It's common knowledge that the Republic of Cascadia was home to the first modern sightings of paraterrestrial craft, colloquially known as UFOs. Although the 1947 sighting of "flying saucers" near Mount Rainier is the most famous, that was actually the second sighting following an incident three days earlier on Maury Island that also marked the operational debut of the Men in Black.
Not as commonly known though is that Cascadia was home to some of the first sightings of Unidentified Flying Humanoids (UFHs) -- mysterious individuals employing personal flying devices of unknown technology toward inscrutable ends.
It all started with a curious encounter on Jan. 6, 1948 by Chehalis, Washington resident Bernice Zaikowski (reported here from the Jan. 21 Walla Walla Union-Bulletin):
Chehalis Woman Sees 'Birdman,' Hears Whizzing
CHEHALIS, (UP)—They are seeing things in the skies in these parts again—this time a "whosit-whatzit."
Mrs. Bernice Zaikowski, 61, reported a "birdman" flipping around the roof of her barn earlier this month, could hear a "sizzing and whizzing" and added—"there he was, just 200 feet above."
She said the man had silver wings and appeared to manipulate controls strapped to his chest but there appeared to be no motive power. The wings didn't flap and there was no propeller, she said.
Chief of Police Thomas Murry has refused to investigate and McChord field army authorities, thinking of the flying saucers reports, are skeptical.
Only Mrs. Zaikowski is positive.
Here's another report with more details from the Jan. 21 Waterloo Daily Courier (I haven't been able to uncover a local report or the original UP wire report that these are presumably based on):
Saucer District Now Reporting Wings on Men
Chehalis, Wash.—(U.P.)—The state of Washington, where the first flying saucers were reported, outdid itself Wednesday.
A women reported that she had sighted a "flying man."
Mrs. Bernice Zaikowski of Chehalis said she saw a man with wings attached to his back fly over her barn at an altitude of 200 feet and disappear to the south.
Mrs. Zaikowski said the upright birdman made a "sizzing and whizzing" noise as he climbed and banked in flight, but that his wings neither flapped nor rotated.
She said she could see no motive power such as a propeller either above or in front of him.
Authorities greeted the report with an oblique "Huh?"
But the Polish-born Mrs. Zaikowski insisted she had a good view of the aerialist as he skimmed her barn on Jan. 6.
She said that some school children were with her at the time and ran to the back yard "for a better view."
Chehalis is not for from where the original "flying saucers" were reported about a year ago.
Three months later, more birdmen were reported over Longview, in the direction the previous birdman was seen heading. Report from the April 11 Fresno Bee Republican:
Reports Of Birdmen Have Washington Folks Up In Air
LONGVIEW (Wash.), April 10.—(INS)—Reports of three motorized birdmen soaring over Longview had the lower Columbia River area agog today.
Two laundry employes said they saw the human airplanes or animated comic strip characters fly over the city without the help of parachutes. In January a similar birdman, singular then, had been reported at Chehalis, Wash.
The Longview apparition was reported by Mrs. Viola Johnson and James Pittman. They said they saw it at the same time.
Mrs. Johnson, a 56 year old widow, said:
"As far as I can judge they were about 250 feet high, in dark, drab flying suits. I'm not very good at judging distance though."
Pittman could not be reached.
Mrs. Johnson went on:
"They had some kind of apparatus on their sides that looked like guns but I know it couldn't have been guns. They were going about as fast as a freight train.
"I couldn't see any propellers or any motors tied on them but I could hear motors which sounded about like airplane motors but not so loud."
The Chehalis report was made by Mrs. Bernice Zaikowski, 61, who said she saw a flying man go "sizzing and whizzing" about 200 feet above her barn.
Mrs. Zaikowski's flying man had big, silver wings and seemed to be working controls on his chest. Neither woman saw a propeller.
Given the timing and direction of their movements, a reasonable conclusion would be that these birdmen were passengers of the paraterrestrial crafts that made their initial incursions into our space/time at Maury Island and Mt. Rainier. However, while it's tempting to assume paraterrestrial, or at the very least the NWO, involvement in these incidents, especially considering the technology involved, this conclusion isn't certain.
Individuals seemingly unaligned with the major powers of the time who use advanced technology to move about are not unheard of. Perhaps the most famous example of this phenomena was Spring-Heeled Jack, a man who gripped Victorian London in a panic over his use of regenerative gait-enhancement technology to escape the repercussions of his mischief by leaping like an oversized flea. Spring-Heeled Jack and the Cascadian birdmen may have simply been their times' versions of hyperinventor John Quincy St. Clair, who is known to teleport himself over distances through hyperspace, sometimes by accident.