Watching UFOs with James Gilliland


By Wade Frazier

March 2019, originally published in June 2005

March 2019 Update

2005 Visit

2006 Visit

2007 Visit

2015 Visit

March 2019 Update

This is the first update to this essay since 2008, and this section will discuss the UFO issue and events at James Gilliland’s ranch (the “Ranch”).  I visited the Ranch with a pupil in 2015 and once again saw something unusual, which was similar to the event that I saw in 2005.  I was a guest on James’s radio show As You Wish in 2011, as I recall.  This section will present my views on the issues that visiting the Ranch brings up. 

Below is an image from footage taken in daylight at the Ranch, and clicking on the image takes you to the original footage at YouTube. 

Here is a link to footage taken only a few weeks before I wrote this essay update (I published this update on March 31, 2019, and the footage is from March 10, 2019), and you can see a UFO turning in the sky at night.  The standard replies from “skeptics,” debunkers, and the like are that such footage is either faked or merely shows normal satellites passing over the Ranch, and when they “light up,” they are simply reflecting sunlight off of them.  Such reasoning is invalid for dismissing all of the events.  Yes, satellites can reflect sunlight and “light up,” but they can’t make turns, they can’t fly low over the Ranch in daylight, they can’t be stationary, and they can’t land on Mount Adams.  In each of my visits, I saw something that mundane explanations either could not account for or attempts to explain what I saw with mundane explanations suffered from reasoning that was so strained as to be nonsensical.  I have seen debunkers invoke several rare mundane phenomena that converged in a grand coincidence, to create the illusion of encounters with intelligently piloted craft.  Such post hoc explanations are a “skeptical” specialty and can become laughable to those who were there.

The Ranch is in a rustic setting, people come from all over the world to view the shows at the Ranch, and anybody who wants can set up recording equipment, as innumerable scientists and investigators have.  Any suggestions of faked or altered footage can easily be dismissed as fraudulent or wishful thinking.  Just what the footage shows is subject to interpretation, and I have kept a critical mind when considering what I witnessed, or the hundreds of images and videos that I have seen from the Ranch over the years.

I remain skeptical of the “orbs” images and footage.  I think that they could well be artifacts of digital cameras.  I remain skeptical of James’s “channelings” that Earth is hollow.  I keep an open mind on just who might be behind those UFOs.  Are they “ours,” or are they visitors from other star systems or dimensions?  I don’t know, but I give great weight to James’s reporting of his experiences.  I have heard a great deal from James that was mind-boggling in its implications, and I don’t take any of it lightly.  When James discussed his free energy adventures with a scientist-inventor named Max, it rang very true to me, as I had very similar experiences, as have my fellow travelers.  When James told me of his encounters with a Bigfoot and a negative alien, I took it and continue to take it very seriously. 

Also, however, I have strong doubts about many in the UFO milieu, who shall go nameless on my site, and some have been associated with James.  Steven Greer’s Disclosure Project is genuine.  One aspect of Greer’s work that gave it credibility with me was when I saw his witnesses describing technologies that a close friend had demonstrated to him several years previously.  That friend does not even believe in extraterrestrials (“ETs”), but what he described to me was identical to what I later saw Disclosure Project witnesses describing.  When I told my astronaut pal, Brian O’Leary, about my friend’s little show, he was not even surprised, and his life was shortened, courtesy of the American military, when he began snooping into the UFO issue.  I became Brian’s biographer, and he was a prominent member of Greer’s efforts, as was Ed Mitchell

That said, many in the UFO milieu spin grand yarns with no supporting evidence.  For more than 20 years, I have received breathless announcements that the ET presence will be officially acknowledged in mere days, and the “good guys” will give everybody heaps of money as we are all ushered to the next Epoch.  I have received at least 50 such announcements over the years.  It has been like a broken record, and even some of the language was identical for each new announcement.  Some public figures do nothing but tell involved conspiratorial tales, but virtually none of it can be subjected to independent verification, and when those in the field with my respect weigh in on those subjects, such conspiratorial stories collapse.  But the very next day, new stories are spun by those very same people, and there is an avid audience of New Age conspiracists who lap it up.  There are conspiracies afoot, and many with global significance.  I’ll never deny that, but the vast majority of conspiracist fare on the Internet and elsewhere is delusional or fraudulent.  It pays to be highly skeptical of all such material, but true skepticism means getting out of one’s armchair and finding out for one’s self.  That takes a little initiative. 

However, I consider organized skepticism to be a criminal enterprise, for good reason.  I have been immersed in the exotic technology and UFO milieus for many years, my work has been subjected to the “best” of the debunkers, and their incompetence and/or dishonesty was amazing to witness at first, but now I expect it from them. 

Seeking the truth in our world can be like walking the razor’s edge, but I’ll always take James’s work and events at the Ranch seriously. 

2005 Visit

In 2003, a friend in the new energy field told me that his introduction to paranormal phenomena was watching UFOs with James Gilliland near Mount Adams in Washington State.  In early 2004, a friend who works at Boeing suggested that we go watch UFOs at James Gilliland’s ranch.  In June 2005, I finally went there to see for myself.  I had never seen a UFO and had never tried.  I know many people who claimed to have seen UFOs, and seeing one had long been on my list of things to do.  When my Boeing friend arranged a trip to Gilliland’s ranch, I was ready to go. 

James’s website is here.  We met James at the Ranch on June 4th, 2005.  He was the perfect host, spending several hours talking with us and offering to let us spend the night at the Ranch, which we did.  James is very mild mannered, particularly when considering the wide range of intense and controversial topics that we discussed (such as the coming earth changes, political skullduggery in elite circles, close encounters with a Bigfoot and other creatures, free energy, etc.).  The Ranch has a spectacular view of Mount Adams.  The below photograph is from his “backyard,” a few yards from his house, where people gather from all over the world to watch UFOs.  

gil1.jpg (286038 bytes)Click on image to enlarge

Thousands of people have witnessed UFOs at the Ranch.  James has published many testimonials from visitors, and has had numerous visitors from the USA’s military, the CIA, NASA, and other alphabet soup agencies.  He has had Special Forces operatives visit him, as well as people who said that they worked on captured ET craft, to reverse-engineer their technology.  I have independently encountered that phenomenon.  As is evident from the testimonials, a common incident is a UFO “powering up” and becoming very bright in the sky.  If UFOs fly close to the Ranch or land on Mount Adams, the American military and related organizations can be counted on to chase or attack them, sometimes shooting exotic weapons, such as lasers and plasma weapons (which do not seem to affect the craft).  Operatives from the spook world have watched those UFOs “power up” above the Ranch, and said that nothing that “we have” can do that. 

While we talked with James on that Saturday afternoon, airplanes flew by in an endless procession, leaving heavy contrails that James and others call “chemtrails.”  In the photograph above, all the high “cirrus” clouds are those heavy contrails left by jets.  The photograph below shows those “chemtrails” in more detail. 


gil2.jpg (256711 bytes)Click on image to enlarge

Chemtrails are controversial.  Investigators have collected samples of chemtrails for analysis, which U.S. government agencies such as the EPA have refused to test.  James told us that a member of U.S. Congress had recently tried opening an investigation of them, and was advised by a high-ranking military official that if she valued her career and her family’s health, she should cease her investigation (which she did).  That kind of threat is not unusual, where the military is concerned.  If chemtrails are a genuine covert action phenomenon, I doubt that the motivation behind chemtrails is benevolent.  The military and related attention to the Mount Adams area likely has nothing to do with the “threat” that UFOs pose to humanity, but the “threat” that they pose to the world’s power structure.  All the attacks and other games are most likely not to keep humans safe from ETs, but to keep ETs from openly interacting with humans, in alignment with the Brookings Institute’s advice to NASA many years ago.  James has endured great harassment from the people trying to remove UFOs from public awareness. 

By that evening, those contrails had blown away and the sky was clear.  James said that the best time for viewing UFOs was between 10:30 and 11:30 at night, or at about 5:00 in the morning.  We went to dinner and arrived back at the ranch at about 10:00 PM.  At 10:00 PM, Mount Adams was in twilight, and by 10:30 the sky was about as dark as it gets in the summer.  There was no almost moonlight that evening

About 15 people watched the sky at the Ranch that night.  We watched one satellite make about a 30-degree turn as it changed course from moving in a northwesterly direction to moving due north as it passed over Mount Adams (at least from our perspective), although satellites are hundreds of miles away in the sky.  One veteran sky watcher said that normal satellites cannot make a turn like that, as he watched it make that turn.  It was interesting but not spectacular.  A few other anomalous “satellites” were seen that evening.

At about 11:00 PM, James decided to “call” a UFO and began flashing his ten-million-candlepower spotlight into the sky.  He later said that he also prayed for one to make its presence known as he flashed his spotlight.  James said that they respond to heartfelt human desire to see one, and they respond best to a joyful attitude.  He said that the dour, stern UFO “nuts and bolts” investigators do not have the right attitude to go UFO hunting.  Somebody said that afternoon that the “permanent scowl” that UFO investigator Phil Klass wore defeated him before he even began, and that is giving Klass the benefit of the doubt that he was not working on behalf of the power structure as a UFO debunker, and I have seen plenty of evidence that he was, such as boasting of his NSA and CIA connections to a UFO investigator, as an obvious attempt at intimidation.

Within a couple of minutes after James began flashing his spotlight, it happened.  One innocuous “satellite” that was passing slowly south, to the east of Mount Adams, suddenly “powered on.”  James called it out to us about a second after the display began.  For about five seconds, it was the brightest thing in the sky, by far.  Think of Venus-times-10 in brightness, and you get an idea of what we saw (one of my Boeing pals called it “Mars-times-50”).  After about five seconds of brilliance, it powered down and became just one more “satellite” trailing across the night sky.  I had seen my UFO.  There was no doubt among any of us regarding what we had seen, and some were very experienced at watching satellites and other lights in the sky.  One witness that night was a retired Air Force captain, who wrote of his experience on the Internet, but it is has since disappeared.  He wrote that his “subjective” experience of the event was kind of disorienting and overwhelming. 

Being ready to film a UFO “powering on” for a few seconds is not an easy trick, and we did not film it.  However, James has published many photographs on his website, and has published DVDs with footage and photographs taken over the years.  James said that the psychic abilities that he has developed over the years (beginning with his near-death experience) allows him to anticipate when they appear, so he is often ready with his camera. 

Below is a frame from a video that James took of a UFO lighting up, which is almost exactly what we saw, sans the “Star of David” effect (the image below also links to the clip – if it does not play directly, save the file locally and then play it).  We received a fairly typical show.  Other clips can be seen on James’s site.[1]  In the years since our sighting and my presentation of James’s clip of an almost identical sighting, I have been amazed at how people have misrepresented what the clip depicts or why I even present it; and I also heard from people who seemed to want to understand but did not comprehend what they were seeing.  In August 2008, I added this footnote, with a diagram, to provide more context.[2]

Click on image to play video clip

I have directed people to the Ranch since our 2005 sighting, and although what we saw was relatively standard, it was apparently better than average.  When we returned in 2006, our 2005 sighting was remarkable enough that James recalled it, calling it a show put on by the “big ships.”  Big ship displays are fairly common at the Ranch, but ours was impressive enough that my Boeing pals talked about it with Art Bell on the Coast to Coast show the next year.  One Boeing pal told me that he was in a daze during the week after seeing that UFO light up above Mount Adams.  His universe of the possible greatly expanded after that experience. 

When my friend who first told me about Gilliland’s sightings read the first draft of this essay, he wrote:


“Read your report.  Glad you got to see something.  It's always fun to witness one of those craft power up and become bright like that.  One time, after getting bright, an object changed colors several times and then changed shapes before powering down and zooming away.  Pretty remarkable.”


Many in the UFO field have called James a fraud, which is a typical situation encountered in these realms of investigation (the human ego is nearly always the culprit).  James’s response has always been: “Come to my ranch and see for yourself.”  People rarely go away disappointed, and generally, those who refuse to visit and see for themselves are those who openly disparage or dismiss James’s work and what happens at the Ranch. 

2006 Visit

Nine of us visited James on June 2, 2006.  James was once again a very gracious host.  One Boeing pal brought his wife, and the rest were my friends.  We had partly clear sky on June 2.  As with our 2005 visit, many “satellites” crossed the sky that evening.  I began developing a trained eye for observing their behavior, and several made turns while crossing the sky, which normal satellites cannot do.  In the dark, in the middle of a field, if somebody said, “look there!” few could see where they were pointing.  James taught us to call out coordinates, such as an object’s relationship to the Big Dipper and the compass points (i.e., north, south, east, west), so people could direct others to what they were seeing, particularly when people had to look quickly or miss the event. 

As with 2005, one UFO “powered up” above us, but the 2006 experience was frustrating.  It again happened at about 11:00 PM.  In 2005, I saw the UFO powering up and James pointed to it with his flashlight as the event began.  The 2005 event stunned everybody who was there (except those who had seen such spectacles previously).  In 2006, of the dozen who were watching, only James and I saw it. 

In our 2005 sighting, the UFO powered up to the northeast of Mount Adams, at about a 30-degree angle to the ground.  In 2006, the UFO powered up to the northwest of Mount Adams, and at about a 70-degree angle to the ground.  Neither James nor I saw it power up, but we saw it after it became bright.  That night was a half moon (first quarter) in the southeast, and the brightest star was to the south (Jupiter, I believe).  At about 11:00 PM, I suddenly became aware of a very bright star.  This year’s UFO seemed about two-to-five times the brightness of Jupiter.  It was definitely the brightest “star” in the sky, but was not moving as the 2005 UFO did; it stood still.  For about two seconds, my mind pondered that star’s brightness and position (near the Big Dipper).  I did not want to cry wolf for a normal star, but my mind raced as I considered if it might be a UFO.  After about three seconds, I realized that no star in the sky had been that bright, particularly near the Big Dipper, and James and I called out at about the same time.  About a second later, the “star” completely disappeared.  James and I saw it probably a second after it had powered up; it went dark a second after we called out, and nobody else saw it.  It was another five-second event.

I coordinated the 2006 trip.  One friend flew from California to see it, and my hesitation meant that my friends did not witness the main event.  We stayed for the next night, but were rained out.  One veteran sky watcher said he was convinced that more than satellites crossed the sky that night, and early in the night he saw a strange flash.  Even so, I returned to Seattle with a keen sense of frustration.  I dragged my friends along so they could experience the awe of watching a UFO make a display, and only I saw the big show.  I wonder if my ET pals influenced that situation.  James voiced the same suspicion, but also playfully joked that I was his confederate in calling out a UFO that nobody could “see” but us two.  As I watched that UFO light up the sky, it felt as if I was being subtly prevented from calling out in time.  That is not a product of fermented frustration, but immediately after I called out and the UFO went dark, I wondered why I had not called out sooner, even though my hesitation was no more than two seconds. 

2007 Visit

For 2007, I wanted to treat my friends to the show they missed in 2006, and six of us went, including one of my Boeing pals.  The results were mixed, once again.  We went on Labor Day weekend, watching the sky at James’s place on September 1 and 2, 2007.  Afterward, I led a backpack at nearby Indian Heaven Wilderness (which was a very nice trip).  It was a bit crowded at James’ place that weekend, which was typical, I suppose, for a holiday weekend.  Other Boeing personnel were there that weekend, of perhaps forty people who attended over both nights, with a fair number of them sleeping in tents.  The very first night, within an hour after sundown, we saw a spectacular flash by a satellite due north of us.  It did not look much different from what we saw in 2005, but seconds after it happened, James’s assistant informed us that it was an iridium flare of a normal satellite.  James and crew are aware of the official satellite activity by referring to, and can distinguish the official activity from the non-official.  James says that the “unofficial” activity in the sky above his ranch is several times greater than the official activity.  The next night, the same flare happened in the same place in the sky at the same time, right on schedule. 

We did not see any “unofficial” satellites “light up” for us that weekend, although we did get a show of one of the most persistent sightings at the Ranch.  There was a bright light, flashing on and off, on the cliffs of Mount Adams, for the duration of the two hours that we watched that first night.  There is not supposed to be anything on the mountainside, which is all glacier and cliff, but the light did not seem to move, and flashed intermittently, quite brightly, that evening.  We all watched the peculiar flashes through high-powered binoculars that my Boeing pal brought.  James has taken high-powered lights onto the mountainside where the flashes occur, and by using cell phones to coordinate the activity, he has tried to reproduce those flashing lights on Mount Adams.  The people at the Ranch, 13 miles away, could not even see the light that James was flashing at them.  James also has footage of military planes chasing those flashing lights.  The lights easily elude the military planes, either by disappearing or flying off faster than the planes can.  The “flash” on Mount Adams is common footage today.

Technology improved at the Ranch since our first visit.  Where James flashed a flashlight into the sky in 2005 and 2006, in 2007 they were using laser pointers - a $500 piece of equipment.  It made it easy to see what they were pointing at.  James pointed to where the most “power-up” activity takes place, and he pointed exactly to where we got our show in 2005.  Below is a picture taken from the Ranch, and I have added information to it, to document what I saw, in what year.  The last night at the Ranch, we did not see anything that qualified as unusual, making it the only night out of four that I have not seen something strange. 

adams07.jpg (164232 bytes)Click on image to enlarge

2015 Visit

In June 2015, I brought a pupil to the Ranch, and afterward we made an overnight backpack into the Goat Rocks Wilderness, which was a spectacular little trip.  The Ranch trip was more for my pupil’s benefit than mine.  I did not spend much time watching the sky that night, but when I did, I saw what seemed to be a swarm of “satellites,” and one “went off” in similar fashion to the 2005 event.  Did we just see a normal satellite flash in 2005?  I doubt it.  In about a dozen hours of watching the sky over the Ranch, one “went off” about a minute after James tried to call one, which was the only time that he did that when I was there.  Maybe it was the “coincidence” of my life, but I doubt it.  When I hung out over the years, hearing stories of the craft interacting with the minds of the viewers was common. 

One man who lived at the Ranch, and was there for my visits in 2006 and 2007, said that one day, a craft was visible in daylight.  While watching it, he remarked to a friend that wouldn’t it be neat if he could make a gesture and have the craft mimic it.  As he said that, he held up his fist and rocked it from side-to-side.  As he rocked his fist, the craft rocked in the same way.  He did not tell it in a dramatic way, but just as a little anecdote of what living at the Ranch was like, and to demonstrate the ETs’ gentle sense of humor.  I heard plenty of stories like that over the years, similar to when I swam with wild dolphins in 2010 and hung out with the dolphin crowd.  Those stories just come with the territory, but if I had not had my own spectacular encounters, I wonder how seriously I would have taken those accounts.  As a channeled entity once told me, experience is the only teacher. 

During each visit, I have had a show of something difficult to credit to mundane explanations, but if I ever get a better show than the first night that I visited, that will really be something. 



[1] Well meaning people have challenged the validity of what we saw.  I will answer some of those questions here. 


People have proposed that those “satellites” “powering on” are something more mundane than UFOs responding to James’s request for them to light up.  On one of James’s videos, a TV news report is produced where a scientist says that the people at the Ranch are really seeing satellites and other human-launched space hardware.  Nobody who has been to the Ranch buys that explanation, and “explanations” like that detract from the armchair “skeptics’” credibility with those who investigate the paranormal.  No acknowledged satellite can radically change direction and velocity, or change shape and color, or land on Mount Adams.  That 2005 “power-up” display I highly doubt was some trick where James knew an “iridium flare” was about to appear, and he gulled us with acting like he could summon a “UFO.”  Another proposed explanation was that the spotlight that James used to “call” the UFO is what lit it up.  If it was a real satellite, it was at least a hundred miles away in orbit.  James’s spotlight could light up trees a few hundred yards away.  There is a big difference between hundreds of yards and a hundred miles, and James was not flashing his spotlight on the UFO when it lit up. 

Others have wondered if James was playing some kind of high tech trick on the people at the Ranch.  We stood out in the middle of a field many miles from the nearest city, watching the night sky, and a “satellite” became brilliantly illuminated for a few seconds, within a couple minutes of James trying to call one.  You can’t fake a “satellite” suddenly becoming the brightest thing the sky.  I know of no earthly technology that could accomplish that, much less doing it in a field next to a collection of modest dwellings in the middle of nowhere. 

At this time, I lean toward believing that the “orbs” that James and others have photographed are mundane anomalies relating to digital cameras, although he showed us numerous anomalous photographs that could not be explained as artifacts of digital photography, such as a ghost whose face was recognizable as the person who died in the home the ghost appeared in, and who was “hassling” the house’s current resident. 

No mundane explanations proposed for our UFO sighting have held any water so far, and when I watched James attempt to attract a UFO, and watched one “power up” a couple of minutes later, nobody will ever “explain it away” to me.  Many years ago I had undeniable proof that all people are inherently psychic, and subsequently learned that a person with experience is not at the mercy of a person with a theory. 


[2] James recorded that footage early one morning, before dawn, when a voice in his head woke him and told him to go outside with his video camera.  He used a cheap, handheld video camera, so the footage is shaky, which is typical.  Below is a diagram I made of that footage.

ufoclip.jpg (68334 bytes)Click on image to enlarge

Many have complained that it was not a Spielberg-quality clip, likening it to shaky and probably-faked Bigfoot footage.  That is a fallacious argument.  There is no alleged Bigfoot footage where visitors can go see the Bigfoot return each day where the footage was taken.  Even if it was Spielberg-quality footage, it would not mean anything.  Footage is easily faked.  Debate and image analysis are meaningless when somebody can go see the show for themselves.  Seeing it for one’s self is how knowledge is gained.  Presenting the footage only shows people what they can see if they go see for themselves.  For those who seek the truth and have doubt, they either remain quiet or go see for themselves.  Disparaging the clip is a trolling tactic.  Anybody sincerely seeking to witness such a show can easily achieve it at the Ranch. 


In my initial inexperience with such sightings, I believed that what we saw was typical, because we saw it the first night about a minute after James tried to elicit a display from the ETs.  I now know that our show was better than average, but it is not that unusual at the Ranch, and there have also been far better sightings.  The first three nights I tried seeing something at the Ranch, in 2005, 2006 and 2007, I saw something with no mundane explanation, and the first experience knocked those watching it back on their heels.  The Boeing pal most blown away by the first year’s sighting has returned with me each year.  The only night I did not see something was the last night in 2007.  That night was on Labor Day weekend, and when we showed up, a radio personality was loudly “holding court.”  A person I brought from thousands of miles away immediately fled the scene as that radio personality’s ego began cranking into high gear.  He yelled at passing satellites to display their “white magic,” and dominated that night in the field.  I think there was too much ego there that night, and we did not see anything. 



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