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How a mysterious sighting put an Alabama town of one thousand on the map

“I won’t be able to be there. My family and I are going to the festival back home,” he said plainly.

She paused then began, “I thought you said that you grew up in a town with one red light and less than 1,000 people.”

“I did. But this festival is a tradition for us. We make a plan to go each year,” he looked at her with a mild sense of confusion.

“I’ve probably heard of it. Which festival is it again?” she came back, confident that she would recognize the name.

“UFO Days.”

She paused with the instant understanding that she had never heard of the festival. She held back a slight giggle at the absurdity of the name. Little did she know the story behind the annual celebration was even more bizarre.

The small town of Fyffe sits atop Sand Mountain at the start of the Appalachian Mountains in North Alabama near Fort Payne. While the town itself may be unassuming, it holds a history that is far from it. While many in the state are familiar with the town’s relatively recent history, others are completely unaware that the small town of Fyffe once garnered global attention. Luckily, Landmarks of DeKalb County has compiled information about the unbelievable event.

It was the early afternoon of February 11th, 1989 when the first call came in to the Fyffe Police Department. Reports of a mysterious object started flooding the phone lines.

When asked to give specifics as to what they were seeing, one eyewitness gave the following information, “bright lights at the top and bottom and a real bright light at the center. The curvature was outlined in green.”

Over the course of the afternoon and well into the next day, the Fyffe Police Department fielded calls from concerned locals. After compiling nearly 50 reports, the department was able to determine that the object seen by eyewitnesses was hovering at an angle in the sky from 1 o’clock in the afternoon to 7 o’clock in the evening.

One of the first of these calls prompted Fyffe Police Chief Junior Garmany and Assistant Police Chief Fred Works to check on the matter. They quickly discovered that something was in the sky overhead and they set out to chase the object. “At that time me and Fred were on County Road 43,” shared Chief Garmany. The pair parked and left their vehicle and suddenly noticed the object heading toward them.

“The object came on over and got straight overhead. It was big, wide, and appeared to be a wide triangular shape. We kept waiting to hear the sound. We kept looking at each other and saying ‘Where’s the sound?’ We never heard anything,” shared Assistant Chief Works. “What I saw the first time was like nothing I ever saw before. It was not a helicopter, it was not a plane. Not a sound,” recounted Garmany.

The history-making Fyffe incident was covered by more than 100 news organizations around the world with many coming to town to find out more about the mysterious phenomenon that had occurred. It is this event that the city commemorates each year at the Fyffe UFO Days Festival which brings the community together through food, games, live entertainment, and hot air balloon rides.

Courtesy of SoulGrown Alabama

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