Head North of Jamestown North Carolina on route 68 for about 35 minutes and you will arrive in a place called Stokesdale. Stokesdale is a small town in Northern Guilford County with about 3000 inhabitants and lots of tobacco farm land on the outskirts of town. Not far west is a 3800 acre lake called Belews Lake, created in 1973 by Duke Power as a means to cool its power plant coal burning facilities. The power plant is situated on the banks of the lake and boasts a 2.24 GW output. It’s two massive turbine generators became operational in 1975 and make up the largest power plant Duke owns in the Carolinas.
The two small towns of Pine Hall and Stokesdale reside along side the lake on its eastern shore. Shortly after 1975, when the power plant was in full operation, a rash of UFO sightings occurred in and around Stokesdale and Pinehall.
On one occasion two fisherman observed a blue green ball of light circling over the lake as they were getting ready to head to shore in their bass boat. It was getting late and the sun had already gone down. The two watched as the light moved back and forth and then seemed to stand still. Suddenly a beam shown bright from the bottom of the light into the lake. It scanned back and forth for a couple of minutes then retracted back into the object. The object then sped off at incredible speed back over the horizon. The two got to shore and loaded their boat not telling anyone of the encounter that night. It wasn’t until years later that they would reveal their story.
On another occasion five young children were waiting for the bus on a sunny school morning. One of the boys noticed a bright red light sitting on top of a steel power line structure about a mile down the road. The light began to move from the tower and followed the road in the direction of the children. As the light got closer, the children noticed it was a blue grey like craft, cigar shaped in appearance. The craft hoovered about 30 feet over their heads and silently drifted off the road line disappearing above the trees out of sight. The craft was about 20 feet long and 4 to 5 feet tall. The children were frightened by the experience and it was later learned that several children on the bus got a glimpse of the object.
Later, during that same time period a local pastor told a story of his church pianist who had an encounter with an unknown object late at night while driving home from work. She passed a giant glowing object in a field while driving in her car. The object was round, like a giant globe about 30 to 40 feet in circumference and glowing an intense red. She slowed down for a moment in complete disbelief not sure of what she might be witnessing. Realizing she was in the presence of an alien craft of sorts she sped off. Later when she arrived home she noticed that her kitchen clock was an hour fast. As she went to set the time, pulling her watch from her bag, she realized that the kitchen clock was correct. An hour had passed with which she had no recollection. To this day she still does not remember what happened during that lost time span.
Most locals and ufo enthusiasts have speculated that the rash of sightings had something to do with the power plant becoming operational, due in part to the large amount of energy being generated and needed for recharging by the alien crafts. Some have speculated that they had interest in the power plant, assuming it to be nuclear. It was the most powerful plant in a 4 state area at that time. Others attribute the sightings to mass hysteria or explainable phenomena like stars, planes or other readily identifiable craft. What ever the real story is behind the sightings to most of the witnesses, what they experienced was very real and otherworldly.