true believers

Seeking UFOs From Deep Underground

Los Angeles Times
March 28, 2008
By Alex Tizon

HARRINGTON, Washington – “That door,” he says with dramatic pause. “That door weighs 4,000 pounds. It’s been reinforced to withstand a nuclear blast.”

Peter Davenport has a radio voice, the kind of exaggerated baritone that cuts through walls and most doors, but not this one. This is solid steel and a foot thick. It is Davenport’s door, which opens into a tunnel leading below ground to what was once a nuclear missile complex here in the desert of eastern Washington. The Air Force decommissioned the site in the mid-1960s and it sat empty for most of the time since. Davenport, longtime director of the National UFO Reporting Center, a nonprofit clearinghouse and 24-hour hotline for UFO sightings, bought it for $100,000 two years ago to turn into his new headquarters.

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Crashing Into A Buried Treasure: Clyde Friend Unearths a Petrified Forest

Los Angeles Times
June 28, 2007
By Alex Tizon

YAKIMA, Washington – Clyde Friend’s life changed the moment his bulldozer hit the first tree on a hot summer afternoon in 2002 as he leveled a hill behind his workshop. Chips flew everywhere, a small explosion of brown and white shards.  He hopped off the dozer to investigate. There, embedded in the hill, was a mostly intact fossilized tree trunk standing upright in solid rock. “Well, that’s different,” he recalls thinking.

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Mrs. Leu, Tear Down That Wall

Los Angeles Times
May 26, 2007
By Alex Tizon

BLAINE, Washington  – The invisible line that divides Canada and the United States runs along a shallow ditch just beyond Shirley-Ann Leu’s backyard, so close she could cross the border in a single hop.  At 72, Shirley-Ann, a retired hairdresser, shows no such inclination. But some in her care — namely 11 Pomeranians, two toy poodles and a young neighbor girl whom she baby-sits — appear to her all too eager to jump the ditch and roam wild across Canada.

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An Iraq War All His Own

Los Angeles Times
February 5, 2007
By Alex Tizon

OLYMPIA, Washington – The soldier stands in his living room eyeing all the cool soldier stuff he never got to use in a real fight. Like the helmet with not a single ding and the sleek body armor with not a scuff. The gear piles high on the carpet. First Lt. Ehren Watada is giving it all back and, out of courtesy, packing it up. The Army had treated him with the utmost respect until the moment it decided to court-martial him.

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Onward Christian Surfers

Los Angeles Times
May 31, 2006
By Alex Tizon

HONOLULU – If Jesus were alive today, he would be a surfer. He would mingle with fishermen and beach bums and lay his mat on the sand among the scantily clad. Instead of walking on water, he would ride waves on a carved piece of fiberglass, keeping an eye out for anyone who needed saving. This is what Dean Sabate and his friends believe.

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Can One Man Turn the Tide?

Los Angeles Times
October 28, 2004
By Alex Tizon

NEWTOK, Alaska – The boys hunt for mastodon bones on the tundra as the women and girls gather salmonberries from their secret spots in the hills. The men keep busy with various manly things, fishing and fixing roofs and hauling water from the community well. It’s another sunny afternoon in this Eskimo village of 340 on Alaska’s west coast, and there isn’t the slightest hint that life is approaching a cataclysmic change. In as little as 10 years, the village will be swallowed up by a torrent of water from the Ninglick River, and an ancient way of life will be erased.

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Curiosity Never Vanished

Russell and Blanche Warren disappeared in 1929, leaving two sons and a mystery. The answer would be found in Bob Caso’s binder.

Los Angeles Times
August 12, 2004
By Alex Tizon

PORT ANGELES, Washington – Bob Caso had kept the ring binder for nearly 50 years, squeezed among boxes and files. Even the dust on it had been untouched for decades. Inside were his handwritten notes of an old police case that he had stumbled upon. It was about a local couple, Russell and Blanche Warren, who vanished July 3, 1929, leaving behind two young sons. The case was never solved.
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RIP Benjamin Colgan: Fervent peace activists sort through complex emotions as they mourn a son killed in Iraq

Los Angeles Times
December 26, 2003
By Alex Tizon

KENT, Wash. – Joe Colgan glances at it almost every time he walks into his bedroom: a cardboard box sitting inconspicuously in a corner. It’s a care package he had prepared for his son Ben. Inside are items his son requested: a couple of books, pistachios, canned salmon, beef jerky and a big bag of candy from Costco. Ben liked to pass out candy to children in the street. Joe assembled the package on Nov. 1, not knowing that on the same day, 6,800 miles away in Baghdad, Ben, a second lieutenant in the Army, would be killed by a roadside bomb.

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He Let His Millions Do the Talking: Cranky Recluse’s Parting Gift Stuns Neighbors

Los Angeles Times
August 20, 2003
By Alex Tizon

MEDFORD, Oregon  –  Old Man Howard spent decades chasing children off his farm, shotgun in hand, watching little legs spin like windmills into the distance. Generations considered him the meanest man in Jackson County. But to others, Wesley Howard was simply an oddity: a loner who never married, who never left Oregon and who lived his whole life in the same place he was born, a century-old farmhouse without phones or toilets. Kids saw it as a haunted house; passersby photographed it as an artifact.

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A Heavy Purple Heart

Los Angeles Times
May 6, 2003
By Alex Tizon

JEFFERSON CITY, Montana – Sgt. Charles Horgan noticed immediately that real war happened without a soundtrack. Of course he knew this on some level but he didn’t realize how quiet it could be in the desert of southern Iraq. He couldn’t even hear the wind, standing in the turret of a Humvee with his fingers wrapped around the grips of a .50-caliber machine gun.

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