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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 7/8/2014 (Entered as : 070814)
Reported: 11/24/2014 3:35:15 PM 15:35
Posted: 11/26/2014
Location: Joplin, MO
Shape: Teardrop
Duration:>30 minutes
Close encounter with teardrop-shaped UFO and side effects.

Close Encounters in Joplin Area: Part Two By Sam Uptegrove I need to begin this week’s column with an apology. Due to a typo on my part in preparing notes for my files, I mistakenly indicated two weeks ago [Close Encounters in Joplin Area: Part One] that an encounter in Joplin took place in early August when it actually occurred on July 8. The full report is the subject of this column.

Then, it was so hectic when I was writing the column last week that I completely forgot to give credit to NUFORC, the source of all but one of the sightings described. (Sorry, Peter. Oh well, they say as you get older your memory is the second thing to go, but for the life of me I cannot remember what the first one is.)

That being said, the incident that occurred that Tuesday evening was a ufologist’s dream; three reputable witnesses, willing to be identified publicly, reporting a close encounter that left behind physical evidence of its reality. In addition, the initial witness possessed the training and experience to be considered an expert on objects and craft in the sky; he is an airline pilot.

At about 9:15 p.m. on July 8, Barry Powell, the pilot, was walking his dog when he noticed a strange craft with orange lights in the northern sky. He realized almost immediately that it was approaching him, descending as he did so, and his leashed dog started to jump excitedly in the object’s direction. At that point John Cruzan, general manager of the Joplin Globe newspaper, and his wife Traci, who is a technician in the medical field, came around a curve and were confronted with this strange scene. They immediately stopped and got out of their vehicle, joining Barry in trying to determine what they were all seeing.

As it approached the confounded trio could make out a huge object, apparently soundless and displaying multiple lights in of yellow, blue and orange on its underside. I said ‘apparently’ because every dog within hearing distance was barking excitedly. Barry’s dog was even jumping up toward the craft to the extent his leash would allow.

When the UFO departed, still at slow speed, the witnesses followed in the Cruzans’ Jeep. They lost sight of it as it descended behind trees, but continued to an area they felt it might have landed. At that point even stranger things began to happen. A spotlight they were using, which plugged into the cigarette lighter, dimmed but did not go out. The seatbelt warning buzzer began sounding intermittently, and the vehicle’s automatic transmission began to act up. None of these oddities had occurred previously, and to my knowledge none of them have been repeated since.

But the most chilling aspect of the incident showed up in its aftermath. On John Cruzan’ arm was a sizeable red spot that caused enough discomfort for him to go to a doctor, who told him it resembled an injury caused by a laser. It has since healed.

I spoke with Mr. Cruzan about his experience earlier this month. Although he did not express it in so many words his attitude was clearly that of knowing the experience was real but also knowing that many people would find it incredible. He was unwavering, however, in the fact that he was simply describing the event as completely and accurately as possible within the limits of human vocabulary. I came away from the visit convinced that he was one of the most credible witnesses I have interviewed in years.

Clusters of UFO sightings in a limited area within a relatively short period of have occurred on several occasions before, and the diehard skeptics insist that they result from a single case of misidentification receiving publicity and triggering the imagination of others, making them even more prone to turning the lights of distant aircraft into an alien spacecraft. In this instance, however, the witnesses were in almost all cases unaware of the previous incidents prior to having their own encounter.

[Special thanks to John Cruzan, Margie Kay and the rest of the team at Missouri MUFON, and UFO Casebook for providing information used in writing this column.] (If you have had an encounter with any type of paranormal or unexplained phenomena, no matter where or when it occurred, I would like to add it to my ever-growing files. Send me a complete account, with as many details as you can. Include your name and a telephone number or email address I can reach you at if I need more information. Complete anonymity, if requested, will be observed if your experience is used for publication. Send accounts and comments to I have a landline telephone now, so you can also call me at (417) 637-6002. Leave a message on the machine if I am not home.)

((NUFORC Note: The names of the parties involved with this sighting have been revealed in the local press in Joplin, so we have elected to leave them in the report here, unedited. PD))