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2008 UFO Crash at Needles, California
Needles, California Trivia
- In the Charles M. Schulz comic strip Peanuts, Snoopy has seven siblings. One of them, Spike, lives alone in the desert near Needles.
- There is a street in Needles named "Schulz," and another street named "Spike."
Where is Needles, California?
Needles is a city in the Mojave Desert on the west bank of the Colorado River in California. It is located in San Bernardino County—the largest county by area in the United States. According to the US Census Bureau, the population of Needles in 2011 was 4,917.
Read what happened in Needles on May 14, 2008 and learn what the official explanation is of the event.
How did the term "UFO (Unidentified Flying Object)" originate?
Unidentified flying object (UFO) is a term first used by the United States Air Force (USAF) in the mid-twentieth century to describe mysterious, unexplained, or unconventional-looking objects seen in the sky. Research has shown that anywhere from 80 to 95% of the sightings of purported unidentified flying objects are night (noctilucent) clouds, polar stratospheric (nacreous) clouds, aircraft, balloons, or hoaxes.
The remainder of the observations—5 to 20% of the sightings—can be classified as unidentified flying objects. There are several theories which attempt to explain what the UFOs are. A hypothesis supported by believers in extraterrestrial life is that the UFOs are alien spacecraft.
What happened in Needles on May 14, 2008 regarding a UFO?
On May 14, 2008, at approximately 3:00 am, an object the size of a semi-trailer truck (18-wheeler / transport) plummeted out of the sky. The object, with a turquoise glow or hue, appeared to crash somewhere in the rough terrain just west of the Colorado River and south of the town of Needles.
According to eyewitnesses, the glowing, fiery object wasn’t a meteorite. Before anyone could reach the location of the apparent crash—only 17 minutes after the object plummeted out of the sky—five helicopters, including a sky crane, appeared. The sky crane used a hook to lift the object off the ground. It then flew away with it.
Frank Costigan's Report
Frank Costigan, a retired chief of airport security at Los International Airport (LAX), lived in Needles in May 2008. He got up at 3:00 am to let his cat out. Costigan saw the object traveling very fast. He said it slowed down and sped up again. The object went behind a hill in the rough terrain, but Costigan didn’t hear it crash. He was surprised, since an object the size of an 18-wheeler should have made a loud noise when it crashed.
David Hayes' Report
A few hours after Frank Costigan saw the glowing turquoise-hued object plummet out of the sky, David Hayes, owner of KTOX Radio in Needles, saw an unusual site as he was driving to work. A convoy of dark vehicles got off the highway. Hayes stated that the lead vehicle was a large 4-wheel drive truck with a dome on top and a black structure which reminded him of a stealth fighter. This strange-looking truck, which had a US government license plate, was followed by some vans which had the appearance of support vehicles.
David Hayes reported that the men in the vehicles weren't in uniform, but that they had a military bearing. Hayes made eye contact with the driver of one of the vans, and the van driver followed Hayes to work. Later in the day, Hayes saw one of the vans outside his radio station. It appeared to him that the "mystery men" were conducting a surveillance of his station.
Costigan and Hayes Compare Notes.
Frank Costigan, retired head of security at LAX, works as an investigator for David Hayes, owner of radio stattion KTOX. Costigan told Hayes about the object he saw fall out of the sky, and Hayes described the "mystery men" he had encountered.
"Bob on the River" Phones KTOX
While Frank Costigan and David Hayes were discussing the events of the morning, a man known to the locals in Needles as "Bob on the River" telephoned the radio station. Bob lived on a houseboat on the Colorado River. He told Hayes he saw the fiery object in the sky,and that it had crashed with a thump about 100 yards west of the river.
Bob tried to call "911" since he thought a plane had crashed. He wasn't able to get a signal for his cell phone where his houseboat was tied up, so he moved his boat onto the river. While out on the Colorado River, Bob stated that he saw at least five helicopters, and that one of them was a sky crane.
Laughlin Airport, "Janet Planes," and Area 51
Bob Hayes, owner of radio station KTOX in Needles, received a telephone call from a friend in Laughlin, Nevada regarding Laughlin Airport. The friend reported that numerous Janet planes were seen departing Laughlin Airport on May 14, 2008, the date the object crashed just south of Needles in the early morning hours.
Janet planes is the name given to a fleet of passenger aircraft operated by the United States Air Force from their terminal at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada. The USAF flies military and government contractor (civilian) personnel on their Janet planes to such sites as Area 51, part of the Nevada National Security Site.
Area 51 appears to be a site used for highly classified military / defense projects such as the research and development and testing of new aircraft and weapons.
Television News Report Regarding the UFO Crash
Scenes from Needles, CaliforniaClick thumbnail to view full-size
The "Best Guess" of the UFO's Identity
Many people have speculated that the unidentified flying object (UFO) which apparently crashed in Needles, California on May 14, 2008 was an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)—an unmanned spy plane. High tech UAVs are being developed at Area 51 in Nevada and Edwards Air Force Base in California.
It is more likely, however, that the object was an early version of an X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle—OTV (a Boeing X-37). The X-37 is a reusable unmanned spacecraft which is boosted into space by a rocket and which lands as a spaceplane after it reenters the earth’s atmosphere. There have been two successful orbits of an X-37 Orbital Test Vehicle.
The first successful launch of an X-37B occurred on Apri 22, 2010. An Atlas V rocket was used to launch the X-37B. The spaceplace returned to earth on December 3, 2010. A photograph of that X-37B, taken nine days before the launch, is shown below.
The second successful launch of an X-37B occurred on March 5, 2011. The spaceplane returned to earth on June 16, 2012.The most recent launch was on December 11, 2012.