Melody drone sighting
Linda Moulton Howe from Earthfiles. Original report Audio interview In January 2008, I received the following email from an Earthfiles viewer in Van Buren, Arkansas, a suburb of Fort Smith.
I (Linda) phoned Melody and her sister, who I will call Jane Smith to honor her request for anonymity. Jane explained that she had two sightings the same week in June 2003 - long before all the May to June 2007 excitement about the "drone" photographs and eyewitness reports. At the time, Jane lived in the very small rural town of Hartshorne, Oklahoma, about two hours southwest of Van Buren and Fort Smith, Arkansas. Jane agreed to talk about what she said is the most extraordinary sky object she has ever seen.
Interview by Linda Moulton-Howe
Jane Smith, Housewife, Hartshorne, Oklahoma, region: "The day was warm and I went out on my porch. I saw what I thought was an airplane. But then, the strange thing got closer and closer and had all kinds of arms and legs on it and spirally things (top wires going up into the air) and lights all over it. And it had writing on it that looked like a foreign language. Then, it just kind of hovered. It didn't like fly - it just hovered. It stayed in the same spot for several hours. Then I went inside. And I saw it again a couple of days later, but it was in the evening. I don't remember what time in the evening. It was doing the same thing and it was around the same area. And it just kind of hovers.
WHAT COLOR ARE YOU SEEING AND HOW CLOSE IS IT ABOVE YOU WHERE YOU ARE SITTING ON YOUR HOUSE PORCH?
Sort of a greyish colour, like pewter - like a metal. As far as distance, like a helicopter before it lands on the ground.
DO YOU THINK THAT WOULD BE 50 FEET ABOVE YOU?
Maybe a little bit more than that.
DO YOU HAVE TREES?
Yes, there were some trees. But it approached and got passed the trees where I could see it better.
WHEN IT PASSED THE TREES, WERE THE TREES 50 FEET HIGH?
The trees were much shorter, but it approached and went over the trees.
HOW CLOSE DO YOU THINK IT GOT TO YOU ON THE PORCH?
It didn't get much closer than that.
ABOUT 50 FEET HIGH. THE COLOR IS PEWTER GREY. COULD YOU SEE WRITING BECAUSE IT WAS A DIFFERENT COLOR?
The writing was a darker colour than the pewter. It was a black, a dark...
BLACK ON THE GREY?
WHAT WAS THE SHAPE OF THE AERIAL OBJECT?
It's hard to describe. It was sort of like flat and round both.
DID IT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE A DRAGONFLY - A LONG TAIL WITH A ROUND FRONT?
Sort of. It had so many protruding legs and arm type of things on it. The body of it - it was like it did not have much body to it. But it had a lot of these extensions out from it. Sort of like a dragonfly, except it had a whole bunch of these arms or legs or whatever.
THE WRITING WAS WHERE?
On the bigger part, like the bodice part of the thing.
LIKE THE LONGER PIECE THAT THE PROJECTIONS CAME FROM?
"Squiggly" Writing on Drone and Arm Extensions That Moved
THIS BLACK WRITING - DO YOU REMEMBER ANY OF THE SHAPES?
Squiggly, almost like Eastern-type language or like an Egyptian writing or Jewish writing. You know, it was a foreign type that was all squiggly.
THE WRITING WAS WHERE?
Like the side of it at the front of the ring. (She could not see bottom of tail.)
YOU USED THE WORD 'SPIRAL THINGS' COMING OFF THE LONGER BODY? WHAT DO THOSE SPIRAL THINGS LIKE?
Sort of like little arms that come out, like a spider, sort of.
LIKE A SPIDER.
Like a spider's legs, like something that has the ability to turn any direction.
AS THIS APPROACHED YOU, IT STOPPED STILL IN THE AIR?
Yes, it sort of hovered.
WHEN IT HOVERED, DID THE DRONE TURN OR ROTATE IN ANY DIRECTION?
No, but the lights on it were what changed at different times. The little arms, they moved around, but the main part of the craft itself did not really turn. It just stayed hovering there.
SO, THE LONGER BODY PART STAYED STATIONARY, BUT YOU COULD SEE THAT THE SPIDER-LIKE ARMS DID WHAT?
They just kind of moved around in different directions. Various Sizes of Lights Went On and Off
SO, IN THE TWILIGHT, SITTING ON THE PORCH, WHEN IT'S AT ITS CLOSEST AND STOPS, YOU'RE SEEING SQUIGGLY WRITING, MOVING APPENDAGES AND LIGHTS. WHAT COLORS WERE THE LIGHTS? WHERE WERE THEY ON THE BODY? AND WHAT DID THEY DO?
They were just lights. I didn't see any colour to the lights. All I saw was light.
Yeah, just like white lights.
WHERE WERE THEY?
They were on the bigger body part and they were also on the arms and there were several on the spirally type things.
DID THE SPIRAL-TYPE THINGS LOOK LIKE WIRES PROJECTING UP INTO THE AIR ABOVE THE FLAT BODY?
I could just tell they were there.
AT APPROXIMATELY 50 FEET ABOVE YOU, WERE YOU SEEING ONLY THE BOTTOM OF IT? OR COULD YOU SEE A PROFILE?
It was more a profile - part of the front and side.
WERE THE LIGHTS FORMING ANY KIND OF PATTERN ON THE OBJECT?
Some of the lights seemed to like take turns lighting up - like they would gradually light up one at a time and be all lit. Then they would go off and do it again.
DID THE LIGHTS ALL GO OFF AT THE SAME TIME?
No, they were all in different places - the ones doing this weird light-on light-off kind of thing.
WAS THERE ANY TIME WHEN IT DID NOT HAVE ANY LIGHTS SHOWING?
I don't think so.
SO THERE WAS ACTIVE WHITE LIGHT ACTIVITY OVER THE BODY OF THE OBJECT THE WHOLE TIME.
HOW BIG DO YOU THINK THOSE LIGHTS WERE IF YOU EXTEND YOUR ARM OUT AND COMPARE TO YOUR FINGERS OR FINGERTIPS?
Some of them were smaller. Some of them were about the same size of the tips of my fingers and some were larger.
WHERE WERE THE LARGER LIGHTS?
The smaller ones were on the spirally things and the larger ones were on the leg things and part of the bodice.
DID YOU SEE ALL OF THOSE LEGS MOVE AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER?
I saw the smaller ones moving some, but not the larger ones. The larger ones were just still.
Drone Hovered Near Porch for Hour and Made Intermittent Buzzing Sounds
HOW LONG DID YOU SIT ON THE PORCH AND WATCH THE OBJECT HOVERING ABOVE YOU?
Oh, my. The first time I saw it, probably 45 minutes to an hour - a long time.
DURING THAT HOUR, DID YOU EVER HEAR ANY SOUND FROM IT?
Like a humming or buzzing sound.
COULD YOU TRY TO MIMIC THAT FOR ME NOW?
(Makes intermittent buzzing sound and laughs)
DID THE SOUND STAY STEADY? OR GO OFF AND ON? OR?
Kind of off and on.
IN THE HOUR THAT YOU WERE WATCHING, DID YOU EVER THINK ABOUT CALLING THE POLICE OR FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR SOME ONE TO COME TAKE A LOOK?
I contemplated sharing it with a friend or neighbour, but to be honest, I was afraid they would think I was crazy and not really listen to me.
Later I talked about it with my husband and he said it was probably a satellite. And I said, 'No, it was not a satellite!' (Laughs)
Living out where I was in Hartshorne, we're talking about hillbilly authority. They would not; they would just think you were drinking or something. I knew that anyone that would take it seriously or would want to check it out, it would take so long to get there. Any authority was two or three hours away. I was in a very small area way rural, way out in the country! (Outside of Hartshorne)
ANY MILITARY BASES AROUND THERE?
McAlester, Oklahoma, has a base that makes ammunition and tests it. It's called McAlester Army Ammunition.
[Editor's Note: McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (MCAAP) Defense Ammunition Center, is in the foothills of the Ozarks in McAlester, Oklahoma.]
HOW FAR FROM HARTSHORNE?
Only 30 minutes maybe.
Lighted Drone Leaves By Speeding Backwards Away from Porch
AT THE END OF THE HOUR OF WATCHING THE OBJECT IN THE SKY, WHAT HAPPENED? DID IT LEAVE OR WHAT?
It just went backwards. Kind of gradually faded so I couldn't see it anymore.
WHEN IT MOVED AWAY FROM YOU, DID YOU NOTICE ANY CHANGE IN THE COLOR, NUMBER OR INTENSITY OF THE LIGHTS? DID ANYTHING CHANGE WHEN IT STARTED TO MOVE BACKWARDS?
It seemed to brighten up more.
DID IT BACK AWAY FROM YOU VERY SLOWLY?
No, it actually seemed to move kind of fast. It was surprising. I wondered if it wasn't something from the government, like a secret project of some kind.
AS THE OBJECT MOVED AWAY FROM YOU, WHAT HAPPENED?
It just gradually fades away. It kind of disappears and it was as though it was never there.
Second Drone Encounter
That Week of June 2003
HOW MANY DAYS OR NIGHTS LATER WAS IT UNTIL YOU SAW IT A SECOND TIME?
Oh, it was pretty close, within the same week. It was evening time and I thought I saw just a bright star from a distance. Then, it got closer. I pulled into my driveway. Where I lived, it was on top of a hill, so I had a really good, clear view of the sky. As it approached, I realized it was the same thing again, but it was not as close as it was before.
YOU KNEW IT WAS THE SAME BECAUSE WHY?
I don't know. I just knew! I guess because I could see there were more lights on it and it just seemed to hover like before. I just felt like it was the same thing.
DID IT COME CLOSE ENOUGH FOR YOU TO HEAR THAT HUM?
DID IT STOP IN THE AIR?
Yeah, it was doing the hover thing again.
THIS TIME, HOW CLOSE DID IT GET TO YOU AFTER YOU GOT OUT OF THE CAR?
A lot further away.
IF IT WERE 50 FEET BEFORE, HOW FAR WOULD YOU GUESS IT WAS THE SECOND TIME?
It was probably 200 feet, 100 feet. Quite a bit further.
BUT YOU DID SEE IT STOP?
THEN WHAT HAPPENED?
It just stayed there for awhile.
DID YOU STAND OUT IN THE YARD?
Yeah, I watched it for awhile and kind of knew what to expect. But I knew it was time for my husband to call. He works away and calls at a certain time. So, I went in the house.
THE LIGHTED OBJECT WAS STILL THERE HOVERING IN THE SKY?
YOU GET THROUGH WITH THE PHONE CALL, DO YOU GO BACK OUT?
No, because we talked for a long period of time on the phone back then.
SO YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LIGHTED CRAFT?
BUT AS FAR AS YOU ARE CONCERNED, TWO OF THESE ODD, DRAGONFLY-SHAPED OBJECTS - ONE IN THE TWILIGHT AND ONE AT NIGHT - CAME WITHIN ONE WEEK TO WHERE YOU LIVED IN HARTSHORNE, OKLAHOMA, IN JUNE 2003?
Right." Hartshorne, Oklahoma, Aerial Craft Most Closely Matched Big Basin, California, "Drone" of June 5, 2007
I sent Jane Smith seven drone images shown below and asked her to pick out the one type that matched most closely what she had seen from her Hartshorne, Oklahoma, and porch. She picked the one below. She also surprised me by adding that in addition to many of the appendages moving, she watched the "cage" hanging beneath the aerial drone open and close several times. But she did not see anything leave or enter the moving cage.
Note there are symbols on the underneath side of the tail and "boxes" around the central ring in this Big Basin Redwoods State Park photograph by "Ty B." on June 5, 2007.
Interview by Linda Moulton-Howe
Melody Melver Thaxton, non-profit fund raiser, Van Buren, Arkansas: "My sighting happened around November 20 or 21, 2007. It was 5 PM Central and I were leaving the building where I worked and went to my car. I just was looking in the direction where I was fixing to drive out of the parking lot. There is a business building next to where we are. Above that, I see this thing out of the corner of my eye. At first I thought it was a helicopter.
But when I looked at it, I thought, 'Wait a minute! That's no helicopter!' Then I realized there was no sound. You know how much sound helicopters make, especially if you are within close vicinity?
This was not making a sound and I realized I was looking at what appeared to be like the pictures of the drones at your Earthfiles website. It had this weird, funny, metal-looking shaped thing on it and it looked like it has a tail - like a long, flat tail sticking out.
WOULD THIS BE LIKE A DRAGONFLY SHAPE?
Yes, kind of like that. If you want to compare it to something, I guess that's the best way. That would be the closest shape I can think of. There's nothing that I've ever seen that is shaped like that.
IT WAS SO UNIQUE?
It was in pretty clear sight. And there was another person - I think they were a customer of where I work. They looked up and back at me and said, 'Are you going to get a picture of that?' And I said, 'All I've got is my camera phone.' I headed back to the building to see if I could find a photographer that was still there. As I was going back to the building, the aerial thing just kind of dissipated. You could tell it was moving very slowly, but not enough to - it wasn't moving very fast!
IT JUST FADED OUT?
Yes, it just faded out.