Southeastern Illinois, January 5, 2000, about 4:00 a.m.
Anyone who has been in Illinois in January knows that when the sun goes
down, it gets cold… real cold. The night of January 5, 2000, was no exception.
Everyone who could was staying warm inside, but all did not have this luxury.
Melvin Knoll’s livelihood was his miniature golf course, and worried that
something may have frozen there, he braved the cold night to make sure
everything was OK. When he arrived at his business, he noticed what he thought
was a very bright star on the northeastern horizon. He thought nothing of it at
the time, and finished checking out the golf course. After satisfying himself
that all was well, he jumped back into his warm truck to head home. As he did,
he could not help but notice that the light was still there, and even more
visible than before. He watched it for a moment, and it suddenly seemed to be
coming straight toward him! As it came nearer, he could see red lights shining
toward the ground. As it came even closer, the object appeared to be as tall as
a two-story building, and as long as a football field. He could now clearly see
windows, and a brightly lit inside. He could not hear a sound from the
unknown object as it continued to slowly make its way through the chilly night
in a southwesterly direction.
Fearing that he would be laughed at if he could not provide corroboration,
he quickly made his way to the local police in Highland. He related his
story to the dispatcher, and she agreed to pass the information to the next town
in the object’s path, which was Central Communications in St. Clair County. They
again relayed the report to the Lebanon police department. At approximately 4:10
a.m. a Lebanon police officer, hearing the radio report, spotted a bright
object, which seemed to be suspended in the sky. He could clearly make out two
lights, very close to one another. The policeman, with lights flashing, raced to
the southeast, hoping for a better vantage point to view the strange sight. He
watched the unknown object as he drove, and after a few moments, noticed that
the two lights had merged into one. The object seemed to be changing course, and
moving directly toward him. At this point, he stopped his patrol car, and rolled
his window down. To his amazement, he could very clearly see a triangular shaped
UFO pass over him, at an altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 feet. Then, the UFO quickly
changed its course, moving in a westerly direction. This sighting
was corroborated by a policeman from Shiloh, who described the object
as being shaped like a black arrowhead.
As the giant triangular UFO moved from his view, the Lebanon policeman
radioed St. Clair County Emergency Dispatch with his report, advised them
of the object’s direction, and requested that law enforcement officers be
notified in Millstadt, and Dupo. Officer Craig A. Stevens would be the next
person to see the UFO in Millstadt. His report is as follows:
On January 5, 2000 at approximately 4:28am 1, Officer Craig A. Stevens was
on Patrol in the Village of Millstadt. I was monitoring radio traffic when I
heard a report via CENCOM, that the Highland Police Department had a report of a
large object flying in the air. CENCOM dispatched Lebanon P.D. to respond. I
heard Lebanon state, is the guy 10-55. Later I heard Lebanon state that he
observed the object, and that it headed in the direction of Shiloh, and to have
Shiloh P.D. be on the look out for it. I then heard that Shiloh had spotted the
I drove to the east end of town to see if I could observe the object. Then
I drove to the north end of town, in the Liederkranz Park parking lot. While I
was sitting there I observed a very large flying object coming from a southward
direction. The object was flying very low from 500 to 1000 ft., and was
flying very slowly. The object was making no noise. I could only hear a very low
decibel buzzing sound. Then the object began banking to the north east
direction, and continued to cruise away from me toward the area of Dupo.
I contacted dispatch, and advised them that I had spotted the object. I
exited the patrol car, and took the Polaroid camera from the trunk, and
attempted to take a picture. The camera was very cold. The temp was only
approximately 18 to 20 degrees outside, and the picture did not seem to exit the
I heard Dupo P.D. advise CENCOM that they quite possibly observed
the object, but it was at a very high altitude.
I returned to the station, and drew a rough sketch of the object, and
typed a report of my observations.
Note: This sighting was the subject of a television program by the
Discovery Channel. A large part of this program was a reconstruction video of
the events by the National Institute of Discovery Science (NISD). This program
was shown twice on Discovery, 11/30/00 and 12/2/00. The reconstruction was based
on the following criteria.
1) A survey crew was hired to take physical measurements of all locations
from the different eyewitnesses. In this way an exact series of measurements
regarding the location, direction, and distance of the flying object from the
observers was possible.
2) A professional interviewer was hired who conducted face-to-face
interviews with each witness at all locations. Photographs were taken of each
3) A 40 watt Argon laser with steering optics was used at each location
with the help of each eyewitness to take the exact flight path of the object as
determined from the perspective of each eyewitness. The eyewitnesses each
determined the specific placement of the laser beams.
4) The reconstructed testimony was used to construct a series of 3D aerial
grids for each location. Then a 3D CAD package was used to create a rough model
of the object as seen by the different eyewitnesses. A second animation modeling
software package was used to fine-tune the details. Each eyewitness was
consulted on a regular basis to verify the accuracy of the computer modeling
process. With multiple iterations, the modeling tools fine-tuned the recreation
into a final animation. The computer-generated models were then merged with live
footage so that the exact scale, size, and flight path of the object was
precisely reconstructed to the satisfaction of each eyewitness.