October 29, 2020

The Flying House

When you are a part-time Deputy Sheriff in rural Ohio, such as Portage County, you hope to see a little excitement. In 1966 it was even less exciting than today, when the young part-time Deputy Sheriff Wilbur Neff was paired with full-time Deputy Sheriff Dale F. Spaur. The officers were traveling on a road near Atwater Center when the radio dispatcher alerted them of the UFO call. The witness claimed the craft was as ‘large as a house’ and flying over her neighborhood and by golly the police needed to make it stop. In those days by most people’s accounts if you had seen a UFO you mentally irregular, so the officers had a good laugh as they headed west on Route 224 in the direction of the call. On the way the officers found a vehicle parked on the other side of the road and since the UFO sighting would not be considered a priority they investigated the vehicle further. The area was dark in the deep of night and the men approached the car cautiously. Officer Spaur saw a light rise up behind his partner’s back and told OfficerNeff to turn around, as he watched the man’s face change from calm to unbelieving to terrified. The Flying House sized object flew directly above them saturating them in light, the humming from the craft the only sound present. The men scrambled for their patrol car fearing this was the end. The object began moving eastward and the embarrassed officers decided to radio in what they had seen and were ordered to follow the craft. So for patrolman Neff was a part timer, not only had he seen a UFO, but now he was in a patrol car chasing it at speeds in excess of 100 miles an hour. In 1966, even in a patrol car, going over hundred miles an hour on back roads was not a good idea. The pursuit lasted 70 miles, during which patrol cars in the vicinity had been listening to the radio communications, and one in particular, Officer Wayne Houston of East Palestine decided to join in. Officer Houston simply had to wait in place as the officers and UFO were headed directly toward him. He played it right as the craft flew directly above him at 800 or 900 feet, appearing as an ice cream cone with a flattened dome on top. Meanwhile in an adjacent town Pennsylvania police officer Frank Panzanella was on patrol when he witnessed the same shining object in the sky. Minutes later the officers in pursuit pulled over and joined the Pennsylvania officer. The four officers watched as the object jumped vertically from about a 1000 feet to 3500 feet then continued vertically at a rapid acceleration until gone. Stupidly, the Air Force’s conclusion was that all four men had witnessed a satellite.

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