Many in the media portray those who have had experiences with UFOs to be those who wear tinfoil hats, quacks, or at the bare minimum, drunk. Sometimes, this may be the case, but not all the time. The residents of Wytheville, VA learned this firsthand during the year of 1987. Certainly, the residents at the time and one family in particular learned that maybe, just maybe, there are things in the world that currently defy explanation no matter the walk of life you hail from.
At this time, Danny Gordon was a well-respected member of the small community. He took part in town events and was one of the main hosts for the town’s local radio station. His reporting was one of the main ways news got into the community. He often consulted with the local police department for the latest happenings about town. One morning, the sheriff informed him one of his deputies had spotted something strange in the sky. It in no way acted like a plane, made no sound and disappeared without a trace. From anyone else, Danny may have dismissed this, but the source was credible and at the bare minimum would provide an interesting story, so during his next news broadcast he briefly covered it. This was the moment which changed his life, and the life of his family forever.
Danny initially thought no more of it, but soon the radio station was flooded with calls from local residents who also claimed to have seen strange objects in the sky. These ran the gamut lights behaving oddly, to triangular shaped craft to things which in many ways resembled school buses. Danny was floored, and immediately began to try to get to the bottom of what was going on.
Having little leads other than what he was being told, Danny decided at one point he had to see these items for himself. He and a close friend, Roger Hall, frequently drove around at night to see if something could be seen. After some failures, they were successful. As they were about to give up late one night, they looked up and saw what appeared to be a strange aircraft above them. They immediately stopped their car and got out to see it. It was unlike anything either of them had ever seen before. After a few minutes, the craft zipped away without a single sound. It was at this point Danny and Roger realized they had been so mesmerized by the sight that neither had thought to grab a camera to get a picture.
The town was beginning to panic due to the number of sightings that were occurring. A press conference was held in town to not only try to calm the citizens, but also to gather more information. Danny had become the public face of the UFO phenomenon in Wytheville. He and his family were getting little rest, town residents and other reporters were constantly calling to get updates or tell their own experiences. Many people would never have admitted to anyone what they had seen, but Danny was not only investigating what was going on, but had seen something himself, so they felt free to tell him as he was seen not only as someone trying to help, but a kindred spirit. Not every call was benign either. He and his family were the targets of threats, or of warnings that he was looking into things better left alone. One call warned him not to go to a conference in Virginia Beach or bad things would happen. He disregarded this and went. Coincidentally, his family contracted an illness during this time frame.
Danny still had his normal duties to perform as well, and the toll was beginning to show. His search for answers was yielding no results, local military and air force bases denied any knowledge of anything happening either due to their actions or otherwise. Being the reporter and man that he was, he began to dig harder. Finally, he was able to get hard evidence of what was happening. During a trip to a local shopping center, something appeared in the sky above everyone in the parking lot, including a school bus full of children. At this point, Danny was carrying his camera with him everywhere and managed to get pictures of what he saw. It could be argued that because of these pictures, his family came under what could be seen more as a direct threat.
They were visited by two men who claimed to be from an agency in Charlottesville, VA who wanted to report on what was happening. Danny invited them into his home and spoke to them at length. One even played with his children while there. They were not there long when one of the men began to complain that he was not feeling well. Danny offered his own bed for him to lie down for a bit. When they left, Danny discovered his bedroom had been searched. He called the agency the men claimed to be from, however the agency had no knowledge of any men by the names given, nor of any men at all, being sent to the area. The men’s identities have never been discovered. Danny could only surmise they were looking for the film negatives. Thankfully, they were getting enlarged at the time and were not there.
Later, Danny returned home one day to find his house had been burglarized. Nothing had been stolen but the film negatives of the UFO he had gotten pictures of. The odd thing concerning this, is that they were stored in an unmarked film canister mixed in with others in a drawer. These negatives have never been recovered. The only pictures which remain, were the enlarged shots with much less detail given.
Eventually, the strain finally caught up to Danny. He collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. He had been working nonstop since this had first started, suffered intruders, threats, he and his wife were separated for a time due to all of this, and after everything still had no answers. He knew at this point, he had to stop. Upon his return home, he informed all callers that he was stopping his inquiries. Eventually, the calls stopped. The UFO sightings around Wytheville stopped as explosively as it had started. Later, Danny coauthored a book about his experiences titled ‘Don’t Look Up’ and has not followed this phenomenon since.
The Wytheville sightings were unique in many ways. The number of sightings for one, and the fact they were also seen by so many people. Another was the variety of craft spotted. Also, the craft did not only visit predominately rural areas within Wythe County, but also the more populated areas. To this day, no explanation has been forthcoming from anyone about what these sightings were, nor has any trace of Danny’s negatives been discovered.
As a final note, we ask you not to attempt to contact Mr. Gordon or his family concerning these events. From reading this article it can be seen they have already been through a lot due to these happenings.
Binnall, Tim Kotz, Sean ‘6.25.12 Sean Kotz’ Binnall of America
Photo Courtesy of House Archer Productions