WHIDBEY ISLAND UFO REPORT CLASSIFIED AS AN "UNKNOWN"
After a thorough investigation of all pertinent facts, the
UFO sighting reported by Dan MacIndoe of Oak Harbor on January
21st, 1988 has been classified as a true "unknown". The Mutual
UFO Network (MUFON)--a civilian organization of trained
professionals that investigates UFO reports--has ruled out all
possible conventional explanations for the object seen by Mr.
MacIndoe, his wife, mother, mother-in-law and father-in-law, and
Dan MacIndoe, age 32, an ex-Navy lieutenant with seven
years military service in the field of aviation
supply--including work assignments with the Navy's prestigious
Blue Angels squadron--was rated as an exceptionally credible
witness by the MUFON organization.
The UFO encounter began at 10:45 p.m. on the night of
January 21st at the MacIndoe home not far from the Whidbey
Island Naval Air Station. Flight operations at Whidbey NAS had
by that time been over for 15 minutes, with the last plane
reported "on the deck" at 10:30 p.m.
The UFO was first observed by Cornelia MacIndoe, age 72,
Dan MacIndoe's mother, who sighted a bright, orange-yellow
stationary light in the southern sky when she went outside to
smoke a cigarette. She called the entire family's attention to
the object, and together they watched as the UFO shot straight
up for approximately 3 degrees of arc from a position 25 degrees
above the horizon in the direction of the Naval Air Station.
The object then abruptly stopped, made a sharp right-angle turn
in the horizontal direction and came straight towards them.
According to MacIndoe's account, the object covered a
distance of one and a half miles in approximately 3 seconds. As
the UFO approached the house it seemed to slow, taking
approximately 15 seconds to slowly drift directly over the heads
of the five adult witnesses and child. It disappeared from view
as it travelled in a straight path to the NNE, passing behind
some tall fir trees behind the MacIndoe house.
While the object was passing overhead Dan MacIndoe was able
to observe the object through a 135 mm telephoto lens, and was
also able to determine that there was no sound associated with
its flight. Mr. MacIndoe described the shape of the underside
of the object as that of "a perfect circle."
"The lights were blueish-white in nature and I estimate 15
lights spanned the circumference of the circle. All remained on
forming a circle of 'running lights'. The lights would pulse
brighter in sequence, I believe going in a clockwise direction,"
Dan MacIndoe reported.
He went on to say, "...during the event winds were calm,
there were scattered clouds in the vicinity. We live in a rural
area. There were no sounds. During the entire episode none of
us heard the usual prop or jet noise associated with military
aircraft using the airfield. At the time the object was
directly overhead I asked my family for complete silence to
listen for engine noise. There was absolute silence."
According to Dr. Donald Johnson, Washington State Director
for MUFON, a combination of factors were sufficient to rule out
all mundane explanations for the sighting. "The fact that this
overflight occurred in restricted military airspace, together
with the testimony of multiple witnesses, the complete lack of
sound, the observation of the unusual lighting pattern on the
object seen through magnification, and the lack of wind combine
to provide sufficient information to classify this case as an
"In other words, there is little possibility that the
object the MacIndoes and others reported seeing that night was a
satellite, balloon, commercial or military airplane or
helicopter, or astronomical body." The National Weather Service
and Whidbey NAS were called to confirm that there were no
weather balloons released at that time. Additionally, several
of Mr. MacIndoe's Dugualla Bay neighbors and others from as far
away as Lake Washington, Edmonds, and Bellingham called him to
report that they had also witnessed unusual lights in the sky
Dr. Johnson reports that the field investigation has been
evaluated by the national headquarters as complete. The
sighting was assigned a strangeness rating of four on a
five-point scale--labelled as "strange, does not conform to
known principles", and it also received a probability rating of
four on a five point scale--"credible and sound".