Occurred: 1968-04-03 14:50 Local
Reported: 2008-07-24 17:13 Pacific
Duration: seconds
No of observers: 1

Location: Gainesville, GA, USA

Shape: Cigar

bright silver cigar shaped object appeared in the air ahead of me when I was teenager driving home after school

This happened to me 40 years ago. Over these many years one sighting and an historical event that followed have haunted me and I have never known what I should have done at that time. Heck I was 17 years old, driving home from cheerleading practice. I questioned my own credibility that day. Who would believe me? I told my mother when I got home that I saw a flying object that I couldn’t explain. She had little to say other than, "I don’t know what to say about that."

For what it is worth, here is my story: April 4, 1968. I remember the day because it was that evening that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. The events of that late afternoon coupled with his tragic death colored my world view forever. I made a promise that I would remember everything.

I left the Gainesville High School gym at about 4:15 pm. My family lived in a small brick ranch house on Lake Lanier about 6 miles outside of Gainesville, GA in Hall County. I headed east on the Cleveland Hwy while listening to WDUN radio. At that time the Cleveland Hwy. was a winding 2-lane road lined for most part by large trees and small residences sparsely spaced out.

There was a restaurant called The Big Bear at a bend in the road. It was noted for the cage in the parking lot that housed a large bear. (In hindsight this was a cruel thing, but in 1968 it was just a promotional gimmick for a dingy old restaurant.) Once I cleared the bend and lost sight of the Big Bear, the landscape opened up. Trees had been cleared years before to make room for Riverbend Baptist Church on the left and a small strip mall on the right. The sun was very low and bright behind me at that point. I recall that my rearview mirror caught the sun and I slowed down because its reflection in my mirror temporarily made seeing ahead more difficult. I adjusted the mirror so I could see, but I still was going very slowly.

At that moment in front and above me I saw it. The object had suddenly appeared from the south or southeast. It came to a dead stop. It did not waiver. It hovered silently above the highway. I looked in the rearview mirror to see if anyone was behind me and there wasn’t. I wanted someone else to see this. (There weren’t a lot of cars on the road because most people didn’t get off from work until 5 so I saw few cars in front or behind and passed few cars traveling in opposite direction.) I slowed to almost a stop while my eyes fixed on what hung suspended ahead and in the air. Its size I could not begin to guesstimate. Its altitude I couldn’t say. But I can say that it was metallic silver because the sun that had so bothered my eyes fropm the west reflected on part of the object.

I thought at first it must be a jet the military was testing. But there was no noise, there were no windows or markings and I saw no lights. It was daylight and if there were lights they had to be white and were indistinguishable from the sun’s rays that bounced off the right side of the cigar-shaped object. I knew I was looking at whatever it was from the side. It could have actually been a disk. Its smooth shape was almost too perfect. It stayed there for a number of seconds, but it seemed like minutes to me because of all the thoughts that raced through my head. My body felt as though something passed through it. I vowed to remember every moment. Maybe one day someone would want to know when I first saw an UFO.

All of a sudden it catapulted to my left and was gone. Not a trace. Not a sound. It was as though it disappeared, but for a nanosecond I did see movement and I know it headed north or northwest. I simply don’t know which because the road twisted and turned often.

There was another strange occurrence at that moment it left. The radio DJ or news reporter commented on Martin Luther King, Jr. being in Memphis. I distinctly remember something about a garbage collectors strike. Now I had given very little thought to King in my short life. I heard the things my parents said and I had listened to the "I Have a Dream" speech which greatly impressed me. But heck I lived in the Deep South and there was controversy that swirled around him. Back to the story. At the moment I heard the radio and saw the object disappear from sight a thought passed through me, MLK was going to die that day. Now this thought came to me between 4:30 and 4:45 EST. King was in Memphis and was shot at 6:01 pm. It hadn’t happened yet. When I got home and after I told my mother about the UFO, I asked her if she had heard about King being killed. The question was asked because I thought it was strange that I was aware of his death and yet the radio announcer had said nothing. I turned on the TV to see if there were any news bulletins. During those times there was no 5 PM news. There were no bulletins. So I thought to myself, "You are crazy. That UFO has rattled you and crazy stuff is going through your head." I plopped down in front of the TV and was the typical teenager.

At some point that evening a news bulletin did come on and said King had been killed. My first thought was, "Why did it take so long for the news to announce this?" Then Walter Cronkite (I think it was him) said King was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine (sp) Hotel at 6 pm. My heart started pounding. That was wrong. He must have died earlier. You can’t imagine how I felt. I had known something was going to happen to King, but I couldn’t interpret my instant knowledge at the time it was revealed to me. I wouldn't have known what to do. I thought I was crazy.

Over the years I felt such guilt. I could have stopped it. I could have called the radio, but I was so young and had never had anything happen to me that could be classified as weird. The UFO sighting and the knowledge that King was going to die occurred almost simultaneously. I didn’t sleep well that night.

So as you read, these two things are entwined for me. I can never separate them. Everything is so clear from that afternoon and evening and yet it was 40 years ago.

Since then when I hear about UFO sightings, I don’t doubt that some of them are true. Over years I wondered what it was I saw. Funny, I never thought of the object being piloted by aliens, at least not aliens of a hostile nature. At some point during my college years I found peace about what it might be. I came to believe that the UFO was piloted by the descendents of humans. Maybe this seemed plausible because as a young child I loved science fiction. I have always chosen to believe that time travel would one day be possible, far off into the very distant future.

When the technology exists to transcend space and time, our descendents, whatever they are like, will come back to witness history. I don’t believe they will or can tamper with us very much because if they do, they could be destroying themselves. Their mere existence hinges on us. The desire to understand from whence they came, what we looked like at this primitive stage, how we lived, and what formed our values is certainly things to study. They are looking for themselves. No, I don’t believe in aliens that truly are alien to us. I believe in beings that have evolved and long left earth. They have populated other celestial orbs. They won’t bother me or anyone else. I am one of their ancestors.

I know that my story is in the distant past. Before the Internet I didn’t concern myself about what or who I should tell my story. It was shared over the years with only a few close friends. Still before I aged anymore I wanted to tell my story for the record. I saw something I couldn’t explain. It flew at a speed I couldn’t comprehend. I don’t know why it stopped there or why I was the only car at that point past the bend.

I have wondered if anyone else saw anything that day in North Georgia, but I never heard any stories on TV. I presumed that either I was it or the others were like me. It couldn’t be explained and people questioned their sanity.

It still amazes me that NO ONE has taken a credible photo. When these things appear they are often too far away to get clear shots. No pilots who have claimed to see them up close even had a camera and could record it. There have been so many hoaxes over the years that the few that have credibility are questioned. I didn’t have a camera that day and even if I did, the event passed so quickly I could have never gotten a shot off. Surely someone at some point with get a verifiable photo that can be blown up and will make it evident to everyone. We are out there.

By the way, I have never seen another. It was a one-time thing, but I still look up and hope that before I die I can see another. If I do I won’t wait 40 years to share it with you.

Posted 2008-08-12

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