WAYNE COUNTY, Mo. — Piedmont, Missouri, has been named the State UFO Capitals of Missouri, due to sightings of UFOs in 1973. Rep. Chris Dinkins pushed for the designation to boost tourism. This bill was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of reported unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings in Piedmont.

The bill that made this designation official was SB139, which was passed by the Missouri General Assembly on July 6 and took effect on August 28.

More information about the UFO sightings in 1973:

Residents in Piedmont and the surrounding areas reported witnessing unusual aerial phenomena. Many of those who saw the activity reached out to local law enforcement, sheriffs, and local media outlets to share their stories.

These incidents got attention at both the local and national levels. There was no formal government investigation into these reports, as Project Blue Book, the program tasked with investigating UFO sightings, had been discontinued in 1969. 

Dr. Harley Rutledge, a physics professor at Southeast Missouri State University, conducted an independent investigation into these sightings along with his team. In 1973, he published a paper on his findings, which later evolved into a book titled Project Identification: The First Scientific Field Study of UFO Phenomena in 1981.

Today, the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office, operating under the U.S. Secretary of Defense, manages reports related to unexplained aerial phenomena, commonly referred to as UFOs.