Occurred: 1981-10-01 20:00 Local - Approximate
Reported: 2012-07-26 21:15 Pacific
Duration: one hour or more
No of observers: 0

Location: Mount Sterling, KY, USA

Shape: Disk
Characteristics: Lights on object, Emitted beams

Close up view of UFO after unexplained loss of time.

It was October 1 or 15, 1981, as best we can tell because weather records indicate October 8 was too cold. It was early on a Thursday evening and we were on our way from Morehead to a bar in Mt. Sterling with high hopes of getting the weekend started early since I had no classes the next day. At least that's how it all began that day, as normal as any other day. By dark things were anything but normal.

When the car topped the little rise on the four lane we saw it in the distance. It was sitting there in mid air, perfectly still and amazingly silent. My first thought is that from this angle and distance I could understand how one of these things could be described as cigar shaped. That description would be totally inaccurate since it was the classic flying saucer shaped craft. Instantly I realized the impression of a cigar shape is just an optical illusion from certain vantage points. My friend later said there was a triangular shape to the structure on top but I was driving and never really got a good look from an angle where I could see the upper portion of the craft. As we got closer the size of it nearly took my breath away and that eerie lack of engine noise really sank in even though it was hovering motionless at rooftop height or maybe a little higher.

It was enormous with full running lights ablaze. The machining was obvious, the airliner shaped windows were evenly spaced metallic depressions, and it was so close to the highway it felt like we were about to drive under it. I’ve never known exactly how big it was, a hundred feet across is just a guess because it could have been a hundred and twenty five or fifty feet easily. The lights were fairly evenly spaced and mostly white, with a scattering of red and amber. There may have been some green lights as well, but it wasn’t the lights that held my attention. It was the whole thing in its entirety and it was a wondrous sight.

I slowed the car and began to pull off the road onto the shoulder. I knew two things with great certainty. I wanted so badly to see it and somebody was granting my request. I also knew without any doubt this was a rare opportunity and I would never get this chance again. I had no idea how I knew these things, but it didn’t matter in the moment. All I wanted was to pull over and get out so I could get a better look.

That’s when my best friend, speechless until we were nearly stopped, yelled for me to hit the gas. There was such urgency in her voice that I immediately did as she asked, convinced she had seen something I hadn’t noticed and that it scared her. It was only recently we began to discuss it again after years of trying to put it out of our minds. She told me the second before she yelled out she became aware of a beam of light the craft had suddenly focused on us, something I hadn’t been conscious of although I do remember everything being lit up nearly bright as day. All I knew was that as we pulled away it was obvious she felt we needed to be far away from this thing, whatever it was. In the moment I reluctantly bowed to her wishes without knowing exactly why, but with a measure of silent regret for what I’d never get to see.

Neither of us knew how we got here or how long it had been dark outside. Further discussion revealed we both remembered the same thing, getting back on the interstate after buying soft drinks at the second Bath County exit and driving west towards the setting sun. As we got back on the interstate for the short drive we knew we only had another twelve or fourteen miles to go to get off at the next exit in the neighboring county. Somehow we missed both exits for Mt. Sterling because the next thing we were aware of it was dark and it felt like we weren’t in the right place.

We nervously tried to laugh it off. The nearly total darkness of the rural country side seemed to press in on us. There was no other choice but find a place to turn around. We drove to the next exit, which was the first Clark County exit. There was nothing within sight there except pasture. There were no street lights or houses, not even the obligatory gas station visible in the distance one would expect to find near an exit ramp off an interstate highway. We wasted no time in turning around and getting back on the interstate, this time on the eastbound side.

We were still wondering how we had over shot our destination so badly as we pulled back onto the deserted highway. It was such an implausible explanation that we had somehow passed not one, but both Mt. Sterling exits and missed the sunset we were driving towards that our laughter held a hollow ring. We were uncomfortably aware we were headed back into Montgomery County, a county we had absolutely no memory of having just driven through. It was pretty weird but not half as weird as what was about to happen. A couple of minutes later we topped that little rise on the four lane and the saucer shaped craft came into sight.

After my friend yelled for me to hit the gas I did pull back onto the interstate and accelerate, watching the saucer grow smaller in my rearview mirror as we increased our distance from it. It never did move. We kept driving eastward. The saucer remained there. It just hovered silently exactly where it was until it faded from our sight. When we were far enough away that it was entirely out of our sight we were suddenly able to talk again as if a spell had been released. My friend convinced me not to tell anybody, that there was no point since nobody would ever believe us anyway.

She was right about that because I don’t think anybody ever has believed us, not that we ever told many people. There’s that and the fact that it lacked some of the exciting elements of a classic saucer sighting like the impossibly quick maneuvers commonly reported. The one we saw didn’t do anything but it was a lot closer to us than with most reported sightings. The other thing is even though it was stationary and we got a very good look at it, we saw none of the occupants so they could as easily been Russian or Chinese as little green or grey men from another world.

Over the years it occurred to me it could be one of our experimental aircrafts before so much time passed. After twenty years or so when our military never introduced a fleet of flying saucers with some new propulsion system that no longer relied on noisy jet engines I gave up on that theory. The fact that the Russians and Chinese also failed to incorporate any radical changes in their aircrafts during that period pretty much nixed the idea that it was foreign technology from this planet. I gave up those explanations over a decade ago when nobody on earth stepped up with this radical advancement or reaped the benefits of a viable alternative engine design with the assumed alternate fuel source that would power such a thing.

As time passed it just seemed more and more unlikely that two or three decades would come and go without some sign of these discoveries leaching into the world market, but to this day it never has. In the last decade or so that left just one possibility to contemplate. It became more and more reasonable to accept the saucer wasn’t from this planet at all. In accepting that probability I’m left with exploring the knowledge I began with, the things I was sure of the moment I saw it come into sight. At that second it never occurred to me the thing might be native to my own planet. It was only later my mind reached for a logical way to explain what we saw without stating the outlandish.

In time the event defied all other explanations. It was obviously extraterrestrial as much as I might have fought saying it out loud. All that was left was those first few thoughts that had been so crystal clear and in the second it came into view I never had any doubt that it was an alien craft. I also knew from the very core of my being its sole purpose for being there beside the highway, completely still and displayed in all its glory with every running light ablaze, was to let us see it. I can’t explain why, but I was utterly without fear and knew this was my one and only chance to see it. I was certain it would never return and in this lifetime I would never get another opportunity. Thirty-one years later I can tell you that so far as I know that’s still true. I’ve never seen anything even remotely questionable in the sky since that night.


Witness indicates that the date of the sighting is approximate. PD

Posted 2012-08-05

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