Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2012 11:45:15 -0500
From: francis ridge <>
Subject: WAYNE COUNTY PRESS, Fairfield, IL - Nov. 13, 1997
              UFO Visited Wayne County 34 Years Ago

Received this great (but old) newsclipping from Michael Swords and I had Rich Vitello transcribe it for us.

From the mind of JACK VERTREES
Got a phone call the other day from a young lady of 100 years. Nellie Austin over Wayne City way. She was a delight and pleased that she got 139 birthday cards on her Sept. 29 birthday when she hit the century mark. Not many of us get that far and Nellie would have been around when the Titanic sank in 1912.

Nellie did go back on us a bit in time to about 34 years ago and asked if we remembered talking to members of the Austin family after an UFO incident involving her grandson, Ronnie Austin and his girl friend, Phyllis Bruce, after they had gone to a movie in Mt. Vernon. As the young couple started home, a strange and mysterious light in the sky began following them, all the way home, thru the country side.

The light hung in the sky for a time after Ronnie got home. The light was seen by a number of people that night. The sighting attracted National attention and the Air Force sent its UFO experts here and a Northwestern University professor, considered top man in the US at that time in UFO sightings came too.

There is no evidence to suggest Hynek was ever there. In fact he claimed nobody investigated the case:

Dr. J. Allen Hynek:
The Air Force had a process for finding a possible solution and that was it. For instance, there was this case in which a young couple said they'd been followed by a UFO and they came home nearly hysterical. The Air Force took a look at it......Well, the moon was full that night, near full, and it was in the east. They said the thing had come from the east, therefore the Air Force said they must have been chased by the moon! They must just have looked in the back and had seen the moon in the rearview mirror - this was their solution. No attempt was made to go (back) and talk to these people, none at all. They'd arrived at the solution that it was the moon. (The Edge of Reality, 207)

Jack Vertress:
We don't recall the Air Force verdict on the sighting but we are sure that they determined it was no UFO since the Air Force doesn't believe in UFOs. Interesting story and yes, we believe there are UFOs around. Incidentally, Ronnie and Phyllis became Mr. and Mrs. and still are.

Well, that's very interesting news. I may try to call them and do a short interview and tell them about NICAP's update on the case.

Fran Ridge