There have been 15 reported sightings of unidentified flying objects in the Golden Triangle over the last 40 years, according to the National UFO Reporting Center.
The most recent was last fall.
On Oct. 23, at about 6:45 p.m., someone in West Point looking into the dark sky “noticed five reddish orange balls that appeared to look like large stars flashing in a ‘N’ formation for three minutes,” according to the reporting center. After about three minutes, the balls vanished.
The incident — and the other 14 from the Golden Triangle — are documented at the National UFO Reporting Center, which since 1974 has cataloged UFO sightings across North America. Each entry — there are approximately 96,061 — contains the time and place, and a brief description of what actually was seen.
The center’s purpose, according to director Peter Davenport, is to collect and disseminate objective information “about the UFO phenomenon.”
Davenport, a Stanford-educated scientist, believes UFOs are “the biggest scientific question that has confronted mankind.” He told The Dispatch this week he believes Earth possibly has visitors from other planets “virtually every day.”
Davenport operates the National UFO Reporting Center out of his home in Harrington, Washington. It is essentially a one-man show.
“I am the only person who works at our office,” he said.
A person who believes he or she has spotted a UFO can call the center 24/7. Davenport fields anywhere from 10 to 50 calls a day, he said. The Dispatch was unable to contact the people who reported the UFO sightings in the Golden Triangle. Davenport treats the identities of people who report sightings the way doctors treat medical records. Everyone is granted total anonymity.
“Most people prefer anonymity on this subject,” Davenport said.
Of the 96,000-plus sightings that have been reported to the center, 499 were from Mississippi.
The most recent was two weeks ago in Brandon.
At about 8 p.m. on a Wednesday, someone spotted “a black sphere moving south at a good rate of speed over Rankin County, just south of the Ross Barnett Reservoir,” the report states.
“I walked outside and saw it, called my wife and she also saw it just before it went out of sight because of the trees,” the report states. “I first thought it was a balloon, then I noticed that there was no wind and it was moving.”
After about a minute, it vanished.
Closer to home, in June, a little after midnight, someone in Starkville reported seeing what they initially believed was the International Space Station. It was traveling west, though, and the person later found out what they saw could not have been the space station, according to the report.
The oldest reported Golden Triangle sighting on record occurred in Columbus one night during the summer of 1968, when two men claim to have spotted a UFO about 20 feet wide and 30 feet long hovering above a power line.
“We were so close to it,” one of the men reported. “We could have easily hit it with a rock.”
The object had headlights, no windows and was silver in color, according to the report. One of the witnesses claims to have spoken with people about it through the years, and those people believe the object was using the power lines to recharge its engine.
“They did not abduct us,” the man reported, “but surely saw us.”
To view the National UFO Reporting Center’s website, including a state-by-state breakdown, visit nuforc.org. To report a suspected sighting, call 206-722-3000.
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.