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Hartshorne

Why have so many people seen UFOs in this small Oklahoma town?

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Beginning in 1965, there was a wave of sightings that broke out over the small town of Hartshorne, Oklahoma. The sightings soon spread to nearby communities, as hundreds of citizens reported seeing unexplained lights and objects in the sky. One newspaper reported that a local citizen had compiled a list of over 110 people from the town of only 2,000 who had reported seeing something strange within an 8 month period from July 1965 - March 1966. At the headquarters of the International UFO Bureau, Hayden Hewes was hard at work trying to unravel the mystery of the Hartshorne sightings. 

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The May - June 1966 issue of the Interplanetary Intelligence Report includes a story submitted to the International UFO Bureau/IIUFO by a Mrs. Altaclair Morgan. In it, she describes her own sighting and details others taking place around the area. Her fascinating encounter marks the first in a series of sightings that took place over Oklahoma and surrounding states during the flap of July - August 1965. 

THE 
INTERPLANETRY INTELLIGENCE REPORT

"The Hartshorne Sightings"

Investigations by the IIOUFO into UFO sightings in and
around Hartshorne, Oklahoma which is located in the South-
eastern part of Oklahoma began last August 18, 1965 when we
received a detailed report from Mrs. Altaclair Morgan.


The UFOs were described as cigar-shaped objects some-
times 40-50 feet across, which was centered with several red
flashing lights. Another type UFO which has been observed
on many occasions is called 'red blinkers', which is no more
than a large red blinking object.


After a new increase in UFO sightings in the Hartshorne
area during the first part of February an investigation was
made on March 19 by IIOUFO Senior Director William Riefer
Director, Hayden Hewes, and Secretary Victor Johnston.


IIOUFO has a list of 104 residents of Hartshorne who have
sighted UFOs in the past nine months. As many as 42 persons
have watched them at one time. From February to March over
20 reports were received.


The IIOUFO taped interviews with 28 of the witnesses
which included the Chief of Police, the Hartshorne Postmaster
as well as many outstanding residents of the area.


The UFOs have been reported at tree top level on many
occasions and as close as a few hundred feet.


The area was tested for radioactivity and in some areas
registered over '500 clicks per minute, as compared with
normal reading of from 18-20.'


The following report was made by IIOUFO member Mrs.
Altaclair Morgan who joined the IIOUFO to help us solve the
Hartshorne mystery.

"THE HARTSHORNE SIGHTINGS'
by Altaclair Morgan


I looked at my first UFO with the steady calm I would use
in scanning over a skyscraper.... studying it in every detail, noting the absence of such things as wings, a tail, windows
and noise. Trying to decide the width and length, and how
wide the black band that ran horizontal through the middle
might be, Then, realizing that I was seeing this alone, and
that someone could be in the object observing me at the same
time I was observing it, I suddenly became almost panicky. I
began running toward the UFO, which sat hovering over the
trees just about 500 feet from our home. I also started holler-
ing very loudly for someone to come see it with me. The Thing
began to move slowly...no wobbling, no bright lights glaring.
but no noise could be heard. I stood and watched it go out of
my sight like the twinkling of an eye.


It was truly breathtaking, and I was very spent, but I want-
ed to tell everyone what I'd seen, and soon several were out
with their binoculars trying to find it again somewhere in the
sky. It had completely vanished.


At 10:30 that night when my husband and sons returned from
a baseball game in another town, I immediately, and excitedly
began my story. They all looked at me in such a queer way,
that I knew if they didn't believe me, who would? I waited a
few days, and gradually five others who had viewed it at
different times, came forward with their stories.


That was on July 26, 1965. Following that evening, the
nightly vigil began at 5:00 PM. Several of our neighbors joined
me in the watch, which did not bring another sighting of the
cigar-shaped object, but instead something entirely different
and new appeared in our section of town. Coming first in a
group of three during an autumn rain, we spotted three red
blinking objects. They came from the west, between the tree-
lines, and moved in over the fields just across the street west
of our home. (Their light reminded us of the crashlight on a
plane, or the light on an ambulance.) They came up together
for a few moments, just as if they were talking or making some
kind of contact, and then they separated, and each went a
different direction. After about forty five minutes, they all
met at the same place, and went back into the west.


For nine weeks we watched the objects come at the same
time each night, but sometimes one would come from another
direction. Yet, it was almost at the same hour, 8:30 PM, and
they would leave back into the west by 9:00 PM, after they had
made their tour around town, over the treetops and roofs.


When the weather became too cool for us to remain long
periods of time outdoors, we began watching from inside our
homes, and would run outdoors only when we saw the blinkers coming in. The weather did not ever seem to interfere with their coming and going.


Then their schedule suddenly changed, and we had to just
watch for them at all times, never knowing when they would
appear. For a couple of nights they might come at 7:00 PM
and at other times, other hours. But they never failed to come. One to five now would show. 


Then another new one was added, and this one had a silver
and red flash, not just the red flash. This one seemed to be
some sort of leader. Much of the time he would come in, as
one still does, at a higher altitude than the red blinkers. He
appears to be a long object, similar to just an airplane wing
with no fore or aft...just a wing. On either end, there are two
red flashers lined up, and in the middle the silver flasher
seems to run the width of the thing. The red blinkers on the other hand, are egg-shaped, or at least I am pretty certain
they are, because one night when my sons Larry, Marc, and I
were watching one at a distance of sixty feet where it came to
a stop near a telephone pole, then turning in a few moments
after it stopped completely, the mercury lights caught what
seemed to be a silver or white egg-shaped object behind the
light. (As it approached us just before this I warned the boys
not to go closer because we didn't know about what the light
might do to us. That is when it came to a dead stop, as if i
overheard me, and didn't want to alarm us.)


They also seem to blink in a different rhythm when going
slow, then when they are going fast. They also can turn around
to the solid side, and glide along in the dark like a faint glow.


This has been happening for eight months.


Whatever the mystery is out there, it is overwhelming. Our
curiosity is growing more and more. Since this all began I have given much thought to the interplanetary idea, and it also
grows in thought. If any government on earth had these objects under their control, they surely would have employed them long ago at sometime, somewhere, and especially in warfare. Because they are noiseless, not too noticeable unless you are watching for them, and they can maneuver into any spots instantly, and in any direction quickly. And we have also seen a large object move in the sky, and drop a clob of red, which came at us as the blinkers.


Women who see them are mystified. Men who see them ask
questions...but receive no answers. Children who see them
row accustomed, and continue playing as if the objeets are
supposed to be there. And so, this is how it goes in this little
southeastern Oklahoma town of Hartshorne.
 

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IIUFO SENIOR DIRECTOR BILL RIEFER INTERVIEWS MRS. ALTACLAIR MORGAN AT HER HOME IN HARTSHORNE, OKLAHOMA
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BILL AND ALTACLAIR MORGAN

On March 25,1966 an investigation of the Hartshorne sightings was conducted by the IIUFO. William Riefer, Hayden Hewes, and Victor Johnston responded to the area after an uptick in sightings that February. 

IIUFO SECRETARY VIC JOHNSTON CHECKING FOR RADIATION. COUNTER REGESTERING OVER 500. LATER FOUND TO BE FAULTY.

The following Friday, March 25, Senior Director Major Charles W. Dutreau, along with two nuclear physicists went the Hartshorne area for another investigation into the radio active readings.


Nuclear physicists Mike Conlon and Coleman Smith, both from the Oklahoma State Department of Health employed a number of highly sophisticated instruments to detect any radioactivity that might still be lingering in the area.


Investigation results - negative. Major Dutreau, head of the civil defense radiological office reported that readings were normal, ''all within the accepted background level."


"The radiation had nothing to do with the UFOs." "But the search for the flying objects hasn't ended."


Coleman Smith said, "If we had found anything at all we would have tried to identify the gamma ray energy which would have given us some clue to the nuclides involved. There was no evidence whatsoever of anything beyond natural back
ground.''


An air sampler was employed to collect dust particles from the air for radiographic analysis. Preliminary findings were negative, but additional testing was scheduled at the Oklahoma Health department laboratory.


Why did the first investigation find radiation? ''A number of people saw the first counter reading high, so all we can assume is that the counter was faulty.'' Major Dutreau told the press.


Tests were run on the first counter and his theory proved correct.


IIOUFO's investigation into the Hartshorne sightings focused national attention on Hartshorne. (Both radio and TV interviews resulted as the wire services carried the story and investigators were interviewed on radio and TV.

In 2021, MUFON received a report of a major schoolyard encounter that took place in Hartshorne back in 1975. It was investigated under Case # 116768, reigniting an interest in the sightings that took place in the area during the 60s and 70s, and on into current times.

 

A continued study of the history of sightings in and around the Hartshorne area has shown time and again that something unexplained is being seen in the skies of Southeastern Oklahoma. 

THE FEBRUARY 15, 1970 ISSUE OF THE MCALEASTER DEMOCRAT HIGHLIGHTS THE ONGOING SIGHTINGS AND UNWAVERING MISSION OF ALTACLAIR MORGAN 5 YEARS AFTER THE INTIAL REPORT TO THE IIUFO

By 1971, others in the region were reporting strange sightings and occurrences in the towns surrounding Hartshorne. Some included sightings of unexplained lights in the sky, while others had encounters with small hairy beasts which they believed came from the unidentified craft. One rancher even came forward to reveal that he had found some of his livestock mutilated during that time.

Next to the Christmas wishes proclaiming "Silent Night," "Merry Christmas," and "Best Wishes for the Holidays," we find an article which seems to be extremely out of place for this small town newspaper. 

Titles "UFO Looks for Monster," it details the investigation of a "saucer-shaped machine" that was witnessed by a man and wife while driving through Talihina, located nearby Hartshorne. A local veteran soon came forward to add that he had witness a non-human creature roaming the woods soon after. A group of teens also claimed to have seen the beast. 

A local rancher also came forward to share that he had lost several head of livestock after finding them mutilated with the skin "rolled off." 

THE DECEMBER 23, 1971 ISSUE OF THE HEAVENER LEDGER HIGHLIGHTS THE INVESTIGATION INTO A UFO SIGHTING BY THE INTERNATIONAL UFO BUREAU
MINDY TAUTFEST WITH THE MORGAN FAMILY AND ONE OF THE WITNESSES OF THE SCHOOLYARD ENCOUNTER

As the sightings in the area continue to this day, the children of Altaclair Morgan hold her legacy dear as they remember the important work she did in trying to unravel the mystery of the Hartshorne sightings. The encounters there have left a lasting impression on each witness that experienced them, even as the mystery continues to live on.

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