1977 December 17, Iowa, MA2 442


    “On Saturday, December 17, 1977, at 7:45pm, a red, luminous airborne object was observed by two residents of Council Bluffs, Iowa. This object crashed to earth in the vicinty of a dike at Big Lake Park, on the northern city limits. A bright flash was seen, followed by flames eight to ten feet high. When the witnesses reached the scene they found a large area of the dike covered with a mass of molten metal that glowed red-orange, igniting the grass in the vicinity.

    Police and fire fighters arrived quickly. One law officer described the molten mass as “running, boiling down the edges of the levee” over an area of about four by six feet. The central portion remained warm to the touch for another two hours. The hoax hypothesis had to be eliminated; there were too many independent witnesses, eleven in all. Two of them had seen a hovering red object with lights blinking in sequence around the periphery.

    Inquiries were made at Eppley Air Field and Offutt Air Force Base: no engine failure had taken place and there was no aircraft operation in the area.

    The recovered residue was analyzed at the Iowa State University laboratory and at the Griffin Pipe Products Company, leading to the determination that the metal was chiefly iron with small amounts of alloying metals such as nichel and chromium. Such composition would exclude meteoric material.

    An examination of the microstructure indicated that the material was a carbon steel that was cast, subsequently reheated to about 1,000°F, and cooled, so that it resembled wrought iron.

    Have failed to persuade Stanford University to conduct a new analysis of the material I had in my custody, I turned to NASA in the hope that they might allow their facilities to be used. Here I ran into a legal brick wall: NASA wanted to be released from liability if they examined the samples! In September 1978 I called the examinating atuhorities in Council Bluffs again, and in the course of the conversation I learned a surprising fact: two similar falls had again been reported in the community, both in July 1978. A fall on July 5 was about one mile southwest of the 1977 incident and was followed five days later by another fall.”

- Confrontations p. 48.