The article underneath has been publisjed in the newspaper The Daily Reflector, of Greenville, North Carolina, USA, on December 11, 2002, and also on their web site at www.reflector.com/news/newsfd/auto/feed/news/2002/12/11/1039585789.03162.6737.6599.html
Unidentified object spotted over Grifton
By Jana Clancey
Creatures from outer space may have been checking on the affairs of Pitt County residents Friday night.
Several people from Farmville to the southern tip of Pitt County reported an odd light racing across the night sky.
J.K. Butler, a former Grifton volunteer firefighter, was sitting in the old Red and White parking lot about 11 p.m. Friday. He was there with three fire department friends when the sky around them lighted up, coloring everything from the ground to the trees to themselves a strange shade of green and blue.
The light passed over them, he said. And when they looked up, it was so blinding they couldn't identify the object.
"We all just looked at each other like, 'What in the world was that?'" Butler said. "I've seen meteors and space junk and satellites. I ain't never seen anything that color.
"It had some good size to it, too, and it was up in the air pretty good," he said.
His first thought: the light had come from a UFO. His second: another country was firing missiles in the direction of Pitt County.
"Maybe it was government-related. If it was, we'll never know," he said.
Over the fire-rescue scanners mounted in the volunteers' trucks, calls came in from Ayden and the Pitt County Sheriff's Office. Butler heard patrol cars being dispatched to check for something that had fallen from the sky in the area of Jolly and Abbott Farm roads.
Sgt. Marty Burroughs sent three of his deputies to survey for damage, or possibly, a spacecraft between the Ayden Police Department and the two rural roads. They didn't find a thing, not even a small piece of space tin.
"The main thing we checked were houses to make sure nobody had been hit by anything," he said.
Deputies found the houses to be safe and left the area.
Burroughs had a dispatcher contact Lenoir and Greene county sheriff's departments to see if a craft had crashed beyond the county line. But nothing was reported.
A deputy in Ayden and several Greenville officers reported seeing the peculiar light near Pitt Community College at Fire Tower Road and N.C. 11
"They just said it was moving and it appeared to be descending," he said.
Asked if he thought the light was a UFO, Burroughs said, "It could have been. I don't know. I can't explain it.
Sheriff Mac Manning jokingly chalked the sighting up to the work of a shiny red sled and nine flying reindeer.
"I thought it was maybe Santa Claus making an early run, but we ruled that out pretty quick," Manning said.
Apparently, he said, the light was bright enough and big enough to attract quite a bit of attention.
Manning said the sighting of whatever-it-was isn't a big deal. Deputies patrolling remote areas of the county report seeing things in the sky all of the time, he said.
Whatever it was, it scared J.K. Butler - and his buddies. For two hours they watched the night sky, looking for something, anything that could help complete the puzzle to what they had seen; whether that be little green men or a plane with similar lights.
He was asked if he'd recently been watching the Sci-Fi Channel's series on UFOs called 'Taken'. He said he'd never heard of it, and after being informed of the show's angle on alien abductions, he said there's no way he's watching it now.