Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Real Names: Betty Cash, Vickie and Colby Landrum
Case: Unexplained Phenomenon/Medical Mystery
Date: December 29, 1980
Location: Dayton, Texas


Details: At around 9pm on the night of December 29, 1980, Betty Cash was driving on State Road 1485 in Dayton, Texas with her friend, Vickie Landrum, and Vickie's seven-year-old grandson, Colby. They were returning home after dinner when they witnessed a bright light ahead of them. As they got closer to it, a strange and loud sound emitted from it. Betty stopped the car because the light was too bright for her to see the road.
Betty got out to get a better look at the mysterious object. She described it as diamond-shaped with four points. It was rounded at the top and bottom. The latter had flames shooting out of it. An intense amount of heat came from it. Betty went back to the car and found the door handle to be extremely hot to the touch. Once back inside, they watched as the object flew away. Just seconds later, several military helicopters flew overhead.
At around 1am the next morning, Colby woke up Vickie and told her that he was feeling sick. She discovered that he had a fever and had thrown up all over his bed. After treating him, she went back to sleep. Later that morning, she awoke to find that she was sick as well. Strangely, they both appeared to suffer from sunburn as well. When Vickie went to Betty's house to check on her, she found that her temperature was dangerously high and she had large welts on her face and hands.

Over the next four days, Betty's condition became more serious. She went to the hospital and was later treated for acute radiation poisoning by Dr. Mallory Pagan. During the next six weeks, she lost at least half of her hair and some skin on her face. Doctors were certain that she had been exposed to dangerous doses of radiation. After she was released, she continued to suffer from headaches and loss of appetite. Vickie and Colby also continued to suffer from complications, although they were not as seriously affected.
John Schuessler of the Mutual UFO Network was brought in to investigate the incident. He went with Betty and Vickie to the area where they encountered the object. A large circular mark was left on the road, apparently by it. According to a witness named Amy Moseley, unmarked trucks later appeared and dug up the road where the mark was located. New asphalt was then put down by the unknown individuals.
After interviewing people nearby, John found at least ten who had seen the object. At least eight had also seen the helicopters. One was Sgt. L.L. Walker. He and his wife were driving near the scene when they saw the helicopters flying overhead. At the time, they figured that a plane had crashed nearby.
Convinced that the military was involved, Betty and Vickie sent a letter to Senators John Tower and Lloyd Benson. They wrote back stating that Bergstrom Air Force Base had been notified of the incident. They also agreed to help with anything regarding it. On August 21, 1981, Betty, Vickie, and Colby arrived there, hoping for assistance in their medical expenses. In one of the rooms, they noticed a map pinpointing the area of the sighting. Betty and Vickie were interviewed for over two hours, with a military stenographer taking notes. The military denied that they were involved in the incident. Four weeks later, their claim for medical damages against the military was denied. In 1982, Betty and Vickie filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government. However, it was denied by a federal judge for lack of evidence. To date, they continue to suffer from illnesses as a result of the incident. They hope that someone will come forward to tell what happened to them and what they encountered that night.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the February 6, 1991 episode. It was also profiled on Sightings. In 2009, Colby appeared on UFO Hunters to discuss the sighting. Interestingly, it occurred just one day after the Rendlesham Forest Incident in England.
Results: Unsolved. Betty passed away on December 29, 1998, coincidentally eighteen years to the day after the incident occurred. She was hospitalized at least once every year of that time. Vickie passed away in 2007. Colby is still hoping that there will be answers to the incident.