Date: September 9, 1980
Location: Easley, South Carolina, United States
There was something ' strange, and beautiful, and incredibly big floating just above the tree tops in front of Larry Joe Garrett's house on Fruit Mountain Road last Thursday morning. "That's the Goodyear blimp!" was my first thought. Then I realized it wasn't a blimp."
Sketch of UFO made by artist Mickey Tate from description given him by Larry Joe Garrett. Garrett saw the object hovering over his house.
Type of Case/Report: PressReport
Special Features/Characteristics: Rotary/Spin Motion
Source: Easley Progress (South Carolina), Sept. 17, 1980
There was something ' strange, and beautiful, and incredibly big floating just above the tree tops in front of Larry Joe Garrett's house on Fruit Mountain Road last Thursday morning.
It was unlike anything Garrett has ever seen before. It left him almost transfixed, in i a state of awe and exhilaration, The euphoria lasted 24 hours before Garrett said he felt normal again.
Garrett saw the strange fly-, tag object at S a.m. About three hours earlier Jerry McAlister of Pamell Road in Anderson had seen something similar. McAlister also described a feeling of excitement and exhilaration after the sighting.
The object has not been identified.
But that does not make it any less real to Joe Garrett. He related his experience to The Progress.
"I had gone out in the yard to work on my wife's car," he said. "She works on the second shift and was still asleep. I heard a buzzing sound, sort of like a big swarm of bees. Or like a Honda, way off In the distance. I looked down the driveway to see if a car was turning around, but I didn't see anything. As I turned back, toward my wife's car I got a glimpse of something over the top of the trees."
"That's the Goodyear blimp!" was my first thought. Then I realized it wasn't a blimp. It was something a lot bigger. I couldn't see it very good, so I walked around to the front of the house. And there it was, out in the clear, right up over me. It was big. Real big. "How big?" he was asked. "Oh, it was as big as Belk's store. But a whole lot taller," he said.
He staunchly stands by his estimate of the size of the object. He says when he looked at it, the object reminded him of a large battleship he had seen once in the Norfolk, Va. harbor.
He described the windows as being very long, and totally black, except for one window that shone with a blinding, glaring light. Garrett said this could have been the sun reflecting off the window, but he couldn't tell for sure. The glare was too bright.
He was specific about the color. He said it appeared to be a metallic, purplish-gray. He was sure the bottom side of the object was metal, of an exceptional smoothness. He saw no seams, although he said there was what appeared to be a metal pipe protruding from the underside.
Garrett could not see the entire shape of the object. He said It appeared to be tilted backward, so that what he saw, primarily, was the bottom of the "saucer." However, he saw enough of the upper part to be sure that it was dome shaped.
"It was shaped sort of like the big water tank up town," he said, "Except a whole lot bigger."
The description given by McAlister in Anderson matched Garrett's in most respects except for the lights. Garrett, who saw the object in full daylight, said there were no lights on it. McAlister saw the object before daylight, and said it carried blinding lights all around its perimeter.
Both men described the object to artist Mickey Tate of the Pickens County Sheriffs Department. Neither man conferred with the other, but the sketches Tate drew from their description were very similar except for the protruding lights reported by McAlister.
The sheriff's deputy theorte-ed that the lights could have been retractable, to be pulled into the fuselage of the craft when not in use.
Although several people were reported to have seen the "flying saucer" in Anderson, no one else, apparently, saw the big object in Easley. Garrett said his next door neighbor was not at home at the time, and the neighbor across the street was probably busy with her children inside the house.
After he had watched the strange object for a minute Garrett said he ran into the house to call his wife. But when he got inside he stopped, thinking to himself that his wife would say he was crazy if he told her what he had seen. He hesitated a moment in the kitchen, then ran back outside to reassure himself that the object was still up there above the trees. When he got outside it was gone.
Later in the morning Garrett's wife convinced him that he should report ^he sighting to someone. He called the Pickens County Sheriff's Department, and it was then that he heard for the first time that a UFO had been sighted in Anderson, also.
Many theories nave been advanced as to the origin and the identity of the strange object. The Easlej Progresi called the Greenvllle-Spartanburg Airport's cantrol tower to ask if an unidentified craft had been picked up on radar.
The individual contacted at the tower said the object did not show up on radar. He expressed considerable skepticism that there actually had been an unidentified flying object in the area.
Some persons believe the flying object might have something to do with a Government project of some sort, possibly a weather balloon. Others wonder If it was something sent over from Russia or some other unfriendly country. And then there are those who fear that it was an interplanetary space craft.
Whatever it was, it was not a figment of Joe Garrett's imagination. He saw something very big and beautiful in his front yard last Thursday. He convinces you, when you talk to him about it
Case ID: 299
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