November 19, 1975
A Missoula man says he sighted an unidentified flying object northwest of St. Ignatius between 7:20 and 7:25 a.m. Tuesday.
Cloyd Leach, 1012 Longstaff, told The Missoulian Tuesday he saw a dull-glowing reddish-brown disc low in the sky west of Highway 93 between Polson and St. Ignatius as he was driving north in a truck loaded with dry cement. Leach said the "perfectly round" object disappeared behind the low ridges west of the highway, and reappeared a short time later, this time looking flat, as if turned to the side. The object then turned and became round again, "and evidently when it left it traveled directly (away) from me because it just shrunk" from sight in approximately two and a half seconds, Leach said.
Leach said the entire sighting lasted approximately three minutes.
"You feel just a little bit weird looking at the darn thing," Leach told The Missoulian: "If anybody doubts my word I'll take any kind of bloody test they can think of."
A spokesman at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Route Traffic Control Center in Great Falls said no unaccountable readings were picked up by radar Tuesday morning.
And Lt. Col. Frederick Judd, Great Falls, director of public affairs for the 24th North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) region, told The Missoulian in a telephone interview he heard no reports of UFO's Tuesday.
But Judd said in the past week and a half "some kind of phenomena" has been reported on "six or seven different evenings" by Strategic Air Command employes on guard duty at Minuteman missile locations in the vicinity of Harlowton and Fort Benton. Col. Judd said the sightings did not correspond with "any readings in terms of radar return," thus the reports are "nothing to substantiate anything that's a threat."
The "phenomenon" sighted by SAC employes all involved "flashing lights of some sort" viewed at a variety of angles and distances, but no detailed accounts have been made to indicate the shape of the objects.
"There have been several sightings obviously from reliable people but to date we have no answer," Col. Judd said.