WHILE it might have been more than 17 years ago, Rita Haden's close encounter with an unidentified flying object is still burnt clearly into her mind.
Ms Haden has been a member of the Ipswich UFO Group since 1992 after a mysterious sighting on her way home from work.
The Leichhardt resident said she had just come past the One Mile Hotel about 1.50am when she saw a bright light hovering above her.
The strange craft proceeded to follow her along the Old Toowoomba Road “dazzling her” with its light all the way home.
“I bounced out of the car and ran to the door. There was like a humming orange light facing the door,” Ms Haden said.
“The little dog next door just wailed and howled. The light was so bright.
“From five past two to 3am, it was hovered outside.”
Ms Haden said the unidentified object was a “big craft”, about 30-foot-long with no wings or a tail.
“I was in the Air Force, so I know planes pretty well,” she said.
“I couldn't see any windows. Unlike normal planes it didn't have a dull surface - it was very shiny.
“It made no noise whatsoever. All I saw was a big shape coming down.”
She said the strange craft had left little trace of its visit, but had opened her eyes to the phenomena.
Fellow believer David Keyworth has been a member of the Ipswich group for three years and said he was a keenly interested in exploring the concept of life in space.
“I come from a science background and have always had an interest in UFOs and extraterrestrials,” Mr Keyworth said.
The Woodend resident said unfortunately he had not had a close encounter of his own, but remained hopeful.
“I believe in UFOs, but not what everybody sees is a UFO,” Mr Keyworth said.
“Ninety per cent of sightings can probably be attributed to planes and stars.”
He said unfortunately activity had been quiet around Ipswich lately.
“I might get a phone call a month from someone who thinks they have seen something,” Mr Keyworth said.
The next UFO meeting will be on Friday at the Ipswich Trades Hall in Bell Street, with German World War II UFO secrets set to be investigated.
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