UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Oct > Oct 29

Sheriff Recalls 1966 UFO Encounter

From: Blair Cummins <ufoblair@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 10:11:43 PDT
Fwd Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 14:45:02 -0400
Subject: Sheriff Recalls 1966 UFO Encounter

Greetings list -

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia, USA


Sheriff recalls UFO encounter in 1966 / He suspects craft
somehow linked to dog's death

BY MARK BOWES Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

If he hadn't seen it with his own eyes, Henrico County Sheriff
A.D. "Toby" Mathews said, he might not have believed it.

On a bright moonlit night 33 years ago this summer, Mathews
said, he saw a large unidentified flying object hovering
silently near his Varina farm. He suspects whatever was inside
the mysterious craft was responsible for snatching and snuffing
the life out of his dog.

"I really saw the thing, I really did," Mathews, 65, said this
week when asked to respond to talk of his close encounter. "And
I've never seen anything like that since then."

Mathews said he never publicly disclosed what he saw until now
because he felt no one would believe him. He talked about his
UFO experience this week after The Times-Dispatch learned that
he had told the story three years ago to his former chief deputy
during a Christmas dinner in Williamsburg.

Mathews, who's fond of sharing personal stories about his life,
was candid about his UFO experience, which he noted occurred
during a time when such sightings were reported with some
regularity by Richmond-area residents.

During the spring and summer of 1966 --when Mathews said he saw
a saucerlike object hover over a cornfield near his farm and
then disappear in a flash -- more than a half-dozen people,
including three other Richmond-area police officers, reported
spotting similar objects hovering over the city, Henrico and
Goochland County, according to news accounts in The
Times-Dispatch and The Richmond News Leader.

One Richmond patrolman told The News Leader that he chased the
UFO in his patrol car.

"If I live to be 100, I'll never forget it," said former Officer
William L. Stevens Jr. in a July 21, 1966, news story.

Mathews' UFO encounter had been the subject of gossip for years
and recently surfaced again as the local election season draws
to a close. Mathews, a two-term sheriff, is running for the
Varina District seat on the Henrico Board of Supervisors.

With just four days left until the general election, Mathews
this week recounted his UFO experience with little hesitation.
He said it occurred Aug. 9, 1966, after he returned home from a
psychology class at the former Richmond Professional Institute
(now Virginia Commonwealth University). He was a road sergeant
with Henrico police and was living alone at the time at his farm
on Charles City Road in the county's Glendale area.

At about 10:30 that evening, Mathews said, his German shepherd,
tied to a chain out back, began barking loudly, so he went
outside to investigate. After turning him loose, Mathews said
the dog, which he had acquired only three weeks earlier, ran to
the edge of an adjacent cornfield. He was astonished at what he
saw next.

"I happened to look up and there was that UFO right above the
cornfield, it was just hovering right up above the power lines"
about 200 feet in the air, Mathews said.

The craft, which Mathews described as white and about 30 feet in
diameter, made hardly a sound and emitted no light. The object
was about 4 or 5 feet wide at its widest point, which was in the
middle, he said.

"It was just like the ones you see on TV," Mathews said. "It was
a bright moon that night," so he got a good look at it.

Mathews said he ran back inside his house to get a flashlight,
and when he returned and shined it on the craft, the UFO turned
slightly, emitted a burst of light and "took off like a bullet,
just tremendously fast."

Mathews said he rechained the dog and went to bed after the
craft disappeared, and he got up about 5 the next morning and
went out to check on his dog. He let it run loose for a few
minutes, as was his routine, but the dog didn't come back.

Mathews said he canvassed the area, but the dog was nowhere to
be found. When he returned home, he was startled to find his dog
lying motionless in the middle of the road just beyond his
circular driveway. He was dead.

"He didn't have a mark on him -- no blood, no singe [marks], no
nothing," Mathews recalled. "It looked like he almost was
sleeping. And whatever killed him, they had taken his chain
collar off" and dropped it on the shoulder of the road. "I
couldn't believe how it got off him like it did."

Mathews said his neighborhood in those days was remote and
largely devoid of traffic at that hour. "I didn't see any cars
come through at the time." Mathews said he assumed that his dog
was killed by whoever, or whatever, was in the UFO. "The dog let
me know that they were there," he said.

The dog's death remained a mystery, Mathews said. He buried the
shepherd that morning in a meadow on his property.

Mathews said the city officer who saw a saucerlike object near
the State Fairgrounds a month earlier had urged him to notify
the news media about his encounter, but Mathews resisted.
Mathews was living alone at the time, and there were no other
witnesses, he said.

"I wasn't frightened by it; it was kind of awesome," Mathews
said of the object. "Of course, back in those days I was still
in the military reserve, and it didn't appear to be any type of
military craft at all. Because No. 1, it wouldn't have done what
it did" had it been a known military aircraft.

In December 1996, Mathews told his story to then-Chief Deputy
Patrick Haley and his wife, Brenda, during a Christmas dinner
party at the Seafarers Restaurant in Williamsburg.

"The way he told it was so specific and he was dead serious, he
wasn't joking," said Haley, who now is deputy coordinator of law
enforcement accreditation for the Virginia Department of
Criminal Justice Services. "We talked about this for months."

Haley, who resigned abruptly after about a year as the
department's No. 2 officer because he believed incompetent
leadership and dishonorable management practices by Mathews
created a host of problems with the sheriff's office, recalled
Mathews telling him a slightly different story about the

Haley said he remembered Mathews saying the craft had landed and
emitted some kind of strong "pull" that drew him toward it,
although he managed to resist it. Haley also recalled Mathews
saying that his dog, after it was found dead, appeared to have
been burnt or singed.

Mathews, however, said those things didn't happen. And he
shrugged off how his strange encounter may be viewed by the

"Well, I did see it," he said. "I really don't know what it

 1999, Richmond Newspapers Inc.


Best regards,

- Blair Cummins

[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com