As a kid in Mount Airy, George Fawcett played basketball with Andy Griffith and got hooked on UFOs.
A 1944 newspaper article describing “mysterious balls of fire” spotted by American pilots over Germany during World War II sparked his imagination.
Fawcett went on to work as a YMCA director, textile employee, weekly newspaper manager and sandwich shop operator.
A longtime resident of Lincolnton, he also became known as the UFO man.
His health had declined in recent years, and Fawcett died Sunday at age 83.
2006 FILE PHOTO ... George Fawcett, dean of N.C. UFO investigators. He sent books and other material to the International UFO Museum in Roswell, N.M., where he is an honorary director.