According to Project Blue Book files, a young miner had an all too close encounter with a trio of colossal, cycloptic creatures that were so shocking to behold he passed out from sheer terror. The official report goes so far as to suggest that the intentions of these entities may not merely be malevolent… but outright apocalyptic.
This captivating case was first made public by a minister and ABC radio host from Buffalo, New York, Elder Charles Beck. The clergyman and a local reporter from the Sudbury Daily Star, Michael Bolton, conducted extensive taped interviews with the witness to this extraordinary event less than a week after it transpired.
The eyewitness in question was a 23 year-old Canadian miner named Ennio La Sarza, who originally hailed from Italy. Little could this straight laced man — who had no interest in science fiction and even less in UFOs — have imagined when he began work that fateful day that he was about to become the center of one of the most bizarre extraterrestrial encounters in the annals of ufology. From the Blue Book files:
“As far as Elder Beck and the reporter could ascertain, La Sarza is regarded in his community as a model citizen with a good record. He had and has nothing whatever to gain by bringing down on his head the pitiless glare of publicity — of an unfavorable kind… he impressed the Elder and reporter as being intelligent and level-headed, even though he is naïve concerning what the rest of the world knows as ’saucers‘.”
According to a partially redacted letter found in the files of Project Blue Book; on July 2, 1954, at about 5:00 p.m., La Sarza — who worked as a miner and painter for a nickel mining company located in Garson about five miles from Sudbury, Ontario — was fulfilling his duties when he suddenly noticed something extremely unusual in the northern sky. From the Blue Book letter:
“…he noted with surprise an object hurtling down from the skies with ‘several times the speed of a jet plane.’ He thought it would crash, but it slowed down and ended by hovering just above the ground.”
The report goes on to describe the “huge disc” that La Sarza had watched land right before his eyes:
“The ‘saucer,’ Ennio related, was spherical in shape, about 25-feet in diameter, and had a set of portholes or the equivalent around it. There were rudiments of a landing gear and something like a retractable antenna on top.”
The stunned La Sarza was frozen on the spot, but if the UFO had already frightened him, what would come out of it would scare him out of his wits.
The following, also from the Blue Book report, details some of the most peculiar extraterrestrial entities on record:
“Three strange beings emerged from the craft. They were about 13-feet tall, greenish-blue in color, and the face was a color combination he had never seen before.“
While it’s nearly impossible to imagine what an unrecognizable “color combination” might look like, it likely doesn’t even compare to the incongruity of these (evidently bio-luminescent) creatures’ anatomies:
“Their bodies seemed to glow, and they had a single eye in the center of what passed for a forehead. The beings had six evenly distributed sets of arms and/or hairy legs. The ‘hands’ were equipped with crab-like claws, which opened and closed spasmodically. They also were equipped with a natural, twin antenna in the head.”
It should be noted that in some accounts, the “twin antenna” were also described as “ears,” which resembled, of all things, “spurs.” These looming beasts were also said to have a vaguely “insect-like” appearance.
The presumed leader of these frightening figures began to scuttle toward the terrified La Sarza, who instinctively tried to back away, only to be suddenly struck by what can only be categorized as a psychic blow:
“One of the beings started to come toward Ennio, who turned and ran. However, the being sent a sort of hypnotic stare after Ennio that ‘froze’ him in his tracks, and then spoke to him in a voice that seemed to address him inside his head.”
One would assume that at this point La Sarza would have reached his maximum threshold for horror, but, as he would soon find out, things were about to take a turn for the worse:
“The being sternly requested or ordered Ennio to perform some task, the nature of which he has stoutly refused to divulge, even to officialdom. He was emphatic that he would ‘rather die’ than do what they asked him to do.”
Herein — beyond the clear and profound mysteries regarding the origin and intentions of these mastadonic monstrosities — lies the core of this perplexing case; just what heinous demand did these creatures make of the young miner, and why would he “rather die,” then comply?
At this point, apparently utterly overwhelmed by the ordeal, La Sarza passed out cold. Mercifully, when he awoke the UFO and its’ ungodly occupants were gone without a trace, save for the scorch marks on the ground where the craft had landed. La Sarza commented on why he blacked out to the local press stating “they fixed me with a hypnotic stare until I fainted.”
That having been indicated, this — or exceedingly similar — scenarios have played out in other extraterrestrial encounters (particularly abduction cases) too numerous to mention. Therefore we must at least entertain the notion that the miner might have been rendered unconscious by some form of alien technology and transported aboard their vehicle without his knowledge or consent.
Unfortunately there is no — at least in the official record — account of La Sarza undergoing hypnotic regression or any other psychological technique that may have helped him to unlock potentially hidden memories. Whatever really did or didn’t happened between the time the miner passed out and when he came to will likely remain a unknown.
After the unconscious miner gathered his wits, he immediately reported the event not only to his bosses, but also to the police and representatives of the Royal Canadian Air Force, who investigated, but refused to make any news public.
The RCAF did, however, forward a copy of their final report to the United States Air Force’s UFO investigative body, Project Blue Book, as well as the Air Ministry in London, though their copy of this report seems to have been misplaced.
After he reported his encounter, La Sarza grew so paranoid over the dilemma of either obeying the aliens and doing the “unthinkable” or disobeying the colossal, crab-clawed space monsters and facing whatever penalty they deemed fit, that he considered drastic measures:
“He became, subsequently, so terrified over what ‘they’ had asked or ordered him to do, and the possible consequences of either compliance or refusal, That he has seriously considered the authorities to lock him up in jail as a safety measure.”
La Sarza’s seemingly simple solution would seem to substantiate his ignorance regarding extraterrestrial interactions with humans, as it is highly doubtful a jail cell would have protected him from these creatures. The Blue Book letter supports this assertion:
“This [theory], in view of what we know of space-being science, would avail him little.”
As is often the case in events like this — especially in the 1950s when flying saucers were all the rage — the reporters swooped in and began picking at this case like vultures on a carcass. Much like the journalists of today, those reporters investigating this event took the story with a proverbial grain of salt and did little to confirm the facts, even going so far as to state that La Sarza believed that these beings hailed from Mars. A claim which the witness flatly denied:
“Ennio was automatically quoted as saying that thee space craft was from Mars. However, he denies any such statement, and made it clear the he could neither know nor guess where ‘they’ came from.”
Needless to say — like so many other brave souls who have the audacity to come forward and report an unusual event — it wasn’t long before local officials, his co-workers and (likely) even his friends began to question the state of La Sarza’s sanity:
“There were, of course, the usual hints, especially by officialdom, as to the question of Ennio’s sanity. In fact, in some manner it came about that one or more psychiatrists came from Toronto to quiz Ennio about his experience.”
La Sarza understood the effect that his revelations might have on his heretofore sterling reputation, but nevertheless felt compelled to reveal the truth:
“Ennio told the Elder that he was full aware of this situation, and that he may be regarded by some as ‘crazy,’ but he would not and could not retract his story by one iota. He is a great deal more disturbed by what ‘they’ asked him to do.”
As if the press and public had not been tough enough on La Sarza, his employers were (justifiably) apprehensive at the prospect of their business becoming synonymous with the flying saucer phenomenon; not to mention the fact that their mine was likely to be besieged by newsmen, UFO investigators and curiosity seekers. From the Blue Book file:
“Although the mining officials seemed to take a dim view of Ennio’s story, this is not abnormal as such matters go. It may be due to the usual official reluctance to face the unusual or unknown; fear of unfavorable publicity for their company — or it may have been a cover-up pose in behalf of secrecy, ‘security’ etc. Certainly, if they felt there was nothing to it, they would not have refused to let outside investigators inspect the allegedly scorched landing site.”
On July 9, 1954, the aforementioned Charles Beck and the Sudbury Daily Star‘s Michael Bolton began their tape recorded interviews with the eyewitness, but after he gave his testimony, La Sarza grew concerned that he had somehow violated an oath of secrecy, which he had evidently been forced to make with the RCAF and other authorities. This event is also registered in the Blue Book file:
“Elder Beck, as is his custom, took his tape recorder along and obtained a tape recorded interview with Ennio. However, right after the talk, Ennio became so disturbed about how the recording might be in violation of certain promises he had had to make to the authorities, police, RCAF, etc., that he begged to have the recording wiped out. Elder Beck courteously complied in the boy’s presence.”
With a long and disturbing history of obscure authority figures (or even MIB) threatening UFO witnesses into silence, one can’t help but wonder if this industrious immigrant might have been threatened by deportation — or, even worse, institutionalization — if he did not refrain from informing the public about his encounter.
Could that be why La Sarza was so adamant that Bolton and Beck destroy the tapes they made of his testimony? While this is nothing but speculation, there is an alarming pattern of just such occurrences in UFO lore.
Even though the original tape recordings were (sadly) destroyed, the crucial information involved in this case was preserved by the quick thinking of Beck and Bolton, who swiftly made their way back to the offices of the Sudbury Daily Star to record all of the details of the encounter while they were still fresh in their memories. On July 11, 1954, Beck would broadcast the tape that he and Bolton had made on his Buffalo radio show.
Like the rest of us, the undisclosed author of the Blue Book letter was perplexed by the unanswered riddle of what, precisely, these aliens asked (or commanded) La Sarza to do. And — perhaps more importantly — why would this young man, in the prime of his life, prefer death to compliance?
“…what was it that ‘they’ wanted Ennio to do for them? Since he can’t or won’t tell, let us fall back on some educated guesses or intuitive reasoning. As a starting point, why would the space beings land on the premises of a nickel mining company? Why would they be interested in a young man who has access to the nickel min workings? What would he be in a position to do for them?”
At this point the author conjectured that it might have something to do with nickel’s place on the periodic table and its association with a substance called “cobalt-60.” Admittedly, my physics knowledge is limited at best, but the author goes onto explain that these creatures may have developed some kind of neutron bombardment technology to transform nickel into cobalt-60:
“With the above in mind it is conceivable, in terms of space-being science at least, that the nickel in the nickel mind could be chain reacted into cobalt-60, right in the ground. All it might need is some simple form of triggering fuse, i.e., a neutron emitter, to start such a reaction… a spoonful of cobalt-60 is the equal to all the radium ever produced or in existence in the world today. This is why the cobalt bomb is giving the world a case of king-size jitters.”
The cobalt bomb was originally described by physicist Leó Szilárd on February 26, 1950. He suggested that an arsenal of these weapons could destroy all life on Earth. This so-called “doomsday device” was seriously researched by the USAF, but (mercifully) was never deployed. The author of the Blue Book letter prognosticates what the results of an underground cobalt-60 a reaction might be:
“…would that much of it explode and either trigger-off great earthquakes, or wipe out the human race with atmospheric contamination? Would this necessarily be a malignant move — or would it be a lesser evil… to wipe out the human race to forestall our blowing the planet apart with our atomic experiments? From their viewpoint this might amount to killing off the pupils to save the school.”
While this is only one hypothesis regarding the aliens’ agenda and the possibly Manchurian Candidate-like command the gave the miner, it is, nevertheless, a sobering thought to realize the human races’ inadequate custodianship of our fragile, blue planet may well result in the extinction of our species.
It’s worth mentioning that there are scores of cases — including the ARIEL SCHOOL INCIDENT — wherein aliens have warned (and threatened) observers about the poor treatment of Mother Earth at our collective hands and what will be done about it… the outcome, if we refuse to change our ways, is not a promising one.
Whether the Garson Invaders were extraterrestrial environmentalists or space monsters hell-bent on the wholesale destruction of planet Earth, the two things that we know for sure is that following July 2, 1954, La Sarza’s life was never the same and that, despite our highest hopes, it would seem that aliens can be every bit as vicious as humans.
When all is said and done, perhaps this understated quote from the Blue Book archive regarding these seemingly malicious marauders sums it up the best: “…it would seem that their intentions were not benign.”
That may well be the understatement of the 20th Century.
Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / designer / crypto chronicler / pod host / cult movie lover and co-founder of American Monsters.