The 1973 ufo flap of richland and crawford county i’ve been lucky enough to see many odd things in my time, but through it all i must admit i’m not much of a believer in aliens from a distant planet coming to earth. it seems to me that an advanced race would figure out pollution is bad and clean up their planet. so why would they come so far just to see our dirt ball of a world that we are in the process of messing up? with that in mind i have seen some ufo’s with the first time being shared by many others throughout richland and crawford counties during a time when many ufo’s were being seen. if i remember right it was during a warm part of 1973, at least we weren’t wearing jackets then. my ex-sister-in-law and her husband had come over to the house to see if anyone, especially me, would care to go back to galion with them to see all the ufo’s that were flying around. my mom and i took them up on their offer and we went right back with them to their house. darkness had already fallen and the sightings had been going on since sunset. so with the twenty minute drive to crestline to pick us up and the trip back, at least forty minutes had passed by the time we got back to their house and we hurried to their back yard as fast as we could to witness the event. pat and ed were living in a small house in galion on south riblet street and their back yard was facing toward the center of town. their house was located in amongst others of the same kind with a space of about fifteen feet between them and had a fence running along each side of the backyard. their backyard space had clearly defined boundaries, which turned their backyard into a long rectangle. a doghouse was located almost in the middle of the yard and as i remember the yard was dimly lit by a nearby streetlight. other people besides us were already standing around looking at the spectacle in the sky. so i looked up at where they were staring but i didn’t immediately see anything. then after a second or two i began to pick out objects from the black background of the starry sky. in all i saw six objects at first flying in different areas of the sky. to me it didn’t seem as though they were flying in any type of formation, just flying in the same area. and all of them seemed to be flying in straight lines although once they had gotten to a certain undefined place they would turn and come back. where we were standing in the backyard, we were facing west and slightly north which was putting them right over galion. all of the objects appeared to be identical in color and size and seemed almost to be hanging in the sky barely moving. it was hard to see how large they were at first, then we heard an engine approaching from the north. by this time we had been watching the objects for so long it is certainly possible a plane could have taken off from the galion airport to come and see the spectacle. soon i could see the lights in the distance…it was then that i realized the ufos were not going as slow as i thought they were. they were going at least as fast as the plane was that was approaching now that we had something to compare with. the objects in the sky were visible, yet hard to see. they were a deep red in color and very passive in their illumination. they didn’t shine with a brilliance, they were just there. i commented at the time their rounded corners and rectangular shape made them look like a piece of good-and-plenty candy. then we saw that the plane, which we only see by it’s lights, because of the dark and one of the pieces of good-and-plenty were heading towards each other. at first we thought it was a trick of distance. most of us thought they might do a fly-by and still be hundreds of feet apart, but we were wrong. they continued toward each other until everyone on the ground thought they would collide. but right at the last second the red object performed a ninety degree angle downward. looking at it from the ground and off to the side we could tell it wasn’t the type of turn a plane would make. it was so quick in it’s maneuver it was as though there was a sharp corner to its turn and seemed inertia-less. it continued along under the lights of the plane until it was behind the lights of the plane, then performed the same maneuver in reverse going back up to the altitude where it had been at before. about a second later we could hear the engine of the plane rev up as though they were going too do some kind of evasive maneuver, but the craft had already gone by. i knew pat had a little twelve power telescope in a closet and asked if i could borrow it to try and get a closer look. “sure, go ahead!” she said also thinking it would be great to see them closer. i ran inside and quickly returned with the small device. it’s quality was not really up to the task, the legs were only a couple of feet long so i tried setting it up on the doghouse to get it up a little higher. when i had brought it out everyone’s eyes were still riveted on the section of the sky where the plane had been. that was to the east and south; i was facing to the north toward the covert manufacturing company. there were some trees in another back yard, a road, and the back parking lot of the company in that direction. the plane had flown away, but the objects were still in the sky over galion however, i wanted to get the telescope going so i could see better. as a result my back was to the group when a flash of light blinded me. i remember fumbling around with the telescope then i found a firm grip on the roof of the doghouse and just stood there in shock. then i heard the others exclaiming, “what was that!?!” and “it lit the yard up like it was daylight!” another person who had been looking farther away said, ”it lit up the whole town!” it had only been a few seconds but already my vision was beginning to clear. from a complete whiteout it had changed to a dotted line of white streaks. to try and remember i think there were about ten of the streaks in my line of sight and to describe it better it looked like a brilliantly colored dotted line. i exclaimed loudly to the people behind me, “i saw what it was! i can still see it, the image is burned into my eyes!” (i had to think a while on that because i’m sure i didn’t use the word, “after-image” even though i certainly should have). although i was blinking my eyes, i still couldn’t see much. just the image of the white line. almost right away i felt hands pat’s hands on my arm on one side and my mom’s hands on the other steadying me. “do you want to sit down?” she asked. i really didn’t want to sit down, because there wasn’t anyplace to sit in their backyard and i would have to go inside. but my eyes were still so messed up i couldn’t even see the stars yet, so the ufos would be beyond my ability to see again. i told everyone what had happened and pointed to the place where i had seen it. but it was either on the other side of a few trees in a group, or all the way across the road in the back on the company’s lot. a couple of the neighbors went looking in that direction, but didn’t find anything. back in those days flashbulbs were still in use. one going off could dazzle the eyes for a few seconds. i remember thinking it had been like a whole row of flashbulbs going off at once. i sat there for a while thinking about what i had seen. whatever it was had been moving, but it had gone so fast i had trouble figuring out if it had been coming or going. initially i had thought it had come down. looking back i think it was an instinctive thought. especially, since i hadn’t seen it there before. but the more i thought about it, the more i was sure it had taken off. it was more like the idea of which way it had gone, not something i could discern at the moment, but only reflect on later. years earlier i had used estes model rockets with my brother. i was familiar with how fast a model rocket can go. shortly after taking off from a pad a model rocket can achieve hundreds of miles per hour in just a few feet. what this thing had done was faster than that. i didn’t go back outside until it was time to go home. my eyes were watering and still messed up too much to see the softly glowing lights in the sky. but within ten or twenty minutes of seeing the bright light, the other lights faded away one by one and with the show over we caught a ride back home. the next day my eyes were back to normal.