Children at Crestview Elementary School saw an object which appeared in a tree dotted field behind the school. The next 10 minutes were chaotic. Mrs. Virginia Martin, a 6th grade teacher, said that there was a lot of excitement.
She wasn't paying any attention to what the children were pointing to at first, but was trying to get them lined up, to watch.
Most of the 200 girls & boys at morning recess were running towards the school ground fence, yelling and pointing.
Mrs. Martin, Bob Apfal, a 4th grade teacher, and Miss Marian Waters, a 6th grade teacher, spotted the oval shaped object hovering behind a pine tree in an open field. It seemed to move in toward the school, then went straight back and dropped below a pine tree. It then came up again and went westward, and seemed to hover.
Teacher Bob Apfal exhibited no qualms: lt was a flying saucer.
This was the second consecutive day he and his class had seen similar, metallic like objects north of the school grounds.
Andy Cohen, who said there were two objects, became the closest to a consensus spokesman for the kids, sat in a car and told what he saw:
They looked like long cigars. They were flying apart one at a time. Some of the girls got hysterical when they saw them.
Later in the day it was discovered that the UFO sightings were not limited to the children and teachers at Crestview.
Mrs. Mary Troesser, called at the Herald to inquire about any strange sightings. Mrs. Troesser had been out in the yard and happened to glance in the direction of Crestview Elementary School. There was this oval object with red lights just over the trees.
A Dr. Lillien carefully checked atmospheric and astronomical conditions and ruled out associated phenomena. He also pointed out that in an area where there is a proliferation of ordinary sky objects such as planes. helicopters and even an occasional blimp. the witnesses were absolutely sure that the phenomena they observed was completely unlike anything they had seen before.
The teachers spent Friday afternoon talking to 3 Air Force investigators who drove to the school from Homestead Air Force Base.
Mr. Breast heard the news of the sighting at noon on Friday, the 7th, and at 1:30 p.m. he went to Crestview Elementary School in Opa Locka, Dade County, on the northwest edge of Miami. He learned that unidentified objects had been seen on two days, Thursday and Friday.
The only data he could secure was that the object was larger than a kite and when he requested to speak to the principal he was informed that Homestead AFB had been contacted, and that an investigator was being sent out and that no information would be given out. He did not even learn the name of the teacher who witnessed the UFO with the school boys on Thursday,
This seems to be a part of a strange series of events. A day or two before the alleged incident, according to very reIiable informants in the area, a psychic or mystic predicted, on radio that UFOs would be seen in the vicinity. Apparently one male teacher was on the lookout for the objects, and had the chrldren outside searching the skies. .
The initial story appeared in the April 8th edition of the Miami Herald. Since then, a teacher who has an agent friend. was attempting to sell the story to a New York based magazine.
Qn the 13th, John Wolf, 42, printer and student at Dade Junior Coitege, reported that he and his sons, just back from a Scout Camporee, were in the yard back of his home on the 8th of April and saw three or four objects hovering just beyond a line of tiees near Crestview Elementary School.
According to Bill Barry of the Miami News, there were 30 or 40 people, mostly adults, standing around on the deadend road and in the field looking to the north. Some had binoculars.
When John Wolf looked he saw the objects also, three or four of them hovering just behind a line of trees. They appeared to change shape from oval to cigar shape and back again, the observers told Barry.
They appeared as globs of white with red flashes and transparent domes on top not unlike the glass dome on a coffee pot.
Wolf said that at the same time he watched the objects he could see aircraft from North Perry Airport flying around. He could make out the detail of the airplanes but there was little detail on the objects. When a plane approached one of the objects, it just was not there anymore. When the plane left the thing would reappear and always in the same spot.
Wolf claimed he watched the objects for nearly an hour, went home and got his wife. She didn't believe him until she looked and saw them for herself.
Weather conditions included a bright clear sky with few clouds. The objects seemed to be below the clouds, made no sound, left no trail. Toward afternoon the objects slowed their activity and then went away. Wolf used naked eye observation and 7x50 binoculars, which indicates the objects were a considerable distance away, as he was not able to obtain resolution for detail.
The Air Force announced that what everyone saw on Friday, the day before Wolf's sighting, near Crestview Elementary was a Coast Guard helicopter. Wolf states firmly, however, that what he saw was not a helicopter, besides, there were no helicopters in the area on Saturday.
Dr.Lillien carefully checked atmospheric and astronomical conditions and ruled out associated phenomena. He also pointed out that in an area where there is a proliferation of ordinary sky objects such as planes, helicopters and even an occasional blimp, the witnesses were absolutely sure that the phenomena they observed was completely unlike anything they had seen before.
Crestview Elementary school is 4 miles northeast of the Opa Locka airport which is the location of Coast Guard, Navy and FAA installations, 10 miles northeast of Miami, FL, International Airport, 4 miles north of North Perry airport and 9 miles southwest of Broward International Airport. There is a huge concentration of radio transmitter towers in the general area north of Crestview, and several towers immediately to the east and west of the school. At Carol City, about 3 miles to the west southwest is a large Nike missile station. A high tension power line runs quite close by, less than a half mile from Crestview.
The sightings at Crestview may prove to be among the most important recorded since the objects were seen by over 200 children and adults for prolonged periods of time over a period of several days in broad daylight.
The first sighting took place on the 6th of April, and was made by 33 year old Robert Apfal, a teacher at Crestview, and several students. Apfal was not famaliar with UFO lore prior to hls sighting. At 12:45 p.m., on the 6th he and six students were outside a portable classroom in the Crestview yard facing northeast. They spotted an aluminum appearing, slightly reflective ellipsoid which Apfai described as two lenses back to back with no markings, lights or details. It appeared stationary, about 60' above the ground over a telephone pole about a mile away, the size of a 50 cent piece at arm's length. It disappeared suddenly as they watched. no sound, air movement, shadows or other related phenomena were observed.
At about 8:30 a.m. the next morning Mr. Apfal was arriving at his classroom when some of the chlldren, some excited, crying or hysterical, said they had seen something. Apfal calmed the class, had them sketch what they had seen. The drawings generally agreed with one another, depicting a turreted structure among the tops of the trees. These were later turned over to investigators from Homestead Air Force Base. The only disagreement concerning description, was in the antenna on the turret. All agreed there was one object, it fIipped and appeared to land on the trees. No sound, no markings. The object appeared to be at a distance of 450' to 600' in the field directly north of the school. This object also disappeared while it was being watched. Apfal was not involved in subsequent sightings that day, in fact he pulled the blinds in his classroom when it was learned that there was another sighting.
The next series of sightings was witnessed by school teachers and apparently by women in the area, both groups reluctant to be interviewed. Despite his attempts Dr. Lillien was not able to contact the teachers, or the women and merely questioned the children. However, parents of some of the students who saw the object said they knew of other adults who had witnessed the object. At 9:45 a.m. Andy Cohen, 12, one of those interviewed by Dr. Lillien, was in his classroom. Some girls rushed in, said flying saucers were being watched and along with the others, Andy ran outside. Several classes were outside milling around, Iooking to the north beyond the school fence.
Teachers were trying to get the children to line up in an orderly manner. Andy did not see anything immediately, then spotted four cigar shaped objects with white lights on each end. One hovered over trees, then went down behind them, then took off again. Another came straight across the sky, going up and down, in a wavy motion. Another seemed to be chasing an airplane. Then they left they went off at an angle and just disappeared.
Most children described the objects as white, Cohen claimed there was one white, one black, one red and one silver object. There were no markings, portholes, domes or other lights, the objects did not change shape nor did the lights at the end change in intensity. There was no sound.
Although several children called the newspaper after school that day, it was Andy Cohen's call that alerted the Miami newspaper and resulted in the initial press coverage.
Jimmy Hummel, 11, another witness was also in class when he heard other children talking about the objects outside. He went out, but unlike the Cohen boy, he saw only one object, oval in shape and white with no markings, protrusions, and no lights. Jimmy said the object he saw moved up, then down behind the trees, he got the impression it was hiding at times.
Joe Cornblitt, 11, also was attracted outside by other children, and when he got outside he saw a white, silvery oval shaped object above the trees. He said it changed to a dot and then disappeared. He saw the same, or similar object later, low and among the trees. He never saw two objects at the same time, and he, like Hummel, thought the objects were the size of a car.
Linda McCleary, 9, described generally what the Hummel & Cornblitt boys and her brother John, described, but with a projection underneath, and a hub cap shaped thing on top.
John McCleary was the only one to notice the reflection of the sunlight off the objects. He said he saw four of the things milling around amongst the trees, circling, whipping around in fast, jerky motions. They would come back, land, go behind the trees.
Another witness interviewed was Jill Mires, age 11, whose story generally corroborates the aforementioned ones.
After word of the morning's sightings got out, many went to the field. One of those interviewed was Anita Lungari, 12, who happened to be going by at 3:30 p.m. when she saw a flash above the trees in the field which appeared and disappeared and seemed to stay in one area.
On Saturday, April 8, some 30 to40 people, including John Wolf had a sighting at the same general location and descriptions match the foregoing ones.
One week later, the wife of a local newspaper columnist who has been a reporter and licensed sailplane pilot, observed a metallic appearing cigar shaped, long and slim, unlike a blimp, object without protrusions, sound, markings, while driving on Key Biscayne. It seemed to disappear. It appeared to be large and high, at least 5,000'. It was seen again for about one minute, after which it again disappeared.
Dr. Lillien concludes:
It is quite evident that a real, unconventional occurrence was witnessed by a large number of people of various ages in broad daylight for prolonged periods of time.