The Baytown Sun, Sunday, January 22, 1984, Baytown, TX
Dayton Woman Sues Over ‘UFO Injuries’
(NOTE: Gersten misspelled as Gerston throughout article as originally printed.)
DAYTON- Vicki Landrum, 60, can’t go outside without “breaking out in big blisters.”
Chronic illnesses have plagued Mrs. Landrum, her 10-year old grandson Colby Landrum and Betty Cash, 54, after their supposed December 1980 encounter with an unidentified flying object.
The women and the boy have sued the US Government seeking $20 million in damages for injuries they claim were caused by radiation emitted from the UFO that hovered above them, outside of New Caney.
They say the federal government is somehow involved and should pay for their medical care.
“She gets very upset when she has to talk to anyone about this,” a daughter-in-law of Mrs. Landrum said Saturday. “She hasn’t even been able to go outside because she breaks out in big blisters.”
She added that Mrs. Landrum has lost her hair as a result of the encounter.
The Sun was unable to talk directly with the plaintiffs Saturday.
A New York lawyer representing Mrs. Cash, Mrs. Landrum and Colby Landrum said they suffered severe headaches, nausea, swollen earlobes and eyelids, diarrhea, and facial blisters for a few days after the the incident.
The health of Mrs. Cash, who received the most exposure, deteriorated substantially, attorney Peter Gersten said.
She was admitted to Parkway Hospital for one week and later two weeks. She was in and out of the hospital October through December 1981 with chronic illness.
The attorney said the victims still experience nausea, loss of appetite, skin blotches and blisters.
Gersten has represented several organizations in lawsuits related to UFOs.
On December 29, 1980, the three were returning home from a bingo game. about seven miles outside of New Caney, when they noticed a bright object glowing in the sky.
“The object hovered above the road and was so bright they couldn’t make out its shape,” Gersten said.
The object was flaming and gave off so much heat and light that Mrs. Cash and her friends could drive no farther, Gersten added.
They got out of the car for awhile and Mrs. Cash rested her hand on the vehicle. When she removed her hand, he said, she found it had left a permanent imprint on the car.
Driving away, they counted 23 helicopters near the object, but Gersten said they were unable to determine whether the choppers were escorting the object or pursuing it.
The three have twice filed administrative claims for medical treatment with the Air Force, but were refused help each time. Gersten quoted one Air Force statement as saying “our investigation has revealed no evidence of involvement by any military personnel, equipment or aircraft in this alleged incident.”
Gersten said finding “no evidence” means Air Force investigators merely did not have access to classified information.
The incident has been independently investigated, said Gersten, by John Schuessler, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration engineer who has specialized in a study of UFOs.
Gersten said the incident also was witnessed by a deputy sheriff.
Mrs. Cash, Mrs. Landrum and Colby Landrum asked in their suit for damages totaling $20 million.
Gersten said his clients want also to determine what type of radiation they had been exposed to so they could seek appropriate medical treatment.
“The government has all along denied any responsibility for the incident,” he said. “They are not willing to come forward and reveal the type of object to help three people.”
Gersten said he is optimistic about his clients’ chances of winning the suit. “If we can show the incident happened -- and we can -- then they (the government) have to show they’re not responsible.”