Mysterious Contraption Sighted Over Kingsport and Gate City Skies by: Justin H. Guess
A Kingsport Times article titled "Mysterious Object Blazes Local Skies” on 01/08/1954 reveals that the night before, six persons independently reported a mysterious object moving over the skies from Kingsport, Tennessee to Gate City, Virginia.
As the article points out, the strange flying object “didn’t resemble a jet, a conventional-type plane or flying saucer” (Kingsport Times). Independent witnesses described it as an “oblong tubular-shaped object with a ball of fire at each end” (Kingsport Times) that made a “’shuddering’ noise and [had] no running lights” (Kingsport Times).
Two residents contacted the Kingsport Times-News and four contacted the Tri-Cities airport about the odd aircraft. W. H. Whetstine of Reservoir Road in Kingsport reported that he spotted the object around 9:30 PM as it slowly moved in a northern direction to Virginia. The last reported sighting came in to the airport by a Gate City resident.
Modern ufology, or the study of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), does show that some, but not all of the characteristics of this contraption had been seen. As an in-depth webpage by Dimitris Hatzopoulos explains, the object had characteristics of a prolate (cylindrical or cigar-shaped) UFO reported as early as “1942 during WWII raid on Turin Italy”
(Best UFO Resources) as well as the spheroid shape which are sometimes described as “balls of fire”.
Whatever was witnessed over the estimated 40 miles of sky, it cannot be debated that there was indeed something strange witnessed by independent observers.