The North Dakota UFO Crash: Alien Encounter, Shots Fired At Mysterious Humanoid Figure, And Missing Time

In 1961, during a hunting expedition, four men claimed to have encountered a UFO. However, they chose that their identity should be kept confidential. Let’s take a look at the North Dakota UFO Crash.

There would have been no knowledge of the strange event (North Dakota UFO Crash) that occurred on the Great Plains in November 1961. But thanks to Donald E. Flickinger, who was working in Minot, North Dakota, a few years later and learned of it through local rumors, he was an agent for the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division of the U.S. Treasury Department.

It was only in January 1968 when Flinger managed to have a talk with the three witnesses to the event. He was not able to communicate with the fourth one as he no longer lived in that area. Flinger had a personal interest in UFOs and headed the North Dakota subcommittee of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). At the Minot Air Force Base hospital, X worked in a supervisory department (one of the witnesses of the event is being referred to as X in this article). As described by Flinger, the other men were “extremely reliable and responsible.” They were a high-school superintendent from a small town, an active-duty Air Force sergeant, and a college professor.

The North Dakota UFO Crash

On a Sunday in the Harvey, North Dakota, area, southeast of Minot, X, and his friends were on a hunting expedition. It was cold, dark, and rainy when they started going back to their home. A falling bright object was spotted by the two men in the front seat while two others, including X, were napping in the back. When the object was about 150 yards away and to the right of them, it went out of their sight. They thought that it was a plane crash, so they ran to the site. X asserted that at the site, they discovered a “silo-appearing type craft which was sticking in the ground with this glow around it.” X did not know about the incident at the same moment as he was asleep at that time. It was only a few moments later when X realized what had just happened.

The 1961 North Dakota UFO Crash: Alien Encounter, Shots Fired At Mysterious Humanoid Figure, And Missing Time
Depiction of a UFO

They flashed a hand-held spotlight on the crashed aircraft. Around it, they observed that four humanoids were standing until, according to X, “it was just like there was an explosion, sort of, and everything went out.” The four witnesses who saw the “explosion” thought the supposed plane had blown up and burned the people they had just seen, along with the other people who were inside the plane.

After that, they came back again to the initial location from where they first observed the crashed object. On the way back, they again spotted that same object, and after flashing the spotlight towards it, they noticed one of the humanoid figures was standing there near a fence. The humanoid figure wore something that “looked like white overalls” and its height was slightly over five feet. The humanoid gestured for them to go away, which shocked the four men.

They were shocked to learn that a victim of a plane crash was refusing any help. On further discussion, two of them decided to go closer to the humanoid despite its negative gesture, while the other two thought that it would be a terrible idea. One of the men then took out a riffle.

Finally, after a deep conversation, they all agreed to return to a small town (believed to be Martin, North Dakota) 11 miles away, where they had seen a police officer in his car. Thankfully, when they reached there, the police officer was still there. When the witnesses told the police officer about the event, he didn’t believe them and thought that they were drunk. But after making sure that the witnesses were not intoxicated, the police officer went with the four men to the location where the event had just occurred. Upon reaching there, in the first instance, there was nothing to investigate as they could not spot anything unusual. When the police officer and the witnesses stepped out of their respective cars, they spotted what appeared to be the taillights of a vehicle driving through the field where the four men had originally seen the object and the humanoids. They sat in their respective cars and rushed towards it. The lights went out as the police car, which was in the lead, sped up directly behind them, leaving nothing in their wake. It was also difficult to drive there as the muddy ground had no proper tracks for automobiles.

They were all stunned and perplexed, but the officer, unable to intervene further, left the scene, leaving the four men to continue their journey home. The bright, silo-like aircraft reappeared two miles down the road, gently landing less than 150 yards away. It was just a few moments later when the four men spotted that two humanoids were watching them. Again, they flashed out the spotlight.

“Two individuals got out of the car at this point… One of these individuals from the car went to the left and one went to the right. The one to the right was carrying this .22 Hornet rifle with the scope. I don’t know what we were thinking of, but the two men in the car were holding the light on the two forms from the vehicle. They were about 10 yards apart; One was a little forward of the other one. They were just standing watching, so by this time the fellow on the right knoll dropped down on his knees, then down to a prone position with the rifle. This person looked in the scope and went from the knees on up. Anyway, at this point there was a shot fired. It hit one of the forms, high in the right shoulder. When the individual was struck he spun around, down to his knees, and then he got up with the other guy’s assistance, and he looked over and said, or hollered, ‘Now what the hell did you do that for?'”

X told this to Donald E. Flickinger
Depiction of shots fired at enigmatic figures

More than six years later, X stated, “To this very day, I still maintain that it could have been USAF or somebody from this country, because they were human beings, albeit shorter than average.” The gunshot was fired by X. It was unclear why even a bullet was fired in the first place. X further stated that “the shot definitely hit something… There was a thud sound, just like shooting any animal. ” Despite the fact that the whole event felt terribly unnerving to the witnesses, nothing about the humanoid actions could have been regarded as menacing.

What happened to the object and the humanoid? X had “no recollection” of it. The only things that he remembered were a heated conversation in the car, a quick departure, and a strangely late arrival.

“Judging by the time that we started this trip, we figured it was earlier and by the time we got home, it was just daylight. The wives were all sitting and waiting for us. We all knew it took too long for us to come back. We hadn’t spent that much time chasing this thing around, and all of us knew or had the feeling that there was something missing there, and to this day we don’t know what it was.”

X told this Donald E. Flickinger

The next day, around noon, X was at his work when his supervisor told him to go downstairs and meet some people who were calling. The three men appeared to be well-groomed officials. In spite of their civilian attire, X assumed they were Air Force intelligence personnel based on their demeanor and introduction. The officers had the report of the event that occurred last night.

“They wanted to know the type of clothing I was wearing. They asked a few questions about this object we had seen, and most of their questions were just like they knew what we had seen and wanted to find out how much we had seen… I just took it for granted that they had this report from this law officer down there, and they were just checking this thing out to see if we’d seen it. Of course I was still pretty shaky over the events that had happened the night before, especially the last part of it, but the law officer didn’t know anything about this part of it. He’d already gone back to town by that time. So I figured this is USAF, and being as we had given this officer our names, I figured they knew just who the people were that shot the Air Force people. So they asked me the type of gear I was wearing. I told him hunting clothes. They asked me if I’d gotten out of the car in the field were the first sighting was made, and they’re strictly talking about the first sighting, and I told them yes… They never asked anything about the shooting – I think they probably knew more than they said, but I don’t know.”

X told this Donald E. Flickinger

Soon, the officers led the X to his house in a 1961 Plymouth.

“They looked at my hunting gear and my boots. They never did say why they wanted to see these things. The only thing they asked was if I got out of the car in the muddy field, and I said yes, and that’s when I showed them the type of boots that I had on. They asked me if I had any other type of boots. I said yeah, I had a pair of wader-type boots. Of course I told them that I hadn’t been wearing them, but they still wanted to see these too, so I produced the boots. They thought on it a little more and said, ‘Okay, that’s enough for now’. The one guy, in fact, the only one who did all the questioning, said ‘We want to thank you.’ and he called me by my name, ‘for your cooperation.’ He said, ‘We want you to keep this quiet,’ that ‘you’d be better not saying anything about this to anyone from now.’ I assured him I wouldn’t. So they got in their car. I then got pretty upset as they’d left me at home with no way back to work.”

X told this Donald E. Flickinger


We know a lot about this event thanks to X’s testimony, because he was the only one who agreed to be documented. Flickinger, a seasoned prosecutor, believed X’s sincerity could not be questioned. When X was interviewed again a few years later by the New Jersey psychiatrist and ufologist, Berthold E. Schwarz, X was still found to be deeply disturbed by the incident.

“[W] was honorably discharged from the USAF a short while after this incident, after serving his 4 year hitch. He re-entered the AF again in 1964 after having some trouble finding jobs on the outside. He told me that he was placed back in his old job classification, photo-reconnaissance, and that before leaving the Air Force, he had a Top-Secret Clearance. His commander told him upon his return to photo-recon in 1964 that his clearance would be reinstated but to the astonishment of [W], his commander, and fellow workers, not only did he not receive the expected Top-Secret Clearance but did not receive any clearance whatsoever. He has inquired on numerous occasions as to why, but the AF has not seen fit to answer him as of yet. He did put one Congressman to work on it and the Congressman came back with the answer from the Air Force that this man was unstable and unreliable and not the type to hold down high-level clearances. I asked [W] what reason they based this opinion on and he stated that they never gave him or the Congressman any answers as to this. I talked with [W] at length and the last thing he seems to me is unreliable or unstable. Quite the opposite in my opinion.”

A letter to J Allen Hynek by Donald E. Flickinger revealing Air Force sergeant’s next steps

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