Original Investigation


Updated February 15, 2013



By Darryl Barker

Posted: February 4, 2013

Note: The identity of the following witnesses in this report are withheld at their request. For the purpose of this report, they will be referred to as Mr. and Mrs. X.

A condensed video account by the witness, Mr. X and supporting testimony by his wife is available at the following YouTube link.   

 YouTube Video link:

Year 2013 Update: January 5, 2000 Illinois UFO CASE

Photographic panarama is exact location of witness sighting location. UFOs are superimposed for reconstruction purposes. CLICK for larger image.


On 17 May, 2012, I received an email from the wife of a former military man who was then working for a civilian company in the year 2000. The exact content of her email follows:

 “12 years ago (Jan 2000) I received a call from my husband at approximately 4 am. He said he was sitting on the side of the road just South of Lebanon Illinois. He stated that he had to pull over because he had just seen something that that if he told anybody about they would not believe him. He went on to describe a flying object that appeared to be a 2 story house with many windows. In that moment he had a feeling that someone or something was looking at him. He also stated that another object has passed in the same fashion as the first but was more of a triangle shape. He has never told anyone about this except myself, his brother and sister in law. We never seen anything about it until a tv show was on the other day “UFO sighting over Illinois”. All my husband kept saying while watching this was that neither the police officers nor the civilian were wrong. He had seen them both.

 You may contact him for information and details at xxx-xxx-xxxx or x@x.com

 On 18 May, 2012, I replied, thanking Mrs. X and informed her that I would contact her husband. On June 5, 2012, I met Mr. X for lunch in St. Louis, Missouri and he related to me his experience.


Above: Map source Copyright 2013 Google

Mr. X. was driving home on the morning of January 5, 2000 after a work related trip to a distant Illinois city. His chosen route home would take him to the intersection of Hwy 4 and Interstate 64 in Southern Illinois. As Mr. X took a right turn off the I-64 exit and headed north on Hwy 4, he immediately observed two red lights to the east of Hwy 4. First thinking that these red lights were possibly a radio tower, Mr. X then observed a number of lighted rectangles on what first appeared to be a house. The problem which Mr. X immediately encountered was that the “house” appeared to be up in the air, but very low, at an estimated altitude of 200 – 400 feet. Driving north on Hwy 4, Mr. X continued to observe the floating rectangle as viewed from his truck and the object was approaching him as it traveled southwest along Hwy 4. It was then that Mr. X pulled off the road to view the object.  

Upon exiting his vehicle, Mr. X observed the object to be black in color, very large, and silent. Mr. X estimated the object to be approximately 100-125 yards from his truck as it continued to approach him and was approximately the width of three semi-tractor trailers, end to end (roughly 225 feet wide) and three semi tractors (stacked) in height (roughly 40 feet).

Above: UFO (RECONSTRUCTION) as it approached the witness as he parked on the east side of Highway 4 one half mile north of Interstate 64. Photograph is exact location of witness sighting location. UFO is superimposed for reconstruction purposes.

During the object’s approach, two additional red lights illuminated on the lower corners of the object, creating what then appeared to be a defined rectangle. Mr. X described the lighted rectangles as follows: There were 4 “windows” on the right side of the rectangle and 2 “windows” on the left, in two rows. Mr. X used the term “windows” because he explained that they appeared to be translucent, and emitted a low luminance, tan colored light.  Each window was roughly the size of a large, double garage door.  

The object moved slowly south and came to a stop just east of Mr. X’s truck at an approximated distance of 150 yards at an estimated altitude of no more than 4oo feet. It was at this time that the lights on the object began to change color, from red to blue, then to green, then back to red.

Above: Overview of the area on Illinois Highway 4 where witness observed a "Floating House" to the east and also observed a triangular object to the southwest. Mobil gasoline station to west of witness location did not exist in the year 2000. It shown here in this 2013 Google map.

As Mr. X watched the object, silently floating over the field to his east, he called his wife with his cell phone and woke her from her sleep. Mrs. X has informed me that the time of the call was 4:15am (although Mr. X says his wife sets her clock 5 minutes fast which gives us an approximate time of 4:10am-4:15am). As they spoke on the phone, Mr. X informed his wife that he was looking at a floating house and she thought he was fatigued from a long night of driving and should check into a motel. He asked her if she could hear anything because he was outside of his truck and she said she could not hear anything. Mr. X exclaimed that he also heard nothing from the object.

At this point, the red lights on the object began to flash off and on, which Mr. X has likened to the way a computer modem LED flashes during data transmission. Because Mr. X is versed in Morse code during his time in the military, he could see that the flashing light was not Morse code, and it prompted him to turn and view the landscape to see if there was something else in view. It was at that point that Mr. X observed a large triangular object to his southwest, south of Interstate 64, hovering motionless at low altitude, (under 1000 feet). The triangular object was defined by two things:

1)     Three red lights, one on each corner of the triangle

2)     The shape of the triangle could be seen due to ambient light from neighboring facilities (eg. Mid-America Airport).

The triangle was also black in color and the three corner red lights were flashing in a similar fashion as was the “house”; so much so that Mr. X had the sense that the two objects were indeed communicating with each other, as one flashed its lights, and the other appeared to respond.

After viewing the objects for what Mr. X estimated to be 5 minutes, the triangular object rotated in a flat pivot turn*, (as does a Harrier jet aircraft) and moved slowly to the southwest, which would take it directly over Mid-America Airport grounds and over Scott Air Force Base.

It’s not clear if Mr. X hung up his cell phone and redialed his wife, or if the phone conversation was a single long call, but Mrs. X has corroborated the following as she said her husband said the following while he watched the objects.

Upon seeing that the triangle departed, Mr. X again observed the rectangular object and he then said that he felt as if he was being watched. He told his wife this as it happened and her reaction was that she thought he was definitely in need of sleep. Mr. X relayed to me that he then re-entered his truck and drove north on Hwy 4 toward Lebanon, Illinois. As he drove north, he observed, (as you might imagine, a hair-raising sight) that the “house” was following him in his truck as the object moved with him, parallel to his truck, also traveling northbound. Mr. X also stated that the object moved backwards, and did not turn as it followed him along Highway 4. When Mr. X passed an area of trees approximately one mile south of Lebanon, he lost sight of the object.  

This concludes the detail of the sighting report as told by Mr. X.



If all told here is true and it is my opinion that the witnesses are genuine and truthful, this encounter constitutes a game-changing, model modifying incident which impacts the implications of the January 5, 2000 Illinois UFO case.

Above: Witness View toward Triangle Object: This is Illinois Highway 4 looking south toward Interstate 64 in 2007, before construction of the Mobil gasoline station that now exists. Map source Copyright 2013 Google

For the past 13 years, the existing model of this famous UFO sighting as reported by 4 Illinois police officers in January, 2000 (and one additional police officer in 2003) has been viewed as what could be called a linear event; that is, the timeline and flight path of the original UFO reports present what has been seen as one UFO, making its way from Highland, Illinois, to Lebanon, to Shiloh, to Millstadt, and to Dupo. “The Box” as viewed and reported by Mr. Melvern Noll of Highland from his miniature golf course was questioned and criticized by skeptics and advocates alike. Many, including me, had difficulty rationalizing how the January 5, 2000 Illinois UFO could appear as a triangle to 4 police officers, but appear as a box to one civilian. Although the two original documentaries for television “UFO Over Illinois” by the Discovery Channel and “The Edge of Reality: Illinois UFO, January 5, 2000” by yours truly, depict Melvern Noll’s “Box” as a rectangular object, I confess that this investigator made concerted efforts to push Melvern’s “Box” into a triangular mold and rationalize how Melvern may have indeed seen a triangular UFO, but from the side and thereby gaining only a limited view of a larger picture: essentially, some of us thought that Melvern may have seen a triangle, one that is two or three stories high and that is why he reporting seeing a “Box” or a “Flying “House”.  Now however, with this report, many questions are again in the offing, one being the same perspective query: did Mr. X see a box or a triangle? Due to the darkness of night, we cannot rule out the possibility that Mr. X observed a 40 foot high triangular object, with one side of the triangle being the one with lighted “windows”. Similarly, we cannot rule out the possibility that Mr. X. observed exactly this: A box. And if this is case, that we are looking at a 225 foot wide flying box that makes no noise whatsoever in the dead of night, then the arguments from many “rationalists” that attempt to explain the triangular UFO phenomena as a “TR3” or other so-called black project aircraft, is not the answer to the January 5, 2000 UFO sightings.

Thanks to Mr. X and his wife, we now have a magnificent account of a double UFO sighting that must, without doubt, be a part of the now 13 year old case study. The ramifications of Mr. X’s report are mind expanding. As so many critics have pronounced since 2000 that the triangular UFOs are “military” and because the Illinois UFO sighting took place near Scott Air Force Base, the January 5 triangular UFO must have flown out of Scott AFB, the new concept that the Flying House is valid as presented in Mr. X’s report, could in fact blow a very big hole in the cover story.

If we look at the behavior of the objects in Mr. X’s report, we have to ask the following questions:

1)     Why is a 225 foot black box cruising, in silence no less, 200-400 feet over open farm land?

2)     Why is it running with only two red lights at such a low altitude where it could easily crash into power lines?

3)     How are double garage door sized "windows" consistent with an aerodynamic surface as we know it?

4)     Why did this very same display occur with Melvern Noll, who was the first person to report a UFO on January 5, 2000 in Southern Illinois?

5)     Why do two separate witnesses report the same sensation of being “watched” from the Box UFO?

6)     And why does a huge, silent, floating BOX follow a man driving his pickup truck for a mile in the opposite direction it was originally moving?

None of the questions above make sense in terms of our military aircraft. The behavior of the two UFOs in this report could be seen as collaborative and mission oriented. They appear to communicate with each other in silence, and while one, the triangle moves toward a major Air Force Base, the other, the apparent Box, moves back in the direction it came, following our witness during his departure. 

Also of note, is the fact that Melvern Noll observed his 4:00am "Box" object descending from the upper atmosphere, first appearing to him as a star. As he exited his business shortly after first observing the "star" he then saw the UFO glide silently down over the trees located just past his miniature golf course. Mr. Noll's observation of the "Box" clearly indicates a descent from what was an unknown altitude, yet definitely places the object at some distance in the air. This fact does not lend itself to an easy explanation in terms of a low operating, anti-gravity aircraft operating out of Scott Air Force Base, but a more complex and robust aerial craft that flies in silence, with climb potential.

Above: At roughly 4:00am, in Highland, Illinois, Melvern Noll witnesses a silent, floating box with four "windows" on one end and two "windows" on the other end of the rectangle. Aside from the position of the "window" groups being flipped, this matches EXACTLY the UFO described by Mr. X in this report.



Other questions must now also be asked about the very assumption that a single UFO was observed by the original police officers on the morning of January 5, 2000. Based on this report, two UFOs are seen by a single witness at the same time. Once the case data is opened to multiple objects, the entire incident must be viewed in the same light. In fact, many critics of the original case report in 2000 cited that the objects as seen by the four police officers were not exactly the same. Some UFO advocates looking for reason explained differences in observations to perspective and observation variables. But if we look at this series of sightings now in a new light, that perhaps multiple objects were in the air, anything is possible and based on this specific report, this now appears to an undeniable consideration.

A contact relayed to me about a year ago that he knew someone that had worked at Scott AFB during the original sighting and that on January 5, 2000 at midnight, the Scott Air Traffic Control tower personnel were ordered to leave the tower.  This bodes something more sinister in terms of government knowledge of UFO activity, because if Air Force ATC personnel who normally operate the tower are told to step down, then who’s telling them to leave? It leaves one to ponder the rank of Intelligence personnel and if it’s true that this occurred, then perhaps some very special people were in Scott tower on that morning and watched the entire show from a penthouse view.  This may also give credence to the rumor that emerged right after the sighing occurred in 2000, that “no one was in the tower” at 4am, although Lebanon Officer Barton stated that a C-5 aircraft had flown into Scott AFB just prior to the entire UFO business going down.

To consider multiple objects in the sky on January 5, 2000, let’s look at the area with the help of Google Maps.

Above: A compilation of the various sighting locations of the morning of January 5, 2000. Red rectangles are the "floating house" and red triangles are observed triangular craft. All objects were reported by eye witnesses. The question must be asked: How many UFOs were in the area that morning?  CORRECTION: CENTERVILLE, IL SIGHTING TIME IS 6:50AM, NOT 6:00AM. Map source Copyright 2013 Google

Above, we show the times of reported sightings by all witnesses beginning at 2:00am on January 5, 2000, which includes an additional witness that filed a report with me in 2004. We also incorporate O’Fallon, Illinois PD Detective Mark Lopinot’s report. In a future overview, we’ll look at the times involved, which to witnesses, appeared to present fantastic speeds by the triangles and the distances, local facilities and their relevance.

All said, this report by Hr. X is an eye opener and substantiates Melvern Noll’s “Flying House” observation in a way that had not been previously done. This report also provides additional details, about not only physical characteristics of the “Box” object, but also about flight behavior of the objects involved.

To so explicitly locate these objects near Scott Air Force and Mid-America Airport is somewhat ironic. UFO activity has always been observed near military bases and although the die hard critics of this case can now laud their assumptions stating that these objects are obviously “ours” because Mr. X’s  triangle flew right toward Scott AFB,  the very fact that these two mystery aircraft behaved as they did should excite discussion beyond the simple slam dunk “I told you so”. 

In the final moments of Mr. X's observation, the "Box" followed him north on Highway 4 until it was obscured by trees. If a military "Test" flight of a top secret craft was being conducted just adjacent to Scott AFB and Mid-America Airport at 4:15am on January 5, 2000, what is the operational mission behind tracking a lone pickup on an isolated highway? Such tactics would not speak well of U.S. military or intelligence personnel and I say this with full respect for our men and women in the armed forces. Where would the line now be drawn between government operations allegedly conducted to protect and serve American citizens and those that harass and possibly harm U.S. citizens? In respect to the honor due the men and women in the U.S. military, I would immediately opt for such behavior being sourced by an intelligence that is not under the command of the Pentagon. 

In regard to Mid-America Airport and its empty air terminal, staffed and lit up since 1998 without any significant air traffic in or out by commercial airlines, it has been in the spotlight by major news media for its very large expense tab in keeping the place running with very few customers. Maybe its customers are “special”, but the cost to benefit ratio appears to be a loss. I can only say that I’ve never seen a place like Mid-America Airport. I questioned in 2000 why it was built and I question why it’s lit up like Times Square on a dark and lonely night in December, 2012, as I shot the photos required to put this report together.



The final note of this report is one possibly more serious. Mr. X, a man of good health for the many years during and after his time in the U.S. military, began to experience mysterious health issues over the last several years, subsequent to this Close Encounter. He has been treated by medical specialists who are mystified by his condition. A first diagnosis appeared to be aplastic anemia, in which Mr. X's blood cells are not replenished sufficiently. One source of such a condition is over exposure to ionizing radiation and radioactive materials. Continued diagnoses revealed that no actual disease could be credited for Mr. X's condition. One of Mr. X's physicians informed him that his blood cells appear to have been "Microwaved". Although Mr. X has been exposed to microwaves from time to time during his working career, much care and attention had always been observed in that environment. Mr. X feels that the level of damage to his blood cells cannot be explained in terms of his work environment. Mr. X informed me that he is concerned that his proximity to the "UFO" may be the source of his health issues.   

 A condensed video account by the witness, Mr. X and supporting testimony by his wife is available at the following YouTube link.   

 YouTube Video link:

Year 2013 Update: January 5, 2000 Illinois UFO CASE


* Lebanon Illinois police office Ed Barton also described a triangular UFO on Hwy 50, east of Lebanon at 4:23am, which exhibited a silent, flat pivot turn as he observed it at less than 1000 feet altitude.





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