My interest in the Lodi abduction attempt began with the following story in a Lodi Newspaper thirteen years ago:
by Jeff Hood
LODI HOLDS RECORD IN UFO LORE
Lodi’s place in American history is far more important than you may have imagined. It is the site of the first reported encounter between earthlings and outer space aliens in the United States history. The 104th anniversary of the historic visit passed on Nov. 25—apparently without a return visit to celebrate.
The 1896 encounter—reported in one of Stockton’s three newspapers at the time—has not been forgotten by UFO buffs, receiving mention on a show broadcast on the History Channel as a U.S. first and in UFO discussion groups on the internet.
But did anything strange really happen?
According to the Evening Mail, a Col. H.G. Shaw and another man, collecting exhibits to represent San Joaquin County in the Fresno Citrus Fair, were riding in a buggy on Lower Sacramento Road near the current Raley’s Supermarket, when their horses suddenly stopped in terror. Shaw described seeing three strange beings, about 7 feet tall and very slender. The height differs somewhat with subsequent reports of aliens, although space travelers apparently don’t have weight problems.
Shaw approached them, attempted to talk with them, but they made guttural sounds. Not even a “Take me to your leader.” which today would be a difficult request to fulfill.
The heavenly visitors also were near weightless. “As one of them came close to me I reached out to touch him, and, placing my hand under his elbow, pressed gently upward and lo and behold I lifted him from the ground with scarcely an effort.” Shaw told the Mail, estimating the aliens weight at less than an ounce.
Starting a trend
Shaw may also have given birth to the modern version of aliens:
“Their faces and heads were without hair, the ears were very small and the nose has the appearance of polished ivory, while the eyes were large and lustrous. The mouth, however, was small and it seemed to me that they were without teeth.”
The aliens held an object the size of a hen’s egg, which emitted a penetrating light, and occasionally breathed from the tube they had attached to a bag held under their left arms.
Their cigar-shaped airship –150 feet long and 20 feet wide
—hovered 20 feet above the Woodbridge irrigation canal. Shaw reported the aliens attempted to lift him, but weren’t strong enough to make him budge, then returned to their ship, jumping up through a hole in the side.
Then Shaw did what came naturally—he threw a rock at it, hitting the side without making a sound. The supposed airship then pulsed off into the distance.
Surge of sightings
Newspapers throughout Northern California at the time were filled with reports of strange lights filling the sky. About the same time, an inventor in San Francisco supposedly had developed a flying machine, seven years before the Wright Brothers’ first flight. A day before Shaw’s amazing encounter, bright lights were seen flying south toward and beyond Stockton. Witnesses often testified they had not been drinking.
A story in the Nov 28, 1896, Stockton Daily Independent started, “Unless you’ve seen the airship or flying machine you are not worth spending much time with.”
Maybe that’s what is behind occasional waves of UFO reports, typically after a high-profile case. The “modern” UFO era began when private pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing a flying saucer near Mount Rainier in Washington.
In a matter of day’s, a Lodi woman reported hearing a noise
“Like a four-motored bomber”, accompanied by a spectacular glow in the sky just before her lights went off at dawn. A United Press story on the matter concluded, “It was the first time any noise had been attributed to flying saucers,” even though no one reported seeing a UFO.
Flying saucers were reported at a ranch 15 miles south of Tracy on Oct. 30, 1999, and four years ago in Stockton a person notified a UFO reporting agency of “awakening to a being in the doorway of my room.”
That may have happened to you too. Try giving the being a drink of water and tucking it back in bed.