|Occurred : 8/5/1967 21:00 (Entered as : 08/05/1967 21:00)
Reported: 1/2/2007 6:22:50 PM 18:22
Location: Fort Smith, AR
Duration:3 - 4 hours
|Unidentified objects witnessed by hundreds over Fort Smith Arkansas
It was just after dusk on an August evening in 1967. The A.M. station that my sister and I listened to began to report lights in the skies over Fort Smith. Of course I immediately ran out into the yard to see for myself. Huge oak trees largely blocked the view and after a few minutes of surveying the patches of sky overhead I gave up. The reports continued to pour in and the disc jockey was at a fever pitch. I summoned my dad who listened for while, then I remember him laughing and saying that the station was playing a joke. At some point he began to take the reports somewhat seriously and we climbed into his ’46 Plymouth and drove to a remote area known as Wild Cat Mountain Lake. It was wide open and afforded as much of a horizon-to-horizon view as anywhere in the Fort Smith area. We sat on the hood for a long time until I bored and climbed back in the car. Almost immediately I heard my dad shout something and scampering back out found him pointing at two white lights moving slowly across the sky from east to west. They weren’t very bright and if they had not have been moving, would have easily blended in with the stars. They were traveling side by side, about two fingers apart at arm’s length. When they were almost directly overhead they suddenly made opposite 90-degree turns and quickly accelerated out of sight. Shortly after, a solitary light, much brighter, tracked across the sky at a tremendous rate of speed. It took probably less than 15 seconds to traverse the sky from the east to the west horizon. We sped back home to find several of our neighbors in lawn chairs – in the street! The next three to four hours we watched an amazing display. As time went on the lights came in at lower altitudes and glowed the spectrum from white to orange, with the intensity (brightness) increasing as they became more orange. As I recall, they would glow brightest when hovering. At their closest and brightest, they were perhaps one-third the size of a full moon. I can’t estimate the! altitud e, but at one point I did contemplate fetching my BB gun and taking a pot shot. So, bad idea aside they did come in very low. They would fly in formations of two or three, stop suddenly, hover, make impossible turns, and accelerate out of sight in seconds. It was almost as though it were choreographed for the benefit of the crowd below. At one point when a single object hovered directly overhead, I was able to observe it at length through a powerful pair of binoculars offered by a neighbor. It was more or less triangular shaped, not sharply, but more like a guitar pick. I’ve heard descriptions of spheres and chevrons being seen that night, but that was not what I was looking at. If those other accounts are accurate then there was either more than one type of object or the shape was not static. This thing appeared to glow from within, like an old Christmas tree light bulb and there was some sort of structure resembling a grid or a checkerboard on the underside. At least one television station and a radio station were broadcasting live from the parking lot of the Coca-Cola bottling plant, less than a mile west of the Fort Smith airport which shares a common runway with the 188th Fighter Wing, known at the time as the 188th Tactical Reconnaissance Group. Both the airport and the air guard are in virtual line of sight of the parking lot and it was thought curious that no jets were scrambled during that evening, more so as antidotal evidence surfaced in the following days that the objects had been painted on radar. Someone had a transistor radio out on the street that night and we could hear the crowd reacting on the live broadcast as the objects “performed” so we could be certain that we were seeing the same objects as those at the bottling plant parking lot, which was approximately 2 miles from our location. The next morning the Southwest Times Record ran a front-page story on the sightings, complete with a low-resolution jerky black and white time exposure that to this day still ranks as the worst! UFO pho to I’ve ever seen. Needless to say, the town and the media were abuzz. A couple of days later the Air Force out of Little Rock released a statement, to the amusement of those who had not seen the objects, explaining away the entire incident as swamp gas. There are two things I can say with certainty about the objects I witnessed: 1) They were solid objects, not gaseous and 2) They were controlled (flying in formation, etc). The speed and maneuverability that these objects soundlessly displayed, is still exponentially greater than any technology even today, almost 40 years later. I would love to hear from others that were witness to the phenomenon that night in 1967. My dad, the neighbor with the binoculars and I’m sure many others are no longer with us. Let’s not let this story die as well. I'm guessing at the date based upon other reports, so if you are certain of the exact date please post.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the sighting is approximate. PD))