UFO Sighting Wave Of October 1973

by Pete Hartinger Roundtown UFO Society, Circleville, Ohio


At times, I have been asked that if unidentified flying objects exist, then why haven't they been reported in the newspapers? There are possible reasons why there isn't more coverage, but over the years there have been many reports of UFO sightings in the newspapers. A fellow member of the Roundtown UFO Society is Jon Fry, who is our chief researcher. He receives in the main monthly issues of a UFO Newspaper Clipping Service. It contains many recent UFO sightings from newspapers of the United States and other countries in the world. 31 years ago in October, 1973 there were massive sightings of UFOs from over a large part of the United States. All one has to do is to check any newspaper archives to verify this. Besides the local organization (RUFOS) and two national organizations (Mutual UFO Network) and (Center for UFO Studies), I am a member of a state organization that investigates and researches UFOs. It is the Mutual UFO Network of Ohio. A few years ago a project we did was to collect newspaper articles from around the state of Ohio that were during the UFO wave of October, 1973. I have the 133 pages of Ohio newspaper articles if anyone would want to look them over. Just get in contact with me. The locals will remember this time period (October, 1973), as to where Pat Boone visited the Pumpkin Show. The massive UFO sightings also occurred during the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East when Israel was threatened. There was a possibility of World War III at the time. Here are some of the highlights from the newspaper coverage of UFO reports of October, 1973. What follows is one of the best documented military UFO sighting on public record. 

The sighting was carried in many of the country's newspapers at that time. It occurred on the night of Oct. 18, 1973 around 10 pm. An U.S. Army Captain and three Army reservists saw the mysterious craft (UFO) that flew past their helicopter. The helicopter crew sighted a strange red light near Mansfield just off of Interstate 71. The helicopter was flying about 2,500 feet, and the crew first thought it was a radio tower. Suddenly the crew realized the light was coming toward them. Captain Lawrence J. Coyne, a veteran of 19 years in military flying grabbed the controls and dropped the helicopter in a shallow dive. When the UFO approached, Coyne said crew members saw a cigar-shaped object "unlike anything produced on earth." It was unreal...with a glowing, steady red light on its leading edge. A hull was at the very top of it, and a green light emitted from the rear of the craft which filled their cabin with a green glow. It was eerie. Crew members estimated that the object was moving at more than 600 miles per hour, basing their guess on the rapid appearance and disappearance of the craft. That is about twice the legal speed limit in the controlled space at that level. "It looked like a fighter plane coming straight for us." Coyne said, "I took immediate evasive action. I cut the power and dropped into a shallow dive. We dropped to 2,000 feet and it was headed straight for us. We braced for impact." Coyne said the approaching craft appeared to stop momentarily about 500 feet overhead and banked to one side. He said he glanced at the altimeter and noticed that the helicopter had risen to 3,800 feet. None of the crew felt the gravitational pull normally felt when a helicopter rises, he added. "We felt a bounce, and then the other craft took off to the northeast." Neither Coyne nor any other members of the crew were able to offer any rational explanation for the incident. Notes: Coyne's helicopter was near Ashland County during the UFO encounter. Ashland County Sheriff's deputies also had a UFO sighting that night. Later ground witnesses in the vicinity of the sighting, reported either seeing the helicopter and UFO or the strange green light. They also heard the helicopter noise overhead at the same time. Ironically, Captain Coyne was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (two grades) before he retired. Apparently the military felt he was very competent. He also was part of a concerned group of people who made a special presentation about unidentified flying objects to the United Nations on Nov. 27, 1978. Locally, in the early morning hours of Oct. 16 area residents and two city police officers saw a strange phenomenon. A local resident called authorities at 4:23 a.m. to report a large golden object in the sky southwest of the city. He told officers he had spotted the UFO earlier when he left work in Columbus. When he arrived home, he once again spotted it as he got out of his car. Two police officers were dispatched to the scene and both reported seeing a large gold object in the sky. It appeared to be emitting a large red plume and was moving in circles as the officers viewed it. The officers notified base operations at Lockbourne Air Base of the sighting but did not receive any explanation. Also a Stoutsville; woman heading to work in ChillicotHe earlier that evening saw a strange object in the sky. Another newspaper article stated that for what it's worth, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, kept the official Air Force log on UFOs for 23 years until the project ended in 1969. In those years 12,618 UFO sightings were reported and 701 were never identified. "None of these, the study said, gave any indication of a threat to our national security." Another famous case occurred during this Oct., 1973 time period. Two men claimed they were taken aboard a UFO near Pascagoula, Mississippi. To this day they have stuck to their story.  In the middle of the month several witnesses observed UFOs over or near Greenfield, Ohio. These UFO sightings went on for a few days and included a police officer observing them. He described his UFO, as being egg shaped and had a glow around it. This was covered by front page headlines in the Greenfield Daily Times newspaper. Governor Gilligan of Ohio also reported seeing a UFO one night while driving home from Michigan. He described it as a vertical beam of light,, amber colored. The Associated Press reported on Oct. 19, 1973 that the 2 Skylab astronauts in debriefing sessions told of seeing a mysterious red-disk object in space, the space agency reported. The disclosure came amid a new nationwide rash of sightings of unexplained aerial objects. In Oct., 1973 Dr. J. Allen Hynek of Northwestern University told a meeting of the Columbus Astronomical Society that it is far easier to laugh about UFOs, than to think. Dr. Hynek was for several years the chief consultant for the U.S. Air Force about UFOs. In later years he did an about face and stated that UFOs did indeed exist and were someone else's craft. In some cases the UFOs were photographed and in one instance by a Columbus Dispatch photographer. The Center for UFO Studies reported that they had close to one thousand UFO sighting reports during this month of October, the highest amount received in such a short time. Since October 1973 there have been thousands of UFO sighting reports from around the world, but none have had the newspaper coverage, such as October  1973. You can phone me at 477-6252; write P.O. Box 52, Circleville, Ohio 43113; or e-mail [email protected]