Cash Landrum Case

Date: December 29, 1980
Location: Huffman, Texas USA
Appearance: Diamond, metallic silver
Classification: CE 2
Sources: Curt Collins; MUFON; CUFOS
Summary: Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum encountered flaming diamond shaped UFO

On the evening of December 29, 1980, Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and Colby Landrum (Vickie's seven-year-old grandson) were driving home to Dayton, Texas. At about 9.00 p.m., while driving on an isolated two-lane road in dense woods, the witnesses said they observed a light above some trees. The light came from a huge diamond-shaped object, which hovered at about treetop level. The object's base was expelling flames and emitting significant heat. Vickie Landrum told Cash to stop the car, fearing they would be burned if they approached any closer.

The object, intensely bright and a dull metallic silver, was shaped like a huge upright diamond, with its top and bottom cut off. Small blue lights ringed the center, and periodically over the next few minutes flames shot out of the bottom, flaring outward, creating the effect of a large cone. Every time the fire dissipated, the UFO floated a few feet downwards toward the road. But when the flames blasted out again, the object rose about the same distance.

The three people got out of the car to take a better look at the object. They said the heat was strong enough to make the car's metal body painful to the touch. Cash said she had to use her coat to protect her hand from being burnt. When she touched the car's dashboard, Vickie Landrum's hand pressed into the softened vinyl, leaving an imprint that was evident weeks later. Investigators cited this handprint as proof of the witnesses' account.

The witnesses saw a group of helicopters approach the object and surround it. They counted 23 helicopters, and later identified some of them as tandem-rotor CH-47 Chinooks used by military forces worldwide.

After the UFO and helicopters left, Cash took the Landrums home. That night, they all experienced similar symptoms, though Cash to a greater degree. All suffered from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized weakness, a burning sensation in their eyes, and feeling as though they'd suffered sunburns. Over the next few days, Cash's symptoms worsened, with many large, painful blisters forming on her skin. When taken to a hospital emergency room on January 3, 1981, Cash could not walk, and had lost large patches of skin and clumps of hair. She was released after 12 days, though her condition was not much better, and she later returned to the hospital for another 15 days.

The UFO investigation was led by John Schuessler of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). Schuessler was an employee of McDonnell Douglas, a contractor working on NASA's Space Shuttle project.