Case 33

North Eastern

Summer 1967

Investigators: Ayer, Wadsworth

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Two teen-aged girls in a rural home reported that in the evening a large glowing object had hovered nearby and that several child-sized figures had been seen running about near the barn. Testimony of others in the area was inconclusive, in some respects supporting and in others weakening their account. No definite explanation was found, but the case is considered weak.


Preliminary information, elaborated by interviews of the witnesses, developed the following summary account:

Two fourteen-year-old girls in a second-story bedroom in the home of one of them were looking out a window about 9:00 p.m., when they saw a large glowing object above and beyond the barn, which was south of the house. During the next hour, the object moved up and down, left and right, and varied considerably in brightness. Both girls thought the object was between the barn and a hill no more than a few hundred yards beyond it. After about a half-hour they heard a sound, apparently from the barn, like the "put-put" made by a power mower when it fires but fails to start. Then three small figures ran from the barn and stopped by a mail box next to the adjacent road. They stood there for several minutes looking in the direction of the house and then ran across the road to stop under a large tree where they were partially hidden in shadow. Shortly afterward a car approached, the object blacked out, and the figures ran across the road, past the barn and disappeared into the shadows. After the car had passed, the object began to pulsate between a very bright white and a dull red. It also began moving diagonally from upper right to lower left. This was repeated a number of times before a second car,


driven by the mother of the girl whose home they were in, ap- proached the house. The object then became dim, as if reacting to the approach of the car. The mother was able to see the object dimly, and it remained dim throughout her observation. No attempt was made to get a closer look, and around 10:00 p.m. the observers went to bed, with the object still dim but visible. Nothing unusual could be found to account for the sighting.


Interviews of witnesses

The two girls were interviewed in the home where the sighting had occurred. Conditions were unfavorable as other members of the family were present and asking them to leave would have been awkward. Because of the initial nervousness of the girls, and since they had already been interviewed separately by Ted Thobin of NICAP, a single interview was held with both girls. Their accounts were generally the same as told earlier to Thobin; however certain discrepancies in different versions will be pointed out: Both witnesses tended to be very general when asked to describe the sighting in a narrative manner. Thus it became necessary to ask direct questions in order to obtain details, so that it was difficult to avoid leading the witness. In general, the girls seemed to lack curiosity and interest in the sighting. They also seemed rather immature for fourteen-year-olds, and it is difficult to evaluate the reliability of their report.

Related testimony

Two neighbors were questioned in connection with the sighting. One lived about a quarter-mile south of the house where the sighting had occurred; i.e., in the general direction of the sighting. She had seen nothing unusual on the night of the sighting; however, she remembered that several fires were burning in a swamp area about one-half mile southeast of her house at the time of the sighting, and were tended by someone on a motor scooter. A check of the exact location of the fires relative to the UFO was inconclusive. The UFO was approximately S of the house, while the fires were 10-15° E of S. The motor scooter might account for the "put-put" sound. When asked about this, the girls stated that the sound


had come from the barn, not beyond. It should also be mentioned that the neighbor who mentioned the fires did not see them even though she was much nearer than the girls. The fires were about forty feet lower than her house and sixty feet below the house where the girls were, obscured by moderately dense timber.

A second woman, who lived almost directly across the road from the observers' house, was originally considered a corroborating witness to the sighting. She had reluctantly admitted having seen the object, but emphasized that she did not wish to be involved. She told Ted Thobin that she had seen a bright white watermelon-shaped thing when she went out to take in the wash between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. This, however, was after she had teased the girls about seeing "little green men." More detailed information sought by the project team was refused. Her husband said that he had taken garbage out around 9:30 p.m. that night and had seen nothing unusual.

Another two-witness report was received later from NICAP as a possible corroboration of the original sighting. An object described as a clam-shaped, glowing red UFO was sighted 15 September 1967 at 7:50 p.m. from a location less than a mile from the girls' sighting.

A sighting made by one of the girls and her mother two nights after the primary sighting was described as follows:

At 9:30 p.m., a bright star-like ojbect was seen in the SE at 25° elevation, moving W at apparent aircraft speed. When directly S of their house (a later version said SW), the object abruptly stopped and remained motionless for several minutes. Then an airplane approached from the E, and the object took off toward the E, retracing its original course and passing above the plane to disappear from sight in the direction from which it had come. Total duration was several minutes.

Reconstruction of sighting

  1. The object was first seen as the girls were looking up the road from an upstairs bedroom window. The bedroom light was out, and the only lighted room on that side of the house was the kitchen.


  1. The object appeared as a bright white light that alternately dimmed and then brightened again, seeming to grow larger. One of the girls implied that this change of brightness was of several seconds periodicity; the other said that the object "blinked fast," and that it was mostly white.

  2. Both girls had watched this for about half an hour when they heard a "putting sound" from the barn. This sound ceased almost immediately, and two or three figures ran from the barn and stopped by the mail box next to the road. At this point, there are dis- crepancies as to the number of figures and their behavior. One girl initially mentioned three figures; she said two stood by the mail box, one on either side, and then moments later all three appeared as they ran past the barn and vanished into the shadows. NICAP's report indicated that the two figures who stood by the mail box dashed across the road, stopped under a tree, and then dashed back across the road, where for the first time a third figure was visible running with the other two past the barn. The version obtained by the project team at first did not mention the figures having crossed the road at all. When asked about this, the girls were vague; however, they agreed that, after the figures stopped by the mail box, they next appeared across the street under a tree. Neither girl remembered seeing the figures cross the road in either direction. Only general details of the figures were reported: height was estimated as about 4.5 ft. by comparison with the mail box; clothing seemed the same for all three -- no details; the heads appeared disproportionately large.

  3. After the figures had been momentarily observed across the road, a car approached from behind the observers, and three figures were seen running past the barn, where they vanished in shadow. The figures were seen as silhouettes against background light from the moon which was three days before full phase and from the luminous object. The witnesses could not remember whether the lights of the approaching car partially illuminated the figures. At the same time, the luminous object dimmed out. One girl said that it became so dim they could hardly see it. The other said its lights went out and did not come back on for five minutes. Thus there was a period during which little was seen, after which the object brightened as before.


  1. Then, in addition to its changes in brightness, the object began to move diagonally from lower left to upper right. This motion was confined to several diameters of the object, perhaps two or three degrees according to sketches made by the girls.

  2. Another discrepancy concerned the position of the object relative to the background. Originally, the girls had said that the object dropped down behind the barn several times, and also appeared sometimes against the background of trees. Upon closer questioning, using sketches, both girls indicated that the object was never actually below the horizon even when it seemed to drop down. This statement, if accurate, sharply reduces the quality of the sighting, because the original distance limits of a few hundred yards can no longer be relied upon, and size estimates -- which are characteristically exaggerated -- lose meaning. It should be mentioned that the size estimate given Thobin was likened to a VW automobile at 150 yd. The brightness was said to be equivalent to sunlight, but later changed to four times as bright as the moon. In reconstructing what was seen, these various estimates must be given low reliability.

  3. Details for the latter part of the sighting are sketchy. Both girls continued to watch the object for 20 or 30 min., while it intermittently behaved as described. It is not clear whether the display declined, but apparently it did. No further sound was heard or figures seen, and one of the girls stated that, by the time her mother returned home, about 10:00 p.m., the object was very dim though still visible. It was implied that the object dimmed in reaction to the approach of the car, but the girls were not clear on this later aspect of the sighting. They apparently were tired of watching, and after showing the object to the mother, they went to bed. The mother apparently had not noticed the object when she returned to the house, until the girls pointed it out to her. Evidently it was not conspicuous enough to attract her attention as she drove into the yard.


  1. Nothing unusual was seen the next morning, and nothing was found to account for the sighting. The project investigators later searched the barn and the area beyond for burns, radioactivity, or other evidence, but found nothing significant.

  2. At the time of the sighting, the girls did not associate the figures with the luminous object, or the object with UFOs. The figures were assumed to be children; the object was the mystery. Later the girls decided that, since no children of the size they had seen lived nearby, there might be a stranger implication.


Essentially, this sighting was a two-witness event with additional low-weight corroboration. The lack of independent witnesses is a weakness for which the marginal corroboration cannot compensate. Though no physical evidence was discovered that could account for the sighting, the possibility of illusory elements and distortions of memory leaves serious doubts as to the accuracy of the account.