Gulf Breeze Sightings
|Date:||November 11, 1987 to 1994|
|Location:||Gulf Breeze, Florida, USA|
|Sources:||MUFON; Bruce Maccabee; George Filer|
|Summary:||Wave of UFO sightings in Gulf Breeze, 1987-1988|
The Gulf Breeze incident was a series of UFO sightings in Gulf Breeze and Pensacola (Florida), which started in 1987. On November 11, 1987, eight witnesses reported UFO's in the Gulf Breeze area (Florida). Over the next days, many more people reported seeing UFO's, including a few local politicians.
Some witnesses reported a beam of light coming from the UFO and hitting the ground. Many witnesses took photographs and several made videotapes. Dr. Bruce Maccabee (working for MUFON) said that he has most of the negatives and videotapes. The initial flap ended on July 17, 1988, having resulted in about 117 reports involving over 200 witnesses.
Some excerpts from witness reports:
- Pathologist Fenner McConnell and his wife Shirley described the object as "medium-large" and about the size of an airplane (July, 1988). They also reported seeing "windows".
- Charles and Doris Sommerby said that they saw a UFO in November, 1987. It was at least 150 feet across, had one row of round portholes with bright lights shining out of them, had a large lighted dome on the top, and it had a circle of smaller bright lights on the bottom.
- Scott Zepp mentioned that it made no sound and was moving at about five miles per hour.
- City councilwoman Brenda Pollak described seeing a bright yellow/orange light. She took photographs.
- Jeffrey Thompson watched as a brightly lighted object of about three feet in diameter landed in their front yard. The object flew straight into the air and then stayed still for about a minute.
About 170 additional sightings have occurred in the Gulf Breeze area during 1990-1992. A few samples:
- On April 18, 1990, several dozen people witnessed the flight of a red UFO light; a cameraman from WEAR TV got some video with a professional camera.
- On April 9, 1991, Bob Simpson, his sister and his daughter saw a very bright object in the sky near the Gulf Breeze K-Mart. The UFO appeared as an elliptically shaped object with an overall red glow and with a ring of individual red lights around the bottom. They described it as a solid structure, dull silver or white in color, and it took four fingers at arm's length to cover it. An estimate based on their description of the angular size and the triangulated distance (also other people saw the UFO from a different place) suggests that it was over 10 feet wide.
- On October 5, 1991, for three and a half minutes a UFO appeared over Gulf Breeze. Thirty local residents and a MUFON research team witnessed and documented it. It remained in one spot before moving to the west, into the wind. MUFON investigator Morrison said: "The fact that the object flew into the wind shows that it is a powered craft, not to mention the distinct ring of lights that suddenly surrounded the blazing bottom red light."
- On November 5, 1991, a UFO was seen and photographed as it hovered over Gulf Breeze. A dozen witnesses and several MUFON investigators saw the UFO from the south end of the Bay Bridge. Photographs were taken by Patti Weatherford and Anne Morrison who used a 440mm lens and fast action 3200 ASA film to capture the image of the "crown" shaped object. Witness Bland Pugh said: "I could see a definite curved structural shape above the blazing red light at its bottom".
- On May 18, 1992, a professional TV crew from KHOU TV (Houston, Texas) made videotapes of red brilliant UFO's; one UFO dropped some faint, glowing material.
In November 1987, The Gulf Breeze Sentinel published a number of photos supplied to them by local contractor Ed Walters that showed a UFO. Walters claimed he shot the photos from his yard with his polaroid camera. The photos show a well-defined disc shaped craft. MUFON investigator Dr. Bruce Maccabee believed the photographs were genuine. He calculated that the UFO was twelve feet wide and nine feet tall. Jeffrey Sainio, MUFON photoanalyst, independently examined the original photos.
However, when Walters moved to a new home, the new residents of his old house discovered a model of a UFO. The model found resembled what was in the photos, but that model did not appear in any of Walters's photos. Walters claimed that someone had planted the model in order to discredit him. Dr. Maccabee wrote:
"If one assumes Ed hid the model, one must ask why he would set up a situation where it could be found by the next occupant of the house? In fact, one must ask why Ed would hide a model; why not just destroy any model he didn't need any more. (...) My opinion is that the model was, itself, a hoax."