Six reported 2017 UFOs in Iowa are quite significant when you consider the state’s 3.1 million population, according to data from UFO Cases of Interest based on the best reports for further study from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).
California and Pennsylvania topped the 2017 list with each state logging in 15 cases from the same data. California has a 39.5 million population while Pennsylvania has a 12.8 million population.
UFO Cases of Interest: 2018 Edition was released July 10, 2018 and includes 241 best UFO reports from 2017. Nearly two and-a-half percent are Iowa cases.
Iowa 2017 UFO events began when a witness at West Des Moines reported watching a black triangle-shaped object about 100 feet across moving under 500 feet, according to testimony in Case 81617. The witness was driving to his mother’s home at 8:30 p.m. on January 18, 2017.
“When I got very near my mom's house, I saw a bright orange light over some condos,” the witness stated. “Maybe a couple thousand feet above it, there was a fainter yellow light. As I drove a bit more I had to stop in the middle of the street and watch.”
The object moved close to the witnesses’ vehicle.
“It was moving very, very slowly and almost right towards my car. I was too in shock to get my camera. As it got closer, I noticed that there were also green and red lights on this thing. I figured it was a drone, but it kept getting bigger as it got closer.”
“It must have been 100 feet across, which is not a drone. It was triangular with a couple of pointed edges on the back. It made a faint humming noise as it passed, and I just watched it until I couldn't see it anymore. My estimation for speed is about 40 mph.”
West Des Moines is a city in Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties, population 56,609. Iowa MUFON Assistant State Director Beverly Trout investigated this case and closed it as an Unknown Aerial Vehicle.
Then 11 days later and about 130 miles northeast, a witness at Cedar Rapids reported watching “two large ships in the western sky, according to testimony in Case 81805.
The witness was visiting his 83-year-old mother at 8:15 p.m. on January 29, 2017.
“I went outside to the car and I looked toward the western sky and saw what looked like a very bright planet (white light),” the witness stated. “Skies tonight were crystal clear with moonlight. All planets visible as well. The light was so large I couldn't help but look at it more.”
The witness described the object.
“I saw on the right side of this light, a flashing red, intermittent light. I thought at first it was an airplane. I continued to observe object for five minutes, but no apparent flight path to the naked eye. To the naked eye it was stationary. I was so shocked at this enormity of this light I ran inside to get my 10 x 50 power hunting binoculars.”
The object was very large.
“By comparison, this white light was maybe 10 times the size of any planet and 100 times as bright. I returned outside with binoculars and began to focus on the object. The light began to move farther east and north towards me. The object became crystal clear in the binoculars. This large light began to take wild paths directionally, up and down, left and right, and 90 degree turns. I was absolutely stunned to see this large light come from the direction of an enormous ship, circular in shape diameter, but with a more rounded bottom. This ship was easily 10 times the size of the large light. The ship was so clear in the binoculars I could see the bottom construction.”
The witness studied the object through the binoculars.
“I could see the lines of compartments uniform in nature. The large ship had no lights but was a clearly visible silhouette in moon/star light. Due to the angle in sky, I could not see the top of large ship, but appeared I could see 90 percent of the bottom except the western edge.”
Iowa MUFON Field Investigator David Kreiter investigated this case and closed it as an Unknown.
Then three and-a-half months later, a witness at Altoona reported a fast-moving, black triangle UFO that appeared to be followed by a military jet, according to testimony in Case 83678.
The witness saw the object at 8:28 p.m. on May 12, 2017.
“Spotted a military grade, triangular craft silently cruising the sky northbound just after sunset and all other planes had passed over,” the witness stated. “It moved at a consistent speed in relation to the other jets at sunset just slightly faster and lower.”
The witness described the object.
“It had three lights, two flashing the north light and the west. The east light was solid. After looking at it, I noticed a tiny but easily seen lit-up dot up in front to the north-northeast and miles upon miles above. My assumption was the military plane was tracking something moving much smoother and faster across the sky. The military jet made it across the sky in about one to two minutes. This object made it from directly above me to out of sight in approximately 20 seconds. The only reason I spotted it was because I was watching the first plane. It was like a weak dot on a page. I almost lost sight of it the entire time it was scaling the night sky. Had it been a satellite, I wouldn't have reported but I don’t believe they take more than one minute to cross.”
Iowa MUFON Assistant State Director Beverly J. Trout closed this case as an Unknown Aerial Vehicle.
“The object was a fast-moving, black triangle at approximately 3,400 feet altitude, with an approximate actual size of 144 feet on a side,” Trout wrote in her report. “Yellowish-white lights at each angle. Witness seeing only the underside as it passed over at 85-degrees elevation and only 300 feet land distance from witness. Witness estimates that the triangle moved from almost overhead to the horizon in about 20 seconds. Witness seemed cautious and careful in his estimates as to altitude, land distance, etc. He clarified the lighting configuration, and the triangle’s direction of travel, and was very detailed and orderly in conveying his observations. It appears that this triangle is neither natural nor man made.”
Three days later, a witness at Iowa City reported watching a low flying, sphere-shaped object, according to testimony in Case 84049. The witness was driving northbound about midnight south of Iowa City on May 15, 2017.
“There was a white work van passing me when all of a sudden this object appeared up in the air and slightly to our right,” the witness stated. “I know that the driver of the van also saw the object because they applied their brakes.”
The witness first thought the object was some sort of advertisement but could see no writing on it.
“I cannot say for sure how long I observed it but once in a while I could see some type of structure attached to it that looked like a giant fish net or something, possibly a series of windows. After some period of time, I guess I passed underneath it and continued on my journey. I do not know why I did not stop, possibly fear, but I had no feeling of such. I came back through that area on my return to Florida about a week later and noticed that there were large power lines along the side of the road where the event took place.”
Iowa MUFON Field Investigator Robert E. Kent closed this case as an Unknown Aerial Vehicle.
“My interview lasted about 30 minutes, revealed more details about the fish net-looking object he first reported to MUFON, and also surfaced his memory of a previous sighting about 40 years ago,” Kent wrote in his report. “Witness was forthcoming, not at all evasive or unsure about what he had seen and was willing to explore all my questions in depth.
“Sightings of spheres around the globe are probably the most common shape reported by witnesses of these kinds of events. What makes this case unique, however, is the appearance of what the witness described as a ‘fish net.’ Much to my surprise, he is not the first witness to report this phenomenon, as evidenced by the 2015 report, Case 65076, Onondaga, NY, from April 29, 2015. I have no doubt the witness saw something that looked like a net, but how on earth – or even not on earth, could any kind net suspend an object 80-feet in diameter, in mid-air? The witness also mentioned the net appeared to be metallic. For the sake of discussion, if there were such a net, and if it could hold a large object and suspend it in midair, what was it doing in the middle of rural Iowa, late at night, near a casino where it could be seen by any number of people? And what would be the purpose? Had the sphere become disabled and needed retrieval by a larger craft too small for the object to be transported inside, so it had to be suspended beneath the craft which, it must be said, was not also seen with the object? Large helicopters perform this very same kind of operation routinely, but no helicopter was seen, and no noise was heard. Could it have been a man-made object and operation? We’ll never know. But it was an anomalous event, seen by a credible witness, and possibly by a second witness in a commercial van on the same highway at the same time and in the same place. The conclusion has to be Unknown Aerial Vehicle.”
Two and-a-half months later, a witness at Exira reported watching a low-flying triangle-shaped object that began following him, according to testimony in Case 85523. The witness was on his way to work at 4:30 a.m. on July 31, 2017.
“I was heading west out of Exira, on F58,” the witness stated. “Roughly four miles west I saw some bright lights coming from the southwest. I pulled over because at first, I thought it was an airplane but there is no airport for 10 miles. It was so low to the ground I thought it was going to land. There were no blue or red blinking lights. It did have a big white orb on the bottom that did blink.”
The object flew over the witness and continued on a northeast path.
“I kept going down the highway for another mile and realized it was now following me. I pulled over, but it would not come closer and just hovered about a quarter-mile away. I proceeded to drive to work five miles north of Kimballton, Iowa. It didn't matter what direction I drove. I could tell it was following me. Once I got to work, it was now a long ways away and it just hovered the entire time. I tried taking a couple of pictures but two did not turn out. Only one did and that was from a far distance and it only looks like a very bright star or planet.”
Iowa MUFON State Director Gregory Andersen closed this case as an Unknown Aerial Vehicle.
“I feel that the witness actually saw a triangular craft and that the light he saw after the initial sighting was actually a star or planet,” Andersen wrote in his report.
Exira is a city in Audubon County, Iowa, population 840.
The final 2017 case was about a month later, when a witness at Waterloo reported watching a low flying triangle-shaped UFO, according to testimony in Case 86599. The witness was driving down Ansburogh Avenue toward University Avenue at 9:45 p.m. on September 9, 2017.
“I saw bright, white lights at low altitude,” the witness stated. “It was floating-flying to the right for a second. Then stopped for a second and started going to the left. As it went almost overhead, I could see it was triangle-shaped. Tip was pointed left, and the back side may have been wider than the sides. Also, I saw three white lights on the back side-bottom and one at tip-bottom where there was a red light in the middle. As it headed left over houses, we tried to follow on the roads. It seemed to speed up because after maybe 10 minutes I could only see blinking white lights.”
Iowa MUFON David Kreiter closed this case as an Unknown Aerial Vehicle.
“All information was gathered from the reporting witness’s CMS report and extensive email and phone conversations,” Kreiter stated in his report. “On her own volition, the reporting witness took a day-time photo of the bridge in Waterloo, Iowa, that they had approached on the night of September 9th. She also photographed a street sign that was at the same altitude as the triangular object and used a program on her phone to find the angle from her position sitting in the car to the top of the sign. This angle was determined to be 35-degrees matching the altitude of the object they saw that night. I then asked her to ascertain the apparent size of the object and explained the procedure for obtaining this measurement. She said that it was about the size of a penny held at arm’s length. Now I needed only the actual size of the object to calculate its distance from the observers. Based on previous cases in which I was able to calculate the size of triangular objects, I extrapolated the size to be about 100 feet in length. I realize that this is highly speculative, but I have had numerous cases where such objects were determined to be about one-third the size of a football field, so I thought I would enter that size into my calculations to see if it matched observations. Using the size of 100 feet for the object and the witness’s estimation that it was the size of a penny, or two-degrees of arc, at arm’s length, I calculated the air-distance to be 2,865 feet. Utilizing the air distance of 2,865 feet and the angle of altitude (35-degrees) provided by the witness’s measurement, I was then able to calculate the ground distance and altitude of 2,346 feet and 1,6423 feet respectively. As it turned out, the calculations of size and distance fit perfectly with the circumstances of the witness’s observation because the land distance of 2,346 feet put the object approximately over the water of the tributary and Black Hawk Road, which the witnesses traveled after they crossed the bridge and turned west to follow the object. When they made that westerly turn on Black Hawk Road, the object was at about 270-degrees azimuth or due west of their position. This fact demonstrates that the object was indeed 2,346 feet in land distance, which along with the air distance, was calculated using a size for the object of 100 feet. Together, all of the information of distance and size correlated perfectly.”
Waterloo is a city in and the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa, population 68,406.
In 2017, Iowans filed 53 UFO reports to MUFON where 44 were cases that occurred during 2017. Of those 2017 cases, 22 were closed as either an Unknown Aerial Object, Unknown-Other, or Information Only – the three case summations used to pull cases for Cases of Interest. From those 22 cases, six were chosen as Cases of Interest.
UFO Cases of Interest: 2018 Edition is available at Amazon.com. The book, edited by Roger Marsh, includes 241 profiles of 2017 domestic and international cases, a statistical overview, and a four-part Research Index to match case details as Location, Object, Site and Witness.