Peter Davenport's UFO presentation fills opera house
Last updated 11/1/2018 at 6:59am
Presenting Peter Davenport
“A Night of UFOs” was presented by Peter Davenport, Director of the National UFO Reporting Center co-sponsored by the Harrington Public Development Authority and the Harrington Opera House Society. This benefit lecture and slide presentation began at 6 p.m. to an audience of about 85. A seven-page handout provided summaries of events of interest to ufologists, including examples from Palouse, Longview, Seattle, Spokane, Harrington, Castle Rock and Anacortes in Washington state.
Linda Wagner of the Society welcomed the audience, mentioned up-coming events and introduced Heather Slack of the PDA, who in turn introduced Peter Davenport. Hearty applause greeted him. Davenport made gracious comments of appreciation to Stephen and Mike Hardy for their assistance with the sound system. He stated that this is the fifth presentation that he has made at the opera house regarding UFOs. His presentation was much different from previous lectures in that he began with some personal photos and history that included a glimpse of himself in Ethiopia at age 15 and mention of his work on a Russian fishing vessel in 1976. His flowing style made for easy listening as he recalled that he is most frequently asked how in the world he got involved in chasing UFOs. His response, “Sheer misfortune.” He did state that he believes the first UFO that he saw was at age 6 ½. When he was graduating from high school in Derry, New Hampshire he did not experience the event at Exeter but was sent by the Derry News to interview the witnesses and write a news article to cover it; and he proudly shared the paper’s headlines with the audience: “Reporter Doubts UFO Is Hoax.” This article was included in a book entitled “Incident at Exeter” by John G. Fuller, published in 1966, describing the sighting on September 3, 1965. He also authored “The Interrupted Journey,” which describes the Betty and Barney Hill interaction with a UFO on Sept 19, 1961.
Davenport spoke on the process of taking reports and what guidelines he uses for utilizing a report of a sighting of UFOs. The criteria he uses are: 1. It must be a dramatic event; 2. There must be multiple independent witnesses; 3. Witnesses must report similar events; 4. Objective evidence, e.g. photographs or video; 5. Investigation conducted subsequent to the event. Later in his lecture, Davenport spoke of the present quality of reports that people attempt to submit. He has dedicated 24 years to monitoring the “hotline” for submitting reports and thinks that the over-all ability of our citizenry is rather poor. He wandered off topic a bit as he chastised the educational system for allowing so many to go through our schools and escape with poor skills and poor attitudes. Out of 20,000 sightings, very few persons will bother to report what they believe they saw. Of the ones who do report, they often lack the ability to put a sentence together with both a subject and a verb. He also worries about the mental health of our young people who with the use of the Internet are now able to conjure quite an audience on YouTube by presenting bizarre and obnoxious videos, such as the lady who put his number up and requested that followers inundate his report line with vulgar and disgusting calls. Since it is not illegal, she is free to harass with multitudes of ignorant followers. Davenport remarks, “And we worry about aliens arriving on UFOs?”
Davenport asked, “What does the U.S. government know about UFOs?” It has been his experience that those employed by the government deny all knowledge and evidence of UFOs. When it comes to retired military and pilots, there seems to be more credibility in responses. In the UFO Journal in 1999, an article appeared regarding an apparent abduction of an elk, which had been slowly approached and singled out of a herd. The elk was seen being sucked up into the hatch of the UFO. Seven days later a dead elk was found in the same area, however it had not been scavenged by insects or prey. There was no obvious cause of death. One cannot dismiss this sighting since it meets the criteria. It was dramatic; there were 14 forestry workers who witnessed a horseshoe-shaped object lift an adult elk out of the forest and fly off with the animal; Davenport showed a photo of the dead animal and the incident was investigated following the February 25, 1999 event.
The date of August 4, 2002 was given as the death date for Todd Sees in Pennsylvania. The man left his wife and family to check on their property on his ATV. This was on a mountain, and after he’d been gone about 30 minutes, his body was levitated up off the mountain, disappeared into a hovering craft which shot off into the sky. When he failed to return on time, his wife sent their son out, who found the ATV and Todd’s outer clothing but no trace of the father. A search party of nearly 250 people looked for two days and suspended the search when the son discovered human remains in a tree near their home. The FBI was summoned. For the details, it seemed unusual that the FBI would have been involved. The remains, mutilated beyond recognition, were sealed in a metallic coffin. When Davenport spoke with the coroner regarding the incident, he was told, “you’ll never get any information on this one.” To this Davenport asks of his audience, “What do you think the government knows?”
Davenport finds abnormalities in government behavior an interesting point to study. In March of 1990 in Florida, there was an incident involving a large number of whales that beached themselves in Key West. The government moved them to an aquarium for 14 months. Following this period of rehabilitation, they were flown by helicopter from the aquarium back to the ocean.
The unique and the bizarre always come across on Davenport’s reporting system. On November 4, 2008 at Chicago, Illinois, there was the case of the “mutilated car.” A young woman was driving her small car on a three-lane road, and the car was suddenly jostled and shoved into the right lane for no apparent reason. No other car was involved. She drove the car a block or two and called the police who came and wrote out an accident report. She saw no animal, no other vehicle. It was an incident with an unknown cause in which the left mirror was gone and the left side of her car had very peculiar damage. She took the car to the auto body shop. The door panels were removed and some paint was removed and sent for testing. Although the car was repaired and returned to her, the door panels went missing as did the reports surrounding the testing. “What do you think the role of the government was in this missing material?”
Davenport made few remarks about the potential for UFOs in the world’s ancient past. However, he firmly believes that there is evidence, as was reported at a UFO event last year. Maureen Morgan, Davenport’s friend and fellow ufologist, came to the opera house October 28, 2017 and presented a full 90 minutes of irrefutable comparisons of ancient drawings of images which are identical to present day images of UFOs. Morgan was the Washington State Director of MUFON, Mutual UFO Network. Since many in the audience had attended Morgan’s presentation, Davenport avoided repeating her examples but praised her work. He asked the audience if they would like for Morgan to return, and he received an enthusiastic vote of support.
At the close of nearly two hours, Davenport opened the session for questions which he eagerly answered. He knows his topic so well that there was no hesitation with any of the many questions that were asked. He announced that The Post & Office, located a block down the street, had graciously offered to open after the lecture for die-hard believers to quiz Davenport in a more informal setting. In the audience were two physicists and a retired pilot, each of whom had examples which they had shared with him. About eight met with him after his lecture. HOHS is likely to hold another lecture by Davenport, since it is always so well received.
Also in the audience was Bill Carroll, publisher of The Growers’ Guide, from Colfax. As readers might recall, he came to Harrington in 2015 to gain information from locals including the late Len Robertson regarding the Harrington Harvester which was invented by C.A. Erich and manufactured by Dunning & Erich from 1910 into the 1920s in Harrington. Carroll published a long article with accompanying photos and furnished the Harrington Library with copies to share with citizens. He stated that he’s been publishing the Growers’ Guide since 1983 and that he also dabbles in family history. He had some long visits with former Mayor Paul Gilliland. Carroll brought copies of his recent genealogical enterprise to share with Gilliland, who was not in attendance. The materials will be at city hall for Gilliland to view before his upcoming genealogical trip to Washington, D.C. Carroll, too, was in a hurry to get to The Post & Office for the extra time with Davenport.