In related news, David was contacted by the producers of 'Paranormal Files: Fact or Faked' at SyFy...a filming scheduled has been made and they will begin in early February for the upcoming season.
David, who was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, recently moved to Gulf Breeze along with his best friend Ben. It is just a typical day with not much to do, so they decide to go outside and play Frisbee as a way to pass the time. Their friend (buddy), Paul, who is a college student at this time, stops over to visit. They met Paul (who is a native here) only a few months ago, but they all became very close in the short time that they have known each other. Paul suggests they all go down to Shoreline Park which is a local park in Gulf Breeze that is popular among the locals. Being a little restless and stir crazy, as many young guys are, they agree. At the park, things are casual. They talk and play Frisbee for awhile. The sun starts going down making it hard to see the Frisbee, so Paul then wants to take them to a place in the woods not far from here where he and some other young people hang out. He explains to them that the sand trails are fun to drive on and there is a pond where they can build a fire and hang out. With anticipation, they agree and think it will be fun and exciting. David decides to drive while Paul gives directions there. When they arrived at the woods, Paul wants to drive as he is familiar with the layout of the trails, so David jumps into the back seat and lets Paul take over driving. Ben is now in the front seat with Paul. They are having fun cutting donuts in the sand and just goofing off when David sees a light move across the sky at tree-top level about thirty feet give or take. He thinks maybe it is a helicopter or something but is not for sure. It definitely captures his full attention as it is very bright. It does not really illuminate but reflects on the tree tops and there is no sound which one would automatically expect with a helicopter or an airplane. As he watches, the light descends down into the trees. Being a smart-ass, he jokingly blurts out, ‘Look guys, it’s a UFO!’ They are looking out the windows with curiosity but the light is now out of sight. Not giving it any more thought, they sit there for a few minutes listening to the radio, then Paul suggests, ‘Let's go down the trail to the pond and build a fire.’ They all pile out of the car and follow Paul deeper into the woods when David sees a small white light off in the distance. As he watches, it appears on and off. He tells Ben and Paul what he sees and not thinking too much about it, they all agree it is most likely someone else in the woods with a flashlight perhaps messing with them. They finally make it to the pond, where David and Ben stop and stare up at he sky with awe at how clear the stars are. While Paul and Ben are now walking around gathering wood for a fire, David sees a light or an orb moving through the trees. He tries to tell them what he is seeing but they don’t really respond. While now helping to gather wood, he quietly notices the light gets closer then disappears. After they get a fire started, David and Ben walk over the pond’s edge. As they stand there just talking, David sees what appears to be the same light or orb over the pond again at tree-top level. It flashes and then abruptly drops down as if attached to a string or something. Suddenly, out of nowhere, it rushes by David’s head making a swooshing sound. He hollers to Ben, ‘look at it!’. Just then, it rushes past Ben’s face knocking him off his feet to the ground as it swoops back up to the treetops. It flashes one more time then takes off out of sight. Obviously in shock but strangely excited at the same time, they discuss what it could be. David asks, ‘Is it a bat or an owl?”, while he does not believe that at all. They go over to where Paul is and frantically try to explain what they have just experienced but Paul does not pay too much attention. They all gather more firewood to keep the fire going when D avid sees the object again, this time at head level, moving through the woods, moving closer and closer to him. He shouts to the guys, ‘I’m going after it!’. All he can think now is that he has to figure out what this thing is. In only a pair of jeans and tennis shoes, he barrels through the woods determined to catch it. It moves with such grace and intelligence as it dodges around the trees while moving faster than he can run. He finally stops when he loses sight of it and looks around. As he looks up, it appears directly above his head. It flashes as it did before leaving him momentarily blind but as his vision comes back he sees it cruising through the trees again but this time further away from him. At this point, the only thing on his mind is knowing what this is, so with his heart pounding, he dashes deeper into the woods toward it. He is thinking how cool this is but all the while not feeling any fear only curiosity. All of a sudden, it appears to stop and descend before him at waist level into a small bush covered with pine straw. He could jump on it if he wanted, but something holds him back. He is not scared but wonders if he might be hurt or electrocuted. He then drops down on all fours and lunges at it. While still on all fours, it darts up at his head level and flashes again. As he stands up getting his vision back, it takes off through the trees again, and he continues to chase it. It has now become like a game of cat and mouse. Now having a clear view of it just ahead of him, he notices it is a solid structure with two lights on it. It has a small red light that revolves slowly around the inside of it. He knows without a doubt this is not something you purchase at Radio Shack. He hears the guys in the distance trying to find his location but as he tried to make noise for them to follow him their voices faded away. After a few minutes, it made a long swoop to the left and then dived down to the edge of the pond. He hears what sounds like a frog plunge into water but with no splashing sound to it. In a hurry, he scurries to find a stick then pokes the water hoping the object will surface. As the guys finally catch up, he shouts, ‘it’s down in the water.’ He climbs onto a branch leaning over the water. He pokes more trying to get it to come up but nothing happens. In a nervous voice, Paul demands, ‘let’s get out of here.’ Finally thinking it must be gone, he agreed to leave. Ben and Paul had put out the fire making it impossible to see but they finally made it to a sandy trail. As they walk, David (filled with anxiety), struggles to explain what this object looks like as he had gotten a close look at it. He tells them how it flashed in his face as if someone was taking a picture. Putting his hands out, he demonstrates the size to be about the size of a softball. As they continue walking to find the car, Ben and Paul are now abut thirty feet behind David. David sees someone or something standing by a tree about twenty feet ahead of him. When he looks at it, it froze as if trying to hide itself. His brain is trying to decide who or what it is. It appears to be human but the eyes kind of remind him of an owl. His brain is the whole time searching its’ archive for what is familiar. Is it an owl, a deer, or a person wearing a mask? He looks to see if they are holding a flashlight because if it is a person in the woods at night, they would most likely have a flashlight or something. He studies to find a reasonable explanation. He sees it is wearing a black jumpsuit. When he turns and yells to the guys (still behind him), it takes off running. Of course, he takes off after it, and catches up unexpectedly fast. It runs with its’ fists in front of it holding what appears to be a wand or a stick. It runs like what he can only describe as a spider, by running on his toes and not bending at the knees. It sounds very light but does make a noise. As he draws closer to it, he smells the breeze break off of it. The smell of ether or antiseptic is overwhelming and undeniable. He can see the back of his head as he gets closer. He is grey with big black eyes and a slender head about chest tall. It reminds him of a child with accelerated age disease. Its looks like it is wearing ballerina slippers but it may be his feet. It is hard to say for sure. He is so close now but can not bring his self to tackle it. He wonders if it could hurt him. He just does not know what to do. Thinking he may by scaring it by chasing it, he slows down, but it keeps running until it finally runs around a bush. Now, the guys have caught up and Ben sees something but can not make out what it is. David says to Ben, ‘run around the side of the bush and we will corner him.’ They both run around to the other side of the bush but it is gone. By now, Paul is completely freaked out and only wants to fi nd his car. He wants to get out of here and go somewhere where this is people. David is so busy trying to analyze what he has seen, that he can’t think of anything else. By now, David is thinking that this may be an alien. He has no prior experience or knowledge or aliens and grew up thinking aliens are little green men from mars. They do not recall what happened next. The next thing they remember is driving off the trail onto the main street. They were all quiet for a few minutes and then they discussed what had happened but could not explain it. Ben is so astounded that after they arrived home, he writes down the date and what has happened. Paul tells them about a group called MUFON and tells them of a hotline they have, so David calls and reports what has happened. They respond with negativity and disbelief. David could never have anticipated the ridicule that would follow. In his mind it is no different than seeing a semi-truck driving down the road engulfed in flames. You would want to tell everyone you know. David and Ben later learn that Gulf Breeze is a UFO hotspot. They conclude and are convinced that what they witnessed that night can only be explained as being an alien. To this day, Paul refuses to talk about the experience and has never been stable since.
NOTE: Here is a listing of the links referencing David's encounters that I have reported over the years...including interviews and evidence - David Eckhart links. Please be aware, the saga is not over. I will personally continue to investigate this ongoing case as long as David and his family permit. This may include an investigation by SRI as well...Lon
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