UFO Encounters over Wytheville, Virginia - 1987
Published: 5:36 PM 12/16/2009
Wytheville, Virginia - 10-07-87
In 1987, in the community of Wytheville, Virginia, a series of UFO encounters would occur. The first sighting to be reported was made by three policeman.
On October 7, 1987, WYVE radio station news reporter Danny Gordon received a telephone call from the local Sheriff. This was a routine call that Gordon received to gather news each day.
However, this report was not your run-of-the-mill call. Gordon was shocked at what he was told - three Wythe County Sheriff deputies, all former military, had seen a UFO.
A report such as this was normally relegated to the end of Gordon's news cast, as a tongue-in-cheek report. This was the case with the UFO report, but it would not remain humorous long.
Almost immediately after the broadcast, telephone switchboards were overloaded with UFO reports. Obviously, the three deputies were not the only witnesses to UFOs.
On October 19, Gordon set up a call-in show for the UFO reports. Though the reports came in, Gordon felt that there must be a reasonable explanation. He made numerous calls to the military, but was assured that nothing from the military would explain the reports.
On October 21, Gordon, along with his friend Roger Hall, a commercial pilot, took a drive to the southern part of Wythe County, where most of the UFO reports had originated. They were armed with both still and video cameras.
For about two hours they searched the skies for something unusual, but saw nothing. Their luck would change on their drive home. Gordon saw a strange object in the sky, and alerted Hall.
They quickly pulled off the road, and piled out. Both men could clearly see a large, domed, wingless object moving toward them. The right side of the UFO was illuminated with various colored lights.
Hall reported that the object was the size of two football in length. He could see three windows on the craft, light from the inside. Also, he was shocked to see a red ball moving toward what he felt was a mother ship.
Soon, the larger ship slowly moved into a cloud bank, with the red ball joining it. Both men thought the other was taking photos or video of the object. They were both so taken by what they were seeing, neither man had grabbed a camera.
The very next night, the two sky watchers again searched for the UFO. They were reward this time with photographs. Although the photos were not yet developed, a press conference was called for the following day.
The night before the conference, Gordon received an anonymous call, warning him that the Federal Government was very much interested in what Gordon and Hall had seen. Gordon continued to receive calls, warning him to back off of the UFO subject.
After the conference was held, Gordon arrived at his home only to find that someone had broken in. Nothing was taken, but Gordon believed that someone was trying to find his UFO photos.
Gordon would get a second chance to capture a UFO with his camera. Six weeks after the conference, he, along with his wife and daughter, were leaving a local mall after doing some shopping. Suddenly, they heard a roar of voices coming from a Wythe school bus which was sitting in the parking lot.
The reason for the student's excitement was soon discovered. Hovering in plain sight was a large group of four unknown lights. This time Gordon had his camera ready and snapped several photographs.
After the photos were developed, it could be clearly seen that the four lights changed shapes.
The sightings in and around Wytheville continued. By the end of December, approximately 1,500 reports had been filed. These described various shapes and sizes, with most of the objects seeming to be noiseless.
On March 19, 1988, Gordon, while packing for a Broadcaster's Conference in Virginia Beach, where he would discuss the UFO sightings over Wytheville, he received a telephone call from a retired Military Intelligence Officer.
The officer told Gordon to tape the call because if something was to happen to Gordon, he would have proof that Gordon had been warned to cease publicizing the UFO sightings. The officer threatened Gordon and his family.
Naturally, Gordon was frightened, but also maddened by the threats. Approximately a month later, Gordon had a visit from two men. They claimed to be from a newspaper. One of the men interviewed Gordon about the sightings for about 45 minutes, while the second visitor roamed around the house, taking photographs.
Gordon has been promised a copy of the interview, but after a suitable time passed with no information, Gordon called the paper where the two men claimed to work. Gordon was informed that the men were not employees of the paper.
A few weeks later, Gordon got a chance to go back through all of the photos he had taken of the UFOs. He discovered that although some of the negatives remained, one set in particular was missing - the photos taken over the shopping mall.
The threatening phone calls, the visits by bogus newsmen, and the breaking in of his home finally took their tool on Gordon. Two weeks after he discovered the missing set of photos, he keeled over.
His wife rushed him to a local Emergency Room, where it was first thought that he was suffering a heart attack. It would soon be discovered that he was suffering from exhaustion.
Gordon his health at rich, finally decided to back off of his ardent search for the mystery of the UFO sightings over Wytheville, Virginia, and gave this advice to others: "Don't look up."
What can be said about the mysterious lights / objects in the Virginia skies in the late 1980s? Were they from the stars? or were they some highly classified military experiment?
We may never know for certain. The mystery continues.
written by B J Booth
source & references:
Unsolved Mysteries: The UFO Odyssey, parts 1, 2
Wytheville, Virginia WYVE radio station
UFO Casebook Home Page