- Written by Keith Rowell
- Last Updated: 28 January 2013
James Gilliland is a friendly, accommodating new age guru who welcomes all people who sincerely want to experience the UFO sightings he claims at his sanctuary. We at Oregon MUFON suspect that some of Gilliland's UFOs may be sightings of satellites and high-flying, perhaps military, aircraft, but we suspect also that some of the sightings people have had are indeed genuine UFOs. However, we have not engaged in any serious investigative work at his sanctuary. We have our hands full enough just trying to keep up with our own Oregon sightings!
Oregon MUFON encourages all people with a sincere curiosity about UFOs to check out Gilliland's sanctuary and possibly experience for yourself a genuine UFO sighting. We should note that two other Oregon MUFON investigators recently spent a couple of days in Trout Lake and at the sanctuary and were not impressed with what they saw on their visit. Also, your state director and assistant state director have traveled up to Trout Lake more than once in the 2000s, but have not managed to see anything out of the ordinary. Your mileage may vary.
In the summer of 2007, Doug visited Gilliland's sanctuary and this is what he wrote in a recent email:
I went to a weekend retreat there last summer at the Gilliland Ranch and personally witnessed those lights [on and around Mt. Adams]. My first impression was that the lights were from hikers and climbers preparing to make the summit the next day. I was told that no flashlight that a hiker or climber would carry could produce light that intense and that focused 13 miles away (the distance from the base of Mt. Adams to the Ranch [Gilliland sanctuary]). I decided to test my theory later that summer while in Central Oregon. I took out my 10,000,000 candle power flood light and shined it at someone with a cell phone about four miles away. That was about the farthest distance I could get without losing the line of sight. The light was visible but not nearly as brilliant as the lights we saw on the mountain [Mt. Adams]. The lights were very similar also to the landing lights on aircraft making their approach to PDX that fly right over [for example] Tom Bowden's house [Oregon MUFON's state director]. From there the planes are visible at about 15 miles out.
So, the intensity of the lights on the mountain are about like the landing lights of a 737 in order to see them at that distance. At this point I still couldn't rule out artificial production of those bluish colored points of light. What I found most interesting was that the lights moved up and down and that more than one appeared at a time. At one point I counted six. And, what was even more fascinating was that they blinked in unison. At one point around 12:30 am, when most of the crowd was singing Kumbaya, six or eight of us dedicated watchers witnessed one of the lights shoot straight up in the air and head north over the mountain. Gilliland told of the Native American lore of the "light people" who live in the mountain. Legend says they would take their sick and injured up to that spot where we saw the lights and leave them overnight. Next day they would return to find their afflicted ones completely healed.
Swamp gas, flying saucers, light beings, ball lightning, or carefully coordinated light show by mountain climbers? Who knows? But it was a fascinating show that is now on my personal top ten list of unexplained phenomena.
And there you have it. What did Doug witness? To us, it seems like Doug experienced too many interesting details in his UFO sightings to easily explain them conventionally. What do you think? Now take a look at this study of Mt. Adams area mystery lights. What do you think after perusing this site?