The Stanford UFO Abduction
The early 1970s were they heyday of UFO sightings and alien abductions in America. All across the country, people were reporting sightings and encounters with spaceships and alien beings. One of the most unusual and well-documented of all of these cases comes from right here in Kentucky. On January 6, 1973, three women driving home from a birthday celebration along Highway 78 had their lives changed forever when a strange, glowing craft descended on them from out of the sky.
That night, Mona Stafford, Louise Smith, and Elaine Thomas had been celebrating Mona Stafford's birthday at the Redwood restaurant, just south of Lancaster. The women left the restaurant slightly after 11 p.m., none of them had anything alcoholic to drink that evening, and all three were feeling clear-headed and happy as they began the drive home. That feeling didn't last.
Highway 78 is a dark, twisty road winding through sparsely-populated farmland that stretches through Casey and Lincoln counties from Lancaster to Liberty. It was along this route that Louise Smith was driving her '67 Chevy Nova, when the three women noticed something unusual in the sky. The three women all described seeing a bright, red object descend from the sky and begin following the car. As it grew closer, they could see that it was a very large, disc-shaped object with a dome on top and a blinking, yellow light on the bottom. As the object grew closer, Smith realized that she was no longer in control of the car. The Chevy was increasing speed, and when Smith looked at the speedometer she realized that the car was moving at 85 miles per hour, a speed faster than Smith, and possibly anyone in a Chevy Nova, had ever travelled.
"I can't keep the car on the road!" Smith exclaimed, and Mona Stafford, sitting in the passenger seat, reached over and attempted to help her friend steer the car. But it was no use, the car was no longer under control of the driver. Smith's foot was no longer even on the gas pedal.
The object following the women kept pace with car for some time, until it suddenly gained speed and shot out in front of them on the highway. As it moved in front of them, the object emitted a bright beam of blue light from its underside which filled the car. The car seemed to fill with a bluish fog, and all three women felt a strong burning sensation on their skin, so powerful that the women could barely keep their eyes open. All three women became extremely disoriented, and the last thing they remember is the car being backed in to a pasture of the side of the road between two low, stone walls.
The next thing the women knew, they were in the car driving towards Liberty. All three were suffering from a severe irritation on their exposed skin. It was after 1 a.m. Over an hour had passed of which the women had no memory.
When they returned home, the women called the police station and reported the incident. The next day they also contacted local Navy recruiting office to see if the military had any information. Neither agency was able to provide any help, but word of the incident was released to the Lexington TV station and the story began to spread. The women were eventually contacted by a representative of MUFON, the Mutual UFO Investigation Network, and over the course of several years an investigator from the organization worked with the women, arranging sessions with a psychologist who placed the women under hypnosis. It was in this state that they were able to recall further details of the encounter.
Each of the women recalled the presence of strange beings, who they described as having large eyes that seems to poke out of "hooded" heads, rounded at the crown that descended into a sharp, pointed chin. None of the women recalled the figure having a mouth. The women recalled being held under a glowing, eye-like light that seemed to be mounted on an armature of some sort. The women described being subjected to unusual procedures, such as having a warm gel applied to their faces, of being prodded with metal instruments, and of being subjected to devices which put intense pressure on their arms and legs. Elaine Thomas recalled being placed in a small chamber and having a metal, noose-like cable around her neck, which choker her if she attempted to speak.
Strange physical effects lingered for weeks after the abduction. Mona Stafford visited her doctor who confirmed that she was suffering from symptoms consisted with radiation poisoning, including having a quarter-sized blistering burn mark on the back of her neck. The Chevy Nova developed a number of puzzling electrical problems after the incident.
Louise Smith began having trouble with the clocks in her life. The minute hand of the watch she had been wearing that night began to spin wildly around on its axis, and her bedroom alarm clock suddenly sparked and stopped working when she touched it. Her pet parakeet, previously friendly, was absolutely terrified of her from that moment on, and would shriek whenever she came into the room.
What makes the Stanford case so fascinating is the remarkable is that it's one of the few UFO cases where the abductee's account is in some ways corroborated by other witnesses. Two teenagers driving in Stanford that night had called in a police report of seeing a strange, bright orange light hovering above Stanford. They chased the object in their car all the way to Danville, where it sped off and they lost track of it. Several neighbors along highway 78, including the farmer whose field the car was backed in to, all recalled seeing a strange light in the sky that evening.
We will probably never know exactly what happened in Stanford that night in 1973. All three women involved were convinced that they had been subject to something extremely unusual. None of them were particularly interested in UFOs, the supernatural, or any other uncommon phenomena before the incident. All three were respectable women who turned down multiple opportunities to profit from their story, and only reluctantly pursued digging deeper into it, and mostly in an attempt to understand what happened to them.