October 3, 1958
Location: Monon, Indiana, United States
Monon railroad train crew reported seeing multiple UFOs
in north central Indiana. The objects were 40 feet in
diameter and about 10 feet thick, and followed the train
for over an hour.
Credit: NICAP / Hall (1964)
Frank Edwards / UFO Casebook
The Monon Railroad UFO Incident (Indiana)
Monon railroad train crew reported seeing a UFO in north
central Indiana. It was about 3.20 A.M. on Friday October
3, 1958... freight train no. 91 was enroute southbound
from Monon, to Indianapolis.
the cab of the diesel locomotive were three men - Harry
Eckman, the engineer, Cecil Bridge, the fireman, and Morris
Ott, the head brakeman. Ed Robinson, the conductor, and
Paul Sosbey, the flagman, were in the caboose. Cecil Bridge,
the fireman, a former air force man with 450 hours of
heavy bomber time, begins the story as follows...
had just pulled past a little spot called Wasco. There's
no town there - just a kind of crossroads. It was there
we first noticed four lights in the sky ahead of us. They
were moving lights. At first they looked like stars but
we realized they weren't stars because they were moving
- we could see that." "They were moving in a
sort of open V formation. By that I mean that there was
no light at the forward point of the flight, just the
two 'wings' with two Lights in each 'wing' - angled off
at about 45 degrees from each other. I must have spotted
them first. After I had watched them for about 15 seconds,
I called them to the attention of the other men in the
cab with me. They watched the lights, too..."
that time the lights veered west. They crossed the tracks
ahead of the train - about a half a mile ahead of us,
we estimated. They were moving pretty slowly, too, at
no more than about 50 miles an hour, four big, white,
the three of us in the engine saw the lights at this time.
We were pulling 56 cars - that's a little more than half
a mile of cars - and because of the angle at which these
things were approaching and because they were so low right
then, the boys in the caboose probably couldn't see them."
"After the lights crossed the tracks in front of
us, they stopped and came back. This time they were headed
east. They shot off toward the east and were gone a few
minutes - out of sight - but when they came back and we
all saw them again, I turned on the microphone. We have
radio between the engine and caboose. I told the boys
in the caboose what we were watching."
talked to Robinson, (the conductor), and told him what
we had seen. During the time we watched these things,
from Wasco to Kirklin, we did a lot of talking on that
radio. The dispatcher in Lafayette could hear us, of course,
but he never cut in. The boys in the caboose got the best
look at the things. Especially when they came right down
over the whole train."
Robinson continues the story.
was sitting in the cupola, looking forward over the train,
when Bridge called me on the radio. I had already noticed
the four gobs of light but I couldn't make out what they
were. They were half a mile ahead of the caboose - the
whole length of the train. A little bit after he called
me the things went away and we didn't see them for a few
minutes... then all of a sudden they came back."
"This time they came down over the train, a little
way in back of the engine. They were coming toward the
caboose. That is, they were going north and the train
was headed directly south."
say they were only a couple of hundred feet above the
train as they came toward the caboose. And they weren't
moving very fast - maybe 30 or 40 miles an hour. It was
hard to tell - a fellow just doesn't notice details like
that under the circumstances."
freight train is pretty noisy, of course, but I didn't
hear any other noise, like the roar an airplane would
have made. I think they were silent, or nearly silent,
flew over us one after the other - big, round white things
that looked about the colour of fluorescent lights, kind
of fuzzy around the edges. They didn't glare and they
didn't light up things as they went over. They just came
back toward us, over the top of the cars, one after the
other. Then they went on down the tracks maybe another
half a mile and seemed to stop."
and I went out on the back platform where we could see
them better, but they were getting pretty far behind us.
We could see their lights but I don't remember whether
they were bunched up or not. They were just there, we
know that. We could see them behind us, right over the
tracks. "Then they swung off away from the tracks
and went fast - very fast - to the east. When they picked
up speed their light got a lot brighter. They got real
bright and white - like stars, but a lot bigger and moving
Bridge, observing the same objects from the engine, describes
what he and the engineer and head brakeman saw.
these things shot back over to the east of us, they lit
up much brighter than they were before. They turned in
line, going north or northeast and we noticed that they
lit up in sequence - the front one first, then number
two, three and four. They changed course and came back
past the train. They were going in the opposite direction
to us when they made this pass. I guess they were at least
a mile or two east of us when they did it." "They
lit up twice (as described above).. First number one would
light up, then number two and so on. They did that twice
as they went past us travelling in the opposite direction.
We noticed, too, that their colour changed. When they
first lit up they were bright white but when they slowed
down the colour changed to a kind of yellow, then to orange
when they went real slow - a kind of dirty orange."
conductor, Ed Robinson, agreed with this description.
didn't see them from the back end of the train for several
minutes after they went away to the east and turned. But
the boys in the engine were still seeing them. I got back
on the radio with Bridge. He was watching them right then.
They must have circled the train and gone north of us,
real low, because the next time we saw them they came
rushing up the tracks right in back of us. They were coming
a lot faster this time - a lot faster than they had come
back over the train the first time."
were just above the tree-tops along the right of way,
and they had changed their way of flying -- their formation.
This time they were sort of flying on edge. Two of them
were on edge - the two in the middle. The two on the outside
were tilted at an angle both in the same direction. The
four of them flew like that up the tracks behind the train
- a tilted one on the east, two of them straight up and
down, then the one on the west tilted just like the one
on the east."
they first came back over the train we could see that
they were round things - circular shaped on the bottom.
Then when they flew up the tracks in back of us we could
see - Sosbey and I - that they were about 40 feet in diameter
and maybe 10 feet thick. The two flying straight up and
down were approximately over the edges of the right of
way and about 200 yards in back of the caboose. If they
had been flying flat down instead of edgewise. They would
have just about have touched edges so they must have seen
somewhere around 40 feet across the bottom."
Fireman Cecil Bridge continues:
had flashlights in the engine and in the caboose. Up on
the head end of the train - in the engine where I was
--we blinked our flashlights at the things and we waved
the lights. We thought we might get them to come in closer.
They did come down over the train a few minutes later,
as Robinson related, but of course, I can't say they did
it because we flashed the lights at them. At any rate
they didn't flash any lights back at us." Robinson
the caboose, we had a five cell sealed beam flashlight
that throws a pretty good beam a long ways. When the things
came down and flew right up the tracks behind the caboose,
I grabbed that sealed beam flashlight and shined it on
them. As soon as the light hit them, they jumped sideways
out of the beam. When they got back over the tracks, I
did it it again and they scattered. They acted like they
didn't care for that light at all."
the time Bridge first called us on the radio until the
last time we saw them near Kirklin (38 miles northwest
of Indianapolis), it was about an hour and 10 minutes
altogether. They hung around the back end of the train,
but after we shined the light on them, they didn't come
in close any more. While we were switching at Frankfort,
they stayed away back up the tracks, just hovered there,
until we moved on. Then they followed us again. When they
finally went away at Kirklin, they just zipped off to
the northeast and kept on going and we didn't see them
by Frank Edwards