PORTAGE COUNTY UFO CHASE    It’s 5 a.m. April 17, 1966, when two Portage County, Ohio, sheriff deputies stop to investigate an abandoned vehicle along a road near Ravenna. Deputy Dale Spaur gets out of his car, while Wilbur “Barney” Neff remains in his. “He hears this strange humming noise, so he turns around and sees this giant UFO,” said Brian Seech, co-founder of the Center for Unexplained Events. The unidentified flying object rises from behind the trees and hovers above them, the ground drenched in bright light. What transpires next will be an 86-mile chase at speeds of more than 100 mph that will take the deputies — and a few more — on a harrowing ride from Ohio to Pennsylvania. For law enforcement officers, the bizarre trek won’t end in Conway, Pa. It will follow them for the rest of their lives. Initially instructed by their dispatcher to shoot the object, Spaur and Neff are told to stand down by Sgt. Henry Shoenfelt who wonders if the two have found a government weather balloon. About the same time, police Chief Gerald Buchert, who was on patrol in nearby Mantua, hears the deputies’ call about lights in the sky. He races home to get his camera and snaps three photos of what he describes as “two table saucers put together.” When the UFO zips away toward the east, Spaur and Neff give chase. Spaur later would say that from the ground, the object looked like the head of a flashlight, about 40 feet wide and 20 feet tall. “The lines of the object were very distinct,” he told reporters. “Somebody had control over it. It wasn’t just floating around. It can maneuver.” Seech said the chase slowed down near Rochester. The cars got “tangled up in a mess of bridges,” according to Spaur. Spaur would later explain, “When I came out from under the bridge, it came down and waited for us. Just as though it knew these two cars were following it.” Seech said as soon as Spaur and Neff — now low on gas — got close to it, the object would speed up. “It was almost as if it was playing cat-and-mouse with them,” Seech said. Their vehicles were running on fumes, their tires were balding, he said, so they pulled into an Atlantic service station where they were met by Conway Patrolman Frank Panzanella. By 6:15 a.m., Spaur had alerted dispatch about the three fighter jets in pursuit of the aircraft. The officers could pick up chatter from the pilots on their police radios. “The object hovered,” Seech said, then shot straight out of sight.” Spaur recounted, “We were close, closer than I ever want to be again.” Hundreds of people also reported seeing the shiny saucer in the sky and heard the steady, faint humming sound. It didn’t take long for Maj. Hector Quintanilla, director of Project Blue Book, a government-funded project  that investigates UFO sightings, to come knocking. Headquartered out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Project Blue Book also determined whether or not UFOs were a threat to national security. “He interviewed Spaur and Neff, and it was a rather terse interview,” Seech said, adding that Quintanilla easily explained away the sighting — and the photos. First, it was a satellite they saw, Quintanilla said, then the planet Venus. Officers were chasing a stationary object. Radar didn’t indicate anything peculiar, and no fighter jets were dispatched. And Buchert’s photos? Those were “severely fogged,” Quintanilla reported, had processing defects and proved nothing. I know nobody’s ever going to believe it, but it’s true,” Spaur said. Over time, the officers would back down from their original reports, some refusing to talk about it. Spaur never discounted his experience, though it did cost him his marriage and livelihood. “People generally don’t want to be different. They don’t want to stick out,” Seech noted. “As Dale even said, they’re going to remember me as that nut who saw a flying saucer. They chased something. We don’t know what it was, but they chased it.” People still remember the incident and its lasting impression, especially on a young filmmaker named Steven Spielberg. He had used the police chase and other details in his blockbuster movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” “I think that is a pretty cool fact that maybe a lot of people don’t know,” Seech said. As Spaur later said, “If I could change all that I have done in my life, I would change just one thing. And that would be the night we chased that damn thing. That saucer.” https://www.timesonline.com/news/20181018/parajournal-famous-86-mile-ufo-chase-in-1966-still- defies-air-force-explanation CRESTVIEW SCHOOL UFO On the morning of 6th April 1967, fourth-grade student, Jonathan, while standing in the schoolyard during recess, would notice a strange object hovering over the schoolyard in North Dade County, Miami, Florida. The object was quite a way in the distance, but still close enough to see in detail. It was a round, disc-shaped craft which appeared to spin in the air, calmly and controlled. It was at the end of the morning recess and most of the other children were already inside. Fourth-grade teacher, Mr. Robert Apfel, was busy calling the odd straggler in and to their next lesson. One of which was the now enthralled Jonathan. As Apfel walked over to the young boy, Jonathan turned to ask him while pointing upwards, “What is that?” Both teacher and student could see the metallic craft overheard. Neither knew what it was and with all the other children now in the school, they were the only two witnesses remaining. As they both looked upwards the object vanished in a sudden white flash. Standing there for a moment to gather his thoughts, Apfel then ushered Jonathan inside. Although there were several military bases and airports in the vicinity, it wasn’t an aerial craft either had seen before. Not at all sure what they had seen, neither expected to see such a sight again. The next day, however, this mysterious craft would return. And it wouldn’t be alone. The following day, on the 7th April, Jonathan along with the rest of his grade sat in their class awaiting the start of the lesson. Before Mr. Apfel could begin, however, the children noticed three strange objects hovering in the sky outside. One of them was the same craft as Jonathan witnessed the previous day. This time, though, there were two other, cigar-shaped objects and they were much closer to the school. Then, all three objects vanished once again. The children, including Jonathan, would rush outside to get a closer look. As they ran outside, the circular object returned. They were soon joined by other students who had also noticed these apparently other-worldly visitors. In all, it is estimated anywhere between 100 and 200 people witnessed the strange crafts. Most of them elementary students, although several teachers were among them. The growing mass of students pressed against the fence at the edge of the school perimeters. The rotating disc was now only yards away from the witnesses. Then, it began to move and would shoot forward into the trees which overlooked the schoolyard. However, instead of crashing into them and sending damaged branches into the air and to the ground, it simply vanished. As if an unseen portal or gateway had swallowed it. The children stared in disbelief. They would let out a collective gasp when the object returned in a flash. Again, it was as if it had appeared from out of the trees. And again, there was no damage to speak of. After several more seconds, the object vanishes from sight in another flash of light. An official report was made to MUFON. Many of the children state to remembering a “military presence” in the school on the afternoon of the second sighting. Three of the teachers were apparently interviewed privately, and some spoke with the children themselves. The official result of this military presence was that “three low-hovering helicopters” were the mysterious objects. Furthermore, the children must “have been mistaken” in what they claimed they had seen. Perhaps not surprisingly those present that morning reject the notion that what they saw was a “low- hovering helicopter”. Perhaps not least due to how familiar they all were with the abundance of aerial vehicles in the sky on the outskirts of Miami. Decades later, with the advent of the Internet, many of the students would speak of their encounter online, finding other witnesses who were there that morning. For example, a sixth-grade student would write of their experience that morning at the National UFO Reporting Center website. They would state of seeing “three oval-shaped objects coming through the clouds” on what was a “clear day”. According to the witness, the two smaller objects were “dancing around” the larger craft. The larger object appeared to be made from shiny metal and was around “the size of a cruise ship”. The witness would also state the object would land briefly in a nearby field. They would later ride their bikes to the area and find the ground “charred and smashed” into the shape of the object. They would also remember “men in uniforms” arriving at the school later that day. https://www.ufoinsight.com/the-crestview-elementary-school-ufo-incident/ THE COSFORD INCIDENT On March 31 at around 1.15am, MoD officers reported ‘a vast triangular shaped craft flying at about 200ft’. The craft made a low humming noise and fired a beam of light which swept the ground. It left trails of luminous vapor and sped off in a South East direction. Most eyewitnesses described the craft as having two white lights, but some said there was a third giving an impression the object was triangular. In his report at the time, MoD’s UFO head Nick Pope said there was a UFO of ‘unknown origin’ operating in the UK air space without showing up on radar. He said the incident was of ‘considerable defense significance’ and recommended it for further investigation. Although no new details have come to light, Mr Pope believes the severity of the event would have prompted the American government to carry out its own investigation. He added: “Officials connected with the Pentagon’s AATIP project have disclosed that it (the program) generated a 490-page report detailing UFO sightings from not just the US, but from all around the world. If US intelligence found any answers (about the Cosford Incident), it’s not clear whether they told British defense chiefs. I’d left the MoD by the time AATIP was set up, so I don’t know whether the Americans briefed us on their findings. UFO websites claimed that the event was a major indicator alien life existed. But skeptics believed there could have been different causes. The day before the sighting, a Russian radio satellite was jetted into the sky and the debris from its rocket booster fell back down to Earth. The severity of the Cosford Incident was made even more extra-ordinary because at the same time, dozens of triangular-shaped UFOs were reported moving at speed in the sky across western Britain. They were also reported in other areas of the Midlands on the night. One family from Rugeley even claimed they chased a UFO across the Staffordshire countryside into a field before it disappeared. The first sighting took place in Somerset the day before at around 8.30pm, said Mr Pope. Then at 9.30pm in Quantock Hills, Somerset, a police officer with a group of scouts reported seeing aircraft described as ‘looking like two Concordes side by side and joined together’.Mr Pope said: “The reports came in thick and fast and when I arrived at work the following morning I received a steady stream of reports. “It was soon clear that I had a major UFO event on my hands. One of the most interesting reports came from a member of the public in Rugeley, Staffordshire, who reported a UFO that he estimated as being 600 feet in diameter. He and other family members told me how they had chased the object in their car and got extremely close to it, believing it had landed in a nearby field. When they got there a few seconds later, there was nothing to be seen. Many of the descriptions related to a triangular-shaped craft or of the lights perceived as being on the underside of such a craft. Indeed, in an apparent coincidence these sighting occurred three years to the very day after the famous wave of sightings in Belgium that had led to F-16 fighters being scrambled to intercept a UFO being tracked on radar. Mr Pope, who ran the British government’s UFO project between 1991 and 1994, believes UFO’s exist ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. And he believes some of their origins could be other-worldly, or extraterrestrial. He recently tweeted: “Existence of UFOs proven ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, claims former Pentagon UFO investigator. Having run the UK MoD’s #UFO project I agree, but I contend that the true nature of the phenomenon remains unexplained. It’s possible but not proven that some UFOs may be extraterrestrial.” https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2018/01/03/was-shropshires-most-notorious-ufo-incident-secretly- investigated-by-the-pentagon/
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