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Police officers in St. Clair County report seeing early-morning UFO
The Post-Dispatch, January 9, 2000

In the past few days, Millstadt police Officer Craig Stevens has slept little, taken countless phone messages from national experts and heard all of the little green men jokes his fellow officers can muster. It's amusing - to a point, he said. "It's not like I'm the only one who saw it and I'm Joe Blow from the local bar who just stepped out drunk, you know?" Stevens, of Highland, and at least three other officers from the Lebanon, Shiloh and Dupo police departments said they saw something in the sky early Wednesday - something that looked like a UFO.

Shaped like an arrowhead, sprinkled with dimmer lights all over its surface and three brighter lights on its tail, the thing made its northeast-to-southwest flight across the Metro East area about 4 a.m. The first report came in to Highland police from the owner of a miniature golf course. He was driving into Lebanon, so the police contacted Lebanon authorities. The officer there guffawed at the dispatcher. But he spotted the thing heading toward Shiloh, and he sped through traffic lights to try to catch up with it. It reached Shiloh, where an officer there spotted it.

Stevens, sitting in his patrol car in Millstadt on his overnight shift, heard the radio chatter and drove to the north end of town. He scanned the sky but saw only airplane lights. Then he looked west. "Wow," he thought, jumping out of the car. "This thing's huge!" He said it moved slowly, like a blimp, about 1,000 feet off the ground. It was about two stories high and about three times as long. In addition to the three lights in the back, dimmer lights sprinkled the entire surface, almost, as he described it, like a "starfield camouflage."

He grabbed his Polaroid camera and snapped a shot. The object headed toward Dupo, and Stevens radioed dispatch. The dispatcher radioed back, reporting an officer there spotted it too. The Polaroid didn't develop well in the cold, and the image only shows the three bright lights. At the station, Stevens made an unofficial police report and sketched a likeness of what he saw. "It's been driving me nuts since I've seen it," he said. "I haven't been able to sleep for the last day and a half." He's searched the Internet for a likeness of the object but can only find a picture of a "Stealth Blimp" on the Popular Mechanics Web site. It looked like an experimental military ship, he said.

The only calls that Scott Air Force Base received about the object were from the media, a spokeswoman said Saturday. And the military base's control tower was closed at that hour. Stevens has also fielded calls from the media, science institutes, UFO experts, and a former FBI man who had "a hundred questions." One expert was adamant that people spotted a similar ship in California the day after Christmas. He and the Lebanon officer went on Art Bell's nationally broadcast radio show. Stevens said he is taking the attention, and his sighting, in stride. "It didn't scare me; it was cool. I'll never forget it," he said.