FYFFE, Ala. (WHNT) — Little green men? Martians? Extraterrestrials? Whatever you call aliens, a small town in Northeast Alabama has a history of spotting them in the night sky – and it’s inspired a full day of family fun.
The small town of Fyffe, Ala. is currently known for bringing home a state championship trophy in football almost every year, but less than 40 years ago, it became nationally recognized for something entirely different: frequent sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
The story begins on February 11 and 12, 1989. On those two nights, more than 50 people in a town of just under 2,000 claimed to see a UFO, according to Landmarks of DeKalb County.
Those who spotted it described it as hovering at an angle with bright lights at the top, bottom, and center and its curvature outlined in green.
At the time of sightings, Junior Garmany was the town’s chief of police and Fred Works, his assistant chief. News 19 spoke with Shelia Smith, the dispatcher who took that initial call for the unidentified object.
“When Junior and them went out and looked at it, they said it looked like a big banana,” Smith explained. “It didn’t have any sound, and they kind of chased it around.”
According to Landmarks of DeKalb County, Garmany stated in a report that he and Works tried to chase the object on County Road 43. Works said the object appeared to be a wide triangle that produced no sound whatsoever.
“What I saw the first time was like nothing I ever saw before,” Garmany stated after the sighting. “It was not a helicopter, it was not a plane. Not a sound.”
Smith, who spent 14 years as a dispatcher with Fyffe Police, said the object caused an uproar in the town with news cameras and salesmen making banana-shaped earrings descending on Fyffe.
Today, more than 30 years later, one might think the UFO sightings are a distant memory to the people of Fyffe – though the town’s annual “UFO Days” celebration says otherwise.
The 2022 festival will offer hot air balloon rides, arts and crafts, games, a 5K run, an antique car and tractor show, food vendors and live music.
This year’s entertainment lineup is led by Jackson Chase, a Tuscaloosa native who found himself in first place at a national singing contest in Los Angeles at the age of 12. Other acts include Caroline Grace, AnnaLee Austin, JT Clark and Jay Jenkins, Chasing Payne, Still Kickin’, and more!
The gates will open at 9 a.m. with festivities starting at 10 a.m. in Fyffe Town Park on Saturday, August 27.
While the festivities were inspired by those UFO sightings so long ago, a detailed flyer for the upcoming event states the only flying objects in the sky at UFO Days will be colorful hot air balloons.