From the Columbia Tribune :
On its website (www.ufocenter.com), the Seattle-based National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) has accounts of 1,857 UFO sightings observed throughout most sections of Missouri since the early 1950s. Because only about 5 percent of UFO witnesses actually report their experiences, the total number of Missouri UFO encounters is, no doubt, much higher.
An account of a UFO crash in southeast Missouri preceded the well-known Roswell, N.M., crash by almost six years. In 1991, the late Leonard Stringfield, an early UFO investigator and former civilian consultant to UFO operations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, in the 1950s, published an account of an alleged 1941 UFO crash near Cape Girardeau. Stringfield’s article appeared in the July 1991 issue of his “Status Report,” a monthly publication on UFO activities and investigations. The article was based on information received from Charlette Mann, who was a young child living in Cape Girardeau in 1941. At the time, Charlette’s grandfather, the Rev. William Huffman, was pastor of Cape’s Red Star Baptist Church.
Charlette told Stringfield her grandfather received a call in spring 1941 from local police asking him to travel with them to the site of an airplane crash outside the city limits to minister to the victims of the crash. When the Rev. Huffman arrived on the scene, police officers, firefighters, FBI agents, emergency medical crew and numerous military personnel — presumably from the Army air base in nearby Sikeston — were viewing what Huffman described as a disc-shaped object, the interior of which contained a small metal chair, gauges, dials and hieroglyphic-like inscriptions and writings around the inside. He also saw three entitles, or “non-human people,” lying on the ground. Two were just outside the craft, with a third somewhat farther away. He described the bodies as hairless with large heads, big eyes, small mouths and very small ears. The Rev. Huffman said the dead individuals were about 4 feet tall and seemed to have no hard bone structure but very long arms and fingers.
Shortly after viewing the dead bodies, Rev. Huffman was asked to pray over them. Upon doing so, he was escorted by military officials to a nearby location where he was sworn to secrecy and strongly warned to never discuss the crash with anyone. Huffman did not know what was told to others at the scene, but he was told, “This didn’t happen, you didn’t see this. This is national security and is to never to be talked about again.”
Given the large number of individuals present, it was highly likely the secret would eventually be revealed. And, although the Rev. Huffman intended to keep silent regarding his participation in the affair, he was not completely successful. Among those who eventually learned the secret were his wife, Floy, his granddaughter, Charlette, and the brother of Cape Girardeau County Sheriff Clarence Schade, who partially confirmed the story in a notarized, sworn affidavit.
In addition to the accounts of the UFO crash passed on to her by her grandmother, Charlette recalled one of the first situations in which she heard about it: “Well, the first awareness that I had of it (the dead bodies) is actually a picture that my father had and it was at a dinner party. And, I had heard rumors, and bits and pieces over conversations, but it was a picture, an old picture, because it had … it was like the old Kodaks, with little lines and scallops around it. There were two men holding up a non-human, is the best way I can describe it. (a) little entity, a little person who appeared to be about 4 feet tall. They had him underneath the armpits with arms outstretched on either side of him.” Unfortunately, that picture was not in Charlette’s possession, and UFO researchers have been unable to locate it.
UFO journalist B.J. Booth says of the Cape Girardeau story, “This case ends like many others but appears by all indications to be authentic. All who have come in contact with Charlette Mann have found her to be a trustworthy person who is not given to sensationalism, and she has sought no gain from her account.” Charlette Mann moved from Cape Girardeau to Tyler, Texas.
Based on his own analysis of the Cape Girardeau episode, noted ufologist Ryan Wood says one can “reasonably conclude there was a crash event. ... The implications of this case, if fully proven, are part of the larger picture. Namely, extraterrestrial visitors are real; and certain factions of the government have been hiding this fact since at least 1941.”
Wood also says: “The final resolution to the case is still out there. It may come in form of physical evidence, bits of wreckage, new witnesses, historical air photography, soil samples or archival research. All these fronts are being actively worked, and there is reason to predict success.”
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