“Untitled (UFO Sighting)” by Mark Counts

This is for the Dr. Yatu’s Contemporary Anthropological Folk Tales Project. ……All kidding aside, I would like to contribute and relate an incident that I was involved in during the late ‘70s. I was, at the time, a young lad in my early 20s ( I am 60 now) and was still living with my parents in semi-rural Rainier, Oregon.

It was after dark on the evening of my encounter, and I was on my way to see my sweetie, Mary Iba, at her residence a few miles away. Our driveway at the time wound its way from Old Hwy 30 to our parking area near my parents’ home, a distance of about 220 yards. I was nearing the end of the driveway where it sloped down to meet the road, when I noticed what I first took to be some kind of elevated lamp post above the pasture of our neighbors’ property, which was directly across the highway from my position. I thought this new structure was a silly thing to erect, being out in the pasture —“a nightlight for the cows?”

It then became clear that these lights were not connected to the ground in any way! What I perceived was three circular lights, each approximately 12 feet in diameter, arranged in a triangular pattern, about 40 to 50 feet in the air over the field. They were completely stock still with no wavering or floating movement whatsoever. I immediately knew this was something outside the range of anything I was familiar with, and I was quite knowledgeable about all types of aircraft AND space craft, as I had a keen interest in aeronautics from an early age. This object resembled nothing I had ever seen or read about.

I became quite excited at the prospect of seeing what I assumed was a bonafide “UFO” and, with my 1972 Chevrolet still running, opened the door to step outside to see more clearly. I observed that the lights were very dim, scarcely providing any illumination to the surrounding area; as if someone had taken three 12 foot hoops, stretched canvas over them and backlit them with 60 watt bulbs. This object was about 150 ft from me, and I could not discern what type of superstructure they were connected to. After a few moments of watching it with no movement or change in brightness, I reached into the car and retrieved a small flashlight that I carried for emergencies and flashed it on and off repeatedly at the object. With no response from that, I then placed my right foot on the headlight dimmer switch on the car’s floorboard and repeatedly flashed the object directly in front of me. Nothing happened for a short while after my attempt at signaling this strange thing, when, very slowly, it began to simultaneously rise and move southeast, just over the treetops.

As it began to move away, I got back in the car and determined to follow it. I was heading east, following Old Hwy 30, with the object above me and crossing the road diagonally to my right. As it increased its speed, I did as well, and it began to pull away from me even as I reached a speed of 60 mph. In just a few moments I had traveled the 3/4 mile to the turnoff at Elk Creek road, which was where I had intended to go that evening to visit my girlfriend. As I climbed the slight incline at the foot of the turnoff, I could still see the object as it traveled onward, over the Bonneville power lines on a southeast course at an exponential increase in altitude and speed until it was completely gone from view, having covered perhaps 30 miles in a split second against the clear sky background, lost in the glow from Portland’s lights in the far distance.

I continued on to my original destination, with no “lost time” that I was aware of, with quite a tale to tell to my gal who could only wonder at my description of what I had seen. So there you have it….recollected to the best of my ability these many years since the encounter, which I will never forget.

—Mark Counts

About richardfyates

Compulsive creator of the bizarre and absurd. (Artist, writer, poet, provocateur...)
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