|Occurred : 9/10/1968 21:00 (Entered as : 09/10/68 21:00)
Reported: 2/18/2007 5:35:05 PM 17:35
Location: Tontitown, AR
|Mysterious illuminated cloud appears over the National Forrest.
One September night in 1968, at around 9:00PM we were watching our B&W television when a sudden static interference and noise came onto the television that sounded as if a large engine was trying to start. The interference caused vertical lines on the television as opposed to the normal horizontal lines caused by a passing aircraft in those days when using a VHF antenna.
My father hurried and went outside and saw a small cloud hovering near the tree tops over the Ozark National Forrest which was located about a mile to the West of our house. This small cloud had a straight lightening bolt from its center going to the ground. When the lightening bolt ended, the television static and the starting noise ended. This bolt of lightening reappeared 3 times and lasted for about 5 to 10 seconds each time with a 15 seconds delay between them. The cloud was slightly illuminated with a white-bluish light and remained stationary during this whole time. I ran outside just in time to see the last bolt of lightening and after it ended, the cloud disappeared.
One of our neighbors that lived at the South side of the National Forrest called my Dad and asked him if he had seen the lightening and heard this motor trying to start up in the forest? The sky was clear that night with no other clouds in the sky but this very low strangely illuminated cloud. It was very eerie!
A couple of months later in November, during our Thanksgiving holiday school break, my brother and I decided to venture into the National Forrest and look for some kind of clue to what this could have done to the ground or the trees in the forest.
We found an approximate three foot diameter by twenty foot deep hole in the ground. The edges were straight as if a plug had been removed from the earth. There was no loose dirt or rocks in or around the hole. No sign of the dirt that was removed. There were three triangle shaped pad prints, approximately one foot in size embedded into the ground around the hole at equal spaces. This hole in the ground was among the trees where a vehicle could not get into and at that time there was no road access into that part of the forest.
My Dad informed the local Forest Ranger, who was another neighbor, to find out if this hole in the ground was some project the Forest Service had going. He went to investigate because he had no knowledge of any kind of operation going on in the forest. When he went to investigate, he put a fence up around the hole to keep game animals from falling into the hole becoming trapped as he found had already happened. He was amazed of this and called the Sheriff. No one ever came up with an explanation or figured out what had taken place there.
I was only 10 years old at the time and I can still remember this as if it happened yesterday. My Dad, the neighbor, and the Forest Ranger have all since passed away. I am sure this hole still remains in the forest with no explanation of how it got there.
((NUFORC Note: Witness indicates that the date of the incident is approximate. We have corresponded with witness, hoping to obtain more information about the incident. PD))