The Gary Wilcox Occupant Encounter – The Fertilizer Case

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
December 27, 2018
Last Updated
September 5, 2020
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
Aliens, Encounters

The case of Gary Wilcox and his apparent encounter with alien occupants on his farm in Newark Valley, New York is one that would divide opinion in the UFO community. Much like the case does today. Some dismiss the claims as an attempt to “cash in” on the rapidly increasing number of UFO encounters. Others, however, particularly given that Wilcox would turn down several large sums of money for the “exclusive rights” to his story, believe his encounter to be authentic and Wilcox to be very genuine.

Artist's impression of the Fertilizer UFO incident

Might the fertilizer case be an important UFO incident?

It is perhaps the mundane aspects of this encounter, as is often the case, that provides it with the authenticity that appears to envelop this particular incident. An encounter that would very much appear to be a cosmic reconnaissance mission. One to gather information about organic materials of planet Earth, as well as the intricacies and knowledge of farming and rules of agriculture. The encounter of Gary Wilcox is certainly one of the most intriguing of its era. And also, one that has more than stood the test of time. Perhaps, even now over fifty years later, it still has details of significance to divulge. Details that will contribute to form the eventual answer to the UFO and alien question.

A Strange Shape At The Edge Of The Field!

On the morning of 24th April 1964, at a little after 10 am, 27-year-old, Gary Wilcox was on his farm in Newark Valley, New York. There were multiple fields on the 300-acre site. On this particular morning, he was driving one of his tractors, spreading manure in a field that would contain crops. As he was doing so, he noticed a strange shape seemingly hovering, only ever so slightly, at the edge of the field near the woodland. He peered over for several more seconds before changing the direction of the tractor and heading directly towards the aerial anomaly.

As his trusty vehicle trampled over the soil below taking him towards this strange object, he could see that it was an oblong shape, “resembling an egg”. He would estimate it to be around twenty feet long and around four feet high. He brought the tractor to a stop and climbed down from the cabin making his way towards the object.

Wilcox reached out to touch it, even tapping it with his closed fist and kicking at it lightly with his foot. It was most definitely of a metallic exterior and the color of aluminum. Remarkably, although a detail found in multiple close encounter incidents since, the exterior bore “no rivets or seams” and was completely smooth and polished. As if the object was from a single piece of metal. Furthermore, the object didn’t give off any heat and was absolutely silent.

As he continued to examine the strange craftt, two short “men” approached him.

Artist's impression of the occupants

Artist’s impression of the occupants

“Don’t Be Alarmed! We Have Spoken To People Before!”

He would later recall that the men were no more than around four feet tall. Furthermore, they appeared to have come from underneath the object, although Wilcox couldn’t see any type of entrance. Each of them carried a strange “square tray”, upon which was various roots, leaves, and samples of soil. They each donned a “shiny white metallic suit” which covered their entire bodies.

Wilcox and the two entities watched each other for several moments. There was no doubt Wilcox could feel the fear inside him rising with each second. Perhaps sensing this, one of the strange humanoid creatures said, “Don’t be alarmed. We have spoken to people before”.

He would later state how bizarre and blurry the situation was. On the one hand, he could understand the strange creatures perfectly well. On the other, though, he couldn’t tell if they “were speaking English or not”. He would also recall how “their voices did not sound like a voice I could describe”.

Then, in a bizarre and perhaps authentic twist, they would quiz Wilcox about all manner of things relating to his work as a farmer. Everything from why he was doing what he was doing, what the tractor was, why was he “spreading manure”, and what even was manure. It would appear that “they were very interested in organic substances” of the planet. In total, he would spend almost two hours answering questions and explaining, in detail, the most mundane things to the average human. They had, bizarrely enough, an intense interest in “fertilizer”. And asked numerous questions of it as well as general farming practices.

This is interesting in that many encounters tend to be the reverse. With information either passed to or asked by the witness. However, Wilcox still had several intriguing details to reveal.

Alien Visitors From Mars?

One of the details that would make many doubtful of his story was the claim that these entities hailed from our cosmic red neighbor, Mars.

As we have examined before in our article looking at the possibility of “cloud cities” in the atmosphere on Venus, the notion that life doesn’t exist on the closest planets to us is largely based on the acceptance that life means life as it is on Earth. However, life could exist in conditions that are not at all ideal for humans or even mammals. But perfect for other organisms known as extremophiles. And of course, alien life, by definition, is alien to us. It could be that aliens are very drastically different.

Further to that, there are more and more indicators that life, at least at one stage in its past, very well could have existed on the red planet. Not least the plethora of alleged artificial structures. And what’s more, although this is pure speculation, this potential alien civilization could still exist on Mars, only underground, away from the brutal conditions and extremely thin atmosphere.

In fact, this last detail of a thin atmosphere (which Mars does indeed have) is interesting in itself. According to Wilcox, he would ask these mysterious visitors if he might go with them on their craft. They would decline this, stating that their “atmosphere was much too thin” for him. Incidentally, they would also state that they always tried to stay away from the big cities of Earth because the “automobile fumes” caused problems with their own vehicles. These fumes were much lower, almost non-existent in the countryside.

The surface of Mars

The surface of Mars

Departure (And Discreet Return?)

Suddenly, the two occupants would state they had to leave. Remembering their questions, Wilcox offered to get them a bag of fertilizer to take with them to study. However, they claimed to have no time to wait. They would re-enter their craft which then began to rise slowly into the air. A small “motor-noise” was present, similar to an “idle car engine”. It began to glide a little before suddenly racing off into the distance, disappearing within seconds.

Interestingly, Wilcox would return to the area of his encounter later that afternoon with a bag of fertilizer. He left the bag near a tree next to the spot the UFO was hovering that morning. When he returned the following morning, the fertilizer was no longer there.

Wilcox would report the incident to the New York police department. And while he would receive considerable attention from UFO researchers and sensationalist-writing journalists alike, he would maintain he would do the exact same thing again if he were to have another contact experience.

Perhaps also of interest is the fact the incident occurred within hours of one of the most famous UFO incidents on record, the Zamoro, or Socorro Incident. While this case is one we will look at in a future article, the fact that Wilcox would make his report within hours of this encounter, at a time when he quite obviously wasn’t aware of the incident in Socorro is at least worth noting. Given that Allen Hyneck, at the time one of the leading skeptics in America, would state the Socorro incident to be a genuine mystery, it would surely be a long shot that a farmer on the other side of the country would report an almost identical craft.

Partially Correct Predictions!

There were also several “predictions” passed to Wilcox by these apparent visitors. And although they wouldn’t come true in their entirety, there were several “loose” connections. The main prediction involved the upcoming deaths of several astronauts, two Russian, and two American, John Glenn and Virgil Grissom. According to these mysterious visitors, all four would die within a year. Apparently in a space disaster due to “exposure to the elements”.

While Glenn didn’t at all meet his fate, Grissom would die a horrific death on 27th January 1967 in the Apollo capsule disaster. Two others would also die when their test-capsule became incinerated with all three trapped inside. Furthermore, on 24th April 1967, exactly three years after the occupant encounter, Soviet cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov died during re-entry to the Earth when the parachute on his capsule failed to open.

Incidentally, Wilcox’s farm would go downhill following the encounter as nothing would grow on large portions of the land. He himself would receive specialist medical treatment for radiation burns. Furthermore, government agents would investigate the land for some time due to the radiation. As well as a strange “darkened patch” of land. He would go on to become a very accomplished mechanic. Whether there is a connection to his newly found skill or not is perhaps open to debate.

Did Gary Wilcox meet with extraterrestrials from another world, possibly Mars? His story remained unchanged and could quietly be, to the alien question, an encounter of great importance.

Check out the short video below. It looks at the incident a little closer.

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • jamesrav says:

    so when was the police report filed? is it publicly available? Those are key questions here, since they either add a lot to the story, or have been ‘added’ but not verified. If he filed a report days after the Socorro incident, his case is not nearly as important compared to a filed report that afternoon. And why make a police report? did he want the aliens arrested? Maybe police were the ‘go to’ for anything you wanted to report, but since there were sympathetic UFO groups at that time, an afternoon call to a UFO group makes more sense than a police report. Weird case, either a great story-teller or April 24th was quite a day for UFO encounters.

  • Donald L. Mercer says:

    I have had my own encounters of an extraordinary nature, which though reported on Davenport’s site and another on MUFON I remain anonymous due to the treatment that skeptics give these accounts.

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