Jimmy Flynn is a substantial citizen, a practical, down-to-earth type who has never been subject to hallucinations and who certainly tells no fibs. When he says that a “sledgehammer blow” between the eyes that bruised his eyebrow and caused a vision impairment that now has him under treatment in the hospital came somehow from a huge cone-shaped object making a whirring noise and emitting a dazzling light that he countered in a remote Everglades prairie, it is certain that he believes it; that he didn’t consciously make it up.
Whether there actually was such an object there and whether Flynn received his injury from it, as he unquestionably believes, is something else. Certainly it is a fantastic story, one incredible to most persons and defying all logical explanation. It would be physiologically possible, perhaps, for one receiving such a sudden and severe blow in the head as Flynn incurred in the woods at night to gain an erroneous impression of the attending circumstances upon recovering consciousness.
In any event Flynn is by no means the first to report in all seriousness and sincerity an encounter with an unidentifiable object of such general nature. For 18 years, starting with the so-called “flying saucers,” the Air Force has been receiving reports of such objects from citizens, many of unimpeachable integrity, and even from some of its own fliers. The Air Force keeps track of such reports, investigates them exhaustively, and issues periodic reports of its activities in this field.
More than 9,000 such objects have been investigated by the Air Force. In many cases it was possible to explode the mysteries and trace the sightings to identifiable sourcesballoons, kites, searchlights, cloud formations, jet exhausts or meteors. Yet there have been many sightings which the Air Force is convinced were legitimate that could not be identified. Sixteen objects of 532 investigated last year remain unidentified, bringing the total of the 18-year span to 663.
The Air Force, while it cannot fully explain all such objects, says it has established that no threat exists from them. Its report says that not one of them “has ever given any indication of threat to our national security.” Nor has it found any evidence of “the existence and intraspace mobility of intraterrestrail life” although, perhaps to cover itself in case of some future revelation, it says that its investigators “do not deny the possibility that some form of life may exist on other planets in the universe.”
The Air Force is satisfied that in most cases of such reports, something was seen. Its investigations thus rule out any snap judgment that persons reporting strange objects have over-active imaginations or have over-indulged. They did see what they say they did, or at least they are sincerely convinced that they did. Flynn’s report may go down as one more on the long list of legitimate but unexplained sightings.