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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 3/8/1966 11:00 (Entered as : 03/08/1966 11:00)
Reported: 2/2/2011 5:41:19 PM 17:41
Posted: 2/8/2011
Location: Gibralter, MI
Shape: Disk
Duration:
Mother and daughter witness disc-shaped craft, at time of multiple sightings in Michigan.

TO: Center for UFO Studies (Chicago, Ill.), Dr. Mark Rodeghier, Scientific Director, markrod@xsite.net

National UFO Reporting Center, Peter Davenport, Director. director@ufocenter.com

Mutual UFO Network, Clifford Clift, International Director, cclift@mufon.com

Dear Sirs, I recently wrote to Dr. Richard Haines, Chief Scientist for the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (NARCAP), and he asked me to contact all of you with my story.

After reading Leslie Kean's, "UFOs, On the Record," the information therein convinced me to take steps toward sharing the details of an up close (within thirty feet), approximately ten minute, daytime sighting of a UFO my mother and I experienced. We didn't report it at the time. Unfortunately, my mother has since passed away, so I am the only one left to depart this information. Her death and my age prompts me to speak now before the story is lost. The sighting was years ago, but the details of the astounding craft, its show of interest in us, and the entire experience have remained clear.

Please read my story and see what you think. Something of this nature is quite difficult to share, for fear of how it will be received, but I hope you will find it credible and interesting. I would appreciate hearing what you think after reading this account, and if you have any questions I'd be happy to try to answer them.

Sincerely ((name deleted)) Shelby Township, Michigan

In 1966, I was 19 years old and lived in Gibraltar, Michigan, with my family. I don't recall the date, but at that time there had been a flurry of UFO sightings being reported in our area . There was much discussion and speculation on the local radio stations concerning the reported sightings, and the topic was being handled with a mixture of curiosity and derision. Later, I think "swamp gas" may have been given as an official explanation of the many sightings, but by then my mother and I knew there was more to the story than that. One morning, in the midst of the time period of the frequent sightings, we had our own UFO experience.

Around 11:00 A.M. my mother and I left the house to go shopping. She was driving the car. It was a bright, sunny day with a clear sky. We were driving northwest on North Gibraltar Rd., heading toward nearby Trenton. That road had, until recently, run straight out of Gibraltar to join West Jefferson Rd. near the Gibraltar McClouth Steel plant, but had been rerouted so that there was a left bend in the road and it now joined West Jefferson somewhat south of the steel plant. I mention this because, as we were approaching the new bend in the road, I could see straight ahead to where the road (still intact but blocked off) had once joined West Jefferson near McClouth Steel. Over the smoke stack of the steel plant, there was a large shining disk-shaped craft, just hovering in the air low over the stack. I pointed it out to my mother and said "Hurry and get up there so we can see what it is." There had been a lot of press given to pollution from factories in those days and ! my first thought was that someone was testing the exhaust from the smoke stack. The nature of the unusual disc shaped object, however, caused me to quickly reject that simple explanation.

The change in the road forced us to turn left instead of approaching the steel plant directly, so I kept my eyes on the disk as my mother quickly angled toward West Jefferson Rd.. We reached West Jefferson, turned right onto it (now traveling northeast), and began approaching the section of road in front of McClouth Steel. By this time, we had slowed way down in order to continue to observe the disc. There were no other cars on the road at that time, or throughout the duration of the sighting.

As we slowed down and approached the factory, the disc began to move slowly and silently toward the road, so that our paths would converge right in front of the steel plant. This was a four lane highway, and the aircraft stopped and hovered, centered over our lane as though waiting for us to approach. We did, very slowly. The size of the disc was such that, centered over the far right lane where we were, it extended over the other three lanes on one side, and out over the shoulder and ditch on the other..

About this time, even as it was happening, I became aware of a remarkable feeling that came over me. I suddenly felt extremely comfortable and relaxed- completely unafraid and unthreatened, even though what I was seeing did not fit at all with my concept of reality and would logically have had the opposite effect. It was the calmest, most clear headed, yet overwhelmingly curious I had ever been. So much so that I can still recall that strange, very positive mix of emotions that were so contrary to the data my senses were taking in. I've never experienced anything like it since. At this time, I began to calmly describe aloud everything I was seeing, to confirm with my mother that she was seeing the same things. It is this deliberate, and methodical process that we went through during the sighting that, I believe, has helped me to remember so clearly after all these years, the details we observed that day.

The disc was shiny metallic in color. It seemed to be made of an unpainted metal that was bright in the sunlight, but not highly polished. It had come to a stop and was hovering about twenty five to thirty feet above the road. It was a perfectly round disc shape, and the bottom surface was slightly rounded (convex), almost flat. The top half was convex also, but the center portion of the top half was more raised and dome like, so that there was an elevated, angled surface on which there were large windows. We could see just one side of the craft at that time, but the windows disappeared around the curved surface as though they went all the way around it. The windows were rectangular in shape, wider than they were tall, and had rounded corners. We counted four of them. I described all these details to my mother aloud as I observed them, and she concurred.

Due to the shape of the upper portion of the craft, the windows were angled farther away from us at the top than at the bottom. I said to my mother, "Try to look inside. There has to be someone in there looking out at us. They're probably looking at us just like we're trying to look at them." We both tried, but something about the glass, or possibly the angle of the windows, kept us from seeing beyond them. The aircraft was close enough that, if it had been a house with vertical windows of regular glass, we could have easily seen inside.

My mother was afraid to stop the car and, even though I kept saying, "Stop," because I wanted to prolong the sighting, she insisted on allowing the car to continue to creep forward, though barely. We continued to try to see beyond the glass, and to look for details to confirm with each other, until we gradually began to overtake the object, but as we did it moved very slowly off center of our lane and more over the right shoulder of the road and the field beside it. At this time, I started describing what I was seeing on the bottom surface, because our angle of observation had changed.

I told my mother, "Look and see if you can see any markings, numbers or letters." - as you'd expect to see on an airplane, helicopter, or other commercial or military aircraft. We both looked closely, but couldn't see anything like that. I did note, and verbalized, that the bottom surface had "seams" in it. It was not a smooth surface like one piece of metal but, instead, was made up of many different pieces joined together in a fashion I could not make any sense of. I stated that possibly the seams marked compartments that would open, and we tried to tell if there was an entrance door, or compartment for landing gear. We talked of that possibility, but there was no way to know if that was the case.

I also looked for evidence of how the different sections were fastened together- large nuts and bolts, screws, giant rivets, etc., - anything that I'd recognize as typical construction methods for other large metal objects that I was familiar with. There was no obvious "joining" system for the separate metallic sections that made up the bottom surface of the disc.

As we continued to roll slightly forward, the disc had moved off to the right a little but it was still ahead of us, so we were looking out the windshield and a little off to the right at it. Then, without making a sound, the craft moved a very little, slowly, paused, and then shot off at a great speed, rising into the sky at a very shallow angle and disappearing in about 3 seconds. We noticed that, even though it departed extremely fast, the tops of the trees near where it had hovered were hardly disturbed.

It seemed as though the sighting lasted for about fifteen minutes, with about ten of that being spent face to face with the disc at close range. However, we didn't check the time so I can't be sure how long we watched the aircraft.

After it left, my mother accelerated the car to a normal driving speed and we continued to our shopping destination. Of course, we discussed what we'd seen and wondered if we should report it, but it's amazing to me now that we were so unshaken by the event as to continue on shopping as though nothing had happened.

When we got home we told my dad about it and he laughed at us and said, "Oh, you girls just saw a helicopter." We explained to him that it was too close to make that kind of mistake, but he was intent on not taking it seriously and discouraging us from making a report that would draw ridicule. Considering the public derision then being aimed at the reporters of strange lights in our area, my mother and I became convinced that the authorities and general public would not have believed the up close and detailed experience we'd had.

Over the years since that day, I have been very happy to have had this rare experience, to know for a fact that U.F.O.s do exist, and to know clearly what at least one kind looks like. I'm still in awe of the overwhelming sense of clear minded alertness, coupled with unnatural calm and a sense of safety that suddenly came over me in its presence.

Below, you will see a picture I drew of the U.F.O. we saw.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Thank you for reading my account of this event. I hope that, in some way, it might shed some light on this important subject. Again, I'd appreciate your comments, and will try to answer any questions you may have.

Sincerely ((name deleted)) Shelby Township, Michigan