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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 11/22/1980 11:00 (Entered as : 11/22/1980 11:00)
Reported: 5/22/2004 2:38:04 AM 02:38
Posted: 6/4/2004
Location: Alloy, WV
Shape: Disk
Duration:10 seconds total
Saucer seen briefly over road - may have landed

This happened to me in November of 1980. I spoke of it only briefly and guardedly to my two best friends at the time, but the incident has stayed with me.

I'm sure that it was a Saturday, and I think that the date was probably November 22nd. I was nineteen years old, just about to be twenty. I was living away from home for the first time, in the town of White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, attending a photography school. I'd set off to drive to visit my mother in southern Indiana for Thanksgiving week.

I was approaching the town of Alloy, West Virginia, heading west on US 60. Alloy's about 20 miles SE of Charleston. It's very small, and may not appear on some maps.

The day was cold and grey, and the tops of the mountains were hidden by clouds. I regret to say that my attention wasn't fully focussed on my driving - my radio was fading in and out (The Who - 'Magic Bus'), and I was trying to simultaneously adjust the vernier knob and drive. I attach no particular importance to the problems that I was having with the radio. That's just a lousy area for radio reception, there in the mountains.

At that point the road is skirting around the flank of a mountain, so that to my right was a rising slope, and to my left was the wide valley of the Kanawha river, with another mountainous ridge rising up from the far side. There was some sort of heavy industrial complex situated in the valley by the river - if memory serves correctly, it was a steel mill.

I crested a small ridge, and saw a sign to the right side of the road warning me that heavy trucks entered the highway ahead. I noticed a light grey or aluminum hemisphere just barely visible over the crest of the next ridge, perhaps two hundred yards away. I glanced at it, classified it as the top of a tank truck, and went back to fiddling with radio.

A few seconds later, as I started to top the next ridge, I gave my full attention to the road, expecting to meet the tanker that I thought I had seen. The road itself was empty. The hemisphere that I had seen earlier was hovering above the road, perhaps 50 feet in the air and climbing.

It took me a few seconds to accept what I was seeing, and by that time I'd passed under the hemisphere and lost sight of it. My last glimpse was of it seeming to tilt slightly on edge as it rose. It was overall a light grey or aluminum color. I can't say if the finish was reflective, as the sky was so heavily overcast. A circular patch about 2/3 of the diameter on the bottom was of a darker grey color. It seemed to be flush with the bottom, just as though the color were painted on, with no difference of texture or anything. The edges where the hemisphere met the bottom were widely rolled, not at all sharp. The bottom was very slightly convex. I noticed no surface features apart from the dark patch - the whole thing was quite smooth-looking. The thing was perhaps 15-20 feet wide, and maybe 8-10 feet tall.

It took me a few seconds to recover. During this time I was coasting downhill slowly, my foot off the gas, looking in my rearview and side mirrors trying to see the thing. To the right was a pulloff marked "Alloy Slag Dump", and I pulled in and stopped. I jumped out of the car, and looked back up the road, maybe 100 yards or so to the road just below the crest of the ridge where I thought it must have been sitting when I first saw it.

Nothing was there, and the sky was empty as well. I looked up the mountain (now to my left, as I was facing the way I had come) and saw that the top was obscured by clouds - the cloud deck was maybe 100-150 yards above me, and thick. Looking for it in the sky was futile. I remember saying to myself that there could be an aircraft carrier overhead, and I'd not see it. Nor was there anyone else about who might have seen it. The parking lot of the steel plant below me was almost empty - just a handful of cars, and there was no guard in the gatehouse.

Still, I was excited - I'd actually seen a flying saucer! I grabbed a camera and a couple of empty 35mm film cans from my gear (I had three loaded cameras with me, but obviously had had no time to use them) and set off back to the spot where I suspected it had touched down, looking to take photos and maybe collect samples.

I got about three steps, just as far as the rear bumper of my car, when I abruptly had a very vivid image of the car being found empty, engine running and door open, with my new winter coat and several thousand dollars worth of camera equipment sitting in the passenger seat. All that would be missing would be the driver and a cheap 35mm, and wouldn't everybody just scratch their heads and wonder? Suddenly I was terrified. I was alone, with no-one in sight, and those clouds might be concealing anything. I got right back in the car and drove off, considerably rattled and eager to get into a town. That's the almost the end of the story.

Later in the journey, somewhere in Kentucky near Louisville, my car broke down. I bundled up and started walking. A very nice old preacher stopped to give me a ride. He left me at an abandoned gas station which had a working payphone, and I sheltered in the disused men's room while my mother drove down to get me.

Apart from the shock of actually seeing the UFO, three things stand out in my memory. The first is the radio. I know that it's common to experience radio trouble in conjunction with a sighting, but I honestly don't think that was the case here. I have no real evidence to offer beyond the fact that I usually got bad reception in that area between the mountains.

The second is my abrupt mood change upon beginning to walk toward the presumed landing site. I do associate this with the UFO, as much as I dislike the idea. For lack of a better term, it felt to me (and still does) as though the imagery of my empty car were being imposed upon me, instead of arising naturally from my own imagination. I had the sense of being warned off. That's what really frightened me. I'm not a small man, and I'm not timid, and at the age of 19 I thought I was indestructible to start with, but that got to me. Again, I have no real evidence to offer apart from my own impressions.

The third is the preacher who gave me a ride. In the years since this happened I've read quite a bit of UFO literature, and I'm aware that many people would jump on that as a sign of possible abduction (at the time I'd never heard of such a thing). I don't think him stopping to give me a ride was anything more than what it seemed to be on the surface - a kind man stopping to help someone on a cold night. I debated whether or not to include the incident at all, but finally decided that I should for the sake of completeness.

I'll send along a drawing of the thing by snail mail. Also, please note that while I think the object was probably landed the first time I saw it behind the ridge, I didn't check that box because I'm not sure.

((NUFORC Note: Date is approximate. PD))