On December 14, 1973 at approximately 09:40 p.m., Lance Mathias and Mike Andrews were in California, 60 kilometers the north of the town of Paso Robles, travelling in the countryside in a Chevrolet van. The sky was still bright, and there were no clouds.
They then saw, at a distance that they evaluated as less than two kilometers of them, and at an altitude that they evaluated as about 300 meters above ground-level, a sphere in the sky, of orange color. They stopped the car on roadside to take a better look.
The sphere had a black appendix in the shape of cone attached under it, which emitted a red ray. Mathias told that this ray reminded him of the bullets o theVulcan rifles which he had seen in Vietnam, except that tracs of the Vulcan bullets drew a slightly curved trajectory whereas the ray emitted by the black cone was an absolutely straight line. The ray was directed towards the surrounding ground which it swept on several occasions.
Lance Mathias later told:
"The ray was emitted by blows. Then, the cone re-entered in the sphere, and a vapor cloud appeared where the cone was. I was ready to jump into the ditch on the roadside. I thought that it was an helicopter again, with somebody inside ready to shoot at us."
He had quickly given up the idea of an helicopter, because neither the ray nor the craft made any noise.
Lance Mathias was a student in biology, which had been in the military at time of the Vietnam war in the US Navy with the rank of sergeant; Mike Andrews was a data processing specialist and computer programmer.