The Geneseo Illinois Abduction Case – The Lost Close Encounter

First Published: October 19, 2018 Last updated: February 27th, 2019 Written by: Marcus Lowth Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes Posted in: Conspiracy

An apparent little-known alien abduction case from 1940 was unearthed by UFO researcher Martin S. Kottmeyer in 2006, perhaps once again proving how easy it is for such cases to slip through the gaps and into the chasm of forgotten history. How credible or important the case may be is perhaps open to debate. That it, and many other such cases, should remain available in the public arena and not cast off and forgotten is, however, what is paramount. The account originally saw the light of day in the 1968 book “Document 96” by Frank Martin Chase, almost thirty years after the alleged events.

1940s Illinois

It is also an interesting case due to the hints of an apparent top-secret extraterrestrial-US military underground base. Furthermore, due to the apparent date of the encounter, it would not only suggest an official US military interest in such UFOs, but that a clandestine operation was already taking place years before the Roswell crash and the sudden “reality” in popular culture that UFOs just might land, or indeed crash, on Earth at any time. As speculative as it might be, and it is only one possibility out of many to consider, should the US military have already reversed-engineered and utilized such advanced, alien technological crafts, such cover as the Second World War would give them the ideal opportunity to test them.

Whatever the circumstance and reality might be behind the strange abduction case in the small town of Geneseo, Illinois, the actions of Kottmeyer – himself a skeptic of the case – should be praised. For now, we are able to examine and re-document the details and decide for ourselves the significance and reality behind this intriguing encounter on a lonely Illinois road almost eighty years ago.

The “Exhausting Drive” Of Rex Ball

Although the exact date is unknown, during the summer of 1940, with America still well over a year away from entering the Second World War, Rex Ball was driving back towards home in Illinois following a business trip to Detroit, Michigan. Ball, whose work involved industrial chemistry, was eager to arrive back, already exhausted from the long drive in the summer heat.

As he cruised along the lonely road now, though, the moonlight casting its majestic glow to the ground below, he caught sight of what looked like a “locomotive…draped in pipes” ahead. Furthermore, Ball would claim to see this mysterious vehicle “conducting steam to some underground location”. Ball presumed this to be one of the mines in the area.

Ball would continue on his way a little further, the strange scene still unfolding ahead of him. However, realizing he was in desperate need of rest, he would pull his car to the side of the road. He turned the engine off and settled back in the driver’s chair, preparing to close his eyes and sleep. It was then he noticed the three “powerfully-built little men” emerge, as if from out of nowhere, and approach his vehicle.

Whoever these mysterious figures were, they would lift Ball from the car and then “walk” him over to where the locomotive-like vehicle was operating. When he witnessed the huge circular craft hovering nearby, Ball’s confusion surged. Underneath the disc-like craft was a “silent blue flame”. Also nearby, Ball witnessed a humanoid figure, dressed in “green aviation garments” and seemingly surveying the area with a binocular-type device.

Around this time, his memory became hazy and disjointed.

Disjointed Memories Of Underground Tunnels And Facilities

The next thing Ball realized, a “shabby US army uniform” hung from his frame. He was walking. Around him were several “soldiers” leading him towards what appeared to be a cave or underground tunnel. Several moments later he walked into a huge, chamber. It was obviously underground as it would boast a mixture of concrete and the natural rock of the location. Before he could take in any more details, however, he would find himself in another room. This had the look of an officer’s quarters. Indeed, a quick look to the sides confirmed to him several soldiers at attention.

Then, without warning or any memory of how he had arrived there, he was outside, the air now cold. The soldiers who were guiding him were still on both sides and before long, they re-entered another tunnel. As he walked into another large chamber-like opening, he would see several soldiers and personnel. Although he couldn’t explain it, he had the distinct feeling that he knew some of these mystery people very well.

With confusion and fear building up increasingly quickly, he was brought out of his trance upon hearing a human voice. “You are now under Fort Knox” it announced in a matter of fact tone. Apparently, the owner of the voice was unconcerned by the fact that Fort Knox was miles away from Illinois in Kentucky. It was then they would go to the “Briefing Room”.

40s UFO

“Seal His Mouth – Call Him A Nut!”

In front of him was a large, oversized desk which stretched almost the entire length of the room. On the other side of the desk, he could make out around a dozen men – all very “official”. One of them, in the middle, had a “general’s insignia” upon his attire. Perhaps most unnerving, however, was the one woman who was present who appeared to act as an adjutant. She had long, flowing blond hair and striking eyes. While all present would “scrutinize” him as he stood there before them, her judgement appeared particularly unsettling for reasons he couldn’t explain.

Suddenly, a voice would interrupt the silence. “Take him back” it would state again with a cold dismissiveness. As he is led away once again, even more confused than before, he hears another order coming from behind him from one of the occupants of the large desk. “Seal his mouth – call him a nut”.

He would soon find himself in some kind of “sub-basement” before entering a room with “flight-outfits” hung on the walls. Several pilots, who Ball would claim had “oriental features” sat about the room. As he moved his gaze across the underground space he focused in on a glass cabinet, inside of which was an array of strange weapons. Ball would later describe them as being more “appropriate to science fiction comic books”. Furthermore, several electronic screens and devices were clearly visible.

Then, the next memory he has was of waking in a small hospital in Geneseo, Illinois. No details of any examinations or what happened in the days and months following are on record.

A Mistaken Encounter?

It is an interesting case, although it is one that many, including the aforementioned Kottmeyer, are dismissive of. Although they stop short of calling the case a hoax, the general notion of the skeptics in this particular case is that Ball suffered some type of hallucination or an intense dream. After all, he fell asleep in his car right before the “incident” began.

Details such as the “blue flame” for the UFO propulsion were highlighted as being suspicious. Mainly because that particular propulsion type was one of the most up to date methods of the late sixties. Essentially at the time Ball was telling his account. It is a credible point, and perhaps correct. Just for balance, however, and given that we know the world’s militaries are decades ahead technology wise than where they claim to be, if we accept that the sighting was of a secret military craft, perhaps this propulsion was available long before the public was aware of it.

The apparent description of the craft would also face questions. With the notion that a circular craft was not widely known until the late forties. This, though, actually undermines the skeptics’ argument and surely lends a little more credibility to Ball.

Even Kottmeyer, however, had to admit that the case “annoyingly” shares numerous details with cases with more apparent credibility that came after the apparent revelations of Rex Ball. Maybe the most interesting and controversial of these details, are those of the mysterious, underground facility.

40s UFO Street

Is There A Significance In The Claims Of An Underground Base?

Perhaps Ball’s mention of an “underground base” is of most interest. While there is no doubt that aliens and UFOs enjoyed top-billing in popular culture by the late-1960s when Ball relayed his account, notions of secret, underground alien-human facilities were not so widespread (although such claims certainly existed).

Kottmeyer, for example, raised the point of why they would take him all that way – allegedly out of the state of Illinois and to Kentucky, to an apparent top-secret location – just to stand in front of the alleged “board of officials” for them to return him. And, on the surface, it is hard to disagree with him. As he says, communication from the three men to those in charge could have saved such a journey. Not to mention Ball then seeing such top-secret underground facilities in the first place.

However, the fact that Ball would suffer several periods of missing time where his memory jumped from one location to another would perhaps suggest activities and procedures unknown to him. And us. Perhaps these procedures were necessary to their eventual overall decision to “take him back”. Of course, it doesn’t begin to answer why they would bring him to such a facility in the first place. Was he simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? What was the purpose? Did such encounters happen to other people in America’s pre-war years?

Check out the short video below. It features some of the pictures of UFOs from the “early years” of modern ufology in the 1940s and 50s.


The stories, accounts, and discussion in this article are not always based on proven facts and may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports and accounts available to us as provided by witnesses and documentation.

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About 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 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.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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