A wave of credible and dramatic UFO sightings swept the town of Wytheville from October 1987 well into the following year. With the 25th anniversary of the first sighting on the horizon, a documentary company, Horse Archer Productions, has launched a new project to revisit the events.
The story centers on WYVE news director, Danny Gordon, who inadvertently became the hub of the flap on October 7, 1987, when Wythe County Sheriff Wayne Pike called in his crime report. Pike told Gordon that four police officers, including some with military experience, had witnessed a UFO.
Within a few weeks, Gordon himself had sighted a strange craft and the town was buzzing with reports, most of which came directly to him. A press conference in mid-October drew national attention and by the following year, Gordon personally received more than 3000 reports.
Gordon took the only known photos of the craft in December of 1987 over a parking lot where over 100 witnesses, including a school bus load of students from Floyd County, saw several craft fly over.
The film, called “Strange Country: A Different Kind of UFO Documentary,” will approach the story from a unique angle according to Sean Kotz, who is directing and producing the film with partner Chris Valluzzo.
“Most of the time, UFO documentaries focus on the most outlandish aspects and are often marked by wild speculations or unfounded assumptions,” said Kotz.
“Instead, we are interested in the human story which is typically forgotten in these cases. What happened to the town and in particular, Danny Gordon, whose life was turned upside down by the ensuing attention and excitement?”
Valluzzo said the UFOs themselves would not be ignored in the film, however.
“It is a compelling case because there were hundreds, if not thousands, of individual witnesses and a variety of craft over the course of several months,” said Valluzzo.
“The witnesses were reliable people,” he added. “In fact, the National Enquirer sent a reporter who decided not to run a story because the people were just not weird enough!”
Kotz said that the reigning opinion is that it was a classified military project, but there are some details that just don’t match up.
“First of all, why Wytheville? If you are trying to hide something, the intersection of two major highways is not a good place to do it.”
“Secondly, the B2 bomber and refueling exercise explanations don’t fit the facts. The majority of the unexplained reports feature noiseless, hovering, low-level craft.”
The film is scheduled for completion this year before the anniversary, but fundraising is ongoing. People interested in seeing the film completed can learn more about the project and see the first trailer at www.indiegogo.com/strangecountry.