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The Cisco Grove UFO Encounter



Cisco Grove, California where the UFO encounter took place.

In 1964, Donald Shrum went hunting with friends in California and got lost in rugged terrain. As darkness fell, he climbed a tree to protect himself from predators and saw what he thought was a search helicopter. It turned out to be something more sinister.

Donald Shrum and Friends go Camping at Cisco Grove

A Map of Cisco Grove, California

In September 1964, Donald Shrum, a welder and painter at Aerojet General Corporation, went on a bow hunting trip with his friends in an area located slightly over an hour northeast of Sacramento, California.

Shrum was skilled in using a bow and arrow for hunting, and he preferred it over firearms, which were prohibited during that time of the year. Despite being from Arkansas originally, Shrum had been working in the Sacramento area on various missile-related projects.

On a Friday in September 1964, Donald Shrum, along with his two friends Vincent Alvarez and Tim Trueblood, left Sacramento and headed towards Cisco Grove, which is located approximately three-quarters of the way to Lake Tahoe.

Everyone was in high spirits and looking forward to the hunting weekend. Since they didn’t have any electronic communication devices, they stayed close enough to shout to each other.

At some point, Shrum ended up on a ridge, while his friends were down below, prompting them to suggest that he walk around and come down. On his way down, Shrum ventured too far from them and became a bit lost.

From what he recounted, it didn’t initially seem like a life-threatening situation for Donald Shrum. However, as darkness set in, he realized that he was unlikely to find his way back to the campsite.

Although it was only one or two miles away in a straight line, it required navigating over rugged terrain and several peaks, which made it challenging. As an experienced hunter, he knew that it was not safe to wander around the isolated area, especially with potential predators such as bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and cougars.

Shrum needed to find shelter to spend the night safely. He decided to climb a tree, which is what many hunters would do in a similar scenario. The tree he found wasn’t very large, but it was suitable. Although the first branch was about 12 feet off the ground, he was able to use the cliffside rocks to climb up to it. The higher he climbed, the weaker the branches became, but he hoped that if anything were to come after him, he would have a chance to defend himself until morning.

Donald Shrum’s UFO Encounter at Cisco Grove

The Astonishing Legends Podcast have covered the story of the Battle at Cisco Grove in a very in depth and informative podcast episode.

Don saw a light in the sky to the north around 9:00-9:30 PM, which appeared to be moving up and down like a flashlight but eventually went above the treeline. Don thought his friends must have alerted the Forest Service, who sent a helicopter to search for him.

Don knew he needed to signal the helicopter for help, so he climbed down from the tree and used matches to light signal fires on top of three large rocks close together, spaced about 10 feet apart. The three fires would indicate that they were intentionally created and would be more visible from a distance.

He waved and shouted towards the light, fearing that the pilots might not see the fires. Eventually, he managed to catch the attention of the approaching aircraft. However, something seemed off. The aircraft was coming towards him at an unusually high speed and without making any noise.

The situation was perplexing since the aircraft had a bright light on the front, perhaps a landing light or headlight, but it appeared smaller than it should be.

The aircraft was black, an extremely dark shade that almost seemed to absorb light. It was difficult for him to determine the full size of the aircraft at that moment, as he could only see a small point of light at the front.

Don realized that something was amiss and began to feel afraid. He was well aware of the capabilities of modern science, having worked on advanced missile technology at Aerojet. He knew that the object he was witnessing that night was not of human origin.

The object was both speedy and soundless, and it seemed to be intrigued by Don or the signal fires he had lit. Realizing that he needed cover, Don remembered the tree and decided to make his way back to it. He hoped that by hiding in the tree, he could avoid drawing any further attention from whatever was piloting the mysterious object.

Once he reached the tree, Don threw his bow into it and began to climb. Although he knew that climbing the tree wasn’t the best form of defense, it was still better than having no cover at all. Don was dressed in full camouflage attire, and he climbed up and remained motionless, hoping to remain unnoticed in the dark branches. He wasn’t entirely sure if the object had spotted him.

As the object looped around, it drew closer to Don, and he was able to observe it more closely. At this point, he noticed what he described as three windows on the side of the craft.

The windows were staggered and arranged in a checkerboard pattern, without touching.

Don realized that the distance between the small light he initially saw and the first of the three windows was approximately 50 feet. This indicated that the entire craft was up to 150 feet in length.

The windows themselves were not typical windows; they shimmered like aluminum foil, according to Shrum. Although Don could not discern the overall shape of the object clearly, he did notice that something oval was blocking the stars in the sky.

The craft exhibited movement that defied the laws of physics, covering great distances silently and instantaneously without being affected by fluid dynamics. Don felt safe in the tree for the time being, until a smaller craft emerged from the middle of the three windows, which he called a module. Don lost track of it as it shot out of the larger craft into the darkness, but eventually, it settled on a hill a short distance away from him.

Aliens emerge from the Craft at Cisco Grove

The smaller craft landed about half a mile away from Don, settling into some bushes. Shortly after, Don heard the sound of something, or several things, moving through the dense brush towards him, getting closer and closer.

Eventually, a being emerged from the brush, appearing short and stocky, dressed in a silver or white uniform or suit. The being had a black void for a face, but Don could make out their large, dark, round eyes, which resembled welders’ goggles.

Although the beings appeared to be moving towards Don, they also seemed to be easily diverted by their surroundings and were curious, often stopping to investigate the flora and fauna.

Eventually, the two beings approached him, causing Don to feel a sense of intense panic. It was now undeniable that whatever was happening, it was not of this world.

At this point, Don heard the beings communicating with each other in a way that sounded like doves cooing or owls hooting. He realized that they were likely receiving messages from the mothership because they would take new actions after hearing the sounds.

Despite being initially distracted by their surroundings, more of them appeared, totaling around six. Don wondered if this was all they were doing – collecting samples and leaving.

Before long, a new visitor arrived, a larger being with bright red eyes resembling flashlights. Don called it the robot and described it as metallic in appearance with a different face, featuring a large mouth and hinged jaw.

It moved mechanically and stopped under the tree where Don was hiding. The robot didn’t seem to care for Don’s signal fires, so it scattered the ashes with its arm. Don saw the robot’s hand in the light of the embers, describing it as looking like a medieval metal gauntlet. Then, the robot went over to Don’s tree, stood under it, and raised its hand to its mouth, causing a white vapor to come out and rise up through the tree to Don. Although the vapor had no smell, it knocked Don unconscious.

Don slumped over, but luckily he didn’t fall from the tree. When he came to, he felt nauseous and started to dry heave. The robot approached him and repeated the action that had caused him to pass out multiple times. Don interpreted this as an escalation and decided he needed to take action to defend himself.

Don decided to take action and aimed his bow at the robot. His arrow hit the center of the robot’s chest, causing it to recoil a few feet.

The arrow bounced off its chest, producing a bright light similar to an arc welder. The robot moved back about 10 to 20 feet, but eventually returned. Don fired his remaining arrows at the robot, and the same reaction occurred each time.

Don was exhausted. He’d fired arrows, thrown things, shaking the tree, been gassed unconscious over and over, and hadn’t gotten any sleep.

As the dawn approached, Don noticed the faint signs of daylight emerging, and wondered how much longer he could withstand the attack.

With the temperature dropping just above freezing, he had already burned most of his clothes and was left with limited options. Suddenly, he spotted two robots standing at the base of his tree, facing each other. He watched in amazement as bright white arcs of light flashed between them, appearing to share information in a plasma-like form.

Don was curious about what they were doing. It turned out that they were pooling their power to release a larger amount of knockout gas, which was colder and more potent this time. Don was knocked out completely for a long period, but fortunately, he had used his belt to secure himself to the tree which prevented him from falling out. When he eventually regained consciousness, he found himself alone, with the sun finally rising.

In the morning Don found his way back to his friends and told them what had happened. They were all understandably confused and afraid and decided to leave.

Donald Shrum is Interviewed by the Airforce

Wanting to get to the bottom of what had happened to him, Donald Shrum contacted the airforce and told them his story. They conducted an interview with Don and told him they though he was probably just pranked by teenagers. They took one of his arrows that had been bent after hitting the robot and sent it to the University of Colorado for analysis.

Two to three weeks following the encounter, Don returned to the site of the incident with his brother, Bill, Vincent Alvarez, and a friend named Bill Adams. Upon arriving, they discovered that the area had been thoroughly searched. All evidence of the encounter was gone, and they found cigarette butts and tire tracks leading to the site. The ground was littered with rake marks.

It seemed the Airforce was far more interested in the site of the incident than they conveyed to Donald.

(Affiliate link, we may earn a commission if you purchase this book.)

You can read more about Donald Shrum’s alien encounter at Cisco Grove in his book Aliens in the Forest: The Cisco Grove UFO Encounter by Noe Torres, Ruben Uriarte, and Donald R. Shrum.

What do you think really happened at Cisco Grove? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article about the UFO Encounter at Cisco Grove you might also be interested in the Petrozavodsk Jellyfish UFOs or the Falkville Metal Man.

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Flight 1628: Aircraft Manoeuvres to Avoid UFO




Captain Terauchi with a drawing of what he saw during Flight 1628

On November 17, 1986, a Japan Airlines flight was stalked for 30 minutes by several UFOs. These UFOs were also seen by the Anchorage Federal Aviation Administration who advised the pilot to take evasive action.

Two Small Ships and a Mothership

Captain Kenju Terauchi, a former fighter pilot and seasoned airline captain with over 10,000 hours of flight experience, was assigned to command a Japan Airlines cargo flight from Paris to Reykjavik, Anchorage, and then on to Tokyo.

At 5:09 pm Alaska time on November 17, the Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center communicated with JAL 1628, located approximately 104 miles northeast of Fort Yukon. The flight controller instructed the pilot to adjust the heading to pass south of Fort Yukon and Fairbanks. Responding to this, the copilot initiated a left turn of about 15 degrees. Captain Terauchi, seated on the left side of the cockpit, noticed unidentified lights below and to the left through his window. Initially assuming them to be military aircraft, he disregarded them. However, he soon realized these unidentified objects were keeping pace with their aircraft.

Flight 1628 made two rapid inquiries to the Anchorage Center, seeking clarification on any other aircraft in the vicinity. The Center confirmed the absence of military aircraft and reported that ground radar detected only Flight 1628. Subsequently, the two lights began displaying erratic movements.

Terauchi’s Account

The large mothership as described by Terauchi

At first, the lights appeared distant, so there was no immediate sense of danger. Captain Terauchi began to speculate that they might be UFOs due to their peculiar movements. Suddenly, two large spacecraft emerged directly in front of the plane, emitting bright lights. The cockpit was illuminated brightly, and the warmth from the UFOs’ thrusters could be felt on Terauchi’s face. After a brief moment, the fiery illumination ceased, transforming into small circles of light flying alongside at the same speed. The middle of the ships emitted sporadic bursts of light, resembling a glowing fire. Their size was comparable to a large aircraft, flying slightly higher and just ahead.

The inexplicable nature of such an encounter struck Captain Terauchi, considering the impossibility for man-made machines to swiftly appear and maintain formation with a fast-moving aircraft. Nevertheless, there was no immediate sense of threat, only astonishment. The reasons behind their proximity remained a mystery.

A pale, white light marked the path where the ships departed, maintaining pace with the aircraft. Despite inquiries to the Anchorage Center, no objects were detected on their radar. However, the aircraft’s weather radar revealed a significant green circle approximately seven or eight miles away in the same direction.

As they passed over the Eielson Air Force Base and Fairbanks, the city lights illuminated the terrain below. Suddenly Terauchi was confronted with the silhouette of a massive spaceship.

In coordination with the Anchorage Center, Captain Terauchi undertook evasive maneuvers, including circling and altering altitude. However, the massive UFO, described by Terauchi as comparable in size to two aircraft carriers, persisted in shadowing Flight 1628 regardless of their efforts.

Terauchi was terrified and felt concerned about what the UFOs were trying to achieve. The Anchorage Center proposed deploying a military jet, but Captain Terauchi opted against it, concerned about potential unintended repercussions of a military encounter with the unidentified craft. Around the same time, a United Airlines passenger jet entered the airspace and was instructed by air traffic control (ATC) to observe the situation visually. Terauchi recounted, “When the United plane approached our position, the spaceship abruptly vanished. The peculiar encounter concluded approximately 150 miles away from Anchorage.”

The Investigation into Flight 1628

In 1986, John Callahan, holding the position of FAA Division Chief within the Accidents and Investigations Branch in Washington, DC, received an urgent call from Alaska approximately one week after the JAL 1628 incident.

During an interview conducted around 2000, Callahan recounted the event, expressing that an unidentified caller, whose identity he couldn’t recall, conveyed a sense of urgency regarding media inquiries flooding the FAA office in Alaska. The caller informed Callahan about a UFO sighting involving a 747 aircraft that occurred a week prior.

Callahan instructed the caller to gather all available data, including civilian and military disks, and any accessible tapes, to be sent overnight to the technical center where he was stationed. Despite initial reluctance from the military to share their tapes, the caller managed to collect all available information from Anchorage Traffic Control.

Callahan further explained that they directed the caller to recreate the setup exactly as it was in Anchorage, aiming to project all gathered data onto the radar monitor, including radar, digital radar, and audio recordings, in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation.

Upon reviewing the tapes, Callahan listened to a three-way conversation involving Anchorage Air Traffic Control (ATC), Elmendorf’s NORAD Regional Operations Control Center (ROCC), and Captain Terauchi of JAL 1628. Additionally, he examined a tape displaying ATC radar sightings on a scope. Although Anchorage Air Traffic Control did not detect the UFOs on their radar, indications from their conversation suggested that the military was actively monitoring the UFOs. Callahan elaborated:

“The military controller possesses what they refer to as height-finding radar, along with long-range and short-range radar. Therefore, if they fail to detect an object on one system, they may catch it on another. Our radar system, however, did not record such sightings.”

Details relayed by the military controller revealed that the UFOs were traveling at incredibly high speeds while navigating the airspace around the 747. Additionally, the military controller made another surprising observation: towards the end of the incident, a United Airlines flight was diverted to observe the JAL flight. Interestingly, Captain Terauchi no longer spotted the large UFO at that point, and neither did the United Airlines pilot. However, unbeknownst to both pilots, military radar clearly indicated that the UFO had concealed itself from view behind the United flight and had begun tailing it.

Following the presentation, Callahan’s superior instructed him, “Don’t communicate with anyone until I authorize it.” The subsequent day, his superior organized a briefing, during which Callahan recounted, “I gathered all the personnel from the tech center. We assembled upstairs, armed with various data boxes and printouts that filled the room. Three individuals from the FBI, three from the CIA, and three from Reagan’s scientific study team were brought in, alongside others whose identities I’m unsure of, but they all seemed enthusiastic.”

Callahan and his team presented all their findings to the group and fielded numerous technical inquiries.

Upon concluding the briefing, the assembled individuals were actually sworn to secrecy, with instructions to deny the existence of the meeting and its recordings. This directive came from a CIA representative. Perplexed by this directive, Callahan questioned the rationale behind concealing such information. He reasoned that if the object observed wasn’t the then-in-development Stealth Bomber, it could only be classified as a UFO. He questioned why the public shouldn’t be informed. The CIA representative explained that disclosing such information to the American public would likely incite widespread panic, hence the decision to keep it classified. Despite this, Callahan retained copies of all the data in his office.

When asked for his opinion, Callahan expressed his belief that what they witnessed appeared to be a UFO. He noted that Reagan’s scientific team shared his enthusiasm for the data, emphasizing that this was the first instance in which a UFO had been recorded on radar for an extended duration.

In the aftermath, Captain Terauchi was reassigned to a desk role within months of the incident, reportedly due to company embarrassment, although he was later reinstated. As for Callahan, he retired from the FAA, transitioning into a career as an industry consultant, and periodically shared the true account of JAL flight 1628.

Think Anomalous discusses Flight 1628

More UFO Accounts:

The Strange Disappearance of Pilot Frederick Valentich

The Kaikoura UFO Sightings

The Mysterious Dome of Light Seen by Military Aircraft

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Hessdalen Lights




One of the most famous photos of the Hesddalen Lights. Photo: Life in Norway

Since the 1980s Scientists have been studying a strange aerial phenomenon in Norway but they yet to find a definitive explanation.

What are the Hessdalen Lights?

NewScientist shares footage of th Hessdalen Lights

The Hessdalen lights are strange, unexplained lights seen in a part of Norway called the Hessdalen valley since the 1930s. These lights can appear during the day or night and look white, yellow, or red.

They move around the valley, sometimes quickly and other times slowly. Sometimes they stay in one spot. Hundreds of people have seen these lights over the years.

At times, these lights can be as large as cars and linger in the air for as long as 2 hours. Sometimes, they may swiftly traverse down the valley before vanishing abruptly. Other times, there are instances of quick blue and white flashes that appear and disappear in an instant, along with sightings during the daytime resembling metallic objects in the sky.

In the early 1980s, there was a huge uptick in the amount of sightings. Since 1983, a group called “Project Hessdalen” and later a program named EMBLA have been trying to study these lights.

They’ve set up cameras and equipment to record them. Scientists from Østfold University College, Norway and Italian National Research Council are spearheading this research.

The 80s Sightings

Reports of sightings in the Hessdalen valley started in late-1981. On December 1st, there were multiple reports of unusual sightings including a “bullet-shaped object,” a sphere, and various strange lights moving northward towards Trondheim. About six weeks later, on January 18th, 1982, another sighting described a strange light tilting slightly up and down as it moved.

A significant sighting occurred on February 11th when a skeptical journalist, Arne Wisth, witnessed the lights himself. Initially intending to write a dismissive piece about the sightings, Wisth changed his mind when he saw the phenomenon. He described a star-like object approaching rapidly with tremendous speed, growing larger and brighter as it came closer. The object then stopped, hovered briefly, and descended closer to the ground before disappearing. Although Wisth managed to capture a photograph, the object vanished before he could take another picture.

Wisth observed the lights again exactly one week later, on February 18th, this time with around thirty witnesses present. The lights pulsated and changed colors several times before disappearing. Approximately twenty minutes later, a long red-white luminous shape appeared, moving slower and closer to the ground between the Fjellbekkhogda and Finsahogda mountains.

Leif Havik, a well-known ufologist and writer in Norway, was among those who witnessed the initial sightings of lights over Hessdalen. During a four-day expedition starting on March 17th, he and his team encountered six separate incidents.

The first incident occurred shortly after 7:30 pm on the first evening. As they prepared to leave their transport and head to their base on Varhusvollan Mountain, Havik’s colleague, Lars Lillevold, suddenly exclaimed, “There it is!” They all observed an oblong object slowly passing in front of Finnsahogda Mountain. Despite their awe, they couldn’t unpack their cameras in time and proceeded to their mountain hut for the night. Shortly after their arrival at 8:39 pm, another luminous object passed over the valley, confirming the reality of the sightings.

The following evening, around the same time, the oblong-shaped object reappeared with a red light at the front and two white-yellow lights separated by a dark patch at the back. It flew low over the group for about forty-five seconds. Almost exactly twenty-four hours later, on March 19th, a “star” suddenly appeared in the night sky. Initially unsure if it was a star, the object then turned a warmer yellow-white color, growing in size as it followed the same route as the previous evenings.

Hessdalen Light Research

In 2018, the Hessdalen Observatory was set up atop a mountain, situated nearly 1,000 meters above sea level. It operates using solar panels and methanol fuel cells, allowing four researchers to work there throughout the year.

Even though scientists are studying the phenomenon, they still haven’t agreed on what causes it. Some think the lights might be mistaken sightings of things like stars, airplanes, or car lights.

One idea suggests that the lights could be caused by dust particles from mining in the area burning up in the air. This theory gained attention when researchers found certain elements in the air that are known for their ability to reflect light.

Another theory proposes that the lights form when certain types of crystals in the rocks of the valley create electricity under pressure.

In 2010, a different hypothesis suggested that the lights are created by a special kind of plasma made from charged particles in the air and dust. This could be caused by natural processes like radon decay.

Piezoelectricity and the Hessdalen Lights

In a study from 2011, Gerson Paiva and Carlton Taft proposed an explanation for the strange shapes seen at the center of the Hessdalen lights. They suggested that these lights form clusters due to interactions between different types of waves in the air. These clusters of light balls can shoot out at very high speeds, similar to what’s been observed. The central ball is white, while the ones that shoot out are green, likely because of certain types of ions in the air. These ions break apart more quickly than others, so only certain colors are seen.

Paiva and Taft also developed a model to explain the specific pattern of light seen in the Hessdalen lights. They suggested that the light behaves like thick gas, which affects how its spectrum looks. When the air is clear, the light shows a certain pattern. They also proposed that the shapes of the lights might be caused by rocks underground breaking apart quickly.

In 2014, Jader Monari introduced another theory, suggesting that the valley itself could act like a battery. In this model, the river and the sides of the valley play roles similar to the parts of a battery. Gas bubbles rising from the ground could become charged and create the Hessdalen lights.

Paranormal Theories about the Hessdalen Lights

The shape taken by the lights in this image could be imagined as reflective surfaces on a spacecraft.

UFO enthusiasts often find the Hessdalen lights intriguing and compelling evidence of extraterrestrial activity. Some believe that these lights could be manifestations of alien spacecraft or advanced technology from other worlds. They argue that the lights’ behavior, such as their sudden appearances, rapid movements, and unconventional shapes, are consistent with characteristics commonly attributed to UFO sightings.

Paranormal theories about the Hessdalen lights propose various supernatural explanations. Some suggest that the lights are manifestations of ghosts, spirits, or otherworldly entities. Others propose connections to ley lines, Earth’s energy grids, or mystical phenomena. These theories often draw upon folklore, pseudoscience, and speculative interpretations of the lights’ behavior to support their claims.

What do you think is causing the Hessdalen Lights? Tell us your theories in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article you might also be interested in Kristina Florence’s UFO Abduction or the 1994 Muskegon UFO Sightings.

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