The Cleveland Plain Dealer,
Sunday, October 9, 1966
by John De Groot
RAVENNA (AP)–In his world of loneliness and twisted nightmares, Dale Spaur wonders if the nightmare will ever end.
It began six months ago with “Seven Steps to Hell” and ended with a flying saucer named Floyd.
In the predawn hours of a gentle April morning, Portage County Sheriff’s Deputy Spaur chased a flying saucer 86 miles.
NOW THE STRANGE craft is chasing him. And he is hiding from it, a bearded stranger peering past the limp curtains of a tiny motel room in Solon.
He no longer is a deputy sheriff.
His marriage is shattered.
He has lost 40 pounds.
He lives on one bowl of cereal and a sandwich each day.
He walks three miles to an $80-a-week painters job. His motel room costs $60 a week. The court has ordered him to pay his wife $20 a week for the support of his two children.
That leaves Dale Spaur exactly nothing.
THE FLYING saucer did it.
“If I could change all that I have done in my life,” he said, “I would change just one thing. And that would be the night we chased that damn thing. That saucer.”
He spit the word out, “Saucer.” An obscenity.
Others might understand.
Four other officers took part in the April 17  drama.
Police Chief Gerald Buchert of Mantua saw the craft and photographed it. The pictures turned out badly, an odd fuzzy white thing suspended in blackness. Today, Chief Buchert laughs nervously when he speaks of that night.
“I’D RATHER NOT talk about it,” he says. “It’s something that should be forgotten…left alone. I saw something, but I don’t know what it was.”
Special Deputy W.L. Neff rode with Spaur during the chase.
He won’t talk about it.
His wife Jackelyne explains, “I hope I never see him like he was after the chase. He was real white, almost in a state of shock. It was awful.”
“And people made fun of him afterwards. He never talks about it anymore. Once he told me, ‘If that thing landed in my back yard, I wouldn’t tell a soul.’ He’s been through a wringer.”
PATROLMAN Frank Panzenella saw the chase end in Conway, Pa., where he works. He saw the craft.
Now he is silent. Friends say he had his telephone removed because of calls about that April morning.
H. Wayne Huston was a police officer in East Palestine, O. He had worked there seven years. Several months after the saucer passed above him in the night, he resigned… going to Seattle Wash., to drive a bus.
Huston now goes by Harold W. Huston. He tells you,” Sure I quit because of that thing. People laughed at me. And there was pressure… You couldn’t put your finger on it, but the pressure was there.
The city officials didn’t like police officers chasing flying saucers.”
SPAUR AND HUSTON have turned in their badges.
Now Spaur hides in Solon, a fugitive from a flying saucer named Floyd. He cannot escape the strange craft.
Spaur and Neff were checking on a car parked alongside U.S. 224 between Randolph and Atwater. The car was filled with radio equipment and had a strange emblem painted on its side, a triangle with a bolt of lightning inside it. Above the emblem was written, “Seven Steps to Hell.”
Behind them they heard a strange humming noise and turning, said they saw a huge saucer shaped craft rise out of a woods and hover above them, bathing them in a warm white light.
Then it moved off.
LEAVING THE mystery car behind, never to be seen again, the two deputies hopped into their cruiser and chased the object, sometimes at speeds of more than 100 miles an hour. The chase finally ended when the cruiser ran out of gas near Pittsburgh. They said the craft they chased was about 50 feet across and 15 to 20 feet high with a large dome on its top and an antenna jutted out from the rear of the dome.
After the chase, Spaur’s daily routine was washed away in a sea of reporters, television cameramen, Air Force investigators, government officials, strange letters from places like Little Rock, Ark. and Australia that told him what to do if “the little green men” tried to contact him.
“MY ENTIRE LIFE came crashing down around my shoulders,” he said.
“Everything changed. I still don’t really know what happened. But suddenly, it was as though everybody owned me. And I no longer had anything for myself. My wife, my home, my children. They all seemed to fade away.”
Spaur’s wife Daneise now is alone with her two children.
She has filed for divorce and is working as a waitress in a bar at Ravenna.
“Something happened to Dale, but I don’t know what it was,” she says. He came home that day and I never saw him more frightened before. He acted strange, listless. He just sat around. He was very pale.”
“THEN LATER, he got real nervous. And he started to run away. He’d just disappear for days and days. I wouldn’t see him.”
“Our marriage fell apart. All sorts of people came to the house. Investigators. Reporters. They kept him up all night. They kept after him, hounding him. They hounded him right into the ground.”
“And he changed.”
Then one night, Dale came home very late. He isn’t sure what happened. He walked into the living room. There were some other people there. Things were very tense. Very confused.
HE GRABBED his wife and shook her. Hard. He kept shaking her. It left big ugly bruises on her arms. He doesn’t know how or why…
That was the end of July. Daneise filed assault and battery charges. Dale was jailed and turned in his badge.
A newspaper printed a story about the deputy who chased the flying saucer being jailed for beating his wife.
When he got out of jail, Dale ran…left town, turned his back on everything.
BUT THE SAUCER followed him, locked in his dreams.
In Ravenna, Daneise can only say, “Dale is a lost soul.
And everything is finished for us.”
In Solon, Dale said, “I have become a freak. I’m so damn lonely. Look at me…34 years old and what do I have? Nothing.”
“Who knows me? To everyone I’m Dale Spaur, the nut who chased a flying saucer. My father called me several weeks ago.
“A long time ago we had a fight. I hadn’t heard from him for years. Then he calls me.”
“DO YOU THINK he called to ask how I was…To say ‘I love you, son… To see if I wanted to go fishing, or something?
“Hell, no. He wanted to know if I’d seen any more flying saucers.”
“I tried to go to church for help. I went to church and the minister introduced me to the congregation. ‘We have the man who chased a flying saucer with us today,’ he said.”
Dale Spaur wept as he told what the flying saucer named Floyd had done to him.
He calls it Floyd because he saw it once more while he was still working for the sheriff’s department.
THE RADIO operators knew civilians were monitoring their broadcasts. So they agreed to use a code name if the flying saucer was seen again. They called it Floyd…Dale Spaur’s middle name.
Dale was driving east on Interstate 80-S one night in June . He looked up. There it was.
“Floyd’s here with me,” he whispered into the radio.
Then he parked the car and sat there, alone. This time Barney Neff was not with him. Dale did not look out the window. He lit a cigarette and stared at the floor of the cruiser. He sat there for nearly 15 minutes…not looking outside, not wanting
to see Floyd.
WHEN HE LOOKED up, Floyd had disappeared.
Yet it still follows him. And it has ruined his life. This he believes.
(Thanks to Ed for this.)