In 1965, James Flynn claims he observed a metallic UFO in the sky over the Everglades in Florida. When he approached the object, he claimed to have been almost knocked off his feet by a strong gust of wind, and then a bright beam of light hit him in the head, knocking him out and making him partially blind.
James Flynn of East Fort Myers, Florida, went deep into the Everglades on Friday, March 12, 1965, with his four hunting dogs. On the evening of fourteenth, his hunting dogs chased a deer when they spotted it, and they went out of sight, but Flynn was still able to hear their barks. Except for one, none of the dogs returned, and that only dog was locked into the cage by Flynn.
He then heard what sounded like a gunshot. At this point, he grabbed the steering wheel of his swamp buggy and sped toward the animals as cautiously as he could. By now it was around 1 a.m. on Monday, March 15. All of a sudden, Flynn noticed a strange, upside-down cone-shaped object hovering 200 feet over a grove of cypress trees about a mile away.
Shortly thereafter, it began to move in a northeast direction. Within two or three minutes, it returned to its initial location and hovered for five minutes before accelerating southwestward. Shortly, the spacecraft returned again and was just a quarter-mile away from Flynn. He stood there and watched it slip into a nook in the forest.
Flynn used binoculars to gain a better view of the object after spotting it in the dense forest. At least twice in diameter and at least 25 feet tall, the object was clearly visible through the binoculars. A yellowish glow could be seen coming from the top four tiers of two-foot-square square windows. Metallic in appearance, it appeared to be held together by rivets and comprised of four-by-four plates. An orange-red glow emanated from its base, illuminating the ground for 75 feet around the rim.
Flynn wondered if this might be a secret device from Cape Canaveral. After observing the craft for 40 minutes, he made the decision to approach it and offer his assistance to its putative crew. A thunderous, ringing sound could be heard coming from it as he approached it. The dog wailed and pounded its head against its cage as it desperately fought to escape.
At this point, he realized that the object was hovering four feet above ground level. He halted the buggy around 200 yards away and walked forward, waving his arms. A blast of “wind” from the UFO that was moving counterclockwise almost knocked him off his feet. Undeterred, Flynn resumed his trek. At 75 feet from the thing, he waved his arms again. While still hovering in the air, one of the UFO’s windows emitted a “welder’s torch”-like beam of light. It seemed like a “sledgehammer strike” to him when it hit his forehead. In the blink of an eye, Flynn passed out.
He was able to restore consciousness at some point. He was unable to see anything, so he lay there for some period of time until his left eye could see a little bit again. At this point, it was Tuesday morning, and the sun was shining. A precise circle had been scorched into the ground just above where the UFO had been hovering. Several of the cypress trees on the edge of the circle showed burn marks.
Flynn somehow got his dogs together, got in the buggy, and drove to the home of Henry Osceola, a Seminole Indian who lived in the swamp. When Flynn arrived back at his East Fort Myers home on Wednesday afternoon, he took his wife to see Paul R. Brown, who was an ophthalmologist.
“Mr Flynn seemed to be in quite an agitated state of mind at that particular time. He kept repeating over and over ‘I know you won’t believe me, but this is what happened’ and then he would begin to relate the same story.
When I examined him on 3/17/65 vision was 20/800 in the right eye and 20/60 in the left eye. Intraocular tension was 2 on the right and 6 on the left using the 5.5 gm weight on the Schiotz tonometer. Examination revealed a slight bruise over the right brow and right upper lid and there was some gross hyphemia on the right. I could not see the retina on the right. The left eye appeared to be normal.”
Medical Examination Of James Flynn
He was sent to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, where he spent the next five days in intensive care. Harvie J. Stipe, a doctor who had known him for 25 years, examined him 48 hours after he was taken to the hospital. Dr. Stipe couldn’t look at Flynn’s eyes because they were bandaged, but he did a full physical examination on him anyway.
“The only abnormal findings were neurological. No paralysis was noted, but the deep tendon reflexes of the biceps, triceps, patellas, and achilles were absent. Plantars and abdominal were absent, but cremaseterics were present.
Mr Flynn was observed carefully for several weeks. His reflexes gradually returned over a 5-day to 1-week period, but returned irregularly. The forehead was finally examined and presented a thickened area just above and medial to the right eye; in the center of this area was a depressed, slightly abraded spot about 1 centimeter in diameter. Very small amount of haematoma was noted across the right upper eyelid. There was never any mental confusion or evidence of hallucination.
About the fourth day in the hospital, Mr Flynn complained of hearing reduction and numbness in his arms and hands. This cleared in about 24 hours.
When last seen about 16 April 1965, approximately 4 weeks after the injury, Mr Flynn was again checked. The abdominal reflexes were normal. The depressed area over the right eye was still present and prominent. He still has a cloudy vision of the right eye.”
Late on Wednesday, March 17, Deputy Robert Daubenspeck from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Flynn. He told the Fort Myers News-Press that Flynn might have hurt himself when his swamp buggy hit an overhanging tree branch. Both Sheriff Flanders Thompson and the editor of the News-Press, William R. Spear, disagreed with this idea.
“Jimmy Flynn is a substantial citizen, a practical, down-to-earth type who has never been subject to hallucinations. When he says that a “sledge-hammer blow” between the eyes that bruised his eyebrow and caused a vision impairment that now has him under treatment in the hospital came somehow from a huge cone-shaped object making a whirring noise and emitting a dazzling light that he encountered in a remote Everglades prairie, it is certain that he believes it; that he didn’t consciously make it up.”
The Homestead Air Force Base was informed by the sheriff’s office. Colonel Robin Lewis, the base’s chief of intelligence, pledged an investigation. A Sheriff’s Office representative told Homestead that when Flynn was discharged from the hospital, he was willing to accompany an Air Force investigator to the scene. To begin with, an unknown officer suggested that Flynn visit the location alone and mark it with lime so that it could be easily identified.
On the 26th of March, Flynn was joined by Stipe, Johnny, and Eugene Prevatt for a visit to the location. They discovered a burnt circle at the site which was 72 feet in diameter. There were no leaves, twigs, or limbs in the circle; it appeared to have been swept clean. The top half of eight cypress trees burned to the ground. The bark on two additional cypress trees, which had not been burned, showed new damage at a height of ten feet.
“The marks were as if a heavy object in a straight line had slid down the trees about two feet and there stopped.” The trees were “12 or 15 feet apart in the area underneath the burned circle of the trees.”
Homestead never responded to the soil and plant samples that Flynn and his buddies delivered. To the best of Flynn’s knowledge, the Air Force never carried out any additional investigations. Captain Jon H. Adams, Homestead’s chief information officer, said in 1967 that the base had no record of the incident.
On October 31, 1966, University of Arizona atmospheric physicist James E. McDonald contacted Flynn by phone and asked him about his research. Flynn said that he believed the thing he had encountered was probably a secret plane made by the US military.
“If I ever find out that thing is owned by the government, they’re going to have to pay for a good eye I used to have and don’t have now.”