It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


America's First Classic UFO Encounter?

page: 1

log in


posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 02:36 PM
Last year, my family relocated to Michigan. before that, we had lived in the small farming town of Circleville, Ohio for about 7 years. It is known in the tri-state area as being famous for the annual Pumpkin Show. Only recently did I discover that it had it's own history of UFO lore.

The first was the Sherman Campbell story in which a farmer discovered a six point star shaped object. This object was later found to be wreckage of a weather balloon.

On Saturday, July 5, 1947 a farmer Sherman Campbell discovered a six pointed star shaped object which was 50 inches high, 48 inches wide and weighed about 2 pounds. It appeared to have silver foil around it. Later two other strange objects were found in various parts of Pickaway County, Ohio. Mr. Campbell took the object he found to the office of the Herald newspaper and announced it was his opinion that this was one of the famed flying discs (also known as saucers) that had been making news throughout the nation. (This was only two weeks after Kenneth Arnold's June 24, 1947 sighting of several unusual saucer shaped objects over Washington State that ushered the modern era of UFO sightings.)

The July 5, 1947 headlines of the Herald read "Flying Disc Believed Found on Pickaway Farm." This news eventually spread nationwide. One or more of the mysterious flying objects had finally crash-landed or so the papers claimed. The remaining parts of the "disc" was exhibited for a while at the Herald office. However, the discs found on the Pickaway County farms had a down to earth explanation. They were obviously parts of at least one or possibly more than one weather balloon. Because on close examination the letters and serial numbers of the balloon were visible. (Weather balloons in that era had a metallic segment attached to it so that radar could track them.) Thus the story that the famous crashed discs were in reality nothing more than Army weather balloons was also picked up by the media and made headlines throughout the nation.

On July 9 a few days after the story of the Pickaway County crashed discs the Circleville Herald told of another crashed disc story. However, this one was out west in Roswell, New Mexico. The article linked the Pickaway County crashed discs with the disc found in Roswell. The front page headlines announced "Device like local discs found in West." Circleville was proud to have the first crashed discs and they viewed the Roswell case as an exact copy.

Both the Roswell and Circleville cases share the same initial explanation that they were crashed discs only to be later explained that they were in fact weather balloons. Here are two possible scenarios in which they are connected.

The first possible scenario is that the weather balloons were purposely released after the Kenneth Arnold sighting but before the announcement of the Roswell incident. The public was excited with stories of flying saucers. Perhaps military or intelligence officials hoped to debunk the subject of flying discs by stating that they were merely weather balloons. They could point to the Pickaway County incidents as proof that eyewitness reports were not accurate thus in effect debunking any further flying saucer stories that the public might read.

The second possible scenario is slightly different. In this scenario the Army learns of the Pickaway County crashed disc story and the resulting explanation for the disc that it was a weather balloon from the teletype or from the newspapers since it was a nationally reported story. Then comes knowledge of the Roswell incident. Initially it was reported by the military that a disc had indeed crashed. But shortly after this story was "killed" and the report was changed to the simple explanation of a weather balloon. Did the military think that the public would accept this explanation because the Circleville incident had set the precedent? After all weather balloons had been the real solution to the Circleville discs.

The second story I found is about another local farmer, Bruce Stevenson. Bruce kept his story whithin his close circle of friends for several years out of fear of ridicule. Obviously in those days, people would have thought you were crazy if you reported seeing a flying saucer. Bruce finally gave an interview to the Circleville Herald in 1952.

He felt so deeply on the subject that he still offered to "...swear on the Bible that I saw what I say I did." He felt this way: "They can believe whatever they want to believe, and I know what I saw on my farm that night."

"That night" happened to be a bitterly cold one in February 1948. Glancing out a window while taking a drink of water about 2 a.m., Stevenson noted a bright glow all over the vicinity of his farm buildings and hurried outside expecting to find them afire. Instead, he relates, he saw a large "flying saucer" gliding very slowly over the vicinity of his hog house and tool barn. "It was so close to the roof of the tool house that I was afraid it was going to knock off the forge flue." Stevenson said. "From where I watched it, it moved without a sound along the roof of the tool house. I'd say I was only about 100 feet from it. The moon was very bright and the ground was covered with snow, making it seem all the brighter."

He says he remembers very clearly how: (a) the strange disc maintained its very slow speed and low altitude until it faded from sight far off to the farmer's left, while he stood in frank amazement, too startled in the brief interval to run and awaken other members of the household. (b) the dazzling orange-amber glow which originally attracted his attention was suddenly reduced to a dull amber glow inside the dome of the saucer just a moment after he came outside and began watching the eerie visitor. (c) the whole object was shaped much like a broad dinner plate turned upside down, with a deep sauce dish or cup - also inverted - as its dome. (d) the dome was of something that looked like plexiglass and the broad edge - which was pretty wide - was of shiny silver, blinking or flashing all around the edge as though a silent propeller or something was whirling. (e) the diameter of the base of the saucer looked about 60 feet, the silver edge about 12 feet wide, and the dome about eight feet, rising pretty steep from the shiny silver part. (f) the position of the saucer did not permit a view of the under-section. (g) a wide silvery brim section had little holes of some kind along the edge. (h) and lastly, how within a mile or two of the Stevenson farm, there have been apparently authentic reports or saucers or strange lights in the sky at least twice since Stevenson had the experience "I'll never forget as long as I live".

Bruce was a highly successful farmer in the area and was respected for his integrity. It is reported that Bruce stuck to his story until his death in 1976.
It's funny, after I had discovered this story, I realized that I had been driving by the Stevenson farm every day for years to and from work. The farm appears to be unchanged from the 50's as you can still see the "hog house" where Bruce had reported seeing the disc.

A found a majority of this information from The Roundtown UFO Society
edit on 12-12-2012 by jtrenthacker because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:30 PM
reply to post by jtrenthacker

Nice story. So they saw him come out of the house and turned their night light on. Wonder why that would happen? Did they think they would be harder to see that way?

The coincidence of a saucer showing up where a balloon had crashed and created a saucer story in the first place makes me not put a lot of value in this story. Then again, why would a farmer mix up a small kite like object with a flying saucer? Did he actually find a saucer but the military took it away and the story got changed to a balloon?
edit on 12-12-2012 by spiritualarchitect because: Edited for 2nd paragraph.

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 08:18 PM
The two stories took place about a year apart. Even so, it gives me pause as well. I don't necessarily believe Bruce saw an extraterrestrial craft, but I do believe he saw something he couldn't explain. He would have too much to lose being a well respected farmer in the community. Even when I lived there, it was one of those towns where everybody knows everyone else. Still a lot of old fashioned no nonsense people in that area. Experimental aircraft? Another weather balloon hovering close to the ground before it crashed somewhere else? Maybe the wreckage found a year earlier was actual unidentified and the government covered it up with the balloon story just like what supposedly happened at Roswell.

As a side note, I'm really surprised that neither of these stories have been given any acknowledgment on the "UFO shows". Especially with its possible connection with Roswell and proximity to Wright Patterson AFB and the infamous Hangar 18. Either way, it's stories like these that keeps me interested in the subject. Especially when it happened in your own backyard. Thanks for reading.

posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 10:44 PM
One of the earliest sightings was reported by the 3rd President Thomas Jefferson in 1800.

Details have emerged of an old UFO report presented by Thomas Jefferson before he was president.

The report itself was written by the naturalist William Dunbar and presented to the American Philosophical Society by Jefferson who was at the time its president ( and Vice President of the United States ). The incident occured in 1800.

A phenomenon was seen to pass Baton Rouge on the night of the 5th April 1800, of which the following is the best description I have been able to obtain. It was first seen in the South West, and moved so rapidly, passing over the heads of the spectators, as to disappear in the North East in about a quarter of a minute. It appeared to be of the size of a large house, 70 or 80 feet long and of a form nearly resembling Fig. 5. in Plate, iv.

It appeared to be about 200 yards above the surface of the earth, wholly luminous, but not emitting sparks; of a colour resembling the sun near the horizon in a cold frosty evening, which may be called crimson red.
UFO communicated by Thomas Jefferson
edit on 12-12-2012 by gguyx because: (no reason given)

top topics

log in