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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

MARCH 22, 1978, PATAPSCO STATE PARK, MARYLAND, USA, GARY OICKLE, DAVID OICKLE, BARRY SMITH, KEN CABOT:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

Joe and Doris Graztao reported in April 1978 in the APRO ufology bulletin that on March 22, 1978 at approximately 11:00 p.m. EST, Gary Oickle, 24, his brother David, 22, and two friends, Barry Smith, 22 and Ken Cabot, 25, were chatting around a campfire in Patapsco State Park at the Baltimore and Ohio railroad tunnel.

As Barry and David were about 50 feet away from the others, they noticed a strange object in the southeastern sky; which disappeared over a ridge in the distance. They watched it for about 10 seconds and could only see a rough shape, described by Barry as a flat looking object.

They then walked back to the campfire to tell the other two what they had seen, when another similar object came from behind a ridge to their north. The object moved very slowly, hovering at times, in a southeastern direction following the contour of the ridges just above the trees. When it appeared above the four young men, it was very low, approximately 200-250 feet, and made a sound like a "quiet wind" or "quietly rushing waterfall".

The object was described as a huge triangular shaped object with large windows, three white lights at the corners and a blinking red light on the top. The four witnesses agreed on the lights. Two of the witnesses thought that the object had a "metallic" or "bluish-gray" color. The size was estimated from "a quarter the size of a football field" to "150-200 feet on each side".

Three of the witnesses thought they could see the shadow or silhouette of a figure at the windows.

The witnesses watched the object for approximately 15 to 20 seconds until it disappeared behind the trees.

Three of the witnesses also reported seeing a bright star-like object in the southern sky immediately after the sighting. Two of them said the star-like object changed colors; blue, green, yellow, red, repeatedly, while the others thought the object may have been a helicopter or something in the distance.

None of the witnesses were frightened by the experience but, quite the contrary, were very curious and even yelled at the object hoping it would land. All had also read about UFOs previously but none had seen anything like this before.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001150
Date of event: March 22, 1978
Earliest report of event: April 1978
Delay of report: Day, weeks
Witness reported via: Not known.
First alleged record by: Ufology bulletin.
First certain record by: Ufology catalogue Rosales.
First alleged record type: Ufology bulletin.
First certain record type: Ufology catalogue.
This file created on: November 8, 2009
This file last updated on: November 8, 2009
Country of event: USA
State/Department: Maryland
Type of location:
Lighting conditions: Night
UFO observed: Yes
UFO arrival observed: Yes
UFO departure observed: No
UFO/Entity Relation: Certain
Witnesses numbers: 4
Witnesses ages: 25, 24, 22, 22
Witnesses types: Not reported. Young men.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: Maybe.
Witnesses-approved drawing: Maybe.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: Not reported
Entities height: Not reported
Entities outfit type: Not visible.
Entities outfit color: Not visible.
Entities skin color: Not visible.
Entities body: Silhouette or shadow only, shape not reported.
Entities head: Not reported.
Entities eyes: Not visible.
Entities mouth: Not visible.
Entities nose: Not visible.
Entities feet: Not visible.
Entities arms: Not reported.
Entities fingers: Not visible.
Entities fingers number: Not visible.
Entities hair: Not visible.
Entities voice: None heard.
Entities actions: Was in UFO.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, alerted others, observed, shouted at UFO.
Witness(es) feelings: Not frightened, curious.
Witness(es) interpretation: Not reported.
Explanation category: Extraterrestrial visitors or invention.
Explanation certainty: Medium.

Narratives:

[Ref. ap1:] APRO BULLETIN:

On Wednesday, March 22, 1978 at approximately 11:00 p.m. EST, Gary Oickle, 24, his brother David, 22, and two friends, Barry Smith, 22 and Ken Cabot, 25, were around a campfire talking in Patapsco State Park at the Baltimore & Ohio railroad tunnel. Barry and David were about 50 feet away from the others when they noticed a strange object in the southeastern sky which disappeared over a ridge in the distance. They watched the object for about 10 seconds and could see no particular details except a rough shape. Barry described it as a flat looking object.

They then walked back to the fire to tell the other two about what they had seen when another similar object appeared directly over the four of them from behind a ridge to their north. The object was described as a huge triangular shaped object with large windows and three white lights at the corners. The size was estimated from "a quarter the size of a football field" to "150-200 feet on each side". The object moved very slowly, hovering at times, in a southeastern direction following the contour of the ridges just above the trees.

When it appeared above them it was very low, approximately 200-250 feet, and made a sound like a "quiet wind" or "quietly rushing waterfall". The witnesses watched the object for approximately 15 to 20 seconds until it disappeared behind the trees. Three of the witnesses thought they could see the shadow or silhouette of a figure at the windows. Three of the witnesses also reported seeing a bright star-like object in the southern sky immediately after the sighting. Two of them said the star-like object changed colors; blue, green, yellow, red, repeatedly, while the others thought the object may have been a helicopter or something in the distance.

Two of the witnesses thought that the large triangular object had a "metallic" or "bluish-gray" color, but all four agreed that it had three white lights at the corners and a blinking red light on the top.

None of the witnesses were frightened by the experience but, quite the contrary, were very curious and even yelled at the object hoping it would land. All had also read something of UFOs previously but none had seen anything like this before.

Sketch in the article.

[Ref. ud1:] "UFODNA" WEBSITE:

The website indicates that on March 22, 1978, at 23:00, in the Patapsco State Park, Maryland, USA, a hovering object was observed. Occupants of the craft were seen. One object was observed by four male witnesses, one named Oickle, typical age 24, for 18 seconds. A noise was heard.

The sources are indicated as Aerial Phenomena Research Organization, APRO Bulletin, APRO, Tucson; Eberhart, George M., A Geo-Bibliography of Anomalies, Greenwood Press, Westport, 1980, ISBN:0-313-21337-2; Hatch, Larry, *U* computer database, Author, Redwood City, 2002.

Points to consider:

This is apparently a multiple witness sighting of an object that has no resemblance whatsoever to anything from this earth.

Unfortunately, there is no documentation of in-depth investigations steps. We do not know whether only one, or the four witnesses were interrogated, we do not know wether they were interrogated or wether just one of them told about the sighting over the phone or by letter, there is no situation map, no angular sizes, no indication on the angular moves, no details timing measurements etc., so what could be a very good report loses a lot of its possible value.

One would have liked to know for example whether the sketch was made by one of the witnesses or not, if the witnesses saw and approved this sketch or not; whereas in such a situation it would have been essential to have each witness indepentently sketch the object and essential to publish them all.

It is all the more regrettable since the witnesses do not seem to want to add invented details, referring to the occupant as a shadow or silhouette. The last part of the story about the thing like a bright star changing colors relates perhaps indeed to an helicopter, or a star or planet at low elevation diffracted by ice crystal clouds, but there again is appears that the witnesses apparently did not want at all costs to make an UFO out of it.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Ufology Severe November 8, 2009 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross The primary source is a synthesis of a sighting rather than an in-depth investigation report. Help needed. Opened.

Evaluation:

Extraterrestrial visitors or invention.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:

Authoring

Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross November 8, 2009 Creation, [ap1], [ud1].
1.0 Patrick Gross November 8, 2009 First published.

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This page was last updated on November 8, 2009