The following is a rough draft excerpt from my forthcoming book Black Swan Ghosts: a sociologist’s encounters with witnesses of unidentified aerial craft, strange beings, and the unexplained (Mount Baldy Press, inc., August 2017, ISBN 0-9715863-7-3) Enjoy!
Chapter 6—Huckleberries and flying tortoise shells with lights
Louise Voves is a woman I met in North Idaho, a friend of another witness in this book, Joy French, who had an interest in UFO’s after an encounter on Mt. St. Helens that left her and a friend with several hours of missing time. I met Louise at Joy’s apartment once and she told me her story. I had a subsequent chance to interview her at her bakery in Athol, ID in October, 2015. Louise passed away due to complications of heart surgery several months after the interview. She was in her mid-80s.
Louise and her brother picked huckleberries once a year. It was in the early 1970’s. The brother made Huckleberry pies and jams for a living. So once a year they trekked out to a national forest near the town of Usk, Washington and the Kalispel Indian Reservation, just over the Idaho border. She told me this particular spot had good huckleberries. The huckleberry species Vaccinium is endemic to the Idaho and Montana area.
They were out there in late Summer at a known “good spot.” There was a mother and her son nearby also picking huckleberries. All of sudden they heard the mother say: “What’s that?” and point up to the sky above them. A few hundred feet above the area they all saw what Louise described as a “two tortoise shells put together with colored lights pulsing around it.” It was sort of wobbling back and forth, basically just hovering in the same spot, about thirty to forty feet across in diameter. The mother and son panicked and started to leave saying they were going to get the police.
Louise and her brother watched the object for a few minutes. It made a motion like a leaf swaying back and forth as it’s falling, though this object stationary. She said it then the object then suddenly dove towards the ground at about a 45 degree angle and made a whooshing sound. It then moved away horizontally and quickly just over the ground and went out of area. As it did it pushed down all the meadow and grasses in its path completely flattening them in a path about 40 feet across for a hundred yards.
They weren’t sure what they had just seen. Louise told me that at the time they didn’t even have the word “UFO” in their vocabulary. After the object left, they went back to picking Huckleberries.
The mother and son had made their way down to the town of Usk and visited the police station who had called the sheriff who in turned called the military. (Spokane is home to Fairchild Air Force Base since the 1940’s and was a Strategic Air Command base in the 1970’s at the time of Louise’ sighting.)
After what seemed like a few hours later, a convoy of military trucks showed up at the site where Louise and her brother were. They dismounted from their vehicles and proceeded to ask Louise and her brother a ton of questions about what they had just seen. They wanted to see exactly where the vehicle went low to the ground. Louise then took them to the track of grasses that the object had flattened and the military were extremely interested, some of the soldiers following the path into the distance. They said to her and her brother “Were you drinking?” At one point they asked Louise “Did you see anyone?” implying possible occupants of the flying disc.
Then they said:”You have to leave the area.” She told my friend Joy that she was asked to sign something saying she wouldn’t talk about what she had seen. Louise and her brother were really upset about this. As they left, they saw the military guys getting out their equipment, radiation and soil testing gear.
As they drove away, they saw more military vehicles arriving at the scene including troop carriers.
They went back the next day but now there was a military jeep stationed a few miles from their huckleberry spot and “kelly humps”, tank traps, freshly dug into the road. As they approached, the soldier in the jeep came out and said: “No one is allowed in the area, you’ll have to go back.”
This mean’t that Louise and her brother wouldn’t have many huckleberries that season and they were upset about that since her brother already had orders to fulfill. A friend of their’s attempted to visit the same area a week later and was still not allowed in. Louise said she never saw anything about it in the local newspapers or heard about this incident ever again.