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Sunday, 9 December 2018

The Wytheville UFO - 07 Oct. 1987 - VIDEO

Twisted 2s #35 Wytheville UFOs

Published on 18 Jul 2018

Strange Country: A Different Kind of UFO Documentary (Pitch Trailer

Published on 14 Apr 2012
25 years after international media attention came to tiny Wytheville, VA on the heels of massive UFO sightings, the echoes still ring for reporter Danny Gordon. Gordon, a newscaster with a wall full of UPI awards and community work citations, became the unintentional center of the upheaval caused by an array of strange objects in the country skies from 1987-88. This is a different type of UFO documentary . . . this is a film about the people who are left behind in the wake of high strangeness.

A wave of UFO sightings fascinate a small town in Virginia.

What did they see?

There was a photo of the UFO

There were multiple sightings
Wytheville, Virginia, is a small town nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Country music station WYVE calls itself the voice of Wytheville.  On most days, life there is usually quiet and uneventful.  But that was not the case on the morning of October 7, 1987.  Radio reporter Danny Gordon checked in, as usual, with the county sheriff and heard an unbelievable tale.  According to Danny, three Wythe County sheriff’s deputies all claimed to have seen a UFO:
“It was a filler piece that came on at the end of the news which I usually relegate to something that’s may be unusual, like we had one police officer who killed five chickens at once with two shots, and that was a story that ran as kind of a ‘ha ha’ piece, and this was another ‘ha ha’ piece and being a very skeptical newsman, it was definitely not in my lead part of my news.”
However, Danny’s “ha ha” piece sparked some unbelievable listener responses.  Reports of UFO sightings poured into WYVE.  With the switchboard jammed, Danny set up a special call-in program for the following week:
“Being a brass tacks journalist, I always believe there is a plausible, logical explanation.  And I felt at that time that it was military of some nature and that we would find the reason in a short period of time.”

He took another photo
Danny thought the UFOs were most likely experimental aircraft being tested out of Virginia’s Langley Air Force Base.  But he was repeatedly told by the military that there was no testing going on.  As more and more residents came forward with their stories of UFOs, the military finally came up with one explanation.  They said the cause for the UFO sightings was not experimental aircraft but rather planes refueling.  But according to Danny Gordon, that explanation was impossible:
“I called the Pentagon and talked to the Air Force General there, who told me if they’re refueling under 13,000 feet, then somebody’s butt’s in a sling.  And to this day, we don’t know if they were refueling at 5,000 feet.  But at the same time, I have asked, if it is military, then I’ll back off the story and leave it alone if you tell me because I’m a patriot.  And each time I’m told it’s not us, we’re not doing it, and we haven’t been doing it.”
On October 21st, just two weeks after the first sighting, Danny and his friend, Roger Hall, drove to the area where most of the sightings had occurred.  According to Danny, they brought along a 35-millimeter still camera, as well as a video camera:

A press conference was called
“We were headed home, after two hours of fruitless searching… And I just happened to look to my left and saw a very unusual object coming across the horizon.  I pulled off to the side of the road in a hurry, jumped out, he got out of the right side, and as he got out I noticed the craft coming at me was very large, it had a dome shape to the top of it, and no wings, and had what appeared to be a strobe putting out multi-colored lights on the right side of the craft.  As I watched the sky, from the left came the red ball.  As the big mothership went into a small skiff of clouds, the red ball docked with the craft… We looked at each other and realized, no pictures.  The camera was not in my hand, the camera was not in his hand, and we both knew we blew it.”
The next night, Gordon and Hall went out again.  This time they did take photographs.  With the film still undeveloped, Danny called a press conference for the following day, October 23, 1987:
“The night before the press conference, I received a phone call from somebody who refused to identify himself, and he said that I need to be aware that the CIA and the federal government were very much interested in the Wythe County UFOs.  I started to wonder what I’d stepped into. And my wife was urging me to back off, to leave it alone, and I was receiving some anonymous phone calls saying… it’s not for your place to be messing in defense matters.”

He says someone broke into his house
After the press conference, Danny discovered that his house had been broken into.  Although nothing was stolen, Danny was convinced that someone was looking for his photographs.  When developed, the pictures revealed only vague streaks of light in the sky.  But six weeks later, Danny had another opportunity to photograph the UFOs.  He was out shopping with his wife and daughter when they encountered some unexpected visitors:
“We looked very quickly and saw, what I thought was one large object, which later appeared to be four flying disc shapes.  As soon as the objects were photographed they disappeared from view.  When the pictures came out… they showed four definite shapes of objects in the sky, but the most impressive point in the four photographs, the objects appeared to change shape or life formations within one click of the camera.  They go from a teardrop shape, to a round ball shape, then they go to a flying saucer-like disc shape, and then they go to a egg shape as they go out of sight.”
The people of Wytheville knew that something extraordinary was happening in their small town.  Within a three-month period, there had been more than fifteen hundred sightings.  One of the first occurred near Interstate 81, a mile from downtown Wytheville.  Eyewitnesses said the craft resembled a brightly lit, spinning carousel.  Immediately, other sightings were reported.  One local resident, Patricia Aker, experienced a total of ten UFO sightings:
“I’m not mistaken about what we saw.  Absolutely not.  Because we’d never seen this before.  The best way I can describe them is that they sort of looked like a cross between a helicopter and an airplane, with no noise.”
Then there was Mary Jane Williamson’s sighting, which happened directly above her house in the center of Wytheville:
“It had all the white lights, in the front, just a big semi-circle of white light, and it was just huge, I mean, it was just absolutely huge.  You just had this feeling of something really, really big, just moving, just drifting over your head and no sounds or anything.”
Three months after the initial wave of sightings, Danny was packing for a broadcasters’ conference in Virginia Beach.  It was there that he was to speak about his UFO coverage:
“I received a phone call at home from a retired military intelligence officer, and first he told me to make sure that I taped the conversation so he could put the date, and everyone to be aware, and I said, why do you want to tape this?  And he said, I want your friends to know, that if something happens to you, that I forewarned you.  He told me that because of his investigations into the UFO field that they had hit his son and caused his son to die with some kind of virus connected to leukemia.  He said that he had information that the federal government was not very happy with my UFO investigations… he said, they want to quiet you…”
Less than one month after the disturbing phone call, Danny had two surprise visitors at his home. The two suited men said they were newspaper reporters and stayed for approximately forty-five minutes.  According to Danny, one of the men interviewed him while the other roamed through the house snapping photographs:
“They told me when they left they would send me a copy of the article so I could peruse it, and when I didn’t get one I called the newspaper and they said, well, these two guys are not on our payroll.  They don’t work for us.  So who they were I don’t know, but they were in my house, saw my pictures, saw my negatives, talked to my family, took pictures and then left but they were not with the newspaper.”
A few weeks later, Danny sat down to organize and catalogue his UFO photographs:
“When I got to the canister which had the UFO negatives, I quickly opened it up and found some UFO negatives, but the one negative with the shots from the shopping mall was missing.  Now I felt like maybe there was something in those photographs that I was not seeing, so I took the photographs to some other people to look at.  We used magnifying glasses and we measured angles trying to find out why these photographs were so important.  And we’ve yet to discover why anyone would want to steal that… set of four in a series of photographs of the UFOs.”
Two months later, the stress of the late night phone calls, the home break in, the strange visitors and now the missing negatives finally took its toll on Danny and he had a heart attack.  Doctors later determined that the attack was brought on by severe exhaustion.  Danny was warned that continued involvement with the UFO controversy could kill him:
“If I had my choice, I’d not report the UFO story again.  It’s just been too hard on my life and created too many problems.  Don’t look up.  Because once you look up and you tell somebody what you saw, your life is changed forever.” 
Danny Gordon says that today, Wytheville has moved on from its days as a UFO town and is now enjoying its booming arts and business communities.  But if history is any indicator, sometime soon, in another small town, someone else will look up and his or her life will never be the same.

Wytheville UFO Sightings

Danny Gordon

Case File: Wytheville UFO Sightings
Location: Wytheville, Virginia
Date: October 7, 1987 to December 1990
Description: Wytheville, Virginia is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.


History: Radio reporter Danny Gordon checked in with a local sheriff in Wytheville, Virginia, on October 7, 1987, and was shocked to learn that three Wytheville police officers had claimed to have seen a UFO. Danny told the UFO sighting story but made it more of a joke-type story because he did not believe it. Danny's story sparked unprecedented listener reaction, as UFO sightings poured in to the radio station.
Danny eventually made a night, October 17, for everyone to call the station to report their sightings. One woman claimed that the UFO was very huge and long, had several blinking nights and made no noise, while a man claimed that it was egg shaped, and another woman said it was red, green, and white with flashing lights.
Danny believed that there was a plausible explanation and that it was experimental military aircraft, but they denied this. However, they believed that it might have been planes refueling, but Danny contacted the Pentagon and learned that planes were not allowed to refuel that low in the sky.
On October 21, Danny and a friend, Roger Hall, drove to the area south of Wytheville, where most of the sightings were reported, but they were unable to see anything, but while they were driving back, Danny looked to his left and saw an unusual object on the horizon.

Ufo wytheville ufo sightings1
Object seen by Danny and Roger

They parked and got out of the car and noticed the large craft flying by. It was dome-shaped and had a strobe light on top. Danny then saw a red ball that went towards the craft, and docked with it and the craft flew up in the sky. The two were shocked, but angered that they were unable to get any pictures of it.
The next night, Danny and Roger went out to take pictures of the craft, and this time they were able to. A press conference was made for the next day, October 23, but the night before, Danny received an anonymous phone call from a person who claimed that the CIA and federal government were interested in the UFO sightings. Other phone calls Danny received told him not to investigate the sightings because they had to do with the government.

After the press conference, Danny returned home to find that his house had been broken into. Oddly, nothing was stolen, and Danny believes that somebody had broken into his home to take the UFO pictures.
Six weeks later, on December 2, Danny, his wife, and daughter were leaving the local mall when people began screaming and Danny saw a large object that broke into four smaller objects in the sky. When Danny took pictures of the objects, they disappeared from view. The pictures of the objects surprisingly showed that they changed their form several times, from teardrop shaped to round ball shaped, and then disc shape, and finally egg shape when they went out of sight.
  • Actual Photo taken by Danny Gordon

By the end of December, the UFO sightings had reached over 1,500 in the town of Wytheville. Patricia Akers claimed that she had noted ten sightings from an area a few miles north of Wytheville, that she believed were of strange objects that looked like helicopters or airplanes but made no noise. Rita Marie Vaught claimed that she saw a UFO behind a ridge half a mile from her house, that she said was circle object in the sky with strange lights. Mary Jane Williamson had several sightings from her house in the center of Wytheville. She said the UFO was a large object with several lights around it and a red light in the middle. Danny later called the Pentagon and talked to the defense branch, and they claimed that the government confirms that UFOs exist, but that they do not pose a threat to Wythe County.

On March 19, 1988, Danny was packing for a broadcasters conference in Virginia Beach when he received a call from a retired military intelligence officer. The officer told him to record the conversation; he said that he wanted this to be taped to show that he warned Danny. The man claimed that his son died of leukemia because of his UFO research. He claimed that the same might happen to Danny because the government did not like his research either. The man believed that they wanted to quiet him, either through chemical warfare or his children. Interestingly, that same week there was a hepatitis epidemic in Virginia Beach. Danny claimed that he would have believed the caller had he come down with hepatitis, but both he and his children were safe.
Less than a month later, two visitors came to his home, one that interviewed him for about forty-five minutes, and the other taking photographs throughout the house. They told Danny that they would send him the newspaper article, but when he didn't receive it, he called the newspaper. They said that the men did not work for them, and nobody knows who they really were.

A few weeks later, Danny went to catalog and organize his UFO photographs, and when he went through the negatives, he found that the negatives from the shopping mall were missing. Danny realized that there may have been something in those photographs that he was not seeing. He took them to others to look at, but they could not discover why someone would want to take them.

Two months later, the UFO stress caught up with Danny and he collapsed due to severe exhaustion. Danny was cautioned that continued UFO research could jeopardize his health. Danny has not had a UFO sighting since December of 1990, and he does not plan to do anymore UFO research. The UFO phenomenon has apparently ended in Wytheville, as the sightings have apparently ended, but the UFOs have never been explained.

Background: Wytheville is a city with the population of 8000 is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.
Investigations: None
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the February 19, 1992 episode
Results: Unsolved

Horse Archer


Above:  One of the photos Danny Gordon was able to snap in December 1987.  The negatives were stolen from his home, but not before he had prints made.  Below:  A feature on the story behind the story in the National Enquirer.

Above:  Headline from Wythe Enterprise editorial indicating the general displeasure of Wytheville's treatment by Current Affair.  Below:  Virginia Governor Jerry Baliles receives a "UFO Capital of VA" T-shirt.  Below right:  Danny Gordon's story inspired a full week of the popular comic strip "Gasoline Alley" in 1988.

 One of the few photos Danny Gordon was able to snap outside of Rose's Department store in early December, 1987.   The original negatives were stolen from Gordon's home while he lectured in Virginia Beach, but he'd already had some copies made.  
Below:  Quote from Janet Colley, one of hundreds of witnesses during the original flap.

source:  https://www.horsearcherpro.com/wytheville-ufo




Published on 22 Sep 2017