Houston, Texas, December, 1980 (Cash-Landrum)
At around 9 p.m. on the evening of Dec. 29, 1980, Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum, and Vickie's 7 year-old grandson Colby Landrum were driving home to Dayton, Texas not too far from Houston’s Intercontinental Airport. They witnessed a large light in the sky above the trees. As they drove, they noticed the light getting brighter and closer, and claimed the light was coming from a huge, dark diamond-shaped object, which hovered at about treetop level, and that its base was expelling flames and emitting significant heat. They exited the Oldsmobile to get a better look. Landrum (a born-again Christiian) believed the object to be “the Second Coming of Jesus Christ,” and referred to the object as “Jesus” to Colby, and that it would not hurt them. Small blue lights were seen on the object, and as flames continued to come out the bottom of the craft forming a cone-like shape, the witnesses felt the heat intensify.
The heat was strong enough to make the car's metal body too hot to touch, and the car handle also felt scorching, according to Landrum. When she touched the dashboard, she claimed her hand pressed into the softened vinyl of the car’s interior and left an imprint that was used as evidence later on (no photograph of this imprint exists).
As the object ascended higher above the trees, 23 Boeing CH-47 Chinooks helicopters arrived to surround the object in a tactical formation. Later on that night, the witnesses reportedly experienced similar symptoms of generalized weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a burning sensation in their eyes, and a sunburn-like afterglow. Cash said her symptoms worsened days later with many large, painful blisters forming on her skin. In the HBO documentary, "UFOs: What's Going On" (1985), Cash said she was treated for breast cancer after being exposed to a "radioactive UFO". The Landrums reported lingering weakness, skin sores, hair loss and eventually severe cataracts.
Cash's personal physician Dr. Brian McClelland said to the Houston Post that her condition was a textbook case of radiation poisoning. McClelland likened it to being comparable to being "3-5 miles from the epicenter of Hiroshima.”
Cash and Landrum decided to contact their U.S. Senators Lloyd Bentsen and John Tower.They filed a complaint with the Judge Advocate Claims office at Bergstrom Air Force Base. After they were interviewed by personnel at Bergstrom Air Force Base, they were advised that they should hire a lawyer, and seek financial compensation for their injuries from the incident on Dec.29.
In 1986, the case was dismissed by the U.S. District Court Judge. The judge argued that the plaintiffs could not prove their case that what they encountered was not related to the U.S. federal government, and the army did not have a pyramid-shaped aircraft in its arsenal. Ultimately, many experts in UAP studies, as well as news outlets like Texas Monthly, consider the outcome of the Cash-Landrum incident as inconclusive.