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On Monday, March 01, 1999, the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) received a call over its telephone Hotline (206-722-3000) from an individual who identified himself as an employee in the forestry industry in Washington State. The individual left a message, in which he reported that a team of forestry workers allegedly had been witness to an incident on Thursday, February 25, 1999, during which time an elk was lifted off the ground and carried away by a very peculiar, disc-shaped object. Click here to hear an excerpt from the hotline recording.
Peter B. Davenport, Director of NUFORC, contacted several of the individuals whose names and telephone numbers had been provided by the first contact. Based on those telephone conversations, he elected to initiate a preliminary investigation of the incident.
Because NUFORC traditionally does not serve as an investigative body, Mr. Davenport contacted Mr. Robert A. Fairfax, Director of Investigations for the Washington State Chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, which does conduct investigations of alleged UFO sightings. Messrs. Davenport and Fairfax traveled to the location of the alleged incident, and jointly have been conducting an investigation of this elk abduction case since Friday, March 05.
Their investigation to date has included a trip to the site of the incident, an interview of three of the alleged fourteen witnesses to the actual abduction, and several conversations with individuals who work with the eyewitnesses. In addition, the investigators inspected the carcass of an adult elk, a pregnant cow, which was found dead beside a logging road on March 01 by other forestry employees within a few miles of the principal event.
The investigation and collection of facts surrounding the case will continue. This preliminary summary of their findings to date is submitted jointly by Messrs. Davenport and Fairfax.
Click here to hear the full audio report from the Art Bell Coast to Coast radio program.
On Thursday, February 25, 1999, at just a few minutes before noon, three forestry workers, who were planting seedling trees in the mountains of Washington State, witnessed a small, disc-shaped object slowly drift over a nearby ridge to their south, and descend into the valley to the north of their position. The object descended silently with what seemed to the witnesses a purposeful manner, exhibiting a slight “wobble” to its flight.
The three workers at first thought the object was some kind of parachute that was drifting and descending, but they quickly realized that their initial impression was not correct. Hence, they shouted to their eleven coworkers nearby, who were working on the north-facing hillside, and all fourteen members of the work crew watched the object for an estimated 3-5 minutes.
Within seconds of their first observation of the object, the witnesses became aware that the object was travelling generally in the direction of a herd of elk that they had been watching all morning. They continued to watch as the object proceeded toward the herd until it succeeded in getting quite close to the animals. The animals apparently remained unaware of the object’s presence until it was within a very short distance of the herd.
Suddenly, the animals bolted, most of the them running up the slope to their east. However, one adult animal was seen by the witnesses to separate itself from the herd and run or trot to generally to the north, perhaps along a logging road The witnesses report that at this point, the object quickly moved directly above the lone elk and seemed to lift it off the ground, although no visible means of support of the animal was evident to the observers.
Photo of incident site and reported path of craft
(graphic by Robert Fairfax)
The witnesses added that shortly after lifting the elk off the ground, the object seemed to begin to “wobble” to a more pronounced degree than it had exhibited earlier. In addition, as the object appeared to increase its altitude, the elk, which was suspended upright below the disc, rotated slowly beneath it and appeared to be getting closer to the ventral surface of the disc. They also commented that the object seemed to increase in size slightly after it had picked up the animal.
With the elk suspended below it, the object began to ascend slowly up a clear-cut slope to the east. However, the witnesses watched it apparently brush the tops of nearby trees to the east, at which point it reversed its course and proceeded to the west. It executed a 360-degree turn to the left and may have gained some slight altitude in the process, the witnesses thought.
After the object had completed its turn and was once again proceeding in a generally easterly direction, it began ascending very quickly at what seemed to the witnesses to be a rather steep angle. It continued to ascend, and simply disappeared from sight of the witnesses.
The witnesses stated that once the object had started to ascend and had climbed to an altitude above their vantage point, they no longer could see the animal suspended below the craft. Their presumption was that the animal had somehow been taken into the craft, although the witnesses could discern no “door,” or any kind of aperture through which the animal might have been conveyed into the craft.
The witnesses also stated that following the incident, the herd of elk
remained in the same general area, although remained more closely huddled
to one another than had been the case earlier in the morning. The
workers added that they, too, had remained closer to one another until
their departure from the area at the end of the work day.