Giving life to your dreams

Night of the Return:  The Battle at Miller's Meadow


Though not as famous as the Cash-Landrum UFO incident that occurred near Dayton, Texas, December 29, 1980, the now-designated Chinle-Begay UFO incident, that occurred in northeastern Arizona nearly two days earlier than the Cash-Landrum incident, is so very similar. Yet, it was much worse.

The Cash-Landrum matter eventually produced one death, they say, and radioactive burns of all three persons who were in the car that night in 1980.

By their accounts, everyone in Betty Cash's Oldsmobile Cutlass observed a large something, radiating overpowering light, approach the car from the front as they were driving home on Texas Farm Road 1485.

Before the light-radiating thing approached, the three – Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum, and seven-year-old Colby Landrum, Vickie Landrum's grandson – had been looking for an open Bingo game hall, but all were closed, apparently because it was the week after Christmas. They had dinner, decided to give up the search, and started home through the so-called Piney Woods, an isolated, scary section of thick forest rather than simply woods, in east Texas. As they drove from New Caney to Dayton, they began to observe through the trees, a moving light. At first, they thought the sight was simply an airplane leaving or approaching Houston Intercontinental Airport, some 35 miles away.     

Suddenly, they realized the light, which they believed was the one they had observed off and on, had maneuvered into a new position. It was now head-on and hovered about treetop level above the ground. The light, they said, was diamond-shaped, very sharp, and about the size of water towers located in towns all around Dayton and New Caney.

Betty Cash braked, apparently not wishing to drive under the light, which some have come to believe was a craft of some sort. Betty's reluctance to drive under the light is because it was belching flames and, in their words, “significant heat.”

Fear and animated warnings and conversation filled the car as the occupants stepped out of the car because it had become too hot to stay inside.

Once outside, Colby began to cry and edge toward hysteria. Vickie apparently decided to put up with the heat and pushed him back in the car.

Betty Cash stayed outside, looking up at the phenomenon, not realizing she was exposing herself to danger. Actually, extreme danger. Within days, Betty would begin to exhibit signs of radiation burns. Then wounds became worse. She was hospitalized, and, 18 years later, she eventually died of something resembling “catastrophic radiation poisoning,” or however they expressed it.

Vickie and Colby also suffered horrid burns.

Vickie tried to find out what happened. She made calls to military bases and spoke to engineers, physicians. An officer from the Department of Army Inspector General's office did the only official government/military investigation of the incident.

He stepped in because according to Vickie and Betty, military helicopters, with no warning, swarmed the area, and the bright light or craft or whatever you want to call it, took off, booking it for parts unknown, the helicopters in pursuit.

There were other witnesses to the incident.

But despite the investigation, no answers to or explanations of what happened that night have ever been given. By anyone.

Now the reason I became interested in this incident, apart from being a law enforcement officer, is what Vickie Landrum told Colby as she tried to comfort him.

Vickie was a born-again Christian. And Vickie didn't ever cotton to belief in UFOs, extraterrestrials, reptoid monsters, grey aliens, or anything else she considered nonsensical. To Vickie Landrum, the answer was obvious and happy.

“It's Jesus,” she told Colby. “And Jesus would never hurt us.”

She believed that Christ was returning. She was also a born-again Christian.

That's why the event, as horrid as it was, interests me so much.