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"The increased sightings nationally could lead to a state of panic and hysteria and we ought to be concerned about it."
U.S. Rep. J. Edward Roush (D-Ind.)
Columbus Citizen Journal
Oct. 18, 1973
Through several trips to the library over the years, I have managed to collect and store numerous newspaper articles from October of 1973, all retrieved from various microfilms. Other generous researchers have also passed along multitudinous articles. The details are staggering, too unreal
The unusual aerial events happening during the October 1973 time-period remains one of the most fascinating of all UFO happenings, an intense and disturbing siege that no dismissive hypothesis or explanatory venture will easily rob of its strangeness.
The Great UFO Wave of Ohio
Oct. 10, 1973; Near Dayton, OH
8:00 p.m. At least 15 sightings of unidentified flying objects "covered with red, green and blue lights" zooming about at tree-top level, were reported in Southwestern Ohio Wednesday night. The UFOs, sighted in the Dayton-Cincinnati area, were all classified "unofficial" by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base officials. None were detected on radar because they apparently were flying too low. The first sighting was reported shortly after 8 p.m. by a New Lebanon Township officer. "He didn't want to say he saw it, but he said it," Montgomery County Sheriff's deputy Michael Sullivan reported. "The officer said it was oblong and covered with lights. It appeared stationary in the sky about tree top level for several minutes until he tried to shine his cruiser spot light on it," Sullivan said. "It then zoomed toward him and then shot straight up in the air... after he turned out his light... and disappeared." Sullivan said the UFO sightings lasted from a fleeting moment to 12 minutes. "They would be behind the trees and come up and fly away... as if you startled it or something," he said. "No balloon, helicopter or kite can move that fast or has that many lights attached or can go so quickly in a straight-up direction," he said. A spokesman at Wright-Patterson, whose UFO center was discontinued several years ago, said there would be no attempt to investigate the sightings unless there was an "imminent danger." Sullivan said his officers 'certainly can't chase them."
UPI, The Columbus Dispatch, October 11, 1973
THE NICAP CHRONOLOGIES - 1973
“Indiana UFO Sightings Stir Questions Among Residents”, 16 October 1973
“In west central Indiana, another UFO was reported by a state policeman, the Linton town marshal and a number of townspeople.
Most of the reports said the UFO was moving above Indiana 50 near Linton, west toward nearby Crane Naval Ammunition Depot. One woman described the object as ‘big as two rooms, triangular and with multi-colored lights that changed as it turned.’ ”
The Great UFO Wave: October, 1973
INTERVIEW WITH JOHN A. KEEL
"As for the coverage this flap is getting, it is superb. UPI is doing excellent wrap-up stories on it. The NBC newscast has been covering it every night this week and every night last week. This may be because NBC is preparing a White Paper on UFOS.
Three or four weeks ago I was called in by the young man who is working on it, and we had dinner together. It is being produced by Fred Freed, who produced a number of the award-winning White Papers.
In the course of my conversation a month ago with these people, I laid out some predictions based on the patterns of previous flaps. I really put my neck out. All of my predictions are coming true. I was able to tell them that the sightings would be concentrated in the Mississippi Valley and move up to the Ohio Valley by the end of October. They are seen everywhere, but the heaviest concentration seems to be in the Mississippi Valley.
According to my statistics, around or on October 21 is the day when the biggest flaps are likely to occur. Of course the twenty-fourth produces some interesting manifestations. This year October 24 is on a Wednesday, and I wouldn't be surprised if the UFO flap will peak on that day, then gradually start to subside. We will have a brief low, and then next March, all hell is going to break loose.."
Mike Conley's Tales of the Weird: The great UFO scare of October 1973
The wave of UFO sightings apparently started in the South. During the first few days of October 1973, mysterious flashing lights were reported by hundreds of Southerners. They were seen in Greenville and Charleston in South Carolina; Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga in Tennessee; Griffin, Macon and Columbus in Georgia; Tuscaloosa and Auburn in Alabama; and Tupelo and Starkville in Mississippi.
For example, a National Park Service ranger in Tupelo, Miss. said he saw a flying saucer the size of a two-bedroom house hover overhead for about 15 minutes flashing red, green and yellow lights.
"I've been dealing with the public for years and I know people exaggerate and see what they want to see, but I know I saw this," said Thomas E. Westmoreland, a ranger for the Tupelo subdistrict of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Three other rangers and a deputy sheriff were with him when he saw the strange craft. Highway patrolmen, policemen and a sheriff all reported seeing strange flying objects over northeastern Mississippi that same night.
The Great UFO Wave of 1973 brought an 'Autumn of Aliens' to Middle Tennessee
On Sept. 25, The Tennessean reported that Shelby County deputies in Memphis spotted a whirring, hovering craft sweeping the ground with two white spotlights. Later in the week, similar objects were reported by sheriffs in Lauderdale and Obion counties. Judging by news reports, the UFOs seemed to be edging closer to Middle Tennessee, making their first landfall in Giles County on Oct. 1. The Pulaski Citizen reported that three teenage boys witnessed the landing of an egg-shaped craft near the Anthony Hill community and a large, hairy, stiffly walking occupant.
Reports continued to trickle in from Tennessee and around the country throughout the first week of October. They began to flow like a gusher of swamp gas after one of the most famous abduction cases in UFO history broke on Thursday, Oct. 11. That evening, two dockyard workers in Pascagoula, Miss., said they saw a light approaching them as they were fishing on the banks of the Pascagoula River. Within minutes, Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker were confronted by wrinkly-skinned eyeless gray creatures with long arms ending in claws. Hickson and Parker were paralyzed and "floated" into the hovering craft for a short examination before being dumped back on the shore. The story took the national media by storm, and while no one could explain what had really happened to the pair, those who met them almost all agreed they had experienced something truly terrifying.
In the week that followed, reports of strange lights, unusual aircraft, landings and bizarre occupants proliferated across America. On Oct. 15, the Pulaski Citizen reported that a Berea, Tenn., family saw lights in the woods, and a separate witness spotted a being with a glowing white head crossing a highway nearby. Claw-like tracks were later discovered in the road, as well as what appeared to be landing marks in the woods.
The Oct. 17 issue of the Nashville Banner reported sightings from around Tennessee — Columbia, Hartsville, Knoxville, Lawrenceburg, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet. The next day, The Tennessean reported glowing cones and saucer-shaped objects in Clarksville, a triangular object hovering over a car near Springfield, and the tale of a Putnam County farmer menaced by two lights that barreled directly toward him before shooting almost vertically into the sky.
Then, at last, the visitors entered MNPD's jurisdiction. The Tennessean reported several sightings from around Nashville on the evening of Oct. 18 — including a silver, cigar-shaped craft, a glowing blue mist and a trio of hovering, glowing objects. After showing off for their respective witnesses, the objects vanished with great speed. The next night, the blue mist was back, along with more glowing hoverers emitting a cacophony of humming and whistling noises.