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National UFO Reporting Center Sighting Report
Occurred : 11/15/2001 18:45 (Entered as : 11/15/2001 18:45)
Reported: 3/3/2002 4:52:59 PM 16:52
Posted: 3/19/2002
Location: Enumclaw, WA
Shape: Fireball
Duration: 5 minutes
Characteristics: There were aircraft in the vicinity or aircraft chasing the object
Investigative Report of Red "Fireball" Sighted Near Enumclaw, WA on 11/15/2001

RED ORB SIGHTED NEAR ENUMCLAW, WA Principal Investigators: William Puckett E-mail: Phone: 425-454-2256 Dr. Joseph Ryan E-mail: Phone: 425-373-0824 BACKGROUND On November 15, 2001 a woman and her daughter were driving from Enumclaw to their near Nolte State Park and saw a red orb. Three cars were pulled off to the side of road to observe the orb. The witness flashed her hi-beam lights at the orb. The orb came very close to the witness's car. The witness drove and followed the orb for several minutes and eventually lost sight of it behind the trees. The witness's husband was following behind and also saw the orb.

The sighting was reported to the National UFO Reporting Center on the same evening that it occurred. Subsequently MUFON investigators Dr. Joseph Ryan and William Puckett investigated the sighting. The results of the investigation are described below.

INVESTIGATIVE NOTES We made two trips to the Enumclaw area to investigate the alleged sighting. The first trip was made in December of 2001. In this trip we did not interview the witness, but we surveyed the area, took pictures, and made some environmental readings to ascertain anything unusual in the area. We also talked to the police dispatcher to find out the police received any ufo reports recently. The dispatcher told us that the last report that he received was about six years ago. The dispatcher did not recall the details the six-year old sighting. When taking measurements of the environment we did find extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic readings to be above normal for an area removed from electrical interference. Readings of around 5 milliGauss were obtained close to Nolte State Park where the orb was observed. (Although no clear guidelines exist for exposure to ELF it is recommended that exposure not exceed 2 milliGauss.) We observed nothing else unusual about the area.

On February 9, 2002 we made an appointment to visit with the witness and her daughter. We conducted an extensive interview including a tour of the area where the red orb was sighted. The results of our interview are briefly described below: The witness drove us through the area where the orb was sighted. The area was along Cumberland road to the northeast of Enumclaw. (See road highlighted in red on the map.) The orb was first sighted when the witness saw two towers each of which had a red light. The red light appeared to be close to the towers. The light then moved closer and grew larger. The witness then saw three cars parked along the road and the passengers were outside observing the orb. (The witness did not know any of the other witnesses.) The witness continued driving towards the orb and flashed her lights. At that time the orb moved very close to the witness's car to the point where her entire view was obscured by the red orb. At this point the witness was driving under 10 mph, but doesn't know how she could steer. She felt as if the orb was guiding her. (This was interesting because at the point where the orb obscured her view a steep curve was immediately ahead.) The witness had the impression that the orb was intelligent or under intelligent control because of the way it responded when she twice flashed her lights. The witness said that orb emitted no heat, sound, or odor. The witness also said that she had no fear of the orb at the time and neither she nor her daughter suffered ill effects during or after the sighting. The witness did say that her van began malfunctioning the day after the sighting. It is possible that the van problems were due to effects other than the sighting.

The witness did not strike the orb with her car, but either went through it or believes that it evaded her somehow when she otherwise should have struck it when it was directly in front of her, and so close that it blinded the entire road from her vision. She traveled quite some distance with the orb in this "blinding position," but did not recall how far. She estimated that she drove for approximately 8 seconds while so "blinded." She negotiated turns perfectly during this time, however.

Subsequent to the "close encounter," the witness lost sight of the orb when it moved behind some tall trees. The orb was moving eastward towards the Cascade Mountains. The witness noted that some aircraft were pursuing the orb before it moved out of her view. The witness then returned home, but went out on her rear deck to see if she could sight the orb. The orb was not sighted, but the witness noticed several strange aircraft in the area which had been pursuing the orb throughout much of time that it was in view. These aircraft are triangular shaped and sometimes move quite slowly and hover. The witness said that on this particular night one particular one was hovering close to her home. She estimated that the size of the triangular aircraft were about "fighter aircraft" size.

A few minutes after the witness returned home her husband arrived. He was following behind the witness and also saw the orb. The witness also said that her husband saw the aircraft "hovering" from their home. The husband has not been interviewed. The only other witness was the six year-old daughter of the witness. The daughter was interviewed in the presence of the witness and also saw the red orb. The daughter drew us a picture of a spherical orb which suggested that it was quite close to the ground. The daughter told us that the orb was about the size of a car tire.

One of the witness's neighbors heard a strange sound on the night of the sighting of the red orb. The neighbor did not see anything unusual.

The other mystery associated with this sighting is the strange aircraft that witness said were pursuing the orb. The witness says that she has seen these aircraft on a regular basis during the past three years. She says that the aircraft are triangular shaped, can rapidly change speed or direction, fly low, and sometimes hover. The lights on the triangular aircraft were almost consistent with modern USAF aircraft - two bright white lights center and front and both a "blue" and red light at points along the sweep of the triangle on either side. If the "blue" lights that she observed/observes were/are actually green, the lights would match current conventions for placement of night lights. She was absolutely sure of the color "blue," however.

The witness said on one occasion that she could see two pilots and could make out of the pilot's features (blond hair). The pilot was clearly human. The witness has a job in which she works in the early hours of the morning. She sights these aircraft in the early morning hours. Sightings are more frequent on clear nights (95% of the time). She says that the aircraft come from the Auburn area and sees them coming and going in the general direction of Auburn. The witness said that the aircraft fly quite low (75 to 1000 feet) and generally fly from west to east (when coming from Auburn). Sometimes the lower flying aircraft appear to simply "disappear" behind trees that are relatively close or even house tops right across the street.

In addition to witness testimony, we decided to obtain radar data for the time period when the witness had the sighting. The radar data did not reveal any aircraft in the vicinity of Cumberland Road where the witness sighted the orb. However, radar data did show several slow moving aircraft to the north and west of Enumclaw. This is the general direction where the witness frequently sights these aircraft. (See map. On the map The aircraft are coded with red arrows which show the direction of movement. Estimated speeds are also shown.) The radar data shows several aircraft moving quite slowly (under 70 mph). Two aircraft were observed flying at speeds of conventional aircraft (200 and 360 mph respectively). The radar data showed the normal heavy traffic in and out of SeaTac Airport. As expected these aircraft were moving at more conventional speeds expected for commercial aircraft. A check of weather data on this night shows light southerly to calm winds at weather stations throughout the Puget Sound area. Skies were partly cloudy with weather radar showing some widely scattered rain showers. The witness said that it was clear in the area where the orb and other aircraft were observed.

We also contacted both Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and McChord Air Force Base to establish if any military aircraft were in the area at the time of the sighting of the orb. The Air Force said that no aircraft were in the area on the evening of the sighting. The Navy said that two F18's were flying from Miramar into Payne Field at Everett, but were above 15,000 feet. These aircraft flew over the Enumclaw area about 6 pm which is about 45 minutes before the witness sighted the orb.

Another note of interest is that the same witness has sighted other orbs in the area. She sighted a green orb two years back which she describes as about the size of a full moon. She also sighted another red orb over Enumclaw which was more "fish" or "cigar" shaped. We did not record when this sighting had occurred. We have a record that red orbs have been sighted over the Enumclaw area before. In February, 1996 a red orb was sighted. A picture was snapped of this orb. We showed the picture to the witness, after the interview, and she said that the picture looked exactly like what she and her family saw.

CONCLUSION/SUMMARY This case has been extensively investigated. Detailed interviews have been conducted, meteorological and radar data have been collected, inquiries to FAA, Whidbey Naval Air Station, and McChord Air Force Base have been made. We have collected electromagnetic readings in the vicinity of the sighting, taken pictures, and have performed a general survey of the area.

The red orb in this case is unexplained. The case is weakened somewhat by the lack of "unrelated witnesses." The case is strengthened by virtue of the fact that other red orbs have been sighted in the area. It is pure conjecture to guess at what the orb was. Some scientists believe that orb-like sightings are more common in seismically active areas and that the earth releases gases which show up as nocturnal lights. The Enumclaw area is close to Mt. Rainier which is an active volcano (currently not erupting). Nocturnal lights have been sighted extensively on the Yakima Indian Reservation and in Hessdalen, Norway. However, the Sweden and Yakima lights are generally not red in color. More yellowish or white colors are common. (See references 1 and 2.) A check of astronomical data for the date and time of sighting shows that Jupiter was low on the northern horizon at the time of sighting. However, it is unlikely that Jupiter would account for the brightness, movements, and apparent intelligence of the orb.

The above normal low frequency electromagnetic readings in the area are interesting. These readings were obtained well removed from power lines and other known electrical equipment. A few scientists attribute higher readings in the areas of volcanoes. Perhaps Mt. Rainier could be responsible for the above normal readings. However, this is not widely accepted amongst the scientific community.

The mysterious aircraft that the witness saw pursuing the orb on the night of the sighting are also unexplained. However, the witness believes (and we agree) that the aircraft are piloted by humans and could be secret military aircraft. The witness regularly sees these aircraft at night. The radar data suggests that some slow moving aircraft were in the area on the night of the sighting. However, no aircraft were seen on radar where the witness saw the orb and the aircraft. This does not mean that the aircraft were not there. (They could have been too low to be picked by radar or stealth aircraft.) Radar data is difficult to interpret and sometimes will pick up cars, birds etc. We did overlay data with streets and did not see echoes moving along well traveled roads. This suggests that the echoes were aircraft.

We conclude that the witness has been truthful and very likely encountered the orb. We also believe that the aircraft are unidentified, but of human origin. The orb is unexplained. The orb could be an unknown natural phenomenon or a vehicle of a higher intelligence.

We plan to conduct further studies of the aircraft in the area. We are planning to collect more radar data and have received several detailed follow-up reports from the witness. We are going to make some early morning trips to Enumclaw and see if we can sight any aircraft. We are hopeful to collect useful data in the form of videos and pictures.

Reference 1: Craig Glenday, The UFO Investigator's Handbook, Running Press, 1999 Reference 2: William R. Corliss, Remarkable Luminous Phenomena in Nature, The Sourcebook Project, 2001

((NUFORC Note: We express our gratitude to Mr. William Puckett and Dr. Joseph Ryan, Ph.D., for following up on this sighting report, and for sharing it here. They have done an excellent job of investigating this incident, we believe. PD))