Update: Check here for 2016 and 2015 UFO sightings in Montana.
Not only are these sightings reported by credible witnesses, but they’re also reported by the U.S. government. Yes, it would seem, Montana is indeed on the cosmic map.
But when did we get there? We know that the “first” recorded sighting of a UFO in America was on January 25, 1878. It was seen in Denison, Texas, by John Martin, who described it as saucer-size.
The term flying saucer wouldn’t take hold until pilot Kenneth Arnold made it popular after his June 1947 UFO sighting over Mount Rainier in Washington, however.
That wasn’t the first recorded sighting of a UFO, of course. The Japanese may have made the ‘saucer’ connection first, when they labeled a flying object an “earthenware vessel” on October 27, 1180, one they’d seen from a mountain in the Kii province.
Asia has always been a hotspot for UFO sightings, with the cave paintings in China’s Hunan Province showing cylindrical crafts, possibly with occupants getting out. The paintings are 47,000 years old.
In Montana we have a very long history of UFO sightings. One of the earliest occurred in September 1865, at “about 75-100 miles above the Great Falls of the Upper Missouri River,” in an area called Cadotte Pass.
Fur trapper James Lumley spotted a “bright, luminous, body” in the darkening sky shortly after sunset. Suddenly the object moved to the east very quickly and then for no apparent reason, exploded, shaking the ground all around.
The sound was immense, like thunder, and afterward there was a “rushing sound,” something like a tornado moving through a forest. The wind kicked up suddenly before dying back down. The smell of sulfur filled the air.
Lumley must have been startled, to say the least. His courage can’t be doubted, however, for the next day he left his camp and went to where the object had crashed.
It was easy to get there – the trees had been chopped off halfway up, others had been uprooted, and even the earth had been shaved off in places, like tops coming off hills.
After following the desolation for two miles, Lumley found an immense rock or stone that’d been driven right into the side of a mountain. Examining it, Lumley found that it was divided into compartments and had writings or etchings on it, much like hieroglyphics.
That wasn’t all, however. Around the object were broken shards or fragments, which resembled glass more than anything. There were also dark stains on the ground, like some liquid had seeped into the earth.
It wasn’t until October 19 that Lumley’s story was reported in the St. Louis Missouri Democrat, something the paper noted would “shake the foundations of the scientific world” if it were true.
The paper speculated, much like Lumley had, that this was a meteor that may well have been harnessed for use by some kind of alien beings. Furthermore, it devised a scenario where humans would be enslaved by these beings.
There was no talk of UFOs or flying saucers or even a machine-like craft. People back then didn’t have much experience with machines. Is it a surprise that this object was therefore described as a rock? Perhaps not.
But could it still be there? We know that Ryan Dam is on the Great Falls of the Missouri now. Cadotte Pass would put the crash site right around Canyon Ferry Reservoir.
Or perhaps under it. The Canyon Ferry Dam was completed in 1954, which flooded the area. Still, it’s possible, and here are some likely spots:
It’s also important to point out that before 2004 there was a blotted-out image showing up on Google Maps. Remember, Google Maps started in October 2004. Here’s a before and after:
That all changed beginning in the 1950s.
In 1952 the United States Air Force stared Project Blue Book, though there were earlier incarnations called Sign and Grudge, in 1947 and 1949 respectively. The Cold War had begun, and America needed to know if UFOs were a threat first, and what they were second.
By clicking on the following links you’ll be directed to PDF files from Project Bluebook (Note: these links were removed. Look at comments to find the story behind that).
These were put together on a site called The Black Vault, and I’ve gathered together all the sightings for Montana. Most are 5 to 15 pages in length and have the original eyewitness accounts, often in handwriting. There are also drawings and sometimes even photos.
Montana UFO Sightings in the 1940s
April 1949 UFO Sighting in Dillon, Montana
August 1949 UFO Sighting near Hebgen Lake, Montana (49 pages)
February 1949 UFO Sighting in Dillon, Montana
Montana UFO Sightings in the 1950s
August 1950 UFO Sighting in Great Falls, Montana (10 Photos) This is also called the Mariana UFO Incident, and you can read more on Wikipedia about it.
May 1951 UFO Sighting in South Falls, Montana
August 1952 UFO Sighting in De Borgia, Montana
August 1952 UFO Sighting in Cutbank, Montana
January 1953 UFO Sighting in Craig, Montana
February 1953 UFO Sighting in Laurel, Montana
February 1953 UFO Sighting in Great Falls, Montana
February 1953 UFO Sighting in Dodson, Montana
February 1953 UFO Sighting in Great Falls, Montana
March 1953 UFO Sighting in Conrad, Montana
July 1953 UFO Sighting in Opportunity, Montana
January 1955 UFO Sighting in Kalispell, Montana
April 1955 UFO Sighting near Flathead Lake, Montana
July 1955 UFO Sighting in Glendive, Montana
May 1956 UFO Sighting in Alberton, Montana (objects fell like parachutes)
September 1956 UFO Sighting in Kalispell, Montana (25 pages, object appeared for 7 hours)
December 1956 UFO Sighting in Missoula, Montana: This document is 25 pages and details an object found near Harlowton or Shawmut, though the owner couldn’t remember where exactly.
It was “a dull black-gray colored volcanic type rock,” similar in type to the kind ranchers and herders found. These were “metal components of airborne meterological [sic] equipment.”
Typically these would be given to the Martinsdale Post Office, and then sent off to Malmstrom AFB. The reason was that Malmstrom was the only place in the country to be “sending airborne meteorological equipment aloft.” Still, locals were convinced it was a self-contained power unit of some spaceship.
Remember Lumley’s UFO and how it looked like a rock? Do you believe in coincidences?
May 1957 UFO Sighting in Great Falls, Montana
July 1957 UFO Sighting in Hamilton, Montana
July 1957 UFO Sighting north of Havre, Montana
August 1957 UFO Sighting in Livingston, Montana
August 1957 UFO Sighting in Helena, Montana
September 1957 UFO Sighting in Havre, Montana
December 1957 UFO Sighting in Sunburst, Montana
December 1957 UFO Sighting near Montana/Canadian Border (4 pages, pilot followed by object for a short time)
December 1957 UFO Sighting in Miles City, Montana (4 pages, object moving at 1,000 MPH)
Montana UFO Sightings in the 1960s
One of the most peculiar Montana UFO incidents occurred on April 30, 1964 near Canyon Ferry Reservoir in Helena. Burns of some sort were discovered in the ground, and looking at the 12 photos, one might surmise that they were prints of some sort.
What happened was that several children of Harold Rust, as well as a woman named Linda Davis, saw an “egg-shaped object” the “size of an automobile land” about 150 feet away from them, leaving four indentations in the ground that were “4-8 inches deep, about 13 ft apart.”
It was even reported in the Victoria Advocate the next day, and the Montana Standard picked up the story closer to home:
What is it about this area…nukes? There’s no mention of the nuclear warheads begin turned off by a UFO at Malmstrom Air Force Base around that time.
Project Blue Book is also silent on the well-documented UFO incident that occurred on March 16, 1967, in Great Falls.
The last recorded UFO sighting in Montana was in Columbia Falls in September 1967. After that Project Blue Book was finished. The program was ordered terminated in December 1969 and by January 1970, all activity had stopped.
Or did it?
You could go into any bar in Montana right now and hear at least one UFO story, one that happened somewhere out there in the vastness of this state, and in our lifetimes.
But would you want to?
Would you want to see one of these UFOs? Many still are, like these form the National UFO Reporting Center:
- A UFO watching New Year’s Eve fireworks over Kalispell on December 31, 2014;
- Two red orbs over Bozeman on October 25, 2014;
- Red, white and blue lights over Plains, Montana, for 20 minutes on October 19, 2014;
- Huge object moving very fast outside Billings on October 4, 2014;
- And hundreds more UFO sightings in Montana just like them in the past 10 years.
UFOs have always been coming to Montana, that much is clear. Too many people have seen them, and these witnesses are credible people in the community.
Oftentimes they’re benign sightings, with no harm done. Other times the results are more chilling, like with the incidents near Deer Lodge’s Red Gate.
The most sightings by far occur around Great Falls, however, and even as late as September 21, 2012, there were detailed UFO sightings around Malmstrom, enough to worry officials.
Still, sightings occurred long before those nuclear missiles were installed. What is it about the Treasure State that draws them here? And when will we know?
“A Primer: UFO’s Throughout History.” UFO Evidence. Web. Retrieved 22 January 2015. http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc154.htm
Booth, B.J. “Before the Wright Brothers...There Were UFOs.” American Chronicle. Web. December 2006. Retrieved 22 January 2015. http://web.archive.org/web/20120819213938/http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/17732
Foster, Lance M. “Canyon Ferry UFOs.” Paranormal Montana. Web. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2015. http://paranormalmontana.blogspot.com/2010/04/canyon-ferry-ufos.html
“Is Lumley’s UFO still out there?” Paranormala. Web. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2015. http://www.paranormala.com/lumleys-ufo/
“Is Lumley’s UFO still out there? (1865)” Above Top Secret. Web. 6 December 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2015. http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread417392/pg1
Warren, Frank. “Historic UFOs Amazing Story Of Alien Spacecraft Crashing In MO – 1865.” Web. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2015. http://www.rense.com/general16/histufocrashing.htm