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Unexplained UFO Mystery: Salem's Flying TriangleJ. D. Adams Salem-News.com
The craft quietly defied all rational explanations...
(SALEM, Ore.) - Our UFO sighting was in 1988, here in Salem, Oregon. In pursuit of an explanation for it, I formed the theory that having an open mind is the first prerequisite.
Thousands of people have witnessed Unidentified Flying Objects and other so-called paranormal phenomenon, but the tendency is to rationalize these observations because it disrupts a simple concept of the world.
It's frequently proposed that we have senses that can't be explained by conventional wisdom, but these abilities appear to fade with continued exposure to cynical viewpoints.
Indeed, my wife and I didn't want to believe what we had witnessed. Being practical Oregonians, our minds reeled at the possibilities that were unleashed by the occurrence.
The public at large became aware of UFOs with a 1947 sighting by pilot Kenneth Arnold near Mt. Rainier. But even during WWII pilots reported aerial anomalies which came to be called 'foo fighters'.
Cold War politics are likely responsible for a percentage of UFO sightings during that era. The CIA desired to have extremely fast, high altitude reconnaissance aircraft, leading to the development of the Lockheed A-12 and later the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.
These were capable of speeds over three times the speed of sound, and were the first attempts at stealth technology.
Not only could the radar-reflecting profile of these aircraft be mistaken for a flying saucer, but they were capable of a radical maneuver known as a 'dipsy-doodle' which consisted of a climb to over 30,000 feet, followed by a nose-over, a steep dive, and then a climb upward at Mach 2.
When viewed head-on, the maneuver would appear as the rapid descent, hovering, and ascent at incredible speed that has been attributed to many UFOs.
However, if one were to dismiss the Roswell incident and all the false alarms caused by experimental aircraft, you would still have to explain thousands of sightings. The most frequently seen UFO is the triangular-shaped craft.
Reports of these UFOs increased during the 1980-1990 time period, and have been seen all over the world, often near highways. Our sighting was typical in that regard, as you shall see.
Our encounter was on a crisp fall night like any other, with errands to be completed. The sky was clear and full of stars. My wife and I were returning from the grocery store, driving northward along Fischer Road in Salem.
It is a residential thoroughfare that parallels Interstate 5. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something hovering over the freeway.
The unnatural stillness and lack of visible support for the object had caught my eye. At first I thought it was a traffic helicopter, which by itself would have been unusual in this area.
As I looked closer at the object, the uniqueness of it compelled me to pull the car over to the side of the road and stop. I got out and listened hard for the sound of rotor noise, but there was none. The fact that it was only about 200 feet away made this highly unusual.
The craft had lights about its perimeter, but the exact outline of the body was strangely indistinct, like it had a low profile when viewed from the side.
In an attempt to explain the phenomenon, I initially dismissed it as one of those Harrier jets that can vent the exhaust downward for landing. However, the quietness of the craft and the fact it was over the freeway made this impossible.
As human beings symbolic logic is our forte. It is one of the things that distinguishes us from lower primates and other animals.
But there was nothing in my experience with which I could represent the UFO in my mind, so I came up with the best that I could, a rather poor representation of what I was actually seeing.
My wife was also observing the strange craft. Exchanging glances with her, I got back in the car and we drove on to Silverton Road, turning left and passing under the freeway and several blocks westward to our apartment.
As we turned into the parking lot, we both viewed a sight that is still fixed in my mind like a photograph. There was the hovering craft directly over the parking lot. It had followed us over from the freeway. I had to drive toward it as I pulled into our parking spot.
We watched in amazement for a few moments and then decided to get out.
There were no bright lights shining downward, and nobody else was outside at the apartment complex at this hour to view it besides my wife and I.
There was just it and the two of us, as if we had been selected out of a nighttime crowd that was too busy to look upward.
One of my impressions at the time was how unusually easy it was for something so remarkable to be otherwise unobserved in the dark sky.
Obviously whoever was piloting the UFO had seen us watching them, and they were now looking at us out of curiosity or to see if we represented some kind of threat.
At this point the craft was about 70 feet overhead.
I could see clearly it was perhaps 30 feet across, with a triangular shape that was outlined with small round lights.
There was no significant sound coming from it, only a faint humming that was barely noticeable. The way it hovered absolutely motionless made it all the more fantastic.
The craft quietly defied all rational attempts to explain it. It was real, a dark gray triangle floating in a sea of stars.
We stared at it for what seemed like thirty seconds, with tension slowly building.
We hastened inside our apartment and walked directly across to the patio door to look out. The craft was slowly moving southward, building speed with deliberate precision.
Its ponderous mass floated like it was a feather, disappearing into the night sky. Since we had said little during the event, I asked what my wife had seen as verification, and she mirrored my observations.
Looking at the clock, we were relieved to see no time was missing.
I feel privileged to have viewed such an amazing phenomenon. We shall never forget it.
Was it a secret military prototype, the implementation of Nikola Tesla’s later theories of gravity repulsion, spawned from his confiscated notes?
Perhaps. But at this late date nothing resembling it has surfaced in the news.
Or was it something from beyond our solar system, cloaked in darkness and the ignorance of our more primitive world?
J. D. Adams was born in Salem, Oregon, a descendant of Oregon Trail pioneer William Lysander Adams. As a wilderness explorer, photographer, and writer, he sustains a kinship with the spirit of the Oregon country. JD inhabits Oregon's Silicon Forest as an electronics professional with degrees in Electronics Engineering Technology and Microelectronics.
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