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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Very Bizarre Alien And UFO Encounter In 1873 - Ohio

A Very Bizarre Alien And UFO Encounter In 1873 - Ohio

ZANESVILLE – Almost 200 years ago, Morgan County, Ohio farmer Thomas Inman was walking home from Philo when he had what one researcher believes could be one of the earliest accounts of a close encounter of the third kind.

“The blazing object flickered and flared for a few moments and then faded into darkness as a man dressed in a complete suit of black and carrying a lantern emerged from it. The man walked a few paces and stepped into a buggy ... There was no horse attached to this supernatural vehicle, but no sooner had the man taken his seat than it started to run, noiselessly but with great velocity, along the highway ... when buggy, man and lantern suddenly disappeared as mysteriously as they came.”


This incident, described in the writings of a Zanesville historian and journalist William Alexander Taylor in The New York Herald on April 5, 1873, sounds familiar but is unique for its time.

The early date at which it was told has drawn the attention of author Chris Aubeck, who traveled to Zanesville from his home in Spain this month to further research the incident as well as several others for an upcoming book. Aubeck previously collaborated with French astrophysicist and astronomer Jacques Vallee to write “Wonders in the Sky.”

“The topic of UFOs seems to be very modern because it involves extraterrestrials and high technology, but in fact, we’ve been talking about that for 200 years,” Aubeck said.

Although Aubeck said he doesn’t necessarily believe in the strange phenomena he studies, he does believe they play an important part in society.

“I think it’s something that’s a part of human culture and therefore should be studied as we study all kinds of literature and genres of all kinds,” he said.

Aubeck heard of the story from Kay Massingill, a Mississippi woman who found the story looking through old newspaper archives and contacted Aubeck through the Magonia Exchange, his online community. The two began investigating the article’s claims three years ago, and what they have found so far leads them to believe the article might not be just a tall tale.

Through genealogical records, it was determined Inman and his son did live during the time period. Taylor also was real and was related to Inman. Finding this connection to real records casts much of Aubeck’s thoughts that the article might be a hoax aside, as he finds that, in small historical communities, witnesses to fake phenomena often are invented.

“In a small community, you don’t really want to use anyone’s name because everyone knows each other,” he said. “No one would get away with it. ... So you would imagine that (residents) would immediately know that this wasn’t true. There’d be no point.”

The originality of the event’s description also is convincing to Aubeck. Elements such as a horseless buggy and other high-tech ideas such as a UFO would be unusual to find during that time period, Aubeck said, especially in such an isolated area.

“There were no cars. There was nothing people could have related this to,” Aubeck said. “It was isolated from any kind of science fiction. There was nothing at that time that was even similar to this, so that in and of itself is a strange thing. ... It suggests something truly did happen.”

Aubeck and Massingill spent their time in Zanesville interviewing locals, searching through records and trying to determine the probable site of the sighting.

“I have a reputation of being quite a skeptical researcher, or at least I try to get to the place where something happened or try to get to the source rather than just accept it as a strange story,” Aubeck said.

The story might not put Zanesville on the supernatural map, he said, but it should provide insight to a strange tale that’s survived two centuries.

“In a sense, it’s like trying to bring back to life or commemorate something that shouldn’t be completely forgotten.”


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