Supernatural Magazine

UFO’s Over South Carolina

    Our Rating:
UFO’s Over South Carolina

UFOs Over South Carolina is an interesting, entertaining, informative little book that one can breeze through basically in one sitting. Nice volume for reading while sitting in front of a fireplace on a rainy day, or lounging on the porch in the summertime. It will NOT send shivers up your spine and not have you shaking in your shoes, because there is nothing here that is particularly terrifying. Thought provoking, I’d suggest, and good intellectual “chew food” for mulling over the long running (and seemingly never-ending) mystery of weird things seen in the skies…AND on the ground! Just 104 pages overall and many of those are illustrations. But it IS well researched and well written and would definitely come in handy as a info source for UFO buffs in general, and for those living in South Carolina (as does this reviewer) in particular.

One of the “de rigeur” requirements of such tomes as this is that the author spends a tad of “set up” time going through the pros and cons of UFO reality (or non-reality) of “Flying Whatchamacallits” in the sky. Carmichael does this succinctly and then moves on to his sighting case histories, all of which ring true to this reviewer….and, in many cases ring FAMILIAR.

I personally, have NO difficulty in “believing” what Carmichael writes about here. I served in Army Intelligence for four years back “in the day” (1968-1971) and bumped up on this kind of thing from time to time. Worked operationally for both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency. It was during my DIA-attached period (1971) that I worked for a research project in Northern Virginia (Warrenton. Vint Hill Farms Army Security Agency Signal Intelligence Station) called “Project Lefirm Armour” (don’t get antsy….my 30-year confidentiality obligation has expired now, and, besides, the project was discontinued years ago). Lefirm Armour was an attempt to develop Over-The-Horizon (OTH) detection of Soviet & Chinese guided missile launches (or cosmonaut space launches in the case of the Russians); this because the government wanted a system that would alert the continental U.S. to “incomings” (in the event of attack) BEFORE the enemy missiles came over the earth’s horizon. The curvature of the earth BLOCKED radar detection UNTIL “incomings” cleared the horizon. I won’t go into all the theory of how this was to work, because it is pointless for this discussion. Anyway, we COULD detect stuff (and DID), and dutifully reported what we found and analyzed. We found, ultimately, that satellites did a MUCH more effective job of this , and so, eventually, Lefirm Armour had its “plug pulled”. While it WAS operating, though, we DID pick up “bogeys” now and then—-things that had odd behaviors in the atmosphere and that obviously were NOT Soviet or Chinese hardware. All such “bogeys”...UFOs…were reported straightaway to NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, where they maintained a special “desk” for such things known as NIIC (National Intelligence Indications Center…pronounced “Nick”). Things also went to the Air Force OSI (Office of Special Investigations), Air Intelligence, and to what was termed DEFSMAC (or just “Smack”), the Defense Space Missile Activity Center at National Security Agency headquarters at Fort Meade, MD. ALL these agencies were intensely interested in “bogeys” like this…EVEN THOUGH the OFFICIAL position (post Univ. of Colorado “Condon Report”) of the USAF (and the government as a whole) was that there was “nothing TO” UFOs and they were “no longer investigating them”.

Oh, sure. WE believed that…..NOT. We all knew that the disbanded Project Blue Book had been mostly an “Air Farce” public relations “front” and that other units STILL beat the bushes for the flying “what-evers”.

I knew long before this that there were strange flying things in the sky , though, because nine years previous to Lefirm Armour I had seen one of the boogers myself, as a fifteen-year-old boy. IN South Carolina, LOL! In semi-rural country, just outside the small Greenville County mill town of Piedmont. My parents owned 21 acres of land (a rectangular plot running lengthwise between the highway & the Saluda River) between the Piedmont town limits and the community of Grove Station, along SC Highway 20, south of Greenville itself. It was the late summer of 1963 and I was a rising sophomore in high school. The assassination of John F. Kennedy was only months away. My cousin from Fayetteville, NC, was staying with me at the time and we were out in back of our house one evening after sundown. My father maintained a vegetable garden back of the house and he had tilled it up for the year just a day or two before. The earth was gray and fresh and moist and felt great between the bare toes of two boys that night. We were out there because there was a colony of bats that lived down in the woods of the “back 20” and they would come out at night and fly around over the garden area looking for varmints as prey. Mice and moles and such. This night the sky was deep purple (not totally black yet) and bright-spangled with stars. Visibility was excellent. The bats swarmed overhead and David and I were having fun throwing sticks and dirt clods up to see them use their “sonar” to avoid our “missiles”. They were GREAT at such avoidance. As we continued this tomfoolery we chanced to see a bright light come up over the treeline of the west-northwest

horizon, moving right along. It was about as bright as Venus, and, in the night sky, was close to the same size but a slight bit bigger. It was NOT Venus, because we already KNEW where Venus was overhead and this was something else altogether. It COULD be taken to be an earth satellite (Ours or “theirs”), but it seemed lower in the sky than that to us. Seemed to move a bit faster. Heading from west-northwest towards east-southeast. Thought struck us that maybe it was an aircraft but we reasoned we’d see more lights than that, with some of them blinking. We heard no engine noise, but, we realized that it MIGHT be going faster (if it WAS a plane) than sound and might be leaving its engine noise BEHIND it. We figured we’d wait & see if we heard such. After a moment or two we began to INDEED hear engine noise, and thought “There it is! It IS a plane!”, but almost as soon as that thought occurred we realized there was something screwy there. The noise should be TRAILING the light (if it was a plane), and therefore playing catch-up from our RIGHT. THIS noise seemed to be coming from BEHIND us…so we turned to look.

HO-boy! Back to the east-northeast of us had long been Donaldson Air Force Base, a World War II era installation that had housed until recently the 63rd Troop Carrier Wing of C-124 Globemaster airplanes. Donaldson had recently been closed down (it is now an industrial park), and much of its mission re-located to Shaw AFB (Sumter, SC), but a few things were still there. ONE thing that WAS there was a South Carolina Air National Guard unit of F-102 Delta Dagger fighter-interceptors…..and GUESS WHAT we suddenly SAW headed OUR WAY, running lights ablaze and CLIMBING higher and higher as it came…...apparently HEADED straight for our LIGHT IN THE SKY! That very thing! An F-102 Delta Dagger! It looked JUST like it was being vectored on an intercept course right TO that light. We went bug-eyed and turned to check out what was about to “go down”. With the F-102 zeroing in, the light suddenly BLINKED OUT! Vanished! Just like somebody had flicked a switch. One second there was a bright light hauling butt across the sky and the next second there was…NOTHING. The F-102 hit his intercept point and there was nothing FOR him there TO intercept! Zilch. Nada. He’d essentially been told “Hasta La Vista, baby”. The ANG fighter pilot made a couple of big circles in the sky where there SHOULD have been something to intercept…and HAD been something to intercept….and then took off back in the direction he’d come from, back towards Donaldson.

My cousin and I went booking it into our house to tell my eye-rolling, slyly smiling parents about what we’d just seen and basically heard the old saw about “Kids. Such imaginations”. We watched the news that night and heard NOTHING, and then searched the newspapers the next day with equal frustration. Nothing. Seemingly nobody else had seen this but us( except for the Air Guard and THEY weren’t saying a WORD). I’ve carried this vivid memory around for years, told numerous people about it, and even asked MUFON if they had any old report data on such an event. Negative. But it happened. And, interestingly, Carmichael’s book has some sighting stories that evoke the same kind of experience as we had in ‘63. There is an instance of jets in seeming pursuit of an object over St. Stephen, SC, a few years back in this book, as well as some discussion of lights that blink out into nothingness. All such references bring back the memory. Carmichael speculates about wormhole possibilities and I have considered that, as well as dimensional “portals” and changes in molecular vibrational rates wherein such a “craft”(?) might change its atomic vibration so that we can’t “see” it anymore. In any event, good reference book about very real situations….no matter WHAT any smirking debunker type might try to tell you to the contrary. Recommended.

P.S. In an update in the early 1960s of his 1950s book “The Report On Unidentified Flying Objects”, former AF Captain Edward Ruppelt, the original head of Project Blue Book, did a bit of an about-face on his original (mostly positive) assessment of the phenomena, and complained that the “saucers” seemed unlikely as you almost NEVER detected them “out there” (in space) or “Coming IN” from OUT THERE. They seemed to just “appear” in our skies. Well, he has a point there. That was what WE experienced at Lefirm Armour with our “bogeys”. They sort of appeared, and sort of vanished…like my 1963 light ball. For that reason I don’t pay much attention to notions of linear incoming travel from across deep space. Think that is too much thinking “IN the box”. I think these things pop in and pop out; most likely through dimensional portals. Lets hear it for John Keel & J

William R. Hancock

William R. Hancock

Did well in school as a kid, made good grades. Was somewhat introverted but not radically so. Mother died of lung cancer when I was eleven and I became something of a latch-key key for several years there. Swore over my smoker mother’s grave I wouldn’t check out like she had…and decades later have never pulled one single draw off a cigarette. Never will.

Went nuts over James Bond as a teenager and the attraction drove me into things espionage-related. After high school & junior college I went into the Army and plopped myself down into Military Intelligence. Before I got out I had worked operationally as an analyst for both the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency