When was the last time you stumbled upon a flying saucer landed in the middle of the road? Some of the most historic and significant UFO sightings have gravitated around the discovery of an unknown aerial vehicle lying in the road with or without entities visible in or around that strange craft. The stories that have unfolded from these incidents are legendary.
Stanton Friedman weighs in
For skeptics who always demand the nuts and bolts proof that flying saucers exist, I quote Physicist Stanton Freidman who has said that with all the expert witness testimony that has gone on record and been published, this alone would be enough in a court of law to satisfy legal requirement of proof, but for most of us who have followed this bizarre trail of the unknown we know there is much more to it than that. Walk with me now as I take us back in time to some of the most riveting accounts of things that are not supposed to be or should never have been. Let us journey to that realm where truth meets the impossible and the enigmatic saga of the unexplained prevails!
A landmark UFO incident
The year is 1962 in New Hampshire. Betty and Barney Hill are driving through a remote mountainous area on their way home from a visit when the unusual strikes. What seems like a star begins to follow their car. The couple pull over to take a look and realize that it is no celestial body or satellite and whatever it is seems to be pacing them. After being spooked several times by overhead passes the couple come upon what they think is a wreck or aircraft crash in the road ahead, but when they stop and wait, the people working the scene of the accident turn out to be small alien entities with bulging eyes. This incident they will not remember for weeks to come resulting in nightmares. The couple is not only terrified but paralyzed and powerless to move or do anything about it!
After getting back home the Hills realize they have at least 2 hours unaccounted for and wonder what happened. In the weeks to come anxiety, sleeplessness, and flashbacks convince both of them that they need to seek professional help. Psychologist Doctor Simon leads the couple into hypnotic regression, taping their individual sessions, and finds that the couple have experienced something horrific. He is forced on several occasions to cut his probe into their recollections short as it proves too traumatic for Barney, who seems to have been affected the worst. In their memories is an abduction experience that includes painful medical procedures.
During the abduction Betty recalls not only that a long needle has been inserted into her abdomen to take an egg sample, but her insistence allows her to challenge their authority. She is told by the extraterrestrial she was dealing with that she would not forget about the experience as they wanted her to and asks him where they are from. The entity replies that she will not recognize the constellation as it is not yet in the human astronomy’s star charts yet. However, Betty insists so the alien draws the star pattern for her. Later, Betty recalls this experience and years later a NASA astrophysicist matches up her recollection and drawing with a newly discovered constellation- Zeta Reticuli!
Author, John G. Fuller publishes a best-selling book entitled “The Interrupted Journey” written from transcripts of the very tapes of the Hill’s traumatic abduction experience. This experience all began as Betty and Barney happened upon an object in the road ahead of them that forever changed their lives along with the lives of many people who read of their experiences. A made for TV movie starring James Earl Jones would later be broadcast to a wide prime time American audience years later as well. One might be interested to know that Pease Air Force Base, a Strategic Air Command facility, reported a UFO tracked on their radar in the vicinity of the Betty and Barney abduction on the night in question. By doing this, the command of Pease AFB was taking a risk of violating two federal directives, AFR-200 and JANAP 146. Both of these security measures made it illegal for Air Force bases and Air Force personnel to report UFO sightings without the express consent of higher authorities under the penalty of imprisonment, yet Pease AFB saw fit to do so.
Hysteria in Socorro
Socorro, New Mexico 1964. Patrolman Lonnie Zamora is in pursuit of a speeder when he sees something off the highway that attracts his attention leading him to the conclusion that an aircraft crash has occurred. Turning off the highway and onto a dirt road in the New Mexico desert landscape, Officer Zamora is stunned to see that what he first thought is much different than what he had glanced at earlier! There perched on the desert floor is an egg shaped silver colored craft sitting on what appears to be a tripod landing gear. Having driven up slowly and now hunkering behind the driver side door of his patrol car, Lonnie is astonished to see two small beings dressed in space suits of some kind standing very near their mystery craft.
As he stares in awe, one of them notices him and both diminutive figures scramble inside of the bizarre looking craft. In seconds Officer Zamora is terrified by the roar of the engines and watches as the strange space craft hovers overhead and then disappears. He is so confused that his call for back up to his sergeant comes too late for his superior to arrive, but even his suervisor glimpses something unusual in the sky as he arrives. In the wake of the takeoff of the UFO impressions are left in the ground from the landing gear and a ironically biblical trace is also left behind-a burning bush!
NASA investigators soon descend upon the landing site recording forensic evidence, photos, and taking soil samples. The space agency compiles a thick volume of their findings, but when Project Blue Book consultant, Doctor J. Allen Hynek arrives, his reaction is not one of disbelief but of support for the findings collected by Zamora and the NASA investigators. It was one of these UFO cases that converted him from a skeptic to a supporter of the strange, persistent, phenomena. This case today stands as just one more baffling chapter in the long history of the unexplained.
Another Oklahoma sighting
May 23, 1966, Eddie Laxton, an employee of Shepherd Air Force Base, is on his way to work in the wee hours of the morning when he spots something bright and perhaps burning on the road surface ahead. Leaving his headlights on in his 1951 Chevy, he gets out of his car to survey the strange site. He had driven along Highway 70 from his home in Temple, Oklahoma only 8 miles on his way to the Air Force Base near Wichita Falls on his way to work, but the unknown prevailed. Describing the object as “Perch-like” he stated that it blocked the road.
Laxton estimated the length of the object at 70 to 80 feet. The body was metallic, unpainted, and had no rivets or sections joined together as was the case with the aircraft he was acquainted with, the object had a series of four clear bubbles along its side all of the same proportion, and 4 extremely bright lights that Eddie claimed you could read a newspaper by on his side of the craft. From beneath the mystery object which also had landing gear of some type was what appeared to be a 30 year old stoop shouldered man in green coveralls with what appeared to be 3 stripes on his shoulder. The man poised on one knee beneath the craft. Eddie Laxton stated that bright lights were evident from within the strange craft as well. The object had control surfaces along its side as well.
As he looked on, excited and mystified all at the same time, Eddie also noticed a hatch. He estimated it to be 2 by 4 foot in dimension.He exicitedly ran back to his Chevy some 20 yards away for his camera when the object, which was lying at a 45 degree angle across the road, quickly rose 50 feet into the air and then took off away from his position north. Eddie stated that in seconds it was more than a mile away leading him to estimate its speed at over 700 miles an hour! He further stated that he clearly remembered the man’s face and would recognize him anywhere. Yet, as quickly as the object took off, Laxton had no idea just how the mechanic or whoever he was even had time enough to climb into the unknown craft before it accelerated away. Laxton described the sound it made was like that of a drill motor!
Upon learning that he had given the story to the local newspapers, authorities at Shepherd Air Force Base questioned him over what he had seen, demanded why he had not informed them first, and had Eddie drive them to where the landing had occurred. Laxton said that he was treated harshly, but did not lose his job as he was afraid might be the case. After many officers investigated the site, they determined that Eddie had seen a helicopter! A helicopter that could fly more than 700 mph, right!
Eddie Laxton further recalled that just two miles away from the site of his encounter that he stopped to ask a trucker, C.W. Anderson of Snyder Oklahoma, if he had seen the UFO. The trucker had been stunned by the spectacle he had witnessed! Yes, he had seen the same thing! Although Majors, Captains, Colonels, and Generals had inspected the site, Laxton explained that no one had arrived at any other explanations. Further inquiries into whether or not any experimental aircraft had been flown in the Temple, Oklahoma area turned up nothing. The Wichita Falls times, according to David Farris in his book “More Mysterious Oklahoma”, carried the story which had infuriated Shepherd AFB intelligence officers in the beginning. Laxton never attempted to make money or gain notoriety over the incident and merely retired from his job at Shepherd AFB years later.
Abduction in Nebraska
December 3, 1967 Ashland, Nebraska was the scene of yet another UFO that had landed in the road ahead of Officer Herbert Schirmer, who spotted the unusual craft, but experienced a further disturbing dimension to his experience. He reported being abducted! Like Betty and Barney Hill, Officer Schirmer could not account for missing time and reportedly had a red welt on his neck that he could not explain. Under hypnotic regression, the troubled policeman told of being taken aboard a ship from outer space, was in the presence of small 4 ½ ft. beings in tight silver colored suits and informed that he would be visited two more times and would see the universe. While under the hypnotic treatment of UCLA scientists, Schirmer made several detailed drawings of the alien ship, the entities themselves, and even the a symbol he saw on their equipment. It is hard to explain away the account of a trained observer such as a policeman when he was interviewed by qualified researchers.
Mystery in Texas
To wrap up this article I have a strange tale of my own to relate. No, it’s not about my own personal abduction. Years ago while I was writing a column for the Plano Star Courier entitled “Unexplained Mysteries” I encountered a very bizarre story told to me by an east Plano man and his wife. I went to their home and listened to the details of their account. Some of the finer points I have lost since this story was given to me a number of years ago, but here goes. The middle aged couple I had spoken to had lived out in west Texas.
In a small desert community there the strange tale of the bizarre literally hits the listener over the head. According to their account, a resident of the town, a man was on the road in the early morning hours attending to his job when he encountered a UFO that had apparently landed on a bridge that spanned a rather deep riverbed that was often dry at certain times of the year. The man got out of his vehicle to examine more closely the bizarre sight before him.
A chilling west Texas incident
According to this couple, a local newspaper even picked up this story. Anyway, as it goes, the local sheriffs found the man out wandering the road later that morning disoriented and mumbling something about a landed spaceship. As it ended up, this person was committed to an asylum as he had suffered nervous breakdown of some kind. One can only speculate that perhaps his mind had been intentionally erased or an imbedded false memory had gone further than his captors had intended, maybe they were hostile and didn’t just didn't care at all.
This town, and I can’t remember its name, is in close proximity to what is known as “The Flats” an area where the plains are so level that the horizon seems to stretch into infinity and the highway tends to cause drivers to get so velocitized from the long, monotonous, distance so that when a sudden 90 degree turn comes up with little warning, many a motorist has ended up overturned or worse on that flat, isolated, stretch of desert road.
This concludes just one more addition to the tales of the unknown that litter the darkened back roads of history and urge us to question conventional wisdom. Until next time.