According to the National Weather Service out of Pendleton, Oregon, there was a mysterious Doppler Radar signal that was seen between 7 and 8 am just west of Benton City on Tuesday, January 17th.

The weather service posted a GIF on their Facebook page showing the mysterious, nearly perfect circle suddenly appear on the radar, before swiftly dispersing.

Many in the comment section have speculated as to whether the phenomenon could have been caused by something at the Hanford Site, the near-by LIGO Observatory, aliens and even a huge flock of starlings. A National Weather Service spokesperson also said they feel that a flock of starling may be the culprit.

Many articles have hit the web since the strange signal was shown to the public, though none, to my recollection, have speculated on any of these theories.

First off, it couldn't be the Hanford Site, nor the LIGO Observatory. Neither entity holds any kind of facet that could achieve the Doppler signal seen.

Canva, Getty Images
Canva, Getty Images

Aliens is out the window, unless someone has a photo, or a video of the occurrence.  And that, no doubt, would have gone viral in moments.

Now to the starlings. I have seen flocks of starling so large, that they at first appeared to be smoke from a large fire (from over 2 miles away) before I realized what I was seeing.  The largest flock I've seen must have consisted of ten's of thousands of birds, easily.  That being said, the starling theory doesn't hold water, either.  If one pays close enough attention to the radar signal, it is centered almost directly over Benton City, however, it clearly extends deep into surrounding Benton County.  A flock of starling that size would not only be an insane record of birds, but would have been visible for miles around.  Not to mention that they would've been seen by many people in the many miles of surrounding area.

Canva, Getty Images
Canva, Getty Images

Beyond even that, if you've ever experienced a huge flock of starling, they aren't very quiet.  Between the chirping of the thousands of birds, the near thunderous sound of their many tiny wings, and of course, the common consequence of a flock of birds...a lot of poop falling to the ground, they are impossible to miss.

Looking at the size of the mystery signal, it looks to be at least 40 miles wide.  A 40-mile-wide flock of birds would be impossible to not see, as well.

National Weather Service, Pendleton
National Weather Service, Pendleton

As of the writing of this article, I haven't seen a viable theory for the mystery signal.  Though, being a resident of the Benton City area for over 20 years, I can tell you that stranger things have certainly occurred in and around the pleasant, though unique, little town.

For now, it seems the mystery remains unsolved.  We need Robert Stack.


The strange Doppler Radar signal showed up again today in nearly the same location, according to the National Weather Service out of Pendleton, Oregon.

This time the occurrence was a bit earlier in the morning (between 6:42 and 7:18am).

The post on social media read:

"The radar returns were a little less uniform and more linear, but occurred in a similar fashion to Wednesday's "burst". This provides added confidence that these "bursts" are associated with birds taking flight, likely snow/Canadian geese or starlings - which are both common in the area this time of year."

However, I still am having a hard time imagining a flock of birds so large that it created a signal that was over 20 miles wide.  It seems strange to me, at least.

Comment below on Facebook and let us know what you think.

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