'Project Blue Book' Season 1 Episode 7: The strange story of a scoutmaster who was attacked by a UFO
History's ongoing series on aliens and UFOs 'Project Blue Book' has done a remarkable job at bringing to the screen the real-life events that spurred the titular investigation undertaken by the US Air Force back in the 1950s. With each episode of the show based on sightings of mysterious flying objects, the upcoming seventh installment of the debut season will follow 'The Scoutmaster' DS "Sonny" DesVergers who was on the receiving end of what was believed to be a direct contact from the extraterrestrial. The incident following his detour into South Florida Everglades on an August night in 1952 had left him burned and barely coherent.
After the encounter with what DesVergers claimed was an unidentified flying object discharging fireballs, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt, chief UFO investigator for the US Air Force — the man on whom the current show's character Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) is loosely based — labeled the incident as “the best hoax in UFO history.” However, despite experts' claims, the encounter revealed in now-declassified documents is simply unnerving and still remain unsolved.
A scoutmaster emerged "burned and barely coherent" after a #UFO encounter. Read more about this true story that helped inspire #ProjectBlueBook, Tuesdays at 10/9c on @History. https://t.co/4vpWRlAssk— PROJECT BLUE BOOK (@HistoryBlueBook) February 14, 2019
The reason this sighting managed to stand apart from the rest of them recorded in the investigation was that it wasn't just an encounter, it resembled an attack of sorts on the unsuspecting civilian, and had left him 'singed, and barely able to see', notes History's official website.
However, DesVergers didn't initiate the attack; he was just on his way driving a group of Boy Scouts home when he came across a bright light over Military Trail near West Palm Beach, Florida. The scoutmaster assumed it might be a plane or car crash and pulled up on the highway to go take a closer look.
Leaving the boys in the vehicle and instructing them to inform local residents if he didn't return in 15 minutes, DesVergers carried a machete and a flashlight to the spot where he had seen the light. He later claimed that he was met with a nauseating smell accompanied by the eerie sensation of being watched over. This is when an oven-like heat started emanating from directly overhead, he looked up to see the mysterious round object, "dull black, with no seams, about 30 feet in diameter with a height of 10 feet, a convex dome atop it and the bottom edge lit with a phosphorescent glow."
In the summer of 1952, a group of boy scouts saw something they'd never forget. See the inexplicable #UFO on Tuesday's episode of #ProjectBlueBook at 10/9c on @History. pic.twitter.com/AFVA4I6sW3— PROJECT BLUE BOOK (@HistoryBlueBook) February 13, 2019
Things took an even more unexpected turn once DesVergers began moving backward as he heard a noise "like a hatch opening,” following which the red flare like light from the object began moving toward him. Soon he placed his hands on his face, covering his eyes, after which he recounted that the red ball of light turned into a mist wrapping around him before he lost consciousness. He woke up leaning against a tree and his vision was blurred with his eyes burning. He made his way out of the woods and got to the highway where the boys and local authorities were waiting for the incoherent scoutmaster.
Documents from the ensuing investigation say: "The three scouts, Bobby Ruffing, 12, David Rowan, 11, and Chuck Stevens, 10, remained in the car after DesVergers entered the grove. Later, in recounting what he witnessed to authorities, Ruffing said he initially saw a semi-circle of white lights descending into the trees. Ruffing also recounted seeing a red light through the brush, as did Rowan and Stevens, who told of also seeing DesVergers’ flashlight through the trees before going dark. That’s when the scouts headed to the nearby farmhouse for help; a Palm Beach County deputy and Lake Worth constable responded to the farmer’s call for assistance."
The mystifying encounter that inspired last night's episode remains unsolved. Explore new cases every week on #ProjectBlueBook, Tuesdays at 10/9c on @History. pic.twitter.com/m2qfKsKni4— PROJECT BLUE BOOK (@HistoryBlueBook) February 13, 2019
“In all my 19 years of law-enforcement work, I’ve never seen anyone as terrified as he was,” the deputy in charge of the investigation had told Ruppelt for his book. Even when DesVergers and the boys were being questioned at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office, officers noticed that "DesVergers’ forearms were singed and the skin burned. They also noted three tiny burn holes in the bill of the scoutmaster’s cap." In Ruppelt's personal inference from the reports, however, he noted the case as “one of the weirdest UFO reports that I came up against.”
'Project Blue Book' airs on Tuesdays at 10/9c only on History.