the object showed it to be near Emporia, in Marion County.
The two men in the patrol cruiser looked at each other for a second or two. Like all newspaper editors, this man had had his bellyful of flying saucer reports--but
this was a little different.
"Let's go out and look," he said, fully doubting that they would see anything.
They drove to a hill in the north part of the city where they could get a good view of the sky and parked. In a few minutes an Arkansas City police car joined them.
It was a clear night except for a few wispy clouds scattered across the north sky.
They waited, they looked and they saw.
Shortly before midnight, off to the north, appeared "a brilliantly lighted, teardrop shaped, blob of light." "Prongs, or streams of bright light,
sprayed downward from the blob toward the earth." It was big, about the size of a 200 watt light bulb.
As the group of men silently watched, the weird light continued to drift and for many minutes it moved vertically and horizontally over a wide area of the sky. Then it
As one of the men later told me, "I was glad to see it go; I was pooped."
The next morning literally hundreds of people spent hours conjecturing and describing. After all these years of talk they'd actually seen one. Several photos, showing
the big blob of light, were shown around, and two fishermen readily admitted they'd packed up their poles and tackle boxes and headed home when they saw it.
Editor Coyne summed up the feeling of hundreds of Kansans when he said: "I have tended to discount the stories about flying objects, but, brother, I am now a
What was it? First of all it was confusion. Early the next morning Air Force investigators flooded the area asking the questions: "What size was it in
comparison to a key or a dime?" "Would it compare in size to a light bulb?" "Was there any noise?"
As soon as they left, the military tersely announced that no radar had picked up any target and no B-47's had been sent out. Then they pulled the plugs on the incoming
phone lines. The confusion mounted when newsmen tapped their private sources and learned that a B-47 had been sent into the area.
A few days later the Air Force told the Kansans what they'd seen: The reflection from burning waste gas torches in a local oil field.
This was greeted with the Kansan version of the Bronx Cheer.