February 10, 2015 – About 20 Miles Northeast of Lebanon, Missouri – Early Morning

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Description: Escorted by a Ball of Light
By Sam Uptegrove (Paranormal Newspaper Columnist)
UFOs and similar phenomena have been rather scarce here in the Ozarks of late, but a rather strange encounter with an anomalous ball of light occurred on I-44 in Pulaski County early on Tuesday morning, February 10.

A Springfield couple were returning from attending an evening birthday party for an elderly family member in East St Louis Illinois, traveling westbound on the Interstate. The man told me in a telephone interview that evening, “As we came up on the overpass where 7 Highway crosses above I-44 we noticed a fairly bright glow coming from up between the girders, like a light had been installed there, but couldn’t figure out why they would have done that. It was unusual enough that I slowed down to look up at it as we drove under. It was a ball of light, not quite as big as a soccer ball. It was pure white, and probably about as bright as a 60 watt bulb. It was up between the girders directly over the left-hand lane and we were in the right lane.

“As we drove by it dropped down to about five feet above the ground, still over the other lane, and began pacing us down the highway. It couldn’t have been much more than ten feet from me. As it did so it changed color to a soft yellow, but the brightness stayed about the same. I slowed down a bit and it got a few feet ahead of us, then it slowed down to where it was staying even with us again. This went on for probably a quarter of a mile or so, and then it suddenly lost the yellow tint and became white again. At that same moment it curved upward until it was going up at about a forty-five degree angle and almost straight away from us, then zipped off real fast until it was out of sight.

“Sam, I know we were not the only ones who saw it. The traffic was pretty light at that time of the morning, but there was another car going west no more than 200 yards behind us and a few vehicles going east on the other side while this was going on. One of them, I remember, was an 18-wheeler. I figured you had already heard of it, but we were close enough to maybe give you a better description than you already had. I can’t believe none of them reported it!”

In response to a few direct questions, the witness added additional details of the encounter. No sound was heard, but the car window was not rolled down and the radio was on during the sighting. There was no interference noted in the car’s engine, lights, or radio. He also noted that the sphere appeared to be a solid object, perhaps lit from within, and did not have ‘fuzzy’ edges. He also expressed a strong belief that it was observing them; “I know it was because when we slowed down it got a little ahead of us, slowed down enough that we were even with it again, and then kept pace with us again,” he said.

After speaking to the male witness on the phone, I am convinced he was describing the experience he and his wife had honestly and accurately. The impression was that he was simply reporting the incident as accurately as possible, and was understandably curious about what it could have been. We discussed a few possibilities, and I considered even more after we got off of the phone. His description of its appearance brought to mind a balloon somehow illuminated from the inside, but the color changes and abrupt change of direction almost totally eliminated any chance of that being the case. The weather conditions at the time of the sighting were not even close to those required for ball lightning to form. The witness himself made the comment, “The way it acted, like it was watching us, made me think of those surveillance drones you hear so much talk about these days. But if it was, it was definitely not one of ours!”

So what did this couple see? The theory of some ‘balls of light’ being creatures of pure energy comes to mind; its actions suggested curiosity, and its sudden departure could have been from realizing they were looking back at it or being startled by the passage of the large truck on the eastbound side. Or perhaps the witness’ comment was on the money; it was a probe, but not of terrestrial origin.

(If you have had an encounter with any type of paranormal or unexplained phenomena no that occurred in Missouri or an adjoining state, 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 samuptegrove@gmail.com. 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.)

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