Fact or fiction? You decide during ‘UFOs Over the Platte River’ presentation

WHAT: Brown Bag Lecture Series

HOSTED BY: UNK Department of History

TITLE: “UFOs Over the Platte River”

Nathan Tye
Nathan Tye

TOPIC: On Nov. 5, 1957, local grain buyer R.O. Schmidt was welcomed aboard a UFO resting near the Platte River. The sheriff interrogated him, the Kearney Hub newspaper investigated the landing site, and most residents laughed it off. A year later, the UFO picked him up in Elm Creek. As the space race took off, Schmidt made a career of “The Kearney Incident,” traveling across the country sharing his story. Drawing on Schmidt’s writing and declassified Air Force files, this lecture will expose this strange and otherworldly tale from Cold War Kearney.

PRESENTER: Nathan Tye is the assistant professor of Nebraska and American West history at UNK, where he’s taught since 2019. He received his doctorate from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Tye serves on the boards of several local community museums and cultural organizations, and his research is published in Nebraska History, Annals of Iowa and Willa Cather Review. He also appeared on NBC’s celebrity genealogy program “Who Do You Think You Are?”

TIME: Noon

DATE: Wednesday, Oct. 11

PLACE: Kearney Public Library, 2020 First Ave.

CONTACT: Nathan Tye, assistant history professor, 308.865.8860, tyen@unk.edu