By Peter Guttilla
Originally Published in SAGA UFO Report Summer 1974
In late January 1972, 16-year-old John Yeries, his brother James, and two small friends, Darrell Rich and Robbie Cross, decided to do a ‘little late-night fishing near Battle Creek Bridge, a few miles east of Anderson, Calif. It was cold that night and a whispy, boggish mist swirled through the dense forest as their car inched its way up the narrow road. As the boys nervously talked and glanced into the surrounding darkness, John suddenly yelled and pointed at a brilliantly glowing object that passed over the car and vanished somewhere in the thickly wooded countryside. Minutes later, at Battle Creek Bridge, they left the car and had walked about 100 feet then a piercing scream rang out from the brush just off the road.
“We heard this blood-curdling howl,” John said. “I pointed the light over in the brush and there was this weird thing.”
About 50 feet away stood a creature, seven feet tall, dark green or brown in ‘color, slightly hunched over with what appeared to be a large teardrop shaped “ear” on one side of its head: The boys described the ‘thing as humanoid, having no hair and what looked like “lumps” all over its body similar to the pouches in a flight suit.
“I heard a scream right near me,” James said. ul ran back to the car. Robbie ran, too. Then John and Darrell came back and said they’d seen it.”
Panic-stricken, the boys reached the car but it was locked. Aer fumbling for the keys they hurriedly got in and tried starting the engine, but it wouldn’t kick over, so they pushed it. John popped the clutch and the car lurched forward; they scrambled in, slammed the doors and raced down the road.
But the encounter wasn’t over!
Some distance down the road they no-· ticed a number of fiery objects-blue,, white, orange, and.red-moving erratically along the open fields on both sides. Two of the “glowing balls” came together, shot straight up in the air and disappeared. As the boys traveled farther along they reported seeing a glowing shape that looked like a human figure.
The boys drove to Darrell Rich’s home and related the experience to Darrell’s father, Dean. Mr. Rich is a respected businessman in Anderson, and was at the time considering running for Anderson City Council. He grabbed his pistol and returned to the Battle Creek Bridge with his son and the Yerie boys.
“I thought maybe they were pulling my leg,” he said. “But they seemed very scared.”
He and the boys walked into the dark forest about 100 yards and were confronted with a series of odd noises. In the blackness ahead of them, the elder Rich said he heard a “… really deep growl. It was a weird type of sensation, a feeling
I’ve never experienced before.” After hearing the strange sound, _he said the boys ran and left.him there alone and “I got the hell out of there, too!”
The combined scream-growl continued until Dean Rich had backed. up to the car at which time the sound abruptly stopped.
“It was an eerie thing,” he said. “It wasn’t a peacock, a bear, a mountain lion, a bobcat, or like anything I’ve ever heard before.”
Dean Rich added that the “thing” had apparently stayed in one spot since there was no sound or movement in the brush. He and the boys agreed that they interpreted the scream as a warning to them to leave-and it succeeded.
The police were notified and a patrol car was dispatched to the scene; a car-mounted spotlight was used in a broad sweep of the bridge area, but nothing was observed, nor was any evidence found. The police noted that Rich and the boys were very frightened, and that “something weird had happened.” The Anderson policeman who investigated the incident said he’ knows the witnesses personally and is sure any suspicion of a _hoax is out of the question. Dean Rich concluded that what was so unnerving about the whole event was that it happened “very close to home.”
On Oct. 4, 1973, California insurance agent, Gary Chase walked through the doors of the Community Safety Agency and headed for the desk sergeant on duty.
“Look, I’m not drunk, I don’t smoke pot, and I’ve got a story that will blow your mind!” he said earnestly. For earlier that night as he drove over the mountainous Santa Susana Pass toward his home in Simi Valley, an area 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles, he was tossed headlong into the mysterious world of UFOs.
It was 6:40 p.m., as Chase drove along the freeway. His thoughts were of a successful business day and getting home to his wife and their small daughter. The sun had set but the sky was still blue; he could drive safely for a while before turning on his headlights. As Chase neared the Rocky Peak exit, a dark, cigar-shaped object hovering near the top of the mountains ahead caught his eye. Thinking that it might be a blimp, he slowed down to watch it, but the object disappeared behind the crest of the ridge.
Continuing his route west and passing the mountain, Chase kept looking to .his right, expecting to see the blimp silhouetted plainly. in the sky on the other side of the ridge where he thought he’d get an unobstructed view of it in the valley. Surprisingly, the sky was empty.
Chase kept watching for the object as he drove several more miles. Then he noticed a small cloud of dust rising from the side of a rocky peak just behind him. He pulled over to the side of the freeway at the Kuehner Drive exit ramp, backed up a short distance and got out to take a look.
Nestled in a small canyon 100 feet below him was an elliptical-shaped craft, hovering and swaying about 10 feet off the ground. It appeared to be about 30 feet wide and at least 70 feet long, the rear end double the size of the front. Because it was nearly evening the color of the craft was difficult to discern, but Chase says the smooth finish resembled the dull gray of an automobile with a coat of paint primer. A hose-like object protruded from the bottom of the craft that was about eight feet long and a foot in diameter. This “tube” almost reached the small stream directly underneath the hovering craft. What baffled Chase most was· a large insignia on the side of the craft, a huge “V” with progressively smaller “V’s” inside the larger figure, in alternating dark and light colors.
Chase stood spellbound at the edge of the freeway, hoping someone else in the early evening traffic would also see the UFO and stop, at least to inquire what he was looking at, but he was to be the only witness.
Suddenly, at the top of the gently swaying vehicle, a clear, glass-like dome about three feet in diameter appeared and opened. As Chase continued to stare in amazement, a humanoid figure appeared on the deck crawling on his hands· and feet and heading toward the narrow front of the object in the direction of the hose.
According to Chase, the “being” looked like a man- of normal size and was wearing a tight-fitting uniform that looked like a scuba diver’s wet suit. Chase couldn’t see the humanoid’s facial features because the entity’s face or face-plate was darker than his uniform, if, indeed, the humanoid was wearing a uniform at all.
As the “being” neared the hose, a loud clicking sound came from the craft. Instantly, the entity turned and looked up directly at Chase. It then’ quickly turned away, and scurried rapidly on hands and toes back to the rear of the craft where it first appeared.
The clear bubble on the top began to rotate and it disappeared leaving only a flush, dull gray surface. Then there was another sound; an extremely low humming that seemed like a vibration. A thick, opaque cloud-like substance began collering the object that extended about 20 feet all around the mysterious vehicle. Although this “fog” didn’t reach Chase a pungently sweet odor did which he felt was caused by the mysterious substance. The witness watched the thick cloud for about 60 seconds and when it disintegrated, the craft had disappeared!
The appearance of humanoid creatures accompanying UFO sightings is increasing at an alarming rate. Researchers’ files are filled with such accounts and whether they represent visitors from outer space, or from another dimension, is a moot point to the thousands who’ve had serious physical and emotional problems as a result of encounters with them. What’s more, a 1973 Gallup Poll shows that 11 percent of the adult population in the U.S., or roughly 15 million Americans, have observed UFOs and believe them to be intelligently controlled objects of unknown origin.
We’re in the midst of a very real phenomenon, and scores of people are being mercilessly hounded and ridiculed. And up till now science and the media have seen fit to ignore the mountain of evidence collected by competent investigators for nearly three decades.
On Apr. 24, 194. New Mexico policeman, Lonnie Zamora, chased a UFO in his patrol car as it whizzed through the sky and descended into a gully. As he approached the area where the object landed he heard two loud bangs. Leaving his car Zamora walked to the gully and noticed two humanoid figures standing next to the landed object. They looked like “children or small adults” in white or beige clothing. The beings appeared surprised at seeing Zamora and quickly reentered their craft which shot off into the sky.
On Oct. 9,-1968, Doribio Pereira of Lins, Brazil, came upon a hovering oval-shaped UFO. Near this mysterious craft was a human-like figure armed with a flashing device that immobilized him. Three entities were standing on a platform under. the craft and another appeared to be using a keyboard apparatus in a transparent upper dome. The being reentered the object and ii shot off into the sky.
In October 1973, three boys from Danville, Va., were chased by a four-foot-tall humanoid creature clad in shimmring
“white light.” The entity had a large head with no discernible eyes and seemed to run “sideways.” A greenish glowing UFO was seen nearby. The following day witnesses in Athens, Ga., reported two “small statured” men dressed in silver and with jet white hair stepping from a landed UFO.
Another incident In October 1973, involved a policeman in Falkville, Ala., who snapped four Polaroid pictures of a six-foot-tall creature clad in a “tin foil suit.” As the entity walked “stiffly” toward the patrol car, the frightened witness switched on his flashing roof lights and it turned and ran. The officer gave chase in his patrol car, but the being outran him-, “faster than any human I ever saw!”
Investigators in Greensburg, Pa., reported that during the UFO wave of May-October 1973, dozens of witnesses saw ape-like creatures nine-feet-tall with shaggy hair and glowing red eyes. These reports were ignored until a massive three-toed footprint measuring 13 inches long by eight inches wide was found while investigating a UFO sighting in the area. The discovery led some to theorize the creatures may have “been trained by UFO operators to gather plant and animal specimens for study.”
The idea is not as farfetched as it sounds as the following story proves:
Mrs. Wallace Bowers of Vader, Wash. had just stepped from the porch of her home when she discovered several sets of incredibly large footprints measuring 15 inches long by six inches wide in her front yard. The prints were pressed neatly through the snow and had crushed the bottom layer of gravel to a depth of nearly two inches. Mrs. Bowers was doubly frightened because there had been rumors of a “Bigfoot” in the area-the night-stalking giant of the Pacific Northwest which has been the subject of controversy for nearly a century. The thought of such a monster so close to home was terrifying.
Mrs. Bowers called the Lewis County Sheriff who, with a deputy, photographed the prints, and took a detailed report. The sheriff told Mrs. Bowers the prints didn’t look like those of any known species of animal.
This was only the beginning!
Three days later she was excitedly called to a window by her four children.
Dreading she was bout ·to see the “thing” that made the prints earlier in the week, she was more startled to see a glowing orange-colored disk-shaped UFO zoom over nearby power lines and stop. Mrs. Bowers immediately called a neighbor who also saw the UFO dart silently through the sky, stop, wobble slightly an” hover-almost as if it were looking back at them. The object was round with an upper dome surrounded by a revolving circle-the outer rim being definite and very bright.
The UFO tipped sideways and changed color to a bright white. It then moved away in a zigzag and headed slowly back toward the Bowers home. A cold chill came over the frightened woman, as she thought It was coming back. At that point, a large “gray shape ” dropped from the object into the woods, and a peculiar “sharp ” sound was heard over an indoor intercom.
“The funny thing,” Mrs. Bowers said, “is that we tried to use the intercom the night before and we got that same sharp sound.” The Intercom was later found to be in perfect working order.
Meanwhile, the object tipped from side to side, zipped off into the distance becoming a clear, bright light that eventually disappeared.
Later that week Mrs. Bowers was putting a log on the fire when she glanced into an adjacent room and noticed curtains moving as if hands were poking through the window. “All the children were in the living room with me,” she said. “All I could think of was getting them safely out of the house. So I loaded them into the car and we left, but I definitely saw a shape in the room as we drove away.” An inspection of the house a day later found nothing missing, though a few things were in disarray.
Mrs. Bowers later said, “Since this happened I keep running Into people who have seen similar things-only they didn’t report them because they thought they’d be laughed at.”
The following episode was related to John Magor, a Canadian UFO researcher and editor of the Canadian UFO Report by Bernice Nible. who spent the winter of 1967 alone on Keats Island, a beautiful but isolated place located a few miles northwest of Horseshoe Bay, Vancouver, B.C. The author visited the area for several weeks and learned that reports of UFOs were continuous from 1965 to ’72.
Magor pointed out that after interviewing Bernice Niblett and ” … speaking to other witnesses she had listed, and hearing firsthand her tale of a year’s lonely adventure that became an ordeal from which she was eventually forced to escape … there was no doubt those mystifying, often frightening events still lived with her … that she was explaining exactly what she heard· and saw.”
Ms. Niblett·moved into her tiny cabin in October 1967. She related the following:
“Since the cabin was meant for summer use only and hadn’t been used much even then, there was a great deal to do to get ready for winter. When darkness came I fell into my bunk dog-tired, with hardly a glance out the window. The top bunk where I slept was alongside a window I could look out of without raising my head.
“On Jan. 27th, the cold woke me at 6 a.m. It was still dark and stars were glittering. As I looked out at them a very bright white star moved into view from over the roof. It made two wide spirals down, zigzagged parallel to the Earth a couple of times, then stopped for about 10 minutes. It then took off at great speed, turning yellow, then pink, as it faded into the distance. It was very high during all this and when it took off it did not seem to be following the Earth’s curvature but to be going off into space. This had to be a flying saucer or UFO and I was delighted to have seen it.
“I decided to keep a lookout from then on. The cabin was a perfect spot for watching-on a rocky point about 65 feet above the water. The front window gave a wide view of sky, water, and small islands. My cabin was 1,000 feet’from where the road ended and couldn’t be seen from there . . . There was a scattering of tall firs and cedars to the right and left and up the steep rocky hill that rose directly behind the cabin.
“From Labor Day to the end of May, I was the only resident on the west side of the island. Few people visited their cottages because the government dock at Eastbourne was removed for the winter and the water supply pumps weren’t in operation.
“The … next evening (Jan. 28th) I saw another UFO from the front window. It traveled very slowly over the water from south to north-only a few hundred feet up. This one seemed to be a long dark body with dim red and yellow lights at both ends. It weaved from side, to side, stopping two or three times with its lights dimming almost out.
“Next afternoon, two men in neat, dark coveralls came down the path to the cabin, saying they were Hydro men and how surprised they were to find someone living here . . . I asked what their work area was, and the ‘boss’ (apparent leader of the two) said they checked wires from Powell River-which seemed a long route for two men, and I said so. They, in turn, asked if I liked living here, and I go hunting and didn’t I get frightened at times? When I asked what there was to be afraid of, the men looked at one another before the ‘boss’ finally answered, ‘Oh, things.’
“Although the men were friendly enough, they were a little stiff and just not the type of persons to discuss UFOs with, so I didn’t. After they left I wondered how they knew anyone was here since the cabin couldn’t be seen from the road and could just barely be seen from the water, and that’s if you knew where to look. The stove was out when they arrived, so there was no smoke from the chimney.
“On Feb. 17th I woke up at about 6 a.m. while it was still dark, and saw a UFO traveling inland over Keats from north to south. It was below the tree tops most of the time as it went up the hill behind the cabin where I then lost sight of it. This one was definitely a long dark craft with two or three yellow and red lights at each end. Like the others I had seen, the lights would’ occasionally dim almost completely out.
“I was feeling uneasy and less enthusiastic about seeing these things now … I Just might end up as a ‘sample’! I re-· called a TV interview I’d seen a few years
back. An American couple claimed they had been taken inside a UFO and given a thorough physical examination. They were made to forget it all when set free, but hypnosis made them remember it again.
“Then on Feb. 21st, I had just walked to the front window as the sun was going down. The sky and water were pink. Something about 60 feet above the water, with ‘frosted’ yellow lights on the sides and a bright red one in the middle, slid over from the front left of the rocks near my cabin, then back to the water without turning around. It slid up and back as if on a rail. My knees turned watery and my stomach filled with butterflies! I realized I’d seen several of these same things many times, but through trees, as I sleepily observed them from my bunk window . . . They seemed to maneuver so easily and silently. They would go back and forth between the beach, a little way to the left of the cabin, and then to the point where my cabin was.
“After seeing the thing slide up and away again it took some time to get over my fright. Curiosity finally made me brave enough to venture out to the edge of the rocks where I could get an unobstructed view. On the other side of Ragged Island and more than half hidden by it, appeared to be a big boat well lit up with lights. As I tried to figure out the reason for the boat being there, three balls of yellow to amber· light flew up from it. It was hard to guess how big these UFOs were-maybe four feet in diameter. Eventually, there were five or six of them, some headed off to Bowen Island, others to Keats, Pasley and the other islands. I kept glancing behind me for fear that one of the lights would get between me and the cabin and cut off my retreat.
“The balls traveled slowly over treetops dropping down amongst them or to the water’s edge. Every once in a while one would go back behind Ragged Island, although the bright ship had disappeared … A tugboat rounded the corner quite close to shore, hauling a barge. One of the balls of light hovered over the tug, and one over the barge as well. I wanted to share this sighting so badly with someone it was tantalizing not to be able to yell at the tugboat men to look. The balls of light stayed with the tug and barge only a matter of seconµs before peeling off exactly together-one going to Bowen, the other to Pasley.
“Running back to the cabin, I locked the door. This was too much! I couldn’t even tell anyone about it because I had no phone and the only public phone was in Eastbourne and in the darkness I just might have bumped into ‘something.’ How could I have been so blindly unobservant as to miss all this before? In moving to Keats, I had probably moved right into their midst from the beginning!
“The next day I phoned people who I knew had boats; one on Bowen Island and the other on the mainland … But the water was too rough for them to come over, or they didn’t have time or the real reason, they thought I was probably mistaken about the whole thing anyway. One man insisted that it must be some new kind of aircraft being tested.
“Mar. 5th. There was no one else to turn to so I walked over to the Baptist camp to see the Willis family. (The Baptist camp is a religious retreat located at Keats, and the Willises are caretakers year-round.) I got there in time to see them pulling away from the dock.
“For several nights the weather was stormy so I stayed inside, looking out of the windows occasionally. Because most aircraft are grounded by poor weather I expected theirs to be, too, but it didn’t seem to make any difference to them.
“Around 10 o’clock on one of those blustery nights I heard a sound like an enraged hornet approaching. It seemed to hover close over the cabin, move away, then back again. The sound of a large hornet flying around is enough’ to give anyone goose pimples. Combined with a stormy night it was almost too much! When it seemed overhead my eyes were riveted to the ceiling, expecting something to come boring through the roof. I was too frightened to even take a peek out the window at it.
“For at least two weeks that ‘hornet’ was around, but at a distance. It was a bright, white ball as far as I could make out and it went back and forth in a small area in front of Ragged Island. Sometimes it flew back and forth to an area in front of the beach. On the stormy night protective air and merely said, ‘Yes.’
“When I asked the young man how he liked his new job, he seemed to take the question quite seriously. Without smiling and with a little bow, he replied, ‘Fine.’
“The next day I went to the road to pick up some bark I’d dropped there. I saw a small pick up truck slowly approaching., When it came to the end of the road it stopped and four men climbed out. They were Hydro men inspecting lines from the moving truck. Very human, carelessly dressed, workaday men. None in coveralls. The boss wasn’t obviously around. They expressed no surprise at seeing me there, no concern or any particular interest.
I told them that two of their men already had been around the day before, inspecting the lines. They assured me yesterday’s men weren’t Hydro men, that somebody had been ‘pulling my leg.’ I described the former men to make sure and also told them they had been around before. These men didn’t know them.
“I should have asked these real Hydro men if they checked lines all the way to Powell River, as the ‘boss’ had said on the first visit, but I didn’t think of it soon enough.
“The possibilities as to who the first men were dawned as something I’d been too dense to see before-I think a number of UFO people are among us and they include those phony ‘Hydro’ men.”
In concluding her report of a year’s encounter with .UFOs, Bernice Niblett commented: “Every human is different. We expect it. When we exchange a word or two with someone whose. phraseology is different or who has an accent, we only wonder what country he’s from, not what planet. Maybe that’s a mistake.”
Although the Niblett case is essentially a single witness report, John Magor added a compelling footnote to the episode following his in-depth investigation of Ms. Niblett’s UFO experience: “Our vote is for Ms. Niblett-and if we are right, here is a person who has had a contact with the UFO riddle which, considering the time it lasted and the frequency of incidents, is probably in a class by itself. Yet she doesn’t pretend to be a contactee for a moment. Although she had unusual, strikingly vivid dreams following her experience, she has no message of univer sal importance to impart. Instead, she talks as a woman who was badly frightened but is still curious about what happened. We think that reaction is the believable one. . . ”
There will always be people who will ignore even the most verifiable UFO sightings, but a detailed study made of a wide cross-section of UFO witnesses shows unmistakably that people had seen exactly what they claimed to have seen. In other words, the basic problem is with those who “reject” conclusive UFO reports rather than with those who make them. Psychiatrists have pointed out that the majority of UFO witnesses had a true grip on reality, while the compulsive skeptics who reject any and all sighting reports could not visualize or cope with the reality of these strange events. A classic example of this happened when a specialist in meteoritics (the study of meteors or falling stars) well-known for his anti-UFO sentiments proclaimed, “You can’t believe UFO witnesses. Th.is is eyeball testimony and you can’t rely on what people say they see in the sky.” This skeptic was quite embarrassed when it was pointed out that 90 percent of the data collected in his own field depended almost solely on eyeball testimony! Did this render his study techniques meaningless? Of course not, but according to his reasoning if witnesses see meteors they’re accept-able-if they see UFOs they are insane or merely untrustworthy observers.
At this point, you might ask, “If these ‘beings’ reported by people like Gary Chase, Bernice Niblett, and scores of other people are from outer space, isn’t it unlikely that creatures from space would be so similar tf> us in physical appearance? After all, with billions of planets and millions of civilizations what is the probability that they would be so like us?”
So far it’s impossible to estimate such. probabilities. Our visitors have appeared to be humanoid, and whether they are representative of life forms in one other solar system, 10 other solar systems, or a myriad of galaxies is a tangle that only time and perseverance will unravel. Thus in the words of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, “Let’s cut out the nonsense and get down to the business of finding out what these things are!” Today, at this very moment, someone is facing the most incredible experience of his life, an encounter with the aliens who walk the Earth. We must not abandon them.