“It was making maneuvers over the two Sycamores, going up and down, end over end, right to left…very rapidly. It was cigar-shaped, rounded on each end,” recalled 92-year-old Bernard McDonald of Mt. Zion. McDonald, a former Calhoun teacher and farmer was 43 when the sighting occurred, and is still blessed with a razor sharp memory.
Fifty years after the event, he sat down and detailed the story he has told to his family and neighbors over the years. “I haven’t seen anything like it since,” he said. McDonald’s was on his farm just south of the Mt. Zion Church.
He and Penny Burrows had just made the first cutting of hay, unloading the hay wagon in mid-morning, pulling it outside the barn. “We were hot and tired and just sat down on the wagon to talk. We looked to the south over Slabcamp, three miles or so away, or it could have been much further,” he recalled. “It was making split-second maneuvers.” Within seconds the object came directly toward the McDonald Barn which had a fresh coat of aluminum paint on the roof. “It went down behind the barn and I went around to see it.
I could hear this soft, very finely tuned sound like the valves in a car engine. You had to be pretty close to hear it.” The object then disappeared over the nearby brink of the hill and Mac followed it. “It was halfway down the hill (maybe 150′ to 200′) and took off following a cow trail around to a gas well which had also just been painted aluminum.
It stopped over the well head and hovered for a few seconds.” It was here that he got a good look at the object, which was about 20 feet long and maybe four feet in diameter. It then took off at a high speed, back toward its original position, generally toward the Sand Ridge section. When Mac returned to the hay wagon, Penny Burrows was gone. Later in the day, Penny went to Kelly’s Store to tell his version of the sighting, still frightened.
McDonald remembers the grayish brown object as not having any other distinguishing features. He said he would always remember it’s rapid speed, changing positions and quickly making right and left angle turns. “I have thought about it many times over the years, the power it would have taken to maneuver it. It seemed like it was controlled by magnets, ” he concluded. Bob Burrows, Penny’s son, said his father often spoke of the event saying, “That flying saucer, I wish I knew what it was.”