More UFOs spotted over Whidbey Island skies

On the heels of recent reports from South Whidbey and Marysville residents of unknown objects in the night sky, Isha Hendricks stands at a Whidbey Island park where she and her husband say they saw an unidentified flying object in the sky. - Contributed photo
On the heels of recent reports from South Whidbey and Marysville residents of unknown objects in the night sky, Isha Hendricks stands at a Whidbey Island park where she and her husband say they saw an unidentified flying object in the sky.
— image credit: Contributed photo

An Oak Harbor couple watched an object they could not identify in the night sky above Puget Sound two weeks ago.

Isha Hendricks reported the unusual object to the Mutual UFO Network, known as MUFON, becoming one of a growing list of Whidbey Island residents to describe unexplained lights in the sky.

Many of the sightings over the last 50 years are chronicled on the website

“There are things you can’t explain,” Hendricks said. “It makes the universe an interesting place to me.”

James Clarkson, the Washington state director of MUFON, said the sighting was considered “a close encounter” because of its height in the sky.

“If it’s farther than 500 feet away, it’s considered a light in the sky,” he said. “A high-altitude event could be any number of things.”

Still, he said there was a credible witness and the details were very interesting. He said the sighting was categorized simply as “unknown.”

Hendricks said she and her husband, James, were camping in a yurt at the Cliffside RV park on the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island on July 19. They sat outside on a bench swing that night, stargazing, when they noticed something unusual.

Hendricks said they both saw a white light similar in appearance to a star move across the sky from the southwest. She said it tracked like a satellite at first, but then made some impossible course changes.

“All of a sudden it made a horseshoe-shaped, 30-degree maneuver,” she said. “Then it dimmed and went dark.”

She said the object reappeared, hovered, then started moving. It suddenly made another dramatic course change and left a flame trail before appearing to leave the atmosphere.

Hendricks said she leaped from the swing bench in surprise. Then she and her husband watched in stunned silence as the object reappeared.

She explained that the light changed directions again. Most surprising of all, she said, the object started to pulse brightly.

She said it was about half the brightness of the moon.

The light dimmed to nothing again, but reappeared about 10 seconds later and once again changed course and pulsed light.

Hendricks said the light disappeared and reappeared four times.

“That was a hoot,” she said, adding that her husband half-jokingly said it “must have been swamp gas.”

Hendricks said she’s completely convinced that the light was UFO, with all its implications. She said she’s familiar with satellites and meteorites; her husband, a Navy man, knows about aircraft. The light wasn’t any of those things, she said.

It was at least five miles up, she said.

“It fascinated me,” she added. “Completely fascinated me.”

Hendricks said she told her mother about it. Her mother’s friend advised her to report it to MUFON.

She had never heard of such a group and wasn’t interested in UFOs previously — she doesn’t even have a TV — but she made the report.

An investigator from MUFON called her to confirm the account.

Clarkson said the organization received 197 reports of UFOs from June 30, 2012, to July 1, 2013, most of them from Western Washington.

Of those, 60 were categorized as “unknown aerial vehicles.” He said Hendricks’ report will not make the cut next year.

Of the 60, Clarkson said he was excited by about a half dozen on them.

“I would say, ‘yeah, those are really awesome cases,’” he said.

He said an amazing case, for example, occurred June 15 near Bellingham. “A very credible witness” saw an aerial vehicle land in a vacant field in complete silence, he explained. He said the witness drew a diagram of an unconventional “structured vehicle.”

A MUFON investigator found a “swirl mark in the grass.”

In March, a South Whidbey man and a woman in Marysville reported seeing mysterious orange lights in the sky.

As for Hendricks, she’s convinced that the light she saw was something otherworldly, or at least very much out of the ordinary. Her husband, on the other hand, believes there’s a rational explanation for the unusual light.

“He’s completely stubborn,” she said with a laugh. “He’s a sweetheart. He’s from Oklahoma.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 22
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates