WILLIAMSON - Danny Gordon and Kyle Lovern have a few things in common: both are from Appalachia, both are journalists who have worked in media, a career that has spanned print and broadcast news. Both Gordon and Lovern have “gone public” so to speak with their experiences with UFOs.
But there the similarities end.
Lovern, a former news reporter and current Sports Editor at the Williamson Daily News, has a series of books based on UFO sightings. Gordon’s experiences are not as positive and are the subject of a film to be released soon titled Strange Country: A Different Kind of UFO Documentary.
The film centers on Gordon’s experiences as a reporter in Wytheville, Va., a town less than 150 miles from Williamson.
In October of 1987, the Wytheville, Va. area was the location of a series of reported UFO sightings. Gordon reported the story on his newscast, and soon became the ‘go-to guy’ for reports of sightings, so much that he wrote later that he purposely did not look up into the sky, trying to keep an objective opinion as to validity of the claims.
But as the volume of reports increased and media scrutiny grew, Gordon did have an experience of his own. On Oct. 21, he and a friend saw a huge, silent craft, and were so shocked they did not record the event. The next day, with a photographer present, a different craft hovered over their car and Gordon did get some photos.
Soon after, Gordon was thrust into the national limelight, with eventual appearances on television and print media. More sightings continued, both for Gordon and others, one of which Gordon was able to document with photographs.
Gordon’s story, including what appears to be surveillance, and the attention that followed was eventually enough to make him drop the story.
But now Sean Kotz, a former professor at Virginia Tech, is making a film of the whole story. He interviewed Kyle Lovern at the Daily News offices recently to get some insight on being a journalist and a UFO investigator. That interview will be part of Strange Country.
Lovern said that while he had his first sighting when he was eight or nine years old, his books focus on the experiences of others.
“Most of the my work is reporting sightings by other people,” Lovern said. “That is the approach I’ve taken as a journalist, writer and UFO researcher. I definitely believe people have seen UFOs. The few that I have chosen to write about in my books are credible, down to earth people.”
Lovern said the fact that people do share their experiences with him reflects how the attitude of the public toward UFOs has changed since he first saw one in Nolan.
“I think times have changed,” he said. “People are more willing to come forward now and talk about what they have seen. It was different in past years. However, I continue to get folks who tell me about something they’ve seen in the past - or even more recently back around the Fourth of July of this year.”
Lovern said he enjoys being part of the UFO community, and networking with people so close to home.
“I can relate to Danny Gordon,” he said. “He is a professional journalist from nearby Wytheville, Virginia. I can relate to the Wytheville, case since it happened in Appalachia and it involved a fellow journalist. I wrote about this case in my second book, Appalachian Case Study, UFO Sightings … Volume 2.”
But he said his experiences are not as dramatic as Gordon’s.
“That would have been a scary situation to experience what Danny Gordon went through,” Lovern said. "People have asked me if I thought that the government or others might have kept an eye on my e-mails or my research. I don’t know if they have. But, I definitely believe there has been a cover-up of certain UFO cases - for example the Roswell, New Mexico case and the Braxton County, W.Va. incident, and others. Even if I felt I were being monitored, I’m sure I would have continued to write about this subject. People have a right to know the truth. In fact, I’ve finished a third book with some great stories and I hope to have it published in the near future.”
Lovern said attention to his books has led to appearances on television, radio and his involvement with the Strange Country: A Different Kind of UFO Documentary, produced by Kotz, who has a company dubbed Horse Archer Productions.
“I feel fortunate to have had two books published and to have made contact with others in the field. I’ve appeared on a couple of national radio broadcasts such as Coast to Coast AM and was contacted by the History Channel (although I have not appeared on any of their shows yet),” he said. “I was pleased when Sean (Kotz) asked to interview me for this UFO documentary”
He added that although he keeps a level of skepticism, his interest in the subject is as strong as ever.
“I have always felt this was an interesting subject,” Lovern said. “Remember, UFO means unidentified flying object, and a majority of the sightings can be explained. But, there are those that can’t and those intrigue me. I look forward to this documentary and I”m glad just to be a small part of it.”
For more information on Lovern or Stange Country: A Different Kind of UFO Documentary, visit kylelovernufos.com or horsearcherproductions.com.