Perhaps people are staying up later at night because of the pandemic.
Perhaps they are drinking more or taking more mind-expanding drugs. Or maybe the sheer strangeness of the year’s events makes people more willing to believe the absurd.
Whatever the reason, quite a few UFO sightings have been reported on Whidbey Island and nearby areas this year, according to observations reported to the National UFO Reporting Center.
Perhaps the most curious report of the year on Whidbey so far was made on April 20.
Four witnesses in Oak Harbor, two of whom were described as “highly trained military officers,” reported seeing an unidentified object in the night sky that wasn’t an aircraft — or at least not one known to humankind.
The reporting parties said they observed an orange glowing circle that hovered, made abrupt course changes and varied its speed over about three hours.
The report said the witnesses stated the object appeared “as distant as any star.”
Another dramatic report was from a Langley resident who saw an unidentified object at 4 a.m. on Aug. 11. The resident looked out a bedroom window and saw a large light in the sky hovering and spinning.
“It also changed colors and went to white,” the witness reported. “It started left, right and back getting smaller.”
The resident reported watching the object for at least 24 minutes and took an iPhone video.
In response to two more recent reports, the National UFO Reporting Center questioned whether they might have been Starlink satellites, which are part of a “constellation” SpaceX is creating with hundreds of low-orbit satellites. The company reports that the satellites will appear as a string of lighted pearls moving across the night sky.
On Aug. 13, an Oak Harbor resident reported seeing about 30 oval lights flying in “two abreast trail formation” west to east in the sky at about 5:17 a.m.
The resident was reportedly watching meteorites when the objects appeared at 45 degrees from the horizon for about 45 to 60 seconds.
The next day, someone on Cypress Island, located across from Anacortes in the San Juan Islands, made a similar observation at 10:01 p.m. The reporting party wrote that the unidentified objects were a perfect line of 20 paired lights moving west to east mid-horizon.
The UFO center identified two other reports made over Whidbey Island earlier in the year, but the website didn’t provide details.
A couple of other interesting reports were reported in the Anacortes area this year. On Aug. 18, a “bright metallic disk” was seen moving very slowly in the dark sky.
On May 6, witnesses in Anacortes reported that a “translucent glowing worm” with lighted segments hovered in the heavens and suddenly went dark.
“It was simply lights off,” the reporting party wrote.
“I’m beginning to think they know when they are being looked at.”
Last year, the Navy released video of encounters between Navy aircraft and “unidentified aerial phenomenon.” Four months ago, the Department of Defense declassified decades of UFO reports made by aviators.
Last month, a military task force was formed to investigate the UFO reports.
The Navy, however, has not said whether any such UFO reports have been made by Navy aviators in the vicinity of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.