January 6, 1976
Location: Stanford, Kentucky, United States
January 6, 1976, three women were abducted near Stanford,
Kentucky. As they were driving together to have dinner,
a bright red object appeared in the sky, which Mona Stafford
at first thought was an airplane on fire. As the object
descended from the right side of the road to a point ahead
of them, they could see that it was not an airplane, but
a huge object bigger than "two houses."
The three women who were abducted near Stanford, Kentucky.
Left to right: Louise Smith,
Elaine Thomas, Mona Stafford. (credit: Jerome Clark)
Another drawing of the UFO by Mona Stafford.
Loy Lawhon, About.com
6, 1976 was Mona Stafford's 36th birthday. To celebrate,
she and her friends Louise Smith and Elaine Thomas decided
to drive thirty-five miles from their home in Liberty,
Kentucky, to have dinner at the Redwoods Restaurant, between
Stanford and Lancaster, Kentucky. Louise Smith was driving
them in her '67 Chevy Nova.
three women had an enjoyable dinner together. None of
them drank any alcoholic beverages with their meal. At
about 11:15, the trio headed back home, expecting to be
home by midnight. At Stanford, Kentucky, nine miles from
Lancaster, they turned off Highway 27 and onto Highway
78 towards Hustonville.
outside Stanford, a curious thing happened. A bright red
object appeared in the sky, which Mona Stafford at first
thought was an airplane on fire. As the object descended
from the right side of the road to a point ahead of them,
they could see that it was not an airplane, but a huge
object bigger than "two houses." The
object stopped about a hundred yards ahead of them, stretching
across the road on both sides. It rocked back and forth
for a couple of seconds, and then moved off to the left.
kept driving, and assumed that whatever it was had kept
going. However, after they had been about a quarter of
a mile, a blue light appeared through the rear window
of the car. At first, they thought it was a highway patrol
car with its lights flashing, but soon they realized that
the flying object had circled around and had come up behind
them. Suddenly, something wrestled control of the car
away from Louise Smith. The car accelerated even though
Mrs. Smith took her foot off the accelerator, and the
speedometer was soon on 85 mph. Mona Stafford, in the
front passenger seat, tried to help Louise regain control
of the car, but it was not possible. The women began to
feel a burning sensation in their eyes. The ignition lights
lit up on the instrument panel, an indication that the
car's engine was stalled, but they were still speeding
along. They saw a wide, brightly lit road ahead of them,
and then, seconds later, the scene became Highway 78 and
they recognized they were on the outskirts of Hustonville,
a full eight miles from where they had just been. Checking
the time, they found that, incredibly, an hour and twenty
minutes had passed.
arrived at Louise Smith's trailer in Liberty at 1:25 am,
almost an hour and a half late. They went inside to collect
themselves and found that they each had a red mark like
a burn on the backs of their necks, and they all had burning,
irritated eyes. Louise Smith went into the bathroom and
removed her watch to wash her face. She saw that the hands
of her watch were spinning at a much higher than normal
speed. When she splashed water on her face, she found
that contact with water caused pain in her hands and face.
went next door, to the home of Mr. Lowell Lee, and told
him what had happened. He had them separately sketch the
object they had seen. The sketches were extremely similar,
if not identical. They called the police and the local
navy office, but neither showed any interest in their
the days that followed, Mona Stafford had more problems
with her eyes than did the other two women, and she sought
medical help for severe conjunctivitis. Louise Smith's
pet parakeet was now inexplicably terrified of her and
the bird died a couple of months later. Smith's car also
began to develop mysterious electrical problems.
navy office reportedly gave information about the story
to the news media, and the story was soon in the newspapers.
Hearing of the case, Jerry Black of MUFON set up an interview
with the three women. J. Allen Hynek of CUFOS and Jim
and Coral Lorenzen of APRO also investigated the case.
The investigators found that other individuals had independently
reported sightings of a UFO in the Casey and Lincoln counties,
that same night. Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle of the University
of Wyoming heard of the case and flew in, and on March
7, 1976, he performed a preliminary hypnotic regression
of the women.
July of 1976, Lexington Police Department detective James
Young separately gave the three women lie detector tests
regarding their experience. They all passed with no problems.
Later that evening and continuing into the next day, extensive
hypnotic regression of the women was performed by R. Leo
Sprinkle. These sessions were similar to the story of
Betty and Barney Hill in that they revealed that during
the period of missing time, the three women were taken
on board the object they had seen. While there, they were
medically examined by shadowy beings that they later identified
as being similar to depictions of aliens.