Columbia River UFO – Saint Helens Police Department Recorded UFO Sound In Oregon

It was misty and very cold in the early morning hours of March 17, 1981, as Sergeant Russell Yokum of the Saint Helens, Oregon, Police Department drove on patrol on Highway 30 west of the Columbia River. 
Saint Helens is a small mill town about 20 miles northwest of Portland. At 4:03 a.m., Yokum’s attention was drawn to a bright light that was moving upriver, easterly, toward the Portland Airport 20 miles away. Aircraft passed over here regularly on their way to the airport. But this light was extraordinarily bright, lighting up the river like daylight. Yokum was immediately convinced that the light was not from an aircraft. He radioed headquarters, and drove on to Saint Helens to look at the light from the county courthouse on the banks of the Columbia River, which afforded a clear view.
Columbia River UFO Saint Helens Police Department Recorded UFO Sound In Oregon
Other law enforcement officers, Ricky Cade and Tom McCartney of the Oregon State Police, and a few citizens, met Yokum at the county courthouse. By this time, Yokum was in radio contact with Donald Askins, who bore the CB handle “Lucky 13.” Askins, who was located in a house across the river in Washington state in Ridgefield, southeast of Saint Helens, had picked up the police radio traffic. He said that he, too, had seen the light, and was seeing it now. The light was stationary overthe river turning the whole area into daylight.

There was initial confusion as the officers in Saint Helens described the light to Askins. They claimed it was bobbing up and down. Askins insisted that the light he saw was stationary. Later, it was proved that the light the officers saw during the first moments of the sighting from the courthouse was a manmade light on Sauvie Island across the river. Fog, variable that night, had created the bobbing effect. Finally, understanding their confusion, the officers turned and looked to the south. There was the light Askins was watching! It was low and standing out starkly over the river where there were few, and only then, faint lights.

Askins had heard the light emitting an eerie, extremely loud sound, and the officers set up a portable tape recorder 18 inches from their police radio to record their conversation and the sound, should it recur. Askins volunteered to dangle his CB microphone out of the window of the rented house he was in so that he could transmit the sound to the officers. The police drove to a nearby high bluff that gave them an excellent view. 

Audio Transcript

“Hey, Lucky! We’ve got a tape recorder sitting here by our radio whenever you’re ready. We’ll keep her running. If it starts up again, just key up and we’ll record a little bit of it.”

“Oakey doak.”

“I just don’t want you to think we had a screw loose.”

“Sometimes I wonder.”

“Oh, go to bed!”

“Now all it is is just an orange glow. That’s all I can see.”

“It’s like the sun is just coming up.”

“It better not be. It’s awfully early.”

“Awfully early for the sun. I don’t think the sun would just be in that one spot.”

And then at approximately 4:29 a.m., the light emitted the sound. What you are about to hear is the actual sound of an Unidentified Flying Object, only one of a few that are known to the public. 

Listen to this sequence — it contains the UFO sound — in one of these sound formats
(800K each).  (Real Audio 3.0, AU, Wave, AIFF
“I think it’s moving out, you guys?”
“Well, we’re watching. We’ve moved to a higher vantage point. So you tell us what it does.”
“Well, listen.”
Sound of the UFO begins on tape now!
“It sounds like it’s revving up its engines.”
“Can you hear it?”
“I hope. Because it sure is cold out here.”
“I hope you’re taping this, you guys.”
“Yes, we are.”
“It sounds like a power plant diesel motor and a screeching noise in between it there, or with it.”
After the light “powered down,” one officer heard it quietly humming.
For another 14 minutes the officers, citizens, and Lucky 13 watched the hovering light. Then at 4:43 a.m., the light went out. One officer said that the light made a “funny whistling sound before it went out.”
“We heard whatever it was go off, or quit doing whatever it was doing there.”
“The Coast Guard confirmed they did have it on radar and it did go down.”
“OK. Are they coming to check it out?”
“I don’t know. OSP [Oregon State Police] is still talking to them.”
“I definitely seen it disappear, and all of a sudden there was a big funny noise.”
“OK. 10-4.”

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