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A Second Hand UFO Story

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posted on Aug, 29 2007 @ 09:16 AM
Like second hand suits, second hand UFO stories never quite fit right, often smell a little funny and you don't want to bring them out to impress a girl on a first date. Nevertheless, like an old and well worn corduroy suit, they can sometimes have great character. This is a story told by a friend's grandfather about a UFO sighting (that was almost certainly hogwash) and the government's response to that sighting, which was very real.

My friend's grandfather was a sheriff in a small midwestern town during the 1950s. A well known "colorful local character" (read: loud, obnoxious, probably slightly nuts but basically likeable drunk) reported seeing a UFO. He called my friend's grandfather at home at 3 am on a Saturday (Godbless small towns) to say he saw "a bunch of really weird lights all dancing and hopping around in the sky".

Now here's the thing. There was a thread not so long ago about how all towns are required to have an emergency plan in case of UFO attack, and I'm pretty sure that's an urban myth. But there was a time in the 50s and early 60s when police departments were required to report UFO sightings to the State Police headquarters. My understanding is this had less to do with fear of an alien invasion and more to do with the fear that strange lights in the sky might be Commie made aeroplanes from the USSR via Cuba.

So the sheriff had to call the drunk's report in to the state cops, even though it was the last thing he really wanted to deal with. A couple of days later a couple of state troopers showed up and wanted to interview the drunk, who apparently more or less stuck by his story.

Now they must have been required to report the story to somebody else, because a week later a state cop, an officer from a nearby airforce base and another man who said he was a detective with the state police but was wearing plain clothes (not an ominous black suit, though) and refused to show credentials all showed up, and this time the man was taken away, supposedly to state police headquarters for questioning.

Ten days or so later he was dropped unceremoniously back in town. He looked like he'd been worked over, although my friend's grandfather said there were better than even odds he'd look that way on any given Monday morning. What was different though is that from that point on he was really really quiet. He drank more than ever before but he never got happy drunk again, and he absoultely never got blabbery sloppy drunk. He wouldn't tell anybody about what happened and he'd absolutely refuse to talk about the lights he saw. The old sheriff moved away a few years later, but he heard from old friends that one night the drunk committed suicide in the room where he lived.

There's no direct line causal chain from seeing the lights to the questioning to the detainment to the subsequent change in mood and demeanor and eventual suicide. There are a number of possible explanations. Lonely people who have nothing left to live for take that route all the time and the substance abuse didn't help. But I remember being a teenager and hearing the story. My friend's grandfather said "I don't believe in little green men. I don't believe in flying saucers. But I sure as #%%# believe in the coverup, you see".

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