This article was published in the daily newspaper The Columbus Dispatch, from Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, October 5, 1973.
Truck Driver Blinded Scientist Investigates Reported UFO Attack
Cape Girardeau, Mo. (UPI) - A physics professor investigating a reported attack on a truck driver by an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) said Friday the victims eyeglasses were damaged by internal heat from an unknown source.
In the latest of a series of recent UFO sightings in southeastern Missouri, Eddie Doyle Webb, 45, of Greenville, Mo., was blinded for several hours after the incident. He is recovering his vision, but intends to visit an eye specialist at Barnes Hospital, St. Louis.
Webb said he was driving a tractor-trailer rig about dawn Wednesday when he saw a bright light or aluminum object in the air behind him, "coming up real fast."
He awakened his wife, Velma Mae Webb, 47, who was asleep in the cab, he said, but she didn't see anything.
"Then, I stuck my head out of the window and a large ball of fire struck me in the face," Webb said. "My glasses fell of and I couldn't see. But I got the truck stopped."
One of the lenses of his glasses fell out of the plastic frame which was warped. Mrs. Webb, who serves as a relief driver at times, drove him to a hospital.
Sgt. Ed Wright of the highway patrol took Webb's glasses to Harley Rutledge, head of the Southwest Missouri State University physics department, for analysis.
Rutledge, who has been working for six months to attempt to identify mysterious flying objects, said he put the glasses under a microscope and "it appeared they were heated internally."
"The plastic apparently got hot and the mold came to the surface. The heat warped the plastic, causing the lense to fall out."
Rutledge said he planned more tests on the glasses. He said there appears to be "some residue which we hope to put through some chemical tests."
In Tupelo, Miss., police reported for the third consecutive night the sighting of multicolored UFOs Thursday.
The Lee County sheriff's office said two deputies told of seeing brightly lighted objects in the Tupelo area and that similar reports had come from sheriff's departments in neighboring Pontotoc and Itawamba counties.