- Just before 4 a.m. on March 19, 1992,
Patrolman Luis Delgado, 28, of the Haines City, Fla., Police Department
frantically radioed his dispatcher. He said that a light had begun following
him after he steered his cruiser down a dark street alongside a citrus
grove. He requested assistance.
- His story, which he would tell
- fellow officers, is a strange one.
- Delgado said he noticed a
- rapidly-descending bright green light
in his rearview mirror, and that, seconds later the interior of the car
lit up as the light moved to his right and began to pace the car at about
40 miles per hour.
- When he slowed his patrol car, the light
maneuvered in front of him. Though it was so brilliant he had to squint,
what he saw behind the glow shocked him. It appeared to be a metallic dome-shaped
object, about 15 feet wide, hovering over the road.
- Delgado pulled his car over to a stop
and as he did its engine, lights, and police radio all died. The object
continued to hover soundlessly about 10 feet off the pavement and 20 feet
in front of his vehicle.
- Delgado got out of his car and began
stepping backward down the street, feeling panic. He noticed that his breath
fogged as if it were a cold morning, yet the temperature was 60 degrees.
- The object departed silently, and Delgado
returned to his patrol car where, he says, the ignition, lights, and police
radio all started up again without his assistance.
- At 3:56 a.m., four minutes after Delgado
made his distress call,
- three patrol cars roared up. Sergeant
H.L. Bartley found
- Delgado sitting in his cruiser with the
door open, shaking.
- Later that morning Delgado underwent
both a physical and a psychological examination, neither of which found
any evidence of injury or mental abnormality. Sgt. Bartley, now retired
from the force, vouches for Delgado's credibility. "I don't doubt
he saw something strange out there that morning."
- More than seven years after the incident
Delgado, who has not spoken to the media until now, thinks every day about
what happened to him. "It's still so vivid in my mind. It was the
strangest experience of my life."
- Mark Rodeghier, Ph.D., scientific director
of the Center for UFO Studies in Chicago, calls Delgado's experience similar
to nearly 500 others he has cataloged. "The Delgado encounter fits
a pattern we have observed since 1947 of UFOs, whatever they are, adversely
affecting engines and electrical systems."