Loch Raven Dam UFO Incident: Bright Lights, Electrical Failures, And An Egg-Shaped Craft In 1958

In 1958, Alvin Cohen and Phillip Small claimed to have seen an egg-shaped flying craft above the Loch Raven Dam, they described it as emitting bright lights before ascending into the sky and vanishing. The sighting was backed up by various other witnesses.

Alvin Cohen and Phillip Small claimed to witness a UFO above the Loch Raven dam in 1958
Alvin Cohen and Phillip Small claimed to witness a UFO above the Loch Raven dam in 1958

Late on the evening of October 26, 1958, Alvin Cohen and Phillip Small were rounding a curve 200 to 300 yards south of Bridge No. 1 on Loch Raven Dam, near Baltimore, Maryland. As Cohen would tell investigators from Project Blue Book:

"we saw what appeared to be a large, flat sort of egg-shaped object hanging between 100 to 150 feet of the top of the superstructure of the bridge over the lake."

They decided to investigate, but when they got within 75 feet of the bridge, the car died, and the entire electrical system went out. Small, the driver, and Cohen got out and stood behind the car:

"We watched the UFO from that position for approximately 30 to 40 seconds, and then I'm not sure of the sequence of events here. It seemed to flash a brilliant flash of white light, and we both felt heat on our faces. Concurrently, there was a loud noise that I interpreted as a dull explosion and Mr Small as a thunderclap. Then very quickly the object started to rise vertically. It didn't change its position, as far as we could tell, during the rising. The only different feature it had while it was moving was that it was very bright and the edges became diffused so that we couldn't make out the shape as it rose. It took from five to ten seconds to disappear from view completely. We were very frightened."

The witness thought the UFO was 100 feet long because, in Small's words, "it occupied approximately one-third of the bridge, at the height, it was at. After it disappeared from sight we came back into the car and turned the ignition system on, and it immediately went into operation."

They sped to the nearest phone and called the Ground Observer Corps. The man who took the call merely laughed. The two then notified the police. As they recounted their experience to Corporal Kenneth Hartmann and Patrolman Richard Fink, they noticed that their faces felt as if they were burning. Concerned about possible exposure to radiation, they went to St. Joseph's Hospital in Baltimore, from which they were released after a brief doctor's examination.

Subsequent investigation uncovered confirmatory testimony from a number of witnesses. Between 9:05 and 9:15 p.m., slightly over an hour before Cohen and Small's sighting, two men driving on Loch Raven Road, where the bridge is located, spotted a luminous object hovering over a field. Another couple reported the same phenomenon that evening. At 10:45, about 10 minutes after the Cohen-Small encounter, a man saw a white, luminous object move in a straight line for 60 seconds, then abruptly disappear.

An even more direct confirmation came from customers and employees at Peerce's Plantation Restaurant, a mile north of the bridge. They heard a loud boom or explosion at the same time Cohen and Small reported the sound, but they did not go outside to investigate the source.

In his official report 2nd Lieutenant Bert R Staples, who investigated the case for the Air Technical Intelligence Centre, wrote:

There was no unusual meteorological activity in the area, no thunderstorms, and the weather was quite clear... Natural fluorescent gases, etc., can be ruled out due to the noise involved. No special projects are known to be operating in that area.
As far as this investigation has gone, this UFO remains unidentified.

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