It’s funny the stuff we’ve come across in the newsroom as we clean out old file cabinets in preparation for our move to the Busy Corner downtown in December.
For example, our big meeting table is buried under yellowed newspapers from World War II with headlines announcing, for example, F.D.R. meeting with Churchill and Stalin in Iran to map war strategy. Other headlines scream of “Reds” advancing against Nazis while “Yanks” bomb “Japs.”
(Whew! The language we used to throw around in print!)
Last week, my boss dug out something that immediately jumped out at me. (And not just because my boss dug it out.)
It was an April 24, 1977, story by legendary Gazette Telegraph reporter Dorothy Aldridge about UFOs being sighted in Colorado.
Dorothy described a “baby UFO and its Big Mama” that had been seen regularly near Sterling, in Logan County in northeast Colorado, since November 1976. She described the UFOs as “soundless, illusive flying objects” that began attracting a “devoted audience of nighttime viewers.”
Among those monitoring the UFOs was Logan County Sheriff Harry “Tex” Graves, who wondered if they might be related to the “unexplainable deaths and confirmed mutilation of 72 cattle in the county since August.”
The story was illustrated by photos of bizarre lights in the sky. The photographer worked for the Sterling Journal-Advocate.
The authorities reported odd “pot marks” in fields near the mutilations and speculated they could be related to alien spacecraft landings.
They even reported that ranch hands trying to catch the mutilators staked out a feedlot the previous August and reported three “human-like figures” gliding over a fence before disappearing. The ground was muddy from rain but no car tracks or footprints were found by sheriffs deputies who investigated the predawn sighting.
What a great story!
It made me wonder if UFOs commonly are sighted in the region. I checked the National UFO Reporting Center, or www.nwlink.com/~ufocntr/, the Colorado Mutual UFO Network, or www.comufon.org/, UFOStalker.com and UFOSightingsDaily.com.
Turns out, we’ve had dozens of UFOs reported over the years, going back as far as 1953. (That was well before marijuana was legalized!)
Some are very detailed recollections of UFO sightings.
Take the 1953 sighting. The witness reported seeing an “absolutely huge UFO” hovering over his house in complete silence.
In 1957, a witness reported to the Colorado UFO network that he was driving a cement truck past the Air Force Academy construction site when he saw what he thought, at first, was a harvest moon rising.
“I realized this ‘moon’ was coming up in the south and it seemed to be gaining altitude fast,” the witness reported.
He stopped his truck, shut off the engine and watched the object hover along with two bright orange objects.
Another report of a sighting in 1963 included a jet chasing a UFO.
“I’ve never seen anything accelerate that fast in my life except in a scifi movie,” the witness wrote.
I learned that folks are seeing flying triangle-shaped objects, balls of light, saucers. You name it, they’ve seen it. A security guard in Pueblo West claimed to have an alien encounter while making his rounds in 2010.
What have you seen in your neighborhood? Are we getting visitors from other planets? UFOs? Aliens? (Other than Wayne Laugesen, of course. He’s not really an alien, just an asteroid.)