The Cash-Landrum Incident is a unique multiple witness unidentified flying object (UFO) case in that the three witnesses were severely injured by
their encounter. It is also interesting to note that the encounter took place one day after and a half a world away from the famous Rendlesham Forest
On the night of December 29, 1980, 51 year old Betty Cash, an East Texas restaurant owner, was driving home to Dayton, Texas with her friend, 57 year
old Vicki Landrum, and Landrum's 7 year old grandson, Colby. They had just left a restaurant at about 8:30 P.M.
They were driving down FM 1485, a desolate road through the Piney Woods that was seldom used by anyone except locals and the Forestry Department. The
area was sparsely populated woodland with lakes and swamps here and there.
At about 9 P.M., they noticed a very large, diamond shaped and brightly lit object further down the road from them. It was hovering at about treetop
level. It appeared to get larger and larger as they approached, and they hoped they could drive by it. However, the object slowly moved onto the road
surface and straddled it there. By now Cash and the Landrums, about 130 feet away from the object had to stop, as they feared getting any closer would
cause them to be burned alive.
Betty Cash got out of the car to get a better look at it. Vicki Landrum started to, but her grandson, frantic by now, begged her to come back inside.
The object, however, fascinated Betty, and moved in front of the car to look at it further, despite the fact the heat from the object was burning her
skin. Cash said that the UFO was a diamond shaped object that was aluminium coloured and had a bright ring of blue lights around the middle. From the
bottom of the UFO a cone of flames shot out. The object made beeping sounds. It was described as being so bright it lit up the surrounding forest like
daylight. The heat from the object was too much to bear, and Cash decided to get back in the car. When she touched the door handle, it was so hot it
burned her, so she had to use her jacket to open the door.
As they watched the UFO depart, the three of them saw a swarm of military helicopters come in from everywhere and surround the object. The UFO and the
helicopters then disappeared from view behind the trees. They continued to drive home, and saw the UFO periodically when the road curved to allow an
After-effects and sickness
Betty dropped Vick and Colby off at their home. She returned home alone. By now, she was feeling quite ill. Her skin was blistering and turning red,
and she felt nauseated and began to vomit. When morning came, she was close to being comatose. Through the night, Vicki and Colby also experienced
redness of the skin and diarrhoea and vomiting, but were not as sick as Betty was.
The next morning Betty was taken to Vicki's house where she could be monitored better and the three could be taken care of. However, Betty's
condition grew worse that she was taken to the hospital after three days. Her skin was peeling off, her hair was falling out in clumps, and her eyes
swelled shut. She was unrecognisable. Vicki and Colby's condition had grown a bit worse, but began to improve. The doctors at the hospital believed
the symptoms experienced by the three were consistent with radiation poisoning.
Over the following years, Vicki and Colby experienced recurring skin problems and eye infections. Though both lost a portion of their hair, it grew
back eventually. Betty however, fared much worse, and had to be hospitalised several times over the next few years. She developed various cancers and
spent the remainder of her life bedridden for most of the time.
The witnesses reported their encounter to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Houston, who suggested they speak to John
Schuessler, an aerospace engineer who worked for NASA who had a personal interest in UFOs. He investigated their case, and was impressed with the
witnesses. He studied their medical records and histories, and gave the records to members of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), who had backgrounds in
medicine. They agreed the witnesses were exposed to some sort of ionizing radiation. He also concluded from the description of the helicopters that
they were CH-47 army helicopters.
Investigation revealed that there were other witnesses who saw the helicopters and UFO on the night of the incident, including an off duty police
officer and his wife, an oilfield worker, and some others. However, all local military bases denied having any helicopters in the area. The only
public statement from the military came from FT. Hood press officer Major Tony Geishauser, who said that no FT. Hood helicopters were out that night,
unless there was a super secret exercise going on, which he would not know about.
In a peculiar turn of events, a CH-47 landed for a showing in Dayton. Vicki and Colby went to go see it. While getting a tour of the inside of the
helicopter, Vicki and another person told the pilot about the UFO encounter. The pilot stated that he and some others had been sent to investigate a
report of a UFO in trouble outside Huffman, Texas that night. When Vicki told him that she was one of the people injured by the UFO, the pilot said
nothing more and quickly escorted her and the other witness out of the helicopter.
U.S. government denials and lawsuit
None of the army bases in the area would admit to having the helicopters that night. To this day, the origin of the helicopters remains a mystery.
Betty Cash decided to sue the government for medical damages caused by the UFO, since as a result of the encounter, she was forced to close down her
businesses and had spent much of her time in the hospital, unable to work. The government denied that the UFO belonged to them, nor did they have any
such secret projects, and unfortunately, Cash's case was unsuccessful. She remains the only person to date that has sued the government for damages
caused by a UFO.
On December 29th, 1998, exactly 18 years after the event, Betty Cash died from complications of the incident. The case remains one of the most bizarre
UFO sightings in U.S. history.
Cash Landrum Case