Rex Heflin - 1965

On August 3, 1965, California highway inspector Rex Heflin claimed to have taken a series of Polaroid photos of a UFO from his car while parked near the Santa Ana Freeway. The pictures were quite clear and they showed an object shaped rather like a straw hat apparently floating above the ground. These pictures got a great deal of publicity, and are still among the most frequently reprinted UFO photos.

Heflin's story was investigated by the Air Force shortly after it became known. It was also looked into by investigators for the Condon Committee during their inquiry. (The committee investigator produced a pretty fair imitation of the photos by suspending the lens cap of his camera in front of his car with a thread and photographing it through the car window.) In addition, a host of unofficial UFO groups tackled the case in their own way.

There was considerable suspicion on the part of official investigators that the photos had been faked, but this was difficult to prove or disprove without the original prints. Being Polaroid photos, there were no negatives.

Heflin said that he had turned over three of the four originals to a man (or two men - the stories differ) who claimed that he represented the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD denied that they had ever sent out an investigator, or indeed, that they had the slightest interest in the photos. The mysterious person who is alleged to have taken the photos has never been identified.


On October 11, 1967, over two years after Heflin's original sighting, but while the Condon investigation was going on, Heflin reported another encounter with mysterious visitors. A man who said that he was Captain C.H. Edmonds of the Space Systems Division, Systems Command, a unit of the Air Force that had been involved in the first investigation of his UFO photos, came to his home.

During the interview the man who called himself Captain Edmonds asked Heflin if he wanted his original photos back. When Heflin said no, the man was "visibly relieved". Inexplicably, the man then began discussing the Bermuda Triangle. This is an area near the island of Bermuda where a number of mysterious disappearances of airplanes and ships have been reported.

These disappearances have been linked by some to UFOs, though the connection does not seem very convincing. While this strange interview was going on, Heflin said that he saw a car parked in the street. It had some sort of lettering on the front door but he could not make it out. To quote the Condon Report description of the incident,

In the back seat could be seen a figure and a violet (not blue) glow, which the witness attributed to instrument dials. He believed he was being photographed or recorded. In the mean- time his FM multiplex radio was playing in the living room and during the questioning it made several loud audible pops. All attempts by the Air Force, various civilian researchers and the Condon Committee itself to find "Captain C. H. Edmonds" failed. As far as can be determined, no such person has ever existed.