The I-Team's George Knapp has been talking to people who saw it.
The object was seen in the early morning hours of May 14. It appeared to crash into the ground just west of the Colorado River. And that's when things got interesting for residents of the area.
Somewhere in the rough terrain just west of the Colorado River and south of Needles is a point of impact, maybe some burn marks, created by something that fell from the sky. Frank Costigan saw it because he got up at 3 a.m. to let his cat out -- a fiery object that flashed across the sky, but it wasn't a meteor he says.
PART 1 - I TEAM'S MYSTERY ON THE RIVER UPDATE
PART 2 - I TEAM'S MYSTERY ON THE RIVER UPDATE
PART 3 - I TEAM'S MYSTERY ON THE RIVER UPDATE
PART 4 - I TEAMS MYSTERY ON THE RIVER UPDATE
PART 5 - I TEAM'S MYSTERY ON THE RIVER UPDATE
"It was bright, bright enough that it illuminated the ground," he said. For seven years, Costigan worked as the chief of airport security at L.A.X. He says the mystery object flew out of the north east, heading southwest, traveling very fast, but at one point it slowed down, then sped up again.
"It went behind a hill, and I waited to see if I could hear it crash because as big as it was, it was bound to make noise," he said.
But he didn't hear a crash. Hours later, David Hayes, the owner of KTOX Radio in Needles, was coming to work when he spotted an odd formation of dark vehicles getting off the highway. He drew a picture of the lead vehicle, a large truck with a dome on top and a black structure that reminded him of a stealth fighter.
"It seemed like it was some kind of surveillance vehicle -- four-wheel drive. It had government plates, and behind it were a couple of vans that looked like support vehicles," said Hayes.
The men inside had a military bearing, Hayes said, but weren't in uniform. He made eye contact with one of the drivers and the guy followed him. Later in the day, one of the vehicles was parked outside the station, seemingly conducting a surveillance of the place.
"These guys staring you down had a 'Men in Black' feel to it?" asks Knapp.
"Absolutely. Very serious, serious as a heart attack," said Hayes.
Coincidentally, Costigan, the ex-cop, works on investigations for Hayes. When he came in to the radio station, he told Hayes about the thing he had seen in the sky, and Hayes told him about the Men in Black.
Then they got another piece of the puzzle -- a call from a man who lives in a houseboat on the river, who said he saw the fiery object -- that it had crashed about 100 yards west of the river, that it landed with a thump. Hayes says he's known the witness for years by the name Bob on the river. Bob thought a plane had crashed and tried to call 911 but his cell wouldn't work, so he moved his boat out into the river, and then heard the helicopters.
In an interview with journalist Linda Moulton-Howe, Bob says he saw at least five helicopters flying in formation, including a large sky crane. The crane picked up the oval shaped object, still glowing, and flew away, heading in the direction of Las Vegas. One odd detail, the choppers arrived only 17 minutes after the object crashed. He described it to Hayes.
"It was about the size of a semi-trailer, he says, oblong shaped thing," said Hayes.
Out of the blue, the station got a call from a friend in Laughlin who said the Laughlin Airport had been inundated on the night of the crash with so-called Janet planes. That's the airline that flies workers to top secret Area 51. Costigan says the airport could not confirm this because no one is on duty after 6 p.m. at night, not even in the tower.
The black vehicles have left Needles. Bob the houseboat guy can't be found either.
"The fact that there were people here the next day, it was almost like they were doing some sort of cleanup or whatever. The point is, something definitely happened.
The I-Team phoned nearly every agency we could think of to see if they had received any report or knew anything. We were not surprised to learn that no one knew anything.
Here's the list -- police agencies in three states, the Laughlin Airport, the weather service, the FAA and several military bases.
A military watchdog group found a public record showing there was at least one army helicopter in the air in that area at that time. The helicopter, oddly enough, is listed as being attached to a U.S. base in Europe.
We are filing freedom of information requests and will report back when we get responses.