NUFORC Home Page
Web Report Indexes : by Event Date | by Location | by Shape | by Posting Date

National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 7/1/1955 14:00 (Entered as : July 1955 2:00 p.m.)
Reported: 4/2/2000 01:09
Posted: 2/11/2003
Location: Carnation (on Tolt River, Cascade Mts.), WA
Shape: Disk
Duration:5-8 minutes
1955 daytime sighting of a saucer craft by a family of four while on a picnic on a Sunday in the Cascade Mts. of Washington. The family believes the craft hovered over the river, observing them (and vice versa). Craft left at unbelievable speeds and the father, a flight engineer for Boeing Aircraft and former flight instructor on the B-29s of WWII, insisted the family remain silent about the sighting so his career would not be in jeopardy.

I was thirteen years old, and it was a Sunday morning in July, 1955, in Washington State. I thought it was aspecial day from the start. The morning mellowed from a nighttime nip into a lovely, crisp summer day, more like late spring than summer, and the skies were a cloudless blue. Days like that are rare in Washington State, and my parents were not about to waste such an opportunity, so, over breakfast, they suggested a picnic. Later, I sat glued to the car's window, during our short drive into the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. My parents located a rather remote picnic site along the Tolt River, near the little town of Carnation, which I considered a perfect setting for our outing. Our car was not far away, but the spot was totally natural and untouched in appearance. The river was a bit too swift to wade in; its cold glacial waters spilled over heaps of stones and boulders. The river banks were even larger heaps of stones, most of them sanded smooth by years of flooding waters. Large stands of virgin Douglas Fir flanked the banks. We picnicked first, then I started a family game of skipping stones across the water. I remember laughin at the near impossibility of skipping stones on such wild waters, yet my Dad could often manage two skips. I don't remember how long we played like that, but at some point, my Dad picked up a slightly heavier stone and drew back his arm as though to loft the stone skyward, over the river. Instead, he stood frozen, arm drawn back, for several seconds. He was staring up, and off to the west slightly, across the river. With great alarm, I followed his gaze. There, above us, hovering motionlessly, was a UFO. It would be more accurate if I called it a flying saucer, for it was just that. It was as though someone had joined two round stainless steel saucers, edges together, only these saucers had no bumps, no varying angles, and no visible portholes or openings. I could see that the saucer's mass was easily defined along the edges, and solid in appearance. The sun was further to the south, and there was no glare on the saucer. It seemed to hang, suspended, like a monstrous steely plate, at a fairly low altitude, over the river. It remained there, motionless, as seconds stretched into an eternity. All was quiet except for the river in my ears. As I huddled near my mom and dad, I experienced a numb uneasiness, which was visibly shared by the rest of my family. It was not the presence of something alien that bothered me as much as the knowledge that IT was watching US. And how long had it been up there, hovering, before we noticed it? I noticed that the saucer's height was difficult to estimate, simply because I had no reference points to use for comparison, except possibly the tree tops. Was the saucer huge and at great height, or smaller and at a lower altitude? (This is the only point where my family and I recall things differently: I remember it as hovering low over the tree tops -- maybe one thousand feet or so --but the rest of my family remembers it as being higher. We all say it was 8-9 inches across, as the eye sees the diameter. I cede to their opinion, because I was the youngest of the group, and my imagination the most vivid. Although altitude is a debatable point, what is most important is that we all saw the saucer and for a considerable period of time (five minutes plus). Finally, the saucer started to move towards the east, silently, very slowly at first, then gathering tremendous speed. It left no vapor trail. Never, in my wildest fantasies, had I ever imagined an object could move so fast. And most incredible of all, it was silent speed. (Yes, the river could have muffled quite a bit of noise, but we heard nothing.) After it was gone, my father suggested we all sit. He was quiet and in control, and led our family discussion about what we saw. He said the UFO did not fit any aircraft known to earth, unless it was some sort of secret, experimental project. He absolutely discounted weather balloons, based on the fact that we could all see enough of the top portion of the saucer to accurately judge its total shape. Besides, my father was not making presumptuous statements; he had been a flight instructor for the B-29 bomber during World War II at Mather Field, California, and after the war he was a flight engineer with Boeing Aircraft Company of Seattle/Renton, Washington. Furthermore, he was an enthusiastic, leisure pilot, flying often in his spare time. My father also said that the saucer would reach New York City in twenty minutes (or less?) traveling at its departure speed. In 1955, nothing from our earth, to my knowledge, could travel that speed. My father made us promise that, (with only a few possible exceptions), we would keep this experience a family secret. He feared social backlash and loss of his job at Boeing if we reported the sighting. Usually -- not always -- I managed to keep his rule. After my father died in 1974, I started to speak about the sighting more often. I still wonder if speaking won't jeopardize my career as well. I hope not.