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by Matt Bayman

   According to research conducted by Outforia, and based on reports filed with the National UFO Reporting Center, Ohio ranks 8th overall in the United States for the most UFO sightings. Since the 1950s, there have been more than 4,100 reports filed in the Buckeye State, including many in western Ohio. 
  A majority of the sightings turned out to have simple explanations, such as being weather balloons, military aircraft, or some kind of weather or astronomical phenomena. However, quite a few remain unexplained.
  With this in mind, here are five of Ohio’s most tantalizing and notorious unsolved UFO cases, including some that occurred in our own backyard and several of which involved Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and its famous UFO investigative unit, Project BLUE BOOK.

1932: St. Paris – One of the Earliest Photographs of a UFO Ever Taken?

   The photograph below was taken in St. Paris, Champaign County, in 1932. It is considered one of the earliest possible photographs of a UFO ever recorded (only two earlier ones are known to exist). It shows George Sutton, a local resident, and what appears to be a classic UFO-shaped object over his left shoulder. Skeptics say the object is simply a street lamp, but, according to the folklore that surrounds this image, there were no electric street lights along this road in 1932, nor are any wires or poles visible in the image. 


   The photo is also intriguing because it pre-dates the “flying saucer” craze of the late 1940s and 50s. It was taken before the alleged Roswell UFO crash in 1947, and six years prior to the broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” in 1938, when some people believed aliens were attacking Earth. In other words, the person who took this photograph either captured a street lamp, a real UFO, or was way ahead of the curve in terms of pulling a good hoax. 


   After Roswell, a string of photographs that look very similar to the St. Paris image began to appear in newspaper tabloids across the United States. Most of them turned out to be hoaxes that involved common household items such as lamps and hubcaps being thrown through the air and photographed. 


   From a skeptical point-of-view, the owners of the St. Paris photograph didn’t make it known until after the saucer craze began. Had they just not noticed the strange object in the picture before? Or did they see a chance to pull a good hoax? Also, you have to wonder why the photographer focused her or his camera on the middle of the picture (the road) and not on Mr. Sutton and his car. 


   Regardless, this case remains “unsolved.”  

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1949: Norwood – The Ohio Searchlight UFO Incident

   As a way to raise money for a new church parish in Norwood, Ohio (a suburb of Cincinnati), Father Gregory Miller decided to host a carnival in August of 1949. The carnival would include a trapeze act, so it was decided that the church would use a searchlight to not only showcase the trapeze artists, but to attract visitors from far and wide. The searchlight was capable of shining a beam of light six miles into the sky!


   The church sought help from Sgt. Donald R. Berger of the University of Cincinnati’s Reserve Officer’s Training Corps. He was a qualified searchlight operator who kept meticulous logs while on duty, including during the carnival.


   According to his accounts, on the first night of the carnival, sometime after 8 p.m., he was operating the searchlight when it came upon a massive object in the sky. His log states, “The object was stationary, appearing as a glowing disc. When I moved the searchlight away, the disc continued to glow.” He estimated the object to be four or five miles in the air (around 25,000 feet high) and reported that the sky was clear with a thin haze at altitude. More than 100 people saw the object that night, including Father Miller.


  Maybe nothing more would have come from this incident, but the next day, local newspapers carried stories about strange lights being reported all over Cincinnati, not just at the carnival. At least three major newspapers in the area ran stories about the sightings.

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A spotlight operated by Sgt. Donald Berger captures a large, circular object in the sky above Norwood, near Cincinnati. This is one of the only surviving photographs of the object, which was seen 10 times between 1949 and 1950. 
The photograph was taken by Sgt. Leo Davidson of the Norwood Police Department and is in the public domain. 
The photograph on the right shows the same object with the spotlight appearing to bend toward it!

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   According to some of these newspaper articles, the local weather bureau and area radio stations and newspapers were flooded with hundreds of calls from residents that reported seeing “comets” and “balls of fire” over downtown Cincinnati. One eyewitness said “It looked like two weather ceiling balloons, but they weren’t moving,” adding that the wind was blowing at 25 miles per hour that evening. “If they were balloons, they would have moved,” the witness stated. Another witness saw two balls of fire that seemed to “glow dim, and then get bright again.” Still another reported a “cluster of stars” over Cincinnati. 


   The newspapers explained the incident away by saying that the nearby Albee Theater had also used searchlights that evening to promote a movie premier and that people had simply seen the carnival lights and the theater lights interacting in the atmosphere.


   Regardless, two days later, the incident at the carnival was brought to the attention of the Department of Military Science and Tactics (DMST), where it was given a closer look.


   According to the DMST’s documents about the incident (available online), the object was reported to have remained stationary for more than 3 hours and “appeared to change color in the light beam from a sort of phosphorescent appearance to a bluish color if held in the light, and when the beam was removed, the object remained visible with what has been described as a luminous appearance.”


   Possibly because the sightings had been reported in local newspapers, thus bringing national attention, the DMST decided to send the report to Project GRUDGE (later renamed Project BLUE BOOK) at Wright-Patterson Air Fore Base in Dayton, where UFO sightings were officially investigated. 


   Meanwhile, the sightings in Norwood continued.


   The carnival and first incident occurred on Aug. 19. Intrigued by what he had seen, Sgt. Berger, sometimes accompanied by Father Miller, began to use the searchlight to look for the object again. On Sept. 11, he spotted it at 15,000 feet above Norwood. However, when the spotlight focused on the object, it “disappeared within a few seconds, traveling straight up.” According to his log, Sgt. Berger then spotted it at a “much higher altitude.” He states that several thousand people saw the object that night, and that Wright-Patterson was notified by phone, as they were during the first sighting.   


   Sgt. Berger, and other witnesses, including the mayor of Norwood, saw the object again on Sept. 17 (this time in nearby Milford from a different vantage point), and then again in Norwood on Oct 24, Nov. 19 and Dec. 20. However, the oddest incident occurred on Oct. 23. According to his logs, Sgt. Berger, Father Miller, a man named William Winkler, and an editor and reporter from two large newspapers, used the searchlight to spot the object several times between 7:15 and 10:45 p.m. 


   On this occasion, which was also reported to Wright-Patterson, it was documented that “two distinct groups of triangular-shaped objects seemed to come out of the main disc. Each group had about five objects. They came down the beam then turned out of the beam. The same performance was repeated about half hour later.” One witness stated that the descent of the objects was accompanied by a “high-pitched whistle or whine.” Another wondered if he was looking at an alien base or mother ship. 


   Sgt. Berger concluded in his log that evening: “The disc was still visible when I turned out the light for the night.” 


   Interestingly, two members of the Air Force, along with two scientists, were present at the Dec. 20 sightings. Then, three days later, Project GRUDGE quickly issued its final report on the incidents. 


   The report comes to no conclusion about what was seen by witnesses, but seems to lean on the opinion of one of the scientists present on Dec. 20. The man’s name is classified, but he apparently brought a telescope to view the object. His conclusion was that what people had seen was an atmospheric phenomenon involving refractions from the searchlight beam. The “object,” he said, was simply the beam reflecting off of a high layer of thin clouds.   
   After being filed, the Air Force has never mentioned this incident again or provided a conclusive explanation. In fact, the report is one of the few, and possibly only, investigative reports that has ever been declassified from Project GRUDGE. 


   Many of the witnesses present at the sightings were frustrated that the Air Force had not conducted a more thorough investigation, including interviewing witnesses, which was standard procedure. They also wanted the Air Force to account for the fact that Sgt. Berger (with collaborating weather reports) often viewed the object(s) under completely clear conditions, meaning no clouds could reflect the light.    


   For his part, Sgt. Berger used the searchlight to spot the object on three more occasions, once on Jan. 11, 1950 and then on the evenings of March 9 and March 10. During these sightings, he was in the presence of police officers, fellow reservists and members of the public. 


   At the March 9 sighting, Sgt. Berger reported that “two small objects came out of the disc and it looked as if the disc was pushed out of the beam. In about ten minutes, the disc moved back into the beam.”


   Wright-Patt was notified, but nothing official was done.


   William Winkler believed (and wrote to the Air Force to get on the record) that Project GRUDGE knew what the object was but was keeping quiet because it was a top secret military aircraft. However, two people present when the Air Force officials and scientists were investigating the Dec. 20 sightings reported overhearing the men discussing the size of the object. As they measured it through their telescope, both witnesses heard the men discuss the object being 10,000 feet across. For comparison, an aircraft carrier is about 1,100 feet long. No technology today, let alone nearly 75 years ago, can make an object that big fly, and especially not stay stationary in the atmosphere. 


   In 1952, Father Miller appeared on a local television show to discuss the incident. He made it known that he had 10 still-frame photographs of the object as well as a movie reel. The cameraman for all of them had been Sgt. Leo Davidson of the Norwood Police Department. However, since being shown to several people at the television station that day in 1952, the film has never been seen again. The only photographs that remain are the ones seen above, which are photocopies of the original image contained in the Project GRUDGE file. Father Miller said the others were loaned out to government agencies and major news organizations for evaluation, but were either never returned or “lost.”


   Whatever hundreds of people saw in the sky above Norwood in 1949 and 1950, and why the Air Force didn’t take the incidents more seriously, remains a mystery. 

1966: Atwater – An 86-Mile Police Chase Involving a UFO

   For anyone who has seen Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, one of the early scenes in the film is of several police cruisers chasing a UFO through the hilly countryside and across state lines. One of the police cruisers crashes and another comes to a screeching halt as the UFO jets into the sky at lightning speed, disappearing into the darkness of the starry night. 


   This scenario, minus the crashing of a police cruiser, is actually based on a true story that took place in Portage County, Ohio (east of Akron) in 1966. It involved a number of law enforcement officers from several jurisdictions either witnessing or chasing a UFO for 86 miles into Pennsylvania. Then, just like in the movie, the police officers watched as the object lifted into the atmosphere and then shot into outer space. 


   The incident is considered one of the most thoroughly documented UFO cases on record, but it also ruined one witness’s life.  


   While other police officers involved in the chase kept quiet about what they had seen, Portage County Sheriff Deputy Dale Spaur was willing to talk to the media. It was he, and a second deputy named Wilbur Neff, who came upon the UFO at around 5:30 a.m. on April 17. 


   The two deputies had come across an abandoned vehicle and got out to investigate. When they did, they heard a humming or buzzing noise behind them and turned to see a UFO hovering just above a nearby treeline. A bright, cone-shaped light came from beneath the object, illuminating the ground. Spaur would later describe the object as being 40 feet across, metallic and shaped like the head of a flashlight. 

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ABOVE: UFO chase map, Akron Beacon Journal.

BELOW:

The photograph seen below is of the object. It was captured by Mantua Police Chief Gerald Buchert from about 20 miles away.
 

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  Not knowing what to do, Spaur called into dispatch, which told him to keep an eye on the object. Just then, the object began to quickly move away. Spaur and Neff decided to give chase. At one point, the deputies were traveling at speeds of more than 100 mph trying to keep pace with the object. (For anyone interested, they were driving along U.S. Rt. 224 between Akron and Youngstown, as seen above.) 


  Somewhere near the state line, a local police officer from East Palestine, Ohio saw the object, followed by Spaur and Neff chasing it. He decided to join in the action. However, a short time later, just as the sun was rising, Spaur began to run out of gas, so he and Neff and the local police officer pulled into a gas station where they watched the object ascend several thousand feet into the sky and then straight into outer space. And that was that. 


   Apparently at this time, what was now Project BLUE BOOK at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, was receiving an average of two or three UFO reports a day. Possibly because the organization was overwhelmed and understaffed, or possibly for more secretive reasons (no one really knows), Project BLUE BOOK quickly determined and issued a statement that the three men had chased a satellite and then the planet Venus. Case closed, no more discussion. 


   Spaur, however, stood by his story, ridiculing the fact that he could tell the difference between an object in the atmosphere and something hovering 150 feet above him and shining a light on the ground that made it appear as bright as day. 


   Unfortunately, he, in turn, was ridiculed and hounded by his peers and the media and eventually lost his job and his wife, went broke and ended up working at a coal mine in West Virginia. He eventually opened a bar in Cleveland though. 


   Although now deceased, the good name of Spaur has been restored as UFO investigators have been able to shed new light on what happened that evening.


   For starters, earlier in the evening, before the two deputies ever investigated the abandoned vehicle, someone had reported a strange light in the sky. Apparently believing it was a prank call, it was ignored. 


   When Spaur and Neff later spotted the UFO, they described it as emitting a white-blue light and said it appeared to be egg-shaped with some kind of antenna on it. Spaur said the object never tried to get away from or elude the police cruisers and seemed to be going about its business. It also changed directions numerous times, something satellites and Venus don’t do. Also, at several points during the chase, the object seemed to stop and wait for the officers to catch up.


   Before joining the police chase, the local police officer from East Palestine watched the UFO approach his jurisdiction from the west at an altitude of 800 feet with no sound. He described the object as resembling a “melted ice cream cone.” He, however, did not see an antenna.


  In Pennsylvania, the object was spotted by a stationary police officer (and World War II veteran, as almost all officers involved in this case were) who described it as being shaped like a “half of a football” and traveling about 1,000 feet off the ground. At first, he thinks it’s an airplane that’s possibly in trouble, but later says he has no explanation for what he saw and believes it was a UFO. However, unlike Spaur, he keeps his mouth shut. 


   While the head of Project BLUE BOOK quickly attributed the incident to satellites and Venus, a scientist who assisted in the investigation at Wright-Patterson ended up writing a letter to Spaur and Neff. In it, he stated that he, and others (including the later head of Project BLUE BOOK, Dr. Allen Hynek), did not agree with their boss’s assessment of the incident. They believed that what the two men had chased was a real “airborne object” of some kind, but could not offer an explanation for what it was.

1973: The Great UFO Wave of 1973 – Preventing Nuclear War? 

   Something was definitely going on in the skies above Ohio in October of 1973, but whether or not it was an alien invasion of some kind, or just the U.S. Armed Forces responding to a potential nuclear threat in the Middle East, is up for debate. Some believe it was both. 


   On Oct. 6, 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated surprise attack on Israel, starting what became known as the Yom Kippur War. At first, the situation was so dire for Israel that the country aimed two nuclear weapons at Cairo and Damascus, ready to launch them if Israel was overrun. The nukes were spotted by U.S. spy planes (SR-71 Blackbirds) and, in an effort to prevent a nuclear conflict, the U.S. began arming and sending supplies to Israel (known as Operation NICKEL GRASS) to help push back the enemy and prevent drastic measures. It worked. However, when Israel turned the tide of the war and surrounded the Egyptian army, the general secretary of the U.S.S.R. (which had been backing the Arabs in a proxy war with the U.S.) threatened to deploy Soviet troops against Israel. As a result, U.S Armed Forces were placed on DEFCON 3 (meaning, get the missiles ready) and the world came close to annihilation. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and peace was made.  


   During this tense 32-day period, between Oct. 15 and Nov. 14, Operation NICKEL GRASS saw the Air Force ship 22,325 tons of tanks, artillery, ammunition and supplies to Israel on 567 separate missions. 


   Since C-5 cargo airplanes were vital to this mission, one of the most important bases utilized during the operation was Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which housed the massive aircraft. In the fall of 1973, there would have been airplanes coming and going from Wright-Patterson almost non-stop, mostly for reasons that remain classified.  


   So, as the U.S. military orchestrated an extremely complex logistical mission to aid Israel as quickly as possible, utilizing tens of thousands of people and multiple bases throughout the Midwest and beyond, it is no wonder that during this period, UFO sightings skyrocketed in Ohio and across the United States. 


   But were they all military aircraft? 


   The National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) has compiled a comprehensive list of all major UFO sightings that took place in the world in 1973. Many occurred in the Midwest, especially in October.
   Some examples of sightings from the list in Ohio (and nearby) include the following: 
(Notice that they start long before the actual Yom Kippur War begins…)

Fort Wayne, Indiana sightings, Sept. 23-24 
   A woman turning into the grocery store in her car sees an object shaped like an ocean liner with a rounded back and flat bottom and top. It has five rows of “throbbing yellow lights.” 
   The next night, two patrolmen in Fort Wayne see an object moving slowly across the sky. They contact the local air field, which also reports seeing the unidentified object, but they are unable to identify it. 

Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 30 
   A Franklin County man claims to have discovered a landing site near his home after seeing a strange object in the sky. Weeds at the alleged site are crushed to the ground in a “semi-oval area 20-by-30-feet-wide.” The man says the object “swooped down in a zigzag pattern and dropped below the trees.” There are several dozen sightings of strange objects in the sky reported in the area that night. 
 
Indiana and Illinois sightings, Oct. 5 
   There were four major UFO sightings in parts of eastern Indiana and one in Illinois on Oct. 5. Witnesses in each incident described seeing a hovering object with lights on it. 
   At 3 a.m., a woman in Zeigler, Illinois thought she left her hall light on. When she got up to turn it off, she looked outside to see an “object emitting high intensity light” hovering near the back of her residence. The next day, she reported trouble with her vision.
   At 6:15 p.m. that evening, a witness in Laurel, Indiana used binoculars to view a house-sized object in the sky. The bottom of the object had pale grey lines that divided it into three sections. The sighting lasted for three minutes. 
   An hour later, the police department received about 100 calls after a loud buzzing sound was heard in the nearby town of Connersville, Indiana (Note: Connersville, located just south of Richmond near the Ohio border, was involved in numerous other sightings during this time-period, possibly because it is home to a National Guard base). Calls were accompanied by reports of an “unknown shape with red and white lights” that “hovered, jumped and made fantastic low-altitude passes over the city.” 
   Finally, between 8:15 p.m. and midnight in Waterloo, Indiana, people reported seeing a mushroom-shaped object sitting stationary in the sky. It had a flat bottom and a red flashing light on top. Hanging down under the object was what looked like long ropes. Two witnesses said the object and the ropes were a gold glowing color. 

Middletown, Ohio, Oct. 7 
   A giant, orange-colored cigar-shaped object with five discs following it and making no sound is reported flying over the city at 10 p.m. Many people see it and Wright-Patterson receives a number of calls. 

Fort Wayne & Eaton, Indiana, Oct. 9 
   Military radar at nearby Baer Field in Fort Wayne picks up an object, but officers are unable to contact the craft or determine what it is. Later, in Eaton, an object is seen hovering above a canning factory and then moving in a counterclockwise sequence. The local police department receives about 200 calls about the object.  

Dayton, Ohio, Oct. 10-11 
   At least 15 sightings are reported around Dayton. Many witnesses report seeing objects covered with red, green and blue lights hovering over treetops in the area. A Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy reports seeing an oblong object covered with lights that “appeared stationary in the sky at treetop level for several minutes” until he tried to shine his cruiser spotlight on it. It then “zoomed toward him and then shot straight up in the sky.” Wright-Patterson received a report, but it is unknown what they did about it. 

Troy, Ohio, Oct. 11
   According to an article in the Columbus Dispatch from Oct. 12, 1973 titled “UFO Reports Precede Boom,” on Oct. 11, Troy Patrolman Early Thomas and about 100 Troy residents said they watched a hovering red, green and white object move across the southeastern sky (Note: This happens to be the direction of Wright-Patterson.) About 15 minutes later, law enforcement agencies in Miami, Champaign and Logan counties received hundreds of telephone calls after a sonic boom was heard. They received more calls when a second sonic boom was heard just after midnight. The newspapers, unaware of the military activity, say it was most likely comets entering the atmosphere. 

Boston, Ohio, Oct. 14 
   A woman “hysterically” tells law officers that an oblong object with blinking lights landed in her field in Highland County, killing several of her cows. 

London, Chillicothe and Greenfield, Ohio, Oct. 16 
   A school bus driver sees an orange object hovering above some trees. It glows and completely lights up the area. It eventually moves up and away from the trees. 
   In Chillicothe, motorists are buzzed by three luminous objects. About 15 minutes later, Greenfield police officers follow a “huge object” for about five miles. 

 

Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 17 
   The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office receives between 30 and 40 reports of “shiny objects zigzagging through the sky.” A police sergeant from near Cincinnati reports chasing a white and yellow craft, later saying, “I never believed in UFOs until tonight.” 
   A family in Hamilton also sees an object half the size of a football field flying over their home without making any noise.

   So far, with one or two exceptions, all of these reports sound like they can be explained based on what the military was up to at the time. 
   Along with pulling off Operation NICKEL GRASS, the military may have been running large-scale training exercises to prepare for war, which could have involved stealth helicopters and other secret aircraft in the rural countryside. 
   If anyone has ever seen the massive C-5 airplanes at Wright-Patterson conducting quick-landing drills (often using State Route 202 as a measuring guide), it really is an otherworldly experience. The planes are huge, but, as they make extreme low sweeps of the ground, they almost appear to become stationary on the horizon. It looks completely unreal. Every time the base runs these exercises, they have to notify the local media so people don’t become alarmed. 
  Regardless, the most famous incident from the Great UFO Wave of 1973 is truly strange, and it remains unexplained. It’s known as the “Coyne Incident”.
 

The Coyne Incident 
   At 7:30 p.m., on Oct. 18, American Airlines Flight 21 encountered a UFO near Mansfield, Ohio and reported it. This would be the first of dozens of sightings reported in the area that night. However, the most astonishing one took place three hours later and became known as the “Coyne Incident.” 


   Sometime after 10:30 p.m., an Army Reserve helicopter, piloted by Captain Lawrence Coyne and a crew of three men, was flying from Columbus to Cleveland when, somewhere around Mansfield, they noticed a red light on the horizon. 


   First intrigued, they quickly became alarmed when it was realized that the object (another aircraft they thought) was heading straight for them at a high rate of speed. Coyne quickly descended to avoid a collision but, as the men were preparing for impact, the object came to a halt in front of them and projected a green, pyramid-shape beam over the helicopter. One of the crew later stated that he felt as if the helicopter was being “scanned.” At the same time this was happening, the men reported the helicopter being pulled up and toward the UFO. However, it then “let go” and darted out of sight. The incident lasted 5 minutes. 


   Maybe strangest of all, the pilot reported that, even though he had descended to avoid a collision, after the UFO flew away, he was, in fact, at a higher altitude than before the incident even occured, as if the UFO had pulled the helicopter up not just several feet, but several hundred feet. The men described a gray, metallic-looking, dome-shaped object with a red light on one end and a white light on the other. They spoke openly with the media after landing and Coyne was even quoted by Walter Cronkite on national television. 

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LEFT: Captain Lawrence Coyne discusses his UFO incident with the Akron Beacon Journal

ABOVE: 
A drawing of what Coyne and his men saw, as seen in the Akron Beacon Journal.

 

   Interestingly, after the incident, according to one crew member, the helicopter never worked right again. 


   The icing on the cake is that the incident, including the green light, was seen from the ground by a mother and her two children, who pulled their car over to watch what was going on. They reported seeing the helicopter chasing an object that they said looked like a “blimp,” “pear-shaped” and “as big as a school bus.”

   By 1973, Project BLUE BOOK was no longer in existence, so there has never been an official investigation of the Coyne Incident by the military. But the crew strongly believes they encountered something alien that night. 


  Meanwhile, the wave of sightings continued in Ohio through October, but began to settle down in early November, just as the conflict in the Middle East ended. 


   There are many theories about the Coyne Incident and the “1973 Wave.” Some people theorize that, along with the military operation, aliens were here to make sure things went smoothly and that nuclear war was averted. Others believe the U.S.S.R. was spying on Operation NICKEL GRASS using some kind of top secret aircraft. Others simply believe what everyone was seeing was our own military in action, mostly transporting weapons to Israel, but also possibly testing out/preparing new aircraft and methods that remain top secret to this day. No one knows for sure. 

1994: Trumbull County – A Well-Documented, Unsolved UFO Case

 Featured on the History Channel and numerous UFO documentaries, the Trumbull County UFO Incident in northeast Ohio is exceptional because it was witnessed by numerous police officers and a 911 dispatcher, all of whom were being recorded as they spoke back and forth about the strange events unfolding on the evening of Dec. 14, 1994. It was also seen by many members of the public. 


   Around midnight, Trumbull County 911 in Warren, Ohio began receiving calls from residents about strange, low-flying lights in the sky. The first several calls were ignored, but after they continued to come in at an alarming pace, the dispatcher sent out Liberty Township police officers to investigate. One of them was Sgt. Toby Meloro, who ended up being the first officer on the scene after a civilian walking his dog, who had also seen the object, pointed him in the right direction. 


   As Sgt. Meloro moved closer to the light (speaking back and forth with the dispatcher as he did), his vehicle suddenly shut off and came to a halt and his radio stopped working. As he attempted to restart the cruiser, he said he was “engulfed by a light from above.” Frightened, and not sure what to do, he exited his vehicle and looked up to see what he described as a giant, circular-shaped object and “intensely bright in the center section.” It made no sound at all. 


   The object was there for about 30 seconds before moving away, at which time Sgt. Meloro’s car restarted without him doing anything, and his radio began to work again. He later said that he didn’t feel the object was intentionally trying to shut off his vehicle, but that he had somehow come too close to it, resulting in the engine and radio malfunctions.   


   Shaken, Sgt. Meloro decided to chase the object, as did many other police officers in the area. In total, at least 14 law enforcement officers saw the object that night, with all of them discussing it openly on their radios. 


   One of the most interesting eye witness accounts came from a Brookfield Township police officer who climbed an abandoned radar tower to get a better view. He saw three UFOs without wings that changed color in unison.

 
   The 911 dispatcher contacted the local FAA control tower, which reported that they had nothing on their radar for 60 miles in any direction. The same went for the nearby Youngstown Air Reserve Base, which confirmed they had no aircraft in the air at that time. 


   There has never been a proper explanation for what happened that night. Interestingly, when a UFO investigator requested Freedom of Information Act documents regarding this incident, the request was denied. 

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