Friday, July 30, 2010

The Absurdity of it All

This headline from February of 1976 wasn't uncommon then or in succeeding years, particularly after the Air Force closed Project Blue Book and stated publicly that it would no longer investigate UFO reports (Nyuk nyuk!! Tell us another one. . .). If patrol cars could fly, these occasional UFO chases conducted by ground-based law enforcement personnel might not seem such exercises in futility, but in the absence of police helicopters engaged in the pursuit, what could one logically expect? Even the motion picture, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," still in production when this incident occurred, didn't miss the absurdity of cops being delegated by default the responsibility of chasing UFOs. Though not one Air Force UFO chase was depicted throughout the story, a brief but dramatic cop/UFO pursuit (presumably involving injury or death, as one patrol car crashes through a guardrail and over a cliff) was prominent early in the film.

The headline here pinpoints Lake City, Florida (specifically south-central Columbia County), where United Press International reported that sheriff's deputies and highway patrolmen chased an object flashing blue, green, red and white lights. "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes," remarked one unidentified deputy. The object appeared to hover 500-600 feet in the air and flashed "all different colors" from what seemed to be a glass-like dome on the bottom.

The newspaper report references nothing further about the case, but I'm betting the thing got clean away, without so much as a traffic ticket or stern warning. As usual.