UFOs, yeah right…
When someone brings up the subject of UFOs in a manner that is not skeptical or satirical, eyes usually roll and “behind-the-back” whispering soon follows. I know; I’ve experienced it firsthand. However, not because it was me being vocal in the coffee shop. When it comes to UFOs and the unexplained, I’m predominantly a writer and not a talker.
Due to my internet articles, the kind of chatter I commonly experience is remote and far away from my hearing. But I’ve seen the rolled eyes and heard the whispers as it relates to others who are raising the topic at work, family gatherings, restaurants, and the like. Interestingly, with less than 36% of people outright rejecting UFOs, the negative reactions are far less than what they used to be. Statistically, one has a 50% chance of finding a sympathizer. This is why the following 48-year old story is now coming to light, and the eye-witness was willing to talk… to talk with me.
I heard of Jerry’s story just a few short weeks ago. The lead came to me through my mother-in-law who follows my writing closely. One of my recent articles caused her to remember an incident that took place in 1967 with one her schoolmates. She got in touch with him, explained who I am and what I do, and he agreed to chat with me.
Jerry is a busy guy, working his dairy farm, trucking, and keeping up with his family, but he found time to talk with me one evening last week. He explained that, as a rule, he just doesn’t talk about what happened to he and his family years ago. Initially, the incident made headlines, the military was heavily involved, and everyone wanted to know what had taken place. But, that immediate curiosity eventually turned into years of general public skepticism.
Jerry told me about the few times he had been flagged down off of his tractor by a neighbor who wanted to wave a Bible around and tell him how the universe really works. Jerry loves his faith, but doesn’t have a stomach for arguing. He shared that he was willing to talk with me because I had been vouched for as an honest person, not interested in debates, just an open-minded guy searching for answers, as he has been all these years. It’s always nice to hear that about yourself from someone else.
The incident took place after dark in rural northern Indiana, October 9th, 1967. Jerry was 10-years old at the time, and was at home in bed. His dad was away on local calls (he sold insurance on the side to supplement the farm income). The phone rang and his mother answered. It was a call from his aunt and uncle who lived near by. They were seeing a bright light moving quickly over the Hartzler farm fields and were concerned. Jerry’s mom looked out the window to see the light racing towards the 5-acres of woods near their dairy cows on their 105-acre farm.
It was so large and fast she thought it must have something to do with Grissom Air Force Base not far away near Kokomo, Indiana. So, she called the base immediately! Remember, this was during the Cold War, and people in northern Indiana were concerned. They had an Air Force base in the community, and were located in-between the big cities of Chicago and Indianapolis. At school, atomic bomb drills were just as common as tornado and fire drills. Jerry recalls being told by his teachers, in the event of a giant mushroom cloud, drop to the ground, cover your head, and don’t look at the bright red light. Years later in reflection, Jerry says: “Boy, were we stupid!”
After making the call, 15-minutes later three F-104 Starfighters were buzzing their farm with their landing lights on. It was deafening, blinding, and ground shaking, unlike the previous bright light that had made no sound at all. Jerry jumped out of bed to join his mother’s side as they watched the mysterious large bright light touch down in the woods on their family farm. As the fighter planes continued to shake the ground and scare the cows, soldiers arrived from Grissom in HU-1 helicopters. Jerry recalled the commanding officer ordering foot soldiers to charge the woods and shoot whatever it was. In the middle of all this, his dad arrived home, having no idea what was going on (this was long before cell phones). He immediately called out to the Lieutenant in charge, “what the bleep is going on?” The Lieutenant simply shouted back, “UFO!”
Stay tuned; there’s more to the story, and I won’t keep you waiting long. By the way, this incident is still classified by the United States Government. Jerry will have his first look at the “Top Secret” documents in two years, and hopefully they won’t be filled with thick, black lines. Fifty years are a long time to wait for answers…