March 15, 1965
Story, Ronald D., editor, 1980,
The Encyclopedia of UFOs, Dolphin Books, Doubleday, New York, pages 132-134:
James Flynn, a rancher of East Fort Myers, Florida, walked into the office of ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Brown in Fort Myers, on Wednesday, March 17, 1965, and asked to be treated. The area around his eyes was red and puffy and he was nearly blind. His right eye looked like a bloody marble. After hearing his story, Dr. Brown notified Mrs. Flynn, who came and took her husband to Lee Memorial Hospital, where he remained for five days.
The story told by Flynn is fantastic, but so were his wounds. The following is reconstructed from conversations and correspondence between the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), Dr. Harvey Stripe, Flynn’s personal physician, and Flynn himself.
On Friday, March 12, Flynn took his swamp buggy, camping gear, and four dogs, and set out for the Everglades, about eighteen miles east of the Big Cypress Indian Reservations. On Sunday night, the dogs jumped a deer and ran off. Flynn whistled and called until about midnight, then started his swamp buggy and headed in the direction in which he last saw them running.
An hour later, at about 1 A.M. (Monday), Flynn spotted a huge light in the sky above the cypress trees about a mile away. It moved from east to west and back to its original position four times. The object then settled to the ground and appeared to hover at an altitude of four feet. Flynn drove closer, got out his binoculars, turned out the light on his swamp buggy, and watched it with the glasses. It was an unusual object of between thirty and thirty-two feet tall and twice as big across the bottom (in diameter) as it was high. Eight feet from the top was a row of windows, below which were three more rows of the same size—about two feet by two feet. Around the windows was a black strip, perhaps two inches wide. From the bottom of the lowest row of windows to the bottom of the ship was a distance of about twelve feet. Flynn judged the size by comparing the object with the surrounding cypress trees, which were about twenty-five feet tall. It was cone-shaped, except the top was not peaked but rounded.
The whole object appeared to be metallic and comprised of pieces of material four feet by four feet and held together with rivets. The windows gave off a dull yellow light, and the area under the object was lighted by an orangish-red glow. He watched the object for thirty to forty minutes with his binoculars.
Flynn was by this time about a quarter mile from the object and decided to investigate further, so he cranked up his buggy and approached it. He got within a few yards of the edge of the light and stopped, switching off his buggy lamp again. The dog he had on the buggy in a cage was so upset it had begun trying to tear out of its cage (see ANIMAL REACTIONS TO UFOs).
Flynn walked to the edge of the lighted area, raised his arm and waved. He got no response, and after waiting an estimated one half minute, he walked about six feet into the lighted area, raised his arm, and waved again.
Suddenly a “short beam” of light erupted from just under the bottom of the windows and struck Flynn on the forehead. He lost consciousness.
He awoke in the early hours of Tuesday, after twenty-four hours of unconsciousness; although he did not know at the time that he had been unconscious for such a long period. He was lying on the ground behind his buggy, and the dog on the buggy had nearly torn his cage apart. Flynn looked around the area, found a perfectly symmetrical circle of burned ground cover where the object had hovered. Several cypresses on the opposite side of the circle were burned at the tops. He also found marks in the vicinity of his buggy indicating that he had crawled around before he regained consciousness, although he had no recollection of crawling.
Weak from his long period without food, Flynn drove his buggy back to his campsite about two miles away, cooked bacon and eggs, and ate them. He then drove to the home of a Seminole Indian friend, Henry Billy, on the Reservation. The going was slow as he had only partial blurred sight in his left eye and was blind in his right eye.
Billy offered to accompany him back to Fort Myers, but, with partial sight, Flynn felt he could make the trip alone and arrived there at 4 P.M., Wednesday. He went to Brown’s office and it was there that he learned that he must have been unconscious for twenty-four hours instead of just a few minutes or hours; he had lost a whole day.
The first consideration in this case is, of course, the integrity of the witness, and James Flynn’s reputation was good. He was not a drinking man. He was a rancher who enjoyed hunting in the wilds of Florida’s Everglades. This trip was not his first. He had not, prior to his experience, been interested in “FLYING SAUCERS.”
APRO requested from Dr. Stripe his opinion of Flynn, and what follows is the text of his letter to APRO, dated April 28, 1965:
“I have known Mr. Flynn for 25 years and have always considered him a reliable, emotionally stable individual.
“I also accompanied him to the site of his observation of the flying object. I have made a few pictures of the burned area, which is not conclusive of anything but a fresh burn and scorched treetops in a perfect circle near the area marked by Mr. Flynn as site of the hovering object. There were also fresh scuff marks on two trees 12 or 15 feet apart in the area underneath the burned circle of trees. The marks were as if a heavy object in a straight line had slid down the trees about 2 feet and there stopped. There was no mark of any kind on the soft dried marsh underneath. No animal, human, or vehicle tracks of any kind. I could not account for those scuff marks.” Very Truly Yours, (Signed) H. J. Stripe, M.D.
Dr. Stripe’s medical report reads as follows:
“I was asked to see Mr. Flynn about 48 hours after he was admitted to Lee Memorial Hospital by an opthalmologist, for an injury to his right eye. The eye condition was hemorraging into the anterior chamber of the eye, apparently traumatic.
“Mr. Flynn gave a history of being hit by something like a flash of light while approaching an unidentified flying object hovering just above the ground.
“I am sure you are acquainted with the account of his observation of his unidentified flying object. When I first examined Mr. Flynn, he had both eyes covered by bandages and I was not able to observe his eyes or forehead. He was alert and cooperative. The physical examination showed a well-muscled, well-nourished male. The heart and lungs were normal. The abdomen was normal. The only abnormal findings were neurological. No paralysis was noted, but the deep tendon reflexes of biceps, triceps, patellas, and achilles were absent. Plantars and abdominal were absent, but cremasterics were present.
“Mr. Flynn was observed carefully for several weeks. His reflexes gradually returned over a five-day to one-week period, but returned irregularly. The forehead was finally examined and presented a thickened area just above and medial to the right eye; in the center of this area was a depressed, slightly abraded spot about 1 centimeter in diameter. Very small amount of haematoma was noted across right upper eye-lid. There was never any mental confusion or evidence of HALLUCINATION.
“About the fourth day in the hospital, Mr. Flynn complained of hearing reduction and numbness in arms and hands. This cleared in about 24 hours.
“When last seen about 16 April 1965, approximately 4 weeks after the injury, Mr. Flynn was again checked. The abdominal reflexes were not present, but all others were normal. The depressed area over the right eye was still present and prominent. He still has a cloudy vision of the right eye. No other abnormal physical or neurological findings were noted.”
The huge burned area, the scorched tops of 25-foot cypress trees, the scrape marks 4 feet off the ground, all support Flynn’s account.