On October 17, 1973, Falkville, Alabama Chief of Police Jeff Greenhaw gets a phone call from a local resident who claimed she had just witnessed a "spaceship" land in an open field. The sighting occurred in an undisclosed location just on the outskirts of town.
After the call, Greenhaw waisted no time. He grabbed a Polaroid camera and took the appropriate weapons. Dark had already fallen several hours earlier, so by the time he made it to the alleged location, it was already 10:00 PM.
After a cursory look around, he found no trace of any spaceship. Upon further investigating the area, Greenhaw sighted what looked like an alien being standing just off the side of the road. He tried to describe it as if it were wrapped in aluminum foil, but knew it wasn’t made of that material. His description was as follows:
- "It looked like his head and neck were kind of made together... he was real bright, something like rubbing mercury on nickel, but just as smooth as glass; different angles give different lighting. I don't believe it was aluminum foil."
As it began to walk toward Greenhaw, he snapped off four pictures with his Polaroid, then he flicked on his police truck headlights. Immediately, the alien retreated. Greenhaw jumped into his his truck and drove through the rough terrain of the field, in pursuit, only being able to manage about 35 MPH. Greenhaw could not keep up, and the “tinfoil alien” escaped into the night. "He was running faster than any human I ever saw," Greenhaw stated.
Greenhaw disclosed the affair to members of the town of Falkville, but much to his grief. He was mocked, ridiculed, and received threatening phone calls. Later, his house burned down, and his wife left him. Approximately a month after the incident, the town council fired him.
In some reporting of the encounter, there is a description that the “tinfoil alien's movements were very "mechanical" like. An antenna was attached to his head.” The description seems contradictory to the account of the alien’s ability to outrun the officer in a moving vehicle. Because of the backlash of ridicule and mockery the officer had received for disclosing this report, some mockery information and mock photos might have crept into this close encounter case.
Four photos were allegedly taken of the incident by Greenhaw. The photos on the right have not been properly confirmed as being of the original four. The figure in both images appears as if it is posing for the camera, thus they are likely mock photos or just fakes. The images have also been cropped or in some way altered, as they are not presented in the original Polaroid format. Also, in the Greenhaw report, by the time he mentions his camera, the being was always seen moving or on the move. Another key description in the report, versus the images, is that the being was “just as smooth as glass”.
Francis Ridge of NICAP, believes that these are the actual photos that Greenhaw took, and that he happened to be the subject of a hoax that night. Ridge bases his assumption of the authenticity of the photos on his source—UFO Casebook who also presents these images, but does not indicate its source of the images.
- It’s sad that the officer’s report is tossed off as being subject to a hoax, as if the officer himself couldn’t determine on his own, that he was hoaxed. We should assume in good faith that police chief Greenhaw witnessed an entity of supernormal characteristics and speed on the night of 17 October 1973.