Alternate Perceptions Magazine, November 2022
THE CONEHEADS INVADE OLMSTED FALLS, OHIO - 1970
by: Rick Hilberg
Illustration of Olmsted Falls case done by artist Hal Crawford for UFO author Gray Barker
I have to admit that this case has become one of my favorites for the simple fact that even though it took place in 1970, we moved just three long suburban blocks from its location in 1978 thus making it right in the neighborhood. It is indeed a fascinating "occupant" case that had several witnesses and also a frustrating one, as I tried without success to contact its primary witness for almost twenty years despite several pleas on my part in the news media.
To begin, I first heard about it from the late Gray Barker at the 1971 National UFO Conference that was held in Cleveland. He first got wind of the story from a UFO group in Detroit that somehow or other had obtained the details from the primary witness. Neither he nor I had any idea why this happened, as at the time Cleveland had two very active UFO groups that consistently received publicity in the news media. Anyway, Gray gave me a copy of the witness statement and at the time I filed it away for future reference. He did go on to use the story in one of his many books, however. After to moving just blocks away from the encounter site a few years later I decided to use it in one of my own publications back in 1997. In preparation for the writing project, I tried without success to find a phone number or an address for the witness.
After the book was published, I did make a plea both in several newspapers and on a television station that interviewed me in conjunction with its publication. Still nothing until several years ago when I found a death notice in the local paper for the man. It seems that he had been living with his sister locally for many years after the incident, so I can only guess that he never responded to my request to get in touch because he either saw none of the publicity asking for same or just didn't want to talk about it for whatever reasons. A case of so close and yet so far...
Here's Raymond Latko's report in full:
It was 6:35 a.m. on August 24, 1970. Location: Lindberg and West Road in Olmsted Falls, Ohio.
Three of us had just arrived at the bus stop when we saw two strange figures approaching on the road which crossed our bus route [West Road].
The two figures were dressed in glowing orange suits from head to foot, only their faces were uncovered. Their skin was yellowish. The headdresses were conical, and they were carrying a disk-like object above their heads. They were about five feet tall.
They approached within about 50 feet of a small house, then walked side by side away from us to a railroad [crossing] about 600 feet from our corner. As they stood at the railroad, a car stopped in front of them for about ten seconds, then sped away. The figures then walked a short distance toward us and as we were boarding the bus, one of them extended his arm upward. We could see that it was wearing a cape. I would have approached them but was unsure of the consequences.
Photo taken of landing site by Rick Hilberg (September 2022)
Later that night I checked the area and found a spot near the road about 100 feet beyond the place they were seen that morning where the grass was quite disturbed. It was twisted and matted, and there were two fresh paths going to this spot. A few days later I talked with the children who lived in the house which the figures approached. A girl, about nine years of age, said that at about nine o'clock that Monday morning she saw an object like a huge bubble come down from the sky to that very place I found. She said two figures were waiting there. When the vehicle landed, they entered. It then rose quickly and disappeared.
Source: Northern Ohio UFO Casebook, Rick Hilberg 1997, 2018.