On the bone chilling morning of February 14, 1967, a 64-year old farmer by the name of Claude Edwards woke up to attend to his duties on a remote parcel of land near Tuscumbia, Missouri. As the sun rose low on the horizon, Edwards bundled up to face the bitter day, never imagining that he was about to have a face to face encounter with the unknown.
Edwards was a simple, hardworking, salt of the Earth Midwesterner who had no time for any kind of foolishness regarding aliens, flying saucers or the like; so as his worn boots tramped across the icy, rock strewn slope that took him from his home to his barn, nothing could have shocked him more than to see what appeared to be a UFO sitting in one of his nearby fields.
Intrigued, Edward’s followed their stares through a grove of trees and was astounded to see what he described as a massive, grayish-green, mushroom- like object — which was perched atop a circular tube — in the meadow adjacent to his barn.
Almost as if on autopilot, the farmer continued to the barn; his eyes never leaving the UFO. He set down the feed bucket he’d been hefting and latched the door shut. With his barn secured, Edwards then turned back toward the peculiar object occupying his field and that’s when he saw something he would never forget… a group of tiny, strange creatures hastily swarming beneath the object. [The "X" in the above photo indicates approximately where the UFO was when Edwards -- also depicted above -- first spied it.]
Edwards estimated that he was separated from the odd entities by about 70-feet of land, two wire fences, and a smattering of cows. The gutsy farmer was not pleased by the fact that his cows were being spooked or that his property was being trespassed on, even if said trespassers happened to hail from OUT OF THIS WORLD. The farmer — no doubt fueled by a combination of curiosity and adrenaline — climbed the first gate and started walking directly toward the ostensibly alien interlopers.
As Edwards reached the second gate, the diminutive creatures began moving in an even more agitated fashion. Edwards would later describe these miniature monsters as being approximately 3-feet in height and having a grayish-green complexion much like their “ship,” although (based on his own drawing) it would seem that these beings erred on the greenish side a bit.
Also (based again on Edwards’ sketch) it would seem that either these beings had no hands or that their arms were moving too swiftly for Edwards to discern the shape of the appendages. Edward’s also claimed that these aliens were either wearing goggles or had large, wide-set, black eyes.
They also had dark protuberances where their noses and mouths ought to have been. Whether or not he believed the protrusion to be a natural part of their physical features or some sort of protective (or possibly breathing) apparatus is not clear.
Although the connection may be tentative at best, when hearing a description of the Tuscumbia aliens it is difficult not to have it invoke memories of an encounter reported by a pair if Finnish lumberjacks in 1971.
The allegedly alien life form that they ran into on that wintery day near Kangaskyla, was a small, almost lighter than air creature, which would come to be known as the KINNULA HUMANOID. This being was said to be clad in a green colored protective suit similar to the creatures that Edwards bore witness to. That is assuming, of course, that the things that Edwards saw were wearing anything at all!
Edwards watched in wonder as these bizarre creatures buzzed back and forth directly beneath the odd device, arms swinging frantically at their sides. He would later claim that these “invaders” resembled little, green penguins, with no visible neck. Edwards also stated that he could not clearly discern what manner of locomotion they were employing with their lower extremities.
At this point Edwards — like any primal man defending his property minus weapons — picked up a pair of bulky rocks and approached what, at this point, he was convinced was a UFO. In fact, Edwards would later state that his intention was to use the rocks to throw at the device and puncture holes in its side in order to prevent it from taking off.
As the farmer got within 15-feet of the “mushroom” and the energetic entities, he was abruptly stopped by some sort of “force field.” Edwards claimed that he could neither see nor tangibly feel it, but that the pressure the invisible barrier emitted was unmistakable. According to Edwards:
“I thought I was going right up to it. I got up there and there it was. I just walked up against a wall.”
It was then that Edwards (who would eventually sketch the domed vehicle) got his first good look at the soundless, glinting vessel. He would later describe the metallic surface of the vehicle as being smooth and seamless, even going so far as to compare it to “shiny silk.” He estimated that the curved top of the craft was about 18-feet in diameter and nearly 8-feet at its apex. The stem-like tube that was supporting the object was evidently made of the same material as the domed top and stood not much higher that the beings beneath it.
At this point the perplexed farmer could also discern evenly spaced oval portals — about 12-inches long and 12-inches apart — situated around the lower rim of the “saucer.” Edwards would insist that these portals did not seem to function as windows as he could see a dazzling array of colors radiating from each of the ovals. The colored lights oscillated as if they were spinning behind the portals. Edwards described the craft:
“The object it just looked like a big shell, grayish-green looking outfit. And underneath there were oblong holes where the lights were coming out. They were so bright you couldn’t see when you got up there… as if a color wheel was turning inside the thing.”
Anxiously, this rugged man of the land backed off about 10-feet, then hurled one of the rocks he had gathered at this immobile object. The rock bounced of the imperceptible barricade noiselessly and landed on the ground. Edwards then threw his second rock with even more force, but this one just skipped over the object like a stone over water, before landing in the field behind the UFO.
As soon as he lobbed the second stone, the scuttling, green critters swiftly disappeared behind the shaft supporting the craft, presumably into an access portal that was concealed from the farmer. It was then that the strange UFO tilted toward him not once, but twice. On the third lurch the UFO actually began silently ascending off the frozen Earth.
According to Edwards, the flying mushroom soared skyward at tremendous speed before it leveled off and began heading toward St. Elizabeth, which is located northeast of Tuscumbia. The vehicle vanished within moments leaving behind a puzzled Edwards and a pasture full of befuddled bovines. Edwards later encapsulated his fantastic encounter for UFO investigator Ted Phillips:
“The whole thing took over five minutes, maybe ten. I have never seen anything like it. It looked like shiny silk or something. I couldn’t tell. I was going to tell though if I could have hit it with that rock.”
One detail that would seem to add a stroke of veracity to this admittedly bizarre account is the fact that Claude Edwards was a seasoned man of the land who stood gain very little — except for the ridicule of this peers — by admitting to this potentially harrowing event. In fact, when Phillips was introduced to Edwards through his brother, the farmer refused to utter a word about the incident until the young researcher pledged to protect the farmer’s anonymity, which he did until Edwards’ death. Phillips described his first encounter with Edwards:
“When I arrived at the farm we visited for several minutes gaining his confidence that I wouldn’t reveal his name or location until his death. He didn’t like talking about the sighting at first, but became more comfortable as we discussed the weather and farming. I asked him to relive the event in real time and we began on his front porch which faces the large barn near the landing area.”
The fact that this farmer never tried to squeeze and ounce of publicity (or make a penny in profit) from his strange Valentines’ Day experience has lead many investigators to conclude that there would be no motivation for a prank on the part of Edwards. In further support of Edward’s claims is the uncanny trace evidence left behind in the field where the UFO had landed.
Phillips, who arrived to interview Edwards not long after the events in question, was able to photograph the effects this UFO had on the field, including the spot where the support tube had met the soil. Phillips explained:
“When I arrived at the site the traces were still quite visible. It was one meter in diameter in a slightly irregular circle where the shaft had rested. The soil was extremely dehydrated in contrast with the surrounding soil.”
This would be the last encounter that Edwards ever reported with these peculiar, space penguins and their mushroom shaped UFO, but I’d say it’s a safe bet that as stepped out of his modest home at the crack of dawn to begin his work every morning, that he never did so without looking out at that field with some apprehension… and perhaps just a bit of anticipation.
© Copyright Rob Morphy — 2011