The other is Norman Chastain, who had actual alien contact in Florida in 1972.
The comic book cover art to the right is by fantasy and horror artist George V. "E-gor" Chastain.
See also Chastains in Outer Space.
On February 4, 1967 Hollace Chastain had just finished his patrol and was checking his rural mailbox in Norman, Indiana. It was 7:30 p.m. He noticed a bright, elliptical object in the western sky. Hollace estimated it was about five miles away, and it appeared to be about the size of a dime.
After watching the object move for a few minutes, he called Trooper James Blevins, who was ten miles southeast of Norman. Hollace watched the object for half an hour. It appeared solid and seemed to change shape, and it seemed to pulsate at times, but emitted no sound. At one point, it stopped moving and hovered for a time. Then suddenly, it accelerated to approximately 1,000 miles per hour and changed colors from white to orange to greenish-blue and back to white. Finally it disappeared behind a tree-line to the southwest.
Trooper Blevins, from his position southeast of Norman, followed the object for fifteen minutes to Lawrence County. He reported it to be soft ball-sized and changing colors from blue to green to white. It was stationary when he first saw it, but it suddenly started to move. Trooper Blevins said that the object flickered and wobbled during observation and finally dropped straight down behind a tree-line. The object appeared solid and was observed at least once through binoculars. Trooper Blevins also estimated the speed at 1,000 mph at acceleration.
THE ALIEN OF BLOUNT ISLAND - The most unique and conclusive alien encounter in UFO history - by B. Ann Slate (Deceased)
Last October, 600 disappointed people were turned away from the packed Florida Junior College auditorium in Jacksonville. They wanted to hear nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman deliver his lecture, Flying Saucers Are Real. Norman R. Chastain, a resident of Jacksonville, arrived early. He had kept a secret inside him for over a year about an amazing experience which he would not reveal until he found a proper scientific authority to investigate it.
Later that evening at his home, Norman drafted a letter to Stanton Friedman at the UFO Research Institute in California. It began, "I am just an ordinary railroad electrician with 35 years of service..." The contents of that letter and the subsequent scientific research now being conducted as a result may make Norman Chastain's encounter the most unique and conclusive in UFO history.
While an electrician by profession, Norman is an outdoorsman by hobby, so on a Friday evening in late January 1972, the 60 year old man drove with his cabin boat and trailer toward Blount Island which lies inland from the Atlantic Ocean near the mouth of the St. Johns River east of Jacksonville.
The island is essentially an industrial complex with municipal docks, a generating plant, and towering power lines, but for Norman Chastain Blount island meant calm water and a likely spot to catch large red bass. He anchored the Sea Camper 50 feet from shore. It was high slack tide. The mild winter's night was so quiet, Norman could hear a "tiny frog croaking across the river." He began fishing and the hours passed quickly. It was near 3 a.m. when he first noticed the orange and blue lights flashing over the Ft. Caroline National Monument.
"Must be Mosquito Control," Norman thought to himself, but he soon changed his mind. The lights remained stationary, hovering about 300 feet over the monument and changing colors frequently. "Could it be a police helicopter?" he wondered. No, there was no sound. Suddenly, the lights moved directly toward him, stopping 150 feet over his boat. The domed, circular shape was clear now, and the electrician knew he was looking at a craft that was not from this planet. Approximately 75 feet across, eight feet thick, with a dome estimated at five feet high, the strange object had brilliant lights around its circumference.
"When I saw it was a UFO, naturally I was kind of startled," Norman said. "I didn't know what to do, and I didn't know what it might do!" After the initial shock wore off, Norman reasoned that the craft might have mistaken his boat's running lights for another alien object. The Sea Camper has some unusual lighting features which Norman built himself, blinking red and green marker lights, a flashing white light on the bow and several reflectors. The two-burner Coleman lantern, mounted on top of the cabin, was also burning.
For five minutes, the craft hovered noiselessly overhead until Norman snapped off the main light switch and turned out the lantern. Almost instantly, the UFO lights went out, and he watched the dark outline of the object move slowly back toward the bluff from where it had come.
Norman now had other things to worry about because in the excitement of the sighting the tide had shifted and pushed his boat aground. He made his way onto the dark island to hunt for a piece of driftwood to pry his boat off the shore and back into deeper water. He carried a strong spotlight with him and played the light over the ground to avoid stepping in any holes. Some distance from the boat, he located a ten foot plank and began making his way back to the Sea Camper.
"I stopped about 75 feet from my boat to rest a minute as that wet piece of timber was heavy," Norman said. "I raised my spotlight to see if my boat was still in the muck and there in the edges of the bushes was the strangest looking creature one could ever imagine!" Standing in the waist-high growth was an alien being, clothed in a tight fitting suit like old fashioned men's winter underwear, "except it was a dark silver gray and it shined slightly." The being was about five to five and a half feet tall, had small arms, a large head with pointed ears, and a slightly angular chin. On the top of its head was a glowing disc. The creature's mouth was slightly open. The oversized, protruding eyes resembled glass reflecting light. As the witness understated, "It didn't look human at all!"
For several frozen moments, alien and earthman gazed at each other. Then suddenly, the being raised his left hand which held a flat device about three inches across. There was a brilliant white flash which Norman said almost blinded him. Then the numbness started, a slow paralysis that began in his neck and moved throughout his body.
"I staggered around so dizzy I couldn't stand up, so I laid down in the tall grass. My arms and legs became numb and tingled, just like when your leg goes to sleep. I was tempted to scream for help, hoping someone might be on the island and would come to my rescue, but then I decided it might be better just to lie still. The devil-looking thing might've come up to where I was and finished me off in an instant."
After the brilliant ray from the alien's weapon flashed in his face, an overpowering stench seemed to cling to Norman's hair and clothes; a sickening, unfamiliar odor which he said "didn't compare to a skunk!" Whether this foul smell was part of the beam or one of its after effects, Norman couldn't be sure. Now lying paralyzed in the grass, the terrified witness said, "For the first hour I was sure I would die, but I prayed and prayed. The numbness began going away. About daybreak, I was able to get up on my hands and knees and crawl farther away from the boat. By noon of the next day, my strength returned and I could walk again. It was a warm day, I could see my boat 50 feet out in the water with the door open and no one inside."
The offensive odor still covered him. Norman swam out to his boat, put on swimming trunks and dried his clothes, but the stench still remained. He washed his hair with a disinfectant, threw the clothes in a roadside ditch on the way home, and felt almost normal except for a peculiar light feeling, almost as if he was floating on air. Norman didn't tell anyone else for fear of being ridiculed.
The following day he went to his physician for a checkup, just in case the alien ray might have dome some permanent damage, or by chance the paralysis might have been caused by a stroke or heart attack. His doctor gave him a clean bill of health. But his nights weren't ordinary, for Norman began to experience vivid dreams of another planet with strange-looking beings, remarkably huge flowers, and assembly lines which put out saucer-shaped craft. He kept these dreams, as well as the incident on Blount Island to himself.
Not being well informed about UFOs, Norman wasn't aware of the many strange objects sighted over power lines, generating plants, and atomic installations. Nor could he know the alien he saw was not unique in appearance or action. Silver-gray, tight-fitting uniforms, prominent glowing eyes, pointed ears, mysterious rays which blind or paralyze: all these are familiar features in documented sightings reported by responsible eyewitnesses to UFO investigators all over the world.
More evidence of the Blount Island sighting presented itself three days after the incident right in the witness's own backyard. It was now just a few days into February 1972 and Norman Chastain was asleep when a loud clap of thunder woke him up. "It was lightning and raining and then that same overpowering, distinctive stench that thing shot me with was pouring into my bedroom window. I jumped up to close the window, got my gun, and stayed awake the rest of the night listening and smelling that sickening odor. I wondered if that creature had some way of knowing where I went when I left the island."
Finally the storm ended and it was morning. He dressed rapidly and with gun in hand, cautiously opened the back door from where the stench was pouring in. For a moment, he thought he had lost his mind. Growing in the grass directly behind the Sea Camper was a cluster of flesh-colored "heads." The "plants" all resembled facial distortions of the alien on the Island and were producing the same terrible odor! With mouths gaping, large eye sockets shining with a white substance like glazed eyes, three of the five inch tall "heads" appeared fully developed while two of the smaller ones were like "new born babes with their eyes closed." The witness shuddered, looked skyward and on the ground for a spacecraft or other growths, but there was nothing else unusual to be seen.
He had to have someone else witness the strange growth so he rushed to some of his neighbor's homes. The men had already gone to work. In a state of near frenzy, Norman returned home, grabbed a shovel and dug up two of the bigger heads and the two smaller ones, and tossed them behind the nearby utility shed. Then he called to his wife, asking her to join him in the backyard. Her first shocked response was, "Lord that looks like something from another world!" Norman desperately wanted to tell his wife everything that had happened the night he went fishing alone on Blount Island, but he held back concerned about her delicate health. Already she was showing signs of becoming ill from smelling the noxious odor of the remaining growth.
Grabbing a shovel, he dug up the last freak growth, jumped in his car and headed for the Jacksonville Journal newspaper offices. He carefully placed the "head" on the front floorboard of his car. "I had to drive with my head out the window because the stench was overpowering me," he said. "I was getting dizzy, the same helpless feeling I experienced on the Island, and I was scared the numbness might start to set in before I reached the newspaper office." In route, Norman narrowly avoided hitting another car. He jammed on his brakes and the growth slammed against the steep portion of the floorboard. The "head" started oozing a red substance after the impact -- a secretion which Norman describes as similar to blood.
He tried to regain his composure at the newspaper offices as he described the weird plant in his car to the news editor. Norman made no reference to the craft or alien on Blount Island. The news editor eyed Norman suspiciously. "Is this on the level or have you been drinking?" "I'm not a drinking man," Norman answered, "but this thing in my car has got me woozy from the odor it's putting out!" Together with several other reporters, Norman and the editor returned to the car. Someone in the group remarked upon closer examination of the growth, "Look into its mouth! It's even got little teeth!"
The "head" was not familiar to any of the Journal staff. Nor could the monstrosity be identified by Norman's coworkers at the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Company. By the following day, all the "heads" had shriveled into pink sponge-like balls which Norman buried in the spot where they initially grew to see what would happen, but none of the Demon Plants reappeared.
As of this writing, soil samples taken from different depths in the Chastain's backyard and on Blount Island are being subjected to various tests in several laboratories. The backyard soil, under preliminary microscopic examination, possesses substantial fungi hyphae (root filaments) and it is hoped that the spores remaining in the samples will germinate in a humidity chamber set to duplicate the conditions that prevailed on the night they grew.
What exactly are these spores? Are we talking extraterrestrial? While this cannot be ruled out thus far, another tentative hypothesis may be possible. One clue to the freak "heads" is indicated by the terrible stench they gave off. Louis C. C. Krieger in The Mushroom Handbook says of the variety of fungi called stinkhorns that they have "the insupportable effluvium of Limburger cheese raised to the nth degree." Because of the stench, these mushrooms attract flies and thus the spores are disseminated by the insects which carry them on their bodies and in their excreta. The flies also deposit their eggs on these fungi and the maggots then have a ready supply of food as they mature, eating their way through the flesh of the mushroom. The resulting holes in the stinkhorn will produce various designs and a few varieties in the stinkhorn family will ooze a blood-like red substance when cut or split open.
Did the witness merely fall into a patch of stinkhorns on the island and transport spores on his shoes or body back to his home where they magically popped out of the ground several nights later due to the extreme rain? The specialists working on this case could not agree. The probability that maggots would eat a precise face in one stinkhorn might be called coincidental, but the odds are astronomical that all five of the fungi would be eaten in precisely the same manner to produce identical shapes. That the mushroom would bear such a close resemblance to the creature on the island is also rather remote. It is also significant that the "heads' grew near the location where Norman drained the water from the Sea Camper - water that may have been irradiated by the UFO which hovered over the boat.
Prof. Leslie Paleg of Adelaide University of Australia recently announced the remarkable method of using laser beams to influence plant growth. "Only bursts are needed because laser light is highly concentrated and intense," the distinguished agricultural scientist says. "We have been able to show that a one-second burst of light from a laser a quarter mile away will affect the growth of a morning glory vine." And in that area of research lies the key, not just to the Chastain mystery, but the many UFO close encounters and landings which have affected the soil and produced the huge circular rings of mutated plant life nearby.
Laser, microwave, and other light energies used in biological research is still a relatively new science. But if the fungi can be made to germinate in the Florida soil samples, we can work backward to determine what kind of light beam -- or energy -- produced the mutation, yielding still more definitive data on the technological secrets of flying saucers and their occupants.
See Chastain Historical Documents.