After World War II reports UFO sightings were all over the place.
There were too many sightings to report here but none quite compares with the series of strange occurences on a winter's day in 1950. An eery sequence of events began with a phone call from the Pentagon to the President. It ended with the crash of something near Del Rio.
On the morning of December 6, 1950, early warning radar spotted 40 UFO's flying very high and very fast over Maine and headed toward Washington. It triggered a red alert call to President Truman and put the U.S. military in a state of emergency. Suddenly the 40 objects disappeared. The red alert was over but declassified documents make it clear that the Pentagon could never adequately explain what had been spotted on radar. The story gets stranger with evidence at least one of the objects continued on over Texas.
A military pilot named Col. Robert Willingham had been testing what turned out to be F-94s and was flying out of San Angelo on December 6, 1950, when he was alerted by radar control operators that they had an unidentified flying object headed for him at a high speed.
"It became visible to us and we wanted to take off after it," Col. Willingham said in affadavit filed in the late 1970's. "Headquarters wouldn't let us go after it and we played around a little bit. We got to watching how it made 90 degree turns at this high speed and everything. We knew it wasn't a missile of any type. So then, we confirmed it with the radar control station, and they kept following it, and they claimed that it crashed somewhere off between Texas and the Mexico border."
In the fall of 1999, FOX 4 reporter Richard Ray found Col. Robert Willingham at his home in Archer City, Texas. He told us the object he saw that day flew like nothing he'd ever seen, before or since.
"I don't know if we had any kind of guided missile or any kind of missile that travelled like that travelled."
Willingham told FOX 4 that he and a co-pilot returned to base and immediately went searching for the crashed UFO.
"We got in a light aircraft because it didn't hit too far down below us there. It was on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. We landed out there in a pasture."
Willingham said the craft was partially obscured between two sand dunes. Before he could get an up-close look, he was chased off by Mexican soldiers.
"We did get a little look when we first walked up there. Kind of looked to me like a disc of some type."
A researcher named Todd Zechel claims to have a top secret document that proves a team from Carswell Air Force Base did the recovery on the crashed UFO. All we have today are declassified documents that indicate something very strange was happening on December 6. 1950. Was it a crashed alien craft? Col. Willingham isn't sure of that but it's certainly a mystery to him.
"Flying along at 2200 miles an hour
and making a 90 degree turn. We don't have anything that can do that. We
don't have anything that can do that today."
ASTRONAUT BELIEVES IN UFO'S (FEBRUARY 20)
In 1971, Dr. Edgar Mitchell became the 6th man to walk on the moon. Today the retired astronaut has become convinced that alien life forms have also visited our planet. Dr. Mitchell believes people who've worked in military and intelligence groups have suppressed the truth from American people for 50 years, and that it's time to tell the whole story about cases like the Roswell incident -- the alleged crash of an alien spacecraft near Roswell, NM, in 1947.
"I've never even witnessed a UFO," Dr. Mitchell told FOX 4 in a recent interview. "But I have talked to credible people who have. Some of them have said so publicly, but been ignored. There are some who would like to say more but don't really feel they can. It's now time to open up, if we can find the records -- and I believe we can. What I call the "oldtimers" would like sanction. They're all under security (oaths), but they would like to tell their story."
Dr. Mitchell is trying to persuade members of Congress to free such people from their security oaths of silence.
Of course, the government is going
to be terribly embarrassed to say, 'Yes, this has been covered up.' But
right now there's no credibility in government anyhow. We might as well
make a clean breast of this and get it open."
FRIDAY NIGHT GROUP (FEBRUARY 6)
Travis Walton's story may be the most famous alien abduction tale of all time, in large part, because it became the basis for a popular motion picture called "Fire In The Sky." The lumberjack and six other men who witnessed the incident all claim that Walton was zapped and transported aboard a UFO in a mountain forest near Snowflake, Arizona in November of 1975. There's no question he was gone for a time. He was missing for five days while search parties combed the area. He finally reappeared 10 miles away--naked, disoriented and not sure what had happened to him.
Walton's story, taken alone, is hard to fathom. But consider this: millions of other people around the world claim it's happened to them too. On a warm evening in the fall of 1999 I met some of them at a therapist's office in San Antonio. They meet once a month and they call themselves "The Friday Night Group."
"Seven individuals who sought out my help within a year and a half period," explained Constance Clear, the group's therapist. "All live within 200 miles of San Antonio. And all of them had lived in silence throughout their lives about what they suspected was alien abduction.
"Four of them are public school teachers. They're very solid, very ordinary people who lived with a secret that, literally, made them question their sanity."
Each asked that their faces not be shown, that their identities be kept a secret. But they allowed FOX 4 to tape a session and use snippets of audio in our television report.
"They have arms. They have legs," says a woman in her 30's as she describes the aliens who come for her at night.
"Didn't the eyes bother you for a long time," asks another.
"I could never handle their eyes."
"You can shut your eyes as tight as you want," adds an elderly man with white hair. "You'll still see the eyes."
Psychotherapist Clear asked each of the seven to write their stories. From the narratives, she compiled a book called "Reaching for Reality."
"They all have the symptoms of post traumatic stress. They have the nightmares, the flashbacks, the panic attacks."
If polls are accurate, 2 to 4 percent of Americans now believe that they too have been abducted by aliens. That adds up to millions of people from all walks of life who report being taken forcibly, being transported aboard strange craft, physically probed and prodded, often with special attention paid to their reproductive organs.
The youngest member of the group we spoke with that night is a woman in her late 20's. She described a procedure in which she believes her eggs were harvested. She and others are convinced that aliens use them to create hybrid humans.
Skeptics dismiss the stories in several ways. Some believe it's a case of mass hysteria fueled by books and movies on the subject. Others are convinced that it can be explained as memory manipulation through hypnosis.
Constance Clear says only four of the seven members of the "Friday Night Group" have recalled anything under hypnosis. She also points to physical evidence that something strange has happened to them.
"These people wake up in the morning with scoop marks, deep plugs of flesh missing from their bodies that never bleed. They heal over and never become infected. Sometimes they have (unexplained) incisions."
One abductee, a thin and pleasant looking woman in her 40's, had something else to show us. We'll call her Lee.
"Because I belong to this group we decided to call it my alien implant," Lee explained as she moved a small BB-sized nodule around on the top of her hand. It was just under the skin and she was able to slide it back and forth from her knuckles to her wrist. "I have no idea what it is, but I do need to go to a doctor."
Lee and the others credit the "Friday Night Group" with changing their lives.
"It's a great help to have the support. To let me know that I'm not nuts."
Andrew, a balding man in his 60's, told us the group had been his life line, that before the sessions he'd begun to think was crazy.
"When I got to the group I found there were others that strange things were happening to."
A younger man named Daniel agreed.
"You know, it's not something you just walk up and say, 'Oh, by the way, I'm an alien abductee.' It's a secret have got to keep. You've got to be on guard at all times."
Sarah is one of the school teachers in the group.
"Many times we've sat here and cried because it's so real. Sometimes we sit here and laugh because it all sounds so far fetched."
Daniel pipes in.
"We may or may not be nuts. But, at least, we're among friends while we're doing it. It's been a tremendous comfort."
Constance Clear told us that every member of the group had, at one time or another, questioned their own sanity.
"In fact, they all would rather be told they're insane because then maybe ther would be treatment. But when I brought them all together in the room (they decided), 'Okay, that person's not insane. That person's not insane.' That's reassuring.
"If it hasn't happened to you, you
have the luxury of dismissing the subject" Clear concluded. "But please
don't. Because it's happening to a lot of people."