• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

  • 1
Encounters with the Unknown—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, July 2024

The high strange McMullen UFO Case in Medulla, Florida

by: Brent Raynes

Grace McMullen drew this sketch of what she saw.

Note similarity to this ancient Bronze Age rock carving at Kivik, Scania, Sweden.

On October 18, 1968, at about 7:30 p.m., Grace and Buck McMullen and their son's fiancée Sharon Burgess just sat down to eat together at the McMullen home in Medulla Township, Florida, south of Lakeland. Miss Burgess was waiting for the phone to ring, expecting a call from her boyfriend serving in the Army over in Vietnam (the McMullen's son) when suddenly everyone was quite surprised when the dog chained outside began to whimper and howl. This was a dog that normally showed no fear of anything and had attacked a number of people. The McMullen's had four signs in the yard warning people to beware of their dog. But suddenly the dog appeared terror stricken, broke loose from his chain and tore through the porch screen and ran into the dining room, and cowered under the table where they were sitting.

Grace McMullen got up and ran outside to see what could be responsible for their dog's unusual behavior. This is when she saw something totally unexpected. Approximately 50 yards from the house she saw a transparent spherical object rocking gently about 10 feet over the ground. It was giving off a purplish-red light, and inside the object were what looked like two normal looking men, standing upright, operating a horizontal bar attached to a metallic looking spindle that ran top to bottom. The "men" were wearing dull white tight-fitting clothing, with high collars, skull caps, and boots. The spherical object appeared to be made of something resembling glass and looked perfectly circular, with an estimated diameter of about 30 feet. There was no sound and no observable source of power.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," Mrs. McMullen would later state. "I turned on the porch light to attract their attention, but they didn't appear to be interested."

Though she was admittedly frightened she was determined to remember every detail she could. Soon her husband Buck and their guest Sharon joined her outside. They all saw the same strange sight and were dumbfounded.

As they were standing outside watching this mysterious object, the dog suddenly tore another hole in the screen and ran down the road howling in terror.

As one of the occupants of the sphere pushed the horizontal bar down the sphere rocked to that side. As they continued to work the horizontal bar back and forth the rocking increased, and as it did the mysterious object gained altitude and speed. It eventually got to where it was an estimated mile from the house. Then there was a burst of fire and sparks and then it sped out of sight. There was no sound and the entire sighting lasted about 10 minutes.

Mr. and Mrs. McMullen walked out to a field where they thought the object may have arisen from. They discovered that there was an almost overpowering odor of ammonia, but nothing else. By the time the local police arrived there wasn't even the odor. They checked for radioactivity but got no readings that were unusual.

It was later learned that just minutes before the incident at the McMullen home, a Wally Simons and Larry LaRose saw, they claimed, a bright object rise slowly from the ground near Medulla School, just a short distance north of the McMullen residence. At first, they thought it was a star, but then it hovered, then moved left to right, and then moved on in a straight trajectory and soon was gone from sight.

Lee Butcher, a feature editor for The Lakeland Ledger, looked into this bewildering case. He wrote: "During the same week that Mrs. McMullen had her incredible experience UFOs also were seen in the skies over Tampa, 30 miles to the west. Literally hundreds of people in Tampa saw the bright lights as they maneuvered high overhead in the night. Newspaper and television stations received scores of telephone calls. Police switchboards were constantly busy as the reports came in."

Just five days before the McMullen incident, at 11:20 p.m., October 13th, a glowing object moving in a zigzagging pattern came crashing into the ground in an orange grove with an earthshaking explosion, causing doors on the Watkins Motor Lines garage just in front of the orange grove to be ripped off, as well as shattering glass and causing ceiling tile to fall inside the building.

When police arrived, they rushed to the crash site, noting an 18 inch deep and four-foot-wide hole in the ground. They were mystified by the lack of any residue at the crater site. A badly shaken George Wimberly, who was a dispatcher for Watkins Motor Lines, was inside the building at the time and told the police the object did not fall straight down like a meteor but seemed under intelligent control and said it fell haltingly he felt, as though it were attempting to stop its downward descent. "I've heard sonic booms before," he said, "but that thing sounded like 14 sonic booms."

Upon hitting the ground there was reportedly a huge ball of fire followed by a mushroom-shaped cloud that rose into the air. Three houses away a family was watching late night TV when the explosion happened. They dropped to the floor while their 14-year-old daughter was knocked out of her bed and pictures on the wall fell to the floor. The husband and wife stepped outside and also saw the smoke rising into the air in a mushroom cloud. Then they saw something that reportedly really gave them cold chills. A brilliant white beam of light swept downward over the area of the explosion, as though searching for something. Then it extinguished and was no more. Samples of soil were forwarded to the FBI in Washington, D.C., but no findings were released to the public.

Source: FATE magazine, May 1969, Vol. 22, No. 5, Florida Reports UFO Swarm by Lee Butcher.

Sunday, July 14, 2024