Beginning in August 1973 and lasting until late-December, the entire planet, but in particular, the United States experienced a wave of very specific sightings. What followed would be report after report of “humanoid occupants” inside or emerging from UFOs, or humanoid creatures approaching, and on occasion, even giving chase to witnesses. Several cases of alien abduction would also occur during the same period. While 1973 was a year with a much higher than normal amount of UFO sightings, the last third would prove to be even more active. The Center For UFO Studies (CUFOS) would discreetly study the wave. While they would, for the most part, withhold the witnesses’ identities, the accounts make for a detailed and fascinating read. Furthermore, upon studying these figures, they would reflect very interestingly with a similar wave of sightings over France and other areas of Europe in 1954.
Perhaps the most famous encounter during the 1973 wave was the Pascagoula Abductions, still regarded as one of the most intriguing and credible of all UFO accounts on record. It might also prove to be that the incident was just one out of many dozens of encounters around the United States during that time. Indeed, how many more went unreported we can only guess at.
Although the wave of UFO humanoid sightings would last almost five months, the bulk of the activity was in the month of October. Of the fifty-five such sightings in the United States during the August-to-December period, for example, thirty-six occurred in October. Even stranger, seven of these sightings took place on the same day (17th October), with two more having taken place the previous evening, and three more on the evening before that.
These sightings themselves were broken down into two distinct categories. First, there were the humanoid sightings. These were, as the name suggests, similar to humans, and would often feature communication with the witness. Secondly, there were the “anthropoid” sightings, which were often Bigfoot-like creatures, often described as “monsters” by the witness. And there were more of those than even more UFO researchers are comfortable with.
Late-Summer Sightings, August-September 1973
The first sightings on record occurred during the late-afternoon of 9th August in Exeter, New Hampshire. As they were driving along one of the main highways, a father and his son witnessed a “landed UFO” in a field at the side of the road. Furthermore, they could both clearly see a “humanoid figure” standing beside it.
A month later on the 9th September came a report of a UFO landing in Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. Several local teenagers witnessed the landing. They would state to witnessing a door open on the craft before “ten, big, black hairy dogs” came out and ran into the night. The UFO, which was glowing brightly, then dulled somewhat, as if someone had turned out the light.
Just over a week later on 18th September, a young married couple would experience a “loud thud” outside their home in Durham, New Hampshire. It was a little after 9:30 pm and dark outside. The young man walked around the property and stopped in his tracks when he saw “three small, circular glowing spots, greenish in hue, on the ground”. The sound of electrical noise filled the air, the source seeming to be from above him. He could also hear “garbled voices”, but again he couldn’t locate where they came from. The couple would go to bed for the evening at 11:30 pm. The glowing circles were still present on the garden.
Two nights later, in Sidney, North Carolina, a week of reports from several people began. Several witnesses would report a “monster with large red glowing eyes”. Perhaps bizarrely, this creature wore clothes – a brown shirt, black trousers, and a brown cap. It appeared to use a “medallion-type” item on its chest for communication and could leap “50-60-feet” into the air.
The “Somewhere Between Columbus and Mansfield” Sighting
Although the exact date is not certain, the sighting along Interstate-71 in Ohio between Columbus and Mansfield is thought to have taken place in late-September. It was well after midnight when the witness noticed a flashing light behind his car. First it was to his right. Then his left. It finally appeared in front of him. It then sped off into the night ahead of him.
He was driving at a speed of around 70 mph. He believes he must have lost consciousness for some reason. The next thing the witness could remember was waking up behind the wheel of the moving vehicle, as it moved at nearly 90 mph. When the man finally arrived at his Cleveland home, he realized he could not account for nearly an hour of time.
Although he would attempt to put the episode out of his mind, he would begin to experience bizarre “psychic episodes” and would ultimately seek hypnotic regression. He would recall shortly after seeing the strange lights, of turning off I-71, although he had no idea, even at the time, why he was doing this. He was driving along a lonely, narrow “tree-lined” road. It was then he could see three entities on the road. One was stood in front, while the other two were beside his car. They appeared to be floating. Suddenly, a craft was approaching them from above. Before he could react, he was rising towards the craft. Terror filled his mind.
He was placed on a table. The strange entities were around him. He could make out a “metallic look” to their clothing. One of the creatures was examining his legs, while another had an instrument nearer to his head. Suddenly came a bright light. Then, he was back in his car.
Monsters, and Disappearing Triangles
On 1st October in Anthony Hill, Tennessee, during a thunderstorm, three teenagers would report a “huge, hairy, robot-like creature” in the woodlands of the area. It raised its arms and had a round head. It would at first seem wise to dismiss this account. However, several corroborating statements of seeing a UFO over the area the youngsters claimed the sightings occurred would suggest otherwise. As would the strange imprints found at the location. Around ten days later in Alabama, a three-year-old boy would come in to his mother after playing outside. He would matter-of-factly inform her that he had been playing with an “old monster” with “grey and wrinkled skin!”
On the 4th October in Simi Valley, California came a sighting of a triangular object in a “dust cloud” at the side of the road. The witness was driving along the Simi Freeway when he spotted the object. It hovered around ten-feet from the ground. On top of the craft was a clear bubble-shape that seemed to be swiveling around. On the underside, a rope of some sort looked to be hanging from an unseen opening.
A humanoid appeared from out of the craft on the top side. It would look at the witness for a moment, before “scrambling out of sight!” The humanoid was a similar size to a human adult. It seemed to be dressed in some kind of wet-suit, silver in color. A whirring noise suddenly broke what was an otherwise silent atmosphere. The “bubble” on top of the craft began to turn a little faster as it did so. Out of nowhere, a fog appeared and enveloped the object. By the time the fog cleared, the craft was gone.
The Mid-October Surge
Shortly after midnight on 15th October, in Omro, Wisconsin, the witness awoke to find their room glowing orange and a high-pitched whirring sound filling their ears. Suddenly, three humanoid creatures appeared out of nowhere in the bedroom. They were around five-feet tall, with wrinkled, grey skin, and bald heads.
He must have passed out as the next thing he knew he was sat against the wall with the creatures in front of him. They seemed to be examining him. One of them had an oval object that it would pass over this body. He caught sight of it as it passed over his legs. To his astonishment, he could see his bones through the object. It must have been some highly advanced, real-time, X-ray device. Just as the creature reached towards his head, he passed out again. He would awaken near dawn. The witness would keep the incident to himself for some time. However, following a similar encounter happening to his girlfriend, he would come forward with his report to CUFOS.
On the same evening in Berea, Tennessee, the Cline family would awaken to the sound of their dogs barking frantically. Looking outside, they could clearly see the bright lights of a UFO in the woods nearby. The following morning, the family would find “claw-like” tracks as well as “landing marks” over the area they had seen the lights.
On the same evening, on Interstate-90 near Gulfport, Missouri, a taxi driver would witness an oblong UFO with a blue light pass overhead. It would land somewhere in front of his vehicle, which at the same time stalled as well as the electrics going dead. He sat still in the vehicle. Suddenly, a claw-like hand tapped on the window as something rushed past.
“Ghost-Like” Figures and Abductions!
In Albany, Ohio, still on the 16th October, after arriving home for the evening, the witness could see a “ghost-like figure” in the distance, floating around fifty-feet from the ground. Judging by the surroundings, the creature could have been no more than four-feet tall and was extremely thin. It also appeared to have very tight-fitting clothing, as if they had been “draped in a close-fitting sheet!” She stood and watched the strange creature for several moments before noticing a bright light moving towards it. When it got to around 200-feet, the creature appeared to vanish. Other sightings of strange lights were reported locally in nearby Athens on the same evening.
At roughly the same time, in Burbank, California, two young children would report a UFO landing in their backyard. It had, according to the four-year-old, a pointed top and rays of light coming from underneath. Four occupants invited the boy to look inside the ship. Before he had the chance to, however, the craft vanished. Seconds later, the boys’ father appeared from inside to investigate why the family dog was barking so excitedly.
In Lehi, Utah, as the evening of the 16th October morphed into the early hours of the 17th, a woman along with her three children, and the son of their neighbor were all abducted from the family home and taken on board “a craft”. All were subject to intense medical examinations by strange humanoid creatures. The main witness could remember being in a big room with lots of “lights and buttons” as well as “glass tubes containing liquids”. She could see four or five humanoid creatures, and “at least two humans”. The humanoids had large heads and “two or three big claws”. These would “open like a clasp!”
The Explosive Day Of 17th October 1973
Several hours later, in Pikesville, Maryland, a woman was brought from sleep by the sound of an explosion. As she stepped outside of her property and onto the porch, she could see an oblong-shaped object in front of her. It was red but transparent. On the top side of the craft was a strange “bubble”. Even more bizarre for the witness, inside the bubble, was a “human figure” who appeared to be standing.
On their way out of New Jersey to New York City, two men driving along Route 23 would report seeing a “large, round, silver craft” hovering over a field that ran along the roadside. They continued to watch the craft, amazed to see it begin to descend. They brought their car to a stop and stepped out of the vehicle in time to see the UFO land. Seven humanoids emerged from the craft, and while the driver entered the car and sped off in panic, the second gentleman claimed to have spoken to the occupants. It perhaps should be noted that while this particular sighting appears very likely, the interaction was highlighted as “questionable” by investigators.
A sighting in Watauga, Tennessee a little later almost turned into an abduction. According to the witness, a “copper-colored”, circular UFO would hover only a foot or two from the ground. In an open doorway, a humanoid creature – roughly around six-feet tall – reached out of the craft and “tried to grab two children”. Witnesses claim the creature had “claw-like hands”. There were at least six other UFO reports in the region on the same day.
“Robot-Like” Creatures Over Alabama
A bizarre chase account would very likely have been dismissed if it hadn’t come via Police Chief Jeff Greenshaw. He would also manage to capture a photograph of the humanoid in a “silvery suit”. Greenshaw had ventured out to an area in Falkville, Alabama, to investigate reports of UFO sightings there. When he spotted the metallic-looking creature he pulled the car over to the side of the road. The creature moved towards the vehicle at first, but then turned and ran in the opposite direction. Greenshaw gave chase for several minutes, but the creature sped up considerably. He would lose sight of it when his car came off the road temporarily.
Another sighting in Alabama on the 17th October came from Loxley. Pick-up driver, Clarence Patterson was moving along the highway when a cigar-shaped UFO cast an illuminous green light over the vehicle. The next thing Patterson was aware, the truck was rising off the road and was pulled into the craft overhead. At least six “robot-like beings” would drag him from the truck’s cabin. Bizarrely, he was certain these robots could read his thoughts. It was then he blacked out.
The next thing he knew, he awoke in the driver’s seat of the moving truck. He was traveling around 90 mph with no idea how long he had been unconscious. One interesting detail given by Patterson was the scent of Sulphur that remained with him long after the incident. Many witnesses to UFO sightings, and specifically, alien abductees, often mention a strong aroma of Sulphur during their encounters.
Sightings Continue Across America
A little later, just outside of Danielsville, Georgia, Paul Brown would make an emergency stop after an “oval-shaped” craft landed in the middle of the road around 300-feet in front of him. Two four-foot creatures emerged from the underside of the craft. They looked around momentarily before scrambling back into the oval object upon seeing Brown. With an audible “whoosh” the craft ascended at break-neck speed.
As evening approached in Europa, Missouri, drivers witnessed a UFO, around 50-feet wide, hovering over Highway 82. The main witness was watching the craft when he realized his vehicle had simply cut out. Another car seemingly experienced similar difficulties as it slowed behind his. Above the first craft, a second craft hovered. A beam of light appeared to connect the two huge discs. As the witnesses looked on, a creature appeared and descended from the top craft to the bottom one. Both crafts disappeared shortly after.
The following day, two teenagers were chased by a “white thing” in Chatham, Virginia while out on White Oak Mountain. The creature was around four-feet tall, with a large head and a “shimmering body”. Although there were no other reports of the strange creature, several reports of UFOs are on record in the area that day.
The day after, on the 19th October, a woman would pull her car over to the roadside in Interstate 75 near Ashburn, Georgia. It had suddenly stalled for no apparent reason. Out of nowhere, a strange “metallic man” with a “bubble-dome” on his head appeared. It moved “like a robot” and had a shiny appearance, although the arms were “narrow and wrinkled”. It would walk around the vehicle before vanishing into thin air.
The Silver-Suited Creatures Of Indiana
Although the sightings would begin to slow somewhat following the peak of the 16/17th October, many more reports would arrive with CUFOS. On 22nd October in Hartford City, Indiana, for example, three separate sightings of four-foot humanoids in silver suits were reported. One report, from Debbie Carne, who saw them “crossing a road” would state upon seeing her, one of them “raised their arms” as if in an attempt to scare her.
Around fifteen minutes later, the Donathan family would witness two “bright, silver” humanoids. Each had no defining features other than their bizarrely “boxed feet”. As their car approached them from behind, it was obvious the creatures were trying to get off the main road. They eventually did so, and the following day imprints were discovered in the location the Donathans said the encounter took place.
Gary Flatter was a local investigator and was working on the above Donathan case when he had his own experience two hours later. As he was surveying the area, he suddenly noticed a “line of small mammals” in the distance. It was then he also noticed an uncomfortable high-pitched sound. He would shine his truck headlights in the direction of the sound and could clearly see the two creatures described by the Donathans. They would turn to face him, forcing him to dim his headlight such was the glare bouncing from their shiny suits. They appeared to be wearing gas-masks and their “boxed feet” appeared to be artificial as if they adorned some kind of spacesuit. As he watched them, they bent their knees slightly, and then with a jumping motion “flew off like a helicopter!”
The New Hampshire Sightings
The last cluster of the 1973 humanoid sightings occurred in early-November in Goffstown, New Hampshire. The first saw the witness, Florence Dow, hear a sudden “thump” on the front of her property one evening. She went to the front of the house and saw a “motionless figure” in an “old black coat”. The bizarre creature remained there for several minutes before disappearing.
While driving home late one evening, Lyndia Morel witnessed a “yellow-orange globe” in front of her vehicle. The craft had a “honeycomb design” aside from one, large, oval window. She stared intently at this window, amazed that she could see a humanoid figure inside the craft. It appeared to have grey, wrinkled skin, with a lighter-colored head to its body (although it may have had a suit on). She could also clearly see that the eyes were larger than they should be for the size of its head. Lyndia wasn’t sure if the creature could see her, but she could hardly help the feeling of being drawn to the craft. She managed to tear herself from its influence and found refuge in a nearby house. It isn’t clear of Lyndia experienced any missing time. At the time of the report, she didn’t wish to pursue regression therapy to find out.
Rex Snow and his wife would awaken late one night to the sound of activity outside their house. Upon inspection, Rex could see two humanoids who were “self-luminous” and adorned a tight silver suit. They were around four-foot tall. They appeared to be examining the ground around them as if they were collecting specimens. The family guard-dog would approach them as if about to attack but would stop suddenly in his tracks. He would then turn around and head back to the family home.
Surely Not “Just Hysteria!”
The sightings became much more sporadic following the New Hampshire episode, although they would continue until mid-December. Just what these sightings were, and if there was a connection between them is very much the question. It is unlikely to be a case of hysteria or mass-suggestion. While the public was aware that UFO sightings were increasing, it was hardly a serious matter in the media. Most that heard such stories assumed the witness had sunk one too many beers or smoked too strong a joint. Furthermore, such organizations as CUFOS would conduct themselves with discretion. And further still, 1973 was long before the age of the Internet. Incidents could occur in different states (even different towns) and unless they attracted national news, nobody outside of the area would be aware.
It is interesting that there were several claims of creatures with “claw-like” hands. This is interesting in that it is such a bizarre detail it screams authenticity. What’s more, although there are claims of such “claws” in other accounts, it seems particularly prevalent in the 1973 cases.
In short, it would appear that “something” was roaming around the United States throughout the last third of 1973. Perhaps it was visitors from another world on a fact-finding mission? Or perhaps these visitations were the result of some kind of naturally occurring portal or gateway? Maybe this is the reason for the cluster of sightings in mid-to-late-October? Perhaps that is why a similar wave occurred in 1954, with the peak of that wave also occurring in October of that year. Or maybe the sightings have a connection to a secret military experiment? Only by examining other waves and accounts, we will eventually find out just what all those people saw in the fall of 1973.