1978 Elsberry Missouri UFO Flap

The information, reports and pictures contained within this site are the copyrighted property of the Missouri Investigators Group and Barbara Becker. They may be used and reproduced with the proper attribution.


The first reports to come in suggesting that something might be going on were from Stanton, Missouri in October 1977. The witnesses described seeing orange red lights skimming the treetops, descending and then coming up again. Reports dribbled in for a few months, then in April of 1978 Margaret Watts, Editor of the Elsberry Democrat Newspaper, called the UFO Study Group of Greater St. Louis and reported similar lights as well as mutilations in Elsberry.

I became involved in May 1978 when several of us traveled to Elsberry to take reports and see what was going on.  Little did I know that I would spend the next four months making the120 mile round trip, four times a week, to record the events.

It was Sunday, June 25th, about 6:30 PM when a fellow investigator called and suggested we (myself and my husband) join him for an excursion to Elsberry. I was driving and for no obvious reason, I was nervous. We stopped for gas around Old Monroe on Highway 79. The others went in for snacks and I sat looking toward the river. I noticed a large round orange red light zip between an opening of some trees on a river access road. I assumed it was perfectly normal but as we got closer to Elsberry I saw more of these lights, some rising and descending around the river.

We got to Elsberry but had no idea where the reported sightings were occurring nor exactly where the mutilations were. We decided to drive west on Highway B and just look around. I was still nervous it was like I had an ice cube in my stomach.  We pulled onto a gravel road and drove about a quarter mile in. (I later learned that this was the site of the first mutilation.) We all got out of the car and looked around not really knowing what we were looking for. After a while we noticed an orangish colored round light in the southern sky. We were looking toward St. Louis and my companions said we must be seeing air traffic from Lambert Airport but I was not convinced, the light looked too close. It would rise, skirt the treetops for some undetermined distance and then go down. Then it would come up again, travel in the opposite direction and go down. We must have watched it for 15 minutes.  My companions became complacent believing they were seeing nothing but airplanes but I was very uneasy.

I was continually looking at the fields which surrounded us and the sky. We were probably there a half hour when I noticed what I thought was a planet in the northern sky. Had that been there before? Then I realized it was moving toward us.  As it approached it lost altitude. It passed over the fields directly east of our position and as it passed by, the cattle in the fields began to bawl. It was a symphony of cattle, a cacophony of sound moving like falling dominoes as the object passed over the animals. It was about 150 feet east of us and about 200 feet high. It was the size of a mid-sized American car. It appeared orange red in color and had three "windows" showing a yellow light from inside. We watched as it moved to the south and suddenly two other lights rose from behind the trees. Just at that moment we heard a car coming toward us on the gravel road. It was the farm owners kid and friends. They stopped in front of my car and yelled: "Hey, did you see that? We're gonna find them!"  I backed up the car and never got to see what happened to the three UFOs.

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