Tuesday, 29 January 2019
UFO News Article:
“Skeptical professor now a believer in UFOs”
25 November 1977
Arkansas Democrat, ) Little Rock, Arkansas
Sources: U.F.O. Newsclipping Service,
and AFU.se Plumerville, Arkansas
The whole article (Page 10):
“The pursuit of ‘flying saucers’ can be a difficult thing for a scientist, especially if he becomes convinced he has found what he was looking for.
‘It’s changed my life completely,’ Dr. Harley D. Rutledge, physics department chairman of
University in , said. Colleagues call him a
man not prone to exaggeration. Cape Girardeau
Rutledge began as a skeptic in 1973 when it was suggested that he investigate a rash of sightings of unidentified flying objects in southeast
Now, after more than four years of firsthand research and observation, he has
reluctantly admitted he cannot debunk the stories. Missouri
The information gathered by Rutledge, including more than 700 photographs, resulted from hundreds of nights spent in the air, in fields and on hillsides, accompanied, always, by other observers and equipment which includes telescopes, cameras and a spectrograph.
At 51, married, with five children, he is laying his reputation and career on the line and saying that there really is something up there that cannot be explained by conventional logic.
‘Now I know they are up there. What they are or where they came from, I have no way of knowing. But they are there,’ he said in a recent interview.
Rutledge himself has made more than 140 sightings, both in broad daylight and at night. At least 25 of those sightings he labels as ‘incredible.’
Three of the most convincing sightings occurred within two weeks of each other in May 1973. The first, from the air, involved what he calls ‘a 45-second metamorphosis'’ involving 10 balls of light that had no business being where they were, in the air near the small town of
The second and third sightings, which he believes to be conclusive because he was so close to the objects, were made near
about two weeks later. On the night of May 24 Rutledge and several other observers
spotted an object with a triangular shaped light pattern passing over them.
Rutledge tentatively labeled the object as an airplane, but said later evidence
discounted that possibility. Farmington, Mo.
The next night, he said, he and his colleagues observed a huge object that had nearly passed over them before they spotted it.
‘It had four lights, two red and two white,’ the professor said . ‘It was dose enough that I could see parts of it through my 80-power telescope. It had a metallic skin and I could make out a ribbed pattern in the red lights.’
Because of the delicacy of his position, Rutledge said he has been reluctant to talk about the phenomena. Now, he said, he believes he can survive the scoffing he will hear — and he says he believes he has an obligation to tell the public what he knows.
Rutledge’s colleagues point out that he is an intense man, but rational and conservative.
‘Anything he does has lots of effort put into it,’ said Dr. Donald Fromsdorf, dean of the
at SEMO. ‘Everything is done professionally, scientifically. College of Sciences
‘I have no qualms about his professional integrity or the way he goes about things. But he has taken on a momumental task.’
Much of the work has been funded through grants from the university and a special grant from the St. Louis Globe-Denocrat [sic].
Rutledge reviews, but will not include in his research data, reports from laymen. He also refuses to associate with amateur UFO clubs, which he says he has learned are usually run by persons seeking no more than cheap thrills or publicity.
‘I really didn’t ask for the position in which I now find myself,’ Rutledge said . ‘But now if I am to perform a service, I suppose it must be to prepare people for the various possibilities.’
The professor emphasizes that he does not know the origin of the objects he has seen. But he does say he has documented evidence that they have performed aerial gymnastics that seem far beyond what any known manmade aircraft can do.
‘Not only have I seen strange vehicles and lights by both day and night,’ he said, ‘but they appear to be intelligently controlled and seem to interact with human beings.’
Have the experiences frightened him?
‘I don’t like the word frightened,’ he said. ‘They have made me uneasy. When I returned from
after the first conclusive sightings, I was in the dumps for about two weeks.
But I got a lot of support from the university and from my family and I was
finally able to say, ‘If this is the worst, well, then we’re all in it together.’
‘But it has changed my life. I have no social life to speak of because of the time required for the research. But I guess I can’t stop now. I feel I must try to make people gain a little better understanding of it.’ ”
The late Dr. Harley D. Rutledge, U.S. Physicist & UFO Researcher
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