Case Directory
  Category 2, Close Encounters 
Rating: 5  

A Hynek Classification of Close Encounter is usually an incident involving an object less than 500 feet from the witness.  The size of the object,  viewing conditions, or stereoscopic vision (depth perception)  may render the object in greater detail and still qualify the sighting as a Close Encounter even though the object may have been beyond 500'.  The incident depicted in the logo was encountered during an intense storm near Princeton, IN,  Aug. 1973.

Big As A Washtub
August 9, 1963
Mt. Vernon, Illinois

Fran Ridge:
Aug. 9, 1963; Mount Vernon, Ill. (BBU)
10:10 pm. Former Mayor Harry Bishop observed a large, bright red light which appeared to be only about 300 or 400 feet high, was oval shaped, and was "about the size of a washtub." It followed a car along Centralia road. When the car stopped, the driver jumped out and looked upward. The UFO stopped and hovered, then moved away at right angles to its original course at a high rate of speed. It seemed to be making a light whirring sound. Bishop estimated that the fireball was in sight for from ten to 15 minutes. 

Detailed reports and documents
"Mount Vernon Mayor Harry Bishop Reports UFO" (Mt. Vernon Register, Sat, Aug 10, 1963)
UFO Intelligence Summary (UFO Filter Center/Ridge)
Southern Illinois Sightings - BB Microfilm (Fran Ridge)
"Mystery Lights Jolt S. Illinois" (Chicago American, Aug 9, 1963)
"Lights in Sky Aren't 'for Real' " (Chicago American, Aug 11, 1963)
"Air Force Team Check Out Light-In-Sky Stories" (Wayne County Press, Mon, Aug 12, 1963)
"Light Theory Revealed" (Evansville Courier, Aug 16, 1963)

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