The Maury Island UFO Incident (1947)

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So many incredible UFO sightings occurred throughout 1947 that it is difficult to keep up, even all these years later. In addition to the Roswell UFO crash of that year, another incident that caught many people’s attention was the Maury Island incident in the state of Washington, for a number of different reasons.

The Initial Sighting

A man by the name of Harold Dahl worked as part of a harbor patrol in Puget Sound near Seattle. From his boat, he would collect tree logs that floated on the surface of the waters in the Seattle/Tacoma area – those that had escaped the local lumber mills and drifted downstream. Allowing the logs to drift freely posed a threat to boats and ships in the area, so Dahl would collect these logs and bring them back to the lumber mills located on the shores for a nominal salvage fee.

As he was working on his patrol boat on June 21st 1947, Dahl, along with two other men, as well as his son who were all aboard, noticed six objects up in the sky at around 2pm. He described the objects as donut-shaped, each approximately 100 feet in diameter, with the center hole in each craft around 25 feet in diameter. Dahl estimated them to be hovering at around 2000 feet above his boat and made up of reflective metal. He also noticed what appeared to be rounded portholes as well as an observation window in each object. As he watched, five of the UFOs began moving in a circle around the sixth, which slowly descended towards the water, but stopped about 500 feet above the river.

Becoming apprehensive, Dahl moved his boat to shore. He then took up his camera and snapped a few photographs of the objects. He continued to monitor the UFOs as one of them dropped formation and made contact with the lower UFO, with the others still circling above. Suddenly, the center craft opened up and dropped debris onto the water and beach below. Dahl recovered some pieces of the material and found that it was a white, lightweight metal. The ship then also began dropping large amounts of black, lava-like rock. The rock was so hot that it scorched everything it touched as it hit the ground – including Dahl’s boat, his son’s arm, as well as his dog, who later died from the impact.

After the UFO had dropped its metal and rock, it rose to join the others and all six took off west, out to sea and out of view. Once gone, Dahl attempted to use his ship’s radio to call for help, but found that it did not work. After performing a quick burial for his dog, Dahl then decided to contact his boss (Fred Crisman) who was located nearby. Crisman appeared not to believe Dahl’s story at first, but assisted him in collecting some of the debris as evidence nonetheless.

Man In Black

The next day, Dahl claims he was approached by a man wearing a dark suit, who suggested the two of them have breakfast together. As they ate, the man told Dahl of what had happened the day before and warned of dire circumstances for him and his family if he dared mention it to anyone.

Dahl and his boss later met with investigators and even Kenneth Arnold, renowned from his own UFO sighting near Mt. Rainier, Washington. But as the story developed, rumors of Dahl faking the event became widespread. His story had holes and investigators claim the damage sustained to his ship did not match the type of damage that would have resulted from falling rock and metal, although further samples of it were collected for research.

The story as a whole gained significant attention, which many believe was Dahl’s ultimate goal. However, a number of people to this day believe exactly the opposite – that Dahl’s story was true and that he was made to look a liar in an effort to hide the truth. Dahl’s boss Crisman remarked later in 1950 that the event really did take place.

Regardless of what actually happened, this event is unique in that it is one of the first to reference the infamous “Men in Black” – men in dark suits and sunglasses who are supposedly from the government and attempt to cover up any significant UFO- or alien-related incident by way of egregious threats.

It is difficult to separate truth from fiction in this particular instance, because the sighting occurred during the U.S. “invasion” of 1947 – a year that yielded countless UFO sightings across the nation. In regards to that fact, it is possible that Dahl sought to exploit the public attention of such sightings at the time. However, it should be noted that the Maury Island incident took place before the hysteria surrounding the Roswell, New Mexico crash, so the story could well be genuine after all.

Discuss this post on our forum!


  1. What would be the real benefit for a person like Dahl to make up a complicated story like this?

    Also the fact that his boss years later confirmed it was true, makes sense to me.

    I am certain, Harold Dahl did see some strange things that evening.

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