UFO Wave McDonald County, Missouri, 1977
Once again I thought I might bring a story to light that occured way back... and in my neck of the woods.
Once again, this is brought to you by the late, great Bob Pratt... www.mufon.com...
This flap, or wave, lasted for THREE MONTHS, and had local residents stunned. To this day, I have spoken with 'paranormal investigators' who swore
this was a ghostly experience often referred to as "spook lights" until I told them some particulars of the story, they follow...
"We saw a big orange glow off in the timber...It looked like a big forest fire and it was coming down off the ridge. It was enough of a red glow that
you could see the dead leaves and limbs between us and the timber.
Suddenly, the glow and everything went out like you turned a light switch. There were six of us and we got into two cars and went over there, but
there was no sign of a fire, no smoke, no glow or nothing. I've seen timber fires before and they just don't go out that quick."
From February into April of 1977 HUNDREDS of McDonald County residents saw UFOs on a daily basis. It got to the point that people would come across
state lines from Arkansas to the South and Oklahoma to the West to get in on the action. In the end, they had constructed a posse, of sorts,
communicating by CB radio to see who was spotting the "lights" while everyone had taken up stations on hilltops. This was a MASSIVE event.
In fact, in one evening people counted more than 125 cars at a local general store gearing up to go on patrol. (note that McDonald county is a very
small "county" consisting of literally NO large townships, especially in '77... 125 cars is, in fact, a "posse")
The police didn't keep a record of the calls but Mrs. Virgil Hottinger, did, at least in the beginning. An officer of the Southwest Missouri REACT
team, she monitored the emergency CB channel on many nights when UFOs were being seen. (REACT is the acronym for Radio Emergency Associated Citizens
Team, which monitors CB emergency band Channel 9 on a twenty four-hour basis.)
“The first night they were reported – that was February 12, at ten forty two p.m. – I had the CB on Channel 9 and I get this call for help,"
Mrs. Hottinger said. "This man says, 'Lady, you better get somebody over here in a hurry!'
“I said, 'What’s wrong?' He seemed frightened. He said, 'I don't know what it is but it's coming down out of the sky and it's coming right
over my car and almost hit me and it's landed out here in a field.'
“Well, I thought he had been drinking. It was a Saturday night. Within fifteen minutes or so, two more calls came in and somebody said, 'I think
it's helicopters stealing cattle.' We had had that a few years back.” (makes a special note of 'helicopters stealing cattle'... this was in
'77, mind you)
Anyhow, it goes on that by 1 in the morning or so people were getting pretty freaked out and were cursing on the CB stations... lots of them.
Most of the stories that night and in the next couple of weeks were simply glowing balls of lights, often appearing as brush fires.
But there were exceptions...
March 5, 1977 - Lonnie and Debbie Stites
At about 11:30pm on the evening of March 5th Lonnie and Debbie were to deliver a load of wood to a turkey house north of McNatt, Missouri. They never
According to the witnesses, they were headed to the farm and noticed some peculiar red lights in the distance. Coming closer, the lights rose in the
air directly in front of their truck and proceeded to shine lights on their truck. Meanwhile, a "man" dressed in green coveralls ran down the hill
towards the highway waving his arm at the two...until he was eventually standing right beside the highway.
Mind you this is nearly midnight and according to the witnesses this man in coveralls is waving at them in SUNGLASSES. The witnesses couldn't tell
how the sunglasses adhered to his face as he appeared to have no ears! And oh yeah, he was wearing a skull-cap (pulled so tight that there wasn't a
wrinkle in it.)
Anyhow, they drove past where they were going in a state of shock. In all they went about 20 miles out of their way to avoid the object and refused to
Nobody is on record seeing this object other than the two mentioned above, but there were some others who saw some weird happenings in the same
Lawrence McCool's Close Encounter
February 9th is when things started in McDonald county and apparently, on the 16th Lawrence decided to go look for a UFO himself - he found one.
His story relates how he and a buddy went up to a hilltop to look for some objects while his buddy got a call from his wife over the CB radio (I love
how the Ozarkians actually use CB radios to communicate in areas that are basically devoid of civilization) that there was an object near their house.
Well, Lawrence urged his neighbor to run home and that he would stay where he was, waiting for him to return (phantom was his handle).
So Lawrence sits there for an hour watching this orb wax and wane until it finally disappears (this is apparently the same orb phantom went to chase
at his house). Then Ron decides to leave and go home. He makes it four miles until his CB starts acting up. ... Then everything in his truck shuts
down. EVERYTHING. He thinks that maybe he is startled so badly that he hit the brakes hard enough to stop instantly, but he isn't sure.
He found himself face to face with what he assumes was the same object he was watching from afar moments ago. Only now, he is terrified. He likens it
to watching a tiger in a cage and then coming face to face with the same tiger in a back alley. He says he felt like he was under a microscope.
The interesting part about McCools account is that he was on CB the entire time. Until he encountered the object. The Sherriff says he was out of
contact for 20 minutes. McCool thought it was only about 1 minute...