Blackouts in 1966
The Nha Trang Incident
Mid-June 1966

Ray Fowler:
Blackouts continued into 1966. All of southern Italy lost power for up to two hours on January 8. The cause of this blackout was not announced by officials. Over a million people were affected in Naples alone as firemen answered dozens of calls to get people out of elevators stalled between floors. On January 13, the Telstar communications satellite tracking station and a 75- square-mile area in Franklin County, Maine, lost power for seven hours. No explanation could be found, and the power was restored for no apparent reason! A frustrated spokesman for the Central Maine Company blamed the failure on "an apparent equipment failure which somehow corrected itself." Even Vietnam was not exempt from the mysterious UFOs and associated power failures. One such incident occurred in mid-June 1966. I was fortunate enough to have interviewed one of the witnesses, Sergeant Wayne Dairymple. NICAP first learned about the sighting from a NICAP member who mailed a copy of Wayne's letter to his parents describing the bizarre incident. Since it was written just after the UFO sighting took place, it is well worth reading before discussing the case further. The letter is postmarked June 20, 1966, and was mailed from Nha Trang, Vietnam. Pertinent excerpts are as follows: 

Well, now for the big news. Last night about 9:45 P.M., this camp, which has about 40,000 men went into a panic and believe, me, I was scared . . too. We got a big generator in last week along with a movie projector and some movies and we were outside watching one of them when a real bright light came from out of nowhere. At first we thought it was a flare which are going off all the time and then we found out that it wasn't. It came from the North and was moving from real slow to real fast speeds. . . . Some of the jet fighter pilots which were here . . . said it looked to be about 25,000 feet and then the panic broke loose. It dropped right towards us and stopped dead still about 300 to 500 feet up. It made this little valley and the mountains around look like it was the middle of the day. It lit up everything. Then it went up and I mean up. It went straight up completely out of sight in about 2-3 seconds. Everybody is still talking about it and everybody is going to be out side looking tonight. What really shook everyone is that it stopped, or maybe it didn't, but anyway our generator stopped and everything was black and at the Air Force Base about 1/2 mile from here all generators stopped and two planes that were on the runway ready to take off, their engines stopped. 

There wasn't a car, truck, plane or anything, that ran for about 4 minutes. There are 8 big bulldozers that are cutting roads over the mountain and they stopped and their lights went out too. A whole plane load of big shots from Washington got here this afternoon to investigate. It's on the radio over here. Is it at home? I swear, if somebody says they saw a little green man, I won't argue with them. 

Wayne estimated that the glowing object was about fifty feet in diameter, but no detail could be seen behind the round-shaped light. The aircraft that were affected were Skyraiders. The bull-dozers were similar to civilian D-9s and were clearing an area to install Hawk missiles on Oak Hill. A total of six 100-kilowatt, independently operated, diesel powered electrical generators failed. All power and equipment functioned perfectly about four minutes after the UFO left the area. Wayne, in the course of his military duties, checked each generator out for defects. They were found to be in good order and experienced no further malfunctions. Fortunately, no aircraft were airborne in the area at the time of the incident! However, a Shell oil tanker anchored offshore experienced a complete power failure simultaneously with the blackout on shore! 

Two successive two-hour power failures crippled the states of Nebraska and Missouri in July of 1966, and two million people in Rome, Italy, lost power for an hour on October 16. Although conventional explanations were forthcoming in some cases, it is of extraordinary interest to note that the streak of major power failures throughout the world in 1965 and 1966 just happened to coincide with the heaviest concentration of UFO sightings in modern history! 

Source: UFOs: Interplanetary Visitors, 101-103

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