Classic Mysteries—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, March 2023
Did a UFO abduct an ultra-light and its pilot?
by: Brent Raynes
It was August 12, 1996, around 7 p.m., in Burlington, Iowa. A man cutting weeds in a fence row in his side yard of his residence noticed a sound rather like that of a Volkswagen motor originating from overhead. Glancing up he observed a very small ultralight-type aircraft approaching from the northwest at an estimated 200-foot altitude. It flew overhead flying in a southeast direction. Dropping his trimming tool the man he waved at the pilot, who had on a helmet and appeared to be appropriately dressed. Though the pilot failed to wave back, the witness felt that the pilot was looking down at him.
Due to the tree foliage around him, he ran out into the street in order to continue his observation. It was then that he noticed a low hum noise, a little less than the sound produced by a microwave oven. The witness then saw a startling sight. A tan colored, flat-ended cylindrical craft, about 100 feet in length and about 20 feet in diameter, with a plastic looking 20’ x 20’ black “window” at the midsection, flying in from the west on a flight path that would intersect with the ultralight.
At a point where the ultralight was about 200 feet southeast of the man’s home, with the cylindrical object approaching from behind, the really high strange began as the top-front one-third of the UFO opened like a giant upper jaw and silently swallowed the ultralight and its occupant. The UFO then slowly continued on to a point estimated at 200 feet of the witnesses home whereupon it stopped and hovered briefly, and then made a sharp right angle turn to the north. The man then rushed inside his home to get his 24-year-son to join him outside to observe the craft. Upon his return, he noted that the craft had reached a higher altitude of an estimated 500 feet, while only an estimated 250 feet east of the house. Then slowly the UFO began to accelerate and gain altitude, moving toward the north-northwest over Burlington, and was lost from sight when about ten seconds.
As it accelerated, the craft’s appearance changed in color from tan to silver and the “black window” turned silver as well. As it was an hour before sunset, the witness wondered if the color changes could have been due to sunlight reflecting on the metallic surface of the UFO. The entire event was estimated to have taken approximately 60 seconds.
This unusual case was investigated by Mutual UFO Network’s Iowa state director, assisted by MUFON field investigators Jonathan Long and Larry DeVilbiss, and was published in the MUFON UFO Journal of May 1998.