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The Needles UFO Crash: What Really Happened?

Aug 14, 2008
On May 14, 2008, an oval object with a turquoise glow fell out of the sky around three o'clock in the morning and crashed west of the Colorado River near Needles, California. The crash was almost immediately followed by the appearance of unmarked vehicles with government license plates manned by non-uniformed personnel, a small fleet of transport aircrafts and helicopters including a sky crane which later removed the object. Like many incidents of this kind, this one quickly became a non-event. So what really happened?

It's important to understand that the object in question has been seen in the Needles area before and elsewhere as well. An object described as oval shaped with a turquoise glow was spotted by a motorist traveling just west of Needles on I-40 on April 17, 2002 at around three thirty in the morning. During that incident the object hovered above the road in mid-air. Another sighting occurred in 1997 near Columbus, Ohio. A photographer was filming clouds when a glowing object described as turquoise in color appeared on several of the frames that were photographed. The object wasn't seen through the camera lens at the time the photos were taken.

Needles, California, is located in the Mojave Valley and is a part of San Bernardino County. It's just across the bridge from Arizona and near the Nevada border as well. Historic Route 66 and I-40 run through the town with a population of between 5000 and 6000 people. Originally named for a group of pointed rocks on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, Needles was founded in 1883 and has been an important stopping place for people traveling east to west into California ever since. It's also the kind of place where the crash of something strange might go unnoticed if it occurred outside of town. Fortunately, this crash had witnesses.

The first witness to the May 14, 2008 incident was a person we'll call Bob. He lives on a houseboat in Topock, Arizona, a town that is little more than a Marina and a couple of stores near Golden Shores. Bob reported seeing a glowing turquoise-blue-green object high in the sky and headed in his direction around three o'clock in the morning. He was sitting on the upper deck of his houseboat at the time. As it passed, he said that it looked as though the thing was on fire. He saw the object hit the ground somewhere west of the Colorado River on the California side. It bounced once and he recalled hearing a noise like a thump.

Thinking that some kind of plane had crashed, Bob tried using his satellite phone to call 911. His phone would not connect. After the crash, Bob heard the sound of helicopters approaching and reported seeing five of them flying in formation less than twenty minutes after the object hit the ground. One of them circled his houseboat before rejoining the others. Another was a sky crane that retrieved the oval-shaped object while it was still glowing with some kind of cables or a net and flew away with it. The crash occurred between Topock and Needles, west of the Colorado River and south of Needles.

Frank Costigan lives three miles east of the Colorado River and became the second witness to the May 14, 2008 incident. He got up around three in the morning to let his cat out. While standing in his backyard, Frank noticed a large glowing object streaking across the sky. It flashed a number of colors including turquoise, blue and green. The object was headed towards the ground and he expected to hear some sort of impact noise. Costigan later offered this statement:

"I thought I might hear something when it hit the ground because if it was as close as I thought it was and as big as it was, I thought I would hear something. But I did not hear anything. And it went out of my view before it hit the ground... It went behind a hill, and I waited to see if I could hear it crash because as big as it was, it was bound to make noise."

Costigan reported that the object was bright enough to illuminate the ground. He said that it came out of the northeast, headed southwest at a tremendous speed, slowed down and speeded up again before moving out of his sight. Frank is a retired Superintendent of Operations and Police Chief. He worked at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from 1978 until 1985 and at Ontario (California) International Airport from 1985 to 1986. He occasionally does special reports and news investigations for KTOX, an AM radio station in Needles, California. Frank later told David Hayes, the station owner, about the bizarre object he saw earlier that morning. Hayes surprised Costigan with his own strange story.

While driving on I-40 on his way to work that morning, Hayes saw a small convoy of darkly-painted vehicles exiting the highway. The vehicles had black and white government license plates. The lead truck looked a bit like a very large SUV with a dome on top, a truck bed and appeared to have four wheel drive. The vehicle may have been carrying a remote controlled drone. Hayes said that he could see a triangular object that sat on top of several small humps in the truck bed and that it reminded him of the look of a stealth bomber.

A dark green van followed behind the first vehicle and a longer van followed the green one. Hayes told Costigan that he could see men inside the trucks. They did not have military uniforms on, but after he made eye contact with the driver of the third vehicle, it followed him to the radio station. One of the trucks returned later that day and briefly parked outside the KTOX building. It seemed to be involved in some sort of surveillance of the radio station.

Hayes and Costigan reported the strange events that occurred on May 14, 2008 during regular programming at KTOX for days and asked for any other witnesses to come forward. That's how they obtained the story from Bob and he wasn't the only person to call in. Someone known to them from nearby Laughlin, Nevada, phoned to report that Janet planes where taking off and landing at the Laughlin Airport all night on the date that the crash occurred. Because the airport and control tower were closed at the time, Laughlin Airport personnel cannot confirm the presence of the Janet planes on the night in question.

Janet planes are the nickname some have given to the aircrafts that fly workers in and out of Area 51. A small terminal exists at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas for the mysterious airline operated by EE&G (a U.S. Government contractor). Large and smaller passenger jets and a few prop planes ferry workers to Groom Lake in Area 51 and the Tonopah Test Range, but there is no reason to expect that such aircraft would land in Laughlin. Because the airport and control tower were closed at the time, Laughlin Airport personnel cannot confirm the presence of the Janet planes on the night in question.

Strange things continued to happen in the Needles area after the crash. No one seems able to locate Bob and many believe he has left the area. Toni Sagan, a member of the River Valley Democratic Club in the area, was questioned by a stranger at a club meeting after she appeared on the radio station to talk about the 2008 presidential race. The man wanted to know if she heard any off-air conversations between David Hayes and a witness to the crash he had on the phone. Toni said that she had never seen the man before and that he seemed out of place in terms of the way he dressed as compared to most people that live in the area.

Although a public shows that at least one military helicopter was in the area on the night of the crash, there are no police, emergency, military or government agencies willing to offer any comments on the incident. Noted journalist George Knapp and members of the Channel 8 (CBS Network TV Affiliate in Las Vegas) Investigative Team say they have contacted "police agencies in three states, the Laughlin Airport, the weather service, the FAA and several military bases" asking for any kind of statement about the incident. All of them claim they know nothing about the crash.

Based on the description of the object and the circumstances surrounding its retrieval, it is doubtful that the thing was a meteorite. It could have been space junk, but the fact that it changed speed and seemed under some kind of intelligent control makes that unlikely. It's possible that the object could have been some type of experimental U.S. aircraft, but given the descriptions that have been offered, it seems to be a bit beyond what even the best secret aircraft prognosticators have predicted we currently have available.

Two possibilities remain that might explain what happened in the Needles area on May 14, 2008. One is that a UFO or spacecraft of unknown origin was tracked by government authorities to the point where it made contact with the earth. With retrieval teams standing by, the object was quickly removed from the area and any necessary clean-up was accomplished without much notice. The other is that a UFO or spacecraft of unknown origin was being test-flown by a human pilot from Area 51 and simply malfunctioned causing the subsequent actions.
About the Author
Author: Bill Knell is a popular paranormal author, speaker and consultant. Author's Website: UFOguy.com Terms To Use Article: Permission is granted to use this article for free online or in print with inclusion of the author's url.
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