Friday, May 21, 2010

Was the Needles UFO a Secret Military Craft?

8newsnow - It's a UFO, in the literal sense -- it's still unidentified. Half a dozen witnesses say they saw something in the sky over Needles and Bullhead City or watched it being carried away by a phalanx of military helicopters. Was it a spy plane or a drone or something more exotic?

Several eyewitnesses say the mystery object blazed out of the sky in the early hours of May 14, 2008. The long cylinder with the turquoise glow was seen over Bullhead City by former cop Frank Costigan and others. It seemed, at one point, to slow down in its descent.

South of Needles, a fisherman in a houseboat saw the light pass over and slam into the riverbank 50 or so yards west of the Colorado River. Minutes later, at least four military type helicopters appeared in the area and a giant sky crane was used to haul the object into the air and away toward the north.

The fisherman, who uses the nickname Bob on the River, said what he saw. "It didn't look like a meteor. I've seen meteors before. It looked like a plane crashing."

In the two years since the story broke, a lot of people have traveled to the rough terrain of the tri-state area to search for the point of impact -- UFO enthusiasts, TV producers, aviation buffs -- but the shifting sand and thick salt cedar defied efforts to identify a crash site.

The I-Team traveled with Houseboat Bob to whittle down the search area, though we still did not locate the spot. But Bob kept looking.

He traded in the houseboat for an RV and now lives in the desert, not on the river, but he never stopped searching, driven by one thing.

"Everybody thinks I'm an idiot. Everybody thinks I'm looney tooney in the cabooney," he said.

His weekly one-man safaris into the riverbank region came up with something no one else noticed, not even those who searched by air. A large, flat clearing where someone used heavy equipment to remove the gnarly brush, about 70 yards west of the river at almost the exact spot where Bob says the object landed.

It's an unusual spot, he says. "You would not see another hardened ground clearing like this anywhere between here and Needles. It's all sugar sand everywhere."

Ex-cop Frank Costigan is one of those who searched for the crash site. He's also amazed to find the clearing, but says area residents encountered members of what was described as a clean up team in the weeks after the crash.

"There was a cleanup crew dining at the Topock Marina on occasion, after that thing had been removed and we were hunting for the spot," he said.

But if this is the spot, we still don't know what hit the ground. Retired intelligence Colonel John Alexander speculates it could be any number of high tech UAV's -- unmanned spy planes being developed at several western test ranges, including Area 51 in Nevada, or Edwards in California.

"It's also the possibility it lost control and flew off the range. It's not that far from Edwards or the test ranges," he said.

Last month, a classified object was launched into space by the Air Force. The Pentagon has confirmed it's the X-37B space plane, an unmanned spy plane, sort of the military's version of the space shuttle. A few images of the X-37 have been made public, along with video of a sister vehicle the X-40.

The military acknowledges these crafts have been test flown at Edwards and Vandenberg, not too far from Needles. The shape and the size are a near perfect match for what the witnesses saw.

Bob confirms it looks like the object he saw. "Without the horizontal surfaces, yes. Without the wings," he said.

Houseboat Bob said even though the glow from the object was blue green, the object appeared to be black and shiny as it was being airlifted away. Photos of the X-37 show black, shiny tiles on the exterior.

The I-Team sent records requests to numerous agencies and none were able to shed light on what the Needles object might have been. The Air Force won't say much about the mission of the X-37, but military analysts have some guesses.

"What they say they will use it for testing space technologies, and certainly having a re-usable vehicle would be a way of sending up prototypes, batteries, cooling systems, electronics, testing them then bringing them back down so you can modify them. Possibly, it's a space maneuver vehicle so it can duck back in the atmosphere and change its orbit so next time it flew over China, the Chinese wouldn't expect it coming," said military watchdog John Pike.

Another military analyst who spoke on the condition of anonymity says he thinks it could be part of a weapons program known as the Rods from the Gods, which we know has been tested out at Area 51. These are spaced-based kinetic weapons that literally fall out of the sky and cause problems for the bad guys.

But for now, the best guess of the witnesses is the X-37.

NOTE: I have to give Las Vegas 8 News reporter George Knapp a lot of credit and kudos for sticking with this story. From my understanding, he took heat from the Feds and local government while looking into this event...Lon
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Originally posted - 7/29/08

New UFO Mystery Surfaces in the Mojave Valley


A large object with a turquoise hue plummeted out of the sky earlier this summer and plowed into the earth south of Las Vegas near Needles, California.

Eyewitnesses say this was no meteorite, especially since a bunch of helicopters came looking for it and then hauled it away.

The object was seen in the early morning hours of May 14. It appeared to crash into the ground just west of the Colorado River. And that's when things got interesting for residents of the area.

Somewhere in the rough terrain just west of the Colorado River and south of Needles is a point of impact, maybe some burn marks, created by something that fell from the sky. Frank Costigan saw it because he got up at 3 a.m. to let his cat out -- a fiery object that flashed across the sky, but it wasn't a meteor he says.

"It was bright, bright enough that it illuminated the ground," he said.

For seven years, Costigan worked as the chief of airport security at L.A.X. He says the mystery object flew out of the north east, heading southwest, traveling very fast, but at one point it slowed down, then sped up again.

"It went behind a hill, and I waited to see if I could hear it crash because as big as it was, it was bound to make noise," he said.

But he didn't hear a crash. Hours later, David Hayes, the owner of KTOX Radio in Needles, was coming to work when he spotted an odd formation of dark vehicles getting off the highway. He drew a picture of the lead vehicle, a large truck with a dome on top and a black structure that reminded him of a stealth fighter.

"It seemed like it was some kind of surveillance vehicle -- four-wheel drive. It had government plates, U.S. government plates and behind it were a couple of vans that looked like support vehicles," said Hayes.

The men inside had a military bearing, Hayes said, but weren't in uniform. He made eye contact with one of the drivers and the guy followed him. Later in the day, one of the vehicles was parked outside the station, seemingly conducting a surveillance of the place.

"These guys staring you down had a 'Men in Black' feel to it?" asks Knapp.

"Absolutely. Very serious, serious as a heart attack," said Hayes.

Coincidentally, Costigan, the ex-cop, works on investigations for Hayes. When he came in to the radio station, he told Hayes about the thing he had seen in the sky, and Hayes told him about the Men in Black.

Then they got another piece of the puzzle -- a call from a man who lives in a houseboat on the river, who said he saw the fiery object -- that it had crashed about 100 yards west of the river, that it landed with a thump. Hayes says he's known the witness for years by the name Bob on the river. Bob thought a plane had crashed and tried to call 911 but his cell wouldn't work, so he moved his boat out into the river, and then heard the helicopters.

In an interview with journalist Linda Howe, Bob says he saw at least five helicopters flying in formation, including a large sky crane. The crane picked up the oval shaped object, still glowing, and flew away, heading in the direction of Las Vegas. One odd detail, the choppers arrived only 17 minutes after the object crashed. He described it to Hayes.

"It was about the size of a semi-trailer, he says, oblong shaped thing," said Hayes.

Out of the blue, the station got a call from a friend in Laughlin who said the Laughlin Airport had been inundated on the night of the crash with so-called Janet planes. That's the airline that flies workers to top secret Area 51. Costigan says the airport could not confirm this because no one is on duty after 6 p.m. at night, not even in the tower.

The black vehicles have left Needles. Bob the houseboat guy can't be found either.

"The fact that there were people here the next day, it was almost like they were doing some sort of cleanup or whatever. The point is, something definitely happened.

The I-Team phoned nearly every agency we could think of to see if they had received any report or knew anything. We were not surprised to learn that no one knew anything.

Here's the list -- police agencies in three states, the Laughlin Airport, the weather service, the FAA and several military bases.

A military watchdog group found a public record showing there was at least one army helicopter in the air in that area at that time. The helicopter, oddly enough, is listed as being attached to a U.S. base in Europe.

We are filing freedom of information requests and will report back when we get responses.


Video: More on Needles UFO Crash, Military Helicopters and Area 51



On May 14th the Eyewitness News Channel 8 reported a large object with a turquoise hue plummeting out of the sky earlier this summer and plowed into the Earth south of Las Vegas. Eyewitnesses say this was no meteorite, especially since they witnessed a group of black helicopters flying in formation to quickly haul it away.

Numerous witnesses to the crashed UFO say it was speeding down towards the Earth and crashed, one witness heard a thud. Five Black helicopters were reported on the scene 17 minutes after the crash with one helicopter identified to be a skycrane helicopter which has a very special design enabling it to carry the large glowing object away from the scene.

One witness reported a group of dark, strange looking vehicles canvassing the area. The men inside had military markings that could not be clearly identified. Their appearance was very similar to 'men in black' according to one witness at the crash site. Witnesses conclude that shortly after the crash there was a very obvious and quiet clean up of the area.

This video is certainly worth the time to watch and more details are covered in the video regarding the local airport and secret flights to the area 51 base. There has not been an official UFO crash since the Roswell, New Mexico incident.
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Originally posted 5/15/09

One Year Ago: Colorado River UFO Crash Update


One year ago, residents in the tri-state area of Nevada, Arizona, and California saw something weird blaze out of the sky and crash on the banks of the Colorado River, south of Needles.

Reports about the needles UFO were sent all over the world and brought a lot of visitors, including men-in-black types to that region. Residents have had a year to think about the object that crashed and to ponder some new, similar sightings from the past few months.

A trio of yapping dogs, excited about something outside their Bullhead City home is what caused Tutu Martin and her husband Paul to awaken just after 3 a.m. on May 14, 2009. "The whole bedroom lit up, like they had lights on it, so I pushed the blinds back and looked," said Tutu.

The glowing object blazed across the sky in a southwest direction and appeared to slow down, then speed up. Minutes later, Martin says, she saw and heard a formation of helicopters as they sped south past the Laughlin skyline. "They were definitely following the river heading south. About another 20 minutes or so, they were coming back," she said.

"It was bright -- bright enough that it illuminated the ground," said former police chief Frank Costigan.

A few miles away, a cantankerous cat caused Frank Costigan to awaken. He also got a good look at the streaking object, saw it slow down, then speed up, then zip below the horizon. "I expected to hear a boom or siren or something," he said.

Down on the Colorado, a fisherman we call Bob on the River had the best view of all. The oblong object with a turquoise hue lit up the water and then smashed into the sandy bank 100 yards away. "It didn't look like a meteor. I've seen meteors before. It looked like a plane crashing," he said.

Within minutes, Bob says, the air was buzzing with helicopters, and then a large sky crane somehow attached the object, picked it up, and carried it away.

In Bullhead City, Brad Allen watched the aerial procession with his son. "I looked thru the binoculars and below one of them was a green object. It was glowing a faint green," he said.

Tutu Martin saw the same procession. An hour or so later, she says the Laughlin Airport, located just below her home, was invaded by several 737's which were identical to the famed Janet planes used to transport workers from Las Vegas to the Area 51 military base. "It was white with a red stripe," she said.

In the days that followed, residents in and around Needles reported encounters with mysterious men-in-black types in odd unmarked vehicles with government plates.

Radio station owner Dave Hayes says the vehicles were similar to, but not exactly like, a government convoy the I-Team ran across. The group the I-Team stumbled upon turned out to be a team from the agency which transports nuclear weapons.

In the year since the needles UFO incident, plenty has happened. Hayes' station, KTOX, which is also where Costigan works, has become an unofficial clearinghouse for UFO reports.

Most are explainable or not believable, he says, but Costigan thinks there's no question the object that crashed near Houseboat Bob was the real deal, though every military unit within 200 miles denies knowing anything about it.

Although the story has raised the public profile of the area and has drawn curious tourists, sort of like Roswell on the River, Costigan says the locals think it's a serious matter, even if it was a military test of some sort, which is the prevailing view.

"I think it was military or the military was tailing it or knew it was coming down. But my gripe, why didn't we get warning we were in danger of something falling out of the sky? We want answers," he said.

Residents of Lake Havasu would also like answers about what's been flying over their heads in recent months. In March and again in April, eyewitnesses saw a large triangle, some say boomerang, cruising over the lake in the wee hours. The craft was flanked or followed by warplanes. The reports are similar to huge triangles seen all over the world in recent years.

A Las Vegas think tank known as NIDS found an apparent correlation between the sightings and military facilities, but the Pentagon denies having anything this big in operation.

Costigan says the Havasu sightings ring true to him. "It was seen up and down the whole West Coast. I've got several descriptions, but always with a military presence," he said.

NOTE: here are links to the 'UFO Hunters' episode that references this incident...Lon

UFO Hunters - UFO Crashes - 1/5
UFO Hunters - UFO Crashes - 2/5
UFO Hunters - UFO Crashes - 3/5
UFO Hunters - UFO Crashes - 4/5
UFO Hunters - UFO Crashes - 5/5

Was the Needles UFO a Secret Military Craft?

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