On 11/2/1971 in Delphos, Kansas, 16 year old Ronald Johnson saw a mushroom shaped saucer land on his parents property.
ORIGINAL REPORT: On the evening of November 2, 1971 sixteen-year-old Ronald Johnson was tending the sheep on his father’s farm ear the small town of Delphos, Kansas. At about 7:00 p.m. Ronald were suddenly surprised to see an object hovering about two feet off the ground in a grove of trees some twenty-five yards from where he stood.
The object, which he later estimated to be about nine feet in diameter and ten feet tall, was shaped like a mushroom with a short stem and was covered with multi-colored lights. It made a sound that Ronald described as like that of an old washing machine which vibrates.
As he watched, it suddenly became very bright at the base and then it took off at an angle, temporarily blinding him.
Some minutes later, as Ronald’s eyes once more adjusted to the light, he went into the house and told his parents, Durel and Erma Johnson, what he had seen. They got outside in time to see the object, which was now about half the full moon in size, before it vanished into the sky to the south.
Ronald and his parents then went to examine the place at which the object had been first seen. They were astonished to find a glowing ring on the ground, and some sort of glowing material on nearby trees. When Mrs. Johnson touched the glowing area, which had a crust-like texture, she found that her fingers went numb. She tried to wipe the substance off onto her leg, and her leg became numb where the material touched it.
On 11-03-71 Mr. Lester Ensbarger of 416 Argyle St. in Minneapolis advised Deputy Sheriff Leonard Simpson that at approx. 7:30 p.m. 11-02-71 he had observed a bright light descending in the sky in the Delphos area.
The ring was still clearly visible thirty-two days later when examined by a UFO investigator named Ted Phillips, who specializes in physical-trace cases. The soil in the ring itself was still dry to a depth of at least twelve inches even though at this time it was covered by snow, whereas the soil outside the ring was wet and black. Phillips took several photos of the ring and collected soil samples from the ring and from the ground outside the ring.
A number of analyses were done of soil samples taken from the ring and from the surrounding soil. The ring soil was found to be resistant to water, to contain more calcium and more soluble salts, and to be more acidic than soil from outside the ring. In addition, the soil from the ring was found to contain an unidentified hydrocarbon and an organic material composed of white, crystal-like fibers.
Her fingers reportedly remained slightly numb for about two weeks, although she never sought medical attention for the problem. Mr. Johnson fetched his camera and took a photo of the ring and then phoned the local newspaper, The Delphos Republican.
The circle was still very distinct and plain to see. the soil was dried and crusted. The circle or ring was approximately 8 feet across, the center of the ring and the outside area were still muddy from recent rains. The area of the ring that was dried was about a foot across and was very light in color.
That afternoon, Sheriff Enlow, Undersheriff Harlan Enlow, and Kansas State Highway Patrolman Kenneth Yager investigated the ring after being called by Thaddia Smith. Harlan Enlow’s report of the investigation stated:
…we observed a ring shaped somewhat like a doughnut with a hole in the middle. The ring was completely dry with a hole in the middle and outside of the ring mud. There were limbs broken from a tree and a dead tree broken off, there. There was a slight discoloration on the trees.
The soil sample taken was almost white in color and very dry.
French biologist identified the white fibers as a fungus-like organism of the order Actinomycetales, whose growth can cause a circular pattern to form on the ground. In addition, this biologist, who asked not to be identified, stated that this fungus is often found growing with another fungus of the order Basidiomysetes, which may fluoresce under some conditions.
Remember, three witnesses saw a UFO, not just the ring, and their sighting was at least partly corroborated by a fourth witness eleven miles away in Minneapolis. The ring itself may not be directly related to the UFO sighting, and the presence of a fungus in the soil does not explain how the fluorescent material got onto the surrounding trees, nor how the branches got broken and the dead Chinese elm tree knocked down.
Both Thaddia Smith and Sheriff Enlow told Ted Phillips in 1972 that the Johnsons were well respected in the area and that they did not believe that it was possible that the family could be perpetrating a hoax.
For about two weeks, every evening at sunset, the sheep would jump out of the pen and run wildly. The dog would furiously try to get into the house at nightfall. He practically destroyed the screen door, and the only way to keep him outside was to replace it with a stronger metal door.
SOIL ANALYSIS: The famous Delphos, Kansas CE2 encounter occurred at approximately 7:00 in the evening on November 2, 1971.
On examination the soil was found to be impermeable to water and “dry to a depth of at least one foot”.
|Delphos, Kansas (1971) trace case: (from top to bottom) The glowing ring taken 10 minutes after ascent, the site as it was photographed 16 hours after the event by Sheriff, the site as it appeared 3 years, 6 months after the event.