Some years back, my late husband Don Pendleton and I had a mysterious UFO sighting that was extraordinarily awe-inspiring, and an experience I will never forget.
From the best I can recall on the time frame of the sighting, I believe it to have been in early April of 1989, and on a Sunday or Monday evening, although it could have been April of 1988. We never made note of the exact date. I am sure of the time, though. It was shortly after dark at about 8:15 in the evening and it was a balmy evening as we had our patio doors open.
We were at our home in the South Hills area of West Covina, California. Our two story hillside home faced north, overlooking San Gabriel Valley, a well-populated Southern California area. The San Gabriel Valley is about ten miles across to the base of the San Gabriel Mountain Range. From our home, on a clear day, we could see the city of Pasadena and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (JPL), slightly to our northwest.
We were watching television in our family room on the north side of the home, upper floor. At approximately 8:15 P.M., our attention was diverted to a strange sound approaching from the south, coming over the hills. The best way I can describe the sound was that it was a very low-pitched hum. Within moments, the sound was over our house, although the low hum was not louder. Still a soft, low frequency hum. We both jumped up from the couch and moved to our patio doors and outside onto the upper deck. To our surprise and shock, directly above us was the leading edge of a huge triangular shaped object. It appeared to be 100 to 150 feet above us. This object was moving very, very slow, almost as if it were gliding or floating. The noise that it generated, the low, unique sound, was a sound that neither of us had ever heard before from any helicopter, military helicopter, or any airplane. Our home was approximately 100 feet long and this object was wider than our house!
The leading edge of the triangle was moving very slowly northward. The belly, bottom, of the object was solid, dense and dark. It blocked out the sky above. We could not see through it to the stars in the clear night sky. On the outer points or edge of the triangle were white lights, possibly four to six. The lights were not flashing, just a constant glow.
Both of us said, at the same moment, “What the hell is it!” We were in awe. As it continued to move slowly northward it was directly over us for what seemed like a minute or more as it moved beyond us. We heard a male voice across the street from us and to our east shout to someone, “What is it?”
We watched from our balcony as the object continued its slow, floating movement across the San Gabriel Valley at the same low altitude, nearly at our eye level, and well below the height of the mountain range, which is at least 6,000 feet. As it reached the foothills at the base of the mountains in the vicinity of what is called the San Gabriel Canyon area (above Azusa), the lighted object made a sharp, instant right turn, and continued its movement eastward along the base of the mountains. Due to the terrain from our vantage point we lost sight of it shortly after it made the turn and headed eastward.
It took several minutes for the object to reach the opposite side of the valley. It would be my guess that from the time we first observed it directly over our house until it was out of our sight was nearly four to six minutes or more.
What Don and I found most interesting, was two nights later, approximately one half hour earlier, at about 7:30 to 7:45 P.M., just at the end of twilight, we heard the loud roar of military helicopters approaching from the south. We were familiar with military helicopters that occasionally flew through our area, as well as the occasional police helicopters–and could tell the difference of the sound of the two. What we now heard on this second night, was definitely the sound of approaching military helicopters. We went out onto the deck and observed three (may have been five) large military helicopters flying at normal flight speed, with the usual aircraft lighting. They were in close formation and at a higher altitude than the triangular object had been. They flew over our house, and north across the valley in nearly the exact path as the triangular craft. When they reached the opposite side to the San Gabriel Valley, they turned to the east, but that turn was not the sharp, quick angled turn that we had observed from the large triangular object. Even as they moved above us, there was no mistaking that they were military helicopters in fairly close formation. They were individual helicopters, and did not block out the sky above as the huge triangular craft had. Nothing about the sighting of the military helicopters was close to our observation of the triangular UFO.
The following evening the military helicopters flew over again, on the same flight path but this time, just at dusk. If I recall correctly, either the next evening, or the one after, the helicopters flew over again, and again, on the same flight path. At present I cannot recall for sure of the number the first night they flew over, but from the best I can recall there were five on that night, and three on subsequent nights.
About three days after our observation of the triangular craft, and following either the second or third appearance of the military helicopters, our local newspaper, The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, had a small article stating that El Toro Marine Base in Orange County had military helicopters on training maneuvers related to night desert exercises. The desert is to the north on the other side of the San Gabriel Mountain Range. This news article also seemed unusual as I don’t recall other times of announcements of El Toro maneuvers in our paper.
It was our belief then, and is still my belief, that the military helicopters were deployed following the appearance of the unidentified triangular craft to divert attention away from what was not one of our known aircraft.
The San Gabriel Valley area of Southern California is a highly populated area. If you have ever seen the views of the surrounding area during the Rose Bowl Parade or Game, you will have seen the extent of the populated area I am speaking of. It seems that the population could have been at risk from the close formation flight of military helicopters flying at what appeared to be a lower altitude than they normally flew in the area. We had never seen them fly in such a tight formation ever before.
Another strange thing about the sighting and the flight path of the triangular craft is that it crossed the normal flight path of Ontario International Airport, only a few miles to the east. Of course, the object was much lower than the airline path would be. The flight direction of airliners into and out of Ontario would at times be reversed due to high Santa Ana winds.
As I look back on the event, I am really sorry that we did not record the exact date of our sighting. We did not report it to anyone as we assumed it would be ignored as most UFO sightings are. The next day we called several friends and family living in the immediate area and were disappointed to discover that none had seen the UFO. We never contacted the neighbor who yelled out as we did not know him.
Over the years we didn’t give our sighting a lot of thought, although we knew without a doubt we had seen a UFO and were quite sure it was not any kind of U.S. known aircraft. It was not until March 13, 1997, that the relevance of our sighting came to mind. I was living in Northern Arizona when the TV news reports came out on the “Phoenix Lights” over Phoenix, Arizona that evening about 10:00 P.M. Thousands of people reported witnessing a mile long V-shaped, or triangular, craft with circular orange lights gliding/floating silently over Phoenix. Reports were that this craft was spotted in the Las Vegas area about 7:30 and then sighted over the Kingman and Prescott, Arizona areas prior to the arrival in Phoenix. A bit later it was seen in the Casa Grande and Tucson area south of Phoenix. Hundreds took photographs and videos of the strange craft, moving at a slow glide and low altitude.
It has been reported that within minutes large numbers of telephone reports began pouring into law enforcement agencies, to news media offices, to Luke Air Force Base (located west of Phoenix), to the National UFO Reporting Center, MUFON groups, and the calls came from a wide range from Northern Arizona south to Phoenix. It has been said that the craft was witnessed by at least two air traffic controllers in the airport tower at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, and by several pilots on final approach to Sky Harbor.
Many people wanted answers and answers were not forthcoming. Over the next few weeks, City Councilwoman Francis Barwood demanded an investigation but she apparently was repeatedly rebuked in her attempts to open an investigation. She also contacted Arizona Senator John McCain who apparently wrote two letters to the Air Force, which apparently were “filed” away. The then Arizona Governor, Fyfe Symington called a press conference which I saw on television stating he would look into it. A few hours later, he held another televised press conference to state that he looked into it and knew who did it. Out onto the stage walked one of his aids dressed in an alien suit. His stunt did not go over well with most Arizona citizens and many resented the fact that he mocked anyone asking for an investigation into the event.
In May 1997, the Public Affairs Office at Luke Air Force Base announced that the lights were flares launched from the Barry Goldwater Firing Range at approximately 10:00 P.M. Such typical “good thinking” on their part–but what accounts for the sightings all over Northern Arizona, Nevada, some one to two hours earlier? Anyone who saw the object moving is not accepting of the flare explanation. I’m surprised they didn’t say it was an experimental boomerang that they threw into the air from Nevada to see if it could make the three hundred mile trip to Phoenix, and probably with crash dummies attached holding flashlights!
I’m sorry that I was not outside that evening where I was living in Northern Arizona as I might have had the opportunity to see the UFO cruise over. The UFO that Don and I experienced in West Covina, California was not as large as the “Phoenix Lights” mile-long craft. From eye witness reports and photos and video tapes I have seen of the “Phoenix Lights,” what Don and I saw was smaller and much more of a triangular shape than a V-shaped object. What I do know is that it was similar, obviously moved about the same from the accounts I’ve read, and in no way was either object a Stealth aircraft, nor any other known aircraft.
In March 2004, a well-respected Phoenix physician, Lynne D. Kitei, M.D. published “The Phoenix Lights,” her eye witness account and her own photographs of the March 13, 1997 event along with her earlier experiences of similar sightings over Phoenix. I recently listened to her fascinating account on the Coast to Coast AM Radio Show.
Approximately nine years ago, radio host of Coast to Coast AM, Art Bell and his wife Ramona sighted a triangular craft one night while driving the highway between Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. His description and rendering was nearly identical to our West Covina sighting.
Apparently sightings of flying triangles have increased in more recent years worldwide. Belguim had a “flap” of large and silent triangular UFOs from 1989 to 1990 and have recently had a new “flap” of sightings. Sightings have been reported in England, France, Germany and other countries. Reported sizes range from thirty feet to a mile in size. Most often they are flying at low altitudes and at extremely slow speed, but have been known to suddenly accelerate to high speed and disappear in a flash. According to reports by the National Institute for Discovery Science, it appears that here in the United States many sightings have been around military basis and corridors between military bases. One might say that happened with the “Phoenix Lights”–from Nellis Air Force Base adjacent to Las Vegas, to Luke Air Force Base adjacent to Phoenix.
For those that seem to believe that these craft are our own government’s experimental crafts, should one not question the fact that many of these sightings are at low altitude over heavily populated areas? Does it make since that the government would risk lives with their experiments when they have lots of unpopulated government land to fly over? And also our commercial and noncommercial air flights are heavily concentrated in metropolitan areas such as Phoenix and an experimental slow and low flying craft poses extreme danger.
Hopefully the day is getting closer when our government will reveal to its citizens the answers we have been waiting to have revealed for decades. We are not alone and most people believe that, so why the continuing charade and ridicule? Isn’t it time for acknowledgment?
©Copyright 2004 - 2006 by Linda Pendleton, all rights reserved.
I am pleased that my article appears in a middle school textbook "Crossroads 8A" in Norway, in English, for 8th grade students.
Triangular UFO Over San Gabriel Valley, CA
Sighting by Linda Pendleton