I-Team: Witness: Mystery on the River - 8 News NOW

George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter

I-Team: Witness: Mystery on the River

Posted: Updated:
"It looked like something that was on fire falling out of the sky." "It looked like something that was on fire falling out of the sky."
A fisherman was on a slow drift down the Colorado River, south of the town of Needles, when the large glowing cylinder plunged out of the sky. A fisherman was on a slow drift down the Colorado River, south of the town of Needles, when the large glowing cylinder plunged out of the sky.
Lockheed Martin, for example, has conceptualized a number of super-secret, high tech, unmanned flying machines, capable of morphing into other shapes during flight. Lockheed Martin, for example, has conceptualized a number of super-secret, high tech, unmanned flying machines, capable of morphing into other shapes during flight.
In a desolate stretch of the river, much of the surrounding land is sandy, like a beach, so a thump on impact rings true. In a desolate stretch of the river, much of the surrounding land is sandy, like a beach, so a thump on impact rings true.
  • More from 8NewsNOW.comMore>>

  • Chief Investigative Reporter George Knapp and Photojournalist Matt Adams

    I-Team: Was the Needles UFO a Secret Military Craft

    I-Team: Was the Needles UFO a Secret Military Craft

    Thursday, May 20 2010 8:20 PM EDT2010-05-21 00:20:17 GMT
    The recent launch of a secret military payload may provide clues in solving a local mystery: the crash of an unidentified object near the Colorado River. Two years ago, something fell out of the sky and landed with a thud on the riverbank south of Needles. The I-Team has been chasing the story ever since.More>>
  • George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter

    I-Team: Mystery on the River Part 2

    I-Team: Mystery on the River Part 2

    The mystery surrounding the object that fell from the sky is pretty juicy by itself. But the stories the I-Team has been hearing about the X-Men agents in their spooky vehicles takes the tale to a whole different level. Chief Investigative Reporter George Knapp has the strange details.More>>
  • George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter

    I-Team: New UFO Mystery Surfaces

    I-Team: New UFO Mystery Surfaces

    A large object with a turquoise hue plummeted out of the sky earlier this summer and plowed into the earth south of Las Vegas. Eyewitnesses say this was no meteorite, especially since a bunch of helicopters hauled it away. Inside, find WEB EXTRA video and a blog where you can leave a comment.More>>

The FAA and other public agencies say they have no idea what plummeted from the sky and plowed into the ground near the Colorado River back in May. But numerous eyewitnesses saw it and they saw the flotilla of helicopters that arrived soon after to retrieve it.

This can rightfully be called a UFO crash, since the object is, as yet, unidentified.

When the I-Team first reported on it back in July, we told you about a key eyewitness who had seen the crash up close and then dropped out of sight. It took awhile, but we found him.

According to eyewitnesses, the mystery object blazed out of the sky in the early morning hours of May 14, 2008. In Bullhead City, former police chief Frank Costigan noticed the turquoise light overhead.

"Bright in the yard, so naturally I looked up and right about here, heading in that direction, and it went like this, about that speed, fell behind that hill right there," he said. "I expected to hear the boom or siren or something."

I-Team: New UFO Mystery Surfaces

Elsewhere in Bullhead City, Brad Allen's son saw it in his telescope, "It was weird to him because it was going fast and seemed to slow down and picked up speed again and it was really bright. So he came in and got me and thought it was a meteorite."

A fisherman was on a slow drift down the Colorado River, south of the town of Needles, when the large glowing cylinder plunged out of the sky, "It looked like something that was on fire falling out of the sky. It didn't look like a meteor. I've seen meteors before. It looked like a plane crashing."

The witness, who prefers to be known as Bob on the River, says the object slammed into the riverbank, 50 or more yards west of his houseboat, "It didn't crash, it didn't explode, it went poof -- a thump."

See the UFO crash site (Requires Google Earth)

In a desolate stretch of the river, much of the surrounding land is sandy, like a beach, so a thump on impact rings true. Because the river is lower than the bank, Houseboat Bob could not see the crash itself, but he had no trouble eyeballing the military-type helicopters that swooped in just moments later.

"There were, I believe, four of them. One kept its light on me, one on the front of my boat, two of the other ones were circling," he said.

The smaller choppers were then joined by a huge sky crane which somehow attached itself to the crashed object, then hauled it away, in formation, toward the north. Minutes later, in Bullhead City, Brad Allen saw the aerial procession.

"I looked thru the binoculars and below one of them was a green object. It was glowing a faint green," he said.

The story of the UFO crash and the mystery helicopters first emerged on KTOX radio in Needles after Bob on the River called in, a decision he came to regret. When the story went national, Bob was nowhere to be found.

Have a UFO Story? Tell Us About It

He says he turned off his cell phone and floated around a bit. He wasn't taken into custody but he won't say whether he was questioned or talked to.

In the months since, the I-Team filed records requests with more than a dozen federal state and local agencies. Not one knows anything about the incident, although two federal intelligence agencies stated they have no records they can release.

UFO groups have assumed the object must be a crashed flying saucer, similar to the famed Roswell incident, and that it was retrieved under something like Project Moondust, a real program from the Cold War designed to locate things that fall from the sky.

"We've had things that fall down for a long time and people go out and pick up things that fall down. That doesn't make them extraterrestrial," said John Alexander.

Retired intelligence Colonel John Alexander thinks it is possible that what crashed near the river was something being developed in secrecy by the U.S. military. His best guess, some sort of UAV, a pilotless warplane. The kind said to be in development at Area 51.

"It's only unidentified to you. They know what it is," he said. "It's also the possibility it lost control and flew off the range. It's not that far from Edwards or the test ranges."

Lockheed Martin, for example, has conceptualized a number of super-secret, high tech, unmanned flying machines, capable of morphing into other shapes during flight.

And what about the military choppers? The I-Team found several stationed during the summer in Henderson, attached to a special ops group known as the Night Stalkers.

Was Houseboat Bob intimidated into laying low, as ex-cop Frank Costigan thinks? When the I-Team found him, the fisherman was cagey.

"It's a very difficult question for me to answer, Mr. Knapp. Especially at this time," he said.

"Privacy at this time?" asked Knapp.

"Obscurity," he said.

"You don't want attention?" asked Knapp.

"Absolutely not," he said.

But he added this intriguing post script, "I don't believe we were meant to see this."

Houseboat Bob isn't the only person to feel intimidated. In the days after the crash, Needles residents say they had regular encounters with government agents in dark, unmarked vehicles, sort of like Men in Black, asking tough questions.

That part of the story Friday at 11. The I-Team will also take a boat ride with Bob to the spot where the object came down.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.