Journal Register News Service
A Fort Dix Military Policeman supposedly pumped five bullets into what looked like a gray-type space alien and one more bullet into an apparent flying saucer hovering above his patrol car.
The gray then somehow cleared a high chain-link fence before collapsing dead on a runway in a remote area of McGuire Air Force Base. The creature stank of ammonia and had the skin of a reptile, or so the story goes.
Prominent UFOlogists have argued they possess solid evidence that such a case did indeed transpire nearly thirty years ago on Jan. 18, 1978.
Officials of the U.S. Air Force have repeatedly denied the claim, saying again this week that the so-called evidence in the case was discredited as a hoax years ago.
Still, the old story offers a bizarre prologue to the recent saga of base incursion involving the now notorious Fort Dix Six, who await court action as alleged Islamic terrorists.
McGuire's civilian base historian, Gary Boyd, acknowledges the UFO story has over the years taken on a life of it's own. The Internet to this day, he says, offers detailed reports of UFOlogists' investigations into the case.
True or not, the story packs a dramatic wallop, with UFO investigators quoting what they claim is an eyewitness.
The so-called eyewitness notes: "...A Fort Dix MP was pursuing a low flying object which then hovered over his car. He described it as oval shaped, with no details, and glowing with a bluish green color."
He goes on to say: "...At that time, in front of his police car, appeared a thing, about four-feet tall, grayish brown, fat head, long arms, and slender body," the eyewitness noted. "The MP panicked and fired five rounds from his .45 cal into the thing, and one round into the object above."
As late as two years ago, Boyd says, amateur UFO researchers sought to gain access to base records about the alleged incident, while pretending to seek information about their military backgrounds. Boyd says he's fielded a total of ten inquiries about what in UFO circles is called, "the night the alien died."
"It's a complete fiction," Boyd said, laughing, in an interview this week. "It's humorous fiction because it wasn't even well hoaxed.
The chief piece of physical evidence supporting the UFO incident's reality is a military incident/complaint report, which purportedly details the alleged events of the night in question. Boyd, however, laughingly dismisses the document, noting it reflects numerous and blatant inaccuracies.
"The chain of command is totally screwed up and they even have the wrong zip code for the base," says Boyd.
A similar conclusion about the report was reached by the National Institute of Discovery Science, a Las Vegas, Nev. based collection of scientists and investigators, whose probes into a variety of paranormal phenomenon are financed by aerospace/real estate tycoon, Robert T. Bigelow.
NIDS gained fame in recent years for a book called "Hunt for the Skinwalker", based on the organization's investigation into a bizarre range of paranormal episodes ranging from Bigfoot and UFO sightings to shapeshifter and poltergeist activity at a ranch in a remote corner of Utah.
After conducting a preliminary investigation of the McGuire case, NIDS investigators determined that neither the base commander at McGuire in 1978, nor four other key Air Force officials, "admitted any memory of the incident."
Although they could not locate the principal eyewitness, NIDS investigators decided the case smelled enough like a hoax that no further investigation was necessary. However, NIDS through its website "encourages" anyone with information about the alleged McGuire encounter to contact them, noting, "the case is still pending."
The case's biggest continuing supporter is Richard H. Hunt, a Brentwood, Md.-based author specializing in the Civil War and UFOs, who has formerly been associated with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon, an organization that has enjoyed a good reputation for at least its sincerity.
NICAP was founded during the UFO flaps of the '50s, by retired Marine Corps Major Donald Edward Keyhoe, who became world famous for his articles in True Magazine maintaining that "Flying Saucers are Real."
Hunt picked up on the McGuire investigation upon the death of another NICAP stalwart, Leonard H. Stringfield, who also served for such other respected UFology organizations as the Mutual UFO Network.
Stringfield, or so the story goes, heard from the principal eyewitness after giving an interview broadcast over Armed Services Radio. That interview had inspired the witness, a man Stringfield and Hunt identify as Jeff Morse, to write the letter containing the graphic account of the MP shooting the strange creature.
Before his death in 1992, Stringfield had interviewed Morse numerous times, although there were apparently big time gaps between conversations. Morse reported, and Stringfield believed, that the interruptions owed to federal agents intercepting mail and phone calls.
Finally, Morse mailed Stringfield a copy of the report, written on what military officials agree is a standard DD 1569 form. The report seemed authentic to Stingfield, who acknowledged at the time having no way of being sure. What impressed him most, though, was Morses' demeanor.
"I got to know Morse as amiable, bright and alert and inclined toward reticence," wrote Stringfield, who said he was encouraged that Morse at no time claimed that what he saw was an extraterrestrial.
Morse, a rookie Air Force security officer at the time of the alleged incident, reported actually seeing the creature sprawled on the runway as he and other security officers worked to secure the area.
He later said the creature was whisked away on a C-141 to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, where, according to UFO lore, several of the dead aliens from the famous Roswell incident are said to be stored.
Morse has said he and other low level security officers were also taken to Wright Patterson for a tough debriefing session, but a Morristown, N.J. attorney he identified as one of his interrogators has denied ever taking part in, or knowing anything about, any debriefing related to UFOs.
Morse went on to earn a bachelors degree in business management and a masters in human relations, according to Hunt who is equally impressed with Morse the man.
"I have a full picture of his family background and professional career," Hunt writes. "At this point there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the report is authentic, and since it literally represents a case of corpus deliciti, it is of the first order of importance.
"The fact that several of the officers involved have denied to other investigators having any knowledge of the incident is not surprising," Hunt continues. "I have long since come to the conclusion that this case is so important and held in such complete secrecy that it will take a thorough Congressional investigation to pry loose the full story."