Current Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 17:22:01 -0500
For Roy Mars, outer space isn’t just in his name anymore.
On the night of Nov. 3, Mars, a Carrboro resident, was watching a movie when he went outside to urinate in his compost pile just before 9 p.m.
Mars said he looked up at the sky toward the constellation Cassiopeia.
A few degrees to the left, he saw what he thought was a falling star — but now he thinks it was actually a UFO.
Looking due north, Mars said he watched the streak go over his head and continue south past the treeline.
“It wasn’t a streak anymore, it was a black triangle with three lights on the corners,” he said. “And I said quietly to myself, ‘Oh damn.’”
Mars isn’t alone in his sightings.
According to the National UFO Reporting Center, there have been four other separate incidents of flying triangle UFOs in Chapel Hill and Carrboro in the past 17 years — the most recent was reported in March.
Peter Davenport, the center’s director, said he plans to add Mars’ sighting to the center’s database sometime this week.
But there was not much more Davenport could say about the sighting.
“I’m in no better position to know than you are,” he said. “I don’t have a magic wand to say if he told the truth or not.”
But Davenport said UFO sightings are more common than people realize.
“We appear to be dealing with a very real phenomenon,” he said.
In fact, he said, North and South Carolina are two of the most well-documented states in regard to UFO sightings, due to the efforts of George Fawcett, a UFO investigator from North Carolina.
Fawcett documented thousands of UFO sighting reports, which he donated to the Roswell UFO Museum in New Mexico.
“He is legend among ufologists,” Davenport said.
In the past 67 years, 1,694 UFO sightings have been reported in North Carolina.
And in the last month, there have been 14 UFO sightings in North Carolina reported to the center.
Mars said after he thought he saw the UFO, he reached out to the reporting center for guidance and was told to spread the word about his sighting.
Mars said he doesn’t think his sighting was too big of a deal, and he had not planned to publicize it before speaking with the center.
“I don’t think it’s that special,” he said. “Mine’s just very straightforward, I think.”
Mars said the center told him that many people don’t report their UFO sightings at all.
UNC sophomore Victor Zhao remains skeptical about UFO sightings.
“They could be due to the (Fort Bragg) military base,” said Zhao.
And many other students do not believe in UFOs either.
“Not really — I believe they’re unidentified, but I don’t think they’re alien spaceships,” said senior Jordan Preuss.
But Mars said the UFO sighting still seems unusual to him.
“It did seem a little bit like it’d come a long way in a short period of time,” he said.
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