Date: 23-May-86 13:17 MST Subj: APca 05/23 UFO SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Theeeey're baaaaack. F

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Date: 23-May-86 13:17 MST From: Executive News Svc. [72135,424] Subj: APca 05/23 UFO SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Theeeey're baaaaack. For UFO believers who have endured years of drab skies and no sightings, Thursday, and its full moon, was a big day. More than a dozen people said they saw a mysterious UFO racing across the pre-dawn sky north of San Francisco -- a strange X-shaped craft with blinking lights that hovered above the hills of Sonoma County before speeding away into the dark. A California Highway Patrol officer who declined to be named and radio station KTOB News Director Arlette Cohen were among those who reported spotting the strange craft at about 4:30 a.m. PDT between the cities of Petaluma and Sonoma about 40 miles north of here. The sighting came on the heels of reports of pingpong-ball-sized multi-colored UFOs crowding radar screens in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The government scrambled jet fighters to intercept the tiny objects, and two pilots said they saw the objects flying nearby. "I saw these two white lights to the east," Ms. Cohen said, estimating the craft was about 1,000 feet in the air. She said she noticed the UFO when it crossed to the west side of the highway, and "hovered almost stock-still ... for a few seconds." Ms. Cohen said she was driving to work at her Petaluma station, northbound on U.S. 101, and made the sighting shortly before reaching Petaluma. She said a full moon was still visible above. She also said she rolled down her car window to listen for the sound of a helicopter but heard nothing. When the craft crossed the highway once again, she said she saw two "tiny green lights" glowing faintly on the side opposite the two bright white lights. "I think I saw sort of a black `X' silhouette shape," Ms. Cohen said. "It was really hard to tell." "An unidentified object described as a large orange `X' with white lights in the front was seen traveling at a high rate of speed eastbound from Petaluma," Santa Rosa CHP Officer Bill McChristian said of the report from the unidentified officer and several callers. San Francisco Bay area air traffic controllers said they could not explain the sighting, saying radar screens detected no such object flying over the area at that time. The North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado said no man-made spacecraft would have been visible at 4:30 a.m. in Northern California, but that debris from the Cosmo 1683 satellite reportedly re-entered the atmosphere over California more than an hour later, at 5:41. "We don't have anything at that time," said Lt. Virginia Sullivan of NORAD. The sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects first sprang up in the 1940s and in 1947 the University of Colorado and the Air Force decided to look into the matter. [SIC: The UofC did not begin their investigation until 1969 -- T/A] In 1969, after two decades of research, the university concluded there wasn't the slightest evidence of "alien crafts." Soon after, the flying saucer fad waned and UFO clubs folded. Wayne Shannon of San Francisco television station KRON reported Thursday night, with tounge firmly in cheek, that he received a call from a woman in Petaluma, once a city so well known for its chicken ranching that the local football team was dubbed The Leghorns. Shannon said the caller knew what everyone saw Thursday: it was the souls of all those dead chickens. Shannon called them "Poultrygeists," a takeoff on the current movie "Poltergeist II." You know. The one with the television commercials in which the little blonde girl says: "Theeeey're baaack."

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