Northwest residents share stories of UFO sightings, hope for government disclosure

Three men in suits raise their right hand in a Congressional hearing.
Ryan Graves, Americans for Safe Aerospace Executive Director, from left, U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Maj. David Grusch, and U.S. Navy (Ret.) Cmdr. David Fravor, are sworn in during a House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee hearing on UFOs, Wednesday, July 26, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Credit: Nathan Howard / Associated Press)



It was late at night and the sky was full of stars. Jensen Lovelett often spent nights gazing at the constellations from his backyard deck on Guemes Island off the Washington Coast. “I’ve always been into celestial navigation,” he said. 

As he stared into the horizon over the ocean, something caught his eye.

“I saw a red light out by Anacortes. I didn’t think anything about it at first, but the light started blinking, and getting closer,” said Lovelett.

It didn’t look like the normal plane landings and air traffic he usually sees in the area. The islands off Washington’s northern coast are home to a U.S. Navy Base and Naval Air Station. 

Lovelett called to his then-girlfriend who was in the house and she joined him on the deck. The pair stood together and watched as the round light started to pulse brighter, and then dimmer, over and over.

“It looked like a ball of fire hanging in the sky,” said Lovelett. 

A digital illustration shows the silhouette of a man looking out over the ocean at a floating orange orb framed by stars in the night sky.
An illustration of what Jensen Lovelett’s unexplained sighting might have looked like from his deck on Guemes Island, Washington. (Credit: Rocio del Pilar Benavides / NWPB)

He pulled his binoculars out for a closer look, and said the object looked like a perfect orb. “The light around it looked like digital plasma, flickering from red to orange,” said Lovelett. 

Then, the object started moving closer. 

“I can’t describe the feeling of what it was like to see something like that, something you have no reference for,” he said. 

After a few seconds, the orb started to rise up in a slow spiral, he said. “It made no noise. It started to slowly ascend, going up into the sky. Then it flashed and was gone,” he said. 

Hundreds of thousands of unexplained incidents like Lovelett’s have been shared to the National UFO Reporting Center. And there’s been an uptick in sighting reports to the database in recent months, said National UFO Reporting Center Director Peter Davenport. 

The question of whether extraterrestrial life has ever visited our planet is the most important scientific question that’s ever confronted mankind, said Davenport. “Are we alone? Or are we not?”

That question could be answered with the passage of a new disclosure act.

Spurred by testimony from whistleblowers in late July, the “Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Disclosure Act of 2023” is intended to share new information about UAPs with the American public. UAP is the term for UFOs used by the military referring to “anomalous” rather than “flying” because of sightings reported in both air and water.

In July, three military veterans testified in a hearing on UFOs and UAPs, including former Intelligence officer David Grusch. 

Grusch said he became a whistleblower following concerning reports from multiple credentialed former military and intelligence community individuals, and that, “the U.S. government is operating with secrecy above congressional oversight with regards to UAPs.”

The U.S. government has been operating a secret reverse engineering program of vessels recovered from crash sites for decades, and has even recovered non-human “biologics” from those sites, said Grusch in the Congressional hearing. 

Ryan Graves is the executive director of Americans For Safe Aerospace who also testified in the hearing. 

“As we convene here, UAP are in our air space,” said Graves, a pilot who served in the U.S. Navy for a decade. “These sightings are not rare or isolated, they are routine. Military air crew and commercial pilots, trained observers whose lives depend on accurate observation, are frequently witnessing these phenomenon.”

Graves spoke about how the stigma attached to reporting sightings is a challenge for national security. 

“It silences professional pilots who fear repercussions,” said Graves, acknowledging he recognizes the skepticism surrounding the topic. 

“If everyone could see the sensor and radio data I witnessed, our national conversation would change,” said Graves.

Conversations and interest about UFOs and UAPs are increasing. Kelly Chase is the creator and host of the UFO Rabbit Hole podcast, which she calls a, “science-based deep dive into the phenomenon surrounding UFOs.” 

The podcast has only been around for about two years, but Chase said it’s become a lot more popular lately. 

“I’ve about doubled in [podcast downloads] the last couple of months since David Grusch came onto the scene,” said Chase. “I’m currently doing between 250,000 and 300,000 downloads a month.”

The current wave of interest in UFOs first started in 2017 with whistleblower Luis Elizondo, said Chase. 

Elizondo was a military intelligence official and former director of the Advanced Aerial Threat Identification Program.

“He quit in protest and went public,” said Chase, which led to an article in the New York Times revealing the existence of videos captured by U.S. Navy pilots. “There were three different unidentified objects in the sky exhibiting behaviors that don’t conform with our understanding of physics,” said Chase.

Along with the latest testimony, whistleblowers within the U.S. military and the intelligence community are working to create a way forward, said Chase. 

The Pentagon has a new office for investigating potential UAP sightings, which received hundreds of new reports last year.

Although he never reported it, Cody Seagraves was living in the little town of Pateros, Washington when he encountered a phenomenon he couldn’t explain. 

After finishing his shift at the local restaurant, Seagraves bought a beer and walked down to the park next to the Columbia River to have a drink. 

After finding a spot to sit at a picnic table, he looked up, and sitting across from him above the water were two big lights. “The front light was more of a greenish blue, while the back light was a dark pink,” he said. 

Suddenly, the lights started bouncing in the air along the river bank.

“They were doing all kinds of maneuvers around each other, spinning around and darting around the river near town,” said Seagraves. Soon after, they vanished. 

The experience changed his mind about the phenomenon of UFOs, said Seagraves. “I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it for a long time.”

Seagraves has been following the Congressional hearings and the document drops regarding UFOs, and said it’s important that the recent disclosure act wasn’t put through by a low-level or “outsider” politician. 

“It was put forth by the Senate Majority Leader [Chuck Schumer], along with other powerful members of Congress,” said Seagraves. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters after completing work to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2024 for military activities of the Department of Defense, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 27, 2023. Congress will return from the August recess on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

With the testimony from multiple, high-ranking military and intelligence officers and other whistleblowers, these recent events could help build momentum for more transparency when it comes to unexplained sightings like the one he experienced, said Seagraves.

“We have people on both sides of the political aisle coming forward and saying, ‘Yeah, we need to investigate this,’” said Chase. 

The UAP Disclosure Act of 2023 was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2024.

“For decades, many Americans have been fascinated by objects mysterious and unexplained and it’s long past time they get some answers,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in a statement last month. “The American Public has a right to learn about technologies of unknown origins, non-human intelligence and unexplainable phenomena.”

Members of Congress are working to declassify what the government already knows, and create a way for future research to be made public, said Schumer. 

Chase is hopeful more information will be declassified about the supposedly secret programs soon. “It’s a really exciting time right now,” she said.

“We might be on the precipice of a much more interesting understanding of reality,” said Lovelett, who said he’ll continue to follow the news about UFOs and UAPs. “It could be scary, but might be inspiring for humanity and where we want to be in the future. Think of all the amazing things we may come to learn about the nature of our reality, our own history and our place in the wider cosmos.”