Go Back Report # 511


Reports of flying object spur fruitless CG search    

       NETARTS—The U.S. Coast Guard received several reports of a flying object off Netarts Bay Tuesday night with lights that changed colors.

       The callers didn't refer to the object as a "UFO."

       Instead, they feared it was a helicopter in distress and one caller said it appeared the lights dimmed and the "aircraft" disappeared into the ocean.

       A Coast Guard helicopter and rescue boat searched extensively off the bay's entrance but didn't find any debris, and no reports of overdue aircraft have been received, Air Station Astoria information officer Lt. Mike Wade said.

       The search was suspended shortly after midnight.

       Though the case is tentatively listed as a false alarm, Coast Guardmen took it more seriously than a later report of a ship burning off Seaside that turned out to be a glow from the moon.

       That was because the Tillamook Bay Coast Guard Station at Garibaldi confirmed that a helicopter had been seen in the area earlier in the evening.

       Wade said the first report of the helicopter came from Earl Klouchec of Netarts, who called the Garibaldi station at 9:14 p.m. to report seeing a bright light that changed color and appeared to have a tail.

       He said it was one to three miles northwest of the entrance to Netarts Bay. Three minutes later, the driver of a Coast Guard vehicle reported seeing the same colored lights.

       At 10 p.m., Don Normell of Netarts said he saw what he presumed to be a helicopter sink into the ocean about ¾ to two miles off the shore. He thought it was a helicopter because it appeared to hover in one place.

       Normell said the craft had red, green and white lights, which Wade confirmed are common on helicopters. The lights went dim as the craft disappeared, Normell said.

       The Tillamook County Sheriff's Dept. also reported seeing the hovering lights.  

       By that time the Tillamook Bay station and Astoria air station had started checking with coastal airports to find out if any helicopters were known to be flying or overdue.

       None of the sources contacted knew of any such aircraft, but the Tillamook station Coast Guardmen recalled seeing a helicopter earlier in the evening.

       The Coast Guard helicopter from Astoria and 44-foot rescue boat from Garibaldi searched from about 1½ mile north to 1½ mile south of the bay entrance, using "night sun" search lights, Wade said.

       "There were good night search conditions," Wade added. He said chances of seeing a light or debris in the area were "95 per cent."

       Reports of overdue aircraft still hadn't been received this morning Wade said.              

This reference: News clip - Daily Astorian, Astoria, Oregon January 26, 1977

With Thanks to The J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS): http://www.cufos.org/ 

UFOCAT PRN – NONE           

North America – United States, Oregon

Netarts Bay      Latitude 45-24-08 N, Longitude 123-57-34 W (D-M-S)

Garibaldi           Latitude 45-33-35 N, Longitude 123-54-39 W

Netarts             Latitude 45-26-05 N, Longitude 123-56-45 W

Tillamook Bay   Latitude 45-30-46 N, Longitude 123-54-59 W

Astoria             Latitude 46-11-16 N, Longitude 123-49-52 W

Reference: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=116:1:8819224456856858733    


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