Published: 8:15 PM 9/7/2015
witnesses on the ground confirmed their story...
See the UFO Casebook case file, The Coyne Helicopter Event.
MANSFIELD — Terry Hamilton will never forget what he saw on Oct. 18, 1973, and he suspects dozens of people in Richland and Ashland counties might have seen it too.
He was 15 years old and was riding home from Huron with his father when the pair saw what Hamilton describes as a big ball of light come down from the sky, travel about 3/4 mile parallel to the road and then move upward quickly until it was out of sight.
Later that night, four crew members of an Army Reserve helicopter reported a near collision with an unidentified flying object in the area of Charles Mill Lake, and witnesses on the ground confirmed their story.
The crew reported attempting to descend to avoid the 60-foot-long, cigar-shaped object with a bright green light. The craft then reportedly pulled them upward from 1700 feet to 3500 feet.
The occurrence has become known as the Coyne Incident, named for the pilot of the helicopter, Lawrence Coyne. Most of the documentation from that night has focused on what happened to the helicopter.
Now, nearly 42 years later, Hamilton and other members of Mutual UFO Network’s Ohio chapter are looking for stories from anyone in the area who recalls seeing a similar object that night.
“I’m sure there’s going to be a bunch of people who remember,” Hamilton said. “We want to hear from anybody that may have been a witness to the helicopter case or to any other sightings.”
Hamilton, who now works for the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office, said the office got a call that night from a woman in northern Ashland County who reported an object was hovering over the trees in her backyard.
Two deputies and an Ashland Times-Gazette photographer went to the woman’s property, saw the object and ended up ducking and crawling away in fear, Hamilton said.
“Another prominent lady in town saw it out her back window,” Hamilton said. “She said she saw a saucer floating toward her house, and she got on her knees and started praying. She thought it was the end of the world.”
The woman reported the craft was low enough and powerful enough that its passing shook the shingles on her neighbor’s barn.
A third woman reported seeing the object while on a picnic. She said she saw windows on top of the craft and something moving inside.
For the past 25 years, Hamilton has been investigating reports of UFO sightings for MUFON. But he hasn’t come across anything as compelling as what he and others say they witnessed on that fall day in 1973.
“I would just like to know the answer before I die.” he said. “What are they and where do they come from? Are they coming from down on the earth or from somewhere up above?”
MUFON of Ohio President Tom Wertman said he agrees with Hamilton that there might be several more witnesses to UFO sightings on the night of the Coyne Incident who have not come forward with their stories.
“In 1973, people were still much more reserved about this subject,” he said. “Now, people are more open to the idea of something coming from another planet or another dimension.”
Wertman urged anyone with a story about a UFO sighting, particularly on Oct. 18, 1973, to visit www.mufon.com to file a report. Witnesses to the helicopter incident or other sightings that day might be asked to share their stories at MUFON of Ohio’s next annual conference.