Classic Mysteries—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, March 2017
A UFO Accident and A Strange Visitor
by: Rick R. Hilberg
I have to run the above disclaimer to the story that will follow because I honestly don't know what to make of it. Like some or all of the crashed UFO stories it may be true, and then again it may not. That's because all of these stories are consistent with the UFO enigma as a whole, because they lack any hard physical evidence and we must rely solely on the testimony of the witness, or in several cases on easily faked photographs. So until the day when we can actually get our hands on some sort of artifacts we will have to be content to sift through these stories hoping to come up with some clues to the mystery.
We received a call in late August from John, a seemingly sincere man who doesn't want his last name used in this account, who was puzzled by a sighting that he had sometime in July. Since he could not remember the specific date, his report of a typical daylight disk that made a number of acute maneuvers including a ninety degree turn wouldn't be of much use to us in our statistical catalog of UFO reports, so I politely listened to his account and informed him that we had many like it in our files.
After asking me about UAPA's local chapter in the Cleveland area and our activities and whatnot, he was curious to know whether we had ever heard about people who claimed to have seen crashed UFOs, and whether we could place any stock in these reports. After I replied in the affirmative, and told him that we were interested in any such reports we might stumble on to, he told me that something happened to him when he was a young man that has puzzled him a great deal, and that he hasn't even told his family for fear they wouldn't believe him.
As best John can remember, the incident took place in August of 1952. He was looking around in a downtown Cleveland stamp shop when he struck up a conversation with another customer. John said that they discussed stamps for a while, and generally seemed to enjoy each other's conversation. John described his new friend as a heavy set man of about thirty-two years old, with a sort of dark complexion and a crew cut.
During the next several weeks they would meet to discuss stamps and to sometimes play a few games of chess over at John's house. John reported that his friend would win every one of their chess games, even though he was then a pretty fair chess player, and had won many games in a chess club when he was at school. John said at the time he felt as if this person could read his mind, because he seemed to know his next several moves.
John related that his friend (he never would give me his first name, and he admitted that he had forgotten his last name) claimed that he was a chemical engineer for the state of Ohio, and worked with testing paint, or some similar line of work. He also seemed to know a great deal about technical subjects. John related that they would be walking down the street and his friend would suddenly start rattling off all kind of detailed information regarding a passing car, or how some complicated piece of machinery worked. John said that it seemed that this man knew far more about just about any technical subject that even an engineer would know. He also noticed that the man always spoke textbook perfect English, and though he claimed to be from Ohio he had a slight accent that John couldn't place.
After knowing him about three weeks, John was invited over to the man's house for dinner and an evening of chess. It was sometime afterr dinner when John said his friend got a photograph out of a drawer and handed it over asking whether he had ever heard about flying objects. John replied that he didn't know too much, but had read reports of them in the paper from time to time.
John said he looked at the photograph and was amazed to see what appeared to be some sort of large machine that had crashed into the side of a hill. He said whatever it was, it was really badly damaged by the crash, because parts of its outer skin were shredded and laying around all over the crash site, and that only a badly twisted frame remained that reminded him of an umbrella shape. He was sure, however, that whatever it was, it certainly wasn't any sort of aircraft that he was familiar with. John said that there were two bodies laying on the ground near the craft, and they appeared to be human shapes charred horribly as if by a great fire. He stated that he estimated them to be between four and five feet tall, but when asked how he could be sure of their height he replied that it was just a guess on his part.
He asked his friend just what the photograph showed, but got no reply, and the photograph was put back in its place and the two went on to a game of chess.
After not hearing from the man for a week, John decided to go over to his house to see if anything was wrong, as he usually heard from him every day or two. When he knocked on his friend's door he was startled to be confronted with an older woman who eyed him suspiciously. The really startling part was when he was told that it was impossible that his friend lived there, because the woman was the only one living in the house, and she had lived there most of her adult life! No, she had never seen or heard about anybody like him living in the neighborhood, and asked John to go away as evidently she thought he was either crazy or out to do her harm.
John said that he never again heard from the man, but several days after the incident with the woman he received a birthday card from his friend, but John was certain he had never mentioned that he had a birthday coming up.
That's the end of the story, and I have to admit that it sounds a lot like the mysterious empty house bit that Kenneth Arnold wrote about during his investigation of the Maury Island “hoax” in The Coming of the Saucers. All I can say is John appears to be puzzled by the whole affair long ago, and would like someone to tell him exactly what was going on back in 1952. So would I!
Editor's Note: The above feature appeared in The Best of UFO Journal, published by UAPA (United Aerial Phenomena Agency), of Cleveland Ohio, April 1982.