"It went PSSSSSHHEW, straight up; and I mean when it went up, friend, it didn't play no games; it went straight up."
Police Officer Dale Spaur
Was asked by a good friend a while back to create a new thread on this case and condense all the info back into one OP -I realize most researchers on here will be aware of the basic facts but for those who haven't read about it then the incident really is a fascinating one involving an 86 mile police car UFO chase, multiple separately located witnesses, close range object descriptions and a highly questionable government investigation and version of events -it's also interesting to note the unknown object was reported to be 'putting out light beams', performing highly unusual flight characteristics and emitting a buzzing or humming noise which went up in pitch as the object accelerated.
Back in 1966 the case caused a huge amount of media coverage so it's a bit of a mystery as to why so many people outside UFO research haven't even heard of it today but it is worth pointing out that the events were the inspiration for Stephen Spielberg's police car UFO chase at the beginning of classic film 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' -it's probably also worth mentioning that despite the incident being one of the most intriguing UFO cases in the last 50 years (IMHO) the Colorado Committee's Dr Condon willfully ignored it and elected to omit it from his own report (along with a great many other unexplained police/pilot UFO cases).
Due to the huge amount of info out there about the case will try to give an ongoing sequence of events with quotes from relevant links in each section -the aftermath; the way the police witnesses were treated and the way the USAF conducted itself (and attempted to debunk the incident without even consulting its own scientific consultant) would make a thread in itself so the thread might be a bit of a big one but hopefully worth it as the true nature of the object involved still remains extremely controversial.
The sightings occurred on April 17th, 1966 with the first report actually coming in from a female civilian witness in Summit County, Ohio who described a brightly lit object 'as big as a house but too low to be a plane' flying over her neighborhood (apparently police officers in patrol cars laughed about it) but then later on two other officers, Dale Spaur and Wilbur Neff also witnessed a very strange object coming over the treeline of a hill whilst investigating an abandoned car on Route 224 near Ravenna.
According to the officers the object then came from the South and hovered directly over their patrol car, illuminating the immediate area with an intense light making it 'as bright as day' -they also stated the car's head-lights 'did not make nearly as much light as the object did' and also that it was 'like looking at a welder's torch'.
* The report also states that another Deputy Sheriff situated on the other side of the hill in Atwater also witnessed the UFO over the treeline in the direction of Spaur and Neff but unfortunately wanted to remain anonymous (considering what happened I can't really blame him).
As they checked the car, Spaur noticed something rising out of the woods behind them:"I always look behind me so no one can come up behind me. And when I looked in this wooded area behind us, I saw this thing.... As it came over the trees, I looked at Barney and he was still watching the car.. and he didn't say nothing and the thing kept getting brighter and the area started to get light..."
The object was about fifty feet in diameter, with a bright, well-defined light beam shining down from the bottom.
"When Barney Neff saw the object he just stood there with his mouth open for a minute as bright as it was, and he looked down. And I started looking down and I looked at my hands and my clothes weren't burning or anything, when it stopped right over on top of us. The only thing, the only sound in the whole area was a hum... like a transformer being loaded or an overloaded transformer when it changes..."
"I was petrified, and, uh, so I moved my right foot, and everything seemed to work all right. And evidently he made the same decision I did, to get something between me and it, or us and it, or whatever you would say. So we both went for the car, we got in the car and we sat there..."
As it mentions above, the two officers then got to their patrol car and radioed in a report, they were then instructed to pursue the object by Sergeant Schoenfelt (who was trying to get a 'photo unit' to the scene) which they did at speeds ranging up to 100 mph whilst constantly reporting their position to other squad cars from different jurisdictions.
It's stated several other officers also witnessed the UFO and joined in the chase, a good example being Officer H. Wayne Huston who saw the object being pursued by Spar and Neff's sheriff's cruiser and joined in 'bumper to bumper'.
Spear and Neff turned south on Route 183, then back east on Route 224, which placed the object to their right, and out the left window. "At this time,” said Spaur. "it came straight south, just one motion, buddy, just a smooth glide . . ." and began moving east with them pacing it, just to their right at an estimated altitude of 300-500 feet, illuminating the ground beneath it. Once more the UFO darted to the north, now left of the car, and they sped up to over 100 mph to keep pace with it.
As the sky became brighter with predawn light, Spaur and Neff saw the UFO in silhouette, with a vertical projection at its rear. The object began to take on a metallic appearance as the chase continued. Spaur kept up a running conversation with other police cars that were trying to catch up with them. Once when they made a wrong turn at an intersection, the object stopped, then turned and came back to their position.
Police Officer Wayne Huston of East Palestine, Ohio, situated near the Pennsylvania border, had been monitoring the radio broadcasts and was parked at an intersection he knew the Portage County officers would he passing soon. Shortly afterward he saw the UFO pass by with the sheriff's cruiser in hot pursuit. He swung out and joined the chase.
As they approached Unity, Ohio, East Palestine patrol-man Wayne Huston drove to the edge of Route 14 and waited to see if he could observe the subject of the last quarter hour of excited radio traffic. In the northwest he saw a light approaching that quickly took on detail and flew almost straight overhead about 900 feet up, going over 80 miles an hour. Huston later described it as a flattened ice cream cone, a dark dome-like top and a cone shaped light from a bright bottom. The light looked like a focused beam in smoke or fog would look, and it was tilted to the rear of the object's direction of travel.
Last edited by karl 12 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:09 am; edited 1 time in total