The Portage County UFO Chase! County Sheriff Officers Dale Spaur and Wilbur "Barney" Neff - from Ravenna, Ohio - pursue a strange flying saucer for 85 miles across the state and into Pennsylvania. This famous UFO incident was the primary inspiration for the UFO/police chase scene in Spielberg's classic sci-fi film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977). Dozens upon dozens of police UFO chases have been reported across the country - and elsewhere - since the beginning of the Modern UFO Era. The Portage County UFO Chase case remains a mystery - although some skeptics of the period claimed that the object that was chased was the planet Venus. Michael Huntington - April, 2017.