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UFOs in alabama

Updated on August 24, 2010


As if breaking through some dimensional barrier the lights appeared to whirl and

flash as the car spun round and round.

The view from down the road gave the appearance of a very bad wreck and the

police officers, coming upon it, anticipated severe injuries.

They pulled up near the wrecked vehicle in their patrol car and noticed how the

spinning, out of control car had actually crashed into the rock wall of the roadside cut.

However, once out of their patrol car the officers were in for a bigger surprise.

There was no one in the wrecked car nor had anyone been slung out of the

spinning vehicle! Another strange thing was the engine and engine compartment were

completely cold.

Two officers had just seen what they assumed to be an accident happening before

their very eyes and when they arrived at the scene only seconds later they were shocked

to find no one in the car and an engine as cold as if it had never been cranked!

Very frightened, the officers left the scene.

But where had the car come from? Are we to assume that this vehicle crashed into

our reality in northwest Alabama from some other dimension? Did the officers really see

what they thought they saw and was the car really a car or something else? Was the story

a complete fabrication?

The “Heart of Dixie” has never been known as a hotbed of UFO activity but

following a well-publicized “flap” around the small North Alabama town of Fyffe in

mid-1989 sightings have been on the increase statewide.

Historically, the state had its first brush with things from outer space on the night

of Nov. 13, 1833 when a vast meteor shower gave the appearance of 200,000 “shooting

starts” falling per hour across the state.

Though the shower was observed throughout North America and Europe,

Alabamians had a front row seat due to ideal weather conditions.

Many residents thought the end of the world had come and the event was

immortalized in the song “Stars Fell on Alabama”.

Just north of the small town of Steele an old country road runs along the county

line between St. Clair and Etowah counties. The road, now paved, was once dirt and very

seldom traveled.

The writer’s mother recalls, how in her youth, she and a friend took a walk up the

road. They observed a small light, about the size of a small plate, moving on the ground

in front of them. The light did not appear as a ball but rather as a “flat” light moving on

the road near their feet.

During the late 1940s Esie Dothit observed weird balls of light float down the side

of the mountain, cross the valley in which she lived and disappear behind the ridge north

of her home near Wellington.

Mrs. Dothit said she remembers when she stood in her yard and watched as the

lights, red and green in color, would come floating down the mountain in front of her

home. Usually they would come in groups and would “fly” only a few feet off the


Mrs. Robert Sharpton also remembered the lights. Once, she observed a glowing

light, several inches in diameter, float down the mountain behind her barn.

In the mid-1950s a craft supposedly crashed in southern Jefferson or northern

Shelby County near the location of the old Mustang Drive-In. Personnel from Maxwell

AFB near Montgomery were reported to have recovered this mystery craft.(1)

One of the most famous sightings occurred over Alabama when, on July 24, 1948

at 2:45 a.m., over Montgomery,  Eastern Airlines pilot Clarence Chiles and co-pilot John

Whitted saw a glowing, wingless, cylindrical object streak past their plane. They reported

the object to be 100 feet long and 25-30 feet in diameter with two rows of windows and

said it appeared to maneuver to avoid a mid-air collision.

They described the B-29 size, cigar-shaped object as having a pair of rows of

windows or openings that emitted a bright glow. They also reported a bluish glow from

the pointed nose to the rear along the object’s underside. The object emitted an orange-

red exhaust. Some accounts say the DC-3 was rocked by the wash from the object, and an

intelligence report noted a sound was heard similar to that of a rocket. One passenger

reported a strange, intense streak out of his right side window.

Observers at Robbins Air Force Base near Macon, Georgia, reported seeing an

object of the same description about 30minutes before Chiles and Whitted's encounter,

traveling at a high rate of speed headed in the right direction to have been the same


Two Redstone Arsenal employees watched a bowtie shaped object make odd

flight patterns over Huntsville on July, 13, 1950.

USAF control tower operators, a USAF Office of Special Investigations officer

and others, on Aug. 28, 1952, observed six objects flying erratically up and down for

over an hour at Brookley.

On Aug., 12, 1954 an emergency report was forwarded to the Commander of the

Air Defense Command after a red glowing object was observed for 35 minutes west of

the control tower at Maxwell Field, in Montgomery. When first sighted, the object was

motionless, then it moved; returned to it’s original position and became motionless again.

Four ground personnel along with observers in Columbus, Mississippi also saw the

object. A helicopter was sent to investigate and the pilot reported seeing a saucer-shaped


A Wilmer man’s car went dead when he drove near an 8-feet diameter object

which had landed on a road near Georgetown on Jan. 7, 1966. He described the object as

cone-shaped with a flashing green light. The object hovered and departed at high speed

leaving a smell like sulphur.

The Funk family of Gaylesville, Aug 26, 1966, watched a cluster of four small

lights flying in a triangular formation near their home.

John Padgett, a BIRMINGHAM NEWS employee, and his wife were driving

from Gadsden to Birmingham in September, 1966 when they spotted a bright light sitting

about half a block off Interstate 59. The object appeared 15-20 feet in diameter, round,

with 15-20 pulsating lights.

In the fall of 1968 a friend of this writer was out looking for arrowheads in a field

in North Alabama when around 10 a.m. he noticed an unusual buzzing.

“I looked up and saw a large plane and it was very low . . . I became aware of

another object following at a distance. It appeared to be round, silver in color with a gray

band. It looked like three round windows in the band. I watched the object slowly

approach the plane. When it got to the tail, it flew down and under the plane,” stated my


For years there have been tales of strange lights in Greasy Cove, just south of

Gadsden. On Jan. 24, 1969 a young man was driving through the area one foggy night

when he was followed by an unusual light.

He said the light hovered above his car for awhile, almost causing the engine to

cut out. After a few minutes the light just vanished.

In Shelby County, in 1972, the Bill McCowan family claimed to have been

abducted while driving home on U.S. 280 near Vincent. McCowan claimed he woke up

naked on a table with several small triangle-shaped heads talking to him via mental

telepathy. He later told the media he believed the aliens had experimented on him and his


June, 1972, Peanuts Taylor of Leeds found a piece of material which fell in his

yard which turned out to be part of an “experimental airfoil” being tested by Hayes Corp.

in nearby Birmingham.

In February, 1973 some 125 people in Lauderdale County observed cigar-shaped

objects in the sky.

In September, police in Tarrant and Montgomery received calls concerning

mysterious bright lights. Notasulga City Councilman W.F. Delbridge and police Sgt.

Giles observed round, multicolored UFOs hover over the town.

October became a busy month with Gardendale resident Cynthia Vodovoz, then

12, claiming (in 1989 following hypnosis) she was abducted by thin, whitish aliens. And

on the 15th, UFOs created a traffic jam at the intersection of Alabama 25- 76 in Shelby

County as residents stopped to watch.

In Pinson, pilots and sheriff’s deputies watched a UFO zigzag in the sky and in

Mobile two teenagers, Ira Lundy and Frank Pierce, shot at a car-sized UFO with a 12-

gauge shotgun and a .38-caliber pistol. The teens claimed the object, with flashing lights

and an antenna, landed in woods where they were hunting.

Falkville Police Officer Jeff Greenhaw created national news Oct. 17, 1973 when

he responded to a call concerning a UFO and upon arriving at the scene he claimed to

have seen and photographed a 6-foot-tall man “in a silver suit” which outran Greenhaw in

his patrol car.

On the same night a man told police he was driving on Interstate 10 between

Mobile and Pensacola, Florida when his pickup was attacked, abducted and examined by

six small beings.

“UFO Cruisin’ For Burgers?” asked a local newspaper after a November, 1974

sighting in Decatur in which a “flying triangle with lights at each point and windows all

around” followed Mrs. J.A. Roberts and her son from Madison down Highway 20, across

the Tennessee River to the vicinity of McDonald’s Hamburgers on Sixth Avenue in


Mrs. Roberts told THE DECATUR DAILY that, “It was something weird, that’s

for sure. It just sort of got beside us right after we got through Madison and flew along

with us, first on one side of the car and then on the other.”

She went on to explain that the object, which had three lights and rows of

windows, landed, at one point, in a field beside the road and smoke rose from around it

before it took off and continued following the car.

“Like a puff of wind, they drifted on the highway behind us,” said Miss Charlotte

Staples as she described to me the objects which she and a friend, Mrs. Geneve Carruth,

observed while driving near Talladega.

Miss Staples and Mrs. Carruth were both employed at the Special Technical

Facility for the Deaf and Blind in Talladega and considered respectable individuals.

The incident occurred Feb. 18, 1976 around 8:30 p.m. as the two women were

returning to their homes in Talladega from Gadsden.

Traveling south on U.S. 77, Miss Staples suddenly noticed a light over to her left

in the woods.

At first the ladies thought the light might be from a factory, but upon further

observation noted another light “about six feet above the other.”

The lights were oval-shaped, tub-sized and were an unusual orange-yellow color.

Mrs. Carruth stated she had never seen a color quite like it.

They seemed to be self-contained transparent bodies. It “wasn’t like a big

spreading light . . . the light didn’t scatter.” Two other objects instantly popped up “like

you flicked a light,” she said.

Finally, a fifth object joined the group and followed the car about 18 miles. The

objects seemed to follow the contour of the land as they hovered in a trapezoid formation

behind, over and to the side, only 500 yards from the car. At times the objects seemed to

be no more than 100 feet off the ground.

They made no noise but their presence apparently affected a CB radio that was

inside Miss Staple’s car. The radio, normally blaring with the chatter of fellow CBers,

was absolutely silent during the episode and only after the objects were gone did sound

return to the set. The incident ended when the ladies topped a hill near Talladega and

didn’t see the objects anymore.

After the two ladies story broke in local papers, other people reported seeing

unusual lights in the sky that same night.

Several sightings were reported in 1977 including January 26 in northwestern

Alabama where police and residents reported seeing a UFO trailing flames. A UFO was

seen at the same time over Perdido Bay.

In September of that year Lisa Campbell saw an object hovering above Hayden


In October 1978 college students in Boaz reported seeing a UFO and in December

Mrs. George Donald and her daughter, both of Midfield, were reportedly followed by a

triangular-shaped UFO.

Howling dogs and over-active bulls drew attention to a huge “glowing light bulb”

near Demopolis, Jan 1, 1979. Police officers said the mystery light made a sound similar

to a helicopter. The light remained stationary for almost 45 minutes before going up into

the sky according to Mrs. Jerry Hines.

“This may be one of the Lord’s signs and wonders He’s promised. Maybe this is a

sign that He’s coming back,” said the Rev. E.E. Miller of the multicolored UFO that

hovered low in the sky over Oxford in late November, 1980.

Spotting the object around 8 p.m., Miller described it as, “beautiful, like a star”,

blinking red, blue and lighter colors in a multi-colored fashion.

He noted that the shape, viewed through binoculars, appeared oval and bigger and

brighter than a star.

Clarence Angellete, an astronomy instructor at nearby Jacksonville State

University, could not explain the sighting.

Across the South there had been many reports of a fireball with a long, rippling

tail flash across south central and southwest Mississippi skies shortly after 4 p.m. that

same day.

In May and June, 1981 north Alabama was again the focal point of UFO activity

when a UFO was reported to have been burning as it crashed west of Florence.

C.G. Stacy told the media the object looked like a tumbling ball of fire and when

the fire went out, a parachute came out, followed by an explosion.”

Stacy was traveling south on Savannah Highway around 3:30 p.m. when he

watched the UFO as it made a slanting descent toward Florence from the west.

City sanitation worker W.C. Kilpatrick said, “It looked like a plane or helicopter

on fire. It was just above the treetops.” Stacy also reported that the object he saw went

under some high tension power lines. However, searchers found nothing.

One week prior, Shirley Geaen of Waterloo viewed an object around 11 p.m.

descending to below the treetops. The UFO also appeared stationary over the Tennessee

Valley Authority Reservation in Muscle Shoals. She described the object as reddish pink

with a lighter shade of red inside a cylinder area.

One year prior to that incident, Cissie Benson watched, with binoculars, a UFO

for 30 minutes from her porch. The object was seen in the same general direction as the

Gean sighting. That object also appeared to hover over TVA’s Wilson Dam hydroelectric

plant on the Tennessee River.

In 1981 two Bessemer policemen sighted a strange light near the Birmingham


Officer Tommy Bedford said airport officials got a blip on the radar but the object

left so quickly it could not be tracked.

Bedford and Officer Jimmy Bates observed the strange light as it passed over

their patrol car. Control tower supervisor Andre Diggs tracked the light for about one

minute according to reports.

In October, 1983 unusual lights were seen in a pasture near the Browns Ferry

Nuclear Power Plant in north Alabama.

Jesse J. Crouch of nearby McCormick Road claimed to have first seen unusual

lights in the area in the 1960s.

Brad Zirbel reported seeing a strange orange and white ball of light while he

worked in a nearby field. He claimed to have noticed unusual lights in 1978 while

working at night in the same area.

Near Silverhill, Bonnie Bishop, her son and brother watched a large oval object

hover over the woods near their home on the night of March 1, 1989 around 10 p.m..

They reportedly watched for about 15 minutes as the noiseless UFO “surrounded

by a circle of red and white lights which blinked on and off while moving in a circular

motion” hovered over a wooded area and a large “door” underneath opened and a bright

beam of light lit up the area for a time.

After about 15 minutes the beam of light went out, the sliding door closed and the

object vanished.

Near the small town of Ashville a woman recalls an experience she and her

husband had many years ago.

“I remember me and my husband had already gone to bed when I heard this sound

and saw a light outside in the field next to the house. It was a big light - lit up the whole

yard but I somehow thought maybe it was an airplane or something,” she said.

She recalls that during the experience she and her husband were not afraid but,

somehow, neither of them got up out of bed to see what was making the light. “It was as

though we couldn’t,” she added.

The man and woman also reported hearing a sound like “what they show on

television - they way those flying saucers sound.

The coastal city of Mobile has had its share of UFOs. Gary Finch saw a large

silver ball, 15-20 feet in diameter, hovering eight feet in the air over a highway.

About 10 inches outside the ball there was a ring encircling it, about eight inches

in diameter and on top of the ball was a cone sticking up about 10 inches with a green

light the size of a softball he told reporters.

The object was descending toward the ground and hovered as Finch got closer.

His car went dead and he noticed a whining sound that increased in intensity. The car

started after the object ascended and disappeared, according to reports.

Sgt. Nelson Byess of the Trussville Police Department watched a cluster of lights

for about an hour in August, 1989.

Officer Byess was one of several local residents there who observed strange lights

dancing in the sky over Pell City, 30 miles to the east.

In late 1989 in Mobile, Carlene Stokley and Randy Booth observed two

boomerang-shaped objects traveling from the southwest to the northeast.

Each object had three red lights, made no noise and according to Stokley, an

airplane flew over the area shortly after the sighting.

A spokesman with the Mobile Municipal Airport said the control tower received

several calls regarding the strange objects.

He told local reporters that the sightings were military flights at high altitudes

being made from California to Pensacola.

There was some speculation that Stokley and Booth may have been two of the

few witnesses to see a Stealth bomber or fighter in flight during late development and test


Public information offices with the Pensacola Naval Air Station and Tyndall Air

Force Base near Panama City, Florida were unable to comment.

In Tuscaloosa security guards at JVC Magnetics America observed a stationary

red and blue flashing object.

The Anniston-Piedmont areas have also seen UFO activity. Included are

sightings by a radio operator for the Anniston Police Department and Civil Defense

members patrolled an area following reports of multicolored lights.

Piedmont resident Ruby Fagan reported a spherical object the size of a large

beach ball staying in her yard for almost an hour before vanishing.

Numerous reports have also come from St. Clair County. Steve Wilson watched

an object the “size of a dishpan” and making a hissing sound pass overhead near his Coal

City home. Wilson said the green glowing object appeared to go toward the earth very

slow like a helicopter landing.

Neighbor Arthur Ensley also witnessed the event, as did numerous other county

residents who were calling local law enforcement offices reporting their sightings.

Riverside resident Patti Sanders did not see the green object but she did observe

three unusual “white blobs” about the same time as the other sightings. Other residents

reported seeing “meteorites” and there were several reports that an object had crashed on

Chandler Mountain. St. Clair County Sheriff’s deputies found no evidence. Air traffic

controllers at the Air Traffic Control Tower of the Birmingham Municipal Airport all saw

the large green object, as did several pilots. A spokesman there said sightings had been

reported over most of North America and portions of Canada.

In Huntsville, April 10, 1996, a mother and daughter were outside stargazing

when they watched a light descend very rapidly toward the horizon. The object halted

above the tree line and the woman observed it through a telescope for 15 minutes. The

object then traveled horizontally to the left, stopped, went to the right and stopped, then

straight up and down, veering leftward and disappearing.

“A bright white light” appearing like a diamond when viewed through binoculars

was seen April 11, 1997 in north Alabama. The object remained visible for 30 minutes

and finally slowly faded away in about five minutes.

In early May, 1997 an object resembling “a truck tire on its side” approximately

600 feet in diameter with 10 square windows along its side was observed around 2  a.m.

by a man out walking his dog near the Orange Street pier in Fairhope.

A month later, on April 20, a man was driving on County Road 32 at 11 p.m.

when he and his girlfriend saw another object.  At 1 .a.m., upon his return home, the man

saw an object hovering over trees behind his house. He shot several minutes of video.

The object appeared as “a blob of light caped with a single flashing red light."

Christie Edwards of Robertsdale videotaped a bright silver object Feb. 7, 1998.

The disc or ball-shaped object was shown on FOX 10 News in Mobile.

Later in the month, February 21, in nearby Semmes two witnesses reported seeing

a rectangular-shaped object around 11:40 p.m within three miles of the municipal


Three people near the Alabama-Tennessee state line saw a 200-foot-long

submarine-type object flying at treetop level in June, 1998 near Ardmore.

July 31, 1998, 6:30 p.m. near Eldridge a bright, circular “metallic colored light”

was observed moving westward.

On Sept. 25, 1998 a Lee County resident spotted a UFO three miles west of

Auburn. The object was described as shiny white, oval or cylinder shaped and traveling

very fast.

J. Vinsant and his wife observed a strange light outside their residence south of

Birmingham on Dec. 5, 1999. A very loud explosion followed.

After seeing the glow outside around 4:25 a.m., the couple and their parents

walked outdoors and observed an oval-circular shaped object covered with lights

hovering over the mountain near their home.

Vinsant said the lights rotated around a dish-like structure. The couples watched

the object for an hour and a half. They said it would appear as one bright light and

sometime as a complete circular saucer.

The only report of a meteorite actually hitting someone was on Nov. 30, 1954

around 2 p.m. when Mrs. Hewlett Hodges of Sylacauga was laying on her living room

couch in her home near the Comet Drive-In Theater when a black “meteorite” six inches

in diameter came crashing through her house, tearing a three-foot hole in the roof,

striking the radio and bouncing off, hitting her on the leg causing minor injuries.

Just prior to the event a mysterious bright flash in the sky was reported

simultaneously in Atlanta, Newnan and Columbus, Georgia; in Sylacauga and

Birmingham, Alabama; and a far away as Greenville, Mississippi.

This brilliant light was immediately followed by a series of strange explosions,

apparently centered high in the sky above Sylacauga.

People within a 20-mile radius reported hearing a loud explosion and seeing a

column of white smoke - the object apparently breaking the sound barrier and creating a

vapor trail as it plunged to the earth.

Meanwhile, the mysterious explosions had caused a hurried Air Defense alert.

Squadrons of Air Force planes immediately began a three-state search for fallen objects.

When word of the “Sylacauga object” reached the Air Force, intelligence officers

flew to the scene from Maxwell Air Force Base at Montgomery. Explaining that “the Air

Force is required to examine such strange objects,” they whisked it away to Maxwell

Field, from which it was flown immediately to ATIC.

An hour or two later the object was labeled a meteorite.

Four airplanes and a helicopter flew over the area all afternoon after the fall and a

man, called “Doctor” by some and “Major” by others, from the Army Redstone Arsenal

at Huntsville, arrived on the scene to ask questions.

A standard meteorite fall?

According to one report an airplane was reported to have been circling overhead

prior to the crash.

Was the plane circling overhead a mere coincidence or did the government know

the object was going to crash to the ground?

The government’s interest in the object, whatever and wherever it came from,

may have stemmed from their Project Moon Dust, named in Defense Intelligence Agency

files obtained by Citizens Against UFO Secrecy.

CAUS researcher Robert Todd found some interesting links.

An Air Force letter, Nov. 3, 1961, “AFCIN-1E-O”, contained several interesting

extracts stating Moon Dust was a “specialized aspect of it’s over-all material exploitation

program” established by the USAF “to locate, recover and deliver descended foreign

space vehicles” including “UFOs”.

The job went to personnel of the 4602nd Air Intelligence Service Squadron

(AISS) which later became, in 1960, the 1127th Field Activities Group.

UFO researcher Donald Keyhoe touched on the meteorite fall in his 1955 book in

which he relates a conversation with his friend Lou Corbin about a “crashed-object”


Corbin related how the 4602nd had a special program called the “investigation of

unidentified crashed objects” and he had the impression they’d recovered some.

Corbin told Keyhoe, “They (Air Force) must believe the thing (which fell in

Sylacauga) is linked with the saucers.”

Keyhoe responded, “It doesn’t look like a coincidence that this object fell just

after those explosions. If it had been a meteor exploding, it wouldn’t have made such a

bright flash in the daytime.”

“In the first news story,” Corbin said, “it was called an unidentified flying object.

At least that’s the way the Maxwell Field officers explained why they had started the


To read more about UFO sightings in Alabama and the South as well as Men In Black, cow mutilations and other strange happenings you may order the author's book "Manifestations" at :


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    • John Spezeski profile image

      John M. Spezeski 

      3 years ago from Boston

      Excellent report Wayne, I am new to Hubpages, I have written a Hub that you might be interested in. It happened to me and my family, and it is very risky for me to talk about it.


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