WA MUFON Director of Investigations Robert A. Fairfax, and the Director of National Reporting Center, Peter Davenport drove down to the Mt. St. Helens area to investigate a phenomenal case—the daytime elk abduction witnessed by 14 forestry workers. Peter reports: "The crew was planting trees on February 25, 1999. A herd of elk was grazing about 280 feet down slope and to the north of them (about 1600 feet away). Just before noon, a small UFO flew slowly over the ridge and wobbled its way down toward the herd. About 100 feet from contact with the herd, the animals become aware of the craft and run uphill to the east. One of the elk separates somewhat from the rest and the UFO pursues it. Without pause the craft goes over the animal at a height that might have brushed the elk’s head. The craft with the elk dangling beneath then starts ascending to the northeast. The witnesses added that shortly after lifting the elk off the ground, the object seemed to begin to "wobble" to a more pronounced degree than it had exhibited earlier. The object seemed to be having trouble with the extra weight.
"As the object appeared to increase its altitude, the elk, which was suspended upright below the disc, rotated slowly beneath it and appeared to be getting closer to the central surface of the disc. The elk is slowly rotating but no other movement from the animal is detected. When the craft reaches the end of the clear-cut and encounters the tree line the elk is almost totally inside, however the craft is not high enough to clear the treetops. It is thought that the treetops might have been hit. They also commented that the object seemed to increase in size slightly after it had picked up the animal. With the elk suspended below it, the object began to ascend slowly up a clear-cut slope to the east. However, the witnesses watched it apparently brush the tops of nearby trees to the east, at which point it reversed its course and proceeded to the west.
"The witnesses stated that once the object had started to ascend and had climbed to an altitude above their vantage point, they no longer could see the animal suspended below the craft. Their presumption was that the animal had somehow been taken into the craft. The witnesses could discern no "door," or any kind of aperture through which the animal might have been conveyed into the craft. The craft circled (after much wobbling) 360 degrees; gaining altitude then ascended nearly vertically until it was lost from sight in the clouds.
"We found a dead elk two miles or so from the sight. However, there were no mutilation marks discernible, no gunshot wounds found, and no broken bones from a fall. The large female elk appeared healthy albeit dead. We were on the site 8 days after the event. No scavengers had attacked the elk body. We found a dead porcupine on the drive out with a scavenger bird picking at the remains.
"A large corporation and another company are involved in the investigation, but want their names kept secret. Robert Fairfax stated this is an excellent sighting because of these 5 factors that point to a real event. (1) The 14 forestry workers were working on contract for a large corporation with a number of individuals that had worked for 15 to 20 years with the same company. It is not likely that they would risk their jobs to pull a stunt. The forestry people were sincere and believable. (2) The corporation (which must remain unnamed at their request) vouched for the past integrity of the individuals who are all hard working family men that work in inclement weather conditions without any complaints. (3) The voice tone and body language during interviewing left me with no doubt that they had been frightened, awed, confused and were telling the truth. (4) Details that would generally not be known to ordinary people, e.g., (i) the description of the oscillating wobble traveling 360 degrees around the circumference of the craft. (ii) that the elk herd gathered together in a tight group for the rest of the afternoon after the one was abducted. (iii) the humans grouped together for the rest of the afternoon also. (5) Some reported having continued nightmares after the fact. (6) They wanted absolutely no publicity and they were not even going to tell anyone about it. A corporate supervisor (not at the site but seeing the group later) noticed that the whole group appeared frightened by something and the supervisor had to pry it out them."
It appears that this incident happened on privately owned land. The owners reportedly want their property and their names kept confidential. While this hasn’t limited access to the area by the primary investigators, they may be unable to reveal exactly where this occurred in their final report. Thus, critics may use this as a way to demean the event.
Thanks to Robert A. Fairfax and G. Knowles, WA State Director, Walter Sheets and Peter Davenport for this report.
An update to this case appeared in Filer’s Files #12-1999. Mr. Filer contacted Mr. Robert A. Fairfax to see if he had more details on the case. Part of Mr. Fairfax’s response follows.
Filer: "I am particularly interested in the description of the craft itself."
Fairfax: "So am I; this is one of the areas we will try and nail. There were two flashes described as the craft wobbled. A fluorescent magenta (top) and a white (bottom). These were apparently not lights but seemed to be areas on the surface. They were seen intermittently but again we will need to pin the details down along with many others."
Filer: "What was the direction of flight and the last known direction of travel?"
Fairfax: "It was first seen in the SE traveling toward the NNW. It departed slowly to the NE, and then made a near vertical ascent into cloud cover."
Filer: "Did they notice any kind of plasma, lighting, or electrical effects around the craft?"
Fairfax: "Possibly, the two bright color areas. The craft seemed to increase in size as it was capturing the elk. We’re trying to clarify that."
Filer: "Did the craft tilt as it changed direction?"
Fairfax: "Wobbling was reported that was more pronounced before direction changes, but we need to verify with more witnesses.
Filer" "Did they notice a hum or sound?"
Fairfax: "There was no sound.
Filer: "Did you notice the height of the trees or the approximate height and distance from picking up the elk to the top of the trees?"
Fairfax: "Yes, but no precise calculations have been done. It had plenty of room to maneuver and climb."
Filer: "Did they notice any windows?"
Fairfax: "There were no windows."