ELLENTON Decades ago, Tom Miller saw his first
He was at his grandmothers house at Buckeye Lake, Ohio,
about 30 miles east of Columbus. Miller, then a young man, relaxed
on a chaise lounge out in the yard. Looking up into the sky in the
middle of the day, he saw three points of light. He thought at first
they were bombers. But the lights werent moving. The three objects
hung in formation high in the sky. Then, in the blink of an eye,
they were gone.
I remember it & like it happened
yesterday, Miller said.
Years later, Miller would share another
sighting with his wife, Jackie. That sighting would come on a beach
and be highlighted by a passing airplane. Together, the Millers have
an eclectic interest in several aspects of the metaphysical
including UFOs. Recently, they created a new UFO group that meets at
the Rocky Bluff Library in Ellenton. Members of group, which meets
the first Saturday of every month, discuss UFO theories and shares
We say, Why not? Jackie Miller said of
UFOs. Thats our theme Why not? What are you afraid of?
Tom Miller, originally from Ohio, was an
Eagle Scout and an amateur astronomer. In the 1940s and 1950s, just
as UFOlogy was becoming more prevalent, Tom Miller took an interest
in some of the early books on the subject. But his interest wasnt
as intense as that of his future wife. Tom Miller joined the Army
and later became heavily involved in mountaineering. He worked in
retail and commercial paint sales before retirement.
Miller, meanwhile, had a long career as a teacher. Much of her
career was spent at Palmetto Elementary. Originally from West
Virginia, she has had a longtime interest in the metaphysical. In
addition to the UFO group, Jackie Miller is involved in the Manasota
Dowsers and meets with a study/discussion group called The Seat of
the Soul. Jackie Miller is interested in the work of Nikola Tesla
and said she has had psychic experiences. Shes traveled to some of
the worlds metaphysical centers, places like Chichen Itza in
The pair met 13 years ago when Jackie Miller was
volunteering in the hospice where Tom Millers previous wife died.
They later discovered they had a lot in common.
couple lives in their Ridgewood home surrounded by shelves stacked
with books. Since meeting, they have attended a number of gatherings
on UFOs, including ones held by MUFON. The Millers eventually moved
to Tennessee and North Carolina. They visited areas there, and in
other parts of the country, known for UFO sightings. They met with
one group while living there that included a man who claimed to be
an alien/human hybrid.
He didnt have any physical proof other
than the fact he was a little strange, Tom Miller said.
group in Hendersonville, N.C., included a pilot who claimed to see
foo fighters. After 10 years, they returned to Florida only to
discover that the Clearwater group had disbanded.
Tom Miller checked and discovered that there were no
UFO groups meeting in the region. The couple decided to start their
own, advertising the first meeting through a few phone calls and
word of mouth. Fourteen people attended the first meeting, which was
held at the Millers residence. For subsequent meetings, they
secured the library.
The Millers said the meetings range in
topics. On Saturday, the group discussed Eric von Danikens Search
for Ancient Astronauts. They also share stories. One man described
being chased by a UFO. Another story came from a Myakka resident
whose home was bathed in turquoise light before a being about seven
feet tall appeared. Another attendee explained that the alien could
have been one of a race from a nearby star thats known for its
taller stature and whose color is turquoise.
Future meetings may
include discussions about crop circles, animal mutilations,
implanted chips, missing twin syndrome and other topics. The Millers
are looking for military people with stories or anyone who wants to
share. Tom Miller said its often difficult for people who have had
a UFO experience to come forward.
Its a lot like coming out of
the closet, he said.
UFOs, the Millers said, have been around
since ancient times. They dont worry too much about people who may
be skeptical of their beliefs. The Millers said theyve had several
calls about their group. They look forward to the expected increase
in UFO sightings.
I am anxious to see what is going to happen,
Tom Miller said.
Contact Rob Brannon at