UFO Description: A five-year-old sees a small, glowing red, rectangular UFO briefly outside her bedroom window.
Witness(es): Alice Hopkins (pseudonym).
Time and Date: July 30, 2009, about 8:45 PM.
Duration: About five to ten seconds.
Place: Monmouth, Oregon.
Weather: Clear; visibility ten miles; wind out of W at 8.1 mph at surface; temperature 73.9º F.
Case Report: None. Investigated by Keith Rowell and Oregon MUFON Field Investigator Lisa Fox.
(This narrative was written by Lisa Fox, Oregon MUFON Field Investigator, and Keith Rowell, Assistant State Director, Oregon MUFON)
On July 30, 2009, at about 8:45 PM, Jim Hopkins (pseudonym) was reading a bedtime story to his five-year-old daughter, Alice (pseudonym), in their apartment in Monmouth, Oregon. Jim was reading one of Alice's favorite books, The Magic Treehouse, while they both sat on the bed in her bedroom. Alice was facing south, looking directly out of her bedroom window. The crescent moon was low in the sky (18º above the horizon almost due south) and the sun had just set in the west (-1º in the WNW).
Alice suddenly noticed a "glowing red rectangle" moving in the sky from (apparently) the north to the south. It moved to just near the moon in the south and then went behind a large tree. She immediately called her father's attention to the object, but when he looked up after finishing the sentence he was reading, the object was gone; it had just disappeared behind the tree. The sighting was over in mere seconds, perhaps five or so; Jim had just missed seeing it. The rectangular object had an unusual, intense, red glow. Alice quickly drew the object for her dad and described what she saw. (See her first drawing and the one a year later below.)
Jim submitted the basic description of Alice's sighting to MUFON on July 4, 2010. We drove from Portland to their home on October 2, 2010, to interview them. Jim has taught anthropology and allied science courses at college level and Alice is now in first grade. We found Alice to be a precocious, articulate, and thoughtful first grader—she listened carefully to our questions and answered them completely.
Alice said that the object didn't appear in a three dimensional way so that an observer could see three sides at once—top or bottom and two sides; rather, it was a flat rectangular shape, like seeing one side of a box. Alice had difficulty pinning down just what the glow was like, but mentioned that it had "short light rays" around it. (Many adult witnesses have the same difficulty, as the lights on UFOs are similar to but not exactly like incandescent, fluorescent, and neon type sources.) Later, she decided it was a bit similar to laser-pointer light, something she plays with on occasion for her cat to chase. For the color, she pointed outside and said "solid red, like my dad's car."
Alice said she thought the object was far way because it went behind a big tree. It also didn't appear in front of anything. She showed us its size by indicating an inch or so space between her index finger and thumb. She has obviously given her sighting some thought and says it may have been a reflection from an airplane due to the setting sun, though she didn't see any airplanes and didn't really think it was any kind of airplane.
We asked her if she had ever seen another UFO and she said "maybe once when I was in Paris." She had traveled with her mother to Paris, France, last year. They were at the top of the Eiffel Tower when they noticed a green object in the sky at night, but her mother said it was probably some kind of balloon. Alice agreed, and did not insist that it was a UFO. Alice seemed to be well acquainted with objects in the sky like birds, planes, stars, balloons, etc.
Alice told her story in a straightforward manner. There was no hesitation, and she never looked to her dad while relating her story. She just reported the object as she saw it. However, when we asked her about school, she really lit up and became quite animated and excited—it was an interesting contrast to her thoughtful demeanor when talking about the strange object. She seemed very honest and spontaneous, and did not seem to be seeking approval for her story.
Jim reiterated that Alice knows the difference between reality and make-believe, a "fooly," as he put it in his MUFON report. We completely agree after interviewing Alice.
Alice's Drawing 2009
Alice's Drawing 2010
Jim's Illustration 2009