This article was published in the daily newspaper Post-Tribune, Merrillville, Indiana, USA, on Tuesday, January 13, 2004.
See also the original article about this sighting.
UFO sighting might make Huntington next Roswell
Tuesday, jan. 13, 2004
I know a few people from Huntington, the town that gave us Dan Quayle.
The Huntingtonian I know best is my fishing buddy, Rex, who has farmed near Huntington all his life.
Of all the people I know, Rex may the most level-headed. The ups and downs of farming — which are controlled by such imponderables as temperature, rainfall and grain prices — would drive me crazy, but Rex takes as it comes, accepting both the good and the bad with a shrug and a smile.
So when Huntington was in the news recently for an event that most would find difficult to swallow, I used Rex as my yardstick for the sensibility of those who witnessed something odd in the sky above the city of 2,000.
On Jan. 4, The Herald-Press of Huntington reported the three Huntington police officers saw an object they couldn't identify hovering over SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church at 2:30 p.m., Dec. 26. It was flying low enough that one thought it might strike the church steeple, but it shot away north after hovering for 30 to 45 seconds.
The officers described the object as big, circular and dome-shaped, but without the "hump" in the middle typical of 1950s flying saucer descriptions.
They kept the story of what they'd seen to themselves, fearing people would think them daft, until curiosity got the better of them. They went public with the story, wondering if anyone else had seen the same thing.
When I read the story off The Associated Press wire, I called Rex to see if he'd had a close encounter. Nope, he said, he hadn't seen a thing, nor had anyone else he knew.
He told me that there the folks in town weren't unduly distressed about the event. Maybe they figure that if whatever it was doesn't start carving circles in their crops, it's not worth much discussion.
Cindy Klepper, the newspaper's city editor, wrote a follow-up to the original story after three investigators from the Mutual UFO Network came to town. They discounted one suggested explanation, that what the officers saw was a "Hoverdisc," a table-sized toy that is filled with helium and set adrift.
"It's not a balloon of any kind," MUFON representative Roger Sugden told Klepper. "Whichever way the wind was blowing, it wouldn't have stopped, tumbled and moved off."
An Internet search turned up a couple of interesting side notes.
An Indianapolis man reported to Whitley Streiber's Unknown Country Web site (2) that he and two other people spotted six red and white objects pass over downtown Indianapolis about seven hours after the Huntington object was seen.
Stranger still, a Google (2) search using the terms "Huntington Indiana UFO" turned up a game called "UFO Attack" on the Huntington-Indiana.com Web site.
I contacted the Bill Holden, a Web designer who built and maintains the site, who said UFO Attack and other games had been on his site for some time. A few hours later he reported that his site had received 80 hits for UFO searches over two days.
Spotting an opportunity, he put the headline "SAVE HUNTINGTON" on the game and put a note that "The out-of-town newspapers" had been contacting him for information on the sighting.
I've been called many things in my life, but "out-of-town newspapers" is a new one.
Contact columnist Jim Gordon at 648-3116 or at email@example.com.
(1) www.google.com (2) www.unknowncountry.com