The “Tent” at Cypress Bowl

By Graham Conway, April 2003

“Leonard Thomas” was sixteen and this was his first night doing a job that had a pay cheque attached to it. He and “Peter Ingram” worked for a major oil company that was responsible for re-fuelling construction vehicles. Their destination was a parking lot at Cypress Bowl where a new road had just been built to facilitate the development of an additional ski run in the Grouse and Seymour Mountain area. The year was 1974, the month July.

Peter was very familiar with the procedure having done the job on numerous occasions previously. The routine was to head straight to the top parking lot where the majority of the heavy duty vehicles were parked. Unlock the gate, (vandals had damaged equipment at earlier times) then systematically top up all the trucks and cats at that site, which usually took about an hour. Lock the gate once again then move on down the mountain to the next parking lot and repeat the process and so on until all contractors vehicles had been attended to on that particular mountain. By that time dawn was very evident and they simply returned to their company’s base on the Barnett Highway. But this particular night was going to be very different.

On arriving at their destination and whilst unlocking the first of the parking lot gates they noticed a tent placed on an elevated surface overlooking the parking lot. The tent appeared to be illuminated from the interior. As this was in no way unusual the two men began to attend to the night’s work. As they slowly completed the job in hand the diesel fuel truck began to slowly turn back towards the entrance gate. As its headlights gently moved across the rock face opposite them they were surprised to see that the vehicles light reflected off the tent! Very surprised and puzzled at viewing what to all intents and purposes was a metallic object they temporarily ceased their re-fuelling activities, drove down to the entrance gate and parked. Exiting the truck, one picked up a tire iron, the other a thick piece of wood. However Leonard wasn't able to explain why they did that as no discussion took place. The man and his young companion then cautiously climbed up the sloping and uneven rock surface towards the “tent” that had attracted their attention.

When they got within 25 - 30 feet of the object several things suddenly happened. Just as they became aware that what they were looking at was like no “tent” they had ever seen before, but more like a craft of some kind. It was about 15 feet in diameter, 8 feet high, flat on top and had a dome and appeared to be about 4 feet off the ground. It was totally silent. What also held their attention was a black ball that moved around the interior of the dome at a dizzying speed. The two men also had the impression that “people” were walking around inside the craft. As they attempted to take all this in, and at the same time seek a rational explanation, they were suddenly startled by a loud foghorn type sound that halted them in their tracks and clearly implanted the instruction to ”STOP” in their minds. Without any exchange of conversation they both immediately dropped the weapons they had been carrying, turned round and calmly walked back to the diesel truck. The foghorn continued to sound loudly every four seconds but they still had no accompanying sense of fear. Only upon re-entering the truck did an acute sense of fear overcome them, whereupon they voiced an unanimous “let’s get out of here” and promptly drove back down the mountain to their base without stopping at the obligatory additional sites to complete the night's work.

As they drove the two compared notes on what they had encountered. When they first observed it from the lower level of the parking lot it seemed to be about fifteen feet above them and resting on the surface of the rocky outcrop. But when they got up close it clearly was above the ground, at least it was at that point. Neither Len nor Peter could agree as to the material it was constructed from. One thought chrome, the other polished steel. Neither could recall seeing either doors or any other type of opening on the craft. The one thing they did agree upon was the fact that what they had encountered was certainly neither a helicopter nor any other aircraft they had either ever seen or even read about.

The early morning return to their fuelling base evoked initially concern for this unexpected arrival, which quickly irrupted into much laughter and corny leg pulling as they recounted what they had seen and experienced when they had investigated. One thing was abundantly clear to all those listeners present, these two service people weren't returning to that location in the immediate future. Strangely enough no one else seemed interested in going back either, if only to prove them wrong.

Peter later phoned his father who was not only a pilot but had strangely enough also seen a UFO when he was a youngster. This gentleman apparently knew some UFO researchers and accompanied by them visited the site the next day. They reported that they had found what appeared to be burn marks on the surface of the rock under the power lines.

After much discussion and soul searching Peter and Len agreed to continue with the customary re-fuelling routine. Neither of the two men were readily prepared to admit that what they had seen was really a UFO and yet they had no other logical rational explanation. But for Len it was a first night in his career that he would vividly recall for the rest of his life.

(N.B.) The foregoing account was taken from a taped interview with “Leonard Thomas”, who, like “Peter Ingram”, has had his name changed to protect his identity.