Covert Encounters in Washington, DC
by Robert M. Stanley
DC UFO REPORTS #791 - 793: December 27, 2008
Fourteen days later, a DC resident witnessed a multi-colored,
"star-like" UFO move across the night sky after hovering for 10
minutes or more. That same night, another covert encounter took
place in DC. Before reading the next report, please answer the
If you were taking pictures at the Potomac River and
accidentally captured images of unknown lights moving just under
the surface of the water, next to very expensive yachts docked
in a harbor near the Pentagon, would you report it to the local
If you did report the event, how would you feel if the
authorities investigated you instead of the unidentified,
submerged lights documented in your photographs?
Well, that's exactly what happened to a DC resident named Wilbur
Allen: a professional photographer and broadcast engineer that
has worked for the DC Mayor's Office and for ABC News at the
White House and U.S. Capitol.
On December 27, 2008, Mr. Allen
was working a freelance assignment at the Zanzibar Club located
at the SW Waterfront in DC. While taking a break at 9:20 p.m.,
he stepped outside of the club and took a series of photographs
of the yachts moored in the cold, dark water of the Potomac
He didn't notice anything unusual at the time, but during a
rapid-fire sequence of the motor drive on his Nikon D700, he
captured six high-resolution images of two unidentified lights
just under the dark, shallow, river water that he was able to
later animate and analyze. Upon further analysis, he realized
that he had also taken a series of other photos five minutes
later, in the same location, that night.
Those images showed a
glowing UFO slowly ascending in the night sky, near the SW
harbor. It is presumed to be one of the UFOs that had been
previously submerged in the Potomac River.
Coming from a
multi-generation military family that worked for the Pentagon,
Mr. Allen decided to report the strange event, and his photos,
to the DC Police. In the process, the police dispatcher
connected him with the DC River Police unit.
According to Mr. Allen,
"I was told by the officer on the phone
that he dives in that water. He said it was not deep enough to
support submersibles and that the water was incapable of
registering light due to sediment and other residual elements
that make it impossible to see through or project light?
then told that I had photographed lights reflecting from the
Virginia side of the river, approximately 1,500 meters away,
which is impossible!"
Concerned that no police action was being
taken, Mr. Allen followed up by sending his report and photos to
the current DC Police Chief, Cathy Lanier, (an old acquaintance
of Mr. Allen).
For some reason, Chief Lanier responded by sending two mental
health specialists to Mr. Allen's home to investigate him?
However, Mr. Allen was initially unaware of what was really
happening. He was under the impression that the people sent to
interview him at his home were actually DC police detectives.
That is why, when they arrived, he showed them his photos of the
two unidentified submerged objects in the river. Later, the two
individuals explained they were with the Department of Mental
Health, and it became clear the real reason for their visit.
Shocked by the turn of events, Mr. Allen then provided the two
government employees with proof that he had worked for ABC News
at the White House, Air Force One and the U.S. Capitol and was
not mentally disturbed. In fact, this was not the first time Mr.
Allen had contacted local law enforcement regarding pictures he
inadvertently took of UFOs in DC.
In 2002, during the July
Fourth celebration, Mr. Allen was on assignment for the city of
Washington, D.C., taking night-time images of the fireworks
display at the National Mall.
That night, UFOs passing over DC were accidentally captured on
35mm film by Mr. Allen. Exactly twelve nights later, it happened
again in an even more dramatic display.
While shooting an album
cover in front of the U.S. Capitol reflecting pool on July 16,
around 12:30 a.m., Mr. Allen captured a series of amazing images
of UFOs over the Capitol. One brightly glowing object had landed
briefly on the roof of the Capitol. Another, disk-shaped craft
passed just above the Reflecting Pool. Incredible as it seems,
at that time, one of the smaller, glowing objects entered the
These events were captured on 35mm film, which was
independently analyzed and found to be authentic and
Soon after developing the film and printing the images, Mr.
Allen went to the Capitol Police and filed a report with their
detective division. He provided copies of the night-time images
to the officers and an investigation was conducted. Over the
course of time, Mr. Allen kept in communication with the Capitol
Police regarding his photographic evidence of UFOs in the DC
They were grateful for his help and granted him the
necessary permits to set up his tripod and camera equipment on
Capitol grounds; day or night.
In part, that is why Mr. Allen had decided to contact the
Washington, D.C., Police Department soon after taking images of
UFOs in the Potomac River, near the Pentagon.
He felt there was
a security risk to the immediate area. However, after the mental
health specialists were briefed by Mr. Allen about the validity
of his photographic evidence and its national security
implications, one of the specialists, a woman named Teresa
Gibbs, advised him to directly contact her with any future UFO
information and not to bother Chief Lanier.
This seemed extremely odd to Mr. Allen and myself. What exactly
was the Department of Mental Health planning on doing with UFO
data? We began wondering if everyone in DC that reported UFO
activity to the police department was being visited by mental
health specialists? Or, were the "specialists" only sent to
interrogate people that had taken photos of unidentified objects
in DC and tried to report it?
At this point, I wanted to get some lawyers involved to help get
an explanation on the record, but Mr. Allen was still very upset
and was unwilling to wait for an official answer. Instead, Mr.
Allen sent a complaint directly to Chief Lanier's boss at that
time: former Mayor of DC, Adrian Fenty.
In part, Mr. Allen
"The Chief did not follow or implement proper procedural
protocols in investigating a legitimate police report. I am a
multi-generation DC resident and former contractor to ABC News
for the White House and Air Force One. I am an expert in my
field, and a Howard University graduate.
"I am insulted and hurt that this report was taken incorrectly
and lightly, regardless of the authentic, forensic documentation
in high definition. I also take great offense to the fact that
these two mental case workers attempted to assess my mental,
physiological and intellectual abilities.
What should have been
a legitimate police investigation was no more than an assessment
of me and not of what I photographed. It is not in my nature to
commit fraud by filing fictitious reports to the police and have
never done so. I reported what I saw and expertly photographed
in the Potomac River.
"Chief Lanier's response to my report, without looking at the
forensic data, was to send DC Mental Health workers instead of
Police Officers. Is that the correct procedure? I am furious and
totally insulted by Chief Lanier's actions!
She needs to explain
her actions and apologize for sending mental health workers to
do a police investigation."
This event with Mr. Allen has major implications for law
enforcement in Washington, D.C., and the civil rights of all
Americans. To place his report of underwater UFOs in DC into
context, I am closing this chapter with the following, related
DC UFO/USO REPORT #794: September 26, 2005
A DC resident witnessed a UFO hovering directly over the Potomac
River before shooting straight up and out of sight in an
UFOs seem to be attracted to the Potomac River and have
been sighted in the water there possibly to access a covert
entrance to an underground base, or to gain access to the vast
underground sewer and security tunnel network for DC.
DC UFO/USO REPORT #795: November 21, 2003
Just how seriously does the U.S. military regard the issue of
underwater UFOs (aka
According to a military insider,
was just watching a TV show on USOs, and it remained me of
something I know, but have never told anyone.
I am not sure if I
should report this, but somehow it seems like the right thing to
do. I was called back to active duty for the Iraq war. I was
working in Washington, D.C., in a very secure room.
I had two
computers; one to use like everyone else does and another secret
computer. One day in 2003, around 4:00 p.m., someone told us to
go to a page on the secret computer and see what was going on.
It was a report of an event that was going on right then. I am
not sure, but I think the aircraft involved was a C-141 or some
kind of military cargo plane.
The aircraft was off the cost of
Florida when the pilots reported seeing a UFO come up out of the
water and fly off.
"For a few minutes, they were tracking it, and it was flying at
about 60,000 feet and was traveling at a speed of around 4,000
miles-per-hour. We scrambled F-16's jets from Chicago to be in
front of it, but somewhere near South Bend, Indiana it just went
off the radar.
That was the end of that, and I didn't think
anything more about it that day. But the next day, we had some
people come into out area and clean the information about what
had happened off all the computers that had been used in our
"Where I work, we had access to everything that was going on in
the war and gave briefings to the White House, and no one had
ever cleaned any information off our computers before or after
that. We had access to almost anything we wanted. I have signed
a non-disclosure form, and it is good for 75 years, so I can't
afford for anyone to know who I really am.
DC UFO/USO REPORT #796: 1965 or 1966
According to a witness,
"I had a UFO sighting on the Potomac
River in Washington, D.C. At that time, I observed a red orb of
light traveling up the Potomac River at a fantastic speed. This
orb looked about like an LED light and seemed quite small. It
skimmed just above the surface of the water."
DC UFO/USO REPORT #797: 1966
Around 11:00 p.m., another UFO was sighted over the Potomac
River near the White House.
According to one of the witnesses,
"My wife and I were on the GW parkway which runs along the
Potomac River when I looked over and noticed a strange-orange
light moving in the same direction at about the same speed as I
was; about 40 miles-per-hour. I drove beside it for about a mile
before I decided to speed up to get ahead of it, so I could pull
off at an overlook a couple of miles with at least a 100 foot
"As I pulled over and jumped out, I yelled to my wife to get out
and see, but she wanted nothing to do with it. By this time, the
UFO had caught up to our position. I was at the same elevation
as the UFO. It looked like it was over the middle of the river.
It did not look like a solid object. It was just a dull glow of
light that was about five to eight feet in diameter.
continued up the river until it was out of sight.
"I looked for information about it in the newspaper. I don't
recall which newspaper it was, but at that time there were three
papers in Washington, D.C. The Post, The Star and The News. The
story said that there had been reports from both sides of the
Potomac River of an orange light being sighted. The report
stated that the FAA had claimed it was just testing a new
"I found that very hard to believe. I had just spent three years
in the Army working on helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. At
that time, there was only one fixed-wing airplane that could fly
at 40 miles-per-hour and it was made by the Rockwell Co. in
Rockville, Maryland, 12 miles up the river, and it had a 500
horsepower, unmuffled engine that can be heard for 10 miles
Rotary winged aircraft can be heard for three to five
miles over the river. The "navigation" light made no noise.
Apparently, the FAA was testing a light on a silent craft, the
likes of which is not known to this day."