Maury Island Incident Mural

In June of 1947, weeks before the infamous Roswell incident, Fred Crisman and Harold Dahl had a close encounter off the shores of Des Moines. Allegedly, a group of UFOs rained down a metallic substance on their boat, injuring one and killing Dahl’s beloved dog! Discover the art mural, commissioned by John White and created by Zach Paul,  that displays the entire event.



Watch the Seattle Southside Scenes Video on the Maury Island Incident Mural

A film by Steve Edmiston. To learn more, visit Quadrant 45.

The Maury Island Incident mural was commissioned by Burien resident John White and created by Artist Zach Paul.


Do you like unsolved mysteries? Maybe a government cover-up with an FBI agent relentlessly seeking the truth? And maybe it's a Cold War story and it goes all the way to the top? Maybe all the way to J. Edgar Hoover himself? And what if all of that, not only actually happened, but happened in connection with an infamous UFO sighting over Puget Sound?

This is Des Moines, Washington in Seattle Southside. A small town with some very big stories. When I heard this story, I just had to know more and I think you'll feel the same way. Come on.

The Maury Island incident mural isn't just a most excellent spot for a selfie, it's a Des Moines launch pad for the true story that envelops what some say is the most incredible UFO tale in history.

It's June 21, 1947 when Tacoma resident, Harold Dahl, and his son Charles and the family dog, Sparky, picked up two crewmen on the docks in Tacoma and they headed out towards Maury Island on Harold's boat, the North Queen. Harold sees six huge flying discs in the sky a hundred feet across, hollow-shaped like donuts. One of them seems to be failing. It's lower than the others. There's an explosion and all kinds of debris. It's molten like lava. It's referred to by some as slag. The dog, Sparky, is hit and killed. The North Queen is damaged. Some slag burns Charles on his arm. They're so frightened that they run the boat aground on the nearest land, the beach on Maury Island, and they hide from the raining fire beneath some cliffs until the saucers go away.

But none of that is the weird part because on the very next day a man in black confronts Harold. The man in black told Harold that he knew what Harold had seen the day before in the water and the man in black warned Harold not to tell anyone or bad things might happen. Harold's account is our first modern reference to the men in black. Think about that; the X-Files, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Yep, the Maury Island incident is where that all started; right here. But none of that is the weird part.

J Edgar Hoover is competing with the army over jurisdiction to investigate the saucer sightings. They wanted to know what people were seeing because they wanted to know if maybe, maybe the Soviets were overflying our country. The army assigns two intelligence officers, former World War II pilots to investigate Maury Island, Captain William Davidson and Lieutenant Frank Brown. On July 31st, 1947, the two intelligence officers fly to McCord field in Tacoma in an army surplus B-25 bomber that they pilot. But by this time, over a month later, just like the man in black had warned, bad things had happened to Harold.

The two intelligence officers take samples of the slag manifested as top-secret cargo and store it inside the bomber's navigator's kit. Tragically, Captain Davidson and Lieutenant Brown perish when the B-25 spontaneously and inexplicably catches fire less than one hour into the flight.

Now here is where it gets twisted. Harold is so upset about all the bad things that have happened, he decides he's going to make up a new story. He's going to tell the whole world that he made the whole thing up, that he's the biggest liar that ever lived, because he'd rather be known as a liar than face more ridicule.

That's the story. Don't know what to believe? Come to Des Moines and see for yourself.


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