On This Day in Weird, January 22...
1879: The Battle at Rorke's Drift, Africa's version of the Alamo, disproves the axiom that God favors the largest battalions.
1946: President Harry Truman creates the Central Intelligence Group, predecessor of the CIA. Conspiracies go into permanent overdrive.
1950: Crewmen aboard a Navy patrol plane track two UFOs on radar, near Alaska's Kodiak Naval Air Station. Visual contact reveals "two orange lights rotating about a common center like two jet aircraft making slow rolls in tight formation."
1951: Umpires eject pitcher Fidel Castro from a Winter League game for beaning a batter. He abandons pro ball to liberate Cuba.
1951: Three Air Force pilots observe a UFO while tracking a weather balloon over New Mexico's Holloman Air Force Base.
1952: Ground radar tacks a UFO over Nenana, Alaska. A Navy aircraft chases another object southeast of Mitchell AFB, N.Y.
1953: UFOs appear over Patrick AFB in Florida and Harmon AFB in Newfoundland. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports: "A fireball expert said today Russia may be scouting the United States and other parts of the world with strange new guided missiles. Dr. Lincoln LaPaz said a good many shreds of evidence point to green fireballs sighted throughout the world being a type of missile—possibly of Soviet make."
1956: A Pan American Airways flight engineer reports a large UFO passing his aircraft, over the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans, La.
1957: New York police arrest "Mad Bomber" George Metesky, in the best (some say the only successful) example of forensic profiling.
1958: CBS TV cuts off UFO researcher Donald Keyhoe in mid-sentence, on "Armstrong Circle Theatre." Public controversy ensues, with CBS admitting deliberate censorship but denying an official hand behind the scenes.
1959: Actress Linda Blair—known for roles in The Exorcist, Hell Night, and Repossessed, and as the host of TV's The World's Scariest Places—is born in St. Louis, Mo.
1961: A witness films a UFO passing over Florida's Eglin AFB.
1962: Ground radar tracks a UFO for 65 minutes, passing over Kirksville, Mo., at 72,000 feet.
1965: Four adults and a child report an afternoon sighting of an egg-shaped UFO descending rapidly over Baltimore, Md.
1967: A witness in Providence, N.C., watches one bright UFO turn into a string of lights that hover and "bob like a cork in water."
1972: Farmers Lyle and Stewart Leppke spot a lighted object in their feedlot, prior to dawn. In their flashlight beams, they see a figure less than two feet tall moving near the grounded object. The craft departs before police arrive.
1974: A man en route to work sees a "flying saucer" near a gravel pit in Norton, Mass., later describing a red dome atop a supporting structure shaped "like a child's swimming pool."
1984: A United Airlines flight crew sees a UFO at 43,000 feet, east of Toledo, Ohio, at 7:25 a.m. Twelve hours later, nearly simultaneous sightings occur at Waycross, Ga.; at Arnold, Mo.; and at Huntington, W. Va.
1989: A low-flying UFO casts a "heavy" beam of light over Greens Fork, Ind., at 9:30 p.m.
1999: A trawler reports two sightings of a giant squid in the sea off New Zealand, the first at 43°33′S 174°18′E; the second at 44°08.2'–43°58.5'S 175°20.3'–174°45.5'E.
2002: Dogs bark hysterically at a "fireball" passing over Salisbury, Md.
2003: A witness driving home from work at 10:03 p.m. sees a grayish bipedal figure cross the road in front of his car, moving "like an ape walks." On the far side of the road, it waves thin arms and lights blaze on behind it, revealing the things foot-long pointed ears and a mouth with a "red silver strip" across the upper lip.
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