Before there was Gulf Breeze there was Brooksville, Florida, known as the UFO Capitol of the world during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1968 I got into radio broadcasting and ended up working the Neal Armstrong landing in 1969, airing the Mutual Network coverage of it on WCNH AM/FM in Quincy, FL.
Shortly after that, I heard about a man in Brooksville saying he was the first man to set foot on the moon. In 1970 and 1971 I would go to see him and the landing site, his moon dust and plaster casts of footprints.
Retired longshoreman from the cold North decided to retire to sunny Central Florida. Born John Frank Reeves, at 66 years old in 1961 he bought a small house on highway 50 located 10 miles wet of Brooksville and not too far from the Gulf of Mexico, currently the area of the Western Way Shopping Center.
Mr. Reeves, who is one of the most overlooked contactees of all time, is a simple and honest man with a limited education. His favorite form of exercise was taking long walks behind his house in the sandy, hilly countryside. He was out snake hunting one afternoon in the scrub when he had his first encounter with beings from outer space.
The date was March 2, 1965, and between 1965 and 1971 he would have a number of encounters with the Space People, as he would call them. He came upon a landed saucer that was bluish green and reddish purple, resting on four legs and roughly 30í in diameter.
As Reeves cautiously approached the craft, he encountered what appeared to be the pilot, a robotlike creature with a domed space helmet.
The being turned suddenly around and started moving toward John, pulling from its side a small square object, similar to a camera. The being held the device at chin level, then pushed a button that caused an extremely bright flash. Mr. Reeves attempted to run away, but tripped over a bush and lost his glasses. Lying on the ground, he watched the being as it picked up the glasses and gave them to him. By this time, John was quite upset. As the being made its way back to the ship, it dropped two pieces of paper onto the ground, then entered the object via a slat like stairway on the underside.
A lot of little blades around the rim of the saucer started to move unison like the slats of a venetian blind. They opened and closed, then the rim started going around counterclockwise. It made a whooshing and rumbling sound as it speeded up its spinning.
I watched, and it was out of sight in less than 10 seconds in the cloudless sky.
After the saucer zoomed away, Reeves examined the landing area and discovered a set of the boot prints, covered with strange writings or marks that looked like Chinese.
The following day, Reeves appeared on St. Petersburg radio station WFFB to share his amazing story. Afterwards, he met with Air Force investigators who accompanied him to the saucer site where he directed them to the robotís boot prints.
At that time, Reeves turned over the strange papers to the Air Force officers for analysis. Reeves later claimed that when the papers were returned, the Air Force pulled the old switcheroo, substituting fake papers for the real ones. The Project Blue Book Report stated that:
Two papers that contained unreadable hieroglyphics were reportedly dropped by an occupant of the spacecraft. An analysis was made of these papers by the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton, Wisconsin. This analysis indicated that the paper is composed of fibers which are common worldwide. The fiber composition corresponds to that used in lens and stencil papers. The hieroglyphics on one of the papers was deciphered by simple substitution and was determined to be the work of an amateur.
The deciphered hieroglyphics read as follows:
Are you coming home soon?
We miss you very much.
Why did you stay away too long?
Since no other implications were apparent, it was not feasible for the Air Force to expend further time and money in deciphering the second sheet. Based on the above, it is the opinion of the Air Force that an attempt was made to perpetrate a hoax.
On August 6, 1968, Reeves came across another landed saucer, but this time instead of a robot creature, he encountered a crew of beautiful space people, tall and thin with porcelain skin who informed him that they came from planet Moniheya, which we Earthlings know as Venus.
The Moniheyans were outfitted in tight fitting jumpsuits that accentuated their trim, thirty something hot looking bods. Reeves later learned that his space friends were actually much older than they looked.
On this same occasion, Reeves was treated to a trip to the dark side of the moon, which transpired over the course of 6 hours. He described the inside of the spaceship as a glass room full of instruments with three dimensional TV screens that were used for navigational purposes.
While moon traipsing, Reeves scooped up a handful of lunar dust and poured it into a medicine bottle to smuggle home with him, as well as a large moon rock that he stuffed into his trousers. However, Reeves never showed any of this moon dust to the authorities back on Earth because he was worried it would be confiscated in the same manner as his alien papers.
On another trip, Reeves visited Moniheya, which included viewing such natural wonders as two suns, a pink sea, with Loch Ness type monsters, and blue rain. Reeves spoke of two amazing modes of public transportation he encountered, one of which was moving sidewalks, and the other rockets that cruised around just above the ground, kind of like Volkswagens with wings.
While there, his space friends awarded him the official flag of Moniheya, which like his precious moon dust Reeves decided to keep locked away in a safety deposit box, only showing a few select Earth friends on rare occasions, although he did make a duplicate of the flag which he hung on a wall in his home for visitors to admire.
Reeves became known as the Brooksville spaceman. He would often set up a stand at the local shopping mall to show off his display of UFO photographs and news clippings.
Reeves gained the reputation as a kind hearted fellow, who for many years ran a trailer park where he would feed people down on their luck or let them slide on rent if times were tight.
As a monument to his outer space friends, Reeves erected a full sized model of the Moniheyan spaceship in his front yard with a plaque that read:
The spaceship that took John Reeves to planet Moniheya, millions and millions of miles from planet Earth, landed here October 5, 1968.
Harassed by vandals and county tax collectors, Reeves sold his property in 1980 to the state, which razed his house and UFO monument. Letters of protest poured in from throughout Florida objecting to the desecration of John Reeves expression of hope. Now 86 years old, Reeves lives in a trailer on a side street in Brooksville. His newspaper clippings are kept in an old suitcase that he hauls out for anyone who wants to see. A dog eared book contains the autographs of people who came to see his UFO monument, among them Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Pat Boone, and Tuesday Weld.
The local sheriff and newspaper editor said they found Mr. Reeves to be a normal, sincere and honest man. After some more sightings were made in the area, one being very low level, the Air Force brought in some high ranking officers and some special equipment, then closed off the entire area to everyone, including the sheriff and members of his staff.
Mr. Reeves would have more sightings and contacts with the Space People. His most outstanding took place on August 6, 1968, almost a full year before Neal Armstrong landed on the Moon. Responding to an unexplainable urge to go to the same part of the woods where he had encountered the saucer, he saw the same type of ship, and met with the Space People for several hours. He asked them all types of questions.
He said they spoke English, as well as other languages. They told him their ships were made of a super strong substance, much stronger than steel but lightweight like aluminum. He went on to describe the beings as beautiful, slim, tall, with smooth skin and features similar to Orientals, but only slightly. The Space People asked him if he would like to take a trip to the Moon. John quickly said yes, as he felt he could trust them.
The round trip took a little over 6 hours. They landed on the dark side of the Moon, where he found their base enclosed in a large, transparent dome, under which he was able to walk comfortably in his short sleeved shirt.
Let me point out that in the last couple of years, Richard Hoagland claims to have found similar structures in NASA Moon photos.
Needless to say, being the first Earthman on the Moon, Mr. Reeves' eyes almost popped out of his head. Realizing he would need proof of his trip, picked up an approximately softball sized crystal. Later, when he talked to scientists about his trip, he told them that the Earth was more egg shaped than round, and that you could see light clouds on the Moon. He did not show them the dust or rock because he feared they would take his samples and never return them.
One year later, as Neal Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon, he said:
The surface of the Moon ranges from chalky gray to much darker. The ground is covered in a gray dust ranging from very finely granulated to larger glasslike beads very much like earth coal.
He also said you could see light clouds off in the distance, coming together, but quickly breaking up. On their trip back, they noted that the Earth was more egg shaped than round.
I saw the dust. It was much finer than coal dust. I also looked in a book on all types of rocks and could not find anything that matched the crystal that John had let me hold, though he would not give me a sample. He kept the dust and the crystal under heavy lock and key. He would show them to almost no one, and I had to beg to see them. He also showed me a duplicate of a flag he had from their world, saying he had the real one in a safe deposit box, I never found out if that was true.
The Space People told John that their home planet was called Moniheya. It was 32,000 miles around, with 30 countries, total population 15 billion.
In September 1972, the sandy deserted hills where John loved to walk and meet with the Space People were no more. Developers began removing trees and flattening hills to make way for a mobile home park. And, yes, someone does have that original landing site in their front yard.
Mr. John Reeves is now deceased, but his claim to be the 1st Earthman on the Moon will live forever in the hearts of researchers like myself.
Back between 1969 and 1975, I made several trips to Brooksville. I met with locals, like Ramona Hibner and Eula Lewis, and heard all kinds of fascinating tales of UFOs, aliens, and Bigfoots. And, of course, I met John Reeves at his home. It was a circus. People came by while I was there, and Mr. Reeves told his story to them as he told it to me. He didn't seem to tire of telling his story over and over. He took people around his property to see a curious monument he had constructed to the Space People. Nearby was the saucer replica that Mr. Reeves had constructed.
Mr. Reeves was a very nice and open man. He really did seem to believe his own stories. Ramona felt that he had been programmed though with certain memories by an alien intelligence, and that his memories and experiences could not be trusted as objective evidence of what actually transpired during his encounters. And, of course, over the years details might become embellished and distorted with the frequent retelling.
Nevertheless, Brooksville indeed used to be the UFO Capitol of the saucer world, and John Reeves was its resident Contactee celebrity.