By Jim Miles
On September 9 eleven people saw a UFO in Evans, but sightings from the Augusta area were curiously light throughout this period.
The UFOs finally made it past Atlanta in some strength on the night of September 5. Marietta Journal reporter Penny McHan was driving on Interstate-75 near Marietta when a companion exclaimed, “Hey, what are those strange lights in the sky?”
McHan then “spotted a small, eerie light almost due north, directly in front of us, hovering, gently bobbing in the black, 10:30 p.m. sky.
“Not as fixed as a star and beaming more steadily than a planet, the light seemed to mother two smaller lights underneath.” The larger light moved slowly, followed by the two smaller, pinpoint twinkling lights.
“Suddenly, to the left of the horizon, a helicopter swiftly approached the lights, but they immediately dimmed themselves to darkness.”
When she reached her apartment complex in Marietta, McHan found several people standing outside and pointing toward UFOs in the northern sky. That night Marietta police received over 30 sighting reports from across the city.
On September 10 a Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy reported seeing a UFO. That night in Marietta officers were called to investigate a UFO report at the residence of Mark Headrick on Lanier Road. There they found a group of people staring at a UFO that moved slowly to the southeast at three to five miles an hour. Policemen saw a lighted football shape with a red tinge around the edge. It hovered, then accelerated rapidly, and slowed again.
North Georgia UFOs
Charles Meeks, his wife and their daughter were making a run to the Floyd County dump at nine that evening when they saw a bright round object the size of a dime moving to the northwest. It changed color from white to a dull red or pink, then back to white. The fast mover traversed the horizon in fifteen seconds, abruptly changing directions and zigzagging all the way.
“That’s what was so amazing,” Meeks stated, “changing direction and turning so fast. If it had been an airplane, it would have torn the wings off.”
At 11 p.m. on September 11 a Forsyth County woman observed a UFO for fifteen minutes near Coal Mountain, north of Cumming. The object hovered at treetop level, flashing red, green, and white lights.
Apparently Cathy Puckett, her husband, and their son saw the same object. Their UFO was the size of a large star and flashed multicolored lights. It seemed to hang twenty feet above the tree line a third of a mile away. It looked, like a lighted, turning cylinder and moved slowly between the trees before rapidly disappearing over the horizon.
At the same time Margaret Anthony saw a UFO which moved in a “curved path” at 10:30 p.m. over Athens.
It was white, about two inches in diameter, and was seen for several seconds moving to the south. Another UFO report had been received in Athens the previous night.
On Wednesday, September 12 an Athens police officer reported a high, star-like UFO over his home in Madison County, five miles south of Danielsville. Deputy Allen Gurley answered the call and together they watched flashing red, green, and amber lights. The object was visible overhead for twenty minutes before disappearing.
West of Cumming in Heardsville, Junior Roper spotted one UFO the previous Saturday, two on Monday, two on Tuesday, and two on Wednesday, September 12.
Also on September 12 three teenagers watched a UFO near Sawnee Mountain. Another man saw two. He had observed a bright UFO a week earlier. One UFO “flashed white, red, and green or blue lights.” It dimmed, brightened, and faded out.
As in Sandersville, a number of people in north Georgia were undoubtedly observing ordinary celestial phenomena, which is inevitable when people unfamiliar with the sky search the night for UFOs. If you focus on Venus or a star long enough, you can imagine it “dancing” around the sky and shifting colors.
Rome’s first visitation by UFOs occurred on Sunday, September 16, and continued for three straight nights, according to State Patrol reports. In response to a call at 10:30 p.m., a News-Tribune reporter went to Simpson Drive, where the Russell Kessler family had watched UFOs for the previous three evenings. These UFOs were several white lights of angular shape, set close together, and rotating around a common center. Red lights were followed by white lights and at times a red spark or light separated from the object and shot quickly across the sky. The objects would hover for a while, then move around the sky, only to return to their original spot.
UFOs were sighted over Hall County by Marilyn Bennett, who watched lights change color from red to green to white. Three objects moved around a stationary one in the center and they would disappear when an airplane approached.
An investigator with the Hall County Sheriff’s Department, Ron Attaway, stated that he tried to photograph a light, described as being redder than a star, which he saw moving across the sky.
Extreme north Georgia finally got a UFO sighting on September 24 when Carlton Shaw and his two children stepped outside their home in Young Harris at 8:45 p.m. and spotted a red UFO west of Venus. It seemed to swing like a pendulum, first clockwise, then counter clockwise. Through a rifle scope it appeared to hop up and down. Earlier, on September 19, four north Georgia residents, Carlton and Debbie Collins, Clyde Collins, and Preston Turner, saw an unusually bright object described as being “brighter than a full moon and comparable in size.”
At 10:15 p.m. on September 26 Tim Richardson, a newsman for radio station WKRW in Cartersville, spotted two UFOs, one in the sky and another which apparently landed near the Etowah Indian Mounds. The aerial object was a flashing light that zigzagged across the sky at high speed, while the grounded one was circular, about forty feet in diameter, and featured flashing lights that changed from green to white to red to yellow. Richardson approached within a quarter mile of it.
At Stillwell in Effingham County on October 1, a number of residents were watching the sky at nine p.m. when they saw a bright white UFO flying fast at treetop level apparently in pursuit of a small plane that was flying to the west. Half an hour later it returned, chasing a similar plane to the east.
On the night of October 4 in Bulloch County eight people observed UFOs for up to four hours. Myra Waters, of Clito, and six friends spotted a UFO with red, green, and blue lights, some rotating. It hovered at 8:30 p.m., then moved from right to left just above the horizon. On U.S. 301 North Linda Bazemore saw an object with a “red, pulsating light in the middle of it” which was “smaller than the moon” and disappeared behind trees.
At 8:30 p.m. on October 5 in Wray, an Irwin County community, a man watched a brilliantly lighted oval fly slowly above the trees.
Southwest Georgia UFOs Again
On the morning of October 11 three men observed a car-sized UFO fly slow and silent through Albany’s skies. As the aircraft passed, it began bobbing up and down vertically. Hours later, at 8:42 a.m., a man was driving south on GA 333 in Albany when a bright flashing light from the sky penetrated his windshield. “I blacked out,” the witness claimed, and awakened in the hospital. Police found him passed out in his car, which had run into a ditch. “Something has got him shook up,” his wife said. “And he won’t talk about it.” An early abduction, perhaps?
UFOs were observed by newspersons in Floyd County. On Tuesday night, October 16, four News-Tribune employees had sightings. Reporter John Ronner and photographer David Bailey were driving down rural Reeceburg Road at 10:15 searching for UFOs reported by residents when Bailey shouted, “There it is! I think we’ve found it!”
Ronner hit the brakes and the pair bailed out of the car for a closer look at what Ronner called “an eerie sight.”
“What IS that?!” he exclaimed, while scribbling notes in the dark as Bailey snapped away futilely. What fascinated them was “a reddish flying object looking like an oval pea, moving slowly and silent westward over treetops.” Composed of six to twelve twinkling red lights in a cluster, it slowly changed course, flying south before disappearing behind a hill.
Bailey said it was three times larger when first seen. He believed that was a side view, and the team then observed the UFO from the rear as it moved away.
The sight was startling, Ronner wrote.
In southern Rome, Thomas C. Byars was driving home about three miles northeast of the previous sighting when he spotted a UFO whose brightness fluctuated as he watched. It would grow very bright, then dim, and brighten again. He called the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department to report the sighting, and was soon joined by two deputies. They, and Byars wife Anne, his sister Virginia, and her husband Rayford all watched the reddish “oblong pea” which hovered soundlessly, “alternately approaching us and backing away,” Byars said. A second red UFO traced the tree line along Reeceburg Road.
In Coosa, Linda Swanson glanced out the window while preparing a bottle for her baby and saw a “big bright white object” hovering “very far away.” While phoning her neighbors to alert them to the sight, it vanished. Later, while speaking on the phone to her sister, Anne Byars, she peered through a curtain and saw the UFO re-materialize “out of nowhere.” Frightened, she broke into tears.
A group of five adults gathered in Swanson’s driveway to watch the “real, real bright” UFO, the size of a half moon, which had turned red and was hovering about five miles away. Through binoculars, the observers noticed an oval shape and blue lights.
Two other reporters, Steve and Laurie Craw, were returning to their home in Polk County on Booger Hollow Road (honest) when they sighted a bluish-white object at 8:15 and observed it for fifteen minutes. It alternately hovered and flew southwest “in jerky motions.” It glowed brightly even when passing through clouds,” Steve said.
On Wednesday evening, October 17, David Bailey finally captured a UFO on film with a 300-mm lens east of Cave Springs. It changed from red to blue to yellow.
Bailey struck again at one a.m. on Sunday, October 21, from East View Cemetery in Rome. He was armed with an 800-mm telescopic lens and took time exposures of ten to twenty-five seconds. The UFO primarily hovered, but also approached and moved away from him, and slowly moved north. The object appeared to be flexible, leading to speculation that it was a large balloon.
On October 16 in Athens, Clarke County Deputy David Hopper and his partner used binoculars to observe “a flat object with lights” that hovered over the treetops for an hour.
The following night, October 17, deputies Charles Fowler and Ray Hanson responded to a UFO report made by a Pinkerton security officer in Athens. The object vanished before they arrived, but as they talked to the guard “we saw an object rise from the ground,” Fowler related. It was “12 feet in diameter with rotating red, white, and blue lights.”
On October 17 two substantial UFO reports came from Warner Robins, in central Georgia. The incidents were separate, but occurred within thirty minutes and one mile of each other.
Central Georgia UFOs
At nine p.m. Lawrence Smith, Peggy Stepp, and her daughter Kathy spotted a large, cigar shaped object about 100 feet above the ground. They followed it down Dunbar and Bateman roads and when they got closer, “I was petrified,” Smith said. Suddenly “there were two of them. And then they started getting close, and we started getting scared.”
Kathy began to scream and Smith raced toward a more inhabited area. The craft was ‘about the size of a house,” he said, and “had red, green, and blue lights.”
“The UFOs began to close in,” Peggy said, and then, “my God, there was one right behind us. My daughter screamed hysterically, and the thing stopped right above us and put this bright light on the car.”
“It was so bright,” Smith added. “I thought it was going to blind me.”
The two adults agreed that the red, green, and blue lights grew in intensity as the airship approached. “It just hovered there like a helicopter making the humming noise,” Smith said, “and then, it was gone in a flash.”
Smith called the Houston County Sheriff’s Department to report the incident at 9:30. Meanwhile, Corporal Bobby Fisher was dispatched to investigate a UFO sighting near Elberta and Dunbar roads. He reached the Houston County Fairgrounds, an elevated area with a commanding view of the surrounding countryside, at 9:57, and apparently saw the same object hovering above the trees.
“It approached a clear field,” he reported, “and then took off in a westerly direction. It was huge with red, blue, and green lights. I chased it when it zoomed over me. It made a humming noise, sort of like electricity going through a wire.”
Fisher, who described his UFO as being “big as a building,” pursued the craft and overtook it on Dunbar Road.
“It stopped there right over me, and I got out of the car,” he continued. “I took my flashlight and pointed it at the thing. Hell, it was only about 100 feet above me. I couldn’t see anything for the bright light. I think I got some type of reflection off of it when I pointed my flashlight at it. That’s how close it was. I thought that damn thing was going to land right there in that field.
The ship began moving slowly, then raced away “extremely fast.”
“If that thing would have landed,” Fisher declared, “I think I would have walked over to it.”
Smith said that his UFO sounded “exactly the same as the one the deputy saw.”
Jim Cosey, executive editor of the Warner Robins Daily Sun, believed that the witnesses “saw something. They sounded sincere and nearly hysterical on the phone.”
Griffin’s spectacular UFO sightings ended with a bang on Wednesday, October 17, when Harry Lambert, superintendent of the LBI Quarry, spotted a large, gold colored UFO at 8:30 p.m. on County Line Road. The sixty-foot long, football shaped craft was near ground level when he first saw it. “I tried to follow it, but it went straight up,” Lambert said.
UFOs returned to Ashburn in southwest Georgia on October 17 when Elbert Lee Sims was changing oil in a State Patrol car just before dawn. After “a real bright light caught my attention,” Sims said, he “saw a saucer-like thing moving slowly across the sky” until it disappeared from sight.
From Weird Georgia, with subsequent additional research.
Jim Miles is the author of two Weird Georgia books, seven books about Georgia ghosts and eight books about the Civil War. To see all of his books go to the Jim Miles Author Page on Amazon. Order autographed books or contact Jim directly at email@example.com