UFO UpDate:
The Ashland/Wayne County, Ohio Flaming UFO Of 8-29-98
By Kenny Young <>
From UFO UpDates-Toronto <>

Initial Report
Background inquiries made regarding a UFO sighting reported to Peter Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center resulted in the identification of additional witnesses to a peculiar oddity happening near the Hidden Acres Campground in Ashland County, Ohio.
Investigations began shortly after 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 30 when Mr. Davenport, NUFORC Director, advised of a sighting from a resident of West Salem, Ohio (in Wayne County).
Description of object
A female resident of West Salem, Ohio contacted Davenport at 1901 hrs. (Pacific), Saturday evening (29AU98), and left a detailed message about a peculiar cluster of four lights the color of a "caution light" that were seen by her to flash very brightly on several occasions, after which a "flame" poured out from "behind" them.
Mr. Daveport contacted the witness at 2130 hrs. (Pacific) and took an 8-minute report from her. She stated that she was on State Route 42, south of Salem, OH, "near Ashland," when at approximately 2130 hrs. (local), she witnessed a bright flash of "yellow" light. Her attention immediately was drawn to a cluster of four yellow, circular (??) lights, that appeared to her to be "two trees high" (above the ground).
According to the witness, the object "flashed" several times, perhaps as many as five flashes. After each flash, a long "tail" of fire -- "like a jet's exhaust"-- was seen to shoot out of the "back" of the object. She said that the "exhaust" appeared to be physically separated from the object.
The object appeared to be four amber or yellow lights situated in an unwavering position, relative one to another.
After she had witnessed several bright flashes, she stopped her car and stepped outside in order to get a better look at whatever was causing the light. While she was standing on or near the roadway, the object flashed several more times, after which she witnessed the "exhaust" again.
She detected no sound during the entire incident. The oddity was last sighted as it moved off to the west from her position. She was not aware of any other vehicles on the road at the time of her sighting.
Follow-up interview
The primary witness was contacted for a follow-up interview late Sunday evening. She lives within the Hidden Acres resort, which is a mobile-home park that also has a campground.
The object was alleged to have been descending toward the campground, the witness informed, and she said that that it exhibited definite movement in a 'downward' direction.
After the sighting, she stood outside by a dumpster and scanned the sky for a few minutes.
"The thing reminded me of fire that emanates from the back end of a fighter jet," she said. "It was really low, I had to duck my head to a certain point to see beneath the trees, that's how low it was."
She said the object could not have been a jet, however. "I had my window down, I had no music playing. There was no sound, no nothing. Just flame and flashing."
From her estimate, the UFO looked like a series of 4-yellow lights in a tight diamond shape which did not waver in position. All four lights would go out at same time, then the four would suddenly flash simultaneously (a real bright flash but not casting shadows), followed by a big silent flame. The flame was twice the width of the 4-lights and 4-times as long. She said this action repeated between 5 to 8 times.
The fire, when first visible, was described as a blue color, which became orange. There was no shape or object visible behind the lights, flashes or flames.
"I thought it was a meteorite at first. I've never seen anything like it before. It was very pretty, but also very weird," said the witness.
Animal reaction noted
The following morning, she talked with a neighbor who lives near the location of the sighting. Before telling her of the UFO sighting, her neighbor explained how her Himalayan Cat went 'absolutely crazy' the previous evening, running to the door and then hiding. She said this was not 'normal behavior' for the cat. After being told of the UFO sighting, the neighbor then suggested that the UFO be reported.
Corroborative testimony
During the investigative phase of this case, I placed a phone call to the Hidden Acres Campground, and the employee in the office informed that she, too, had seen something unusual the previous evening.
"It was certainly strange," said the campground employee. "It looked like a red light with flames coming out the back."
"It almost looked like a flame coming from it, but its hard to say after I think about it. It could have just been the angle I was at," she said, while informing that her husband also commented on the oddity.
"We were doing safety checks at 11:15 or 11:20, just making sure that the campgrounds were quiet and everything was normal. And while driving around the grounds in the golf cart, we spotted this red... unusual red light, it looked like it had a tail of fire. I commented about it to my husband, and we later assumed that it must have been the new cell-tower that was just put in last week."
The campground employee rationalizes that a cellular telephone tower was recently installed in the area, and that its unfamiliar appearance caused her to have noticed it.
"The tower is right there in this same direction, so what I saw was probably that tower," she surmised.
Strangely, however, she said that several campers also saw something the same night and reported it to her sister who resides near the campground.
"The weird thing about this is that these teenage campers had came down screaming about it, and they wanted to report a UFO. We just thought they must have saw the cell-tower too."
According to the employee, the teenagers had packed up and left the campground earlier in the afternoon because they had to go to school on Monday morning. "They described something that did flash," said the campground employee, who informed that the teenagers had told her sister of their sighting 'sometime last night.'
The employee affirmed that there are no flashing or strobing lights on the cell-tower.
E-mail correspondence was made with the primary witness, who was asked to investigate the location of the cellular tower relative to the position of the UFO. She did so, and advised that the cell tower is approximately a 3/4 mile distance away from where the flashing lights and the "flame" was spotted.
She said the tower shaft can be seen, even on a cloudy evening. She stressed that she had no trouble discerning the cell-tower to be a "ground object."
Additional witnesses
The witness added that she and her husband went outside and talked with neighbors, and an 8 or 9 year-old girl told them about a "fire that was in the sky last night."
Additionally, the witness reports that a four-year old boy also said that he saw a UFO which was "like a ball, and had a tail, then a ball, and another tail."
Further Investigations:
The Wayne County Sheriff's Office (330-287-5700) was contacted. The female dispatcher who was on duty checked around the office and knew of no UFO reports received from last night.
The dispatcher knew that Hidden Acres Campground is in Ashland County, and that a call to the Ashland County office might be beneficial.
The Ashland County Sheriff's department was then contacted (419-289- 3911) and the dispatcher said that he had been on duty the previous evening at 9:30 p.m. and did not have knowledge of any UFOs reported. He suggested a call to the Ashland County State Patrol Office be made.
The Ashland County OSP was contacted (419-289-0911) and the dispatcher on duty did not have information regarding any UFO sightings. He said that he, too, had been on-duty the previous evening at 9:30 p.m. and their department sometimes handles calls from this area.
Jet aircraft/military operation hypothesis:
Peter Davenport stressed several intriguing similarities this present case has to the Michigantown, Indiana case of August 26, such as the yellow color, happening on an abandoned road, multiple lights seen in a formation, and silent operation. He also cautioned that a similar case from Washington State in August of 1994 and from July of 1995 involved a privately owned Mig-19 that was performing nighttime aerobatics on the west side of Puget Sound generated many UFO reports. The aircraft had two "flame generators" mounted under the wings, the purpose of which was to maximize the pyrotechnic effect of the flight.
To address the possibility of military aircraft maneuvers happening in this area or airborne flares resulting from these operations, an August 15, 1997 FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) letter from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) identified two zones of special-use airspace within Ohio that are reserved for military flight training. These areas are the Buckeye MOA (Military Operations Area) and the Brush Creek MOA. The August 15, 1997 FOIA response from the FAA informed that military flights within the closest zone, the Buckeye MOA, are restricted beyond the 4:00 p.m. time-frame on Saturdays. In addition, altitude restrictions prohibit flights from dropping beneath 5,000 feet. Furthermore, both zones are in Southern Ohio, and such military traffic or flares within this area could not be seen in the Northern Ohio area of Wayne or Ashland Counties, which is more than 150-miles north of the Buckeye MOA.
Additional comments:
When asked if the sighting could have been caused by a mischevious camper shooting off fireworks, the primary witness felt it most unlikely. "I highly doubt it, as there was no smoke, no smell, no sound, as it usually associated with fireworks."
The remarks made by the employee of the Hidden Acres Campgrounds may provide soft corroboration of the initial eyewitness report. The time frame of the campground employee's sighting was placed at around 11:15 or 11:20, known by the time that she and her husband were conducting a 'safety check.' This is more than 90-minutes after the initial report which described four amber or yellow colored lights, situated in an unwavering position and exhibiting fiery conduct described as an exhaust-like "flame" pouring out from an object.
Although claiming that she was drawn to the 'red light' when first seen, and thinking to have seen 'flames,' she rationalizes that she had simply observed the light on the cell-tower, which is in the same direction.
It is not know the precise time of the sighting reported by "the teenagers" to the campground employee, who vaguely recalls that it was reported to her sister "sometime last night." The only description available from this source is of an object which flashed. This detail is consistent with that of the initial report, and not consistent with the visual observation of the cell-tower, which is not equipped with a flashing or strobing light, according to the campground employee.
The initial report of four amber, or yellow lights in an unwavering position and exhibiting fiery conduct described as an exhaust-like "flame" pouring out from an object (and happening during repeated episodes) does not seem consistent with the sighting of a light on top of a cell-tower. The witness comments that the phenomenon resembled the fiery exhaust seen on a jet-fighter, but noted its low elevation, silent performance and lengthy 1-minute visibility in the residential area.
West Salem, Ohio is about 46 miles Southwest of Cleveland and 81.5 miles west of Youngstown.
Many thanks to Peter Davenport of The National UFO Reporting Center for the initial details of this interesting report.
Kenny Young 8-30-98
____________ UFO Research