By Mike O'Brien
The Springfield News-Leader
July 20, 1999
This is not just another UFO story. Here is an Ozarker who possesses what he believes to be a piece of a spacecraft from another world.
I've seen the thing. Even held it in my hand. And I can testify that it is uh, um, very strange. Others with scientific and metallurgy credentials have seen it, too. And they can't - or won't - say for sure what the danged thing is.
This frustrates Bob White, a 67-year-old retired musician and comedian living in Reeds Spring, who found the bizarre object about 15 years ago after a terrifying encounter with a huge flying disc in the wilds of Colorado.
"I'm trying to find out if this is something from our own government or something extraterrestrial," says White. "Whatever it is, I think the public ought to know about it."
"It" seems to be a hunk of metal, tapered like a cone or carrot. It weighs a tad over one pound, is about 8 inches long and about 2 1/2 inches in diameter on the big end. What's extraordinary, even to an untrained eye, is the surface. It appears organic, like petrified bark or neatly layered feathers.
You can see it for yourself now on the Internet and soon may be able to obtain a high-quality photograph. More about that later ...
White's account of finding the chunk (his friends jokingly call it space doo-doo) is familiar stuff -- middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, deserted highway, lights moving at astonishing speed, etc. What sets his story apart is that White says this unidentified flying object left behind a souvenir.
"Something seemed to fall off," White recalls seeing as the orange disc zoomed skyward near Grand Junction, Colo. "It was glowing, like it was on fire. At first I thought it was something coming back after me. It plowed a groove in the ground and at the end was this object."
White says he reported the find to the Air Force, but an impatient voice on the phone line told him he'd seen a weather balloon or a cloud of gas, and that he should forget about it. So White did. Sort of.
"I tried not to think about it," he says. "I didn't want to be ridiculed."
But a couple of years ago, after failing health hastened his retirement from show business, White says he decided to submit the object for scientific testing, to satisfy his own curiosity and perhaps answer public questions about UFOs.
Analysis at New Mexico Tech at Socorro, N.M. revealed components ranging from aluminum and iron to more exotic lutetium and europium. But the shape remained baffling.
Then White says, producers of the "Unsolved Mysteries" TV show arranged for more sophisticated tests at labs at Los Alamos, N.M. According to White, a scientist there blurted over the phone: "This is something I've looked for all my life! It's definitely extraterrestrial!" But when the report was delivered months later, it suggested the piece could've been created by White in his own garage using a "plasma torch." And "Unsolved Mysteries" mysteriously backed away.
"I don't know what it is, but I do know I didn't make it in my garage ," White protests. "It fell from the sky."
White says several experienced metalworkers have told him they couldn't duplicate the object, even in their elaborately equipped shops.
White also submitted to a polygraph test administered by veteran local lawman George Larbey. The results indicate White told the truth when asked about the UFO incident.
White recently put up a page on the World Wide Web and soon may offer an information packet. Check www.hardevidence.com. White is also talking to a London based documentary film outfit.
"One way or another, I'm determined to bring this thing to the public," he says. "Everyone who sees it -- at least until the government gets ahold of 'em -- says it's the (darndest) thing they've ever seen. But nobody will say what it is."
"That makes me real curious. Doesn't it you?"
Mike O'Brien is former associate editor of the News-Leader
UFO'S EVIDENCE "THE TRUTH STARTS HERE"
At this time, all elements in the unknown object have been identified, and $200,000 was not spent on analysis. This is being misreported like facts in past reports.