In the wacky world of UFOs, few events are harder to explain away than those of the night of April 18, 1962. Within a span of 32 minutes, an object was reported in the skies from Oneida, New York, all the way to California. Over 1,000 witnesses reported seeing the object over Utah, Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, Wyoming, Arizona and California.
From New York, it was described as a glowing red ball heading west. Over Utah, it was described as either a blue light, or as an incandescent, white-yellow ball with a bright yellow flame trailing behind it. Many witnesses claimed it was accompanied by loud, explosion-like booms. Its brilliant, fiery trail was tracked by The North American Air Defense Command, and Air Force bases were put on alert across the country.
Bob Robinson and Floyd Evans ducked under their pick-up truck south of Eureka, Utah, before it touched down nearby with a brilliant white flash. Robinson claimed he could make out small windows on the object through its almost blinding haze. The object knocked out power in the area, and parts of Utah and Nevada were briefly lit up bright as day. A search party was sent out in Eureka, but no debris was found.
Eureka sheepherders who witnessed the crash were visited by none other than J. Allen Hynek (of Project Bluebook fame). Project Bluebook tried to chock up the object as a rare, exceedingly bright type of meteorite known as a bolide, which seems impossible when you look at the facts. It was tracked by radar and scrambled jets in two locations. (Meteors don’t show up on radar.) It traveled across the night sky at around 4,500 miles an hour, slower than your average meteor. The pilots of at least two airplanes reported the object traveling beneath them. No meteor could sustain such a flight path for thousands of miles!
Captain Herman Gordon Shields was questioned at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, and reported that his “cockpit was illuminated from above… the light intensity increased until we could see objects [on the ground] as bright as day for a radius of five to ten miles. It was bright as daylight.” When the light decreased, the pilot saw “…this object which… was illuminated. It had a long, slender appearance comparable to a cigarette in size, that is, the diameter with respect to the length of the object. The fore part, or the lower part of the object was very bright, intense white such as a magnesium fire. The second half, the aft section, was a clearly distinguishable yellowish color.”
Here the story gets even weirder. That same night, reports of a blinding light traveling west to east were reported in Nevada. According to the Los Angeles Times, Reno residents described seeing a “vivid greenish light that flashed across the skies and then disappeared over the mountains traveling from west to east.” Reno resident Homer Raycraft described it as “a big fireball.” It was also described as a dazzling white which changed to green, orange and red. Sometime after the explosion, witnesses in Reno, 560 miles west of Eureka as the crow flies, saw an object which made a “sweeping turn to the south” towards Las Vegas. Meteors and fireballs cannot change their trajectory!
The morning after the sightings, a Las Vegas Sun headline screamed BRILLIANT RED EXPLOSION FLARES IN LAS VEGAS SKY. The Sun reported, “a ‘tremendous flaming sword’ flashed across the night sky and heralded the start of a search for a weird ‘unidentified flying object’.” The newspaper and the Sheriff’s office were deluged with calls. Some residents believed an atomic bomb had been detonated. The object seen, according to the Sun, was “traveling almost northeast of Las Vegas until a final explosion and column of brilliant smoke rose from the direction of Mesquite,” where it scrambled jets and disappeared off Nellis Air Force base radar at 10,000 feet. The object apparently exploded in mid-air over Nellis. The Clark County sheriff’s office led a search for wreckage, first by jeep and then by air. Nothing was officially recovered. It’s conceivable that whatever debris might have been strewn about was quickly recovered by the Air Force.
The meteorite theory was again offered. A Nellis spokesman told the Las Vegas Sun, “There’s only one problem with that. A meteor cannot be tracked on radar. And this object was.”
Author Kevin Randle debunks dozens of reported cases in his book, A History of UFO Crashes. The Las Vegas crash is one of the very few he deems positively authentic. In print he has called it “the best evidence” of extraterrestrial craft visiting earth.
One of Randle’s anonymous Utah witnesses claimed to have seen the object return to the air. In A History, Randle says, “I talked to a man who was in Eureka the night the ‘meteor’ fell. He was driving through town and watched the glowing orange ball. He saw it close to the ground, but then saw it take off again. It knocked out the lights all over Eureka, before climbing out again. He was close enough to the object to see an oval shape and to hear a quiet whirring noise. It took off toward the west, heading into Nevada.”
The data points to a singular object, intelligently controlled, which traveled west over the U.S., touched down in Utah, returned to the air on a southern trajectory, and exploded over a U. S. military base. Randle concludes, “The air force offered a series of explanations ignoring the facts. They ignored the information that didn’t fit with the bolide theory. But the witnesses know the truth. They saw something from outer space, and it was not a meteor. It was a craft from another world.”
This is one of Skylaire’s original articles written for the book, Weird Nevada