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Top 10 Close Encounters Of The Sixth Kind

by Duane Wesley
fact checked by Jamie Frater

The late and great astronomer and ufologist J. Allen Hynek devised a generalized scale for defining and classifying reports of close encounters in ufology. You’ve probably heard if it. The scale ranges from a Close Encounter of the First Kind, to a Close Encounter of the Seventh Kind. As the title of this article states, our concern here is Close Encounters of the Sixth Kind, which is the classification that involves death or physical injury to either a human being or animal.

10 B-25 Bomber Carrying UFO Debris Crashes

B-25 Mitchell

Photo credit: US Air Force

On August 1, 1947, a B-25 Mitchell bomber crashed in Washington state while allegedly carrying UFO debris, which is suspected of having caused the fire that brought the warbird down, killing both pilots. This was the first aircraft lost by the newly formed United States Air Force, so it was widely reported and thoroughly investigated. The story actually started 10 days earlier on July 21 with a UFO sighting on Maury Island, also in Washington, in which a man was injured and his dog killed by smoking debris falling from an apparently broken doughnut-shaped UFO—one of a flight of six. This debris was what the downed B-25 was supposedly carrying.

The deceased pilots of the B-25 were intelligence officers and part of the Air Force investigation into the Maury Island incident prior to the crash. This was a very strange time for the newly formed Air Force, since the Roswell incident was less than a month old, and the Kenneth Arnold sighting and report happened just three days after Maury Island. It was truly a busy and perplexing time for the boys in blue.

9 Valentich UFO Encounter And Disappearance

What has to be one of the most disturbing and mysterious disappearances of pilot and plane happened on October 21, 1978, when a young Australian pilot reported an encounter with an aggressive UFO. No trace was ever found of Frederick Valentich, the 20-year-old pilot who vanished into thin air after radioing in that he was in danger and being harassed by a UFO.

Valentich was on a 200-kilometer (125 mi) flight in his single-engine Cessna 182 and was off the coast of Bass Strait when he contacted Melbourne Tower and reported that he was being harried by an unknown aircraft 300 meters (1,000 ft) above. He described the UFO as having four brilliant lights. Melbourne Controllers said that his last taped words were: “It’s not an aircraft . . . ” follow by ominous metallic scraping and crunching sounds and then nothing.

The Australian Air Force said that they received 11 different UFO reports from people along the Bass Strait coast that Saturday night, but officials from the Australian Transport Department were skeptical. Some theorized that Valentich became disoriented when he saw his own lights reflecting off the surface of the water while flying upside down. Frederick’s father, Guio Valentich, said, “The fact that they have found no trace of him really verifies the fact that UFOs could have been there.”

8 The Mantell UFO Incident

P-51 Mustangs

Photo credit: US Air Force

On January 7, 1948, at around 1:30 PM, Captain Thomas F. Mantell of the Kentucky Air National Guard was in his F-51 heading for Standiford Air Force Base in Kentucky along with three other Guard planes. At the same time, the Kentucky State Police were getting complaints from the public about a huge, round craft that they couldn’t identify flying over the town of Mansville. It didn’t take long before the reports included both the towns of Irvington and Owensboro, and the air traffic control tower at Godman Air Force Base had a clear visual on the craft. He described it as being “large, round, with a whitish color, a red light on the bottom, and moving slowly to the south.”

Just over an hour later, Mantell’s flight group was asked if they had enough fuel to investigate the unidentified craft. After communicating with the tower that they did, one of the pilots got permission to continue on his assigned course while Mantell and the other two got the heading from Godman Tower and took off in the direction of the unknown aircraft. The following is taken from the actual transcripts:

The object is directly ahead of and above me now, moving at about half my speed. It appears to be a metallic object or possibly reflection of Sun from a metallic object, and it is of tremendous size. I’m still climbing. I’m trying to close in for a better look.

These words were Captain Mantell’s last.

7 Falcon Lake Incident

At noon on May 20, 1967, Stephen Michalak, an industrial mechanic from Winnipeg, Canada, was prospecting in the Falcon Lake area of Manitoba when he spotted two strange aircraft. One was hovering in the air but bolted off at a terrific speed. The other UFO had landed and was only 50 meters (160 ft) away, so he started toward it, calling out and asking if they needed help fixing their “crazy machine” as he went. He went through all six languages that he was fluent in but never got a response.

As he got closer, Michalak noticed a panel open on the side of the craft but was unable to see into it due to the bright yellowish-blue light it was emitting. He tried to contact the pilots again as he was coming up on the craft, but right then, the panel snapped shut, and he heard high-pitched whining as the craft started to spin counter-clockwise. Then it began to lift off the ground, and for some unknown reason, Michalak reached out with his gloved left hand and grabbed it, and to his horror, his glove immediately caught fire. At that moment, the panel snapped back open, and a blast of intense heat knocked him backward onto the ground, where he had to roll around while tearing off his burning shirt.

Half-naked, injured, and scared, Michalak gathered up all his things and luckily caught a bus home, where he went straight to the hospital. The Falcon Lake case was extensively investigated by Canadian authorities, the Condon Commission, several civilian UFO groups from the United States and Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Canadian Department of National Defense, but it remains unsolved.

6 Lady—The First Animal Mutilation

On September 7, 1967, “Snippy” the horse (whose real name was Lady), a three-year-old Appaloosa mare, failed to come back to her pasture for her usual morning drink on the Harry King ranch, 32 kilometers (20 mi) northeast of Alamosa, Colorado. Two days later, her mangled body was found in the pasture. Parts of the animal had been cleanly cut in a surgical manner, and no tracks of any kind were found near the body. However, there were some strange markings discovered at the crime scene.

Six indentations formed a circle 1 meter (3 ft) in diameter, which many people felt were the marks of the landing gear of some kind of craft. On examination of Lady, her heart and brain were found to be missing, and a strange, formaldehyde-like odor came from her carcass. Her owner, Nellie Lewis, and the ranch owner, Harry King, went to the site where the horse was found and noted both a peculiar odor like incense and a bush that looked as though an intense heat source had knocked it down from above. Nellie later discovered that the boots she wore to the site tested as radioactive, which explained why the piece of mane she picked up at the site had burned her hand.

Nellie Lewis contacted the United States Forest Service, and Ranger Duane Martin reported detecting higher-than-normal radioactivity up to a two–city block radius around the body of Lady. This event is still unexplained and kicked off the animal mutilation phenomenon in the United States.

5 The Judy Doraty Abduction

Four women—Judy Doraty, her daughter Cindy, her mother, and her sister-in-law—would have the most horrific experience in their lives together in May 1973. One night that month, they had finished playing bingo in Houston and were returning to Judy’s hometown of Texas City by way of Alto Loma, so they could drop off her brother-in-law and sister. After doing so and getting back on the road, they looked up and noticed a strange light hovering in the dark sky.

What they were seeing was so interesting that they pulled over, stopped, and got out of the car to get a better look. They were so mesmerized by the light that they watched it in complete awe and disbelief until it disappeared. Then they got back in their car to finish the trip home. Not long afterward, Judy began to experience bad headaches and anxiety attacks, and after seeing several doctors, who all said she was fine, she was finally referred to the now famous hypnotist and ufologist Dr. Leo Sprinkle. Sprinkle and his previous experience with the UFO phenomenon led him to believe that hypnosis was the most effective manner in relieving people like Judy of their emotional trauma. Looking back, there can be no doubt that Leo Sprinkle suspected an abduction scenario right off the bat.

Under hypnosis, Judy revealed that she had been abducted and taken aboard an alien spacecraft. Going on in detail, Judy described how she had witnessed a cow being taken up into the craft and systematically mutilated by two small beings while she watched in horror. During hypnotic regression, she also spoke of the disconcerting feeling of existing in two places at once. But, she said, she was still standing beside her car after the strange light in the sky left, so she could not understand why she should recall that. Linda Moulton-Howe included film footage of this regression in her award-winning documentary on the animal mutilation phenomenon titled A Strange Harvest.

4 NTSB Says UFO Causes Fatal Cessna Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that a single-engine Cessna that crashed into Big Bateau Bay, Alabama, on October 23, 2002, flew into something, or something flew into it. The aircraft was on radar at 900 meters (3,000 ft) above the Mobile-Tensaw Delta right after taking off, and then something really bad happened; they just don’t know what that really bad something was. The very unusual NTSB report strongly suggests that the unidentifiable red substance they found on the severely damaged nose and front underbelly of the Cessna came from another object that it collided with in midair.

The incident killed 54-year-old pilot Thomas J. Preziose of Mobile, Alabama, just a few minutes after he took off from the Downtown Airport in Mobile. According to the report, the Cessna had passed an FAA inspection only days before the crash, so why the aircraft disappeared from Mobile Control Tower’s radar shortly after taking off is a mystery. Preziose was flying under contract for DHL Worldwide Express and was bound for Montgomery, Alabama, with a 190-kilogram (420 lb) payload of business documents.

3 Maury Island Incident

In 1947, there were many hazards in the waters off Maury Island in Washington state. There were so many, in fact, that they needed boats to patrol the waters in search of logs that had gotten loose and then tow them back to the mills. At the time, Harold Dahl worked one of these boats, and his shore supervisor was Fred Crisman. On June 21, 1947, Dahl radioed in to Crisman to inform him that he was out on patrol with three aboard—him, his son, and their dog. At around 2:00 PM, the boat was nearing the eastern shore of Maury Island when Dahl looked up to see six doughnut-shaped craft hovering some 600 meters (2,000 ft) above his ship.

The craft appeared to be made from a highly reflective metal and were 30 meters (100 ft) in diameter, while the “doughnut holes” were about 8 meters (25 ft) across. Dahl also reported seeing portholes around the craft and what looked like an observation window. Five of the six craft held station around one in particular, which was seemingly impairs and slowly losing altitude. It stopped and hovered in place about 150 meters (500 ft) from the water. Afraid that the aircraft was going to crash into his boat, Dahl smartly put the till toward shore to get out of the way. Once they were on shore, Dahl grabbed his camera and took several pictures of the scene. What happens next can only be called an “in-flight repair operation.”

The damaged craft stayed in position for several minutes, with the other five circling above. Then, one of the ships came down out of the formation to come in contact with the damaged one. The two craft then stayed connected until Dahl heard a thud, and then suddenly, thousands of pieces of debris fell from the center of the middle ship. Though most of the debris landed in the water, some did fall onto the beach, where it was later collected by the Air Force. Dahl picked up a few pieces and saw that it was a light, whitish metal. In addition to this, the craft dumped another, much larger quantity of a black-colored, metallic substance that looked like lava and acted like hot slag, steaming when it hit the water. The men were forced to take cover when the black metal started raining on them, hitting Dahl’s son, burning him and breaking his arm, and killing their dog.

This case has never been solved, and Harold Dahl became the first person ever claiming to have been harassed by the infamous ‘men in black’.

2 Cash-Landrum Incident

In the Piney Woods of Texas on a cold December evening in 1980, two women and a small boy would soon encounter one of the strangest unknown aircraft ever not reported. All three would suffer not only severe physical injury, but long-term emotional trauma as well. In the end, the incident would even take a life.

Betty Cash, age 51, was behind the wheel heading for Market Road 1485 in Texas, on December 29, 1980. With her was a friend, 57-year-old Vickie Landrum, and Colby Landrum, her seven-year-old grandson. They were trying to find a bingo game but were having no luck, since most were closed down for the holidays. They stopped for a bite to eat and then went about their business. They soon came up on a distant light. In a few minutes, the distant light got closer and was revealed to be a fiery flying object. It appeared to be in trouble, barely being able to stay above the tops of the tall pines.

The trio first thought that it was an airplane or helicopter from one of the nearby military bases, but the next thing they knew, a huge, diamond-shaped object was hovering above the road right in their path! At regular intervals, the object would send down a column of Hellish-orange flames, scorching the road surface (which would be mysteriously and completely repaved not long after). Later Vickie would describe the craft as “a diamond of fire.” She also stated publicly that she thought “it was the end of time.”

The boy was scared, so his grandmother got him back into the car while Betty stayed outside. Betty became spellbound by the fantastical sight in front of her. As she stood there watching, the sky suddenly filled with helicopters. She said, “They seemed to rush in from all directions [ . . . ] like they were trying to encircle the thing.” The terrifying craft now started to lift into the air and then head southwest, with the helicopters in close tow.

When Betty got to the car to open the door, the handle was so hot that she could barely touch it. She burned her hand getting in and immediately turned on the air conditioner to cool off the car, since it was now sticky hot. After the craft had left, Betty restarted the car and started to drive home, hoping to never see anything like that thing again, but a few miles later, there it was. This time, it was surrounded by the Earthly craft, which were bathing it with their search lights. They counted 23 helicopers. They identified the military craft as double-rotor Chinooks and several smaller Bell Huey helicopters.

After getting home alive, all three became very sick. Betty had blisters on her neck and head, and before long, her eyes were swollen shut. Everyone was also nauseated. By the next morning, Betty was almost comatose. Colby and Vickie suffered from similar symptoms, but not as severely. Betty would soon check into a hospital, where she stayed for 15 days being treated as a radiation victim. Her eyes swelled up so bad that she could not see for a week, and her hair started to fall out—both classic signs of radiation sickness.

Betty Cash died on December 29, 1998, ironically 18 years to the day after the event. Vickie Landrum died September 12, 2007, outliving her friend by nine years, even though she was six years older than Betty. Colby Landrum is alive and well, living in Texas. In the end, they filed suit, but they failed since they could not prove that the government was involved.

1 Dyatlov Pass Incident

Dyatlov Victim

Photo via Wikimedia

The Dyatlov Pass Incident occurred sometime around February 2 or 3, 1959, when nine hikers trekked off into Russia’s Ural Mountains heading for a mountain called Otorten, which in the local language means, “Do not go there.” The party’s specific destination was known locally as “The Mountain of the Dead,” so from the start, the entire trip seemed dreadful at best and even worse at the end. The hikers would all soon be found fatally injured in a variety of horrific ways.

Four days later, when the Russian military found their campsite, they were more than a little shocked at what they discovered. For instance, when they inspected the hikers’ tent, they found that they’d not only fled in a huge hurry without taking anything with them such as shoes or coats, but they had actually cut their way out of the tent, as if something had gotten inside and was after them.

When the bodies were autopsied, the doctors were even more shocked than the military by the wounds these nine people presented to them. Some of the hikers looked as though they had aged to the point of being mummified. Others had injuries normally only found in violent aircraft or automobile accidents, where extreme trauma to the human body occurs from violent forces. Needless to say, the Russians kept this quiet for a long time.

On top of all this, unidentified orange orbs were reported in the same area the night before the hiking party met their terrible fate. Also, a local tribe with ancient roots in the Urals called the Mansi have an ancient legend in which nine people go off on the same route and never return alive.

I live in Northwestern Pennsylvania in the United States of America, in “one of the Original 13” I like to say, where I grew up with a fascination for collectibles like baseball cards, coins, stamps, and old bottles, just to name a few. Always a self-starter, I’ve taught myself many different things and have ended up with a large variety of skills and hobbies in both old and new areas and have recently started putting them to use on the Internet.

fact checked by Jamie Frater