War is hell. And it’s even worse when an unknown aerial object shows up. That’s exactly what happened in 1951 Korea where American GIs deployed there witnessed a UFO appear.
History buffs know that after the Japanese surrender ended World War II in 1945, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel and split into two countries. The communist Soviet Union occupied the north and the U.S. occupied the south.
In 1948, unable to reach an agreement on a plan to unify the country, they established two separate governments: the Soviet-aligned Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Western-aligned Republic of Korea. Each government claimed legitimacy to govern all of Korea.
The Soviet Union supplied Communist North Korea with arms and money to wage a war with their neighbor to the south to win Korea. The Americans refused to provide weapons to the anti-communist First Republic of South Korea, wanting to avoid military involvement so soon after the end of World War II.
The U.S. withdrew most of its armed forces from South Korea in June 1949. Bloody clashes ensued along the 38th parallel. The inexperienced and weak South Korean army was ill-equipped to battle Soviet-backed North Korea and stem the encroaching Red Tide of Communism.
On June 25, 1950, the Korean War officially started. The Northern forces launched an amphibious assault the entire length of the boundary parallel, claiming it was a retaliatory action against a South Korean assault on Ongjin, a hotly-contested area along the 38th-parallel skirmish line.
U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur was appointed supreme commander of the United Nations (UN) armies, ensuring American collaboration in the Korean War. In September 1950, UN forces made landfall at Inchon and recaptured Seoul, the capital of South Korea. This vicious conflict, begun on June 25, 1950, ended on July 27, 1953.
It was May 1951, not quite a year since North Korea attacked South Korea after the last U.S. combat troops withdrew from South Korea. PFC (Private First Class) Francis P. Wall and his regiment were stationed near Chorwon, 60 miles south of Seoul.
The soldiers were preparing a mission to bombard a nearby village with artillery when they looked up and saw a strange light in the sky.
One witness described the apparition as “a jack-o-lantern come wafting down across the mountain.” In those days, people rigged up real or paper mache pumpkins (or turnips) with interior candles and carried them around or set them out on All Hallow’s Eve – Halloween. The tradition came from the Irish legend of drunkard Stingy Jack who makes a bad bargain with the Devil and winds up a denizen of the netherworld, doomed to wander the Earth with only a hollowed turnip to light his path.
The soldiers watched a strange orange glowing object travel into the village, amid exploding artillery air bursts. Wall described an unusual feature of the UFO:
“We further noticed that this object would get right into…the center of an airburst of artillery and yet remain unharmed.”
All of a sudden, the UFO changed course – and color. As it headed toward the American GIs, its color changed from a glowing orange to a pulsating blue-green light that was extremely bright.
Wall requested and received permission from his company commander to fire at the object with armor-piercing bullets from an M-I rifle. The bullets striking the body of the object resounded with a metallic “ding,” recalled Wall.
The UFO began to move more erratically, shifting from side to side. Its lights flashed on and off.
Then, Wall said the UFO returned fire:
“We were attacked, swept by some form of a ray that was emitted in pulses, in waves that you could visually see only when it was aiming directly at you. That is to say like a searchlight sweeps around and the segments of light…you would see it coming at you.”
Wall felt a tingling sensation that burned spread through his body as if he were being penetrated. Some of the men retreated to underground bunkers and watched through slitted windows. The UFO hovered over them for a few seconds and then shot away at a 45-degree angle.
Wall said the craft’s departure was now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t:
“It’s that quick. It was there and was gone.”
Ambulances evacuated the company three days later, constructing special roads to transport the men who were too weak to walk.
Medical treatment revealed the GIs had dysentery, linked with dehydration and malnourishment, and an extremely elevated white-blood-cell count. UFO researcher and former NASA scientist Richard F. Haines interpreted the findings:
“To me, they had symptoms that sounded like the effects of radiation.”
Wall lost contact with many of the men in his regiment over the years following the war. After the shocking experience, the PFC recalled his company agreeing not to file a report, “because they’d lock every one of us up, and think we were crazy.”
Wall went on record with his tale of High Strangeness after suffering from the lingering after-effects of his radiation-like illness. His weight plunged permanently from 180 pounds to 138, he experienced stomach problems, periods of disorientation, and memory loss after returning stateside.
To this day, no official identification of the unknown object has been offered. Likewise, the question of whether the UFO acted on the defensive or was simply curious and unaware that a scanning beam would harm the puny humans remains unanswered.
But, if it looks like a UFO and flies like a UFO and shoots a radioactive ray beam like a UFO, then…