This article was published in the daily newspaper The State Columbia, Southern Carolina, USA, on February 27, 1973.
By Rodger Painter Area News Editor.
You might not believe this, and officially they don't exist, but...
A Cherokee County youth, who for obvious reasons asked not to be identified, said he was traveling south on S.C. Highway 18 about 13 miles south of Gaffney about 11:25 p.m. Friday, January 19 when his attention was attracted to a number of various colored lights flashing on and off in the highway directly ahead of his car.
Thinking there had been a wreck and that the lights were signals from wreckers and patrol cars, the youth began slowing his vehicle. However, when he got closer to the scene he was shocked to see that there was no wreck, but that the flashing lights he observed were originating from a domed, saucer-shaped object sitting in the middle of the road and surrounded by about a dozen men.
The youth, who for a moment doubted his sanity and who admittedly was very frightened by what he saw, turned his car to the left onto a secondary road near the object and quickly fled.
In an interview the following Monday night, January 22, the youth said the object, which was supported by three legs or struts and which occupied about three-fourths of the highway, glowed a dark yellow similar to the glow of a light bulb. Extending from the bottom potion of the object was a set of steps or a ladder.
Around the object were about a dozen men, each wearing an outfit resembling white coveralls on which were various buttons, buckles and belts. The men were of average height and had faces the color of Caucasians; each of them appeared to have "jet black" hair. On their hands were what appeared to be white gloves. The witness didn't remember observing their feet.
The men did nothing but stand in their position near the object. Those who were facing in another direction away from the witness slowly turned their heads and looked at the approaching car but showed no particular interest in it.
An unusual fact about the men, one which the witness was reluctant to mention, was that they appeared to waver, much as an object appears to do when viewed through the heat radiating from a heater. As the youth said, "They sort of wiggled like a worm."
The object itself had a curved bottom "like a plate," and a curved or angled upper section capped by a dome. The dome, the witness said, was the most prominent characteristic of the object because of its large size. The position below the dome was thinner as measured from the curved bottom to the base of the dome. The flashing lights, which had been the prelude to the experience, were arranged in a band around the base of the dome. The lights were "all colors - green, blue, red, white" and didn't appear to be arranged in any particular order.
There were no windows or other openings in the object other than in the area where the steps were located. However, that section of the object was turned away from the witness and could not be observed closely. It appeared as though the steps were made into a door, one end of which had dropped from the curved bottom of the object.
The witness said there would not have been enough space for his car to pass under the object and that the men could not have stood beneath it without stooping. He also said a car could not have passed the object on the highway and noted that he had met no other vehicles prior to observing the object.
He estimated that the object covered about three-fourths of the width of the highway, which would place its diameter at 15 feet at least, since the highway pavement in that area measures about 22 feet in width, according to State Highway Department figures.
The height of the object, from its curved bottom to the top of the dome, was judged to be about the same as its width. The object appeared to be constructed of a material resembling fiber glass.
A later visit to the alleged landing site revealed no physical evidence that the reported event actually occurred. However, the youth's story is supported by statements from several other persons who reportedly saw unusual, flying lights in the same area during the same week.