Excerpt from Richard Haines' CE-5 Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind (1999) (pp 190-192)
Case No. 100
Local Time: 2318
Duration: 23+ minutes
Location: Conway, South Carolina
No. Witnesses: 1
DB: kk CB: e PB-1: a PB-2: x UFOD: O
Abstract: Mr. Lloyd C. Booth, 29, a farmer, had just returned home at about 11:15 P.M. from his many chores. He lived just north of Conway, South Carolina, with his parents. The sky was clear, the moon full, and a slight wind swept through the trees nearby. Inside his house he first heard the braying of some mules in a nearby barn and then a panic of squawks by chickens and ducks. Thinking that a prowler might be in the area, he got his .22-caliber pistol and went outside.1 He found no one in the barn. Then, he moved quietly around the side of the barn to the back side where he provided the following account prepared by Kittler (1953). There are slight differences with other accounts; however they do not affect the overall interpretation of this event.
"Then I saw it. It was in front of me, not more than 10 feet above the tree tops, approaching slowly over the clearing beyond. I had never seen anything like it in my whole life. The eeriness of it made me feel terribly insignificant, and suddenly I felt as if I were the only person on earth. It was almost still, drifting towards me like a balloon, moving no faster than the slow walk of a man. I could see it plainly and could detect a slight humming noise. It was a light grayish color and lit up on the inside....
"I stood there, stunned, watching as it approached from the eastern sky.... I hollered to the house, about 200 yards away, hoping to arouse my family.... I gripped my pistol firmly and looked back at the strange thing over my head. It looked like an egg, cut end to end. It was about 24 feet long, perhaps 14 feet across, and it seemed 10 feet high. The front sloped at approximately a 60-degree angle, and rear dropped away at about 40 degrees. The entire craft was highly streamlined."
The UFO flew smoothly over Booth's head and moved to a location above some nearby trees. He followed it and entered the woods, watching it for about twenty minutes. He claims to have run ahead of the object to a small clearing and then turned to wait for it to arrive near his location. "Again it passed over me. I raised my arm and aimed the pistol at it. When it was slightly to the west of me, I fired. I heard the bullet hit the craft. It made a metallic noise and bounced off.2 I fired again, immediately, but this time I didn't hear the bullet strike because the moment the first bullet hit, the craft suddenly made a much louder noise, like a stepped-up electric motor, and took off with terrific speed at a 65-degree angle. It moved much faster than any craft we’ve seen before, traveling out of sight without changing its course. It virtually vanished into the sky." At this point, the witness waited several minutes and then returned to his house. His whole family had heard the gun shots and asked what had happened. He told them the details but they all agreed not to tell anyone else. A week later, Booth told Pastor Elwell Jones, minister of the local Baptist church, about the event. It was Jones who brought the story to the public's attention.
Comments: The witness said he was in the U.S. Army in an anti-aircraft unit and also trained to recognize "every type of aircraft" before this event. Following the event, personnel of the Civil Aeronautics Authority told the witness that a flight of U.S. Navy blimps had flown over the vicinity of the farm from Georgia to a base in North Carolina (i.e., from southwest to northeast) at particularly low altitude due to high winds.3 They suggested that he had fired at one of them. However, Booth is certain that the object he fired at traveled toward the west and continued doing so after being struck by his bullet.4 In Fawcett's account, the UFO also became brighter when the first bullet struck it.
Notes: 1. Booth had found one of his cows dead the previous evening. He could not find any obvious cause of its death; this event may have influenced his behavior on this night.
2. The account, written by Keyhoe and Lore, mentions a "sharp ping" sound at this point.
3. The witness remembered the winds as being light, while the Navy blimps had to fly at low altitude because of high winds. Also, blimps cannot accelerate like this object was seen to do. Finally, back in 1953 blimps were not internally illuminated as this object was described to have been. Other eye witnesses also reported seeing a similarly shaped object within a fifteen day period near Marion, South Carolina.
4. The witness later said, "I have seen many blimps and I've even been in one. I'd certainly know a blimp when I see one 80 feet over my head."
References: Fawcett, G.D. 1986. Human Reactions to UFOs Worldwide (1940-1983). Published privately, 11.
Keyhoe, D.E. and G.I.R. Lore, Jr., eds. 1969. Strange Effects from UFOs. Washington, D.C.: NICAP, 64-65.
State (Columbia, South Carolina), 7 February 1953.
Kittler, G.D. 1953. I shot a flying saucer. Male. (September): 16, 19, 86-87.
Cross references: 21 (3); 98 (4); 100 (4); 104 (4); 115 (4); 116 (4); 120 (4); 124 (4); 130 (4); 46 (4); 147 (4)