Monday, March 23, 2009

Return To Foggy Bottom

Foggy Bottom GWU Station
By David Wisbey
Newsletter Editor Colorado MUFON News
© 3-15-09

Back in the January 2008 I wrote an article titled “Why I Joined MUFON,” in which I talked a bit about the “big one” (UFO sighting) as being the main reason I ended up joining MUFON. That’s true. I had a chance to go back to the “scene of the crime” very recently. That will be covered in Part Two.

So, here, finally, I will give you all the details of what I saw and experienced outside the Foggy Bottom Metro Station in Washington, DC, at about 1:15 AM, January 1, 2000.

Part One:

“America’s Millennium”

Fireworks at The America’s Millennium

David Wisbey     I moved to Lakewood, Colorado, in May of 2005 after having lived in the Washington, DC area for about 14 years. Now, I’m not crazy about being in huge crowds, but there’s nothing quite like fireworks on the National Mall in the Nation’s Capital. I had attended many ‘Fourth of July’ displays and shows over the years; I also attended the big Desert Storm ‘party’ back in the 90’s, which, in my opinion was more impressive than any of the ‘Fourth of July” ones.

So, naturally, when I heard about the “America’s Millennium” celebration planned for December 31, 1999, I just had to be there for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am really glad that I went down there for it, just based on the ‘earthly’ entertainment. I had no idea, of course, about the ‘other entertainment’ planned, which might have had off-world origins.

I was only able to get one of my friends to go down there with me for this. Others didn’t want to deal with the crowd, full of drunk, loud, obnoxious, but happy people. One of my friends did go with the person they were dating at the time, but we didn’t all go there together. So, it was just me and my friend, Connie.

We parked at the Vienna (Virginia) Metro Station and rode the Orange Line downtown. We got off at the Federal Triangle station near the White House. We then walked towards the White House and the National and State Christmas Trees.

After walking around the Christmas Trees, we headed for the long Reflecting Pool between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It was already quite crowded, especially towards the Lincoln Memorial, where a stage had been set up. We were told to expect tight security because of a terrorist threat (from Algerians or Libyans or something); however, by the time we got over there, people had pretty much knocked down the temporary fencing around the area, and no one searched me, although I do remember police on horseback in the area. We found a spot to stand in the huge crowd on the north side of the Reflecting Pool, somewhat closer to the Washington Monument than the Lincoln Memorial. But you didn’t need binoculars to see the entertainment; a few really huge screens, held by cranes, were along the Mall.

Movie star Will Smith and then President Bill Clinton were the emcees for the event. I won’t go into details about the entertainment and fireworks, but will mention I saw some other “weird” things that night, not just UFOs. One guy had climbed one of the great big old trees and went way out on one of its large, horizontal branches. This created quite an uproar from the crowd; one man standing next to me said “I hope he falls - serves him right.” I don't recall how that all turned out. The big fireworks display started promptly at 12:00 Midnight and was incredible; a huge sun-like light, down by the north side of the Lincoln Memorial, was also quite impressive.

The fireworks ended by about 12:20 AM. I had heard that Bono, lead singer of U2, would be speaking and performing, but he did not show up prior to the fireworks. This presented a difficult choice for me. A very large percentage of the crowd had started to leave. I waited until about 12:30 (an estimate) and finally gave up on seeing Bono, in favor of saving some time. So we left.

I was quite familiar with many of the streets downtown and the locations of the Metro stations, and I quickly determined that Foggy Bottom was probably the closest to where we had been for the fireworks. So we started the several-block walk to the Foggy Bottom station.

Just my luck! As we were walking through the trees, I heard Bono start talking on stage. Figures. But, as you will see, if I had stayed longer to see this rock idol (and apparently good friend of the President), I might have missed out on something even better -- much better.

As we were coming out of the “park” and about to cross the first major street, I saw a woman, almost hysterical, in tears, sitting on the curb, surrounded by police officers. I was curious, but you just don’t stop for that, you keep moving. (I found out later that - probably - the woman’s her husband died of a heart attack there shortly before.) That disturbance was soon forgotten as we continued on our way, first to 23rd Street NW, and then up that street to the station. The sidewalks and the street were full of people, all heading for the same destination.

GWU Campus Map
Somewhere along 23rd Street, perhaps just 2 blocks south of the station, we were startled by a really loud BOOM! It sounded like a bomb had gone off. The threat of a terrorist attack was certainly on people’s minds, and this was almost 2 years before 9/11. People pretty much figured out it was a combination of those very loud, bright white fireworks, as after the BOOM we could see reflections of fireworks in the windows of some of the 12-story buildings around us.

Also, though I forget whether it was before or after the BOOM, I heard what sounded like maybe 2 or 3 low-flying helicopters. I could not see them, however. Seeing such things in DC is nothing unusual, of course; but it does appear that these had a connection with the UFOs there.

23rd & I Streets NW, West GWUShortly after that (could have been anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, I would guess, as we were moving very, very slowly by now), we were at the intersection of 23rd and I (Eye) Streets NW. There is only one entrance/exit for Foggy Bottom/GWU (George Washington University) and it is located on the NW corner of the intersection. I Street ends at 23rd Avenue, coming from the east, so there is no street continuing on the west side of 23rd Street. There was a small park in the area would I Street would be, and it extended northward about 1/2 block.

At that point, not far from the escalators, I saw what appeared to be a shooting star/meteor to the west; it looked oddly large however. It was moving roughly north to south, and could have been over Arlington for all I know. I mentioned this to Connie, but she didn’t seem interested; she was more interested in people-watching. But I put my eyes to the sky in hopes of seeing more of these ‘meteors’. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see. ‘Something’ dark with orange or amber lighting of a strange configuration flew roughly from west to east, almost directly overhead.

It was soon lost to sight because of the buildings. I could not determine the shape, but it looked very strange indeed. Some seconds after this ‘thing’ passed over, I saw something else follow in the exact flight path. This was clearly a cylinder-shaped object and had the same kind of odd orange/amber lighting which made a sort of brick-like pattern all over the curved surface of the craft.

Cylinder UFO ModelComputer Drawing

Cylinder UFO Model (B)
But the show was not over…. After I saw this one cylinder pass over, I saw what looked at first like the first object I saw. But this time it was apparent to me that this one, and the first one, were actually TWO of these cylinders in very close formation. They could have even been touching. But they were not “in line” with each other; they were offset a bit -- enough that they did not look like one longer cylinder.

I saw some additional ones, some cylinders by themselves, and some seemingly connected in this odd fashion. There would be 2 to 5 seconds between each one or set passing over. We suddenly found ourselves at the top of the escalator which was going down; there was nowhere else to go, so we went down the escalator. I could kick myself for not going back up on the other escalator (which no one was using). What can I say -- I went along with the herd.

New Year’s Day she and I met a bunch of friends at IHOP, and I told about the sighting. As you would expect, there was some humor, but I was not ridiculed. That night we drove through the Festival of Lights at Bull Run Regional Park. It was nice, but after the night before, not so exciting.

Sometime later, I thought there must be something on the internet for reporting UFOs. I was right; I don’t recall what sites I made reports on. I also remember being surprised that there were no other reports; thousands of people were around - there had to be reports. I continued to go back occasionally and still saw no reports. Not only that, both of mine were gone. I called someone at the Washington Post to tell about it; they weren’t interested and said they had no calls about it. Yeah, sure, right. Well, that was eye-opening.

After moving to Colorado in 2005, I decided to re-post re-ports again, and discovered MUFON. And in November 2007, I finally found another witness!

To Be Continued . . .

Return to Foggy Bottom
Part II

If you have not read Part One of this Two-Part article, please see the cover of Issue 96, November/December 2008, to bring you up-to-speed so you will know where I am “coming from” in the details below.

     As I said at the conclusion of Part One, it was not until the summer of 2005 that I reported my sighting again. A lot happened in my life after the sighting and it wasn’t on my mind so much, as I was quite preoccupied with a lot of other things - in other words, “life happened”. But I never forgot. I don’t recall now how I found out about the 2005 Symposium, but I did. I also discovered that the MUFON headquarters was in Littleton. I recognized John Schuessler from “somewhere” in the past, probably from seeing one of those UFO programs on TV. I attended the Symposium and joined both MUFON and Colorado MUFON, and began attending Colorado meetings regularly. Eventually I discovered other local meetings and began attending them as well, but not as regularly. I put a new report of the sighting on MUFON’s web site and also NUFORC’s site. Since then I have put it on all the other web sites that accept UFO reports (those I know of, anyway).

I created a PowerPoint presentation about my sighting and presented it at the December 2005 Colorado MUFON Holiday Potluck, held in Glendale. It was only a 10-15 minute presentation; John Schuessler was the “real” speaker. I also created a small presentation about a sighting in the 90’s in Fairfax County, Virginia. A friend from church, who happened to work at the CIA (Langley headquarters), showed me an article that appeared in one of the local suburban papers. I made a photocopy of it, and later typed it into a Word document. I mention it here because the UFO reports all described it as being cylindrical, just as the ones I saw were. The article follows below; I am sorry that I don’t have the information on the date and the newspaper. It would have been either The Connection, The Times, or The Fairfax Journal.


What’s Happening over at the CIA?

You wouldn’t have seen it unless you were awake and stargazing, but in the wee hours Sunday a strange craft zipped through the heavens on a course that took it by Tysons Corner, over the CIA at Langley and [up] the Potomac River toward Great Falls. Like all extraterrestrial craft, it was gone in the blink of an eye, but don’t tell the eyewitnesses they didn’t see anything. They did. And they’re scared.

Not surprisingly, the news services gave Sunday’s alien visit the token 3-line squib for wrap-ups, but that didnt diminish the effect of this alien craft on residents. Police switchboards were jammed with callers, while a special detail of Army Rangers swooped in by Apache helicopter to man The Company’s ramparts at Dolley Madison Blvd. The description of the UFO is not unfamiliar.

“Well, all I know is what I saw,” one newspaper carrier on morning rounds told a reporter. “I was driving up Dolley Madison when I saw this tube-shaped object—you know, sort of like a cigar—sail right over the CIA. It had lots of lights, shot what appeared to be a search light down on the grounds, then was gone. I mean gone, man. All you could see a second later were the lights heading toward the river.”

A hotel worker fainted when it stopped to hover near the 20th floor. Lovebirds canoodling at Turkey Run said they heard the deafening roar of a jet and felt an intense blast of heat as the noise faded. Something flew over McLean and Great Falls Sunday morning, that much is for sure.

We may never discover the craft’s origin, but we must learn what is going on at CIA that would make an alien ship stop to fix its investigatory ray upon our G-men and their benign reservation. Or is it all that benign? Thirty years ago, newspapers reported the crash of an alien craft in nearby Prince William, after which government agents supposedly took the bodies of its crew to Langley. It was much like the case in Roswell, N.M., where the government has yet to come clean about its fallen “weather balloon.” Maybe the ET’s in Sunday’s UFO wanted to retrieve the remains of their galactic comrade(s), although one wonders what would now be left of the little green men, considering how many years they have been in the hands of government scientists. Many of NASA’s top brains were drawn from the ranks of the Nazi hierarchy after WW II; 3 decades was ample time for them to conduct their “research” on our alien friends and dispose of their broken, lifeless bodies.

Of course, there are those who won’t believe. But they will never believe, for they do not understand what is at stake, as do the victims of unjust ridicule. For them, the story will be the fantastic whopper it really is.

Back to my story . . .

After reporting my sighting again, I occasionally would check MUFON, NUFORC, and other sites to see if anyone else who was there that night and saw what I saw had made a report. Nothing showed up until August 2007, which I didn’t see until September. I was quite thrilled to see it, of course. This report was made to the MUFON site only. Here is the edited/shortened report plus details I got from the witness later, inserted within:

“On New Years Eve 1999/2000, my wife and I went down to the mall in Washington, DC. There was a huge celebration planned for that night, featuring many big stars. The climax was fireworks at midnight to usher in the new millennium. We arrived at the mall area by Metro at 10:30 pm and began walking around, taking in some of the sights and searching for a good spot to stay where we could see the fireworks. We did manage to catch some of Celine Dion's act, but getting near the stage was hopeless. The mood was happy, plenty of drinking/partying going on and only one instance of "violence" occurred that we noticed. My wife and I walked on and finally decided to stop near a bridge to watch the fireworks… enough of my reminiscing--on to the events that undoubtedly changed me forever. After the last falling embers died away, my wife and I began to walk to the Metro to start our dreaded journey home, as we knew there would be mobs of people joining us. As we approached the Metro escalator ( I believe it was the Foggy Bottom station) we saw a group of officers blocking the entrance, stating we all had to wait as the train operators had been given permission to go watch the fireworks and were currently en route back to the trains. I later found out that there were over 1 million people that attended the celebration on the mall that night--I cannot put into words how many people that is when you are right in the middle of such a huge mass of humans. We waited; people huddled together for warmth, which surprised me--people were very happy and helping each other--I am cynical, skeptical, and sometimes my faith in humanity is jaded. So it shocked me and actually gave a sliver of hope that one day it could be possible for mankind to be able to call one another brother.

“As everyone talked while waiting to get into the Metro, a young, drunk man climbed a tree nearby and was singing and generally making people laugh. Suddenly the branch he was standing on broke; he fell to the ground. He was helped back up and he cheered and the entire crowed laughed even more. That’s when I saw it. I thought it was a blimp. I noticed people pointing, a few at 1st, then more and more, and a hush fell over the crowd. Only silence and quiet mumbling was now heard. I looked back at the "blimp" I’d seen in the distance. More people were pointing and now a few people shouted like the game of "telephone" as the message was carried thru the crowd "Look at that! What is that!?" I noticed 2 more "blimps" identical to the first. All 3 were cylindrical in shape and had several lights. One shone a very bright "spotlight" down on the ground. I could not see what it was shining on--they were some distance from us-- 300 yards? These were traveling slowly across the sky and they were quite large--it was a bit exciting--I was not thinking about measuring, etc. I was in a speechless state. Then I saw someone pointing up and screaming "Look up there!" I saw about 20 triangular craft flying like a group of gnats--they were very quick and nimble. Each had 3 lights, one in the middle and one on each tip. They began to fly in different patterns. People began to say things, like, "They’re seagulls not UFOs"; I was thinking they were stunt kites. My wife asked what I thought; I told her they were stunt kites like I had seen at the beach. Suddenly they began flying in a tight circle very fast and then shot out at incredible speed and disappeared. About 2 seconds later they were back in the circle facing each other and stopped, then formed 2 groups, each group in a line--they formed the line two at a time, one from each group until they were all in a straight line facing ea. other, then they zigzagged across each other.

“Then I knew they weren’t stunt kites. I was amazed. People cheered after each little stunt performed. They were very close--I would say about 100' above. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. As far as I know, no one has aircraft that can move at those incredible speeds, stop on a dime, and be so graceful. I saw the Blue Angels as a kid; they are graceful, but need some room to build up speed--what I saw that night didn’t need any room at all--they achieved tremendous speeds from a dead stop. After 5 min. police started ushering people to the station, but continued to watch. Now and then one would swoop down within 20’ of the ground; as they came lower and lower the crowd began to back up and made a sort of clearing--I specifically remember people gasping and being generally startled as these "stunt crafts" came ever closer. It’s almost as if they were saying "We ARE real and we are HERE - touch us." That made the police very nervous. My wife and I laughed hysterically. A few young guys walked over to where they were swooping down; one guy reached his hand up high as he could to try to touch one coming down. After 3 swooping down, he turned and starting “whooping” to his friends and “flexing”—he actually touched one! Then 4-5 officers started yelling “Get back now! Get away from there!” My wife commented on how the police were frozen in place and not moving from a “safe” distance. But one officer did run and grab him, pulling him away and pushing his back into the crowd. My wife grabbed an officer, asking “What are those things?” When the officer turned, his eyes were so big, obviously he was terrified. “I don’t know, miss. Please, everyone needs to leave the area immediately!!” The craft started to dart in different directions, very close to the edge of the crowd, and shot back up and circled. Other than that I heard nothing. When one came down it swooped to 1’ off the ground, shot up at an angle to about 4’ and stopped, right in front of us for 1 sec., before flipping over itself up and back to the formation above. At that moment I thought I was going to be hit by one! But it stopped about 2’ from me—I could feel the air from it. I could see right inside at the pilot. The pilots were not human. They were the commonly described, large almond shaped eyes, bulbous head--referred to as "grays" by many reports I have read. One thing I must note is that their skin was quite blue-tinged. I found it strange that they had this blue coloring, yet most, if not all, reports have described them as grey with no mention of blue. Suddenly I heard the loudest "boom" and other explosions--I thought they were more fireworks but didn’t see any. A few people screamed at the explosion; I don’t believe it was fireworks. [It was fireworks at 1 AM. - Ed.] Then I heard a helicopter. The triangles disappeared--vanished or flew away. I saw 3 helicopters fly to the area where the triangles had been, but continued on; soon as the helicopters were gone the triangles came from every direction and the crowd cheered. One guy next to me smiled and said "The government can’t stop our party with the aliens, they can’t even catch them!" I noticed a man in a business suit come up the escalator as people were going down. Everyone parted for him, but he walked right into the crowd, asking us if we were having a good time; my wife said, “Yes, a fantastic time--look up at the UFOs". The man smiled, looked up, then back at us and said, "Yes, they just want to join the fun." I found something about him a bit "off". The cold didn’t seem to bother him at all. When he shook our hands and spoke to us, we felt so happy, joyous--it was incredible. As he walked away we noticed the feeling faded. So we followed him and ended up having a very nice conversation with him. Being close to this man, we were so happy and had an overwhelming feeling of love for everyone around us, especially him. I felt compelled to be his friend, a new, strange sensation, to say the least. My wife and I talked about this sensation later. He also talked with other people, including a few police officers, one of which was crying like a baby as our reality crashed around us. I'm not making fun of the officer, as I remember crying a few times but mostly because I wanted to feel happy and I wanted to keep the feeling of "pure love" forever. He told us there was no reason that we couldn’t feel that way every day, but due to the way we live, it would not be easily obtained. He was also telepathic; we could communicate not only with him, but also with each other when we were close to him (within about 20 feet). Finally my wife tugged at my arm. “Maybe we should leave?” We decided we were lucky to witness one of the most important events in history.”

The report included an email address, so of course I sent an email, and got a reply a short time later. In my email I said that now I wish even more that I’d left the Mall right after the fireworks! If I had, then apparently I would have been in for a lot more than what I got at Foggy Bottom. I have once again edited it to save space, but have tried to keep all the meaning intact. Here are excerpts from his first reply:

“Thanks for replying; I have been searching for other witnesses for many years as well. I did post a report about a month after the celebration but there was no reply in other reports and then my post disappeared but was never given an explanation as to how or why and was told to repost it. It was not on the MUFON site and I wasn’t too happy about it being deleted. I finally did see two posts about the 2000 celebration and tried to contact one of the posters. [I was one of them. -Ed.] I asked the administrator to forward my email address to you but the he said, "Just post your report like everyone else; this is NOT a chat room or friends site." That angered me even more. Then in 2007 I was speaking with some people who encouraged me to give it another try, so this time I posted on several sites and included my email address.” [The only site it is presently on is MUFON. -Ed.]

We emailed back and forth for the next few months, asking and answering each other’s questions. I realize that what he reported is “over the top” compared to my sighting. I know what I saw; I believe what he saw, after all of this. During a recent trip to the DC area, I had a chance to meet him (call him Bill) and we went down to Foggy Bottom on Metro to revisit this site now quite special to both of us, and I can say that my belief in his story is even stronger.

Here are excerpts from his 2nd email: “My experience that night really has changed my life completely. I'm not sure if I would say "for the better" unfortunately. To come forward publicly with my whole story would be "social suicide", I believe. I do want to understand more about that night but it seems a bit hopeless. Your picture/drawings of the cylinder crafts were dead on, I would say—that’s exactly what I saw that night--so if you ever have thought you were crazy and
hallucinated the whole sighting, please comfort yourself in knowing that I saw them also—I really doubt that multiple people could see the same ‘hallucination’-even if someone said it was possible, I would call them a fool. I know what I saw and your description proves we saw the same thing.”

In his 3rd email he related something else, which really surprised me. Here are the excerpts: “The Millennium sighting was not my first sighting/encounter. I feel a bit embarrassed even re-telling all the events of the Millennium Celebration due to the scope of the encounter and other encounters I have had in my life. A few years ago, I woke up one morning because my stomach was hurting me bad; I stumbled into the bathroom, thinking I was going to vomit and I also had to urinate so bad it was incredible. I felt liquid on my hand. I look down and there’s blood dripping out of my belly button! I turn around and look in the mirror and there is a slow, steady trail of blood coming out of my belly button, and half clogging my belly button is a bunch of black hair about 6 inches long and what appears to be a small amount of skin! I had a doctor’s app’t that morning and I was quite relieved thinking maybe I had a serious problem. (hernia?) So first thing I tell the Doctor is what happened that morning and he cleans out a few more hairs and skin (It had stopped bleeding earlier) and he tells me there is a clean, straight incision in the back of my belly button and asks me if I’ve been sticking a knife or razor down there to clean. I'm pretty good friends with this doc and I'm like "Are you frigging serious?!" He goes on to say maybe I stabbed myself in the belly button in my sleep! After a few choice words, he laughs and just says "I really don't know. I've never seen anything like that before in my life." I was embarrassed and completely dumbfounded.”

His 4th email was quite long; here is one excerpt from his 4th email: “I am waiting to hear from a researcher named Yvonne Smith when she comes back from a trip she is currently on and I am hoping to gain some answers and more insight into what happened to my wife and me that night. I am also searching for a competent doctor/therapist that will do some hypnosis/recall therapy with me--so far I have had no such luck in finding one I am comfortable with, preferably someone "neutral with no interest in UFOs, yet who isn’t "hard-wired" into thinking everyone who claims to have seen a UFO is totally whacko.”

I told him about Leo Sprinkle, but he pretty much ruled that out because of the distance and Leo’s interest in UFOs. I forgot to ask him about how contacting Yvonne Smith panned out for him. I will try to ask him the next time I visit with him. I am keeping his real name from public exposure; he does not wish to be identified publicly now.

I have continued to occasionally check UFO reporting sites to see if anyone else has submitted a report after all these years, but so far have not found any more.

I picked up ‘Bill’ in my rental car one day two months ago and drove to the nearest Metro station. We rode down to the Foggy Bottom station. I got major goose bumps as we were exiting the station. However, I was soon disoriented. It didn’t look right. I determined that this big building to the left shouldn’t be there. Bill also wasn’t sure this was the place. We walked into the building, which had its entrance on the corner. The sign above said “George Washington University Hospital”. I went to the information desk and asked how long it had been there. It was built in 2002. I felt relieved. I was hungry, so we ate at the hospital cafeteria, probably the very spot where ETs were doing stunts almost 9 years earlier! I plan on attending X-Conference 2009 in Gaithersburg, Maryland in April, and visiting Bill again. I’ll soon be placing ads in papers to find more witnesses. I will also do more investigative work while I am there. Follow-up article(s) to come.

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