Perhaps the first case of a close encounter of the third kind to be made at the time it happened, rather than in retrospect, occured on 25 August 1952. William Squyres, a radio worker in Pittsburg, Kansas, was driving to work through farmland at 5.30am along Highway 60. As he drove he saw something odd in a pasture field that usually held cattle. As he drew closer he saw the object was silvery grey in colour, about 70 feet across and 12 feet high. It was shaped, Squyres said, rather like two soup bowls placed rim to rim and then flattened somewhat.
Squyres drove up until he was alongside the field and only about 100 yards from the object. He then stopped his car and studied the object more clsoely. He could now see that the underside of the object had a faint bluish glow to it. Around the edge of the object was a rim or walkway. From this rose a number of vertical poles, each topped by what seemed to be a spinning propeller. The object was making a dull, throbbing noise.
At one end of the object there were what seemed to be opaque windows through which indistinct objects could be seen moving. At the other end was a completely clear window through which could be seen a man apparently fiddling with controls or instruments. So far as Squyres could make out, the man was entirely human.
Fascinated, Squyres got out of his car to get a better look. Instantly the object began to rise vertically, the throbbing noise increasing in volume as it did so. The object continued to rise slowly for some seconds, then suddenly accelerated and flew off at high speed.
Squyres reported the incident to the USAF in case he had seen some sort of advanced foreign aircraft. An Air Force officer turned up a couple of days later and asked to be shown the site. He found that in the centre of the field the long grass had been squashed flat in a circle about 60 feet in diameter. The grass stems had all been bent over, not broken, and formed a swirling spiral pattern. The officer collected samples of grass and soil and sent them off for analysis - which later found nothing at all unusual.
The sighting of the UFO was in many ways routine and shows many of the usual features of a close encounter of the second kind. The sighting of a pilot for the UFO inclined the Blue Book investigator to put the incident down as an hallucination, if it had not been for the flattened grass. In the event it was put down as unexplained.Rupert Matthews is the author of the book Roswell which is available on Amazon and from all good bookshops. You can find Rupert’s website at www.rupertmatthews.com. He also maintains a blog about the unexplained at www.ghosthunteratlarge.blogspot.com.
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