Friday, 12 October 2018

UFO News Article:
“Officials baffled by UFO sighting”

12 February 1986
(The Desert Sun, Palm Springs, California)


The whole article:
“The droning sound was so unusual in the quiet Avra Valley that it awoke Martha Ann Grill from a sound sleep.

‘What the hell is going on?’ Grill wondered as she stumbled to the door of her mobile home in the rural area northwest of Tucson.

Airplanes or something in the sky were making the droning noise.

But as she looked eastward and saw the lights began zipping by in all directions at varying speeds without colliding, she wondered if they were airplanes.

‘You never saw such a sight in your life,’ she said. ‘It was incredible.’

They resembled blue, green and white lights on airplanes. Some were in clusters and some were solo. They came from and went to the north, the Tucson Mountains to the east. Kitt Peak National Observatory perched on a mountaintop about 15 miles across the valley to the southwest, and Ryan Field to the south. Others skimmed the Tucson Mountains on their way eastward to the city.

Somebody must be guiding them, she thought.

Last week, Grill became the latest person to admit publicly that she saw Unidentified Flying Objects the night of Oct. 7, 1985.

They also were seen by the most professional of the watchers of the night sky.

Grill is an artist — a trained observer. For years, she was a cook on merchant ships. She has sailed the South Pacific in a 42-foot ketch. She has witnessed some of the phenomena of the sea, including Saint Elmo’s fire, an electrical flame sometimes seen on a ship’s mast during a storm.

But that night last October, Grill was mystified as she began counting the UFOs. She lost count at 36.

‘What the hell is going on?’ she asked herself again.

Then one big UFO slowly flew about 500 feet over her head, she said. It was cigar-shaped, had a light on each side and had a fuselage like a military transport plane, she said.

Federal Aviation Administration radar operators at Tucson International Airport reported tracking about 15 groups of aircraft that night — at least 60 total — as they flew from the Avra Valley area in the southwest, across the city, and out through Redington Pass northeast of Tucson.

Officer Timothy Clark, the pilot of Air 1, the Tucson Police helicopter, saw the lights of the objects cross over the city and leave over Redington. They were going too fast for Air 1.

Officials at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and at other military installations in Arizona have said repeatedly that no military exercises were under way at the time. They said they knew nothing about the incident.

‘Nope, we don’t deal with UFOs,’ Lt. Julie Fortenberry, a public information officer at Davis-Monthan, said a few days after the sighting. ‘We’re not pursuing it.’

Nevertheless, for more than an hour that night, things with lights were seen and tracked on radar screens as they flew over the city.

Likewise, the North American Air Defense Command — NORAD — in Colorado Springs, Colo., had no explanation.

In fact, no one has ever been able to explain what the objects were or where they came from. At least, no one has been willing to say so publicly.

Aerial Phenomena Research Organization Inc. (APRO), an international UFO study group based in Tucson, has been investigating the incident.

Robert G. Marsland, a former Air Force officer and deputy director of APRO, interviewed Grill and others who saw the UFOs. While even he has no idea what they were, he is ‘very sure’ the UFOs were not military aircraft.

‘There were too many airplanes in one place at the same time,’ he said. ‘It was too close to the mountains. The military doesn’t take those risks.’

One major difference between the UFOs that Grill saw over Avra Valley and those seen by others over Tucson was that the UFOs over the city made no noise, Marsland said.

Grill remains undaunted: ‘There was something about that thing flying over that I can’t get out of my mind,’ she said. ‘It’s almost like it was a dream . . . It was just a strange-looking thing because of the khaki, dirty color . . . It still reminds me of a great big moth.

‘It was strange that it flew over me,’ she said shaking her head. ‘I didn’t like that thing. Something was in the air, but no one on this earth will ever make me say those were flying saucers because I don’t have enough information about what I saw. ”

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