Mufon UFO Journal, August 1983, No. 186, p. 3-7:
ROSS, OHIO LANDING CASE
By Charles J. Wilhelm
Click here for illustration
The following narrative report with photographs and drawings is being published
in the Journal because it is a fine example of the techniques employed in
collecting the essential ingredients and data from a UFO landing trace case.
Even though the ultimate results are not as significant as the Delphos,
Kansas case of November 2, 1971, the investigators involved demonstrate
the procedures recommended in the third edition of the MUFON Field Investigator’s
Manual. This report should be a guide and incentive to train more
investigative teams to have this capability…..
Walt Andrus, Interim Editor
On April 10th, 1983, an unknown craft
landed in Ross, Ohio. The unknown object was initially observed by two
separate motorists. Mrs. X was driving on Layhigh Road near Route 748
leaving Ross, Ohio, when she noticed a large bright white light to her right.
As the object got closer, the lights in the car started to flicker and her
car’s engine almost stalled-out. She first thought it was a plane, but
then realized it was moving faster than a plane, plus it seemed that the object
was coming down. After the object had passed her, the lights and car’s
engine returned to normal. She estimated that the time of her sighting
was around 8:20 PM.
Mr. Jeffries, the second motorist, was
driving towards Layhigh Road on the Hamilton-New London Road when he
saw the object. He too described the object as being a large bright
white light. His car also acted in the same manner as Mrs. X’s car when
the object got closer. His car functioned normally after the object
passed out of sight. Mr. Jeffries stated that the object was decreasing
in speed and seemed to be descending. His sighting took place around
8:30 PM. Later that night, Mr. Jeffries contacted OUFOIL and reported
The main witness in this landing case,
a Mr. C.H. (pseudonym), was watching television on the night of the incident.
The vertical hold on his set started
to roll and the lights in the house flickered. Mr. C.H. thought that
someone had again hit the utility pole down the road. As he started
to go to the kitchen, the TV set went off entirely, along with the lights
in the house. He assumed that there was a complete power failure.
When looking for a flashlight, the TV set came back on and so did the lights
in the house.
Mr. C.H. made his way to the kitchen
to look out his back door to see if someone had hit the utility pole.
He stated that he couldn’t see anything wrong, since there were no sparks
or lights coming from that direction. While all these events were happening
inside the house, his dog continued barking. He thought that he could
calm his dog down by going outside. Mr. C.H. felt that his dog had detected
some animal, thus explaining his extensive barking.
Mr. C.H. turned on the back porch light
and went outside to calm his dog. He observed that the dog’s hair was
standing up on his back and that he was both growling and barking. When
he tried to calm him down, the dog continued unabated. Mr. C.H. turned
to the direction in which his dog was barking and that’s when he saw a flicker
of light down in the field. He estimated that the light was some 300
to 400 yards from the house. His first thought was that some kids were
in the field, perhaps looking for night-crawlers. He directed his attention
to the light source for several minutes, while trying to calm his dog.
The light repeatedly changed from bright
to dim. He called out, but got no response from anyone. Mr. C.H.
then decided to go back into the house and call the sheriff. As he started
into the house, the light source got very bright and his porch light went
out. He turned quickly toward the source of the light and saw something
rising in the air very slowly. He said the light was so bright, that
it illuminated his entire field. When this thing got several hundred
feet above the ground, the bright light dimmed and flickering lights could
be observed. As this lighted object increased in altitude, it suddenly
took off like a jet aircraft.
After the unusual object had departed,
his dog calmed down somewhat. Mr. C.H. then went back inside the house
and took his dog with him. He found that the television set was now
working normally and the lights were functioning properly. As Mr. C.H.
sat in his chair, he wondered what he had witnessed. So many things
ran through his head, he started to call the sheriff several times, but decided
While contemplating what had just happened,
he remembered having called a UFO organization in 1974 about a previous sighting.
His search disclosed that the organization and number was that of the Ohio
UFO Investigators League. Mr. C.H. called and related what he had just
witnessed. An interview was set-up that same night. He stated
over the phone that he was a little shaken and would welcome the opportunity
to talk to someone in person as soon as possible.
OUFOIL sent three investigators, Ron
Schaffner, Bill Johns and myself to investigate the case. We arrived
at Mr. C.H.’s residence before 11:00 pm. It was obvious that the man
was visibly shaken from some experience. We began our interview around
11:10 PM and finished at 12:22 AM. During the interview, Mr. C.H. related
what he had witnessed and we asked the appropriate questions. Preliminary
tests were conducted to measure Mr. C.H.’s eyesight. After Mr. C.H.
related his story, we replayed the tape for him to hear and to make additions
or corrections. He had nothing to add at that time. At this point,
we had Mr. C.H. sign special legal forms giving us permission to investigate
on his property. Ron Schaffner explained each and every form to Mr.
Since it had been raining for several days, I called the Weather Bureau to
determine if the rain was going to continue. The weather station said
that there would be rain on-and-off all through the night and it would continue
thru the next day. Having finished with the forms, we all proceeded
to the landing area. During the interview, Bill Johns had gone to the
area to check for any signs of radiation.
When we reached the landing area, Bill
stated that he could only pickup normal background radiation. The area
was checked with a portable survey meter model 3009. We could see the
impression of something which had apparently landed. It looked like
there was a burnt spot in the middle and there were many broken tree branches
inside the impression. We assumed that the unknown craft had broken
these branches from the nearby tree when leaving the area. The branches
weren’t crushed or broken into small pieces.
There seemed to be a small indentation
in the ground left by the unknown craft. Because of the extremely wet
ground, we recognized that an exact weight measurement would be difficult.
Ron was taking as many photos as possible, but with the rain coming down,
we would have to determine later if they were satisfactory. Since the
weather conditions prevented us from conducting our field investigation, it
was decided to protect the landing area from additional rain. We erected
a waterproof cover over the landing area, which rested approximately one-half
inch above the ground. At no time did we touch or enter the effected
area. In order to prevent the cover from touching the ground, due to
the weight of possible water resting on it, we used several dozen air-filled
balloons and placed them under the cover for support. With the area
well covered, we left the scene and planned to return early in the morning
to conduct a full field investigation.
When we returned the next morning, Ron
began taking a whole series of photographs to document the area. While
Ron was taking photos, Bill and I checked the area again for signs of radiation.
This time we used a portable survey meter model 3007 with a 3056 probe, which
has a low background steel body for shielding background radiation.
Each of us wore a dosimeter model 862 during the entire field investigation.
These instruments were loaned to us by the Civil Defense. At no time
did we ever detect radiation, except for the normal background.
The next procedure was to remove
the light weight cover which we had erected over the landing spot. The
balloons accomplished their job. No part of the cover touched the landing
area and no puddles of water had collected on the cover during the night.
The cover was removed with great care so as not to disturb the landing area.
With the cover removed, we made a visual
check of the landing area. The landing area looked normal, except for
a burned spot in the center.
The outer fringes of the landing spot
seemed to be scorched. Inside the landing area there were several broken
branches, which it is assumed the unknown craft knocked from a nearby tree
when leaving. The surrounding area seemed to appear normal and it too
had several broken branches which came from the nearby tree. A series
of photographs were taken by Ron to document the evidence.
While Ron was busy taking photographs,
Bill and I began setting up a directional line. We measured the landing
area without going inside the effected area. It measured 50 feet in
diameter. Our next procedure was to build a grid pattern over the effected
area. When the grid was completed, it consisted of 24 different sections
which would be investigated and identified independently.
At 9:32 AM, I prepared to enter the first
grid section for a search investigation. I was wearing proper protective
clothing and carried the needed equipment. Each grid section was completely
photographed before an entry was made. It is very necessary to photograph
each section so the laboratory scientists will know where the samples were
taken or where any unknown artifacts were found. After I thoroughly
investigated each section, I also took a core sample from each one.
The core samples were taken with an 18 inch galvanized pipe with a 1 inch
diameter opening. Only 12 inches of the pipe was driven into the ground.
Each sample removed was properly sealed and tagged to identify the section
of its origin.
At various points within the grid, I
also took 36 inch depth soil samples with a Hoffer soil sampler. It
wasn’t necessary to take a 36 inch core sample from each grid section, since
the effected area showed no signs of anything unusual. This was later
confirmed when I performed a soil chemical test in the field. The tests
showed that the soil hadn’t been altered by the unknown craft. The soil
test I performed was a simple test done with a LaMotte soil test kit.
It is a kit which tests for preliminary investigation on soil reaction.
It employs the simple spot plate method, using a single indicator solution
covering acid, alkaline and neutral soils (pH 4.0-8.0). The ideal kit
would have been the LaMotte soil reaction set. It employs the rapid
It took me a total of 5 hours and 23
minutes to complete my investigation of the effected area. I took a
total of twenty-four 18 inch core samples and six 36 inch core samples in
the effected area. I collected a total of 18 various items, from scorched
grass to a wilted spider, inside the effected area. While I was investigating
the effected area, Bill was taking core samples and other items outside the
effected area. He took a total of twelve 18 inch and six 36 inch depth
samples of soil. Bill inspected the tree where the broken branches originated,
while Ron made a series of photographs of the tree. No type of evidence,
such as metal traces, indentation or residue, was found. Bill obtained
samples of sap from one of the broken branches. He placed this sample
in a special culture plate and sealed it in a “Gono-pak.”
Ron helped me gather water samples from
the area. We wanted to lab to run a bacteriological analysis on the
water found in the area. Water samples were taken with a professional
water scoop (Model B1079WA). All samples were put in a standard “Whirl-pak”
bag. These bags are very good for holding water samples. They
have a white write-on strip for easy identification, plus there is also a
4 oz. Fill-line, which serves as a guide to help the sample collector obtain
the proper amount of water for standard test procedures.
I also took water samples from the tree.
These samples were placed on one well culture slides, which were placed into
micro-slide mailers. These mailers are ideal for safe handling and will
insure safe transferal to the laboratory. A total of 12 water samples
were taken from the area.
The next test we performed was measuring
the ground compression. Due to the very wet ground and the angle of
the slightly depressed soil, we felt that an accurate weight estimate would
be almost impossible. However, we did run the test and the results indicated
that the unknown craft weighted around 39,000 pounds. (Please remember,
this is just an estimate.)
Rough sketches of the landing and surrounding
areas were made. This information was passed on to our staff artist
Tim Curry. The temperature of the surface soil was 39 degrees.
A total of 10 hours was involved in the field investigation activities.
With our field investigation now completed,
we packed-up our equipment and samples and returned to Mr. C.H.’s house.
We spent some time with Mr. C.H. going over various aspects of the case before
leaving. On our way home, we stopped at the laboratories and gave them
the samples and all necessary information needed for their testing.
When we got home, all of the equipment was cleaned and a list was made of
what replacements were needed.
After the equipment was cleaned, the
three of us compared our notes so a report could be prepared. From all
of the information gathered and the tests that we conducted in the field,
we all agreed that nothing unusual was detected from the samples collected.
We definitely didn’t have a Delphos, Kansas situation, however we did agree
that something had landed.
Several days elapsed before we started
receiving the laboratory reports on our samples. I won’t relate the
technical data of those reports, but just a small summary of their findings..
Anyone interested in the laboratory data and maps, who are doing research
into the geological and biological aspects related to UFO sightings, may obtain
copies from OUFOIL.
Among the 32 core samples and the 12
auger samples taken, inside and outside the landing area, not one sample tested
revealed anything out of the ordinary. Since there were no characteristic
changes in the soil, only the basic tests were run. If something would
have been found unusual, then many more precise tests would have been performed.
Samples from the three foot diameter
burned area in the middle of the landing area underwent special tests.
These tests were for the purpose of checking for any type of combustible substance,
such as gasoline, kerosene, butylene, etc. The tests showed no signs
of a flammable element in the soil. However, these samples did have
one aspect about them that the others didn’t. All other samples had
a wetness depth of 10 to 14 inches, while these had a wetness depth of no
more than 4 inches. It was the opinion of the laboratory people that
these samples were subjected to some kind of extreme heat.
All water samples submitted for testing
proved to be normal. Even the bacteriological analysis was normal.
It was evident that the unknown craft had no effect on the water in the area.
Analysis of the vegetation, insects and
other samples submitted proved to be normal. Some of the grass samples
showed signs of being burnt. No traces of a combustible substance were
detected. Several samples of wilted vegetation proved to be caused by
heat. Various insects, such as the Hymenoptera ant, were tested showing
signs of exposure to heat and some being crushed. The sample of sap
contained some sugar and other substances, but proved to be normal.
As in the other tests, not one showed signs of being other than normal.
Mr. C.H.’s veterinarian stated that he found
nothing wrong with Mr. C.H.’s dog. The only thing that seemed a little
out of the ordinary was the dogs eyes seemed to be “running” more than normal.
Beyond that, he stated that the dog was in good health.
Ron and I did character checks on the
witnesses, especially Mr. C.H. All had very good reputations and were
well respected in their communities. Mr. C.H. seemed to be an exceptional
individual, who was always helping others. We talked to everyone from
their neighbors to the local police. We found no reason not to accept
what the witnesses thought they saw.
An extensive search was made
for additional witnesses, but no others were found. All police departments,
airports, weather bureaus, gas and electric companies, military facilities,
etc., were contacted for any possible additional information applicable to
the case. We even did a complete follow-up report 30 days after the
sighting. Again, nothing new was revealed.
In conclusion, it is our opinion that
some unknown craft did indeed land on the property of Mr. C.H. on the evening
of April 10, 1983. None of us are claiming that the unknown craft was
a flying saucer. There is no hard documented evidence to support that
claim. Unless some important evidence should surface, we are listing
this sighting and all the events involved, as simply an unknown.
Source: MUFON Journal no. 186, August 1983
This article was reproduced by Joan Woodward (Animal Reaction Specialist)
and the web page was constructed for the NICAP site by Francis Ridge, NICAP