As a kid in Mount Airy, George Fawcett played basketball with Andy Griffith and got hooked on UFOs.
A 1944 newspaper article describing “mysterious balls of fire” spotted by American pilots over Germany during World War II sparked his imagination.
His health had declined in recent years, and Fawcett died Sunday at age 83.
During more than 65 years of research, Fawcett wrote numerous articles about unidentified flying objects in such publications as Argosy, True magazine and Flying Saucers Review. He taught a UFO course at Gaston College and investigated more than 1,200 UFO sightings, including 600 across the Carolinas. His 20,000-item Sauceriana Collection is at the International UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell, N.M.
Fawcett founded the North Carolina chapter of Mutual UFO Network Inc.(MUFON), a nonprofit organization that tracks and researches reports of UFOs. And he attempted to raise money to build a saucer-shaped museum in North Carolina that would house his extensive collection of memorabilia and information – photos, slides, scrapbooks, videos, alien sculptures and more than 1,000 books.
The article notes that he was an extremely likeable, friendly guy, passionate about his subject and happy to share with the public. The best thing about UFOs is that they are real to the people who study them in whatever context they chose to put them in – real, a mystery, extraterrestrials, transdimensional visitors, folklore. His museum would be a fascinating place. It’s unfortunate he never got to build it but it appears he was a good person and will be missed.