The following is an e-mail letter I received from a friend who is a private pilot, along with my response.
Date: Monday, April 6, 1998
Just a note to see if you have had any experience or sighting of sorts like this one. Yesterday, Sunday, April 5, 1998, at about dusk, 6:30- 7:00ish, I was flying from the mall area at about 2500ft msl south bound over the lake (Lake Monroe).
Approaching the north end of the lake myself AND my passenger both spotted what looked like a bright fire ball just above the horizon to the east of us. This ball was "falling" at a very high rate of speed and to the west at what I would estimate 2 miles away from my position. What had been reasonably smooth air now had become moderately turbulent.
The object then (we thought) crashed in the woods just south east of the dam area. We flew over this area so we could report what ever this was we had just seen that crashed, and to our amazement, there was no sign of any crash, damage, or fire. Also, on the control tower frequency out of Indy, there were Jet Jockeys talking about what they had just seen, too. So it wasn't just us. However, we were the only ones close enough to the ground to see where it landed/crashed.
I, being color blind, had no idea what this could of been, except maybe a meteor. But wouldn't this have left some sort of damage in the woods? Wouldn't there have been some sort of fire due to the white hot heat from this object?
While asking these questions to my passenger, he revealed to me that, not only was this object a bright white sphere about 10 feet in diameter from our distance away from it (about 2 miles), it also had a green ring outlining it. It was traveling well above any speed I am aware of that any air-craft could fly, and thought it to be a big rock.
Where did it go? Why is there no sign of damage? Why no fire, damaged trees or even dust filtering into the air? Whats with the green outline? What caused the turbulence? And above all, with not only us spotting this and with the reports to ATC (Air Traffic Control), why didn't I see anything on the news about it. Wouldn't you have thought some body on the ground would have seen it too? Wouldn't the speed at which it was traveling have made some sort of sonic boom?
I'm at a loss Lynn. Any suggestions? Can you think of anything that it may have been? Let me know....Could this have been my first??? Gotta go for now and get to work....Ed
I've got to tell you; this is a very significant sighting. The area you are describing is the same approximate area where two previous "crashes" occurred.
You may recall the first one, which was reported to authorities two summers ago (I believe that's right). An elderly man who lives down that way claimed to have witnessed an illuminated object as it fell from the sky, and crashed in the forest. His assumption of a crash was based on a loud "boom" preceded by a green flash of light in that part of the sky.
Search and rescue parties combed the area in the air and on the ground for a couple of days, but found nothing. The second incident occurred just last week. John Tosti (my partner), who lives in Smithville, Indiana, was being visited by his renter and her friend from California. The friend was an actor who played in the series, "Sliders". He had heard about our work in the UFO field, and wanted to meet with John. They were out in John's back yard skywatching for a little while before returning home next door.
John continued watching the sky to the east, and soon began to see objects appear. He went next door to alert the pair, who quickly returned to the back yard. A few seconds later, a huge fireball was seen falling at a 45 degree angle, south, toward Lake Monroe. The object was white with a bit of orange and had a fairly long tail from their perspective. The odd thing about it was how slow the object was falling. In fact, John and his companions had time to drive south of his house to get a better observation point, where they watched as the object stopped short of the ground.
At that point, it turned into a white disk shape, and began to emanate various colors, before it simply disappeared. The actor friend was ecstatic, that he had actually witnessed a UFO event.
Now the story widens. When John began to relate the sighting to me, we discovered that it was the same object I had been witness to outside my home, fifteen miles north of their position. What I saw had an orange cast. It was big and round, with a relatively short tail (five times the diameter of the object). It descended slowly (for a meteor) and at an angle. It was just too big to be a typical meteor. I thus far, have not reported this sighting to anyone. Your questions and concerns strike at the heart of the matter.
Logically, I would expect a meteor hitting the ground in Hoosier National Forest to leave some sort of calling card, i.e., fire, dust, tree damage or something! You likely know more about sonic booms than I do, but my guess is that any object entering our atmosphere in excess of the speed of sound, would create a sonic boom. That is, providing the object is operating totally in our time-space. The turbulence you mentioned could suggest at least some physical interaction at that point in time. I don't recall air turbulence as an aspect of a Close Encounter being mentioned. Elsewhere, however, I consider it a logical probability. I need to look into that further.
The green ring you describe may be some sort of plasma field surrounding the object as a result of ionization of atmospheric gases (speculation, of course.) And, isn't it curious how this stuff is never reported by the media? A control tower operator at Indy (Indianapolis Airport) once told John, "Yes, we see stuff on radar down that way, all the time!" (unidentifieds) We don't worry about it unless it looks like they're going to run into somebody." (Being a pilot, don't you find that comforting?)
Ed, we really need to get together on this. This is a big one! There's a ton of questions John and I have concerning this sighting. One of our biggest concerns is finding out, as close as possible, where this object would have hit the ground. We would like to do a ground search of the area to look for anything anomalous. We're developing a theory about the area in question. I'll explain further when we meet.
We would like to show you video tapes of objects seen in that area. This may help you to identify anomalous objects when you're up in your plane in the evening.
Ed, you could probably go to the IU (Indiana University) astronomy department and ask for their interpretation of what the object was. They'll tell you it was a meteorite, bolide, space junk, or some such nonsense. You won't be satisfied with their answers, because it just won't fit with what you saw. We can tell you about a lot of strange things we've seen out there at night. For instance, shooting stars that fall straight down, then stop short of the tree line, then move horizontally. There's more......so much more.
P.S.: Yes, I'd say this was your first sighting, but it won't be your last. I'll bet good money on that!
Lynn Taylor, Association for Aerial Anomaly Research and