Alternate Perceptions Magazine, September 2022
EXCELLENT 1981 CALIFORNIA CLOSE ENCOUNTER
by: Rick Hilberg
Probably one of the best cases from that surprisingly active year of 1981 occurred on August 31 in Trona, California in the desert area of that state. It is also a multiple witness case that certainly enhances its value to those who seriously study the history of the phenomenon in order to make sense as to what is happening today.
"It was pretty weird. It wasn't just going through the air - it was going sideways and in circles. I don't know. I really can't explain it."
What 24-year-old Vicki Taylor was trying to explain those many years ago was the UFO she and her 28-year-old husband and their young daughter saw in the desert that Monday night as they were leaving a friend's house in that small desert community.
"We were leaving a house and my wife said ' What's that, Frank?,' recalled Mr. Taylor, who was then a machinist trainee at the big Kerr-McGhee plant in Trona. It was around 7:30 p.m. when he peered out of the front window of his 1969 Chevrolet pick-up truck. It was then that he caught sight of what Vicki was referring to.
"I think it was a little flying saucer", he said. "It was coming right at us."
The strange disk-shaped, silver and red-colored something measured approximately three feet across at the bottom, he said, and flew almost directly over the front of the truck.
A small dome poked out over the top of it, and from that area emitted a vertical "cat's-eye light that kept opening and closing, opening and closing," he explained to newsmen.
The mysterious craft itself was about a "telephone pole and a half high" off the surface of the ground, about 25 to 30 feet in front of the truck and at a 45-degree angle from where the Taylors were sitting in the front seat. After their initial astonishment, the couple quickly got out of the truck for a closer look at the strange object that interrupted their routine drive home.
"It was really a bright, shiny silver," stated Vicky, recalling the sighting to a local reporter sitting in her Trona home only days after their encounter. "It was shaped like a flying saucer," she recounted in her interview. "That's when we all got excited by it. It really looked like one."
The Taylors stated that they were able to get a better look at the UFO when it "turned sideways," exposing its dome- shaped top and red-banded sides. "It was silver on the bottom and red around the middle, " said Vicki. "But the red, it didn't look like a color, it was some type of light that was blinking on and off."
"I really wanted to find someone else to look at it so I didn't think I was seeing things," Frank said. So, they quickly got back in the truck and hurried back to their friend's house, dragged him outside, finding that the saucer was about 500 feet away and still clearly visible, although just barely.
They recounted how the thing slowly moved northward in a circular flying fashion. They viewed it for "five minutes or so" until it finally disappeared behind the Slate Mountains that drop over onto the western fringe of Death Valley.
Then they left their astonished friend and finally headed for home. Vicki called some of her friends to find out if anyone else had seen the UFO. Nobody had, but one friend suggested she call authorities about the encounter.
Her husband called the Barstow Sheriff's Substation at 7:40 p.m. A Trona Deputy was assigned to go over to interview the Taylors, and Vicki said that the Deputy told her that within the last month or two other sightings had been reported, though the UFOs appeared different from the one the Taylors encountered that night. They reported that they had a great amount of trouble trying to sleep that night. "We were talking about it all night, " Vicki said. "It was on our minds quite a bit." Vicki also reported that she lost her skepticism regarding UFOs, but Frank said he was a firm believer. "It was a little flying saucer all right." He also stated that he thought it was unmanned - "No, the saucer was too small for people."
Source: A UFOLOGICAL SNAPSHOT - 1980-1981, Rick Hilberg 2002