While conducting investigations into the third early August sighting in the Joplin area (see last week’s column), and another one in rural Phelps County near St. James that I have just learned the details of, UFOs have seemed to have come out of the woodwork throughout Missouri and adjoining states. The Midwestern region has been inundated with good UFO reports during the past three and a half months, and Missouri, south of the Missouri River, has produced some rather interesting reports.

Eldon is normally a quiet little Miller County town, especially when the summer traffic enroute to nearby Lake of the Ozarks dies down. It is probably best known for being the home of the hotel that inspired the TV show “Petticoat Junction.” But the unexpected visitor that was seen over the community at around 10:30 p.m., on the night of Oct. 6, was not an ordinary tourist, and it certainly wasn’t quiet.

The witness was watching TV when he became aware of a roar, apparently coming from somewhere above the house. He stepped outside and the sound became almost deafening. It was coming from a rectangular object with a flashing light on either side, passing about 1,000 feet overhead. As the object continued into the distance, the din subsided.

The following evening a close encounter occurred on state Route 13 north of Osceola, as I reported in this column four weeks ago. But the visitors were not through with Eldon yet. At 7:15 p.m. Oct. 25, a motorist driving past the truck stop there saw a dark triangle with yellow-orange lights hovering above the building, along with an identical UFO motionless above a wooded area across the highway. Family members in another vehicle who passed by 10 minutes later did not see the two crafts.

Then on Nov. 9, just a week before I wrote this, multiple witnesses who were watching meteors from a backyard in Anderson saw an oval object, gray against the black night sky. It had no lights, but small pointe “wings” could be seen on both sides. Then, whether the result of a change in their viewing angle or an actual morphing of the UFO’s shape, it came to resemble a stingray without a tail.

On the same night, what must be considered a high strangeness encounter, took place near the town of Festus, far across the state from Anderson, near the Mississippi River south of St. Louis. It only involved anomalous lights and would not be considered especially noteworthy if it had been for the other phenomena that accompanied the observation.

Three lights were seen: A large yellowish light that moved over a relatively wide area, and two smaller lights — each orange and white in color — that confined their movements to smaller “territories.” The trip into the really strange began when the orange light was seen to drop something that then disappeared with a flash and bang similar to that of a firecracker.

Immediately after this event, the white light disappeared while the orange one moved further away and then returned to about the same distance it had been previously. Then either the white light seen in the beginning returned, or was replaced by one of exactly the same appearance.

The initial witness watched this ongoing light show for over an hour. Then his brother came out of the house to see why he had been gone so long. As if in response to his arrival, they both heard a rather unfriendly growl coming from the nearby woods, accompanied by the sound of something large moving through the underbrush and tree limbs being snapped. (I am not trying to get carried away by speculation at this point, but these sounds could have been taken directly from an account of a Bigfoot sighting.)

When the next growl, which sounded distinctly closer, was answered in kind from farther back in the forest, the brothers decided to retreat to the safety of the house. The initial witness decided to stop before going inside to try photographing the lights with his cell phone. The phone’s light kept turning on and off, while the color scheme on the camera changed repeatedly.

If you have had an encounter with any type of paranormal or unexplained phenomena, send accounts to samuptegrove@gmail.com or call (417) 637-6002.

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