Copyright © 1998, All Rights Reserved
Located on the piedmont in west central Georgia and east central Alabama, the Troup-Heard Corridor (THC) has a long history of UFO sightings and paranormal activity. Sandwiched between the Fall Line to the south and the Brevard Fault line in the north, the THC presents an isolated rural setting. Stretching from east-to-west for approximately 120 miles and south-to-north for 70 miles, the THC encompasses an area slightly larger than Massachusetts. In "hard-rock country," granite, quartz, feldspar, mica, schist, and gneiss are easily found. Covering these igneous and metamorphic rocks is a soil base of chiefly bright red clay. The red clay, when not exposed, is often hidden beneath a thick canopy of mature pines and hardwoods. All of these factors combined with the plentiful surface water and hills and valleys of the THC make the THC an ideal setting for aliens to visit. Extraterrestrial (ET) craft are spotted often and alien entities, including interterrestrial (INT) beings, occasionally encountered.
Locals of Upson, Talbot, Meriwether, Harris, Troup, and Heard counties in the Georgia portion of the THC assist in keeping the presence of UFOs and aliens secret by not talking to outsiders about what they have seen. Natives on the Alabama side of the THC in Chambers, Randolph, Tallapoosa and Clay counties are even more secretive about their UFO/alien sightings. This "close-mouthed" attitude in the THC has assisted the ETs and INTs during their forays into the THC. Another consideration that has enticed ET UFOs to frequent the THC is the inadequate radar coverage in the area.
The nearest Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar facilities are in Atlanta, 50 miles to the north, and Columbus, 40 miles to the south. While radar coverage overlaps, it usually interlocks at only more than 2000 feet altitude. This permits UFOs, sometimes as large as a half-a-mile, to make a several thousand miles-per-hour entry into the THC and then loiter well under the 2000 feet high "basement" of radar coverage. Normally under the cover of darkness, these UFOs use the many hills and forests of the THC to mask their low-level operations.
LaGrange: 1938 Saucer Sighting
Going back to before World War II, UFO reports have been documented in the LaGrange area of the THC. In 1938, a teenager in southwest LaGrange saw a domed saucer with portholes. Seen in the middle of the day the saucer, according to the soon-to-be WWII combat infantryman, was as large as a commercial jetliner of today. Flying at only "4-5000 feet" altitude, the saucer moved north at a speed of nearly a 1000 mph.
Mountville: September 1952 Touchdown and Army Helicopters
In September of 1952 a Mountville roofer in east Troup county saw a giant saucer with glowing blue and yellow bottom hover below tree-top level in a hilly area off Old Dallas Mill Road. The saucer, according to the then eighteen-year-old roofer, made a "hissing" noise and appeared to "stir" the lit-up, grass-covered area ten feet below the saucer. After twenty minutes the UFO lifted straight up. Within another two minutes it looked no larger than a tiny star in the dark night sky.
The next day, a mass landing of Army helicopters took place at where the UFO was seen hovering. For many in Troup County it was their first glimpse of helicopters. Following the departure of the soldiers, the roofer, his brother and others climbed to where the saucer and helicopters had taken position. On top of a cutover hill, they found a "blackened circle of a quarter-mile around." The circle, said the roofer, was of the same size as the saucer seen the night before. Strangely, the dark circle while still hot to the touch, appeared to have been "cooked" and not burned. This was thought to be so as no fire was seen coming from the saucer according to the now retired roofer.
North Troup County: 1955 or 1956, Bigfoot Eyes a Hog
Moving 20 miles west and just south of the Heard County line, on Ringer Road, a young boy on his way to feed his family's hog spotted what he described as a "bigfoot type creature." With "long, light brownish hair all over its body" the creature appeared eight feet tall to the boy. His brother, while not seeing the creature, confirmed seeing strange large four-toed tracks near the family's hog pen. According to the brothers, a neighbor of theirs had said he had shot at the bigfoot more than once with his 30-30 rifle. This same older man, they said, called the creature a "`bung-a-dingo.'" How he and other neighbors, who had also seen the 4-500 pound entity, arrived at this peculiar name in not known. While no other bigfoot sightings have been documented in Troup County. Other bigfoot sightings in years past have occurred elsewhere in the THC.
Liberty Hill: 1960 Sighting of a "Demon"
Further west in Troup County, in the Liberty Hill community, and also near the Heard County line, a boy chopping wood for his grandmother encountered what he called, "a demon." On what is now called Lovic Davis road, the then eleven-year old said in the dark he felt something "tugging on him." Running and screaming, whatever had him, held on tight. Making a violent turn and using centrifugal force, he managed to throw the demon off and run further. Catching his breath and gathering his courage, he decided to sneak back to where he had lost the "demon." Shining his flashlight he spotted a monkey sized entity less than 75 feet away.
The reddish-brown entity, according to him, had two long slender ears that protruded straight up from the sides of its head. It only had one large eye, and equally bizarre, had a single horn that hung down to just above the creature's eye. The entity terrified him so much that he said he "ran out of his shoes" getting back to his grandmother's house across the road. The father of the now 48-year-old man (1998) confirmed his son coming home terrified nearly 40 years earlier. A search was made for the creature but it was not found.
LaGrange: Fall 1963 Close-Encounter
Sightings, as with the 1938 sighting, have not been confined only to the rural portions of the THC. A young housewife in the fall of 1963, near a railroad crossing on Greenville Street in LaGrange, had a dramatic close-encounter. Looking to her left (south) and not even a hundred yards away she saw a huge football-field sized UFO "of flashing lights" hovering only twenty feet above the railroad tracks. Two months later, this same witness said, a railroad worker saw the same UFO not far from where she had seen it.
Corinth: Late 1970s, Crash of a UFO
One of the more curious sightings to have occurred in the THC involved a boomerang shaped UFO that allegedly crashed near Corinth in southeastern Heard County. Numerous UFOs have been seen near Corinth since then. Helicopters have been known to crash or put down in the area.
The Hogansville witness said sometime in the late '70s the boomerang shaped UFO flew near her house on Hwy. 100 and then after a sudden flash it went down to the ground. Within minutes she saw smoke. Gathering her three children, she drove to where she thought the UFO had crashed. En-route, her car got stuck in a ditch as nightfall came. With the help of a passing motorist and her husband who was summoned, she got her car out of the ditch and together they continued to where the smoke was seen coming from.
Crossing New River, which feeds into the nearby Chattahoochee River, on the Charlie B. Johnston Road they saw several helicopters shinning searchlights to the ground. In the glare of the lights, they could see smoke coming up from a low set of hills several hundred yards away. One of her children, her oldest son, said he saw a fire burning in the smoke-shrouded hills. The daughter only remembers smelling smoke. Not seeing a UFO or crashed plane the couple and their children soon returned home. On awakening the next morning, all of them fully expected to hear about the crash and the recovery of a strange flying object. There was nothing on the radio, on TV or in the newspapers.
Around this same time a helicopter crashed several miles west of where the helicopters hovered. According to a tool and dye foreman the helicopter had sprayers on it. Civilians and soldiers were seen bivouacked near the crash site. He, his son and his grown nephew raced over to the crash site, which was off Hwy. 27. According to the main witness and his nephew, some men chased them through the woods after the tool and dye foreman took several black and white 35mm photos of the white helicopter laying on its side. Incredibly the helicopter crash was kept secret. The exact date of the helicopter was only ascertained after securing records of it from the National Safety Transportation Board in Washington. While the 5/28/77 helicopter crash could have occurred on or near the same day of the alleged UFO crash there is no certainty the two unusual events are connected. According to the tool and dye foreman, the civilians seen were wearing "white beehive type outfits with hoods." Military vehicles and other helicopters were also seen at the bivouac spot. The nephew denies seeing any military but agrees that whoever owned the helicopter was doing something they weren't supposed to or they wouldn't have been chased.
Since then two military helicopters were seen to land in March of 1990. Soldiers cordoned off an area on the east side of Hwy. 27. Several witnesses said they were searching for something and a Heard County fireman was told by one of the soldiers that they had "high ranking officers aboard" and were on a "`top-secret mission.'" Putting this all together you are left with a lot of unanswered questions. International Society of UFO Research (ISUR) and Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) investigators made a search on the ground in 1997 but nothing was found. It remains uncertain whether an ET UFO crashed near Corinth.
Alexander City: 1983 Light and Fury show
While there have been many sightings in the THC, there is only one possible touchdown that still shows visible evidence today. In Alexander City, Tallapoosa County, Alabama an elderly couple awoke to a terrifying shaking of their house. Besides the heavy shaking, the inside of their house was lit-up so brightly that it seemed daylight. On getting up and almost reaching outside, the light and shaking abruptly ceased. Deciding it was wiser to wait until daylight, the couple returned to bed. The next morning, on going outside, they saw a blackened area of about 10 feet wide on their concrete driveway. Inside the darkened area were several scoured or blasted out spots. There was also a strange grid-like pattern that had been etched a quarter-of-an-inch deep into the concrete. The scoured and blasted spots, when put together, suggest a small ET craft that in size was similar to what patrolman Lonnie Zamorra saw land in Socorro, New Mexico nineteen years earlier. Since no UFO was actually seen this couldn't be proven. What is certain is that the damage was not caused by lightning or from the impact of a meteorite. No debris of any kind was found and the sky was clear and there was no rain that night. It was thought by the couple's middle-aged son, who then operated a concrete factory, that temperatures in excess of 750 degrees F. were required to burn the grid-like pattern into the two-year-old concrete driveway. He felt that the unusual pattern came about from hot exhaust coming through a screened vent of the same pattern on the bottom of a space-ship that was attempting to land at his parent's house. We'll never know why it left so suddenly.
LaGrange: 31 October 1986 Saucer-Vehicle Collision
Besides UFOs touching down and burning areas there have been actual collisions of UFOs and vehicles. In LaGrange on Halloween night of 1986, a city worker claimed that a small saucer of about fifteen feet in diameter hit the top of his pickup truck and did light damage. The police on finding no strange debris suggested that maybe someone had thrown bricks at his vehicle. No bricks, however, were found. Five years later and 45 miles east, near Thomaston, a mother and her son claimed they missed hitting an identical saucer by only feet. In late August of 1992, on Bevis Road in southern Heard County, two women were scared out of their wits when, again, a similar sized and shaped UFO chased them. On reaching the intersection of Bevis and Hwy. 219, they found their "tormentor" waiting for them at only eight feet above the road. Screeching to a halt and throwing their car into reverse, they escaped what they thought was going to be an abduction of their car and themselves. They were so scared that they ran into a complete stranger's house screaming. Another person who lives near the intersection later called in to a TV-33 of LaGrange show and said the same UFO had been in his backyard that same night and chased his son while driving down Hwy. 219.
Claims of abductions by ETs have also occurred. On 9 November 1991, a Randolph County man said he was abducted into a flying saucer that took him to another planet. Aboard the flying saucer were the classic Grays and smaller "Browns" and two American military officers! He also claimed that his body was impregnated with a "cinnamon like odor" and that his hands were covered with some kind of unknown purple stain. He also said that his pickup truck had splotches burned into it. None of this could be verified by the time I met this gentlemen in late 1995. Another man camping out in the same year on the Flint River near Thomaston said giant armless aliens abducted him.
Waking up around midnight to "animal grunting noises," he stepped out his tent to find a huge nine feet tall armless alien in pearly white robe staring at him only three feet away. His wife, he claims, also awoke but was quickly frozen as the alien "towed" him into a giant silver sphere hovering nearby. Inside the space ship it appeared to be much bigger than the outside of the ship indicated. Many computer-like consoles were seen along with about twenty other giant armless aliens standing about. Laying him out on a black table, the aliens studied him he claimed. Soon they returned him to his campsite and his wife was still froze just where he had last seen her in front of their tent. Their two children never awoke during the several minute abduction. As the silver sphere spit out blue flame, his wife awoke and saw it leave. Unfortunately, his wife would not talk to this UFO investigator so none of this could be confirmed. The black circle also allegedly left behind could not be ascertained to exist in 1995. (The area was hopelessly contaminated by burned campfire spots to tell if a landing had ever taken place.)
A woman in Valley, Alabama said a "Freddie Krueger type" alien had abducted her. This very tall alien with a hideous face levitated her into a "white ball." She does not know what happened while she was gone for nearly two hours. A bigfoot sighting was also made not far from Valley in the early 1980s. But what Valley is best know for is the "Valley UFO photos."
The Valley and LaGrange UFO Photos
On 9/16/96 an unknown photographer claimed to have taken six photos of a capsule shaped UFO over a farm. The photos were submitted anonymously to a local radio station and newspaper. The remarkably clear daylight photos, which have been posted over the internet at many sites worldwide, were taken on the same day--if the photo maker is telling the truth--that a shuttle mission was launched from the NASA center in Florida. Was this the reason the space capsule looking UFO was loitering nearby? Or was the shuttle launch the inspiration for the photo maker to hoax some UFO photos? What is clear is that the weather shown in the six photos is consistent with what took place in the THC on 9/16/96. A sighting of this unusual looking UFO were also made in the THC in April of this same year near Stovall, Troup County; a fact that the photographer had no way of knowing since this sighting was not made public until after the photos were submitted. Since then the "Valley UFO" has been seen again in Troup County and in Indiana and Colorado. All the witnesses are nearly a 100 percent certain that the "Valley UFO" is what they saw. Of course, without the photo maker, the negatives, and seeing the actual farm pasture the photos were taken at, the authenticity of the photos cannot be ascertained.
In early March of 1997 in LaGrange, witnesses who are beyond reproach took a most credible photo of a UFO. The photo while not as eye opening as the Valley photos, nonetheless stands as proof that ET craft are visiting earth. Taken by a member of a family that is active in local law-enforcement, two of the three witnesses say the UFO was capable of traveling incredibly fast.
Looking like a tube of refrigerated cookie dough or a "metal fuse" the UFO was joined by another identical appearing UFO at around 2 PM. Forming an inverted V in the sky, it was the impression of the father of the family that the two UFOs were "communicating somehow." Suddenly while watching the two UFOs, one of them shot like a bullet off to the west. Then just as suddenly, the UFO returned. Lingering for a few seconds, it shot off again, to the south. At this point the retired lawman called for his wife to bring a camera. Joining him and their grown daughter, who also witnessed the incredible bursts of speed one of the UFOs had displayed, she snapped a single photo as the last UFO moved off slowly. The photo was later examined by a federal law-enforcement photo-expert. This expert said he was certain the tube-shaped craft shown in the photo was not man-made. Jeff Sainio, MUFON's staff photoanalyst, later examined the photo and said he found "no conventional explanation for this photo."
Videos of UFOs in the THC
Videos have also been taken of UFOs in the THC. The best--and not nearly good enough--was taken by the author and his family on 2/20/94. What is shown in the video is a large revolving white light low on the horizon. The audio gives a better description of what my family and I saw for over forty-five minutes. We witnessed a huge object with many pretty Christmas tree like lights strung out in the sky. The video, later analyzed by MUFON's Staff Photoanalyst, Jeff Sainio, on 2 July 1995, who said:
1. The video quality is adequate to show airplane strobes, but the UFO does not show any.
2. The UFO lighting does not appear consistent with an airplane.
3. Weak evidence suggests that light spacing varies.
Concluding, Jeff goes on to say:
The evidence appears to eliminate a plane or dirigible as a cause; it is certainly not a heavenly body. It remains a UFO. The video would be trivial to fake, although I doubt this; a livelier fake could be made with little more effort.
Two weeks exactly after the videoing of the Liberty Hill UFO, an Air Alabama National Guard F-4 exploded in mid-air less than a mile away. Approximately four weeks after the mysterious explosion, my family saw six "moon" UFOs floating through a cow pasture north of our house. The direction that the 8-10 feet diameter balls took was towards where the F-4 impacted off the Glenn Road.
A Heard County fireman claimed that before the F-4 exploded, he had seen it just two minutes earlier chasing a missile-like UFO over Hwy. 27 in southern Heard County. The UFO he said was about a third of the size of the F-4 and was accelerating away from the F-4. The Air Force in their investigation of the 3/4/94 F-4 crash said that a "faulty weld in the outer combustion chamber" of one of the plane's engines was the cause of the explosion. The pilot of the F-4 was killed and the surviving weapons system officer that I talked to denied seeing any UFOs on that tragic afternoon.
Interestingly a video taken by ufologist Wayne Uptain of Stockbridge, Georgia on 2/19/94 shows a cruise-missile appearing craft moving through white fluffy clouds in southern Harris County. The video while showing this white "missile" for about two minutes displays, however, no anomalous movements. Jeff Sainio in his 2/1/98 analysis of Wayne's video says, "Since the dot is too small to recognize, it could be a balloon, sun-lit airplane, or other object." It also well could have been a cruise missile "or other [unknown] object."
Another video of a UFO was taken on 27 Feb. 1991 atop Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, Harris County. This video shows a long-lasting bright non-blinking white light that the witnesses said was hovering and moving over a long period of night. Later that night the same mother and son were to see a large triangle shaped UFO moving so low and slow that they were able "to walk along with it" as it moved across the park.
The Shadows, Haints and INTs
In the beginning I mentioned "ETs" and "INTs." What are INTs? In Georgia, they have been around for, possibly, hundreds of years; probably since the Indians first arrived and before whites settled the South. Many rural ol'timers call them "haints." I prefer to call them what they actually look like, "shadows." Based on my nearly 120 formal investigations for MUFON, ISUR and testimony from hundreds of other witnesses I have talked to about UFOs and aliens, the shadows are real. They are also, in my opinion, behind this abduction madness. Actually, I don't believe hardly any, if anyone at all, has ever been PHYSICALLY abducted. But the shadows or haints or INTs--whatever you want to call them-are frequently visiting homes. They are usually described as being dark, shadow appearing, entities who stand between 5-5 1/2 feet tall. Their faces are almost always hidden but often their arms and legs can be seen. On Salem Road in southeastern Troup County I had two different men see INTs in the middle of the road. One of the men claims to have ran one of the shadows over and then watched the shadow enter the cab of his pickup! Like most shadow sightings, the INT immediately disappeared once it knew it had been seen.
Others have discerned features of the shadows. Some have said they have blazing red eyes and four long animal-like claws on each of their hands. More frequently they are simply described as looking like a shadow of a human. One witness described an INT as "being darker than dark." They are seen to move through house walls and found near baby beds. They have also been "felt" to sit atop people in their beds trying to suffocate them. Strangely on actually waking up and seeing them there is no fear while watching them. It is only after they have left, that the witness is left shaking. Whatever the INTs are doing, their presence has frightening and unknown implications. The frequent visits of INTs, however, more logically explains the abduction phenomenon. INTs do not need to levitate people out of their house or cars into waiting space ships. This explains why there is no proof of millions being physically removed from their homes or cars. If indeed this was happening, where are the millions of empty beds and stranded cars? Where are the millions of witnesses who should have missed their love ones for long periods of time, as they were beamed or towed-up into waiting ET craft? The truth is there is almost zero evidence to back-up ET abduction claims. Haints or shadows are often seen in the THC. Why they are here and elsewhere remains uncertain.
Where to See a UFO in the THC
I am often asked where are good places in the THC to see a UFO. This question is much like asking an Indian in the Amazon to tell where buried treasure is. Unlike some other so-called UFO "hot-spots" such as Gulf Breeze, Florida and Pine Bush, New York, there are no designated public places where people gather to crane for UFOs. Besides the area around West Point Lake, which straddles the Georgia-Alabama border in Troup and Chambers Counties, and Pine Mountain in Harris County, most of the THC is not geared towards tourism. Like much of rural America, the Troup-Heard Corridor is full of hard-working folks just trying to make a living and raising their families. Nonetheless public land around Westpoint lake is administered by the U.S Corps of Engineers and offers many excellent camping facilities. There have been many good UFO sightings along the lake over the years. I would particularly recommend lake sites near West Point Dam in west Troup County and north of there, near the Troup-Heard County line.
Roosevelt State park, in Pine Mountain, offers excellent viewing from its 1200 feet high hills and oversees the popular Callaway Gardens resort. Moving west into Alabama, the area around Bald Mountain near Wadley in Randolph County has been a good place to sight UFOs. Many say Bald Mountain is the biggest exposed outcrop of granite west of Stone Mountain in the South. Some say that UFOs like large outcrops of rock in secluded areas. If so, Bald Mountain is the place to visit.
Cannonville and Stovall in Troup County have also had a spate of UFO sightings over the years. Near Hogg Mountain, off Bartley Road, might be a good spot for skywatching if someone will let you get on his or her property. But by-and-large the best and most consistent sightings have taken place along the Troup-Heard County line. This is the "guts" of the Troup-Heard Corridor and why it is named as such.
Stretching eastward from Glenn to Corinth, the sightings have poured in over the years. Any vantage point that is within 5-7 miles north or south of the Glenn-Corinth line should be a good skywatching location. You might try skywatching along the Chattahoochee River, as UFOs seem to like fresh water. A good circuit to make, if only driving, is to leave LaGrange and go north on Hwy. 219 until reaching Franklin in Heard County. Franklin can be reached from Hwy. 219 by two routes: On crossing the Chattahoochee go about 5 miles and turn right (east) on Bevis Road or continue on Hwy 219 north until it dead-ends into Hwy 34 and then turn right. The Bevis route has had more UFO sightings, so I would suggest this route to reach Franklin. To return to LaGrange, take Hwy. 27 south. Excellent UFO sightings have been made near any of the water crossings between Franklin and LaGrange on Hwy. 27. The New River crossing and Potato Creek crossings have had more sightings than anywhere else has. Other good spots are on Hwy. 100 near Corinth and anywhere in western Troup and Heard Counties. Driving in this western area it is easy to see why so many UFOs have been seen here. Between Centralhatchee (Heard) and Antioch (Troup) there is nothing except heavy forest, secluded fields, hills, dark hollows and water.
Several miles north of Antioch is Liberty Hill. In the past Antioch and Liberty Hill have had excellent sightings of UFOs. Whereever you may elect to go, there is, unfortunately, no guarantee that you will see a UFO. Being at the right places at the right time can help. For example, I lived in the city of LaGrange (pop. 27,000) for nearly ten years and never saw a UFO. It was only after moving to sparsely settled Liberty Hill and being there every night that my family and I saw our first UFO. So if you are coming to see a UFO in the THC, don't be disappointed if you don't see one on your first attempt.
The Worse and Best times to See a UFO
Friday and Saturday nights are the worse times to see a UFO. Not just in the THC, but in my opinion, anywhere. Why? Simple: Aliens know that is when most people are out and about. Secrecy is essential for the operations of ETs and INTs and they are acutely aware when it is safe and not safe for them to flitter.
When is the best time to see a UFO? I would say late Sunday night or early, early Monday morning. While dramatic daylight, close-encounters have taken place in the THC, the bulk of UFOs are here after 10 PM on weeknights. An excellent time to see UFOs, if you can stay up, is 1-4 in the morning. If that's too late, then try 10 PM to 1 AM. A good dark (no moon) winter Sunday night after 10 PM is excellent for sightings. Most of my own family's UFO sightings have been on such Sunday nights.
Recent Sightings in the Troup-Heard Corridor
An ionized giant UFO was seen around two on a Monday morning on 7/14/97 near Cannonville. Luminous, and approximately 2000 feet long, it shot off at an astounding speed of nearly 9,000 mph. It was a dark night, heavy with cloud ceiling, when the UFO shined an ionized beam to the ground so as to "push-off." This same UFO has been seen twice since then. Once in September of 1997 at 3 AM on an early Sunday morning--that would have been a good skywatch weekend--and on a Tuesday near dusk on 3/31/98. The disc UFO is huge and it can move. Most recently, a "weather UFO" was seen on Colquitte Street in LaGrange at 12:10 AM on 6/16/98. Seen during a violent storm, the fiery fireball traveled at over a hundred mph, while only 150 feet high.
For more information on UFO investigations in the THC the reader can go to ISUR's sightings at, www.isur.com. Under the "case databases" section. Nearly a hundred detailed cases can be found. Many are by the author; some by ISUR investigator, retired College Park police chief Tom Sheets. Other UFO reports from the Troup-Heard Corridor can be found at the national MUFON web site, www.mufon.com. Look under "news" and then go to the "regional directors reports."
About the author: John C. Thompson is a former MUFON of Georgia State Director and one of the seven founders of ISUR. He served in the Marines and is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he majored in Geology. He has worked as a geochemical prospector for uranium, a wire-line engineer in the petroleum industry and a sales engineer in process control instrumentation. Since 1981 he has been self-employed and operates an insurance agency and premium finance company. He and his family currently reside north of LaGrange.