On the night of March 15, 1965, James W. Flynn was camping in the Everglades after training some hunting dogs. Shortly after midnight, Flynn saw a britghly lit object descending approximately a mile away. Flynn thought it was a helicopter until he looked at it through binoculars. Thinking it may be some kind of a plane in trouble, or 'some new device from Cape Kennedy' he drove his swamp buggy towards the light, while it was visible through the trees. About a quarter of a mile away, he got out and headed towards the light on foot.
As he neared the object, Flynn saw the craft was not a plane, but a large, cone-shaped machine hovering a few feet above the ground. The craft was about 75 feet in diameter at the base and 25-30 feet high. Four rows of ports of windows were visible, with yellow light shining through them. Flynn heard a whirring like 'a diesel generator,' which disturbed one of his dogs 'who was howling in his cage and trying to get out', but could observe no equipment or occupants.
After several minutes, Flynn approached the craft, Within 200 yards of the UFO, jumped out of his swamp buggy, stepping into the circle of light and raising his hand as a friendly gesture in case he was being watched. As he did this, the UFO emitted a jet-like noise and a blast of wind that knocked him off-balance. As he continued to approach within a few yards, the UFO emitted a light beam like a welder's torch, striking him on the forehead and knocking him unconscious. Later he told the local newspaper "I felt a blow like a sledgehammer between the eyes, and that's all I know."
When he came to hours later, he found himself partially blinded, and a painful bruise was left on his forehead where the light beam had struck. The craft was gone, but there was a charred circular area where it had hovered, and the tops of nearby trees had been burned.
Flynn sought aid from an Indian acquaintance who helped him back to Fort Myers. He required medical treatment and had a small dark spot on his forehead. In addition to the painful bruise on his forehead and the effect on his vision, doctors determined Flynn also had an impairment of deep muscle and tendon reflexes, numbness and loss of hearing.
During the five days when Flynn was in the hospital, intelligence officers, under the orders of General O'Keefe, phoned him from nearby Homestead AFB. After obtaining a basic report, they informed him they would interview him again when he was released from the hospital.
Flynn's doctor found impairment of muscle and tendon reflexes which he believed could not have been faked, and the NICAP investigation concluded that the account of the event was supported by the physical evidence: extensive physical trace evidence was found at the site, including a circular area of burnt sawgrass 72 feet in diameter where the object has been hovering, and burns of the nearby trees.
The Air Force's Position:
Unfortunately Flynn's encounter came at a time of maximum difficulty for the Air Force, indeed during a major flap in the locality, and they were doing their best to play down the sighting. Attempts were made to discredit Flynn which backfired when many leading citizens, police officers and doctors vouched for him. The Air Force's suggestion that Flynn may have hoaxed the encounter ignored the remarkable ground and tree traces and his own physical impairments which his doctor believed "could not have been faked".
In the end the Air Force settled for the somewhat useless statement that, when questioned, they had nothing on their files concerning the Flynn incident.
* Fort Myers, Florida News-Press for March 18, 1965
* "Uninvited Guests" by Richard Hall, Aurora Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1988, pages 250-251
* "World Atlas of UFOs" (Book)