Anybody who hangs around Marion long enough is bound to run into someone who seems to be from another planet entirely. But what about the real thing? Has Marion been visited by UFOs? Several eyewitness accounts would seem to support this notion.
On January 27th, 2001, a story appeared in the Marion Star about a local named Mike Ulery who claims he saw a UFO flying near his place on Davids Street. About the object, he said, “It wasn’t blinking or anything. It was just a bright white light moving across the sky.” Intrigued, he got in his wife’s car to follow it but found the car was nearly out of gas. He followed it west for a little bit before deciding he’d better turn around.
Of course, skeptics might be inclined to think that Mike had been – to paraphrase George Thorogood – hanging with his pals Jack Daniels and Jimmy Beam, but a report filed by a Marion County Sheriff’s deputy seems to substantiate what Mike saw. On the same evening at approximately the same time, the Star reported, “[The deputy] saw a bright light in the sky and didn’t know what it was. [He then] followed it for 10 minutes before it disappeared in the sky above Hardin County.”
An article appearing the Kent News-Journal the next day quotes Perkins Observatory director Tom Burns as saying that what Mike Ulery and the deputy saw was actually Venus. “Every time Venus gets this close to earth, we get calls like this. If people look up at that thing for long enough, it does appear that it’s moving.”
Mike Ulery isn’t the only Marion resident who claims to have seen a UFO. In a roundup of sightings listed on the web site ufoinfo.com, Steven J. Neely, along with his son Doug and his son’s friend Kyle, reported that they saw a “cigar shaped” and “very shiny” object flying at an altitude he estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000 feet on June 14th, 1998. Given the fact that the three were at the Marion Fish and Game Club target shooting when they saw the UFO, one can probably safely assume that they were also all sober that day.
In August of 2006, farmers in northern Marion County and southern Crawford County discovered a number of crop circles in their cornfields. However, the large number of empty beer cans found near the circles and the fact that the circles looked, according to an article from the September 9th, 2006, edition of the Columbus Dispatch, more like “misshapen eggs” suggest that the damage was the result of earth-inhabiting numbskulls. The crop circles convinced absolutely no one that aliens had visited the cornfields around Kirkpatrick. Instead, the “aliens” only succeeded in ruining a bunch of corn and p&%#ing off a bunch of farmers.