While Earthlings viewed the surface of planet Mars the past weeks, some Martian residents may have reciprocated by scanning a portion of Hancock County.
5 campers in the Patesville area recounted the following story:
Jimmy Hooper 13, Max Hooper 12, Joe Hooper 8, Mike Braswell 13, and Gary Januchowski 14, decided to camp out Sunday night in a wooded area about a mile from the Hooper home on Route 1, Reynolds Station, which is situated 1½ miles South of Patesville. They chose a small valley in a 200 acre forest as their campsite and arrived there about 8:00 p.m.
They found an open area some 100' in diameter and built a large fire to cook their evening meal. The supper was finished some time later, the fire was banked and ail had gone to bed. 10 large hickory trees, estimated to be 50' tall, ringed the camping area.
The boys declared there was no moon, and no light was visible in any direction. The stars were out and shone brightly so they started looking for various constellations, Orion the Hunter in particular.
The youngest, Joe Hooper, observed at least 2 shooting stars, which cut white trails across the night sky.
Around 11:00 p.m. one of the boys glimpsed a bright, glowing bell shaped object traveling at fantastic speed in an East to West direction. They estimated its altitude at 450' to 550'. He called the attention of the other campers to the object he had sighted.
From 5 to 8 minutes later, the craft was seen again, going in the opposite direction from West to East.
After a time lapse of equal duration, the object made still a third pass over the camping area. By the third time, every one of the boys had seen the object at least once. They agreed that it was a glowing, golden color, that it maintained an altitude of 450'-500' and traveled at incredible speed.
They described it as emitting sparkles from the rear as it traversed the sky. It was in a flat trajectory, almost horizontal in flight, rather than an arc, as most meteorites follow when falling.
All the boys admitted they were frightened at the sight of the object. One of the older boys said they seriously considered breaking camp and going home. The youngest said he was so scared after the 3rd appearance he burrowed under his sleeping bag so he wouldn’t see it if it came back.
One of the older boys said he remembered reading the account of the 2 men who were ostensibly captured and taken inside a flying saucer several months ago. They turned to discussing the Summer Olympics to take their minds off the incident and eventually went to sleep.
They returned to the Hooper home on Monday morning at 10:30 a.m. They recounted the story to their parents, who encouraged them to contact The Clarion, a local newspaper.
In the course of the Monday interview, Mike Braswell recalled that he and Natalie Rosenblatt had, sighted an identical object at Windward Heights 4 nights before, Wednesday, July 21. Its direction was toward the country club, a westerly course.
The group remembered later that all the insect noises in the camping area ceased as the object passed overhead.
Gary Januchowski’s mother, Pat, on Tuesday morning, declared that their family had observed such an object as the boys reported for the past 18 months. She said they had sported it 3 times, and the description given matched the one her family members gave.
The Januchowski home is also near Patesville.