Occurred: 1996-01-31 02:00 Local
Reported: 1999-04-07 00:00 Pacific
Duration: 2-3 hrs
No of observers: 1

Location: Heflin (Talladega National Forest at Oak Level), AL, USA

Shape: Light
Characteristics: Lights on object, Emitted beams, Aircraft nearby

Parked at hunting spot appx 2 a.m. with vehicle facing west. saw bright light moving north to south at speeds not humanly possible then hovering.

On the morning of January 31,1996 my husband was unable to get back to sleep and left home shortly after 1:00 a.m. He arrived at his preferred hunting spot in the Oak Level area of Cleburn Co. AL appx. 45 min. later. Because this is Public Hunting on National Forest he wanted to claim the spot for the last day of deer season. He planned to sleep in the truck until daybreak. When parked at the top of the mountain and facing west the glow of lights from the cities of Anniston (S.W.), Jacksonville (due west) and Piedmont (N.W.) are visible on a clear night which this was. Shortly after arriving he reclined the seat to nap but noticed a bright light over the city of Jacksonville.This he passed off as a bright star or the planet Venus. That is until the "star" started to move. He passed this off as a helicopter training flight from Ft. McClellan which lay just to the south of Jacksonville in the Anniston glow of lights. His assumption of a training flight was suddenly changed when this light darted at a humanly impossible speed to the north toward Piedmont. In less than a second the light hovered in the glow of Piedmont's lights having covered a distance of about 15 miles almost instantaneously. After a few minutes the craft darted back so that it was again over Jacksonville. This time he witnessed a beam flash downward. By now he had raised the seat from its reclining position astounded by what he was seeing. He observed the movements of this light for quite some time and in fact became bored and eventually drifted off to sleep. After dozing for and an hour or so he awoke to the same activity in the skies to the west This soon after changed when the light was approached by a larger and brighter one which came from the west. The smaller began moving around it in a way that is most easily compared to insects flitting around a light. This seemed to have served to convey some type of message because at that point the smaller light headed straight in my husband's direction. The larger light faded backwar! d in the direction from which it had come (that of Sand Mtn. approx. 4o miles WNWof Jacksonville.) As the craft continued in his direction my husband chambered a shell into his deer rifle. This done the light almost instantly began backing away in the same direction taken by the larger as if it sensed danger. My macho husband who had for years treated my early 1970's sighting as a joke waited until daylight then raced home afraid that his headlights may allow the crafts to pinpoint where to get him in the future. He woke me as soon as he came in saying "I won't ever laugh at you again". He then related the story insisting that we report the incident. We called the local airports at both Weaver and Anniston. They in turn referred us to the Airport in Birmingham who had no record of Military training flights that night. My husband was able to tell them approximate times for commercial flights from Atlanta to Memphis and from Birmingham to Chattanooga that had passed over during these events. We were able to get the number for the UFO hotline from the Birmingham facility and filed a report that morning before 8:00. These events happened in the very early morning hours of Sunday, January 31,1996. Unknown to us at the time there had been numerous reports during the previous night and early morning. Similar sightings were associated with reports of cattle mutilations carried out with surgical precision in the Sand Mtn. area over the course of the next several weeks. Reports were filed by law enforcement officials, city council representatives and other such reliable figures. The area was visited by UFOlogists and there was quite a bit of press coverage. I believe this event had a profound impact on my husband. I noticed distinct changes in his personality almost immediately. He was better able to express his feelings and demonstrated increased patience and anger control. He also seemed more sensitive to the feelings of others. He seemed to sense when I did not feel well. I also noticed that he seemed m! ore protective of the children and me. Although I have questioned the fact that maybe one of those beams got him he insists that it is not possible. He insists that he went to sleep during these events which I feel would have been impossible given his level of excitement upon returning home.

Posted 1999-04-26

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