Case Directory
  Category 1, Distant Encounters 
 
  Preliminary
Rating: 5  

                                   
     

A Hynek Classification of Distant Encounter is usually an incident involving an object more than 500 feet from the witness. At night it is classified as a "nocturnal light" (NL) and during the day as a "daylight disc" (DD). The size of the object or the viewing conditions may render the object in greater detail but yet not qualify the sighting as a Close Encounter which is an object within 500'. 

Metallic Object With Smoke Trail
Aug. 14, 1947
Placerville, California


Brad Sparks:
Aug. 14, 1947; 5 miles S of Placerville, Calif. (BBU)
4 p.m. Insurance adjuster Switzer saw a metallic highly-­polished chromium surface object 4-6 ft wide 10-14 inches thick, rounded slightly on top larger in the front, leaving a white trail, at 500-1,000 ft height traveling at high speed. (McDonald list; FOIA; FUFOR Index)

Loren Gross:
FBI agents were sent to the home of a R. Switzer in Sacramento, California, to ask questions about something seen August 14th in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.  Switzer told the agents he had been driving along Cedar Ravine Road that day with his wife and kids when a smoke trail appeared.  At the head of the smoke was an object about five feet long and fourteen inches wide (he estimated), and of a metallic appearance that flashed in the sun.  While in view the mystery cylinder was suddenly:  " ...engulfed in a puff of dark grey smoke about 10 feet in diameter."   228  He said he had turned to say something to his wife but it was obvious that she had seen the whole thing for her mouth hung open and she was waving a finger at the lingering smoke cloud.  No particles were detected falling out of the vapor.  Mr. Switzer guessed the thing had exploded fairly low and about 800 yards from the road.  An air search was conducted but nothing out of the ordinary could be detected in the area.  No more was attempted since the terrain was too broken for an exacting ground inspection.   229  With that the inquiry was ended.

Detailed reports and documents
docs/470814placerville_docs.pdf (Dan Wilson & Bill Schroeder)
articles/470814placerville_article.pdf (Barry Greenwood)

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