The Cash - Landrum UFO Incident
Diamond in the Sky
Sometime between 8:30 and 9:30 pm of December 29, 1980, Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and her seven-year-old grandson, Colby Landrum were on their way home to Dayton, Texas. On that chilly night. they encountered a craft of unknown origin, and suffered not only emotional trauma, but severe physical injury as well. A nighttime drive along FM 1485 in the Piney Woods of East Texas is a lonely, somewhat spooky one to begin with, but on this particular night, this somewhat routine drive became a life changing event for these three people. On that dark, cold night, a large, strange machine swooped down from the sky and then hung noisily just above the highway in front of Betty, Vickie and Colby, blocking their way for fifteen minutes. By the time it left, it had exposed them to emissions of some kind that seriously damaged the health of all three.
Betty, Vickie, and Colby had visited several small towns in the are looking for a bingo game, but discovered that all games had been canceled while the clubs made preparations for the Christmas and new year celebrations. Instead they settled for a meal in a road side restaurant in New Caney. After leaving the restaurant some time around 8:45, they drove them along FM 1485, a little used road normally by people who live in the isolated area. Although only about 50km from Houston the area sparsely populated is covered by oak trees, pine trees, and dotted with swamps and lakes. After having driven for about 30 minutes, Colby noticed a bright UFO above the tree tops some distance away. As they drove on, the object appeared to grow larger and larger. Soon they realized that the object was approaching the road, and only a short distance ahead. They began to get worried but sped up in order to get by it and leave it behind, but before they could do so the diamond-shaped craft had settled over the road blocking their way. At regular, fast intervals, the object would shoot down a stream of reddish-orange flames, threatening to incinerate anything in its path. Vickie would later describe it as being "like a diamond of fire". Being a devout Christian, she had had never believed in UFOs or extraterrestrials, but at this moment, she believed that she could be witnessing the end of the world.
The object hovered about sixty feet over the road, and Vickie screamed for Betty to stop the car, afraid that they would be burned to a crisp if they drove under the object. As Betty stopped, Vickie put her hand on the dashboard, and something, perhaps intense heat from the object, caused her fingerprints to be permanently imbedded in the soft, vinyl dash. The trees that the object had passed over were surprisingly not on fire, but were later described them as very brown and smoldering. Betty got out of the car to get a better look at the object but, was unable to see it very clearly due to the bright light emitted by the flames belching from the bottom. It looked as if it was made from dull aluminum and glowed so bright that it lit up the surrounding forest like daylight. The four points of the diamond were blunt rather than sharp and blue spots or lights ringed its centerline. Had the UFO not come to rest over the road the cone of fire from its lowest point would have set the forest on fire. The craft, many times larger than the car remained hovering at tree top level, sending down an occasional large cone of fire like the fiery blast of a rocket. In between these blasts it would settle downwards some 7.5 meters or so only to rise up again on the next cone of fire. Vickie described it as being "like a diamond of fire". As she stood watching the craft, suddenly the sky was full of helicopters. Betty said, "They seemed to rush in from all directions...it seemed like they were trying to encircle the thing." She assumed that they were from Tomball Airfield, northwest of Houston, or Ellington Air Force Base, south of Houston. The eerie object now began to lift into the air, and proceed to the southwest, with helicopters in pursuit. At this vantage point, the two ladies could actually count the number of copters in the air, 23. Aircraft from the nearby airfields could have been the single engine Bell-Huey.
As Betty returned to the car, the door handle was so hot she could hardly touch it, the heat nearly burning her hand. Using her coat sleeve, she managed to get the door open and climbed in. After the object had left the area, they restarted their vehicle, hoping to get home and never see the craft again. But after several miles of dark highway, they left the Farm to Market road in favor of the freeway. Ahead in the distance, they could again see the object with its bright lights illuminating the helicopters which were still trying to encircle it. When the effects of the bright light had worn off, Betty started the engine and they drove off down the darkened highway. After a mile or so of twisting road they were able to join a larger highway and turn in the direction of the departing UFO. This was about 8km and five minutes later. The object was clearly visible some distance ahead and looked like a bright cylinder of light. It was still lighting up the surrounding area and illuminating the helicopters.
By this time the helicopters were spread out over an 8km distance. One main group was near the UFO but moving in an erratic flight path. As they watched from their new vantage point they counted 23 helicopters. Many of them were identified as the large double rotor CH-47 Chinooks, the others were very fast single rotor types and appeared to be of the Bell-Huey type but were not properly identified. A lot of air crew members must have seen the UFO that night. As soon as the UFO and helicopters were a safe distance ahead Betty drove on. When she reached an intersection she turned away from the flight path of the UFO and towards Dayton where the three of them lived. She dropped Vickie and Colby off at their home at about 9.50 and went home by herself. A friend and her children were there waiting for Betty but by this time she was feeling to ill to tell them about what had happened. Over the next few hours Betty's skin turned red as if badly sun burned. Her neck swelled and blisters erupted and broke on her face, scalp and eyelids. She started to vomit and continued to do so through out the night. My morning she was almost in a coma. Though shaken, Colby and Vickie did not yet suspect they had suffered any harm. But during that night, all three witnesses became seriously ill. By the next morning, Betty Cash was unable to get out of bed. After four days of intense suffering at home, she was admitted to the hospital; and after a series of tests, her physician arrived at the uncomfortable conclusion that she was suffering from acute radiation poisoning. Her symptoms included severe headache, nausea, oozing skin sores and hair loss. Vicki and Colby Landrum also showed symptoms of acute radiation poisoning, less strong than Betty's, perhaps, because they didn't get out of the car. Betty Cash was in the hospital approximately six weeks. All of them to this day have serious health problems, and Betty has developed several forms of cancer. Vickie and Colby suffered very similar symptoms, yet not as severe as Betty's. Some time between midnight and 2am Vickie and Colby began to suffer similar symptoms, although less severe. At first they suffered the sunburn like condition and then diarrhea and vomiting; It was a miserable night for all three victims.