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Nearly 4,000 UFO Reports In Washington So Far In 2019

Patch logo Patch 12/7/2019 Lucas Combos
a large body of water with a mountain in the background: The National UFO Reporting Center tracks unverified reports of unidentified flying objects around the U.S. © Shutterstock/Illustration The National UFO Reporting Center tracks unverified reports of unidentified flying objects around the U.S.

The National UFO Reporting Center gets witness accounts of unidentified flying objects every year from people in Washington and elsewhere around the country.

The idea that we’re not alone and aliens from another galaxy are circling the planet in strange-looking spacecraft has long fascinated us. Thousands of reports of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, are filed every year. In Washington, 3,825 reports have been filed in 2019.

The National UFO Reporting Center’s website is filled with accounts like this one, from Gallipolis, Ohio:

“A husband (former law enforcement) and wife (scientist), while sitting outside their recreational vehicle at a public campsite, witness a very bright light approach their campsite from the south in an erratic manner, appearing to slow or stop on several occasions as it drew near. It got within 50 yards, they estimate, of their campsite, at which time, out of a sense of alarm, the husband reached for his .45 caliber sidearm, but he felt unable to use his arm, or lift the firearm. The object, estimated by the witnesses to have been approximately 20 feet in diameter, hovered nearby for approximately 8 seconds, and then suddenly accelerated toward the west, and disappeared very quickly to the west.”

Intrigued? Don’t be jealous of those folks in Ohio. Here’s some of what’s been reported in Washington recently:

Date: 11/21/19

Time: 12:30 a.m.

City: Olympia

Duration: 30 minutes

Summary: A hovering morphing diamond of vibrant red and blue.

Date: 11/12/19

Time: 4:15 a.m.

City: Stanwood

Duration: 20 minutes

Summary: Circular Craft with multiple colored lights that twinkled.

Date: 11/2/19

Time: 1:30 p.m.

City: Tacoma

Duration: 45 minutes

Summary: There was one saucer spotted at 1:30 a m in the south Eastern sky. It appeared to be a silver disk spinning with lights changing colors.

Date: 10/30/19

Time: 10:10 p.m.

City: Sammamish

Duration: 30 seconds

Summary: Two crafts flying in formation, and then turned toward outer-space and vanished.

Date: 9/17/19

Time: 5 a.m.

City: North Bend

Duration: 45 minutes

Summary: Silent triangle lights moving strangely around Mount Si.

UFO hunting has been a popular pursuit in the United States since the mid-20th century, when Kenneth Arnold, a businessman piloting a small plane, filed the first well-known report in 1947 of a UFO over Mount Rainier in Washington. Arnold claimed he saw nine high-speed, crescent-shaped objects zooming along at several thousand miles per hour “like saucers skipping on water.”

Although the objects Arnold claimed to see weren’t saucer-shaped at all, his analogy led to the popularization of the term “flying saucers.” And since then, Americans have been more or less obsessed with the idea that alien life is among us.

It may be easy to scoff at some of the eyewitness accounts on the National UFO Reporting Center, but the idea of intergalactic travel got a boost when information emerged from the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, a $22 million, multi-year program that began in 2007 to investigate "unidentified aerial phenomena," according to reports by The New York Times and Politico.

Related: UFOs Are Real, Retired Navy Pilot Suggests Of Weird Aircraft

Former Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid slipped in an earmark for the program into the Pentagon budget. Nevada, of course, is the home of a U.S. Air Force facility known as Area 51, the source of multiple alien conspiracy theories, including claims that interstellar visitors are held there; that the 1947 Roswell crash wasn't a weather balloon at all but a Soviet aircraft piloted by mutated midgets; and that the 1969 moon landing was filmed by the U.S. government in one of the Area 51 hangars.

The Pentagon program was defunded in 2012. But in a report released in late 2017, the investigators detailed an account by retired Navy Cmdr. David Fravor, who was conducting a training mission off the coast of California in 2004 when he saw an oblong craft flying erratically through his airspace at incredible speed, maneuvering in a way that defies accepted principles of aerodynamics.

Fravor described the wingless object, about 40 feet long and shaped like a Tic Tac, as other-worldly.

“I can tell you, I think it was not from this world,” Fravor told ABC News in 2017. “I'm not crazy, haven't been drinking. It was — after 18 years of flying, I've seen pretty much about everything that I can see in that realm, and this was nothing close.”

Fravor's account is convincing. When he saw the object from the air, controllers on one of the Navy ships on the water below reported that objects were being dropped about 80,000 feet from the sky, then headed "straight back up."

He could see the disturbances on the water below and breaking waves on the surface, "like something's under the surface," he told ABC.

The radar jammed, and as Fravor flew closer, the craft rapidly accelerated and zoomed upward and disappeared. Once the object was gone, the ocean below was a still sheet of blue with no evidence of disturbance. Infrared scanning also showed no evidence of an exhaust trail, he said.

"I don't know what it is," he said. "I don't know what I saw. I just know it was really impressive, really fast, and I would like to fly it."

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