UFO police moline

Historic UFO Sighting: Retired Police Officer Still Haunted By ‘Boxcar’ Size Object 48 Years Later

A UFO spotted by police officer William Fisher 48 years ago was just one of what may be the largest wave of UFO sightings on record, extending from January to May of 1967 in Indiana and Illinois. Almost five decades later, the “boxcar” sized object seen hovering in the sky by Moline, Illinois, still haunts the man today.

Now 80 years old, Fisher captured 8mm home movie footage of the bright UFO in the sky over Moline — footage that is now part of the National Archives Project Blue Book collection, a historical record of the United States Air Force investigation into unexplained aerial phenomena.

That vintage UFO footage can be viewed above. The UFO appears just after the 2:30 mark.

It was March 9 of 1967 when Fisher spotted the UFO, as his police three-wheel motorcycle was parked across from the school where his then-11-year-old son was a student. And Fisher was not the only person to sight the UFO that day — even a pair of nuns saw the strange object.

But Fisher was the only one who took a home movie of the UFO — which got him called in front of the Air Force investigators to testify about his story.

“The Air Force asked, ‘How high up was it?’ Fisher recalled last week in an interview with The Moline Dispatch newspaper, for a story commemorating the anniversary of his historic UFO sighting. “‘I don’t know.’ ‘Well, how big do you think it was?’ ‘I think it was as big as a box car.'”

The incident made the officer, who served honorably for 30 years on the Moline police force, more famous than he wanted to be. Not only did he find himself much sought after by UFO researchers — he recalls a visit from three mysterious men dressed in black who cornered him at the Moline police station.

The “Men in Black,” in addition to being the subject of a big budget Hollywood movie series, are an integral part of UFO lore, purportedly paying unannounced and sinister visits to people who claim UFO encounters.

UFO police news account
A March 10, 1967, account of the Moline UFO sighting from the Daily Illini newspaper.

But other cops in nearby counties also reported UFO sightings over the next several days. Fisher’s son, who was with him on March 9, still has vivid memories of the UFO he spotted with his dad.

“He pointed up in the sky and said, ‘Hey, look at that plane, it’s just hanging there.’ I looked up, and there’s a big oblong shape just hanging there. There were no wings,” recalled William Fisher Jr., to the Dispatch. “It was oblong and really shining and hanging. It was silvery white, just reflecting sunlight. As soon as I looked up and saw it, my jaw dropped, wondering what this was.”

While his son says he has never come to a conclusion as to what the UFO actually was, his father says he was looking for a UFO that day — because there had already been a series of sightings in the area. That’s why he had his home movie camera with him.

“They were being viewed by a lot of people. There were stories all around. I was just naturally curious,” says the retired police officer today, of his historic UFO sighting 48 years ago.

[Images: U.S. National Archives, University of Illinois Library]