1/5/2000 Illinois UFO Case Developments

In Memory of Officer Thomas Edward Barton

  Officer Thomas Edward Barton died on Sunday night, January 25, 2004.  The circumstances surrounding the events that led to Ed's death are not entirely clear. While he had suffered from diabetes, the circumstances that led to his hospitalization in Belleville, Illinois, where he remained in a coma until his passing, have not been fully ascertained. When I visited Ed at the hospital this past January, he was in semi-consciousness after suffering a purported heart attack. Ed had just arrived in Southern Illinois after driving from his home in Tennessee, where he had relocated after leaving the Lebanon Police Department, when he suffered what has been designated, coronary arrest. Ed had lived a very interesting thirty nine years.

Ed's mother told me, in conversations with her son regarding the 1/5/2000 UFO sighting that, "Ed always played it down". He never communicated to her that the event was one of the most significant UFO sightings to occur in the United States. It's likely that he did not regard it as such. Ed’s mother did however, tell me that he said repeatedly, “People need to accept the facts”. It is for this reason that this website remains available to the people of the world: The facts must always be held in trust. It is for the peoples of our earth to eventually, in due time, come to grips with those facts, as difficult as they may be to accept. Ed’s life and his adherence to telling it the way it was, was one of his most attractive traits.

  The day I met Ed Barton, it was a cold February day in 2000 and a thin layer of ice and snow had blanketed the area of Lebanon, Illinois. As I approached the Lebanon police department, which at the time, resembled a bland, aluminum-sided car repair garage, a law enforcement officer was exiting the station door. I asked if I could speak to the officer who had seen the UFO and the man responded, “That’s me”. From that day forward, I witnessed in Ed Barton, an honesty, modesty, humility, kindness, and generosity that is rare in people today. Ed graciously gave of his time for an interview and in a squad car, we re-traced the route he took on the morning of January 5, 2000, when he had his close encounter with the now famous Illinois Flying Triangle. Ed’s encounter was distinct from all the other witnesses and his description, no matter how many times he told the story, was always accurately recounted in detail. Ed saw something incredible that morning, as did several others, and Ed was never afraid to tell the truth, despite warnings he received from unidentified visitors to the Lebanon police department.

  Ed’s passing comes to us as a great loss. For those who never experienced his kindness, his greatness as a human being, they shall never witness the gifts he possessed. For those of us who had the good fortune to spend time with him, we are enriched by his example. For me, to have recorded his full account of his encounter in one of the most significant UFO sightings in modern times, I can only say, “People need to accept the facts”. For you, Ed, the facts that you have brought to us by way of your unyielding courage, I give you this: I will keep them alive for those who wish to open their minds and face their fears. Ed, I know you’re watching. I hope that someday, at long last, you will see our efforts to get the truth out, put before the public in the way it should be, with respect, integrity and courage.

Your friend always, Ed - Darryl

*  I thank Ed’s mother for her blessing in granting me permission to write this tribute.

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