Three Decades of UFO Sightings: Where is it Going, and What Does it Mean?
History of the National UFO Reporting Center
The National UFO Reporting Center (“NUFORC”), together with its affiliated telephone Hotline, was founded in October 1974 by the late Robert J. Gribble, a retired Seattle fire fighter, who also served as the State Director of the Mutual UFO Network (“MUFON”) from 1969 to 1988. Gribble served as Director of NUFORC for almost 20 years, building the organization into a well-known, and highly respected, UFO reporting facility, dedicated to providing anyone who felt he or she may have been witness to a UFO-related event with a place to call to report the information.
In July 1994, Gribble turned over the position of Director of NUFORC to Peter Davenport, a Seattle-based businessman and college instructor. Davenport, like Gribble, was also an active member of MUFON, and who, at various times, had served briefly as a State Section Director, Field Investigator, and State Director of Investigations for the Washington State chapter of MUFON. Davenport strove to preserve the many commendable features that had been incorporated into NUFORC by his predecessor, and he presided over transition of the operation into the era of computers and the internet, thereby vastly expanding the volume of UFO-related material the Center could process.
Davenport also has increased NUFORC’s public visibility significantly through his having made a myriad of public appearances on radio and television programs, as well as at UFO conferences, lectures, and symposia.
What Is NUFORC, and How Does It Differ From MUFON?
Whereas MUFON and NUFORC are similar, in the sense that they both maintain 24-hour telephone hotlines for accepting UFO sighting reports, there are, nevertheless, significant differences between how the two organizations function. The principal difference between the two is that MUFON is a much larger, membership-based, organization, with several thousands of members, a board of directors, state chapters, and a number of other organizational sub-units. NUFORC, on the other hand, consists principally of two people, its director, Peter Davenport, who resides in eastern Washington where he runs the day-to-day operations, and its webmaster, Mr. Christian Stepien, based in Santa Barbara, California, who maintains the website.
Another significant difference between the two organizations is that MUFON has the staff and trained personnel to be able to conduct investigations of reported sightings, whereas NUFORC does not have that resource or capability. Instead, NUFORC posts most of the reports submitted to it via its Online Report Form to its website in “raw” form, with, at most, a comment made by the person proof-reading the text of the report. That person is almost invariably the Director.
Over course of the last 28 years, Peter has fielded at least 300,000 telephone calls over the UFO Hotline, which have given rise to rise to in excess of 136,000 written reports posted to the NUFORC website, www.ufocenter.com .
II. SIGHTING REPORTS TO BE PRESENTED AT THE MUFON SYMPOSIUM
Peter Davenport will attempt to discuss all, or most, of the sighting reports that appear below:
- Eklutna, Alaska, a Saturday evening October 1936—Two teenage males, assigned to a Civilian Conservation Corps camp during the Depression, while hitchhiking along the highway into Anchorage, are approached by a strange looking craft which was radiating a peculiar hue of blue-green light, giving off a strange sound, and approaching their location in high-speed flight. They dive into snowbanks in hopes of concealing themselves from the bizarre looking object, then turn around and return to camp.
- Fontana, California, on a weekend night, summer1937—Three young boys, returning to their homes from the local movie theater, are suddenly illuminated from above by an intensely bright shaft of light. They run to a nearby orange grove and attempt to conceal themselves from the light.
- Western Ontario/Lake Erie/NW Pennsylvania–Friday, August 25, 1995, @ 00:40 hrs. (EDT)—A peculiar looking, extremely brightly illuminated, flickering, spherical object streaks overhead in the clear night sky above a Canadian television news team on a stakeout assignment. The camera operator captures several seconds of video of the object, which minutes later, is seen over northwestern Pennsylvania, and which may have been the same object seen hovering just south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
- Phoenix, Arizona and surrounding cities and states—Thursday, March 13, 1997, @ 20:00-22:00 hrs. (local)—The “Phoenix Lights” sighting, which will be discussed in a second lecture with Dr. Lynne Kitei, MD.
- Pacific Northwest—Wednesday, April 22, 1998, @ 21:20 hrs. (PDT)—A former RCAF fighter pilot is shocked to observe a green ‘fireball” streak overhead, moving to the south at very high velocity. Many other witnesses in Seattle witness the same object, which was reported to have stopped and hovered at least once, before apparently descending, and passing over the weapons storage bunker at Bangor Submarine base on Hood Canal, Washington. Minutes later, the object was seen by a Yakima Deputy Sheriff streaking north!
- Cascade Mountains/Washington State—Thursday, February 25, 1999, @ 11:59 a.m. (Pacific)—Fifteen forestry workers, while planting seedling trees, witness a strange aerial craft lift a female elk out of the forest and fly off with it.
- Mt. Montour, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania-Sunday, August 04th, 2002, @ 05:30 hrs., (EDT)—A man in his late 30’s is alleged to have been taken up, and into, a disc-shaped craft, hovering above Mt. Montour. A search party, consisting of more than 200 individuals, was hurriedly assembled. Approximately 40 hours after the abduction, the victim’s badly mutilated remains were found hanging in heavy brush, very close to his home, located several miles from the initial abduction site.
- Mobile, Alabama, Wednesday, October 23, 2002, evening hours—An experienced pilot takes off in a Cessna 208B single-engine turboprop from an airport near Mobile, Alabama, and turns east for a flight to the East Coast. The pilot is advised by Air Traffic Control of an aircraft several miles ahead of his, which he acknowledges. Seconds later, he radioed a distress call, reporting an object apparently on a collision course with his aircraft. The destroyed aircraft reportedly had had the forward section its engine sliced away from the aircraft’s fuselage.
- Chicago, Illinois—November 04, 2008, @ ~21:20 hrs. (CST)—A young woman drives her late model sedan out of her apartment parking lot and proceeds to drive along a nearby three-lane secondary road. Suddenly, her car is jostled by an unseen force, and she notices that her outside rear-view mirror is missing. She steers her car off the pavement to a parking place, climbs out of the driver’s seat, and is shocked by the damage done to left side of her car. Over the past 20 years since the event occurred, no one has been able to describe to my satisfaction what normal, commonplace, terrestrial-based event could have caused such damage.
III. UPDATE ON PROPOSED USE OF “PASSIVE” RADAR TO DETECT UFOs
Peter will discuss the current status of his proposal, made at the 2004 MUFON Symposium, to use commercial radio and television signals to detect UFOs in the near-Earth environment.
IV. Q & A
Peter will attempt to leave some time at the end of his lecture for questions from the audience.