Group /Category 4
Animal Effect Cases

Case Directory
Columbia, Missouri
June 28, 1973

Animal Reaction Feature:
The two major witnesses in this event are James Richards, 41,  an animal care technician at the University of Missouri, and his daughter, Vanea, 16.  After midnight, Vanea heard a loud, persistent thrashing sound outside their house trailer, and called her father.  Richards moved to the window and saw two light beams about 5 feet apart from each other and 50 feet away from his window.  The beams disappeared, and a glowing bright oval form appeared, lighting up the area.  The thrashing sound was apparently trees moving as if blown by wind (wind was only 5 knots), and after the oval form appeared, this sound suddenly ceased.  The night was clear and calm.

As Richards moved from window to window, he noticed his dogs lying very still near the corner of the trailer that was nearest to the oval object.  The dogs were large security animals, who would normally bark at various night animals and who were not easily frightened.  Richard though it strange they were not barking at all the noise and the bright lights.

Joan Woodward, Animal Reaction Specialist:
The initial two light beams were tapered, about 4 feet wide at the top and about 2 feet wide at the bottom where they touched the ground, and the upper inner edges were about 5 feet apart.  They were very bright and silver-white in color.

The bright beams faded out rapidly, and a bright oval form appeared just above the location of the two beams.  The oval was estimated to be 12-15 feet in diameter and near the ground.  It was extremely bright, silver-white in color, the edges were fuzzy, and no surface details were visible.  It was very bright at the center and a duller white at the edges. The trees on both sides of the oval were clearly visible, including trees as far away as 100 feet.  The only sounds were the thrashing sounds of the vegetation as if being blown by strong wind, but one tree showed a different motion as it something were pulling that tree toward the ground.  As indicated above, soon after the oval became visible, the sounds ceased, but the one tree continued to show an earthward tugging motion until a loud cracking sound was heard, and the tugging motion stopped (a branch broken off at 17 feet was found the next day).  It was at this point that Richards made the observation of his dogs.

The object moved away to 200 feet from the window and hovered, and now, with it less bright to the eye, the witnesses could see a blue band of light and an orange glow extending around the outer edge of the oval.

At this point, possible EM effects (house lights dimmed, telephone line problems) were reported.

The object’s movement was smooth and slow and no sound was heard.  The oval moved back near its original position and disappeared by growing smaller (glow faded).  It did not seem to be moving away as it would have run into trees.

Possible physical traces included marks on the broken limb, imprints into the ground, and leaves dying.  Upon a later visit by investigator Phillips, leaves were dead and limbs were barren over the area.

No physiological effects were reported.

Hall, Richard H., 2002, The UFO Evidence, Vol. II, Lanham, MD, Scarecrow Press, pages 61-62.

Phillips, Ted, The Center for Physical Trace Research Site, Cases of “High Strangeness,” TRACAT FILE #568  (can be found at:

The Report - Richard Hall
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