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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 5/17/2001 21:45 (Entered as : 05/17/01 21:45)
Reported: 5/28/2001 08:37
Posted: 8/5/2001
Location: Ames, IA
Shape: Triangle
Duration:3 Minutes
Credible witnesses, using binoculars, checking details of huge, nearby object.

This report is from Bev Trout, Iowa MUFON State Director, E-Mail address is: and she would welcome questions, comments, etc. about the following report:

PhD at Iowa State University,his wife, and three children witnessed this sighting of a "huge," silent triangle, with bright white lights blinking/strobing/pulsing, first seen at about 50-55 degrees up from western horizon, last seen about 30 degrees up from eastern horizon, with traverse time of 3 minutes at 23:45 (9:45 p.m. Central Daylight Time) on May 17th. 5 minutes later witnesses called Iowa MUFON State Director. Subsequent investigaton shows cloud ceiling at 9,000 ft. with family estimating altitude of 5,000 feet, with closest approach 85 degrees almost overhead. Viewed through binoculars by husband and wife, with 378 feet linear diameter field of view @1,000 yards(translating into approx. 7 degrees angular field). Binocular field of view could not contain the entire triangular object. That is, husband and wife could NOT see the entire object within the field of view of their binoculars. Obviously, these witness estimates cannot pinpoint the exact altitude, dimensions, etc. of this object, BUT these are credible witnesses who are able to question their own perceptions. Investigators on this case, having checked law enforcement, Iowa state climatologist, and FAA, are convinced that whatever was seen was, indeed, "HUGE," and since we cannot easily explain it, it remains in the UFO category. ADDED TO INVESTIGATORS' INTEREST IN THE AMES AREA, are reports of a neighbor to the above family having seen an unexplained aerial object BETWEEN/BESIDE their adjacent homes on a previous occasion. ALSO, the wife witness in the above case had a daytime sighting three years ago near the southwestern part of Ames (this is town of permanent population of around 30,000....student population at Iowa State University obviously swells the population considerably) PLUS, we have been contacted with abduction reports by several individuals in the Ames area - all witnesses thus far check out as highly educated, credible individuals with (as far as we can tell) their "psychological" feet on the ground, i.e. not wanting to over-conclude, but realizing that they've been able to remain conscious at least part of the time during encounters involving UFOs. IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED THAT - only 7 miles from Ames in 1996, two crop formations were discovered, with plant and soil samples subsequently being submitted to Dr. W. C. Levengood's non-profit laboratory in Michigan, with lab results clearly showing anomalies associated with the formations. AS AN INVESTIGATOR, I NOTE THAT someone else from the Ames, Iowa area turned in a report to NUFORC recently, without leaving their name so that they could be contacted by MUFON investigators. I would like any individuals who are reluctant to report to us to know that MUFON DOES NOT REVEAL WITNESS IDENTITY, unless that witness is willing to be revealed publicly. We have NO WISH TO EXPLOIT ANYONE!)

((NUFORC Note: Our gratitude to Bev Trout for submitting the report. We encourage any other wintesses to the event to contact her directly. In addition, we would invite other witnesses to submit brief reports to NUFORC, using our Online Report Form. Thank you. PD))