Maury Island

Maury Island, Washington state.

On June 21, 1947, Harold Dahl encountered six large circular flying objects that appeared over his boat just off Maury Island near Sandy Shores and Summerhurst. One of the craft descended to lower elevation over Dahl’s boat, appeared to be unstable in the air, and began to eject “lava-like” hot debris, some of which landed on Dahl’s boat.

Dahl described the damage to the boat, the burn injuries to his son’s arm and the debris that hit and killed their dog. As the one craft struggled, another came down and touched it, and the struggling craft stopped dropping hot debris, regained its stability, and they all rose together and headed off at incredibly high speed.

. . .

A newspaper reporter had gone to Dahl’s house soon after the story began to spread and witnessed a heated argument between Dahl and his wife, who told him he should denounce the whole story as a hoax. The reporter decided that was likely the case and warned his and other newspapers the story was probably a hoax and to not bother investigating it. But the story was already out.

The next day, a mysterious visitor drove up to Dahl’s house, dressed all in black, driving a new black Buick. He declined to say who he was or who he represented but warned Dahl that they knew all about the report, and Dahl was not to say anything more to anyone. The visitor hinted there would be severe consequences if he did talk. Dahl was deeply shaken by the encounter from this first reported incident of the “Men in Black.”

At the July 31 meeting at the Winthrop Hotel in downtown Tacoma, Dahl and Crisman told their stories but said they had received so much grief and trouble over it they just wanted out and would claim it was all a hoax. They even signed a statement for the Air Force Investigators saying the debris Crisman had gathered was not from a UFO. Privately, they said it all was true.

. . .

Both the Air Force and the FBI prepared comprehensive reports on the Maury UFO incident. They cited numerous loose ends in the story and determined that Dahl and Crisman’s claims were likely a hoax perpetrated by Crisman to sell lurid UFO articles to Palmer’s magazine.

[Bruce Haulman is an island historian. Cyrus Anderson lives in Gold Beach and has researched the MII. Terry Donnelly is an island photographer.]



Time & Again: 75th Anniversary of The Maury Island Incident

The Maury Island Incident was a reported encounter with a UFO off the southeast shore of Maury Island in 1947.