The Karnes City Uranium Mine UFO Sighting

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
October 11, 2019
Last Updated
October 5, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
7 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Close Encounters

An incident over an open-pit uranium mine in Karnes City in Texas in the summer of 1971 was witnessed by at least six people. It would also, if we accept the account to be true, leave behind physical evidence of the encounter.

What’s more, the event is far from the only incident to involve strange crafts over these types of industrial mining locations. We will look at some of these other similar sightings a little later, as well as just why these apparently otherworldly crafts might be attracted to these facilities in the first place.

A depiction of a UFO over an Uranium mine

A depiction of a UFO over an Uranium mine

Indeed, if there is a battle for resources among the indigenous peoples of the planet already, then adding an extraterrestrial race into that already volatile mix will do little to ease the tensions that already surround such persistent dilemmas.

And while such notions as an alien race landing on Earth in order to relieve it of one precious mineral or another is completely outrageous to some, it is one of the most practical reasons for such a space-traveling intelligent collective to risk such a landing.

The account that follows would surface in the public arena in the late nineties – almost three decades after it took place – with the witness, Michael Harvey, finally relaying it to an online platform.

Nighttime Over The Uranium Mine Lights Up Like Daylight!

It was a little after 11 pm and Michael Harvey was working on the night shift at the Conoco Oil Company in Karnes City, Texas. There were five other employees along with Harvey operating the Caterpillar 657B earth movers used at the uranium mine. They were just about to begin their shift following the changeover when the entire “85-acre pit lit up as if it was daylight”.

Each of the workers immediately covered their eyes such was the brightness of the light. As well as the intense shining a “high-pitched hissing noise” also polluted the auditory senses of the employees. Instinctively, each of the employees flung themselves down to the ground in order to take cover.

A depiction of a UFO over an Uranium mine

A depiction of a UFO over an Uranium mine

The intense bright glow would keep its control over the scene for around two minutes before it finally began to fade, albeit only slightly. Enough, though, for Harvey to raise his eyes upward in order to take in just what was taking place around him. As he would state in his report:

What I saw amazed me! The object was round, and the bright light was coming from the center of the bottom of the UFO! [1]

Harvey would further recall that around the sides of the craft were “hundreds of penlight size light beams”. These would “alternate in all the colors of the spectrum”. He would state that he later realized – much later – that these penlight-sized lights were “laser beams”.

After several more seconds the strange craft began to rise into the air and within moments had vanished out of sight. Each of the witnesses looked at the other. All were in complete shock with some, including Harvey, on the verge of emotional collapse.

This wasn’t helped by the fact their co-workers refused to accept the incident happened. That changed two days later.

A Bizarre Scene Under The “Tap Rock”

At the time of the sighting, Michael explained how his unit was only several feet away from the “tap rock”. This is a layer of hard rock that sits directly on top of the valuable uranium ore. They would have to penetrate and remove the outer layer of hard rock before the uranium ore could be mined.

Usually, uranium ore was “the same brown color as low grade coal”. However, when the unit exposed this particular ore, they were met with a very different sight. Instead of the usual brown color, the ore looking back at them now was instead a “chalky white substance”. Even stranger, the ore had “no radioactivity at all”.

A depiction of a UFO over an Uranium mine

A depiction of a UFO over an Uranium mine

Stranger still, particularly when we remember the shape of the object Harvey had described hanging over the pit, the chalk-like ore had a distinctly round diameter around 250 feet across. Coincidentally the approximate size and exact shape of the bizarre, glowing craft.

Like water and oil, the difference between this chalky substance and the normal uranium ore was startlingly obvious. Harvey would further recall:

I think the UFO needed the uranium for some reason!

He could well be right. After all, if there was a reason that a space-faring race of aliens might visit our planet, extraction of valuable ores and other such materials would make as much sense as anything else. If not more so.

A Return Of The 1970s Argentinian “Uranium Mining UFOs” In The 2000s?

In early 2010, according to an article in El Liberal newspaper in Argentina, recent sightings of UFOs evoked memories of incidents during the 1970s [2] that involved the “mining of the uranium mines” by these strange and otherworldly crafts.

One particular sighting, and the incident that El Liberal was reporting on, featured a picture taken by an 11-year-old boy, Victor Agustin Vazquez, using his mobile phone in the La Banda district of Santiago del Estero. You can see that picture below.

Picture claiming to show a UFO

Does this picture show a real UFO?

One of the country’s leading UFO researchers, Fabio Zerpa, would speak, not of the picture, but of the general increased activity of UFOs over that particular region of Argentina. It was then that he would draw comparisons to the apparent increase in sightings in (then) recent years, and an incident in the 1970s where he witnessed a “spaceship – or green UFOs – extracting uranium” from the Frias region.

Further offered by Zerpa, was that these regions of the country were rich in minerals and ore. Once more, this is something that it would appear is perhaps of great relevance and usefulness to the occupants or intelligence behind these mysterious crafts. Indeed, as we will examine shortly, another similarly uranium ore rich location also has at least one significant UFO sighting having occurred overhead.

Some “Other” Points To Consider

Despite, or perhaps because of his experience in UFO research, Zerpa would urge caution over the recent sightings. And specifically, the photograph captured by Vazquez. Not that he believed it to be a hoax. But to be sure that it wasn’t “Russian or American rocketry debris”.

Zerpa couldn’t, however, make a solid judgment on the photographs, other than to note it appeared extremely interesting. He would elaborate that, for all the advancements, “digital photo equipment isn’t always exact”. Such things as a “negative” – which would “ascertain the truth” of the picture, are simply not available for digital photographs.

Because of this, as well as examining such pictures, the photographers themselves must also face questioning. So as to “determine the circumstances” the pictures came about. He would further state that although “we must have faith in the witness” there was also a need for – as in conflict as such ideas might sound – an open and, at times, skeptical mind.

The incidents of the 1970s, while on a different continent, were still in the same relative window of time to the incident at Karnes City in Texas. However, perhaps one of the most well-known of such UFO encounters in connections to uranium mines occurred two decades earlier. In Belgian Congo at one of the richest locations of uranium ore on the planet.

The 1952 Belgian Congo Mines Incident

Perhaps one of the strangest and most intriguing sightings of UFOs over active uranium mines occurred in the spring of 1952 over the abundantly stuffed full of uranium ore mine at Shinkolobwe over the Belgian Congo. What’s more, the incident was logged and investigated by the CIA during one of the most active waves in UFO history.

Incidentally, the mine was so rich in uranium ore and of such high quality, that it would eventually be used to extract ore to be used in the atomic bombs that would be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to “end the Second World War”. According to experts, this particular deposit of uranium ore is unequaled anywhere on the planet.

A depiction of a UFO over a mine

A depiction of a UFO over a mine

According to the report, the incident occurred on the 29th March 1952 “east of the Luapula River” over the “southern part of the Belgian Congo”. That evening, “two fiery discs” were witnessed moving overhead. And then hovering over the uranium mines located in the Elisabethville district.

Because of how the strange objects moved they would “sometimes appear as plates, ovals, and simply lines”. At least to those viewing the incident below. After hovering in place for several moments the two objects would suddenly take off back into the sky. As they did so they moved in a “zig-zag” fashion. In total, the entire incident would last between 10 and 12 minutes.

However, that wasn’t the end of the encounter.

A Saucer That Moved In A “Precise And Light” Manner!

At the airfield in the same district, Commander Pierre would scramble from the runway in his jet fighter. He would attempt to pursue the strange craft, initially appearing as though he would indeed manage to intercept the strange and unannounced visitor. In fact, he was so close that he would report some amazingly intricate details. For example:

The inner core remained absolutely still. And a knob coming out from the center and several small opening could plainly be seen. The outer rim was completely veiled in fire and must have had an enormous speed of rotation. The color of the metal was similar to that of aluminum! [3]

Despite the close proximity descriptions from the Pierre, he wouldn’t manage to intercept the futuristic craft. It would move through the air in a “precise and light manner, both vertically and horizontally”. Furthermore, hundreds of feet of elevation occured in mere seconds. Even more bizarre, the crafts would “drop to within 20 meters of the treetops” before zipping back into the sky.

A depiction of a UFO over a lake and river

Many UFOs have the same movements

Pierre would report, based on the contemporary and reasonable thinking of the time, that the object couldn’t possibly contain a pilot as they would surely not survive the maneuvers of the craft. Nor could they survive the, on average, 1,500 miles per hour speeds with which the object moved. Interestingly, like the Karnes City incident, the encounter was accompanied by a strange and uncomfortable noise. This time described as a “loud whistling sound”.

The incident remains unexplained.

Yet Another Layer To The UFO And Alien Question

It would appear, then, there is a connection between these sightings. Despite the separation in miles and years. And the presence of uranium ore is seemingly the obvious tie.

It would also appear that these types of sightings have been with us since as long as such mines have been active. And, in turn, the atomic plants that use their produce. Perhaps it is interesting to note that the Belgian Congo mine incident took place during the UFO wave of 1952. Just over two decades later, during the equally active UFO wave of 1973, 47 of the 66 UFO sightings in the Rhode Island were made near the United Nuclear Uranium Recovery Plant.

Indeed, we have examined previously the number of United States air force bases with known or suspected storage of nuclear weapons that were subject to repeated UFO sightings during the latter part of 1975.

Is there a connection between UFO sightings and the resources of our planet? If so, should humanity be relieved of such a notion or even more concerned? Relieved that they are not interested in attacking humanity per se? Or concerned that should such a need for our resources be real it will inevitably lead to confrontation? It certainly lends another layer to the already mysterious field of ufology.

Might there even be another reason? One unseen and not understood by us for these connections to uranium. And other valuable resources of our world? If so, we can only hope such a reason is for our collective benefit.

Check out the video below. It looks at the connections between these mining facilities and UFO sightings. It further looks specifically at another similar destination from Soviet Russia.


1 Bizarre 1971 UFO Encounter Over Texas Uranium Mine, Michael Harvey, Rense, September 28th, 1999
2 Fabio Zerpa: “In the ‘70s, There Were UFOs Removing Uranium from Frías”, Inexplicata, January 27th, 2010
3 Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room,

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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