|Occurred : 8/9/2003 22:30 (Entered as : 08/09/2003 22:30)
Reported: 10/9/2003 7:22:06 AM 07:22
Location: Gresham, OR
|Investigative findings and conclusions to the triangle lights sighting case in Gresham Oregon, August 9th, 2003.
Report by Oregon UFO Research Assistant Director Eric Byler of Salem, Oregon.
On 9/11/03 Byler received requested mail at home from his contact at the Abatement Department at the Port of PDX. There was a note attached to a computer printout of air activity over the Portland, Troutdale, Hillsburo area. At the top was the Port of Portland insignia and the following typed information to the right of the Printout...
August 29, 2003 Between 22:30-22:40 PM.
All aircraft operations over the Gresham area between 10:30 and 10:40 PM.
*The circles are five miles apart.
..and a note that said, "Eric. Possibly the person saw the Boing 767-300 (B763) coming in from the West. It was headed strait for him for several minutes. I'm also thinking that with all the pilots in the area at that time, anything unusual would have been reported." After examining the map Byler concurred with this opinion as the print out clearly showed the flight path and location of the plane in question during its journey towards landing at PDX. The Intersection of NW Angeline AV. and NW 5th St. in Gresham are also clearly marked on the map as mentioned in the original witness report.
There are four commercial flights represented on the map, three arrivals and two departures. At exactly 10:28 PM Boing 767-300 (B763) was arriving and was due west of the witness, 14 miles out and at 6998 feet. The flight traveled for about fifteen miles at 221 miles per hour on a nearly strait on flight path toward the witnesses location at Angeline and 5th, bright landing lights on, and then circled that location at about one mile out. It then began its strait decent to the North West toward landing at PDX.
Also in the air at 10:28 PM...
1) An arrival due South of the witness, 10 miles out and at 4961 feet.
2) An arrival due North of the witness, 5 miles out and at 1486 feet.
3) A departure northeast of the witness, 17 miles out and climbing at 5666 feet.
4) An arrival that had just landed from the southeast.
It has been confirmed that none of the other pilots in the area reported an unidentified during the duration of the witnesses sighting.
It has been confirmed that the tower did not see an unidentified craft in the airspace of the witnesses sighting.
No one coming or going from the Portland International Airport reported seeing an unidentified craft in the area of the Airport as described it should have been at the end of the witness report.
The witness himself does not report seeing the 767 in his airspace when the printout clearly shows he should have.
The logical explanation is that he did in fact see the 767 in his airspace. The fact that it was dark at 10:30 PM and that he was only seeing a series of lights lead us to the conclusion that he simply connected the dots with strait lines to give the illusion he was seeing a triangle shaped craft. This is very common with night light sightings. The fact that the entire sighting took place from a moving car also seems to account for his not hearing the commercial flight and would also seem to account for the other moments in the report when the lights appeared to "pivot" smoothly and turn in an odd manor.
Oregon UFO Research Director Skip Schultz writes..."In regards to the Gresham sighting, I have reviewed the data Eric received from The Port of PDX and the witness report. I agree with Erics analysis of the sighting. There were a number of identified airplanes in the approach pattern at the time of the sighting. One aircraft was in the reported location and at the exact time the witness reported seeing the triangular lights in the sky.
Next, if there was an unknown object in the same flight pattern as the airplanes we have verified were there at the time, they would have reported this to the PDX tower. Also, if the witness was able to see the lights, the tower would have also seen these lights. The tower would have immediately called the unknown asking for identification since there would have been no transponder signal. With no response from the unknown, it would have been turned over to our contact at the abatement department for verification. At this point the Air National Guard would have been alerted to scramble and identify the unknown. This did not happen.
The flight data Eric presents clearly shows that at the time of the sighting there was an aircraft in that pattern, in the exact location and landing at PDX. The lights disappearing at the point reported by the witness disappeared at the exact time that the known airplane landed at PDX. Media did not report that a UFO landed at PDX so we can conclude with certain confidence this sighting was the known airplane verified in the area at the time.
There was some disagreement with Oregon MUFON as to whether the pilots would report this to the tower if they had seen an unidentified in the first place. OUFOR is convinced that there is no conspiracy at the airport right now due to the heightened awareness and concern of terrorist threats and that if an unknown were to have been spotted our contact would have shared that information with us.
We conclude that the witness misidentified the lights of a 767 on its final 7 minute approach to PDX as a triangle craft based solely on light patterns, a very common occurrence.
Special thanks to Peter Davenport for sharing witness information with us and for MUFON State Director Tom Bowden for his follow up investigation in the Gresham area that included several witness interviews. We also would like to thank Jerry Gerspatch of the Port of PDX (Portland International Airport) for his continued cooperation and information sharing in this and past UFO investigations we have conducted.
Eric Byler - Assistant Director, Oregon UFO Research.
((NUFORC Note: We express our gratitude to Eric Byler, of Oregon UFO Review, for investigating, and sharing, this report. PD