The Fayetteville, North Carolina Encounter, January 8, 2007
(Editor's Note - Update-On 12-27-08, Chris Bledsoe Sr. contacted me, and pointed out some factual errors in our original article. Also, he gave me additional information which was not included in the television program which addressed the incident.
He also sent me a drawing of the 7' alien entity which he recalled during his regression.
He told me that before the incident, he couldn't even draw a stick figure. You can see from the drawing that this is not the case anymore. A big thanks to Mr. Bledsoe for the invaluable information for this intriguing UFO encounter.)
There have been many UFO cases addressed on various television documentaries throughout the years. Many of these are forgettable, many are biased, and then there are a few that present the facts as they are.
One of the latter was presented by the MUFON organization in October, 2008. The special was carried by the Discovery Channel. Titled "UFOs over Earth," the hour long show addressed an extremely compelling case of UFO sightings, an alien encounter, and possible alien abduction.
On January 8, 2007, this baffling case began in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on the banks of the Cape Fear River.
The main witness in this case is one Chris Bledsoe Sr. Bledsoe, a successful builder and commercial pilot, was well liked and respected in his community. On the day of the strange events, he was fishing with four other men, Donny Ackerman, Gene Robinson, David McDonald. and Chris Bledsoe Jr. The relationship between Bledsoe and the other three men was not addressed fully on the TV program, but Mr. Bledsoe informed me that Ackerman, Robinson, and McDonald worked for him as framing subcontractors, and had just finished a large beach home and gotten paid the day of the encounter.
They invited Chris Sr. and Jr. to go fishing with them. Bledsoe Sr. said, "Why not?" as his wife and three other children were out of town that day. They all rode to the fishing spot in Bledsoe's four door pickup truck because it was a four-wheel drive, and could maneuver in the muddy banks of the river.
Bledsoe took a walk away from the fishing spot, and spotted three UFOs. He returned to the fishing spot, and pointed out the objects to the other three men. They were frightened by the UFOs, and quickly left the river, seeing the objects again. After Bledsoe arrived home, and went out into his backyard to find out why his dogs were barking. He followed them into the woods, and saw an alien being.
After the basic details of Bledsoe's encounter were taken by MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) investigators, the UFO group was anxious to gather testimony from Bledsoe's fishing buddies, but they had trouble locating the three for a time.
This, by no means, lessens the validity of their eyewitness accounts. Rating the authenticity of a UFO sighting as to the social status of a witness was employed by Project Blue Book in the 1960s, and was eventually found to be faulty. There is no evidence at this time to suggest that they made up their stories, or conspired to create a hoax. If they did, they did a remarkable job. All of the accounts given by the three regarding the sighting of the three unknown flying objects were almost identical.
The basic overview of the case is as follows:
As the four men were fishing, Bledsoe decided to walk about 75 yards to the tree line. While he stood looking into the sky, he was surprised to see in the distance, two orange lights. As he wondered at the two lights, soon a third zoomed into place on the left of the other two, in the "blink of an eye."
Bledsoe would later remark that the objects had rapidly flown to their original position, and then stopped dead, as if they had met a cushion of air. Excited and apprehensive about what he had seen, he hurried back to the river bank to tell his three fishing partners. He thought, at the time, that he had been gone about 20 minutes. This assumption would later be found to be faulty.
When Bledsoe pointed out the three orange lights to the other three, they turned their attention to the sky. As they watched the lights, they felt that they were "being invaded." They saw all three objects slowly descended to the ground, appearing to land approximately 100-150 yards on the opposite side of the river. At least two of the men had seen flares before, and stated that there was no way that the objects were flares. They watched the lights hover in virtually one place for up to ten minutes.
They were mesmerized and frightened by what they saw. The scared men dropped their fishing gear, ran to the truck, and sped away. Several of the fishermen saw the lights again as they left the river.
They also witnessed a "large, glowing object" over a bank of trees. This object was duplicated with computer graphics by McHush, a visual arts expert. It appeared to be oblong, with spikes coming from it.
A significant difference in the initial testimony given by the four men was the amount of time that it took Bledsoe to walk down the road apiece, and return to the fishing spot on the banks of Cape Fear. Bledsoe left when it was still light, but when he returned, it was totally dark. After Bledsoe had been gone long enough that the other three became worried about him, two of them jumped in the truck, and drove down the road where Bledsoe had walked, but found no sign of him. When he finally reappeared, they estimated that he had been gone 3 or 4 hours.
Bledsoe told me that when he had been gone for a time, Junior went to look for him. Bledsoe Sr. describes the events in his own words:
He walked from the fishing spot looking for me. When the other guys drove up the road, he was gone for two hours hiding in the woods. When I got back 4 hours later, the three other guys were at the fishing spot on the river and I asked, "Where is Junior?" and they told me that he had left 2 hours earlier on foot looking for me.
I told the other guys what I had seen, and they began to tell me that they had been looking for me. I didn't talk much at that time because Junior was not there, and I wanted to find him.
I walked about 75 yards south to the tree line. Keep in mind, this was away from the only road that came into the river. I was calling for him, and there was no answer. When I stepped into the woods about ten feet calling him, he stood up from under some low bushes he had been hiding in.
He grabbed me crying... A 17 year old, 6'3" tall, big boy. He asked me:
"Dad, where have you been?"
"I have been hiding here for a long time. There were 2 creatures walking around looking at me. I could not move when they looked at me. I was so scared... they were picking up bottles and other trash on the ground all the time staying within 20 feet of me watching me."
All this he told me before I told him of the orange orbs and when I got him back the 75 yards to the fishing spot. It was then the heavens looked like the stars were moving around, and three of them came down over our heads and landed just on the other side of the river.
What was told on tape to MUFON was that two of the other guys reported seeing the same creature, but they only saw the red eyes walking within the wood line in the direction my son went.
When the five of us left in my truck, two of the guys in the back seat saw something. They reported to MUFON that as we were speeding away from the river, they saw a glowing creature running on all fours, chasing the truck.
Still unsettled by what he had seen, Bledsoe arrived home. After a time, he heard his dogs barking in the backyard, obviously upset by something.
"My dogs went nuts!" Bledsoe remarked.
The Entity in the Woods
One of his dogs, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, sped into the forest, with the others following. Bledsoe was right on their trail. After tramping through the woods in search of his dogs for a time, he came upon a sight that was beyond belief. Right before him stood a creature!
Bledsoe was frozen in his tracks. The being appeared to be the size of a child, and was only 3-4 ft from him.
Bledsoe stated that, had he leaned over, he could have touched it with his hand. The being was only about 3 feet tall, as indicated from his description, and its appearance was "like it had been dipped in glass." The being had red eyes.
As he stared at the being, Bledsoe felt a sense of "Here I am, if you want me." He told MUFON investigators that the being was like "a child... a little person." In a moment, the other dogs arrived upon the scene, and the being was nowhere to be seen. Bledsoe said that his Chesapeake's hair stood up from the back of his neck to the rear end.
The MUFON investigators, International Director James Carrion, along with Rich Lang, Steve McGee, Norman Gagnon, and Tim McHush, were very impressed with Bledsoe's account of what he had seen that night. They felt that he was being honest with them, even though his story seemed bizarre. Wanting to corroborate his story, they turned next to his son, Chris Bledsoe Jr.
Jr. stated that while he was in the backyard of the Bledsoe house, he saw "two red orbs" floating through the woods. He claimed that soon he saw a number of the small beings emerge from the woods near the house.
There was a concern by investigators as to how much of what Jr. said was true, and if his devotion to his father had caused him to create his story to validate Sr.'s story. MUFON would now find Ackerman, Robinson, and McDonald, and take their testimony.
The Three Fishermen
The Three Fishermen
The three fishermen related their stories to investigators, indicating that Bledsoe Sr. had indeed left them, walking down the road for a short distance, had been gone 3 or 4 hours, and returned, excitedly pointing out the three orange objects in the sky. They indicated that two of them had driven down the same road Sr. had walked down, saw him nowhere, and returned to their fishing spot.
They each described their sighting of the lights in a very similar fashion, and ruled out the possibility that the objects could have been any kind of conventional object, including flares. They also described their sighting of the strange, oblong shaped object. They all indicated that at the time of the sighting, there was a total silence in the area.
The MUFON team was very impressed with Bledsoe Sr. and the fishing companions' testimony, and felt that the next step in their pursuit of the truth should be to have Bledsoe Sr. undergo regressive hypnosis, which often times can unlock hidden memories. The session took place on July 14, 2008. The regression was led by Dr. Michael O'Connell, a Harvard graduate, and veteran of some 250 regressions. MUFON taped the session.
Bledsoe's Psychological Condition
It is important to note that during his visits with MUFON, Bledsoe Sr. had, on a number of occasions, admitted that he had trouble believing what he had seen himself. Facts that he could not recall had caused him confusion, and extremely bad headaches. He attempted to remember more of his encounter, but was unable to accomplish this by himself. This may have had an effect on a subsequent polygraph examination. He wanted to unlock these lost memories, and was a willing participant of any and all techniques that might be beneficial to this end.
At one point during the program, Bledsoe's wife of many years, and mother of their four children, Yvonne, discussed what the ordeal had done to their family life. Family members had rejected Bledsoe's story initially, thinking it too fantastic to be true. For this very reason, Bledsoe did not reveal details of his encounter to others for quite some time, fearing ridicule. But, in time, he felt that unless he recovered the missing elements of the event, he would lose his mind.
A great strain had been put on the Bledsoe marriage, but his wife was sure that they would come through it as a family, and the years they had been together would not be lost.
The Regressive Hypnosis
During the regression, Bledsoe uncovered a number of pertinent and important facts. He described being taken against his will by four, tall, skinny aliens, at least 7 feet tall. He remembered being in a dark, round room, in which he could see various lights and controls.
When asked why he was chosen by the aliens, he stated that they were his "guardian angels," and came to him when he was sad. The small alien beings seen by Bledsoe and his son were children of the taller beings. Bledsoe added that the children were playing in the woods.
He also revealed that the aliens had been in his house. During his ordeal, he kept telling his captors he wanted only to go home. MUFON investigators were very pleased with the results of the regression, and felt that they were involved in a case for the ages. Before accepting the case as 100% authentic, however, they wanted to make sure that Bledsoe did not have any psychological problems. To this end, they employed the services of Debbie Gioia, a Psychiatric Social Worker.
After interviewing Bledsoe and administering a number of psychological tests, Gioia was convinced that Bledsoe was sound of mind, and had no psychological problems that would have caused him to make up his story, or perpetuate a hoax. The MUFON team was relieved, although they were already convinced that Bledsoe was telling them the truth. Gioia's findings only confirmed their beliefs.
The Polygraph Examination
Could this case become a classic alien encounter and abduction? All of the evidence to this point indicated yes. However, there was one more hurdle for Bledsoe Sr. to jump over: the polygraph examination. This should be a no brainer, but to complete the puzzle, Bledsoe was given a polygraph by retired FBI analyst, Bob DrDak.
The questions that were asked were simple ones, all relating to parts of the case already covered. The MUFON team was very confident that Bledsoe would come through the test with flying colors. This was not to be.
According to DrDak, Bledsoe showed deception on some of his answers. In doing research on polygraphs and their operators, I came across some very interesting details that might shed some light on the use, and credibility of the tests.
Because it is considered a controversial procedure, polygraph test results cannot be used in court cases, unless both parties agree to its admission. There are many different views concerning polygraph results, both pro and con. There have even been cases where a failed lie-detector test led to the conviction and imprisonment of a murder suspect, only to have the suspect subsequently found to be innocent, and released. It is mainly the use of the polygraph to convict innocent individuals that cause many people to put little, if any, trust in the polygraph examination.
The MUFON team was certainly concerned with the results of Bledsoe's results. They decided to go to him, and tell him point blank that the tests implied that he was being deceptive on some of his answers. Bledsoe took the assertions calmly, and stated that irregardless of what the machine said, he had told the investigators the truth. Bledsoe's earlier concerns about believing his own eyes could have caused him undo nervousness during the test, and account for his failures.
I discussed this very problem with a well read UFO Casebook reader, and I would like to include his thoughts on the failed polygraph:
I found the hypnosis vs. polygraph results puzzling too. But I am struck by how often I have read about "family" sightings where there is a reluctance to acknowledge what happened that seems to go beyond embarrassment or fear of ridicule, into an induced "wall" of anxiety and pain preventing the subject from being discussed.
I recall reading about children who grow up and suddenly remember an event that involved the whole family, and while their parents tacitly confirm it, they refuse adamantly to discuss it, almost as if they feel severe emotional distress when they attempt to.
Surely this suggests that sometimes human witnesses (or better - victims?) are psychologically manipulated by UFOs to inhibit them from recounting the incident, at least in a credible, coherent fashion. And couldn't that inhibition conceivably manifest itself as untruthfulness to a polygraph operator who is looking to make a simple truth/lie call?
I recall the Fayetteville witness saying on several occasions that he sometimes doubted the truth of what he was saying himself. He seemed deeply conflicted. It would be easy to assume this was because he had fabricated the whole thing, but then how to explain the other three witnesses?
Ray Van Dune
In 1975, one of the most celebrated UFO abductions cases took place. It became the subject of the move, "Fire in the Sky," with actor D. B. Sweeny portraying the role of Travis Walton. Walton's story tells us that when he was subjected to his first polygraph, he failed. Yet, since that time, Walton has passed many other polygraphs. It was assumed that Walton's test was given too soon, when he was still unsure of what had happened, and was still coming to terms with his abduction. This could also be the case for Bledsoe.
If the Bledsoe encounter is deemed a hoax, several important questions must be answered. Why did Bledsoe make up his story? Did he want to gain notoriety? Being a humble, low key individual, the answer would be no. Did he think he could make money from his story? Possibly, but it appeared that he was well set financially. And if we assume that his testimony was false, what about the testimony of his son?
It could be possible that Bledsoe Jr. made up his story so that his father would not be seem to be a prankster, but if this is true, what about Bledsoe's three fishing buddies, Ackerman, Robinson, and McDonald? Could they have been part of a conspiracy? Possibly, but why? They made no money from their testimony, unless Bledsoe paid them, and if so, why? The fact that the MUFON team had trouble finding them would seem to make a conspiracy highly doubtful. If they were involved in a hoax, they would have been readily available to give testimony.
If all of the five men involved made up this fantastic story, what about the regressive hypnosis? Although the process is considered less than accurate by some researchers, is it possible that a person could fake his way through it? Could Dr. O'Connell, a veteran of some 250 such regressions be fooled that easily? The MUFON team certainly trusted O'Connell, but they also believed Bledsoe.
If the story is a lie, how did Bledsoe get through the psychological testing? Can one fake their way through the tests also? Very unlikely. The team of investigators that earnestly looked at the case wanted so much to believe in Bledsoe, and from all indications, it seems they did. There is no way to know for certain if the case is authentic, and we are left with questions, mainly about the polygraph results. It would seem to me that a second polygraph should be given to Bledsoe after a period of emotional and psychological healing.
Considering all of the facts of the case, it seems very likely that after Bledsoe comes to terms with what happened to him, he would pass a second, or even third polygraph, like Travis Walton did. If we could reach that point, we would know for certain that something "not of this world" happened on January 7, 2008 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Credits & Acknowledgements
written by B J Booth
permanent link: http://www.ufocasebook.com/fayettevillenc.html
source & references:
Chris Bledsoe Sr.
Discovery Channel-"UFOs over Earth"
Additional Comments by Ray Van Dune
Archived UFO Case Files
UFO Casebook Home Page