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Feature Friday – July 11, 2008

Feature Friday posts will feature relevant information from a chosen online resource. This month, the database is Footnote.

Footnote.com offers a variety of historical documents online categorized in several collections. One such collection is the Project Blue Book, 1947-1969. This collection was digitized from the National Archives and was a project to determine if UFOs were a threat to national security and to scientifically analyze UFO activity.  A further description of the project can be found on Footnote’s page.

While searching Footnote for items of relevance to Washington County, I found an account of a UFO sighting in Plymouth.  The names of the people making the reports are withheld, but the descriptions are there. Here is an excerpt from a sighting in January 1959:

“While at “Moon Watch” at Plymouth, NC 1-10-59 at 6:10pm or near that I saw a white ball coming out of the North by East heading South by West.  When the ball was “a beam” of my location it burst into flame across the sky in many colors and hot particles began falling away.   This same time, some boys from Fort Jackson coming to Washington, NC were on 301 Highway at the South Carolina – North Carolina line saw an object coming at them and burst into flame in front of their car.  In their fright they run on the highway but recovered and did not stop to investigate.   It may have been high but looked like coming at them.”

Gee – i think I would have run to! The set of documents about this sighting consists of 5 pages. The person who reported it was a 36 year old truck driver and after submitting his report, received a letter from the military that his description “contained insufficient information to allow a valid conclusion.”

Using the neat “Spotlight” Feature of Footnote, I made this page to highlight this particular document. I understand the privacy issues and wanting to protect people’s names. I wonder if in years down the line they will remove the name censoring – wouldn’t you want to know if your ancestor/family member reported a UFO?


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