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The object resembled a silvery meteorological balloon, but when observed through binoculars, which one of the boys had gone to fetch, it looked more like a fat silver ice-cream cone, or an upside down bell, and it had a smaller dome on top of the rounded upper domed surface.

1972 Mesa UFO Sighting

The following UFO photos are from the archives of Lt. Col. Wendelle C. Stevens, and the accompanying details have been reproduced as close to the original sighting report as possible.

11 November 1972, Mesa, Arizona

Shortly after noon on 11 November 1972, young Shawn Cheves, age 10, and a group of boys were playing in the garden of his friend Scott’s house. While romping around, Shawn noticed a glint of light on the fence, just a flash. Looking around, he noticed high in the sky and far away, a bright shining object. He called it to the attention of the others and they all watched it for a while. The object resembled a silvery meteorological balloon, but when observed through binoculars, which one of the boys had gone to fetch, it looked more like a fat silver ice-cream cone, or an upside down bell, and it had a smaller dome on top of the rounded upper domed surface.

UFO photo taken in Mesa, AZ in 1972. (image credit: UFO Photo Archives)

UFO photo taken in Mesa, AZ in 1972. (image credit: UFO Photo Archives)

At no time did they hear any noise or see any smoke trail. Not knowing what to do, Shawn called for an adult friend, Mr. Lee Elders to come out and see it, suggesting it might be a UFO. Mr. Elders was at that time watching the beginning of the Arizona State football game on his television and waited for a commercial break before going out to see. Then he picked up his 35mm Asahi Pentax SLR camera, with a 200mm telephoto lens mounted, and went out into the street in front. He looked in the direction they were pointing, and there, in an east-southeast direction and 40 degrees elevation he saw the object.. It was very bright and shiny, like a mirror ball in the sky. He did not see any flashes and felt that the light was all reflected. It looked like a small shiny BB high in the sky. At first the phenomenon was completely immobile in the bright blue sky above, then it very slowly moved closer to the witnesses. It was 13:55 when Mr. Elders took the first 3 photos.

Close-up of UFO photo taken in Mesa, AZ in 1972. (image credit: UFO Photo Archives)

Close-up of UFO photo taken in Mesa, AZ in 1972. (image credit: UFO Photo Archives)

After standing around for some minutes he got tired of the show and went back in the house to watch his football game. It was the annual homecoming game and was the most popular of the season. Curiosity getting the better of him, he came out again on another commercial break a little later and took the last picture at 14:05. By then the object was somewhat north of its original position. The children watched it until it went out of sight 35 to 40 minutes later.

1972 Illustration of Mesa UFO - Wendelle Stevens

1972 Illustration of Mesa UFO (image credit: UFO Photo Archives)

The homecoming game is very popular and is well covered by the local press. Reporter Skip Brandt and four of his friends were in their Press Box on the west side of the stadium at the Arizona State University at Tempe, Arizona. They observed, in an east-southeast direction, at about 40 degrees elevation, a very bright silvery object hanging in the clear sky. They commented on it and looked at it occasionally, checking its position between plays. It moved the apparent distance between two stadium light poles, from their position, in the first quarter of the game. The game television crew even panned it for the television audience at least once during this time. Thousands of spectators at the game saw it, yet no one else has come forth with any pictures. At least advertising for them failed to turn any up.

The investigation showed that a big hot air balloon contest had been held in Mesa two weeks before, but the balloon flying had ENDED ON 4 NOVEMBER and the airspace authorization was terminated.

About Wendelle Stevens

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Lt. Colonel (USAF Ret.) Wendelle C. Stevens was one of the world’s best known UFO researchers. Born in 1923 in Round Prairie, Minn., he enlisted in 1941 in the US Army and was transferred to the Air Corps in 1942. He served in the Pacific Theater during World War II and subsequently in a classified project in Alaska to photograph and map the Arctic land and sea area, where the data collecting equipment onboard B-29s detected UFOs. Stevens also served as US Air Attaché in South America. He retired from the USAF in 1963 and worked for Hamilton Aircraft until 1972.