Written by Keith Rowell
Last Updated: 28 January 2013

UFO Description: Two women, bicycling together, near the Willamette River in downtown Portland both see a cigar-shaped, dark UFO.  It appears first in the north, gets closer to them, and then disappears back in the north after a ten minute flight.  They see it continuously.

Witness(es): Two witnesses:  Sheila Woolcott (pseudonym) and friend Alexandra Miller (pseudonym).

Date and Time: May 15, 2004, at about 1:15 to 1:25 PM.

Duration: About ten minutes observation and one minute and 12 seconds of video.

Place: Downtown Portland, Oregon.

Weather: Gray, overcast, low clouds with occasional light rain; winds out of the north at 4.6 mph; visibility 10 miles; about 55.9º F.

Case Report: Eastbank Esplanade Cigar UFO. Investigated by Tom Bowden, OM State Director, and Keith Rowell, OM Assistant State Director.


Brief Narrative

This case offers much more than the usual UFO case.  We had two excellent witnesses that we were privileged to interview at the site of their sighting.  Additionally, the principal witness (Sheila Woolcott) took both photos and video and generously made them available for analysis.  (We would also like to thank Sheila Woolcott for allowing us to use her UFO image for one of our three genuine UFO images in our OM website banner.)

At around 1:15 PM on May 15, 2004, on an overcast, very light rainy day, two women—Sheila Woolcott and Alexandra Miller (pseudonyms) —were riding their bikes together recreationally on the Eastbank Esplanade on the Willamette River just opposite downtown Portland. The Eastbank Esplanade is a popular walk way immediately adjacent to the east side of the Willamette River.

Alexandra first spotted an odd dark object in the sky to the north, so she stopped to examine it more closely. Sheila stopped, too, and they both watched in amazement as a quite dark, cigar-shaped (or rod-shaped) object moved along in the sky. It was going along just below the gray overcast cloud layer.

The UFO kept moving closer to them and was now in the northeast. At about its closest approach off to the northeast, Sheila remembered her camera and ended up taking three photos and a one minute and 12 second video of the strange object. Soon, it began more or less retracing its path in the sky to disappear back in the north.

When the UFO was near its closest approach, Sheila strangely had mixed emotions about whether she should be photographing and video-recording this UFO.

As always, be sure to download the full case study and read it thoroughly before committing to judgment about just what this thing might have been.

Sheila Woolcott's Photo of UFO and an I-5 Freeway Light Fixture