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Tysa & Darla...
unsuspecting heroines of Des Moines
With the sudden breakup of the Blue Max 6-piece band (as well as my relationship with its guitar player), I scurried to my parents’ house in Des Moines to regroup. The UFO sighting in Iowa would not be my first, nor would it be my last, but it would be the only one I would ever witness inside a city, and with my sister Darla. Up until then, fellow band members and I had only seen strange objects in the sky on lonely highways in the middle of the night, usually coming home from a gig. Four days before Christmas though, Winter Solstice’s magic must’ve played a role in Iowa. In all likelihood, the movie Darla and I had just seen before the sighting was Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

    UFO sighting reported     Des Moines Tribune     Friday, December 21, 1979

By Tom Alex

    At least four times Thursday night, Tysa Goodrich, 26, and her sister, Darla, 18, saw a “huge” unidentified flying object near I-235 between Twenty-second Street in West Des Moines and Fifty-sixth Street in Des Moines.
    Goodrich of Columbus, Ohio, who has been staying at her parents’ home at 5608 Pleasant Drive, described the UFO as two or three times larger than an airplane, diamond shaped with four white lights in the corners.
    It was dark and shadowy with no clear definition on the flat bottom surface,” she said. Sometimes it barely moved, sometimes it seemed to hover.
    “I saw it so many times,” she said Friday. “It was crazy.”
    Tysa said, “I was surprised no one else reported it – but then, I was shy about doing it too.”
    A spokesman at the airport tower said there was nothing to indicate anything in that area from 9:45 to 10:45 p.m. that would explain the sighting.
    Tysa said she called the television stations first about 10:15 p.m. but did not get an answer. So she called KIOA radio and talked with reporter Bob Singer, who taped what she said and passed it along to his audience.
    “I felt real funny about calling the stations,” Tysa said. “But I wanted to know if anyone else called. To tell you the truth, I felt like a nut.”
    Singer said she hesitated to give him her name but he talked her into it. “She sounded a little nervous,” Singer said. He said he thought her voice made her sound believable.
    The first time Darla and Tysa saw the object was when they drove away from the Sierra 3 Theaters, 1618 Twenty-second St., West Des Moines.
    The second time the object went from north to south over the freeway, Tysa said. They pulled over to the side of the freeway west of the Sixty-third street exit and watched it for some time. Tysa said “the longest we saw it was for about two minutes.”
    They drove onto the Sixty-third Street exit and saw two cars pull over to the side of the road, with the occupants appearing to watch the same thing they had seen.
    At times the object seemed to be very close to the ground, they said. Tysa said that if she held her arm outstretched it would appear about the size of an orange at the end of her hand. “We felt it was so big because it seemed it wasn’t far from the trees,” she said. “It’s hard to explain.”
    When they returned home they looked in the telephone book under UFOs, Air Force and other headings because they didn’t know who to call, said Darla. Finally they began calling the television stations, radio station and then the police.
    A police spokesman sad a squad car was sent to the area but the officer didn’t see anything that looked like the object described by Tysa and Darla.
    “After we called the radio station we didn’t see it again,” said Tysa.
    “It made a sound,” she said, “like a low rumbling sound. We could even hear it from inside the house. When we headr it I walked back outside and I could see it to the southeast of us.”
    “I wasn’t frightened,” Tysa said. “Just fascinated. Darla felt a twinge of fear, but I didn’t.
    “It was too big for a plane and no way was it a helicopter.”