Friday, May 26, 2006

UFO True Believers

By Lee Williams
The Oregonian

hotelufo     It happened last summer, but the four boys from Sherwood remember it like it happened last night.

Philip Muir, Sean Johnson and Tim Douthit, all 18 now, were sleeping in the backyard of their friend, Trevor Davis, 17. Above them, a plane crossed the sky. And above it: a red shimmering disc, quickly darted back and forth over the body of the plane. Then the disc zipped away.

"It wasn't a tracking light," Sean recalled May 18 at McMenamins Kennedy School. "We all saw it. We all thought, 'This is CRAZY.' "

The "Sherwood Four" drove up from their hometown last Thursday to share their story with Jesse Marcel Jr., whose father, Army Maj. Jesse Marcel, recovered wreckage from what he originally claimed was a UFO that had crashed in Roswell, N.M., in the summer of 1947.

Marcel Jr. spoke at Kennedy School and stayed to answer questions and mingle after Thursday's special screening of the 1994 docudrama "Roswell." The night was the official kick-off for last weekend's Seventh Annual UFO Fest, hosted by McMenamins Hotel Oregon in McMinnville.

McMenamins' annual festival is the second-largest UFO gathering in the nation.

Marcel's dad initially claimed what the Army had on its hands was wreckage not of this world. He was ordered to recant his story, though, telling the press later that what he'd found was a weather balloon.

For more than 60 years, supporters have claimed that there was much more to Marcel's story, including recovered and autopsied alien bodies, and a continued governmental cover-up.

"I'm getting on in years and one of only a few people who knows what happened," said Marcel Jr., who was 11 when his dad brought the remnants home to view. "And I know what I saw."

Marcel's appearance drew a cross-section of folks, from true believers such as Michael Brein, ambassador at large for Mufon (Mutual UFO Network, the largest UFO organization in the United States), to the curious such as real estate agent Brad Wulf, 35, who brought his mom, Tammy.

Twentyish Paul Borte brought his skepticism. But, he said, "If the truth is out there, then this guy's as close to it as anyone."

For information and photos from last weekend's UFO Festival at McMenamins Hotel Oregon, check out

More . . .

See Also:McMinnville's UFO Festival Draws Flying-Saucer Trackers


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