by Michael E. Salla, PhD

Exopolitical Journal - Vol 1:4 (October 2006): 319-330
from ExopoliticalJournal Website



From August 18-20, 2006, I attended an extraordinary conference at the Sattva Sanctuary located at the foot of Mt Adams. The conference, organized by James Gilliland, was conducted in the newly completed two level auditorium at his Sattva Sanctuary (established in 1986) and attracted between 350-400 people over the three days of the event. There were 14 speakers who addressed topics associated with the conference theme of “Science, Spirit and World Transformation”.


Many of the speakers addressed the issue of UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation, and discussed transformative aspects of this phenomenon. Crowd favorites included Dr Nick Begich’s discussion on mind control; Dr Brook Agnew’s discussion of the Inner Earth; James Gilliland’s presentation on benevolent extraterrestrial contact; and Angelika Whitecliff’s presentation on Dolphins, Starseeds and ‘human celestial visitors’. Judging by the quality of conference presentations and the enthusiastic audience response, the conference was highly successful.


As more modern conveniences such as air-conditioning, insulation, etc., are added to the newly completed conference auditorium, it can be anticipated that there will be many more successful conferences/events at Sattva Sanctuary.

My 90 minute presentation analyzed the evolution of citizen diplomacy in international affairs, and how this ‘non-official’ diplomatic practice can be established for relations with extraterrestrial civilizations. I discussed how citizen diplomacy with extraterrestrials could be considerably supported by the establishment of ‘Galactic Peace Sanctuaries’.


James Gilliland’s Sattva Sanctuary offers a number of unique opportunities for communications and interactions between private citizens and extraterrestrial civilizations that can occur in remote, ‘protected’ locations. Sattva Sanctuary offers a model for ‘Galactic Peace Sanctuaries’ in similar remote areas where extraterrestrial visitation is sustained and observable, and where individuals can visit and spend time in a protected environment.

In this paper, I will begin by discussing the visual sightings and photographs of anomalous objects observed during and immediately after the ECETI conference that appear to be UFOs under intelligent control. There were two categories of observed/photographed anomalous objects that I will successively discuss. The first were luminous objects moving through the night sky observed by multiple witnesses each evening.


There were also photos taken of metallic looking objects in the vicinity of Mt Adams that did not appear to be planes of any kind, and were independently photographed after the conference, on August 22, by two participants not aware of each other while staying at Sattva Sanctuary. I will subsequently discuss the numerous photographs of ‘orbs’ taken at the conference that would regularly appear or disappear in particular locations, and were independently photographed at the conference.

I was able to directly observe and/or have photographs taken by my companion and fellow conference presenter, Angelika Whitecliff, of these anomalous phenomena. The multiple witness and independent photographic evidence of UFOs in the vicinity of Mt Adams and of anomalous phenomena, give direct support to James Gilliland’s claims that extraterrestrial vehicles regularly visit, monitor and can be observed at Sattva Sanctuary.


Finally, I will discuss the implications of this evidence accumulated at the ECETI conference helping confirm that extraterrestrials are visiting/monitoring Sattva Sanctuary and the immediate vicinity. The closing discussion will specifically address the establishment of Galactic Peace Sanctuaries in other locations equally suitable for this level of human/extraterrestrial interactions.

UFO Skywatching and ‘Luminous Objects’ crossing the Night Sky

The highlight for many at the 2006 conference was the skywatching event that occurred each evening starting at approximately 8:30 pm. The Sattva sanctuary has a large sky watching area that faces north, towards the majestic Mt Adams, offering a panoramic view of the sky. Every evening of the conference was clear and individuals would sit down to watch for UFOs while discussing the preceding conference presentations on extraterrestrials or associated phenomena.


Many of the sightings were luminous objects that would cross over portions of the night sky and were seen by multiple witnesses. Using a laser pointer, these luminous objects were often pointed out by James Gilliland. He and others deduced these objects to be UFOs since they behaved in way that excluded conventional explanations such as satellites, airplanes, planets or ‘ball lightning’.

It needs to be pointed out that observations at the conference sky watching evenings were not part of a rigorous scientific study, but were a diverse collection of individual testimonies describing what was seen at different times. Based on our own direct sky watching observations and photographs (taken by Angelika Whitecliff), something was happening at the Sattva retreat that was unexplainable in conventional terms; and could, therefore, be attributed to UFO related activity. This happened during both the conference and, subsequently, for a smaller group of us staying after the conference at the Sattva Sanctuary.

Each night I spent at Sattva Sanctuary I saw a dozen or so luminous objects crossing portions of the night sky in a constant trajectory at what I estimated to be a very high velocity. Some of these objects would cross most of the night sky and appeared to be self-illuminated.


The most spectacular phenomenon associated with these objects was that at different times some of these would rapidly grow in magnitude and become very luminous, before diminishing or fading out completely. James Gilliland described this phenomenon as UFO's 'powering up', and it was claimed that this was a message being sent by the UFOs that were intelligently guided.

A typical ‘powering up’ involved an illuminated object that started off as bright as a typical star anywhere in the range from the dim star Alcyone [magnitude of +2.9] to the brightest star in the night sky Sirius [magnitude of -1.4 - see comparative illustrations below]. The luminous object would quickly magnify in intensity so that it became brighter than Venus (-4.4), approaching an estimated luminosity of -9 (the moon has a luminosity of -12.6) before reverting back to its initial luminosity.


This powering up phenomenon would occur anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes.

Sirius (magnitude -1.4)

Venus (magnitude -4.4) next to Pleiades

(Alcyone, the brightest has a magnitude of +2.9)

Full Moon (magnitude -12.6)


The spontaneous nature of the observations and the lack of a scientific protocol in studying the phenomena during the sky watching led to diverging reports on what occurred at the conference in terms of possible UFO sightings. This article reflects solely what I directly witnessed and/or Angelika Whitecliff photographed at the event, and of my own analyses of the data as being UFO phenomena.


There is a need for a scientific protocol to be developed for the night sky observations for future conferences at Sattva Sanctuary in order to better evaluate the phenomena that are observed and verified by multiple witnesses, and to distinguish them from satellites and other conventional objects.

Possible Explanations for ‘Powering Up’ Phenomenon

The most common explanation for the “powering up” phenomenon is that the luminous objects were 'Iridium satellites’ (aka ‘Iridium flares’) which can flare when their main mission antennas reflect sunlight back to the Earth. Iridium satellites are part of a global communications system that travel in a north south trajectory from pole to pole (see image on left). When observed in its normal state the Iridium satellite appears quite dim with a magnitude ranging from +6 to +3 (from barely visible to very dim according to the naked eye).


However, when it flares its magnitude can increase to -8.0 which is 50 times brighter than Venus at its peak illumination of -4.9. The Iridium satellites flare from 5-20 seconds. This means that to the naked eye, most individuals would see a very dim or barely visible object suddenly brighting up before dimming once again (for more info go HERE)

The flaring of Iridium satellites has been offered as a conventional explanation for the ‘powering up’ associated with the luminous objects observed at Sattva Sanctuary. There are however at least four problems with this explanation.

  • First, Iridium satellites have a north-south polar trajectory whereas several of the flaring objects I saw had east-west trajectories.

  • Second, Iridium satellites that flare are elliptical in shape (see as opposed to the spherical flaring associated with the Sattva Sanctuary sightings (e.g., see 2003 video clip:

  • Third, the frequency of Iridium satellites over Mt Adams did not match the predicted orbital appearances described in websites such as .

  • Finally, the colors of photographed Iridium satellites did not correspond with photos of the flaring object taken by my companion.

While Angelika Whitecliff did not take any photos of the luminous objects powering up during the conference itself, she did manage to get some shots of one luminous object that traversed the sky on our last evening at Sattva Sanctuary on August 29. This object appeared at approximately 9 pm, moved from due West to East, and was visible for about 90 seconds.


It was approximately as bright as the star Sirius (magnitude -1.4) when first observed about 30º above the western horizon. It then powered up surpassing the brightness of Venus (-4.4) to what I estimate to be -7 magnitude. It held that intensity for the rest of its journey to about 30º above the eastern horizon before dissolving until it disappeared.


Fortunately, we were able to take a series of four camera shots clearly depicting the luminous object as it traversed the sky (photos below) displaying definite spherical characteristics rather than elliptical, thereby ruling out an Iridium satellite or a bright planet. Furthermore, the pink color contrasts with the white light reflected by Iridium satellites in available photographs.


This object was seen by five witnesses in total including myself.

The behavior and characteristics of the luminous object Angelika Whitecliff photographed was identical to the luminous objects that ‘powered up’ during the conference and on other nights we were present.

My conclusion based on what I witnessed was that several of the objects that 'powered up' both during the conference and later were not Iridium satellites or any other bright satellites. Other possibilities such as the International Space Station and conventional aircraft could be easily ruled out since none of these behave anything like the self-luminous objects that would power up in a spherical pattern for a significant part of their journey across the night sky.


Consequently, it does appear that what was observed at the Sattva Sanctuary were genuine anomalous phenomenon that qualify as UFOs under intelligent control.

The ‘powering up’ phenomenon was generally attributed by James Gilliland and others as UFOs responding to the earnest desires of witnesses for a sighting – the ‘give me a sign’ phenomenon. This suggests that a form of communication was possibly occurring whereby the UFOs could monitor the minds of possible witnesses and respond accordingly.


Furthermore, the ‘power up’ had a tangible emotional effect on those observing them, in terms of states of elation and euphoria. Some described this in terms of receiving ‘energy downloads’. While the evidence for ‘energy downloads’ is anecdotal, it should nevertheless be considered for a more detailed study of the ‘powering up’ phenomenon.

To better prevent any possible confusion with Iridium satellites at future sky watching events at conferences or similar events organized at Sattva Sanctuary, it will be important to develop an objective methodology that eliminates doubt of the luminous objects having conventional explanations.


Using a suitable satellite tracking system such as Heavens Above, all satellites can be known in advance and thereby distinguished from genuine anomalous phenomena based on known satellite trajectories, brightness, speed and behavior. This will ensure a more rigorous reporting process for the UFO phenomenon observed at Sattva sanctuary.

Post Conference Photographs of Metallic Looking Objects

Immediately after the conference there were two independent sets of photos taken on August 22 of what appeared to be metallic looking UFOs in the vicinity of Mt Adams. The first was a photo (below) taken by Ryan Powell, a conference participant. It appeared during daytime hours over the southeast slope of Mt Adams, where the Yakama Indian reservation is located.


A close up shows what appears to be a saucer shaped object and not an airplane.

The second set of photos were taken by one of the conference presenters, Angelika Whitecliff who captured what appears to be up to four metallic looking objects flying in the vicinity of Mt Adams.


Her photos were again taken on August 22 using a digital camera and she recorded between one to four of the objects in a series of photos. Two of the photos featuring three and four objects are reproduced below with close ups of each object pointed out by the blue arrows.

Significantly, neither photographer visually saw anything in the sky, and merely felt compelled to take a photograph of the general area around Mt Adams. This would rule out conventional explanations such as planes or birds.


This indicates that there may be regular UFO activity around Mt Adams occurring outside of the bands of the electromagnetic spectrum seen by the human eye, but that can be captured by an ordinary camera.


The fact that anomalous objects were independently photographed on the same day immediately after the ECETI conference, and did not appear to be any conventional object, suggests regular UFO activity is occurring in the vicinity of Mt Adams.

Orbs Photographed at the Conference

Many photographs taken during conference presentations or at the evening skywatching showed the presence of orbs. The nights were clear and there was very little wind and no rain. The orbs would appear or disappear in successive shots at the same location suggesting they were not a product of dust or moisture on the camera lens.


What follows are successive photographs of me during the sky watching experience taken by Angelika Whitelciff, where orbs appear and disappear. In the first pair, orbs appear to be moving in a number of directions, and disappear altogether in the second photo aside from a partial orb in the top left.

In this second pair of successive photos, one of the orbs in the first photo is particularly bright but disappears altogether in the second while another orb appears to be moving away.

None of the orbs captured in the photographs were seen visually. This suggests that orbs lie outside of the normal electromagnetic spectrum used by the human eye.


The ability of orbs to quickly appear and disappear suggests that they may be monitoring devices under intelligent control. The fact that orbs were present while we were skywatching for UFOs suggests again that anomalous phenomena occur regularly at Sattva Sanctuary, and that these may be associated with UFOs.

Galactic Peace Sanctuaries

Sanctuaries are historically places that offered refuge or protection for those who had violated the law or who had been granted the ‘right of asylum’ by the custodians of the sanctuary. Once admitted to a sanctuary, the individual was protected from soldiers or law enforcement officials, and in some cases would be admitted back into society after performing ritual cleansing or other acts of atonement.


Sanctuaries were well established in ancient Egypt, Greece, Israel and also in more remote locations such as the Hawaiian Islands.

For example, the ancient sanctuary at Delphi, Greece was protected from local political leaders by the Amphictyonia alliance of Greek city states, making Delphi a protected site due to the importance of its oracle for giving advice and resolving conflicts in Ancient Greece.


With its remote location and recognition by local leaders of its benefits in bringing together rivals and resolving conflicts, Delphi flourished for centuries as a protected ‘sacred space’.

Another example of a protected ‘sacred space’ was the Hawaiian sanctuary of Honaunau Pu’uhonua that provided protection and ritual cleansing for those who violated harsh laws of ‘kapu’ that dominated Hawaiian society. The strict laws of kapu were repudiated by King Kamehameha II in 1819 shortly after the unification of the Hawaiian Islands, and the onset of Western colonialism.


If a Hawaiian even unintentionally broke kapu by stepping on the King’s shadow or eating with females, they were punished by death. However, if an individual was able to swim across the nearby bay and enter the secluded sanctuary, they were absolved of all wrong doing by the resident kahuna (‘Hawaiian priest’).


For centuries, the sanctuary at Honaunau provided Hawaiians with a protected sacred space where the harsh kapu legal code did not extend.

Historically, sanctuaries were established in remote locations where the power of the King or legal code did not extend. The remote locations of sanctuaries provided a compromise whereby the king or local rulers did not fear the sanctuary would be exploited by political opponents or used as a means for disrupting the normal functions of a society.


Principles grounded in religious traditions or spiritual practices such as peace (Eirene), love (aloha), nonviolence (ahimsa), etc., held sway in ancient sanctuaries. Modern western societies has witnessed the erosion of sanctuaries immune to the power of the modern state. In the modern age, sanctuaries are largely confined to the inner sanctum of churches and monasteries.

The sanctuary idea is particularly important with regard to extraterrestrial visitation given the extensive evidence that individuals having contact or communications with extraterrestrials have been repressed. In fact, NASA passed a regulation in 1969 that despite its repeal in 1991, can still be invoked as a legal precedent for the arbitrary detention of citizens exposed to extraterrestrial contact.


The repression of individuals and organizations involved with extraterrestrial contact is exemplified in numerous cases of intimidation, harassment, physical assault or worse. Consequently, there is need for a sanctuary as a sacred space providing protection to individuals interacting or communicating with extraterrestrials. This is especially important given the possibility that new technologies or energy sources inspired by or given by extraterrestrials are developed and incorporated into human society.

Sattva Sanctuary offers a model for the establishment of Galactic Peace Sanctuaries in a number of ways.

  • First, Sattva Sanctuary provides a location where visitors can directly experience anomalous phenomena related to UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation. This paper has provided some evidence that such experiences are ongoing, verifiable and available to all visitors.

  • Second, Sattva Sanctuary provides a remote secure location for the development of alternative energy technologies. A large laboratory area has been constructed at Sattva Sanctuary for this purpose, and plans exist to make the Sanctuary self-sufficient in energy and other areas such as health.

  • Finally, Sattva Sanctuary is a remote ‘sacred space’ at the foot of Mt Adams, long venerated by the Yakama Indian community, and offering a degree of ‘protection’ to visitors. While such protection is primarily symbolic or ‘spiritual’ at this stage, it is immediately felt by all who enter the Sattva Sanctuary.

It is therefore not unjustified optimism to believe that enforcers of the national security system will recognize the special status of Sattva Sanctuary. The national security system has invoked a covert series of regulations dealing with extraterrestrial contact, technology and information. The penalties can be draconian but Sattva Sanctuary offers a means for circumventing this through its role as a Galactic Peace Sanctuary.

Conclusion: Establishing Galactic Peace Sanctuaries

I was not disappointed by my journey to Sattva Sanctuary which provided me with the opportunity to directly observe numerous UFOs over a ten day period at the foot of Mt Adams. In a number of cases, these flared in a spectacular way and appeared to be efforts by extraterrestrials to communicate with observers. The independent photos of metallic looking craft that appeared on August 22 over the slopes of Mt Adams, offers further evidence that UFOs regularly pass over the vicinity of Sattva Sanctuary.


The orbs that Angelika Whitecliff and others independently photographed provided further evidence that anomalous phenomena were occurring at Sattva Sanctuary in a way that was verifiable by multiple witnesses. I look forward to future journeys to Sattva Sanctuary to better investigate the UFO phenomenon regularly occurring there, and better substantiate the veracity of the UFOs powering up and possibly communicating.

Finally, my discovery of Sattva Sanctuary as a model Galactic Peace Sanctuary was the most gratifying aspect of my visit. Sattva Sanctuary provides great hope and inspiration that other protected sacred spaces can be established on other parts of the planet. It is my hope that a Galactic Peace Sanctuary can be established on the Big Island of Hawaii long known for its spirit of aloha and currently my home.