Case 25

North Eastern

Summer 1967

Investigators: Armstrong, Levine

BACK to Chapter 2


Reports of noise, flashes, and power interruptions were attributed to power-line faults.


A representative of APRO and NICAP phoned the project to report the following incident. On a Wednesday morning at 4:10 a.m., a man employed by an aircraft company reported that while driving in a northwest direction to work, he saw a bright light flashing to his rear. He turned his car around, and drove back to the location of the flashing light, and stopped at the intersection of two roads. He saw a ball he estimated to be two and one-half feet in diameter above trees to the northeast. He was frightened, and left the scene to report to the police. He said he saw the flash five times. The next day he stopped at the home of the woman on whose property the trees were located. She told him that she had seen the light.

The NICAP and APRO representative learned of the incident from the police. He interviewed both witnesses. He then looked about the scene of the sighting and discovered a place in some tall grass, about 30 inches high, where the grass had been flattened. The depression in the grass was circular and about six to ten feet in diameter. The grass was bent in a counter-clockwise direction. At 8:00 p.m., he took three Polaroid pictures of the area, one of which was a close-up of the depression. He reported that the close-up came out "white" and suggested radioactive fogging. On the basis of these reports, Armstrong and Levine went to this area.


The investigators met with the APRO-NICAP man three days later at


11:00 a.m. The aircraft employee was not available, so they copied a tape recording of a statement he had given to the APRO-NICAP man.

The investigators then talked with the woman witness. She reported that she had been awakened at 4:40 a.m. on Wednesday by a noise she described as rumbling, crackling, or a "thunder sound", but she knew it was not thunder. Through a small crack in closed Venetian blinds, she had seen flashes of light that lit up her bedroom bright enough to read by. The light went on and off several times, and there were "nine or ten rumblings." She stopped watching, but could still hear the noise. The bright light lasted longer than lightning, but only a few seconds. She reported that the power had gone off at about 5:45 a.m. for about 45 minutes.

The investigators next examined the grassy depression. They found no radioactivity above background level. The depression was roughly circular, but there was little evidence of the grass lying counter-clockwise. The grass was of a kind that, if pushed down, stayed down for a long time. Foot tracks that had been made in it two days earlier were clearly visible. The investigators concluded that (1) there was no evidence of anything unusual about the depression, and (2) the depression could have been made at any time during the past week or longer.

They then spoke with a man who lived nearby. He reported having seen the light and heard the noise, which he said sounded like a power relay cutting out, between 4:30 and 6:00 a.m. He also noticed that light came from two places, a power pole with a transformer on it about 300 feet from his house, and an indistinct location down the road in the direction of the woman witness' house. A night-light in his room went out for 35 or 40 seconds when the noise and flash came, and all of these effects coincided in time. He noted that just before the sighting a heavy fog and rain had made the branches of the trees very heavy. He had attributed the noise and the flashes to the power transformers.


In view of the reported power interruptions and the heavy fog


and rain, it is probable that all three of the witnesses' sightings were of flashing arcs associated with the power lines. The fog would enhance the dispersion of the light and lend a strange quality to it and would also facilitate high-voltage corona discharges.