Case File: Wytheville UFO Sightings
Location: Wytheville, Virginia
Date: October 7, 1987 to December 1990
Description: Wytheville, Virginia is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
History: Radio reporter Danny Gordon checked in with a local sheriff in Wytheville, Virginia, on October 7, 1987, and was shocked to learn that three Wytheville police officers had claimed to have seen a UFO. Danny told the UFO sighting story but made it more of a joke-type story because he did not believe it. Danny's story sparked unprecedented listener reaction, as UFO sightings poured in to the radio station.
Danny eventually made a night, October 17, for everyone to call the station to report their sightings. One woman claimed that the UFO was very huge and long, had several blinking nights and made no noise, while a man claimed that it was egg shaped, and another woman said it was red, green, and white with flashing lights.
Danny believed that there was a plausible explanation and that it was experimental military aircraft, but they denied this. However, they believed that it might have been planes refueling, but Danny contacted the Pentagon and learned that planes were not allowed to refuel that low in the sky.
On October 21, Danny and a friend, Roger Hall, drove to the area south of Wytheville, where most of the sightings were reported, but they were unable to see anything, but while they were driving back, Danny looked to his left and saw an unusual object on the horizon.
They parked and got out of the car and noticed the large craft flying by. It was dome-shaped and had a strobe light on top. Danny then saw a red ball that went towards the craft, and docked with it and the craft flew up in the sky. The two were shocked, but angered that they were unable to get any pictures of it.
The next night, Danny and Roger went out to take pictures of the craft, and this time they were able to. A press conference was made for the next day, October 23, but the night before, Danny received an anonymous phone call from a person who claimed that the CIA and federal government were interested in the UFO sightings. Other phone calls Danny received told him not to investigate the sightings because they had to do with the government.
After the press conference, Danny returned home to find that his house had been broken into. Oddly, nothing was stolen, and Danny believes that somebody had broken into his home to take the UFO pictures.
Six weeks later, on December 2, Danny, his wife, and daughter were leaving the local mall when people began screaming and Danny saw a large object that broke into four smaller objects in the sky. When Danny took pictures of the objects, they disappeared from view. The pictures of the objects surprisingly showed that they changed their form several times, from teardrop shaped to round ball shaped, and then disc shape, and finally egg shape when they went out of sight.
By the end of December, the UFO sightings had reached over 1,500 in the town of Wytheville. Patricia Akers claimed that she had noted ten sightings from an area a few miles north of Wytheville, that she believed were of strange objects that looked like helicopters or airplanes but made no noise. Rita Marie Vaught claimed that she saw a UFO behind a ridge half a mile from her house, that she said was circle object in the sky with strange lights. Mary Jane Williamson had several sightings from her house in the center of Wytheville. She said the UFO was a large object with several lights around it and a red light in the middle. Danny later called the Pentagon and talked to the defense branch, and they claimed that the government confirms that UFOs exist, but that they do not pose a threat to Wythe County.
On March 19, 1988, Danny was packing for a broadcasters conference in Virginia Beach when he received a call from a retired military intelligence officer. The officer told him to record the conversation; he said that he wanted this to be taped to show that he warned Danny. The man claimed that his son died of leukemia because of his UFO research. He claimed that the same might happen to Danny because the government did not like his research either. The man believed that they wanted to quiet him, either through chemical warfare or his children. Interestingly, that same week there was a hepatitis epidemic in Virginia Beach. Danny claimed that he would have believed the caller had he come down with hepatitis, but both he and his children were safe.
Less than a month later, two visitors came to his home, one that interviewed him for about forty-five minutes, and the other taking photographs throughout the house. They told Danny that they would send him the newspaper article, but when he didn't receive it, he called the newspaper. They said that the men did not work for them, and nobody knows who they really were.
A few weeks later, Danny went to catalog and organize his UFO photographs, and when he went through the negatives, he found that the negatives from the shopping mall were missing. Danny realized that there may have been something in those photographs that he was not seeing. He took them to others to look at, but they could not discover why someone would want to take them.
Two months later, the UFO stress caught up with Danny and he collapsed due to severe exhaustion. Danny was cautioned that continued UFO research could jeopardize his health. Danny has not had a UFO sighting since December of 1990, and he does not plan to do anymore UFO research. The UFO phenomenon has apparently ended in Wytheville, as the sightings have apparently ended, but the UFOs have never been explained.
Background: Wytheville is a city with the population of 8000 is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the February 19, 1992 episode