Oregon’s UFO History in Brief
If you’re craving more UFO goodness, view our slide show of baffling photos taken by fellow Oregonians over the years.
MAY 1949 A fishing party on the Rogue River spies an unusual hovering object through binoculars. The description of the saucer-shaped craft given by two of the men is very similar to the one in the McMinnville case (see p. 104) a year later.
SEPTEMBER 1959 A policeman and FAA employee at the Redmond Airport see a bright, reddish object hovering 200 feet off the ground. It registers on multiple nearby radar screens before rising out of sight with a “long yellow and red flame from lower side.”
JANUARY 1973 A veteran and his family driving south along the coast encounter three “yellowish glowing objects” near Coos Bay. The man gets out to inspect them and finds a large object made of a sparkling, gemlike material.
MARCH 1981 A man listening to police radio frequencies on his CB captures a 30-minute audio recording of sounds coming from a 30-foot-wide orange light hovering above the Columbia River near St. Helens, lighting up both banks.
FEBRUARY 1984 A 16-year-old driving home with her boyfriend around 11 p.m. near Fern Ridge comes across a black, triangular object hovering over a marshy area by the side of the road. Other drivers pull over to observe it and then speed off, frightened.
1985 A flight attendant on a trip to Portland serves a passenger with “very piercing eyes and an unusual forehead” traveling without any luggage. The passenger inquires about the mass and velocity of the plane but doesn’t know the names of everyday objects.
SUMMER 1989 Ranchers in La Pine report 35 cattle found slaughtered and mutilated over the course of a few weeks. The Deschutes County DA heads up a task force whose report remains secret to this day.
JULY 1992 Nine witnesses at Glenwood Park in Southeast Portland see a “very bright” and “intense” light hovering silently above the area for almost 30 minutes. An out-of-focus VHS recording shows a glowing red dot against the night sky.
MARCH 1996 Two witnesses capture a video of six glowing spheres hovering in the afternoon sky above Lake Grove. The unidentified orbs are gold, blue, and pink and appear sporadically over the next two hours.
DECEMBER 2004 A Springfield man photographs a “very, very bright” bluish circle with a red rim in the night sky—which he believes to be the under-side of a UFO. Investigators initially believe it could be a planet, but none should have been visible that night.
JULY 2005 A Eugene couple photographs a “bright reflective” saucer moving across the sky. The FAA won’t provide radar data to investigators, but witnesses report that three military jets show up minutes later and tail the object until all are out of sight.
AUGUST 2005 In Eugene, several independent witnesses report “unusual” bright lights in the midnight sky, close to the ground and moving erratically. A grainy picture from one of the witnesses shows a red circular object, glowing yellow on the edges.