initially began by researching ghosts, but then people started coming to him with stories about giant footprints believed to be from Bigfoot and unusual objects hovering over their houses.
“One thing led to another. Then, my name got out there and I started a 24-hour hotline,” he said.
Three years ago, Gonzalez, 46, founded the Sanger Paranormal Society with a team of four other people, each with their own specialty area. Gonzalez specializes in tracking UFOs, and is also an expert in electronic security systems. Other than when he was a child, Gonzalez said he has never seen a UFO, but has received hundreds of calls from people who have witnessed UFOs.
For Gonzalez, he considers chasing UFOs a hobby.
“It’s cool. I like trying to find out the ‘what if’s.’ What if we find the smoking gun? If we did, everyone’s lives would change — finding out that the government has been hiding the truth and that we have not been alone,” he said.
For those who are skeptics, Gonzalez said just ask the military and police personnel who have contacted him to report unusual activity, including Fresno Police Officers working the night shift. In addition, he said members of the media often call him to seek his expert opinion about paranormal activity in the area.
When Gonzalez receives phone calls on his 24-hour hotline, he said the stories can be verified because normally several callers from different areas will phone in around the same time to report seeing the same thing.
“People will call in who don’t know each other, and have the same stories. It’s not one person calling. It’s many people calling to report the same incident,” he said.
When people have a UFO encounter, Gonzalez said they have no other place to go. He said the military and police will most likely laugh at them, so he gives them a venue to explain what they have seen.
“It’s unbelievable when you think about it, but it’s actually happening,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t think we’re the only ones here. With millions and billions of stars in the galaxy, you’d be naive to think that way.”
Sometimes, homeowners and business owners will request that Gonzalez and his crew camp out on their property to track paranormal activity.
“We have all the equipment just like ‘Ghost Hunters’ have and we use the same stuff when we go out looking for Bigfoot, such as EMF detectors and night vision Cameras,” he said.
According to Gonzalez, the most popular time for UFO sightings is between 7 to 11 p.m. Gonzalez’s 24-hour hotline can be reached by calling 287-UFOS (8367). SPS Radio airs every Sunday between 7 and 8 p.m. and can be viewed live on the SPS website at sangerparanormalsociety.com.
1947 Woodworth, North Dakota UFO Hoax Caused National Concern
Published: 12:06 PM 7/31/2012
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The summer of 1947 may be considered the summer of the flying saucer. That summer 65 years ago is noted for some famous and some not-so-famous encounters with flying saucers.
The Roswell UFO incident made news in late June and early July in 1947. The Jamestown Sun carried only brief stories on the incident. Some publications reported the capture of a flying saucer and the recovery of alien bodies. The official explanation was a crashed weather balloon.
The truth of what happened in the New Mexico desert is still debated today.
Few issues of The Jamestown Sun that summer did not carry some reference to a flying saucer being seen somewhere in the United States. Still, no reports of UFOs in Jamestown or Stutsman County occurred.
The July 7, 1947, edition lamented the lack of Unidentified Flying Objects in the area with the headline, “None reported here – Saucers spurn city.”
That appears to be when some young men in Woodworth decided to cook up their own flying saucer.
“This kind of joke was all in character for them,” said Chris Wingire, nephew of John Wingire, one of the saucer conspirators. “From what I heard they seemed to be up for most anything.”
Not all of the pranks were completely harmless.
“Dad and John did things that were a little odd or funny,” Chris Wingire said. “They got a hold of some dynamite one time. They didn’t want to make too much noise so they set it off in a garage and blew it up.”
Older residents of the community agree.
“When they got together you didn’t know what to expect,” said Virginia Struxness, community historian.
The headline of The Jamestown Sun for July 11, 1947, said “Woodworth ‘Saucer’ Revealed as Hoax.” The subheading was “Five Confess Prank; Nation Gets Excited.”
The article detailed how Oscar Cellmer, William Clark, Wingire, Palmer Hanson and Leslie Thompson had made the “flying saucer” out of a part of a washtub, a lamp shade, some radio parts and a car fan. A coat of silver paint was added to make the unit look like something from out of this world.
“John (Wingire) was a welder,” said Chris Wingire. “They worked all the night before to build it and then put it in somebody’s yard. When she found it they came over and said, ‘hey, it must be a flying saucer.’”
The conspirators sweetened the story by adding they had heard there was a $1,000 reward for the capture of a flying saucer.
The saucer had been placed in the yard of Mrs. Bert Miller. It would appear, from the newspaper article, that Miller alerted a lot of people.
By noon July 11 more than 100 people had flocked to the Miller home. This included Capt. G.W. McCoy of the Civil Air Patrol in Fargo. He was given orders to make sure the object was “watched and closely guarded.” He was also told to make sure the item got “as little publicity as possible.”
The part about little publicity just wasn’t going to happen.
According to an article in the Minot Daily News, people were flying in to Woodworth to see the flying saucer. The story was picked up by United Press and distributed to papers and radio stations around the country.
The Associated Press also distributed the story, which ran with the headline “Hoax saucer excites N.D.” in the Bismarck Tribune.
Somewhere in the middle of the military visit and the “hundreds and hundreds” of visitors, the five conspirators couldn’t keep a straight face.
“Cellmer, Clark, Wingire, Hanson and Thompson, all residents of Woodworth, ‘broke down’ amid gales of laughter and admitted the prank after whispers of a hoax began circulating in this community,” wrote The Jamestown Sun correspondent.
Struxness said until the conspirators admitted the hoax, many in the community were frightened.
“People were scared,” she said. “From what I’ve been told it shook everybody up.”
The Jamestown Sun article described the level of concern the hoax raised this way; “Long distance telephone wires began to hum with activity as newspapers, radio stations and just plain curious folks contacted Woodworth.”
All five of the men who built the Woodworth flying saucer have since died. The last to pass away was William Clark, who died in spring 2012.
Witness Reports Shining, Metallic Disc over Michigan
Published: 2:31 AM 7/31/2012
Pontiac, Michigan - 07-30-12
Today I went out in the evening about 8:20 to let out the dog; I stepped out the front door with my binoculars to take a look at the sky.
In the southeastern sky at about 80 degrees I noticed a bright white shining metallic disc about the size of an aspirin.
It was very high up and from my perspective I would guess about 6-10,000 ft., much higher than I have ever seen a helicopter for sure. It was hovering with just a thin layer of haze under it.
I did not see it at first with the naked eye, but after spotting with my binoculars I could make it out faintly with just my eyes.
It was still disc-shaped once I was able to see it. I continued to watch it through my binoculars for another 15-20 seconds. I had the impression of somewhat of a donut shape with the center of the disc being somewhat different from the shinier edges and somewhat darker in appearance in the center.
It suddenly shot to the left out of my binocular view with incredible speed. There was a bright, reflective flash as it darted away. The craft was extremely bright from reflection and was much brighter on the western (sun) facing side of the object.
It did not appear to have any glowing lights on it. The entire sighting lasted less than two minutes and I get the distinct impression that this thing knew I was watching it.
The experience left me with a very eerie sensation; I have been creeped out since. Strangely enough as soon as the disc left, the haziness in that area of the sky seemed to evaporate as well.
I scanned the sky further for the next 15 minutes or so and was unable to locate anything out of the ordinary.
Because of the distance the object was up in the sky, it’s very hard for me to say exactly how large this object was, other than it was very high up.
On the 24th day of April 1950, 42 year old factory worker Bruno Facchini
was working the late shift, and stepped outside to get some fresh air on his
break. His home city of Varese in Italy had just had a severe thunderstorm.
The last distant streaks of lightning were still visible as Bruno decided to
see if the electrical system had popped a circuit breaker. He was taken
completely aback at what he saw not far from the factory doors.
Investigating a bright glowing light which he thought was part of a factory
transformer problem, he was shocked to see a circular shaped, glowing
object with a ladder descended from its bottom.
At the top of the UFO
was a greenish glow which partially obscured a light-skinned being.
The unusual being appeared to be welding something on the craft. Bruno's
first impression of the craft was that it was a type of experimental craft
from a nearby air base.
His impression was quickly altered by the sight
of several other small alien creatures which emerged from the craft. In a
moment or two, the ladder began to be drawn up into the mysterious craft,
and the beings began to reenter the craft through an invisible door of some
The full realization of what he was witnessing sent Bruno into a full run away
from the frightening encounter. As he fled, he heard a sound like that of a
large beehive. One of the remaining creatures pointed a type of weapon at the
scared worker, and a beam of force knocked him to the ground.
pain, he was able to watch the last activities of the strange aliens as they
prepared the craft to take off. The beehive like sound increased as the object
made its way into the skies and vanished from view.
The next day, Bruno made a full report of his encounter to the police
force. There were signs still visible of the activities of the night before. Police
found burned patches on the ground, and indentation marks of an extremely
Also found were some odd, green pieces of a metal-like
substance. Bruno recounted the welding operation, and suggested that the
green pieces of debris were refuse of the process.
The fragments were analyzed. The results of this test concluded that the
fragments were an "anti-friction" material, containing several types of metal
along with a lubricant. In September 1953, UFO investigators had their
own tests conducted on the green substance.
A scientific institute specializing
in metallurgy assessed that the fragments were 74% copper, 19% tin, and
other trace elements. The substance, under heavy magnification was a
yellow-white color, but did not contain any metals which could not be found
These conclusions did not entirely rule out the possibility of an extraterrestrial
connection in the case of Bruno Facchini. There is no way to conclude that
the metal composition could not be made on another planet.
was taken very seriously by all who knew him. He was a respectable man,
well liked, and considered to be reliable and trustworthy. He gained nothing
from his tale of the strange object and occupants he described on the night
of April 24, 1950.