Well, this is going to be a weird one…
For those who visit here regularly, you’ll remember, just a few weeks ago, we were talking about the DIRD reports, specifically, that one created by Kit Green. That one, which actually dealt with UFOs, referenced a number of sightings in which the witnesses were injured in some fashion. Dr. Michael Swords had connected some of those sighting reports to an article written by Walter Webb that appeared in Official UFO in 1976.
That launched a search for the article which I eventually published here. The problem was that the entries were not very detailed and while Webb did mention the sources at the end of the article, he didn’t provide any way to connect those sources to a specific report, which meant that we needed to search all the mentioned sources for the specific case we wanted to identify. A rather tedious task.
I was able to do it with a few exceptions and one of those was the case from Mannford, Oklahoma. Webb provided a little information about it. He wrote:
Mannford, Oklahoma. October 16, 1973. As the UFO hovered nearby, witnesses in a pickup truck heard or felt, or both, an intense and penetrating low-pitched hum. The air seemed charged and oppressive.
That was it. I went through my books and sources, looking for anything to provide additional information. Remember, I did have Webb’s list of sources, but since the list included The UFO Investigator published by NICAP and The APRO Bulletin, published by, well, APRO, it meant searching through many issues. The task was complicated because sometimes a case would be reported months or years after the fact. And, of course, there was the final note that some of the sightings were from his personal files, which I couldn’t search.
Anyway, there was only three or four that I couldn’t find anything beyond what Webb had published. The Mannford, Oklahoma, case was one of those. In the catalog that I was preparing of the sources Webb used, I was stymied by these cases.
George Eberhart, was doing the same thing, or rather, had cataloged a number of the cases in the past so that he was able to provide a long listing to those of us interested in it. His listing included additional sources, almost as if he was chasing the footnotes or sources back to their original appearance before the latest interest brought all this to our attention.
He did have a longer entry for the Munnford, Oklahoma, case, which was helpful. He wrote:
Night. William and Donna Hatchett are driving down a country road near Mannford, Oklahoma, when she sees a bright light coming from the south. They first think it is a security light on a pole, but then realize the object is pacing them and descending. When the Hatchetts stop the truck, the light also stops in front of them. As the object hovers, it gives off a blinding light and a penetrating low-pitched hum. They have a feeling that there are occupants who know everything they are thinking. Donna is so afraid that she twice leaves the truck cab and goes into the back. William manages to persuade her to return, and they set off, the object rising up in the opposite direction.
That was something, and the names of the witnesses struck a chord with me. I mean I recognized the names but I didn’t know where I had heard or read them. That meant that his source was a real shock to me, when I reached that point. It said, “Kevin D. Randle, The UFO Casebook, Warner, 1989, pp. 143–144.
Unfortunately, The UFO Casebook was made up of magazine articles I had written back when I was starting out as a writer, and in keeping with the conventions of the time, sources were generally not included. There was a sort of “Reference” section in the back of the book, and for the entry on the October 1973, sightings, it didn’t provide much in the way of help for finding the original source. It said:
October 1973: The UFO Occupants
Charles Hickson [yes, I had actually interviewed him], Pat Roach, James Harder, Susan Ramstead, Leigh Proctor, Coral Lorenzen, the APRO Bulletin, various newspapers from October 1973, and a number of witnesses who asked their names be withheld.
In other words, I didn’t know now where that information had originated and wasn’t sure how to find it. There were hints, but suggesting the that I had found information in various newspapers and The APRO Bulletin, just didn’t tell me much. However, I had a very good working relation with Coral Lorenzen, and the entry in the book seemed to suggest more than just a newspaper report. I suspected it might have been something that Coral had provided. I do have a file labeled, “October 1973 Occupant Reports.” I was surprised to find that it contained several issues of The APRO Bulletin from 1973.
Yes, the information I sought came from the September-October 1973 issue. The Bulletin usually ran a month or two behind so that information gathered by APRO in October, would have appeared in the September-October issue. Credit is given to APRO Field Investigator L.G. Sikes for the investigation, whom I would guess lived in Oklahoma at the time.
This is about as far as I can take this. Rather than retype the entry for inclusion here, I’ve just scanned the relevant parts which you can read here:
|The APRO Bulletin entry for the Mannford UFO sightings|
Unless someone knows Sikes or how I might contact him, this is the end of the road. I did find an email address but it bounced as not existing now. I did, however, make it to the original published source that I had used and the only way to improve on it would be to talk with Sikes, or even better, the witnesses themselves. But, at least, I have found the source that I used to prepare the entry for The UFO Casebook.