UFOs are frequent flyers in our area
By R.J. VILLELLADispatchers say they had no unusual calls that night and there was nothing from the sheriff’s department to explain the phenomena.
Controllers at the Akron-Canton Airport reported nothing out of the ordinary on their radar screens.
But Rosemary Lyons said she saw a UFO fly over the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge, 2935 Lincoln Way W., at 10:40 p.m. Friday, May 11.
Lyons isn’t nuts, said a UFO expert from Cleveland who noted that sightings in Ohio aren’t all that unusual.
“It goes in cycles,” said Richard Lee, of the Cleveland Ufology Project, one of the oldest UFO research organizations in the country.
Lyons said she was taking a smoke break outside the back door of the lodge with a fellow employee when she saw it. Her co-worker could not be reached for comment.
“The first thing I said was ‘Oh my gosh. Look at that,’ ” Lyons said.
She said it was low and slow, that it was big and it glowed.
“We saw it for 20 to 25 seconds,” said Lyons, a 1972 grad of Central Catholic. “It was round and luminous underneath. It wasn’t a plane, it wasn’t a helicopter, it wasn’t a blimp and it wasn’t a balloon.”
She estimated it was as big as six parking spaces. That would make it 60 feet in diameter.
Lyons said she got a real good look because it was only about 60 feet off the ground.
She estimated that by comparing the height to a tree in the Moose parking lot.
But there was one really eerie thing about it, she said – it was silent.
“It made absolutely no sound,” Lyons said. “It was flying over just carefree – like it was no one’s business.”
While many non-believes might question Lyons’ sanity, Lee said northeastern Ohio is a hot spot when it comes to UFO sightings.
Lee, a member of the Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON, who investigates sightings in Summit and Portage counties, said two of the most famous sightings ever were reported right here in northeastern Ohio.
“In 1966, the Portage sheriff chased a UFO almost all the way to the Pennsylvania border,” Lee said. “They were checking out an abandoned car and a UFO came overhead and shined a light down on them. It started moving away and they followed it in their car – tracking it in the hopes someone with a camera could catch up.”
Lee said the Akron newspaper wrote about that incident extensively.
“Stories still come up and radio shows talk about it on anniversary dates,” he said.
The other case involved the National Guard.
“That was at 11 p.m. on Oct. 18, 1973,” he said. “The Guard was flying from Columbus to Cleveland and the ’copter was seven miles east, southeast of Mansfield. They were flying at an altitude of 700 feet when they spotted it.”
Lee said there were five men on board, and five credible witnesses on the ground all gave the same story.
“They recorded a timeline of 300 seconds,” Lee said, adding instruments and the radio went haywire during those moments. “They ruled out everything else – weather, a meteor – at first they thought it might have been some high performance aircraft. But they soon realized no plane could maneuver like that.”
Lee said he gets about 10 cases a year in which people will file a formal report but there are three times as many who make an inquiry and then decide against a formal report.
He said Lyons’ account sounds similar to a lot of other cases he has heard about.
“It could be credible,” he said. “I would like to interview an individual before committing. This (UFO sightings) has been going on for 50 to 60 years. People keep seeing them. Sometimes they go to authorities but many times they don’t. Sometimes newspapers write about sightings but many times they don’t.”
But Rosemary Lyons is a believer.
“There has to be something else out there,” she said. “I think people see these things and don’t say anything because people might think they’re crazy. I hope now some other people come forward.”