VA State Director, Susan Swiatek, received an email (4/25/13) directly from the submitter, stating that a large forest fire had burned near his house in the summer of 2012. He later heard a fascinating rumor regarding the fire. It did not escape my notice that his email was from a Dept. of Homeland Security domain. His email stated the following:
"A new family acquaintance brought up an interesting story that we had not heard previously.
Last summer there was a forest fire in the Massanutten Range which falls under the National Park Service. It was quite close to our home so we were very aware of it over the weeks that it burned.
We were told today that some witnesses saw a UFO descend into the range and initiate the fire. Several local volunteer fire departments, including our Rivermont Fire Department, were, apparently, prevented from entering the fire zone by federals.
I have been a MUFON member since the Mid 90's and read the magazine religiously. I recall no mention of this. Was there ever any discussion of this event that crossed your path?"
The gentleman wrote the email to me as promptly as he could, but unfortunately, it had already been over a year since the incident. In a subsequent email the witness pointed us to a local newspaper, the Warren County Report, Volume VII, Issue 14 �� Mid July, 2012. We were able to download a PDF of this paper with some effort: it is a huge 45 meg file. The UFO fire incident was given a front-page mention: "Earth, wind, fire - and sky? A tumultuous weather week. Did a UFO ��� unidentified falling object ��� start GW Forest fire?" The very long article was the feature article, starting on page 2. The article was a treasure trove of names, maps, etc. to begin researching this incident. Two FI's were asked to coordinate their efforts with Norm Gagnon, Star Team member: Phil Reynolds & Victor Rodriguez. And so the research began, and this ends the introduction by the State Director.