MY FRIEND BILL PUCKETT
Bellevue man believes we are not alone2005-04-17
The story goes like this: In the fall of 2001 an Enumclaw area woman was headed north on a rural road when she spotted a red orb in the distance.
The light grew larger as the woman's vehicle approached. She flashed her headlights.
The red light moved toward her car, engulfing her vehicle. Though her hands weren't on the steering wheel, the vehicle negotiated a steep curve. Then the orb moved on, crossing the road.
Some people may think the woman was imagining things. Not Bellevue's Bill Puckett. He thinks what she saw was an unidentified flying object.
Puckett, now 58, is a professional meteorologist and environmental scientist employed by the Environmental Protection Agency. But for the past five years, his passion has been researching suspected UFO sightings in the Northwest.
He knows the majority of reported UFO sightings can be explained away as satellites, bright stars, weather phenomena, swamp gas, meteors or secret military aircraft.
(The National UFO Reporting Center estimates that only about 3 percent of sightings remain unidentified.)
He believes that some of those sightings are UFOs or extraterrestrial -- space ships or beings from other worlds.
And yes, he says, he knows there are plenty of skeptics -- and more than a few ready to call people like him crackpots.
Not that it is likely to stop him.
``I've had this fascination with investigating UFOs for a long time,'' Puckett says. Two years ago he set up a Web site, www.ufosnw.com, to collect and report information on sightings.
``Most sightings are explainable. I prefer local sightings. I'm really focused on the Northwest. But I get reports from all over the world.''
An intelligent orb
That sighting near Enumclaw in 2001 is one he doesn't think can be explained away all that easily.
``Put it this way,'' he says. ``If it was just a red orb, you could say maybe it was something to do with nature. We live in a seismically active area. It's close to Mount Rainier. Maybe you could say it was gas released by the Earth.
``But when it (the light) behaves intelligently (allegedly guiding the car around the steep curve) then you have to think it's an intelligent entity -- or something operated by an intelligent entity.''
Skeptics aside, ``I'm nearly 100 percent convinced (extraterrestrial visitors) are already here,'' he says.
``There's been photos. There's been debris that can't be explained. There's been some credible witnesses.''
But there's a tendency to discount eyewitnesses, he says, even when they're pilots or in law enforcement.
That doesn't make sense, he argues.
``We put people to death based on the testimony of eyewitnesses,'' he says. ``But here, we discount the testimony of credible witnesses.''
Technological proof coming
Puckett believes that technology is changing so fast that within his lifetime --perhaps even in the next decade -- there will be proof of the existence of extraterrestrials on Earth. ``Technology is growing exponentially,'' he says. ``Look how far we've come in the last century.'' Still, he says, it will take a lot to change the minds of those who don't see the ``evidence'' the same way he does.
``I would venture to say that they (extraterrestrials) would have to land on the White House lawn during the 6 o'clock news and have coffee with the president before a lot of the scientific community would accept it,'' he says.
``Personally, I believe the odds of another civilization not visiting us is very low. But you can get into some very big arguments about that subject.''
Bellevue's Bill Puckett will be one of the speakers at the Ocean Shores UFO Conference scheduled for Friday through Sunday at the Ocean Shores Conference Center. For information on UFOs Northwest or to report a sighting, call Puckett at 425-452-8367 or go to www.ufosnw.com.
(And so will Leneesa!)