Date: 23-May-86 13:17 MST
From: Executive News Svc. [72135,424]
Subj: APca 05/23 UFO
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Theeeey're baaaaack.
For UFO believers who have endured years of drab skies and no sightings,
Thursday, and its full moon, was a big day.
More than a dozen people said they saw a mysterious UFO racing across the
pre-dawn sky north of San Francisco -- a strange X-shaped craft with
blinking lights that hovered above the hills of Sonoma County before
speeding away into the dark.
A California Highway Patrol officer who declined to be named and radio
station KTOB News Director Arlette Cohen were among those who reported
spotting the strange craft at about 4:30 a.m. PDT between the cities of
Petaluma and Sonoma about 40 miles north of here.
The sighting came on the heels of reports of pingpong-ball-sized
multi-colored UFOs crowding radar screens in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The
government scrambled jet fighters to intercept the tiny objects, and two
pilots said they saw the objects flying nearby.
"I saw these two white lights to the east," Ms. Cohen said, estimating
the craft was about 1,000 feet in the air. She said she noticed the UFO
when it crossed to the west side of the highway, and "hovered almost
stock-still ... for a few seconds."
Ms. Cohen said she was driving to work at her Petaluma station,
northbound on U.S. 101, and made the sighting shortly before reaching
She said a full moon was still visible above. She also said she rolled
down her car window to listen for the sound of a helicopter but heard
When the craft crossed the highway once again, she said she saw two "tiny
green lights" glowing faintly on the side opposite the two bright white
"I think I saw sort of a black `X' silhouette shape," Ms. Cohen said.
"It was really hard to tell."
"An unidentified object described as a large orange `X' with white lights
in the front was seen traveling at a high rate of speed eastbound from
Petaluma," Santa Rosa CHP Officer Bill McChristian said of the report from
the unidentified officer and several callers.
San Francisco Bay area air traffic controllers said they could not
explain the sighting, saying radar screens detected no such object flying
over the area at that time.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado said no man-made
spacecraft would have been visible at 4:30 a.m. in Northern California, but
that debris from the Cosmo 1683 satellite reportedly re-entered the
atmosphere over California more than an hour later, at 5:41.
"We don't have anything at that time," said Lt. Virginia Sullivan of
The sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects first sprang up in the 1940s
and in 1947 the University of Colorado and the Air Force decided to look
into the matter. [SIC: The UofC did not begin their investigation until
1969 -- T/A]
In 1969, after two decades of research, the university concluded there
wasn't the slightest evidence of "alien crafts."
Soon after, the flying saucer fad waned and UFO clubs folded. Wayne
Shannon of San Francisco television station KRON reported
Thursday night, with tounge firmly in cheek, that he received a call from
a woman in Petaluma, once a city so well known for its chicken ranching that
the local football team was dubbed The Leghorns.
Shannon said the caller knew what everyone saw Thursday: it was the souls
of all those dead chickens. Shannon called them "Poultrygeists," a takeoff
on the current movie "Poltergeist II." You know. The one with the
television commercials in which the little blonde girl says: "Theeeey're