Southern California State Director
Many of us in UFOlogy became interested in the subject due to our own personal experiences. I would like to share the sighting that got me started down this path with all of you.
This was not my first experience with UFOs, however it was the longest, clearest sighting I have had, and it also probably had the most number of other possible witnesses beside myself. You will not likely find any other accounts of this sighting published anywhere, because when it occurred, back in 1979, the subject of UFOs was not dealt with as openly as it is today.
To the best of my recollection, it was around the end of June when the sighting occurred. I remember the events of the evening very well, and what I saw that night would remain indelibly inscribed in my memory for life. Fortunately, I saw this object in the valley where I grew up, and had many landmarks that I was very familiar with for reference in relation to the object. Chief among these landmarks was the San Gabriel Mountains, a Southern California range that runs from just north of Sylmar, to the east where they die out near Desert Hot Springs. The tallest peak in the range, at 10,068 feet, is Mt. San Antonio, known to everyone that grew up there as Mt. Baldy. There is an extensive range of foothills that run perpendicular to the mountains, with a smattering of small towns at their base such as Altadena, Pasadena, Monrovia, Arcadia, Azusa, Glendora, etc., and of course the world famous Route 66 runs along the base of the foothills as well.
This sighting occurred in the north section of Covina, at the intersection of Hwy 39 (Azusa Ave.) and Arrow Hwy, one of the busiest areas of the city. To the north runs the 210 Freeway, and to the south the 10 Freeway, two of the most congested arteries between Los Angeles and San Bernardino. There was a recording studio on the northeast corner where I was living at the time, and on the southeast corner there was a Market Basket supermarket where I would do all my shopping for food and such. Never being one to deal with heat very well, it wasn’t uncommon for me to wait until after dark to eat dinner.
On this particular night I was craving a steak, so my girlfriend and I walked across the street to pick out one that would be good to barbecue around 9 p.m. I’m sure it was a good steak, but I honestly don’t remember dinner because what I saw when we came out of the market was all I could think about for a good long time!
Movement in my peripheral vision to the side, and above me caught my attention, and when I glanced upward I stopped dead in my tracks and had to refocus my eyes to make sure of what I was seeing. Although it was dark out, there was enough ambient light to fully illuminate the underside of a gigantic rectangular-shaped object. The object appeared to be lower than the normal altitude of any aircraft which often flew out of the many private airfields in the area, and surface details were clearly visible due to its close proximity. My best estimate of its length was somewhere around a mile, based on what I saw of the craft after it passed overhead, before it accelerated away, in relation to the streets I know that were under its flight path. Its width appeared to be roughly one third of its length, but as it was directly 90 degrees from me, I am unable to make a guess as to its depth.
It glided silently overhead, and when I realized what I was seeing, my first reaction was to look around to see if anyone else was seeing it too. The parking lot was fairly busy since it was a warm summer evening, and to my joy there were lots of other people looking up too, and it didn’t take long before we were all whistling and whooping with astonishment! My girlfriend and I were firmly convinced at the time that we were witness to a major event, and that it would surely be all over the news that next day. To our astonishment, we never heard a word about it!
The craft continued to slowly glide overhead, at what I would estimate to be around 30-40 mph, until suddenly it appeared to stretch into a line of light from where we were, to just past Mt. Baldy. Then it instantly shrank into a pinpoint of light that then shot upward and was lost among the stars in the blink of an eye. The whole thing could not have taken more than a minute, however it was easily one of the most incredible things I have ever seen in my life, and it instantly convinced me that I could no longer go along with conventional wisdom that dictated “UFOs don’t exist.” That is the one minute that began my career as a Ufologist.