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Oregon among top states for UFO sightings

An unidentified flying object that hovered over Pendleton last week left some residents with questions. But this is nothing new for people in the Pacific Northwest.

PORTLAND, Ore. – An unidentified flying object that hovered over Pendleton last week left residents with questions.

Some theorized the white object was a kite or a plastic bag but Virgil Bates, who took photos and video of the object with his phone, said the object did not move as a bag would in the wind.

More: Strange sighting in sky leaves Pendleton residents with questions

Credit: E.J. Harris/East Oregonian
Unidentified object in the skies over Pendleton on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

While questions remain about what the object was, one thing is certain: the Pacific Northwest is not new to UFO sightings.

In 1947, private pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine “saucer-like aircraft flying in formation” between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams in Washington. Arnold estimated the objects were traveling about 1,200 miles per hour.

One of the most famous reports of a UFO happened in McMinnville in 1950. At around 7:30 p.m. on May 11, farmers Evelyn and Paul Trent spotted a disc-shaped object hovering in the sky. The couple said Paul ran back inside the house, grabbed a camera and took the now historic, and much-debated, photographs.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo of UFO in McMinnville in 1950

The 1950 sighting is the inspiration for the annual UFO Festival in McMinnville, which organizers say is the second-largest event of its kind in the country.

In 1959, police officer Robert Dickerson was driving through the streets of Redmond, Oregon when he saw a large, bright object descend over the city, stop abruptly, and hover at 200 feet. The object was low enough that nearby treetops glowed, he said.

Archive video: Fighter jets sent to intercept Redmond UFO

An administrator at the Redmond Airport also witnessed the event and filed an official report with the FAA.

Credit: KGW
An administrator at the Redmond Airport and filed an official report with the FAA about a UFO sighting.

From strange sights and sounds one early morning in St. Helens in 1981, to mutilated cows in Vancouver in 1991, and crop circles near Hubbard in 1998, there are many more stories of unexplained activity in the Pacific Northwest.

And the mystery of UFOs in the Pacific Northwest continues today. According to a study by 24/7 Wall St., Oregon ranked second in the US for most reported UFO sightings per 100,00 people from 2001-2015. Washington ranked third. The only state with more reported sightings per 100,000 people was Vermont.

Since the Pendleton incident, two more sightings have been reported on the national UFO reporting center website.