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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, December 2019


by: Rick Hilberg

Mid-November of 1981 saw many persons in and around Wayne County, North Carolina calling in reports of mysterious objects to newspapers and law enforcement agencies. The intense activity even prompted the Goldsboro News to run a serious editorial in their November 27th edition wondering just what sincere and reliable local residents were seeing in the skies. As they closed the editorial, they asked: "What's out there? And who's out there?"

The local controversy started on the 15th, when Elbert Daughtry of the town of Mount Olive said that he and his family spotted a UFO on U.S. Highway 13 just south of Goldsboro at around 7:00 p.m. He described the UFO as a "huge round object" with lights (See artist's depiction ).

Three days later, Mrs. Julia Jones of Stevens Mill said she saw a similar object sitting on the ground in a field as she was on her way to work early that morning at the Wayne Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Jones was quite frightened by the strange object and was hesitant to report her observation to the local authorities.

Spotting what may well have been the same object on the 22nd were Treva  Pennington and her sister, Mrs. Reva Renfro, and Linwood Jones, all of the Stevens Mill area.

Miss Pennington said she saw "something" hovering over a field near Stevens Mill as she came toward her home between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. She told her sister and they and Jones went to investigate the strange object.

"We saw it over the field. It had bright lights - real bright lights - that were yellow and red and were flashing," said Mrs. Renfro. She said that at first she thought the object may have been a helicopter, but was puzzled by the lack of any sound.

"It started moving away just above the trees and going toward Goldsboro, " she said, adding that she and the others tried to follow it in the car. They lost sight of it but when  they returned, it was again hovering over the field. Miss Pennington said that when she first saw the object, it was as if a bright spotlight was aimed directly at her. "Then I saw the red lights blinking on the side," she related.

"I knew I had to get somebody else to see it or no one would believe me. I went to get Reva," she said. According to the witnesses, the last time they saw the UFO it was heading over the trees back towards Goldsboro. They reported that they tried to follow but lost it behind a large stand of trees.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base said that they had no aircraft in the vicinity at the time. Officials there also denied a rumor that two interceptor aircraft had been scrambled as a result of the earlier sightings.

On Saturday, November 28, UFOs were reported over two communities in Martin County at almost the same time.

At 9:08 p.m. a person informed an operator at Martin County Communications that he had sighted an object that was long and oval-shaped over the Martin Plaza shopping area. The UFO was reported to have emitted a white light and hovered at about tree top height, all the time remaining completely silent. The telephone company operator related that the caller said he was followed by the strange object from the shopping center parking lot into the River Fill area of Bertie County, where it simply disappeared. The object was stated to have moved at about 65 mph during the sighting, remaining at tree top level.

At 9:10 p.m. a person came into the Martin County Communications section of the Town Hall and informed the phone operator that he had sighted some sort of unusual object over Hamilton. The UFO was described as being multi-colored with extremely bright lights and was reported to have moved up and down. It was completely silent for the duration of the sighting.

Thus ended this interesting spate of sightings in the Tar Heel State that November.

Sunday, July 14, 2024