KERMAN, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Our universe is a big place and all that space leads many to ask if we are alone in the universe. Sightings of unidentified flying objects have been reported for decades around the world. While many have been disproven, just as many have not.

One of the most famous alleged incidents comes from Roswell, New Mexico, where allegedly a UFO crash-landed, only to be described as a crashed weather balloon by military officials.

But did you know that right here in the Central Valley, there was a very strange incident that could have been caused by a UFO?

In a book titled “The UFO Dossier” by Kevin D. Randle, and through various media outlets, comes a story of a Kerman police officer who allegedly not only witnessed some sort of phenomenon – but also was also mysteriously burned.

According to the story, the incident took place on May 13, 1978, at approximately 3:32 a.m. 33-year-old Manuel Amparano, an officer with the Kerman Police Department was driving southbound on Del Norte Avenue when he saw what he thought was a large fire about half a mile out. When he arrived he claimed to have seen a circular type of thing, similar to a round fireball or a setting sun, about 100 to 150 feet off the ground. He estimated that it was about 25 by 50 feet in size.

He described the object as a fireball and that the light was not blinding and that it did not have distinguishable features. Prior to it moving away, a brilliant bluish light beam, described as similar to a flash from a camera came from the object at an angle apparently toward the police car.

He only decided to report the incident after a newspaper deliverer approached him soon after and volunteered the information that he had also seen a reddish ball in the sky. The North Central Fire Department also received a call of a fire in the area of Trinity Road and Shaw Avenue, but no fire was ever found. This was in the same direction where Amparano had seen the object. In an investigation later by then Kerman Police Chief James Van Cleaf, a total of 14 witnesses claimed to have seen the object.

Back at the police station, Amparano contacted various agencies like the Air National Guard, the weather bureau, and a radar station at the Fresno Air Terminal, checking on any activity in the area. Two officers at the station noticed that his face and neck appeared burned. He later also realized that his chest was also burned.

Upon going to the doctor that afternoon, his condition was noted as “burns from an unknown source.” Later a private doctor said he appeared to be suffering from a high-intensity fluorescent pipe light or a gamma ray.

The story allegedly only got out because someone leaked it from the hospital where he was treated. This caused a media blitz from all around wanting the scoop on what happened that early morning.

Whether it was a UFO or something else, one thing officer Amparano was sure about is that he had seen and experienced something. What exactly that was we’ll probably never know. It could be that UFOs have already visited the Central Valley – depending on what you believe.