Retired electrician Max Krauss (65) was walking northeast along a country road towards Langenschemmern (now called Schemmerhofen) south of Ulm in south Germany at about 15.00 on 9 April 1970. The sky was almost completely overcast, with a strong west wind. Suddenly two muffled sonic booms caused him to look around (to his right), where he saw what looked like a torn-off portion of a skeleton of a plant come whirling along on the opposite side of the road. He waited for the wind to drive it into the ditch, but it carried on, slowly overtaking him. Then he could see that it was no plant; it seemed to be a transparent ball some 40 cm across, with spokes inside it. Sketches of the object and its behaviour were made by Hubert Malthaner. Here is Krauss’s account (Malthaner 1972):
“From a dark spherical nucleus with hazy edges there came eight radials or spokes… (which) tapered off towards their outer extremities, their tips extending to the perimeter of the globe, which was almost as clear as glass but non-reflecting… (It) was rotating on a horizontal axis… and was floating… along, rather than rolling, a mere hand’s breadth above the road.
As the thing passed me, I increased my pace and stepped out after it… (It) may have rolled along in this way beside me for about 150 metres or so. Then it halted, did a right-angle turn towards a little stream of water, and stopped there. The rotation stopped too.
What I now saw is beyond my power to comprehend. From the dark centre of the ball there emerged, downwards, something resembling a hosepipe, which bent itself back and upwards like a “U” and then writhed about sideways several times. In the bend that was nearest to the ball there appeared a gleam like brightly glowing hot iron. The colour grew darker towards the more distant convolutions, and was only visible on the outward facing sides of each convolution of the hosepipe.
The hosepipe started wriggling about like a worm, extended itself, and went down to the ground. I am convinced that it reached into the water. The “worm” remained there for a short while, and then was drawn back in again. At the same time, the central part of the ball changed colour throughout half its radius, becoming milky, like water just before it boils. The outer shell of the ball now displayed a bluish tinge, somewhat like the ionized air to be seen around electrical high tension generators. Then the strange object slowly started its rotation, gliding movement again, passed across the road, quite close to me, to a point a pace or so into the field. And there it vanished, so absolutely silently, and at such lightning speed, straight into the sky, that I was unable to follow it with my eyes.”