DELPHOS UFO LANDING A very credible UFO encounter occurred in the small town of Delphos, Kansas in 1971. This case has never been debunked, and is still considered as one of the very best physical trace cases involving a UFO landing. Sixteen year old Ron Johnson, along with his dog Snowball, was tending the family sheep when his attention was suddenly drawn to a mushroom-shaped UFO appearing in the night sky. The flying object, metallic with multi-colored lights, was hovering approximately 75 feet away from Ron among some trees. Johnson estimated the craft was only a few feet above the ground. He estimated the crafts diameter at 6-8 feet. Stunned by what he was looking at, he tried to get a closer look, but the brilliant luminance of the craft did not allow him to make out any additional details. Ron described the craft as making a loud sound, "like an old washing machine which vibrates." The glow of the objects bottom increased as it began to rise up into the sky. Ron would later state that he was temporarily blinded by the brightness of the craft as it ascended. After he regained his sight and composure, he ran back to the family house to alert his mother and father, Erma and Durel. The bright, glowing object was now even higher in the sky. Ron's parents came running around the side of the house to get a glimpse of the unusual phenomena. They arrived just in time to see the object, now big as the full moon, as it disappeared from view. The three Johnsons were shocked to see a glowing ring on the ground, right below where the craft had hovered. There was also a glowing material on some of the trees nearby. Family members would agree that the ground around the glow "felt strange, like a slick crust, as if the soil was crystallized." Ron's mother's fingers went numb, like she had been given a local anesthetic. After they were sure the craft was not returning, the family settled down for the night. When dawn broke the next day, the family immediately returned to the sight of the glowing ring, and to their surprise, it was still there! The inside and outside of the ring was damp from a rain shower, but the exterior of the ring was amazingly dry. The ring had a crusty appearance, as though the rain had simply ran off, leaving it bone dry. Slightly over a month later, after a snow fall, the white ice had melted both inside and outside of the ring, but the ring itself maintained the snow drift. Investigators experimented with the ring by removing snow from a section of it, and pouring water on the exposed part. The soil would not allow the water to pass through. The Johnsons told their story to the local newspaper, The Delphos Republican. Reporter Thaddia Smith, along with several members of her family, drove back out with the Johnsons to see the site of the UFO landing and the strange ring. Smith's report was as follows: "The circle was still very distinct and plain to see. the soil was dried and crusted. The circle or ring was approximately 8 feet across, the center of the ring and the outside area were still muddy from recent rains. The area of the ring that was dried was about a foot across and was very light in color. The object had crushed a dead tree to the ground either when it landed or took off, and from appearance had broken a limb of a live tree when it landed. the broken limb was most unusual, it would snap and break as though it had been dead for quite some time, yet it was green under the bark, and the upper area still had green leaves clinging to its branches. However the lower area looked as though it had been blistered and had a whitish cast. " Later the same day, Sheriff Enlow, Undersheriff Harlan Enlow, and Kansas State Highway Patrolman Kenneth Yager investigated the ring after being alerted to the factis of the case by Thaddia Smith. Harlan Enlow filed this report: "...we observed a ring shaped somewhat like a doughnut with a hole in the middle. The ring was completely dry with a hole in the middle and outside of the ring mud. There were limbs broken from a tree and a dead tree broken off there. There was a slight discoloration on the trees." Further experimentation showed the ground under the ring to be dry to a depth of one foot. The ring itself was composed of a whitish substance, which was sent to a laboratory for analysis. The findings were as follows: [it was resolved into fibers which] was vegetal in nature and belonged to an organism of the order of Actinomycetales, which is an intermediate organism between bacteria and fungus... family actiniomycete, genus Nocardia... [and is] often found together with a fungus of the order Basidomycetes, which may flouresce under certain conditions... one possible interpretation is that high energy stimulation triggered the spectacular growth of the Nocardia and of an existing fungus, and caused the latter to flouresce. There would also be another witness to corroborate Ron Johnson's account of the UFO. Sheriff Enlow told the press; "On 11-03-71 Mr. Lester Ensbarger of 416 Argyle St. in Minneapolis advised Deputy Sheriff Leonard Simpson that at approx. 7:30 p.m. 11-02-71 he had observed a bright light descending in the sky in the Delphos area." Professional skeptic Phillip Klass suspected that the Delphos case was a hoax. He believed that the ring in the ground was a result of a water trough used by the sheep that was at the location of the circle for many years. He alleged that years of sheep urinating around the trough was the most likely cause of the circle, and that once the trough was moved, the circle remained. Because of Ted Phillips’ careful preservation of the soil samples from Delphos, another analysis was performed in 1999 by Phyllis Budinger, a chemist and retired research scientist for BP/Amoco. She found an unusually high concentration of Oxalic acid. Budinger’s report included a possible explanation of the existence of Oxalic acid offered by her colleague, Dr. J. Robert Mooney: “Exhaust from a low temperature ionization or combustion engine (whose fuel source was elemental carbon) could leave a high concentration of the acid along with other lower molecular weight acids.” The experience of Ron Johnson is still considered as one of the best documented "ground trace" UFO cases of the past century, and is still unexplainable by any conventional or earthly means. THE FALCON LAKE ENCOUNTER Stefan Michalak was an industrial mechanic by trade and an amateur geologist who liked to venture into the wilderness around Falcon Lake — about 150 kilometres east of Winnipeg — to prospect for quartz and silver. He had staked some claims the prior year and set out on the May long weekend in 1967 to explore some more. On May 20, 1967, Stefan was near a vein of quartz along the Precambrian Shield in the area when the 51- year-old was startled by a gaggle of nearby geese that erupted into a clattering of honks. According to his accounts, as reported in newspapers at the time and since repeated in books, magazines and on TV shows like Unsolved Mysteries, Stefan looked up and saw two cigar-shaped objects with a reddish glow hovering about 150 feet away. One descended, according to Stefan's account, landing on a flat section of rock and taking on more of a disc shape. The other remained in the air for a few minutes before flying off. Believing it to be a secret U.S. military experimental craft, Stefan sat back and sketched it over the next half hour. Then he decided to approach, later recalling the warm air and smell of sulfur as he got closer, as well as a whirring sound of motors and a hissing of air. He also noted a door open on the side with bright lights inside, and said he heard voices muffled by the sounds from the craft. He said he called out, offering mechanical help to the "Yankee boys" if they needed it. The voices went quiet but did not answer, so Stefan tried in his native Polish, then in Russian and finally in German. Only the whir and hiss of the craft responded. He claims he went closer and noted the smooth metal of the ship, with no seams. He then looked into the bright doorway, pulling on the welding goggles he used to protect his eyes while chipping at rocks during prospecting. Inside, Stefan said he saw light beams and panels of various-colored flashing lights, but could not see anyone or any living thing. When he stepped away, three panels slid across the door opening and sealed it. He reached to touch the craft, which he said melted the fingertips of the glove he was wearing. The craft then began to turn counter-clockwise and Stefan says he noticed a panel that contained a grid of holes. Shortly afterward, he was struck in the chest by a blast of air or gas that pushed him backward and set his shirt and cap ablaze. He ripped away the burning garments as the craft lifted off and flew away. Disoriented and nauseous, Stefan stumbled through the forest and vomited. He eventually made his way back to his motel room in Falcon Lake then caught a bus back to Winnipeg. He was treated at a hospital for burns to his chest and stomach that later turned into raised sores on a grid-like pattern. And for weeks afterwards, he suffered from diarrhea, headaches, blackouts and weight loss. Items were later retrieved from the encounter site, including Stefan's glove and shirt and some tools, which were subjected to extensive analysis at an RCMP crime lab. No one could determine what caused the burns. At the landing site was a circle about 15 feet in diameter, devoid of the moss and vegetation growing in other areas of the same rock outcropping. Soil samples, along with samples of clothing, were tested and deemed to be highly radioactive. So were pieces of metal that were chipped out of cracks in the rock about a year after the incident. The metal had somehow been melted into the cracks. Many of the items have long since been lost as they were transferred through various authorities and agencies. Once the story was out, the RCMP, the air force, the media, various government agencies, and hordes of gawking members of the public descended on the Michalaks's small River Heights bungalow in Winnipeg. After that, and until the day he died in 1999 at the age of 83, Stefan believed he never should have said a thing, his son Stefan, Jr. has said. In Poland, before Stefan moved his family to Canada, he was a military policeman with a set of moral guidelines that he lived by — that is, if something happened, it should be reported, Michalak said. In addition to constant probing from authorities, the family endured condemnation and criticism in the public, Stefan's sanity was questioned and his son was bullied in school. Though he wished he hadn't said anything, Stefan never backed away from the story, either. He also never claimed to have seen aliens and still considered it a secret military craft. JAPAN AIR LINES 1628 On November 17, 1986, the Japanese crew of a JAL Boeing 747 cargo freighter witnessed three unidentified objects after sunset while flying over eastern Alaska. The objects seemed to prefer the cover of darkness to their left, and to avoid the brighter skies to their right. At least the first two of the objects were observed by all three crew members: Captain Kenju Terauchi, an ex- fighter pilot with more than 10,000 hours flight experience, in the cockpit's left-hand seat; co-pilot Takanori Tamefuji in the right-hand seat; and flight engineer Yoshio Tsukuba. The routine cargo flight entered Alaska on auto-pilot, cruising at 565 mph at an altitude of 35,000 ft. At 17:09, the Anchorage ATC advised a new heading towards Talkeetna, Alaska. As soon as JAL 1628 straightened out of its turn, at 17:11, Captain Terauchi noticed two craft to his far left, and some 2,000 ft below his altitude, which he assumed to be military aircraft. These were pacing his flight path and speed. At 17:18 or 17:19 the two objects abruptly veered to a position about 500 ft or 1,000 ft in front of the aircraft, assuming a stacked configuration. In doing so they activated "a kind of reverse thrust, and [their] lights became dazzlingly bright". To match the speed of the aircraft from their sideways approach, the objects displayed what Terauchi described as a disregard for inertia: "The thing was flying as if there was no such thing as gravity. It sped up, then stopped, then flew at our speed, in our direction, so that to us it [appeared to be] standing still. The next instant it changed course. ... In other words, the flying object had overcome gravity." The "reverse thrust" caused a bright flare for three to seven seconds, to the extent that captain Terauchi could feel the warmth of their glows. Air traffic control was notified at this point (at 17:19:15), who could not confirm any traffic in the indicated position. After three to five minutes the objects assumed a side-to-side configuration, which they maintained for another 10 minutes. They accompanied the aircraft with an undulating motion, and some back and forth rotation of the jet nozzles, which seemed to be under automatic control, causing them to flare with brighter or duller luminosity. Each object had a square shape, consisting of two rectangular arrays of what appeared to be glowing nozzles or thrusters, separated by a dark central section. Captain Terauchi speculated in his drawings, that the objects would appear cylindrical if viewed from another angle, and that the observed movement of the nozzles could be ascribed to the cylinders' rotation. The objects left abruptly at about 17:23:13, moving to a point below the horizon to the east. Where the first objects disappeared, Captain Terauchi now noticed a pale band of light that mirrored their altitude, speed and direction. Setting their onboard radar scope to a 25 nautical miles range, he confirmed an object in the expected 10 o'clock direction at about 7.5 nmi distance, and informed ATC of its presence. Anchorage found nothing on their radar, but Elmendorf's NORAD Regional Operations Control Center (ROCC), directly in his flight path, reported a "surge primary return" after some minutes. As the city lights of Fairbanks began to illuminate the object, captain Terauchi believed to perceive the outline of a gigantic spaceship on his port side that was "twice the size of an aircraft carrier". It was, however, outside first officer Tamefuji's field of view. The object followed "in formation", or in the same relative position throughout the 45 degree turn, a descent from 35,000 to 31,000 ft, and a 360 degree turn. The short-range radar at Fairbanks airport failed, however, to register the object. Anchorage ATC offered military intervention, which was declined by the pilot, due to his knowledge of the Mantell incident. The object was not noted by any of two planes which approached JAL 1628 to confirm its presence, by which time JAL 1628 had also lost sight of it. JAL 1628 arrived safely in Anchorage at 18:20. A day later at FAA headquarters, they briefed Vice Admiral Donald D. Engen, who watched the whole video of over half an hour, and asked them not to talk to anybody until they were given the OK, and to prepare an encompassing presentation of the data for a group of government officials the next day. The meeting was attended by representatives of the FBI, CIA and President Reagan's Scientific Study Team, among others. Upon completion of the presentation, all present were told that the incident was secret and that their meeting "never took place". According to Callahan, the officials considered the data to represent the first instance of recorded radar data on a UFO, and they took possession of all the presented data. John Callahan however managed to retain the original video, the pilot's report and the FAA's first report in his office. The forgotten target print-outs of the computer data were also rediscovered, from which all targets can be reproduced that were in the sky at the time. After a three-month investigation, the FAA formally released their results at a press conference held on March 5, 1987. Here Paul Steucke retracted earlier FAA suggestions that their controllers confirmed a UFO, and ascribed it to a "split radar image" which appeared with unfortunate timing. He clarified that "the FAA [did] not have enough material to confirm that something was there", and though they were "accepting the descriptions by the crew" they were "unable to support what they saw". THE VAL JOHNSON INCIDENT It was late August in Marshall County, 1979. Deputy sheriff Val Johnson was on patrol in his Ford LTD at 1:30 a.m., heading out on County Road 5. He got about 10 miles away from Stephen when he saw a light through the driver’s side window. It was an 8- to 12-inch ball of light floating about three-and-a-half feet off the ground, zooming along the road. Johnson thought it had to be a truck with a busted headlight. But it was too bright for that. Whatever it was, Johnson decided to follow it. He sped up to 55 mph, following the glowing orb down a dark stretch of country road. He’s not certain what happened next. One second the light was dead ahead, and the next it was upon him, painfully bright. All he remembers is the sound of glass breaking and the brakes seizing up. He woke up 39 minutes later with his head on the steering wheel. He raised it to take in a sideways view of the world. His car was sitting on its side, halfway off the road in the opposite lane. His head hurt. His eyes hurt. But he managed to radio headquarters. When they asked what was wrong, he told them he honestly didn’t know. All he knew was that something hit his car. Rescuers found his car in a sorry state. The windshield was shattered, and there was a hefty dent in the hood. The antennae were folded neatly backward, with all the desiccated corpses of careless insects still attached. One of the headlights was busted. An ambulance transported Johnson to a Warren hospital. Doctors determined he’d sustained eye burns, the kind welders get from staring at the sparks shooting off their instruments. He was treated and released. He told Sheriff Dennis Brekke what he saw. He had no explanation for it. During questioning, they noticed his watch was 14 minutes behind. This was strange for Johnson. He had always been fastidious about syncing his watch and his car clock with headquarters when he started his shifts. They also discovered the clock in his car was 14 minutes slow. The department was dumbfounded. They had no idea how any of this could be explained. That’s when Brekke called the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) in Illinois. UFO investigator Allan Hendry turned up in Warren the next day. Hendry was an astronomer, ufologist and advocate for the “scientific study of UFOs.” His book, "The UFO Handbook: A Guide to Investigating, Evaluating, and Reporting UFO Sightings" was all about being comprehensive and critical of supposed encounters, and separating tricks of the mind from the truly unexplained. Hendry studied the car and the circumstances. He came to only one conclusion: whatever happened, this wasn’t a hoax. Hendry was the first of many experts to examine the wreck. A glass expert determined the fractures in the outside of the windshield had three origins -- three objects had likely hit the windshield within milliseconds of each other. There was no conclusion as to what these objects were. An investigator from Honeywell studied the antennae. His best guess was that they had been bent by a highly imposed blast of air -- but he had no idea what could had caused such a thing. The presence of bugs on the antennae indicated that it probably hadn’t been bent back by hand. Theories started to bounce. Maybe it was ball lightning: an atmospheric quirk usually associated with thunderstorms. But the night had been clear. A fallen piece of equipment from a nearby Air Force base? Maybe, but there would have been debris. After the department released the story of Johnson’s mystery encounter, the AP picked it up, and the department phone was suddenly ringing around the clock. People were calling from all over the world, dying to know more. Johnson and his family were inundated WITH calls from the press, and he appeared on Good Morning America. But as time went on, other headlines crowded the front page and the event fell into relative obscurity. Then along came the Internet. There’s probably more interest in [Johnson] now than there was 20 years ago,” says Kent Broten, president of the Marshall County Historical Society. The Marshall County Museum still has Johnson’s car, and it’s one of their most popular exhibits. Every year they meet people who show up just to see the car in person. The History Channel and the Travel Channel stop by every now and then to do spooky specials on the small-town UFO encounter. Broten has no idea what happened that night, and he knows pretty much everything there is to know about the Val Johnson Incident, as it came to be known. To this day, it’s unsolved,” he says. marshall-county-famous/483486061 WESTHALL SCHOOL SIGHTING At approximately 11:00 am on Wednesday, April 6, 1966, a class of students and a teacher from Westall High School (now Westall Secondary College) in Victoria, Australia, were just completing a sport activity on the main oval when an object, described as being a gray saucer-shaped craft with a slight purple hue and being about twice the size of a family car, was alleged to have been seen. Witness descriptions were mixed: Andrew Greenwood, a science teacher, told The Dandenong Journal at the time that he saw a silvery-green disc. According to witnesses the object was descending and then crossed and overflew the high school's south-west corner, going in a south-easterly direction, before disappearing from sight as it descended behind a stand of trees and into a paddock at The Grange in front of the Westall State School (primary students). After a short period (approximately 20 minutes) the object – with witnesses now numbering over 200 – then climbed at speed and departed towards the north-west. As the object gained altitude some accounts describe it as having been pursued from the scene by five unidentified aircraft which circled the object. Some described one disk, some claimed to have seen three. The Dandenong Journal covered the encounter in detail and ran two front-page stories. The first was on April 14th and the next was on April 21st. Broadsheet newspaper, The Age ran a very small article about the Westall incident on April 7th, 1966, on page 6: "Object Perhaps Balloon – An unidentified flying object seen over the Clayton-Moorabbin area yesterday morning might have been a weather balloon. Hundreds of children and a number of teachers at Westall School, Clayton, watched the object during morning break." The newspaper also said “…a number of small airplanes circled around it. However, a check later showed that no commercial, private or RAAF pilots had reported anything unusual in the area. The Weather Bureau released a balloon at Laverton at 8:30 am and the westerly wind blowing at the time could have moved it into the area where the sighting was reported". Witnesses and researchers were surprised when The Sun News-Pictorial (a tabloid) ran no story, yet The Age (a broadsheet) did. The Sun and The Herald newspapers, while not mentioning the Westall incident, both published cartoons in the following day's editions that made light of the flying saucer phenomena Studio 10 (a TV program) made a 17 min summary on the 50 year anniversary of the event in January 2016 with interviews of eyewitnesses. A 7-minute short entitled Westall was produced in 2017 as part of a Swinburne University of Technology project. It featured interviews with 3 of the children that witnessed the event. A 6-minute short documentary titled "In the Sky - Westall 1966" was produced in 2019 as a part of a Deakin University production. It featured the story of one of the witnesses and a possible explanation of the event. The alleged sighting was investigated by two groups: The Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society (VFSRS) and Phenomena Research Australia (PRA). Both groups described it as being one of Australia's major unexplained UFO cases. The VFSRS team arrived on the site on April 8th and spoke to students and viewed the "ground mark", originally described as a great big round patch of yellow flattened grass with a swirly pattern. The VFSRS printed an image and a small report in their magazine "Australian UFO Bulletin" in December 2000. An investigator, Brian Boyle (PRA), arrived at the site on April 9th with four army investigators. Boyle did a number of interviews, which he recorded on tape, over a number of days and took samples from the ground mark. These investigators were able to speak to many of the witnesses as it was over the Easter holidays. Although some witnesses reported five Cessna-type aircraft around the object, investigators were unable to find any record of such aircraft. Moorabbin Airport, which is 3 miles (south- west) from the location, was checked but no aircraft from that airport entered the airspace. The RAAF also reported no military activity in that area. The Australian Skeptics described the object as potentially having been an experimental military aircraft. They also suggest that it may have been a nylon target drogue, like a wind sock, towed by one plane for the others to chase and known to be in use by the local RAAF at the time. A witness reunion was held at Westall Tennis Club Hall, on April 6, 2006, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the incident.
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