The 1971 Virginia “Giant” Occupant UFO Case

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
May 11, 2019
Last Updated
September 5, 2020
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
Aliens, Encounters

The “Virginia Giant” incident from the early summer of 1971 is actually a case of two separate encounters in the same rural surroundings of the small town of Fredericksburg, Virginia. In fact, although the sightings were two completely separate encounters, they would involve several members of the same family.

Artist's impression of the Virginia Giant

Artist’s impression of the Virginia Giant

What’s more, although they are indirect connections, there is some evidence to suggest the incident, like many other UFO encounters, has a connection to the Bigfoot sightings which are dotted around the United States in several hotspots, including in the northeast of America.

Whether there is such a connection with this particular case is open to debate. However, what isn’t is the fact that several bizarre encounters took place around the United States during the same time frame in May 1971. That alone should open the door to further examination.

We should note that there are several sources available (online) of this account. And while each one sticks to the same basic account, some of the smaller details differ. We have, given it was the original source of the incident, remained loyal to the NICAP account.

The “Glowing Thing” Over The Open Fields Of Virginia

On the evening of 15th May 1971, at a little after 10 pm, 15-year-old “Michael D” along with two of his friends were camping in a field near their homes. With them, they had a German Shepherd, Lucky. On this particular evening, the sound of a car horn had got the boys’ attention. The other two would go to investigate the sound leaving Michael and Lucky to guard the camp.

However, after several moments – which felt like hours given the spookiness of the surroundings – Michael and Lucky began walking out into the open field. It was as he was doing so that the strangest feeling came over him that something was behind him, watching him. He moved his attention around the field.

A depiction of a golden UFO flying over the mountains

Was a glowing UFO flying over Virginia in 1971?

He could, however, see nothing out of the ordinary. That was until his focus happened upon a small pond on the other side of the field. There, “a glowing thing” hovered several feet above the ground.

He remained still for a moment, watching the object as it hovered silently. Then, it began to move, slowly and calmly, but with uttermost purpose. It headed straight for him, coming to a stop a short distance from where he stood, rooted to the spot, half in awe, half in fear.

Then, it began to descend to the ground, “legs” extending from its underside before positioning itself neatly on the grassy surface. Following this, a ramp-like door opened and began extending outward to the ground. Then, a “man” emerged.

A “Powerfully Huge” Shiny Creature!

As the figure emerged allowing Michael to see it more clearly, he could see it was “powerfully huge” with a “shiny appearance” and long arms. In one of its hands was a “glowing box” which appeared to be of some importance. The teenager backed himself further into long grass providing a makeshift shelter.

This bizarre-looking figure appeared to cast its gaze upon its surroundings for a moment before seemingly settling its attention upon Michael. When it began in his direction, Lucky stepped forward, growling and snarling protectively of the young boy.

Amazingly, at least to Michael, the tall humanoid creature seemed to stop in its tracks before turning in a “stiff, bouncing fashion” as if alarmed by the dog’s barks and heading back towards the craft. Lucky would stop his advance but would continue to bark as if sending out steady warnings to this strange visitor.

A depiction of a UFO hovering over mountains

Just what was the giant humanoid seen by the wtnesses?

The craft remained motionless for around ten minutes before, without warning, it suddenly “lifted off” and vanished into the night sky.

By the time Michael’s friends and fellow campers returned to the base they discovered Michael still crouching in the long grass nearby. He was seemingly in a state of shock for several minutes before finally coming to his senses and explaining to his two friends what had happened.

All three agreed they would postpone their night camping and would quickly pack up their belongings and head back to their respective homes.

Strange Events Two Nights Later

The second sighting would take place only two nights later. And rather bizarrely it would involve Michael’s sisters. It was a similar time of night when the two young women were returning home from an evening class. They had taken a similar route as their brother and his friends had and appeared to have arrived home without incident as they began up their long, winding driveway to the family home.

However, within moments of doing so, a strange “humming” hit their ears, as well as a red glow, lighting up the area seemingly from above their car. At the same time as the sisters noticed the red light from above, the car engine died completely, as did the headlights and radio.

The two young women looked out of the car’s windows and from their vantage point they could clearly see a “white glowing disc-shaped” object about 50 feet above the treetops above them. They remained in their seats watching the craft. Then, after around five minutes, their car came back to life again.

A superimposed UFO over a picture of a lake at sunset

The incident stretched over several days

The two girls continued up the driveway towards the house. As they did so, the craft would follow them steadily. After several moments, the two sisters saw two of their brothers exiting the house, likely aroused by their faster than usual pace up the long drive. Each of them stopped in their tracks, however, when they saw the strange craft overhead.

The two sisters jumped from the car and along with their brothers watched the mysterious craft – now simply hovering overhead – for several minutes. Then, the craft calmly moved away and disappeared into the night sky.

Although the incident was of the craft only, NICAP investigators believed the likelihood of them being connected was great.

Connecting Cases Around The Same Time?

The sighting over Frederickson Virginia on those summer evenings in May 1971 remain unsolved and without explanation still today.

And what is intriguing is that despite the close-up encounter of Michael, the only real detail we have of the creature is that it was humanoid, with long arms. Whether it is of importance or not, there were several similar sightings take took place at the same time. Some of which may have featured such a gigantic, seemingly alien creature.

Less than a week later on 21st May 1971 in the (relatively) nearby state of Pennsylvania in West Leisenring, came a similar sighting – of both the craft and the occupant. It was a little after 1 am when an anonymous man was driving home. He would negotiate a bend in the road only to be confronted by a “saucer-shaped craft with a dome on top” hovering 20 feet in the air in the middle of the road.

An opening was visible to left of what appeared to be the middle of the craft which cast a red glow over its immediate surroundings. The man would bring his car to an abrupt stop as he sat and stared out of the window in shock and amazement. He also now noticed a humming sound which he presumed was coming from the hovering object.

A “Click” And “Explosion”

The object was made from what appeared to be a metallic exterior although it had a “dull gray” appearance to it. It also had distinct burn marks around the bottom edge of the craft, like one might expect to find on the bottom edges of a well-used frying pan.

After no more than two minutes the witness could make out a figure moving around inside the craft, temporarily visible in the opening. It appeared this figure donned a metallic-type of suit, “gray-white” in color and that they stood at least over six feet in height.

A superimposed UFO over a mountain at night

Many UFO cases have very similar details

Then, perhaps sensing something to his side, the man turned his head and witnessed an almost identical figure only several feet away. He went to restart the car but after hearing a “click” sound was suddenly thrown forward on to the vehicle’s dashboard amid what sounded like an explosion.

Regardless, he managed to drive the vehicle to a nearby hospital. Once there, he was treated for several wounds similar to pellet shots. He would keep the incident to himself before eventually submitting a report to MUFON.

Another UFO-Bigfoot Crossover Incident?

Of course, as we have examined in a previous article, there is an apparent connection between some UFO encounters and Bigfoot sightings. Might the creature that Michael witnessed, as bizarre as it sounds within the context of a UFO landing incident, have been one such Bigfoot-type creature?

Interestingly or not, there are several other sightings with such creatures during May 1971. For example, on the evening of 2nd May in Jonesville, Arkansas, a man by the name of Bobby Ford was suddenly grabbed by a “huge clawed hairy creature” as he investigated an incident outside his house with his brother Douglas.

Does this image show a Bigfoot in Virginia?

Does this image show a Bigfoot in Virginia?

Bobby’s wife was sleeping on the couch when a “claw” suddenly burst through the screen door and made a grab for her. Bobby and Douglas would grab their guns and go off in pursuit of the assailant. Then, however, Bobby would find himself under attack.

He would eventually pull free of the attacker and was eventually treated at Texarkana Hospital. When a search was made around his home, several large animal-like footprints were discovered. Incidentally, the creature would return to the Ford home, but after several shots were fired it fled into the woods.

“Crashing Noises” And “Shadowy Figures” At Mount Blanca, Colorado

A similar incident would take place around the same time in Mount Blanca in Colorado. At around 3 am on morning three men slept in a cabin at the foot of Mount Blanca. They were awoken by strange and disturbing noises. Even more unnerving, though, was the random shafts of light appearing from the sky. And the “shadowy figure” they could see walking on the patio outside their rented cabin.

Then, already jumpy, a sudden sound of “crashing noises” emerged. As if something was grabbing and thrashing at the cabin’s front door. One of the campers would later state:

…(it) shook it violently as though trying to tear it off its hinges!

Despite their obvious nerves, the men made their way to the door in question. However, and quite bizarrely, by the time they arrived, there was “utter silence”. Rather ominously, though, when they ventured outside, several large “footprints” were visible in the ground.

The above incidents do not have UFO sightings directly attached to them. However, they took place at the same time as many other UFO sightings with occupants. This should be reason enough for us to maintain an investigative, if passing, interest in them.

A Similar Sighting From The Other Side Of The World?

It wasn’t just sightings in North America, however. Around a week earlier on 24th April came sightings in Greenacre, New South Wales in Australia.

On this evening at around 7:30 pm, “Mrs. F” was riding home in a taxi with her 13-year-old daughter. Then they witnessed a strange object hovering over Roberts Park, a local football stadium. What made the incident even more bizarre is below it two teams of youths were enthralled in a game of football.

The object was an oval or (Australian Rules) “football shape” with a glowing light on the underside, “the brightest blue imaginable”. Around this light was a metallic exterior, while the top half was transparent. As the object moved it would tilt forward slightly allowing Mrs. F to see inside the top half of the craft.

Inside, she could see three humanoids, each of which was extremely tall – well over six feet. Even more bizarre – and unnerving – one of them appeared to point towards the taxi in which she sat. She believed the figure was attempting to tell them to pull over. She urged the taxi driver to do so. However, he too was also aware of the lights and it was obvious he had no such intention.

In fact, he would accelerate more. He remained in such shock that he left without taking money from his passengers.

Check out the video below which talks about such humanoid sightings in a little more detail.

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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