Washington state has always played a prominent role in the history of unidentified flying objects, and Whidbey Island is home to at least one of the most interesting cases one “UFOologist” has ever encountered.
Maurene Morgan, state director for Mutual UFO Network, outlined the history of and questions raised by a number of unexplained sightings and experiences across the state.
More than 70 people packed the meeting room Saturday at Coupeville Library to hear Morgan’s presentation on strange reports of lights, orbs, triangles and more in the sky going back as far as 1893. Her organization, called MUFON, serves as a research and investigation organization that people can report to, with chapters across the United States and several other countries.
Morgan’s focus is on Washington, from which more than 200 sightings were reported last year, she said.
Since 2005, 30 cases have been reported on Whidbey, most of which originated in Oak Harbor.
Now that more people have knowledge of her organization, Morgan said she hopes there will be more UFOs reported.
One of the most captivating incidents occurred late at night in July 2014. Oak Harbor resident Bud Ebanks was standing in his driveway with a few of his neighbors at around midnight.
Morgan started the story as part of her presentation, but Ebanks himself finished it.
Ebanks said that, without prompting, he and his neighbor’s 12-year-old daughter simultaneously looked at the end of the cul-de-sac. There, he recalled, they saw a white hot disk that pulsated. It hovered above the ground at the end of the cul-de-sac, and, in the middle, there was a dot that almost looked like an eye.
Something yellow dripped from its side.
“I’m thinking, should I shoot it?” Ebanks said. “I’m like, no. I’ll end up as a statistic.”
Ebanks said he and his neighbor’s daughter watched in stunned silence as the disk moved along the street, stopped once more, and then disappeared in between two houses across the street.
Nobody else standing in the driveway saw anything, he said. They’d all been talking and looking the other direction.
Neither Ebanks nor the girl wanted to go and investigate the area of the object they’d just seen.
“We were petrified,” he said.
Ebanks said he didn’t want to report the sighting to anyone, and he didn’t even know who to tell anyway. It was six months later when he finally contacted MUFON.
Morgan said she and other investigators work diligently to rule out any other possible explanations for these kinds of unusual sightings. No transformers blew. There was no activity reported by the base.
And, she said what made Ebank’s sighting most interesting was that she dsicovered an almost identical report from eastern Oregon.
Other attendees at the meeting indicated they’d seen inexplicable phenomena. Many already seemed to know about the extensive history of UFOs.
One man said with absolute certainty that these crafts can only be seen if the beings inside them want to be seen. Otherwise, they’re hidden, he said.
The man couldn’t be identified because he promptly left the meeting after giving his comments.
As for a mysterious “missile” photo taken by a weather camera last June, seemingly in the area of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, both Morgan and most people who participated in the discussion were unconvinced by the explanation that it was an ambulance helicopter, distorted by the long-exposure photo.
In 2009, an Oak Harbor resident photographed a mysterious red light in the sky. That same evening, a Camano Island resident made an identical report.
The police blotter from the Sunday following the MUFON meeting included a caller reporting“weird white lights in the sky.”
After decades of investigations and research, Morgan said her organization and the human race as a whole is no closer to understanding what these instances are or why they occur. She said stories beg questions of our species’ place in the universe, our understanding of reality and our readiness or ability to find and accept truths.
“What do we know after 50 years?” she said.