- Here is another thought-provoking account
that ought to be checked for sure. The alleged crash took place in 1974
and was announced two times by a tv station in Detroit, once in prime time
news: a UFO with four aliens aboard had been intercepted by the United
States Air Force and had crashed in the area. My check with Kevin Randle's
"A History Of UFO Crashes" established that the incident might
be confirmed by an entry in Len Stringfield's "Crash/Retrievals",
but I haven't been able to compare with the latter. More on that presently.
- In her book about the life with her ex-husband
(Backstage Passes, Life On the Wild Side with David Bowie, Orion Books,
London, 1993, p. 203ff.) Angela Bowie says that it was nice to leave the
hectic life of New York once in a while, whether it was for a concert tour
or a mystery one. This quote concerns a tour in 1974:
- "The open road, for instance, was
most refreshing. Yes...the limo purring along at a steady twenty-five,
good old Brooklyn Tony Macia's bodyguarding bulk behind the wheel, Detroit
back down the interstate unraveling behind us, Minneapolis-St Paul up ahead
somewhere, the moonroof open, the powerful telescope surveying the summer
night sky from its tripod mount, the aliens up there perhaps recognizing
that we meant them no harm, that we were the ones who could be trusted...
- They had been having a bad time, after
all. One of their craft had been intercepted somewhere north of Detroit,
engaged by the United States Air Force and - well, we never found out what
happened after that. We did'nt know if the saucer had been forced to crash-land
on earth, or blasted out of the sky so that it fell to earth, or what.
We did'nt know if its occupants - its crew? - were dead or alive or somewhere
in between, although we did know that there were four of them.
- We knew all this because while we were
in our hotel room in Detroit, we saw an afternoon TV news flash to the
effect that a UFO had crashed in the area with four aliens aboard...more
news at six.
- We tuned in again at six - of course
we did, along with everybody in the state - and learned more, but not much
more. The news crew confirmed the landing, yet avoided being specific about
its location and presented what little information they had with great
caution, as if doing their best to downplay the sensational and possibly
panic-causing information they were supplying, straight-faced and soberly,
to their public. These were the station's regular newscasters, reputable
and popular, with everything to lose by creating a hoax and nothing but
brief notoriety to gain.
- That, however, is what we were told when
the eleven-o'clock news came around: The prime-time news crew had perpetrated
an irresponsible and inexcusable hoax, and had therefore been dismissed
from their jobs. No UFOs had landed; no aliens were in custody, dead or
alive; the United States Air Force had positively not engaged or intercepted
any craft whatsoever in the skies above Michigan; and that, officially
and absolutely, was that.
- It was difficult to know what to make
of this incident. At one extreme, it could have been just an overblown
cosmic-hippie-cocaine dream, an instance of too much weirdness for too
long crashing through into the perceived reality continuum. On the other
hand, we had the videotape.
- Yes, even in 1974. It so happened that
the documentary filmmaker Alan Yentob was along with us on the trip, making
the film that would become "Cracked Actor", and he had his VCR
hooked up to the television set in our hotel room when the afternoon news
flash first caught our attention. So we'd taped the whole six-o'clock and
eleven-o'clock news shows. There was no denying that the broadcasts had
- The broadcasts at least. In David's opinion,
and mine too, what had just occurred was indeed a warp in the usual business
- David believed very strongly that aliens
were active above our planet, and so did (do) I. That's why we were so
alert in the limo on the way to Minneapolis, watching intently for signs
of further UFO activity in the bright night sky. It was mostly David who
had his eye pressed to the telescope (purchased by Corinne Schwab, his
personal assistant, during a lightning shopping spree in Detroit). He'd
talked about the six-o'clock newscast during his show at Cobo Arena in
Detroit, and he believed that the energy thus created might well have communicated
itself to the beings monitoring from above our human reaction to their
fallen (slain/captured/atomized?) fellows.
- I don't know quite what David expected,
because by now he'd moved beyond his manic-monologue mode into his silent,
non-communication state, but I suspect he would'nt have been surprised
at all if the aliens had come right down to the limo and tractor-beamed
him up for an exchange of ideas. He was feeling pretty much like the center
of things here on earth at the time, after all, and it probably seemed
obvious to him that some right-thinking human should take on the job of
- No aliens heeded the call, though, and
after a while he disappeared into his coke, sheltered by Corinne, and I
lost interest. I left the tour, and them, the next day."
- Evaluating the story I must admit the
logic of Angela's views. It seems unlikely that a well-respected and popular
newsstaff should risk its standing as well as its existence for the short
mention, which reports like that might give.
- Add to this that her account might be
confirmed by Len Stringfield's "Crash/Retrievals":
- "Spring 1975:
- Near Ohio-Michigan Border
- Insufficient Data
- Bette Shilling reported to Len Stringfield
that a friend, an Air Force officer, had told her that he'd seen a coded
message telling of a flying saucer crash. According to that information
two of the aliens were dead and a third was still alive. The message was
directed from a communications station in Detroit and sent to the commanding
officer of a base somewhere in Ohio." (Kevin D. Randle: A History
of UFO Crashes, Avon Books, 1995, p. 206.)
- Unfortunately Randle doesn't say where
he got the date from. Maybe Betty Shilling dated her experience to the
spring of 1975, giving Randle a reason for referring the crash to this
time frame. Stringfield himself might offer another and better basis for
doing so, but as I don't have a copy of his book, I would very much appreciate
if somebody could tell me how close Randle's rendering of the particulars
is to Stringfield's own.
- From my angle the message might just
as well date from the previous year and refer to the same incident as Angela's
account. The fact that Stringfield speaks of three, but the TV report of
four aliens, may be attributed to the panic of the moment.