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UFOs: Area Not Immune to Sightings

Published: 6:11 PM 2/23/2015

Had a UFO crashed and taken out a power grid... ?

Written by KENNETH DEAN, kdean@tylerpaper.com

Unidentified objects in the sky have always piqued the interest of mankind, but since the Roswell, New Mexico, incident in 1947, UFO reports have poured in from around the world, including the East Texas area.

In the 1970s and 80s East Texas skies seemed to be abuzz with unknown objects as reports filled the Tyler Morning Telegraph with tales of sightings and even possible abductions during alien encounters.

There were several reported sightings in Tyler during 1973 with a city firefighter and his wife and a former newspaper photographer reporting they had seen strange objects in the sky.

One sighting, reported as happening on Nov. 26, 1976, garnered a lot of attention as hypnotists, physicians and authorities talked to a couple who believed they might have been abducted with several hours unaccounted for by the couple.

David McBurnett and his wife Kathy told the newspaper they were coming back from Dallas when they encountered an object they described as being triangular, grayish in color with bright white light in the center and two red lights on either side.

The McBurnetts could not be located for comment about the story, but could they have actually seen a military jet, such as an F17 stealth fighter?

The F17 was in developmental stages at the time according to government documents, but reportedly took its maiden flight in 1981.

Could the McBurnett sighting and others been spurred by weather balloons in the area?

In 1963 the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility was moved to Palestine from Boulder, Colorado, and the number of UFO sightings in the area seemed to increase.

Since that time, the facility has launched more than 1,700 balloons for 35 universities, 23 other research agencies and 33 foreign groups.

According to the CSBF website, there has been a dramatic increase in sophistication of experiments and demands for service.

“This can best be shown by comparisons of the growth in payload weight, balloon size and the amount of electronic support provided between 1963 and 1988. The average payload increased from 407 pounds in 1964 to more than 3,000 pounds in 1988,” the website states.

U.S. Air Force Major Jamie Humphries, of North American Aerospace Defense Command, said he does get UFO reports, but many can be explained as low-flying aircraft, weather balloons or some other easily explained object, but some cannot.

“These reports could be from any number of things. Our operations center checks to see if there is any explanation, but sometimes there is just no explanation,” he said.

In July 2004 the Federal Aviation Administration’s phone rang off the wall with reports of an object described as a white, red and green orb streaking across the sky over East Texas.

The newspaper reported the object turned out to be a meteor, but as Tyler police talked about the unidentified object on the radio the evening before, a power outage in Anderson County seemed to be related.

Had a UFO crashed and taken out a power grid?

Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor laughed the next day and said the outage turned out to be a snake slithering on top of a major line at substation causing the blackout.

Though reports of UFOs may not always make the news, they are being filed every year around the globe.

Is there life out there and are beings from other galaxies visiting us regularly, or are all of the objects in the sky easily explained?

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