Liz Morgan knows what she saw, and she’s not afraid to tell

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 22, 2010

FOWL RIVER, Ala. — She had never heard the term UFO, so when a strange, silvery-colored disk hovered over Liz Morgan’s car one night 42 years ago, she had no pre-conceived notions of what was later dubbed a flying saucer.

It was an August night, and Liz and a friend, Fan, were concerned that Fan’s nephew and his girlfriend had not returned from fishing on jetties at Dauphin Island in Mobile Bay, so the two ladies set out in search of the couple.

With Liz driving her ’63 light blue Plymouth Valiant, they started down the lonely stretch of highway long past dark. They had traveled about a mile from the house, and “all of a sudden we saw this — something — thing,” she said.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Looking up at its bottom, she thought it was shaped like a bowl and was about the length of two football fields above the waters of the bay.

“When the thing got even with us — it was coming west and we were headed east — when it got even with us, it immediately descended,” she said. “It was headed straight over us, and we realized it was descending at a rate we had never seen before.”

There wasn’t another vehicle on the road, and there was no doubt in Liz’s mind that it was going to hit her car. She pressed the gas pedal, but nothing happened. The car was dead. Nothing on it would work.

Liz recalls Fan telling her to get down, “but there was no place for me to get down because she was on the floorboard, and I was behind the wheel. Fan kept saying, ‘Don’t open the door, don’t open the door. They’ll get us, they’ll get us.’”

From her seated position, Liz had a good view of what was going on. The object came extremely close to the vehicle and hovered over it. Liz could see a platform hanging from the silvery disk, and it had a small black box on it, “which might have been a motor. I don’t know what it was, but it didn’t make a sound.”

From the black box, Liz saw something that looked like streams of fire: “I say streams of fire — I don’t know what it was — but I think it was fire because it sounded like —well, you know when you build a fire in the fireplace and you put old, fat lighterknots on the fire and it goes tchiss, tchiss. Well, it was like you could hear that little tchiss, tchiss, tchiss, and the streams of fire extended to the car. But there was no sound.”

An extremely bright light shown beneath the object, so bright Liz couldn’t look at it, “and all of a sudden this light came over us. We were held at bay, just like a dog holding someone at bay.”

It was a piercing kind of light, she said, such as she had never seen before, “and it felt like it went completely through my body, through the car, everything. It was absolutely very penetrating. We were just held — and all of a sudden we could feel the light lifting from our bodies. It was just so strange. And we looked — we were able to look at it. I don’t know if it moved a little to the north, south, east or west, or whether they turned the light off.”

She was saying “they,” she said, “because somebody was in it. Anyway, we could look up and see the box and the fire dripping, and then all of a sudden…”

Liz compared its departure to the Scripture that says Jesus will return in the twinkling of an eye, concluding, “Well, I know what the twinkling is, and like that it was gone.”

The episode didn’t last long, though it probably seemed like an eternity. Liz started the car and she and Fan returned home. They looked at each other and swore not to tell “because they’d probably put us in the insane asylum,” but later they decided to tell their husbands, “and they laughed at us.” Because of the women’s tears, she said, the men realized something serious had occurred.

Thinking back to that time, Liz said, if someone had told her such a story she’d have said, “You’re lying.” She knew the story was hard to believe and realized, “I wouldn’t have believed anybody, so why should I tell them and expect them to believe me?” She knew there was no point in trying to convince others.

Liz has read and studied the stories on UFOs, including the mysterious Area 51 in Nevada where many speculate that a crashed UFO, which supposedly occurred in New Mexico many decades ago, is kept in a top secret area, and she feels that either the government is covering it up because of the hysteria it might cause, or they have absolutely no clue.

She and Fan have remained friends, but Fan is now in a nursing home suffering from dementia. One day, Liz asked her about a number of things from the past, and Fan remembered none of them until Liz asked about that night on Dauphin Island, and Fan said, “Ohhhh, don’t mention it! I will never forget that,” so it is evidently ingrained in her mind.

Liz finally decided to tell the story to someone other than her husband, “because I knew it was the truth, and it was really a burden to keep it — but I was afraid. You know that old thing of being afraid of what people will think? And I felt they would not believe me.” Even then, she had to be confident of one’s reaction before she would divulge the story. Liz’s daughter Pam mentioned it to a lady whose husband works with a society that studies UFOs, and he interviewed Liz at length “and asked me a million questions,” or so it seemed.

Only a few times since that scary night has Liz seen any other terrestrial activities. Once, along with about a hundred other people, she saw the bright lights at Panama City Beach, Fla. The lights would zip through the sky, making formations, then do it all over again, and no, they were not laser rays. Twice this happened. The first time was enough to make a believer of her husband, Charles Morgan.

The next time it was in the late fall at Monroeville, Ala. She was standing in her sister’s back yard, enjoying the clear sky — “You know how you can see the stars in the country.” There was a bright light in the sky that would go south a long way, then zip, zip, zip back to where it had been. Liz and her sister watched it for an hour, and what it was she doesn’t know, but she’s certain it wasn’t a plane, “and stars don’t zip to the north and back to the south like that.”

She’s had numerous nightmares about the UFOs, not reliving the episode that took place on Dauphin Island, not seeing the vehicle, “but seeing the light — and beings. They don’t look like us,” but have heads shaped kind of like a cow’s skull with huge eyes in the sockets and a tiny mouth, but they never speak.

“In my mind, I wonder if I’m reliving it, and I’m wondering if there were people in the spaceships,” she said. “I’m just thinking. It’s a dream, and I don’t interpret dreams.”

As a Christian, Liz believes it is “absolutely possible God created other worlds with other beings, and He sent his son Jesus to them as He did to us. That’s thinking far out, something we couldn’t even fathom…But I do know this. I know God is sovereign.”

The story, Liz said, “is true, true, true. There is no fiction, and I would stand on every Bible in this world and raise my hand and say, ‘Lord, you know it’s true.’”

It was absolutely the most memorable experience of her life, and though she will tell anybody such an episode would scare them to death, to have such an experience again would be thrilling, that she would be at ease and probably get out of the car and start waving.

“I’m 82 years old. They’re not going to take me,” she reasoned, “and who knows — if they do, they might drop me off in heaven — or if they get a good look at me, they might turn me loose.”

Several weeks ago, seated on the back porch of her home overlooking the Fowl River near Theodore, Ala., Lane Berg and I sat enthralled as Liz told of her encounter with the UFO. She recalled details, related facts, and her account was totally believable. She’s never sought fame or fortune or tried to capitalize on the story in any way. She’s not one to exaggerate or embellish or try to impress.

I’ve known Liz most of my life. Her husband, the late Charles Morgan, was my mother’s youngest brother, so Liz is my aunt. Her story will make a fascinating chapter in the Morgan family history.

Gordon Cotton is an author and historian who lives in Vicksburg.