|Occurred : 6/15/2001 22:30 (Entered as : 06/15/01 22:30)
Reported: 5/21/2003 10:28:05 PM 22:28
Location: Whitesburg, GA
Duration:appx. 30 min.
|((NUFORC Note: NUFORC expresses its gratitude to Mr. Walter "Tom" Sheets, State Director for MUFON/Georgia, and to his co-investigator, Mr. George Lainhart, for investigating this incident, and for submitting the follow-up report. Please see their website at http://www.mufonga.org/ PD))
Investigation of multiple unknown objects by MUFON of Georgia
This case was investigated by MUFON of Georgia beginning on 10Sept01, culminating with on-site interviews on 15Sept01, and with subsequent witness contacts thereafter.
The investigative team consisted of this writer, Tom Sheets, State Director for MUFON of Georgia and retired Chief of Police, and MUFONGA's George Lainhart, a Police SWAT Rifle Marksman, who served with this writer during past years in law enforcement.
INVESTIGATION On 8Sept01, this writer received a call from a former witness and reliable source of information located in Murray County (north) Georgia. The source indicated that a friend of his family living in central Georgia had phoned a mutual acquaintance and described an unusual event experienced by his family during mid-June. Apparently the witness wanted to vent the experience, but was unsure of what group might be available for such action.
This writer obtained the ID information and established contact with the witness that evening, scheduling an interview and event site inspection for 15Sept01. Two evenings later, and several days before the planned sit-down, the Primary Witness (PW), contacted this writer and stated that he thought that the unknown objects had returned, but were much further away, and that he was trying to watch them through binoculars. This writer proceeded to the PW's home, about a 1+ hour journey. Upon arrival, the PW stated that the objects had departed before my arrival. A surveillance of the area was conducted until 3AM with negative results.
(Event Location------500+ acre tract of land consisting of woods and fields with the Chattahoochee River as the eastern boundry. Home of PW is a former antebellum plantation house in excellent condition, sitting up on a prominent rise overlooking the tract to the N, NE, and E. The PW is the resident care taker of this property for a well known Georgia political/business family.) The interview(s) took place on 15Sept in the PW's home.
PW indicated that on or about 15June01 at about 10:30PM, his 18YOA son came into the bedroom and stated that something was going on, that there was a strange craft over the property that had lit up the house and surrounding area. (Clear, mild weather). The PW said he went outside into the front yard and observed what appeared to be a glowing oblong object off to the NE hovering just over the trees near the river at what he thought was about 500 yards distant. (Due to what happened later, PW described this initial location as the 2 o'clock position). He stated that he got his binoculars and looked and rather than seeing just a glowing object, he observed what appeared to be a ring of red and white lights around a center line, the white lights VERY BRIGHT, with the red lights blinking in sequence around the object. The PW stated that at this "2 o'clock" position, the object seemed to be about 1/2 inch long at arms's length, and it appeared to illuminate the tree tops in that vicinity. At that point, the other family members came outside. PW then took his large high candlepower spotlight used for night fishing on the river and shined the beam toward the object, receiving a dramatic reaction. PW said that the object immediately flew SW (more or less toward them at an angle) at an incredible speed and stopped to hover over a large lone tree in the front pasture or field. PW described this second location as the "10 o'clock" position, indicating (when asked) that it appeared to be about 2 inches long at arm's length at that time. (Estimations were made using a ruler provided by this FI). At this closer location, the PW stated he was able to determine that there was apparently some solid structure behind the lights, appearing to be a dull gray as near as he could make out, like one of the old DeLorean sports cars or a Greyhound bus. Shortly thereafter, six additional similar craft appeared with the first and began flying and zipping around the LARGE tract of land, faster, then slower, but never again with ! the incredible speed first noticed. PW added that at one time, three objects were stacked up in a hover, one above the other. This display continued with no sound and at relatively low altitude for about 30 minutes, then suddenly all of the craft simultaneously vanished.
Interviews were conducted with the 18YOA son, 14YOA son, and the wife of the PW. The fifth witness, the daughter-in-law, was not available. Their statements were similar to the account of the PW, with only enough difference to indicate that the secondary witnesses were being spontaneous i.e. seemingly NOT having "cooked up" their accounts. Example; 18YOA witness noticing that four of the objects were side by side before vanishing; 14YOA witness disagreeing, stating that the red lights his father had observed on that night looked orange to him; Wife of PW stated that she was more aware/fascinated of the mid-line lights, and that she became VERY upset about the episode, something totally outside of her experience......further indicating that she was very tired the next day, perhaps from being up late.
(Side bar.......Several weeks before the events described herein, the PW stated that one of his friends, an advertsing exec and private pilot, had come for a visit. He camped out down by the river to check out potential fishing and deer hunting. The next morning as he packed up to leave, he laughingly accused the PW of sneaking down during the night and shining the big spotlight onto his tent to scare him. The PW was sort of perplexed at that time, as he had done no such thing. After the events of mid-June, the PW was no longer perplexed about that statement).
Description of unknown objects; Appearing oblong in more distant profile, but sort of lens shaped profile close up; dominating BRIGHT white lights, with less bright sequencing red lights, all along a mid-line; fuselage structure barely glimpsed behind the lights, dull gray; apparent size appearing 1/2" to 2" at arms length due to changing distances from PW.
MUFONGA's George Lainhart conducted an inspection of the land tract and noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Lainhart also brought along his laser range finder used in his SWAT Marksman duties. George zeroed the trees near the river, the trees indicated by the PW as being 500 yards away (initial 2 o'clock position of object), and found them to be 336 yards distant. He then zeroed the lone tree in the front pasture (the later 10 o'clock position of object) and found it to be only 74 yards away from where the witnesses were standing.
Using the mathematical process of computing the appx. length/width of an object AAL, measuring length of arm, hand from eye, distance to object and applying these measurements, the approximate size of the object at the 2 o'clock position (336 yards) is estimated to be 18.66 feet long; from the 10 o'clock position (74 yards) to be 16.44 feet. A variance of 2.22 feet. Of course, estimates by the PW were used to calculate this, and the body measurements could not be exact as if done in a lab, but we consider the resulting sizes to be in the right ball park. During the interview, the PW had no time to calculate correct changing ratios of size from the object's two different positions/distances and the 2.22 foot difference is not out of line for estimations, and in this writer's opinion, indicates credibility.
During detailed conversation, the PW was found to have grown up in the South Fulton County/South Metro Atlanta area where this writer served as a homicide detective and later Chief of Police. It was discovered that this writer, while not knowing the PW personally, was acquainted with his other immediate family. This writer recalls nothing that would indicate the PW was of a negative character or anything other than a hard working citizen, husband and father.
These investigators later checked with the local "beat cops" and Sheriff's deputies in that area and found no citizen reports to law enforcement regarding similar recent events. The FAA was not approached due to their 15 day recorded data process being exceeded. There is a LARGE (!) power generating facility within one mile of this tract of land, and this type of facility MAY play an important part in some of the more dramatic UFO experiences reported by witnesses all around the country. Unfortunately, this plant was under HIGH LEVEL SECURITY LOCKDOWN due to the 11Sept01 terrorist attacks of four days previous. This writer was not allowed access to the plant, being turned away. Later calls to the facility security office were unsuccessful in developing further information.
One further note regarding the PW. His position as an employee of a Georgia political/business family of VIPs would be in extreme jeapardy if any unusual attention was drawn to that family holding. This writer knows that family, and the matter was discussed with the PW, as he was concerned about the same thing. I mention this as another reason I feel that he and his family were relating the truth in this matter. The PW witness has not recontacted MUFONGA, and conversations in the weeks after the field investigation revealed no further activity in the area.
This case report was originally posted to MUFON's World UFO Database (WUFOD). MUFON of Georgia wishes to thank Peter Davenport, Director of the National UFO Reporting Center, for allowing us to share this investigation with the large number of researchers and citizens who depend on NUFORC for up to date information.
Regards to all, Tom Sheets, SD MUFONGA