May 2, 2011 – Back in 1967, South Hill, Virgina had a strange encounter with an Unidentified Flying object. To be more specific, a man named Cliff Crowder had a strange encounter with a UFO. His friends Gilbert Tolbert (the Police Chief of South Hill at the time), Billy Murphy (one of the patrolmen), and Robert Harris Sr. (a photographer) were also closely involved with the incident, though they did not witness it. Recently Gilbert, Murphy, and Harris reunited to reminisce about the past.
South Hill police officers investigate the UFO trace
Crowder had just left the office after going over the books at Mobile Chemical Company’s plant in South Hill, and was in his car on his way home when he saw the UFO. He described it as a metal storage tank, twenty feet tall and fifteen feet wide, shiny as if it where made of aluminum or something similar, and as having three legs that propped it up off of the ground. In his recounting of the event, he says it stayed in place, in front of his car, for at most five seconds. Then large white flames shot out from underneath it, bright and white like flash bulbs, and it jettisoned straight upward into the sky.
Police Chief Tolbert recalls that he got to the scene at around nine in the evening, took a look to make sure no one was hurt, and decided to start a real investigation the next morning. When he came back the next, a Saturday, it seemed that everyone in town knew about the UFO. News reporters came flocking in, and while Tolbert said that he couldn’t tell them what had happened specifically, he also said that if Crowder said he saw something, he saw something. Of course, the burn mark on the ground added validity to the fact that something had happened.
A man named Dr. J Allen Hynek, the chief consultant for the Air Force in regards to UFOs, got involved, and while he regrettend not being able to come himself, he sent William T. Powers, an Air Force Civil Investigator, to take a look at things. Powers took samples and promised to keep investigating.
Harris also adds that, while something certainly happened, he doubts that it involved Extra Terrestrials and was more likely a prank pulled on Crowder.
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