"UFO-Related Human Physiological Effects" Page 2

John F. Schuessler: JSE, 1996


Information included in this catalog of medical injury cases comes from a wide range of sources, including newspapers, magazines, UFO organization journals and bulletins and UFO studies done by other researchers such as Ted Phillips and his landing trace case catalog and Mark Rodeghier and his vehicle interference case catalog.

The purpose of the catalog is threefold: (1) It provides a chronological listing of UFO events involving physiological effects on humans, (2) It provides source information for other researchers desiring to do work in this important field, and (3) it is the first step in systematizing the medical injury data base.

The 1995 version of the catalog contains nearly 400 cases which I have gathered over the past several years through personal study. Credit for the investigative work on these cases goes to the hundreds of other researchers and writers who took the time to document bits of the medical evidence, even though it was of secondary interest to them. Injuries noted in at least 80 percent of the cases are Category 1 injuries as defined in the MUFON Field Investigator's Manual. Because the injury information was generally taken from the initial report of the UFO encounter and not from a long term study of the witnesses, there might, in fact, be a lot more Category 2 cases than the catalog shows. This is because chronic effects do not show up in a short term study. My intent is to continue to seek additional cases from the untapped files of the various UFO organizations and add them to the catalog in future revisions. Hopefully, however, this initial catalog will be of value to researchers.

The catalog is organized for easy reading. The first line defines the date of the incident and the location. The second line has the local time of day and the source of the information. This is followed by a brief description of the case and a listing of the effects noted. The process is repeated with each case given in date order.


UFO investigators have been struggling for nearly fifty years with the difficulties associated with the collection of UFO-related human physiological effects data. Unfortunately, most investigators spent forty of the past fifty years trying to prove that UFOs exist, when in fact that was proven in 1947 by the hundreds of UFO incidents that occurred that year. On the other hand, today we are seeing a greater acceptance of the UFO data as presented and more specialized research being done as well.

To illustrate some of the medical data collection problems facing UFO investigators, I would like to use the final case presented above as an example. The victims in that incident have gone through years of misery as the result of their brief encounter with a UFO. Their request to the investigators was to use the results of their case to make it easier for UFO investigators and medical practioneers to deal with future cases involving harm to humans. And that is what we have tried to do.

Victims in the December 29, 1980 UFO incident were Betty Cash (51), Vickie Landrum (57) and grandson Colby Landrum (7). They were returning to Dayton, Texas, in Betty's new Oldsmobile Cutlass after having a meal at a restaurant along the Interstate highway when they noticed a bright light in the sky ahead. In a matter of minutes, the light had grown in size and appeared as a huge diamond-shaped craft coming down in front of their car. Light from the device was so bright that it caused their eyes to hurt and fire intermittently spewing from its bottom turned a festive evening out into a terrifying night.

They stopped the car in the middle of the road, fearing they would be burned alive if they tried to go under the object. The car heated rapidly, forcing them out into the open where the heat seared their skin and caused their eyes to burn. Colby's stark terror caused Mrs. Landrum to get back into the car to console him, in spite of the heat. Mrs. Cash stayed outside, walking to the front of the car to get a better look. She was exposed directly to the radiation emitted by the object for up to 10 minutes, while the others were exposed for a much shorter period of time.

As it turned out, the terrifying encounter was only the beginning. After the object flew away, followed by swarms of military helicopters, they restarted the car and headed for the safety of their homes. The beeping they heard in their heads during the encounter was now gone, but it was replaced by headaches, growing worse by the minute. That was the first clue that they had sustained medical injuries as a result of the encounter.

During the remainder of the night the extent of their injuries became evident. Betty's headache became worse and she was hit by waves of nausea. Her skin was burned to a bright red, her neck swelled and red blotches formed on her face. Over the next four days Betty's health degraded. Her eyes swelled closed, the red blotches became blisters containing clear fluid, and she was weak with diarrhea and nausea. The headaches never ceased and she was unable to eat or drink. It was then she began her first of dozens of periods in hospitals that continue to the present. While in the hospital her hair began to fall out. Eventually, she was half bald. In the years after the incident she developed several types of cancer.

Mrs. Landrum and Colby had problems too. During the night she heard Colby calling. Barely able to leave her bed, she went to see what was wrong and found he had vomited in bed. When she took him to the bathroom to clean him up, she found he was severely burned and so was she. During the ensuing days and weeks she had hair loss and both of them had diarrhea, vomiting, sores, growths, stomach pains, and more.

The lessons to be learned from this case were many because the victims suffered so greatly from injuries and had such a difficult time finding worthwhile help. Topping the list was the problem of getting proper treatment. Many people believe that doctors can look at them and prescribe a medicine that will cure them -they hold doctors in a god-like position. Because the victims in this incident, like many others, were afraid of ridicule if they admitted they saw a UFO and were harmed by it, they kept quiet and allowed the doctors to treat the visible symptoms. As a result, the doctors ran batteries of tests seeking the root cause of the injuries. It wasn't until Betty's second stay in the hospital, when the doctor was expounding on his puzzlement over the cause of the injuries, that Colby admitted that he knew what happened. When the doctor heard about the UFO incident he admitted he knew nothing about such things, but he had the common sense to seek out another Houston doctor that could explain it to him.

  1. LESSON 1: The ridicule curtain must be eliminated. People need to be reeducated to the position that it is OK to admit they have not only seen a UFO, but been injured by it as well. Only then can proper treatment be delivered quickly, thereby eliminating days of testing trying to isolate the cause of the injury.
  2. LESSON 2: Most doctors are unaware of the facts about UFOs and UFO related injuries. A program designed to educate medical professionals is sorely needed. Perhaps the human physiological effects catalog can play a part in the educational process.
    At the time of the Cash-Landrum incident MUFON had several doctors listed as consultants, but there was no organized medical committee where the data could be analyzed and discussed openly. And few of the consultants wanted the public exposure of open participation in the work. Fortunately for the victims in this case one doctor did step forward to examine all of the medical records and to work freely with the primary care physicians. He was Dr. Peter Rank, Director of the Department of Radiology for Radiology Consultants in Madison, Wisconsin. His work was helpful to the doctors involved in the case and his participation was a real boost for the victims.
  3. LESSON 3: Open and active involvement of the MUFON Medical Committee members is sorely needed.
    Obtaining copies of medical records is difficult and in some states nearly impossible. Dr. Rank assisted local investigators and the victims in requesting the records in the Cash-Landrum case. He provided the proper release forms and instructions on what to request. Even so, we were never able to get all of the records released.
  4. LESSON 4: It is necessary to use the proper channels and forms to obtain medical records. Medical professionals will cooperate if requests are properly made. This must be done with the consent of the victims and the records must be used to help the victims.
    During the investigation numerous requests for copies of medical records were received from writers, media people, debunkers, and opportunists. In every case, the requests were denied. There was no value added for the victims to allow wide distribution of their private records.
  5. LESSON 5: Private medical records must be protected. No one is entitled to such records unless the victim wishes to release them. Normally, the victim will allow the records to be seen by other medical doctors. Private records should never be given to writers, media people, debunkers and the like regardless of how much pressure they apply.
    Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum allowed their injuries to be photographed and recorded for future analysis. They didn't know that this was important and while they were so ill they really didn't care about the future need. All they wanted to do was survive and get well. Nevertheless, they cooperated with the investigators and allowed their injuries to be photographed on a number of occasions. Later, they were pleased to have the documentation in hand.
  6. LESSON 6: Using film and videotape to document the visible injuries is of utmost importance in these cases. The human body changes daily as it fights to heal the injuries. Documentation of the initial condition and the progressive change in the condition is a real-time event. The investigator must document it as it happens.
    After Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum began to recover somewhat, they had a life preserving desire to find out the nature of the object that injured them. They believed that knowing what it was and what it used to harm them would allow the doctors to use better and more specific medical treatment for their ailments. Since a large number of military helicopters were interacting with the object, it was normal to expect that someone in the U.S. government knew the answers to their questions. They and the investigators involved exhausted every channel available to get the information, but to no avail. The government stonewalled them. Out of frustration they allowed the media an opportunity to cover their story in the hope that some of the helicopter pilots would come forward. One did and then he recanted.
  7. LESSON 7: Don't expect government help. The UFO cover up has been going on so long that it is useless to believe that help is forthcoming no matter how strong is the evidence of government involvement.
    After Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum had suffered through months of pain and agony, they could see that the doctors were trying hard to cure their ills, but they were not getting well. During the same time period media people would contact them for their story and offer in return some sort of help. Some kept their promises, others did not. For example, it was fairly obvious from the onset that their injuries were related to some type of electromagnetic radiation. The government agencies known for their radiation expertise claimed that they had no data on exposure of humans to radiation of various types. Twelve years later when the radiation exposure lid came off we found that the government had lied when they said they had no data, but it was too late. During those early days a television crew came to Houston from California. At the time Betty and Vickie were quite ill and didn't want to be filmed. However, the crew promised them a form of help that had not been offered before. The crew claimed that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California had developed a DNA test that could pinpoint the type of radiation that had caused their injuries. Betty and Vickie believed that they could get more specific medical treatment if they had the JPL data so they agreed to the filming. Unfortunately, after the crew completed the filming they left town and were never heard of again - they didn't make good on their promise.
  8. LESSON 8: Don't believe in promises no matter how badly the victims need help. Don't allow them to be used by anyone. If there is any consideration that the promises have merit, then insist on having a written contract defining what is offered, when it will be delivered and include a financial penalty for failure to deliver. Always remember that the company making the promise is a business and expects to make money on the deal or they wouldn't be there. If they are legitimate they won't object to a contract.
    These are not the only lessons to be learned from this or other medical cases. Each one is and will be different. These incidents are happening worldwide; but the common element in each case is that humans are being victimized by something beyond their own understanding and control. Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum have suffered greatly. They are nice people who deserve better than that. If we give proper attention to the future victims of physiological effects caused by UFOs, then we will have repaid Betty and Vickie in some small way for their cooperation. They are the real pioneers in this field.


UFO incidents are unpredictable. They can happen any place in the world at any time. UFO cases involving harm to humans are just as unpredictable and they happen in only a small percentage of the reported UFO incidents. Because these incidents seem to happen when least expected, investigators have been ill-equipped to deal with them. And because of the nature of the phenomenon, medical professionals have lacked the knowledge and desire to deal with this problem.

Because the situation is different now, there is no reason for cases involving human physiological effects to go undocumented or untreated because: 1) MUFON has a strong body of medical consultants who are involved in the MUFON Medical Committee; 2) the new Field Investigator's manual contains instructions on how to deal with medical injury cases; 3) MUFON headquarters stands ready to refer cases where physiological effects are apparent to the Medical Committee; 4) the first edition of the human physiological effects catalog is ready to serve as a guide for the accumulation of data in this important part of UFO research; and 5) we are working to extend this protocol to the medical community as a whole.