Alternate Perceptions Magazine, May 2023
A UFO Observation Station In Northeastern, Ohio - 1968
by: Rick Hilberg
Over the course of UFO history there have been numerous attempts made by UFO enthusiasts to somehow get the attention of the elusive UFOs and communicate with them in some manner. These attempts go as far back as the early 1950s and include attracting them by such means as light beams, radio and signal lights. Even commercial radio stations made these attempts, sometimes seriously and sometimes to merely generate listener interest.
I daresay that probably only a handful of people today remember that the Cleveland area was involved in this quest almost sixty years ago. Here in brief is that mostly lost story.
Back in the late spring of 1968, I received a call from a newly organized Cleveland area UFO group to give a lecture at one of their meetings along with my colleague Ed Biebel. I accepted the invitation and in a few weeks Ed and I were at a large bank meeting room in downtown Cleveland ready to give our presentation to a rather large group of folks, mostly from the eastern side of the city. The group was called the National Scientific Aerial Phenomena Research Associates. The group was led by three very enthusiastic individuals named Ron Brasdovich, Edgar Smith and Bruce Sowinski. It seemed to me that all three of these men had a background in various technical fields.
Anyway, before the lecture began, Ron Brasdovich briefed Ed and I on what they hoped to accomplish and showed us some of their various equipment that they used. In short, the equipment was to be used in an attempt to signal UFOs and to hopefully draw them near to their manned observation base that they established on some unused farm acreage to the far east of the city near the town of East Farmington in Trumbull County.
Ron explained that they set their equipment up on Saturday nights when the weather was clear, and hoped to be able to get meaningful photographs and various measurements of objects that were attracted to a large circle of sequential flashing lights set up with personnel stationed at three separate stations ready to make measurements of size, altitude, and whatnot. Both Ed and I expressed interest in this quest and Ron promised to invite us out sometime when our busy schedules permitted. They even attended our scheduled national UFO convention and displayed some of their gear that June for attendees to inspect, a photo of which I used on the cover of my UFO Magazine displayed above.
So, on a warm July evening, Ed and I made the trek out to the farm and soon were able to watch as their team of volunteers manned their stations for an all-night vigil, hoping to attract a UFO.
Basically, the circle of flashing lights was in the center and there were three observation posts each with cameras, tape recorders, Geiger counters, tools for making triangulation and other gear at each of the three stations all in touch with a coordinating base by handheld radio transceivers. It all seemed quite efficient to us, anyway.
I wish I could report that we were able to witness them making a hit that night but alas, nothing out of the ordinary was seen. In fact, up until the time we were there they were only able to spot a few unusual lights at a great distance. I later found out that during the whole summer of 1968 they basically struck out in their goal. Too bad, as to me they seemed really serious and well prepared and coordinated. That seems to have been the story in all the many attempts made by others over the years as well. But the fact remains that Cleveland did have a group that gave it one heck of a try...
As a postscript, Bruce Sowinski did tell us that a local minister and his wife did observe a UFO weeks before. Seems the couple were driving home one weekday evening when they caught sight of a round and silent disk the size of a trash can lid pacing their car on a road nearby, and quickly climbing up and away into the night. Too bad that it didn't happen on a Saturday night.