UFO witnessed in action from atop Mt. Erie, Washington

A group of six people, including myself, witnessed an unidentified flying object from the summit of Mt. Erie on Sunday 3 July 2011. We observed what we eventually determined to be a large, garbage-can lid type flying saucer shrink down into a bizarre high-speed orb. The other five observers were my then-wife Kristina (then age 42), my daughter Kate (age 12), and three men who appeared to be in their mid-to-late 60s. As I write this article I am 52 years old. Mt. Erie itself is a relatively short but steep mountain amid those scattered across the San Juan Islands. At 388 meters high (or 1,273 ft.) it is the most prominent in the area and dominates the Skagit River Delta region of northwestern Washington State. It also dominates Fidalgo Island and looms above a string of lakes near Deception Pass. The peak lies in the City of Anacortes park system. From the mountaintop we six saw a UFO engaged in unusual actions. Those actions were as if a machine ship or biological organism behaved as a subatomic quantum particle/wave.

The Location

Mt. Erie is noted primarily for two things. The first is the stunning panorama of views from the summit. From different points one can see into Canada and across to Vancouver Island. One can gaze in wonder across the Salish Sea to the Olympic Mountains to the west and east to the Cascades. Mt. Baker dominates the Cascades close by and Mt. Rainier anchors it beyond the distant skyscrapers of Seattle. Close by in the Cascades the rocky peaks of the Twin Sisters jut up into the sky. Bald eagles soar around the forests and over the patchwork fields of local farmers. One can at the same time stare spellbound across pastures, seas and lakes, lakes with islands in them, cliffs, big islands and little islets, mountains from two ranges, into two countries, and with a little imagination, out to the Pacific.

The second thing Mt. Erie is noted for is the variety of routes to the top. A maze of hiking trails weaved up the slopes. Rock climbers scramble like spiders up steep, rocky cliffs. Most folks, however, prefer to drive up a narrow, winding road to the tippity top. A few bicyclists will pedal their way up. Some refuse to go up at all and spend their time in boats on all that water below. I’ve hiked and climbed up a few times before and canoed two of the lakes, but I did what I usually do…drive up in my car.

We parked atop the summit. As we got out of our minivan, I noticed the time. It was 5:07 pm Pacific Time. Being almost two weeks after the Summer Solstice, it was bright and sunny. We were blessed with a gorgeous summer day with temperatures in the mid-70s and a cool breeze. I love coming to Mt. Erie. It’s been my family’s favorite place to bring out-of-state visitors, assuming the skies are clear, of course.

Kate and Kristina dashed with Jo our dog out to a lookout platform ringed with railings. I poked along with my camera. From this vantage point we could see in an arc from points east to the south and back to the west. Most of the Cascades were partially hidden by a row of jumbled clouds that reminded me of small thunderheads and cumulus clouds. Three men were already leaning out over the railings and enjoying the views. One was clearly the unofficial tour guide and pointed out various landmarks. Their conversation was a fluid mix of clear English and seemingly unaccented Spanish. Kristina is fluent in both languages. Kate knew a little Spanish, too, but I could barely remember mine.

What We Experienced

Kristina, Kate, and I looked out toward the Cascade Range. My view was focused more on the scenery below as clouds obscured much of the mountains. A glance at my watch showed the time was about 5:15 pm. Suddenly the group of three men to our right became quite animated and started pointing up in the sky and out toward the mountains.

Being hard of hearing, I got close to Kristina and quietly asked what they were talking about.

“They see something moving around in the sky.”

“Where?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Somewhere over there. Oh, there it is! Can you see it? Looks like a big black dot or something.”

I peered hard. My eyes focused upon the wall of broken clouds hanging in front of the Cascades. Suddenly, I saw it. A black object shaped like a line in the sky with a hump in the middle, like a garbage can lid with large center handles viewed on edge.

“I see it!” I shouted. “It’s a bird … an eagle soaring with its wings stretched out … floating atop the air currents.” I was about to say “thermals” when one of the men interrupted me in a friendly way.

“No, it’s not a bird,” he said. “Look at it again. It’s too far away.”

We looked again. He was right. The object did not move around as a bird or a hang glider or paraglider would upon a thermal. It was above the clouds roughly in the direction of the Twin Sisters but also in front of the clouds. As I scrutinized this strange object closely, I realized it moved in what I called a stationary wobble. It stayed still in the air, no movement whatsoever except for a slight wobble. As the “wings of the bird” or “edges of the garbage can lid” dipped up and down they did so in such a shimmery fashion I realized the object was also rotating around its center axis. But it was too far away to see any details beyond movement, and that it appeared black. The one exception was as it shimmied and rotated while wobbling in a stationary position, I could the smallest glint of sun against something reflective on the edge of the “lid” as it came around. The direction felt counterclockwise, but I couldn’t tell for sure as I’ve seen certain types of wheel-like objects appear to spin one way while actually spinning in the opposite direction.

Kate and Kristina peered intently at it. The three middle-age men were quietly animated and focused.

“Whoa!” shouted Kristina.

“What!” What!?” I asked.

I had looked away for a moment. In that time Kate and Kristina saw the object zip with dramatic speed to their left (its right) and make a half-circle crescent-like maneuver up into the sky. I turned back quickly and saw it higher in the sky. The anomaly had already changed shape. One moment it appeared as a stereotypical flying saucer with a shape similar to garbage can lids. Instantly it morphed without morphing into a small, dark dot or sphere that “felt” dense in an intuitive way.

Then I watched it drop straight down. It plummeted down with incredible speed. It dropped very straight with exact precision. Down down down it shot fast fast fast. I thought it might crash into the fields and woods below. But it didn’t. Quite unexpectedly the object winked out of existence. It disappeared. From visual existence anyway. Poof! Just like magick!

We were all excited now.

“What could that possibly be?” one of the men said.

“Well, it clearly wasn’t an eagle. Or an airplane,” I said.

“Wasn’t like any bird or plane I’ve ever seen before,” said the man who acted as tour guide to the others. “I know birds. And I know airplanes. In fact I live right next to that military base down there on Whidbey Island, and I know my planes.” He motioned far below to the naval air station on the island beyond Deception Pass.

“It’s wasn’t fireworks, either,” said another man.

“Well, it was clearly an Unidentified. Flying. Object,” I said, and shared with them my one other experience with a UFO back in the mid-to-late 1960s. “That was much closer and thus easier to see that it was a spaceship or some kind of metallic ship. It clearly under intelligent control, but I don’t know from who or from where.”

“Yes, that was a UFO. Must’ve been a UFO,” the other men agreed without hesitation. I felt a little surprised all three arrived so quickly at such a conclusion.

“Remember, too,” I continued, “that UFO doesn’t mean they’re alien spaceships from another planet. They could be. They might be. There’s billions and billions of planets out there in the Universe. Who knows? But that object operated as if it was under intelligent control.”

“Well, that was the very first UFO I’ve ever encountered,” said Kristina.

“Yes, that was definitely a UFO,” spoke up one of the three gentlemen.

“That thing out there actually exhibited behaviors I’ve read about regarding current UFO phenomena,” I said. “Instead of flying saucers we’re experiencing what many people call ‘orbs.’ I don’t know what they are.”

“It’s also much bigger than we think,” I went on, pointing out toward the mountains. “It was too far away to be a bird. What I thought was an eagle was too far away to even be an eagle.”

“Oh, it’s much bigger than a bird,” said one of the men.

“Much bigger than a plane, too,” I said and shook my head.

“Yes,” agreed another guy. The three men pointed out the shapes and sizes of different planes close by and also off in the distance.

“Watch that Cessna,” I said and pointed. A Cessna flew by our mountaintop and swung off toward the south. As the airplane buzzed off into the distance it gradually became smaller and smaller and smaller.

“That UFO was further away than that Cessna, AND it appeared much bigger than that little Cessna at that distance.”

“Wow,” said Kristina. “There was no noise.”

“What?” I asked. “That Cessna’s pretty loud. Even when it’s far away I can hear it droning and buzzing.”

“Oh, no,” said Kristina. “I mean the UFO. It didn’t make any sounds. There were no noises at all.”

The man who knew planes and I agreed with Kristina, too, that not only did it not make any engine or motor sounds we could hear but that the mystery object maneuvered in a way impossible for birds or aircraft.

All six of us agreed that whatever that UFO was it was not an airplane, not a jet, not a helicopter, and not balloons. Whatever the object was, it was far larger than a small airplane. How big, we could not tell. We don’t think it was as large as a big passenger jet.

Nor was this UFO some kind of bird or even a flock of birds and certainly not bats. We were not hallucinating. No mass hysteria or hypnosis. None of were drugged up and or drunk. I didn’t ask the three man that, but they appeared quite sober and solid. We were all relatively calm.

The UFO was not a rocket, not an angel, and not a demon or any animal-like or humanoid or divine entity or ghost we could recognize. It wasn’t marsh gas. It was not Planet Venus. It was broad daylight, still sunny bright in the late summer afternoon. That UFO was way too large to be a remote controlled toy helicopter or plane. But could it be a robot drone?

“Kate,” I asked my daughter who kept staring out into the sky with a twisted up face, “what do you think it was?”

“Mind tricks, Daddy. I think it was mind tricks.”


Well, was it mind tricks? Or was it a robot? Even if it was a drone, no drone I know of in the American military-industrial-intelligence complex can maneuver like that: staying absolutely still in one spot while wobbling and rotating without making any audible sound, then quickly and radically changing physical shape, and perform incredible maneuvers involving rapid acceleration and deceleration at high velocities.

I’m no engineer, but it seems such movements would generate G-forces that humans would be unable to withstand. Perhaps the same could be said for certain sensitive equipment and machine welds, too. And I could be wrong. It has been said by technology and secret weaponry buffs that research and development in the classified compartments of the military-industrial-intelligence complex often create machines and technologies 35 to 50 or more years ahead of what’s currently public and available on the market.

Another possible and logical answer would be that it was a machine that was itself alive and intelligent or operated by intelligent life forms from other planets and dimensions. Could be both/and/all as well. While this UFO acted as if under intelligent control, its actions upon us seeing it resembled those of a wild animal more than anything else to me. Some people who’ve studied or experienced orbs believe them to be bioplasmic in nature. Living electromagnetic energy? If such things are indeed alive are they intelligent and self-aware or simply wild animals? I don’t know.

Considering the rapid explosion of knowledge with so many new discoveries, it makes sense that our Universe teems with billions and billions of stars and billions more of planets. As the Universe is close to 14 billion earth years old, it is quite possible for life to have evolved on many of these worlds and in conditions far harsher than we have imagined. It’s possible that on some ancient planets life evolved billions of years before ours. Imagine intelligent species not just a few hundred or even a thousand years ahead of ours here on Earth, but a billion years ahead of us.

Why, we talk about the coming Singularity mid-century where machine life may surpass biological life right here on our planet. Perhaps we are share our biosphere with non-biological life forms we look at everyday without recognizing these objects as living beings.

Water itself also seems to be far more common than once thought. Furthermore, it seems more and more that our universe is but one inside a Multiverse of parallel or bubble universes. While we live in an awareness of four dimensions, there are dozens more dimensions.

At the moment we believe time travel and teleportation are impossible. While they may exist in certain extreme laboratory conditions and theories, such actions don’t seem possible in our mundane world with human bodies and their machines. Once upon a time, however, many scientific and engineering achievements were once thought “impossible,” including sailing ships to the far “ends of the Earth,” heavier than air flight, spaceflight, walking on the moon, deep ocean submarines, generating nuclear explosions via atomic fission and hydrogen fusion, cloning animals, harnessing brain waves to operate machinery, invisible metamaterials, and so on.

Even the cutting edge research into neurology, parapsychology, consciousness, and spiritual experiences including near-death and out-of-body experiences demonstrate there is much we simply are not able to perceive enough to measure yet anomalies exist so often as to be commonplace. The latest advances in cosmology and quantum physics with M-theory, superposition, dark matter, antimatter, black holes, holographs, and quantum entanglement challenge our understanding of reality.

One interesting thought I considered after this event was this large physical object behaved as what I’ve recently read about quantum particles. I’m no physicist, and I read of quantum being particles and waves at the same time or moving from one state to the other, being motionless while spinning, extreme movements, and then vanishing from sight as in the wink of an eye. So what is going on here? I do not know.

Furthermore, what explains the optical appearance of near-instantaneous physical transformation from a large, garbage can-lid saucer to a dark, compact spherical orb? Did the UFO shrink proportionally or did it merely compress itself into a compact ball? Were higher dimensional physics involved? Or was it some rare form of electromagnetically-induced group hallucination on a beautiful day of near-perfect weather? If true, then how does THAT work?

There is another aspect of this strange UFO that puzzles me. The six of us stared at it. As a wild animal focused upon some task suddenly goes into “fight or flight or freeze” upon realizing it is being watched, the UFO seemed to respond accordingly. The entity behaved as if it became self-aware we were focused upon it. Once self-aware it seemed to change its behavior.

When I shared this with Kristina, she rolled her eyes and laughed. She thought this crazy notion of mine was more in alignment with Kate’s idea of “mind tricks.” The three men weren’t around to ask by then. And Kate believes our minds made it all up as “tricks” and “shadows.” Except there wasn’t anything around to cast a shadow so far out from our summit perch.

Later I wondered if it responded differently to each observer at the same time? Did this saucer-to-orb manage to simultaneously tune in to our individual patterns and somehow managed to mirror our behavior and conditioned sensory expectations?

Photos? Videos? Sadly, no. While I had a Nikon D90 camera slung around my neck and Kate, Kristina, and I had cell phones with cameras, none of us took any pictures. None of us even tried to photograph the mystery object. First, it transfixed us. Then it moved far too fast to have captured any clear images. None of the three men attempted to take pictures either.

We all saw the same thing and experienced the same thing. I do see clearer than Kristina, and she hears better than me. Our interpretations, however, were based upon our knowledge of various topics, whether it was birds, airplanes, science, psychology, and UFOs themselves. All I witnessed from the summit of Mt. Erie is similar to the reports by many other people who have had close encounters with strange flying objects.

While the first UFO I saw back in Virginia with my entire family was clearly a metallic vessel or machine of some kind, this UFO was even stranger. I published a detailed account of this childhood event followed by a dive down the rabbit hole into the study of UFO phenomena and the politics of UFOs with its ramifications for our global civilization. To read my essay “UFO Encounter in Virginia,” go to http://williamdudleybass.com/ufo-encounter-in-virginia/ on this blog.

Have any of you experienced anything similar?


William Dudley Bass
8 July 2011
Seattle, Washington

NOTE: This was first composed on 8 July 2011 from memory as well as from notes I texted from July 3, 2011 with follow-up conversations with my wife and daughter. An earlier version of this was originally posted as “UFO seen from Mt. Erie, Washington,” on my older blog Cultivate and Harvest at <http://cultivateandharvest.blogspot.com/2011/02/ufos-encounter.html>. This was revised and rewritten on 21 November 2011. Thank you.


Copyright © 2011, 2014, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.


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