Date: January 19, 1977
Location: Harrah, Washington, United States
Nine-year-old Jose Cantu of Harrah woke his mother up at about 6:30 a.m. asking her to explain the little "man" he saw outside. According to the boy, he had seen two greenish creatures about three feet tall, who rotated on a base instead of having feet, and two "steely" crafts in which 2 other creatures were sitting.
Jose's drawing of creature he reported seeing. (credit: Toppenish Review)
Type of Case/Report: PressReport
Hynek Classification: CE3
Special Features/Characteristics: Humanoid/Occupant, Children, Witness Sketch, Physical Trace
Source: Toppenish Review (Toppenish, WA), Jan. 26, 1977
Harrah youth reports UFOs with 'greenish creatures'
By Frances Story
Martha Cantu of Harrah said if her son ever tells her again to "come and look," she'll be sure to do it.
Last Wednesday when her agitated nine-year-old son Jose woke his mother up at about 6:30 a.m. asking her to explain the little "man" he saw outside she discounted his story and settled down to catch up on the sleep she'd lost the night before with a fussy baby.
Jose, who had been in the middle of preparing his breakfast, wasn't put off so easily.
He went outside to check for himself— and came back with an amazing story.
He told his mother he had seen two greenish creatures about three feet tall, who rotated on a base instead of having feet, and two "steely" crafts in which 2 other creatures were sitting.
He claimed that one craft rested in the back yard and the other on a flat section of the roof of the house. He told her he had hidden behind a washing machine stored outside next to a shed.
From that vantage point, he said he saw the two creatures join the other two in the crafts. He added that the crafts were brilliantly lighted inside, had "straight stairs" (much like a ramp) and a door that opened in "two parts, like a cross" to reveal the interior which contained two chairs with very tail bases. Jose said the craft in the yard rose from the ground and disappeared into something that resembled a cloud, steam or smoke.
When she heard the story, Jose's mother did what any mother might do in the same circumstances. She sent him to school.
At the Harrah Grade School, Jose repeated the story to Diane Gomez, an aide. "Jose is a serious boy. He's not one that tells stories or lies. What he told me, I took very seriously," Gomez said.
At 10:10, recess time, Gomez and another aide accompanied Jose to his home. There he showed them the places where he said the two creatures had been standing. In one location, where Jose said one creature had rotated on his base, Gomez said she saw two round marks in the gravel. At another place, where the creatures allegedly stood, there were two sets of three indentations.
After Mrs. Cantu spoke to the teacher's aides and they had returned to school with Jose, she called her neighbor, Irene Sanchez, to come to her home. Sanchez said they examined the back yard and found in the long grass a circular impression about 10 feet in diameter in which the grass in the middle was whirled up, and also observed the marks the aides had seen. The circle was easily visible from the window of the house next door, Gomez said, and added that her brother, who lives there, had seen it from that-distance. The circle was still clearly visible when Mr. Cantu arrived home that evening from work, he said.
On Thursday afternoon, when Bill Vogel of Toppenish and David Akers of Seattle, who is affiliated with the Center for UFO Studies, visited the Cantu home, the perfectly shaped circle and "footsteps" were still discernible. Akers examined the area with a Geiger counter and got no reaction.
On Saturday when this reporter visited the Cantu home only one set of "foot" marks could still be seen and only a faint trace of the circle remained.
Because the Cantu family is more at home with the Spanish language, this reporter took along a skeptical translator. After he questioned Jose, who answered his questions seriously and respectfully but asked to be allowed to return to his play, the skeptic concluded that "I believe he saw what he said he saw."
Vogel said he and Akers thought that Jose had "definitely" had an experience with a UFO.
If Jose did, he is in good company.
Barbara Brost, co-owner with her husband Earl of the Huba Huba Cafe in Toppenish, had a similar experience 20 years ago in southern Idaho on a ranch east of Blackfoot.
On a summer morning—about 6 a.m.— Barbara and her uncle were saddling horses and, as they left the barn by a rear door, they spotted an object "greyish white and as big as a boxcar" about half a mile away. Stunned, they watched it for about a minute. Barbara's aunt and Earl rushed from the house when the two called to them, but Earl was too late to see the cigar-shaped object which seemed to lift from the ground with a noise "like the transference of air," Barbara said. It disappeared so rapidly she couldn't tell which way it went, she said.
"When I see those rockets lift off now, on t.v., I just say to myself 'this thing was something else!'"
Another Toppenish resident, a man who prefers not to be identified, made a similar sighting eight years ago over a cornfield in Toppenish. The object that he, his wife, son and daughter saw from a distance of a quarter of a mile or less from their home was "not large. It was huge."
When asked to equate it to the size of a boxcar, he estimated it would be the length of three such train cars. He has described the object, which was off the ground and periodically beaming a light so brilliant that he was unable to look at it without squinting, to a Boeing employee who did his best to convince him that he had not seen the object and, if he had, that it was a helicopter. "I know what I saw," was his answer to that.
At the time he had a loaded Polaroid camera in his home but didn't even think of it, he said. The incident raised the "hair on the back of my neck," he said.
A more recent sighting happened in the late fall of 1958 or 1959, about 9 p.m. when Toppenish resident Ron Gardner was living in a rural area.
Gardner was about 14 years old at the time. He said he was watching television in the family's long and narrow living room with his back to a picture window in the room- A brilliant, bluish-violet light filled the room, he said. At first he thought it was "an electric arc light."
Turning to the window he saw the yard bathed in the purplish light and an object passing about 10 feet from the window.
The object, he said, was off the ground about three feet, was about seven feet high "tapering to real thin at the bottom," was engulfed in the light and the last four foot of "whatever it was" was disappearing behind a building.
Gardner said his father accused him of watching too many Flash Gordon pictures
and he never talked about it very much to anyone but "I know what I saw and I've never seen anything like it since."
Vogel, who seems to be the man in Toppenish to whom all the UFO reports are given, said that there has been many reports of brilliant lights over the Harrah area in the past six to eight months.
He said reports of a bright light over Harrah were made by many CBers the Tuesday night before Jose Cantu claimed to have seen the men and crafts.
A bright light has also been spotted over Toppenish Ridge by Mrs. Stan Johnson of Toppenish, who was Toppenish's Woman of the Year three years ago. She shared the experience with a friend, Judi Farquharson of Toppenish. They reported the lights to the Toppenish Police, who notified Vogel, who watched the light until it disappeared over Union Gap.
The Johnsons, who are area farmers, have seen the light often—and are still trying to explain how three holes, about four feet deep and six feet wide, appeared all in a row in a field in which they were growing sugar beets just south of Harrah.
Those who have seen the lights and mysterious objects all agree that they "know what they saw" but they aren't betting on convincing anyone else of it.
Case ID: 462
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