| Fran Ridge:
Oct. 20, 1973; east of Mt. Vernon, Indiana
6:50 a.m. An L&N train crew had an encounter with UFOs. The train had been moving from southern Illinois to southern Indiana and had passed north of Mt. Vernon, heading east, nearing the Lamont crossing, which is about 2-miles west of the outskirts of Evansville. A bright white light about 1/5th size of the sun was coming out of the north and turned and headed east, it's brightness fluxuating. This was witnessed by the two lead conductors, which included the primary witness. When they neared Caborn (6-7 miles east of Mt. Vernon), the conductor told the two rear conductors by intercom that they had just seen a real bright light ahead of them. When they got near St. Phillips, the rear conductor reported that there was a train following them, on the same track. This caused some dispute since none of the crew had heard anything on the radios. By now the RR blocking system was "red" which indicated a train was following them. When they got near Belknap Hill, which is a pretty steep climb, right at the Lamont Crossing the train became immobilized when a diesal rear unit overheated. The rear conductors weren't too concerned because they had thought that they had a train following them, which could assist them, so the main conductor radioed the Howell Roundhouse at Evansville. He was stunned to hear that there was no train behind them! With nothing left to do with a stalled train, the conductor walked back to the rear of the Burlington engine and hit the restart button, and was surprised that it "took right off". He knew this just wasn't right but they were able to climb that hill, loaded down with tons of coal, and make it on in to Evansville without further problems. But as they had moved up and away from the Lamont Crossing, the blocking system went from "red" to "amber", indicating the "train" was retreating and finally gave them a "green board". See full report. (UFO Filter Center, FI Francis Ridge, MUFON SSD).
Two nights later (Oct. 22, 1973) at Upton, Indiana which is NW of Mt. Vernon, a man was farming. He and his daughter were sitting in their pickup truck when they noticed a dark, triangular object with really bright red, white (or light amber) and green lights that looked as though it was going to land. At 6:50 p.m. it was dark outside, and the object was about 2-3 city blocks away. No sound could be heard. The witnesses moved to the other side of the field to watch. The object was now either on or near the (RR) tracks just before a train heading NW went through. The object had dimmed and hovered near the passing train for about a minute, then took off SE towards Mt. Vernon. The young daughter was scared. (UFO Filter Center Files, FI Fran Ridge, MUFON SSD).
Later that week, the conductor involved in the L&N train incident on the previous Saturday morning (20th) had been talking with various persons since his sighting. The dispatcher at Evansville had told him that someone at Maunie (Illinois) had called sometime Monday 22nd) and reported that an object was seen flying over a train there, right over the engine. (Source: Logged 749, RR employee) The Maunie sighting and the Upton sighting were two different events, and 7 miles apart! We don't know what time the Maunie sighting took place, but both incidents involved L&N trains and two days after one was disabled when two UFOs crossed in front of the tracks and one followed close enough to set off the RR blocking system.
[The Monon RR train incident (*) that occurred on Oct. 3, 1958 and over a path from Wasco to Kirtland, Indiana, was similar in that UFO(s) had crossed in front of the train. In both cases UFO(s) then followed the trains.]
Detailed reports and documents
reports/mtvernon_report.htm (Fran Ridge)
CR Form C - Preliminary Report (UFO Filter Center/Fran Ridge)
Official report submitted in 1986 in triplicate to MUFON HQ, DDI Dan Wright, CUFOS
Audio [tape recording] Official Interrogation phase one (Oct 20, 1973; Fran Ridge)
Oct. 3, 1958; From Wasco to Kirtland (Fran Ridge/NICAP) *
Trains/ (Collection of train incidents. Fran Ridge)
Articles/UFOs: More Engine Effects Diesals Too [MUJ_Mar1985.pdf] (James McCampbell)