Supposed Piece of UFO Revealed After 30 Years

It's been 30 years since Greg Kirby, of Middletown, lied to local police officers and federal agents when asked if he turned over all the unidentified pieces he found in Blue Ball.

Today, he doesn't sound scared: "Let them come and get me."

Or, as he said a bit later, "I hope I can get home safely without those guys in the dark sunglasses pulling me out of the car and throwing me in the back seat." He was only half-kidding.

Thirty years ago today, Kirby, then a 21-year-old minding his own business, found himself embroiled in the middle of controversy and UFO speculation when he watched a white-hot mystery object fall in Blue Ball.

Kirby was driving north on Old Ohio 25 about

7:30 p.m. on March 29, 1979, when he saw the fireball go down in a parking lot at the Robin Springs apartment complex.

After the pieces cooled off, he called Middletown police, and turned over "all" the items to Federal Aviation Administration officials.

Stories about the fireball mystery made headlines for several days in The Journal, Dayton Daily News and Cincinnati Enquirer. Kirby was interviewed by three local television stations and received a phone call from ABC News in New York.

"It was a mystery with capital letters," Kirby said.

A UFO buff from Maryland drove to Middletown and visited him, and a man from Kentucky asked Kirby if they were long-lost cousins.

Thirty years ago, Kirby said his only regret is that he didn't keep a piece of the metal as a memento.

Now he tells a different tale.

Kirby, 51, who calls himself "a hippie," recently came forward and admitted he still owns one lightweight piece — smaller than a dime — and it's for sale. He said his mother recently gave him the item after his father, Thomas Kirby, a Franklin and Springboro attorney, passed away.

"Cha-ching, cha-ching," Kirby said when asked the item's value. "If this really is as rare as they say, and rarity is the key component of economic, this is worth a lot of money."

Kirby said a rich investor — he kept mentioning Bill Gates — may want to buy the item, then donate it to a university or space museum.

Kirby won't give it away.

"The bottom line," he said, "is it's for sale."

He wants someone — anyone — to definitely tell him the origin of the item.

"The one person I know who won't tell me works for the United States government," he said.

He recently spoke with a friend who worked for Aeronca Inc., a company that built airplanes in Middletown. The man specialized in honeycomb patterns and the man said he never had seen anything that resembled the item.

"That's what they all say," Kirby said.

When Kirby first discovered the items, he said many people didn't believe him.

"For many years," he said, "there was a lot ridicule."

He was an admitted "prankster" who was known to set off cherry bombs from time to time.

Police, he said, knew him by his first name.

As Kirby told childhood tales, he smiled and said: "I wish these things would have been found by a carload of nuns. It would have been more credible."

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