Residents of Piedmont, Wayne County, reported strange lights over Clearwater Lake in 1973. Pic credit: Pixabay
On Thursday, Governor Mike Parson approved legislation recognizing Piedmont and Wayne County as the UFO Capitals of Missouri, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting.
Piedmont is a city in southeast Missouri with about 2,000 people. It is in northwestern Wayne County, part of the Ozark hill country.
Rep. Dinkins introduced bill to recognize Piedmont as “UFO Capital”
The official designations for Piedmont and Wayne County acknowledge the area’s rich history of UFO sightings.
Hundreds of UFO sightings around Piedmont in 1973
Locals reported hundreds of UFO sightings in the region during the early Spring of 1973 (see video below). According to Dinkins’ bill, there were hundreds of sightings in Piedmont from February to April 1973.
The sightings were part of the Great UFO Wave that swept through the country in 1973. They continued until late in the fall in the southeastern region, including Tennessee.
However, residents of Piedmont began reporting strange aerial phenomena in February 1973 until it gradually subsided in April.
Local newspapers reported on the so-called 1973 Piedmont Lights Incident or Clearwater Lake UFO Sightings. They documented multiple reports of strange lights hovering several meters above the ground.
Clearwater High School coach Reggie Bone reported a sighting
The first widely reported sighting occurred late on February 21 and involved Reggie Bone, the basketball coach at Clearwater High School, and a group of his players.
According to their account, they were driving home to Piedmont after participating in a basketball tournament in Essex when they noticed a beam of light in the night sky.
At first, they assumed the lights were from an airplane. But they stopped to observe when they appeared a second time near Piedmont.
Bone later told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they saw flashing lights from 200 yards, about 50 feet above the ground at about tree level.
The lights flashed with multiple colors, including white, amber, red, and green. They realized it was not an airplane because it hovered at a spot above the ground instead of moving.
The group watched for several minutes as the lights moved along nearby trees and beyond a hill.
Many residents also reported flashing lights and other strange activity around Clearwater Lake.
The reports attracted crowds of tourists to the area.
Piedmont marked the 50th anniversary of the 1973 incidents in April
The designation of Piedmont and Wayne County as the “UFO Capitals of Missouri” comes after the city marked the 50-year anniversary of the 1973 incidents in April.
The city marked the sightings with a festival dubbed “Close Encounters of the Piedmont Kind.” The events included parades, lectures, movies, and the release of historical memorabilia.
Recent whistleblower claims reignited public interest in UFOs
The latest incident comes amid a renewed interest in UFO phenomena following claims by the whistleblower David Grusch that the U.S. government ran a secret UFO retrieval program for decades.
The Air Force veteran made several shocking claims during a recent sit-down interview with NewsNation’s Ross Coulthart. He alleged that the government recovered intact UFOs from multiple crash sites and dead alien bodies.
He also claimed that the U.S. has been in an alien technology reverse-engineering arms race with geopolitical adversaries.
Congress is investigating the claims. Senator Marco Rubio recently said that other whistleblowers have come forward to share information since Grusch’s disclosures.