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The Sighting Wave of 1967 - Indiana
A NICAP Subcommittee Investigation
By Francis Ridge


Francis Ridge

Abstract

The Indiana-based NICAP Subcommittee, Indiana Unit No.1, headquartered at Vincennes, was authorized in November of 1960. The unit had investigated many cases on a local and regional level, and had been involved in the "concentration" in S. Illinois in 1963, but the wave of 1967 was one of the largest in history. The 7-man NICAP rapid deployment team, one of four in the state, was very busy that year. Since the news media was not covering the UFO subject very well, and communication with NICAP HQ in Washington was by newsletter distributed only four times a year, very few knew what was going on until long after the wave had subsided.

The report on the local wave was published privately in the spring of 1967. This paper is a major update of that report. Here, in chrono order, is what investigators were able to piece together 36 years later. To view a Regional Sighting Information Database printout of over 200 incidents investigated by the Indiana group, click on the link below: 

RSID printout for six-state region in 1967

The event on or around January 3, 1967, at Richmond, Indiana, marked the first of many sightings for Indiana. At 2:00 AM an inverted mushroom-shaped object hovered over a car for 10-15 minutes. The area ahead was brightly lighted. Forward motion of the vehicle slowed, it was unable to accelerate, and there was a loss of steering control. (1)

The region was also experiencing strange objects in the sky. On an unknown day in January 1967, city, county, and state police were dispatched to an area west of Galesburg, Illinois after reports of sightings of a large UFO, "bigger than a trailer", with blue lights and a funnel on top were received. One Knoxville farmer and several motorists reported that the UFO "was round, big as a house, had no flying lights, but let off a greenish-blue light."  Vibrations from the craft could be felt in the farmer's truck as it followed him along the Victoria blacktop about 7:00 PM. ( 34) And on January 7th, things were happening near St. Louis, Missouri. There was a sighting of a domed disc with lights on the dome, which hovered, tilted and sped away. (31)

The first sighting that the Vincennes, Indiana, NICAP Subcommittee investigated, occurred on January 10th. 

January 10, 8:30 PM; Bruceville, Indiana 
Mrs. Pam Ridgley and her son, Joe, were driving down the lane leading from their cabin when they observed an unusual object. It was dull gray, elliptical in shape, and glowing a sort of bluish color around the rim. It was low enough over the car and utility pole to get a good estimate of size. It appeared to be about 30 feet in diameter and about eight feet thick. It hovered for a few seconds, then accelerated slowly at first, then moved fast toward the east (east-southeast). It vanished in 6-8 seconds. The object exhibited a disc-shape as it banked slightly and several dim lights were seen on the rim. (2)

January 16, 6:00 AM; Vincennes, Indiana 
On this date there were numerous reports of a glowing, bluish-green object which we were able to identify as a barium cloud launched from a rocket fired from Wallops island. The question that arose was, why are there, many times, barium clouds and radar chaff tests conducted during real sighting periods? Is this just a coincidence or does someone have these tests ready to deploy when people start seeing real UFOs? As you will see, something WAS going in in 1967, and all over the world. (3)

Jan 17, evening; Freetown, Indiana
Francis Bedel, Jr., (23) of Portland, Indiana, was driving on State Highway 135, a two-lane blacktop road, north of Freetown, he later reported to State Police, when a brilliant glowing white light darted into his field of vision. It apparently hovered over the road for a few seconds, then slowly reversed its course. Bedel was so busy staring at the spectacle that he lost control of his car, which left the road and was badly damaged. State Police who investigated said that Bedel was not drinking and was not injured in the crash.. (4)

Same evening; Freetown, Indiana
On the same stretch of highway on the same night, Mr. & Mrs. Phil Patton of Freetown, reported to State Police that a brightly lighted disc-shaped craft, about 30 feet in diameter, came down alongside their car. Mr. Patton told State Trooper Conrad that the object moved along the highway right in front of their car and about one hundred feet distant from it. They estimated that it was about 100 feet above the road and they described it as a circular in shape and about the size of a small house. The Pattons reported to police that they heard no sound from the object but that its outstanding characteristic was the extreme brilliance of its lights, predominately red but with flashing yellow and white along the side or bottom of the thing. After a half a minute, it flashed up and away. According to state police who investigated, the description given by the Pattons was identical to that given by Francis Bedel, the young man who wrecked his car while watching a similar spectacle, about a mile from the scene of the Pattons' experience. (5)
 
 


Controversial photo










Jan 19, 3:00 PM; Milan, Indiana
A photograph was reportedly taken of a UFO by Reed Thompson, a 15-year-old boy from Milan. The town constable stated that the boy was reliable and said that he had seen the photo himself. However, the boy refused to submit copies of the print or negative (35) mm to this unit after correspondence and long-distance telephone interviews. His report to us stated he watched the object for 5-7 minutes before it sped off. Later, one of our Indiana field investigators, Don Worley, obtained further information and a black & white copy of the original color photo, along with a report and drawings. (6)

The incident occurred about 3:00 PM. The sound of a "train" passing and a very bright light outside the window attracted his attention. The object had a silvery quilted surfaced and was about 6' by 8' in size, and was shaped like a "jar" with a top opening. It moved slowly by the witness' home, moving about 10' above the ground, keeping the ground contour and making angled turns around trees. Thompson said he grabbed a small camera and got one good photo of the object out the bedroom window. The object disappeared instantly when it got near a pine tree. The original photo, according to FI Worley, shows tree limb reflections on the sides of the object. He also stated that in the top of the object is a faint shadow of a figure's head and shoulder!!!! We never got to see a better version of the picture. Also of interest, the tree limbs where the UFO hovered finally died. 

The Indiana State Police also investigated the incident and Reed was questioned. The initial report was taken by trooper Jim Harris who came back later after the film was developed and spent considerable time with Reed and his parents. The Air Force sent investigators from Dayton, and Robert Lowe from the University of Colorado analyzed Reed's negative. Reed was later visited by Frank Edwards and Don Worley.

According to a press report, on the same day (no details) two girls from Dillsboro reported seeing the same object or a similar one. (33)

January 29, 7:00 PM; Eckerty, Indiana
Mr. John Sturm, a linotype operator for the SPRINGS-VALLEY-HERALD at French Lick, and his neighbor, observed a bright red object descending from the northwest. It was traveling approximately three times the speed of a jet and had a tail or trail extending about 10-15 feet to the rear of tie object. The object descended at a 45-degree angle, leveled off at low altitude and turned a  bright green. Observation time: 15-20 seconds. Final bearing: southwest. Range: 3-4 miles. The object appeared to be controlled. Meteors don't "level out at low altitude" (7) 

FEBRUARY

February 2, 10:30 PM; Sumner, Illinois
To the west of Vincennes, and just across the Wabash River in Illinois, is a little town called Sumner. A well-known craftsman, who requested anonymity, reported to the Lawrenceville-Vincennes Airport that he observed an object for one and a half hours that was doing some pretty good stunts. It hovered, accelerated, changed shape and color, was observed with the naked eye, 7- power binoculars, and a 20x spotting scope. It was described as a very bright red object, flashing like a red neon sign. The upper portion was a very bright white and red and green lights were observed around the object. The object was seen in the east northeast and noticed because of its brightness arid erratic movement. It seemed to have a very thick rim. In a letter dated 13 April, the observer mentioned that the LAWRENCEVILLE DAILEY - RECORD had an article on UFOs seen farther south about the same time. The airport stated during a telephone conversation that no conventional aircraft were in the area at the time. This one sounds suspiciously like a star or planet, but there were no candidates unless he had his bearings completely wrong. (8)

At the time, we had no idea what was going on elsewhere in the six-state region, or the United States, or even further away. But the record shows that something truly unusual was happening.

On that same day, but at Lima, Peru, at 12:30 AM a cone-shaped object approached and paced a Fawcett Airlines airplane. The cabin lights dimmed, there was radio interference, and the radio compass oscillated. (25) 

Before the year was out there would be at least 28 pilot chase reports.

Back home in Indiana......

February 4, 1967, 7:30 PM; Norman, Indiana (68 miles NE of Vincennes)
State Trooper Hollace Chastain was checking his rural mailbox right after patrol when he noticed an unusual and very bright object in the western sky. It was elliptical in shape, about the size of a dime at arm's length and self luminous. Chastain, after observing a few minutes radioed Trooper James Blevins. The object then ceased to move and hovered for a while, then sped up suddenly, changed colors in the process from white to orange to greenish-blue back to white. It appeared to pulsate at times during the observation. No sound was detected during the 30-minute observation and the object finally disappeared behind a tree-line in the southwest. The object appeared solid and seemed to change shape. Estimated range: 5 miles. Estimated speed: (at acceleration) 1,000 mph. (9)

That same evening, 7:30 PM; 10 miles SE of Norman, Indiana
Trooper Blevins, also of the Seymour Post, followed the object for fifteen minutes to Lawrence County. The object was reported as "soft ball-sized" and changing colors from blue to green to white. "It was stationary when I first saw it, " he said, "but it was too big to be a star. Suddenly it started to move." The interrogation form completed by Trooper Blevins stated that the object had flickered & wobbled during observation and finally dropped straight down behind a tree-line. The object appeared solid and was observed at least once through binoculars. It moved from southwest of his position (8 miles west of Brownstown) to due south above the tree line. Estimated range: 2-10 miles. Estimated speed: 1,000 mph at acceleration. (10)

Within hours of the previous sightings & 65 miles southwest of Brownstown, something unusual was being observed. 


"Boomerang" observed near Oakland City, Indiana










February 5th,  1:45 AM; 10 miles east of Oakland City, Indiana
Seven members of a band were returning home from a performance in Huntingburg when they observed an object described as "pale green with a bluish tinge" with a cluster of white lights, It was observed for 5-6 minutes from the side of highway 64. The object changed brightness and shape and appeared at first as "boomerang-shaped", then somewhat "teardrop-shaped" as it moved from east to northwest. The object was first observed as they drove up over a hill and was last seen fading in the northwest. Another car with 5-6 occupants also observed the object. The original group requested anonymity and the latter observers were unidentified. (11)

2:30 AM; Crothersville, Indiana (75 miles to the north east)
Richard D. Barker of the Seymour State Police post reported he followed a huge ball of greenish-blue and white lights for some 10 miles about 2:30 AM before the light moved west towards Bedford. "It had a flat bottom, just under basketball size, and had a brilliant blue-green light rotating around it counterclockwise. Barker said he was in the vicinity of Crothersville in Jackson County when he first spotted the changing lights, "It was maybe 300-500 feet high and had three red flashing lights under it," he said. "I got within what seemed like about a mile of it and it started  moving south. Barker said he never did lose sight of it and it didn't leave any trail. He said when it got to Littleyork it hovered for a while and then took off fast, "It wasn't like any airplane I've ever seen, " he said. "I know it wasn't a plane." (12)

6:00 AM; Bedford, Indiana (35 miles northwest)
The woman reporting requested anonymity. The report she gave to the DAILEY HERALD-TELEPHONE provided the most vivid description of an unidentified flying object observed as far southwest as Oakland City and as far east as Crothersville......35 miles away. At this time she arose because of noises on the roof roof. She thought it was raining. That's when she saw what looked like a quarter moon that was moving toward her. "I watched it for a half hour," she said. "It would more, then hover, getting closer all the time. It had a bright light on the bottom. The light kept going around and back and forth an the ground like it was looking for some place to land. As it got closer I could see a bright band around the middle of it," she continued. "It was oval-shaped, sort of like a cigar. The top was shiny, like metal, and the bottom was kind of orange. There was a crater on the bottom of it--and bumps, like legs." It hovered near a utility pole behind her house for ten minutes. She said when she started to dial her telephone to call someone about it the object "turned real bright orange and then blue and took off." (13)

That very evening there was a humanoid sighting at Hilliard, Ohio. An object that was described as an ellipse, landed, humanoid beings emerged and placed small spheres on the ground around the craft. Witnesses observed them interacting with humans. Further, up-to-date research, would show many more HR cases for the year, but at least 14 were found without much effort. (32)

February 7th, 8:00 PM; Owen County, Indiana
An egg-shaped object was reported by Paul Poorman on a farm near some strip mines. Poorman was a 33-year-old specialized police officer and qualified pilot. The object was white and well-defined, turned to a blood-red color, then a pale blue. It arose from the White River bottoms and strip mine area, hovered, "yo-yo'd", then zipped south then back, etc., then went down below a tree line. (14) 

February 9th, 7:50 PM; Eight miles south of Seymour, Indiana (35 miles east of Bedford)
Another State Trooper to see and report a UFO in the Seymour area was D. E. Swider at Crothersville, This ended a sighting group for that area and appeared to be somewhat similar to the reports of the 4th and
5th of February. At about 7:50 PM when trooper Swidar was patrolling Interstate 65, 8 miles south of the Seymour State Police HQ, they advised him of a UFO reported to the post. He, himself, saw the object in the west for about 10 minutes before it finally went out of sight further west. It was described as a huge, round object, moving left to right (slowly) changing colors from white to red to orange. This sequence corresponded with a decrease in speed, followed by an increase in speed of the object, typical of a UFO. (15)

The direction and elevation of the UFO put it near the position of Venus. The  Seymour Post stated during a long-distance telephone conversation (with this unit) that some people were reporting Venus. However, the description of the object, its lateral movement and short period at visibility, rules out this possibility.

February 14th, 7:00 AM; Jefferson City, Missouri. A CE-III
Going from a local to a regional sampling of UFO activity, a disc-shaped object was seen resting on a shaft in a field at Jefferson City, Missouri. Small beings were reportedly moving around rapidly beneath it. They disappeared behind the shaft, the object rocked back and forth, took off, and sped away. (26)

On February 19th, registered letters were sent simultaneously to Bakalar Air Force Base at Columbus, Indiana and the Nike Missile Station at Dillsboro, requesting possible information on these reports; either visual or radar. On the 24th we received the following  letter from the Department of the Air Force, dated 23rd Feb 1967:
 
 

Dept. of the AF
HQ, 434th Troop Carrier Wing
Bakalar AFB, Columbus AFB, Indiana

1. In accordance with AFR 200-2, paragraph 7, this base must submit the following: 

"The Office at Information, Office of the Secretary at the Air Force, will release to the public or unofficial persons or organizations, any information or releases concerning UFO's, regardless of origin or nature. This includes replies to correspondence submitted direct to the AFSC (FTD) and other Air Force activities by private individuals requesting comments or results of analysis and investigations of sightings."

2. Your report dated 19 February 1967, is noted and will be passed to the appropriate personnel.

FOR THE COMMANDER
Elbert E. Wade, Major, AFRes
Deputy Director of Operations
Plans and Training Branch

Checking our copy of AFR 200-2 revealed the following:

1) AFR 200-2 makes no mention of the AFSC Foreign Technology Division in its text. On September 19, 1966, the Air Force Systems Command took over the UFO Project. Thus, we have a change from 20 years of investigation by Air Force intelligence through ATIC (Aerospace Technical Intelligence Center) to an Air Force research & development program. The order that produced that change was AFR 80-17. Major Wade was quoting from an outdated directive.

2) We were requesting information, not reporting.

3) We did not get the requested information, either to confirm or deny knowledge of the events.

4) The mention of the "report" (our request) being passed to the "appropriate personnel" indicated a possible statement from, or authorized by, the Secretary of the Air Force. This is according to instructions provided in AFR 200-2, Section B, paragraph 8, dated 14 September '59.  No such answer has been received to date.

On February 20th, we sent a letter to the NICAP Indiana Unit # 4 at Anderson to check to see if they were investigating any of the reports.Instead of a letter, on March 2nd we received a long-distance call from the unit's director, Dennis Simpson. He stated that they had no knowledge of the reports, which indicated that the press had not "stimulated" any other reports. Quite to the contrary, only the Bloomington DAILEY HERALD-TELEPHONE covered the sightings. Even then, only a few were mentioned. The Oakland City case was known only to us and about a week before we received word of the StatenPolice reports.

The reports continued.

February 22, 6:30 AM; Milton, Indiana - Dogs React
As Mrs. Jarnes A Clevenger, stood by her kitchen sink, she saw her collie dog jump against the kitchen window, then race around the yard, "barking and jumping."(16) Then she saw the UFO. "It appeared as [the) headlights of a car except there was only a solid light in an oval shape," the housewife told NICAP. She also saw a white row of lights along the object. Mrs. Clevenger let her dog into the house. The frightened animal raced into the living room and hid. The witness, clad in only her night clothes and with no shoes, ran to the end of her walk in front of the house in the near-zero weather. She saw the object moving slowly at approximately 100 to 200 feet altitude, which followed the course of a creek. Returning to her house, Mrs. Clevenger called a neighbor one quarter of a mile to the south, Mrs. Judd Alford. "I could see a circle of white lights some 200 or 50 feet in the air," Mrs. Alford said. "The object appeared like a saucer to me." Several minutes later, she added, the UFO disappeared behind some trees. Mrs. Alford also said her fox terrier ran into the house "at full speed" and hid under a chair. (16)

On that same evening, Rev. and Mrs. Leonard Lutz and their son, David, saw an oblong UFO that looked like "two headlight-looking affairs" with colored lights near Hagerstown, Indiana. (17)

On the 29th we received the answer to the letter to the Dillsboro Nike Missile Station (40 miles east of Seymour). Instead of the typical professional looking  government letterhead, the letter was typed on plain paper and was addressed from the Department of the Army:

 Original copy of letter, dated February 24, 1967
.

Department of the Army
HQ, 88th Artillery Group (Air Defense)
Wilmington, Ohio

24 February 1967

Dear Sir,

This organization cannot confirm any of the UFO reports mentioned in your letter of 19 Feb 1967, addressed to Btry C, 5th Msl Bn (HERC), 56th Arty, Dillsboro, Indiana.

Sincerely,
John D. Penrod
WO1, USA
Adjutant

Radar at the NIKE Hercules base did not operate all the time, but it was/is in the Air Defense system. When we wrote to this base we assumed that the radar must have been on. This was an error. The type of radar used would pick up any high altitude aircraft, but probably not any low flying objects. At this base the equipment used for detection is continuous wave acquisition radar. Tracking is accomplished by pulse acquisition radar which guides the missile to the target. The tracking denial was probably legitimate, but there was a directive that covered that situation, too.

Issued by the Secretary of the Army, AR 30-13, dated 31 January 1957 states:
 
 

Sightings Of Unconventional Aircraft (UFOB)

"Persona involved in sightings will not discuss or disseminate such information to persons or agencies other than their superior officers and other personnel authorized by the Acting Chief Of Staff, G-2, this headquarters.

BY ORDER OF THE CHIEF OF STAFF,
Colonel Charles L. Olin

Previous correspondence with the missile base on November 25th, 1960, requesting data on a  sighting covered by the press, also died a quick death, when after the base stated that they HAD tracked an object to Indianapolis, denied it on December 1st. That  letter was signed by Lt. Charles A. Millick, Exec Officer. State police units had been rushed out to look for evidence of a a plane crash, but could find none. This made it a UFO, not an airplane...which changed the circumstances and rules regarding release of information.

MARCH

March 1st, 10:06 PM; Poland, Indiana
A dark-colored disc with a dome, performing slow and low flights in Owen County, was reported to have followed persons in an auto for miles until they reached their home at Poland, in Clay County.. The dome was either reflecting or emitting dim red light, and the object had two white lights on the ends and two larger red lights together in the middle. The flight was reported as as low as 40' and two automobiles had their hoods up, indicating possible E-M effects. (18)

While we were checking out "routine" UFO reports on a local level, and not aware of anything going on elsewhere, the situation was getting more serious. On March 2nd there was a radar/visual sighting of three or four silvery objects at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. At 10:30 AM that morning those objects were tracked at 2,000 mph). There were at least nine radar cases in 1967 that were memorable. (27)

That same day we had sent a letter in rebuttal to the February 23rd, Bakalar Air Force letter, stating that we wanted a simple yes or no regarding their official knowledge of UFO activity in the area. Air Force regulations state that only the names and identifying information, classified equipment procedures & frequencies, be deleted in order to declassify a UFO report. A report stripped of this data (which is of no interest to us, anyway) should be readily available to serious researchers and the public. We also mentioned that AFR 80-17 had replaced AFR 200-2 in September. The answer to our letter (which came later and was dated March 21) was very interesting, but somewhat confusing: 

 Gif of original letter dated March 21, 1967
.

"1. This headquarters submits a negative radar capability and negative report of positively identified sighting.
 2. Suggest you recheck section B, Paragraph 5C, AFR 80-17, dated 19 Sep 1966. Quote 'In response to local inquiries regarding UFO's reported in the vicinity of an Air Force Base, the base commander may release information to the news media or the public AFTER THE SIGHTING HAS BEEN POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED. If......thru the entire paragraph..
 3. Suggest contact with SAFOI for desired information."

FOR THE  COMMANDER
Albert E. Wade, Major, AFRes

This much we can gather from the sightings reported beginning on Feb 4th. The witnesses were reliable and the testimony provides information that suggests that something truly unusual was going on in Indiana. At that time we were totally unaware that this was part of a major sighting wave that extended across the Country and into other parts of the world. In the cases we investigated, the acceleration of the object produced the same effects, a brighter spectral color. Upon deceleration, the reverse was noted. The greatest change occurred during a relatively swift velocity change. The basic colors reported were orange and greenish-blue from or TO white. In some instances one object could have caused all the reports for that period. No aircraft, balloon, cloud, or astronomical phenomena  could, in the opinion of these investigators, be responsible for the physical or flight characteristics reported by the witnesses involved in these sightings.

Continuing to escalate, on March 5th there was a major broad daylight encounter at Minot AFB, North Dakota. Radar had tracked a metallic disc with a ring of bright flashing lights that descended over a Minuteman missile site and hovered. This was seen by security guards. When jets were ordered to scramble, the object climbed straight up and streaked away. (28)
 
 


UFO filmed at Moline, Illinois, on March 9th, a sample of
incidents outside Indiana during the wave of 1967. 










March 9th, afternoon; Moline, Illinois.
A regional report, and one showing very graphically what was going on around the country, is the Moline, Illinois incident where a policeman spotted two UFOs in the afternoon. Police officer William Fisher said he was riding his motorcycle on patrol when he spotted a boxcar-sized object hovering at about 3,000 feet. He said a second UFO materialized as he watched, and both sped from sight. Fisher took color motion pictures of the objects, one frame of which is displayed at the top of this page. (29)

A major event in March was a glowing red saucer-shaped object which hovered over another Minuteman missile silo on March 16th. This time it was Malmstrom AFB, Montana. The object was seen by security guards and the missiles inexplicably shut down. Missiles later resumed functioning on their own, and no explanation was ever found. There was a similar experience the very next day at another missile site 20 miles away). (30)

March 23rd, 11:30 AM; Lawrenceville, Illinois
Another man requesting his name be kept confidential reported that he observed an object, near the airport, in the west that appeared to be an aircraft fuselage (DC-3) without wings. It was white in color, and after a minute of observation, took off fast towards the northwest into a cloud. The observer is a well-respected individual who has been employed for years at Lawrenceville-Vincennes Airport (formerly George Field). He expressed the fact that he could recognize and identify most aircraft. This one was different. It looked like it was coming in to land (sideways), then sped off, always exhibiting the elliptical shape. (19)

APRIL

April 1st, 5:45 AM; Wayne County, Indiana
A farm wife was putting milkers on cows in a barn when she observed a round, red-yellow object the size of the full moon for about a minute. It hovered about 200 yards away, then climbed and disappeared in about three seconds. (20)

April 10th, 3:00 PM; Fayette County, Indiana.
A bright white oval object with lights in a row were observed for 30-minutes by two witnesses. The object performed "falling leaf" maneuvers, slowly, many times, rising into clouds and coming out of them. Witness finally got a camera and took 12 photos. By then the objects were too distant to capture. (21)

Same day, 9:45 PM; same county.
A glowing orange-yellow ball that swung in a large arc was observed by two witnesses for 20 minutes. It moved closer and became a huge dark object which reminded the witnesses of a passenger coach of a train with seven tall windows emitting light. (22) 

MAY

May 15th, 11:15 PM; NE of Indianapolis, Indiana
A commercial airline pilot, who prefers to remain anonymous, had just concluded a tour of duty and was driving to his home in an exclusive residential community a few miles northeast of Indianapolis. As he turned into the lane that led to his home, he noticed a strangely lighted craft in the sky. It was moving slowly toward the south, crossing some fields behind his house at an altitude of about one thousand feet, he estimated. The thing that attracted his attention was the lighting arrangement of the object; a brilliant white light in front, a rapidly blinking red light on the rear, and pulsating red lights from front to back underneath what seemed to be a cigar-shaped craft. The pilot phoned the airport control tower. Did they have anything on their scope in his area? The radar man assured him that they did indeed have an unidentified object on the scope - had been watching it for several minutes. The pilot inquired if either of the Goodyear "blimps" was up? Neither. The radar man said he could clearly see both blimps tied down on the airport, only a couple of hundred yards from his position. And he added that there were no planes in that area, and no weather balloons.

The pilot reported the incident to the Marion County Sheriff's office and that office broadcast an alert The dispatcher in the sheriff's office contacted the radar room at the Municipal Airport and was told that they were watching an unidentified return on the scope from an object moving about at very low altitude in the area indicated. Two deputies who answered from the general area of the pilot's home were dispatched to the scene to check the report. The first to reach the scene was Deputy Kenneth Toler, who told Frank Edwards: "It was a sight--- a very strange sight. The light on the front end was brilliant. We (the pilot and the deputy) could see the shape of the thing - like a fat cigar about forty to fifty feet long, we estimated. It was moving slowly against the wind. The row of lights along the bottom was unusual ---I never saw a craft with lights like that. We watched the thing for about 25 minutes, altogether. It was somewhere beyond a mile from us. When it got ready to leave it just took off at a steep angle. It went fast - very fast was out of sight in a few seconds, still rising." (23)

This sighting is noteworthy because of the caliber of the witnesses: a commercial pilot, a deputy sheriff and the radar operator who confirmed the visual sighting with his instrument. 

May 21, 3:00 AM; Union County.
A dark object with a circle of red pulsating lights which lit up the area was observed for two minutes by two witnesses. The object moved slowly along a highway below tree-top level. It made two passes. Witnesses experienced retinal afterimage, and a rooster reduced its crowing to a shrill screaming sound. The location: 5 miles west of the NIKE missile base near Oxford, Ohio! (24)

Five hours later, 8:00 AM; same county.
A farmer out hunting looked up when he heard a brief swishing sound. Six or eight light gray watermelon shaped objects in semicircle formation at undetermined height were moving rapidly to the east. The witness was very shook up, rushed home and called the newspaper. (35)

Sometime in the summer, about 4:00 PM in the afternoon; Booneville, Indiana
The date of this sighting is unknown. At Booneville, just a few miles from Evansville, Indiana, a Close Encounter of the First Kind occurred. The witness, who was 29 years old when she filed this report, said:  "I was approximately ten years old when I saw the object. I was playing with my brother, about 6, and a neighbor boy, about 12, in the back yard of my house. I had no idea what it was. When I asked him, he said, 'It's a UFO'. The object was hovering about five feet above the trees that lined the back yard. We had watched it for several minutes when we noticed a second object over the empty field behind our house. It
was hovering slightly higher than the first one. There was also a third object, farther behind the second one and a little higher up. We watched the objects for some time, then I went in the house to try to get my mother to look. She wouldn't. I went back outside and the three of us watched the objects for perhaps twenty minutes. Then, my mother called us into the house, we ate dinner, took a bath, and went into my bedroom at the end of the house and watched the first object until bedtime. Perhaps another hour. At no point could we get my mother to look out the window."  The Form 1 indicates the first object was as close as thirty to forty feet at one point. (38) 

August 23, time unknown; Hamilton County, Indiana
No details on this one, except that it was a computer entry for a landing report, one of 70 such reports for 1967. (36)

November 9, 1:45 PM; Near Erin, Tennessee
Two nurses driving home from a Waverly, Tennessee hospital stopped for a traffic light in Erin, Tennessee. While stopped they saw a large UFO approach and land on the highway in front of them.  Without the driver "feeding gas or anything" the car began to move of its own accord until it stopped a mere thirty feet or so away from the semi-transparent craft.  Inside the craft there were at least five small figures looking at them. The women felt completely unafraid and transfixed. The craft rose up and moved away and the women began eagerly to follow it. It "led" them to a rural road where they saw it land. The lights on their car went out. The next recollection was of the object high in the sky leaving them, but they perceived no time lapse nor did they ever check the time. (39) 

November 27, 9:00 PM; Fayette County, Indiana
The object was first seen at 9:00 PM by four witnesses at a rural home. The object dropped down near three other witnesses in a car on a rural road northwest of the Philco-Ford Manufacturing Plant.  The object was larger than a house.  It was a silver, domed disc with masses of red lights pulsating in an erratic fashion underneath it.  The witnesses in the automobile stopped and observed windows inside the dome with computer lights behind these. The witnesses fled the scene, tearing down the gravel road at high speed.  The duration of this sighting was ten minutes. (37) 

FINAL COMMENTS

In 1967 NICAP received 3340 UFO reports. Ted Bloecher and David Webb reported that there were more than 100 humanoid reports. This paper presents the Indiana cases and briefly mentions incidents in the region from and including Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Regional Sighting Information Database now lists over 200 cases in the region alone and this represents only the more substantial ones. Laced in with the "localized" incidents are brief accounts of key U.S. and global cases, to illustrate the size and seriousness of this major sighting wave. As Dick Hall reported in Volume II, The UFO Evidence, 55% of the incidents occurred in January through April. The same trend was evident here in Indiana. My father passed away on April 7th of that year and I was writing a report on the wave that very week. Little did we know that the wave was a global one and that even more interesting and serious events were taking place elsewhere. 

I wish to thank my team members who helped with this investigation back in 1967: James Catt, Phillip Studler, Jerry Sievers, and Alan Sievers. Also, we all wish to thank police, sheriff, state police and news media who cooperated so well with the effort. Last, but not least, I wish to dedicate this report to my father, Roland Lee Ridge. There were times when he had some serious doubts about his son who was a "ufo chaser", at a time when it wasn't fashionable to believe in UFOs. Not long before his passing he expressed his belief that UFOs were real and they "weren't ours", but remarked, "but what can you do about it?". What we DID do was make it possible for the large percentage of people today to take the subject more seriously than they did 35 years ago. We've come a long way. 

Francis Ridge
NICAP Site Coordinator
Former NICAP Subcom Chairman, Indiana Unit No. 1

1967 Sighting Wave - Comments by Richard Hall

During the one full year of operation of the University of Colorado UFO Project, a major sighting wave-one of the largest of all time occurred. The irony of the situation is that, despite assistance in screening reports provided to a Colorado University "Early Warning Net" by NICAP personnel, the project was totally unable to cope with the wave. The Condon Report addresses only 59 cases from 1967 (and most of them inadequately) out of the many hundreds reported directly to the project. Furthermore, 15 of the 59 were left unexplained (see section XV, Colorado UFO Project).

In 1967 NICAP received 3,340 UFO reports. Ted Bloecher and David Webb have established that there were more than 100 human UFO occupant reports during the year, with a peak of 18 cases in August. Among many other oddities of the Condon Report, it is noteworthy that the 1967 cases selected for study did not include any of the 17 Air Force "unidentified" cases for that year.

According to NICAP data the wave started strong in January, peaked in March, and tapered off in May. However, sightings continued at a steady pace throughout the rest of the year, and the sightings in October were comparable in number and quality to those in January through April.

A NICAP rating of 'substanual cases' (containing detailed information and remaining unexplained after preliminary screening) indicates that 55 percent of the 1967 cases occurred in January through April, averaging about 38 cases per month. There were 30 cases in October. Sightings in the remaining months (May-September, November-December) averaged 13 a month.

A special study of 179 solid object cases indicates that the 1967 wave was concentrated east of the Mississippi River; about 51 percent of the sightings occurred between 6:00 P.M. and midnight; there were two or more witnesses in 58 percent of the cases. These reports occurred on the average of 15 per month for the year, conservatively indicating what sort of information was readily available to the Colorado investigators. Of the 179 solid object cases, the Condon Report discusses only seven. 

Regularly occurring features of the 1967 wave included vehicle encounters (an average of three per month), landings or near-landings (an average of four per month), and audible sound (an average of four per month). About once or twice a month, on average, witnesses reported humanoid beings, light beams, electromagnetic effects on vehicles, physical traces, and physiological effects on witnesses. The performance features included hovering and rapid acceleration, rapid departure upwards, sharp (noninertial) turns, zigzag and other erratic flight (see section X, Motions and Flight Patterns). (42)

References

1. Vol. II, The UFO Evidence (Hall), page 325
2. Unit (Indiana Unit No. 1) & NICAP HQ files
3. Unit & NICAP files
4. NICAP files
5. NICAP files
6. APRO & NICAP files
7. Unit & NICAP files
8. Unit & NICAP files
9. Unit & NICAP files
10. Unit & NICAP files
11. Unit & NICAP files
12. Unit & NICAP files
13. Dailey Herald Telephone, Bedford, Indiana
14. Don Worley files
15. Unit & NICAP files
16. NICAP SE-34
17. NICAP SE-34
18. Worley files
19. Unit & NICAP files
20. Worley files
21. Worley files
22. Worley files
23. Flying Saucers: Here & Now, Edwards, pages 152, 153
24. Worley files
25. Vol. II, The UFO Evidence (Hall), page 326
26. Vol. II, The UFO Evidence (Hall), page 327
27. Vol. II, The UFO Evidence (Hall), page 330
28. Vol. II, The UFO Evidence (Hall), page 331
29. NICAP & MUFON files
30. Vol. II, The UFO Evidence (Hall), page 333
31. Vol. II, The UFO Evidence (Hall), page 325
32. Vol. II, The UFO Evidence (Hall), page 326 
33. Dearborn County Register, March 19, 1992
34. Skylook No. 41, page 13 
35. Worley files
36. UFO magazine, issue and date unknown.
37. Worley files
38. UFO Filter Center files, Francis Ridge, MUFON
39. MUFON Symposium Proceedings, 1981 
40. UFO Filter Center files, Francis Ridge, MUFON
41. Volume II, The UFO Evidence (Hall), page 323 
42. Volume II, The UFO Evidence (Hall), page 323,324
 

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