The 1976 Colusa UFO Incident

The Colusa UFO Encounter OF Bill Pecha Jr: UFOs Caused Blackout, Blinding Lights & Observed By Multiple Witnesses

Bill Pecha Jr. and his wife, who were residents of Colusa, California, claimed to have seen several flying saucers above their house in 1976. Those UFOs hovered near power wires, causing numerous electrical failures and even a blackout.

While he was watching television in his home three miles southwest of Colusa, California, Bill Pecha Jr. observed the picture tube crackle, fade, and then blackout at around 12:54 a.m. on September 10, 1976. The air conditioner went off at the same time. Pecha moved out of the home, turned to the right (south), and walked on his lawn, assuming the circuit breakers had failed. He felt the hairs on his body stand up as he stood just a few feet away from the underground connection that connected his machine shop and his home.

At this point, he was convinced that the cables were on the verge of shorting out. When he stepped away from the cable, he still had the sensation of an electric charge. His gaze was drawn upwards, where he observed a massive disc-shaped object hovering some 50 feet away. It was just above his barn’s 40-foot-high gable roof, and half of the rim appeared to be precisely above a television antenna linked to a telephone pole.

Bell Pecha Jr claimed to witness several UFOs near his home in Colusa, California in 1976
Bell Pecha Jr claimed to witness several UFOs near his home in Colusa, California in 1976

The UFO had a dome structure constructed with concave portions of vertical ribs. The dome and its base were silver-gray, and the bottom looked like porcelain, which Pecha thought might have been caused by the light. The outer rim, which turned clockwise, looked like it was made of stainless steel. A translucent shaft of grayish-white light shone from a 10-foot-wide circle in the center of the underbelly. It only descended about five or six feet before coming to an abrupt end in mid-air. On the ground, it neither shone nor reflected.

Two hook-like arms, angled inward, hung down from the UFO’s left and right sides (from Pecha’s point of view). Three “cables” appeared on either side of the central light shaft, roughly between the hooks and the light shaft. They were from six to eight feet long and two to three inches thick. In order to avoid contact with the sloping south roof of the barn, the three on the left (north) side were staggered 45 degrees over the top.

Bill Pecha Jr. moved closer to the UFO until he was barely beneath its southern edge. Based on what he described, an Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) team was able to figure out that the object was about 85 feet in diameter. Soon after, the UFO started to slowly drift westwards. When it was between 75 and 150 feet away from Pecha, the cables were pulled back. Then the hooks swiveled both upward and inward halfway. A “spotlight” lamp was revealed when two hatches on the north and south ends opened.

“The ‘spotlights’ were held out by cable-like fixtures. The spotlights came on as soon as they popped out. They emitted collimated shafts of ‘lights’ that hit the ground at about a 45-degree (outward) angle.”


Pecha ran back home to wake up his wife. When he banged on the wall, Lenda Pecha, his wife, woke up quickly, and when she looked out the dining room window, she saw a light.

It reminded me of an airplane light – like an airplane getting ready to land. Then, all of a sudden, there was light coming from underneath it, and it was shining on the ground beneath it. The frost-coloured light was in the form of a tubular cone.

Lenda Pecha

Bill Pecha Jr. observed two further UFOs over high-tension electrical power lines a mile to the west of the bedroom of their still-sleeping 10-year-old son, Chris.

“Each object was between and above two towers. The arrangement was: tower-1, UFO, tower-2, open cables, tower-3, UFO, and tower-4.

Each of these far encounter UFOs emitted two light-like beams that hit the tops of the power transmission towers each object was between. The right hand UFO’s beams were blue and all four towers were lit up in blue light. The beams were emitted upwards at 30 to 45 degrees below the horizontal. The towers held up six power lines. One or both of the highest two of these lines glowed bright red from the insulators of towers-1 and 2 out to an estimated fifty to one hundred feet on both sides of the towers, Pecha reported. (These were the same towers lit up in blue light by the UFO on the left.) The beams on towers-1 and 2 had ‘darker’ (by this Pecha said he meant brighter, or more intense) blue ‘jerky’ light streams inside them, Pecha said.

He said the ‘jerkiness’ was unlike lightning or a zig-zag and it did not seem to have a phase velocity or motion. He could not determine if the beams from the UFO on the right had these ‘jerky’ light-streams or if the power lines near towers-3 and 4 glowed red. The towers and the UFO on the right were more distant than the ones on the left. The left-hand towers were about 4,450 and 5,150 feet away (towers-1 and 2, respectively) – the lines between these towers pointed about 53 degrees off Pecha’s line of sight (so he had a good view of them). The right-hand towers were about 6,200 and 7,320 feet away (towers-3 and 4 respectively). But the lines on these latter towers are pointed only 4 1/2 degrees off Pecha’s line of sight – hence they would have been difficult to see. (The lines from towers-1 and 2 run southeast to northwest, but turn almost due west at tower-2.) Both objects appear to have had width/height ratios of about 3 (long axis horizontal). Pecha thought he spotted ‘spotlight’ fixtures on the left-hand UFO that were emitting the beams.”

APRO team’s report

Pecha ran out of her room and yelled that they had to leave or the UFO would “get” them. The first UFO was much closer when Mrs. Pecha looked out the window again. Meanwhile, from a distance of two miles away, other people were able to see the UFO as a large moving light. They could see it for about a minute and a half before it disappeared.

Colusa UFO Incident
Colusa UFO Incident

Bill Pecha Jr. watched the UFO’s progress from the window of his dining room. APRO investigators eventually determined that it was between 500 and 900 feet above ground level. As it passed over his neighbors’ house, 2500 feet away, He remembered, “This light (from the bottom center) was lowered.” It just dropped on, and it was just as bright as a flash-cube light. It was really a bright, brilliant, white light. “ Lenda Pecha’s attention wasn’t always on the object because she was worried about her husband. Because of this, she didn’t see the light drop, but she did see the light cover the house, barn, and airplane hangar of a neighbor.

Two UFOs in the distance took off at 45-degree angles, one heading south and the other north, were seen by Pecha. A reddish amber light appeared in the center of the surrounding UFO as Lenda was retrieving their daughter. There were two lights on either end of this craft, and Pecha believed they were going to be pointed at them at any moment. The UFO was now about 1000 feet away, between the Pechas’ property and that of their neighbors.

He, along with his wife and two other children, rushed for the pickup after he yanked Chris out of bed. Pecha drove at over 90 mph without lights because he was afraid the UFO would see them if he turned on the headlights. Bill Pecha Jr. stopped at the home of his longtime friends, Leslie and Gayle Arant, on the outskirts of Colusa and knocked until Mrs. Arant opened the door. Pecha yelled at her to raise her gaze to the sky. 

“Over in the west there was this large object with a white – very brilliant white – light underneath. It was dark in the middle, but you could see the outline. And it reminded you of a saucer, and the cup was turned upside down. It went from west to east.”

Mrs. Arant told this to investigators

Les Arant woke up just in time to see the UFO take off for the south. It appeared for a split second and then vanished. The incident came to an end at 1:03 a.m. Another eyewitness, who saw an orange-red light pulsing and darting toward the west, was later located by UFO reporter Bob Pratt of the National Enquirer. When she walked inside, it was going south.

It appears that the power outage and the sighting of the UFO were just a mere coincidence. Pacific Gas & Electric verified that a blackout occurred at 12:54 am. However, the power lines over which the two UFOs were spotted belonged to the federal Central Valley Project. The blackout was caused because of an overload transformer in a substation had blown.

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Source: Donkey Junk

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