I realized recently that I have never written about this event or an in depth report anywhere. A few years ago, I went to a site about UFO sightings and left a very brief version of it, but nothing more than a few paragraphs and it was incomplete. It seemed that everytime I began writing about it in full detail, it sounded like a bad screen play for a B Sci-Fi movie.
Now, I have decided to recall and record as much detail and as many of the impressions that I can remember.
The Summer before I entered High School was when the experience occurred, it was a week or so before school would start again. It was late in August 1967. I would turn 15 in a couple of weeks, The closest I can calculate to the day would be August 24th, or 25th.
There were only a couple of kids my age in my neighborhood. One was a cousin, the other was a friend who lived just down the street, two houses down and across the street. He was one year behind me in school, but we were close to the same age. I liked hanging around with with, him but he had a mischievous side that my Mom did not trust and our time together was always limited.
One summer afternoon he asked if I could camp out in his yard and followed up by his Mom providing the assurance to my Mom that it was alright. Curiously, and in a very unaccustomed flexibility, my Mother said Yes.
So, after dinner I ran down the street a few houses, crossed the street and starting hanging around with my friend and his younger brothers in their back yard. I found out the plans had changed and we were going to sleep in his tree house instead of a tent. His brothers were going to use the tent, a small detail my Mom could be spared.
An uneventful evening began to unfold. Earlier in the evening I went back to my house. My parents were gone someplace. I went into their bedroom and removed my Dad's pocket watch from his bureau. One I'd given him for Father's day once. It had a radium dial which would glow in the dark. Then, went back to the treehouse.
At one point his Mom came out with some snacks. It was shaping up to be a good night, Steve was being unaccustomedly polite to his Mom, a detail that gave me a sense of confidence that nothing was going to go wrong. As fun as Steve could be, I also had a bit of suspicion about him. He had a knack for practical jokes and doing unpredictable or dangerous things.
We each had a flash light, enough light for us to play game after game of Fish, Rummy or Poker for pennies.
As it got darker his brothers went inside at the behest of their Mom when it seemed they could no longer get along nicely. This was about 10:00 p.m.. Our goal then was to stay up as long as possible. Since we never got the chance to hang out a lot we did a lot of talking. There were questions about my extended family...mostly the girls...an inventory of how I was related to this person or another, and the same questions from me about him.
Staying awake past 1:00 a.m. was not difficult. Another two hours passed of playing cards and snacking. About 3:00 a.m. we were both getting sleepy. Steve had to use the bathroom and went into his house and was out in a few minutes.
In the mean time, I snuggled down into some light bedding and I was ready to sleep. When Steve returned, he was as full of energy as ever and was standing up in the tree house looking out over the wall commenting on how many stars he could see. It was a safe structure, the walls came up to our chests but there was no roof and the old tree it was in just had some major branches. No leaves grew on this tree, it was mostly dead and we had an unobstructed view of the sky above us at all times.
After just a minute, Steve thought he saw something while looking at the stars.
From Steve: Gah. What is that? Get up and look at this..there's is something flying around out here.
I was ready to sleep and didn't want to get up. I was reminded of Steves's penchant for practical jokes and could imagine his riducule if I had jumped up in amazement, I could imagine the story that would be told. I was stubbornly not taking the bait.
I said: I'm asleep.
From Steve: No, no...you've got to SEE this, it looks like a flying saucer or something, with a hushed but very excited tone.
Uh-Huh...You know jets fly around here all the time.
True enough, Seymor Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C. was only 12 miles away, and my Dad worked there as a Civil Servant. Low flying jets were not uncommon night or day.
From Steve: "No, no!" "Get up..Get up...this is really weird!" By now, I was getting curious...he said he saw something flying, but I heard no noise. How could this be? I knew he might be doing another one of his practical jokes. If I jumped up in alarm...he could tell the story for the next two weeks of how he'd tricked me. Slowly, I got up and pretended to not be interested.
What?...from me in a calm tone.
From Steve: Look it's over there. And he pointed in the direction of the end of the street. Directly to the east.
I thought you said it was flying around, At first I didn't see anything.
From Steve: It was...it's over there now. pointing low, not high in the air but down the street in a low trajectory just over the trees.
We could see the houses and trees and other things not darkened into shadows by a few of street lights and it was not a completely pitch black night either. The moon was out. I noted it was about 3:15 a.m. by looking down at my Dad's glowing pocket watch.
Down the street and across the road was another street, not exactly a continuation of our street, but a slight jog over. At the end of that street and not very high over the trees was a craft I could see but I wasn't certain of the distance or scale. It was ovoid in shape with only a few lights that didn't seem spectacular or unusual for any flying air craft. It wasn't moving but hovering in the same way a helicopter would hover. I thought I was looking at the body of a helicopter head on without the benefit of being able to see the side or rear. The shape was like a bubble that was flattened on the bottom.
I said: It's a helicopter...Then, as soon as I got the words out of my mouth, I realized I was wrong. The object was closer than I had thought and a helicopter would be making noise, a lot of noise at that distance. The familiar beating of the air sound was not present and at this distance, it would have been a very noticeable sound, instead, there was no sound. It was only two short blocks away.
This is when I really started looking to see what it was. It continued to float without motion or sound but only for a few seconds. Then, it started moving in a straight line parallel to the street it was over and in our direction. We were mesmerized, mostly I think, because we didn't know what it was or wasn't. We didn't think to be scared and it held our attention out of curiosity,
We watched it wondering what it was going to do next. The shape and size of became more clear as it approached our area.
It crossed the road at the end of our street, then it continued moving slowly until it was over an empty lot beyond the first house on our street. Then it slowed down seeming to drift. By now, the shape was distinct, and very much like a saucer or shallow bowl turned upside down with another saucer under it for a bottom.
The path it was taking was directly in line above the houses across the street from us. It drifted over the first house. It drifted over the next house, the house that belonged to an Aunt and Uncle. It continued and drifted over my house the third on the street. It slowed down and stopped right over my house. It was amazingly low. Only 75' to 100' overhead.
Then it moved forward again to the next house, the fourth house on that side of the street. I don't remember Steve and I saying a word by now, somehow thinking that if we breathed wrong it would give away our position. By now it was almost directly across the street from us, diagonal by only the width of one lot. I could begin seeing some of the details more clearly. It was not the flashing light show many people report, just a couple of small lights in the front and the same near the back. It was about the size of two small houses.
I'd say 80' end to end. There was some sort of structure that zigzagged across a segment of the upper domed portion, like a system of trapezoids, alternating in inverted shapes. This structure appeared to suggest windows, but there were no windows, just more of a segmented ovoid panel outlined in trapezoids in spaces where windows should be.
After a few seconds, the object floated backwards over my Aunt & Uncle's house again, and came to rest. It was high enough that I could see some of the under structure but low enough I could see the profile also.
While floating there, a hatch slid open on the bottom which was evident by the light was visibly appearing from inside and projecting toward the ground. The light was already on when the hatch opened. The hatch was squarish and off center from the the bottom of the craft and this light from the inside appeared to create a shaft of light onto my Aunt & Uncles' house.
Then the craft moved forward and became stationary again over my house with the shaft of light illuminating our roof.
After a few seconds, the light appeared to flicker and the squarish shaft of light went out. A few seconds passed and another light flickered back on except this time, it was a different shape, not the shaft of a light formed from the hatch opening, but a tighter and more focused light and it seemed to have movement, not the stationary light as before.
From the hatch the source of the light then began a small sweeping and circular motion around my house, lighting up the back yard and it's immediate vicinity. Then the source of the light protruded from the hatch. It reminded me very much of the kind of search light that people used to mount on their cars. It began to pivot. It behaved as though it was on an articulating mechanical arm. The light started making circles around my yard and house and then in deliberate swinging arcs.
The light began swinging outward toward the neighboring houses and then across the street. It arced back and forth, sweeping it's light further and further away from it's location with each pass. Steve and I stared silently and dumfounded. In a couple of arcs, it was swinging it's light into the parking lot across from where we were, which co-incidentally was the parking lot for the municipal swimming pool.
We watched as the light continued to swing and then the light hit the fence for the swimming pool and the arcs continued sweeping wider and further out. I could tell that soon the sweeps would extend to reach our location, and right after that the light began to swing near the edge of Steve's yard. I was beginning to feel a little frightened.
On the next sweep the light made it's way toward us but before it arrived I ducked behind the wall of the tree house with my back against it. Steve however continued to stand there with his usual insensibility to danger. I remember looking up and seeing the tree we were in being lit up and my friend stood there squinting into the light, his hands still holding the top edge of the wooden tree house wall. The light did not appear to be of unusual brightness, but it had a bluish cast. By now, it was no longer swinging back and forth but fixed on our location. Steve appeared slack jawed above me and he was not looking away.
I said: Get down, but he continued to stand there almost frozen and he began mumbling something I couldn't understand. Not wanting to desert him, I decided I would stand up. I looked at my father's glowing pocket watch again. It was 3:20 a.m.
I stood up and looked over the wall that came up to my rib cage. In the time that I was below the wall, the source of the light had changed. Rather than being the sweeping spot light from under the craft, it was coming from a smaller light that was emanating from the edge about one third of the way from the front. I remember thinking thinking it could be some kind of bizarre craft from Seymour Johnson with Air Force personnel in it.
I was a little worried that word of the event might get back to my father, but then I thought, We haven't done anything wrong... we never even left my friend's yard that night. So I stood there confident that what was going to follow was not going to result in my getting into trouble. There was no sound from the craft, it was continuing to hover.
Then, another light came on near the other one and it began to point more directly at me. This light had a quick flickering quality as with some kind of semaphore or a pattern. I remember thinking, I will never forget this. Then the lights flickered off.
The next thing I recall clearly was sitting down in the tree house and again looking at the glow of the pocket watch. It was 3:45 a.m. 25 minutes had passed.
Then we stood up again to see the vessel continuing to float. I could then hear a low whining sound, it sounded as though some kind of momentum was building but it was very quiet.
Then the vessel began to pivot. Still parallel to the ground it just turned away and it began to move off directly to the north with a slight gain in altitude. There was a purplish discharge of light around the entire vessel at this point. It moved slowly at first then instead of speeding away with a steady increase in speed, it made a sudden leap and it was only slightly higher in the sky and about 1,500' away. Then moved off faster for a second or so, then it made another leap in speed and distance which would have placed it at the altitude of a low aircraft. It appeared to be bright object in the sky at this point moving off quickly.
Then it made another leap. This time, it made a long bright arc away from where it was. The bright arc went high and to the west and then it was gone. In all, this took about ten seconds for this sequence to pass. All of this without any sound other the low whining sound during it's initial ascent. There was no sonic boom, no sound of turbines, or an engine of any kind. An ordinary jet would have created a heavy sonic boom and this thing was flying faster than any jet I had ever seen.
Steve and I stood there in astonished silence. I remember his hair literally standing up on end and every time he touched it, it crackled with static. He said mine was the same way and my hair crackled as I ran my hand through it. This went away after a minute or so. Incredibly, we went to sleep after that.
The next day, both of us remember feeling powerless to relate what we had seen, but this didn't stop my friend. He thought we should be telling everybody we saw. I didn't. He began telling everybody about the siting which brought the predicable disbelief, which was also projected onto me now. He also had a reputation for exaggeration and now, the more detail we related was followed by an equally heightened disbelief by the listeners. He would have been the epitome of an unreliable witness by all past accounts, but this time...he was right.
We didn't talk about the event very much. About a week later, school began. When he would see me he would begin telling the story and asking me to verify it. My verification amounted to little. I was going in to the 9th grade, he was going in to the 8th and I thought the best thing I could to maintain any credibility as a 9th grader was not to talk about it. The event then served to separate us, rather than creating a bond.
I fell silent about the event. I might occasionally mention I had seen a UFO when television began to popularize the topic during the 70's, but I never related any details. Even saying I had seen a UFO brought the usual scorn and disbelief. I did nothing to convince anyone of what I had experienced.
I kept the experience to myself for a long time. Never talked about it. I would see so called pictures of UFO's in newspapers and discounted them as valid because they did not look like the one we saw. At that time I was not prepared to believe that anything other than the type of vessel we had seen was authentic.
My senior year of High School, I did see and article in a newspaper with a photograph of an object much like the one we saw. The photo was taken in Norway. I have seen footage of a UFO shot in Mexico that seemed remarkably similar in the past few years. By some accounts, the craft I saw was not sensation. It didn't blink, or spin, or bounce and weave. It floated and flew off at great speed, sometime reports would have similar details.
About 25 years after the event, I made it a point to find my friend who is still living near our home town. Something was drawing me toward the idea that if I could write about it effectively, perhaps some of the scorn might have waned since there was growing number of reports in the media.
When he and I talked, the details matched just as we had lived them years ago. We never talked about the missing time, he seemed uncomfortable to go any further. So was I.
I did find moon data on that night to verify how much ambient light there would have been since the object was not initially emitting any light until it left. Information is for Raleigh, NC, 40 miles west of our location at the time.
U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department Sun and Moon Data for One Day The following information is provided for Raleigh (longitude W78.6, latitude N35.8): Friday August 25, 1967 Universal Time - 6h.
SUN: Begin civil twilight 04:14; Sunrise 04:40; Sun transit 11:16; Sunset 17:52; End civil twilight 18:18
MOON: Moonrise 20:15 on preceding day; Moon transit 02:55; Moonset 09:45; Moonrise 20:40; Moonset 10:43 on following day; Phase of the Moon on 25 August: waning gibbous with 73% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated.
Last quarter Moon on August 27, 1967 at 23:35 (Universal Time - 6h.)