The Betz Mystery Sphere

A mysterious silver ball that seemed to move on its own came to a Florida family in 1974. Was it alien?

It was March 27, 1974, and members of the Betz family were in Florida, inspecting the damage done by a small brushfire near their property on Ft. George Island. The island is a patch of dry ground among the coastal marshlands of northeastern Florida, well timbered with beautiful moss-draped trees and tropical scrub. Antoine and Jerri Betz, accompanied by their 21-year-old son Terry, happened to stumble upon a surprising object: a bright metal globe, about the size of a bowling ball, just sitting there in the grass. It was quite heavy, but otherwise unremarkable. They guessed it might have been an old cannonball; the island has a long history going all the way back to a 16th century Spanish mission. For whatever reason, they liked the ball and decided to take it home. And that’s when the Betzes’ lives changed.

It began when Terry was playing guitar. The family reported that the ball strangely resonated the music. And then it began to move around, all on its own. The Betzes experimented with it, placed it on their table, and watched it navigate its own way around the perimeter without falling off. Doors began slamming themselves around the house. Mysterious organ music filled the residence, even though there was no organ. Finally the Betzes had had enough, and contacted the newspapers in the hope that someone might tell them what the bizarre artifact was.

The Jacksonville Journal sent a photographer, Lou Egner. Mrs. Betz told him to put the sphere on the floor:

“It rolled a ways then stopped. So what? She said, ‘Just wait a minute.’ It turned by itself and rolled to the right about four feet. It stopped. Then it turned again and rolled to the left about eight feet, made a big arc and came right back to my feet.”

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