Friday, January 19, 2018

James J. Allen's Alien Encounter Embarrassment: Aug. 6, 1952

West Lumberton, NC Aug. 6, 1952: A relatively incredible close encounter. James J. Allen sees a UFO and speaks to its occupant. A few historians summarize the case in passing, such as this mention in the August 2005 MUFON Journal by Ted Phillips, in "Physical Traces: Occupants and physical traces."
08/06/52 NC, Lumberton: James Allen, 51 , saw a round object 8 ft long, 6 ft high land within 10 feet of him. A small occupant was seen, and small footprints were found.
INTCAT, (the International Catalog of close encounters and entity reports, compiled by Peter Rogerson, lists the Allen case and cites Phillips among the other Ufologists who have covered the case:
August 6 1952. 2100hrs WEST LUMBERTON (NORTH CAROLINA:  USA) American Houses employee. James J Allen saw an object 2m high, 2.5m long, lit by an interior orange light, descend from the north-west, hit his chimney, damaging it, and land in his backyard. As he approached to within 3m. of the object he saw a small being, 75cm high, standing beside it. When Allen asked the being if it was injured, “it went away in a whiff”, then the object moved away with a whistling sound.
  • Ted Bloecher citing Lumberton Robesonian, 7 August 1952.
  • Phillips 1975, p.8 (case 676) says footprints were found at the site but this detail is not given in the above source he quotes.
  • George Fawcett in Flying Saucers 77.
  • Fawcett 1975 p.26.
  • Santesson 1968, p.183
  • Vallee Case 99 citing Wilkins 1954b, p.268 citing Buffalo Evening News 27 Aug 1952.
  • Data Net V, 11 citing Robesonian 18 Aug 1952.
Loren Gross in UFOs: A History, 1952: August, however, found the events to be fantastic:
A forerunner of many to come was the tale told by 51-year-old James Allen of West Lumberton, North Carolina, on August 6th. So incredible it, was dismissed outright by serious people, the story and others like it were to be favorites with the press. We can only wonder if Mr. Allen was reading too many science fiction books? 
Here's the way the Allen's story was reported at the time in the local paper.
(A line of copy seems to be missing form the printed version.)
The Lumberton Robesonian (NC) Aug. 7, 1952

The next day's news provided further information. There were several people investigating the report, and the Pentagon was expected to launch their own inquiry. Further questioning of Allen produced further details on the encounter, including a better description of the saucer occupant. The little man had a long white beard.

The Lumberton Robesian (NC) Aug. 8, 1952 
UFO historian Loren Gross concluded:
Actually, there is not much difference between Allen's story and that of the Socorro, New Mexico, incident of April 24, 1964, so if people like Allen were making up such stories, they were at least consistent. In 1952 Allen's tale seemed too whimsical which people believing it was just the result of a capricious notion by its originator. There is a very good possibility the Allen story is a hoax for the simple reason there was publicity at the time about a similar incident which was supposed to have occurred months before at the city of Red Springs, an incident that could have inspired Allen. 

James J Allen's 1947 Case Surfaces

UFO historians that discuss the Allen case seem to be unaware of what happened after the initial report. Shortly after the story of the encounter, there were troubling disclosures about James Allen's past, instances of him writing "obscene letters," arranging a rendezvous with a married neighbor, and threatening to hex her husband with witchcraft if she didn't comply.

The Lumberton Robesian (NC) Aug. 11, 1952 

As with so many of the most interesting UFO cases featured here at The Saucers That Time Forgot, Project Blue Book has no files on this incident


History doesn't tell us if Allen's house was insured, but an ad for the Ray Hatch Insurance Agency in the November 11, 1953 Indiana Kokomo Tribune indicates he could have filed a claim for the saucer's damage to his chimney.

Unfortunately, the typical home insurance policy does not cover alien acts of aggression, only instances of alien accidents.


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