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

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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, July 2024


The Saucer Files
A Strange Cleveland Encounter


by: Rick Hilberg




In the past few years, it seems as if stories about past UFO crashes pop up just about constantly, told by people from all sorts of backgrounds and in many cases seemingly reliable.

I must run the above disclaimer to the story that follows, because I honestly don't know what to make of it. Like some or all the crashed UFO stories, it may be true - and then again it may not be.

I received a phone call on my then UFO hotline in September 1981 from Eddie S., a seemingly sincere man who didn't want his last name to be used in this account, who was puzzled by a sighting that he had had sometime in the past month.

Since he could not remember the specific date, his report of a typical daylight disk that made a number of maneuvers, including a 90 - degree turn, wouldn't be much use in the statistical catalog of UFO reports we were then working on. But I listened to his full account and told him that we had many almost identical to it in our files. After discussing the UFO subject in general, he asked me whether we ever received reports of crashed flying objects and whether we could place any stock in them.

After I replied in the affirmative and told him that we were always interested in these kinds of reports, he told me that something happened to him when he was a young man that puzzled him a great deal and that he had never told his family about for fear he wouldn't be believed. As best Eddie could remember, the incident took place in August of 1952. He was shopping in a downtown Cleveland stamp shop when he struck up a conversation with another customer. Eddie told me that they discussed the stamp collecting hobby for a while, and generally seemed to enjoy each other's conversation. Eddie described his new friend as a somewhat heavy-set man of about 32, with a sort of dark complexion and a crew cut. During the next several weeks they would meet to discuss stamps and sometimes play a few games of chess over at Eddie's house.

Eddie reported that his new friend would win every one of their chess games, even though he was a pretty fair chess player, and had won many games in a chess club he was a member of at school. He said at the time he felt as if this person could read his mind because he seemed to know his next several moves.

Eddie related that his new friend (he never gave me his first name and admitted he had forgotten his surname) claimed that he was a chemical engineer for the state of Ohio, and worked with testing paint, or some similar line of work. The man also seemed to know a great deal about technical subjects. Eddie related that they would be walking down the street, and his friend would suddenly start rattling off all kinds of detailed information regarding a passing car, or how some complicated piece of machinery worked.

Eddie said that it seemed that this man knew far more about any technical subject than even an engineer would know. He also noticed that the man always spoke textbook perfect English, and although he claimed to be from Ohio he had a slight accent that Eddie couldn't quite place.

After knowing him for about three weeks, Eddie was invited over to the man's house for dinner and an evening of chess. It was sometime after dinner when Eddie said his friend got a photograph out of a drawer and handed it over, asking whether he had ever heard about flying objects.

Eddie replied that he didn't know too much but had read reports of them in the newspaper from time to time. Eddie said he looked at the photograph and was amazed to see what appeared to be some sort of large flying 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 lying around all over the impact site, and that only a badly twisted frame of some sort 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. He also said that there were two bodies lying on the ground near the craft, and they appeared to be human shapes and charred horribly as if by a great amount of 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 host just what the photograph showed but got no reply. The photo was put back in its place and the two went on to a game of chess. After not hearing from his chess friend for a week, Eddie decided to go over to his house to see if anything was wrong as he usually heard from him every few days. When he knocked on the door, he was startled to be confronted by an older woman who eyed him suspiciously.

The strange 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 has lived there most of her adult life. No, she had never seen nor heard about anyone like him in the neighborhood, and asked Eddie to go away as evidently she thought he was mentally unbalanced or out to do her harm.

Eddie said that he never heard from the man again, except several days after the incident with the woman he received a birthday card from his friend. But Eddie never told the man that his birthday was coming up. That's the end of the story, and I must admit that it sounds a lot like the empty house story that Kenneth Arnold wrote about during his investigation of the Maury Island "hoax" in The Coming of the Saucers. All I can say is that Eddie was totally puzzled by the whole affair now so long ago.


Sunday, July 14, 2024