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The UFOLOGIST Articles and Editorials
Article and Illustration
By Billy John Booth

UFO Air Show Over Ohio

Rodney Happney of Youngstown, Ohio was driving north on Salt Springs Road near his home town on September 19th, 2000, when he noticed something in the sky which commanded his attention. It was shortly afternoon and clear, and while he sat at a red-light, he turned to get a better look at the sight. Rodney was an ex-military man, having served two years in the 82nd Airborne Infantry as a paratrooper. He was interested in planes, and had a very good knowledge of the different types of aircraft that frequented the skies. These crafts, however, baffled him. He would later agree to have his real name released along with his description of the unusual craft. "I just saw these things from the corner of my eye," he said.

After a very brief period of time, Rodney's attention was suddenly drawn to crowd of people standing looking up into the sky. They had congregated in a parking lot in front of a convenience store and gas station. "This crowd of people were all standing around looking up and I realized they were looking at the same thing I was looking at, so I decided to pull in and stop." Rodney pulled his car over and parked in front of the Sheetz store. This popular store was located just off of Interstate 60 at the Salt Springs Road exit. The area was heavily patronized with several truck stops and a British Petroleum service station pulling in motorists. In Rodney's estimate there were as many as thirty people gathered, staring up into the sky. The objects appeared to be round, star-shaped lights, which seemed "pretty high," yet just below the cloud cover.

Rodney could clearly see six different craft, which seemed to shoot up into the sky, and then back down again, a maneuver beyond the capability of any known conventional craft. Several of the objects would "roll over," and as they did, reflect sunlight off of their metallic surface. Each of the six unknown objects would quickly make a move, and then abruptly line up in a straight line. In Rodney's own words, their movements were "bee-like." "Two of these objects from the rear of the straight-line formation would remain stationary while the rest of these things just fell, suddenly," Happney recalled. "They seemed to be flying or buzzing around real high, but there was no sound at all that I could hear."

After a few minutes of entertaining the gathered onlookers, the six craft made a rapid getaway to the east. Happney was amazed at the speed of the craft. "Nothing could compare to how fast things were going," he said. There was no doubt at all in Rodney's mind that these six unusual craft were "not of this world." At first the mood of the crowd was that of spectators at an air show, but as time went by, that cheerful tone turned into one of amazement and wonder. "All these people were as amazed as I was," Happney informed. "Someone jokingly said it could be a UFO, but whatever it was, it shouldn't have been there." "I've never seen anything like this before."

It would not be more than 30 seconds after the departure of the six unknown objects, that a camouflaged C-5 "Galaxy" would enter the same air space. The military craft was about 2-miles up as it roared into the crowd's view. When the skies cleared, Rodney drove to the Eastwood Mall in Niles, Ohio, and immediately called 9-1-1 to report the extraordinary event. The operator transferred his call to the control tower of the Youngstown Airport, which was approximately 10 miles distant of the sighting area. The tower operator stated that he had nothing on radar to explain what Rodney had reported seeing. The radar operator recommended that Happney call the National UFO Reporting Center, and submit his sighting there. The sighting had excited Rodney to the point of contacting a local television station, Channel 33 in Youngstown, to make a report. Investigators who interviewed Happney valued him as a worthy and responsible eyewitness.

In further investigation of this incident, the witness related that a cluster of 5 or 6 "boomerang shaped objects in unwavering formation" streaked overhead. Her sighting only lasted for a short period of time. The Raven, Ohio police department was contacted for more information, but a spokesman related that no reports were filed on the date in question concerning a UFO sighting. Alternative explanations were forthcoming, such as the Space Shuttle crossing the Ohio skies, and natural objects being misidentified, but none of the theories matched the eye witness accounts of the sightings. The objects which put on a show on September 19th, 2000 are still unidentified.

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