TThe final step in learning about UFOs is knowing what True UFOs (TRUFOs) do. In a typical encounter involving UFOccupants, a person sees a TRUFO as it lands. Then one or more UFOccupants come out, perform some activity, and reboard the TRUFO. Finally, it takes off. But what exactly do UFOccupants reportedly do when they emerge from their crafts?

UFOccupation #1: Collecting Samples

When you go on a vacation, you often bring home souvenirs. That seems to be the case for UFOccupants, too. Of course, you might be likely to buy a T-shirt, whereas UFOccupants are interested in other kinds of mementos. For example, cattle and other livestock seem to be at the top of UFOccupants' souvenir lists; many reports of UFOs stealing cattle have been logged.

One such report was made by Alexander Hamilton of Yates Center, Kansas, who claimed that on April 23, 1897, he saw a huge airship land near his farm. UFO MissionsHis sighting occurred during the “great airship” wave. According to Hamilton, he and two other men raced to the airship and found “six of the strangest beings I ever saw. They were jabbering together, but we could not understand a word they said.” Then the airship lifted off, taking with it one of Hamilton's cows. The next day a local farmer found the remains of the stolen animal.

Hamilton wrote: “After identifying the hide by my brand, I went home. But every time I would drop to sleep I would see the cursed thing, with its big lights and hideous people. I don't know whether they are devils or angels or what; but we all saw them, and my whole family saw the ship, and I don't want any more to do with them.”

You should know that Hamilton was a former Kansas senator, and that his story was attested to by twelve prominent men from Yates Center. For years many UFOlogists pointed to Hamilton's story as one that proved the existence of UFOs. But what no one knew, until UFOlogist Jerome Clark did some research recently, was that Hamilton and the twelve men were members of the local liars club! They had managed to perpetrate a hoax that lasted over eighty years.

Many less suspicious reports of UFOs stealing cattle and other items have been made. One of these came from Rosedale, Australia, according to UFOlogists Bill Chalker and Keith Basterfield. About 1:00 A.M. on September 30, 1980, a farmer was awakened by a strange whistling noise. His livestock were obviously troubled; there was great turmoil in the horse barns and cattle pens.

The farmer hurried outside and saw a large flying disk moving across his farmland close to the ground. He watched as the disk hovered over a ten-thousand-gallon water tank, then landed just beyond it. He quickly got dressed, jumped on his motorcycle, and headed toward the UFO. He was worried about his animals, and about the strange craft now resting on his property.

As he rode, he could still hear the shrill whistle, and when he was within fifty feet or so of the UFO, the sound became so high-pitched he had to cover his ears. Then he was knocked down by a rush of hot air. The object had risen and flown away. In moments the livestock calmed down. In the moonlight the farmer could see the ring where the disk had rested. The next morning he could easily see a brown circle twenty-eight feet across, with six spokes inside it. What's more, the entire water tank was now empty. The UFO had drained the tank, according to the farmer.

Did the UFO take the water as a souvenir? Or was it conducting a large-scale scientific experiment?

UFOccupation #2: Making a Rest Stop

Have you even taken a long drive across the country? You can't go too far before you need to stop for gas or a bathroom or sometimes a repair. Think of UFOs the same way. If they do come from galaxies millions of light-years away, they may need to make a rest stop.

One famous encounter occurred in Eagle River, Wisconsin, on April 18, 1961. Farmer Joe Simonton walked outside his farmhouse at 11:00 A.M. and saw a metallic looking flying saucer hovering close to the ground. Joe later described it as being twelve feet high and thirty feet around.

As Joe watched, the UFO landed and a door opened. Joe saw three olive-skinned men with black hair sitting inside. They were about five feet tall and were dressed in black turtlenecks and knit helmets.

What did these three UFOccupants want? One man held up a jug, which appeared to be made from the same material as the UFO. The men indicated that they wanted Joe to fill it with water.

When Joe returned to the UFO, he handed the jug to the first man and gestured that they could now drink. At the same time he noticed that another man was cooking some food on a grill. The men must have misunderstood Joe's gesture, for they gave him three of the items they were cooking. What was this strange, otherworldly food? Pancakes.

In a few minutes the UFO departed, and Joe called the local authorities. No proof of the encounter was found, but Joe stuck by his story. He also had two of the pancakes; he had eaten one, though it tasted like cardboard. Another was sent to a laboratory for testing. Was it made out of strange chemicals and compounds? Unfortunately, its ingredient list read like the one on a package of pancake mix.

As a result, some UFOlogists have concluded that Joe had a dream that morning and was unable to tell the difference between his dream and reality. Others are not so sure, including the local sheriff, who had known Joe for fourteen years and who believed what Joe was telling him.

Why would a man lie about seeing a UFO and UFOccupants who were handing out pancakes? It would be safer to keep such a story private. Some UFOlogists believe that this helps prove the experience was real.

Joe Simonton's farm may have been one of the first reported rest stops for intergalactic visitors, but it hasn't been the last. A very different kind of rest stop was made by a UFO in New Berlin, New York, on November 25, 1964. In an account reported by Ted Bloecher, Mary Masson described her experience that night.

Mary's husband had gone deer hunting, and when she couldn't sleep, she put on a coat and stepped outside. “I was looking at the stars and trying to figure out where the constellations were, and I noticed a falling star," she told Bloecher. “Then I saw another one.”

Within a few minutes a brightly lit UFO landed on a hill near Mary's house. Although she couldn't see the top of the vehicle, the bottom appeared disk-shaped and sat on legs. Then she noticed a team of five UFOccupants carrying boxes or chests. They appeared to be wearing something like dark skin-diving suits. They were muscular and quite tall, and she assumed that they were men.

“They were working on this vehicle like I've seen my father work on farm machinery,” Mary told UFOlogist Bloecher. “They seemed to have wrenches and screwdrivers, and tools ... a man would use to work on a piece of machinery."

Joined by her mother-in-law, Mary watched for a while. Then the UFO was joined by another. About five UFOccupants from the second craft joined the first team. Together the two groups of men removed what appeared to be a motor from the underside of the first UFO. With a great deal of difficulty, they worked on the object for the next three hours. Throughout the time, Mary was convinced that she was being watched by the UFOccupants. Even her mother-in-law said later, “I can't explain it, but ... I am sure they realized that we did not call the authorities, that we weren't going to.”

By five in the morning, the men had replaced the motor and quickly re-entered the UFOs. Both shot off, “almost like an instantaneous disappearance,” according to Mary. The next day she searched the landing spot. She found two separate sets of three indentations where the UFOs' legs had rested. She also found a piece of material the men had used in their repairs. It looked and felt like aluminum, but Mary was sure that it wasn't. For six years or so after the sighting, Mary and her mother-in-law kept quiet about their encounter. By the time they were interviewed, the strange piece of “aluminum” had disappeared. But Mary would never forget her encounter with a broken-down UFO.

UFOccupation #3: Inspecting Manufactured Objects

UFOs and their occupants have shown an interest in many different kinds of manufactured objects. They seem to want to know how things work. At the most basic level, UFOs have a fascination with automobiles. Perhaps the most likely encounter a person can have takes place while riding in a motor vehicle. This can be quite frightening, especially if the witness believes that the UFO is following the vehicle.

For example, truck driver Harry Joe Turner was driving a truckload of ketchup through Virginia on August 28, 1979. According to Turner, the engine, the head lights, and all of the electrical components of his rig conked out at about 11:15 P.M. He saw bright lights shining in his rearview mirror, and a dark object passed overhead.

As his truck coasted along without power, traveling nearly seventy miles an hour, the door to the cab opened and someone grabbed him by the shoulder. Turner had a revolver with him. He shot at the intruder but did not harm him. Then he passed out at the wheel.

When he came to, he was certain he was going to crash. Then he realized where he was: parked at his destination in Fredericksburg, Virginia, seventeen miles from where the intruder had appeared. Even more puzzling was the fact that all of his gasoline had been used up. The two radio antennas on the cab of his truck were burned, and one had been cut off.

Laboratory analysis revealed nothing special, but Turner remains convinced that his experience really happened. He was later able to remember what occurred after he passed out in his truck. His truck was lifted into a large UFO, where he was greeted by human-sized creatures in white clothes and caps. Most surprisingly, he claims that he was taken on a tour of the universe.

After his experience, he became a very religious man.

UFOccupation #4: Watching People

UFOccupants have also shown an interest in people. One of the more frightening cases of this sort happened on September 4, 1964. Three men who were hunting for deer with bows and arrows near Cisco Grove, California, separated in the woods. One of the men, Donald S., who has never allowed his last name to be published, became lost and lit three campfires to signal his friends.

Donald saw a light and assumed it was his friends searching for him, but he grew frightened when he realized that the light was flying toward him. He climbed a large tree and watched the light as it flew around the tree. There was a flash, and a domed object dropped to the ground, hidden by some manzanita brush.

Donald couldn't believe what he was seeing, especially when two creatures approached the tree. Because the moon was out, Donald could see that they were wearing silver uniforms with helmets. They looked directly at him with enormous black eyes. Donald sat still and watched as a robot joined the creatures. This robot had large glowing orange eyes, and white smoke or vapor came from the rectangular hole that must have been its mouth. Suddenly Donald couldn't breathe, and he passed out.

A short time later he awoke, still in the tree but nauseous. The two helmeted creatures were trying to climb the tree. Not knowing what else to do, Donald took his bow and shot three arrows at the robot. Why not at the two other creatures? Perhaps he wasn't thinking clearly. Each time the arrows knocked the robot backward and created a bright flash on impact.

Then Donald began throwing things at the creatures. Since he was out of arrows, he threw his bow at them, then his canteen and some coins. When he had nothing left, he took off some of his clothing, ripped it into pieces, and set them afire before dropping them on the creatures. First his cap, then his outer camouflage jacket, and finally his inner heavy jacket went down in flames. After each fiery piece of clothing fell, the creatures would back away and then approach again. At the same time the robot kept blowing the white smoke at Donald as if to gas him.

All night Donald managed to thwart them. At dawn, however, a second robot joined the siege. The two robots moved to the foot of the tree. Sparks suddenly bounced between their midsections. They sent a large cloud of smoke into the tree, which caused Donald to pass out once more. This time when he awoke he was alone, his clothing in shreds and burned. He felt exhausted and sick. As he later discovered, he had survived a 38-degree night without heavy clothing. Eventually Donald found his friends. One of them had also seen a large, glowing light that night.

Because this is one of the few examples of aggressive UFOccupants, some UFOlogists want to believe that Donald was the victim of a cruel trick. It seems unlikely, however, that anyone could have played such a joke in a remote area. How did his companions conjure up a UFO and two robots? No matter how difficult it is to believe, it's more likely that a real UFO was there. The fact that Donald suffered suggests that he didn't manufacture the encounter himself. He also avoided all publicity afterward, unlike many people who have tricked authorities about possible UFOs.

Fortunately, this type of episode has been extremely rare.

UFOccupation #5: Observing the Military

UFOs have shown an interest in modern warfare and its technology. This has led some UFOlogists to conclude that they may be secret spy planes from other countries. Others believe that UFOccupants from other worlds are concerned about the damage nuclear war on Earth might do to the universe.

Many sightings have taken place in and around U.S. Air Force bases, including Loring AFB in Maine and Wurtsmith AFB in Michigan. A typical sighting occurred on November 7, 1975, at Malmstrom AFB in Montana. Malmstrom happens to be a launch site for Minuteman missiles, and on that day the alarm sounded at one missile silo. A sabotage team quickly went to the site and saw a large orange disk hovering over the area. Two jet fighters stationed at Great Falls, Montana, were sent after it, but the disk disappeared from radar before they could intercept it.

Could the disk have been a figment of the men's imaginations? According to UFOlogists Lawrence Fawcett and Barry Greenwood, all members of the sabotage team were sent to the base hospital for psychological testing. Hospital personnel determined that the team members had experienced a traumatic event.

The missile itself was inspected from top to bottom by other specialists that day. They found one puzzling piece of information. The target for each missile, indicated by a number, is recorded on a computer tape. Surprisingly, the target number for the missile inspected by the UFO had somehow been changed. Was the UFO responsible? Although no one can say with certainty that it was, the missile was replaced.

The next day there were more sightings, but each time the jets flew toward the missile site, the UFO dis appeared. During the next eight months, 130 UFO reports were recorded in the area of Malmstrom AFB.

What did the air force have to say about this breach of security? Helicopters were responsible, the press was told. But how could helicopters outmaneuver jet fighters? And how could a helicopter be mistaken for a large glowing disk? One pilot said, “The weather was so bad when the report came in that it would have been impossible to fly a helicopter.”

UFOs have also appeared with regularity during wartime. If you have read much about UFOs, you will know the story of the foo-fighters in World War II. Foo-fighters were strange yellow-orange lights that appeared to fly alongside bombers; they were seen in both Europe and Asia during the war. In fact, as UFOlogist Richard Hall points out, every major war since World War II has included UFO sightings.

For example, in June 1966 at Nha Trang, a coastal base in South Vietnam, a burst of bright light at 9:45 P.M. was followed by the appearance of a UFO. The UFO lowered itself to within a few feet of the ground, in plain view of many soldiers. At the same time the electrical generators failed and the base lost all of its power and lights. Airplane, bulldozer, and even diesel truck engines all stopped working for about four minutes — until the UFO shot straight up into the air and disappeared.

UFOccupation #6: Continuing the Mystery

Whatever UFOs and their occupants do or don't do, one thing can be said with certainty: UFOs never do anything that would help to solve the mystery of what UFOs are and where they come from. So perhaps their primary occupation is not to collect samples or conduct inspections but to puzzle the citizens of Earth.



Copyright © James M. Deem. Taken from How to Catch a Flying Saucer (Houghton Mifflin, 1991). All rights reserved.