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The Police Officer UFO Witness
Why is the police officer considered a special witness to UFOs? Why are police officers important to the investigation of UFOs?
Nowhere else in the UFO phenomenon is more attention given than to that of the UFO witness. The witness lies at the core of the phenomena, if indeed it isn’t the core itself.
In classic UFOlogy the witness is the sole source of data on the topic, providing the raw descriptions of sightings and experiences. Of all the studies and literature on the topic of UFOs, no subject dominates like reports from witnesses. Not all detailed witness reports are considered worthwhile however. More often than not the weight of the report will rest upon the credibility of the witness and the reliability of the witness to observe. Enter the police.
This section provides a review of what makes the officer such a critical observer at the core of UFO phenomenon, an introduction to the police witness/sighting saga, and touches on what progress has been made in providing a system to afford the officer-witness to come forward in order to contribute to the subject. As good a place to start as any, the witness experience provides a practical foundation on which to gradually expand.
1. THE WITNESS PROFILE
It cannot be stressed enough that police rank as amongst the highest of credible and reliable witnesses in the UFO field, in literature being compared to astronauts, pilots, and engineer-scientists. Dr J Allen Hynek, in his 1975 FBI briefing, goes so far as to suggest his belief that police are the best witnesses, when he states:
“Experience definitely shows that the best reports, those with the greatest information content, come from technically trained, professional people, especially law enforcement personnel.”
Bill Birnes, chief editor of UFO Magazine, makes the case explicitly in the television show “UFO Hunters – Cops vs UFOs”, that “Police officers are the most credible witnesses who are trained to observed.”
In terms of rating our witness sources, when we talk of the ‘police witness’ we are profiling. Like law enforcement agencies, UFOlogist have long known the importance of witness profiling, but reports, reviews and catalogues on the subject are difficult to obtain because of the security involved in protecting the witness.
However the casual assertion that police are the best UFO witnesses has become so prevalent that it has almost assumed a sense of cliché amongst the UFO research community. Questions and discussion do arise, and since the police witness is so critical to our inquiry, it seems fitting to elaborate on those two basic assumptions: That the police officer is credible, and that the police officer is a reliable observer.
The public will admit the obvious authority that comes with the uniform, and also in a court of law. Many have argued that should the UFO debate ever make it to a fair court of law, the issue would have been resolved long ago. There are obviously those who do not agree that authority in itself is enough to consider the officer to be a credible witness.
What comes with the authority however, is a deep requirement for responsibility and accountability. Experienced officers have a lot to loose in coming forth with their amazing stories, or as Hynek calls, “credible people with incredible stories”, in the eye of the public, professionally and in the eyes their peers. We have mentioned earlier the culture of policing in general, and so it is not lightly that the officer makes a report. Outside of formal research, this credibility quickly comes into question. Bill Birnes, in the same UFO Hunters episode, makes the case that, "These are the people whose eyewitness testimony we trust is credible, 'except' when it comes to UFOs, and that's what's so frightening to me."
And yet their stories continue to go on record, and this in itself leads one to consider that something extraordinary is going on. What profound and very real experiences are these officers having?
And it is for this reason more than any other, one might ultimately confess, that the officer does, albeit in general, make a rather credible witness.
3.The Reliable Observer
Does the officer make a good UFO observer? The police officer is definitely a trainer observer, and many police can rightly claim also to be experienced observers, so we are half way there. But does this qualify the officer as the best observer, and more remarkably, a good observer of unusual aerial phenomena? The answer is not straightforward.
We must take into account the experience of the particular officer. For example an officer with many years of night surveillance, maybe near an airport, or perhaps even a previous history in avionics, would certainly make the case for a good UFO observer.
The public has not considered all the avenues, if it has assumed that the officer is not a special observer of unusual aerial phenomena. There is another characteristic of the officer that makes the case for a strong observer. When Hynek was referring to his list of good observers, including law enforcement personnel, the point he was making was that the experienced professional mind was most capable of articulating the observation in detail. And therefore, it is the ability and experience of the officer to reliably report the observation that makes the reliable observer.
There is, further, yet another important aspect that must be considered. If by “reliable observer” we were to interpret that the officer is in a position that is fortunate for the observation of UFO phenomena, then this too clearly suits our nocturnal police patrols, or fits the bill, one might say. It must be acknowledged that the night-shift officer on the beat is certainly at a statistical advantage for witnessing strange nocturnal happenings.
Thread - International Police UFO Reports
"At first I though we were seeing a ship on fire on the horizon towards Ilfracombe. But then it rose out of the water like a blood-red sun, a good deal larger than a full-sized harvest moon.It remained at sea level, then suddenly took off at a fantastic speed towards the Atlantic."
Chief-Inspector Reginald Jones, of "D" Division, Glamorgan Police - object also witnessed by another officer,09-01-1957.
"I saw something in the sky that I didn't know what it was,it was over Highway Two about fifteen hundred feet, a large, lighted ball about six feet in diameter. It was going toward the beach very slowly.I was in the parking lot of the Hilton when they called me from the police department.They told me to go to the beach because a great many people were watching this object.
When I got there, the object was already hovering over the water about two or three miles off the beach. There were about five hundred people watching. There are about four public housing areas right there and all the people from the housing areas were there. I saw one light coming down but when I got to the beach I noticed there were two objects in the water, not together but about a mile away from each other. They were hovering over the water, right about at the water level.
Because of the distance I couldn’t tell if it was a few feet over the water or if they were actually touching the water. The first object stayed about an hour but the second one lasted at least four hours.
People came out of their houses to see the view and people came in cars, parked on the side of the street and went to the beach to see what was happening. I stayed until midnight, mostly keeping an eye on the group so there wouldn’t be any problems.
It was pretty high, like an orange-yellow light. I don't know exactly the size. As it came down it got larger. It was pretty good sized.
The police got many, many phone calls, all night. We called the Coast Guard but they didn’t come. They said it wasn't an emergency.
I think they were mystery objects. I was impressed by what I saw.There were many other officers who saw this."
Mayagüez Police Lieutenant Cesar Grácia -1977, Mayaquez, Puerto Rico - on witnessing two Large Glowing UFOs Enter & Emerge from Ocean.
"It was a real big triangular object,completely engulfed in a bright yellow light ... It seemed to be at an altitude of about 500 feet above the ground, over property belonging to Camp García. I calculated the altitude based on the height of some trees in the area. What intrigued me the most was that the thing was suspended right over the area where the US Navy has an airstrip or runway for their planes to land and take off ... And that it was an unidentified flying object.
There were no military exercises at the time, so what was that object, that triangle of light, doing there over the runway? Thinking that I was observing something I shouldn’t be seeing, I left the site at once. But from that moment on, I realized something very strange is taking place on the land controlled by the US Navy.
This has happened on many occasions, sometimes between 9 and 11 PM, and sometimes around 2 or 3 in the morning.They come out from the sea at a spot right in the middle of Punta Arenas and Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Ceiba."
Wilfredo Feliciano- Director of the Vieques Municipal Police Department,Puerto Rico.
"It had a dome with ports all around it. The bottom was surrounded by colored lights like neon lights in blue, red, green and white which blinked in a sequence as if they were rotating, and in the middle there were three spheres or hemispheres.
It was a huge thing, about 100 feet in diameter, and it made no noise whatsoever. What fascinated me even more was that the object was enveloped in a kind of halo which made its entire metallic structure glow white. It flew slowly over our heads and seemed to land at a place behind a group of trees. But we couldn 't see or check that out because at that point it was too far away and in the middle of the moor."
Police Constable Anthony Dodd Skipton, North Yorkshire,December 12, 1978
Object also witnessed by Police Constable Dale
"This object came at us from the west. At first it looked like a red hot piece of coal about the size of a quarter held at arm's length. In a matter of seconds it was as large as a ruler held at arm's length. That is when it came to a complete stop.
"The shape of the object was distinct. The body of the object was solid bright red and it gave off a pulsating red glow completely around the object. The object hovered a few seconds, then made a left turn and again hovered for a few seconds, then went straight up like a shot. We watched it until it completely faded beyond the stars."
Patrolman LeRoy A. Arboreen - Dunellen, New Jersey, United States December 20, 1958
Object also witnessed by Patrolman B. Talada.
"The bulk of the object was plainly visible at this time and appeared to be triangular shaped with a bright purple light on the left end and the smaller, less bright, blue light on the right end. The bulk of the object appeared to be dark gray in color with no other distinguishing features. It appeared to be about 200 feet wide and 40-50 feet thick in the middle, tapering off toward both ends. There was no noise or any trail. The bright purple light illuminated the ground directly underneath it and the area in front of it, including the highway and the interior of our patrol car.
After arriving at approximately its original position,it went straight up in the air and disappeared at 25-30 degrees above the horizon."
Deputy Sheriff Bob Goode Damon, Texas, United States September 3, 1965.
Object also witnessed by Chief Deputy Billy McCoy
"I know I'm not crazy .. I've always said I didn't believe in this stuff,I don't know what I saw, but I know I saw something . . It's just hard to describe what happened. It looked like an evening star or something,but it kept getting brighter and bigger.
I heard a whirring noise—like a blender . . Like it was straining, when you first put ice in it—and then the UFO started coming closer.
The thing came right over the car,It came right to us, like it was being piloted - the thing just hovered over us, about 20 or 30 feet up, for more than a minute.
There was light coming out from little windows and light changed colors several times, from soft blue to red to green and other colors. It didn't spin or anything. It just hovered around there -then the thing just picked up and took off, north west, toward Satartia."
Madison County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Creel - Flora, Mississippi, United States,February 10, 1977
Object also witnessed by Highway Patrolman Louis Younger.
"I always look behind me so no one can come up behind me. And when I looked in this wooded area behind us, I saw this thing. At this time it was coming up...to about tree top level. I'd say about one hundred feet. it started moving toward us.... As it came over the trees, I looked at Barney and he was still watching the car...and he didn't say nothing and the thing kept getting brighter and the area started to get light...I told him to look over his shoulder, and he did.
He just stood there with his mouth open for a minute, as bright as it was, and he looked down. And I started looking down and I looked at my hands and my clothes weren't burning or anything, when it stopped right over on top of us.The only thing, the only sound in the whole area was a hum...like a transformer being loaded or an overloaded transformer when it changes....
.... it went PSSSSSHHEW, straight up; and I mean when it went up, friend, it didn't play no games; it went straight up."
Deputy Sheriff Dale Spaur Portage County,Ohio,April 17, 1966
Also witnessed by Deputy Wilbur Neff.
"The light would throb with an increased intensity prior to each change of colour and hover in the sky for some time and then dart and cover large distances, doing a number of right-angled turns at high speed."
Senior Constable Andrew Luhrs -Gladstone,Southern Australia,May 22, 1996
"It was cigar shaped and yellow in colour.It travelled along slowly for a few seconds, then shot off into the night at a fantastic speed. We didn’t know what it was, nor had we ever seen anything like it but many reports have been made at the police station of strange lights and objects."
Police Constable William Bryne -Banbury, Oxfordshire.
Object also witnessed by Police Constable Perry Jackson.
"It was approximately 50 feet in length. There were portholes on the side but there were no visible signs of propulsion. The ship appeared to be metallic and gave off a bright glow. There was a low whirring sound coming from it."
Police Constable Brian Earnshaw - Bacup, Lancashire,October 1969
Two other uniformed officers, PC Colin Donahoe and Malcolm Reader also witnessed the object from a different location.
"There was an eerie, greenish-grey glow in the sky. Then I picked out an object about thirty feet long and built up in three sections with the top looking like a dustbin lid. It gave off a high pitched whine. I was paralysed. I just couldn't believe it."
Police Constable Colin Perks - Wilmslow, Cheshire,March 1966
"It was a giant plate of light. It lit up the whole horizon with a glare. It was flying low over the landscape and appeared to be spinning."
Police Constable Eric Pinnock - Warminster, Wiltshire,30/11/65.
"We made several attempts to follow it, or I should say get closer to it, but the object seemed aware of us and we were more successful remaining motionless and allow it to approach us, which it did on several occasions.Each time the object neared us, we experienced radio interference.
The object was shaped like a football, the edges, or I should say outside of the object were clear to us...the glow was emitted by the object, was not a reflection of other lights."
California Highway Patrol Officer Charles A. Carson - California, United States, August 13, 1960.
Object also witnessed by Police Officer Stanley Scott
"I happened to look up and there was that UFO right above the cornfield, it was just hovering right up above the power lines. -i t was just like the ones you see on TV.
Then it took off like a bullet, just tremendously fast -if I live to be 100, I'll never forget it."
Henrico County Sheriff A.D. "Toby" Mathews Richmond , Virginia, United States August 9, 1966