Articles

1988-12-15 Messenger - “UFOs Over Topanga” by Preston Dennett

“UFOs Over Topanga”
 
by Preston Dennett


Most everyone understands what UFO means—Unidentified Flying Object.
 
And back in 1973, a Gallup poll established that the majority of Americans believe in them. That majority seems sure to have grown even larger as the years pass by.
 
Still, there are millions who are not convinced—and even those who are don’t take each and every UFO report seriously.
 
I myself was a UFO skeptic, until a series of incidents in Topanga Canyon started me on an investigation I never meant to follow....
 
It all started when I was watching the news one day, and heard about a UFO in 1986, sighted by Captain Kenju Terauchi of Japanese Air Lines over Alaska. The UFO report received international media coverage, and was confirmed by radar.
 
I was sure that the UFO report was provoked by a reflection off the ice, ionized exhaust, or an ice cloud, but it interested me enough to pick up a book on the subject. In the book, I expected to find that UFOs were easily explained as misperceptions or hoaxes. I found the opposite. I couldn’t believe the stories I read, so I read every UFO book I could get my hands on. But I still couldn’t believe in UFOs. Space-ships? Aliens from outer-space? No way!
 
That was when I figured if UFOs are as real as the books say they are, then I should know at least a couple of people who have seen them. So I asked everyone I knew that key question, sneaking it in at any opportune moment, “Do you believe in UFOs? Have you ever seen one?”
 
The responses I received from family and friends dealt a fatal blow to my life as a UFO skeptic. Some of them (even friends of friends) began to tell me UFO experiences that they didn’t tell me before because they knew I wouldn’t have believed them. And they were right!
 
So far, I have investigated four solid UFO incidents in the Topanga area, with the possibility of several more. I have also uncovered evidence in other UFO books that UFOs have visited this area.
 
Topanga does have a history of UFO sightings. In a used book store I found a shabby old UFO book published in 1954: Harold T. Wilkins’ FLYING SAUCERS ON THE AT- TACK. In it I found this amazing quote by an engineer, Mr. Frederick G. Hehr, of Santa Monica:
 
“Three-quarters of an hour before sunset, on a June day in 1953, I had a unique experience. Twice in one day I saw saucers, and witnessed a whole squadron of them go through various maneuvers, lasting ten minutes.”
 
A few pages later in the same book, I found the following paragraph which astounded me:
 
“...Freda owns a house in Topanga Canyon. One night, she was waked by the flapping of the blind. She got up, looked out, and saw a silver bar hanging in the sky, quite near, with a pendulum movement, a slight movement. It hopped around, here and there. It would vanish, then return, as if quartering the neighborhood, looking for something.... A number of people have seen a round object showing different lights and colors, moving fast through the clouds, by day or night.”
 
In Raymond Fowler’s book, THE ANDREASSON AFFAIR: PHASE TWO, I found the following short piece of information:
 
August 15, 1957: Woodland Hills, California / Disk hovered for six minutes. Rocked from side to side.
 
In Richard Hall’s excellent book, UNINVITED GUESTS, I found the following disturbing report:
 
July 25, 1979; Canoga Park, California. Features: Vehicle encounter, time loss, abduction, physical exam. Shari N. a housewife and cocktail waitress in her 30s, was driving the short distance home from work when she saw an object that she thought was a plane crashing. She arrived home unaccountably late.
 
Under later hypnosis she described getting out of the car and approaching the object She recalled being examined while lying on her back; her back was hurting. She was bound around the stomach, and a being (not clearly described) probed her shoulder and stomach, inserted something in her leg, and dabbed her eyes. Finally she was returned to the car.
 
Although I have been unable to locate the source, I remember very distinctly reading about two scientists who were measuring geo-magnetics on Mulholland, when a UFO appeared over the horizon.
 
The two men had a movie camera and were able to take a good amount of footage—which they promptly turned over to the Air Force. The film was never returned.
 
Reports in the books go on and on, spreading throughout Los Angeles. In fact, an entire book has been written about a series of dramatic UFO encounters in Tujunga Canyon. The book, by Ann Druffel and D. Scott Rogo entitled THE TUJUNGA CANYON CONTACTS, reveals many sightings in the Los Angeles area.
 
One of the earliest is outlined in Timothy Good’s book ABOVE TOP SECRET, where in 1942 a UFO was sighted by thousands of witnesses. The object was the target of a massive artillery attack by the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade. Three people were killed, three died of heart-attacks, and homes and buildings were destroyed as “...the object eventually proceeded at a leisurely pace over the coastal cities between Santa Monica and Long Beach.”
 
The book even provides a photo of the object as it hovered over the Culver City area, bombarded by 1,430 rounds of ammunition (according to General George Marshall, Chief of Staff, Washington, D.C.) for a period of five hours as search lights covered it from the ground below.
 
Only a few of the UFO incidents I have investigated have taken place in Topanga. Some of the most dramatic took place right in the middle of the San Fernando Valley. Unfortunately, I only have room to discuss the four Topanga incidents.
 
UFO OVER DIX CANYON
 
The first case occurred around 1973 or 1974 near the top of Fernwood Pacific at Saddlepeak. The sighting occurred at around nine or ten o’clock at night, and there were two witnesses: Topanga resident Sylvia Walters; and her girlfriend D.G. I’ll let Sylvia describe what she saw in her own words:
 
“This happened a long time ago. I was about fourteen at the time. D.G. and I were in my room and we heard this humming noise. We looked outside and there was a very bright, oval-shaped light that seemed to be floating and moving down, and going over—not over, but down behind the ridge.... It was a yellowish light. It was oval.... It was moving fairly slowly.... I’d say it was about two or three miles off.... And I could hear it.... It was like a steady rumble or hum... kind of like a low dial tone or something like that.... At the time I was going, Wow! That’s a UFO! and D.G. was saying, ‘No, no, no, it’s not a UFO. It’s a meteorite.’”
 
Did Sylvia and D.G. see a UFO? It’s hard to say. It surely couldn’t have been a meteorite. Meteors don’t make humming noises like a dial tone. And further, the light Sylvia and D.G. saw was moving much too slowly to be a meteor. It probably wasn’t any airplane or helicopter, as the description of the object— both in sight and sound—match neither. Unfortunately the sighting was of short duration, at the most five seconds long. So it’s hard to make any firm conclusions.
 
UFOS OVER MULHOLLAND
 
This UFO Incident occurred on the north side of Topanga, about six miles east of Topanga Canyon Boulevard on Mulholland, a dirt road The incident occurred in 1982 at around one or two a.m. There were two witnesses, Mark Grant and his friend R.H. Here is Mark’s description of what he saw:
 
“Well, basically a friend of mine and I were driving around on dirt Mulholland late one evening, and we had parked to stop off at the side of road and what-not, and look at the
view. And we were both kind of looking out towards the sky and saw some lights. It was very strange because they were in like a triangular pattern. We observed the lights and watched them for, I’d say, maybe fifteen minutes or so. At which time, you know, we had been talking about it, looking at these lights, and we thought it was maybe helicopters or something like that.
 
“About fifteen minutes after we first observed them, they started coming towards us all at the same time. And the two at the bottom looked like they went like straight at us, around our periphery. And at the same time they looked like they were going away too. They just kind of disappeared.
 
“...The colors—there were colors when they were moving. And as they were steady, they were very bright, but like a white on bottom to top, in that order. And they kind of changed colors as they moved. They seemed like they changed colors—almost streaked, I guess because they were moving so fast, I couldn’t catch it with my eye or something. I guess that’s why they were moving so fast or whatever. They could have been lines of light, or just moving so fast, I couldn’t catch it with my eye or something. I guess that’s why they were going towards us and away from us at the same time. It was very strange.”
 
This sighting is very hard to explain away as a misperception or hallucination. Mark was deeply impressed by what he saw and admits that he was frightened by the incident He said that he had the feeling they were being watched, but he didn’t know what it was, or who to tell about it He admits he didn’t tell anybody about it for three years.
 
UFOS OVER ENCINA
 
Encina is a side street off Entrada, and is divided into upper Encina and lower Encina. One summer night in 1986, at about eleven o’clock at night, three teenagers, Gabe Aldort, Vadja Potenza, and A.W., were walking down upper Encina when they spotted two UFOs high in the sky above them.
 
Here is Gabe’s description of what he saw:
 
“The first one I saw was with Vadja and this other guy named A.W. And we were walking down—I think we were just walking around at night. It was about eleven o’clock.
We were playing like ‘dodge from the cars,’ and I guess we were looking at the sky or something. And we saw these two—they looked like stars, you know, and they were going fast, too fast to be a plane. They were going really fast. They didn’t have any lights on them. They weren’t blinking or anything. And they came together and then they stopped. And then they circled—it’s like they circled around each other, like in a circle. And then they both just went pshewww!!!—took off really fast. It was really weird, and I knew planes couldn’t do that. They just stopped, like they looked at each other, and then they circled around each other, and then they just split They just took off.... It was pretty freaky. We thought they were going to land or something. It was really weird that that happened, because I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
 
Gabe is obviously convinced that no plane or helicopter could perform the maneuvers he witnessed. He further described the objects as being about as bright as the brightest star in the sky. He estimates the sighting lasted about thirty seconds. Vadja reports seeing essentially the same thing as Gabe. Here is Vadja’s description of the event:
 
“I was with two of my friends, A.W. and Gabe Aldort. And we were walking down Encina I think—it’s up Entrada. And we were just running around. It was nighttime. We were just running around, and I was looking up because there were a lot of stars out And I looked over, and there were these two things that looked like stars that started moving together and rotating around. And I said, ‘Oh look!’ And they looked up and said, ‘Whoa!’ And these two star-like things came together, rotated around each other, and then separated, and then just sort of disappeared off into the distance.... They were moving the whole time. I mean, when they rotated around each other, it was kind of like in one place. It was like they were both attached to an axis or something. And then they just split.... I didn’t think it was a plane, because I’d never seen any plane that could do that.”
 
Both witnesses are convinced they saw something very strange, something that convinced them that some of those crazy stories they had heard about UFOs just might be true.
 
UFOS OVER OLD CANYON
 
Just a few miles up Old Canyon Road from Topanga Canyon Boulevard, an amazing incident occurred. It was a summer evening in 1987, and four persons became witness to an event they’ll always remember. They saw a veritable fleet of UFOs.
 
As many as five unidentified flying objects were sighted, including one very large one with colored lights coming quite close and shining down a beam of light next to the stunned witnesses. The four witnesses were Gabe Aldort (who saw two UFOs over Encina), John Heldman, Ivan Eason and Leif Eason. Each of them were interviewed separately. Here are their descriptions of what they saw.
 
Gabe: “This one’s really weird. You’ve got to bear with me. But this was in Topanga too. And I was with three other people. It’s on Old Canyon. We were at their house, this guy’s house, and I was with a guy named John, and a guy named Ivan, and his brother Leif. And we were sitting on his porch, and uh... this is really weird... we saw a star. We were looking up in the sky and we saw a star in the distance. It was going about as fast as the first one I told you about, you know. And it looked like a star.
 
“Then suddenly it came. It’s like it was really far off in the distance, and then it just came really fast. It came like over the sky, and it came right over this guy’s house, not right over it, but up in the sky. And it passed overhead. It was just so far away it looked like a star, and then suddenly, whoosh!!! And it came right up and just went right over this guy’s house.
 
“All I could see was just a shape. It was like it wasn’t a saucer or anything. It was like... sort of like a weird-looking sports car shape. I couldn’t see, I could only see a shadow, you know. But it looked like that. I could draw it I’ve drawn it before when I told other people about it. But that was only one of them. I saw four more at the same time.
 
“And then, oh man! And then two more came right next to each other and went right over his house and went by. They were just like the one that just passed, and went over his house. They didn’t have—they didn’t sound like engines, but it just had like a low buzz. And they went by.
 
“And then—I think this is what I think it is—the mother ship came, okay. Trip out on this. This thing came and it was BIG! It was so big. And it came, and it wasn’t a saucer or anything. I don’t know. I’d have to draw it.... Alright, listen to this. It didn’t have any lights on the bottom. All we saw was a shadow. It came over, and it came like right over his house, like really, really close, like when you’re on the beach and one of those news helicopters flies by. It was like about that high. And there was a huge shadow. And it had that same sound, mmmmmmm.... And it sort of it went by, and it was going slowly. And his house, his mom is an artist and she has a studio, an art studio that she works in. It’s like a separate part of the house. And this thing, a beam came down, a light beam like in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. And it came down right on this studio and the beam, it came down and it moved across this particular part of the house, but it was stiff. The beam came down, moved, nnnnnnn..., and then it sucked back up again, vpppp! And then that ship went by really slowly. It left, mmmmmm....
 
“And then one ship followed it... and the one that followed it had a spinning thing on the bottom. It was like that sort of square shape—a circular thing on the bottom that had lights all around it. And it was spinning. And it went by. And that’s all we saw.”
 
John: “Well we were just sitting outside, and we were kicking for a little while, and we saw this little kind of circular object, I guess, with one big light on top of it. It just kind of flew over toward us, and then it stopped. And then it flew away. Then another one came, and it was a bigger one. It had little lights on the outside of it, all the way around And then it shined like a beam down on to the house... and then we all kind of got freaked out, so we hid under like the side of the house. And then it just flew away. And another little one came after that, and it flew away. And then we were just sitting there going ‘What?’
 
“...On the first one there was a light on the top... and then another one came, a bigger one. I just saw on the side—it had little teeny lights around it. And then it shined a light down... that (the last one) was just a little one. I didn’t really get to see it, because I was kind of scared... (it was) just like one teeny little light. But it moved fast, they moved fast We couldn’t figure out what it was because they moved so fast that it couldn’t be a helicopter or something. It moved really fast, like jet over here and jet right back—you know, back and forth.”
 
Ivan: “It was just like a little ship, or not like a little ship, but like a light far away. And it came like over the hill, And then we looked away or something. Then, all of a sudden, it was right there. And we were all just, ‘Oh, what is that?’ And then another one came, and there were two of them. They were just sitting there with their lights and stuff, and they zipped away really fast. But then this big one—this big old one came over with lights on the top and stuff. And it shined this light on us, and just kind of went over, and then just kept on going. Then this little one came afterwards, but it was all fast. It just flew by.
 
“They (the first ones) were small, but they had lights on top... like blue, red, yellow, and mostly white.... They were like—I don’t know, I couldn’t tell. It was too dark. You couldn’t really see the thing except for all the lights. And then it just kind of flew over.... Maybe about two minutes, and it was gone. It was just poof! It was neat. The little ones came over the hill, and we weren’t paying attention to them, we just thought they were airplanes. And then, all of a sudden, they were right in front of us. We’re all just, ‘Wow, what is that?’ And Gabe was just all ‘Wow!’.... That was the weird thing. It was quiet. No noise at all, except for like a—well most people say like a low hum, but it was pretty quiet. It was like you couldn’t really hear anything.”
 
Leif: “We were with—I think there were four people. Four people, and we were outside on my patio, and there were no houses around. And we were looking up, and this like—this light—like this fast light came by. I mean, it was a little like a ship and it came. All I remember is the big ship actually. This big one is what I remember. It was just like a big—it wasn’t going totally fast, but it was really quiet and just coming. And it came, and it just shined like this light. It was like this, you know, it shined a light like about fifty to a hundred yards away. And we were just looking at it, going wow, that’s a space ship! And then it went. It just like—the light came off and then it went. It hovered over the house and went away.
 
“...I remember they looked a lot different than any normal plane.... I think a few of them had colors on them.... We were just looking at it. Well, actually I thought we were getting invaded by Mars people. Like LA, I thought they’d invade LA. The next day I was going to hear about all these like Martians in LA. I mean, because if I heard it, I would have been all, ‘No way!!!’ Because we saw these things.... It was a quiet noise. It didn’t sound like a jet. Jets are pretty loud. It was like something—a motor that was like a hovering noise, that could go slow and fast if it wanted to.”
 
And so we close the events of that fateful night. Although there are variations in the witnesses’ testimonies, all agree that there were at least two small UFOs, and one very large one, which shined a solid white beam of light about ten feet wide, down onto the roof of the house.
 
The objects looked strange, they sounded strange, and they moved strangely.
 
There was a general agreement that the small UFOs were the size of a van or a bus. All agree that the large UFO hovered very low over the house. The estimates of its size vary, but the average estimate is about the size of half a football field.
 
It’s difficult to say what exactly was in the sky that night, but whatever it was, it made a deep impression on the memory of the four witnesses. I am convinced they are telling the truth.
 
As with most of the sightings in Topanga, the witnesses were most impressed by the high degree of maneuverability displayed by the objects, as well as their strange shape and an almost total lack of sound. Whatever the explanation, it is not hoax, hallucination or misidentification. These are honest people who seem to have witnessed truly incredible events.
 
CONCLUSION
 
It is difficult to convince the UFO skeptic. Despite the fact that there is voluminous evidence all but proving UFOs such as: eyewitness testimonies of UFO sightings; testimonies of abductees; testimonies of retired military officials involved in UFO crash retrievals; radar returns; UFO effects on animals; medical effects on witnesses (radiation burns); metal fragments; landing traces; sound recordings; photos; moving films; over 2,500 pages of declassified United States Government documents from such agencies as the CIA, FBI, NSA, and the USAF. Many people reject the stories outright, without even examining the evidence.
 
UFOs have been seen in Topanga and continue to be seen.
 
To date, I have heard of two more sightings in Topanga. The first sighting involved four witnesses, one who remembers colored lights moving too fast to be a helicopter, and another who remembers just lights. Unfortunately, the incident occurred too long ago, and the memories of the witnesses are too vague to make any conclusions as to what they saw.
 
There was also possibly another sighting in the Trippett Ranch area on Entrada, but the witness has declined to be interviewed. I have interviewed more than thirty other people who have had UFO experiences in the surrounding areas, and am writing a book on the subject.
 
Aside from alerting Topanga of events occurring in its skies, the major purpose of this article is to obtain more information about UFOs.
 
If you have had a UFO experience in Topanga (or elsewhere), and you would like to talk about it, please call me at (213) 455-2227, or write to me, c/o The Messenger.
 
SOURCES

1.  Druffel, Ann, and Rogo, D. Scott. THE TUJUNGA CANYON CONTACTS. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632. c. 1980
2.  Fowler, Rayond E. THE ANDREASSON AFFAIR; PHASE TWO. Prentice-Hall Inc. c. 1982
3.  Good, Timothy. ABOVE TOP SECRET: THE WORLDWIDE UFO COVERUP. William Morrow & Company, Inc., 105 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. c. 1988
4.  Hall, Richard. UNINVITED GUESTS: A DOCUMENTED HISTORY OF UFO SIGHTINGS, ALIEN ENCOUNTERS, & COVERUPS. Aurora Press, PO Box 573, Santa Fe, NM 87504. c. 1988
5.  Wilkins, Harold T. FLYING SAUCERS ON THE ATTACK. Ace Books, Inc., 1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. c. 1954.
 
Preston Dennett is a member of the gifted Dennett family which relocated to Topanga from Chicago in 1971. His father Jim is a production manager in the movies. Preston, 23, graduated from CSUN last year with a B.A in narrative writing.

1992-07-02 Messenger - “UFOs Over Topanga: The Sixth Encounter” by Colin Penno

“UFOs Over Topanga: The Sixth Encounter”

by Colin Penno

They Came Once More

Sometime between midnight and dawn’s early light Sunday, June 14 strange things happened in the night sky over Topanga.

We can’t account for it, we can’t explain it—and those who could just aren’t talking.

Here’s what we think we know....

From somewhere in West Hollywood, a couple of weeks ago a shaken man called the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff’s station to ask a question and tell a tale.

They’d eaten dinner down on the beach at Gladstones, and then he and his girlfriend took off for a spin up the Coast, turning north into the Santa Monica Mountains at Highway 27 for a peaceful night drive through Topanga Canyon and home to the bright lights of LA.

“Did anyone report anything strange tonight in Topanga Canyon?” came the call

“Wanna be more specific?” responded a dubious deputy. “Strange like what?”

“Ah... lights.”

“Not that I know of.”

With his question answered, the caller stumbled into an incredible story.

“You’ll think I'm crazy, but I don’t know who to tell,” he began.

“Officer, we were driving through the Canyon, where the Canyon gets deep, and we noticed a bright light in the sky.” The couple became uneasy because they felt it was following them—whatever it was.

“Suddenly it was over us, we lost control of the car and it lifted us up in the sky, lifted us up off the ground.

“I’m telling you, I’ve never been more frightened in my life," he said, assuring the cop that “we don’t drink, don’t take drugs and have no history of psychological problems.”

What happened next was vague, according to the driver, who reckons they both lost memory for “I don’t know, maybe a couple of minutes and then we were put down.

“Suddenly it (the light, the craft, the tractor beam) wasn’t there anymore.”

Responding to a distraught but cogent caller, the listening officer stepped in from the cold of incredulity and asked were they both okay?

“Well we got home by the grace of God. My girlfriend was near-hysterical, we feel nauseous and weak, I don’t know what to do.

“I’m telling you I’m a normal human being,” the caller pleaded in a quaking voice.

“I have a job, a good job, and my girlfriend too. Should I report this...? They’ll think we’re out of our minds!”

“I don’t believe that something like this would fall under our jurisdiction,” the cop said—and wrapped it up by advising the couple to sleep on it and maybe check in with a doctor in the morning.

Second Fishy Couple

Soon a second call about the state of cosmic stability in Topanga came in to the station.

“My girlfriend and I saw three very strange... ah, God... who does one report UFOs to?

“We saw three UFOs, flying discs high up in the Canyon, past Sassafras Nursery, where the Canyon gets deep.”

“What did they look like?” inquired the voice of the law....

“They were saucers, they were following us above the car and we stopped and got out. We saw them, we watched them and within maybe three seconds—poof—they were gone straight up into the air like a bat out of hell.”

This second caller was quite calm, we’re told, and asked the listening deputy if he happened to have a number for the U.S. Air Force?

Disappointed, the second caller said, “Well I dunno... we saw what we saw, maybe Gladstones spiked our wine...?’’

The Odd Englishman

Next comes a call from a guy asking if the cops had helicopters flying over the Canyon that night—choppers with unusually bright lights?

“My wife and I were woken up by a very bright light above our home coming in through the windows,” he says. “We went outside to look at... an extremely bright light... but there was hardly any sound,” just a sort of “high-pitched hum.”

His home and the “encounter” were about a mile north of Sassafras, the caller answered in response to a deputy’s questions, but declined to give an address explaining that he really didn’t want to report a UFO and because his wife was “a bit shaken up right now.”

“Have you eaten at Gladstones recently?” asked the deputy—still pushing for a location and explaining that maybe something illegal was going on.

"Deputy,” the caller replied, “let me tell you this—if someone is doing something illegal around here they have a hell of a lot of wattage.

“Damnedest thing I ever saw in my life” he concluded, and hung up.

Last Call from Texas

Lastly that night came a call from a guy with a soft Texas accent—a guy who gave his name right up front “Did y’all have helicopters up in Topanga Canyon tonight?”

“What did you see sir?” inquired a deputy long-since accustomed to curious calls from a quixotic Canyon.

“I was going down through Topanga Canyon and I think they were helicopters ’cause they were shining damn bright lights on me, but they kinda chased me down the road a bit.

“It sure did put out a powerful beam, a very bright light,” the cowboy went on, “I’d say they tailgated me from above, but I couldn’t see anything ’cause it was so damned bright... it sure seemed strange to me.”

What the Doctor Saw...

For readers skeptical about outrageous stories from odd outsiders—here is testimony from a true Topangan with the guts to stand up and say what he saw!

Dr. Murray Clarke lives on Callon, a T-junction street at the termination of Cheney Drive, itself an eastward artery off Topanga Canyon Boulevard. Clarke was at home and up and about after midnight that Sunday morning June 14, when a powerful point of light zoomed over his house heading north.

“I looked through my view window which faces the ridgeline and the Valley,” Clarke

told the Messenger last week. “It was traveling south-to-north very fast in a horizontal path, an intense white/yellow light. As it sped away from me—about over the last ridge, it just vanished.”

Clarke, a homeopathic specialist in private practice in Santa Monica, estimated the entire incident to have lasted “just two or three seconds.”

He went outside, naturally, but the night sky was “as it was before.”

A burning meteor perhaps? A helicopter searchlight?

No says Clarke: “meteorites do not travel on a path parallel with the planet, and the intensity of light was something no helicopter could have brought about.”

The Hillside Observation

Around that time and a mile or so south of Clarke’s house another Topanga resident remembers something she’d never seen before that night.

She too lives east of the Boulevard, and at an elevation similar to Clarke’s—two or three hundred feet up from the Canyon floor.

“I saw a brilliant ray of light outside through my window,” says the witness, who prefers to be unidentified.

“I saw it and I’ll never forget it,” she told the Messenger last week. “I’m telling you this now but, well, I’m a professional person and I can’t afford the risk of ridicule.”

The beam from a car on its way home in the neighborhood?

No way she says.

“I’ve lived right here for years and because of the hills around I can tell you no headlights can pass by around the house.”

A Sheriff’s chopper looking for who-knows-what in the night?

“I’ve seen those lights over and over,” she shot back. “This light was so focused, so intense—like nothing I’d ever seen.”

So What's New?

None of this comes as much of a surprise to Preston Dennett, who wrote “UFOs Over Topanga,” a Messenger cover story in volume 12, No. 25, our terminal edition of 1988.

Dennett says of last month’s strange events: “This would be at least the sixth encounter in the Canyon.”

1997-10-09 Messenger - “Sightings: UFOs Anyone?”

“Sightings: UFOs Anyone?”

A few residents on Callon Drive are disturbed by the strange lights spotted hovering around a group of trees near their homes last week. "The lights are so beautiful," says Emery Scognamillo of his Sunday night sighting. "They're shaped like crystals and float turning colors, blue and red and beaming. It was an amazing show."

Scognamillo and his companion Gisele Queiros say the strange lights that floated around their area for about 20 minutes last Sunday resembled what they thought could be a UFO.

"We are very certain about what we saw," says another neighbor Katie Korzen who, along with her husband, saw the floating light show for three nights running. "We even got our neighbors to verify it so people wouldn't think we're wacko."

Korzen also claims she saw "very glassy floating crystals" that reflected different colors and radiated light. "They did different formations on top of each other and then around," she says. "Then they appeared and disappeared. It's definitely something, but I don't know what."

1952-10-15 Daily News - "Matt Weinstock Column: Flying Saucers"

“Matt Weinstock Column”

Private patrol action

No flying saucers have been publicly reported for several weeks now and there is reason for surmise that the political oratory has driven them back into outer space.

However, we are happy to report that there is activity, if unofficially reported. Some have gotten through. Probably built up an immunity to all the talk.

One day recently, 15 minutes before sunset, Frederick G. Hehr was sitting in Palisades Park, Santa Monica, chatting with a friend and watching the clouds streaming in over Pt. Mugu. All at once he noticed a brilliant dash of light in a break in the clouds. It was a sharply outlined object, brighter than the sunlit clouds. Soon it was joined by others, in a horizontal line. They simply “appeared,” without any sign of approach or slowing down, and hung there motionless.

They began taking off and reappearing, as Hehr describes it, “jumping around like fleas, winking out in one spot and almost instantly winking on miles away.” After about 10 minutes they vanished, one by one.

It’s Hehr’s belief that the objects, whatever they are, have gravity and therefore momentum under control because they can hang motionless for any length of time and take off and stop at speeds which would vaporize a battleship.

When he mentioned what he had seen to friends, he discovered several of them had also seen the discs. One man reported seeing a single disc hovering for two hours, making sudden jumps, disappearing and coming back, over the Topanga Canyon area. Others told of seeing lighted objects move at tremendous speed across the sky—too fast for a plane and too slow for a meteor. Another man said he hadn’t seen the discs this particular night but recently he stopped for some gas at a station near Fresno and noticed the attendant kept looking up. “Looking for flying saucers?" he joshed. "Why yes,” was the matter-of-fact reply, “they’ve been around here every day lately.”

Apparently people who see these things aren’t talking, the same as they aren't talking about who they’re going to vote for.

1949-05-27 Topanga Journal - "Announce Meet to Form Sheriff's Mounted Posse"

“Announce Meet to Form Sheriff’s Mounted Posse”

Suggested by Topanga Chamber of Commerce

For the possibilities purpose of discussing possibilities of organizing a Sheriff’s Mounted Posse for this district a meeting has been called for the Topanga Shopping Center, 8 p.m., Thursday, June 16, according to Capt. P. L. Sutton, of the Sheriff’s Malibu Station.

A request for the formation of such an organization was recently made by the Topanga Chamber of Commerce.

Eight requirements for membership were outlined by Capt. Sutton. The applicant must be—

1.  Male.
2.  Caucasian race.
3.  Citizen of United States and a registered voter.
4.  Reached his 21st but not his 60th birthday.
5.  Supply identification as required bv the Sheriff’s Department.
6.  Pass a reasonable medical examination as required.
7.  Conform to troop equipment rules and specifications (mounts, etc.).
8.  Carry public liability and property damage insurance, the minimum being $10,000 Comprehensive Personal Liability policy.

Lieut. Ivan Roller, co-ordinator of all Sheriff’s Mounted Posses, will address the meeting and outline the procedure necessary to form, an organization.

Lieut. Roller will also discuss the possibility of forming a Junior Posse composed of youngsters between the ages of 12 and 21 years who reside in this area and who have the necessary mounts and equipment at their disposal.

All persons interested in this movement should attend the meeting and lend their support. It is believed another community need can be filled in the near future.

1916-02-25 Santa Monica Outlook - “Hart and Company in Topanga Canyon”

“Hart and Company in Topanga Canyon”

William S. Hart and a large company under the direction of Charles Swickard are encamped, this week, in Topanga canyon; several miles from Inceville, where they are filming some spectacular exterior scenes for the current Triangle-Kay-Bee features in which Hart is to be starred. During their absence, sculptors, carpenters and property men are working like beavers getting ready the divers pieces of equipment to be used in the interior settings.

The story, written by Monte M. Katterjohn, concerns the exploits of a Castilian lad, who, during the sixteenth century, is cast upon the shores of America and is adopted by the native tribes people. Enid Markey and Dorothy Dalton are the other principal members of the cast.

“The Stepping Stone” will be the title of the next Triangle-Kay-Bee feature in which Frank Keenan will be presented as star by Thomas H, Ince. This production was made just before Keenan left Inceville for a vacation, since which time it has been in the hands of the cutters. Mary Boland appears as co-star with Keenan, while Robert McKim completes the cast.

1916-01-03 Santa Monica Outlook - "Two Methods of Publicity" by S. M. Booster

 “Two Methods of Publicity Described”

by S. M. Booster

‘‘Whenever Postmaster Jim Craig of Topanga decides the canyon needs a little publicity he goes out in the back yard, digs up some bones buried by his dog which gives use to big stories about discovering Indian bones,” said a Santa Monica booster after reading a story in the Outlook in which John N. P. Cramer praised the standard of citizenship of Topanga.

“Now when Santa Monica canyon needs a little publicity Frank E. Bundy proceeds to build a few bath houses and amusement piers and yet they talk about the progressive spirit of Topanga—makes me tired.

“Why what did Topanga ever do for its country anyway? There is one good big road running through the canyon, but shucks, we have 57 varieties of roads in Santa Monica canyon. Every time you turn around in Topanga canyon you face a sign, “No picnicking here.” In Santa Monica canyon free picnic grounds are provided with fire places and all conveniences to make picnicking less barbaric than is the usual custom.

“Now in case it be thought I have some lots to sell I’ll say that if any primitive man of Topanga wants to come here to civilization and argue just how far Topanga’s spirit of citizenship is ahead of Santa Monica’s, let him come and I’ll convince him that Santa Monica canyon’s high spirit has got the other two communities backed off the map. I’ll say further that this will be a winner take all proposition, including blood, black eyes and bleeding noses."

1923-06-25 Santa Monica Outlook - "Real Estate: Topangowood"

"Real Estate: Topangowood"

Frank Pesh Co. (Hollywood and Venice) announce the opening of Topangowood. The beautiful wooded cabin sites on the old McAllister Ranch on Topango Canyon road; every lot with roads and water. Go up Topanga Canyon to Topangowood Tract office, 5 miles from coast, between Valley and Sea; prices range, 1-4 acre, $50 and up.

1945-09-21 Topanga Journal - "Topanga General Store: DDT"

"Topanga General Store: DDT"

We are proud to announce that we have been appointed agent of the Pacific Chemical Company for the sale of the sensational new insecticide DDT for the entire Malibu Mountain district, including Topanga, Malibu Road, Cornell and Seminole Hot Springs. We now have in stock DDT Insect Spray and DDT Insect Powder. We will soon have DDT Mothproofing Spray in stock. 

1952-10-31 Topanga Journal - "2nd Fernwood Resident Sees a Flying Saucer"

"2nd Fernwood Resident Sees a Flying Saucer"

Mrs. John Nelson of Basin Drive told the Journal this week that she saw what she believed to be a flying saucer about 3 weeks ago. She said she hadn't mentioned it until she read in the Journal that another Fernwood resident had seen it.

She described the saucer as being a round, globe-like object that emitted a penetrating green light. It was flying eastward. The light from the object was so strong, Mrs. Nelson said, that it detracted her attention while she was watching a television show at about 7 p.m.

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