August 28, 1973 – UFO Close Encounter

This Investigation and Special Report Was Written by Newspaper Paranormal-UFO Columnist Sam Uptegrove:
Map Showing Approximate Location of Sighting Follows:

Definitely not a Satellite Re-entry
By Sam Uptegrove
On the evening of December 3 I received a telephone call from a lady who was quite concerned about her identity being revealed, and after she related the reactions she had received when relating her experience to a few people at the time I fully understood her insistence upon remaining anonymous. Her encounter was even older than the 1991 Dent County incident reported in this column three weeks ago; it occurred in 1973, a year familiar to ufologists for a massive worldwide wave of sightings that certainly included Missouri. (The well-documented sightings in the southeastern part of the state in and around the town of Piedmont are probably the events best known to the general public.)
At first the witness was only able to narrow the date of the incident to sometime in August or September of that year, but a comment she made during the interview allowed me to pinpoint the precise date. She stated that there had been a Russian satellite that reentered Earth’s atmosphere that same night, seen over Missouri and several other states. A quick check on a website offering a list of all observed satellite reentries revealed the incident to have occurred on August 28.
On that memorable evening the reporting witness and her daughter, a teenager at the time, was returning home to the tiny community of Dogwood in Christian County MO when they observed what was described as resembling automobile headlights, except for the minor detail of being up in the sky. The lights were getting closer, and as the witnesses pulled into their driveway they stopped and hovered at relatively low altitude above some trees. It was now close enough for them to see the craft they were on was “cigar-shaped, but bigger at the front than in the back; kind of like a whale without any flippers.” To me this would indicate a long, narrow teardrop shape.
Along the side facing the witnesses was what appeared to be a row of square windows that were illuminated from the interior, reminding them of the windows on a commercial airliner. She made no claim of seeing occupants or even any vague impression of movement inside, however. She did note that no sound was heard coming from the craft, as would certainly be expected in the case of a blimp or helicopter (which the UFO did not even remotely resemble in the first place.
The woman wanted her husband to see this unusual sight and went inside to get him to join them. He dismissed it as some sort of misidentification was not interested in joining them. She then went back outside and joined her daughter; the craft was still stationary where it had been and after it departed the two of them went inside.
I am in complete agreement with the witness that their sighting was at too close and the object was stationary too long to support belief that it was a misidentification of any familiar craft. What we are left with is an airborne object that cannot be identified; the very definition of a UFO. A winged aircraft (aside from some VTOL jets) cannot hover. A blimp or helicopter can, but elements of the description eliminate both of them. Then, of course, there is the pesky little element of the craft being absolutely silent in spite of it close proximity to the witnesses.
In spite of those who tried to convince the witness that she had seen the Russian satellite that broke up as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere, what was described bore absolutely no resemblance to such an event, which closely resembles a large fireball-type meteor. The fact that the two events occurred on the same evening, however, is certainly interesting and worthy of additional consideration. (Of course, it could have simply been one of those against-the-odds coincidences.)
There are certain elements of this encounter that are still under additional investigation at this time. If any new information comes to light, it will appear in a future 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.)

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