Go Back Report # 1300



New twist to fish story        

   A fish story with a new twist has been reported by MUFON Field Investigator William F. Christian. 
   On or about Oct. 15 or 16, 1973, Robert Eicholz, 58, who owns and operates an automotive repair company in St. Louis, was fishing in a pond on a farm near Red Bud, Ill., owned by his cousin. Red Bud is about 35 miles southeast of St. Louis. The weather was clear, bright, sunny, and warm.   
   At about 2:30 p.m., Mr. Eicholz says he heard what sounded like an airplane in trouble, cutting its engines, then speeding up again. He stepped out from under some trees to get a better look and saw a four-engine prop plane taking evasive action to avoid hitting what appeared to be a large horseshoe-shaped object that was hovering in the sky at an altitude of about 3,500 to 5,000 feet. The plane, which came within 500 feet of the object, seemed to be making a turn from an eastward course to a southward course (Scott AFB is near Belleville, Ill.). The plane flew south, and the object left in an easterily [sic – easterly] direction at a high rate of speed.   
   Mr. Eicholz said that the ends of the horseshoe, which were down, looked like bubbles. He said that, in the distance, the object looked like a balloon spider dragging two balloon webs. The color of the object was described as like a plastic cleaner’s bag with a dark, distinct outline around the object. No noise was heard from the object. The duration of this sighting was a few minutes or less.     
   Mr. Eicholz resumed fishing, thinking he might have observed some sort of launch experiment. He was fishing from the bank, using two poles with plastic bobbers1, one 1" in diameter and the other one 1½ in diameter, with pieces of metal running through the centers of them. After sitting under the trees fishing for about one-half hour, he said the bobbers began to pop out of the water, sometimes as much as a foot high, then settle back into the water again. Thinking at first that a school of fish might be playing with his bait, he sat watching this happen for about 15 minutes. Realizing that fish were not causing the bobbers to pop out of the water, he looked up into the sky, between tree branches, and observed that the object from the first sighting had returned and was hovering over the pond at an altitude of about 900-1,000 feet.        
   The object was slowly turning ¼ circles, that is, about 90 degrees to the left, then back to the original position. Every time the object would pass over the bobbers, the bobbers would pop out of the water, according to Eicholz. After watching the object for another 10-15 minutes, he decided to try to get some more witnesses. His cousin was about 350 yards away near another pond planting strawberries, and the farm house was about 3/4 [of a] mile away. Deciding to go for his cousin, Mr. Eicholz stepped from under the trees, at which time the object began to take off. After he had walked about 50 feet, the object had vanished into the northwest. As the object took off, it wobbled from side to side on its vertical axis, the faster the wobble the greater the burst of speed. Mr. Eicholz said the wobble was similar to the turning while hovering. 



The above drawing has been copied from one sketched by the witness, Mr. Robert Eicholz of St. Louis.


   He said the object appeared to be about 12 feet wide. The ends of the horseshoe were, as previously noted, shaped like bubbles or rounded cabins, perhaps 6 feet in diameter. Each bubble appeared to have a porthole in its center, perhaps 2-2½ feet in diameter. The color was like clear plastic, or some type of material that reflected light from the sky, sharply outlined at the edges with a darker color. The top of the "perfect arch" appeared to have been joined together, like a rope which had been spliced. The part connecting the bubbles and forming the arch appeared to the observer to be some sort of tube. No noise was heard during either sighting.           
   Mr. Eicholz was unable to locate anyone else who had seen the object, although several night sightings occurred on Oct. 16 at the SIU
[Southern Illinois University] campus in Edwardsville. A test with a magnet indicated that the bobbers were attracted to the magnet.         
   The investigator notes that he has known Mr. Eicholz about 20 to 25 years.          

Reference for the above text is: Skylook (early MUFON UFO Journal), March 1974, p. 4.      

Note 1: Bobber = a float for a fishing line       

UFOCAT PRN – 74360[DOS: 10-15-1973]   
UFOCAT URN – 074360 MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) investigation files        
UFOCAT URN – 149195 Skylook (early MUFON UFO Journal), March 1974, p. 4
UFOCAT URN – 084711 UFO Register by J. Bernard Delair, 1974, © Contact International (UK)
UFOCAT URN – 149195 A Geo-Bibliography of Anomalies by George Eberhart, #0908, © 1980

North America – United States, Illinois, Randolph       
Red Bud   Latitude 38-12-42 N, Longitude 089-59-39 W (D-M-S) [populated place]   
Reference: http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=154:1:1765846258792399         


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