Mount Adams, Washington – UFO Hot Spot?

Mount Adams in Washington state is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Mountains about 31 miles from  Mount St Helen’s which erupted in 1980. It’s one of the largest volcanoes in that area reaching a height of 12, 281 feet (3, 743 m). The last eruption is estimated to have occurred in 550 BC give or take a thousand years. A stratovolcano is the type of volcano that builds up tremendous pressures as it’s getting ready to blow. Have you ever heard of the cataclysmic eruption on Krakatoa? Another stratovolcano.

Down in the valley around Mt Adams life would seem to be much more peaceful except for the incredible number of UFO sightings and other paranormal phenomena seen in the forests around the area. A couple TV shows went there and investigated and though their investigations weren’t conclusive in my opinion, they did have some strange experiences while out there at night.

James Gilliland’s Ranch

James Gilliland’s ranch sits in an area that is a prime viewing spot for all these unusual sightings and occurrences. He “hosts” visitors to his ranch and lets them experience the nightly events. I didn’t get the impression that any of this was for free, but I could be wrong. He used to be in real estate so he has business experience.

If you check out the ECETI website you can learn more, although I personally wouldn’t dwell on it too much. I think it’s a lot of unreliable and unscientific mumbo jumbo. ECETI is an acronym for “Enlightened Contact with Extra Terrestrial Intelligence”.  Umm hmm. The website describes James as an “Author, minister, transpersonal intuitive, counselor, and visionary.” Oh yes, and a “Contactee”.  He seems to have a devoted group of followers and in my opinion, this is sounding more like a cult, than an investigation into strange phenomena.

There was also mention on this site that the military are monitoring them and flying over the ranch and kind of harassing them. Maybe that’s because there is a military base very close by in Yakima, Washington. Anyone living near a military base (and frankly, even an airport) is going to see lots of flying vehicles in the sky. It doesn’t mean they are spying on the ranch.

I don’t trust any information coming out of this ECETI group because their philosophy is extreme and nonsensical in my opinion. I have to wonder if there is any illicit drug use going on to enhance any of their experiences? We just don’t know. And frankly, there are other ways to get the information we seek rather than rely on the ranch’s input. So I’m setting them firmly aside and starting the investigation as scientifically and practically as possible.

Back to Reality

Popular Mechanics magazine did a country-wide study and issued a report of its findings in an article called “U.S. Map of the Top UFO Hotspots and How to Report a Sighting” in December 2009. Yakima County, WA ranked 4th in the nation for the most UFOs spotted in a “Less Populated County”.  The tally was counted for the years 1947 through 2005. So something has been going on in that area for a long time.

In 1947 the first modern UFO sighting was reported in that same area – right over the Cascade Mountains near Mt St Helen’s and Mt Adams. Pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing 9 saucer shaped craft flying in and out of formation at 3 p.m. In Jon Kelly’s article for the, he quotes Mr. Arnold as saying, “[They were] extremely bright – as if they were nickel plated – and flying at an immense rate of speed.” He estimated they were at an altitude between 9,500 and 10,000 feet and clocked them from Mt Rainier to Mt Adams, arriving at the amazing speed of about 1200 miles an hour.

Mr. Arnold landed in Yakima after that but no one there knew anything or saw anything. He did find a man from Ukiah who said that he had sighted the same objects the previous afternoon from the mountains in the Ukiah section.

Sightings have continued since then. Here are some recent videos purportedly showing UFO activity over the Gilliland Ranch and entire Mt Adams area:

July 6, 2012: link to video

This shows a clear image of a bright ball moving quickly across the night sky. The speaker predicts that it will “flash back” at the viewers gathered that evening and sure enough, within seconds, the thing flashes brightly. Interesting, but I think it was probably a satellite or some other man-made space traffic rather than a UFO.

Sightings like these are not that interesting because they’re so far away you can’t see any detail, you can’t get a good idea of the size and real shape of the object, so it comes down to seeing another ball of light. Not very interesting in my opinion.

April 13, 2012: link to 15 minute video of ball lightning

I couldn’t watch the whole video because it was so boring. What I saw on the side of the mountain is more than likely ball lightning. Ball lightning is often seen around mountains especially in areas with seismic activity. For another story about ball lightning, see the blog post about the Brown Mountain Orbs, which you can find here:

Triangle Formation Flying over Mt Adams January 9, 2008

Triangle UFO formation over Mount Adams, Washington – 9 January 2008 from justa4t on Vimeo.

This is an interesting video because you can see the three lighted points of the triangle. But you can also see between the space where a triangular craft should be. So could this be three craft moving in unison in a triangular formation?

I’ve said before on this blog and the radio show that I believe the triangular shaped UFOs belong to our military and that they’ve been experimenting with it all around the world. Let’s not forget there is a military base right near this mountain.

Here’s a pertinent quote from that Popular Mechanics article on UFO Hotspots: “ Military refueling lanes crisscross the nation, and lights from air tankers and warplanes flying at night in close formation could appear as triangles of light from the ground.”

Because it’s too hard to say what it is, I’m going to settle on this was probably something man-made or from the military base. It seemed too tame for UFO behavior.


Fox News Hannity Segment: Visit Gilliland’s Ranch 2009

Interesting that Hannity and Fox news would lend the ECETI group any credence, but since they did, let’s look at the video the film crew took that night. They caught yet another ball of light traveling quickly through the sky.  Another satellite? The space station zooming by? Military experiments?

What really annoys me is when Gilliland says that aliens gave us microwave and other technology that was handed over to Bell Labs and allowed to develop. It has been refuted very clearly that that is NOT true. Men and women are responsible for all the developments in our technology and scientists can verify it.

No Aliens Then?

It may sound like I don’t believe in aliens – but in truth, I’m very much open to the possibility of their existence. (See the blog post about USOs – Shag Harbor and the Sognefjord). What is going on in and around Mt Adams is perplexing.  Kenneth Arnold’s account of seeing 9 saucer shaped craft that sunny afternoon in 1947 is very compelling because he was up with them, he could clearly see them – no orbs of light, no fuzzy images – he saw the craft clearly. His sighting was further verified by the pilot from Ukiah who had witnessed the same craft a day earlier in the same area. Clearly, they were of alien origin.

Since then, people may have seen alien craft, but we won’t know because the multitudes are confusing legitimate sightings with the plethora of satellites racing around the globe, plus the space station as it whizzes by, and possibly military aircraft in training maneuvers.

One expert I read said that the space around earth if full of satellites, or “sats”, as he called them. There are low earth satellites called  LEOs that can be tracked if you know how. Apparently if you take the sat tracking software called J-Track and start it, it will only show a couple of major NASA sats over the earth. Observers need to enter each satellite’s Keplerian data in order for the software to capture and track the data on-screen.  (Keplerian data are the figures needed for a mathematical formula to calculate a satellite’s position in space at any given time.)

Other witnesses who live in the Pacific northwest testified that they’ve seen countless satellites in their lifetimes and even though they believe UFOs must exist, in every case they say they’ve never seen one.

People claim they have seen “Men in Black” around the area. They are seen around military installations around the country and let’s not forget there is a base nearby. If, as some say, the Men in Black are actually aliens in disguise, they these aliens aren’t as sophisticated and brilliant as I would expect them to be. Why? With all the high-level technology at their disposal, they shouldn’t have to be present to spy on us. I feel sure they’d have SOMEthing that would pick up our conversations and actions. Having to dress up as a human and walk around the planet just doesn’t say “high-tech” to me.

People claim they see Bigfoot in the area. I’ve said this several times on my radio show, I believe it’s only a matter of time before Bigfoot is welcomed by the scientific community as the unique and special species that it is. I feel sure they are walking around the wildernesses of the world trying to stay out of humanity’s way. Bigfoot has been seen throughout the whole northwest coastal area, which is where Mt Adams sits,  so that’s no surprise. I certainly don’t think Bigfoot is connected to aliens nor do I think there is any evidence that the aliens are interested in Bigfoot.

Verdict Please!

There may be alien activity in and around the Mt Adams, Washington area. However, some people are taking it to extremes, and some, who I believe are so anxious to have an alien encounter, will believe anything. In almost every video I’ve seen taken there they are seeing either a satellite or ball lightning. In some cases, it may be military training exercises.

I feel if the general public were more aware of the science behind satellites and earth science (like the ball lightning) they could discern a real UFO sighting from these other distractions.

Let’s remember that UFOs are often seen around military installations. So there may be times when a real UFO is buzzing around the Yakima county airspace, but it’s going to be lost in the tonnage of reports about satellites and ball lightning.

How to Tell the Difference

Satellite: They’re going to move in a steady trajectory/line at the same rate of speed. If it looks like it “flashes” that means it was positioned for a moment where it caught some of the sun’s rays. Remember they are VERY high up and the sun is still within range, even though it’s nighttime for us down below.

Ball Lightning: This is round, orb shaped and moves in a chaotic way, no rhyme or reason for it.

UFO: May move in a straight trajectory then suddenly veer off in another direction. May become stationary, may follow other human craft in the air with it. May accelerate then decelerate, may suddenly disappear.

Let’s all keep our eyes on the sky (NOT when we’re driving!!) and try to discern more clearly what’s up there and what we’re seeing.

Til the next time!


  1. My boyfriend and I were camping at Mt Adams last year in August and around 12midnight we were laying in our tent, This was at the Morrison camp ground. WE were just laying there and say a jelly fish type vessel quietly moving across the sky like an airplane. Strangest thing I ever saw…. Dont even ask me about the growls I heard near my tent..

    • Very interesting, Stone. Thank you for sharing. No idea what the jellyfish craft could be, but I feel sure the growls you heard were Bigfoot. They are VERY active in that area, and while I’m always skeptical about UFOs, I believe there is enough evidence and eye-witness accounts to convince me Bigfoot is the real deal. Thanks again!

      • Your skeptical of UFO’s but believe in bigfoot….really? Do you even know how many eyewitness reports per year of unidentified aerial objects are in the sky in the USA alone, versus big footsies. And evidence, seriously? Heavy sigh, shake head side to side…………

  2. Camping at the Bingen Wa Marina, Oct 2nd 1994. Between 2 and 5 in the morning I saw what appeared to be a shooting star or meteorite, except it instantaneously landed 30 feet from my car. It was looked like a globe shaped red/orange ember from a fire. About 30′ X 30′ . No noise at all. It seemed to be rotating and strobing from bright to dim while a sort of fog or steam came off of it.. There was no decernible hard or solid surface, it looked more like a glow or plasma. I sat petrified as I watched it for 10 to 15 minutes and my car radio stopped as well. I usually keep in on a non FM station for static as a white noise to help me sleep by blocking out noises when I camp. When I decided in spite of the crazy adrenalin rush of fear I was going to get out of my car and go look at it, it simply was gone, vanished. I decided that it was really cold out (the first night of the year that I’d felt frost) and likely not too safe so I oddly enough laid back down and went right to sleep. I didn’t remember the whole episode for over two days, but I was really exhauseted the next day and couldn’t fifure why. Then, later that week, I was driving (in SW WA) and saw what appeared to be a shooting star or meteorite, and the whole memory came back instantly. My paradigm of reality drastically changed after that. Once something like that happens to you, you can never go back to the same old same old ideas about life, the world, reality, “reason” ect. It changes you forever.

    • I don’t doubt your experience at all, LadyLane. I’m sure it was pretty unsettling to say the least. I believe there are UFOs based on some really unexplainable accounts, but I think they are rarer than people think due to other things masquerading as UFOs – like unexplained Earth science, people playing with drones and ROVs, as well as the militaries of the world experimenting with all sorts of new things.

      There are other articles on this site about UFOs if you’re interested. You can find them at the top right of the home page under “Articles by Topic”, I think it’s “UFOs and Aliens” or vice versa.

      Thanks for visiting CryptoVille and sharing your story! … Susan (CryptoVille)

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