Go Back Report # 209


Udo Wartena's Story of an Alien Encounter

In May, 1940, Udo Wartena (YOU doe, WAR tena), a Mormon prospector working at a remote claim near Townsend, Montana, had an encounter with a saucer-shaped craft with strange "men" aboard. Udo was known by friends as an honest man who led a straightforward, simple life. For years he remained silent, worried that his experience was a figment of his imagination. He first wrote down his experience in a letter to Senator John Glenn dated 1980. Udo gave copies of his letter to several friends, one of whom was my cousin John Dell (now living in Tucson, Arizona).

Having read The Observers (his duty as my cousin!), John Dell was reminded of Udo's letter and made a copy for me in January 2007. I've transcribed the letter into an html file (keeping the original punctuation): Udo Wartena letter follows.

Udo Wartena Letter (West Linn, Oregon, 1980):

In the forepart of May 1940, I had gone upon the mountain and found a glacier deposit. And from all indications had every possibility of carrying values.

As I was working part-time for the Northwest Mining Co., I could only prospect on my days off. So it was into the summer before I could prove (Sic-probe?) the ground. There were a lot of large boulders to move but when I got to bedrock, I found some fine gold.

As I would need water for washing the material, I figured it was wise to bring the water down to where I could use it.

The early day miners had dug a ditch around the mountain side (this was over sixty years before my time), so after clearing the logs and large trash out of it, I diverted the water out of the creek, into the ditch. As the ditch had not been used these many years, it was quite a mess.

The ditch was practically level for the first quarter of a mile, so it was late in the afternoon by the time it would flow freely. The next morning I cleaned the main ditch to where I put in a dam. Then, dug a ditch to where I could use the water.

As the work for the Northwest Mining Co. had picked up, I wasn't able to work the prospect too much. Though every spare day I had was used there.

I still had some large boulders to move and while doing this one morning I heard a noise. Like that of a high flying plane, as army planes flying over, from Great Falls. At first I didn't take much note, but as the noise continued, I thought a car had driven up. So I got upon higher ground.

I saw, where I had put the dam in the main ditch, a large (I will call it ship). It looked like a blimp, only more pointed on each end, and not as thick through the middle. About 35' thick better than 100' long.

As I stood there, a stairway was let down and a man came down this and started walking towards me. As I was somewhat more than interested, I went to meet him. He stopped when we were about ten or twelve feet apart.


He was a nice looking man, seemingly about my age, 35 or more. He wore a light gray pair of coveralls, a tam of the same material on his head, and on his feet were slippers or moccasins.

He asked me if it would be alright if they took some of the water. I could not see why not, I said sure. He then gave a signal and a hose or pipe was let down.

His English was like mine, but he spoke slowly, as if he was a linguist. He asked me what I was doing. I explained this to him. He asked me if I would be interested to come aboard. As he seemed an intelligent and pleasant person, I figured it would be interesting.

As we got closer to the ship, I noticed that it was round, like two dinner plates, one inverted over the other. It seemed to be made of metal. As I look back and compare, it seemed like stainless steel, though not bright or shiny.

The ship appeared to be about 35' thick and well over a hundred feet in diameter. When we got into the ship, we entered into a room about twelve by sixteen feet, with a close fitting door on the farther end. Indirect lighting near the ceiling, and nice upholstered benches around the sides.

There was an older man in the room, plainly dressed and with white hair. It was then that I noticed that the younger man also had white hair. Some how I believe they knew who I was, but they did not introduce themselves. Perhaps if they had, I may have been a bit upset.

The younger man asked me what I would be interested in. So I first asked why they wanted this particular water. He said the water is good, as if they had gotten the same before, and it was convenient.


After we had entered the ship, I had noticed that the sound I had heard outside was hardly noticeable, except what came up the stairwell. So I asked him what caused the noise or humming. He said this would be a bit complicated, but he would try to explain so I could understand.

He said as you noticed we are floating above the ground, and though the ground slopes, the ship is level.

There are in the outside rim of the ship two flywheels one turning one way and the other the opposite direction. He explained that this gives the ship its own gravitation, or rather overcomes the gravitational pull of the earth, other planets or the sun or stars. And though this pull is light, we use this gravitational pull of the stars and planets to ride on.

He went into somewhat greater detail on the power development by these two flywheels. He mentioned something about them developing an electromagnetic force. As this was quite new to me and he realized that, but he saw I had gotten the picture, so he stopped.

I asked him where he got the energy to run the ship. He said from the sun and stars, and he would store this in batteries, though this was for emergency use.

I also asked him what their object was or purpose in coming here. Well, he said, as you have noticed, we look pretty much as you do, so we mingle with you people, gather information, leave instructions, or give help where needed. I would have liked to ask him more about that, but didn't feel this proper, so let it ride at that.

While we had been talking, a light had come on apparently signaling that the water had been taken care of.

When I felt it was time for me to leave, I mentioned this. He asked me if I would be interested in going with them. I said that I thought it would be interesting to go with them but it would inconvenience too many people. Later I wondered why I had said that.


As I started to leave, they suggested that I tell no one, as no one would believe me at that time, but in years to come I could tell about this experience.

When I walked away from the ship, they raised the stairway, and when I got a couple of hundred feet away from the ship, I turned around.

A number more portholes had opened up and though I could see no one, I felt sure they saw me. Anyway, I waved at them.

The ship then rose straight up, then while circling slightly it continued going straight and in a very short while was completely out of sight.

As I didn't have a watch, I did not know how long I had been with them. It was around noon so it must have been about two hours from the time I first saw the ship.

This whole experience was so overwhelming that I did not go back to work. I kept going over in my mind all that had happened. I went back to where the stairway had been and though it hadn't gone into the soil, the grass was crushed down.

I wondered at the time, why I hadn't accepted the invitation to go with them but instead had said "that it would inconvenience too many people". I then recollected an incident which happened a few years before I came to this district.

A young man was staying with an old prospector, and early one morning before eating he put on a light jacket and told the man he would be gone for a while. When the young man did not show up all that next day or the next, the old prospector notified the Sheriff, and he with his deputies and about forty C.C.C.1 boys looked all over for him, but no trace was found.

I have wondered if he might have accepted an invitation to board a ship similar to mine.

I have wondered at times if this could have all been in my imagination. But then again I saw the impression of the ship in the grass.


Then over the years a number of things have come to mind. The explanation of how this ship moved, seemingly not affected by earths gravitational pull.

From what the man told me at the time and what has come to me since, I believe I am not too far from an answer to this.

It is for this reason I am writing to you. No doubt with the help of some other minds, the answer will be forthcoming.

We have just about reached the stage where we need a different type of air transportation and this is the answer.

I feel confident that you could put me in touch with some people who could help to this end.

Udo Wartena

West Linn, Oregon


[Letter written to Senator John Glenn. A copy was given by Udo to John Dell.]


This reference: University of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California, San Diego (UCSD). With thanks to S. Gill Williamson, Professor Emeritus, CSE, UCSD for permission to post to this website: http://www-cse.ucsd.edu/~gill/UdoWartena.htm

Letter from Udo Wartena: http://www-cse.ucsd.edu/~gill/UdoWartLetter.htm

Note 1: C.C.C. (Civilian Conservation Corps): http://www.cccalumni.org/history1.html


UFOCAT URN NONE Aston, Warren P., An Analysis of the 1940 Udo Wartena Case:

Discovering the Alien Agenda, in Symposium Proceedings, The

Fiftieth Anniversary of Ufology, annual MUFON Symposium, Grand

Rapids, Michigan, July 1997

UFOCAT URN NONE HUMCAT addition # 3034. Source: Warren P. Aston, Fate, April 1998
UFOCAT URN NONE MUFON UFO Journal, #470, dated June 2007, p. 8

North America United States, Montana, Broadwater County

Townsend Latitude 46-19-09 N, Longitude 111-31-15 W (D-M-S)

Broadwater County Latitude 46-19-18 N, Longitude 111-31-25 W

Reference: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic.


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